(Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 10 Nov 2015 21:53

Squall wrote:I want to make a system of 10 vowels.
They are represented with vowel characters and double consonants tell the pronunciation of the vowel.
pipup /pipup/
pippup /pɪpup/

I have 8 vowels: /i ɪ u ʊ e ɛ o ɔ/

I need to add a pair for A. What is the most consistent option /ä ə/, /ä ɜ/, or /æ ɒ/?

If I added length, what inventory would be more plausible
/i: ɪ u: ʊ e: ɛ o: ɔ/ or /i ɪ: u ʊ: e ɛ: o ɔ:/?
/ä: ə/, /ä ə:/, /æ: ɒ/, /æ ɒ:/
/æ ɑ/, although I might even do /a ɑ/ if this were mine. With length, /æː ɑ/ would be close to what Dutch does, but I heard once that that's backwards from what's normal. In any case, I wouldn't ever pair /ä/ with those central vowels, I would pair it with /ɐ/ if I were picking a central vowel.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Egerius » 10 Nov 2015 22:15

Squall wrote:I want to make a system of 10 vowels.
I'd do something like this:
/æ ɑː ɛ eː ɪ iː ɔ oː ʊ uː/
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Squall » 10 Nov 2015 23:41

Egerius wrote:I'd do something like this:
/æ ɑː ɛ eː ɪ iː ɔ oː ʊ uː/
HoskhMatriarch wrote:/æ ɑ/, although I might even do /a ɑ/ if this were mine. With length, /æː ɑ/ would be close to what Dutch does, but I heard once that that's backwards from what's normal.
Thanks. I will use that system.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 11 Nov 2015 03:12

OK, I was wondering, how likely is it to have active alignment on verbs but nominative alignment on nouns and pronouns? I'm thinking that might not be too likely since the verbal marking is really obviously pronouns that have become affixes on the ends of verbs, even if they have a few allomorphs (such as akh is I, and as an affix it can be -kh, -akh, -äkh, or -okh. Sot is it, and as an affix it can be -st, -ss, -sot, -sos, -söt, and -sös, although will probably change that because -st seems too much like an Early Modern English or German second person informal, and I could probably make a better pronoun than sot, even if it just ends up being tos or something. Yes, all these affix allomorphs are phonologically conditioned. There are so many affixes that affixes phonologically affect other affixes as well as stems).

Also, is it normal to have a bunch of pronouns or determiners end up as two syllables? If I do anything with sonorants, that's what will inevitably happen, say, if I make a dative case marker -nu and then you have things like xesnu for "to the" and thosnu for "to it", even once there are sound changes, what you're left with is xösṇ and thosṇ, plus you have the dative case marker on all the nouns and adjectives, so you'd have things like xösṇ ẋonṇ ütṇ (this is ungrammatical, I just needed some example, and I'm going go get rid of all x's as well since they look terrible, so don't mind it).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » 11 Nov 2015 03:42

Pronouns can be however many syllables you want, so don't worry about it. For example, every single pronoun in Japanese is two or more syllables. "we", "you" (pl) and "they" (fem) are five syllables each (watashitachi, anatatachi, kanojotachi respectively). Adding case particles makes them even longer, e.g. anatatachi kara "from you (pl)".

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Sumelic » 11 Nov 2015 06:46

clawgrip wrote:Pronouns can be however many syllables you want, so don't worry about it. For example, every single pronoun in Japanese is two or more syllables. "we", "you" (pl) and "they" (fem) are five syllables each (watashitachi, anatatachi, kanojotachi respectively). Adding case particles makes them even longer, e.g. anatatachi kara "from you (pl)".
Squall wrote:
Egerius wrote:I'd do something like this:
/æ ɑː ɛ eː ɪ iː ɔ oː ʊ uː/
HoskhMatriarch wrote:/æ ɑ/, although I might even do /a ɑ/ if this were mine. With length, /æː ɑ/ would be close to what Dutch does, but I heard once that that's backwards from what's normal.
Thanks. I will use that system.
I'm not even sure the Dutch system is "backwards." Certainly compared to English, but I don't know about compared to normal.

The systems I can think of that have front/back quality associated with vowel length:
Long a more back: English, conservative modern French, Persian
Long a more front: Dutch, Hungarian, probably some stage of Attic dialects of Ancient Greek (where historical long a generally developed to eta (long low-mid e), probably some stage of English right before the Great Vowel Shift (historical "long a" likely passed through stages like [æː > ɛː] on its way to the general present value of [eɪ]; Wikipedia estimates something like [a æː] for around 1500)

But both of these options seem rare. Most commonly, languages seem to be described as either having no difference in the quality of long and short /a a:/, or as having [ɐ] or some similar raised variant as an allophone of short /a/.

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » 11 Nov 2015 16:41

Sumelic wrote:
clawgrip wrote:Pronouns can be however many syllables you want, so don't worry about it. For example, every single pronoun in Japanese is two or more syllables. "we", "you" (pl) and "they" (fem) are five syllables each (watashitachi, anatatachi, kanojotachi respectively). Adding case particles makes them even longer, e.g. anatatachi kara "from you (pl)".
Squall wrote:
Egerius wrote:I'd do something like this:
/æ ɑː ɛ eː ɪ iː ɔ oː ʊ uː/
HoskhMatriarch wrote:/æ ɑ/, although I might even do /a ɑ/ if this were mine. With length, /æː ɑ/ would be close to what Dutch does, but I heard once that that's backwards from what's normal.
Thanks. I will use that system.
I'm not even sure the Dutch system is "backwards." Certainly compared to English, but I don't know about compared to normal.

The systems I can think of that have front/back quality associated with vowel length:
Long a more back: English, conservative modern French, Persian
Long a more front: Dutch, Hungarian, probably some stage of Attic dialects of Ancient Greek (where historical long a generally developed to eta (long low-mid e), probably some stage of English right before the Great Vowel Shift (historical "long a" likely passed through stages like [æː > ɛː] on its way to the general present value of [eɪ]; Wikipedia estimates something like [a æː] for around 1500)

But both of these options seem rare. Most commonly, languages seem to be described as either having no difference in the quality of long and short /a a:/, or as having [ɐ] or some similar raised variant as an allophone of short /a/.
Wikipedia suggests the difference is small for Hungarian, and more about height - and the same for Flemish, but the backness is clearly the thing in Dutch Dutch.

On the other side, Irish has /a:/ backer than /a/, mostly. Apparently this is only generally true outside Munster; in Munster outside Ring /a:/ only has its fully back form when word-initial or after a broad consonant, although in Ring not only is it always back but it's also always rounded. In Connemara, the length difference has been neutralised and it's only backness that carries the contrast.

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 11 Nov 2015 16:48

clawgrip wrote:Pronouns can be however many syllables you want, so don't worry about it. For example, every single pronoun in Japanese is two or more syllables. "we", "you" (pl) and "they" (fem) are five syllables each (watashitachi, anatatachi, kanojotachi respectively). Adding case particles makes them even longer, e.g. anatatachi kara "from you (pl)".
Well, I'm turning clitic pronouns into affixes, so they can't be too long. Japanese is pro-drop and doesn't have bound markers on the verb, so they rarely have to use their long pronouns. On the other hand, if you have to use them, it gets impractical. Plus, languages with complex syllable shapes are going to have words that are less syllables generally.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » 11 Nov 2015 18:42

What are workarounds to lacking participles? Also not sure whether I should put prepositional phrases before or after the main verb (word order is SOV).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 11 Nov 2015 19:33

Ahzoh wrote:What are workarounds to lacking participles? Also not sure whether I should put prepositional phrases before or after the main verb (word order is SOV).
Well, what would you otherwise need participles for? The only participles in Hoskh are adjective forms of verbs (I'm not actually sure they are participles and not just deverbal adjectives since there's no morphology on them and "blue" is formed from "be blue" the same as "running" is formed from "run"), and I'm having no trouble constructing sentences. If you need participles for adjectives, you can use relative clauses. If you need participles for adverbial use, you can use complementizers or nominalizations or infinitives or serial verb constructions or any number of things. I need more examples.

As for word order, do whatever you want. Prepositional phrases have a massive amount of flexibility in different languages with regards to where they go, and even in English, which generally has a pretty fixed word order, you can put them in different places. But, if the verb has to be the last thing in the sentnece, I would put them before, otherwise, I would probably put them after just for the pragmatic reasons of distinguishing a phrase modifying the sentence from one modifying a noun (which isn't even allowed in all languages). Otherwise I might even put them between the subject and object (which is basically what happens in Hoskh as the default word order).

I'm still wondering how likely it is that you could have active-stative alignment on verbs but not cases in a language with case, since I have verb agreement in Hoskh that's really obviously derived from pronouns. I might not do that anyways though, since nominative is unmarked and I don't want "to be" to get too long, even if I want to play around with alignment more instead of having stuff where the subject is always in the same case.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » 11 Nov 2015 21:03

Sumelic wrote:
Squall wrote:
Egerius wrote:I'd do something like this:
/æ ɑː ɛ eː ɪ iː ɔ oː ʊ uː/
HoskhMatriarch wrote:/æ ɑ/, although I might even do /a ɑ/ if this were mine. With length, /æː ɑ/ would be close to what Dutch does, but I heard once that that's backwards from what's normal.
Thanks. I will use that system.
I'm not even sure the Dutch system is "backwards." Certainly compared to English, but I don't know about compared to normal.

The systems I can think of that have front/back quality associated with vowel length:
Long a more back: English, conservative modern French, Persian
Long a more front: Dutch, Hungarian, probably some stage of Attic dialects of Ancient Greek (where historical long a generally developed to eta (long low-mid e), probably some stage of English right before the Great Vowel Shift (historical "long a" likely passed through stages like [æː > ɛː] on its way to the general present value of [eɪ]; Wikipedia estimates something like [a æː] for around 1500)

But both of these options seem rare. Most commonly, languages seem to be described as either having no difference in the quality of long and short /a a:/, or as having [ɐ] or some similar raised variant as an allophone of short /a/.
Some Germans dialects had/have long /a:/ more back than short /a/, IIRC.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » 11 Nov 2015 22:39

Ahzoh wrote:What are workarounds to lacking participles?
Languages without proper verb-to-adjective derivations just use relative clauses in their place. In fact many things grammars call "participles" are actually just special subordinate forms for relative clauses, and not true adjectivalizations.
Also not sure whether I should put prepositional phrases before or after the main verb (word order is SOV).
SOV natlangs do both. In fact they also vary as to whether adpositional phrases come between the verb and the object or not. Do whichever you prefer.
HoskhMatriarch wrote:I'm still wondering how likely it is that you could have active-stative alignment on verbs but not cases in a language with case, since I have verb agreement in Hoskh that's really obviously derived from pronouns. I might not do that anyways though, since nominative is unmarked and I don't want "to be" to get too long, even if I want to play around with alignment more instead of having stuff where the subject is always in the same case.
Very likely: Most languages with "active" alignment are like this, in fact.
My pronouns are <xe> [ziː] / <xym> [zɪm] / <xys> [zɪz]

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 12 Nov 2015 00:04

Micamo wrote:
HoskhMatriarch wrote:I'm still wondering how likely it is that you could have active-stative alignment on verbs but not cases in a language with case, since I have verb agreement in Hoskh that's really obviously derived from pronouns. I might not do that anyways though, since nominative is unmarked and I don't want "to be" to get too long, even if I want to play around with alignment more instead of having stuff where the subject is always in the same case.
Very likely: Most languages with "active" alignment are like this, in fact.
OK, so would pronouns more likely be grouped with nouns or verb agreement in terms of their alignment?

Also, I thought most languages with "active" alignment on verbs don't have cases on nouns. According to WALS there are a couple each of nominative-accusative and ergative-absolutive noun languages with active alignment on verbs, as opposed to 9 languages with no case on nouns and active alignment on verbs, but I'm not sure what to think of WALS anymore.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » 12 Nov 2015 00:22

HoskhMatriarch wrote:OK, so would pronouns more likely be grouped with nouns or verb agreement in terms of their alignment?
Nouns.
My pronouns are <xe> [ziː] / <xym> [zɪm] / <xys> [zɪz]

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 12 Nov 2015 00:41

Micamo wrote:
HoskhMatriarch wrote:OK, so would pronouns more likely be grouped with nouns or verb agreement in terms of their alignment?
Nouns.
Thanks.
Sumelic wrote:
I'm not even sure the Dutch system is "backwards." Certainly compared to English, but I don't know about compared to normal.
I just said that's what I've heard, not that that was the absolute truth, otherwise I would have just said "Dutch is backwards". We need a reportative evidental in English that makes what we're saying not be taken as what we think is the absolute truth. How about should or must? Dutch should/must be backwards from normal, there.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keenir » 12 Nov 2015 03:30

HoskhMatriarch wrote:
clawgrip wrote:Pronouns can be however many syllables you want, so don't worry about it. For example, every single pronoun in Japanese is two or more syllables. "we", "you" (pl) and "they" (fem) are five syllables each (watashitachi, anatatachi, kanojotachi respectively). Adding case particles makes them even longer, e.g. anatatachi kara "from you (pl)".
Well, I'm turning clitic pronouns into affixes, so they can't be too long. Japanese is pro-drop and doesn't have bound markers on the verb, so they rarely have to use their long pronouns.
why can't affixes be long? just because Japanese rarely uses theirs?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » 12 Nov 2015 04:09

More complex syllable structure does generally mean fewer syllables per word, but it doesn't mean one and only one syllable per pronoun or affix. Japanese does have moderately complex syllable structure, after all (C)(C)V(C), even if it's toward the lower end of that range.

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » 12 Nov 2015 04:13

Micamo wrote:
Ahzoh wrote:What are workarounds to lacking participles?
Languages without proper verb-to-adjective derivations just use relative clauses in their place. In fact many things grammars call "participles" are actually just special subordinate forms for relative clauses, and not true adjectivalizations.
And what's considered "proper verb-to-adjective" derivations? Because I do have adjective forms used to turn verbs into adjectives, just not always carrying verbal meanings.
And I have a deverbal noun form that almost behaves like a gerund.
But all in all, I do not have dedicated non-finite verb forms except for the infinitive.

So you may think I translated the sentence "(While) risking his life, he saves me" as "He who while risking his life saves me"?
Also not sure whether I should put prepositional phrases before or after the main verb (word order is SOV).
SOV natlangs do both. In fact they also vary as to whether adpositional phrases come between the verb and the object or not. Do whichever you prefer.
Would nouns inflected in prepositional cases like allative or ablative count as prepositional phrases or object noun phrases (and should take an accusative case also)?

I have for example:
ṛ-hazi noki tumamnišu žamnaš ṛ-ʾadveju pamnušaẇ žazlogan which means literally "the man who a letter would write to the post office would go" and where ṛ-ʾadveju pamnušaẇ "to the post office" is the "object" of the verb žazlogan "would go".
Versus:
śamu ʾezlalu maẏ-tudavu ya lit zomlayinu šadik meanings literally "a tree big there is in garden mine" where lit zomlayinu šadik "in my garden" is not the "object" of the verb ya "be".
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 12 Nov 2015 05:50

Keenir wrote:
HoskhMatriarch wrote:
clawgrip wrote:Pronouns can be however many syllables you want, so don't worry about it. For example, every single pronoun in Japanese is two or more syllables. "we", "you" (pl) and "they" (fem) are five syllables each (watashitachi, anatatachi, kanojotachi respectively). Adding case particles makes them even longer, e.g. anatatachi kara "from you (pl)".
Well, I'm turning clitic pronouns into affixes, so they can't be too long. Japanese is pro-drop and doesn't have bound markers on the verb, so they rarely have to use their long pronouns.
why can't affixes be long? just because Japanese rarely uses theirs?
Well, it's impractical to have all the words be super long. Two syllables is fine, but three syllables for each personal agreement affix on a one syllable word root would mean you could have a 10 syllable verb just to say "she sent it to him". And this is a language with lots of phonemes and a complex syllable structure, so it's not like it's even really necessary to have roots have multiple syllables since there are thousands of possible syllables (hence why I'm not making a syllabary).
clawgrip wrote:More complex syllable structure does generally mean fewer syllables per word, but it doesn't mean one and only one syllable per pronoun or affix. Japanese does have moderately complex syllable structure, after all (C)(C)V(C), even if it's toward the lower end of that range.
OK, but I probably shouldn't go above 2 syllables for the most common ones with about CCCCVCCCC syllable structure (I say about because I don't have simple rules for what the maximum syllable is, I just have a general idea of what happens and what doesn't, which is so complicated I could probably write half a page on it). Since every other vowel basically gets deleted, and there's no reason for 5-syllable roots in even a language with moderately complex syllables, you'd have to have compound words be the sources of some of the affixes to have 3+ syllables. Some of the affixes are less than one syllable: ut - to be, ooskh - I am (the affix -kh causes the vowel to lower and/or the final consonant to lenit for many words, it's predictable which ones. The double vowels are just an artefact of the romanization), so it's not just a monotonous string of syllables.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keenir » 12 Nov 2015 07:28

HoskhMatriarch wrote:
Keenir wrote:
HoskhMatriarch wrote:
clawgrip wrote:Pronouns can be however many syllables you want, so don't worry about it. For example, every single pronoun in Japanese is two or more syllables. "we", "you" (pl) and "they" (fem) are five syllables each (watashitachi, anatatachi, kanojotachi respectively). Adding case particles makes them even longer, e.g. anatatachi kara "from you (pl)".
Well, I'm turning clitic pronouns into affixes, so they can't be too long. Japanese is pro-drop and doesn't have bound markers on the verb, so they rarely have to use their long pronouns.
why can't affixes be long? just because Japanese rarely uses theirs?
Well, it's impractical to have all the words be super long. Two syllables is fine, but three syllables for each personal agreement affix on a one syllable word root would mean you could have a 10 syllable verb just to say "she sent it to him".
I'm not seeing a downside.
clawgrip wrote:More complex syllable structure does generally mean fewer syllables per word, but it doesn't mean one and only one syllable per pronoun or affix. Japanese does have moderately complex syllable structure, after all (C)(C)V(C), even if it's toward the lower end of that range.
OK, but I probably shouldn't go above 2 syllables for the most common ones with about CCCCVCCCC syllable structure (I say about because I don't have simple rules for what the maximum syllable is, I just have a general idea of what happens and what doesn't, which is so complicated I could probably write half a page on it).
that'd be an interesting read; please post it.
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