Problems with my conlang

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Zvoc47
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Problems with my conlang

Post by Zvoc47 » 19 Dec 2016 22:43

Hello.
I've been here already, but it has been a while too. I'd like to just update on some things about my conlang and ask for some help.
So basically, my conlang is a template for many dialects in a fictional world, and a language for better contextual translation and interpretation of the Holy Bible. It is based on Esperanto. It still has Esperanto's root dictionary, but I'm planning to change that when I fix my grammar. I'd just like to say before I start explaining, that I'm not trying to reform Esperanto, but create a whole new language. Esperanto was designed to be neutral, but I don't think my language is that neutral, really. My language has a specific purpose and is being made for English speakers and Croatian speakers who don't want weird unpronouncible sounds like hx and th and etc., but want total clarity and redundancy and shortness all in one with maximum optimization and least thinking as possible; just shooting words out of their mouths without worrying about the syntax.

I have some new letters and sounds:
č (as in chair) replaces cx,
hx (as in Czech) is rejected,
j (as in giant) replaces gx,
ø (as in err) is a blank vowel used as an escape sequence and for vowelization of l, r, m and n,
qu (as in quadrant) replaces kv and can be pronounced as kv or gv or like quack,
š (as in sharing) replaces sx,
w (as in window) replaces ux,
x (as in xylophone) replaces ks,
y (as in young) replaces j,
ž (as in garage) replaces jx,
ny (as in nya or New York) can be pronounced together or separatedly,
ly (as in lewd) can be pronounced together or separatedly,
â, ^e, î, ô, ^ø, ^u are longer vowels and are used in the last syllable when the grammatical ending is removed.

Every pronoun is made of 4 letters; each for person, gender, number and case respectively.
O, a, e, u are the vowels for genders: o=male, a=female, e=when you want to speak for any gender such as in saying "he/she", u=unalive.
M, c, l are the consonants for persons.
From this, there's mo, ma, me, mu for first person and you can say your gender while speaking or just mask it with "me".
Co, ca, ce, cu is when you're calling someone. It's polite to say "ce" so that you don't accidentally let someone take an offence of gender assumption.
Lo, la, le, lu is he, she, he/she and it respectively.
Each one of these can have plural forms:
Moy is we males, cay is you females, ley is they people, etc..
Gender can be removed so that you have mi, ci and li.
There's also vo/va/ve/vu which is polite, but because of a conflict with the particle "vud", I'm not sure would I use this even though "vud" makes no sense because you wouldn't be polite to something unalive like a robot.
This brings a lot of combinations:
mo/ma/me/mu/mi moy/may/mey/muy/miy
co/ca/ce/cu/ci coy/cay/cey/cuy/ciy
vo/va/ve/vu/vi voy/vay/vey/vuy/viy
lo/la/le/lu/li loy/lay/ley/luy/liy
I'll give an example with cases later.

Now I have a problem: I'm running out of morphemes very fast! There must not be any roots with any of these words. Take cases into account also. The reason why this is is because I want to have words without grammatical endings so if there's a root "mod" for example, there can be problems. I've already lost an article, but I've solved it by saying that the undefined article is ø and the defined article is dø which sounds like someone who can't say "the" saying "the".

For every noun, adjective, pronoun or declensable correlative, there is a grammatical ending that contains gender, number and case. If the noun has no case or number and has an obvious gender, the grammatical ending is removed and the last syllable's vowel is accented. There are several cases in my conlang (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive and predicative). Here is the list of grammatical endings for noun kate which means cat:
Nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, predicative.
Kate, katen, kated, kateg, katef. <= Cat whose gender is unknown or when referring to a cat whose gender does not matter
Kato, katon, katod, katog, katof. <= Male cat
Kata, katan, katad, katag, kataf. <= Female cat
Katu, katun, katud, katug, katuf. <= An unalive cat like a robot
Plural example:
Katey, kateyn, kateyd, kateyg, kateyf. <= Cat whose gender is unknown or when referring to a cat whose gender does not matter
Katoy, katoyn, katoyd, katoyg, katoyf. <= Male cat
Katay, katayn, katayd, katayg, katayf. <= Female cat
Katuy, katuyn, katuyd, katuyg, katuyf. <= An unalive cat like a robot
Here are the caseless and genderless forms: Kât (singular), kati (plural).
The genderless plural nouns can have cases: katin, katid, katig, katif.

The first problem is that my endings are starting to sound very ugly. The second problem is that I'm running out of morphemes. I have to immediately change the endings of adjectives, adverbs and verbs which are in infinitive and imperative form. The reason why I'm doing all this is because I want to have a lot of redundancy in my conlang. I don't want a nominative noun be after a preposition and before a verb which would make it sound like it is the subject of that verb. The grammatical endings for nouns must not be longer than one syllable. The reason why I'd like an endingless noun is because of how long and frustrating it is to say the ending every single time. I tried working with my conlang and with Esperanto by using them in songs, but I had a problem where the grammatical endings would take up so much syllables in words, rendering my conlang sounding very long and tiring. I want to say more with less, but I don't want to cause any inflections or irregularities because I want everything to be clear at the same time.

To explain the cases, here's how it goes:
Nominative is used for the subject of the sentence or when calling someone.
Accusative is used for an object or a destination (if after a preposition).
Dative is used for a recepient by removing the preposition "al".
Genitive is used for nouns after "da" and "de", but by removing those prepositions. I'm not sure if that is a good idea, though. On Duolingo, I've been really having trouble with da/de, but still, da/de have different meanings such as "how many breads" and "how much of breads", but I'd say that "how many" would be a declensable correlative with the same case as "breads" while "how much of" would be also a declensable correlative, but "breads" would be in genitive.
Predicative is used for assignments. In "Sky is blue.", "sky" is in nominative and "blue" is in predicative which indicates that it is being assigned to the nominative word via the verb "to be". In "I will make you a man.", "I" is in nominative, "you" is in accusative and "a man" is in predicative because it is what is being assigned to something.
I'm planning to either use genitive or a new case for nouns that are after prepositions and I've already explained why I need that.

The verbs are fun:
The verbs have a grammatical ending that contains person, number and tense.
Before I talk about that, I have to first define the infinitive and I'll do that by using "er" so that "iri" becomes "irer".
Here's the present tense:
1st person singular, 2nd person singular, 3rd person singular. 1st person plural, 2nd person plural, 3rd person plural.
Iram, iraš, iras, iraym irayš, irays.
Past and future tense:
Irim, iriš, iris, and here's the problem: iriym, iriyš, iriys. This is unpronouncible! HELP!
Irom, iroš, iros, iroym, iroyš, iroys.
The conditional will not be used, but rather a particle such as "vud" (from the English "would") will be used in both conditional clauses when the impossibility exists in the condition. This is how it works in Croatian. You might hear me saying "If I would finally start studying now, I would get a good mark." because I don't like saying "If I started studying..." because the verb "start" should be in PRESENT!!! Not in the past. Don't let me get started with how logically broken English's conditional system is.
Anyway, the achievement of this is that I can say "irays" which is just 2 syllables instead of "ili iras" which is 4 syllables.

With verbs, the 3rd person form can serve as the present form for any person and number if the subject noun or pronoun exists before the verb. That way your tongue won't bounce all around saying those "ay"/"oy"/etc dipthongs. "Mey iras." for example which means "We are going.", but "Iras mey" would be incorrect because the "iras" would confuse people into expecting the 3rd person singular; "Iraym mey" is correct. Now an idea popped into my mind: "Iraymey" or "Iramey" which makes a portmanteau of a verb and a pronoun which makes the verb have a meaning, tense, person, gender and number all in one [xD] I'm the craziest linguist ever! [:P] [:P] [:P] [:P] [:P] [:P] Uh oh,... but I gotta watch out that there's no root that is "iram" or "iraym" oh my [xP]

What I plan also here is that the words that are inherently verbs such as those with the "ig" and "ij" suffix don't need a grammatical ending, but rather an auxilliary verb such as in the conlang of Slovio. This way, one can say "Me es ir" where "es" is an auxiliary verb with no person or number, but with a tense. I'm planning to make these too:
1st sing.: Em îr
2nd sing.: Eš îr
3rd sing.: Es îr
1st plu.: Eym îr
2nd plu.: Eyš îr
3rd plu.: Eys îr
The reason for this form is because someone is thinking of the syntax "I am going" so saying "Me em îr"/"Me es îr" can really help or if they are thinking about "I'm going", they can say "Em îr". Likewise, for the future tense, Croatian and English speakers want to say "will" between the subject and the verb so that can be "Bum îr" or "Bu iram" or "Me bu îr" and more combinations... As I said, I want the syntax to be free and understandable.

I'll have to take from Ido the "irez" and make "iremz" and "ireyz" for imperative (2nd sing, 1st plu, 2nd plu respectively).

Now, how do I make adjectives from this?
"Belal" would be "she beautiful", "belol" would be "he beautiful" and etc., but what if I'd like to say the number and case? Then it's "beloyln" and "belaylf" which makes it sound all mushed up and confusing and definitely not redundant, but hard to pronounce AND to understand. I was thinking if maybe the words that are inherently adjectives stay as adjectives so that saying "belo" doesn't mean the same as "belulo" or a male version of the Esperantian "beleco", but rather "beautiful he". Still, how would someone know if something is an adjective or a noun? Maybe I'm worrying too much. If I could know the word classes of anything in any other language, why should I worry about this? But still, because of my OCD, I like to have everything organized. I'm really starting to get mad right now and I don't know what to do.

Speaking of correlatives, I have.
Reference Expression
Interrogative K-
Demonstrative T-
Relative X-
Some Som-/Sm-
Many Mult-/Mn-
Little Les-/Ml-
All Sav-/Sv-
Else Els-/Sl-
Any En-/Y-
None Nen-/N-

Function Expression Example
Person or thing -i- Kio, tia, xie, somiu/smiu
Selection -oy- Koyo, toya, xoye, somoyu/smoyu
Description -aky- Kakyo, takya, xakye, somokyu/smokyu
Amount -olky- Kolkyo, tolkya, xalkye, somolkyu/smolkyu

See that the amount here is declensable. This is because saying "Hundojn amas katoj" in Esperanto and transforming it into "Multe da hundo amas multe da katoj" makes the subject/object cases disappear! In my conlang, it would be "Mnolkyeyn hundeyn amays mnolkyey katey". Another problem: My conlang is starting to sound really mouthful.

What I was thinking about doing is starting making my own roots that have a special construction which is inflectable in such ways that it's possible to tell the gender, number, case and etc. without using agglutinative ways, but also in the ways that it's possible to know the original nominative singular form without accidentally mistaking it for another root. Now I think I'm asking too much, but I'm pretty sure there's some software to help me and that there's probably some more consonant clusters that I should use rather than abusing that poor "y" constantly.

What are your thoughts? Please help me with my conlang because I'd really want to make it speakable and functioning.

Khemehekis
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Re: Problems with my conlang

Post by Khemehekis » 20 Dec 2016 07:33

Zvoc47 wrote:x (as in xylophone) replaces ks,
Xylophone?!?

But that's a /z/!
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 59,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

Zvoc47
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Re: Problems with my conlang

Post by Zvoc47 » 20 Dec 2016 15:02

Not in Croatian

Ebon
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Re: Problems with my conlang

Post by Ebon » 20 Dec 2016 16:48

And here we can see why IPA is a better way to describe sounds than saying it's like this or that word.

I struggle with understanding exactly what kind of problems you want help with, aside from not liking how it's pronounced- but without a proper prpnunciation guide I'm having a hard time figuring out how it is pronounced.

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Axiem
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Re: Problems with my conlang

Post by Axiem » 20 Dec 2016 17:25

Zvoc47 wrote: ny (as in nya or New York)
I pronounce "nya" different from "new". Which do you mean?

(In short: please include IPA, instead of "sounds like X", because different people will pronounce X differently)
Conworld: Mto
:con: : Kuvian

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Re: Problems with my conlang

Post by Frislander » 20 Dec 2016 18:10

I will first second all those comments on providing a phonology chart.

Looking at your morphology you appear to have an interesting vein of decidedly non-Esperanto elements in there, making me glad that this isn't just a relex. Firstly there's the re-injection of grammatical gender. Particularly intriguing is your extension of gender throughout the pronouns. I guess by "unalive" you inanimate, which is fine to distinguish as a gender, but that still leaves the question of why you'd need a 1st or 2nd person inanimate, outside of a weird subset of fiction. The gender system as a whole also seems to be making the mistake of confusing grammatical gender with biological sex and/or the social conception of gender.

Secondly, you put a "polite" second person in there, which you can have if you want.

Thirdly, you put person marking back into the verbs. This is fine as far as it goes, and the regularity of the marking is also OK (Quechua does things this way I think).

The main problem I can see here, and I think this is what you're getting at, is the shapes of the affixes. The problem seems to be arising because most of them seem to be single-phoneme. Thus unless your morphology is totally C-V-C-V with no zero forms then you're going to run into problems pretty quickly. Have the the affixes be mostly syllables remedies that for the most part, and it also makes them more prominent, reducing the possibility of confusion.

For example, let's take your're affixes and expand them a bit:

-ya: plural
-a: present tense
-in: past tense
-ok: future tense
-me: first person
-ši: second person
-sa: third person

So your "iram" becomes "irame", your "iriys" becomes "irinyasa" and your "iroš" becomes "irokši", which already start to feel nicer.

My first instinct when reading this was "don't base your conlang on Esperanto", and while I now realise that there is stuff there which isn't Esperanto, the forms are still to a large extent based on said auxlang, and thereby you have also brought over all of the problems which come with that (phonotactic issues and the absolutely abysmal phonaesthetics). therefore the best advice I could give you is to restart this from the ground up, redesigning the morphology to make it sound more appealing, and maybe to perhaps work on further reducing the Esperanto element.

Salmoneus
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Re: Problems with my conlang

Post by Salmoneus » 20 Dec 2016 19:13

I'm perplexed at the idea of making a language that English speakers could speak with "least thinking as possible; just shooting words out of their mouths", and then packing it with every element that an English speaker would struggle with. Gender, case, politeness distinctions... are you trying to make English speakers cry?
Speaking of which: why come onto an English-language-speaking board and insult English? No, the fact that you have trouble learning a language does not make it "broken". It works just fine.

[I have never heard anyone with a 'ly' sound in 'lewd'; and 'garage' has multiple pronunciations, with different final consonants. More reasons why some sort of ipa or sampa would be better.]

Zvoc47
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Re: Problems with my conlang

Post by Zvoc47 » 21 Dec 2016 01:50

Salmoneus wrote:I'm perplexed at the idea of making a language that English speakers could speak with "least thinking as possible; just shooting words out of their mouths", and then packing it with every element that an English speaker would struggle with. Gender, case, politeness distinctions... are you trying to make English speakers cry?
Speaking of which: why come onto an English-language-speaking board and insult English? No, the fact that you have trouble learning a language does not make it "broken". It works just fine.

[I have never heard anyone with a 'ly' sound in 'lewd'; and 'garage' has multiple pronunciations, with different final consonants. More reasons why some sort of ipa or sampa would be better.]
I don't mean to insult English. By the way, an English speaker could use mi and ci for me and you. They could use the -as ending for every verb as long as there's a subject in the clause. They could use an auxilliary verb before the future and past tenses if it confuses them. But anyways, I'm reforming the language because someone gave me an idea.
Frislander wrote:I will first second all those comments on providing a phonology chart.

Looking at your morphology you appear to have an interesting vein of decidedly non-Esperanto elements in there, making me glad that this isn't just a relex. Firstly there's the re-injection of grammatical gender. Particularly intriguing is your extension of gender throughout the pronouns. I guess by "unalive" you inanimate, which is fine to distinguish as a gender, but that still leaves the question of why you'd need a 1st or 2nd person inanimate, outside of a weird subset of fiction. The gender system as a whole also seems to be making the mistake of confusing grammatical gender with biological sex and/or the social conception of gender.

Secondly, you put a "polite" second person in there, which you can have if you want.

Thirdly, you put person marking back into the verbs. This is fine as far as it goes, and the regularity of the marking is also OK (Quechua does things this way I think).

The main problem I can see here, and I think this is what you're getting at, is the shapes of the affixes. The problem seems to be arising because most of them seem to be single-phoneme. Thus unless your morphology is totally C-V-C-V with no zero forms then you're going to run into problems pretty quickly. Have the the affixes be mostly syllables remedies that for the most part, and it also makes them more prominent, reducing the possibility of confusion.

For example, let's take your're affixes and expand them a bit:

-ya: plural
-a: present tense
-in: past tense
-ok: future tense
-me: first person
-ši: second person
-sa: third person

So your "iram" becomes "irame", your "iriys" becomes "irinyasa" and your "iroš" becomes "irokši", which already start to feel nicer.

My first instinct when reading this was "don't base your conlang on Esperanto", and while I now realise that there is stuff there which isn't Esperanto, the forms are still to a large extent based on said auxlang, and thereby you have also brought over all of the problems which come with that (phonotactic issues and the absolutely abysmal phonaesthetics). therefore the best advice I could give you is to restart this from the ground up, redesigning the morphology to make it sound more appealing, and maybe to perhaps work on further reducing the Esperanto element.
Thank you very much for your advice. I've recently started learning Italian and I see how simpler Italian actually is than both Croatian and English. I could use some help from that.

What I could do is use an article before every noun or adjective or declensable correlative instead of having every word have a grammatical ending. Italian and Portuguese do that.

Here's what came to my mind regarding genders:
-o male
-a female
-i male plural
-e female plural
-/ can be male or female biologically or is inanimate
-(ø)s same as above, but it works like English pluralization; ø is put in case the word ends with a consonant

I could merge articles with prepositions just like in Italian. There's so much to do. I'll update later.

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