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

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

Post by Creyeditor » 31 Mar 2018 22:45

Well, there is a lot of debate there. Some people argue that there is no directional harmony, and that there are only root controlled languages (Turkish can be analzyed either way IIRC). Others have claimed that all vowel harmony is directional. I think there is both. Assamese is a language where ATR harmony is really directional. A quick google search brings up Igbo as a root controlled ATR harmony, but I did not look at the details. Thinking about it, actually all ATR vowel harmony data that I have seen is either analyzed as root controlled or dominant recessive (or both). Assamese is the only ATR harmony that I can recall right now, that is definitely directional (but still it is also dominant-recessive).

The generalization that prefixes are the most likely to be immune to vowel harmony kind of makes it difficult to distinguish between the two hypotheses. Do you recall where you read about all vowel harmony being directional? I could really use that paper for a term paper I am writing right now [:D]
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Odkidstr » 07 Apr 2018 22:36

So I'm continuing to work on translating sentences in my conlang and have come across a few more things I'm unsure if I'm handling correctly. Before my actual conlang questions, how do you do the small caps on this forum?

The original sentence:

She (Lusa) also possessed the ears and the tail of a cat, appropriately sized to her human self.

In my conlang with gloss:


Lusai aínz sïs soano maks so chïsk alik seshithto tsini njon so akani kestik gavïs yot shï Lusak
Lusa-Abs possess also Def-ear-Pl and DEF tail cat-Gen which 3Pl-Abs COP DEF size-Abs appropriate for REFL human Lusa-Gen

Question 1: This is a possessive clause I believe? I understand that can work differently in some languages, here I'm treating it more like a copula construction. Typically for my copulas, the Absolutive is used on both the subject and complement(?). e.g. The car-Abs is White-Abs or A truck-Abs is a car-Abs. However, above I didn't mark "ears" or "tail" with any case. For a possessive clause, with couplas operating as they do above, should I be marking the "possessed" items to agree with the possessor, should I be using the Genitive in this type of construction, or would leaving them unmarked for case be more appropriate?

Question 2: Both "ears" and "tail" belong to "cat." Adjectives agree in case and number with their nouns. Thus, I've assumed it would be logical for Genitives to agree in number with what they possess. However, in this case, one noun is plural and one is singular; how would I choose which one should be marked for agreement? Is what I'm doing with the Genitive logical in the first place? If so would the simplest solution be something along the lines of "ear-Pl cat-Pl-Gen" "and" "tail cat-Gen"?

Question 3: This language is supposed to have resumptive pronouns for its relative clauses, however I'm still a novice with such things. I just wanted to make sure I used it right above.

Question 4: I'm kind of confused over the word "size" and how I used it above. It appears from my English to be an adjective, and this is how I treated it in translating ("which the ears and tail were the appropriate size). I'm unsure if that should be a noun though? I've assumed "appropriate" to function like an adverb for the adjective "size", does that seem correct?

Question 5: I had a hard time for "her human self." What I ended up with was using the Reflexive pronoun and "human" as an adjective to indicate "human self." I'm wondering if this would be appropriate, or if I should be using a word that means "self" instead?

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

Post by Salmoneus » 08 Apr 2018 12:16

I'm not fully clear on your intent here. You ask what you should do, or what would be appropriate, but we have no way to judge that. The appropriate construction is whatever the rules of your language demand - different languages have different grammars, so there is no single answer to what your grammatical rules should be. You kind of have to decide that yourself.


A few things:
- if you have nouns in an unmarked case, what case is that? Normally, if you had an absolutive, that would be the unmarked case, but evidently not here. Do you have an unmarked nominative as well as a marked absolutive? How does that work?

- if you make your possessors agree with your possessions, are they really still nouns? Because nouns don't normally do that (English: "the eyes of the cat" - note, cat is singular). But adjectives can, of course, so maybe you're turning your nouns into adjectives? That's not implausible.

- the word "size" in English is clearly a noun. For instance, we can say "a big size" and "your size" and "size is important", (but not normally "a big painful", "your painful" or, traditionally, "painful is important" (though that last is increasing in acceptability), but we can't say "a size arm", "the most size arm" or "the arm is size" (but "a painful arm", "the most painful arm" and "the arm is painful").

But of course, your conlang is not English, so the grammar will be different.

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

Post by Omzinesý » 08 Apr 2018 13:43

Odkidstr wrote:
07 Apr 2018 22:36
So I'm continuing to work on translating sentences in my conlang and have come across a few more things I'm unsure if I'm handling correctly. Before my actual conlang questions, how do you do the small caps on this forum?

The original sentence:

She (Lusa) also possessed the ears and the tail of a cat, appropriately sized to her human self.

In my conlang with gloss:


Lusai aínz sïs soano maks so chïsk alik seshithto tsini njon so akani kestik gavïs yot shï Lusak
Lusa-Abs possess also Def-ear-Pl and DEF tail cat-Gen which 3Pl-Abs COP DEF size-Abs appropriate for REFL human Lusa-Gen

Question 1: This is a possessive clause I believe? I understand that can work differently in some languages, here I'm treating it more like a copula construction. Typically for my copulas, the Absolutive is used on both the subject and complement(?). e.g. The car-Abs is White-Abs or A truck-Abs is a car-Abs. However, above I didn't mark "ears" or "tail" with any case. For a possessive clause, with couplas operating as they do above, should I be marking the "possessed" items to agree with the possessor, should I be using the Genitive in this type of construction, or would leaving them unmarked for case be more appropriate?
Your sentence seems to be two clauses
The main/matrix clause: Lusa-Abs possess also Def-ear-Pl and DEF tail cat-Gen
The relative clause: which 3Pl-Abs COP DEF size-Abs appropriate for REFL human Lusa-Gen

The main clause seems to be a possessive clause. It's though not a copular possessive clause but an European style transitive possessive clause (habeo-construction). The case of its object is apparently the case of objects in your language.

Copular possessive constructions are usually:
Mine/for me/with/near to me are houses.
I am with houses.
Question 4: I'm kind of confused over the word "size" and how I used it above. It appears from my English to be an adjective, and this is how I treated it in translating ("which the ears and tail were the appropriate size). I'm unsure if that should be a noun though? I've assumed "appropriate" to function like an adverb for the adjective "size", does that seem correct?
The translation of the sentence has word "sized" which is an ajective derived from noun "size".
Your language's sentence seems to be something like: "It is the size appropriate for...." where "appropriate" is an adjective describing the noun "size". I guess that's OK for your language if your grammar says so.
Question 5: I had a hard time for "her human self." What I ended up with was using the Reflexive pronoun and "human" as an adjective to indicate "human self." I'm wondering if this would be appropriate, or if I should be using a word that means "self" instead?
I guess English word "self" used to be a noun. Then it grammaticalized to a reflexive pronoun (myself, yourself...). Then in psychological literature it was again used like a noun, similarly to me, I, it etc. So in the English translation I guess "self" is a noun in the last meaning.

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

Post by Odkidstr » 08 Apr 2018 20:46

@Salmoneus
Salmoneus wrote:
08 Apr 2018 12:16
I'm not fully clear on your intent here. You ask what you should do, or what would be appropriate, but we have no way to judge that. The appropriate construction is whatever the rules of your language demand - different languages have different grammars, so there is no single answer to what your grammatical rules should be. You kind of have to decide that yourself.
Well, I'm just checking to make sure things make sense for a human language. I've done quite a few things that just wouldn't work on a practical level, and it's a pain to try to correct all the mistakes afterwards.

I have no case for an unmarked noun. If anything, I guess it would be something like a prepositional case as that's generally when nouns are unmarked in my language. Abs/Nom share the same suffix, -i. I've debated whether or not to change that, but I am currently thinking about using adverbial expressions when it's not clear from context. This only is a problem in an intransitive clause when it comes to tense, otherwise the other Ergative/Accusative argument is there to clarify what is happening.

I seem to always be a bit flustered with the differences between adjectives, nouns, adverbs, verbs, etc. Good thing I wasn't a linguistics major. I was thinking of a genitive construction that leaned more towards an adjective than a noun; it's my understanding that the Genitive is also often similar to adjectives in some languages, and it's not always easy to define a noun vs an adjective in some languages.

Ah well, "size" confused me for some reason. Thanks for the answers.


@Omzinesý
Omzinesý wrote:
08 Apr 2018 13:43
ich 3Pl-Abs COP DEF size-Abs appropriate for REFL human Lusa-Gen

The main clause seems to be a possessive clause. It's though not a copular possessive clause but an European style transitive possessive clause (habeo-construction). The case of its object is apparently the case of objects in your language.

Copular possessive constructions are usually:
Mine/for me/with/near to me are houses.
I am with houses.
Okay, that's what I needed to know. That means I did that clause improperly, I was thinking of it as a copular construction for some reason, but it being transitive means my cases are off. Might end up trying to switch over to copular possessive clauses though, I think it might be neater for the language.

Thanks for the help.

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

Post by LinguoFranco » 09 Apr 2018 16:42

So if I have /a ə/ as my only two vowel phonemes, I'm guessing I'm gonna need a fairly large consonant inventory to make up for the small vowel inventory?

I know I can have allophones as /e i o u/, but they only occur as a part of palatalization and labialization.

My current consonant inventory is:

/t d k g/
/m n ɲ/
/s z x/
/l r/
/j w/
/tɕ dʑ/

I don't know if that will be enough?

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

Post by Pabappa » 10 Apr 2018 00:07

LinguoFranco wrote:
09 Apr 2018 16:42
So if I have /a ə/ as my only two vowel phonemes, I'm guessing I'm gonna need a fairly large consonant inventory to make up for the small vowel inventory?

I know I can have allophones as /e i o u/, but they only occur as a part of palatalization and labialization.

My current consonant inventory is:

/t d k g/
/m n ɲ/
/s z x/
/l r/
/j w/
/tɕ dʑ/

I don't know if that will be enough?
There are some languages like that, but most languages with a vertical vowel inventory will have a large number of coarticulated consonants such as /kʷ/, /mʲ/, etc. The orthography gets messy, but to the speakers of the language, /kʷ/, /mʲ/, and all the rest are elementary sounds, no different than /k/, /m/, and the other sounds that to us seem basic.

We're used to thinking of vowels as atomic, so that /o/ is just an /o/ and not a rounded mid-central back vowel, but when the consonants are doing most of the work, they behave as single units even if to us they might seem to be breakable into clusters.

What are the phonotactics of your language? is /twak/ an allowable syllable? what about /wtakw/? /tkwak/? etc. .... If you find yourself using the sounds /j/ and /w/ next to consonants, you might want to consider reanalyzing those clusters as single consonants. It is possible to have contrasts ... do your /tɕ dʑ ɲ/ contrast with /tj dj nj/? Or with /kj gj/? You could go either way here.

It's also common to have gaps. Most of my conlangs have labialized consonants, but in many of them, only the stops have a contrast, or sometimes only stops and certain fricatives. This is similar to the setup in many Caucasian languages. Also, /lʷ/ can be realized as a simple /w/, or /rʲ/ and /zʲ/ can merge ... similar processes have happened in many Eastern European languages.
Sorry guys, this one has the worst sting.

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

Post by DesEsseintes » 10 Apr 2018 02:13

LinguoFranco wrote:
09 Apr 2018 16:42
So if I have /a ə/ as my only two vowel phonemes, I'm guessing I'm gonna need a fairly large consonant inventory to make up for the small vowel inventory?

I know I can have allophones as /e i o u/, but they only occur as a part of palatalization and labialization.

My current consonant inventory is:

/t d k g/
/m n ɲ/
/s z x/
/l r/
/j w/
/tɕ dʑ/

I don't know if that will be enough?
Yimas has 12 consonant phonemes and only one clearly phonemic vowel /a/, with /ɨ/ largely occurring due to predictable epenthesis. So you’re fine.

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

Post by Ahzoh » 11 Apr 2018 16:38

Could ya'll do me a favour and help me come up with a Proto-Language phonology that would connect these two language?:

Bolu
/i iː y yː/
/e eː ø øː/
/a aː ɒ ɒː/

/m n ɳ/
/p pʰ t tʰ k kʰ q qʰ/
/ʈʂ ʈʂʰ/
/s sʰ ʂ ʂʰ χ/
/l j w/

Swto
/ɲ̍ ɲ̍ʷ ŋ̍ ŋ̍ʷ/ <- these behave like vowels
/i y ɯ u/
/a ɒ/

/m n ɲ ŋ/
/p pʰ t tʰ c cʰ k kʰ/
/s sʰ x/

They also exhibit vowel harmony, although Bolu exhibits rounding harmony and Swto exhibits back harmony.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by ixals » 11 Apr 2018 19:44

Did you mix the harmony systems up? Rounding harmony fits better to Swto because of the labialised nasals.

I didn't really take vowel harmony in account so the harmony probably develops at the very end of the sound changes. But maybe it's earlier and it's an ongoing process, I don't know, you decide.

Proto-Phonology:
/m̩ n̩ ɲ̩ ŋ̩/
/ɪ iː ə ɨː ʊ uː/
/ɛ eː a aː ɔ oː/

/m n ɲ ŋ/
/p pʰ t tʰ c cʰ k kʰ q qʰ/

/s sʰ ɕ ɕʰ x/
/l ʎ/

Proto-Bolu-Swto > Bolu
c cʰ > tʃ tʃʰ > tʂ tʂʰ
ɕ ɕʰ > ʃ ʃʰ > ʂ ʂʰ
ɲ ɲ̩ > nₒ n̩ₒ > ɳ ɳ̩
l ʎ > w j
n n̩ > l l̩
ŋ ŋ̩ > n n̩
ɪ ʊ ɛ ɔ > i u e o
o oː > ɒ ɒː
ɨː > əː
ɳ̩ > n̩
n̩ m̩ > {nə, ən} {mə, əm}
l̩ > u
u uː > y yː
ə əː > ø øː
(+ rounding harmony develops at some stage)

Proto-Bolu-Swto > Swto
l > n
ʎ > ʝ > ɕ
q qʰ > k kʰ
ɕ ɕʰ > s sʰ
Vː > V
m̩ > n̩ʷ
n̩ n̩ʷ > ɲ̩ ɲ̩ʷ
ɲ̩ ŋ̩ > ɲ̩ʷ ŋ̩ʷ / _{ʊ, u, ɔ, o}
t tʰ > c cʰ / _{ɪ, i}
ɪ ə ʊ > ∅
u ɨ o ɔ e ɛ > y ɯ u ɒ i a
(+ develops back harmony at some stage)

In case you did mix them up, Swto's sound changes for rounding harmony:
Spoiler:
l > n
ʎ > ʝ > ɕ
q qʰ > k kʰ
ɕ ɕʰ > s sʰ
Vː > V
m̩ > n̩ʷ
n̩ n̩ʷ > ɲ̩ ɲ̩ʷ
ɲ̩ ŋ̩ > ɲ̩ʷ ŋ̩ʷ / (when followed by a rounded vowel in the next syllable)
t tʰ > c cʰ / _{ɪ, i}
ɪ ə ʊ > ∅
u ɨ o ɔ e ɛ > y ɯ u ɒ i a
(+ develops rounding harmony at some stage)
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » 11 Apr 2018 21:34

Those sound changes look great, thanks.
I think maybe both should have rounding harmony then.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » 12 Apr 2018 18:20

Ahzoh wrote:
11 Apr 2018 16:38
Could ya'll do me a favour and help me come up with a Proto-Language phonology that would connect these two language?
Some of these sound changes are pretty unrealistic, but I had fun:

Bolu: /ĩ ỹː ɯ̃ ũː/ -> /ĩ ĩː ɨ̃ ʉ̃ː/ -> /i iː y yː/
Swto: /ĩ ỹː ɯ̃ ũː/ -> /ĩ ỹ ɯ̃ ũ/ -> /ɲ̍ ɲ̍ʷ ŋ̍ ŋ̍ʷ/
Bolu: /ɪ iː ɤ y/ -> /e eː ɵ yː/ -> /e eː ø øː/
Swto: /ɪ iː ɤ y/ -> /i yː ɯ ʉ/ -> /i y ɯ u/
Bolu: /a aː ɒ ɒː/ -> (literally no changes) -> /a aː ɒ ɒː/
Swto: /a aː ɒ ɒː/ -> /a~aː ɒ~ɒː/ (length distinction lost) -> /a ɒ/

Bolu: /m n ɲ ɳˠ/ -> /m n ɲ ɳʲ/ -> (last two merge) -> /m n ɳ/
Swto: /m n ɲ ɳˠ/ -> /m n ɲ ŋ/
Bolu: /p pʰ t tʰ k kʰ q qʰ/ -> (no change) -> /p pʰ t tʰ k kʰ q qʰ/
Swto: /p pʰ t tʰ k kʰ q qʰ/ -> (fronting) -> /p pʰ t tʰ c cʰ k kʰ/
Bolu: /ʈ͡ʂ ʈ͡ʂʰ/ -> (no change) -> /ʈ͡ʂ ʈ͡ʂʰ/
Swto: /ʈ͡ʂ ʈ͡ʂʰ/ -> (merge with /ʂ ʂʰ/) -> /s sʰ/
Bolu: /s sʰ ʂ ʂʰ/ -> (no change) -> /s sʰ ʂ ʂʰ/
Swto: /s sʰ ʂ ʂʰ/ -> /s~ʂ sʰ~ʂʰ/ (distinction lost) -> /s sʰ/
Bolu: /χ/ -> (no change) -> /χ/
Swto: /χ/ -> (fronting) -> /x/
Bolu: /l j w/ -> (no change) -> /l j w/
Swto: /l j w/ -> /ɺ i̯ u̯/ -> /ɨ̯ ɨ̯ ɨ̯/ -> (eventually just dropped lol) -> /Ø Ø Ø/

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

Post by sangi39 » 12 Apr 2018 20:39

Proto:

/i y ɯ u/
/e ø ɤ o/
/a ɒ/

The vowel space is divided as follows:

Front vowels: /i y e ø a/ vs. Back vowels: /ɯ u ɤ o ɒ/
Unrounded vowels: /i ɯ e ɤ a/ vs. Rounded vowels: /y u ø o ɒ/

The first vowel can be anything, but all following vowels must of the same frontness. If a high vowel is preceded by a rounded vowel, it must also be a rounded vowel (and similar for unrounded vowels), e.g.:

i_o > i_ø > i_ø
o_i > o_ɯ > o_u



To Bolu:

All non-low vowels become rounded after preceding rounded vowels

The vowels remain the same, but non-low back vowels merge into their front counterparts (this removes frontness harmony, if I'm working this out right, causing only rounding harmony to remain)

The vowels lengthen in some environment



To Swto:

Vowels nasalise in some environment
Mid nasalised vowels merge into the high ones
Low nasalised vowels denasalise
Remaining nasal vowels become syllabic nasals (/i y ɯ u/ > /ɲ̍ ɲ̍ʷ ŋ̍ ŋ̍ʷ/)

This should leave just frontness harmony, e.g. i_ø becomes i_y





Proto:

/m n ɲ ŋ/
/p pʰ t tʰ c cʰ k kʰ q qʰ/
/s sʰ ɕ ɕʰ χ/
/b d ɟ g/
/w r j/



To Bolu:

/m n ɲ ŋ/ > /m n ɳ 0/
/p pʰ t tʰ c cʰ k kʰ q qʰ/ > /p pʰ t tʰ ʈʂ ʈʂʰ k kʰ q qʰ/
/s sʰ ɕ ɕʰ χ/ > /s sʰ ʂ ʂʰ χ/
/b d ɟ g/ > /w l j j/
/w r j/ > /w l j/, or /0 0 0/ when syllable final, causing the preceding vowel to lengthen



To Swto:

/m n ɲ ŋ/ > /m n ɲ ŋ/ (causing preceding vowels to nasalise if syllable final, after which these consonants are dropped)
/p pʰ t tʰ c cʰ k kʰ q qʰ/ > /p pʰ t tʰ c cʰ k kʰ k kʰ/
/s sʰ ɕ ɕʰ χ/ > /s sʰ s sʰ x/
/b d ɟ g/ > /m n ɲ ɲ/ (after vowel nasalisation changes occur)
/w r j/ > /p t c/ (through intermediate /b d ɟ/ after the above nasalise) or /0 0 0/ when syllable final
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » 12 Apr 2018 21:42

sangi39 wrote:
12 Apr 2018 20:39
Spoiler:
Proto:

/i y ɯ u/
/e ø ɤ o/
/a ɒ/

The vowel space is divided as follows:

Front vowels: /i y e ø a/ vs. Back vowels: /ɯ u ɤ o ɒ/
Unrounded vowels: /i ɯ e ɤ a/ vs. Rounded vowels: /y u ø o ɒ/

The first vowel can be anything, but all following vowels must of the same frontness. If a high vowel is preceded by a rounded vowel, it must also be a rounded vowel (and similar for unrounded vowels), e.g.:

i_o > i_ø > i_ø
o_i > o_ɯ > o_u



To Bolu:

All non-low vowels become rounded after preceding rounded vowels

The vowels remain the same, but non-low back vowels merge into their front counterparts (this removes frontness harmony, if I'm working this out right, causing only rounding harmony to remain)

The vowels lengthen in some environment



To Swto:

Vowels nasalise in some environment
Mid nasalised vowels merge into the high ones
Low nasalised vowels denasalise
Remaining nasal vowels become syllabic nasals (/i y ɯ u/ > /ɲ̍ ɲ̍ʷ ŋ̍ ŋ̍ʷ/)

This should leave just frontness harmony, e.g. i_ø becomes i_y





Proto:

/m n ɲ ŋ/
/p pʰ t tʰ c cʰ k kʰ q qʰ/
/s sʰ ɕ ɕʰ χ/
/b d ɟ g/
/w r j/



To Bolu:

/m n ɲ ŋ/ > /m n ɳ 0/
/p pʰ t tʰ c cʰ k kʰ q qʰ/ > /p pʰ t tʰ ʈʂ ʈʂʰ k kʰ q qʰ/
/s sʰ ɕ ɕʰ χ/ > /s sʰ ʂ ʂʰ χ/
/b d ɟ g/ > /w l j j/
/w r j/ > /w l j/, or /0 0 0/ when syllable final, causing the preceding vowel to lengthen



To Swto:

/m n ɲ ŋ/ > /m n ɲ ŋ/ (causing preceding vowels to nasalise if syllable final, after which these consonants are dropped)
/p pʰ t tʰ c cʰ k kʰ q qʰ/ > /p pʰ t tʰ c cʰ k kʰ k kʰ/
/s sʰ ɕ ɕʰ χ/ > /s sʰ s sʰ x/
/b d ɟ g/ > /m n ɲ ɲ/ (after vowel nasalisation changes occur)
/w r j/ > /p t c/ (through intermediate /b d ɟ/ after the above nasalise) or /0 0 0/ when syllable final
I really like this solution. Maybe the Nasalization of voiced stops in Swto could even be blocked syllable initially. Once could than let them merge with the voiceless unaspirated stops in that position. It would make the solution a bit more complicated [}:D]
Also maybe word-initial (or syllable initial) /ŋ/ could maybe go a different route, if deletion seems to drastic. /ŋ/ > /g/ > /j/ looks like a good idea, but I think one could also justify a later development of /ŋ/ > /g/ > /k/.
Also @Ahzoh: I would love to see some cognate sets some time [:)]
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Ahzoh
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » 13 Apr 2018 13:06

Thanks, this is quite helpful. I will probably mix and match these suggestions as there is a good deal of changes I like. Though I'm surprised it requires so little sound changes, that these two languages could be directly related.
Vowels nasalise in some environment
I think I will play with rhinoglottophilia so I can have lots of nasalization environments that can be elided in Bolu.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by holbuzvala » 21 Apr 2018 09:10

I have a question about the viability of a verbal paradigm. The transitive verbs in Azvolai (working title) work by having subject- and object-prefixes that agree with the noun class of their referents (human, animate, inanimate, abstract, place). Adjectives take the same subject-prefixes to mark agreement, and intransitive verbs have the same shape as adjectives (because neither take objects, right?).

Now, verbs of motion. Here's my paradigm idea, namely that if verbs of motion have the 'adjective shape' then they are indeterminate and only mark the subject, while verbs of motion with the 'verb shape' are determinate and mark the subject and 'object' (which is really the 'destination', done with the 'place'-class marker). Behold:

1.a hol ki-leni

1.b 1.s HUMAN.SUBJ-red

1.c I am red.


2.a hol ki-mezi

2.b 1.s HUMAN.SUBJ-walk

2.c I am walking.


3.a hol Roma ki-zo-maza

3.b 1.s Rome HUMAN.SUBJ-PLACE.OBJ-walk

3.c I'm walking to Rome.

Does this seem viable and/or naturalistic?
P.S. Also, are there languages that encode the indirect object in verb complexes? And is there a limit to these (perhaps governed by animacy)?

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

Post by eldin raigmore » 21 Apr 2018 20:17

holbuzvala wrote:
21 Apr 2018 09:10
Now, verbs of motion. Here's my paradigm idea, namely that if verbs of motion have the 'adjective shape' then they are indeterminate and only mark the subject, while verbs of motion with the 'verb shape' are determinate and mark the subject and 'object' (which is really the 'destination', done with the 'place'-class marker). Behold:
....
Does this seem viable and/or naturalistic?
P.S. Also, are there languages that encode the indirect object in verb complexes? And is there a limit to these (perhaps governed by animacy)?
Yes, it seems viable to me.
Yes, there are natlangs whose verbs agree with up to 4 participants;
the subject (if there is one),
the primary object (if there is one),
a secondary object (if there is one),
and another secondary object (if there is another one).

There seems to be a limit; but I don’t know what it’s governed by. I don’t even know whether it’s cross-linguistic or theory-neutral.
And I could be wrong.

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

Post by Davush » 25 Apr 2018 13:37

I'm trying to develop a conscript for Qutrussan, starting with a 'proto-script' which will probably lead to most of the writing systems in this world. The proto script likely began as simple pictographs/hierogylphs, evolving into a more alphabetic form.

My problem is that the proto-language which the script was first used for was rich in vowels, so it would probably evolve vowel signs early on, unlike the development of Semitic scripts. However, only a limited set of vowels can appear word initially, so I can't use the usual route of initial phoneme of a word > letter.

What ways could a full system of vowel signs arise from such a system? I could of course just have the limited word-initial vowels stand in for similar vowels, but that gets messy and I feel like the speakers of this language would soon develop a way to distinguish them.

Thanks!

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

Post by shimobaatar » 25 Apr 2018 13:46

Couldn't you have characters for monosyllabic words/roots be used for the sounds of their nuclei, even if those vowels aren't initial?

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

Post by Davush » 25 Apr 2018 13:48

shimobaatar wrote:
25 Apr 2018 13:46
Couldn't you have characters for monosyllabic words/roots be used for the sounds of their nuclei, even if those vowels aren't initial?
Thanks yeah, that is one way - although I imagine that might create a period of confusion where the character could either be read as a consonant initial, or vowel nuclei?

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