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

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

Post by Creyeditor » 04 Mar 2019 15:09

You are right, my mistake. Would it work if you reorder Glottal stop deletion and vowel epenthesis?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by belivid » 04 Mar 2019 15:56

Creyeditor wrote:
04 Mar 2019 15:09
You are right, my mistake. Would it work if you reorder Glottal stop deletion and vowel epenthesis?
But then the glottal stop deletion becomes redundant, and I end up with an epenthetic vowel plus geminate final stops again:

Proto forms: /VCCʔ#/,/VCʔ#/
1. Vowel epenthesis (∅→a/C_Cʔ#): /VCVCʔ#/,/VCʔ#/
2. Glottal stop deletion (ʔ→∅/CC_#): /VCVCʔ#/,/VCʔ#/
3. Total assimilation of glottal stop (ʔ→C/C_): /VCVCC#/,/VCC#/

The only solution I see is to simultaneously have the epenthesis and glottal stop deletion, so that the deletion only affects those words with an inserted vowel. But that's not really naturalistic, isn't it?

Sorry, I'm probably being too demanding [:P]

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

Post by Creyeditor » 04 Mar 2019 22:48

No you are not, it's alright. I just have less time and energy cause of RL. Maybe you're solution doesn't sound so bad after all. If the coda glottal stop is moraic and this mora shifts position and yields vowel epenthesis in one step, that might work. Sorry for being so skeptical. I might have been confused a bit, because neither ʔ→a nor a-insertion seem to be frequent in natlangs. But maybe that's okay.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » 04 Mar 2019 23:43

Inkcube-Revolver wrote:
04 Mar 2019 10:38
...

TLDR: Where do pronouns, demonstratives and determiners get their meaning from, and how do they arise? I just want to find a way to break down how a distinction could arise for how "you are you and not me," preferrably a naturalistic one if possible. If anyone has a link that answers this question if it's been asked before, that'd be super helpful so I can bookmark it forever. If there's no answer to my question, I can finally stop screaming into the night and move on with my life, lol.
I think because pronouns seem to be really basic vocabulary, they tend to survive a particularly long time (most of what I've seen of proto-languages seem to have pronouns that more or less survive as is into the descendant languages, e.g. the first person singular in Language X and in Language Y will both likely derive from the same word, or very closely related words, in the proto-language).

That said, I seem to recall a suggestion that PIE *éǵh₂ might come from a word meaning something like "this one here", and Spanish "vosotros" and "usted" come from phrases "you others" and "your grace" (so, yeah, there's still a pronoun there as a base, but they got built on top of to form new pronouns).

As you mentioned, Japanese has some fairly "transparent" pronouns in terms of their etymology, e.g. boku a borrowing from a Sinitic language meaning "servant", anata from "that direction/place over there", eventually coming to mean "that person", and eventually "you".

Demonstratives could probably derive from vocatives. Some of the demonstratives in Romance languages like Catalan aquest and French ce in part derive from a contraction of Latin ecce eum, roughly meaning "behold him".

In some Australian languages there are things called "generic" words, which are sort of like noun class markers that can stand alone (hopefully I'm remembering this correctly because I'm using this in one of the conlang). So "specific" words have to appear with a generic word, so you get something like [WOMAN] daughter where daughter is the specific word, and must be preceded by the generic word [WOMAN] which is used with other words referring to women. [WOMAN], however, can also be used on its own, almost as a demonstrative, in this instances referring back to the daughter. So something like "She is my [WOMAN] daughter. [WOMAN] is called (name)". If you then mention another specific word which uses the same generic word, e.g. mother, then the generic word will refer to the new specific word.

I think I asked if they have clear etymologies, but I can't remember if they did. I wouldn't be at all surprised, though, if all of them came from some word that related to the nouns they now cover, e.g. [WOMAN] coming from some older, now unused word that meant, well, "woman".
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » 05 Mar 2019 02:28

So I have an applicative voice but I'm not sure what to mark the second or third objects of the sentence as.

In a normal transitive verb the standard syntax is subject-[nominative] object-[accusative] VERB oblique argument-[ablative, allative, instrumental] or PREP oblique argument

For ditransitive verb the standard syntax is donor-[nominative] recipient-[accusative] VERB theme-[instrumental]

If I conjugate the transitive into the applicative, the applied object, which is always a causee or instrument, would be in the accusative case, but I don't know what to mark the original object of the verb as. I could mark it in the instrumental case but then it doesn't seem like it's actually increasing valency but simply switching case markers. Additionally, it doesn't feel different from a simple transitive with an oblique argument but with the oblique and the core argument switched around.

Of course, when I conjugate a ditransitive in the applicative, the valence increasing becomes more apparent but then I don't know what to mark the third object as.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by cedh » 05 Mar 2019 11:46

There are languages where applicativized versions of transitive or ditransitive verbs do not actually increase valency, but instead demote the original object to oblique status. Sometimes this demoted object is marked with the same case or adposition that the applied object used to have before applicativization, but I think it's more common that different markers are used, in line with the semantic role of the demoted object. If it's typically a patient or recipient, as it seems to be in your language, maybe the allative case would make sense: agent-[nominative] instrument-[accusative] APPL-VERB patient-[allative]; something like the man the hammer hits-with to the nail.

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

Post by Ahzoh » 05 Mar 2019 15:40

Well I don’t want the original object to be demoted so I don’t know how to make it feel like it’s not demoted.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý » 05 Mar 2019 16:13

Ahzoh wrote:
05 Mar 2019 15:40
Well I don’t want the original object to be demoted so I don’t know how to make it feel like it’s not demoted.
So you are ending up to a double object construction.
Also a dative can be used.

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

Post by cedh » 06 Mar 2019 09:16

Does your language already have an alternative ditransitive construction distinct from donor-[nominative] recipient-[accusative] VERB theme-[instrumental], where the relative focus level of recipient and theme is different? If yes, I'd suggest using that construction for applicativized verbs too. Whether you would then treat the instrument like a recipient or like a theme is up to you. If no, what about agent-[nominative] patient-[allative] instrument-[accusative] APPL-VERB or agent-[nominative] patient-[accusative] instrument-[accusative] APPL-VERB?

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

Post by Ahzoh » 06 Mar 2019 20:22

cedh wrote:
06 Mar 2019 09:16
Does your language already have an alternative ditransitive construction distinct from donor-[nominative] recipient-[accusative] VERB theme-[instrumental], where the relative focus level of recipient and theme is different? If yes, I'd suggest using that construction for applicativized verbs too. Whether you would then treat the instrument like a recipient or like a theme is up to you. If no, what about agent-[nominative] patient-[allative] instrument-[accusative] APPL-VERB or agent-[nominative] patient-[accusative] instrument-[accusative] APPL-VERB?
No, it has no alternative structure.

To give example, a normal ditransitive sentence is:

John-NOM Mary-ACC give book-INS
John gives Mary (with) a book.

The applicative would be:
John-NOM pen-ACC write-APL
John writes with a pen
^This shows that it is a valence increasing operation.

But if I want to say John writes a letter with a pen it would be:
John-NOM pen-ACC wrote-APL letter-(some case)

But doing it this way does not feel any differently than if I said:
John-NOM letter-ACC write pen-INS

It just looks like it swaps arguments rather than adding objects and I want to add objects not simply swap arguments.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by cedh » 07 Mar 2019 00:09

I see. That's how applicatives on a transitive base often work, and yes, it would be like swapping arguments. But what if you change both the case and the word order, like I suggested above:

John-NOM letter-ALL/DAT pen-ACC write-APPL
or
John-NOM letter-ACC pen-ACC write-APPL

Would any of the above sentences feel suitable for your language?

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

Post by Ahzoh » 07 Mar 2019 02:13

cedh wrote:
07 Mar 2019 00:09
I see. That's how applicatives on a transitive base often work, and yes, it would be like swapping arguments. But what if you change both the case and the word order, like I suggested above:

John-NOM letter-ALL/DAT pen-ACC write-APPL
or
John-NOM letter-ACC pen-ACC write-APPL

Would any of the above sentences feel suitable for your language?
so I could mark them both accusative? could I have different accusative cases?

Actually I think I should just reanalyze the instrumental case as a dedicated/primary secondary object case much like how the dative is generally basically a dedicated direct object/recipient case in most languages (with benefactive meanings as secondary).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco » 09 Mar 2019 22:06

I want to create a language with a non-configurational syntax, but I need some clarifications. I get how it works in theory, but I want to be able to incorporate it into a conlang.

I might have gotten confused, but I have heard from a couple of sites that non-configurational (NC from now on) languages tend to be dependent-marking, but that also several polysynthetic head-marking languages are sometimes also considered NC. Would I need extensive agreement in order to have a NC word order?

I plan to go to the extreme and have all the words arranged in any order. For example, if English were NC, what I have in mind would be "I saw the big dog run from the red car" as a valid sentence as it is in English, but "Big run red dog car the from saw the I" would also be acceptable.

I haven't studied too much on this type of syntax beyond a little bit of Warlpiri.

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

Post by gestaltist » 11 Mar 2019 11:00

LinguoFranco wrote:
09 Mar 2019 22:06
I want to create a language with a non-configurational syntax, but I need some clarifications. I get how it works in theory, but I want to be able to incorporate it into a conlang.

I might have gotten confused, but I have heard from a couple of sites that non-configurational (NC from now on) languages tend to be dependent-marking, but that also several polysynthetic head-marking languages are sometimes also considered NC. Would I need extensive agreement in order to have a NC word order?

I plan to go to the extreme and have all the words arranged in any order. For example, if English were NC, what I have in mind would be "I saw the big dog run from the red car" as a valid sentence as it is in English, but "Big run red dog car the from saw the I" would also be acceptable.

I haven't studied too much on this type of syntax beyond a little bit of Warlpiri.
Think about it this way: changing word order usually has some sort of pragmatic sense (topicalization or focalization or something in that vein), so it is useful. However, for this to be available, the language has to have enough marking for the listener to be able to parse what belongs where.

Let's say you want to say: "The woman has a beautiful house." and you want to stress the beauty of the house. Let's also assume you have no articles.

You say "beautiful woman has house". How can you know that "beautiful" refers to the house here? You can't, really. Now, what if your adjectives agree with their subject by gender, and "house" is neuter? "beautiful-NEU woman has house" is unambiguous: "The house that woman has is beautiful." So having marking on your adjectives is what potentially enables non-configurationality because changing word order doesn't lead to loss of comprehension. (And it also shows why dependent marking has some correlation with it...)

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

Post by Khemehekis » 12 Mar 2019 01:41

gestaltist wrote:
11 Mar 2019 11:00
Let's say you want to say: "The woman has a beautiful house." and you want to stress the beauty of the house. Let's also assume you have no articles.

You say "beautiful woman has house". How can you know that "beautiful" refers to the house here? You can't, really. Now, what if your adjectives agree with their subject by gender, and "house" is neuter? "beautiful-NEU woman has house" is unambiguous: "The house that woman has is beautiful." So having marking on your adjectives is what potentially enables non-configurationality because changing word order doesn't lead to loss of comprehension. (And it also shows why dependent marking has some correlation with it...)
[+1]

And I suppose you could make the noun "woman" feminine. Maybe have five or six or seven genders, or go for something like the Bantu languages have, if LinguoFranco truly wants to create a language wherein adjectives can be separated from their nouns.
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Post by Lao Kou » 12 Mar 2019 02:06

I don't begrudge there may well be other methods out there, but how would one keep track of arguments? Without something commonly understood in place (word order, case marking, major context memory, or other), how could "Big run red dog car the from saw the I" (which does, it seems, have an order of its own) be interpreted as an utterance with intended meaning, and not some random selection of words from the dictionary? "The saw car from big I dog the run red ." [o.O]

"Is out you that to over about truck run watch! (SMASH!)

Not very efficacious as communication goes.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis » 12 Mar 2019 02:21

The encyclopedia I had as a child introduced its article on grammar with the sentence: "And ate butter Don jelly peanut sandwiches three", explaining that if you were to say that, no one would understand you. (It means, of course: "Don ate three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches".) Imagine a language in which the syntax was based on alphabetical order of the constituents like that! I can think of few things less naturalistic and workable.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » 12 Mar 2019 16:36

Lao Kou wrote:
12 Mar 2019 02:06
I don't begrudge there may well be other methods out there, but how would one keep track of arguments? Without something commonly understood in place (word order, case marking, major context memory, or other), how could "Big run red dog car the from saw the I" (which does, it seems, have an order of its own) be interpreted as an utterance with intended meaning, and not some random selection of words from the dictionary? "The saw car from big I dog the run red ." [o.O]

"Is out you that to over about truck run watch! (SMASH!)

Not very efficacious as communication goes.
This is only an assumption, but I'd think that you might be right, i.e. that there are some word orders that are more common than others which convey certain meanings. For example, if you had, say "the big, brown dog frantically chased the fast, red car" then there would probably be relatively "default" word orders for, say, emphasising certain parts of the sentence:

1) chase-3S-PST frantically dog brown-NEU.NOM big-NEU.NOM car red-NEU.ACC fast-NEU.ACC
emphasises the fact that the dog was chasing the car, as opposed to some other action

2) frantically chase-3S-PST dog brown-NEU.NOM big-NEU.NOM car red-NEU.ACC fast-NEU.ACC
emphasises the way in which the dog was chasing the car

3) dog brown-NEU.NOM big-NEU.NOM chase-3S-PST frantically car red-NEU.ACC fast-NEU.ACC
focuses on the fact the the thing doing the chasing was the dog

4) big-NEU.NOM dog brown-NEU.NOM chase-3S-PST frantically car red-NEU.ACC fast-NEU.ACC
emphasises that the dog, that was doing the chasing was particularly large

5) car red-NEU.ACC fast-NEU.ACC chase-3S-PST frantically dog brown-NEU.NOM big-NEU.NOM
emphasises that it was the car that the dog was chasing

6) red-NEU.ACC car fast-NEU.ACC chase-3S-PST frantically dog brown-NEU.NOM big-NEU.NOM
emphasises that the car that the dog was chasing was red

and so on

So at this point, adjectives still appear alongside their associated nouns, and adverbs with their associated verbs, but moving them closer to the start of the sentence emphasises them (so in this particular instance, there would be... 192(?) possible word orders.

I suppose you could, then, have a phrase where, in this instance, you wanted to emphasise the redness of the car above everything else in the sentence, which would necessarily place it at the beginning of the entire thing, but then I'd suspect that the rest of the sentence would appear in some sort of default order. That is to say, if a particular part of the sentence gets broken up during emphasis, the less free the word order becomes, e.g. you could have "fast-NEU.ACC chase-3S-PST frantically dog brown-NEU.NOM big-NEU.NOM car red-NEU.ACC" (emphasising the speed of the car), but you couldn't then have "fast-NEU.ACC brown-NEU.NOM chase-3S-PST frantically dog big-NEU.NOM car red-NEU.ACC" where two separate parts of the sentence get broken up.

I'm really not sure about non-configurational and phrase structure grammar vs. dependency grammar, so I could be way off on how these sorts of things actually work...
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by gestaltist » 12 Mar 2019 17:12

Lao Kou wrote:
12 Mar 2019 02:06
I don't begrudge there may well be other methods out there, but how would one keep track of arguments? Without something commonly understood in place (word order, case marking, major context memory, or other), how could "Big run red dog car the from saw the I" (which does, it seems, have an order of its own) be interpreted as an utterance with intended meaning, and not some random selection of words from the dictionary? "The saw car from big I dog the run red ." [o.O]

"Is out you that to over about truck run watch! (SMASH!)

Not very efficacious as communication goes.
Trying to make English non-configurational to prove it's not efficacious can only be seen as disingenuous. Analytic languages are not well suited for non-configurationality. As a native speaker of a moderately non-configurational language (Polish), I can assure you that it does make communication efficacious in a language with enough agreement marking to make it work. If you took a look at classical Latin, you'd see an even crazier amount of non-configurationality - even with occasional breaking up of noun phrases with whole subordinate clauses. And somehow the Romans understood each other.

Also: non-configurational doesn't mean no word order at all. It just means you can switch the order for a pragmatic purpose. The examples you give are completely jumbled. Let's use a more realistic real-life example from Polish:
"Piękny mamy dzisiaj dzień." vs "Mamy dzisiaj piękny dzień."
beautiful-SG.NOM.MASC have-2p.PRES today day-SG.NOM vs have-2p.PRES today beautiful-SG.NOM.MASC day-SG.NOM
"We have a beautiful day today."

As you can see, the noun phrase can be kept together or be broken up by the rest of the sentence. Fronting the adjective serves the pragmatic purpose of underlining the beauty of the day. Incidentally, you could front another constituent to focus on something else:
"Dzisiaj mamy piękny dzień" (It is today that we have a beautiful day)

But you can't just use any order and expect it to sound right. For example "Mamy dzień dzisiaj piękny.", while parseable, sounds wrong and no native person would say it that way.

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

Post by Lao Kou » 12 Mar 2019 18:13

I'm very sorry, This is not at all where I wanted the conversation to go at all.
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