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

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

Post by ixals »

Can tone influence the vowel's pronunciation? Like causing vowels with tone A to rise while the same vowel with tone B would stay the same?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor »

Doesn't happen very often. Tone more often interacts with phonation on vowels and consonants (e.g. glottalized vowels, aspirated/voiced consonants), vowel length (e.g. contour tones and long vowels can condition each other) and syllable structure (e.g. checked syllables).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý »

Slavic and Germanic have this distinction between strong and weak adjectives.

Russian (Romanized)
krasiva 'beautiful'
krasivaja

Swedish
en skön flicka 'a beautiful girl'
den sköna flickan 'the beautiful girl'

Etymologically it apparently codes definiteness, like still in Swedish. My understanding is that it is an older phenomenon than articles (in Germanic and Bulgarian). So what can be the point of marking definiteness only in NPs with an adjective modifier?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Sequor »

Omzinesý wrote: 08 Mar 2021 12:19Etymologically it apparently codes definiteness, like still in Swedish. My understanding is that it is an older phenomenon than articles (in Germanic and Bulgarian). So what can be the point of marking definiteness only in NPs with an adjective modifier?
The phenomenon is older than articles, but weak adjectives were used alongside definite determiners anyway, like 'this', 'that', 'my', 'your'. Maybe you could say they help mark definiteness, redundantly, like how case is similarly marked redundantly.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

I think the important thing to say there is that definiteness isn't something that has to be marked anyway, and these languages did have other ways of marking it when necessary (and one of those ways, indeed - the ubiquitous use of the article - did take over in each language eventually). Definiteness is just an optional extra.

Having done some translations into a fictional Old Germanic language (my Old Wenthish), it actually feels pretty natural once you get the hang of it. The great majority of the time, definiteness doesn't have to be marked at all, it's just superfluous (and when you go back to English, you really notice how many pointless 'the's and 'a's we use!). And it's also worth saying: the times when definiteness does matter are often the exact times when adjectives tend to be used anyway.

If I just want to say "cat sat on mat": chances are, the cat is already the topic of conversation (if not, I can in some other way indicate that - note that Old Germanic tends to have a loose word order with a lot of use of fronting to indicate information structure). And it doesn't usually matter if we've talked about the mat before - the mat's not important. Whereas if I go to the trouble of adding an adjective to the mat - "cat sat on white mat", then there's a good chance that it DOES matter whether it's the same white mat we already talked about. If I don't have any adjectival information that I think it's important to impart, then the chances are, it's not important enough to worry about the definiteness - and if I'm leaving out the adjective just because everyone already knows which mat I mean, then I don't have to superfluous remind them that I know which mat I mean!
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý »

Maybe adjectives often appear when marking definiteness is important.

It might also have to do with restrictiveness, somehow, IDK.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh »

I can't think of different affixes for all my applicative voices, so I decided I'll just have one. But I need help coming up with semantic criteria for determining the nature of the applicative voice

e.g I have:

Code: Select all

buy       + APPL > benefactive
be_strong + APPL > causative
write     + APPL > dative (object is human) or instrumental (object is nonhuman)
go        + APPL > causative (if human) or locative (if not)
fight     + APPL > causative (if human) or locative (if not)
Now, prototypically the applicative denotes location at or direction towards something. However, some verbs, due to some unspecified lexico-semantic nature, take on another applicative meaning in the voice. Or rather, that the voice promotes what I consider a verb's "natural (indirect) object" (although I'm not sure if this is a cross-linguistic thing or just specific to a language, such as my mother tongue). I test this by engaging in dative shift with the verbs (e.g. I give him presents > dative; I buy them clothes > benefactive; I write him a letter > dative; I run him out of town > causative)

I also know that verbs can belong to a "class" of verbs of similar nature, such as, for example, verbs of caused possession like give, teach, assign, promise etc., verbs of caused dispossession like take, learn, borrow, steal etc. and verbs of caused motion like send, deliver, throw, put

With these "classes" in mind, it feels intuitive that a verb like give and teach would have a dative meaning with the applicative, and for verbs like take or learn it would have an ablative meaning. I can thus generally summarize that verbs of caused possession in the applicative have a dative meaning while verbs of caused motion in the applicative have a locative or allative meaning.

But there's verbs like write, buy, go, and fight, whose classes I am not sure they might belong to and thus can't predict or decide on their natural objects.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

You can voice-mark the verb to show applicativization of some sort is involved, then use an adposition or a case-mark on the object to show what argument position or case-role it would have occupied pre-applicative.
I think its case will just be accusative (if your language is accusative/nominative).
So in my opinion an adposition is probably the best place to encode what role it plays before applicativuzation.

OTOH you can just let addressees guess and assume they’ll usually guess right.
Let them ask for clarification if they need it.
Observe the repair strategies if they got it wrong.
Write comedies and tragedies about them not repairing the mistakes.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh »

eldin raigmore wrote: 10 Mar 2021 03:55 You can voice-mark the verb to show applicativization of some sort is involved, then use an adposition or a case-mark on the object to show what argument position or case-role it would have occupied pre-applicative.
I think its case will just be accusative (if your language is accusative/nominative).
So in my opinion an adposition is probably the best place to encode what role it plays before applicativuzation.

OTOH you can just let addressees guess and assume they’ll usually guess right.
Let them ask for clarification if they need it.
Observe the repair strategies if they got it wrong.
Write comedies and tragedies about them not repairing the mistakes.
If I use adpositions then it becomes an oblique argument rather than a core argument
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

Wait, what definition of applicative are you using?
I thought the definition of applicative is that it promotes an oblique argument into the #2 morphosyntactically-assigned argument position (MAAP).

Promoting a dative core argument from the #3 MAAP to the #2 MAAP is “dative movement” rather than applicitivization.
(I thought!)

......

But you don’t have to make it grammatically obligatory to mark your applicativized clause to tell what the source position of the new #2 MAAP was.
Ordinarily, as you’ve shown, there’s strong semantic and pragmatic and encyclopedic evidence for the addressee to correctly guess where it came from.
Let them guess.
If they suspect they’ve guessed wrong let them ask for clarification.
If they guess wrong and don’t get clarification let that be a plot point.

In natlangs, applicativization varies, similarly to how pluractionality varies.
Pluractionality can mean multiple agents or multiple patients or multiple times or multiple places — among other possibilities.
Some languages use just one marking for every kind. Some use a different marking for each kind. Some distinguish some kinds but not others.
It’s perfectly cromulent for your language to use just one kind of applicative marking, and make disambiguation optional instead of obligatory.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh »

eldin raigmore wrote: 10 Mar 2021 09:00 Wait, what definition of applicative are you using?
I thought the definition of applicative is that it promotes an oblique argument into the #2 morphosyntactically-assigned argument position (MAAP).

Promoting a dative core argument from the #3 MAAP to the #2 MAAP is “dative movement” rather than applicitivization.
(I thought!)
Applicativization means to promote an oblique argument to primary/direct object position. The non-applied object is either suppressed (not a valence-increasing operation) or moved to secondary/indirect object position (a valence-increasing operation).

I can't tell much the difference between and oblique argument and a core argument other than the former is headed by an adpostion. But that would mean a language that marks all arguments (subject, object, etc.) with adpositions would have no core arguments, which is impossible.

As an aside, I'm not sure whether the applied/promoted object would move closer to the subject or the verb, because the only reference I have for secundative (R=DO/O1,T=IO/O2) alignment is English, which is SVO.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Ahzoh wrote: 10 Mar 2021 02:23 I can't think of different affixes for all my applicative voices, so I decided I'll just have one. But I need help coming up with semantic criteria for determining the nature of the applicative voice

e.g I have:

Code: Select all

buy       + APPL > benefactive
be_strong + APPL > causative
write     + APPL > dative (object is human) or instrumental (object is nonhuman)
go        + APPL > causative (if human) or locative (if not)
fight     + APPL > causative (if human) or locative (if not)
Now, prototypically the applicative denotes location at or direction towards something. However, some verbs, due to some unspecified lexico-semantic nature, take on another applicative meaning in the voice. Or rather, that the voice promotes what I consider a verb's "natural (indirect) object" (although I'm not sure if this is a cross-linguistic thing or just specific to a language, such as my mother tongue). I test this by engaging in dative shift with the verbs (e.g. I give him presents > dative; I buy them clothes > benefactive; I write him a letter > dative; I run him out of town > causative)

I also know that verbs can belong to a "class" of verbs of similar nature, such as, for example, verbs of caused possession like give, teach, assign, promise etc., verbs of caused dispossession like take, learn, borrow, steal etc. and verbs of caused motion like send, deliver, throw, put

With these "classes" in mind, it feels intuitive that a verb like give and teach would have a dative meaning with the applicative, and for verbs like take or learn it would have an ablative meaning. I can thus generally summarize that verbs of caused possession in the applicative have a dative meaning while verbs of caused motion in the applicative have a locative or allative meaning.

But there's verbs like write, buy, go, and fight, whose classes I am not sure they might belong to and thus can't predict or decide on their natural objects.
You could look at Indonesian for inspiration which has two voice suffixes -kan and -i whose meanings include locative applicative, benefactive applicative and causative. Which affix(es) shows (and) with which meaning depends on the verb. Here are the Wiktionary categories with -kan and -i.
Wiktionary follows a circumfix analysis but that doesn't change anything, IINM.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

I also include that any argument the verb has to agree with is a core argument rather than an oblique one.

The third argument — indirect object or secondary object, for instance, in English’s and other languages’ ditransitive clauses — often causes headaches if one tries to decide whether it’s a core argument or an oblique argument.

...

Anyway: what do you think of just letting the addressee guess, knowing they’ll probably guess right most of the time (probably 99.9% of the time, maybe only 99% of the time)? [citation needed], maybe; sorry I don’t have one.

But from your earlier-posted examples it looks like you have several!


..........

Creyeditor wrote: 10 Mar 2021 10:49 You could look at Indonesian for inspiration which has two voice suffixes -kan and -i whose meanings include locative applicative, benefactive applicative and causative. Which affix(es) shows (and) with which meaning depends on the verb. Here are the Wiktionary categories with -kan and -i.
Wiktionary follows a circumfix analysis but that doesn't change anything, IINM.
@Ahzoh: Have you already decided against the strategy of having more than one applicative morpheme?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor »

Oh, I meant inspiration for the semantically natural object, if that was not clear before. Sorry.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh »

How does one develop a nonfuture vs future distinction rather than (the more common) past vs nonpast? Ultimately this to help me determine which tense is supposed to be the "least-marked" and which one's gonna experience a-mutation and which one will keep the original vowels.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

Ahzoh wrote: 11 Mar 2021 07:40 How does one develop a nonfuture vs future distinction rather than (the more common) past vs nonpast? Ultimately this to help me determine which tense is supposed to be the "least-marked" and which one's gonna experience a-mutation and which one will keep the original vowels.
Future vs nonfuture tense morphology is associated with mood-prominent morphology;
Past vs nonpast tense morphology is associated with aspect-prominent morphology.

That doesn’t answer your question.
It might help, though.

A language whose verbs have morphological fut vs nfut, usually uses lexical means — e.g. an auxiliary word — to distinguish the past from the present.
That might help, too.

I don’t know any general tendencies about how such systems develop diachronically. There are several documented examples in natlangs, but I don’t know that there’s been any reliable general tendencies noted.
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Post by Salmoneus »

I would suggest just having it develop from a plain realis-irrealis distinction.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh »

Salmoneus wrote: 11 Mar 2021 13:33 I would suggest just having it develop from a plain realis-irrealis distinction.
That's a good idea, and the irrealis can be more marked. Besides, I already have it where the future in conjunction with the subject pronoun (becuase subject is optional) conveys a commissive mood.
Last edited by Ahzoh on 11 Mar 2021 22:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh »

eldin raigmore wrote: 11 Mar 2021 10:38 Future vs nonfuture tense morphology is associated with mood-prominent morphology;
Past vs nonpast tense morphology is associated with aspect-prominent morphology.
Where can I find information on this notion of "mood-prominence" versus "aspect-prominence"
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

https://benjamins.com/catalog/slcs.49
https://books.google.com/books/about/Th ... FHAAAAQBAJ
https://www.amazon.com/Prominence-Aspec ... 9027230528
https://sites.google.com/a/k.books-now. ... GEtrucim35
....
It’s the beginning of a typology.
Not every language is at least one of these.
Not every language is at most one of these.
But it’s very interesting in my opinion anyway.
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