Yinše

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spanick
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Yinše

Post by spanick »

Yinše

External History
This is a reworking of a project I started a while back. It was also called Yinše (sometimes spelled Yinxe). Yinše is an agglutinating language and has tripartite alignment. This is something new for me.

Internal History
Yinše is spoken by a semi-nomadic pastoralists living in a very large valley. They have domesticated a species of sheep which they use for meat and wool. They also have domesticated chickens and dogs. Otherwise, there are no other domesticated animals. They still heavily supplement their diet with game such as rabbit and deer and with fish. The only crops that they grow grapes (which they ferment into wine), onions, and wild rice. They have knowledge of metallurgy, primarily working with gold, silver, and copper. Since tin is rare, bronze is a highly prized trade item.

Phonology

Consonant Inventory
/p p’ t t’ k k’ ʔ/ <p p’ t t’ k k’ ‘>
/t͡s t͡s’ t͡ʃ t͡ʃ’/ <c c’ č č’>
/s ʃ/ <s š>
/m n/ <m n>
/w j/ <w y>
/r/ <r>

Vowel Inventory
/i u/ <i u>
/e o/ <e o>
/æ ɑ/ <æ a>

All vowels may be long and are written double.

Syllable Structure
The maximum syllable structure is CV(V/C). Underlyingly, syllables may be CVVC but they cannot surface as such.

If the underlying syllable is CVVC and is followed by a suffix beginning with a vowel, the coda consonant become the onset of the next syllable.
Ex. *CVVC.V > CVV.CV

If the underlying syllable is CVVC and is followed by a suffix beginning with a consonant, the root vowel shortens.
Ex. *CVVC.CV > CVC.CV

CV is counted as a light (L) syllable.
CVV and CVC are counted as heavy (H) syllables.


Phonotactics
Ejectives may not surface as codas.
If two adjacent syllables have ejectives for their onsets, the second ejectives changes to a plain obstruent.
If an ejective and a plain consonant are adjacent and have different places or manners of articulation, then the ejectives becomes plain.
If an ejective and plain consonant are adjacent and have the same place of articulation, the plain consonant is dropped in favor of the ejective.
If a glottal stop is adjacent to a plain stop, the plain stop becomes ejective.
If a glottal stop is adjacent to any other consonant, it is dropped.
An affricate preceded by a sibilant becomes a plain stop.
A sibilant preceded by an affricate is dropped.
An illegal coda (e.g. *CVCC) is repaired by an under specified mid-vowel (M) which front/back harmonizes to the preceding vowel.


Allophony
Plain obstruents may be voiced between vowels or between a sonorant and a vowel.
Short, high and mid vowels preceding ejectives and the glottal stop may be pronounced [-ATR].
Vowels preceding a nasal followed by any other consonant may be nasalized.
High nasalized vowels surface as mid nasalized vowels.

Stress
Stress is assigned left to right (starting at the end of the word and moving toward the front). Primary stress is always assigned to the first heavy syllable. If there are no heavy syllables, stress is iambic.
Last edited by spanick on 18 May 2020 21:21, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Yinše

Post by spanick »

Vowel Harmony

Yinše exhibits a front/back vowel harmony. Many suffixes have under specified, underlying vowels which are either high (H), mid (M), or low (L). The under specified vowel harmonizes with the frontness of the preceding vowel.
Ex. yiin- “speak” + -šM “forms resultative nouns from verbs” > yinše “language”
cop- “fish” + -šM > copšo “that which has been fished; catch”
Last edited by spanick on 18 May 2020 21:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yinše

Post by Shemtov »

spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 20:04
Vowel Harmony

Yinše exhibits a front/back vowel harmony. Many suffixes have under specified, underlying vowels which are either high (H), mid (M), or low (L). The under specified vowel harmonizes with the frontness of the preceding vowel.
Ex. yiin- “speak” + -šM “forms resultative nouns from verbs” > yinše “language”
cop- “fish” + -šM > copšo “that which has been fished; catch”
Not to get off topic here, but when I do vowel harmony langs I denote the morpheme with a capital version of one of the pair, like say, the accusitive plural suffix is -tU. I think this could spin off into a discussion in its own thread about VH langs.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
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Re: Yinše

Post by gestaltist »

Looks promising. The thread would be more engaging if you showed example words exhibiting the various processes you mention.

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Re: Yinše

Post by Omzinesý »

spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 18:35
Yinše

External History
This is a reworking of a project I started a while back. It was also called Yinše (sometimes spelled Yinxe). Yinše is an agglutinating language and has tripartite alignment. This is something new for me.
Alignments are fascinating!
Are you planing to have "transitive verb" defined syntactically so that 'to sing a song' is transitive because it has two participants? Or are you planing "transitive verb" be defined by semantic and lexical criteria so that 'to love' is transitive even though the loved one be "dropped"? Do very unagentive verbs like 'to have' or 'to see' have work like transitive verbs.
spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 18:35
Vowel Inventory
/i u/ <i u>
/e o/ <e o>
/æ a/ <æ a>
I suppose /a/ is a back vowel in Yinše. In IPA a means a front vowel.

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Re: Yinše

Post by spanick »

gestaltist wrote:
28 Dec 2018 15:50
Looks promising. The thread would be more engaging if you showed example words exhibiting the various processes you mention.
Thanks. Yeah, I should've included more examples and I plan to have many more examples in the grammar portion.
Omzinesý wrote:
28 Dec 2018 17:15
Alignments are fascinating!
Are you planing to have "transitive verb" defined syntactically so that 'to sing a song' is transitive because it has two participants? Or are you planing "transitive verb" be defined by semantic and lexical criteria so that 'to love' is transitive even though the loved one be "dropped"? Do very unagentive verbs like 'to have' or 'to see' have work like transitive verbs.
The latter. Using your example, "love" would be treated by default as transitive even without an explicit object. Presumably such as object is implied or referred to earlier in the discourse.

Experiential verbs (see, hear, etc.) are treated like intransitives. They can be made transitive by a marker "-š" but that also comes with a semantic change šoo "see (intr)" > šoš "look at, observe". They can also be expressed by the passive voice. For example:

Wa k'aata. "I hear"
1.S-INT hear-GNM

Waa k'aatša cecene. "I listen (to the) bird."
1.S-ERG hear-TRN-GNM bird-ACC

But if I wanted to decrease the valency and imply that i wasn't listening to the bird but merely heard it I would use the passive.

Cece k'atpo. "The bird is heard."
bird-INT hear-PASS

I've still considering how to handle "have". I'd like to have alienable and inalienable "have" treated differently. My thought it to have alienable possession to be treated as transitive with the verb having a semantically more transitive meaning like "take" of "hold".
Omzinesý wrote:
28 Dec 2018 17:15
spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 18:35
Vowel Inventory
/i u/ <i u>
/e o/ <e o>
/æ a/ <æ a>
I suppose /a/ is a back vowel in Yinše. In IPA a means a front vowel.
Thanks, this is a typo. That should be the low unrounded back vowel. I'll change that.

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Re: Yinše

Post by gestaltist »

spanick wrote:
28 Dec 2018 19:28
Waa k'aatša cecene. "I listen (to the) bird."
1.S-ERG hear-TRN-GNM bird-ACC
Is gnomic the default "unmarked" aspect in Yinše? My first instinct would be to use some other aspect here but it makes perfect sense if your aspects require some further specification in the actual discourse.

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Re: Yinše

Post by DesEsseintes »

spanick wrote:
28 Dec 2018 19:28
Wa k'aata. "I hear"
1.S-INT hear-GNM

Waa k'aatša cecene. "I listen (to the) bird."
1.S-ERG hear-TRN-GNM bird-ACC
Is distinct phonetically from č?

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Re: Yinše

Post by spanick »

gestaltist wrote:
28 Dec 2018 19:59
spanick wrote:
28 Dec 2018 19:28
Waa k'aatša cecene. "I listen (to the) bird."
1.S-ERG hear-TRN-GNM bird-ACC
Is gnomic the default "unmarked" aspect in Yinše? My first instinct would be to use some other aspect here but it makes perfect sense if your aspects require some further specification in the actual discourse.
Yes, it is.
DesEsseintes wrote:
29 Dec 2018 02:52
spanick wrote:
28 Dec 2018 19:28
Wa k'aata. "I hear"
1.S-INT hear-GNM

Waa k'aatša cecene. "I listen (to the) bird."
1.S-ERG hear-TRN-GNM bird-ACC
Is distinct phonetically from č?
No, it's not phonetically distinct. Its written that way because -š is a distinct morpheme.

-----

I had a whole post on nominal and verbal morphology ready but I took too long and was automatically logged out and lost the whole thing. I'll try to get it redone as soon as I can.

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Re: Yinše

Post by spanick »

Morphology

Nouns

Nouns are marked for five cases (Intransitive, Ergative, Accusative, Possessive, Locative) and three Numbers (singular, paucal, plural). The normal order for suffixes is: ROOT-DERIVATION-CASE-NUMBER

Case Endings
INT -Ø
ERG -L
ACC -nM
POS -k’HH
LOC -m

Number Endings
SG -Ø
PC -r
PL -k’L

Now that we have a little more morphology to work with, I want to explain how the phonotactics I described in my first post work. There are three main considerations:
The morphemes are assembled underlyingly as they are, regardless of whether the underlying form is illegal.
The epenthetic vowel M is always applied with as little as possible to maintain legal syllable structure so that *CVCCC must become CVC.CMC but *CVCCCV must become CV.CMC.CV
The root vowel shortening is always the last process to be performed.

Let’s take the root yiit “human, man” as an example.

In the intransitive, singular: *yiit-Ø-Ø > *yiit > yit. In this case, the only change made is that the illegal structure CVVC is shortened to CVC.

But in the ergative singular: *yiit-L-Ø > yiitæ. Here, the ergative ending allows for a new syllable structure in order to preserve the root vowel CVVC.V > CVV.CV

Using a more unusual example, we can have the locative paucal: *yiit-m-r > *yiitmr> *yiitmer > yitmer. Once the morphemes are assembled, the epenthetic vowel is inserted in order to make the simplest allowable syllable structure, in this case CVVC.CVC then the illegal syllable CVVC is shortened to CVC.

One final example using yiit, the intransitive plural: *yiit-k’L > *yiitk’æ > *yiitkæ > yitkæ. Here is an example of the loss of an ejective consonant adjacent to a heterogeneous plain consonant.

Verbs

Verbs are marked for three voices (Active, Passive, Antipassive), two tenses (Present, Past), five aspects (Gnomic, Imperfective, Perfective, Iterative, Prospective), and four moods (Indicative, Subjunctive, Interrogative, Imperative). Like nouns, there are many derivational suffixes that can be applied to verbs. Suffixes are applied in the following order: ROOT-DERIVATION-VOICe-TENSE-ASPECT-MOOD. Nouns are not marked to agree with their arguments.

Voice Endings
IND -Ø
PAS -pM
APS -t’H

Tense Endings
PRES -Ø
PST -sLL

Aspect Ending
GNO -L
IMP -nMM
PRF -p’
ITR -‘L’
PRO -Hš

Mood Endings
IND -Ø
SBJ -sMt
INT -p’H
IMP -k’LL

This yields 120 possible verbs forms, so I’m not going to give an exhaustive examples. In previous examples, I’ve used k’aat “hear”, so I’ll continue using that but for now, I’ll limit myself to one, long example including the transitive -š suffix making k’aatš “listen”:

Passive, past, perfective, interrogative
*k’aat-š-pM-sLL-p’-p’H > *k’aatšposaap’p’u > k’aatšposaap’u > k’atšposaap’u /k’ɑt͡ʃ.po.ˈsɑː.p’u/

In this example, there’s really only two things happening. The geminate ejectives are simplified then the root vowel is shortened. The consonant cluster <tšp> isn’t illegal because <tš> gets treated the same as <č> phonologically but it’s written out as an indication that it’s composed of different morphemes than the homophone k’aač “bleed (out)”.

I plan on posting more about verbs and syntax next. But now that nouns and verbs have been posted I should say that the basic word order will be SOV (which is not the order I used in previous examples, for some reason).

Ex. Yiitæ cecene k’aatšaap.
/yiː.tæ t͡se.t͡se.ne k’ɑː.t͡ʃɑːp/
yiit-L cece-nM k’aat-š-sLL-p’
man-ERG bird-ACC hear-TRN-PST-PRF
“(The/A) man listened (to the/a) bird.”
Last edited by spanick on 18 May 2020 21:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yinše

Post by spanick »

Syntax

As mentioned at the end of my last post, Yinše has SOV word order and tripartite alignment. In tripartite alignment, the subject of an intransitive verb; the subject of a transitive verb; and the object of a transitive verb all receive separate markers. These cases are referred to as intransitive (INT), ergative (ERG), and accusative (ACC) respectively.

For review, these case markers in Yinše are:
INT -Ø
ERG -L
ACC -nM

Some quick examples:

P’iškæ suuma.
fish-INT-PL swim-GNO
“Fish swim.”

Yiitæ p’išne namnoo.
man-ERG fish-ACC eat-IMPF.
“The man is eating fish.”

Some inherently intransitive verbs can be made transitive by adding the suffix -š to the root. This usually has a semantic change as well:

k’aat “hear” > k’aatš “listen”
mee’ “see” > mee’š “look at, observe”

In ditransitive verbs, both the direct object and indirect object receive the accusative case with the direct object generally preceding the indirect:

Yiitæ p’išne čæčne caksap.
man-ERG fish-ACC child-ACC give-PST-PRF
“The man gave a fish to the child.”

Passive/Antipassive

As a tripartite language, Yinše has both a passive and antipassive voice. In both cases, an argument is promoted to the Intransitive case (ACC > INT for passive and ERG > INT for anitpassive).

For example, to combine the following sentences: Yiitæ p’išne reesap. “The man caught the fish.” and P’iš k’irsap. “The fish died.” into “The fish was caught and died” the passive is needed:
P’iš reepesap kirsap yaa.
fish-INT catch-PASS-PST-PRF die-PST-PRF and

Similarly, an ergative can be promoted to intransitive such as in combining: Yit mut’asaanee. “The man was swimming.” and Yiitæ p’išne reesap. “The man caught the fish”:
Yit mut’asaanee pišne reet’isap yaa.
man-INT swim-PST-IMPF fish-ACC catch-AP-PST-PRF and

(So, knowledge of antipassives is wanting and I’m not sure what to do about the object. Should it remain in the accusative? Should it get changed to another case? Should I make an oblique case?)
Last edited by spanick on 18 May 2020 21:22, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Yinše

Post by shimobaatar »

spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 18:35
Yinše is an agglutinating language and has tripartite alignment.
[+1] I'm quite a fan of tripartite languages.
spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 18:35
Internal History
Yinše is spoken by a semi-nomadic pastoralists living in a very large valley. They have domesticated a species of sheep which they use for meat and wool. They also have domesticated chickens and dogs. Otherwise, there are no other domesticated animals. They still heavily supplement their diet with game such as rabbit and deer and with fish. The only crops that they grow grapes (which they ferment into wine), onions, and wild rice. They have knowledge of metallurgy, primarily working with gold, silver, and copper. Since tin is rare, bronze is a highly prized trade item.
Always nice to see some context!
spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 18:35
Syllable Structure
The maximum syllable structure is CV(V/C). Underlyingly, syllables may be CVVC but they cannot surface as such.
Are sequences of any two vowels allowed, at least underlyingly, or only sequences of two of the same vowel?
spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 18:35
An illegal coda (e.g. *CVCC) is repaired by an under specified mid-vowel (M) which front/back harmonizes to the preceding vowel.
Does this also apply when an ejective underlyingly appears in the coda of a syllable?
spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 18:35
Vowels preceding a nasal followed by any other consonant may be nasalized.
Does this also apply before word-final nasals?
spanick wrote:
28 Dec 2018 19:28
I've still considering how to handle "have". I'd like to have alienable and inalienable "have" treated differently. My thought it to have alienable possession to be treated as transitive with the verb having a semantically more transitive meaning like "take" of "hold".
Sounds like a good idea to me.
spanick wrote:
29 Dec 2018 03:57
I had a whole post on nominal and verbal morphology ready but I took too long and was automatically logged out and lost the whole thing. I'll try to get it redone as soon as I can.
Oh, jeez, I hate when that happens. [:(]
spanick wrote:
30 Dec 2018 01:57
Nouns are marked for five cases (Intransitive, Ergative, Accusative, Possessive, Locative) and three Numbers (singular, paucal, plural). The normal order for suffixes is: ROOT-DERIVATION-CASE-NUMBER
Are any of the cases used in any ways that aren't self-explanatory?
spanick wrote:
30 Dec 2018 01:57
The epenthetic vowel M is always applied with as little as possible to maintain legal syllable structure so that *CVCCC must become CVC.CMC but *CVCCCV must become CV.CMC.CV
With as little what as possible?
spanick wrote:
30 Dec 2018 01:57
Verbs are marked for three voices (Active, Passive, Antipassive), two tenses (Present, Past), five aspects (Gnomic, Imperfective, Perfective, Iterative, Prospective), and four moods (Indicative, Subjunctive, Interrogative, Imperative).
Similarly to my question above about case usage, could you perhaps elaborate somewhat on how the different verb inflections, particularly the aspects and moods, are used?
spanick wrote:
30 Dec 2018 01:57
Nouns are not marked to agree with their arguments.
Sorry to nit-pick, but might you have meant "verbs"?
spanick wrote:
30 Dec 2018 01:57
This yields 120 possible verbs forms, so I’m not going to give an exhaustive examples.
Completely understandable.
spanick wrote:
30 Dec 2018 01:57
Ex. Yiitæ cecene k’aatšaap.
/yiː.tæ t͡se.t͡se.ne k’ɑː.t͡ʃɑːp/
yiit-L cece-nM k’aat-š-sLL-p’
man-ERG bird-ACC hear-TRN-PST-PRF
“(The/A) man listened (to the/a) bird.”
I like the way the language is turning out so far. "k’aat" feels like a fitting word for "hear", in my opinion.
spanick wrote:
02 Jan 2019 23:21
In ditransitive verbs, both the direct object and indirect object receive the accusative case with the direct object generally preceding the indirect:
Interesting! Is this also the case in, for example, benefactive constructions?
spanick wrote:
02 Jan 2019 23:21
Yit mut’asaanee pišne reet’isap yaa.
man-ABS swim-PST-IMPF fish-ACC catch-AP-PST-PRF and
Isn't "yit" man-INT?
spanick wrote:
02 Jan 2019 23:21
(So, knowledge of antipassives is wanting and I’m not sure what to do about the object. Should it remain in the accusative? Should it get changed to another case? Should I make an oblique case?)
I'll admit it's been a while since I've read up on antipassives, so I'm afraid I can't give any examples from natural languages, but if I remember correctly, reintroduced "objects" can, at least sometimes, be marked as oblique arguments, much like how some languages, English included, treat reintroduced "subjects" as oblique arguments in passive constructions (the use of "by" in sentences like "the fish was caught by the man", for example).

I think that I would personally extend the locative to a more general oblique, especially if you don't want to add a 6th case, but that's just me.

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Re: Yinše

Post by spanick »

Thanks for the reply, Shimo. I always appreciate your feedback and comments.
shimobaatar wrote:
03 Jan 2019 01:29
spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 18:35
Syllable Structure
The maximum syllable structure is CV(V/C). Underlyingly, syllables may be CVVC but they cannot surface as such.
Are sequences of any two vowels allowed, at least underlyingly, or only sequences of two of the same vowel?
They have to be the same vowel.
spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 18:35
An illegal coda (e.g. *CVCC) is repaired by an under specified mid-vowel (M) which front/back harmonizes to the preceding vowel.
Does this also apply when an ejective underlyingly appears in the coda of a syllable?
In the event of CVQC then yes, that would surface as CV.QMC.

In the event of CVCQ, the other rules for dealing with ejectives kick in before the repair vowel can be applies.
spanick wrote:
27 Dec 2018 18:35
Vowels preceding a nasal followed by any other consonant may be nasalized.
Does this also apply before word-final nasals?
Yes, it can.
spanick wrote:
30 Dec 2018 01:57
The epenthetic vowel M is always applied with as little as possible to maintain legal syllable structure so that *CVCCC must become CVC.CMC but *CVCCCV must become CV.CMC.CV
With as little what as possible?
I think the "with is a relic of an edited sentence. The epenthetic vowel should be as little as possible.
Similarly to my question above about case usage, could you perhaps elaborate somewhat on how the different verb inflections, particularly the aspects and moods, are used?
I'll do this in a separate post.
spanick wrote:
30 Dec 2018 01:57
Nouns are not marked to agree with their arguments.
Sorry to nit-pick, but might you have meant "verbs"?
Yes, thank you. I'm embarrassed by how many typos make it into my posts
spanick wrote:
02 Jan 2019 23:21
In ditransitive verbs, both the direct object and indirect object receive the accusative case with the direct object generally preceding the indirect:
Interesting! Is this also the case in, for example, benefactive constructions?
Yes. For example:
Yiitæ pišne tawno tok'uu reesap.
man-INT fish-ACC woman-ACC 3P-POSS catch-PST-PRF
The man caught a fish for his wife" literally "man fish woman his caught"
spanick wrote:
02 Jan 2019 23:21
Yit mut’asaanee pišne reet’isap yaa.
man-ABS swim-PST-IMPF fish-ACC catch-AP-PST-PRF and
Isn't "yit" man-INT?
Yes, thank you. I was doing some reading on antipassives before I read this and I was influenced by what I was reading to write ABS haha
I'll admit it's been a while since I've read up on antipassives, so I'm afraid I can't give any examples from natural languages, but if I remember correctly, reintroduced "objects" can, at least sometimes, be marked as oblique arguments, much like how some languages, English included, treat reintroduced "subjects" as oblique arguments in passive constructions (the use of "by" in sentences like "the fish was caught by the man", for example).

I think that I would personally extend the locative to a more general oblique, especially if you don't want to add a 6th case, but that's just me.
Using the locative is a great idea, I think I'll use that. I like the case system as it is (I actually cut like four cases out before I posted). The example I found shifted the object from the absolutive to the dative but that was also an ERG-ABS language. I haven't found a tripartite example. I need to do more reading on Hopi.

Thanks again!

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Re: Yinše

Post by Omzinesý »

spanick wrote:
03 Jan 2019 02:25

I'll admit it's been a while since I've read up on antipassives, so I'm afraid I can't give any examples from natural languages, but if I remember correctly, reintroduced "objects" can, at least sometimes, be marked as oblique arguments, much like how some languages, English included, treat reintroduced "subjects" as oblique arguments in passive constructions (the use of "by" in sentences like "the fish was caught by the man", for example).

I think that I would personally extend the locative to a more general oblique, especially if you don't want to add a 6th case, but that's just me.
Using the locative is a great idea, I think I'll use that. I like the case system as it is (I actually cut like four cases out before I posted). The example I found shifted the object from the absolutive to the dative but that was also an ERG-ABS language. I haven't found a tripartite example. I need to do more reading on Hopi.

Thanks again!
Yes, the transitive object is demoted in passive constructions and the transitive subject is demoted in anti-passive constructions.
The demoted arguments can just be dropped or they can be expressed by and oblique case. In a tripartite language, all cases but the intransitive are somewhat "oblique". So the ergative can well be the oblique case of passive agents as well and the accusative the case or anti-passive patients. It can well be dative, locative or something else. "Real" tripartite languages just don't exist (haven't been found), so the tripartite alignments languages have are "incomplete". We can just imagine how a fully tripartite language work.

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Re: Yinše

Post by Omzinesý »

spanick wrote:
03 Jan 2019 02:25

I'll admit it's been a while since I've read up on antipassives, so I'm afraid I can't give any examples from natural languages, but if I remember correctly, reintroduced "objects" can, at least sometimes, be marked as oblique arguments, much like how some languages, English included, treat reintroduced "subjects" as oblique arguments in passive constructions (the use of "by" in sentences like "the fish was caught by the man", for example).

I think that I would personally extend the locative to a more general oblique, especially if you don't want to add a 6th case, but that's just me.
Using the locative is a great idea, I think I'll use that. I like the case system as it is (I actually cut like four cases out before I posted). The example I found shifted the object from the absolutive to the dative but that was also an ERG-ABS language. I haven't found a tripartite example. I need to do more reading on Hopi.

Thanks again!
Yes, the transitive object is demoted in passive constructions and the transitive subject is demoted in anti-passive constructions.
The demoted arguments can just be dropped or they can be expressed by and oblique case. In a tripartite language, all cases but the intransitive are somewhat "oblique". So the ergative can well be the oblique case of passive agents as well and the accusative the case or anti-passive patients. It can well be dative, locative or something else.
"Real" tripartite languages just don't exist (haven't been found), so the tripartite alignments languages have are "incomplete". We can just imagine how a fully tripartite language work.

spanick wrote:
28 Dec 2018 19:28
gestaltist wrote:
28 Dec 2018 15:50
Looks promising. The thread would be more engaging if you showed example words exhibiting the various processes you mention.
Thanks. Yeah, I should've included more examples and I plan to have many more examples in the grammar portion.
Omzinesý wrote:
28 Dec 2018 17:15
Alignments are fascinating!
Are you planing to have "transitive verb" defined syntactically so that 'to sing a song' is transitive because it has two participants? Or are you planing "transitive verb" be defined by semantic and lexical criteria so that 'to love' is transitive even though the loved one be "dropped"? Do very unagentive verbs like 'to have' or 'to see' have work like transitive verbs.
The latter. Using your example, "love" would be treated by default as transitive even without an explicit object. Presumably such as object is implied or referred to earlier in the discourse.

Experiential verbs (see, hear, etc.) are treated like intransitives. They can be made transitive by a marker "-š" but that also comes with a semantic change šoo "see (intr)" > šoš "look at, observe". They can also be expressed by the passive voice. For example:

Wa k'aata. "I hear"
1.S-INT hear-GNM

Waa k'aatša cecene. "I listen (to the) bird."
1.S-ERG hear-TRN-GNM bird-ACC

But if I wanted to decrease the valency and imply that i wasn't listening to the bird but merely heard it I would use the passive.

Cece k'atpo. "The bird is heard."
bird-INT hear-PASS

I've still considering how to handle "have". I'd like to have alienable and inalienable "have" treated differently. My thought it to have alienable possession to be treated as transitive with the verb having a semantically more transitive meaning like "take" of "hold".
With dropping, I mean left out of the argument structure. Many languages drop analogical arguments, which is another thing.
I mean:
'i am in love'
'to kill X' => 'I kill/am a killer'
'I hear (am not deaf)'

The easiest way, which conlangers hardly like to utilize, is just to add a "dummy object": "love something", "kill something".
Anti-passives are another way to do that. Often they also combine with aspectual distinctions. Antipassives are often imperfective.

Did I understand right that when adding an "extension" object to an intransitive verb, the verb must be transitivized (with a some kind of an applicative)?
to dance tango, to laugh him dead, to sing a song

In his book Ergativity, Dixon emphasizes the synatctic pivots in combining clauses but I think many languages make the combinations with contextual/sematic/ambiguous criteria rather than cases. It's also always possible not to combine two clauses. I find those demotions/dropping arguments from the argument structure much more interesting in (anti-)passives.

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Re: Yinše

Post by spanick »

Making a modification to Yinše's prosody. Previously, Yinše had a syllable-weight stress system but I'm going to pitch accent system instead.

So, the new system can be described as follows:
1. The third mora from the beginning of the word receives the accent.
1.1 All vowels (V) and sonorant consonants (N = /w j m n r/) count as moras
1.2 Only V can take the accent.
1.3 If the third mora is N, the accent shifts to the V to the left.
1.4 Accent placement is determined according to the underlying syllable structure.

2. If a word has fewer than three moras then the accent is placed on the last V mora of that syllable.

I think most of this is relatively self-explanatory except for perhaps (1.4). So, before continuing here's a refresher of the underlying syllable structures in Yinše:
Syllable Structure
The maximum syllable structure is CV(V/C). Underlyingly, syllables may be CVVC but they cannot surface as such.

If the underlying syllable is CVVC and is followed by a suffix beginning with a vowel, the coda consonant become the onset of the next syllable.
Ex. *CVVC.V > CVV.CV

If the underlying syllable is CVVC and is followed by a suffix beginning with a consonant, the root vowel shortens.
Ex. *CVVC.CV > CVC.CV
Ok, so a few examples:

A few examples:
1. yiit- "man"
(a) the Intransitive: yiit has two moras and thus receives the accent on the second mora, however underlying CVVC syllable surfaces as CVC so the mora shifts to the only mora available yít. In this environment, the accent surfaces as a rising pitch.
(b) the Ergative: yiitæ has three moras and thus receives the accent on the third mora yiitǽ.
(c) the Locative: yiitem is underlyingly CVVC-N (yiit-m). This means that the underlyingly there are three moras but since the third mora is N the accent shifts to the second mora before the epenthetic vowel is inserted. Thus, the accent surfaces as so yiítem

2. cece "bird"
(a) the Accusative: cecene this has the underlying syllable structure of CV.CV.NV so the third mora corresponds to the third V cecené.
(b) the Locative: cecem this has the underlying syllable structure of CV.CVN. The third mora corresponds to N but the accent is shifted onto the V in the CVN syllable: cecém.

3. yiin- "to speak"
(a) the imperfective: yin this word is underlyingly trimoraic CVVN but appears as CVN yín and like 1a this has a rising pitch.
(b) the gnomic: yiinæ is underlyingly CVVN.V again, the accent shifts to the V before the N mora giving us yiínæ.

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Re: Yinše

Post by spanick »

Sorry for my infrequent posts lately. I'm working on my thesis and haven't had much time to conlang. I forced myself to take a break and conlang and came back to Yinšé for a bit. I'm re-posting my stuff for Yinšé. My previous posts were too short, disorganized, and ambiguous. This post is far from perfect and missing some key grammatical elements but I wanted to everything in one place for easy reference and include better examples. This is largely (maybe 90-95%) the same material as the previous posts but there have been some additions and subtractions.

Phonology

Consonant Inventory
/p p’ t t’ k k’ ʔ/ <p p’ t t’ k k’ ‘>
/t͡s t͡s’ t͡ʃ t͡ʃ’/ <c c’ č č’>
/s ʃ/ <s š>
/m n/ <m n>
/w j/ <w y>
/r/ <r>

Vowel Inventory
/i u/ <i u>
/e o/ <e o>
/a/ <a>


All vowels may be long and are written double. There are no phonemic diphthongs. VV always refers to long vowels in this grammar.

Syllable Structure
The maximum syllable structure is CV(C). Underlyingly, roots may be CVVC but they cannot surface as such.

If the underlying syllable is CVVC and is followed by a suffix beginning with a vowel, the coda consonant become the onset of the next syllable.
Ex. *CVVC.V > CVV.CV - yiit-a > yiita “man-ERG”

If the underlying syllable is CVVC and is followed by a suffix beginning with a consonant, the root vowel shortens.
Ex. *CVVC.CV > CVC.CV – yiit-k’a > yitk’a

Vowel Harmony
Yinšé exhibits a front/back vowel harmony. Many suffixes have under specified, underlying vowels which are either high (U) or mid (O). These harmonize with the frontness of the preceding vowel. The vowel /a/ is a neutral vowel and transparent to harmonization except when the root vowel is /a/ in which case it is treated as a back vowel.

Prosody
Yinše has a pitch accent system which follow these rules:
1. The third mora from the beginning of the word receives the accent. All underlying V count as moras. Epenthetic V are counted as moras.

2. If a word has fewer than three moras then the accent is placed on the last V mora of that syllable.

Monosyllabic words with underlying VV surface with a rising pitch while monosyllable words with underlying V surface as a falling pitch. Pitch is marked orthographically on words two syllables or longer with an acute accent.

Allophony
Plain obstruents may be voiced between vowels or between a sonorant and a vowel.
Short, high and mid vowels preceding ejectives and the glottal stop may be pronounced [-ATR].
Vowels preceding a nasal followed by any other consonant may be nasalized.

Phonotactics
Ejectives may not surface as codas.
If two adjacent syllables have ejectives for their onsets, the second ejectives changes to a plain obstruent.
If a glottal stop is adjacent to a plain stop, the plain stop becomes ejective.
If a glottal stop is adjacent to any other consonant, it is dropped.
An affricate preceded by a sibilant becomes a plain stop.
A sibilant preceded by an affricate is assimilated.
An illegal coda (e.g. *CVCC) is repaired by an under-specified mid-vowel (M) which front/back harmonizes to the preceding vowel.
When two sibilants with different places of articulation occur in sequence (SS) the second assimilates to the first in place.

Morphology

Nouns

Nouns are marked for five cases (Intransitive, Ergative, Accusative, Possessive, Locative) and three Numbers (singular, paucal, plural). The normal order for suffixes is: ROOT-DERIVATION-CASE-NUMBER

Case Endings
INT -Ø
ERG -a
ACC -nM
POS -k’HH
LOC -m

Number Endings
SG -Ø
PC -r
PL -k’a

yiit “man”
SG/PC/PL
INT yit/yiitér/yitk’á
ERG yiitá/yiitár/yiiták’a
ACC yitné/yitnér/yitnék’a
POS yitk’íi/yitk’ír/yitk’íika
LOC yiitém/yitmér/yitmék’a

cop “fish”
SG/PC/PL
INT cop/copór/copk’á
ERG copá/coprá/coprok’á
ACC copnó/copnór/copnok’á
POS copk’uú/copk’úr/copk’uúka
LOC copóm/copmór/copmok’á

Pronouns

Pronouns are marked just as nouns.

1 wa
2 če
3 šiš

Indefinite t’a
Interrogative maa

Verbs

Verbs are marked for three voices (Active, Passive, Antipassive), four aspects (Imperfective, Perfective, Iterative, Prospective), and four moods (Indicative, Subjunctive, Interrogative, Imperative). They are not marked for tense which is conveyed by context clues, aspect, and adverbials. Like nouns, there are many derivational suffixes that can be applied to verbs. Suffixes are applied in the following order: ROOT-DERIVATION-VOICE-TENSE-ASPECT-MOOD. Nouns are not marked to agree with their arguments.

Voice Endings
ACT -Ø
PAS -pM
APS -t’H

Aspect Endings
IMP -Ø
PRF -p’
ITR -‘a’
PRO -Hš

Mood Endings
IND - Ø
SBJ -sMt
INT -p’H
IMP -k’aa

There are 48 possible verb forms, so I won’t include them all here. As an example, I have conjugated every possible active form for the root <k’aat> “hear”. In addition to see the conjugation, this serves as a good example of many of the phonotactic rules. The assignment of pitch accent in this case is not particularly interesting since the underlyingly long, root vowel holds the accent on the second syllable throughout the conjugation.

k’aat “hear”
ACT-IMP-IND: k’at
ACT-IMP-SBJ: k’atsót
ACT-IMP-INT: k’atpú
ACT-IMP-IMP: k’atkáa
ACT-PRF-IND: k’aatóp
ACT-PRF-SBJ: k’aatópsot
ACT-PRF-INT: k’atpópu
ACT-PRF-IMP: k’aatópkaa
ACT-ITR-IND: k’aatá
ACT-ITR-SBJ: k’aatásot
ACT-ITR-INT: k’aatáp’u
ACT-ITR-IMP: k’aaták’aa
ACT-PRO-IND: k’aatúš
ACT-PRO-SBJ: k’aatúššot
ACT-PRO-INT: k’aatúšp’u
ACT-PRO-IMP: k’aatúšk’aa

Syntax

Intransitives

Transitivity is based off the semantics of the verb. For instance, suum “swim” is intransitive.
(1) Cop sum. “The fish is swimming.”

Experiential verbs like see, hear, etc. are also treated as intransitives. This means that it is quite typical for these to be rendered in the passive voice.
(2.1) Wa k’at. “I am hearing.”
(2.2.1) Cece k’atpo. “The bird is being heard.”

The agent of passive verbs can be indicated with a locative:
(2.2.2) Cece wam k’atpo “The bird is being heard by me”

The suffix -š can also be added to make a verb transitive, but this comes with a semantic change as well:
(3.1) k’aat “hear” > k’aatš “listen to”
(3.2) Yiita cecene k’atš. “The man is listening to the bird.”

Stative verbs are intransitive as is the verb reeč “have (inalienable)”. Like the experiential verbs, reeč is often expressed using the passive. Alienable versus inalienable possession is explained later.

Intransitives can take nouns marked LOC as their object. Often, context is sufficient to infer to the exact meaning of the locative and postpositions are not always necessary.
(4.1) P’iš nam sum. “The fish is swimming (in) the water.”
(4.2) Čač čim ra’. “The boy is going home” (Lit: Boy house-LOC go-IMPF)

Transitives

The basic transitive sentence is SOV with S marked ERG and O marked ACC.
(6) Yiita p’išne nam. “The man is eating a fish.”

Alienable possession is indicated with the transitive verb tooš, which literally means “hold”.

In ditransitive verbs, the direct and indirect objects are both marked ACC with the direct object place immediately before the indirect object.
(7) Yiitá p’išné čačnó cak. “The man is giving the fish to the boy.”
Last edited by spanick on 18 May 2020 21:20, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Yinše

Post by spanick »

I’ve decided to make some changes to Yinše. There are many aspects of this conlang that I really like, but a couple big things that just didn’t sit well with me. The two main areas I plan on tweaking are vowel harmony and syntatic alignment. I know many here don’t like short posts, but this is going to be a very short update post. I’ve been thinking about these features for so long, I need to get them down.

Vowel Harmony

There are no changes to the consonant inventory nor to the vowel inventory. I will repeat the vowel inventory just for ease of reference.

Vowel Inventory

/i u/ <i u>
/e o/ <e o>
/æ ɑ/ <æ a>
(plus vowel length)

The new vowel harmony system is basically a total rip off of Yokuts. There is front/back harmony but only with vowels at the same height. Otherwise, vowels default to their front variants.

For example:

šoo-so ‘see-IRR’
but
šoo-p’i ‘see-INT’
šoo-k’ææ ‘see-IMP’

Syntactic Alignment

The bigger change is to the syntactic alignment. Previously, Yinše had tripartite alignment. However, after learning a lot more about syntax lantely, I’ve decided I’d rather it have Split-S Alignment.

In Yinše, the single argument of an intransitive generally takes the same marking as the patient-like argument of a transitive verb. However, the single arugment of an intransitive takes the same marking as a the agent-like transitive argument if the intransitive is a verb of motion. It can also be used to express volition. I call the case that functions as the agent of a transitive and the subject of an intransitive of motion 'A' and the case the that functions as the patient of a transitive and the subject of most other intransitives 'P'. These might also be fruitfully looked as as SA and SP

(1)
yit copæ nam.
yiit-Ø cop-æ naam
man-A fish-P eat
‘The man is eating the fish.’

(2)
yiitæ naawar
yiit-æ naawar
man-P sleep
‘The man is sleeping’

(3)
cop sum
cop-Ø suum
fish-A swim
'The fish is swimming'

Morphology

Along with the syntactic alignment, there are some changes to morphology, mostly in the reduction of categories.

Noun Morphology

Case
A -Ø
P -æ/-a
LOC -m
INS -ne/-no

Number

SG -Ø
PC -r
PL-k’æ/-k’a

Verb Morphology

Tense
NPST -Ø
PST -sææ/-saa

Aspect
IPFV -Ø
PFV -pe/-po
ITR -ʼæt/-ʼat
PRO -iš/-uš

Mood
IND -Ø
IRR -se/-so
INT -p’i/-p’u
IMP -k’ææ/-k’aa

On more note: In ditransitives, the receiver is marked with the locative case, rather than being marked in the accusative as before.

(4)
yit čæčem copæ caksaape
yiit-Ø čæč-m cop-æ caak-saa-pe
man-A child-LOC fish-P give-PST-PFV
'The man gave the child the fish.'

When two nouns of the same case appear next to each other, this is used to indicate a genitive or possessive construction. In these constructions, the possessum always precedes the possessor.
(5)
čæč yit
čæč-Ø yiit-Ø
child-A man-A
'The man's child'

I am still thinking about how to include other types of morphology like applicatives and whether I want to have polypersonal marking on verbs or not. I am also considering word order a bit more, especially as it related to topicality and focus.

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Re: Yinše

Post by spanick »

"Adjectives"

Adjectives take the form of stative verbs. They frequently show up marked with the relativizer , especially when the noun is marked for a case other than ‘P’. They can also stand alone as nouns when marked with .

(6)
copæ het’e sum
cop-æ het’e sum
fish-P be.large swim
'the large fish is swimming'

(7)
yit het’eš copæ ciire reesææpe
yiit-Ø het’e-š cop-æ ciire ree-sææ-pe
man-A be.large-REL fish-P be.brown/yellow catch-PST-PFV
‘The large man caught the brown fish.’

(8)
yit ciirešæ reesææpe
yiit-Ø ciire-š-æ ree-sææ-pe
man-A be.brown/yellow-REL-P catch-PST-PFV
‘The man caught the brown one’

Colors

caa ‘be.white/light’
ciire ‘be.yellow/brown’
č’oo ‘be.blue’
šaap ‘be.black/dark’
šee ‘be.red/orange’
t’oo ‘be.green’

Numbers

ha ‘one’
‘two’
kuyo ‘three’
hi’i ‘four’
nuč ‘five’
wæšte ‘six’
luyo ‘seven’
sær ‘eight’
paka ‘nine’
heewe ‘ten’
č’es ‘eleven’
t’oyo ‘twelve’

Relative Clause

In relative clauses, the relativizer shows up as an enclitic at the end of the relative clause.

(9)
yit copæ reesææpeš hæskææ nam
yiit-Ø cop-æ ree-sææ-pe-š hæs-k’æ-æ naam
man-A fish-P catch-PST-PFV-REL berry-PL-P eat
‘The man who caught the fish is eating berries.’

(10)
yit wašo’æ rooho’æ namsaapeš me’sææpe
yiit-Ø wašo-æ rooho-æ naam-saa-pe-š mee’-sææ-pe
man-A dog-P rabbit-P eat-PST-PFV-REL see-PST-PFV
‘The man saw the dog that ate the rabbit.’

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