Random ideas: Morphosyntax

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by k1234567890y »

ok thank you Eldin (: After all, you need to do some trial and errors before finding out what you like the most(under the basic plan you have) or what works sometimes.

Btw, the language with tone cases now has a name: Semran. In the Semran language, numbers are also existential verbs, that is, in Semran, numbers actually mean "there exist one...", "there exist two...". "there exist three", etc. instead of "one", "two", "three", etc.
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by eldin raigmore »

A ‘Lang in which the last syllable (or so) of any proper noun is homophonous with the 3rd-person pronoun by which one refers to the proper noun’s referent.

—————

There are a scant handful of webtoon sites (Belfry and TopWebComix and Tapas and others) which I frequently check for “new” (well, they’re new to me) writers, artists, and creators.

Since there are often good reasons to use a pen-name or screen-name; and more of them don’t than do post a self-photo in their introduce-myself posts; and self-portraits, especially drawn or painted, but also sometimes photographs, don’t always make biological sex nor psychosocial gender clear; and many of the artists post pictures of their favorite things instead of themselves; it’s seldom possible to be sure of their psychosocial gender or biological sex from their name or picture, unless someone asks them and they tell us.

On the webernet people seem a lot more open about being trans or non-binary or genderfluid or whatever, anyway.

But during pride month some of the sites especially featured creators who were themselves GLBTQ , or whose characters were.

It turns out many of them share a habit of, right after telling us their pen-name, following up with the 3rd-person pronouns by which they prefer to ”go”.

————

So I thought, “How convenient”!

If the languages’ 3rd-person pronouns have case and gender and number, then maybe so should its proper nouns; and maybe the best way to indicate all that about a proper noun, is to append the appropriate 3rd-person pronoun to it.

Probably this should apply to proper nouns for anything, not just people.

———

Good idea? Bad idea? Interesting idea? Boring idea? Infeasible idea? One you’d like to try out?

———
P.S. Which thread should I have posted this on? Is this the right thread?
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by roninbodhisattva »

eldin raigmore wrote: 26 Jun 2018 23:06 A ‘Lang in which the last syllable (or so) of any proper noun is homophonous with the 3rd-person pronoun by which one refers to the proper noun’s referent.
A phenomenon similar to this is attested found (rather rarely). See this paper for an analysis of one such system.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by eldin raigmore »

roninbodhisattva wrote: 27 Jun 2018 07:17 A phenomenon similar to this is attested found (rather rarely). See this paper for an analysis of one such system.
Thanks muchly for the link! I’ve put it on my reading list, at the top!

—————————

So I guess it’s probably at least feasible, huh? If ANADEW?
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

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I thought about a language where for every word, only unexpected category values would be marked. For every category there is only one marker. So, let's say we have 'eyes' which would be a dual form unless marked 'eyes-M' which then would be either singular or plural. This is different for 'stone', which is plural, unless marked 'stone-M'.
The same can be true for case 'person' would be in the ergative case, unless marked 'person-N'. 'thing' on the other hand is accusative, unless marked 'thing-N'. For knife, you might say it is instrumental, unless marked 'knife-N'.
I was also thinking about verbs. Maybe one could even do this with subject agreement?
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by eldin raigmore »

Creyeditor wrote: 02 Jul 2018 17:37 I thought about a language where for every word, only unexpected category values would be marked. For every category there is only one marker. So, let's say we have 'eyes' which would be a dual form unless marked 'eyes-M' which then would be either singular or plural. This is different for 'stone', which is plural, unless marked 'stone-M'.
The same can be true for case 'person' would be in the ergative case, unless marked 'person-N'. 'thing' on the other hand is accusative, unless marked 'thing-N'. For knife, you might say it is instrumental, unless marked 'knife-N'.
I was also thinking about verbs. Maybe one could even do this with subject agreement?
To me this is reminiscent of viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1373&p=57545&hilit= ... ter#p57545 and viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1373&p=246480&hilit ... er#p246480 .
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Creyeditor »

True [:)]
The differences are IINM that non-categories are unmarked in my proposal, in your proposal they are marked. Another thing that I added is the lexical classes. For some nouns, the instrumental case is unmarked, for other nouns the ergative case is unmarked.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

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I had two new ideas, this time about syntax really. I will use pseudo english, because I haven't made up my mind about phonology and lexicon yet.

The first idea is a conlang based on the following premises:
  • 1. Every verb has to be overtly adjacent to its arguments.
    2. All words are either nouns (can be arguments of a verb and answer to a who or what question) or verbs (can form full sentences if all arguments are present).
    (3. Syntax works roughly in a constituent-structure model. Specifiers precede theirs head, complements follow their head.)
There are several things that follow from this.
All nominal modifiers have to be nouns themselves that take a noun phrase as their argument. The verb takes this new complex noun phrase as its argument. This means that simple modifiers precede their noun. It also means that all modifiers -- in general -- are optional.

[VP Shine [NP the sun]]
`The sun shines.'

Adpositions take two arguments. All (or most) prepositions take a noun as their first argument. This means that they precede this noun phrase, because the first argument is the complement. The second argument they take can be a noun, when they modify another noun phrase or a verb if they modify a verb phrase. They will always follow this second argument. Their category has to be that of the second argument, i.e. if adpositions modify verbs, they are verbs themselves and if they modify nouns they are nouns.

[VP [VP Jumped [NP the kitten]] onto [NP the table]]
'The kitten jumped onto the table. '

[VP Jumped [NP the [NP kitten on [NP the table]]]]
'The kitten on the table jumped. '

As can be seen in these two sentences, the difference between the two kinds of adposition does not show with intransitive verbs. With transitive verbs and modified subjects we get a different picture.

[VP [VP [NP the kitten] eat rice] on [NP the table]]
'The kitten eats rice on the table. '

[VP [NP the [NP kitten on [NP the table]]] eat rice]
'The kitten on the table eats rice. '

Possessors and compounds are formed the same way.

[VP [NP doll 's [NP the [NP little girl]]] be [NP broken one]].
'The girl's doll is broken.'

[VPI met [NP a [NP little [NP girl of cottage] ]]]
'I met a little cottage girl'

Similar to adverbial adpositions, other adverbs have to take the whole verb phrase as their argument. In order to yield a full sentences these have to be verbs to. This idea is extended to information that is often marked on verbs, e.g. tense, aspect and mood.

[VP useto [VP [VP sleep I] ly [NP sound one]]]
'I usually sleep soundly.'

[VP haved [VP I lose [NP blanket 's I]]]
'I have lost my blanket.'

I have also thought about voice (passive, antipassive, causative and applicatives), nominalitation, verbalization and clause embedding predicates, but this might be too much for a random idea.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by eldin raigmore »

roninbodhisattva wrote: 27 Jun 2018 07:17
eldin raigmore wrote: 26 Jun 2018 23:06 A ‘Lang in which the last syllable (or so) of any proper noun is homophonous with the 3rd-person pronoun by which one refers to the proper noun’s referent.
A phenomenon similar to this is attested found (rather rarely). See this paper for an analysis of one such system.
Thanks! I started reading it, and will finish later.

I realized this post is a duplicate of an earlier post from me, so I tried to delete it;
But I got “you cannot delete posts from this forum”.
Sorry.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Frislander »

I've just had a bit of a brainwave for a diachronic idea.

The language starts off with a third person form. Later from this is grammaticalised a reflexive pronoun. At a later date these both become cliticised to the verb as post-verbal "object" markers. Later on these both become grammaticalised - the third person as a transitive marker and the reflexive as an intransitive marker. Later on the reflexive if reduced and at the same time both forms are further reorganised such that they end up entirely restricted to derived contexts. The end result is a kind of "voice polarity" situation, with an affix that both derives transitive verbs from intransitives and intransitives from transitives.

E.g.

se "3rd person" > se-re "3rd person reflexive"

me eki se "I see them" > meki-se "I see (them)" (in contrast to meki "I look out") > extended to meata-se "I go to a place"

vs. se aka sere "they hit themselves" > seaka-sere > seaka-se "they hit (themselves)" (the reflexive/antipassive of seaka "they hit "someone")
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by k1234567890y »

Frislander wrote: 07 Mar 2019 14:24 I've just had a bit of a brainwave for a diachronic idea.

The language starts off with a third person form. Later from this is grammaticalised a reflexive pronoun. At a later date these both become cliticised to the verb as post-verbal "object" markers. Later on these both become grammaticalised - the third person as a transitive marker and the reflexive as an intransitive marker. Later on the reflexive if reduced and at the same time both forms are further reorganised such that they end up entirely restricted to derived contexts. The end result is a kind of "voice polarity" situation, with an affix that both derives transitive verbs from intransitives and intransitives from transitives.

E.g.

se "3rd person" > se-re "3rd person reflexive"

me eki se "I see them" > meki-se "I see (them)" (in contrast to meki "I look out") > extended to meata-se "I go to a place"

vs. se aka sere "they hit themselves" > seaka-sere > seaka-se "they hit (themselves)" (the reflexive/antipassive of seaka "they hit "someone")
sounds nice (:
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

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Frislander wrote: 07 Mar 2019 14:24 I've just had a bit of a brainwave for a diachronic idea.

The language starts off with a third person form. Later from this is grammaticalised a reflexive pronoun. At a later date these both become cliticised to the verb as post-verbal "object" markers. Later on these both become grammaticalised - the third person as a transitive marker and the reflexive as an intransitive marker. Later on the reflexive if reduced and at the same time both forms are further reorganised such that they end up entirely restricted to derived contexts. The end result is a kind of "voice polarity" situation, with an affix that both derives transitive verbs from intransitives and intransitives from transitives.

E.g.

se "3rd person" > se-re "3rd person reflexive"

me eki se "I see them" > meki-se "I see (them)" (in contrast to meki "I look out") > extended to meata-se "I go to a place"

vs. se aka sere "they hit themselves" > seaka-sere > seaka-se "they hit (themselves)" (the reflexive/antipassive of seaka "they hit "someone")
Isn't that similar to merging the intransitivizer and the transitivizer suffix due to phonological reasons?
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by LinguoFranco »

A language with four existential copulas. There is a distinction between a more permanent or long-term state of being, and a more temporary state. There is a further a distinction between the animate and inanimate versions of those two copulas.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

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LinguoFranco wrote: 13 Mar 2019 04:59 A language with four existential copulas. There is a distinction between a more permanent or long-term state of being, and a more temporary state. There is a further a distinction between the animate and inanimate versions of those two copulas.
nice (: I have done this before btw.
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

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LinguoFranco wrote: 13 Mar 2019 04:59 A language with four existential copulas. There is a distinction between a more permanent or long-term state of being, and a more temporary state. There is a further a distinction between the animate and inanimate versions of those two copulas.
You could also add a presentative copula à la French "voici".
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by LinguoFranco »

Creyeditor wrote: 13 Mar 2019 19:16
LinguoFranco wrote: 13 Mar 2019 04:59 A language with four existential copulas. There is a distinction between a more permanent or long-term state of being, and a more temporary state. There is a further a distinction between the animate and inanimate versions of those two copulas.
You could also add a presentative copula à la French "voici".
Elaborate, please.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

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Some languages like French and Hausa have a special copula used in presentative contexts. This is when you give or show something to someone and state what this object is, e.g. a waiter hands you cour coka and says "Here is your coke", in these other languages you would just used the presentative copula plus the object, i.e. in this context 'PRESENTATIVE.COPULA coke'.
This is different from an existential copula where you merely state the existence of something and also different from a locative copula, even though you use such a construction in English.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by eldin raigmore »

Using Case-Endings and Postpositions and Prepositions to Mark Case-Like Stuff
Imagine a language with a few case-endings and a few postpositions and a few prepositions.
Imagine the following are true:
* any noun-phrase can be used with no case-ending and no postposition and no preposition.
* any noun-phrase can be used with any case-ending and no postposition and no preposition.
* any noun-phrase can be used with any postposition and no case-ending and no preposition.
* any noun-phrase can be used with any preposition and no case-ending and no postposition.

Assume all of those marking possibilities indicate different syntactic roles and/or different semantic roles; ad-verbal or ad-nominal.

More assumptions:
* any noun-phrase can be used with any case-ending and nearly any postposition and no preposition.
* any noun-phrase can be used with any case-ending and nearly any preposition and no postposition.
* any noun-phrase can be used with any postposition and nearly any case-ending and no preposition.
* any NP can be used with any postposition and nearly any preposition and no case-ending.
* any NP can be used with any preposition and nearly any case-ending and no postposition.
* any NP can be used with any preposition and nearly any postposition and no case-ending.

Assume all of the marking possibilities mentioned so far indicate either different syntactic roles or different semantic roles, whether ad-verbal or ad-nominal.

One more assumption:
* For any case-ending and any postposition and any preposition, if that case-ending can be used with each of the adpositions separately, and those adpositions can be used together with no case-ending, then any NP can be used with that case-ending and that postposition and that preposition all together at once.

And, with different semantic or syntactic implications than any other of the markings mentioned so far.

. . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .. .. .. .. . .

I’m about to get ready to figure out how many different grammatically-allowed marking combinations there are in this language.

. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

If for each postposition there is one and only one case-ending with which it is incompatible (ie they can’t be used together), then there aren’t more postpositions than case-endings.
If for each preposition there is one and only one case-ending it is incompatible with, there aren’t more prepositions than case-endings.
If for each case-ending there’s one and only one postposition it’s incompatible with, there aren’t more case-endings than postpositions.
If for each case-ending there’s exactly one preposition it’s incompatible with, there aren’t more case-endings than prepositions.
If for each preposition there’s just one postposition it can’t be used with, there aren’t more prepositions than postpositions.
If for every postposition there’s just one preposition it can’t be used with, there aren’t more postpositions than prepositions.

I’m going to assume all six of the above hypotheses. That will mean the number of case-endings and the number of postpositions and the number of prepositions are all equal. And that will make the following algebra a lot simpler.

. . . . .. .. .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .

Let n be the number of case-endings and the number of postpositions and the number of prepositions.
Then, there are
1 way to “mark” a NP with no case-ending and no adposition,
n ways to mark a NP with a case-marking but no adposition,
n ways to mark a NP with a postposition but no case-ending and no preposition,
n ways to mark a NP with a preposition but no case-ending and no postposition,
n(n-1) ways to mark a NP with a case-ending and a postposition but no preposition,
n(n-1) ways to mark a NP with a case-ending and a preposition but no postposition,
n(n-1) ways to mark a NP with a postposition and a preposition but no case-ending.

So far that’s 1+3n+3n(n-1) = 1 + 3n + 3(n^2) - 3n = 1 + 3(n^2) ways to mark a NP with none ore one or two, but not all three, of a case-ending and/or a postposition and/or a preposition.

. . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

How many marking-combinations there are, when all three types — a case-ending, a postposition, and a preposition — are used, depends on how the incompatibilities line up with each other.
I’m going to calculate under two assumptions, which I’m guessing are the extremes. I doubt they’re the only possibilities unless n is small.

—————

First; assume:
* if a case-ending is incompatible with both a postposition and a preposition, then that postposition and that preposition are incompatible with each other.
* if a postposition is incompatible with both a case-ending and a preposition, then that case-ending and that preposition are incompatible with each other.
* if a preposition is incompatible with both a case-ending and a postposition, then that case-ending and that postposition are incompatible with each other.

(This assumption is the not my favorite.)

If we assume those, then the number of ways to mark a noun-phrase with all three of a case-ending and a postposition and a preposition, each compatible with each of the others, is n(n-1)(n-2) = (n^3) - 3(n^2) + 2n.
So the total number of grammatical ways to mark up a NP in this language is
(n^3) - 3(n^2) + 2n + 3(n^2) + 1 = (n^3) + 2n + 1

If n is 0 this is 1. Boring.
If n is 1 this is 4, because you can’t use the case-ending with either adposition, and you can’t use both adpositions together. Still kinda boring.
If n is 2 this is 13. Now maybe we’re getting somewhere. But there are no ways to combine a case-marking with two adpositions.
If n is 3 this is 34. That is at least as many as in Stanley Starosta’s “The Case for Lexicase”, unless my memory is completely misleading me, which gets ever likelier year by year. There are six ways to combine a case-ending with two adpositions.
If n is 4 this is 73. Four is my favorite value for n. There are 24 ways, under this assumption, to combine a case-ending with two adpositions, if n is 4.
If n is 5 this is 136. Nearly as many as Tsez’s cases. 60 ways to triple-mark with a case-ending and two adpositions, one of each type.
If n is 6 this is 229. More than Tsez has cases. 120 ways to triple-mark. I think that’s enough and I’m not going for bigger n under this assumption.

—————

The other assumptions I plan to check out, about how the incompatibilities line up with each other, are the following two trios of statements:
If a case-ending is incompatible with each of a postposition and a preposition, then that postposition and that preposition can be used together with any other case-ending, and also with no case-ending.
If a postposition is incompatible with each of a case-ending and a preposition, then that case-ending and that preposition can be used together with any other postposition, and also with no postposition.
If a preposition is incompatible with each of a case-ending and a postposition, then that case-ending and that postpositions can be used together with any other preposition, and also with no preposition.
Spoiler:
And:
If a case-ending and a postposition are compatible, there is a preposition compatible with the case-ending but not with the postposition, and there is a preposition compatible with the postposition but not with the case-ending.
If a case-ending and a preposition are compatible, there is a postposition compatible with the case-ending but not with the preposition, and there is a postposition compatible with the preposition but not with the case-ending.
If a postposition and a preposition are compatible, there is a case-ending compatible with the postposition but not with the preposition, and there is a case-ending compatible with the preposition but not with the postposition.

Clearly if n is not 0 then n has to be at least 2 under these assumptions.
Under this assumption, the number of grammatical ways this language has to markup case-wise and adposition-wise a NP with each of a case-ending and a postposition and a preposition all together at once, is
n(((n-1)^2) -(n- 2)) = n((n^2) - 2n + 1 -n + 2) = n((n^2) - 3n + 3) = (n^3) - 3(n^2) + 3n.
(Actually this is the value only if n>2. If n<=2 the the assumptions can’t be satisfied.)

So the total number of grammatical marking possibilities is
(n^3) - 3(n^2) + 3n + 3(n^2) + 1 = (n^3) + 3n + 1.

(This exceeds (n^3) + 2n + 1 by n as long as n-1 > 2.)

So for each value of n from 2 to 6, how many is (n^3) + 3n + 1 ?
(I should probably go from 3 to 6.)

* If n is 2, this is 15. But I don’t think this assumption and all the others are consistent with n=2 either. I think the correct answer is 15; and there are exactly two ways to use all three of a case-ending, a postposition, and a preposition, together; but still these assumptions can’t all be satisfied if n=2.

* If n is 3, this is 37. 3 more than the previous assumption. 9 ways to triple-mark an NP instead of 6.
* If n is 4, this is 77. 4 more than under the previous assumption. Also, this is my favorite n under my favorite assumption. There are now 28 ways to combine a case-ending with two adpositions. More than the 24 under the previous assumption.
* If n is 5, this is 141. 5 more than the previous assumption. 65, rather than 60, ways to combine a case-ending with two kinds of adpositions.
* If n is 6, this is 235. 6 more than under the previous assumption. 126, rather than 120, ways to combine a case-ending with a postposition with a preposition.
I don’t think I need to go further.

—————

So what does anyone think?
Did I make a mistake with that second line-up assumption?
Is the number of grammatically correct ways to triple-mark a NP still n(n-1)(n-2) instead of n(((n-1)^2)-(n-2))?
Last edited by eldin raigmore on 03 Aug 2019 06:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Creyeditor »

I really like the idea of combining these. This is very construction grammar like conlanging, I feel. I think assuming n to be the same for all three categories (preposition, postposition, suffix) is not strictly neccessary, right? I can't do the math, but even with small numbers I think this gives an interesting language. I will try to give this idea some substance.
Imagine you take latin prepositions 'ad' and 'de' + German case suffixes -em and -en + German postpositions 'halber' and 'entlang'. Assuming that all of these are compatible, we should get 27 (=(2+1)*(2+1)*(2+1)) possible combinations, IINM.

Suppose you only want structural/syntactic case, i.e. no semantic/locational etc cases. Let's say we have a tripartite system + dative case + a possessivor case + a possessed case, that's not a whole lot of cases. We could add an oblique case for everything else. Maybe we could make case-marking dependent on animacy and tense? Why not.

Past tense, animate: nominative, ergative, accusative, genitive, possessed, oblique
Present tense, animate: nominative, ergative, accusative, genitive, possessed, oblique
Past tense, inanimate: nominative, ergative, accusative, genitive, possessed, oblique
Present tense, inanimate: nominative, ergative, accusative, genitive, possessed, oblique

That is 6*2*2=24 cases we need. Luckily, we have 27 available.

I wanted to write some test sentences but I got tired. So here are just a few. Also, I am not sure how you would do the glossing.

Sun shine.
The sun shines.
=> 'sun' is unmarked, indicates present tense, inanimate, nominative case

De Kitten jump ad table-en halber
The kitten jumped onto the table.
=> 'kitten' is marked with 'de X', indicates past tense, animate, nominative case
=> 'table' is marked with 'ad X-en halber', indicates past tense, inanimate, oblique case


Henry entlang de dog-em is lost.
`Henry's dog is lost.'
=> `Henry' is marked with 'X entlang', indicates present tense, animate, genitive case
=> 'dog' is marked with 'de X-em', indicates present tense, animate, possessive case
Creyeditor
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eldin raigmore
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by eldin raigmore »

Creyeditor wrote: 02 Aug 2019 23:29 I really like the idea of combining these. This is very construction grammar like conlanging, I feel.
Thanks!
I think assuming n to be the same for all three categories (preposition, postposition, suffix) is not strictly neccessary, right?
I was inspired by an ancient classical natlang that had four prepositions and four cases, and each preposition could be used with two or three of the cases, and each case could be used with two or three of the prepositions.
I just got systematic about how many cases couldn’t be used with each preposition and how many prepositions couldn’t be used with each case.
If the answer is always “exactly one”, then there must be exactly as many prepositions as cases.
IRL a natlang might not be that neat; the answer could sometimes be 2 or sometimes 0.
OTOH the algebra is a lot easier to understand if there’s only one variable.
I can't do the math, but even with small numbers I think this gives an interesting language. I will try to give this idea some substance .
Thanks!
Imagine you take latin prepositions 'ad' and 'de' + German case suffixes -em and -en + German postpositions 'halber' and 'entlang'. Assuming that all of these are compatible, we should get 27 (=(2+1)*(2+1)*(2+1)) possible combinations, IINM.
That looks right; assuming every combination of either preposition (or no preposition) with either case (or no case, ie zero-marked case, probably nominative or absolutive) and either postposition (or no postposition), is grammatically acceptable. In my post I was assuming everything of each kind was incompatible with exactly one thing of each other kind. So I’d have gotten fewer.
Suppose you only want structural/syntactic case, i.e. no semantic/locational etc cases. Let's say we have a tripartite system + dative case + a possessivor case + a possessed case, that's not a whole lot of cases. We could add an oblique case for everything else. Maybe we could make case-marking dependent on animacy and tense? Why not.
While your ideas are still fascinating, I think they’re starting to get a little bit “above my pay grade”!

—— interesting stuff snipped to avoid just repeating your work without anything to add to it ——

Thanks, especially, for the examples!
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