Alál: Compound Nouns, Briefly

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Re: Alál: I finally describe what axis markers are

Post by kiwikami »

Khemehekis wrote: 08 Aug 2021 07:49I'm going to go off on a limb and guess that haaka means "sky"?
Technically haka (the a in the root HAK normally deletes before the case marker a#a, but it sticks around when s separates the two), but yes!
Khemehekis wrote: 08 Aug 2021 07:49In Kankonian, "skybox" is oshmulhozos, from oshmul (sky) and hozos (cube).
Ooh, I love a good sky cube!

Image

Hm, it strikes me that Alál has a word for 'quadrilateral' (lımuṭ, from LIṬ 'four' and mu 'visual abstraction') but not for 'cube'. I will give some thought to that.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál: I finally describe what axis markers are

Post by Khemehekis »

kiwikami wrote: 08 Aug 2021 07:59
Khemehekis wrote: 08 Aug 2021 07:49I'm going to go off on a limb and guess that haaka means "sky"?
Technically haka (the a in the root HAK normally deletes before the case marker a#a, but it sticks around when s separates the two), but yes!
So I got it!
Khemehekis wrote: 08 Aug 2021 07:49In Kankonian, "skybox" is oshmulhozos, from oshmul (sky) and hozos (cube).
Ooh, I love a good sky cube!

Image
[+1]
Hm, it strikes me that Alál has a word for 'quadrilateral' (lımuṭ, from LIṬ 'four' and mu 'visual abstraction') but not for 'cube'. I will give some thought to that.
When you add a word for "cube", are you also going to add "tetrahedron", "octahedron", "dodecahedron", and "icosahedron"?

What about "tesseract"?
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Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by kiwikami »

Khemehekis wrote: 08 Aug 2021 10:38When you add a word for "cube", are you also going to add "tetrahedron", "octahedron", "dodecahedron", and "icosahedron"?

What about "tesseract"?
I absolutely should! I'm thinking of deriving 'cube' from some prior word for '(six-sided) die' as in κύβος, since six-sided shapes in particular have cultural significance to speakers and it's very likely that such objects were created long before geometry was a common area of study.


Basics of Prepositions and Axes Part 2: Y

As usual, I apologize for any incoherence. I should be working on my dissertation, so of course I am instead fuzting around with words. Currently running on five hours of sleep, 16 oz of coffee, and a playlist of Castlevania soundtracks. What is a conlang? A miserable little pile of grammar. But enough talk! Let's have at it!

-

The first prepositional phrase modifying a noun or verb is discontinuous; the object of the preposition follows the noun or verb phrase, while the preposition itself precedes it and is cliticized to the noun/verb. This is illustrated via an interpunct (·). The object of the preposition must be in the oblique case.

Notably, this cliticization means that certain phonological processes occurring word-finally do not apply to prepositions, namely schwa deletion, but the first consonant of the noun/verb following a vowel-final clitic is not considered intervocalic for the purposes of voicing. E.g. the preposition aka 'upwards' is [ɐg] in isolation (schwa deletion), and the causative form of Kıutaı ['kɛvdəj] 'it swims' is Úkutıs ['ugʊdɪs] 'it makes it swim' (intervocalic voicing) but for aka·Kıutaı 'it swims above (something)' we have [ɐgə'kɛvdəj] (no schwa deletion, no voicing).

kaızaás 'salt flat.OBL' (KAızaS1 from KAS 'salt' + ıza 'stretching forth' + á 'OBL')
kuár 'mountain.OBL' (KUR1 'mountain' + 'OBL')
aka 'motion upwards / rising up from' (Y*+ 'approaching Y+/upwards from a reference point')

aka·kuár kaızaás
 upwards mountain.OBL salt_flat.OBL
 'the mountain rising from the salt flat'
 'The mountain is rising from the salt flat.'

Prepositional constructions such as these are complete utterances, no verb required. The object may also be omitted:

aka·kuár
 upwards mountain.OBL
 'the mountain rising up'
 'The mountain rises up.'

Note that, since prepositions are also axis markers (though their axis forms are typically reduced), it is sometimes possible to produce a similar construction via adding the corresponding axis to the noun/verb in question:

kuakuaár
 mountain.upwards.OBL
LIT. 'the mountain rising up'
 'an especially tall mountain'

For nouns and non-motion verbs, these two constructions are not synonymous. Axis markers suggest innate characteristics of an object rather than some modification of that object's default state, and are highly subject to semantic shift. Using the same aka marker, we have for example laku 'vine, road' versus luakaaku 'switchback', or már 'investigation' versus maakaár 'radio tower' (both from MAR 'whisker'). If instead of luakaaku we had aka·laku, this would not mean 'switchback' but rather 'road stretching up' (e.g. heading up a mountain), with the implication that the road does not zig-zag as a switchback does.

One can also not introduce an object to an axis marker as one can with a preposition (for nouns). Thus, we cannot have *luakaaku kuár 'the switchback up the mountain'; rather, this would be aka·luakaaku kuár. Despite first appearing redundant, the aka in luakaaku is truly a derivational affix, not a functional indicator of the road's location relative to any reference point.

One can introduce an object to an axis marker for some verbs, namely motion verbs and any case in which the axis marker is in fact indicating direction of motion rather than some lexicalized or idiomatic meaning. To illustrate, first some context; here is the marker used in its direction-of-motion meaning:

Zuàraı 'I am lugging it around' (from ZUŔ 'handle large solid object')
hmáktas 'kiln.OBL' (HMAktaS1 from HMAS 'clay' + kta 'nest.OBL')
sù(tu) 'northward/leftward/excessively' (X*- 'approaching X-/north/left from a reference point')

Sùtu·Zuàraı.
north/left I_am_lugging_it
 'I am lugging it northward.'
 'I am lugging it over to the left.'

Adding an oblique object gives us a new reference point for X*- that isn't the verb's subject:

Sùtu·Zuàraı hmáktas.
north/left I_am_lugging_it kiln.OBL
 'I am lugging it over to the left/north of the kiln.'

If we incorporate sù(tu) not as a preposition but as an axis marker (taking the reduced form ), it becomes ambiguous in a motion verb between the direction-of-motion meaning and the idiomatic 'do X excessively' meaning, though the latter is typically preferred (as there is still the non-ambiguous sùtu·Zukàraı, which someone intending the motion meaning could have used instead):

Zuàrsùaı.
I_am_lugging_it.
 'I am lugging it around too much.' (preferred)
 'I am lugging it over to the left.' (dispreferred)

The main reason this construction is still in use despite being dispreferred is because incorporating a direction-of-motion marker allows for a circumstantial voice construction, which I talk a bit about here. Adding an oblique object here is possible, where it is not in nouns. It (...typically...) forces the direction-of-motion meaning:

Zuàrsùaı hmáktas.
I_am_lugging_it. kiln.OBL
 'I am lugging it over the the left of the kiln.'

If the verb is not a motion verb and there is thus no direction-of-motion alternative meaning, this forced motion interpretation via adding an oblique noun is not possible. The axis marker in these cases, restricted to the 'excessively' meaning is a derivational affix which, like in nouns, is not a functional indicator of the verb's location relative to any reference point. As such, a non-motion verb with such an affix acts just like a verb that has no axis marker at all; in this case, an oblique noun added after the verb will instead act as a benefactive:

Kàtaı
 'I am looking at it.'

Kàt
 'I am looking at it excessively.' (i.e. staring)
 *'I am looking at it to the left/north.'

Kàtaı hmáktas
 *'I am looking at it to the left of the kiln.'
 'I am looking at it for the kiln.' (the benefactive interpretation)

And yes, technically the benefactive is also a valid interpretation in a motion verb with Zuàrsùaı hmáktas, in which case the is interpreted as not direction-of-motion but 'excessively', thus 'I am lugging it around too much for the kiln'. Given the ambiguity in motion verbs, however, this would usually be specified using the benefactive's associated preposition xa, which is beyond the scope of my brain tonight. I ramble on a bit about the benefactive and how it works here and here.

Another point to make is that while I draw a strict distinction between motion and non-motion verbs for determining whether a given incorporated axis marker is likely to be interpreted as direction-of-motion or some lexicalized derivational thingamajig, the R and E axes will behave the same way for all verbs, as they deal with time and tense and thus do not especially care whether an action is moving in space or not. I'll get to that when I actually start talking about tense.

So. That's how the first prepositional phrase works.

Additional prepositional phrases attached to the same noun/verb phrase use a slightly different construction; rather than surrounding the phrase in question, they instead surround either the particles MAS2 (irregular oblique form mas) or RAŔ2 (oblique form ráa), glossed somewhat unhelpfully as 'that' and 'this' in my notes, with this entire construction then either following or preceding the phrase, respectively. This is technically possible for the first prepositional phrase as well, though the result feels stilted and formal.

aka·ráa kaızaás kuár
 upwards this.OBL salt_flat.OBL mountain.OBL
 'the mountain rising from the salt flat'
 'The mountain is rising from the salt flat.'

kuár aka·mas kaızaás
 mountain.OBL upwards that.OBL salt_flat.OBL
 'the mountain rising from the salt flat'
 'The mountain is rising from the salt flat.'

I'll dedicate a post or two to RAŔ2 and MAS2 eventually, but suffice it in the short term to say they refer to the next and previous phrase respectively ('this thing/event I'm about to mention', 'that thing/event I just mentioned'). In some constructions they serve the role of complementizers, since they can carry case and thus act as the object of some transitive verb to introduce an entire VP as the object, instead of nominalizing the VP to force it to carry case.

In constructions with more than one prepositional phrase, old or known information is typically preferred for displacing around the NP/VP; similarly, in those with 2+ prepositional phrases, RAŔ typically indicates newer or more salient information than MAS2.

aka·ráa kaızaás tù·kuár záz
 upwards this.OBL salt_flat.OBL north mountain.OBL sea.OBL
 'the mountain, north of the sea, rising from the salt flat'
 'The mountain north of the sea is rising from the salt flat.'

tù·ráa záz aka·kuár kaızaás
 north this.OBL sea.OBL upwards mountain.OBL salt_flat.OBL
 'the mountain, rising from the salt flat, north of the sea'
 'The mountain rising from the salt flat is north of the sea.'

The object of prepositions can of course take prepositions, the first of which can be displaced as normal:

aka·kuár tù·kaızaás záz
 upwards mountain.OBL north salt_flat.OBL sea.OBL
 'the mountain rising from the salt flat that is north of the sea'
 'The mountain is rising from the salt flat that is north of the sea.'

Any second prepositional construction with MAS2 is ambiguous in that it can also modify the object of the first preposition:

aka·kuár kaızaás tù·mas záz
 upwards mountain.OBL salt_flat.OBL north that.OBL sea.OBL
 The mountain is rising from (the salt flat that is north of the sea).
 (The mountain that is rising from the salt flat) is north of the sea.

This can be disambiguated in part by using MAS3 instead but I do not have it in me to talk about how that works right now.


Y - up-to-down

And now for another round of axis markers. Now with pictures, to break up the wall of text - the writing system shown here is the ornamental ḳùa·kalàs arrangement of the syllabary, which organizes words into rectangular glyphs typically used for decoration rather than in long-form texts, though proper names and the like may appear in this style in texts to visually highlight them. Y encodes the vertical axis - no more cardinal direction ambiguity (we'll get back to that with Z).

 y* h[k] (ak) vertically aligned
In motion verbs (h(a)k): Vertically steady movement [Hak·ḳuhkulaı 'He flies it (a plane) steadily']. The (a) here appears only epenthetically to break up illegal consonant clusters, instead of using the root vowel of the verb stem.
In other verbs (h(a)k): As above in a few idiomatic expressions [Saılhakí 'He is rude/disgraceful' (lit. 'he stands steady', i.e. without prostrating oneself before authority)]. Otherwise, deceptively or falsely [Hıuṭhakḳá 'He pretends to laugh', Ḳaılhakǎ 'He faked his death']. This usage in most volitional verbs triggers a switch to the extra-volitional (e.g. final -a in Hıutḳa 'He laughs' becoming ).
In nouns (h): Stand-in, equivalent, object or state that resembles or mimics another [mluharu 'regent', halı 'unconsciousness' from malı 'sleep', ḳahàr 'electrical outlet' from ḳàr 'mouth'].
As preposition (ak): Vertically level [ak·hàk lkırù 'the bird level with the airplane']. Of equal height [ak·kaha sıám 'the man as tall as me']. With contact morpheme mv (I'll get to that later), vertical attachment [akma·ızàıl mraka 'the drainpipe on the wall']. Generic 'at' or 'in' for large or open-air places identified prominently by vertical orientation [ak·haxı kuár 'the town (up) on the mountain', ak·ḳmaṭù txahaála·ḳmâktà 'the scientist (down) in the ocean-floor laboratory'].

 y+  up/above
In motion verbs (): Motion above some reference [Haık 'He is flying above (us)'].
In other verbs (): As above, or involving the head or top of the body [Tzîka 'He is carrying it (a platter) on his head'].
In nouns (): Elevated, raised, in the sky [ḳaaṭ 'blimp', muuám 'thunder']. Involving the head or top of the body [tzuasu 'short-cropped hair'].
As preposition (): Above, over [·kaızaàh kıuzuaáḳ 'the aurora over the arctic'].

 y- ha down/below
In verbs (ha): Motion below some reference [Ḳaıṭha 'He is crawling below (us)'].
In nouns (ha): Low, relating to the ground or soil [ḳuhaamu 'stone floor', mahaàṭ 'root vegetable', txahaál 'ocean floor', muhuaám 'earthquake' (note ua metathesis; compare mukàuám above)].
As preposition (ha): Below, under [ha·maza hútaıl 'the lava under the ash cloud'].

Image

 y+* (h)ká above-to-here
In verbs (): Motion to a reference point from above [Huǎrka 'I'm bringing it (a bundle of things) down (from there)']. Downwards flow of a liquid [Zmaımı 'He's dripping saliva'].
In nouns (): Hanging, descending, reaching or falling down to a terminating point from above [alı 'waterfall', haaṣa 'beaded curtain', hmuuár 'mudslide', lkaala 'spiral staircase'].
As preposition (hká): Descending, moving or stretching towards a reference point from above [hká·xatı maza 'the rain falling on the lava', hká·maıkaatı hrahaás 'the ladder down to the basement'].

 y*+ aka here-to-above
In verbs (aka): Motion upwards from a reference point [Lkaılakaı 'It ascends in a spiral', Haıh·kuakatàx 'He swam up for air'].
In nouns (aka): Rising, moving, or stretching upwards [kmaıkaàıh 'stream of bubbles', luakaát 'scaffolding']. Especially tall or spacious [ḳaakaara 'cave with a high ceiling', ḷáakasas 'castle or large fortification'].
As preposition (aka): Ascending, moving or stretching upwards from a reference point [aka·laḷu hutal 'the smoke rising from the fireplace'].

 y-* ah(à) below-to-here
In verbs (ah): Motion to a reference point from below, or involving removing an object from the ground [Zárahàx 'He scooped it (a liquid) up in his hands', Ḳrîhumtahḳa 'He is pulling weeds'].
In nouns (ah): not found
As preposition (ahà): Ascending, moving or stretching towards a reference point from below [ahà·htumal lkakáala 'the mortician coming up the spiral stairs']. In the opinion or from the perspective of someone [ahà·Ḳaılkalí htumal 'In the mortician's opinion, he's dead']. This latter usage typically triggers the inferential/reportative evidential marker k(a)l (which, for the record, is indeed another axis marker, E* - these things get around).

Image

 y*- hà(ka) here-to-below
In verbs (): Motion downwards from a reference point, impacting or involving the ground [Zaıḳ 'He digs into the soil', Mhuḷax 'He tackles him to the ground'].
In nouns (): Deep, hanging or stretching down from some other object [za 'chasm', ṭıhàatı 'stalactite', mhuaḷu 'anchor'].
As preposition (hàka): Descending, moving or stretching downwards from a reference point [hàka·mhuhàaḷu kaḳhax 'the anchor attached to the log raft', hàka·uḳàu ṣaakaaha 'the basket hanging from the balloon'].

 y+- kha(k) above-to-below
In verbs (k(a)ha): Motion downwards through, past, or in lieu of a reference point, or without landing on a lower surface [Kustuxkahaà 'He fell through the floor', Kírkahaı 'It is in freefall'].
In nouns (kha): not found
As preposition (khak): Motion downwards past or through some object [khak·hakàx tazı 'He flew down through the cloud']. Despite or regardless of some obstacle [khak·Ḳàlàx lıúıskìraí 'I killed him even though he's immortal'].

 y-+ ıkkà below-to-above
In motion verbs (ıkkà): Motion upwards through, past, or in lieu of a reference point, or without landing on a higher surface [Zkaımıkkàı 'He is floating upwards'].
In other verbs (ıkkà): Forcefully, bombastically, dramatically [Ḳıṣıkkàax 'He stabbed him forcefully', Hírıkkà 'He wailed (in mourning)'].
In nouns (ıkkà): Coming up from below ground [maıkkǎz 'volcanic eruption', ıkkàaık 'seedling (of a tree)', htıukkàalu 'reanimated exhumed corpse' (note ıu metathesis)].
As preposition (ıkkà): Motion upwards past or through some object [ıkkà·Rírıá ḷáakasas ız·kaıh xutas 'The man with a whip made his way up through the castle'].
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by Khemehekis »

kiwikami wrote: 20 Aug 2021 07:32
Khemehekis wrote: 08 Aug 2021 10:38When you add a word for "cube", are you also going to add "tetrahedron", "octahedron", "dodecahedron", and "icosahedron"?

What about "tesseract"?
I absolutely should! I'm thinking of deriving 'cube' from some prior word for '(six-sided) die' as in κύβος, since six-sided shapes in particular have cultural significance to speakers and it's very likely that such objects were created long before geometry was a common area of study.
I'm figuring you already have a word for "hexagon", since you seem to have all the basic n-gon words.

Do you have a word for "honeycomb"? If not, you could derive it from "hexagon"!
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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by kiwikami »

Khemehekis wrote: 23 Aug 2021 22:11I'm figuring you already have a word for "hexagon", since you seem to have all the basic n-gon words.

Do you have a word for "honeycomb"? If not, you could derive it from "hexagon"!
I do indeed have 'hexagon' (tumú) - it's actually the highest n-gon with a word right now since only the numbers from 1-6 (and 12, 24, and 36) are monomorphemic and can thus follow the same derivation pattern. Haven't figured geometry out past that yet. Intuitively, bimorphemic numbers that are compounds can probably still derive n-gons this way (taḳ·laṭı 'eight' -> taḳ·lımuṭ 'octagon'). It feels a bit odd to do this with trimorphemic ones made via prepositional phrase (ak·táu xama 'seven' ?-> ak·tumú xama 'heptagon') but this is probably the most logical method since those are the most numerous, even if 'hexagon-and-one' feels like a strange way to put it.

Actually, it might be interesting if the n-gons acted like ordinals (or like how cardinals do when modifying nouns) and didn't allow compound numbers outside of certain multiples of six. No 'two fours' for you, you get 'six-and-two' only. Which would make octagon ak·tumú taḳa 'hexagon-and-two'. It's a bit of a mess because the method used for counting and referring to specific numbers of unspecified things (Râsax taḳ·lıṭ 'two-fours have arrived') is different for some numbers from the method used for indicating how much of something there is (kaha ak·tûrum taḳa 'six-and-two people'), and it's not immediately clear which system would be appropriate here. This is what happens when you come up with a number system, forget it, come up with another years later, find your old notes, and decide to keep both. Generations of conworld academics can argue about whether the prescriptively correct octakaidecagon is a three-sixes-gon (tú·zımus) or a twelve-and-six-gon (ak·zkumul táu). I'll leave them to it, I think.

It's probably the latter, though.

Oh, I love the hexagon -> honeycomb idea! The diminutive of tumú [tɔ'mu] would be tǔmu ['ftomu], which works very well there. Many thanks!

--

...I just had a terrible thought about interpreting compound numeral noun forms (e.g. taḳ·laṭı 'eight things') as actually acting as multiple discrete entities - in this case, two sets of four - and thus permitting, in this case, dual number agreement on a verb. I say 'terrible' because this would lead to situations where something like Rátḳasàx would by default mean 'They two arrived' but would not be ungrammatical if the subject was later specified as 'they eight' or 'they ten' (being two sets-of-four/sets-of-five respectively). There'd also be Rázsısàx for 'they three', but also allowing for 'they nine', 'they fifteen', and 'they eighteen'. Rálṭısàx for 'they four' as well as 'they twenty'. Rázḷasàx for 'they five' but also 'they thirty'. It technically works. The verbal numerals are just subject/object incorporation in a funny hat anyway.

I both hate this and sort of love it. It's simultaneously needlessly complicated numerical nonsense and kind of delightful. Good comedic potential.

Îka·Makàzzısâamuax ḳaẓaṭa mzaúr? 'Can I bring some (presumably three) friends to the dinner party?'
Ùl. 'Sure.'
Ràṭ rà·Rıâkazsıssìàx zıs·túr rasa. 'Great, all eighteen of them will be here soon.'
Amìḷas. 'I beg your pardon.'
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by Khemehekis »

kiwikami wrote: 24 Aug 2021 06:03 I both hate this and sort of love it. It's simultaneously needlessly complicated numerical nonsense and kind of delightful. Good comedic potential.

Îka·Makàzzısâamuax ḳaẓaṭa mzaúr? 'Can I bring some (presumably three) friends to the dinner party?'
Ùl. 'Sure.'
Ràṭ rà·Rıâkazsıssìàx zıs·túr rasa. 'Great, all eighteen of them will be here soon.'
Amìḷas. 'I beg your pxrdon.'
Hee.



Glad you liked the hexagon -> honeycomb idea! It's lovely how nature can make such a perfect regular hexagon, isn't it?

For reference, here are the "Form and Pattern" words from the Landau Core Vocabulary; this category includes all the shape names.

Form and Pattern (Part IV)
Spoiler:
shape
angle
bump (on the head)
bump (in a road)
curve
dot
drop
hole (in the ground)
hole (in a wall, sofa)
hole (that goes all the way through)
knot (in rope or string)
knot (in ribbon)
line
mark (leaves a ~)
opening (in cave, tunnel, etc.)
pit (hole)
point (in space)
ring (torus)
spiral
spot (on giraffe, jaguar)
spot (part of pattern)
stain, spot, mark
stripe (on fabric or wallpaper)
stripe (on tiger, zebra)
tube (thin, flexible)
tube (thicker, flexible)
tube (thin, inflexible)
tube (thicker, inflexible)
circle; round
square
triangle; triangular
cross
star
heart
cube; cubical
sphere; round*
flat
More Form and Pattern (Part V)
Spoiler:
horizontal
vertical
diagonal (in pattern or design)
rectangle; rectangular
rhombus/diamond
trapezoid; trapezoidal
oval
arch
crescent
pentagon; pentagonal
hexagon; hexagonal
octagon; octagonal
cone; conical
pyramid
cylinder; cylindrical
dome; hemispherical
As you'll see, I have pentagon, hexagon, octagon . . . but leave out heptagon, enneagon, decagon, hendecagon, and dodecagon as too uncommon for a core word list. I mean, when was the last time you talked about hendecagons?
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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by elemtilas »

Khemehekis wrote: 31 Aug 2021 01:46 As you'll see, I have pentagon, hexagon, octagon . . . but leave out heptagon, enneagon, decagon, hendecagon, and dodecagon as too uncommon for a core word list. I mean, when was the last time you talked about hendecagons?
Well, Canadian dollars are hendecagonal, so I am certain it's a robust lexeme in the everyday vocabulary of your average Canadian.

Also, I am in need of an elevensided figure for a project I'm working on and you unwittingly led to me a resource on constructing such a figure! Woohoo!
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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by Khemehekis »

elemtilas wrote: 31 Aug 2021 02:01
Khemehekis wrote: 31 Aug 2021 01:46 As you'll see, I have pentagon, hexagon, octagon . . . but leave out heptagon, enneagon, decagon, hendecagon, and dodecagon as too uncommon for a core word list. I mean, when was the last time you talked about hendecagons?
Well, Canadian dollars are hendecagonal, so I am certain it's a robust lexeme in the everyday vocabulary of your average Canadian.

Also, I am in need of an elevensided figure for a project I'm working on and you unwitt-ngly led to me a resource on constructing such a figure! Woohoo!
Canadian dollars? I did not know that. And you're welcome for the link!

In the most recent word list my friend made from his corpus, "pentagon" ranks as word #4,462 (no doubt because of the military building in the U.S.), "octagon" is #20,418 (maybe articles about wrestling?), and "hexagon" is #21,541 (though "hexagonal" is #20,463). I use "hexagonal" myself when describing the shape of Taco Bell's Crunch Wrap Supreme, and when talking about honeycombs, so I can see how it's a useful word. The adjective "octagonal" comes in at #28,321. The adjective "pentagonal" and the other -agon words don't make the top 30,000.
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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by elemtilas »

Khemehekis wrote: 31 Aug 2021 02:28 Canadian dollars? I did not know that. And you're welcome for the link!

In the most recent word list my friend made from his corpus, "pentagon" ranks as word #4,462 (no doubt because of the military building in the U.S.), "octagon" is #20,418 (maybe articles about wrestling?), and "hexagon" is #21,541 (though "hexagonal" is #20,463). I use "hexagonal" myself when describing the shape of Taco Bell's Crunch Wrap Supreme, and when talking about honeycombs, so I can see how it's a useful word. The adjective "octagonal" comes in at #28,321. The adjective "pentagonal" and the other -agon words don't make the top 30,000.
How about pentacular and septaconical and tesseractagonal? Surely people must be talking about these ubercommon shapes!

Octagon is useful for stop signs as well as a whole class of rather strange deep sea creatures, known as octagopeds.
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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by kiwikami »

Khemehekis wrote: 31 Aug 2021 01:46 Form and Pattern (Part IV)
Spoiler:
shape
angle
bump (on the head)
bump (in a road)
curve
dot
drop
hole (in the ground)
hole (in a wall, sofa)
hole (that goes all the way through)
knot (in rope or string)
knot (in ribbon)
line
mark (leaves a ~)
opening (in cave, tunnel, etc.)
pit (hole)
point (in space)
ring (torus)
spiral
spot (on giraffe, jaguar)
spot (part of pattern)
stain, spot, mark
stripe (on fabric or wallpaper)
stripe (on tiger, zebra)
tube (thin, flexible)
tube (thicker, flexible)
tube (thin, inflexible)
tube (thicker, inflexible)
circle; round
square
triangle; triangular
cross
star
heart
cube; cubical
sphere; round*
flat
More Form and Pattern (Part V)
Spoiler:
horizontal
vertical
diagonal (in pattern or design)
rectangle; rectangular
rhombus/diamond
trapezoid; trapezoidal
oval
arch
crescent
pentagon; pentagonal
hexagon; hexagonal
octagon; octagonal
cone; conical
pyramid
cylinder; cylindrical
dome; hemispherical
As you'll see, I have pentagon, hexagon, octagon . . . but leave out heptagon, enneagon, decagon, hendecagon, and dodecagon as too uncommon for a core word list. I mean, when was the last time you talked about hendecagons?
Oohoohoo this is very useful - many thanks!

'Twould be fun to think about polyhedrons as well. Truly, a conlang is not complete until one has a word for all manner of DnD dice.

Image
...why does this image include a d120 but not a d100.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by Khemehekis »

elemtilas wrote: 31 Aug 2021 23:24 Octagon is useful for stop signs as well as a whole class of rather strange deep sea creatures, known as octagopeds.
Yep, stop signs are a commonly seen octagon. Monticello is also octagonal.

Googling octagopeds turned up nothing -- they must be a Yeolan class of creatures! Are they molluscs?
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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by Khemehekis »

kiwikami wrote: 31 Aug 2021 23:58 Oohoohoo this is very useful - many thanks!
You're very welcome!
'Twould be fun to think about polyhedrons as well. Truly, a conlang is not complete until one has a word for all manner of DnD dice.

Image
...why does this image include a d120 but not a d100.
Although I have polygons from triangle to icosagon, and even monogon and digon, plus polygon and n-gon, the only -hedron words I have in Kankonian are the Platonic solids: polyhedron, tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron, and n-hedron. I don't have anything like "enneahedron" or "hendecahedron". But seeing as those dice are real, maybe such -hedron words . . . exist?

(I also have pentagram through dodecagram.)

When I was in junior high, a lady would come to our special ed class to work on language and conversational skills with the students once a week. One time she played Scattergories with us, and brought along an icosahedral die, with letters on the alphabet on different faces. It was then that I learned the word "icosahedron".
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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by elemtilas »

Khemehekis wrote: 01 Sep 2021 01:58
kiwikami wrote: 31 Aug 2021 23:58 'Twould be fun to think about polyhedrons as well. Truly, a conlang is not complete until one has a word for all manner of DnD dice.

Image
...why does this image include a d120 but not a d100.
Although I have polygons from triangle to icosagon, and even monogon and digon, plus polygon and n-gon, the only -hedron words I have in Kankonian are the Platonic solids: polyhedron, tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron, and n-hedron. I don't have anything like "enneahedron" or "hendecahedron". But seeing as those dice are real, maybe such -hedron words . . . exist?

(I also have pentagram through dodecagram.)

When I was in junior high, a lady would come to our special ed class to work on language and conversational skills with the students once a week. One time she played Scattergories with us, and brought along an icosahedral die, with letters on the alphabet on different faces. It was then that I learned the word "icosahedron".

Yep, stop signs are a commonly seen octagon. Monticello is also octagonal.

Googling octagopeds turned up nothing -- they must be a Yeolan class of creatures! Are they molluscs?
Indeed! The shallow seas beyond the Eastlands in particular are chock full of such creatures! Speaking of Monticello, octagon houses were actually pretty common in the 19th century, seems especially in the northeast & New England.

As for polyhedra, and sadly shapes in general, I've no idea what they're called in any Denê language. All I know is these things and their various manipulations are basic conceptual math (and that may not even be the right word for what they're doing), even for little kids. Pretty spanky for a race of people who are said to not even be able to count properly!

As for those dice, I stand a-gogglefied. I only knew up to d20, the largest they offered originally. Had never even heard of d30, to say nothing of d60 or d120! And a new term to boot, the disdyakis triacontahedron. Fascinating stuff!
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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by Khemehekis »

elemtilas wrote: 01 Sep 2021 18:21
Khemehekis wrote: Googling octagopeds turned up nothing -- they must be a Yeolan class of creatures! Are they molluscs?
Indeed! The shallow seas beyond the Eastlands in particular are chock full of such creatures!
It would be a marine biologist's dream!

On Kankonia, ammonites survived the mass extinction that killed off non-avian dinosaurs, unlike ammonites on Earth, and they are still plentiful today.
Speaking of Monticello, octagon houses were actually pretty common in the 19th century, seems especially in the northeast & New England.
Didn't know that.
As for polyhedra, and sadly shapes in general, I've no idea what they're called in any Denê language. All I know is these things and their various manipulations are basic conceptual math (and that may not even be the right word for what they're doing), even for little kids. Pretty spanky for a race of people who are said to not even be able to count properly!
What do people mean when the say Denê can't count properly? Do they mean their number system is like French (soixante-vingt-quinze for ninety-five and the like)?
As for those dice, I stand a-gogglefied. I only knew up to d20, the largest they offered originally. Had never even heard of d30, to say nothing of d60 or d120! And a new term to boot, the disdyakis triacontahedron. Fascinating stuff!
I searched for what you had to say on D&D earlier. You wrote:
Re D&D, I played it a few times but never very seriously. I concur about the creative fencing in, and I think that, leastways as far as making a world into a game setting goes, largely comes down to a matter of fitting that setting into the broad & already existing framework of a gaming franchise. I personally feel that The World would make for an interesting game setting, but I'd either have to castrate it in order to make it fit the little pigeon holes of the gaming industry & the expectations of gamers used to that kind of game or else come up with an entirely new game mechanics.
As you'll recall in that thread, I have never played D&D, nor similar games like Magic: The Gathering, and got the impression Dungeons & Dragons was "creatively fenced in" from what I had read thereon on conworlding fora. As a result I don't know much about it, and had no idea that D&D players used so many different kinds of dice in the same game.

Just a few minutes ago, I added the Ciladian borrowings kuninas (noun phrase), getinas (verb phrase), kuntivuninas (adjective phrase), and gettivuninas (adverbial phrase) to my Kankonian dictionary, so as you can see I worked on Kankonian today. Do all of you say YAY or NAY to words like "pentahedron", "heptahedron", or "enneahedron" in Kankonian?
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Re: Alál: Some More Stuff

Post by elemtilas »

Khemehekis wrote: 02 Sep 2021 21:58
elemtilas wrote: 01 Sep 2021 18:21
Khemehekis wrote: Googling octagopeds turned up nothing -- they must be a Yeolan class of creatures! Are they molluscs?
Indeed! The shallow seas beyond the Eastlands in particular are chock full of such creatures!
It would be a marine biologist's dream!
Or nightmare, depending. It's not Diznee's little mermaid down there, you know. Most people who live along the coasts don't even like going to the beach. Too many teeth. Too many sadistic whales. Too many creatures are too smart by half.
On Kankonia, ammonites survived the mass extinction that killed off non-avian dinosaurs, unlike ammonites on Earth, and they are still plentiful today.
Nice! I always like the look of ammonites.

What do people mean when the say Denê can't count properly? Do they mean their number system is like French (soixante-vingt-quinze for ninety-five and the like)?
Oh, number bases aren't the problem. Mostly it's that they just don't seem to care about quantities much above a couple hundred. Trade with them is a pain in the backside for most Werrefolk. They don't do accounting and don't even understand the concept of money. They can grasp basic arithmetic well enough, though sometimes they follow different rules. They're a bafflement because for all that their sense of architecture, working with materials, ability to craft, build, grow and design astonishingly large structures, all without any apparent use of blueprints, geometrical equations or even measuring tools is simply second to none. Sense of direction, sense of ubication, senses of allolocation and even senses of broad motions and locations and the ability to comprehend and work with four and perhaps even five dimensional objects is innate.

I'll have to write it out some time, but a geometry lesson that Denê kids of Auntimoany might work on is simply beyond the imagination of any natural philosopher or mathematician among Werrefolk. Their astronomy is also second to none, as they have the ability to sense the various ley lines that crisscross the nearby cosmos.
Re D&D, I played it a few times but never very seriously. I concur about the creative fencing in, and I think that, leastways as far as making a world into a game setting goes, largely comes down to a matter of fitting that setting into the broad & already existing framework of a gaming franchise. I personally feel that The World would make for an interesting game setting, but I'd either have to castrate it in order to make it fit the little pigeon holes of the gaming industry & the expectations of gamers used to that kind of game or else come up with an entirely new game mechanics.
As you'll recall in that thread, I have never played D&D, nor similar games like Magic: The Gathering, and got the impression Dungeons & Dragons was "creatively fenced in" from what I had read thereon on conworlding fora. As a result I don't know much about it, and had no idea that D&D players used so many different kinds of dice in the same game.
Our DM didn't use dice at all that I can recall. He was probably engaging in a much more ad hoc & in momento kind of adventuring. More guided by his intuition & ability to tell the story than by the rigid and cold results of Fortuna's jewels.

I'd argue that such laxer forms of D&D is much less creatively fenced in. I'd imagine that the DM must be constantly vigilant in balancing rules & game system on the one hand against creativity & tendency toward chaos on the other. This was also surely a function of the social group playing the game and the setting in which the players played.

Still, that d120...
Just a few minutes ago, I added the Ciladian borrowings kuninas (noun phrase), getinas (verb phrase), kuntivuninas (adjective phrase), and gettivuninas (adverbial phrase) to my Kankonian dictionary, so as you can see I worked on Kankonian today. Do all of you say YAY or NAY to words like "pentahedron", "heptahedron", or "enneahedron" in Kankonian?
Indeed yea! And also yay!
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Alál: Compound Nouns, Briefly

Post by kiwikami »

I play a frankly ridiculous amount of DnD (currently in three campaigns, which is a rather low number - one pathfinder game and a Call of Cthulhu campaign have been on hold for some time now) and should absolutely give some thought one of these days to how I would derive terms for things like 'critical hit', 'level up', and 'saving throw'.


I need to go back through earlier posts and make some corrections, because I write compound nouns at least three different ways. Seems about time to make a post about them so I have it in writing for easy reference. This one'll be quick - it's a great example of 'looks complicated mostly because I don't explain things well, is actually very regular'. As is most of the language.

Compound Nouns

This is rather straightforward; two nouns may be compounded, in which case they take the form [noun1]·[link][noun2]. Just as with prepositional phrases, the use of an interpunct here indicates that the first element is cliticized to the second, which is mostly apparent in the stress patterns of compound nouns - they act as one word. Unlike prepositions, the boundary here does not block intervocalic voicing.

Compounds are written in root form in the pattern [ROOT1]·[LNK][ROOT2]. As examples going forth, we will be looking at MIVLAS2 'GPU', HRIR̀VŔṢAH1 'snowman', and LURUKVR̀LUK2 'train tracks'.

-

The first noun modifies the second. Morphologically, it has a special form; it takes N-declension with no case marker (i.e. does not decline normally for case but instead has its class (1-3) indicated by vowel quality - (1) standing, (2) resting, (3) pulling). The first noun MI3 in MIVLAS2 means 'paint palette', and it normally would take I3 declension. This gives it the AGT|OBL|PAT forms mıḳíẓ|mıḳàıẓ|mıḳùıẓ. In compounds, it instead indicates that it is Class-3 with a pulling root vowel (ì) and omits the case markers í|àı|ùı, producing mìḳẓ. This becomes mìḳıẓ through root vowel epenthesis (RVE), to avoid an illegal cluster.

Similarly, in HRIR̀VŔṢAH we have HRIR̀2 'snow' which normally takes I2 declension, becoming hırì|hıràı|hrıúr (roots ending in ŕ or r̀ tend to have odd-looking declension patterns, but I swear it's regular). As the first root in a compound, it instead takes N-declension in Class-2 with the standing vowel (ı) and omits its case markers ı|a#ı|ıú. The result is hrır̀, which becomes hrì due to r̀ and then finally hırì due to RVE as pulling vowels cannot be the first vowel in a word. The compound form of HRIR̀2 is thus superficially similar to its agentive form.

Finally, in LURUKVR̀LUK2 we have LURUK3 meaning 'train'. As evidenced by the root having a more complex structure than C(C)VC, with the additional elements in uppercase (indicating they are not axis markers, for once), this noun has a derivational infix. These infixes - in this case ru - force the noun into N-declension, since they carry case on their own. An infix of the form Cu will use the pattern ıu|u|àu (as opposed to the otherwise-expected U3 pattern íu|àu|ù). Thus the main forms of LURUK3 are lùrıuk|lùruk|lùràuk. The compound form simply omits the case marker from the infix, which instead retains its root vowel (here u) - in this case, the result happens to be identical to the regular oblique form: lùruk. (This will be the case whenever the infix is of the form Cu or Ca, since the pattern of the latter is aı|a|à, but infixes have ıı|aı|àı and thus we do not see this there.)

-

The linking morpheme comes next, and it can take the form v, , or vr̀, where v is the root vowel of the second noun. The choice of these is largely lexical and sometimes arbitrary, but we can roughly define XvY, XvŕY, and Xvr̀Y as 'Y in the manner of X', 'Y for the purpose or benefit of X', and 'Y made of X' respectively, with greater-than-chance consistency.

In MIVLAS2, the linking morpheme will be a - thus 'something in the manner of a paint palette'. In HRIR̀VŔṢAH1, it will be á, producing 'something made of snow'. In LURUKVR̀LUK2 it will be ù, thus 'something for trains'.

-

The second noun declines for case entirely normally. For LAS2 'mind' this is the A2 pattern, laıs|lasa|laús. The resulting compound with all three elements is therefore, in the oblique (and citation) form, mìḳıẓ·alasa 'mind in the manner of a paint palette' or 'GPU'.

For ṢAH1 'chief, mayor, town leader' we have the A1 pattern ṣaìh|ṣáh|ṣuah. Adding the other components produces hırì·áṣáh, but since (unlike prepositions) this is treated as a single word for the purposes of stress, this would typically be written hırǐ·aṣáh 'chief made of snow' or 'snowman' (as said much earlier, this orthographic quirk is a relic of some fancy tonal things that stuck around in the writing system - I just liked how it looked and kept it).

Finally for LUK2 'path, road' (which happens to come from the same base root as LURUK3 'train', making this compound technically mean 'road for road-machines') we have pattern U2: ıu|a#u|(u-)ú, thus lıuk|laku|(u)lúk. In compounds, note that the prefixed component of a prefix-infix case marker (such as (u-)ú) does not delete. The resulting compound in the oblique would be lùruk·ùlaku 'road for trains' or 'train tracks'. This has the patientive form lùruk·ùulúk [ˈvɮorʊˌkovɮuk], which is just delightful to say.

-

Rarely, a commonly-used compound noun may take an abbreviation of the form XYVZ, where X and Y are the first and last consonants of the first noun, V is the linking morpheme, and Z is the first consonant of the second noun. The result will take a declension pattern determined by V; for example, if V is ì, the only pattern in which ì is a possibility is I1, thus the abbreviation will decline in pattern I1 (ì|ıá|u#ı).

Such abbreviations tend to spring up in field-specific technical language; computer technicians and programmers would likely refer to GPUs using the novel root MẒAL2, from mìḳıẓ·alasa. It is in Class-2 because the linking morpheme is a, which suggests the case infix a#a and thus the A2 pattern (mẓaıl|mẓala|mẓaúl).

Others arise due to the noun being especially commonplace. For instance, LURUKVR̀LUK2 may become LKUL3 (lkíul|lukàul|lukùl) 'train tracks (colloquial)'. For some such novel roots constructed from compounds, they become common enough in regular use that they themselves can then be compounded. For instance, lukùl·ururuk 'splitting device for train tracks' or 'railroad switch'. (The compound form of LKUL3 is superficially identical to its patientive form for nearly the same reason that of HRIR̀2 is identical to its agentive.) It's theoretically possible for the original compound to then fall out of use, leaving echoes only in these lexicalized acronyms, although I haven't coined or found any examples of this yet.

...I don't think 'snowman' would typically be abbreviated to HRAṢ1 but it's the sort of thing one might nickname a snowman, since traditional names are simple nouns. I'd translate Frosty the Snowman as Á·Hráṣ Hırǐ·Aṣáh and get the idea across pretty well.

And of course, there are plenty of compounds that would result in the same abbreviation. And there's no guarantee that abbreviation won't already be a word. One example of this is another computer-related term, mlaru·ìrıẓkalà 'OS' (literally 'program for leading'), which abbreviates to MRIR1. The existing root MRIR2 means 'ear', and so the abbreviation for 'operating system' could be parsed as an augmentative form: 'great ear' or 'great listening one'.

-

The only other thing I want to mention here is that possessive/benefactive infixes will be applied to the first noun of a compound.

mìḳıẓ·alasa + îv '4.3' > ıhìḳıẓ·alasa 'his GPU' (note h-epenthesis to break up III cluster)
hırǐ·aṣáh + atv '1.2' > haırǐ·aṣáh 'the snowman I made for you' (note metathesis)
lùruk·ùlaku + vùŕ '2pl' > umùrruk·ùlaku 'the train tracks y'all built' (note m-epenthesis to break up UUU cluster)

-

Alright. Coffee time.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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