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

A forum for all topics related to constructed languages
User avatar
Dormouse559
moderator
moderator
Posts: 2723
Joined: 10 Nov 2012 20:52
Location: California

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

Post by Dormouse559 »

aliensdrinktea wrote: 14 Oct 2020 03:14Is this naturalistic?
Certainly. There are plenty of examples of this sort of thing, but the one that I think of first is Latin clitics, such as -que "and". Take populus /‍ˈpopulus/. It has initial stress, but when -que is added (as in Senātus Populusque Rōmānus) it becomes populusque /popuˈluskʷe/, with stress moving two syllables over. Like with your conlang, that's a regular consequence of stress assignment.
Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 2123
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

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

Post by Salmoneus »

aliensdrinktea wrote: 14 Oct 2020 03:14 I don't mean to interrupt, but I just realized the definite affix in Yuraalian is a heavy syllable, and because it affixes onto nouns, it affects stress placement in certain words (and vowel quality in turn). For example:

jalun [ˈʑɒln̩] '(a) road'
ol-jalun [ˈolʑəˌlun] 'the road'

Is this naturalistic? Or should I fix it somehow?
It's completely naturalistic. Dormouse points out a straightforward example with Latin, where it's just a stress shift; at the other end of the continuum, into the realms of nightmare, there's Old Irish, in which negating a verb effectively requires a completely different verb root, thanks to the massive loss of unstressed vowels and all that that results in (including vowel changes and palatalisation)

Wikipedia gives examples like:
do⋅berat (they bring), vs ní-taibret (they don't bring)
as⋅bó (he may refuse), vs ní⋅op (he may not refuse)
imm⋅soí (he turns around), vs ní-impaí (he doesn't turn around)
do⋅róscai (he surpasses), vs ní-derscaigi (he doesn't surpass)


In between these extremes, there's a big, fun area with noticeable but understandable ablaut effects.



However, I would say that extreme systems like Old Irish's probably aren't very sustainable: speakers will get confused, new speakers will struggle to learn the language, and over time one form or the other is likely to be chosen. The more extreme the variation, the more likely it is to collapse. More moderate forms, however, can last a very long time, particularly if they're very systematic, or if they become limited to only a subset of more common words - look at English 'irregular' verbs! [which ultimately (probably) result from this sort of stress shift, only caused by a suffix rather than a prefix - which in turn triggered vowel changes]
User avatar
aliensdrinktea
rupestrian
rupestrian
Posts: 10
Joined: 11 Oct 2020 17:28
Location: Spain

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

Post by aliensdrinktea »

Thanks guys [:D]
Salmoneus wrote: 14 Oct 2020 13:12 into the realms of nightmare, there's Old Irish, in which negating a verb effectively requires a completely different verb root, thanks to the massive loss of unstressed vowels and all that that results in (including vowel changes and palatalisation)
Fascinating, and nightmarish indeed! Thank you for sharing! [:)]
User avatar
Omzinesý
runic
runic
Posts: 2890
Joined: 27 Aug 2010 08:17
Location: nowhere [naʊhɪɚ]

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

Post by Omzinesý »

Ulion consonant inventory is the one below. I'm thinking about its history. How could the three affricates and the three sibilants have arisen? I find Slavic/Romance k => t͡ɕ change a bit boring. High German had t => t͡s but such an unconditioned change doesn't create interesting morphological alterations.

Consonants
p t t͡s t͡ʂ t͡ɕ k q <p t c č ć k q>
s ʂ ɕ <s š ś>
m n ŋ ɴ <m n nk nq>
l r ʀ <l r r̠>
ʋ j <v j>
User avatar
Shemtov
runic
runic
Posts: 3056
Joined: 29 Apr 2013 04:06

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

Post by Shemtov »

If a language was (C)V(C), and had restrictions on the initial consonant of a closed syllable, and then became (C)V, with now illegal final consonants taking an empethetic vowel, how stable would the restrictions be for morphemes that used to be a closed syllable? Take an example noun , */jæ:tæ/, had an accusative form *jæ:ɾæt. is it possible that the effect on the morpheme would be stable if it became /tsy/, so that the acc form is now jæ:ɾætsy while the nominative stays /jæ:tæ/, instead of it becoming to /jæ:tætsy/? Would there be some nouns that would lose the change, and would they be regular, that is, the acc morpheme changes the consonant of the last syllable as part of the morpheme, or would they be irregular, or is both possible?
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien
User avatar
Pabappa
sinic
sinic
Posts: 442
Joined: 18 Nov 2017 02:41
Contact:

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

Post by Pabappa »

Shemtov wrote: 25 Oct 2020 01:17 If a language was (C)V(C), and had restrictions on the initial consonant of a closed syllable, and then became (C)V, with now illegal final consonants taking an empethetic vowel, how stable would the restrictions be for morphemes that used to be a closed syllable? Take an example noun , */jæ:tæ/, had an accusative form *jæ:ɾæt. is it possible that the effect on the morpheme would be stable if it became /tsy/, so that the acc form is now jæ:ɾætsy while the nominative stays /jæ:tæ/, instead of it becoming to /jæ:tætsy/? Would there be some nouns that would lose the change, and would they be regular, that is, the acc morpheme changes the consonant of the last syllable as part of the morpheme, or would they be irregular, or is both possible?
🤷‍♂️ Is it common for languages to have restrictions on the initial consonant of a closed syllable in the first place?

If youre thinking like Finnish, I dont think there are restrictions on onsets, just grammatical alternations that change one onset to another. They can all still occur in word-initial position, for example, where the gradation never appears.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.
User avatar
Shemtov
runic
runic
Posts: 3056
Joined: 29 Apr 2013 04:06

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

Post by Shemtov »

Pabappa wrote: 25 Oct 2020 02:17
Shemtov wrote: 25 Oct 2020 01:17 If a language was (C)V(C), and had restrictions on the initial consonant of a closed syllable, and then became (C)V, with now illegal final consonants taking an empethetic vowel, how stable would the restrictions be for morphemes that used to be a closed syllable? Take an example noun , */jæ:tæ/, had an accusative form *jæ:ɾæt. is it possible that the effect on the morpheme would be stable if it became /tsy/, so that the acc form is now jæ:ɾætsy while the nominative stays /jæ:tæ/, instead of it becoming to /jæ:tætsy/? Would there be some nouns that would lose the change, and would they be regular, that is, the acc morpheme changes the consonant of the last syllable as part of the morpheme, or would they be irregular, or is both possible?
🤷‍♂️ Is it common for languages to have restrictions on the initial consonant of a closed syllable in the first place?

If youre thinking like Finnish, I dont think there are restrictions on onsets, just grammatical alternations that change one onset to another. They can all still occur in word-initial position, for example, where the gradation never appears.
Yeah, I meant that since Finnish gradation is based on the rhyme, would gradation remain stable if the trigger was removed by an empethetic vowel? So If the lang was CVC but became CV and the noun */jæ:tæ/, had an accusative form *jæ:ɾæt. is it possible that the effect on the morpheme would be stable if it became /tsy/, so that the acc form is now jæ:ɾætsy while the nominative stays /jæ:tæ/, instead of it becoming to /jæ:tætsy/? But now I see that Finnish has gradation that's stayed stable despite removal of phonetic conditions, which what I was using as a source didn't mention, I see the answer is yes.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien
User avatar
sangi39
moderator
moderator
Posts: 2731
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 01:53
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

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

Post by sangi39 »

Shemtov wrote: 25 Oct 2020 02:50
Pabappa wrote: 25 Oct 2020 02:17
Shemtov wrote: 25 Oct 2020 01:17 If a language was (C)V(C), and had restrictions on the initial consonant of a closed syllable, and then became (C)V, with now illegal final consonants taking an empethetic vowel, how stable would the restrictions be for morphemes that used to be a closed syllable? Take an example noun , */jæ:tæ/, had an accusative form *jæ:ɾæt. is it possible that the effect on the morpheme would be stable if it became /tsy/, so that the acc form is now jæ:ɾætsy while the nominative stays /jæ:tæ/, instead of it becoming to /jæ:tætsy/? Would there be some nouns that would lose the change, and would they be regular, that is, the acc morpheme changes the consonant of the last syllable as part of the morpheme, or would they be irregular, or is both possible?
🤷‍♂️ Is it common for languages to have restrictions on the initial consonant of a closed syllable in the first place?

If youre thinking like Finnish, I dont think there are restrictions on onsets, just grammatical alternations that change one onset to another. They can all still occur in word-initial position, for example, where the gradation never appears.
Yeah, I meant that since Finnish gradation is based on the rhyme, would gradation remain stable if the trigger was removed by an empethetic vowel? So If the lang was CVC but became CV and the noun */jæ:tæ/, had an accusative form *jæ:ɾæt. is it possible that the effect on the morpheme would be stable if it became /tsy/, so that the acc form is now jæ:ɾætsy while the nominative stays /jæ:tæ/, instead of it becoming to /jæ:tætsy/? But now I see that Finnish has gradation that's stayed stable despite removal of phonetic conditions, which what I was using as a source didn't mention, I see the answer is yes.
Estonian as well, where consonant gradation has, in some instances, become the sole distinguishing feature between the partitive and genitive for some nouns, e.g. jalga (partitive) vs. jala (genitive). The conditioned result became tied to the recognition of grammatical forms so that when the conditioning environment disappeared, what was allophony before hung around (and the conditioning environment disappeared elsewhere, and resulting allophonic forms were similar enough or equal to existing phonemes, so it was reinforced by other factors).

Similar thing happened with initial consonant mutation in the various Insular Celtic languages (sound change that occurred within words also happened across word boundaries, reinforcing the perception of "this change in sound is a part of the grammar", such that when the conditioning environment disappeared, the sound change remained. I think Slavic did this as well, with its varying rounds of palatalisation (the loss of the conditioning environment see the return of "palatals" to velars, and the alternation stuck around as part of the paradigm, even though there was know /i/ for example to go "this is why this is palatal now").

Now that I think about it, although it's not productive any more, isn't the voicing alternation in English between nouns and verbs, e.g. "breath" vs. "breathe" and example of this? Just sound change becoming part of morphology? Morphonology? Chances are ablaut in PIE started the same way. Umlaut in Germanic too.

Basically, though, yeah, the alternation remaining in place after the rise of epenthetic vowels (thus removing the initial trigger for the alternation) could happen.
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
User avatar
cedh
MVP
MVP
Posts: 363
Joined: 07 Sep 2011 22:25
Location: Tübingen, Germany
Contact:

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

Post by cedh »

sangi39 wrote: 25 Oct 2020 02:37 Basically, though, yeah, the alternation remaining in place after the rise of epenthetic vowels (thus removing the initial trigger for the alternation) could happen.
Yes, and the alternation would probably even be expected to stay in place (as long as it's salient enough and not regularized away through analogy), because sound change acts on phones, not on phonemes.
Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 2123
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

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

Post by Salmoneus »

"Predictable allophonic alternation becomes phonemic when conditions change but phones don't" is basically how sound change works. And doing that in the middle of an inflectional paradigm is how non-agglutinative paradigms work.
User avatar
LinguistCat
sinic
sinic
Posts: 216
Joined: 06 May 2017 07:48

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

Post by LinguistCat »

Are there any effects that a consonant backing would have on surrounding vowels (or possibly tones)? Would this depend on the actual POAs or just the fact it was backing. I'm working with a pretty full phonology as a starting point and I'm planning to have some things backing but I want that to affect other things aside from just merging sounds, since it'll be common enough there could be a lot of new homophones.

Alternately, I might just throw in a lot of reduplication, since I plan to add that in later anyway.
User avatar
Vlürch
sinic
sinic
Posts: 353
Joined: 09 Mar 2016 21:19
Location: Finland
Contact:

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

Post by Vlürch »

LinguistCat wrote: 10 Nov 2020 05:30Are there any effects that a consonant backing would have on surrounding vowels (or possibly tones)?
Well, at least uvular and retroflex consonants can cause backing and/or lowering of vowels. So if you had eg. /qaʂe/, it being eg. [qɑʂə] would be more likely than eg. [qæʂi̞]. AFAIK some languages have no issue with uvular and/or retroflex consonants followed even by [i​] without even allophonic backing or lowering or anything, so I don't think it's guaranteed to happen, but...

Kind of related since you mentioned tone: if you have glottal stops in coda position, that can develop into either high or low tone. I'm not sure why or how that can happen, but I guess there probably is some simple explanation.
LinguistCat wrote: 10 Nov 2020 05:30Would this depend on the actual POAs or just the fact it was backing.
Pretty sure it depends on the actual POAs. Like, eg. palatals becoming velars would make sense to cause some backing, but not as much as eg. velars becoming uvulars, and I doubt dentals becoming alveolars would have any notable effect.
User avatar
Shemtov
runic
runic
Posts: 3056
Joined: 29 Apr 2013 04:06

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

Post by Shemtov »

Is it possible to have independent prox-obv pronouns? If so, could possessive pronouns be unmarked for obviation? Can a language have prox-obv on top of a gender distinction?
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien
User avatar
eldin raigmore
korean
korean
Posts: 5699
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

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

Post by eldin raigmore »

Yes.
No.
Yes.
User avatar
KaiTheHomoSapien
greek
greek
Posts: 528
Joined: 15 Feb 2016 06:10
Location: Northern California

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

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

How do you guys make your phonology more interesting and/or complex? Phonology has always been a weak point in my conlangs. The phonological inventories are small, the rules are few, and the pronunciation could be learned in 2 minutes. I don't necessarily want complexity for complexity's sake, but I want something more if I'm going to attempt a divergent third conlang. [:S]
User avatar
Creyeditor
MVP
MVP
Posts: 4079
Joined: 14 Aug 2012 19:32

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

Post by Creyeditor »

Sometimes it helps if the optimal shape of a word in a conlang cannot be accomplished by simply concatenating morphemes. Let's say your conlang is strictly CV, but all suffixes consist of a single consonant. You will get epenthesis or consonant deletion or something similar to adhere to the syllable structure restrictions.
Creyeditor
"Thoughts are free."
Produce, Analyze, Manipulate
1 :deu: 2 :eng: 3 :idn: 4 :fra: 4 :esp:
:con: Ook & Omlűt & Nautli languages & Sperenjas
[<3] Papuan languages, Morphophonology, Lexical Semantics [<3]
Post Reply