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

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

Post by Creyeditor »

One way to go is introducing basic terminology and explaining how English (or whatever language you write in) works and then showing how Vrkhazhian is different before going into details on how it works.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco »

So I read that French stresses the last syllable with a full vowel at the end of a phrase, instead of just having word final stress.

Is this correct, and are there any other languages that do something like this?

I suppose this question would be better suited for natlangs, but I kinda want to implement this into a conlang.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Some Austronesian languages have been claimed to work like this. Here is a decent overview.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

I can't swear to the details of anything in French. However, it's certainly possible for a language to have intonation patterns, which can include elements (in timing, pitch, amplitude) we might associate with stress. And it's possible for a language to have no phonemic stress, and, in the absence of phonemic stress, to have little discernable use of stress on the word level. So I would see French - if this description is accurate - not as shifting the stress to the ends of phrases, but as allowing intonational stress to be more visible in the absence of strong word-level stress.

That said, there are also many who believe that many 'phrases' in French are best considered words, due to patterns of syncope. I don't know whether these phrases line up with those that act as stress-regulating units. And I also don't know whether the dissolution of word boundaries and development of polysynthesis should be considered the cause, or the result, of priviliging phrase-level intonational stress over word-level stress.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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This paper also mentions Tamazight, Bengali, Bella Coola, and Gokana as being stressless on the word level.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

Interesting that Tamazight and Bella Coola are two of the most famously phonotactically nightmarish languages, suggesting (I don't know their actual diachronics) that they've probably undergone exteme syncope in the past. I wonder whether the lack of word stress is just a result of all the unstressed syllables having been deleted, leaving no remaining stress contour?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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I think this is similar to what Hyman argues. Languages with a defective metrical structure allow stressless words. But stress is by definition obligatory for a word and thus these languages do not have stress proper.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 »

LinguoFranco wrote: 26 Nov 2021 09:11 So I read that French stresses the last syllable with a full vowel at the end of a phrase, instead of just having word final stress.
This is correct. It's easy to misinterpret French stress as word final because, when a French word is cited in isolation, it counts as a "phrase" (or "utterance" as I like to say) and gets final stress. But in normal speech, the word generally gets stress only if it comes before a natural pause.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý »

Ahzoh wrote: 23 Nov 2021 02:16 How can I better describe how the accusative and instrumental case work in my language with respect to secundative languages, at the level of someone who is not familiar with linguistics?

So far I have it as this:
  • The accusative (ACC) case indicates the primary object of a verb, which may be the recipient of the action or an end goal ("Henry sees Sam", "Henry gave Sam a pencil", "John wrote to Mary"). It can also indicate the object of certain adpositions ("under the table").
  • The instrumental (INS) case indicates the secondary object of a verb, which may be the object or attribute given to something or the instrument or means by which the action is accomplished. ("Henry gave Sam a pencil", "She showers him with love", "They named their dog Frank").
Different verbs in languages use different syntax constructions. I think some syntax book I read in the beginning of my studies said that in secundative construction verb 'to give' works like verb 'to provide'.
"We aim to provide the local community with more green spaces."
Being a non-native user of English, I then had to check how "to provide" works in syntax :D
My meta-thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5760
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh »

Omzinesý wrote: 28 Nov 2021 11:19 Different verbs in languages use different syntax constructions. I think some syntax book I read in the beginning of my studies said that in secundative construction verb 'to give' works like verb 'to provide'.
"We aim to provide the local community with more green spaces."
Being a non-native user of English, I then had to check how "to provide" works in syntax :D
That's because "provide" and "give" are both considered "verbs of caused possession" and "take" is a "verb of caused dispossession". I remember reading an article about classifying verbs like "give" or "take" in this way. So I guess one can think of "give" as the causative of "have" and "take" as the causative of "lack"

That does make me wonder how indirect object languages handle prototypical causative, or perhaps such causatives are identical syntactically between indirect and secundative languages.

I guess there is no pithy descriptive way of describing the accusative and instrumental in a secundative language (without making examples do the heavy lifting). At least for a typical indirect language you just describe the accusative as "the receiver of the action" or "the object directly affected by the verb" and the dative as "the recipient of the object" or "the object indirectly affected by the verb" and it's generally understood by those unfamiliar with linguistics.

Secundative apparently makes no distinction between indirect and direct object but only cares for which object is most primary, although given the description that primary object is the recipient, maybe the primary is simply the endpointmost object of the action, unlike other objects which are more like stoppoints along the way (which would also explain why they're marked in the instrumental).
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