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

Post by LinguoFranco »

teotlxixtli wrote: 10 Oct 2021 02:59
LinguoFranco wrote: 10 Oct 2021 01:07
teotlxixtli wrote: 09 Oct 2021 22:04
LinguoFranco wrote: 09 Oct 2021 20:54 I love the concept behind Solresol: a language that can use music and colors to express sentences. However, I find the execution of Solresol to be lackluster.

My biggest qualm are the syllables. I get they are based on music notes: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, but I find that only seven of them is too limiting.

I've toyed with making a conlang that is essentially improving upon Solresol, but I'm not quite sure how to go about it. I want some way to expand the number of syllables in the language while still keeping it compatible with the music and color aspect.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any ideas?
Well, there are twelve total notes you could work with, so there’s potential for that many syllables at least. The twelve colors could be red, red-orange, orange, ochre, yellow, lime green, green, blue, indigo, purple, pink, black and white or something like that
What are all the notes, exactly?
A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#
Those are the twelve tones of western music, of which all western music is comprised in all genres and time periods. If you used this method you could “translate” classical pieces backwards or write a pop melody that encodes actual linguistic information
I don't know much about music theory, so I'm gonna have a lot of research to do.
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Post by Salmoneus »

teotlxixtli wrote: 10 Oct 2021 02:59 A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#
Those are the twelve tones of western music, of which all western music is comprised in all genres and time periods. If you used this method you could “translate” classical pieces backwards or write a pop melody that encodes actual linguistic information
So, let's be a little pedantic here...

- Western music prior to some point in the 18th century can primarily be thought of as theoretically having 21 tones to the octave, not 12, although 12-tone approximations were used in practice provided that modulation requirements were minimal. This is a characteristic of Pythagorian and meantone systems. As the need for modulation increased, however, the 12-tone approximation became increasingly inadequate, and instruments were regularly built to be played with more than 12 tones to the octave - most often 14, 17 or 19 (some Renaissance composers actually explicitly called for 19tet). It wasn't until Werckmeister that 'cyclical' tunings (in which, for example, C sharp and D flat are considered the same note) became popular, and the debate over them continued up to the middle of the 19th century.

- From at least the renaissance on, however (if not even before then), Western vocal music (and later violin music) was (and to some extent still is) instead built in practice on just intonation. This mostly can be thought of as only have 7 tones to the octave for each scale, but at several scales for eac note of the octave, yielding a total of... a shit ton. Naive performance can actually go further and use only pure intervals, and thus an infinite number of notes per octave... but this yields chaos when you accidentally run into a pitch pump.

- For added fun, a lot of western practice actually uses a fluid combination of 12tet, pythagorean and just intonations, and possible pure intervals, even within a single piece. Violins tend to use JI/pure intervals when playing solo melodies, but revert to pythagorean intonation in playing scales, and 12tet when no longer solo. Some music also de facto requires ovetone scales.

- Western music in many eras has also made use of microtones - tones outside the usual 21. This is mostly associated with 20th century music, but it was also common in the renaissance. Due to the combination of meantone, the desire to enable accompaniment of JI vocalists, and the interest in microtones, renaissance keyboards were theorised with up to 60 tones per octave, and actually built with at least 31 (for the harpsichord) or 35 (for the archicembalo, an instrument invented specifically for this purpose).

------------------

More importantly, it's important to say that although the 12 tones of idealised European practice are an extremely logical and natural concept, independently invented in China and the West (where 'West' include Indo-Perso-Arabic traditions), it's not the only logical way to divide the octave, and other cultures aren't compelled to follow it. Indeed, most cultures probably don't (because most musical cultures are less than heptatonic, and most musical cultures don't extensively use modulation).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by teotlxixtli »

Salmoneus wrote: 10 Oct 2021 18:03
teotlxixtli wrote: 10 Oct 2021 02:59 A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#
Those are the twelve tones of western music, of which all western music is comprised in all genres and time periods. If you used this method you could “translate” classical pieces backwards or write a pop melody that encodes actual linguistic information
So, let's be a little pedantic here...

- Western music prior to some point in the 18th century can primarily be thought of as theoretically having 21 tones to the octave, not 12, although 12-tone approximations were used in practice provided that modulation requirements were minimal. This is a characteristic of Pythagorian and meantone systems. As the need for modulation increased, however, the 12-tone approximation became increasingly inadequate, and instruments were regularly built to be played with more than 12 tones to the octave - most often 14, 17 or 19 (some Renaissance composers actually explicitly called for 19tet). It wasn't until Werckmeister that 'cyclical' tunings (in which, for example, C sharp and D flat are considered the same note) became popular, and the debate over them continued up to the middle of the 19th century.

- From at least the renaissance on, however (if not even before then), Western vocal music (and later violin music) was (and to some extent still is) instead built in practice on just intonation. This mostly can be thought of as only have 7 tones to the octave for each scale, but at several scales for eac note of the octave, yielding a total of... a shit ton. Naive performance can actually go further and use only pure intervals, and thus an infinite number of notes per octave... but this yields chaos when you accidentally run into a pitch pump.

- For added fun, a lot of western practice actually uses a fluid combination of 12tet, pythagorean and just intonations, and possible pure intervals, even within a single piece. Violins tend to use JI/pure intervals when playing solo melodies, but revert to pythagorean intonation in playing scales, and 12tet when no longer solo. Some music also de facto requires ovetone scales.

- Western music in many eras has also made use of microtones - tones outside the usual 21. This is mostly associated with 20th century music, but it was also common in the renaissance. Due to the combination of meantone, the desire to enable accompaniment of JI vocalists, and the interest in microtones, renaissance keyboards were theorised with up to 60 tones per octave, and actually built with at least 31 (for the harpsichord) or 35 (for the archicembalo, an instrument invented specifically for this purpose).

------------------

More importantly, it's important to say that although the 12 tones of idealised European practice are an extremely logical and natural concept, independently invented in China and the West (where 'West' include Indo-Perso-Arabic traditions), it's not the only logical way to divide the octave, and other cultures aren't compelled to follow it. Indeed, most cultures probably don't (because most musical cultures are less than heptatonic, and most musical cultures don't extensively use modulation).
This is a better explanation than I could give, so thanks! I know I was being a little broad when I used the term "Western" but for the purposes of the conlang proposed, it made sense to me to scale up (ba dum tss) from seven diatonic notes to twelve chromatic ones
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

I have no idea about Solresol, but if you want colours and notes... why not have initial consonants mapped to colours, vowels to notes and final consonants to their softness/hardness (whatever the technical term is)? Sticking to 12 notes per octave for simplicity's sake, and 12 colours just because whatever.

For example, not considering phonaesthetics much:
/e/ for E
/ɛ/ for F
/ə/ for F#
/o/ for G
/ɔ/ for G#
/ɑ/ for A
/æ/ for A#
/i/ for B
/u/ for C
/y/ for C#
/ø/ for D
/œ/ for D#

/k/ for black
/w/ for white
/h/ for light red
/n/ for dark red
/b/ for light blue
/v/ for dark blue
/l/ for light green
/r/ for dark green
/s/ for yellow
/p/ for bluish pink
/m/ for orangish pink
/f/ for brown

/h/ for very soft
/f/ for soft
/ː~Ø/ for "neutral"
/p/ for hard
/k/ for very hard

So,
A very hard light blue A# note would be /bæk/
A soft yellow C note would be /suf/
A "neutral" orangish pink A note would be /mɑ(ː)/
A very soft light red E note would be /heh/
And so on...

Personally, though, I don't really know what the colour of notes would imply since I no longer have any of that conception aside from very minor things like some things like certain guitar tones or synth sounds having a particular colour's "vibe" but that's only if I start to really think about it. So I may not be the best person to even think about this... but it seems like an interesting idea.
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Post by LinguistCat »

Vlürch wrote: 12 Oct 2021 19:50 I have no idea about Solresol, but if you want colours and notes... why not have initial consonants mapped to colours, vowels to notes and final consonants to their softness/hardness (whatever the technical term is)? Sticking to 12 notes per octave for simplicity's sake, and 12 colours just because whatever.

...

Personally, though, I don't really know what the colour of notes would imply since I no longer have any of that conception aside from very minor things like some things like certain guitar tones or synth sounds having a particular colour's "vibe" but that's only if I start to really think about it. So I may not be the best person to even think about this... but it seems like an interesting idea.
In Solresol, the colors and notes weren't combined, it was that every syllable had an associated note and an associated color that were used in different situations.I don't know when the colors would be used specifically (visual art pieces that contain secret messages maybe?), but the notes would be used to "sing" words.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by teotlxixtli »

How do languages with multiple degrees of past tense emerge? What auxiliary verbs/constructions do they come from? I'm looking to have four past tenses in this new language I'm working on and I'm struggling to understand how such things come about
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Could you just combine different pathways that lead to simple past in some languages? E.g. verbs like to be, to have, to go, to use, to come from ...
Also, the only language I know in more detail and that has multiple degrees of past tense (Mee) uses several complex markers. Recent past tense is marked by -eg, but the medial past tenses are -emeg and -eteg, probably derived from some combination of markers at some point.
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Post by eldin raigmore »

teotlxixtli wrote: 15 Oct 2021 18:17 How do languages with multiple degrees of past tense emerge? What auxiliary verbs/constructions do they come from? I'm looking to have four past tenses in this new language I'm working on and I'm struggling to understand how such things come about
Creyeditor’s response reminded me of this:
Look in Comrie’s “Tense” https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/t ... 599B9BA074
and you’ll find some few examples of degrees-of-remoteness with the translations of the light verbs used as auxiliaries in those languages.
I think those are examples of the end results of processes of the kind Creyeditor has in mind.
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Post by Omzinesý »

I'm making a conlang where most nouns are of the form: CVCVC and the first syllable is stressed.

There are three lengths/tones of vowels: short, long with a lowering tone, and long with a rising tone.

The length/tone of the first, stressed syllable is going to alternate in mophophonological processes (case, number).

How could the processes be triggered historically?

Suffixes could easily cause changes of word intonation, in a stress-timed language especially, but there is the second syllable making it less plausible.
My meta-thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5760
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Post by Pabappa »

this isnt too far off from what goes on in some of my languages, although i only have two tone patterns, not three. even so, you could have a lost -V suffix on one case but not the others, at which stage the language would have had different stress patterns depending on whether the V suffix was present, and perhaps also on what it was. then, when it disappeared, the stress would shift to the initial syllable, also affecting its own shape (stress and tone).

kotan ~ kotani ~ kotana
kótan ~ kotáni ~ kotána
kótan ~ kotân ~ kotána
kótan ~ kotân ~ kotàn
kótan ~ kōtan ~ kötan

Consider possibly also having a lost prefix, since you're marking both case and number this way.
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Post by Shemtov »

What effect, if any, would an implosive merger with plain voiced stops have on tone?
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IIRC, lowered tone after former implosives and unaltered tone after voiced stops. The glottis takes longer to start vibrating (in a higher frequency) after ingressive airflow. I can't find a source right now though.
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Post by LinguistCat »

Would prenasalized voiced stops becoming prenasalized voiced fricatives before high vowels seem realistic?
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Affricates are more likely because any kind of nasalization and fricatives do not go together well.
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Post by DesEsseintes »

Creyeditor wrote: 19 Oct 2021 09:11 Affricates are more likely because any kind of nasalization and fricatives do not go together well.
Thank you for concretising something I’ve felt for years. [:D]
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Post by Omzinesý »

Pabappa wrote: 17 Oct 2021 15:14 this isnt too far off from what goes on in some of my languages, although i only have two tone patterns, not three. even so, you could have a lost -V suffix on one case but not the others, at which stage the language would have had different stress patterns depending on whether the V suffix was present, and perhaps also on what it was. then, when it disappeared, the stress would shift to the initial syllable, also affecting its own shape (stress and tone).

kotan ~ kotani ~ kotana
kótan ~ kotáni ~ kotána
kótan ~ kotân ~ kotána
kótan ~ kotân ~ kotàn
kótan ~ kōtan ~ kötan

Consider possibly also having a lost prefix, since you're marking both case and number this way.
Yes, this 'tonal approach' is one alternative I haven't thought. Thank you,
I'm maybe more interested in a 'syllable-weight approach' where bleaching of affixes leads to different syllable shapes and it affects lengths.

I could implement some ideas from the 'tonal approach'.
My meta-thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5760
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Post by Omzinesý »

Creyeditor wrote: 19 Oct 2021 00:22 IIRC, lowered tone after former implosives and unaltered tone after voiced stops. The glottis takes longer to start vibrating (in a higher frequency) after ingressive airflow. I can't find a source right now though.
Is it always after an implosive or also before it?
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Post by Creyeditor »

I think this depends on the exact phonetic details of the implosive, which - maybe surprisingly - vary wildly. If the implosive is slightly preglottalized, this might create a high tone before it. But I am really just speculating here.
DesEsseintes wrote: 19 Oct 2021 12:26
Creyeditor wrote: 19 Oct 2021 09:11 Affricates are more likely because any kind of nasalization and fricatives do not go together well.
Thank you for concretising something I’ve felt for years. [:D]

At first I wrote 'don't like each other', but people IRL laugh about this formulation [;)]
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Creyeditor wrote: 19 Oct 2021 19:17
DesEsseintes wrote: 19 Oct 2021 12:26
Creyeditor wrote: 19 Oct 2021 09:11 Affricates are more likely because any kind of nasalization and fricatives do not go together well.
Thank you for concretising something I’ve felt for years. [:D]

At first I wrote 'don't like each other', but people IRL laugh about this formulation [;)]
Thank you. I know irl, Old Japanese supposedly had a /nz/ but it and the other prenasalized sounds eventually lost their nasal component, and it might have been functionally just [z] even early on. Affricates could be interesting if it's not just the coronals.
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Prenasalized fricatives like /nz/ are often realized phonetically as affricates [ndz] (at least in Bantu languages), similar to ejectives. When prenasalization (or ejectivity (?)) is lost, the affricate often becomes a fricative again.
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