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

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

Post by Titus Flavius »

I think it may be spoken somewhere in Poland, as a minority language. Maybe
/m n ɲ ŋ/ m n ń ng
/p t t͡ʃ c͡ɕ k/ p t cz ć k
/b d ɟ͡ʑ/ b d dź
/f s ʃ ɕ x/ f s sz ś ch
/v z ʒ ʑ ɣ/ w z ż ź h
/w l ʎ ʁ r j/ u l lj rr r j
ω - near-close near-back unrounded vowel.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Davush »

Salmoneus wrote: 01 Sep 2021 00:15
I can't give you an exact example, but it certainly seems plausible to me. Look at English, and the way the periphrastic present has supplanted the the simple present in almost all contexts. We could easily imagine it going further and relegating the simple only to the habitual aspect, which it's not all that far from now. So it wouldn't seem less plausible to me to have the simple past relegated only to the perfect.
Thanks - that makes sense.

A further question...

Euphratic initially is similar to other Anatolian in that only one main participle form is productive, let's say this was PIE's *ent/*ont, reflected as -at, with the meaning of "attained state". This is fine for active verbs, where it can just attach to the stem without a problem:

ar- 'to arrive'
arat 'having arrived' (arats-issim | 'having.arived–I.am')

However, the problem comes with middle verbs. -at can't attach directly to the stem, as this would make the middle participle form identical to the active form, since the middle endings are all finite. (Other IE Langs seem to have used a wider variety of participle-type suffixes, but I'd rather Euphratic remain with only one in line with Anatolian.)

It seems there are a few options to generate a new middle participle:

a) The ending simply gets attached to (one of) the middle-voice finite stems:

Active: ippim 'I take'; apat 'having.taken'
Middle: apqa 'I take(for myself), I decide'; apqat 'having.decided'. (Otherwise it would just be 'apat' as above).

b) Some sort of construction where a deverbal/nominalizing suffix like *-wr gains a participle like function.

c) A participle-form of another verb is attached but then only applied to middle verbs.

d) (open to suggestions)

I'm not sure which/if any of these are plausible, and which might be the more likely route.

a) has the advantage that middle forms by Euphratic are no longer transparently derived from their active counterparts, and are largely lexicalized, so analogy of the root in the finite forms could happen. However, applying a participle-suffix to a "new" finite forms strikes me as something that doesn't really happen in IE?

b) This could work, but I'm least sure of this, and the route it would actually take.

c) This strikes me as quite characteristic of IE for finite forms, so perhaps could also work. Maybe a verb such as "become" which is already kind of semantically middle would work? The only problem might then be that the participle would almost never be predictable based on the finite forms...which isn't necessarily a problem as I suppose languages can tolerate large amounts of irregularity.

Anyway, any comments/advice/suggestions on any of the above would be very welcome!
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by teotlxixtli »

Is there such a thing as a Preventative mood? I have a Negative prefix that can co-appear with the Causative suffix and would have the meaning "to cause not to be" or something like that. Would the combination of these two forms constitute a new mood?

Takhi pi roranoratsu
/'taxi pi rorano'ratsu/
1stPS-ERG 3rdPS-ABS NEG-move-CAUS
I he/she/it no-move-cause
I prevented him from moving

Something like that?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor »

Why not call the form negative causative or causative negative?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by teotlxixtli »

Creyeditor wrote: 14 Sep 2021 22:20 Why not call the form negative causative or causative negative?
I had seen the combination of the Imperative and the Negative being called the Prohibitive, so I wondered if there were other such named combined forms
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Post by Creyeditor »

I guess you could call it preventative, but I don't think it's a well established term.
Edit: Also, I think prohibitive is mostly used for simple forms, less often for combined forms.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco »

So, I want to make a conlang inspired by languages I like, but what do you do if the languages you like are all very different from each other?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by shimobaatar »

LinguoFranco wrote: 16 Sep 2021 18:52 So, I want to make a conlang inspired by languages I like, but what do you do if the languages you like are all very different from each other?
You could make multiple conlangs, each one inspired by a different natural language from your list.

If you'd prefer to just make one, though, you could look at the natural languages you like, take your favorite features from each of them, and then try to find a way to make those features fit together in a way that you find satisfactory.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

LinguoFranco wrote: 16 Sep 2021 18:52 So, I want to make a conlang inspired by languages I like, but what do you do if the languages you like are all very different from each other?
Take the consonant inventory from one,
The vowel inventory from another one,
The roots from a third,
The morphology from a fourth,
The word-order from a fifth,
And the rest of the syntax from a sixth.
You might take the stress-and-rhythm patterns from a seventh.

….

Seriously: lots of pidgins and creoles and contact-languages have much of their vocabulary from one language and much of their syntax from another. So if you wanted to do that it could be realistic and naturalistic. The two source languages don’t have to be remotely similar typologically nor remotely related genetically nor from anything like nearby linguistic areas.
To make it even more fictional use three (or more) dissimilar source languages.
You don’t have to go overboard ( unless you want to!).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

LinguoFranco wrote: 16 Sep 2021 18:52 So, I want to make a conlang inspired by languages I like, but what do you do if the languages you like are all very different from each other?
It's obvious: you continually agonise and keep going back and redoing everything because the two things you want to emulate can't be combined; one day you try to make it more like X, and then the next day you rip it up because it's not enough like Y...

...welcome to the hobby!
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

Kind of a stupid question, but... if a conlang (in a story) is meant to be easily pronounceable somewhat correctly by at least English-speakers (and my Finnish-speaking dad lol), possibly German-speakers too, maybe others but dunno, would using <ə> for /ə/ be pronounceable to people who have zero knowledge of IPA?

(It's only a handful of short phrases in the story that are in the conlang, but... it having the six vowels /a e i o u ə/ is kinda relevant.)
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Post by Salmoneus »

Vlürch wrote: 19 Sep 2021 05:03 Kind of a stupid question, but... if a conlang (in a story) is meant to be easily pronounceable somewhat correctly by at least English-speakers (and my Finnish-speaking dad lol), possibly German-speakers too, maybe others but dunno, would using <ə> for /ə/ be pronounceable to people who have zero knowledge of IPA?

(It's only a handful of short phrases in the story that are in the conlang, but... it having the six vowels /a e i o u ə/ is kinda relevant.)
No - nobody knows that a rotated 'e' indicates a schwa, and if they did they wouldn't know what a schwa was. I mean, there's a non-zero chance that they might randomly guess a schwa-like sound, because people do sort of revert to more 'grunty' sounds when they don't know how something can be said, and if they're avoiding any of the other vowels maybe they'd end up with schwa by default. But I certainly wouldn't bet on that happening all that regularly.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

Salmoneus wrote: 19 Sep 2021 13:20No - nobody knows that a rotated 'e' indicates a schwa, and if they did they wouldn't know what a schwa was. I mean, there's a non-zero chance that they might randomly guess a schwa-like sound, because people do sort of revert to more 'grunty' sounds when they don't know how something can be said, and if they're avoiding any of the other vowels maybe they'd end up with schwa by default. But I certainly wouldn't bet on that happening all that regularly.
Mmh, I was expecting that to be the case... just thought maybe to the eyes of non-IPA-familiar people it looks like a cross between <e> and <a> and they'd think it's "some kind of E or A sound that's different from E or A", but then again, it's probably like a diacritic in that most would just ignore it... which is why I don't want to use diacritics (also because it'd be the only diacritic).

Otherwise <ö> would work, for my dad and German-speakers because /ø/ is a similar enough sound acoustically so the perception wouldn't be that badly off, and because it's used in some transcriptions of Old Japanese for what may have been /*ə/ so in a story set in Japan it could fit. But if anyone thinks it's /o/... not that I should care, but you know how it is with conlanging haha.

Is it even worth it, or should it just be <e> or <a> or something? A handwave could be that it's being filtered through the ears/mouths of characters whose language doesn't have /ə/, but one of the characters is a linguistics professor dedicated to the "mystery language" so it'd be a bit weird. Not that a single person would care (or even know), but...

Incorporating conlangs into stories meant for people who're not into conlangs is hard.🤔 Honestly makes me even more impressed at people who do it for a living, especially when they have no control over anything except the conlang itself so they can't bend things around with implications or whatever! That has to take a lot of time and effort, and skill.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor »

English Respelling uses UH right? As a German speaker, I would also chose <ö> btw.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Tsugar »

This isn't so much a question about conlangs as so much about a fictional setting's language policy, but how would a primarily postnationalist or anti-nationalist ideology become popular enough that it seizes power from the previous government, and given that, how could it either ride on popular support or gin up popular support to impose an auxlang derived from its dominant group's language (i.e Newspeak from English, or Novalatina from Platine Spanish[1] on the majority population?

[1] A conlang in the alternate history Look to the West imposed by "Humanity"/"The Liberated Zones" in S. America, C. Africa, much of Indonesia etc.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

Salmoneus wrote: 19 Sep 2021 13:20
Vlürch wrote: 19 Sep 2021 05:03 Kind of a stupid question, but... if a conlang (in a story) is meant to be easily pronounceable somewhat correctly by at least English-speakers (and my Finnish-speaking dad lol), possibly German-speakers too, maybe others but dunno, would using <ə> for /ə/ be pronounceable to people who have zero knowledge of IPA?

(It's only a handful of short phrases in the story that are in the conlang, but... it having the six vowels /a e i o u ə/ is kinda relevant.)
No - nobody knows that a rotated 'e' indicates a schwa, and if they did they wouldn't know what a schwa was. I mean, there's a non-zero chance that they might randomly guess a schwa-like sound, because people do sort of revert to more 'grunty' sounds when they don't know how something can be said, and if they're avoiding any of the other vowels maybe they'd end up with schwa by default. But I certainly wouldn't bet on that happening all that regularly.
Nobody? Most of the English dictionaries my classmates and I used in school, including the children's dictionaries, used the schwa for /ə/, even though most of them used ē for /i/ and ā for /ei/ and th or th or something, not /ð/, for the consonant in "though", instead of using IPA. In fact, the schwa was the one phonetic symbol that wasn't based on any of the 26 letters of the alphabet in most of these dictionaries. And we did receive direct instruction in using dictionaries, including pronunciation keys, in both elementary school and junior high. And of course, foreign language dictionaries quite often have IPA after the English words, especially those written in the U.K. (although they tend to use RP, so that "party" becomes /̍̍̍̍̍̍̍̍̍̍̍̍̍'pɑːtɪ/ instead of /̍'pɑɹɾi/, which could confuse us American readers). So while a conlanger shouldn't expect his or her readership to know that ʃ is the SH in "shark", the letter ə will be recognized by a good portion of Anglophone readers.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

Creyeditor wrote: 19 Sep 2021 17:12English Respelling uses UH right? As a German speaker, I would also chose <ö> btw.
The problem with <uh> is that it looks really, really, really ugly. Not that <ö> looks pretty or anything, and English-speakers might think it's just /o/ and some will probably even think it's supposed to be an exaggerated [ɔːʊ̯] or something weird like that, but maybe it is the best option anyway...
Khemehekis wrote: 20 Sep 2021 01:30the letter ə will be recognized by a good portion of Anglophone readers.
But is "a good portion" likely to apply when it's people who're going to be spending their time on some shitty horror/fantasy story written by a nobody and posted on the internet? Not that only middle school dropouts or whatever to be into that kind of stuff or anything, but... it's not exactly high literature, you know?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

Tsugar wrote: 20 Sep 2021 01:05 This isn't so much a question about conlangs as so much about a fictional setting's language policy, but how would a primarily postnationalist or anti-nationalist ideology become popular enough that it seizes power from the previous government,
Well, that's easy enough: the nationalist party would become unpopular for some reason, and would be replaced by a non-nationalist party offering popular policies.

Most famously (in a democratic context), nationalism in Europe suffered a dramatic setback with the fall of the Nazis, leading to the rise of a broadly transnationalist consensus that established (what would become) the EU.

Non-nationalist ideologies are also often associated with revolutionary movements. The two most prominent examples of this are communism - which lead to the Internationals, the USSR, the Warsaw Pact and Comintern - and baathism/nasserism, which lead to the United Arab Republic.

Generally, transnationalism will have appeal:
- as a repudation of nationalism
- or as part of a broader revolutionary ideology
- or as the result of pragmatic alliances against a common enemy (particularly between neighbouring small states)

It can also have appeal on pragmatic-economic grounds in countries that are heavily reliant either on immigrants or on international trade and travel.
and given that, how could it either ride on popular support or gin up popular support to impose an auxlang derived from its dominant group's language (i.e Newspeak from English, or Novalatina from Platine Spanish[1] on the majority population?
I guess some sort of ideological support for a 'better' or 'more appropriate' language - ideally supported by a religion? The only example I know of in which an 'auxlang', of sorts, was imposed upon an entire population, relatively effectively, is the development of modern Hebrew as a national language of Israel, as a result of a combination of religious and nationalist impulses - and this also involved the creation of a new state, and mass migration.

Meanwhile, even ardent nationalism was insufficient to allow the reintroduction of Irish in Ireland...
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

Vlürch wrote: 20 Sep 2021 02:10
Khemehekis wrote: 20 Sep 2021 01:30the letter ə will be recognized by a good portion of Anglophone readers.
But is "a good portion" likely to apply when it's people who're going to be spending their time on some shitty horror/fantasy story written by a nobody and posted on the internet? Not that only middle school dropouts or whatever to be into that kind of stuff or anything, but... it's not exactly high literature, you know?
The way I figure it, the people most likely to read fantasy stories on the Internet are nerds, geeks, metalheads, and goths. These* are probably the most likely subcultures from high school and college to retain what they learned about using a dictionary in grade school, at least the first three.

Or maybe your readerbase consists heavily of people from Northern European countries in Continental Europe where the native languages don't have schwas. But then again, people in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Finland seem to speak a lot of English, so they've likely used the IPA in English/Dutch or English/Swedish or whatever dictionaries when looking up how to pronounce English words.



*And beatniks, though we beatniks don't read that much fantasy
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

Khemehekis wrote: 20 Sep 2021 01:30
Salmoneus wrote: 19 Sep 2021 13:20 No - nobody knows that a rotated 'e' indicates a schwa, and if they did they wouldn't know what a schwa was.
Nobody? Most of the English dictionaries my classmates and I used in school, including the children's dictionaries, used the schwa for /ə/... the letter ə will be recognized by a good portion of Anglophone readers.
Nobody I have ever met has ever voluntarily spent their free time reading dictionaries*, particularly young people. Those that do generally do not pay attention to the pronunciation guides - I use a dictionary about a thousand times more often than most people, and even I had to go and check just now that my dictionary did use the schwa symbol. [And the dictionary most people are most likely to use these days is probably dictionary.com, which doesn't use it.]

Sure, I obviously didn't mean 'nobody' in a technical sense - obviously most readers of this board are familiar with IPA, for example. But the people who know IPA are a vanishingly tiny percentage of the population. Which is why newbies here frequently have to be told about IPA, and why half the wikipedia pages with IPA on them have people in the talk page complaining about how nobody in the world understands IPA.

Similarly, o-umlaut will not be read as schwa, it'll be read as 'o' with a completely ornamental pair of dots above it. As witness how people pronounce the names of rock and metal musical acts. People know the dots look German, but they don't know how to pronounce them.

And no, you're not a beatnik. You're also not a teddy boy, a flapper or a cavalier. There are no beatniks anymore; there probably were never any beatniks; one defining feature of being a beatnik was refusing to claim to be a beatnik, and ideally even publically condemning beatnikism (being a beatnik requires being super-cool, and anyone who claims to be cool isn't); and beatniks do not spend their time going "well actually the dictionaries I played with as a child DID use elements of the international phonetic alphabet!" on online conlanging forums. If you hitch-hike your way to Alaska by having sex with truckers for rides, work in a canning factory for six months before being fired for constantly high on benzodrine and LSD, chain-smoke your way back to New York (never changing your mud-and-semen-stained jeans, making a living by randomly stealing from strangers, and stopping to achieve enlightenment in a field in Iowa) and recite provocative poetry about truckers at suburban swinger's parties until someone gives you a book contract, THEN you can maybe call yourself a beatnik.

[and beatnikism was intimately connected to SF, including some SF that could probably equally be considered horror/fantasy]
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