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

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

Post by Vlürch »

Khemehekis wrote: 20 Sep 2021 05:01The way I figure it, the people most likely to read fantasy stories on the Internet are nerds, geeks, metalheads, and goths.
That's probably pretty accurate.
Khemehekis wrote: 20 Sep 2021 05:01Or 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.
Nah, it's mostly Americans, and some of them aren't always the sharpest Americans in America either since they think stuff like colour and realise are misspellings... [:'(] But also other Anglophones, I'm sure, it's just not as obvious since obviously they're not going to complain about (or edit to "correct") those "misspellings".

The possibility of German-speakers reading it is probably pretty low, but it's a sequel to a story a German youtuber translated into German and narrated, so maybe a few will.

Also, at least most Finns don't have a single clue about IPA. AFAIK it's practically never used in Finnish dictionaries for any language (at least not the ones I have), but instead always use approximations, sometimes without even explaining the differences, just eg. the ER in English "her" is like Finnish ÖÖ and that's it.
Salmoneus wrote: 20 Sep 2021 14:44Similarly, 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.
Mmh... and I've definitely heard some English-speakers even exaggerate the "O-ness" of it and making it less "Ö-like", regardless of the exact quality of the <ö> in the language they're trying to pronounce. So that's why it doesn't seem like the best idea.

It probably is better to just use <e> for both /e/ and /ə/ and if someone thinks "lmao this guy things hes a nerd saying this langauge has six vowles but it has five xD", whatever.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguistCat »

If your language doesn't use <y> or <w>, you could always just use them for schwa and then make a little note. The people who care would have cared anyway and the ones who don't wouldn't anyway.
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Post by sangi39 »

LinguistCat wrote: 20 Sep 2021 19:59 If your language doesn't use <y> or <w>, you could always just use them for schwa and then make a little note. The people who care would have cared anyway and the ones who don't wouldn't anyway.
Honestly, I feel like this is about the best answer. I mean, look at Tolkien's stuff where, for the most part, his languages are written with pretty shallow orthographies, and it's all neatly explained in the appendices, but most people still say things like /smɔːɡ/, /ɡəʊləm/, and /gændɒlf/ because, well, not everyone cares enough to skip to the back of the book to make sure they read a word right (they'll either come up with a pronunciation based on what they know, or they won't read it as a pronounced word at all and just go "this set of letters is this character"). The ones that do care will do that, the ones that don't, well, just won't.

While it might be important to you that the way a given sound is represented, it probably won't matter to most people (an even more common one, look at the competing pronunciations of "GIF" despite the creator of the word going "no, but it really is this"). So, pretty much, pick whatever you think feels right, and hope for the best.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Tsugar »

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
Another way this could occur is through the belief by the new government they are or ought to be the Unifiers of the Human Race, the Last Government Standing, and that by creating a simplified version of their language as NewX and promoting its use in trade (with them) and culture, they can convince enough people to buy into the idea that adopting their culture and government isn't bad, and by providing a convenient lingua franca when they finally get around to annexing X.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

LinguistCat wrote: 20 Sep 2021 19:59If your language doesn't use <y> or <w>, you could always just use them for schwa and then make a little note. The people who care would have cared anyway and the ones who don't wouldn't anyway.
It does use both, specifically this is the phonology and orthography:

/m n ŋ/ <m n ng>
/p b t d k g/ <p b t d k g>
/(t͡s) t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ <(ts ch j)>
/(ᵐb ⁿd ᵑk)/ <mb nd nk>
/(ⁿd͡z ⁿd͡ʒ)/ <nz (nj)>
/s z ʃ/ <s z (sh)>
/j w h/ <y w h>
/r l/ <r l>

/a e i o u ə/ <a e i o u ?>

Only /m n ŋ p t k r l/ are allowed in coda. (Rare consonants are in parentheses on the orthography side... and the prenasalised consonants and /t͡s/ might as well be clusters since they're not differentiated from clusters inside words, but because they occur word-initially while no other clusters do, it kinda makes sense to think of them as single consonants.)

I could use <eh> for /ə/, but it just looks ugly before consonants...

The problem with making a note about the conlang is that it's going to seriously diminish from the horror value of the story, turning it more into a fantasy one even "presentatively" if that makes sense.
sangi39 wrote: 20 Sep 2021 22:35While it might be important to you that the way a given sound is represented, it probably won't matter to most people
Mmm, yeah.

So it has to go down to which is the least likely to put people off, I guess. Probably the most off-putting is <ə> since it's a unique enough letter that they probably wouldn't just ignore it like a diacritic, while <ö> now makes me imagine it'd have a "metal vibe" to a lot of people (I didn't even think of that until Sal mentioned it)... less common diacritics wouldn't necessarily display correctly.

Honestly, is <ê> the best option? It looks pretty cool and kinda fits the "mysterious language" vibe: <kigêm>, <ênna>, <tatêk>, etc. It also has an IRL natlang precedent for /ə/ on at least the right hemisphere (in Indonesian), so... it wouldn't be that weird? It does seem like it should be /eː/, but...
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh »

I doesn't feel right that my cases are basically just a substitution of consonants
Image

is there an anadew to a case system of simply gender vowel + consonant ending?
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Post by Pabappa »

So all nouns end in a consonant, except vocatives? And, there are no vocatives that end in a consonant? That's what jumps out at me as unnatural, rather than the affixes being single phonemes.

I'd think if you have only one unmarked case, with no syncretism at all, it'd be one of the core "sentence role" cases and not the vocative. The vocative is never going to appear alongside a verb, after all, so does it really need a separate form?

You could also consider having consonant stems if you're willing to have a gender system that isn't entirely regular, even if it's just for proper nouns. This could lead to new forms for the suffixes due to sound changes, and these could be analogized to the vowel stems. Alternatively (or in addition), you could have a vocalic suffix for one of the cases instead of them all being single consonants. That could lead to something that might look more natural.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh »

Pabappa wrote: 22 Sep 2021 12:43 So all nouns end in a consonant, except vocatives? And, there are no vocatives that end in a consonant?
Not all case-having languages have declension classes like Latin.

And from my perspective, lacking a suffix would make the vocative more marked (disfixation), just as I mark the construct state by removing both the case and gender endings (also disfixation).

But you do raise the point about unmarking, so I certainly could conflate the vocative with the nominative

Oh yes and the roots themselves are not all consonants, you get some that end in vowels like Mamu- which manifests as Mamu-u(m)/Mam-û(m), this only leads to a loss of distinction between singular and plural, however.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguistCat »

I've been trying to learn about reduplication because I'd like to use it in my conlang, but I'm wondering if there much difference cross linguistically for root vs stem reduplication. This is an important distinction in my conlang's case because, being based on Old Japanese, verbs and verbal adjectives have 6 stems that they use in different circumstances and syllables were strictly (C)V, but some roots were consonant based. This is early in the separation so the conlang still would mostly follow OJ phonological rules. So, I'd have more variation reduplicating stems, but things would be simpler reduplicating the root and throwing in a connecting vowel to keep things CV.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

LinguistCat wrote: 25 Sep 2021 03:53 I've been trying to learn about reduplication because I'd like to use it in my conlang, but I'm wondering if there much difference cross linguistically for root vs stem reduplication. This is an important distinction in my conlang's case because, being based on Old Japanese, verbs and verbal adjectives have 6 stems that they use in different circumstances and syllables were strictly (C)V, but some roots were consonant based. This is early in the separation so the conlang still would mostly follow OJ phonological rules. So, I'd have more variation reduplicating stems, but things would be simpler reduplicating the root and throwing in a connecting vowel to keep things CV.
Artifexian has a few YouTu.be videos about it. You could look them up and watch them. They might give you a few answers, and they might make some of your remaining questions clearer.
If you want you could look for videos about the same topic by other content creators, such as Biblaridion or NativLang or Xidnaf.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguistCat »

eldin raigmore wrote: 28 Sep 2021 01:34
LinguistCat wrote: 25 Sep 2021 03:53 I've been trying to learn about reduplication because I'd like to use it in my conlang, but I'm wondering if there much difference cross linguistically for root vs stem reduplication. This is an important distinction in my conlang's case because, being based on Old Japanese, verbs and verbal adjectives have 6 stems that they use in different circumstances and syllables were strictly (C)V, but some roots were consonant based. This is early in the separation so the conlang still would mostly follow OJ phonological rules. So, I'd have more variation reduplicating stems, but things would be simpler reduplicating the root and throwing in a connecting vowel to keep things CV.
Artifexian has a few YouTu.be videos about it. You could look them up and watch them. They might give you a few answers, and they might make some of your remaining questions clearer.
If you want you could look for videos about the same topic by other content creators, such as Biblaridion or NativLang or Xidnaf.
Most of those videos that I've seen are good overviews, but don't get into the specifics of what I was asking. But all good linguistic resources when you're just getting a handle on things.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by teotlxixtli »

I'm trying to construct a demonstrative system with a five-way contrast and I'm not sure what the five degrees should be. I know that Malagasy makes a distinction between visible and non-visible referents, but that's not quite the same as different degrees, you know? Anyone know of any languages that make this many distinctions?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

The contrasts my conlangs Adpihi and Reptigan have in their demonstratives multiply out to 96 possibilities, of which some are probably quite rare.

* is the referent within the reach of the speaker, or not?
* is the referent within the reach of the addressee, or not?
* is the referent visible to the speaker, or not?
* is the referent visible to the addressee, or not?

Those four binary questions are logically independent, and therefore there are 2^4 = 16 logically possible combinations of answers. But they’re probably not statistically independent!

The following three binary questions are pairwise logically independent, but as a full threesome they are not logically independent.
There are only six, not eight, logically possible combinations.

* who is closer to the referent, the speaker or the addressee?
* which is closer to the speaker, the referent or the addressee?
* which is closer to the addressee, the referent or the speaker?

So there are 6*16 = 96 logically possible combinations.
But again I’m sure some of them are statistically quite unlikely!

………. ………. ………. ……….

I don’t have the hic-haec-hoc or hither-thither-yon or here-there-yonder three-way contrasts several natlangs do.
Also I don’t have a full three-person variation of deictic center that several natlangs do.
Some languages’ demonstratives could have first-person-centered deixis or second-person-centered deixis or third-person-centered deixis.
My conlangs’ reachable-vs-unreachable and visible-vs-invisible alternations only center on the first person and the second person; never the third person.

But they do compare the lengths of the sides of the triangle between the speaker and addressee and referent!
Last edited by eldin raigmore on 07 Oct 2021 22:30, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

teotlxixtli wrote: 07 Oct 2021 04:22 I'm trying to construct a demonstrative system with a five-way contrast and I'm not sure what the five degrees should be. I know that Malagasy makes a distinction between visible and non-visible referents, but that's not quite the same as different degrees, you know? Anyone know of any languages that make this many distinctions?
This is a relatively small deictic system (some Inuit dialects have around 90 deictic 'degrees'). However, 'degree' is misleading - most deictic systems aren't truly graded in a monotonic way, but instead include things like visibility. I'm not sure why you don't include visibility as 'quite the same' - do you need a pure distance-'graded' system instead?

If so, these are reported to go up to 5 or 6 degrees. [close, less close, even less close, even less close than that, even more less close than that, and in some languages also even more even more less close than that; of course, the exact descriptions used may vary].

However, more than three degrees of distance is unusual. Even among languages with three degrees, I think it's more common for these to be person-oriented, rather than distance-oriented. Person-oriented systems usually distinguish egoproximal and alloproximal, along with ambiproximal and/or ambidistal; heteroproximal (near a third person) is theoretically possible but very rare and possibly non-existent. Many systems are both distance-oriented and person-oriented, either by having both sets or by combining their meanings.


Other important distinctions are visibility (and the reason for invisibility), boundedness (is it in an open or bounded area?), punctuality/extension (is it in one place, or does it extend across many places?), and position relative to an axis - above/below the line of sight, and in front of/behind/to the side ofthe speaker/hearer. No language is known to distinguish 'to the left' and 'to the right' in deixis. You can also have absolute spatial positions (north/south/east/west, upriver/downriver). Some languages also mark the relative orientation of the item (facing away from me or toward me). Deictics also commonly make tense, mood or aspect, and these typically interact with space - so some languages distinguish "the thing near you" from "the thing that isn't near you but will be in the future" and so on. You can also distinguish proximality from contact, and different forms of contact (touching vs standing on, for instance)

Spatial deixis can also interact with other forms of deixis - social, pragmatic, etc. So "near you (my lord)" or "over there (please take it!)" and so on.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco »

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

Post by teotlxixtli »

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
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Post by LinguoFranco »

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

Post by teotlxixtli »

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
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Post by Pabappa »

reminds me of Eaiea, a conlang from the 1990s thats still going .... http://www.eaiea.com/ .... however this webpage looks like it has been little touched in many years (still has a juno.com email for example) so there may be a lot you could improve on or do differently.
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Post by elemtilas »

teotlxixtli wrote: 10 Oct 2021 02:59
LinguoFranco wrote: 10 Oct 2021 01:07 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
What is western music, exactly?
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