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

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

Post by Omzinesý »

Vlürch wrote: 23 Mar 2021 03:22 I thought I'd asked this before, but seems like I haven't: what would a grammatical case with the meaning "far from" be called? Like, for example, "far from the house". I'm pretty sure if it was formed analogously to other case names, it'd be called abessive, but that name is already used for the case meaning "without", so... I tried to google around to see if any natlangs have cases for this and what they're called if they do, but couldn't find anything.
I would call it "the distal case".
Generally it's not a good idea to use terms that are already preserved.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

Ahzoh wrote: 23 Mar 2021 06:31 I think the problem with those names is that they're clunky and long,
Guilty as charged!

“Ahzoh” wrote: on top of the lack of scholarly prestige that their greco-latin counterparts are going to confer.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

Omzinesý wrote: 23 Mar 2021 10:11I would call it "the distal case".
I considered that, but the feeling I had was that it would refer to something being far from the speaker and googling it, it's apparently a thing in at least Tsez and does refer to distance from the speaker. So it seems the easiest solution really would be calling them abessive, ablative and abelative...🤔 Also, no idea what the related cases referring to movement to/from faraway would be called if I called it "distal".
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco »

I think I understand what VOT is, but does anyone have any examples of variation between languages, as I think the timing is different?
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Post by Creyeditor »

You could compare voiced stops in Russian, Italian, and German. IIRC, Russian has a negative VOT, Italian slightly less negative and German basically zero.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

LinguoFranco wrote: 25 Mar 2021 18:08 I think I understand what VOT is, but does anyone have any examples of variation between languages, as I think the timing is different?
I haven't read this paper in full but it seems relevant (Polish vs. Germanic languages):
https://www.academia.edu/4950671/VOT_in ... erspective
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý »

What letter should I use for/ŋ/?
/ʟ/ is written with <Î> because there happens to be capital i. But a similar letter for a nasal is hard.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh »

Use <ĝ> like the Sumerians
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

Omzinesý wrote: 26 Mar 2021 10:26 What letter should I use for/ŋ/?
/ʟ/ is written with <Î> because there happens to be capital i. But a similar letter for a nasal is hard.
Have you considered ĝ?
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Post by WeepingElf »

Ahzoh wrote: 26 Mar 2021 10:41 Use <ĝ> like the Sumerians
ObNItPick: the Sumerians never used <ĝ>. The scholars who transcribe Sumerian use g-tilde (not g-circumflex).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý »

I have been unsure about Moaduu /t͡s/ all the time I have spent with the language, which is, of course, not long compared to conlangers with long-lasting projects.
Anyways, which of the alternatives I should choose?
(It also affects /x/, which is phonemic in all the alternatives.)

a) t͡s is not phonemic.
/s/ is [z] between voiced sounds, and [s.s] when geminated. Cluster t.s is possible.
(/k/ and /x/ are merged to [ɣ] between voiced sounds. Cluster k.x is possible.)

b) t͡s is phonemic.
/s/ is [z] between voiced sounds, and [s.s] when geminated.
/t͡s/ is [z] between voiced sounds, and [t.t͡s] when geminated. Cluster t.s is not possible.
(/k/ and /x/ are merged to [ɣ] between voiced sounds. Cluster k.x is not possible.)

c) t͡s is phonemic.
/s/ is [s| between voiced sounds too, and [s.s] when geminated.
/t͡s/ is [z] between voiced sounds, and [t.t͡s] when geminated. Cluster t.s is not possible.
(/x/ is always [x].
/k/ is [ɣ] between voiced sounds. Cluster k.x is not possible.)

What's your opinion?
(Probably, I will just continue wondering but you can always wonder together. )
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor »

I would prefer a). I don't like ts becoming z between vowels. Feels too Greek for me.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

Not sure if this counts as a "quick question" since it's pretty long, but... I have a question about the plausibility of a language having this phonology and orthography when it's set in what's IRL Sardinia and Corscia in an alternative world where things are probably mostly similar to the IRL world:

The sounds in parentheses only (or at least mostly) occur in loanwords and/or as allophones.
/m n (ɲ ŋ)/ <m n nj ng>
/p b t d k g (ʔ)/ <p b t d k g ʻ>
/t͡s t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ <c č ǧ>
/s z ʃ ʒ/ <s z š ž>
/f v (θ ð) j x (ɣ h)/ <f v s z j h g h>
/r l (ʎ)/ <r l lj>

/a e i o u/ <a e i o u>

/a e i o u/ are [ɑ ɛ i ɔ u] in open syllables
/a e i o u/ are [æ ə ɪ ɞ ʊ] in closed syllables

There's some other allophony, but that's not really relevant.

I did come up with an alternative orthography that'd be more fitting to that region, which I like just as much (if not more), but have no idea how to handle consonant clusters in a way that looks nice and keep it looking "neat":

/m n (ɲ ŋ)/ <m n n(i) ng>
/p b t d k g (ʔ)/ <p b t d c(h) g(h) ʻ>
/t͡s t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ <c c(i) g(i)>
/s z ʃ ʒ/ <s z sc(i) j>
/f v (θ ð) j x (ɣ h)/ <f v s z i h~ch gh h>
/r l (ʎ)/ <r l gl(i)>

With Italian rules on when to use the letters in parentheses, so eg. /ket͡ʃed͡ʒiʃi/ would be <checegisci> and /ʃakaʎu/ would be <sciacagliu>. Like I said, consonant clusters become a problem since eg. writing /ibd͡ʒarʃt/ as <ibgiarscit> would look like /ibd͡ʒarʃit/ and <ibgiarisct> like /ibd͡ʒariʃt/, etc. I considered <ç j ş> or <ç dj ş> for coda /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ/, but that doesn't look very fitting with the overall aesthetic. Compare <kečeǧiši>, <šakalju> and <ibǧaršt>, although these aren't actual words in the conlang (at least yet) but just ones to easily demonstrate the difference.

(The thought was that /x/ is <h> in native words and <ch> in some loanwords.)

The language has influence from Arabic, Latin and Greek especially lexically, but it's a priori with some similarities to various languages in a way that's meant to be the kind of "possibly distant relation, possibly ancient contact" type of thing. My possible justification for the original orthography would be that they had an orthographic reform in recent times and for some reason looked to I guess Eastern Europe for inspiration, but that doesn't sound like something that could ever happen in the real world so I don't know if it's justifiable for a conlang that's supposed to be naturalistic...

I mean, it might have used Arabic script at least at some point in the past, but even in that case looking at romanisations of Arabic for inspiration on the orthographic reform wouldn't really make sense; there's just no way for <č ǧ š ž> to look fitting in that region, yet I like the simplicity of using them and they fit the phonology really well. Still, again, the Italian-influenced orthography looks nice and also has the benefit of fitting that region, if only the issue of consonant clusters was solvable... and I'm also not sure if I like how long it makes short words look.

One option would maybe be using <ì> or <ĭ> in clusters, so eg. /ibd͡ʒarʃt/ <ibgiarscìt> or <ibgiarscĭt>, but that could get a bit messy and it'd make <i> the only letter using the grave or breve and I don't really like that.

Anyone have any suggestions on whether I should stick with the unfitting orthography or if I go with the second one, how to handle consonant clusters?

(Phonology-wise, the only real doubt I have is about retaining /θ ð/ and a distinct /h/ in loanwords, but I don't think that's that weird. Oh, and I guess [ɞ] is significantly weirder, but...)
Omzinesý wrote: 02 Apr 2021 23:14What's your opinion?
I'd also prefer A.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 »

Vlürch wrote: 04 Apr 2021 05:06 Not sure if this counts as a "quick question" since it's pretty long, but... I have a question about the plausibility of a language having this phonology and orthography when it's set in what's IRL Sardinia and Corscia in an alternative world where things are probably mostly similar to the IRL world:

The sounds in parentheses only (or at least mostly) occur in loanwords and/or as allophones.
/m n (ɲ ŋ)/ <m n nj ng>
/p b t d k g (ʔ)/ <p b t d k g ʻ>
/t͡s t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ <c č ǧ>
/s z ʃ ʒ/ <s z š ž>
/f v (θ ð) j x (ɣ h)/ <f v s z j h g h>
/r l (ʎ)/ <r l lj>

/a e i o u/ <a e i o u>

/a e i o u/ are [ɑ ɛ i ɔ u] in open syllables
/a e i o u/ are [æ ə ɪ ɞ ʊ] in closed syllables

There's some other allophony, but that's not really relevant.

I did come up with an alternative orthography that'd be more fitting to that region, which I like just as much (if not more), but have no idea how to handle consonant clusters in a way that looks nice and keep it looking "neat":

/m n (ɲ ŋ)/ <m n n(i) ng>
/p b t d k g (ʔ)/ <p b t d c(h) g(h) ʻ>
/t͡s t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ <c c(i) g(i)>
/s z ʃ ʒ/ <s z sc(i) j>
/f v (θ ð) j x (ɣ h)/ <f v s z i h~ch gh h>
/r l (ʎ)/ <r l gl(i)>

With Italian rules on when to use the letters in parentheses, so eg. /ket͡ʃed͡ʒiʃi/ would be <checegisci> and /ʃakaʎu/ would be <sciacagliu>. Like I said, consonant clusters become a problem since eg. writing /ibd͡ʒarʃt/ as <ibgiarscit> would look like /ibd͡ʒarʃit/ and <ibgiarisct> like /ibd͡ʒariʃt/, etc. I considered <ç j ş> or <ç dj ş> for coda /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ/, but that doesn't look very fitting with the overall aesthetic. Compare <kečeǧiši>, <šakalju> and <ibǧaršt>, although these aren't actual words in the conlang (at least yet) but just ones to easily demonstrate the difference.

(The thought was that /x/ is <h> in native words and <ch> in some loanwords.)

The language has influence from Arabic, Latin and Greek especially lexically, but it's a priori with some similarities to various languages in a way that's meant to be the kind of "possibly distant relation, possibly ancient contact" type of thing. My possible justification for the original orthography would be that they had an orthographic reform in recent times and for some reason looked to I guess Eastern Europe for inspiration, but that doesn't sound like something that could ever happen in the real world so I don't know if it's justifiable for a conlang that's supposed to be naturalistic...

I mean, it might have used Arabic script at least at some point in the past, but even in that case looking at romanisations of Arabic for inspiration on the orthographic reform wouldn't really make sense; there's just no way for <č ǧ š ž> to look fitting in that region, yet I like the simplicity of using them and they fit the phonology really well. Still, again, the Italian-influenced orthography looks nice and also has the benefit of fitting that region, if only the issue of consonant clusters was solvable... and I'm also not sure if I like how long it makes short words look.

One option would maybe be using <ì> or <ĭ> in clusters, so eg. /ibd͡ʒarʃt/ <ibgiarscìt> or <ibgiarscĭt>, but that could get a bit messy and it'd make <i> the only letter using the grave or breve and I don't really like that.

Anyone have any suggestions on whether I should stick with the unfitting orthography or if I go with the second one, how to handle consonant clusters?

(Phonology-wise, the only real doubt I have is about retaining /θ ð/ and a distinct /h/ in loanwords, but I don't think that's that weird. Oh, and I guess [ɞ] is significantly weirder, but...)
Omzinesý wrote: 02 Apr 2021 23:14What's your opinion?
I'd also prefer A.
Does the language have diphthongs that end in /i/? If not, you could got down a sort of Irish sort of Basque route and have /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ/ be written as <ic ig is> if they appear between a vowel and a consonant, .e.g. /ibd͡ʒarʃt/ <ibgiairst> (just allow for the <i> to kind of "skip over" the rhotic there. You could then do something similar in the event that they occur at the between two consonants that are then followed by a vowel, e.g. /ʃtarit/ <stiarit> and /and͡ʒromo/ <angriomo>. You would have to find a way of handling those before a phonemic /i/ though, and possibly /j/, so it's not a perfect solution
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

sangi39 wrote: 04 Apr 2021 14:24Does the language have diphthongs that end in /i/?
It kind of does, but I feel like it makes more sense to think of it as coda /j/ since there are no diphthongs ending in /a e o u/ (at least yet, but it's possible I'll add them later).
sangi39 wrote: 04 Apr 2021 14:24If not, you could got down a sort of Irish sort of Basque route and have /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ/ be written as <ic ig is> if they appear between a vowel and a consonant, .e.g. /ibd͡ʒarʃt/ <ibgiairst> (just allow for the <i> to kind of "skip over" the rhotic there. You could then do something similar in the event that they occur at the between two consonants that are then followed by a vowel, e.g. /ʃtarit/ <stiarit> and /and͡ʒromo/ <angriomo>. You would have to find a way of handling those before a phonemic /i/ though, and possibly /j/, so it's not a perfect solution
That'd mostly work, but I feel like it'd make the orthography too ambiguous... but orthographies in Western Europe do tend to be less phonemic than in Eastern Europe, so maybe it could be justifiable as a "you just gotta learn the exceptions" type of thing, although IIUC all the languages in Western Europe with "deep" orthographies have that "depth" because of historical reasons, so it wouldn't actually be fitting in this case.🤔

Uggghhh, and while the Maltese/Basque/Old Spanish option of using <x> for /ʃ/ would work, it doesn't look as nice, eg. <ibgiarxt>. Maybe using <ʻ> would work, eg. <ibgiarscʻt>? Since <ʻ> is only used for the glottal stop in loanwords and doesn't happen in complex clusters, it wouldn't really cause confusion? Or maybe I just have to stick to the Eastern European-y one and figure out a justification... or maybe I should even think of a different region for the language to be set, but I'm not sure where else would be even half as realistic or fitting.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 »

Another possibility is to pronounce <c g sc> as /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ/ in the syllable coda (or some similar condition, depending on the details). To get coda /k g sk/, you'd write <ch gh sch>. So /ibd͡ʒarʃt/ would be <ibgiarsct>; meanwhile, /ibd͡ʒarskt/ would be <ibgiarscht>. That does conflict with <c> /t͡s/. Perhaps reassign /t͡s z/ to <z ṡ>.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 »

Ooo, thinking about it, I've seen that Sardinian either does or used to use <sç ç> for /ʃ tʃ/, and then <x j> for /ʒ dʒ/, where <sç ç j> were alternatives for <sci/e ci/e gi/e>, so you could have /ibd͡ʒarʃt/ be <ibgiarsçt>.

I know you said it wasn't very fitting with the aesthetic, but at least that gives you historical and local precedent for using them in that way (and if those four particular sounds don't occur much before another consonant, at least they'd be less common in writing).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor »

I have a complex quick question on syntax.
Kobardon has a very strict word order and I was wondering how to focus different constituents. Objects can be focused using intonation (that is by changing phonological phrasing from [ S ][ VO ] to [ S ][ V ][ O ]), but so far I did not have strategy for focusing subjects. Then I heard the CCC talk on clefts and I came up with a similar construction for Kobardon. It includes a pronoun, that is modified by a relative clause, and followed by a copular and the focused constituent. Since there Kobardon syntax is very similar to English, I will not use true examples sentences, but rather pseudo-English. Kobardon is SVO, relative clauses mostly follow the noun they modify and cannot be seperated from the noun. In the following <it> is a third person pronoun , <is> is a copula and <that> is a relative clause particle.

(1) It that I love is eels.
I love EELS.

(2) It that eats meat is a dog.
THE DOG eats meat.

(3) It at which I sing is the night
I sing at NIGHT.

Now, I have three subquestion.
  • Is the construction sensible? Is it naturalistic?
  • Do you know of any similar construction in any natlang?
  • How would you call this construction? I was thinking about cleft or pseudo cleft, but it looks a bit different. I was also thinking of VP fronting, since all of the verb phrase except one constituent is preposed before that focused constituent. Is that transparent enough though? What about rightwards shift construction (similar to heavy NP shift)? I am just a bit lost here.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 »

Creyeditor wrote: 05 Apr 2021 00:13Is the construction sensible? Is it naturalistic?
Certainly, on both counts.
Do you know of any similar construction in any natlang?
Wikipedia's page on clefts says Spanish has one:
Wikipedia wrote:"El que va es Juan" (Who's going is Juan)
And I agree with Wikipedia that you can call the construction a cleft.
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Post by Creyeditor »

Thank you so much. I was just really unsure.
Edit: Japanese seems to use a similar strucuture, too.
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