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

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

Post by Salmoneus »

Well, for a start, that's already pretty irregular, with that (infuriating no doubt to learn!) sadistically-inverted gemination thing going on. And remember, "better" doesn't have to mean "sadistically irregular".

To make it even more irregular, you've basically got three options: suppletion, sound change, or analogy. The first uses different morphemes in some forms; the second replaces agglutinative suffixed with fusion; and the third complicates one paradigm by introducing bits from another. [and remember: irregularit

For now, let's keep things simple, and just use a little bit of simple sound change.

1. stress goes on rightmost heavy syllable, or else on rightmost syllable if none are heavy
2. u>y, o>u
3. unstressed vowels umlaut (here, u>o before a, a>e before i, and y>i before i), while stressed vowels break (here, u>ua before a, and a/y > ai/yi before i)
4. Palatalisation before e and i
5. stops assimilate to following fricatives
6. unstressed medial vowels drop, where this does not create a cluster of more than two consonants
7. unstressed final verbs reduce to schwa
8. stressed moves to first syllable
9. stressed vowels before single consonants lengthen
10. geminates simplify; /tS/ and /ts/ reduce to the fricatives
11. palatalised /k/ > /ts/, palatalised /s/ > /S/; kS > tS, but tsS > ts
12. ai, yi > ej, ij; ua > wa
13. coda /j/ strengthens to /k/
14. y > i
15. schwa > i
16. final consonants drop
17. Cw > Cr

And just a bit of analogy, to disambiguate: the noncontrol forms borrow final -a in the present singular 2nd from the control forms, to disambiguate 1st and 2nd; the nonpast control 3rd singular borrows the long vowel from the noncontrol to disambiguate from the plural; but in the noncontrol past the opposite happens (the noncontrol borrows the long vowel from the singular); and the long vowel spreads from the control past 3rd to the 2nd (or, possibly from the present 2nd).
Oh, and then they realise that the plural ends in -Si, so spread that to all forms in the noncontrol paradigm. /tu:kiSi/ and /tukiSi/ are then very similar, so marge as the long vowel form.

And finally, 18. long vowels break

Yielding:

Code: Select all

	Control		Noncontrol 
Nonpast	SG1 tauke	|	tuki
	SG2 tauka	|	tuka
	SG3 traiki 	|	twaki
	PL1 toseSi	|	twaSi
	PL2 taukeSi	|	twakiSi
	PL3 traki	|	twakiSi
	--------------------------------------------
Past	SG1 toke	|	twaki
	SG2 tauka	|	twaki
	SG3 tauka 	|	twaki
	PL1 tosi	|	tusiSi
	PL2 tokeSi	|	twakiSi
	PL3 tauka	|	twakiSi
Sufficiently irregular?
Last edited by Salmoneus on 21 Mar 2020 16:28, edited 4 times in total.

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

Post by Pabappa »

if it were me:

/aj uj/ merge as /e/, so the 1st person singular goes to /tokke~toke/ in present and /toke~tokke/ in past. then by analogy it becomes /toke/ in present and /tokke/ in past.

Im assuming by control you mean whether an action was voluntary? if so, then the 1st person singular no longer has that distinction, and so the speakers will use the plurals for the non-control forms, and thus everybody will say the equivalent of "oh no! we just dropped your phone!!" instead of explicitly taking the blame on their own.

but this is just a wild idea. the way you laid it out so regularly to begin with makes me think you would want the volition distinction, if thats what it is, to stay. in which case i think phonological changes, rather than semantic changes, are the best way forward. e.g. just from the looks of it i like Sal's idea, which wasnt on the screen when i started typing this post.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý »

Thank you all!

Yes, the conjugation is not simple, but it can be described by few rules.

All of your answers are basically diachronic.
This lang is just synchrinic (and borrows very much from Northern Saami). But maybe there could be an old past suffix that, beside causing consonant gradation, merges with the person markers. Some synchretism could de well.

@Pabappa
Control is not just volitionality. I got it from a Salishan language. It is described in Ivka thread.

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

Post by Salmoneus »

Omzinesý wrote:
23 Mar 2020 15:37

All of your answers are basically diachronic.
This lang is just synchrinic
Well, if you're not interested in a diachronic/naturalistic language, then you can do whatever you feel like, can't you? Why ask us for ideas? Why not just, I don't know, roll dice?

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

Post by sangi39 »

Hmmmm, yeah, if you're not worried too much about diachronics (I was assuming that you meant "how would you take this, and make it more irregular in the future), then you can do more or less anything you want in terms of added irregularity. Like, maybe the first person forms follow their own distinct pattern, or maybe the control non-past forms take a different set of person/number suffixes, or perhaps the past tense don't distinguish person, but instead mark animacy or gender (to steal from Russian).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 »

My setting's Phoenixfolk language has [o̞ ɯ] and an extensive set of palatalizations. Are [fʲo̞ fʲɯ → fø̞ fy], for example, plausible?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ser »

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
27 Mar 2020 21:41
My setting's Phoenixfolk language has [o̞ ɯ] and an extensive set of palatalizations. Are [fʲo̞ fʲɯ → fø̞ fy], for example, plausible?
Sure it is. In fact, Old French had something like it without even needing palatalization on the consonant before.

I wrote a thing about the relevant change in Old French in the Romance tidbits thread, with examples, if you're interested:
https://cbbforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8& ... 09#p299609
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 »

Ser wrote:
27 Mar 2020 23:37
yangfiretiger121 wrote:
27 Mar 2020 21:41
My setting's Phoenixfolk language has [o̞ ɯ] and an extensive set of palatalizations. Are [fʲo̞ fʲɯ → fø̞ fy], for example, plausible?
Sure it is. In fact, Old French had something like it without even needing palatalization on the consonant before.

I wrote a thing about the relevant change in Old French in the Romance tidbits thread, with examples, if you're interested:
https://cbbforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8& ... 09#p299609
I, actually, saw that between posting the question and your answer.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco »

What are some ways to achieve a portmanteau agreement system?

Let's say a language has polypersonal agreement, but uses one affix to mark both the subject and the object.

So, /kanu/ is a verb that means "to fight." The suffix -/jon/ marks the subject as first person and the object as second person, so /kanujon/ means "I fight you."

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

Post by LinguistCat »

LinguoFranco wrote:
28 Mar 2020 22:48
What are some ways to achieve a portmanteau agreement system?

Let's say a language has polypersonal agreement, but uses one affix to mark both the subject and the object.

So, /kanu/ is a verb that means "to fight." The suffix -/jon/ marks the subject as first person and the object as second person, so /kanujon/ means "I fight you."
I'm not an expert but I'd assume that if an earlier stage of the language suffixed the personal pronouns (possibly even with different forms for subject and object), and then went through sound changes or just simplifications, the suffixed pronouns could fuse and become their own suffixes for agreement.

Using your example, maybe all basic verbs ended in vowels, and the first person (singular) pronoun was /i/ while the second person (singular) was /on/. The language then went through a change where /i/ > /j/ between any vowels, so /ka.nu.i.on/ becomes /ka.nu.jon/

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

Post by Creyeditor »

LinguistCat wrote:
29 Mar 2020 06:41
LinguoFranco wrote:
28 Mar 2020 22:48
What are some ways to achieve a portmanteau agreement system?

Let's say a language has polypersonal agreement, but uses one affix to mark both the subject and the object.

So, /kanu/ is a verb that means "to fight." The suffix -/jon/ marks the subject as first person and the object as second person, so /kanujon/ means "I fight you."
I'm not an expert but I'd assume that if an earlier stage of the language suffixed the personal pronouns (possibly even with different forms for subject and object), and then went through sound changes or just simplifications, the suffixed pronouns could fuse and become their own suffixes for agreement.

Using your example, maybe all basic verbs ended in vowels, and the first person (singular) pronoun was /i/ while the second person (singular) was /on/. The language then went through a change where /i/ > /j/ between any vowels, so /ka.nu.i.on/ becomes /ka.nu.jon/
I think it's important to add that /i/ became something else in other environments. This is to make the system unanalyzable to a modern speaker. So, if for example the third person singular object marker was /n/, you could have have /in/ become /ĩ/. This means you could have a portmanteau marker /ĩ/. If the first person plural object marker was /na/, you could have the -/i/ suffix stay as it is here.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 »

Considering my setting's phoenixfolk see themselves as the more-or-less humanoid embodiment of the mythical phoenix, is it plausible for their language to have a single word referring to them and the creature as a combined entity, or is two words a better option? I'd like to use a single word, but the language uses suffixes, like Japanese—which could mean the word having suffix for each "people" and "language".
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý »

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
30 Mar 2020 15:24
Considering my setting's phoenixfolk see themselves as the more-or-less humanoid embodiment of the mythical phoenix, is it plausible for their language to have a single word referring to them and the creature as a combined entity, or is two words a better option? I'd like to use a single word, but the language uses suffixes, like Japanese—which could mean the word having suffix for each "people" and "language".
Can you reformulate the question?
So, you are asking if one word can mean both the phoenixfolk and what?

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

Post by yangfiretiger121 »

Omzinesý wrote:
30 Mar 2020 15:40
yangfiretiger121 wrote:
30 Mar 2020 15:24
Considering my setting's phoenixfolk see themselves as the more-or-less humanoid embodiment of the mythical phoenix, is it plausible for their language to have a single word referring to them and the creature as a combined entity, or is two words a better option? I'd like to use a single word, but the language uses suffixes, like Japanese—which could mean the word having suffix for each "people" and "language".
Can you reformulate the question?
So, you are asking if one word can mean both the phoenixfolk and what?
Correct. I'm asking if one word can be collective of phoenixfolk and the phoenix bird. Is that plausible, or is having two separate words—one for phoenixfolk and one for the bird—a better option?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý »

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
30 Mar 2020 16:57
Omzinesý wrote:
30 Mar 2020 15:40
yangfiretiger121 wrote:
30 Mar 2020 15:24
Considering my setting's phoenixfolk see themselves as the more-or-less humanoid embodiment of the mythical phoenix, is it plausible for their language to have a single word referring to them and the creature as a combined entity, or is two words a better option? I'd like to use a single word, but the language uses suffixes, like Japanese—which could mean the word having suffix for each "people" and "language".
Can you reformulate the question?
So, you are asking if one word can mean both the phoenixfolk and what?
Correct. I'm asking if one word can be collective of phoenixfolk and the phoenix bird. Is that plausible, or is having two separate words—one for phoenixfolk and one for the bird—a better option?
It depends on how they identify with the bird.
I think naming clans after specis, like "Wolfs", is quite usual. But if needed, some specification should be possible "Phoenixfolk" like you say.
Another option is that the bird is named after them. Word X means Phoenixfolk and X-bird means the phoenix bird. I think "man bird" would be quite natural a name for a bird that somehow resembles humans, say, its singing sounds like human.

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

Post by Shemtov »

I have a language in which the Aspect and mood are marked by a postposition (tense is marked by suppletion- ANADEW Tibetan does this). I want to expand my syntax abilities with this language. Is there anything I can do about where the negative postposition goes- between the verb and the AM postposition or after the AM postposition- for different pragmatics or other functions? I want to string AM postpositions and have the order give different subaspects/moods, anyway. Could putting it before and after the AM postposition (like an optional version of the French ne.....pas) work for emphasis on the negation?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor »

Mood and negation is a good place to start. The order of the two can be determined by semantic scope. Consider the following examples from German.

(1) Ich kann nicht sprechen.
1SG can.1SG NEG speak-INF
"It is not the case that I can speak"

(2) Ich kann nicht sprechen.
1SG can.1SG NEG speak-INF
"It is the case that I can refrain from speaking."

These sentences sound the same (except maybe for intonation). Now compare this to the following Papua Indonesian sentences.

(3) Sa tidak bisa bicara.
1SG NEG can speak
"It is not the case that I can speak"

(4) Sa bisa tidak bicara.
1SG can NEG speak
"It is the case that I can refrain from speaking."

In these sentences the order of negation and modality marker indicates the difference in meaning. The general tendency is to get a negated reading of the modal sentence if the negation occurs outside of the modal marker, i.e. further away.

Maybe this is something you could incorporate somehow into your conlang?
Edit: Fixed a stupid glossing error.
Last edited by Creyeditor on 09 Apr 2020 16:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

Creyeditor wrote:
09 Apr 2020 13:46
(3) Sa tidak bisa bicara.
1SG NEG can speak
"It is not the case that I can speak"

(4) Sa bisa tidak bicara.
1SG NEG can speak
"It is the case that I can refrain from speaking."
You gloss both of these sentences as "NEG can". Out of bisa and tidak, which is "not" and which is "can"?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes »

Khemehekis wrote:
09 Apr 2020 16:02
Creyeditor wrote:
09 Apr 2020 13:46
(3) Sa tidak bisa bicara.
1SG NEG can speak
"It is not the case that I can speak"

(4) Sa bisa tidak bicara.
1SG NEG can speak
"It is the case that I can refrain from speaking."
You gloss both of these sentences as "NEG can". Out of bisa and tidak, which is "not" and which is "can"?
tidak is NEG
bisa is ‘can’

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

Post by Creyeditor »

DesEsseintes wrote:
10 Apr 2020 16:57
Khemehekis wrote:
09 Apr 2020 16:02
Creyeditor wrote:
09 Apr 2020 13:46
(3) Sa tidak bisa bicara.
1SG NEG can speak
"It is not the case that I can speak"

(4) Sa bisa tidak bicara.
1SG NEG can speak
"It is the case that I can refrain from speaking."
You gloss both of these sentences as "NEG can". Out of bisa and tidak, which is "not" and which is "can"?
tidak is NEG
bisa is ‘can’
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