If natlangs were conlangs

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Shemtov
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

Post by Shemtov »

CarsonDaConlanger wrote: 21 Feb 2019 18:15 (Another English post cuz I'm unoriginal)

What's with the random nominal declension?! You have basically two cases: a half-assed genitive and everything else, and the markings are all the same in 3 of the four cases! You only needed 4 endings and all you came up with was
-Ø -s
-s -s
Oh, and while they claim it's a genitive, I've seen people argue it's a possessive clitic as they specify that one can say <John and Mary's dog> but
*<John's and Mary's dog>. At least admit when your terminology is unclear!!
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

Post by eldin raigmore »

Creyeditor wrote: 31 Jan 2019 21:20 Why do people always say bad things about natlangs in this thread? I just want to say that I would really enjoy the crazyness of the languages of Vanuatu if they were conlangs. They are so nicely crafted.
Look at Creyeditor’s post from a quasi-“meta” PoV, and supposing any naivete (if that’s the right word) was “put on” for effect in accordance with the spirit of this thread, my opinion is that it was the perfect post!
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

Post by All4Ɇn »

Somehow French has the character ù even though it literally only occurs in the word où (where) and serves no other purpose than to disambiguate it from ou (or). Am I really to believe that any language written in the 21st century would actually have this still around? With an orthography that's as weird as it gets, by now they certainly would've switched it to oue or oû. And who the hell thought that it made any sense for this conlang's keyboard layout to include this almost completely pointless character and meanwhile œ, which is used in several extremely common words, isn't on it at all?
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

Post by Sequor »

All4Ɇn wrote: 19 Mar 2020 00:59Somehow French has the character ù even though it literally only occurs in the word où (where) and serves no other purpose than to disambiguate it from ou (or). Am I really to believe that any language written in the 21st century would actually have this still around? With an orthography that's as weird as it gets, by now they certainly would've switched it to oue or oû. And who the hell thought that it made any sense for this conlang's keyboard layout to include this almost completely pointless character and meanwhile œ, which is used in several extremely common words, isn't on it at all?
It's because the national keyboard layouts usually descend from schemes made by IBM in the turn of the late 80s / early 90s to type languages as well as they could be in ISO standards. The standard for Western European languages, ISO 8859-1, published in 1987, did not include <Œ œ> because the delegate from France at drafting time, who had been chosen on the basis of being a trusted polyglot, thought <Œ œ> weren't real letters in French but just common typographical conventions (according to him, using <OE oe> was presumably also acceptable...), like the joining of <fi fl> or the occasional joining of <ct st>.

This article where the story is told (in French) says that there was a lively debate between the anglophone delegate from Canada, who didn't know French but said he was sure <Œ œ> were letters used in Quebec, and the French delegate. A delegate team from Bull Publishing Company, an American publishing house, which apparently had weight in the discussion, supported the French delegate because they themselves never used <Œ œ> when printing French books. None of them bothered to use reference works, in spite of being in the middle of setting long-term international computing standards. Thus <Œ œ> were not included in the Western European ISO standard, and therefore did not make it to the early spread of keyboard layouts.

I find it hilarious that the Spanish ª and º (the latter distinct from °, the degree symbol), sometimes used when writing abbreviated ordinal numbers but optional in the language, were included instead. Note that the Spanish language actually uses all four of a, o, e and r for this, so even here I think that whoever decided on Spanish coverage failed to do their job well too. It is true that ª and º are more common, but er is also needed.

Examples of abbreviated ordinals: 1er (primer), 1ª (primera), 1º (primero), 2ª (segunda), 2º (segundo), 3er (tercer), 3ª (tercera), 3º (tercero), 4ª (cuarta), 4º (cuarto), ..., 10ª (décima), 10º (décimo), 11er (décimo primer), 11ª (décima primera), 11º (décimo primero)...

These are more commonly written as 1er., 1a., 1o., 2a., 2o., 3er., 3a., 3o., etc.
Last edited by Sequor on 20 Mar 2020 05:18, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

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Ser wrote: 19 Mar 2020 03:23
This was a really informative post and definitely explains a lot. Thanks! [:D]
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

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there was also the inclusiuon of lowercase ÿ but no uppercase. this could be because in Dutch, ij can appear like a ÿ when handwritten, but I have never seen it typed that way. i think the explanation for all of this is that they ran out of space (only 128 chars avail) and had to cut corners all over the place.

i dont know much frenhc, but the argument against œ sounds solid to me, even if its just a matter of opinion. replacing œ with oe never results in a misspelling or even an ambiguity, afaik, so its like english which also uses æ & œ but even more rarely than frenhc does. there are good points on both sides but they had to make a decision because there were only a few dozen code points available and thats the decision they made.

do other langs besides spanish use those superscirpts? maybe that helped them get in .... œ was wanted by just one language but perhaps the superscript a & o had use in Portguuese, Italian, etc too
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

Post by Sequor »

Pabappa wrote: 20 Mar 2020 16:35 there was also the inclusiuon of lowercase ÿ but no uppercase. this could be because in Dutch, ij can appear like a ÿ when handwritten, but I have never seen it typed that way. i think the explanation for all of this is that they ran out of space (only 128 chars avail) and had to cut corners all over the place.

i dont know much frenhc, but the argument against œ sounds solid to me, even if its just a matter of opinion. replacing œ with oe never results in a misspelling or even an ambiguity, afaik, so its like english which also uses æ & œ but even more rarely than frenhc does. there are good points on both sides but they had to make a decision because there were only a few dozen code points available and thats the decision they made.

do other langs besides spanish use those superscirpts? maybe that helped them get in .... œ was wanted by just one language but perhaps the superscript a & o had use in Portguuese, Italian, etc too
That's a good point, actually, I've seen ordinal superscripts in Portuguese before.

But still, consider that ISO-8859-1 was based on an older encoding scheme where <Œ œ> appeared instead of <× ÷> (this is why <× ÷> are squished between the letters <Ö ö> and <Ø ø> in ISO-8859-1), that no such argument seems to have been made about <Æ æ>, and that <Þ þ> and <Ý ý> were also added because of Icelandic only. We could've perfectly kept using <*> and </> from the first block for multiplication and division (as, in fact, we continue to do the vast majority of the time), retaining <Œ œ>. But the French delegate and the team from Bull Publishing didn't believe in the separate existence of <Œ œ>...

To me, it seems that they had extra space that they just couldn't decide what to do with very well, hence the lack of Spanish <er>.

Regarding <ÿ>, the older scheme did have both of <Ÿ ÿ>, which, in Western European languages, basically only French uses in some proper nouns (the House of Croÿ, L'Haÿ-les-Roses), where it distinguishes <ay> /ɛ/ and <oy> /wɑ/ from the diphthongs <aÿ> /ai/ and <oÿ> /wi/. The drafters of ISO-8859-1 noticed there was no counterpart for German <ß> in the lowercase range (there was simply nothing there), and knowing that French would only rarely use diacritics on these (the only situation being all-caps text some of the time), they made <ÿ> the "lowercase counterpart" of <ß>. Then they used the two old codepoints for <Ÿ ÿ> to insert Icelandic <Ý ý> instead.
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

Post by Mándinrùh »

Basque is terribly unrealistic, I'm afraid. Nobody could ever possibly reliably produce the s̻/s̺ distinction, which the designer doubled down on with corresponding affricates, let alone actually hearing the distinction.
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

Post by All4Ɇn »

Mándinrùh wrote: 01 May 2020 03:23 Basque is terribly unrealistic, I'm afraid. Nobody could ever possibly reliably produce the s̻/s̺ distinction, which the designer doubled down on with corresponding affricates, let alone actually hearing the distinction.
Even less realistic when you remember that the entire rest of the phonology is just that of a generic Romlang
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

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Just wanted to mention that I really like the work that the Palauan creator put into consonant clusters. Onset /θp/ and /km/? Check. Coda /tp/ and /bl/? Check! Really gives a unique feel to the lang.
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

Post by All4Ɇn »

Creyeditor wrote: 01 May 2020 07:37Onset /θp/... Coda /tp/
I wasn't familiar with Palauan at all and what makes this even more interesting is that /p/ on its own is only used in loanwords
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

Post by Shemtov »

protondonor wrote: 30 Dec 2016 19:57
Albanian and Armenian: is anyone getting tired of these single language branches of Indo-European?

I could write a whole essay on how weird Albanian is. Its phonology is odd for the Balkans, and WTF is that phonotactics doing in Europe? And who in their right mind would use <x> for /d͡z/ and /xh/ for /d͡ʒ/?
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

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Shemtov wrote: 23 Jun 2020 00:51 And who in their right mind would use <x> for /d͡z/ and /xh/ for /d͡ʒ/?
I really like this actually. It makes everyday names look like Alien Emperors. I once had a classmate called Xhuljo [:D]
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

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Shemtov wrote: 06 Aug 2018 20:21 Mixtec was created by a fan of Niger-Volta languages who wanted a similar language in Mesoamerica.
I'm changing this after looking more at the morphosyntax of Mixteco and having read about Fulani:
Mixteco is an attempt to mix Fulani and Yoruba, and somehow place it in Mexico. :roll: I mean, a Niger-Congo language that's transitional between Senegambian and the YEAI complex would have been cool, but they made the vocabulary a priori, and placed it in Mexico. If you can't do a diachronic conlang, at least make it an isolate in Nigeria, aerially effected by Senegambian and YEAI.
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

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Creyeditor wrote: 24 Jun 2020 23:23
Shemtov wrote: 23 Jun 2020 00:51 And who in their right mind would use <x> for /d͡z/ and /xh/ for /d͡ʒ/?
I really like this actually. It makes everyday names look like Alien Emperors. I once had a classmate called Xhuljo [:D]
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

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I have a bone to pick with the creator of Mandarin's tone system. So, four tones? Ok, so like ˥ ˩ ˦˥ ˧˨ or ˥ ˩ ˥˧ ˧˨? Nope, one level tone, two simple contours and a complex contour? No level contrasts, no high/low contrasts at all and you have a complex contour? :roll: Also you expect us to believe that losing stop-finals did not lead to a tone split? [o.O] If you were going to erase stop-finals in a tone language, have it have a tone split effect. :roll:
And Vietnames's creator copied you, and decided to split the simple contours. Ok, so a high/low contrast? Nope, they went with a phonotation split. [o.O]
Both need to learn how tones work (Though at least they're not as nuts as Shanghaiese. Cantonese is the only Sinitic language that has a tone system I can take seriously. )
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

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I like what the creator of the Skou languages did. It's definitely Papua-inspired in its awesome-ness, but it could very well be a divergent branch of Sino-Tibetan or Bantu :mrgreen:
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

Post by Mándinrùh »

The creator of :ita: Italian got lazy. They stopped creating new words for things invented after the mid 20th century and just borrowed everything from English without even trying to make the words match the phonology of the rest of the language:
  • Lo sport /lo sport/ = "The sport" (Even though Italian doesn't normally allow coda clusters)
  • Il computer /il kom'pju.ter/ = "The computer" (Even though anywhere else "pu" is /pu/ and not /pju/)
  • Fare clic /'fa.re klik/ = "Click" (at least they changed the spelling on this one)
  • Il software /il 'sɔft.wer/ = "The software" (Italian doesn't have silent "e" anywhere else)
  • Il Web /il wɛb/ = "The web"
  • Gli Internet /ʎi 'in.ter.nɛt/ = "The Internet"
  • Il film /il film/ = "The movie"
  • La pizza /la 'pi.tsa/ = "The pizza"
  • Il hamburger /il am'bur.ger/ = "The hamburger" (and it's a hard g, even though normally g would be soft before e)
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

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Just like the creator of German [D;]
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Re: If natlangs were conlangs

Post by Salmoneus »

To be fair, the creator of English hasn't bothered creating new words for almost anything in the last... what, 1,200 years? They just cycle through which languages to borrow from.

OK, so I'll grant you that "network", "internet" and "software" are innovations. But "web" and "film" are inherited; "pizza", "click", "sport" and "computer" are loanwords (Neapolitan 'pizza', Middle Dutch "clicken", Old French 'desport' and French 'computeur'); "hamburger" is a phonological borrowing that may or may not be a semantic borrowing (it's unclear when and by whom it was specifically associated with hamburgers).

I mean, they call English a language, but 80% of its vocabulary is loanwords! That includes 30% of the vocabulary stolen from French alone (rising to 40% in business contexts, apparently), and another 30% from Latin. Ridiculously, the only language English HASN'T borrowed from at all is Brythonic, its direct historical substrate and longest, closest neighbour, which is totally unrealistic...
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