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

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

Post by Vlürch »

Dormouse559 wrote: 04 Apr 2021 22:13Another 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>.
Hmmmm, thanks, that'll work! Together with the moving <i>, it'll even combine to enhance the aesthetic from the other possibilities. So, okay, I think here's what I'll do:

/m n (ɲ ŋ)/ <m n gn ng>
/p b t d k g (ʔ)/ <p b t d c(h) g(h) ʻ>
/t͡s t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ <tz c(i) g(i)>
/s z ʃ ʒ/ <s z sc(i)~(i)sc 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)>

Coda /V(C)ʃ(C) V(C)t͡ʃ(C) V(C)d͡ʒ(C)/ are <Vi(C)sc(C) Vi(C)c(C) Vi(C)g(C)>, so eg. <ibgiairsct>, etc. Then, /Vj(C)ʃ(C) Vj(C)t͡ʃ(C) Vj(C)d͡ʒ(C)/ are <Vî(C)sc(C) Vî(C)c(C) Vî(C)g(C)>, so eg. /kajrʃt/ <caîrsct>. I'll also add diphthongs ending in /u̯/ written <û>, so that <i> won't be the only letter with a circumflex, and make the /i̯/ diphthongs explicit diphthongs. I also remembered that Italian uses <gn> for /ɲ/, so... better to copy that too, since there's already the <gl> from Italian.

It also occurred to me that I'm better off making two conlangs out of the one idea after all, one that's more Eastern European-y and one that's more Western European-y at least orthographically, and I guess they're like distantly related languages. So this will be the one set in Sardinia and Corsica, the other one will be set somewhere else. I also messed with the vowels a bit (including vowel harmony), which makes it less fitting to the region, but eh... if Andalusian Spanish has vowel harmony, arguably ANADEW or at least ANADI.
Dormouse559 wrote: 05 Apr 2021 17:38Wikipedia's page on clefts says Spanish has one:
Creyeditor wrote: 05 Apr 2021 19:45
Edit: Japanese seems to use a similar strucuture, too.
And if I understood correctly what part of what you were talking about you were talking about, then Finnish does something like that as well, although only for emphasis and it's not... uh... grammatical? I mean, it is grammatical but it's not the default way to say those kinds of things. It's practically the same way as in English (and I assume under English influence), though, so I guess probably not the same thing you're talking about since then English counts as well.

But just in case, I'll post two Finnish sentences like that with different emphasis:

Se mikä syö lihaa on koira.
it what eats meat is dog
What eats meat is a/the dog.

Se mitä koira syö on lihaa.
it what dog eats is meat
What the dog eats is meat.

I imagine a teacher might probably mark both as incorrect and write a note like "AAAAAAAAA GET THIS ENGLISH OUT OF MY FINNISH", but I'm not sure if that's the case or if it's actually English influence that allows things like this to be said in Finnish. Could be Swedish, German or Russian influence if it also exists in those languages?🤔 Also, at least in the contexts that immediately come to mind where those sentences make sense being said out loud in real life, there might also be an implication of there being confusion (or assumed confusion) on the part of the listener, like, "are you blind? THE DOG is eating meat!!!!" and "are you blind? the dog is eating MEAT!!!!" or whatever.

...of course, there are a bunch of other ways to say the same thing with different emphases and all of them are grammatically correct, but a lot of them would sound unnatural in actual speech.

And sorry, I've gotten even worse at understanding and talking about linguistics than before...
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@Vlürch: That is exactly what I was looking for. The examples and your explanation of its usage make me much confident that I am not just mixing up everything including topic and focus.
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Post by Omzinesý »

Vlürch wrote: 06 Apr 2021 02:46
And if I understood correctly what part of what you were talking about you were talking about, then Finnish does something like that as well, although only for emphasis and it's not... uh... grammatical? I mean, it is grammatical but it's not the default way to say those kinds of things. It's practically the same way as in English (and I assume under English influence), though, so I guess probably not the same thing you're talking about since then English counts as well.

But just in case, I'll post two Finnish sentences like that with different emphasis:

Se mikä syö lihaa on koira.
it what eats meat is dog
What eats meat is a/the dog.

Se mitä koira syö on lihaa.
it what dog eats is meat
What the dog eats is meat.

I imagine a teacher might probably mark both as incorrect and write a note like "AAAAAAAAA GET THIS ENGLISH OUT OF MY FINNISH", but I'm not sure if that's the case or if it's actually English influence that allows things like this to be said in Finnish. Could be Swedish, German or Russian influence if it also exists in those languages?🤔 Also, at least in the contexts that immediately come to mind where those sentences make sense being said out loud in real life, there might also be an implication of there being confusion (or assumed confusion) on the part of the listener, like, "are you blind? THE DOG is eating meat!!!!" and "are you blind? the dog is eating MEAT!!!!" or whatever.

...of course, there are a bunch of other ways to say the same thing with different emphases and all of them are grammatically correct, but a lot of them would sound unnatural in actual speech.

And sorry, I've gotten even worse at understanding and talking about linguistics than before...
I think the function/meaning of all clefts is emphasis or argument focus, what Lambrecht calls it. Only the identity of one participant is unknown and the rest, the known part, is expressed in the relative clause.

I think all European languages have clefts, Finnish probably less than most. In practice, I think, cleft is more common in Finnish than these nice word order alternations. Lihaa koira syö. Teachers of Finnish can be quite dogmatic. The linguistic/cultural imperialism of English surely enhances those constructions, but there must have been them before WW2 in Finnish.

I've been reding on Igbo lately. It also has

O bu anyi gara obodo.
it be we go town
'It's us who went to the town.'

There are some tonal changes in "gara obodo" that mark it as a relative clause.
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The Wikipedia page claims there is disagreement about the meanung of clefts *shrug*
The Igbo examle looks like the cleft sentences I am used to. The relative clause seems to modify 'we' and not 'it'. The Finnish example is different, right? I probably wasn't really clear that I specifically was looking for a relative clause modifying the dummy pronoun 'it'. Thank you for the reference [:)]
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Creyeditor wrote: 06 Apr 2021 12:03 The Wikipedia page claims there is disagreement about the meanung of clefts *shrug*
The Igbo examle looks like the cleft sentences I am used to. The relative clause seems to modify 'we' and not 'it'. The Finnish example is different, right? I probably wasn't really clear that I specifically was looking for a relative clause modifying the dummy pronoun 'it'. Thank you for the reference [:)]
Is it only that you want the relative to modify the dummy pronoun, or is it also that you want it to precede the copula? Because in English it modifies the dummy pronoun usually, but it still comes at the end of the sentence. ["It's a dog that I saw" means that what you saw was a dog, not that 'it' was 'a dog I saw'].


Anyway, Irish is famous for its extensive use of clefting, and this pervades into traditional Hiberno-English. "Sure wasn't it herself told me?"; googling brings up an article with the great title, "Is it truly unique that Irish English clefts are?"

However, in Irish itself the distinction between having the relative before the copula and having it after doesn't apply, because the copula is initial.

Indeed, this is why Irish uses clefting so much: you can't topicalise things through fronting, because the verb has to be initial. So instead you topicalise the thing ahead of the real verb, but stick a dummy copula at the beginning to keep it verb-initial. So wikipedia gives the example of Dúirt mise é (said I it - "mise" is already an emphatic pronoun). To further emphasise the speaker, you front this before the verb - but then it can't be the subject of that verb anymore, so you have to add a copula and relativise the main verb: Is mise a dúirt é (Is I that said it).

Irish is so in favour of clefting that you can even use it to emphasise the verb itself! Wikipedia gives a Scottish Gaelic example: ’S ann a chuala Iain an ceòl a-raoir - it's hearing that Iain did to the music last night. [Iain heard it, he didn't make it].


Similarly, AIUI, clefting in Germanic languages developed as SVO word order became more standardised. This makes it harder to front the O before the V, so in the same way a dummy compula SV is placed first, to allow the O to precede the real verb. "It was a dog I saw".

Note that although English is reluctant to put the relative clause between the dummy subject and the verb in the plain "it"-cleft, it does sometimes happen, and you can do it easily if you use "what" instead of "it that" - "what I saw was a dog". It may just be that English has in general become wary of pronoun+that sequences, which sound old-fashioned. "He that removes this sword from this stone shall be king of England" and so on.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 »

I know I asked about backness harmony in my roleplay setting's Common language earlier, but I'm exprimenting with the system's exact peripheral vowel qualities. Is a system with all lax vowels, like [æ, ɔ, ɪ̟, ʊ̠], plausible, or do I need vowels like [a, ɑ, i]? For context, the system's central vowel, [ə], is opaque, as are the language's prenasalized consonants.
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Post by eldin raigmore »

yangfiretiger121 wrote: 07 Apr 2021 01:11 I know I asked about backness harmony in my roleplay setting's Common language earlier, but I'm exprimenting with the system's exact peripheral vowel qualities. Is a system with all lax vowels, like [æ, ɔ, ɪ̟, ʊ̠], plausible, or do I need vowels like [a, ɑ, i]? For context, the system's central vowel, [ə], is opaque, as are the language's prenasalized consonants.
in my opinion they’re both plausible.
You might use the extreme vowels as semivowels only or as parts of diphthongs only.
I am not an expert, though. My opinion may not be worth more than you’re paying for it!
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Creyeditor wrote: 06 Apr 2021 08:17@Vlürch: That is exactly what I was looking for. The examples and your explanation of its usage make me much confident that I am not just mixing up everything including topic and focus.
No problem, kinda funny because I thought it'd probably be completely pointless and unhelpful rambling haha.
Omzinesý wrote: 06 Apr 2021 08:55Teachers of Finnish can be quite dogmatic.
🧐
yangfiretiger121 wrote: 07 Apr 2021 01:11Is a system with all lax vowels, like [æ, ɔ, ɪ̟, ʊ̠], plausible, or do I need vowels like [a, ɑ, i]? For context, the system's central vowel, [ə], is opaque, as are the language's prenasalized consonants.
AFAICT it's not really naturalistic, like I'd think of a language with it as a language with a really weird vowel inventory if I found out that one exists, but it doesn't strike me as impossible?
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Salmoneus wrote: 06 Apr 2021 16:54
Is it only that you want the relative to modify the dummy pronoun, or is it also that you want it to precede the copula? Because in English it modifies the dummy pronoun usually, but it still comes at the end of the sentence. ["It's a dog that I saw" means that what you saw was a dog, not that 'it' was 'a dog I saw'].
You are right, I want it to modify and directly follow the dunmy pronoun. I learn a lot more about what I really want here [;)]
Salmoneus wrote: 06 Apr 2021 16:54 Note that although English is reluctant to put the relative clause between the dummy subject and the verb in the plain "it"-cleft, it does sometimes happen, and you can do it easily if you use "what" instead of "it that" - "what I saw was a dog". It may just be that English has in general become wary of pronoun+that sequences, which sound old-fashioned. "He that removes this sword from this stone shall be king of England" and so on.
I always that that 'what' relative clauses are different because they do not modify any noun phrase? So, 'what' would be part of the relative clause. But maybe this is the closest English equivalent.
Also, interesting Hiberno-English and Irish stuff. I did not know that.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Creyeditor wrote: 07 Apr 2021 09:01
Salmoneus wrote: 06 Apr 2021 16:54 Note that although English is reluctant to put the relative clause between the dummy subject and the verb in the plain "it"-cleft, it does sometimes happen, and you can do it easily if you use "what" instead of "it that" - "what I saw was a dog". It may just be that English has in general become wary of pronoun+that sequences, which sound old-fashioned. "He that removes this sword from this stone shall be king of England" and so on.
I always that that 'what' relative clauses are different because they do not modify any noun phrase? So, 'what' would be part of the relative clause. But maybe this is the closest English equivalent.
Well, everything's different from everything!
In the original, indefinite sense, 'what' introduces a headless relative: "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". But a sentence lie "what I saw was a dog" is no longer indefinite. In effect, "what" here is simply a concatenation of a pronoun (it, that) and a relative pronoun - "what" in this case is equivalent to "that that" or "it that". Whether an academic syntactician would say that 'what' is inside the relative, outside it, or both, doesn't seem that important to me.

In any case, my point wasn't that the 'what' construction was identical to the 'it' construction, but just that a clefting construction in which the relative clause precedes the copula does exist in English; it's just discouraged when this would result in two adjacent pronouns (even if the second is optionally elided). You can also see this construction if you replace one pronoun with a dummy noun: "the thing I saw was a dog". And of course this rule also applies elsewhere in the sentence: "I ate it that I had seen" is technically grammatical, but would hardly ever be encountered in the wild.
Also, interesting Hiberno-English and Irish stuff. I did not know that.
It really is extensive there. It's particulary common in questions - of course, it's common in questions in standard English too, but much more so in traditional Hiberno-English.

Here's a few random lines from Synge for flavour:

WQ: It was a bad blow surely, and you should have vexed him fearful to make him strike that gash in his da.
MAHON: Is it me?
WQ: Aye. And isn’t it a great shame when the old and hardened do torment the young?
MAHON: Torment him is it? And I after holding out with the patience of a martyred saint till there’s nothing but destruction on, and I’m driven out in my old age with none to aid me.
WQ: It’s a sacred wonder the way that wickedness will spoil a man.
MAHON: My wickedness, is it? Amn’t I after saying it is himself has me destroyed, and he a liar on walls, a talker of folly, a man you’d see stretched the half of the day in the brown ferns with his belly to the sun.

WQ: What way was he so foolish? It was running wild after the girls maybe?
MAHON: Running wild, is it?

MAHON: Is it racing they are?
JIMMY: It is then.
MAHON: That lad, is it? If you said it was a fool he was, I’d have laid a mighty oath he was the likeness of my wandering son

CHRISTY: It's well enough he's lying, for the likes of him
MICHAEL: Well, aren’t you a hardened slayer? It’ll be a poor thing for the household man where you go sniffing for a female wife; and look beyond at that shy and decent Christian I have chosen for my daughter’s hand, and I after getting the gilded dispensation this day for to wed them now.
CHRISTY: And you’ll be wedding them this day, is it?
MICHAEL: Aye. Are you thinking, if I’m drunk itself, I’d leave my daughter living single with a little frisky rascal is the like of you?
PEGEEN: Is it the truth the dispensation’s come?

PEGEEN: Well, it’d be a poor thing to go marrying your like. I’m seeing there’s a world of peril for an orphan girl, and isn’t it a great blessing I didn’t wed you, before himself came walking from the west or south?
SHANEEN: It’s a queer story you’d go picking a dirty tramp up from the highways of the world.
PEGEEN: And you think you’re a likely beau to go straying along with, the shiny Sundays of the opening year, when it’s sooner on a bullock’s liver you’d put a poor girl thinking than on the lily or the rose?

MICHAEL: It’s the will of God, I’m thinking, that all should win an easy or a cruel end, and it’s the will of God that all should rear up lengthy families for the nurture of the earth. What’s a single man, I ask you, eating a bit in one house and drinking a sup in another, and he with no place of his own, like an old braying jackass strayed upon the rocks? It’s many would be in dread to bring your like into their house for to end them, maybe, with a sudden end; but I’m a decent man of Ireland, and I liefer face the grave untimely and I seeing a score of grandsons growing up little gallant swearers by the name of God, than go peopling my bedside with puny weeds the like of what you’d breed, I’m thinking, out of Shaneen Keogh.
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Vlürch wrote: 07 Apr 2021 06:31
yangfiretiger121 wrote: 07 Apr 2021 01:11Is a system with all lax vowels, like [æ, ɔ, ɪ̟, ʊ̠], plausible, or do I need vowels like [a, ɑ, i]? For context, the system's central vowel, [ə], is opaque, as are the language's prenasalized consonants.
AFAICT it's not really naturalistic, like I'd think of a language with it as a language with a really weird vowel inventory if I found out that one exists, but it doesn't strike me as impossible?
Just to clarify, are you saying the simplified hypothetical system of [æ, ɔ, ɪ̟, ʊ̠, ə] is neither naturalistic nor impossible, whereas the current system of [æ, ɑ, ɔ, œ, i, ɯ̠, ʊ̠, ʏ̟, ə] is both more naturalistic and more probable? For context, I describe vowel pronunciation and backness harmony as follows on a document that contains several Romanized alphabets: [v]owels are pronounced separately. But, due to backness harmony—which is blocked by [m, n, ɲ, ŋ, ᵐpʰ, ᵐb, ⁿtʰ, ⁿd, ᵑkʰ, ᵑg, ə], [ɔ, æ, ʊ̠, i] replace [æ, ɔ, i, ʊ̠] on either side of the sounds mentioned earlier while harmonizing with the previous vowels on that side of the sounds, as in yámpála [i.æ.ᵐpʰɔˈʎ̝ɔ] ... <á, ý> are included for ease of use even though the local syllabary only has three vowel glyphs, one for [ɪ̟, ʊ̠], one for [æ, ɔ], and one for [ə].

I removed [ɑ, œ, ɯ̠, ʏ̟] from the document because most of my players won't be able to pronouce [œ, ʏ̟]
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yangfiretiger121 wrote: 07 Apr 2021 16:05Just to clarify, are you saying the simplified hypothetical system of [æ, ɔ, ɪ̟, ʊ̠, ə] is neither naturalistic nor impossible, whereas the current system of [æ, ɑ, ɔ, œ, i, ɯ̠, ʊ̠, ʏ̟, ə] is both more naturalistic and more probable?
Well, I think the latter is more naturalistic, since that's basically eg. Turkish /e ɑ o ø i ɯ u y/ with an added /ə/ and some slighthly different phonetic details, but... what exactly do you mean by [ɯ̠], since [ɯ] is already a back vowel?🤔
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Vlürch wrote: 07 Apr 2021 16:24
yangfiretiger121 wrote: 07 Apr 2021 16:05Just to clarify, are you saying the simplified hypothetical system of [æ, ɔ, ɪ̟, ʊ̠, ə] is neither naturalistic nor impossible, whereas the current system of [æ, ɑ, ɔ, œ, i, ɯ̠, ʊ̠, ʏ̟, ə] is both more naturalistic and more probable?
Well, I think the latter is more naturalistic, since that's basically eg. Turkish /e ɑ o ø i ɯ u y/ with an added /ə/ and some slighthly different phonetic details, but... what exactly do you mean by [ɯ̠], since [ɯ] is already a back vowel?🤔
Okay. That makes sense. I think I'd intended it to be near-high [ɯ̞] and just hit the wrong diacritic. Granted, the next question, to which I have no good answer, would be about native speakers, seemingly randomly, dropping high {i} to near-high [ɯ̞].
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Post by Ahzoh »

Can a language have proximate/obviation distinction without marking nouns themselves? That is, only existing in pronouns, possessive affixes, and verbal agreement markers
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Ahzoh wrote: 08 Apr 2021 07:45 Can a language have proximate/obviation distinction without marking nouns themselves? That is, only existing in pronouns, possessive affixes, and verbal agreement markers
Isn’t that the usual thing in Niishnibaamwen (sp?) and other Algonquian languages?
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eldin raigmore wrote: 08 Apr 2021 08:11
Ahzoh wrote: 08 Apr 2021 07:45 Can a language have proximate/obviation distinction without marking nouns themselves? That is, only existing in pronouns, possessive affixes, and verbal agreement markers
Isn’t that the usual thing in Niishnibaamwen (sp?) and other Algonquian languages?
No, they have obviation markers even on normal unpossessed nouns
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Thanks again everyone. I am confident now to use the clefts as planned.
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Post by Omzinesý »

This is a natlang question but it seems this section is more active.

Does having ejective consonant phonemes predict having aspirated consonant phonemes? It the correlation strong?
If yes, should it be explained just so that ejectives are such atypical and hard-to-pronounce sounds that other distinctive features are first utilized? Or is there some deeper connection to do with articulatory phonetics?

WALS didn't have data on aspiration. It isn't probably weird enough.
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Post by eldin raigmore »

@Omzinesy:
Does having ejective consonant phonemes predict having aspirated consonant phonemes? It the correlation strong?
If yes, should it be explained just so that ejectives are such atypical and hard-to-pronounce sounds that other distinctive features are first utilized? Or is there some deeper connection to do with articulatory phonetics?
You could look up on UPSID or PHOIBLE how many languages have both, or either one alone, or neither, and calculate the chi-squared statistic yourself and look up its significance in a statistics handbook (CRC or something).
That will tell you whether or not the correlation you’re asking about is truly significant.
If not, there’s nothing to explain.
If so, I have no idea what the explanation is.
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I would be interested in seeing the results.
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1 :deu: 2 :eng: 3 :idn: 4 :fra: 4 :esp:
:con: Ook & Omlűt & Nautli languages & Sperenjas
[<3] Papuan languages, Morphophonology, Lexical Semantics [<3]
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