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

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

Post by DesEsseintes »

Pabappa wrote: 11 Jul 2021 13:19 i imagine there's probably a syllabic /n/ too.
There isn’t, incidentally.
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Post by sangi39 »

Pabappa wrote: 11 Jul 2021 13:19
teotlxixtli wrote: 10 Jul 2021 16:12 Are there any documented languages with a syllabic ŋ?
the cantonese surname https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ng_(name) also exists. they also have a syllabic /m/, and, though i havent looked, i imagine there's probably a syllabic /n/ too.
Surprisingly not. The only syllabic consonants in Cantonese are /m/ and /ŋ/, and they never appear with preceding initial, e.g. you never get /tŋ̩/, and they never appear in closed syllables, so you don't get /m̩p/, for example. They appear only as syllables in their own right, and they still carry one of the six open tones.
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Post by yangfiretiger121 »

I've just circled back to a minimalist Japanese-inspired language I created a while ago. Cureently, the idea is for some particles (think wa, ga, etc.) to have become suffixes wgile others (think ka, etc.) remain separate words. Is this naturalistic?
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Post by Omzinesý »

yangfiretiger121 wrote: 11 Jul 2021 15:28 I've just circled back to a minimalist Japanese-inspired language I created a while ago. Cureently, the idea is for some particles (think wa, ga, etc.) to have become suffixes wgile others (think ka, etc.) remain separate words. Is this naturalistic?
How is Word defined in the minimalist Japanese-inspired language? What would it mean that wa and ga are suffixes while ka is not?
Someone could analyse that they already are case suffixes.
My meta-thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5760
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Post by yangfiretiger121 »

Omzinesý wrote: 11 Jul 2021 15:50
yangfiretiger121 wrote: 11 Jul 2021 15:28 I've just circled back to a minimalist Japanese-inspired language I created a while ago. Cureently, the idea is for some particles (think wa, ga, etc.) to have become suffixes wgile others (think ka, etc.) remain separate words. Is this naturalistic?
How is Word defined in the minimalist Japanese-inspired language? What would it mean that wa and ga are suffixes while ka is not?
Someone could analyse that they already are case suffixes.
In the exapmle below, English translations/specifications that my language doesn't have yet are indicated with curly brackets/braces ({}).

In my language, "Tōkyō wa hito bakari da." is "{City-name}(n)nè (topic marker) {people (noun)} {full of (particle)} {sentence-ending particle}." as of now. The <-n(n)è> suffix, which is now pronounced [(ŋ)ʟē̞][ or (ŋ)ʟè̞]—depending on the topic's vowel tones, decends from the old topic marker [ŋè̞], to which an optional <n> is added if the topic ends in a vowel. To be exact, everything but case markers and sentence-enders are separate by default, with sentence-enders separating from verbs and other particles.
Last edited by yangfiretiger121 on 13 Jul 2021 17:27, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by teotlxixtli »

Pabappa wrote: 11 Jul 2021 13:19
teotlxixtli wrote: 10 Jul 2021 16:12 Are there any documented languages with a syllabic ŋ?
the cantonese surname https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ng_(name) also exists. they also have a syllabic /m/, and, though i havent looked, i imagine there's probably a syllabic /n/ too.
I had heard of this surname before but I wasn't certain if it was a true syllabic nasal or if it was just realized as /əŋ/
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Post by Salmoneus »

Creyeditor wrote: 11 Jul 2021 10:34
Salmoneus wrote: 10 Jul 2021 21:49 Also: woah, unexpected syllabification. I'd always assumed it would be /kast.n/ and /leb.n/ as it would be in English. Again, a real tongue-twister you have there!
I actually say [zIN], even though other people say it should be [zIN:] if monosyllabic. That also means <gähnen> 'yawn' and <gehen> 'go' are both [ge:n]. For me [zINn] is way more difficult to pronounce, independent of syllabification, even though it doesn't sound wrong. [zI.N@n] on the other hand sounds like a news anchor to me.
How about [zIN.@n/? (again, it seems German does syllables backward from English...)

(For me, [zIN.N] is super-difficult - it's not easy to inject an audible syllable break in there. [zIN:] is kind of doable, with the problem - my problem with all phonemic length - that I'd never feel confident I'd done enough or too much N-ing. [zIN.n] is trivially easy, you just move the tongue from one position to the other while maintaining nasality. Even monosyllabic [zINn] wouldn't be too difficult.
cedh wrote: 11 Jul 2021 12:31 In [zɪŋ.ŋ] there is no break between the two instances of [ŋ], it's a single long consonant, but there's a (weak) prosodic contour that's typical for disyllabic feet (roughly ↘↗ in terms of volume and →↘ in terms of pitch).
Oh good god, phonemic contour tones as well!?
Regarding syllabification, the main argument for moving the consonant to the onset of the next syllable is that voiced obstruents stay voiced for most speakers; in coda position they would be expected to devoice (e.g. <sagbar> [za:k.b̥ɐ], <leblos> [le:p.los])
Clever. Do thing likes aspiration and release agree on this syllabification? And stress?
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Post by Omzinesý »

yangfiretiger121 wrote: 11 Jul 2021 17:02
Omzinesý wrote: 11 Jul 2021 15:50
yangfiretiger121 wrote: 11 Jul 2021 15:28 I've just circled back to a minimalist Japanese-inspired language I created a while ago. Cureently, the idea is for some particles (think wa, ga, etc.) to have become suffixes wgile others (think ka, etc.) remain separate words. Is this naturalistic?
How is Word defined in the minimalist Japanese-inspired language? What would it mean that wa and ga are suffixes while ka is not?
Someone could analyse that they already are case suffixes.
In the exapmle below, English translations/specifications that my language doesn't have yet are indicated with curly brackets/braces ({}).

In my language, "Tōkyō wa hito bakari da." is "{City-name}(n)nè (topic marker) {people (noun)} {full of (particle)} {sentence-ending particle}." as of now. The <-n(n)è> suffix, which is now pronounced [(ŋ)ʟē̞][ or (ŋ)ʟè̞]—depending on the topic's vowel tones, decends from the old topic marker [ŋè̞], to which an optional <n> is added if the topic ends in a vowel. To be exact, everything but case markers and sentence-enders are separate by default, with sentence-enders separating from verbs and other particles.
Very much can happen when languages live with time.
Probably those morphemes are more frequent and are thus grammaticalized more.
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Post by yangfiretiger121 »

Thanks.

Am I describing the relationship between approximants and trills corrently in the note about the language's pharyngeal trill and near-open cental vowels below? Interestingly, rather than adding a completely new character to the alphabet after the applicable changes, natives just added a diacrical to the <a>. Tentaively, the pharyngeal trill is written <ã>.

[ʢ ɐ́ ɐ̀ ɐ̄] descend from former [ʕ̞ ɑ́ ɑ̀ ɑ̄] after the simultaneous fortification of [ʕ̞ → ʢ] as well as raising and centralizing of [ɑ́ ɑ̀ ɑ̄ → ɐ́ ɐ̀ ɐ̄]
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Post by Creyeditor »

Salmoneus wrote: 12 Jul 2021 00:43 How about [zIN.@n/? (again, it seems German does syllables backward from English...)
As long as you don't insert a glottal stop, I doubt that people will notice the difference.
Salmoneus wrote: 12 Jul 2021 00:43 Oh good god, phonemic contour tones as well!?
Well, it's mainly the phonetic realization of word stress and intonation. Which also varies from place to place. I am from the North, where there is less intonation.
Salmoneus wrote: 12 Jul 2021 00:43 Clever. Do thing likes aspiration and release agree on this syllabification? And stress?
As far as I can see, aspiration and release do agree with this syllabification in most cases. There are some strange cases where people are unsure like /dogma/ and /atlas/ but that's about it.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

I've been reading Dixon's Ergativity, and it's got me wanting to make a (believable) ergative romlang. I've come up with two possible ways an ergative system could develop, namely:

1. A Gallo-Romance language in which the marked nominative incentivises an ergative-absolutive system, first only in masculine nouns but later spreading to feminine nouns, articles, adjectives and third-person pronouns. First- and second- person pronouns would remain nominative-accusative, which is a relatively common split for a split-S language to have. I already have an idea for where to place this an an althistory.

2. An Eastern Romance language in which the passive voice was used extensively until it becomes the only form for transitive sentences, which then had a subject in the absolutive and an object in the nominative. This would affect all nouns and pronouns, making it a fully ergative language; it would also preserve the Latin passive which could be interesting, and I also have a vague idea of where to set this one.

My question is, which one would be more realistic/interesting? Should I make a thread about one of them? Or about both?
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Post by Omzinesý »

VaptuantaDoi wrote: 14 Jul 2021 11:07 I've been reading Dixon's Ergativity, and it's got me wanting to make a (believable) ergative romlang. I've come up with two possible ways an ergative system could develop, namely:

1. A Gallo-Romance language in which the marked nominative incentivises an ergative-absolutive system, first only in masculine nouns but later spreading to feminine nouns, articles, adjectives and third-person pronouns. First- and second- person pronouns would remain nominative-accusative, which is a relatively common split for a split-S language to have. I already have an idea for where to place this an an althistory.

2. An Eastern Romance language in which the passive voice was used extensively until it becomes the only form for transitive sentences, which then had a subject in the absolutive and an object in the nominative. This would affect all nouns and pronouns, making it a fully ergative language; it would also preserve the Latin passive which could be interesting, and I also have a vague idea of where to set this one.

My question is, which one would be more realistic/interesting? Should I make a thread about one of them? Or about both?
The most realistic strategy is that Perfect(ive) develops from a syntactically intransitive possession construction, more or less your 2). That is what happened in Indo-Iranian, for example. Dixon says relatively little on diachronics of alignments. There are better and more empirical sources, which I may try to remember.

The source of modern Romance Perfect(ive): Habea librum sriptum.
The source of an alternative perfect(ive): Mihi liber scriptus est.

However, I like 1) more. There are theories that PIE actually was like that. Animacy could also affect.
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Post by Davush »

VaptuantaDoi wrote: 14 Jul 2021 11:07

My question is, which one would be more realistic/interesting? Should I make a thread about one of them? Or about both?
In addition to Omzinesy's suggestions, there is also the example of Neo-Aramaic(s), some of which developed an ergative system exactly as Omzinesy describes (possible under influence of Iranic actually) via passive-participles of transitive verbs, which I think could reasonably happen to a Romlang.

E.g. : "I wrote the book" > "the book (was) written by.me" > "by.me written the book", this is essentially exactly "mihi liber scriptus est ", where the "mihi" (by.me) forms then become the new ergative case and becomes applied to all transitives, but intransitive verbs such as "I slept" remain "I slept".
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Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Omzinesý wrote: 14 Jul 2021 12:04 The most realistic strategy is that Perfect(ive) develops from a syntactically intransitive possession construction, more or less your 2). That is what happened in Indo-Iranian, for example. Dixon says relatively little on diachronics of alignments. There are better and more empirical sources, which I may try to remember.

The source of modern Romance Perfect(ive): Habea librum sriptum.
The source of an alternative perfect(ive): Mihi liber scriptus est.
Davush wrote: 14 Jul 2021 12:15
In addition to Omzinesy's suggestions, there is also the example of Neo-Aramaic(s), some of which developed an ergative system exactly as Omzinesy describes (possible under influence of Iranic actually) via passive-participles of transitive verbs, which I think could reasonably happen to a Romlang.

E.g. : "I wrote the book" > "the book (was) written by.me" > "by.me written the book", this is essentially exactly "mihi liber scriptus est ", where the "mihi" (by.me) forms then become the new ergative case and becomes applied to all transitives, but intransitive verbs such as "I slept" remain "I slept".
This is along the lines of what I was thinking. Could this to analogise to all aspects, or would that be asking too much?
Omzinesý wrote: 14 Jul 2021 12:04 However, I like 1) more. There are theories that PIE actually was like that. Animacy could also affect.
Dixon does say that a marked nominative can develop into an ergative system, with the example of Päri (which is probably a bad example because some people say it isn't ergative at all), where the likely development was that an older syntax of VAO / VS habitually fronted to OVA/SV. Then as S was in the same position as O, and accusative was unmarked, it began to be put in the accusative (now the absolutive). This is kinda backed up by how the ergative suffix of Päri is phonetically almost identical to the nominative suffix of a related language. Maybe if lang 1 opted for a AOV~SV order, combined with the generally marked nominative, it might be enough to make ergativity happen...
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VaptuantaDoi wrote: 15 Jul 2021 01:50

This is along the lines of what I was thinking. Could this to analogise to all aspects, or would that be asking too much?
I think some Iranic and Neo-Aramaic(s) use the ergative only in the past/perfective forms, but I think it would be reasonable for the ergative-marked forms to spread into non-past verbs, especially if previous person-marking on non-past verbs had become very eroded or obscured. Some Neo-Aramaic actually developed ergativity, but then gradually generalized the ergative forms for all subjects of both transitive and intransitive verbs, leading back to a nom-acc alignment. So essentially you'd just need to decide how intransitive verbs don't end up with the same subject marking (either via retention or innovation)...
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Post by Omzinesý »

VaptuantaDoi wrote: 15 Jul 2021 01:50
Omzinesý wrote: 14 Jul 2021 12:04 The most realistic strategy is that Perfect(ive) develops from a syntactically intransitive possession construction, more or less your 2). That is what happened in Indo-Iranian, for example. Dixon says relatively little on diachronics of alignments. There are better and more empirical sources, which I may try to remember.

The source of modern Romance Perfect(ive): Habea librum sriptum.
The source of an alternative perfect(ive): Mihi liber scriptus est.
Davush wrote: 14 Jul 2021 12:15
In addition to Omzinesy's suggestions, there is also the example of Neo-Aramaic(s), some of which developed an ergative system exactly as Omzinesy describes (possible under influence of Iranic actually) via passive-participles of transitive verbs, which I think could reasonably happen to a Romlang.

E.g. : "I wrote the book" > "the book (was) written by.me" > "by.me written the book", this is essentially exactly "mihi liber scriptus est ", where the "mihi" (by.me) forms then become the new ergative case and becomes applied to all transitives, but intransitive verbs such as "I slept" remain "I slept".
This is along the lines of what I was thinking. Could this to analogise to all aspects, or would that be asking too much?
I don't know about Romance, but generally, it is very possible.
Basque does not have relatives to compare with, but it seems like that in language-internal analyses.

I still don't remember the better articles.
VaptuantaDoi wrote: 15 Jul 2021 01:50
Omzinesý wrote: 14 Jul 2021 12:04 However, I like 1) more. There are theories that PIE actually was like that. Animacy could also affect.
Dixon does say that a marked nominative can develop into an ergative system, with the example of Päri (which is probably a bad example because some people say it isn't ergative at all), where the likely development was that an older syntax of VAO / VS habitually fronted to OVA/SV. Then as S was in the same position as O, and accusative was unmarked, it began to be put in the accusative (now the absolutive). This is kinda backed up by how the ergative suffix of Päri is phonetically almost identical to the nominative suffix of a related language. Maybe if lang 1 opted for a AOV~SV order, combined with the generally marked nominative, it might be enough to make ergativity happen...
My understanding is that it is possible, but I don't have examples either.
I have PIE-lang experiments where -s marks the nominative of animates and zero marks the nominative of inanimates and the accusative of all. Probably, the accusative could be further generalized ending up to ergativity.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý »

I have been thing how Proto-Germanic (or some later variety) could "naturalistically" develop this consonant system:

"
p t̪ t͡s k
m n ŋ
s x
z ɣ
l ɾ (or possibly ʀ)
ʋ j
"

In isolation, isolation it is not hard to find up several roads, but what could be a naturalistic social context for it? Where in Europe could there be substrate/superstrate influence, leading to the inventory?

Lack of voicing distinction of stops could hint for Hochdeutsch influence. (/ts/ also hints for Hochdeutsch but in can be gained as an infrequent phoneme anywhere.)
On the other hand, /g/ => [x - ɣ] could easily happen in the Netherlands.
Lack of phonemic /f/ could hint for Slavic or Finnic influence.

But how to combine the explanations?
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Post by shimobaatar »

VaptuantaDoi wrote: 14 Jul 2021 11:07 I've been reading Dixon's Ergativity, and it's got me wanting to make a (believable) ergative romlang. I've come up with two possible ways an ergative system could develop, namely:

1. A Gallo-Romance language in which the marked nominative incentivises an ergative-absolutive system, first only in masculine nouns but later spreading to feminine nouns, articles, adjectives and third-person pronouns. First- and second- person pronouns would remain nominative-accusative, which is a relatively common split for a split-S language to have. I already have an idea for where to place this an an althistory.

2. An Eastern Romance language in which the passive voice was used extensively until it becomes the only form for transitive sentences, which then had a subject in the absolutive and an object in the nominative. This would affect all nouns and pronouns, making it a fully ergative language; it would also preserve the Latin passive which could be interesting, and I also have a vague idea of where to set this one.

My question is, which one would be more realistic/interesting? Should I make a thread about one of them? Or about both?
To address the last point here, I'd be interested in seeing a thread about both. [:)]

Omzinesý wrote: 18 Jul 2021 12:50 I have been thing how Proto-Germanic (or some later variety) could "naturalistically" develop this consonant system:

"
p t̪ t͡s k
m n ŋ
s x
z ɣ
l ɾ (or possibly ʀ)
ʋ j
"

In isolation, isolation it is not hard to find up several roads, but what could be a naturalistic social context for it? Where in Europe could there be substrate/superstrate influence, leading to the inventory?

Lack of voicing distinction of stops could hint for Hochdeutsch influence. (/ts/ also hints for Hochdeutsch but in can be gained as an infrequent phoneme anywhere.)
On the other hand, /g/ => [x - ɣ] could easily happen in the Netherlands.
Lack of phonemic /f/ could hint for Slavic or Finnic influence.

But how to combine the explanations?
The lack of a phonemic voicing distinction for the stops could be attributed to Finnic influence, I suppose. /t͡s/ could result from the palatalization of *k and/or *t, but you could also do something like *t *þ > /t͡s t̪/. From what I understand, at least word-initially, Danish seems to have /p t k b d g/ [pʰ t͡sʰ kʰ p t k], so perhaps you could do something similar but then lose the aspiration?

As far as I know, Proto-Germanic *g is typically reconstructed as a fricative [ɣ] in most environments, only appearing as a stop [g] after a nasal or when geminate. The situation in Dutch, for instance, is therefore seen as more of a retention than an innovation, so I'd say that you don't necessarily need outside influence to justify this. You could have *gg *ng > [k(k) ŋ], and then *g > [ɣ] elsewhere.

Personally, my instinct would be to place this language somewhere in northeastern Europe, I suppose.
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Post by sangi39 »

Omzinesý wrote: 18 Jul 2021 12:50 I have been thing how Proto-Germanic (or some later variety) could "naturalistically" develop this consonant system:

"
p t̪ t͡s k
m n ŋ
s x
z ɣ
l ɾ (or possibly ʀ)
ʋ j
"

In isolation, isolation it is not hard to find up several roads, but what could be a naturalistic social context for it? Where in Europe could there be substrate/superstrate influence, leading to the inventory?

Lack of voicing distinction of stops could hint for Hochdeutsch influence. (/ts/ also hints for Hochdeutsch but in can be gained as an infrequent phoneme anywhere.)
On the other hand, /g/ => [x - ɣ] could easily happen in the Netherlands.
Lack of phonemic /f/ could hint for Slavic or Finnic influence.

But how to combine the explanations?
This doesn't look overly tricky. The /p k m n s x z l r j/ all appear in Proto-Germanic, so they wouldn't need to change at all I don't think. PG could just drop out, or shift to [h] to later merge into *x.

/ʋ z ɣ/ could come from an unconditional shift of *b *d *g to appear as [β ð ɣ] in all contexts, then have [β] and PG *w shift to [ʋ], and [ð] merge into existing PG *z

/ŋ/ could appear fairly easily from a reduction of *ng to /ŋ/ before the above changes regarding PG *g.

That'd leave /t̪/ and /t͡s/. The former could come from , and then /t͡s/ could either come from *t or even *k before front vowels (then shift some stuff around to make it phonemic), or even just be an unconditional shift of *t > /ts/ (which I think happened in Moroccan Arabic, and, as you mentioned, High German as part of a larger change, but I don't think that necessarily has to happen here, because you've got the at dental /t̪/ that might drive a change that only affects *t.

Alternatively (lets call all of this Option 2, and everything mentioned above Option 1), you could have the velars shift to become post-aveolars, and alveolars, e.g. *k *g *x > /ts dz s/ (or leave the fricative), and then have the labiovelars become plain velars (with *gʷ ending up as /ɣ/). The resulting /dz/ could merge into /z/, [ð] (from above), could merge into either [ʋ] or [j] in a similar manner to Faroese, or into *r. PG *t could then split into [t̪] or [t͡s], conditionally, merging with PG in some environments, and PG *k in others.

So, for example, you could have:

*brōþēr > ʋrōt̪ēr
*mōdēr > (1) mōzēr or (2) mōjēr or mōrēr (later mōr)
*wulfaz > ʋulxaz
*tanþs > (1) t͡sant̪s or (2) t̪ant̪s
*branhtaz > ʋranxtaz
*bringadiz > ʋriŋaziz or (2) ʋriŋajiz or ʋriŋariz
*faraną > araną
*frawerþaną > raʋertaną
*kweþaną > (1) kʋet̪aną or (2) ket̪aną
*sehwaną > sehaną
*keusaną > (1) keusaną or (2) t͡seusaną

Another option is that the original *z becomes /r/ like it did in other branches of Germanic very early on, which would give things like ʋulxar, ʋranxtar, and ʋriŋazir ~ ʋriŋajir ~ ʋriŋarir
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý »

Maybe the hard question is still where such a consonant system could appear.
My meta-thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5760
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