How unbalanced is your lexicon?

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Arayaz
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Re: How unbalanced is your lexicon?

Post by Arayaz »

I had a quote about mine somewhere... let's see...

Oh well, I can't open Tumblr rn, so misquote time:
Arayaz on tumblr did not wrote: Lexical bias in conlanging is when you can say "I have gazed long and deeply into my future, and after reflection, I have decided that I do not like it" but can't say "now the cat was happy"
Edit: I FOUND THE REAL QUOTE
Arayaz on tumblr wrote:lexical bias in conlanging is when you can say "I managed to scrape together an outlandish idea about my fate, and after gazing deeply at it, I do not like it" easily but can't say "now the cat was happy"
Last edited by Arayaz on 12 Apr 2024 04:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Pabappa
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Re: How unbalanced is your lexicon?

Post by Pabappa »

Pretty much. I work mostly on whole sets of words, or even types of words (grammar, etc) so I find myself in the same situation.

Play's lexicon is also unbalanced, relative to English, in a different sense .... it has short words for concepts we consider complex, but requires compounds for many, many words that in English are one syllable or at least very short.

This morning I came up with a fairly extreme example of this. A Play taunt might be something such as

Peniibi. Tafupiim. Mis nauppa!

It translates as

You hurt me in anger.
You'll see what I can do.
When I see you,
I will pounce and eat you!


Yes, really.

It comes about because of Play making the 1>2 verb marker a zero morph, and 2>1 (usually) a mere doubling of the vowel. -s is a serial verb marker, corresponding to "when; while", and the rest of it is down to Play having some oddly specific verbs that mostly come from old compounds. nauppa is better translated as "eat alive" but I wanted the rhyme.

Because of these adaptations, Play is rich in taunts like this, and therefore the whole manner of speaking is different even from neighboring languages which are grammatically similar but have the 3>3 verb form or an intransitive as the unmarked form.
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Reyzadren
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Re: How unbalanced is your lexicon?

Post by Reyzadren »

For a conlang that is supposed to be from its own mixed fantasy conworld, it seems to not have as many fantasy words. Partly, it's because I only include word entries that have obvious English translations, or at least conworld-specific words that I have used in a book translation. These "nonsense" words simply are not included into the word list and are only on a separate list elsewhere.
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Pabappa
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Re: How unbalanced is your lexicon?

Post by Pabappa »

At the opposite extreme, Play struggles with concepts that are in English basic vocabulary. For example, corresponding to the English words buy/sell/pay/charge, Play needs three-part compounds, denoting the

1) medium of transaction (if it involves money or not)
2) whether the person is buying or selling
3) whether the action is buy/sell or pay/charge (that is, it points to the object of the verb)

Thus the word for "sold" (past tense of ''sell'') can only be

petumaummibipu

and nothing shorter than that would carry the same meaning. Some of the words in this set are shorter, such as petimipu "buy", simply because a contraction takes place, but even this four-syllable word is considered a short form, and the longer form /petuyumipu/ is just as valid.
Makapappi nauppakiba.
The wolf-sheep ate itself. (Play)
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lsd
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Re: How unbalanced is your lexicon?

Post by lsd »

Reyzadren wrote: 03 Mar 2024 22:35Partly, it's because I only include word entries that have obvious English translations
we can never say enough bad things about bilingual lists...
Pabappa wrote: 05 Mar 2024 19:47Thus the word for "sold" (past tense of ''sell'') can only be
petumaummibipu
here, cxyeypywtohjyxeaw...
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Re: How unbalanced is your lexicon?

Post by lurker »

Commonthroat has to resort to some clunky phrasing to refer to human concepts. The biggest area where this occurs is probably anatomy. <sNLrg> means both arm and leg. <rnqg> means both hand and foot, ditto for fingers/toes and palms/soles. You have to either qualify the word with a function "grasping paw" for hand and "walking paw" for foot, or simply call arms "forelegs" and legs "hind legs". On the flip side, there's no simple word for "nose", but rather separate words for the wet tip of the snout <sPlqg> and the muzzle as a whole, which includes the lips <PMqg>.

Commonthroat has a word meaning to be conceived: <qBCrCb> "cause to become flesh", ex: <qfr sfqp qBCrCb> "I was conceived on Yih", but there's no word for "birth" since the yinrih are oviparous. Humans refer to yinrih "hatching" from the womb-nest in a similar way as humans being born, but yinrih don't draw such a sharp distinction themselves.
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