(Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here [2010-2020]

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

Post by WeepingElf »

Salmoneus wrote:
05 Jan 2020 15:39
WeepingElf wrote:
31 Dec 2019 17:11
Substratum theories are now pretty much out of fashion in Romance and Celtic linguistics. The dialectal divisions within Romance do not match the linguistic divisions in pre-Roman Western Europe well, and the phenomena the substratum theories sought to explain are in most instances simply not old enough. Also, ideas such as a Semitic substratum in the British Isles were so far-fetched that the whole enterprise got a bad name.
I think "it's out of fashion" and "a completely unrelated crackpot theory is nonsense" are bad reasons to neglect the possibility of a Celtic substratum influence. There's nothing magical about Latin that should render it immune to ordinary linguistic processes.
Of course, Provincial Latin was susceptible to substratum influences, especially regarding the fact that it mostly spread by language shift: the Gauls, Iberians, etc. weren't replaced by Romans, they just adopted the language of their new rulers. Also, "out of fashion" is not the same thing as "wrong". Fashions may err. Yet, many of the attempts to ascribe changes in the Latin dialects to substratum features have turned out to be unsuccessful. For instance, we have no evidence of /u/-fronting in Gaulish, so why should the /u/-fronting in Gallo-Romance have been caused by the Gaulish substratum?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

It's realistic for /ue/ to (optionally) be [ye~ɥe~yø~ɥø~yə~ɥə] when the following syllable contains /i/, right? And the shift /ow/ -> /uo/ should also be fine, since it's basically just metathesis? Just making sure because even though I feel like they're obviously naturalistic, there's something nagging me about them...

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

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Vlürch wrote:
07 Jan 2020 02:53
It's realistic for /ue/ to (optionally) be [ye~ɥe~yø~ɥø~yə~ɥə] when the following syllable contains /i/, right? And the shift /ow/ -> /uo/ should also be fine, since it's basically just metathesis? Just making sure because even though I feel like they're obviously naturalistic, there's something nagging me about them...
/ow/ → /uo/ could have /oː/ as an intermediate, both parts of which (ow → oː and oː → uo) are commonly attested.

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

Post by Vlürch »

VaptuantaDoi wrote:
07 Jan 2020 03:55
/ow/ → /uo/ could have /oː/ as an intermediate, both parts of which (ow → oː and oː → uo) are commonly attested.
I'm not sure if that'd work in the conlang in question since it has phonemic long vowels, considering that'd cause the old /oː/ and /ow/ to merge, which I don't want. Maybe that could be not-exactly-handwaved-but-tbh-handwaved as /oː/ and /ow/ being [ɔː] and [oː] in the intermediate stage or something like that...? Anyway, thanks!

~

Another question, this time stemming from a massive brain fart that froze my ability to think clearly: in a language that doesn't necessarily mark a distinction between nominative and accusative (at least with the default word order) but has a (rarely necessary) topic marker (or something like that), is having some kind of (agentive?) suffix or particle or whatever to mark the secondary subject in constructions with two subjects a necessity, a violation of some linguistic universal, or something in between?

I realised there's a problem when I was coming up with some sentences to flesh out the grammar, and one sentence doesn't feel right the way it logically "should" be... the sentence in question means "the man who came to the party is the handsome twenty-four-year-old actor that everyone is talking about", which couldn't have any room for ambiguity in any case but even more so because the "the man who came to the party" is followed by a topic marker (or whatever), but it still feels like "everyone" shouldn't be unmarked even though it's obvious that the sentence couldn't be interpreted any other way.

Note that the conlang in question isn't meant as a total rip-off of Japanese in terms of syntax and stuff, it's practically somewhere between SAE and Japanese and I feel like this might be why I'm having this prolonged brain fart right now. I don't know if I'm just feeling a clash between "do what SAE languages do" (resist the temptation to mark "everyone" in any way) and "do what Japanese does" (mark "everyone" with an agentive suffix/particle) leading to indecisiveness, or if some universal case hierarchy violations are about to happen if I do what feels right. Like, if I shove some kind of (agentive?) suffix or particle or whatever into that sentence, would it have massive un-undoable implications on the overall case marking in the language?

Practically speaking, using English to make it as obvious as possible what I'm asking about:

1. Everyone is talking about X.
2. X-TOP is the Y everyone-AGT is talking about.

If 2 has an agentive suffix/particle, would it be necessary for 1 to have it as well? The rationale I'm imagining for why it wouldn't be necessary in 1 is that there's only one subject, while in 2 there are two; maybe additionally the presence of the topic marker (or whatever, since it may or may not be a 100% pure topic marker) for some reason would induce the agentive? Would that work?

If the question doesn't even make any sense, maybe my current brain fart is even more severe than I think... or maybe I'm wording it in a way that makes no sense since I'm really tired... [>_<] It's probably not a "quick question", either, since it took so long to even type... but I don't want the question to be confusing.

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

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Vlürch wrote:
07 Jan 2020 06:22
VaptuantaDoi wrote:
07 Jan 2020 03:55
/ow/ → /uo/ could have /oː/ as an intermediate, both parts of which (ow → oː and oː → uo) are commonly attested.
I'm not sure if that'd work in the conlang in question since it has phonemic long vowels, considering that'd cause the old /oː/ and /ow/ to merge, which I don't want. Maybe that could be not-exactly-handwaved-but-tbh-handwaved as /oː/ and /ow/ being [ɔː] and [oː] in the intermediate stage or something like that...? Anyway, thanks!
Perhaps you could get around this with

ow → aw
aw → ɔː
ɔː → oɔ → uo

The last stage happened in several Romance languages where stressed open /ǫ/ which was allophonically [ɔː] became /uo/ while /ọ/ in the same position ([oː]) didn't change.

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

Post by Vlürch »

VaptuantaDoi wrote:
07 Jan 2020 06:50
Perhaps you could get around this with

ow → aw
aw → ɔː
ɔː → oɔ → uo

The last stage happened in several Romance languages where stressed open /ǫ/ which was allophonically [ɔː] became /uo/ while /ọ/ in the same position ([oː]) didn't change.
That works perfectly if /ɑw/ already became /oː/ earlier, or even later if there was some subtle difference like /ow/ -> /ɒw/ or whatever. Thanks!


Edit: Continued in this thread. -Aevas, 2020-09-06

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