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Conlang Peculiarities
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Kiri



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

achemel wrote:
Aert wrote:
Kiri wrote:

Karāòónìmōlata (not posted yet) is a musical-tone language, meaning that every syllable is sung out in one of the 6 melodic tones, distinguished by diacritics. All the cases are also made by the use of these tones



Sounds interesting! I'd like to hear some of that, or at least learn how it works!


Same here. (^_^) Would you actually sing it, then? Would it be centered on a particular note? Could you play it instrumentally and it would have meaning without spoken/sung words? How would you pronounce the name?


There is the ground tone (no diacritic) and 5 tones above it. The ground tone can vary from conversation to conversation, since it's context-based. The pattern for this name would be 13242311, with 1 being the ground tone. It would be hard to understand something from instrumental only, since there is still articulation, but I have to say, that speakers of Karāòónìmōlata listen to the music differently - they hear different things in it.
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achemel



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coooooooooooool. Very Happy I can't wait to see if you post it for us!
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Aert



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh, copulas - I remember reading about those a bit on wikipedia, but never got around to studying them. Let's see then:

1. the 'exist' verb acts as the locator as in "I exist in this place," as the 'being' is not an adjective, an action, or condition.

Quote:
"I (noun) am (equator) a human [being] (noun-phrase)" would use the identifier/equator, but
"I (noun) am (predicator) human (adjective)" would use the predicator.
Note that the second clause has no article "a".


Ahh, that makes sense.

Quote:
Quote:
Aert wrote:
If so, either the existence or condition preverb would be used.

How? Obviously any of us can tell it's possible, since English does in fact use just the one copular verb for all four uses; but I gather you don't want to use just one copula, and you also don't want to do exactly what English does. So, how does your conlang do this?


All right, I think I figured this one out. The condition preverb would not be used, but the 'exist' verb could. More commonly though, the identifier copula would be used. (I'm not sure yet when the verb 'exist' would be used instead though.)

One more thing: I can't find predicator on wikipedia; what is the difference between it and the other copulae we've been discussing? Thanks!

So, quick overview of the 'to be' preverbs/copulas:

be (condition): for adjectival phrases
be (equator): identifier and possession marker (as in "it equals mine")
be (action): via present progressive conjugation
be (location): via the verb 'to exist;' the locator copula and existence marker.

I hope I've got this right now, it definitely makes a lot more sense, and seems to have covered a lot more of the possibilities (though maybe still not all).

Thanks for all your help!
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aert wrote:
One more thing: I can't find predicator on wikipedia; what is the difference between it and the other copulae we've been discussing? Thanks!
(I'm kind of upset that I can no longer find it where I saw it last, either.)
The "predicator" is for saying "(noun phrase) is(predicator) (adjective phrase)".
It's just like your "be (condition)"; in fact it's a synonym.
Aert wrote:
be (condition): for adjectival phrases
It's just that I've seen "predicator" used by a pro writing to other pros, and have only seen "be (condition)" used by you talking to us. That doesn't make one terminology better than the other, though.

Aert wrote:
I hope I've got this right now, it definitely makes a lot more sense, and seems to have covered a lot more of the possibilities (though maybe still not all).

Thanks for all your help!
Welcome, of course. Especially if it did, in fact, help!
Thanks. Smile
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Aert



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Quote:
Aert wrote:
be (condition): for adjectival phrases

It's just that I've seen "predicator" used by a pro writing to other pros, and have only seen "be (condition)" used by you talking to us. That doesn't make one terminology better than the other, though.

Okay, I'll use the predicator terminology as it's the more correct usage, especially if I'm going to use it in gloss. I just had to come up with something I could use until I found the correct term.

EDIT: Is PRED used for the glossing of this term? That's the only one I can find in the Lehmann glossing .pdf file I have. Thanks!
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aert wrote:
Okay, I'll use the predicator terminology as it's the more correct usage, especially if I'm going to use it in gloss. I just had to come up with something I could use until I found the correct term.

EDIT: Is PRED used for the glossing of this term? That's the only one I can find in the Lehmann glossing .pdf file I have. Thanks!
I just don't know.
If the word you use has more than one copula-type use, I'd use "COP" instead.
If in fact it has all the uses English's "be" has, I'd use "be".
But if it's only use is as a predicator, I guess you could make up your own abbreviation as long as it didn't contradict Lehmann's glossing rules, and you told us what it stood for.
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Baldash



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eldin raigmore wrote:
It uses no, or very few, "floating markers" or "linkers".

What does that mean?

I found this and this at Wikipedia. So does that mean that Adpihi doesn't have any suprasegmental features to mark type of sentence etc? Or does it mean something else?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Baldash wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:
It uses no, or very few, "floating markers" or "linkers".

What does that mean?

I found this and this at Wikipedia. So does that mean that Adpihi doesn't have any suprasegmental features to mark type of sentence etc? Or does it mean something else?


I was referring to the idea of "marker" used in these Wikipedia articles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependent-marking_language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-marking_language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-marking_language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-marking_language.

Look at the chapter texts for features 23, 24, and 25 on WALS.info.
http://wals.info/feature/description/23
http://wals.info/feature/description/24
http://wals.info/feature/description/25.

Also see
http://www.hku.hk/linguist/program/Typology6.html

Nichols, Johanna. 1986. Head-marking and dependent-marking grammar. Language 62, 56-119. Nichols, Johanna.

Johanna Nichols was the first author to publish on this way of typing languages.

Many phrases in many languages are about relationships between two words, one of which is the head-word of the phrase and the other of which is the dependent-word of the phrase.

Examples are the possessor/possessum relationship (where the thing possessed is the head and the possessor is the dependent), the adjective/noun relationship (the noun is the head and the adjective is its dependent), the adposition/object relationship (the adposition is the head and its object NP is the dependent), and several possible relationships between a verb and its participants.

Whenever that happens, several things must be made apparent to the addressee by the speaker; among them,
* what kind of relationship it is
* which headword goes with a given dependent
* which dependent goes with a given head

No dependent can be the dependent in more than one head-dependent relationship, although a dependent in one relation can be a head in one or more other relations.

No headword can be the head in two head-dependent relationships of the same kind, though it could easily be the head in several relationships provided they were all of different kinds.

A clause could easily have two, or even several, head-dependent relationships of the same kind, provided they all had different heads and also different dependents.

The ways in which a head-dependent relationship between two words in a clause can be marked by a language -- the ways in which a phrase having a head-word and a dependent-word -- can be classified into three sorts.

1. The head-word can be marked by some kind of morphology that indicates some semantic and/or some grammatical/syntactic features of its dependent. For instance, a verb can be marked with its subject's and objects persons (semantic) and numbers (semantic). Or, an adposition can be marked to agree with its object's number, person, or gender.

2. The dependent-word can be marked by some kind of morphology that indicates some semantic and/or some syntactic/grammatical facts about its head-word. For instance, an adjective can be marked with its head-noun's gender (semantic), number (semantic), or case (grammatical).

3. A separate word can be included that tells what kind of relationship is being marked, and also agrees in some semantic and/or syntactic features with the head, and in some semantic and/or syntactic features with its dependent.

The 1st kind of methods are called "head-marking". The 2nd kind are called "dependent-marking".

The 3rd kind are called "floating markers" or "floating linkers" or "free markers" or "free linkers".

Head-marking is common; dependent-marking is also common. Free markers or floating markers are not that common.

There's another thing that some languages do, called "double marking". This can mean any of:
* both head-marking and dependent-marking
* both head-marking and a free or floating marker
* both dependent-marking and a free or floating marker

Also, there's "zero-marking", where the language doesn't inflect or otherwise apply morphology to either the head word or the dependent word, and also doesn't include an extra "linker" word to show the relationship, but relies entirely on word-order and "educated guesswork" on the part of the addressee, to tell what's what.

I was just saying:
Adpihi does a lot of double-marking, but makes little or no use of free markers or floating linkers.

WALS.info feature 23 wrote:
1.5. Other.
The division into head, dependent, double, and zero marking does not exhaust the possible types. There are several low-frequency but systematic further patterns. One of them is free (or floating ) marking , where the marker is positioned not on the head or the dependent of the phrase but on some other word in a position defined relative to the head or to the phrase boundaries. For example, in Yagua (Peba-Yaguan; Peru), an overt object NP, if roughly definite (see Payne 1990: 255 and 364-367 for more on the pragmatic conditions), is marked by a clitic which attaches to the preceding word. This is floating because it is controlled by one word (the object) but located on another (the preceding word, whatever it may be). The following examples show the object preceded by the verb, the subject, and an adverbial word, respectively


WALS.info feature 24 wrote:
1.5. Other.
The division into head, dependent, double, and zero marking does not exhaust the possible types. There are several low-frequency but systematic further patterns, all of them grouped together as “Other” on the map. One of them is free (or floating ) marking , where the marker is positioned with respect not to the head or the dependent of the phrase but relative to the phrase boundaries. The commonest such position is probably second, or Wackernagel, position, with the marker following the first word or similar unit of the phrase, as in the following NP examples from Chamorro, where =n is a second-position clitic following the first tonic word in the phrase (“=” is a clitic boundary).



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was thinking that double-marking would be a good way to "free up" word-order.

Of the 16 languages that
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=23&id2=24
and
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=23&id2=25
and
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=24&id2=25
show have consistently double-marking in the whole language,

http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=81 shows four
(Greek (Modern), Imonda, Miwok (Southern Sierra), and Yup'ik (Central)) that also have "no dominant order" of verb, subject, and object;
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=82 says two (Greek (Modern) and Yup'ik (Central)) have no dominant order of subject and verb;
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=83 says two
(Miwok (Southern Sierra) and Yup'ik (Central)) also have "no dominant order" of object and verb;
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=84 says the same two have no dominant order of object, oblilque, and verb;
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=85 says one, namely Wembawemba, has no dominant order of adposition and object noun-phrase;
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=86 says two (Mangarrayi and Miwok (Southern Sierra)) have no dominant order of genitive and noun;
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=87 says two
(Miwok (Southern Sierra) and Yup'ik (Central)) also have "no dominant order" of adjective and noun;
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=88 says two (Greenlandic (West) and Imonda) have "mixed" order of demonstrative and noun;
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=89 says one, namely Mangarrayi, has no dominant order of numeral and noun;
and http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=90 says one, namely Imonda, has mixed order of relative clause and noun.
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=91 says Imonda also has no dominant order of degree-word and adjective.
http://wals.info/feature/combined?id1=25&id2=94 says three of them (Burushaski, Yaqui, Zoque (Copainalá)) have mixed order of adverbial subordinator and clause.
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eldin raigmore wrote:
Kiri wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:
Baldash wrote:
Do you mean a hypernym to "noun" and "adjective"? I think "substantive" could be used in that sense.
No; "noun" was the correct hypernym. What we usually call "nouns" were then called "substantive nouns"; what we usually call "adjectives" were then called "adjective nouns".
nomina substantiva (independent or free-standing names)
nomina adiectiva (names that have to lean on something else)
Now you lost me.
What term should I use then? :D

It turns out I was wrong in the conclusion I drew, (even though I was right in my premises).

As I'm sure everyone is aware, in many languages one may frequently "use a noun as if it were an adjective", for instance "sea" and "army" in
"We were addressing the sea captain, not the army captain".
As I'm sure everyone is aware, in many languages one may frequently "use an adjective as if it were a noun", for instance "best" and "good" in
"Let not the best be the enemy of the good".

Well, in some languages, this is so pervasive a phenomenon, and so broad, that there's really no point in distinguishing between "common nouns" and "adjectives". Every common noun can be used as an adjective anywhere an adjective could be used, and every adjective can be used as a common noun anywhere a common noun could be used. (Proper nouns, OTOH, are still "nouns".)

In talking about such languages, grammarians usually call the class containing the things which are both adjectives and common nouns, the class of "substantives".
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Kiri



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't want to start a whole thread just for this one small thing, so I'll write it here.

There are natlangs that have a past/non-past or a future/non-future distinction. At the moment I am pondering a present/non-present distinction and trying to figure out if it would make my life unreasonably hard to go with it. Any ideas?
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Aert



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, English is past/non-past (since the way we express future is through auxiliary modal verbs). Don't know about future/non-future though.

I think present/non-present also occurs in natlangs, but I'm not sure a) which languages use it, and b) to what extent auxiliaries are used to distinguish the temporal context of non-present events.
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kiri wrote:
I didn't want to start a whole thread just for this one small thing, so I'll write it here.

There are natlangs that have a past/non-past or a future/non-future distinction. At the moment I am pondering a present/non-present distinction and trying to figure out if it would make my life unreasonably hard to go with it. Any ideas?




Aert wrote:
Well, English is past/non-past (since the way we express future is through auxiliary modal verbs). Don't know about future/non-future though.

I think present/non-present also occurs in natlangs, but I'm not sure a) which languages use it, and b) to what extent auxiliaries are used to distinguish the temporal context of non-present events.



No, in fact, languages whose tense split is present vs non-present get reported often but all so far have proven to be otherwise; usually the person who reported it is also the person who proves its otherwise.

I don't know why natlangs don't exist with a present vs nonpresent morphological or lexical split.

It seems it would go with "here" vs "there" and with "now" vs "then".

Anyway:

A language with a future vs nonfuture split, would need some non-morphological means to distinguish present from past. That would probably be syntax or an auxiliary word (or both).

Similarly, a language with a past vs nonpast split, like English, would need some non-morphological means to distinguish present from future. That would probably be syntax, or, like English, an auxiliary word, or both.

Likewise, a conlang with a present vs nonpresent split, would need some non-morphological means to distinguish past from future. That would probably be syntax, or an auxiliary word, or both.

Mood-prominent languages tend to be future vs nonfuture languages; the natural equation to assume is future = irrealis and realis = present or past.

Aspect-prominent languages tend to be past vs nonpast languages; the natural equation to assume is perfective = past and imperfective = present.

I don't see why there couldn't be an aspect-prominent conlang in which imperfective usually meant present and perfective usually meant past-or-future. I suppose if it were equally or almost equally mood-prominent, perfective irrealis could usually be equated with future and perfective realis could usually be equated with past.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In H. Beam Piper's "Uller Uprising", the Kragans (the nation of Ullerians most friendly to humans) have a language in which there are four tenses: namely, and to wit:
  • temporally present and spatially present (now and here);
  • temporally present and spatially absent (now and there);
  • temporally absent and spatially present (then and here);
  • temporally absent and spatially absent (then and there).
and these tenses apply to nouns, rather than to verbs.
The Kragans understand Relativity better than the other Ullerians. The humans believe that this is an example of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis; that the Kragan language prepares them to understand relativity.

I wish someday I'll get to see a Kragan conlang.
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LingoDingo
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll just throw this in real quick.

The Russian perfective essentially boils down to a past-future distinction, and is more or less unable to indicate present tense.

Thus the Russian imperfective-prefective layout might be seen as present-nonpresent, as stated by eldin.
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, LingoDingo.
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