Experimental Conlang A: A conlang in progress

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Experimental Conlang A: A conlang in progress

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Tue 31 May 2011 12:05 am

This conlang is an exploration of the extent to which a language might evolve complexity. In this thought experiment, which admittedly is not rigorous, I start by constructing a language with a fairly complex grammar and then examine it for stability. The culture in which the language is hypothesized to evolve is a moderately isolated inland population.

Phonology:


Phonology:

(I can't get tables to copy properly, so I'm presenting the consonants in an indented structure.)

Stop:
Bilabial <p> <b>
Alveolar <t> <d>
Velar <k> <g>
Glottal <ʔ>
Fricative:
Labiodental <f> <v>
Interdental <θ> <ð>
Alveolar <s> <z>
Alveo-palatal <ʃ> <ʒ>
Glottal <H> <x>
Affricate:
Palatal <tʃ> <dʒ>
Nasal:
Bilabial <m>
Alveolar <n>
Velar <ŋ>
Lateral Approximant:
Alveolar <l>
Approximant:
Alveolar <ɹ>
Glide
Bilabial <w>
Alveolar <j>

Vowels are numerous and slightly assymetrical.

i: i y u u:
ı υ
e: e ^ o o:
ε
æ æ: a a:

Diphthongs: <ai> <au> <ou> <uw> <wı> <wi> <wi:> <wu>
Tripthongs: <wej>

/l,/, /m,/, /n,/, and /ɹ,/ can function as syllabic consonants, but tend to assimilate to following vowels by forming consonant clusters and breaking across syllables.

I have not completed other allophonic effects.

Syllable structure:

(C)(C)(V)V(V)(C)(C)
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Re: Experimental Conlang A: A conlang in progress

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Tue 31 May 2011 12:07 am

If anyone knows how to post without the software removing spaces, or otherwise enter tables, it would be appreciated.
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Re: Experimental Conlang A: A conlang in progress

Postby Emma » Wed 01 Jun 2011 12:37 am

Tables currently aren't installed onto the software, I suspect. I tried as well, nothing. The site owner would have to install the BBcode first.

For spaces, it seems to work fine for me. Is it the code BBCode that is giving you problems, or something else?
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Re: Experimental Conlang A: A conlang in progress

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Sat 04 Jun 2011 2:44 am

Emma wrote:Tables currently aren't installed onto the software, I suspect. I tried as well, nothing. The site owner would have to install the BBcode first.

For spaces, it seems to work fine for me. Is it the code BBCode that is giving you problems, or something else?


The vowels were supposed to be arranged front to back, but they collapsed.
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Starting the Morphology

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Sat 04 Jun 2011 3:04 am

Morphology:

Agglutinave, with the exception of personal pronouns, which have become fusional through assimilation, and a few irregular verbs.

Nominals:

The pattern for nominals is root-gender-number-demonstrative marker-possessive pronoun-reflexivity marker-case.

There are three genders. Animates use biological gender, with unknown and mixed groups treated as neuter. Apart from the gender particles, there is no comprehensive pattern, semantically or morphologically, to other nouns.

The gender markers are:

Masc: -(a)θ-, -(a)ð-
Fem: -(a)p-
Neut: -(a)tw-, -(a)dw-

Voicing assimilates in masculine and neuter to the preceding consonant, with the voiceless the default. Vowels epenthesize if the root ends in a consonant other than a nasal or liquid.

There are three numbers, singular, paucal (used for groups of two to four or five), and plural:

Sing: -a-
Pauc: -u-
Pl: -i-

There is a distinction between animate and inanimate plurals. Inanimate plurals polarize gender, but animates do not. Mass nouns decline as plural but do not polarize.

Demonstrative markers:

Immediate: [-ka-]
Proximate: [-ba-]
Distant: [-za:-]

Possessive pronouns decline in the possessed according to the gender of the possessor and are mandatory regardless of whether the possessor is named:

Masc.:
Alien.: [-ʔε-]
Inalien.: [-ʃε]
Fem.:
Alien.: [-la-]
Inalien.: [-wa:-]
Neut.:
Alien.: [-tta-]
Inalien.: [-ŋa-]

salum-tw-a-la -p
book-neut-sing-fem. alien. poss.-nom.

t-eʔ-kolia-p-a-sk
neut. (reinf.)-sing. (reinf.)-Kolia-fem.-sing.-gen.

Kolia’s book

(Reinforcing prefixes will be explained in a subsequent post.)

salum-tw-a-ʔε -p
book-neut-sing-masc. alien. poss.-nom.
His book

Reflexivity is marked by [-θata-/-ðata-], with voicing assimilated to the preceding consonant.

Case:

Declension 1:
Nom.: [-p]
Acc.: [-t] /[-d] (voicing assimilated to preceding consonant)
Gen.: [-gɹ,]
Ess./Dat.: [-ks]
Iness.: [-ku]
Trans.: [-m^n]
Loc.: [-f]
Instr.: [-ld]
Voc.: (-jo]

Declension 2:
Nom.: [-st]
Acc.: [-n]
Gen.: [-sk]
Ess./Dat.: [-l]
Iness.: [-lu:]
Trans.: [-hın]
Loc.: [-bu]
Instr.: [-m]
Voc.: [-mai]

Declension 3:
Nom.: [-to]
Acc.: [-tl,]
Gen.: [-taub]
Ess./Dat.: [-lo:]
Iness.: [-s]/[-z] (voicing assimilated to preceding consonant)
Trans.: [-mæk]
Loc.: [-lz]
Instr.: [-vυk]
Voc.: [-sig]

Declension 4:
Nom.: [-g]
Acc.: [-ŋ]
Gen.: [-v^ŋ]
Ess./Dat. [-mi]
Iness.: [-nz]
Trans.: [-tai]
Loc.: [-sεt]
Instr.: [-kæn]
Voc.: [-ja:]

(I may end up adding more cases as the need arises.)
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Re: Experimental Conlang A: A conlang in progress

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Mon 06 Jun 2011 4:55 am

Reinforcing agreement:

Reinforcing agreement is part of a two-level agreement system. All nominals agree with both the following word (reinforcement), and the subject and object show agreement.

With a few exceptions, the word immediately following a head nominal receives reinforcing prefixes showing agreement with gender and number, in that order.

Masc: [θ-]
Fem: [p-]
Neut: [t-]

Number varies according to the following phoneme:

Before:
Vowel:
Sing.: 0
Pauc.: [-w-]
Pl.: [-j-]

Nasal:
Sing.: [-ε-]
Pauc.: [-u-]
Pl.: [-ı-]

Other Cons.:
Sing.: [-eʔ-]
Pauc.: [-uʔ-]
Pl.: [-iʔ-]

Plural polarization carries to the reinforcing affixes.

Note that it is possible for a reinforcing affix either to match or to differ from the inflection of the reinforced word:

fængali-θ-a-g
Fangali-(masc.)-sing.- nom.

θ-[0]-ijana-p-i-ka-t
masc.- [sing]-bread-fem. -pl.-immed.- acc.

p-ı-nam-[0]-[0]-alh-i-bn-e:st
fem.-pl.-eat-[indic.]- [3d]- masc.-pl.-past-vis.

Fangali ate this bread (I see).

Note that [fæn ga’ li] breaks syllables between /n/ and /g/, and does not use /ŋ/.
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Re: Experimental Conlang A: A conlang in progress

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Sat 11 Jun 2011 10:19 pm

Adjectival agreement:

Adjectives agree with gender and number.

θama-tw-i
blue- neut.-pl.

mai-tw-i
small-neut. pl.

fılla:-tw-i-to
ball-neut.-pl.-nom.

t-iʔ- tυm-bal
neut.-pl.- wood-compos.

swud-ap-a-bu
box-(fem.)- sing.-loc.

p-eʔ-kima-[0]-[0]-h-i-ŋ-wik
fem. -sing.-stand-[indic]-[3d]-neut.- pl.- pres.-rep.

The (many) small blue balls are in the wooden box (I am told).

The same markers as in the noun are used, subject to polarization for plurals.

Cardinals and ordinals both classify as adjectives, agree with singulars and paucals, and polarize for plurals.

Name-p-i
six-fem. (pol.)-pl.

kwins-ap-i-ba-g
cart-fem. (pol.)-pl.-prox.-nom.

Those (proximate) six carts
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Re: Experimental Conlang A: A conlang in progress

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Sun 12 Jun 2011 2:21 am

Personal pronouns are constructed from nominal roots:

1st: stεf-p
2d: dɹaif-p
3d: jyf-p
Impers.: auf-p

The masculine infix assimilates to the /f/ instead of epenthesizing, resulting in gemination: [stεff-], [dɹaiff-], [jynf-], [auff-] . Similarly, the /f/ in the root assimilates to the /p/ in the feminine infix: [stεp-], [dɹaip-], [jyp-], [aup-].
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Re: Experimental Conlang A: A conlang in progress

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Mon 13 Jun 2011 5:00 am

Verbs:

The verbal form is root-mood-modal-person-gender-number-tense-aspect-evidential.

Mood:
Inf.: -po
Indic.: 0
Imper. -zd-
Subj.: -fl- or -fl,- (if syllable cannot be broken)

Infinitives do not inflect in any other slot.

Modal:
Oblig.: -hab-
Permiss.: -ŋa-
Capab.: -swe-
Intent.: -vi-

Person:
1st: -εl-
2d: -i-
3d: 0

Gender:
Masc.: -alh-
Fem.: -lul-
Neut.: -h-

Number:
Sing.: -a-
Pauc.: -u-
Pl.: -i-

In the person-gender-number sequence, consecutive vowels are broken by glottal stops.

Tense:
Pres.: -ŋ-
Past: -bn-
Near fut.: -k-
Dist. fut.: -ʒ-

Aspect:
Perf.: -ai-
Prog.: -(a)pu-
Habit.: -(i)va-

Evidential:
Obs.: -e:st
Aur.: -ʃi
Rep.: -wik
Rat.: -(V)niʃ (V harmonizes to previous vowel.)
Participant: -pɹai

Again, consecutive vowels between aspect and evidential are separated by glottal stops.

Rational is used for inferred and hypothetical situations.
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Re: Experimental Conlang A: A conlang in progress

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Wed 15 Jun 2011 2:00 am

There are two copulas and a null copula.

1. The null is used for statives; the adjective is conjugated as a verb. Habitual aspect is used for permanent traits.

jyf-atw-u-p
3d pers -neut. -pauc.- nom.

t-uʔ -daH-h-u-va-ŋ-e:st
neut.- pauc.-tall-neut.-pauc.-pres.-hab.-obs.

They (mixed gender, fewer than five) are tall. (I see.)

2. [zeθ] (be) is used for exact identity. It is irregular in person, gender, and number. [zeθ] never takes a reinforcing prefix, but does require a reflexive marker on the subject. The participatory evidential marker usually will apply.

steff-a-θata-p
1st masc.-sing.-refl.-nom.

θ- eʔ-sapεkt-θen-aθ-a-tl,
masc.-sing.-composed of iron-man-sing.-acc.

se-ŋ-iva-pɹai
am (masc.)-pres.-hab.-partic.

I am Ironman.

3. [kima-] (stand) is used for location and class membership. Class membership requires reflexives and progressive aspect.

ʔand-ap-a-θata-st
‘And-fem.-sing.-refl.-nom.

p- eʔ-dilig-adw-i-ðata-sεt
fem.-sing.-councilor-neut. (mixed anim.)-pl.-refl.-loc.

t- iʔ-kima-p-a-ŋ-pu-wik
neut. (mixed anim.)-pl.-stand-fem.-sing.-pres.-prog.-rep.

‘And is one of the councilors (I hear).
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