Standard Language - Returning with a vengeance!

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Standard Language - Returning with a vengeance!

Postby Svip » Tue 30 Mar 2010 11:11 am

Anyone who has been about these forums will know this is not the first time I pulled out this thingie. But each time I have given it some rethought. And I think I am almost settling on both writing systems, words, grammar, etc. So without further ado; let me introduce you the language of Standard.

Introduction

Now, first of all, and most importantly, Standard is a constructed fictional priori constructed language. I realise I may seem to have repeated myself; but there is a reason for this, because while being a constructed language in reality, it is also a constructed language in its internal history.

Standard was created to ease communication between 4 different sapient species. And while it remained close to its logical principles for a good while, it has eventually been subdued to natural evolution of languages, and have spawned countless dialects across Explored Space. But Standard (or in Standard: Kemp-haremle) is generally still considered an universal language; far greater than any previous lingua franca.

Grammar

Standard's grammar is as simple as it gets; a position in a clause indicates 'word type' (e.g. noun, verb, etc.) and as such a clause can at maximum be constructed of 5 words ('subclauses' are considered just that; subclasses, and thus will appear in replacement of a word); clause definer, subject, object, verb and pre/postposition.

The only oddity in that list may be 'clause definer', but it's actually quite simple; this word defines if the clause has a special use; e.g. being a question or a reasoning. It also defines the relationship between the previous clause, e.g. 'but' in English and so on. The pronoun 'ai' is used to refer to just that and can be used as the subject or object (or any word, actually, not sure how much sense that would make), referring to the previous clause's subject.

Example: Luki amnuki nuk i, le ammunuki ai?
Or in English: If the future is now, is the past then the future?
Or more lit.: If[clause definer] the-future now is, question[clause definer] the-un-future [previous clause's subject; the-future]?

As you will notice, 'am-' is a noun definitive prefix, but not presented here is the plural suffix, which is -'za.

Writing system

Standard's writing system is an alphabet. Plain and simple. It consist of 24 letters; 16 consonants and 8 vowels. And these 24 letters represents only 24 sounds.

Vowels

  • a /ɑ/
  • e /e/
  • i /i/
  • o /o/
  • u /u/
  • y /y/
  • æ /ɛ/
  • ó /ɔ/

Consonants

  • d /?/
  • f /f/
  • h /h/
  • j /j/
  • k /k/
  • l /l/
  • m /m/
  • n /n/
  • p /p/
  • r /ɹ/
  • s /s/
  • t /t/
  • v /v/
  • w /w/
  • z /z/
  • š /ʃ/

Glyphs

Image

As you will notice, each glyph has an 'opposite'. While the writing system should always be read from a certain perspective, it never requires to be read 'left to right', even if that is the most common usage of it. There are some glyphs to indicate direction, but these are generally considered to be 'non-Standard', and thus vary from place to place.

The usage of the opposite characters are used in the numeral systems, as you will notice; there are 24 characters, and thus 12 pairs. The writing system uses the same glyphs for numerals, a number for each pair, which means you can pick two glyphs per numeral. To indicate something is numerals and not letters, a line hovering the characters are used.

Another thing about the glyphs; they are very simple, and don't look all that pretty up there, but handwriting looks slightly different (I shall make some handwriting of a poem I wrote in the language at a later point).

Vocabulary

As said, the language is a priori language, and as such, includes no origin in any other existing language. If there are similarities, these are purely coincidences. The vocabulary is far from finished, however, I am still working on it.

But if you want to, I have created a wiki as a dictionary, where you can read what I have written (unfortunately, I do not intend to grant anyone besides myself the access to edit pages). A warning first; this language is intended for a novel I am writing, the dictionary may provide spoilers for the novel, but if you are fine by that (and so far there aren't actually any spoilers), you can visit it here.

In closing, I welcome any questions regarding the language.
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Re: Standard Language - Returning with a vengeance!

Postby linguoboy » Tue 30 Mar 2010 3:25 pm

Svip wrote:Grammar

Standard's grammar is as simple as it gets; a position in a clause indicates 'word type' (e.g. noun, verb, etc.) and as such a clause can at maximum be constructed of 5 words ('subclauses' are considered just that; subclasses, and thus will appear in replacement of a word); clause definer, subject, object, verb and pre/postposition.

[...]

Example: Luki amnuki nuk i, le ammunuki ai?
Or in English: If the future is now, is the past then the future?
Or more lit.: If[clause definer] the-future now is, question[clause definer] the-un-future [previous clause's subject; the-future]?

What is the role of "nuk" in your example sentence? According to your strict word-order rules it should be an "object", but this makes no sense grammatically.
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Re: Standard Language - Returning with a vengeance!

Postby Svip » Tue 30 Mar 2010 3:32 pm

linguoboy wrote:
Svip wrote:Grammar

Standard's grammar is as simple as it gets; a position in a clause indicates 'word type' (e.g. noun, verb, etc.) and as such a clause can at maximum be constructed of 5 words ('subclauses' are considered just that; subclasses, and thus will appear in replacement of a word); clause definer, subject, object, verb and pre/postposition.

[...]

Example: Luki amnuki nuk i, le ammunuki ai?
Or in English: If the future is now, is the past then the future?
Or more lit.: If[clause definer] the-future now is, question[clause definer] the-un-future [previous clause's subject; the-future]?

What is the role of "nuk" in your example sentence? According to your strict word-order rules it should be an "object", but this makes no sense grammatically.


'nuk' means 'now' (as in the gloss translation), while such a use would be disputed in English to use 'now' as an object (actually, I am not entirely sure of that), but if subject is 'the future', verb is 'is' and object is 'now'. That makes pretty decent sense in my mind. Or am I missing something?
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Re: Standard Language - Returning with a vengeance!

Postby linguoboy » Tue 30 Mar 2010 4:14 pm

Svip wrote:
What is the role of "nuk" in your example sentence? According to your strict word-order rules it should be an "object", but this makes no sense grammatically.

'nuk' means 'now' (as in the gloss translation), while such a use would be disputed in English to use 'now' as an object (actually, I am not entirely sure of that), but if subject is 'the future', verb is 'is' and object is 'now'. That makes pretty decent sense in my mind. Or am I missing something?

I can see two possible analyses depending on whether i represents a copula or an existential verb. You see, the verb be in English collapses several functions which are kept distinct in other languages. The question I would pose is whether in your mind "The future is now" is the same as "The past is a foreign country" or "The present is here."
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Re: Standard Language - Returning with a vengeance!

Postby Svip » Tue 30 Mar 2010 4:44 pm

linguoboy wrote:
Svip wrote:
What is the role of "nuk" in your example sentence? According to your strict word-order rules it should be an "object", but this makes no sense grammatically.

'nuk' means 'now' (as in the gloss translation), while such a use would be disputed in English to use 'now' as an object (actually, I am not entirely sure of that), but if subject is 'the future', verb is 'is' and object is 'now'. That makes pretty decent sense in my mind. Or am I missing something?

I can see two possible analyses depending on whether i represents a copula or an existential verb. You see, the verb be in English collapses several functions which are kept distinct in other languages.


Verbs are very very simplified in this language. There are basically three tenses; past, present and future. Other kinds of verbs can be applied to grant further tenses, e.g. iošomoš is a combination of om and i, which are both in past tense, 'om' meaning 'to have' and 'i' meaning 'to be', so basically the whole word means 'has been', -oš is the past tense modifier.

The 'i' is actually superfluous in this example, as 'i' is always assumed if no other verb is provided. Another thing I forgot to mention about the clause definers are they are not required. A certain range of words are defined as 'clause definers', and if none of these words are provided at the beginning, a clause definer is not assumed to be present.

linguoboy wrote:The question I would pose is whether in your mind "The future is now" is the same as "The past is a foreign country" or "The present is here."


I am not sure I understand the question properly. I assume you do not mean by meaning, but by use of 'is'? I apologise for my ignorance.
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Re: Standard Language - Returning with a vengeance!

Postby linguoboy » Tue 30 Mar 2010 5:32 pm

Svip wrote:Verbs are very very simplified in this language. There are basically three tenses; past, present and future. Other kinds of verbs can be applied to grant further tenses, e.g. iošomoš is a combination of om and i, which are both in past tense, 'om' meaning 'to have' and 'i' meaning 'to be', so basically the whole word means 'has been', -oš is the past tense modifier.

This is fine as long as you remember a couple things: (1) The use of "have" in this way is very much a Western European Sprachbund feature; most other languages do not conflate possession and past tense in this way. (2) Has been differs from is not only in tense but also in aspect. Again, this particular conflation is very much a feature of English and is not even shared by languages like French and German.

Svip wrote:The 'i' is actually superfluous in this example, as 'i' is always assumed if no other verb is provided.

Again, this is English-bound thinking. English distinguishes clearly between such parts of speech as nouns, verbs, and adjectives. This forces the use of auxiliaries like is since nouns and adjectives can't take verbal inflections when functioning as predicates. In non-inflected languages like Chinese, this problem doesn't arise and the literally translation of "It is red" is "It very red", of "It has become read" is "It red le" (where le is a post-verbal particle indicating change of state), and so forth.

If the syntax of Standard minimally requires that all clauses have "verbs", then it's simpler to say that anything in clause-final position will be interpreted as the predicate.

Svip wrote:Another thing I forgot to mention about the clause definers are they are not required. A certain range of words are defined as 'clause definers', and if none of these words are provided at the beginning, a clause definer is not assumed to be present.

You might want to note in your grammar section which constituents are absolutely required (if any) and which are merely optional.

linguoboy wrote:The question I would pose is whether in your mind "The future is now" is the same as "The past is a foreign country" or "The present is here."

I am not sure I understand the question properly. I assume you do not mean by meaning, but by use of 'is'? I apologise for my ignorance.

Exactly. If that pair of contrasts isn't clear to you, try this one:

(1) Svip is a conlanger.
(2) Svip is home.

In the first case, the only function of is is to link two nouns. (For this reason, English school grammars often refer to it as a "linking verb" in these sorts of constructions. The preferred term in linguistics is copula.) In the second case, its function is locative. It's not equating you with your home, it's supplying "home" as where you are located right now. One can say "Svip is at home" with no difference in meaning, but obviously this doesn't work with *"Svip is at a conlanger".

A third important function of is is purely existential. (3) "There's Svip" can be used in a presentational sense, in a context where the speaker is actually pointing you out. But also in other contexts, e.g. "I can't think of any conlangers who use 'clause-definers'." (4) "There's Svip." I'm not pointing to you, I'm not equating you with a location, I'm simply asserting that you exist.

Again, most Western European languages conflate these functions, but not all. Consider Welsh:

(1) "Iaithadeiladwr yw Svip."
(2) "Mae Svip adre."
(3) "Dyma Svip!"
(4) "Mae 'na Svip."

So the question remains: What is nuk? Are you essentially saying "The future is the present" or are you saying that the future is in a place and that place is the present time?
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Re: Standard Language - Returning with a vengeance!

Postby Svip » Tue 30 Mar 2010 6:21 pm

linguoboy wrote:
Svip wrote:Verbs are very very simplified in this language. There are basically three tenses; past, present and future. Other kinds of verbs can be applied to grant further tenses, e.g. iošomoš is a combination of om and i, which are both in past tense, 'om' meaning 'to have' and 'i' meaning 'to be', so basically the whole word means 'has been', -oš is the past tense modifier.

This is fine as long as you remember a couple things: (1) The use of "have" in this way is very much a Western European Sprachbund feature; most other languages do not conflate possession and past tense in this way. (2) Has been differs from is not only in tense but also in aspect. Again, this particular conflation is very much a feature of English and is not even shared by languages like French and German.


I agree; I need to change this feature. Rethink the concept.

Let's take 'olam uram i', 'uram' refers to any length of time or 'a while' in English. The idea is that 'os uram' or 'os uram i' would mean, it 'it is a while' or 'it is a length of time'. 'os uram ioš' would mean 'it was a while', which basically suggest that something was a length a time. For it to be referring to say the time between last time we met, in English you would say 'it has been a while', while in Standard you could not produce a 'has been' scenario, but would rather say 'it is a while since [last time we met]', or in Standard 'os, uram, on'za miewo'oš,, olam' or basically 'it, [a]while, us [verb]met,, since' (notice the subclauses (the double comma is not accidentally). As you will notice, there are prefixes to define verb types, if a clause cannot follow the strict word order, e.g. 'I live' in English or 'o milil', where mi- indicates that would otherwise be an object is now a verb. But this sentence can be shorten to 'olam uram i' or 'since is [a]while'. Since as a subject refers to the context dependent concept of between last time something occurred and now, it can there be a while (I'll explain 'i' later).

linguoboy wrote:
Svip wrote:The 'i' is actually superfluous in this example, as 'i' is always assumed if no other verb is provided.

Again, this is English-bound thinking. English distinguishes clearly between such parts of speech as nouns, verbs, and adjectives. This forces the use of auxiliaries like is since nouns and adjectives can't take verbal inflections when functioning as predicates. In non-inflected languages like Chinese, this problem doesn't arise and the literally translation of "It is red" is "It very red", of "It has become read" is "It red le" (where le is a post-verbal particle indicating change of state), and so forth.

If the syntax of Standard minimally requires that all clauses have "verbs", then it's simpler to say that anything in clause-final position will be interpreted as the predicate.


It doesn't. In fact, it doesn't require any words. I realise I did not specify this appropriately, and I apologise for the confusion. See more: http://standard.sviip.dk/Appendix:Clause.

linguoboy wrote:
Svip wrote:Another thing I forgot to mention about the clause definers are they are not required. A certain range of words are defined as 'clause definers', and if none of these words are provided at the beginning, a clause definer is not assumed to be present.

You might want to note in your grammar section which constituents are absolutely required (if any) and which are merely optional.


See link above.

linguoboy wrote:
linguoboy wrote:The question I would pose is whether in your mind "The future is now" is the same as "The past is a foreign country" or "The present is here."

I am not sure I understand the question properly. I assume you do not mean by meaning, but by use of 'is'? I apologise for my ignorance.

Exactly. If that pair of contrasts isn't clear to you, try this one:

(1) Svip is a conlanger.
(2) Svip is home.


I get where you're going.

'i' means something is something else. It cannot mean something is a state. Or in a state. If I said 'svip rumu i' (svip home is), it would mean I was a home, I wasn't home, but was one. To be at a place, 'iw' (or at) is required, 'svip rumu i iw', 'iw' is a preposition describing to be a location. Consider that without a preposition, each clause is 'absolute'. If that make sense.

linguoboy wrote:In the first case, the only function of is is to link two nouns. (For this reason, English school grammars often refer to it as a "linking verb" in these sorts of constructions. The preferred term in linguistics is copula.) In the second case, its function is locative. It's not equating you with your home, it's supplying "home" as where you are located right now. One can say "Svip is at home" with no difference in meaning, but obviously this doesn't work with *"Svip is at a conlanger".

A third important function of is is purely existential. (3) "There's Svip" can be used in a presentational sense, in a context where the speaker is actually pointing you out. But also in other contexts, e.g. "I can't think of any conlangers who use 'clause-definers'." (4) "There's Svip." I'm not pointing to you, I'm not equating you with a location, I'm simply asserting that you exist.


For 'there', in that case, a special form of 'there' is used. The word basically means to the content of a location. Which means, if it is something, it is containing something, where 'kikal Svip' would mean '[the content of the location in question] is Svip'.

linguoboy wrote:Again, most Western European languages conflate these functions, but not all. Consider Welsh:

(1) "Iaithadeiladwr yw Svip."
(2) "Mae Svip adre."
(3) "Dyma Svip!"
(4) "Mae 'na Svip."

So the question remains: What is nuk? Are you essentially saying "The future is the present" or are you saying that the future is in a place and that place is the present time?


I am saying that the future is the present or now. Does it make sense?

By the way, I really thank you for these contributions, it has really got me thinking about certain functions about the grammar. :)
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Re: Standard Language - Returning with a vengeance!

Postby linguoboy » Tue 30 Mar 2010 6:58 pm

Svip wrote:I am saying that the future is the present or now. Does it make sense?

In that case, I think "now" is an infelicitous gloss for nuk, since "now" is only very marginally used as a noun in English (e.g. "the here and now", "conlang of the now", etc.). And i should probably have a different gloss from iw. (For suggestions on what to use, see http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/resources/glossing-rules.php.)
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Re: Standard Language - Returning with a vengeance!

Postby Svip » Tue 30 Mar 2010 7:04 pm

linguoboy wrote:
Svip wrote:I am saying that the future is the present or now. Does it make sense?

In that case, I think "now" is an infelicitous gloss for nuk, since "now" is only very marginally used as a noun in English (e.g. "the here and now", "conlang of the now", etc.). And i should probably have a different gloss from iw. (For suggestions on what to use, see http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/resources/glossing-rules.php.)


Quite. My glossing skills are not that good (thanks for the link). I hope I was able to answer your concerns. :)
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Re: Standard Language - Returning with a vengeance!

Postby linguoboy » Tue 30 Mar 2010 9:29 pm

Svip wrote:I hope I was able to answer your concerns. :)

I'm still unpacking the further explanation of grammar, above. The use of the prefix mi- seems a bit odd to me. Depending on how you deal with valency in your verb structure, it might simply be the equivalent of a valence-reducing prefix such as Siouan wa-.
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