Gurcaj

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Gurcaj

Postby Huixuan » Thu 03 Jun 2010 10:02 pm

Hi guys. I've been working on this language since September, and it's finally got into a form where it actually has a decent dictionary as well as a set grammar, etc. It was meant to be an auxlang, and naturally, as is my nature, it is meant to have a small vocabulary and be highly efficient. A unique feature of the language is that it is meant to be easy to type, so large reaches are avoided. I'm not going to type everything on this forum, so, for everyone who's interested:

http://gurcaj.webs.com/ - the official site with a complete (so far) dictionary and overview of the grammar
http://gurcaj.wikia.com - the Gurcaj encyclopedia in a work-in-progress stage
http://conlang.wikia.com/wiki/Gurcaj - general blurb
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Re: Gurcaj

Postby Alisbet » Fri 04 Jun 2010 8:19 am

Wow, that looks like a great language, I would definitely adapt some ideas for my ceorzani language, if you don't mind that is. When did you have the idea for the language anyway, I would be interested to know.
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Re: Gurcaj

Postby Huixuan » Sat 05 Jun 2010 6:49 am

Thanks :). Site membership is open to anyone if anyone is interested. Right now the language is off to a good start, but is in need of a community.

Well, I've been continuously conlanging for two years and at one time I felt dissatisfied with Esperanto, and since I always have conlanged towards efficiency, I thought I would try an efficient auxlang. The ideas have come from many different conlangs, but the main natlangs that have influenced it are Mandarin and Quechua. But most of the ideas I thought myself.
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Re: Gurcaj

Postby Huixuan » Thu 10 Jun 2010 3:45 pm

I was going to upheave (is that even a word) the language to replace multisyllables with monosyllables to get an effect like Thai.
Any comments?
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Re: Gurcaj

Postby dtp883 » Mon 14 Jun 2010 11:05 pm

This looks really interesting. I really like how you have the website site set up and especially giving the pronunciation of each letter in a variety of languages, the most spoken ones nonetheless.

A few thing that popped out to me.

[θ] is pretty rare, you may notice in your chart that only one language (well Spanish does too) has this sound. While there are quite a few major languages with the sound, English, Spanish, Arabic, for example, most common spoken dialects of Spanish and Arabic replace them with [s] and [t]. And I'm pretty sure most African and Indian dialects of English lack this sound as do parts of AAVE.

[h̪͆] I would advise against this; I doubt many would know this sound. You could change it to /ç/ which I think sounds kind of similar, but it's still pretty rare. You could just go with /h/.

[r] in your phonology would be better repesented by [ɾ]. Not that big of a deal but the sound you describe in English and Spanish is a tap, not a trill.

I'm also a little confused on the capital N thing, why not just write it as pronounced?

Can your pronouns be marked for number? Like, I vs We, or Thou vs Ye (you vs. you all)?
"The happy cow is blue" could also be written as "The blue cow is happy" without any difference.

Now this is confusing. These sentences can have two totally different meanings. The first could mean the generally happy cow is blue in color whereas the seconds would be something like, the cow that's blue in color is happy (today). How do you distinguish these differences?

Look at these two sentences:

The red cow is blue today.

The blue cow is red today.

Yes, the words are all the same but the actual meaning is very different; one cow is really red and is (painted?) blue; one cow is really blue and is painted red.
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Re: Gurcaj

Postby Huixuan » Mon 14 Jun 2010 11:42 pm

Thanks for the comment.
dtp883 wrote:[θ] is pretty rare, you may notice in your chart that only one language (well Spanish does too) has this sound. While there are quite a few major languages with the sound, English, Spanish, Arabic, for example, most common spoken dialects of Spanish and Arabic replace them with [s] and [t]. And I'm pretty sure most African and Indian dialects of English lack this sound as do parts of AAVE.
The thing is that many languages like Burmese and some Central Asian languages advance [s] to [θ]. The main reason was that I wanted to make this a nice language for talking quietly e.g during a lecture you already know about when you're trying not to disrupt the learning process and/or get in trouble, and [s] is usually rather loud, although it would probably be understood to use it instead.
dtp883 wrote:[h̪͆] I would advise against this; I doubt many would know this sound. You could change it to /ç/ which I think sounds kind of similar, but it's still pretty rare. You could just go with /h/.
That's probably what I'll end up doing. I originally thought it was a good sound because it was simple to make, but I ended up hating it. Now I'm upheaving the vocabulary of Gurcaj so I may even end up changing it to [c].
dtp883 wrote:[r] in your phonology would be better repesented by [ɾ]. Not that big of a deal but the sound you describe in English and Spanish is a tap, not a trill.
It was just laziness. Copy-pasting is really hard on Webs because it messes up tables, etc. I probably should have gone into the character pallete.
dtp883 wrote:I'm also a little confused on the capital N thing, why not just write it as pronounced?
If you had the prefix jeN before pao you would write it as jempao. It's to help with rapid speech, because jenpao would be a little bit tricky without stumbling.
dtp883 wrote:Can your pronouns be marked for number? Like, I vs We, or Thou vs Ye (you vs. you all)?
No, this language has lots of analytical tendencies. In this case it even beats out Mandarin for isolating tendencies.
"The happy cow is blue" could also be written as "The blue cow is happy" without any difference.
Now this is confusing. These sentences can have two totally different meanings. The first could mean the generally happy cow is blue in color whereas the seconds would be something like, the cow that's blue in color is happy (today). How do you distinguish these differences?

Look at these two sentences:

The red cow is blue today.

The blue cow is red today.

Yes, the words are all the same but the actual meaning is very different; one cow is really red and is (painted?) blue; one cow is really blue and is painted red.
In that case there is a difference. I'm just saying that there's no focusing constructions, everything is done with intonation. You could say "the happy blue cow" to mean "the blue cow is happy" and make perfect sense. In your case, you would have to say those in the form "ABS-ABL-blue cow red today" and "ABS-ABL-red cow blue today-2nd." But if you were just saying that a cow is blue and red by saying, "The blue cow is red," then it's totally commutative. As for colors of paints, you would have to say it like "LAT-INST-apply to-on-cow-red blue-n-2nd."



Btw I'll just toss this question out. What does everyone think of the information flow? I'm considering revamping the marker system to make it possibly more trigger-like and I'd like ideas before I do.
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Re: Gurcaj

Postby Kloiten » Tue 15 Jun 2010 7:08 am

You said the ablative marker (fy) indicates a preposition that does not imply change. What about "Something is moving inside the box"? Do you consider "moving" in that case to imply change or not? In that case (and taking into account that Gurcaj is an auxlang as well), this static vs. dynamic thing is more of a question of verbs.

Another thing... I don't like your ergative construction for an auxlang. Aside from Basque, Caucasus languages, and indigenous languages of North America and Australia (+ some other languages floating around out there), most languages do not realize that kind of distinction. This is not an attack on your creativity, per se, but if you want the lowest kind of minimal curve, I'd advocate against ergatives. I think it's better to stay with nominative constructions and, better yet, remove the difference between a subject and an object.

Below are some things I'd like to clear up on...

You cannot change a verb to a noun immediately. Use the filler noun "a" as the noun described by the type of verb above to say "one." Note this is not used as when "one" is used in English alone as a noun as in "One would not usually eat fried benches."


What do you mean to say here? Could you explain with examples?

Also, please give more examples for the ablative and lative prepositions sections. I'm not sure I'm understanding the presence of temporal adverbs in the ablative section.

Punctuation is full with nuances. It's not enough to say that it's simple in Gurcaj. You have to give us usage of all punctuation marks, and, if <> and «» are your only punctuation marks, make sure you tell us how to use them too.



I personally like your modals. Very natural and useful, and I like them, but they are potentially confusing.

What I don't like is your word derivation system. If I'm not mistaken, RONKVO would be a banana, and VANKVO would be apple, right? (You should've, by the way, given the word for banana and apple while you were at it.) How would you tell the difference between a peach and an apple? Or an orange? Or maybe even a quince? This is a typical Speedtalk idea: the theory that one only needs approximately eight hundred fifty to speak a modern language. That idea would work in a primitive language that is restricted in one environment, for example, one in which there are no quinces and only apples, but not as in an auxlang (global) environment.

In general, though, I think your language is great, but I believe it needs some refinement and brushing up.
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Re: Gurcaj

Postby Huixuan » Tue 15 Jun 2010 11:23 pm

You said the ablative marker (fy) indicates a preposition that does not imply change. What about "Something is moving inside the box"? Do you consider "moving" in that case to imply change or not? In that case (and taking into account that Gurcaj is an auxlang as well), this static vs. dynamic thing is more of a question of verbs.

Well, although moving does not imply change, what matters is that "inside" does not involve change. If it said "something is moving into the box," it implies that it was outside the box and now is in the box.
Another thing... I don't like your ergative construction for an auxlang. Aside from Basque, Caucasus languages, and indigenous languages of North America and Australia (+ some other languages floating around out there), most languages do not realize that kind of distinction. This is not an attack on your creativity, per se, but if you want the lowest kind of minimal curve, I'd advocate against ergatives. I think it's better to stay with nominative constructions and, better yet, remove the difference between a subject and an object.
I can see why you say that. I did that more strategically than not. You see, I wanted to make it so you could phrase "the man destroyed by fear" easy to phrase as "man destroy fear" while keeping "the happy man" easily as "man happy" without any markers. You see what I mean?
You cannot change a verb to a noun immediately. Use the filler noun "a" as the noun described by the type of verb above to say "one." Note this is not used as when "one" is used in English alone as a noun as in "One would not usually eat fried benches."

What do you mean to say here? Could you explain with examples?
Well, you could say "a big man" as "nanrun kvor." But to say "something big" you would say "a kvor." In this case "a" is the noun.
What I don't like is your word derivation system. If I'm not mistaken, RONKVO would be a banana, and VANKVO would be apple, right? (You should've, by the way, given the word for banana and apple while you were at it.) How would you tell the difference between a peach and an apple? Or an orange? Or maybe even a quince? This is a typical Speedtalk idea: the theory that one only needs approximately eight hundred fifty to speak a modern language. That idea would work in a primitive language that is restricted in one environment, for example, one in which there are no quinces and only apples, but not as in an auxlang (global) environment.
I was trying to keep vocabulary to the minimum so that it wouldn't hurt people who didn't want to talk about bananas, or apples. The system is based roughly off a Chinese system, where if you take the word "瓜" guā, melon, and you can turn it into a watermelon by adding "xī," west or turn it into a pumpkin by adding "nán," south.
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Re: Gurcaj

Postby linguoboy » Wed 16 Jun 2010 12:17 am

Huixuan wrote:The system is based roughly off a Chinese system, where if you take the word "瓜" guā, melon, and you can turn it into a watermelon by adding "xī," west or turn it into a pumpkin by adding "nán," south.

A lot of languages have that system. It's called compounding.

And it's fine to have broad generic terms for general use as long as you also allow for very specific terms for specialist use. Think of the uses of a successful IAL. One very important one would be agreements between different bodies--companies, governments, charities, etc. For these to be useful, they often need to be very specific indeed; a tariff might affect only a specific cultivar of a specific vegetable, a charity might need a vaccine for a very specific affliction, and so forth.
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Re: Gurcaj

Postby Huixuan » Wed 16 Jun 2010 3:11 am

linguoboy wrote:
Huixuan wrote:The system is based roughly off a Chinese system, where if you take the word "瓜" guā, melon, and you can turn it into a watermelon by adding "xī," west or turn it into a pumpkin by adding "nán," south.

A lot of languages have that system. It's called compounding.
Lol that's obvious (isn't that literally Grade 1 stuff we should all already know?). But what I mean is that pumpkins may have nothing to do with the south or watermelons with the west.
And it's fine to have broad generic terms for general use as long as you also allow for very specific terms for specialist use. Think of the uses of a successful IAL. One very important one would be agreements between different bodies--companies, governments, charities, etc. For these to be useful, they often need to be very specific indeed; a tariff might affect only a specific cultivar of a specific vegetable, a charity might need a vaccine for a very specific affliction, and so forth.
Well, Esperanto doesn't do much better, and there's even less derivation there. Pomo, banano, piro, etc. When it comes to getting really specific like what you're talking about, you would use scientific terms. In the vegetable case, you would want the scientific nomenclature. In the vaccine case, there would be a scientific name for the virus that would be used. But I agree with your point. My goal is sort of a speedtalk, but I try to take into account trading and commerce, which is what the language is meant for. I may later create longer words to meet more specific needs, especially fruits and business terms.
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