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CONLANG  October 2002, Week 3

CONLANG October 2002, Week 3

Subject:

Re: A'liath: This is completely insane

From:

Andreas Johansson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 19 Oct 2002 10:58:04 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (62 lines)

Ian Maxwell wrote:
>Andreas Johansson wrote:
>>That actually works out at a mere 76 204 800 combinations, according to my
>>calculator, and that assumes that you really has four genders - it says
>>'4',
>>but apparently only three are listed in the parenthesis.
>
>I already corrected myself on this.

Yes, but I hadn't seen that when I sent my reply. I've been getting posts
with seems to be delays of random length lately.

>Regarding the four genders, by
>"A'liathian/worldly and animate/inanimate" I meant that gender was
>distinguished on two axes: A'liathian vs. worldly, and animate vs.
>inanimate.

OK. I read that as (A'liathian)vs(animate and worldly)vs(inanimate), and
simply assumed that "A'liathian" meant non-worldy animate.

>Regarding only having half as many prefixes as I said I did,
>I forgot to list the intentionality distinction, which doubles the
>number again.
>
>>I suspect that a language that has to incode that lot of information in
>>every verb would turn agglutinative out of sheer self-defense, or the
>>brains
>>of its speakers'd explode. Go all the way to the agglutinative end of the
>>spectrum and get a language where every verb starts with a string of
>>twelve
>>prefices! Would probably erode terribly fast, tho', if the speakers are
>>human, at least.
>
>But, see, they're *not* human. In fact, they are at the extreme end of
>the "brains versus brawn" spectrum, and can only sustain their frail
>bodies via force of will and magic. So half the reason for this form of
>language was to demonstrate just how powerful their minds really are.

Ok.

>The problem here isn't with the realism, but rather with my ability to
>actually *create* this language within one lifetime
>
>>BTW, isn't it slightly weird to agree with the number and person with both
>>subject and object(s?), but agree with only the gender of the subject?
>
>Oh, no no no.... the verbs themselves are gendered. Or, more
>specifically, they are the same words as the nouns, separated only by
>what particular affix is used. (Giving a certain prefix to the base
>morpheme for "to read" would give "a reader", for example, while another
>might give "the thing read" [or "readee"].)

Cool. However, it'd probably be less confusing to call these classes
something else than "gender" then, since "gender" traditionally refers
specifically to classes of nouns.

                                                   Andreas

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