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And Rosta <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 >>>
Self-segreting morphology is not necessarily a requirement;
nonselfsegregating morphology will not necessarily result
in lexical ambuity, and nonselfsegregating words result
only in holistic ambiguity, not in specifically syntactic
ambiguity.
<<<
i had quite another experience learning to speak a language with a almost
all-CV pattern, namely japanese.

when you type in japanese on a japanese wordprocessor you type roman letters
or japanese kana syllables and strike the space bar at the end of a clause.
the computer then parses the series of CV syllables you typed into words and
gives you different options. for instance, if you type "CVCVCV", the
computer will parse into possible combinations of words and propose a series
of kanas and kanjis reading CVCVCV, CVCV CV or CV CV CV, etc. then you have
to confirm the combination you meant to type.

of course, if the computer were a native speaker humanoid he would always
pick the right combination thanks to the context.
but unfortunately i was and still am, very much like the dumb wordprocessor
and wondering what the right combination is said, for the following reason:

when you learn a language, you don't know all the vocabulary, so that you
can't guess where words start or end within a cluster. i could have heard
"aratani" ("anew") as "Ara-Tani" ("Rough Valley") and "akumademo"
("forever") as "aku ma demo" ("even the opening space"), "juuichi-kyou" ("a
bit more than eleven") as "eleven kyou" and wondered "what's a "kyou"?",
etc. and i'm only giving here completely random examples from the top of my
head. the most irritating case is when you know all the words of a clause
but you can't recognize them. this is possible because spoken japanese
happily drops clitics and other tags all the time.

unfortunately, japanese grammatical tags aren't noticeably identifiable and
prosody is so fickle depending on areas and people that an average student
can't always count on them to parse the sentence, spot the words he knows
and dispel ambiguity.
a good example was "otoko no ko to" "with the boy" from another thread which
could also mean "otoko no koto" "regarding the boy" (as in "otoko no koto
suki da").

therefore, practical experience makes me believe that a spoken language
whose grammatical tags or shape of words don't make words clearly
identifiable from each other is difficult to understand for a student
listener. i also think that very few students would be able to parse a
sentence according to only a prosody that is foreign to them. although i
must concede that the stress on the penultimate syllable of words helped me
a great deal understanding some other spoken natlangs.

OBConlang:
misunderstanding spoken japanese made me aware that a mock IAL with a strict
CV phonology needs be parseable in some way. that's why all Tunu root words
are CVCV and all tags are (S)V(i), Cai, niV, miV and N. this makes Tunu look
as artificial and dull as a 19th century's philosophical language.
i agree with both Andreas and And regarding "logical languages".
in a way, they're boring because once you get the rule, you can apply it
everywhere. but on the other hand they're fun because you can soon express
yourself and use them creatively.


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