> And Rosta <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> > freely make up English terms, with the eventual aim of replacing
> > them by Livagian terminology.
> Before that, I should perhaps make up a good name for the language.
> 'People's language' I could call it, so that it has the same name as
> some 99% of all conlangs (I know this is an exageration). :-)

True of natlangs, too, isn't it? (The Livagian name for Livagian
is "our language", 'nostratic'.)

> > > > Why should evidence be mandatory?
> > >
> > > Because I like it. :-)
> > >
> > > I should have noted that the primary design goal is personal
> > > taste.  This includes violation of all other design goals...
> >
> > Personal taste is not to my personal taste... (At least not in
> > nonnaturalistic conlangs.)
> HAHA! :-) That's the difference in design goals of S2 and S7.
> Did you like Tyl-Sjok's structure?

I can't remember. I haven't looked at it since one of the old

> It seems to match many of your preferences: it only has two cases,
> everything else by SVC (or something like that),

I don't have a preference for only two cases. But I do have a
preference for the number of cases being the same as the maximum
number of syntactic arguments -- more specifically, for the
function of case being solely to distinguish syntactic
arguments. (In Livagian, that gives 3 'cases'.) Somebody, perhaps
you, opined in a recent message that if heads are marked for
valency and version, then there is an exponential increase in
complexity with extra cases, which is very true, but SVC does
not strike me as a true reduction in cases: it's more like a
reduction in complexity by switching to dependent marking.
(If that's unclear, I can try to restate it.)

> it does not violate design goals because of
> personal taste, it has no affixes, but only function words, it has no
> derivational morphology, only syntax.

To my taste indeed...

> But no means of shifting.

I see that as part of 'Phase 2' of the design process. You start
by getting a solid core that can express everything, and then
Phase 2 introduces ways of saying it more flexibly and/or
concisely. Phase 1 is getting the language to work; Phase 2
is getting it to be user-friendly.

> > I don't think that compositionality in wordforms is needless.
> Ok.  Agreement there.
> > But I don't think one needs rules of derivational morphology that
> > productively yield new words with fully compositional or transparent
> > meanings.
> No, one does not need them.  But I want them. :-)
> > My inclination is to allow compounds, blends, portmanteaus, and
> > suchlike, but to treat these as essentially etymological -- the
> > products of diachrony rather than synchrony.
> I do not like this way, because the lexicon needs more entries.  This
> converts grammar complexity to lexicon size.  I like a simple rule
> better than ten new lexicon entries.

For meanings that are fully compositional, their lexical expression
doesn't have to be listed in the lexicon, whether the mode of
lexical expression is syntactic or morphological. Words with
meanings that are less than fully compositional must be listed in
the lexicon regardless of whether they have any synchronic
morphological structure. So there's no choice between a simple
rule and ten new lexicon entries. The choice is between (a) ten new
lexicon entries plus rules that define their morphological
structure, and (b) ten new lexicon entries and no rules that define
their morphological structure.

To put it another way, it is pointless to have rules generating
structures whose meaning is at all idiomatic.

> And going your way, I'd probably introduce more personal taste than I
> want, because I'd be inconsistent in composing words for sure.  Of
> course, inconsistent would not be defined then, since there would not
> be rules.

Exactly! Actually, I am not so much anti personal taste as pro the
rigorous and consistent application of principle. One of the
reasons that Livagian looks like an artlang is that one of its
principles is that its lexicon should be no less phonaesthetic and
phonological variegated than that of English. Both the selection
of that principle and its implementation involve taste, but the
important thing to me is that the principle is articulated and

> As to tense affixes: I don't know how to further clarify my point,
> really.  It's the same as with morphology: idiomatic vs. generic.  I'd
> like tense affixes to be more idiomatic than the underlying stem.

Do have another go at clarifying -- for I don't see why expressing
tense by means of an affix rather than a separate word should have
a bearing on its idiomaticity. Okay, you might say that you
allow idiomaticity in morphology but not in syntax -- fair enough.
But why would you want tense to be idiomatic?