taliesin the storyteller wrote:

> My main language for over a decade, Taruven, has a sister-language,
> Charan (which I might have barely mentioned before). Just today I
> realized that Charan must be a language with noun classes, that in fact,
> the correct use of noun classes would be a matter of life and death.
> As in all languages related to Taruven, the world is divided into
> animates (living and/or sentient) and inanimate (non-living or
> non-sentient) objects. Furthermore, Charan marks animates according to
> their status, which are from highest to lowest:
> Animate nouns:
>     Member of a House
>     Unknown whether a member of a House or not
>     Not a member of a House
>     Incapable of being a member of a House
> The Houses are powerful subcultures/clans/species with their own
> laws/customs/lands/professions/esthetics etc. House-less people can form
> their own Houses and you can leave a House for another but not go back
> to a previous House. You belong primarily to your House and only
> secondarily to your family.

Interesting and well worked out.  I like this.

> The last class can further be divided into:
>     Foreigners, children
>     Animals (can move by its own volition)
>     Plants (cannot move by its own volition)

So they'd classify seashells as plants, I guess?  What about eggs?

> While an animal or plant are stuck in their class, people can change
> class.


> Inanimates also fall into partly overlapping classes, also ordered by
> highest status to lowest:
>     Forces of nature (weather, earthquakes...)
>     Things to do with communication (letters, books, email, pencils...)
>     Named groups of people, and places (Houses, nations, cities, families...)

I find it a bit odd to classify groups of people as inanimate.
In Old Albic (my conlang), they are animate.

>     Containers (bottles, clothing, bags, skin/leather...)
>     Tools (including slaves, domesticated animals, machines, electricity...)
>     Bodyparts
>     Edible things (including former animate things)
>     Landscape features (hills, trees, rivers, directions etc.)
>     Misc. not covered by any of the above (abstracts, emotions...)
> Only a few nouns are assigned to only one class. A tree for instance,
> can be considered as for instance
>     a plant
>     something edible
>     a landscape feature
> Every noun has an implicit class, generally the class of the highest
> status possible except for the "misc." nouns.
> While the classes for inanimates have changed a lot during history, the
> classes for animates have always been very stable.
> I'll detail the system of pronouns later.

I enjoyed reading this.  You have spent a good deal of thought
on this.  Keep it up!  BTW: I am considering implementing an
elaborate noun class system in a daughter language of Old Albic,
but I have few ideas about it yet.

> t. (incidentally this also shows how I conlang... structure first,
> native morphemes later)

Just like me.  For most part, I decide what the structure is first
and then find morphemes expressing the distinctions.  Only rarely
I come up with a morpheme without knowing what to use it for.