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On 6/24/2013 1:16 PM, neo gu wrote:
> On Sun, 23 Jun 2013 23:28:43 -0500, Aodhán Aannestad <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Hello! I'm a longtime lurker, finally deciding to get involved a little.
>> Some of you may have met me at the last LCC, I'm with UT Austin's
>> conlang club and I drove some people around. I've been conlanging on and
>> off for quite some time now, but I don't have much to show for it - I
>> tend to be singlemindedly focused on realism, and as my level of
>> linguistics knowledge has increased I've scrapped and restarted on
>> several occasions due to realising how horribly unrealistic of a
>> language I'd created. This is kind of the latest iteration of that
>> cycle, and as I'm done with all the core undergrad ling classes now
>> hopefully I've run out of major things to learn and it'll prove to be
>> the last.
> Welcome to active participation!
>
> I'm not one of the experts on naturalistic conlanging, but I do have one comment: one of your fricatives is showing up as a /?/ in the archives; also, /w j ? l/.
>
> --
> Jeff Jones
Oh, yeah, the email got messed up because for whatever reason my editor 
is a weird mix of HTML and WYSIWYG. Those are supposed to be what's /T/ 
and /4/ in X-SAMPA.

>
>> Anyway, on to the language. It doesn't have a name yet, sadly - I'm
>> using it for a protolang for a large project, and since said large
>> project has yet to really begin, it's not really in a state where I can
>> really name anything. (I suppose I could come up with an endonym for it
>> - it'd be something like 'Lesuy' (/lesuj/, /person-speak/) or something,
>> though that doesn't sound that great to my ears.)
>>
>> Phonologically, it's not that interesting - five vowels (/a i u e o/),
>> two stop series (/p t k/ and /p^(h) t^(h) k^(h)/, transcribed <b d g>
>> and <p t k>), /m n/ - the usual stuff. It only has one fricative series,
>> but it does distinguish /?/ and /s/ (for four total, /f ? s x/). /w j ?
>> l/ round out the inventory.
>> Syllable structure is (C)(G)V(G)(C), where <G> is a glide. /uw ij/ are
>> disallowed, and maximal CGVGC syllables are very rare. Affixes have no
>> shape target - anything from V to a maximal syllable is in theory
>> permitted. Length is kind of phonemic on consonants (really, a 'long
>> consonant' is just two adjacent identical consonants - /alla/ 'day' is
>> VC.CV, not V.C?V), not on vowels - any sequences of two identical vowels
>> are shrunk into one (e.g. /emnira/, 'girl', from /emni/ 'woman' + /ira/
>> 'child'). /i/ and /u/ become glides when adjacent to other vowels (e.g.
>> /dorayra/ 'boy', from /dora /'man' + /ira/). Aspiration isn't
>> distinguished in codas. There's not much else in the way of phonological
>> rules/alternations, at the moment this is the idealised pre-protolang
>> stage, and I'll need to send it through some sound changes before I get
>> a good protolang by the technical definition.
>> Stress is noncontrastive - it occurs on the heaviest of the last three
>> syllables, defaulting to the antepenultimate when they're all equal
>> (so/魮ira, dorṲa,////dal鳩se (do-person-COP-ATT)/, etc.)/./
>>
>> Grammatically, it's agglutinative and erg-abs. The two basic word
>> classes are noun and verb (all 'adjectives' are just verbs, and at least
>> in the protolanguage all 'adverbs' are clearly nouns or nominalised
>> verbs marked with a non-core case). Word order is VSO when there's no
>> overt complementiser, and SOV when there is (so /fikol le/ 'the man has
>> gone', but /le/ /fikolti/ 'the fact that the man has gone').
>>
>> Verbs don't care about person, number, or tense, but there are 5 or 7
>> aspect markers (perfective/stative (null-marked), progressive, perfect,
>> expective, intentive(?), and hortative and imperative if you count them
>> - they're mutually exclusive with aspect). It has a number of 'mood'
>> markers: potential and permissive; volitive, suggestive, and
>> necessitive, and weak and strong expectation (weak is for 'I bet X is
>> the case' and strong is for 'X /has/ to be the case, I just know it').
>> Relative clauses are formed by using the attributive affix
>> /-se/:/fikolse le/ 'the man who has gone'. /-se/ doesn't specify the
>> role the modified noun would have in the clause, that's left up to
>> context (so typically you can only relativise obliques when the
>> subclause has all of its core arguments overtly specified). (This works
>> mostly like the Japanese rentaikei.)
>>
>> The only obligatory marking on nouns is case, but there's a number of
>> other potential affixes. Number is especially complex - specific
>> quantities are marked directly on the noun (so/lemofyethon/ 'twenty
>> people', it's base-8 so that breaks down as /le-mo-fye-thon/
>> 'person-8-2-4' for (2*8)+4 people), and there are also suffixes for
>> 'more than half (of a group)', 'less than half (of a group)', 'part (of
>> a unit)', and 'all (of a unit)'. These can be augmented by 'all' or
>> 'none', and further by 'the next' or 'the previous' (allowing for very
>> long sequences such as /lemofyethondawfag /'none of the last twenty
>> people'). Demonstratives are also noun suffixes (there's a two-way
>> distinction, 'this'/'that'), and an interrogative marker can slot in
>> here too (/lewos?/ 'who? / which person?').
>>
>> There are a good number of cases (it's kind of Finno-Ugric in this
>> regard :P) Beyond the erg and null-marked abs, there's two kinds of
>> genitives, possessive and categorical (for things like 'men of that
>> village', 'the strength of an ox', 'a sword of bronze' and so on), both
>> of which form verbs (so//'the man's cat' has to be /lenase nyawa/ with
>> -/se/, not */lena nyawa/ - /lena nyawa /is grammatical, but it would be
>> heard as 'the cat is the man's').
>> Locative cases are the following: inessive and exessive (both used for
>> general locatives, inessive for being within the boundaries of a place,
>> exessive for being near but outside the boundaries of a place or
>> object), superessive and subessive, proessive ('in front of') and
>> postessive ('behind'), comitative, allative (also used as a dative) and
>> ablative (also used as the agent of causatives and volitives), illative
>> and ellative, superlative ('going over') and sublative ('going under'),
>> circumlative/circumessive, and adspective ('facing') and abspective
>> ('facing away from').
>> Non-locative cases are benefactive (also used for the experiencer with a
>> number of perception verbs - 'see' for example has a BEN subject when
>> you would expect ERG, and giving it an ERG subject changes the meaning
>> to 'look at'), instrumental, causative, and comparative.
>> Copular constructions are formed by affixing the copular verbaliser
>> /-si/ to nouns - /dorasi le/ 'the person is a man'. This allows for a
>> somewhat idiosyncratic way to express motion - while it's perfectly
>> grammatical to say /fyokh ne sakhtasoy /(/go-PROG 1-ABS river-ALL,
>> /literally 'I am going to the river'), it's much more native-sounding to
>> say /sakhtasoysi ne/ (/river-ALL-COP 1-ABS, /literally 'I am to the river').
>>
>> Beyond three generic 'pronouns' (1st person exclusive and inclusive and
>> 2nd person), there's not much in the way of real pronouns - nouns can be
>> used with any person as their referent, and typical non-personal
>> pronouny things are done with nouns plus suffixes (so 'who' is just
>> /lewos /(/person-INT/), literally 'which person'). There is a set of
>> 'generic nouns', though, which are basically nouns that refer to quite
>> large categories of things - 'person', 'object', 'place', 'point in
>> time', 'state of being', 'piece', 'reason/cause', and 'action' make up
>> the set - and this allows for fairly conventionalised pronouns ('person'
>> can be 'him/her', 'object' can be 'it', 'place' plus the near
>> demonstrative can be 'here', and so on). These nouns are further
>> distinguished from other nouns by being used as nominaliser suffixes -
>> so /ub/, the generic for 'reason/cause', combines with /ryukol /'has
>> died' to make /ryukolub/ 'the reason [the subj] died'.
>> There are also two generic verbs, meaning something like 'to do (it)'
>> and 'to go (there)'. They can also be used as nominalisers (somewhat
>> ironically :P), meaning 'method' and 'process', respectively.
>>
>> There's a few other small details here and there (I've left out
>> valence-change affixes, for example), but that's a basic overview of the
>> language. The goal is realism (indeed, all else is secondary), so some
>> comments in regards to how realistic these systems are would be
>> appreciated! I've got a few ideas on where to go with it from here, but
>> if anyone has any ideas I'd be happy to hear them.
>>
>> This is my main conlang project, but I'm also working on a set of
>> condialects of Japanese (splitting off at various points after around
>> 1610?), and I'd be happy to describe them if anyone's interested. (It's
>> gotten to the point where I'll slip into my primary condialect every
>> once in a while while thinking in Japanese, even when I'm not explicitly
>> trying to think in it :P)