Print

Print


>Assuming the missionaries were literate, why would they not coin _patisa_? (or if >there's some kind of vowel harmony, _patesa_)?

AM: /ti/ is not a valid syllable in Siye, so they can't use /patisa/ - it would have to be /pakisa/.

>Ah, beautifully assembled, then!  I love me a language with bipartite stems (cf. my own Sabasasaj).  

Honestly, I could use some help with effective glossing of the language – especially the bipartite stems. How would you handle a verb such as /eleyemlokatunu/ 'I have not decided to watch them'. /yem/ is a root that has to do with eating; it is therefore transitive, which means that you need to use both subject and object prefixes, /yem/ is the perfective root, which means that the full verb requires the perfective aspect /nu/, which is also negative and realis. /lo/ is the grammatical number suffix, but since the aspect of the verb is perfective and transitive, the number must agree with  the object rather than the subject. /ka/ is a suffix that means 'to have resolved to' and requires the perfective. /tu/ is a directional suffix which changes /yem/ 'see' to /yem-tu/ 'watch'.   

>Oh, that wasn't my intent in saying that.  Short examples are fine.  

>I can, though, name a thing or two that would help me understand your examples: a >big one is horizontally aligning the morphemes with their glosses in the >interlinear.  Or if that's too much work, then the poor man's version would be to >make the dashes separating morpheme glosses more salient somehow.  Otherwise it's >hard to pick out the correspondence between morpheme and gloss, and if I want to >know what a given morpheme is I have to just count dashes into it, which is >errorprone.  

I'll be more careful about lining up the morphemes with the glosses, but I can't promise the line-up will survive the mail filter. I've been reading articles on Bantu languages – I wonder if I could borrow some of the concord marking abbreviations.

>>You say there are no final consonants -- other than /m/ I take it?

>IIRC, written coda /m/ is actually the marker of vowel nasalisation, not a coda consonant.   -- ah, yeah, http://www.frathwiki.com/Siye#Phonology_and_Orthography .
Sorry about not making that clear. The nasalization also affects vowel quality – essentially the oral vowels are +ATR and the nasal vowels -ATR, except for /a/ and /am/, which are generally +ATR. But they still don't have vowel harmony.

>>Also why would final syllables homophonous with a number suffix be a
>>problem? Most languages tolerate that kind of small ambiguities, especially
>>if the suffix in question has to be added anyway. Take the Swedish word
>>_öken_ 'desert': it looks like the definite form of a common noun _*ök_,
>>yet it is indefinite, its definite form being _öknen_.

>This puzzles me too.  

>But!  But then I saw in the Frath documentation
>  http://www.frathwiki.com/Siye_Verbal_Morphology#Grammatical_Number
>that the number suffixes are obligatory, and none of them is zero!  This is the best >possible situation for _avoiding_ confusion between stem-final syllables and number >suffix: if there is just one syllable with the form of a number suffix, it must be a >number suffix and so cannot be part of the stem; if there are two such syllables, >the first one must be part of the stem and the second the number suffix (unless the >latter one could be taken for some suffix of class even further right).  That is, >this is the _worst_ possible situation for the posited reanalysis to take place.  So >now I agree with Benct again, I don't see how there's a problem with those final >syllables.  

>Even if the fiction-internal basis for this rule is some kind of Strunk-and-Whitish >false overgeneralisation on the part of whoever legislate correct Siye grammar, that >still doesn't account for where the seed of the rule came from.  I've never heard >even the kookiest pedants say there's something wrong with words like _öken_.
The Guild of Scholars would heartily approve of Strunk and White (which may well exist in some lawyer-friendly form in the EJL cosm, where the Mars of the Simayamka resides). They would, however, say that the good messieurs were not sufficiently prescriptivists.

This is a product of conlang overdesign – what with coordinating the aspect, transitivity, directionality, grammatical number concord, and converbal elements, the last thing I wanted to think about was where the verb root ended. Since I was not marking stress and one of the converbal suffixes /ka/ is homophonous with the pantic number suffix /ka/, I decided that verbal roots could not end in a syllable homophonous with any of the number suffixes. (/ka/ is the only such suffix, however).

Now I do have a stress pattern for verbs: the first syllable of the verb root takes primary stress, and the first syllable of any suffix can take a secondary stress. There may be no more than two unstressed syllables between stressed syllables. This means that the number suffix is always stressed, except after monosyllabic verb roots. So there's no reason not to lift the Great Syllable Embargo. But I'm still not writing the stress.
Epenesakamsotekatumumo? (Would the two of you like to write it?)

e-pe-'nesakam-”so-”teka-”tu-”me-”umo

But we can't have adjacent stressed syllables, and the vowels of /me/ and /ukumo/ contract together. So we get:

e-pe-'nesakam-”soteka-”tumumo