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On Fri, 30 May 2014 00:20:11 -0400, Zach Wellstood <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Hi all,
>
>I've been working on and off for the past month or two on designing a
>conlang fantasy of mine. Its working name is incorporationlang, and a
>possible autoglottonym is <gírɯcvauxv> /qiɾɯt͡sʷaʊχʷ/
>
>I'm seeking feedback and commentary because I've hit an impasse. I have
>worked out what I originally wanted to, but I don't know where to go from
>here.

This is fun.  It's a bit like Iljena times Náŋifi Fasúxa, but so far actually feels less rigid than either, which I like (you just up and have a -CV suffix for locatives, you rebel!).  I hope it goes on to have a healthy number of ambiguities and possibilities for puns.  

The first thing that occurs to me is that you haven't allowed yourself many roots, for verbs especially.  I see /i e a u M/ in your material here, sometimes with acutes (tone?), which makes 10 vowels, 14 if there's also /o 7/ in there.  The number of distinct admissible roots is the square of that, a hundred or two.  That's not very many verbs, though it's within the natlang range of variation for languages with closed classes of verbs.  I suppose that probably means that there will be a lot of light verb constructions or other compounding constructions for more precise verbal senses, and perhaps a good share of plain old homonymy too.  How will those work?

The second thing is to wonder how core arguments more complicated than a single unmodified noun work, though people have already mentioned several cases of this.  Nico's question about clausal arguments might be generalised to asking about subordination (maybe there is no subordination strategy that looks like a clausal argument).  And there are plenty of potential modifiers of the noun besides (what answer to) adjectives: how about quantifiers and numbers, deictics, possessors, relative clauses?

[...]
>sike = "a man speaks" (perfective non-past intrans)
>sikesc = "a man speaks to a woman" (perf. non-past trans)
>iske = "a man spoke" (perf past intrans)
>siekisc = "a man is speaking to a woman" (imperf non-past trans)

Is the second /i/ of this form an epenthetic vowel?  What, for that matter, are the phonotactics?  

>sciesk = "a man was speaking to a woman [when...]"

Does the transitive always look like the intransitive with the object affixed vowelless to one end or the other?

[...]
>sɯníńtha = "inside of the animal" (literally, "the animal contains it")
>
>or:
>
>éésntha = "on the [back of] the animal" (literally, "it occupies the
>animal")

with zero for third-person subject morpheme?  How, then, do you distinguish tense and aspect with a third person pronominal subject (if at all)?

In this locative construction as you've described, the verb is always already one with a locative sense ("occupy", "contain", ...), so that the locativity is more or less encoded twice.  Is that seeming redundancy real, or can _-tha_ be used for other kinds of adverbial adjuncts vel sim?  Or, maybe, are the verbs _ɯ...í_, _é...é_ used with more general or different senses elsewhere?

Alex