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I will third that Logan, would love to see some examples. A lot of your
technical talk goes right over my head, but concrete examples might help me
to understand. I hope to hear more : )


On Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 9:18 AM, Amanda Babcock Furrow <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> I would love to learn some of this language once you have some
> interlinearized examples!
>
> tylakèhlpë'fö,
> Amanda
>
> On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 11:57:59PM -0600, Logan Kearsley wrote:
> > I went looking through old emails for a phonology sketch I did a while
> > ago (in 2012, in fact) in response to a Conlangery episode, and ended
> > up also finding that I did another sorta-Salish-inspired sketch back
> > in February of this year. It has a lot of similarities with this one,
> > so I'm stealing from it! We'll just go ahead and call this a
> > continuation of the same project, I think.
> >
> > I also went looking for more information of possessives in Salish
> > languages, and found these inspirational papers:
> >
> http://lingserver.arts.ubc.ca/linguistics/sites/default/files/1996_Burton_Davis-H.pdf
> > http://semanticsarchive.net/Archive/Tg0MzZhY/Underspecified%20Tense.pdf
> >
> > The second one there doesn't actually have anything to do with
> > possession, so I'm not sure why it came up in my search, but it's got
> > some cool ideas nonetheless. After reading that tense paper, I'm
> > thinking of having a basic underspecified non-future tense, where
> > different verbs are more likely to have a default interpretation as
> > present or past based on lexically-specified aktionsart. Manipulating
> > aspect would force perfective verbs to be interpreted as past, but
> > then there'll be an explicit past-tense clitic (like in St'at'imcets)
> > to force past interpretation in other cases. Meanwhile, I'm thinking
> > paraphrastic futures with modal distinctions, consciously stolen from
> > English.
> >
> > The possession paper gave me a lot to think about, and I think I'm
> > much closer to a decision on how to handle possessives, but not quite
> > there yet....
> >
> > In the February stuff, I had the idea of a class of oblique pronouns-
> > essentially, intransitive determiners with the built-in preposition /
> > case that can be used in place of a relativized clause for an explicit
> > oblique argument. Those are useful because core argument positions are
> > all be marked on the verb, regardless of whether there is an explicit
> > DP/NP for them, but obliques can't be.
> >
> > The pronoun set I came up with then had a distinction between 3rd and
> > 4th person, where 3rds are always definite and 4ths are obviative
> > and/or indefinite. Before I rediscovered this, I had been thinking of
> > giving the language both 3rd and 4th person agreement affixes as well,
> > but with a slightly different distinction- third persons to be used
> > for proximate items (things that would be described as "here") and
> > people who are part of the discourse but not being directly addressed,
> > and 4th person to be used for things that are out-of-sight or people
> > who are not party to the conversation, with either one potentially
> > being capable of definite or indefinite marking. Keeping both systems
> > feels like a delicious bit of naturalistic complexity, and it even has
> > some internal logic to it- if an explicit DP is not provided for a 3rd
> > or 4th person argument, then 3rd person agreement would typically
> > indicate something definite, while 4th person would typically indicate
> > something indefinite. Thus, the pronouns can be seen as matching up
> > with the agreement affixes, and just making explicit what is implicit
> > in the agreement system.
> >
> > My February sketch also had an animacy hierarchy, so I'm gonna settle
> > on that as well- we get more use out of the inverse voice marker that
> > way.
> > If animacy rather than syntactic ordering determines core argument
> > roles, however, then we run into the problem of how to distinguish two
> > 3/4p arguments in the same clause. In my February sketch, I supposed
> > that a 3+4 combination would be OK, but a 3+3 or 4+4 wouldn't, but
> > that would require having different determiners for different persons,
> > and I don't really want to do that. We could still make an animacy
> > distinction for definite vs. indefinite arguments, but it's a weird
> > special case which I'd rather not deal with. So, there are two
> > options: either those kinds of clauses just are ambiguous, or they are
> > ungrammatical, and you can actually only ever have a maximum of one
> > explicit core argument to any verb. Making it ungrammatical is the
> > more typical Salishan solution, and results in more interesting
> > discourse structure constraints, so I'm going to go with that. This
> > reduces the possible extent of center-embedding, and also gives more
> > usefulness to the subject-marking clitics- if there's an explicit
> > argument to a transitive verb, and there's a subject clitic, then that
> > argument must be the object; and if there's no clitic, then that
> > argument must be the subject!
> > On a related note, reciprocals will also have to expressed with
> > multiple clauses. Reflexives, on the other hand, can be handled by
> > adding one more special detransitivizing affix.
> >
> > The hierarchy I have in mind is a very simple 2p > 1p > 3/4p. Further
> > gradations of animacy in non-discourse-participants should be
> > unnecessary, because again the subject marking clitic tells you
> > whether an explicit 3/4p argument is the subject or not.
> >
> > In my February musings, I noted that "With two [3/4p arguments], the
> > situation is ambiguous, and two conjoined clauses are required to
> > explicitly resolve the ambiguity. Typically, however, in running
> > discourse, one referent will have a higher expected animacy than the
> > other, and the usual direct/inverse marking is used to manage your
> > *expectations* of relative argument animacy/agency." I still think
> > that's a cool idea, so perhaps I shall save it for a dialectal
> > variant, or re-use it for a different project. But definitely
> > ungrammatical here.
> >
> > An overview of the phonology (slightly tweaked from what I had in
> > February, and definitely *not* objectively Salish-like at all, so be
> > warned) and orthography are as follows:
> >
> > Stops come in a voiced and unvoiced series: the usual p/t/k, b/d/g
> > distinctions, and then a voiced glottal stop and an unvoiced
> > pharyngeal, which I'm tentatively transcribing as <g'> and <k'>. I
> > briefly considered <gq> and <kq>, but I figured that would be
> > confusing in light of the *clicks*, of which there 2 (and sort of 4):
> > <tq> for a dental/alveolar click, and <lq> for a lateral.
> > The sort-of-4 comes from the fact that all stops and clicks can be
> > prenasalized, indicated by an n-digraph, for a total of 16 stop/click
> > phonemes. Voiced prenasalized stops, however, are only realized as
> > stops pre-vocalically; in other positions, they become homorganic
> > nasals. There are no phonemic simple nasals, so this creates no risk
> > of homophony.
> >
> > There is only a single series of fricatives:
> >
> > <l> - /K/ (lateral fricative)
> > <x> - /S/
> > <s> - /s/
> > <h> - /T/
> > <f> - /f/
> >
> > The fricatives and clicks default to unvoiced, but gain voicing
> > between two voiced sounds (i.e., intervocalically, or between a vowel
> > and a voiced stop), in a sort of Old-Englishy way. Yeah, /T/ is
> > over-represented in conlangs that voicing rule is reminiscent of
> > English/Welsh, but I am fond of /T/ and I think the rest of the
> > phonology makes this quite distinct enough that these concessions can
> > be forgiven.
> > Now, that large fricative inventory seems a little front-heavy, so to
> > balance things out and make 'em a little more interesting, /k/ and /g/
> > will become fricatives in intervocalic positions, thus providing some
> > back-of-the-mouth fricative phones (even though they're not
> > distinctive phonemes), one phonemic voicing distinction between
> > fricative phones, and one unvoiced intervocalic phone. And it's not
> > even too difficult to come up with a few different plausible
> > historical explanations for such a scenario.
> >
> > There are four basic vowels:
> > a - /a/
> > e - /E/ or /i/ (this may be free variation, or there may be some
> > consonant-conditioning involved here that I haven't figured out yet)
> > o - /A/
> > u - /M/
> >
> > Vowels come in two series, like Russian, but with rounding rather than
> > palatalization, for a total of 8. The rounded vowels are written with
> > a w-digraph, and induce rounding-assimilation on preceding consonants
> > and preceding hiatus vowels. This can induce mutation of
> > previously-final vowels during affixation.
> >
> > Rounded vowels can occur in hiatus with each other, but unrounded
> > vowels can only occur individually. I'm imagining that this is due to
> > a historical process where originally there were no vowels in contact,
> > but the loss of an original /w/ consonant that produced the rounding
> > features on neighboring vowels resulted in some instances of
> > rounded-vowel hiatus. Identical vowels in hiatus are half-long, and
> > might undergo some subtle quality shifts.
> >
> > Syllable onsets must consist of one consonant or a cluster of one
> > fricative and one non-nasal plosive, unless the vowel is rounded, in
> > which case null onsets are allowed (again, due to the loss of an
> > original */w-/, which is still in the romanization as a digraph
> > character for rounding). Internal codas may be empty or consist of any
> > single non-click consonant. Clicks can only occur word-initially or
> > intervocalically. Word-final codas may also include stop+fricative and
> > fricative+stop clusters, as a result of the historical loss of some
> > final vowels. I expect this to result in some interesting infixing or
> > metathesis or something when adding consonant-initial suffixes. The
> > simple solutions would, of course, be the insertion of epenthetic
> > vowels (irregular ones that reflect the historical form, of course!)
> > or loss of one of the consonants, but Infixing & Metathesis Are Cool
> > as well.
> >
> > In the event that the coda of one syllable and the onset of another
> > syllable are brought together such that a nasalized stop is placed
> > after a fricative, metathesis occurs to put the nasalized stop first.
> > If a click ends up after any other consonant (due to affixing), it
> > assimilates to a corresponding stop: tq -> t/d, lq -> k/g, ntq ->
> > nt/nd, nlq -> nk/ng.
> > If a nasalized stop ends up following a normal stop, the initial stop
> > changes into a prenasalized stop instead; thus, k+nt -> nkt.
> >
> > Note that a word ending in a voiced prenasalized stop will have its
> > pronunciation change depending on whether or not the next word starts
> > with a vowel or a consonant- it may be realized as a labialized voiced
> > prenasalized stop, or as a non-labialized voiced nasal.
> >
> > With the phonology and romanization basically worked out, I can start
> > making up words! My initial vocab is likely to come largely from
> > borrowings out of examples in papers I'm referencing on Salish, but
> > one big advantage of a very-not-Salish phonology is that, by the time
> > the borrowings are suitably adapted, you probably won't be able to
> > tell.
> >
> > -l.
>