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199208Re: Introducing myself and my half-baked language

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  • Vítor De Araújo
    Oct 20, 2013
      On 20/10/2013 07:51 -0400, Alex Fink <000024@...> wrote:

      > On Thu, 17 Oct 2013 05:25:56 -0300, Vítor De Araújo
      > <vbuaraujo@...> wrote:
      > >Vreksi [...] I will describe
      > >what I have currently. It is going through a lot of reformulation
      > >recently, so the following explanation includes a lot of "this used
      > >to be this way but I'm thinking about changing it to that way".
      > >Suggestions are of course welcome.
      > There's a lot to like here. Some of my favourite bits that I don't
      > further comment on below are the interaction of the mobile particles
      > with affixal case, and the breeakdown of the plural pronouns.

      Thanks. :D

      > >Nominative is unmarked. The original accusative was marked with
      > >"-mo". I have recently been playing with the idea of having two
      > >accusatives: one for when the patient has some kind of participation
      > >or volition in the action ("-le") and one when not ("-mo").
      > >Inanimates usually always take "-mo", but people and other animate
      > >beings may take either depending on the situation. The distinction
      > >is somewhat subtle. So, for example, "me sele kīsta" means "I kissed
      > >her/him (with her/his consent)", while "me semo kīsta" would be a
      > >"stolen kiss".
      > Interesting. I wonder whether _-le_ has some other uses with e.g.
      > more comitative shading. Participatory patients alone seems like a
      > relatively small portfolio for a case affix, especially in a language
      > that's moving in the direction of loosening (?) its case affixes to
      > particles.

      Hmm. A comitative or "reciprocating" meaning would make sense with many
      of the examples I imagined so far. Incidentally, that would be somewhat
      similar to what happens in (guess what?) Japanese with the particles
      'to' (comitative, roughly) and 'ni' (dative, roughly) in verbs like
      "iu" ("to say, tell" with 'ni', "to talk to, converse" with 'to'),
      "au" ("to meet (by chance)" with 'ni', "to meet (as previously
      arranged)" with 'to'). [Disclaimer: it's been years since I studied the
      little I know of Japanese, so I might be mistaken here.]

      However, while in Japanese this seems to be basically restricted to
      mark reciprocation (as in, you could flip subject and object and it
      would make sense), my idea was to mark object volition in all verbs,
      though this is probably weird. The idea was partly motivated by
      Sapir-Whorfian experimentation ("what would happen if you were forced
      to mark volition of objects?"), so I will probably leave it in the
      language at least for now, though I like the comitative interpretation.

      > On similar lines, agency contrasts on the A are more common than on
      > the P, as far as I know. How do agents behave in Vreksi with respect
      > to volition? "I [accidentally] broke the table" and all that.

      "Accidentally" would be indicated by the "-las" suffix I mentioned ("me
      tálpamo krāstalas" (temporarily borrowing English "crash/crack" for
      lack of vocabulary)). I haven't thought yet about marking other kinds
      of non-volition (e.g., "I was forced to go", which will have some kind
      of marking in the verb, or "I'm bleeding", which I hadn't thought about
      marking until now).

      > >Verbs
      > You seem to have a whole lot of verb stems ending in _s_ (of the
      > verbs you mentioned here just _gwēl-_ and _fūlv-_ don't, if I've
      > segmented out the latter right). Is there something behind that?

      It was just accident. As the language acquires more verbs I expect to
      give them more variation. :P

      > For that matter, presumably there's some (morpho)phonological rule
      > that fixes up _fūlv·ta_ phonotactically...

      By the original design, things like 'mīsta' are actually an underlying
      'mīs·i·ta'; the perfect morpheme drops before 'ta' if phonologically
      possible. This is not possible with 'fūlv-', so you would get
      'fūlvita'. After the Great Tense/Aspect Reform, it would be 'fūlveta',
      since 'i' as an aspect marker ceases to be, and the 'e' becomes (a
      droppable) part of the verb theme.

      > >I am thinking about killing the separate tense/aspect marking, at
      > >least in its current form. "-ta" is in the process of becoming a
      > >"perfect aspect, implied past unless combined with other tense
      > >morpheme like -wes" morpheme.
      > It is certainly uncommon to have orthogonal tense and aspect systems,
      > though far from unheard of.
      > >Incidentally, "-wes" comes from the verb 'wēse' "to intend".
      > How about _-wos_? Is that derived from an ablaut variant of _wēse_
      > (and if so does that stem survive)? or is it derived from _-wes_
      > rather than primarily from a verb? or just accidentally similar? or?

      In principle from -wes, rather than a separate verb. Though it is
      interesting to think what such a verb would mean. Something like "to
      must", perhaps. Alternatively, it could be analyzed as analogous to the
      transitive/intransitive pairs as something like an "impersonal 'to

      > >Adjectives are really intransitive verbs. There is a special
      > >attributive form (a kind of participle) for verbs:
      > >
      > > se gwēle (it is green)
      > > gwelea talpa (green table; stress falls on "gwe")
      > (But you don't write _gwélea_?)

      This is an inconsistency that had survived so far from the original
      orthography without much thought. 'Gwélea' is better, yes.

      > Can all verbs be attributivised?

      In principle, yes, at least for intransitive verbs. My original idea
      was to make this an active participle. However, currently I am very
      much inclined to make it more of an "absolutive participle", so it
      would be active for intransitive verbs and passive for transitive
      verbs. I'm not sure if this is too weird for a nominative-accusative
      language, though English has (marginally) something similar with the
      -ee suffix (e.g., licensee vs. escapee)

      > Can clauses of more than a single
      > verbal word be attributivised too? -- this could well be useful in a
      > reform of relative clauses.

      Currently no. It's a nice idea, but it would make the language even
      more similar to Japanese. :P

      > >There is a system of "lenition" (phonologically rather than
      > >grammatically conditioned) to avoid sequences of the form "CV₁-CV₂"
      > >across morphemes, where C is the same consonant (the vowels may or
      > >may not be the same). This can be seen in "me" (I) + "-mo" (acc.) =
      > >"mewo". I haven't fleshed this out yet, though. In particular, the
      > >conditions that trigger this are not well defined.
      > What do other leniting consonante lenite into? /m/ to /w/ is
      > sensible on its own (reminds me a little of Hittite /w/ > /m/
      > near /u/). But if this were a process of broad applicability I'd
      > expect that place would be more readily dissimilating than manner, I
      > think. E.g. crosslinguistically, the phenomenon that CVC roots
      > disprefer homorganic consonants are common, but for manner I don't
      > know any cases.

      Interesting. So far all the cases I had in mind would change manner
      primarily and place only secondarily if at all (e.g., /s/ > /r/,
      inspired by things like "genus, genera" in Latin (though this is has
      nothing to do with dissimilation, I think)). I will give more thought
      to this.

      > Alex

      Thanks for all your comments. :)

      Vítor De Araújo
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