Re: Spoken French Orthography (was Re: "Re: Colloquial French resources")
- I'll use up my fifth posting for the day responding to a
couple of remarks which I disagree with :)
On 03/10/2013 14:53, A. da Mek wrote:
>> Indeed, indeed! I could not care less about spelling
> But you cannot _re_form somemething which has not been
> formed yet. If there is a spoken language or dialect
> without a written form and somebody will create some
> written form, it will be a-posteriory conlang.
No it will not. When missionaries and others in past
centuries gave a written form to a language without writing
they were not creating an a_posteriori conlang!
I think most of us here will agree that the *primary* form
of any natlang is the spoken form. The written form is
secondary and derived from the spoken; indeed, the same
language can have more than one written form.
Whether I write English in standard British, standard
American, some reformed system such Anglic, or in Pittman or
Gregg shorthand, or in Arabic script, Devanagari, Linear B
or whatever you chose, I am *not* creating different
conlangs! I'm writing the _same_ language in different scripts.
When Muslim scribes first put Swahili into Arabic script,
they were not creating a separate a_posteriori conlang; they
were giving a natlang a script. When later, Europeans gave
Swahili a Roman script, they were not creating yet another
a_posteriori conlang - and one could go on and on with
On 03/10/2013 16:48, BPJ wrote:
> 2013-10-03 17:05, Leonardo Castro skrev:
>> Unless you want something completely phonemic (and then
>> it's not a matter of creating an orthography for Spoken
>> French but of reforming the spelling of French),
> Why? Spoken French has a phonology, surely?
Of course it has. Leonardo's sentence does not make any
sense to me.
The current spelling of French is _Written French_.
Basically it reflects the language and pronunciation of the
13th century and has had only minor modifications since.
While certain reforms of the traditional spelling may, in
theory, be desirable, I simply do not understand how they
can possibly arrive at a phonemic representation of modern
To arrive at a completely phonemic representation of Spoken
French surely means putting the existing Written French
> NB 1: I'm not in the least (seriously) interested in
> reforming the orthography of French or [insert natlang of
> choice]. Conscripts and conorthographies for various
> languages nat and con are another matter, and AFAIK on
> topic here.
Adapting conscripts for conlangs as, e.g. Tolkien did when
he wrote English in Tengwar and Cirth I agree. But
conscripts developed only for a natlang is IMO nothing to do
with conlanging. It's like the codes we developed as
schoolkids (mine were phonemic, more or less; I hated
But it is my opinion that spelling reform is not conlanging.
However, this is fairly tolerant and allows all manner of
off-topic threads :)
Other NBs snipped, but agreed with.
"language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
for individual beings and events."
[Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
- From: Siva Kalyan <sivakalyan.princeton@...>
>This reminds me of what are called "direct/inverse marking" systems (found, I think, in Native American languages as well as Sino-Tibetan), where the verb is unmarked if the subject is higher on the person hierarchy than the object (e.g. 1st pers. subject, 3rd pers. object), but takes an "inverse" marker if the object ranks higher than the subject (e.g. 3rd pers. subject, 1st pers. object).Okay, that's neat! I could see a system where the higher animacy ranking is unmarked -- no need because its superiority is obvious. ;)) In Kalchian, I don't see how, for example, a dog's animacy could "outrank" a man's animacy.
If the dog sees / examines the man, then the roles are simply reversed.
It is certainly possible for a IV-A being (a man, e.g.) to "slide" from his rank to say II-I. This is because there are two components to animacy: the innate is what you are by nature; the momentary is relative to circumstance. So, a man is by nature IV-A (the highest rank, which they call "wisdom"), but at night when he's snug in bed he becomes II-I (a rather lower, inanimate rank, which they call "instinct"). The same man could devolve further, for example, to I-A ("active") by joining in with an angry mob. If he's killed by the constabulary for participating in said mob, he will become level I-I ("stative") -- a corpse.
So, actual circumstance can trump innate quality, but this trumping happens within a being. It's not one being trumping another.
>This would mean that your system is typologically unusual, in that 1>3 is overtly marked, even though 2>3 and 3>3 are unmarked. Then again, I don't know what direct/inverse marking systems look like for verbs of perception.Actually, in these cases, I don't think so. By nature, the action of "SEEing" is a passive one and the action of "EXAMINing" is an active one. I don't know, but it may well be possible for other kinds of verbs to be rendered in the middle voice. It's a matter of perspective, as the phiosophers say: for the first person, the image of the dog comes into the windows of the eyes unbidden; but on the other hand, it is known for a fact that the
>Another thing: I assume it's possible to put your second and third sentences into the middle voice, for the purpose of topicalizing the dog, or emphasizing the agency of "you" or "she".
> Is there a corresponding valence-changing operation for the first sentence—i.e. a sort of "antipassive"?Can you rephrase that? I'm not quite sure what "valence-chaning operation" entails. I know I've heard of it here before! It's a matter of deleting the logical object (the dog) and shifting the logical agent (me) into that position and also change that agent's ending. If so, I think that would basically yield something like "ku-mue-Co sme-ssue": "I get myself seen". But that doesn't quite sound right... We just want to end up with "I see", right?
This would be used "on top of" the middle-voice marking, and would have the function of topicalizing the first person, and emphasizing the patiency of the dog.
>For that matter, now that I think of it, it looks like what you have is really a kind of (incipient?) split ergativity! Specifically, the split occurs along the person hierarchy (what you have glossed as "abl" in the first sentence would thus be [in this context] an ergative marker—indeed ergative markers do often arise out of ablatives/instrumentals).Split ergativity is fun! It looks like the split here might actually be "certain verbal domains" rather than person or animacy or anything like that. This split happens with verbs like see, sense, touch, taste, hear, visualise, come to realise; maybe even certain emotional verbs like fear, avenge, nauseate, etc. Purely non-perception / non-emotional verbs (hit, strike, talk to, bully, fight, harvest, hunt, etc) conjugate very much like we'd expect from nom-acc languages: the subject / agent is in the nom, the object / patient is in the acc. The passive causes an inversion as one might expect.
>This may be the better way of analyzing your system—though I don't know how common it is for split ergativity to go by person (usually it goes by animacy).Thanks for the suggestions!
>On 12 October 2013 at 23:37:47, Padraic Brown (elemtilas@...) wrote:
>So, there is in the farthest reaches of Alaria beyond the seas a language with what
>>I think is an interesting sort of verbal conjugation. First, the examples, in this case,
>>the verb "see":
>>hmang-Tan-Co sme-ssue-Ti ku-mue-te
>>dog-A-ref see-MID-3.s.pr me-A-abl
>>The dog gets himself into view by me (masc).
>>ũm-dang-so saman-Ø-ni un-g-hmang-Tan-sum
>>thou-A-nom examine-Ø-2.s.pr to-lias-dog-A-acc
>>You (slave) examine to the dog.
>>lĩ-Tan-so ilt saman-Ø-ni un-g-hmang-Tan-sum
>>one-A-nom that examine-Ø-2.s.pr to-lias-dog-A-acc
>>She examines to the dog.
>>hmang = dog (any major species of wild, domestic or semi-domesticated)
>>sme- = "it comes into view"
>>saman- = "thoroughly examine"; "pick apart"
>>A = animacy ranking (there are seven, all together, both inherent and momentary)
>>MID = middle voice
>>Ø = active voice is unmarked default
>>abl = ablative case
>>nom = nominative case
>>acc = accusative case
>>ref = referential case
>>lias = an intrusive consonant
>>This example is in the unmarked/default "ongoing present". There is also
>>a (marked) "momentary present".
>>As you can see, and this is also the case for all other verbs of perception,
>>the first person forms are conjugated in the middle with respect to the
>>referent and with a "passive" root verb; while the second and third
>>persons are conjugated in the active with respect to the subject and with
>>an entirely different, "active" root verb.
>>It got me wondering if there is any ANADEW for this kind of conjugation:
>>one conceptual map for one person and then using an entirely different
>>conceptual map for the other person(s), and entirely different verbs for
>>both. The distinction here being one of detached, almost impersonal experience
>>(for the first person) vs. a more hands on, almost violent engagement with the
>>object in question (for the second and third persons).