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Re: question - for organizing a long-delayed language

From:Christopher Wright <dhasenan@...>
Date:Monday, May 9, 2005, 5:30
On Sat, 7 May 2005 22:18:15 +0000, Rodlox R <rodlox@...> wrote:

>I've finally gotten around to starting to try and find organizing principles >to sort/simplify Metes (that terror of conlang discussions)...but I'm not >sure how to proceed. > >What I did, originally, was to take the PIE words, modify them slightly, and >type them in X-SAMPA as I thought they would be pronounced.
Much like I did with Sturnan, though I greatly twisted the words in many cases (random sound changes on each lexical entry).
>Unfortunately, what resulted was that several words had widely differing >definitions (ie, "ba" means both "to speak" and "to shine")...and other >definitions had a great many words (a lotta words that mean "to tear" for >some reason).
A bias from the reconstructions of PIE. Try introducing severe lexical drift, and see if you can find a different root for the offending similarities (i.e. create a new word "shine" from the root for "silver"). Or you could posit multiple sound-change paths with reborrowing--"speak" would probably retain the conservative / main-line root "ba" whilst the less common "shine" would be borrowed from a sister language, changing to, for instance, "v&".
>here are some ideas I've had thus far...suggestions more than welcome: > >teq(m) = 10 >teu- _=_ to do, perform, show favor, revere . >teu- _=_ to lack, to be wanting; to tire . > >teu-teqm = to revere 10; teqm-teu = to lack 10
Both transitive--this would be great for distinguishing unergatives from unaccusatives, otherwise. So perhaps the verb cliticizes to assign accusative case (or for Theme/Patient) and remains in place for anything else. Then if you have an unambiguous ditransitive, you can move focus by not cliticizing the verb. It'd be an odd construction--you'd be moving the theme to some sort of oblique argument status--but I'd appreciate seeing it.
>WeIq _=_ clan {social unit} . >WeIq- _=_ to bend, wind . >WeIq- _=_ to fight, conquer . >WeIp- _=_ to turn, vacillate, tremble ecstatically . >WeqtI- _=_ thing, creature .
Could you make WeIq-(1) unaccusative with an optional agent / instrument as an oblique argument? That way, it'd be a one-to-two place predicate assigning oblique and nominative cases and not easily confused with WeIq-(2), while coming closer or identical to WeIq(3).
>WeIq-WeqtI = clan of creatures; >WeIq_WeqtI = to bend the creature; >WeqtI-WeIq = vacillate the creature (oops) > > >thank you for your time. > >-Rodlox.
Please, sir, I'd like some more. -Chris Wright


Rodlox R <rodlox@...>