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Re: question - for organizing a long-delayed language

From:David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Date:Sunday, May 8, 2005, 9:21
Rodlox wrote:
I've finally gotten around to starting to try and find organizing
to sort/simplify Metes (that terror of conlang discussions)...but I'm
sure how to proceed.

I'd like to be able to give organizational advice, but I'm afraid it's
dependent on understanding the logic of your language, which,
again, I've failed to do.  I really find Metes (and your various other
sketches/posts) astounding, because the way your languages
work certainly must make sense to you (right?), but I just can't
make heads or tails of them.  Your languages are quite different
from any I've seen.

To cite examples:

Quoting Rodlox here and hereafter:
teq(m) = 10
teu- _=_ to do, perform, show favor, revere .
teu- _=_ to lack, to be wanting; to tire .

By giving this type of entry, you've shown that you want to
separate different definitions for a word.  That's good.  Yet,
the entries *within* your definitions just don't seem to gel.
"To lack" and "to be wanting" obviously go together--especially
knowing that these come from PIE--but how are these *definitions*
related to the concept of tiring?  And combining all three of
those, how can you logically separate them from the definitions
above?  Again, "to do" and "to perform" obviously go together,
and "to show favor" and "to revere" go together, but how do
those two groups go together--and how are the four, as a group,
separate from the three below?

Based on the definitions, I'd say that you should either have
four entries, corresponding to the four groups I pointed out
above, or one entry, with four subsections, as in a dictionary.

Next question: What is does the notation _=_ convey?  It might
be helpful to give parts of speech.  For example, if one word can
be used as any part of speech, it might be useful to say what
the word means when it's used in each part of speech.

Next, why do both roots of /teu/ end in a hyphen?  What does
the hyphen mean?  Usually it would indicate that the preceding
is a prefix, or a stem that will take a suffix.  In the case of /teu/,
it seems to be neither.

Next, in /teqm/, why is the /m/ in parentheses?  Is it because
it disappears in certain environments?  If so, when?  In a dictionary,
that's something you'd list in the beginning (e.g., "If a consonant
is in parentheses, it means that the consonant disappears when it
occurs before another consonant).

Now your examples:
teu-teqm = to revere 10; teqm-teu = to lack 10

Are these dictionary entries, or just examples?  If they're the
former, are they going to be important enough to include as
separate entries?

Also, just a general question (two such, actually): Why does
/teu/ come before "ten" in the first one, and after "ten" in the
second one?  And what do "to revere 10" and "to lack 10"
mean?  Is the former mean "to revere the number ten", i.e. to
regard it as special with respect to the other numbers?

WeIq _=_ clan {social unit} .
WeIq- _=_ to bend, wind .
WeIq- _=_ to fight, conquer .
WeIp- _=_ to turn, vacillate, tremble ecstatically .
WeqtI- _=_ thing, creature .

Here, the first /WeIq/ doesn't have a hyphen, but the others
do.  Is there a reason, or was that a typo?  If the latter, and if
I get the right definition of "wind" (e.g., to wind a watch, or a
coil, or something), then what I'd recommend is something
like the following:


(1) clan (social unit)
(2) to bend, to wind
(3) to fight, to conquer
(4) to turn
(5) to vascillate, to tremble ecstatically

WeIq-WeqtI = clan of creatures;
WeIq_WeqtI = to bend the creature;
WeqtI-WeIq = vacillate the creature  (oops)

I can see how the first of these would be a separate lexical entry.
The second, however, appears to be a verb with an incorporated
object (same as "to revere 10", but not "to lack 10"), and, assuming
that process is productive, I'd say it shouldn't be its own lexical
entry.  (5) doesn't make sense to me (the English definition), but
it appears to work the same way as "to lack 10".  Again, I don't
think it should be its own lexical entry, if the process is productive.

A language question, though: How do you predict when an
incorporated object comes before or after the noun?

"A male love inevivi i'ala'i oku i ue pokulu'ume o heki a."
"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

-Jim Morrison


Rodlox R <rodlox@...>