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Lin: morphology

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Sunday, April 7, 2002, 16:47
Next instalment of R. Srikanth's compact conlang called Lin:

(a) Antonyms
    These are not formed by uses affixes (cf. Esperanto "mal-"), but by
using the substitutions of the 'Antonymizer Table' by substituting each
letter in a word.  The result shares the same part of speech as the
original word.  Only constants have opposites, thus:
   Antonymizer Table ( >< means 'antonymizes/is antonymized by')
     a >< y          A >< Y
     i >< u          I >< U
     e >< o          E >< O
     w >< W

     p >< C          c >< P
     b >< K          k >< B
     j >< G          g >< J

     t >< L          l >< T
     d >< N          n >< D

     q >< R          r >< Q
     m >< S          s >< M

     h >< x
     X >< V
     v >< H

Srikanth also gives:
    f >< z          F >< z

Clearly there is a typo here and one of the zeds/zees should be upper-case,
but I don't know which.

 i 'internal'    >< u 'external'    (adjective, gen. 3)
 i 'interesting' >< u 'boring'      (adjective, gen. 2)
ki 'baby'        >< Mu 'adult'      (noun, gen. 1)

(b) Derivational morphology
   To form nouns, verbs and adjectives from the rest, the 'part-of-speech
cycle' (PoS cycle) is used.   Each Lin word is associated with a series
formed by sequential capitalization of its letters, e.g. _a_ yields the
series [a, A]; _ab_ yields the series [ab, Ab, aB, AB].  The first item in
the series is known as the 'seed', and is the lexical representative of the
rest of the series.

The PoS cycle for 1 letter words is:
   noun -------> verb
     \           /
      \         /
       \       /
        \     /
         \   /
          \ /

The cycle is to be read clockwise; the members of the sequence all have the
same generation.  As examples, Srikanth gave:
h 'happy' (A,1) >> H 'happiness' (N,1)
h 'agreement' (N,2) >> H '(to) agree' (V,2)

The PoS cycle for words of two or more letters is:
    noun -----------> verb
     |                 |
     |                 |
     |                 |
     |                 |
     |                 |
 adjective <------ arbitrary

nu 'intuition' (N,1) >> Nu '(to) intuit' (V, 2)
nt 'to swim' (V,1) >> NT '(the act of) swimming' (N,1)

The arbitrary slot can be filled to represent any common concept associated
with swimming; in this case _Nt_ means "swimming pool".  Where used, the
arbitrary slot meaning must be listed in the dictionary.

A three letter word, e.e. _abc_, produces eight permutations.  This is
split into two series of four elements each, the first having _abc_ as its
seed, and the second having _ABC_ as its seed, thus: [abc, Abc, aBc, ABc]
and [ABC, aBC, Abc, ABc].  _abc_ and _ABC_ are to be given separate lexical
entries in the Lin dictionary.

(c) The {;} affixes
    When {;} is prefixed, it pushes the word clockwise to the next slot in
the PoS cycle;  when it is suffixed, it pushes the word anticlockwise in
the PoS cycle.  Sometimes a push in one direction or the other may be
desired to derive a new word of different meaning, e.g. an abstract word.

n 'knowledge' (N,1) >> N '(to) know' (V,1) >> n; 'knowledgeable' (A,1)
n '(to) need' (V,1) >> N 'necessary' (A,1) >> n; 'necessity' (N,1)
"To map a wider semantic space," wrote Srikanth, "_;N_ is deemed not the
same as _n;_.  Instead it means 'necessity' in the sense of *things* that
are necessary!"

Srikanth then gave the sentence:
n; s n`o1ma = 'necessity is th mother of invention'

Srikanth gave no indication, however, how {;} is to be pronounced.

(d) Negation
    In Lin negation is considered part of the morphology; the negating
morpheme is {-} (minus), pronounced [fi:~], is prefixed to the
to-be-negated entity.  The scope of the negation is the word to which it is
prefixed, but it may be extended by using 'flower brackets' (i.e. braces) {
} [Remember how they're pronounced?].  The negation prefix is transparent
to all cements.

u h+m    "you retain the movement"
u -h+m   "you do not retain the movement"
u h+-h   "you move not the text (but something else)"

(e) Inversion
    The inversion morpheme is the suffix {/}, pronounced [bhy], appended to
a word.  In a N-V-N construction, it inverts the word order of the other
two words than the one to which it is suffixed.  In a N-V construction, it
inverts the order of these two.  Thus, e.g., the four sentences below all
mean "The bird sees me":
px v i
px\ i v
i v\ px
v px i\

If non-generation 1 words are present, the inversion is accompanied by a
change in cements; thus the four sentences below all mean "The bird fears
px f+u
px\ u/f
u f\+px
f+px u\

Just to add to the fun, inversion may be effected within a component also:
_i1b_ "interesting book" may also be _b1\i_
-i2m_ "interesting movement" may also be _m4\i_

It will probably have been noted that _i v\ px_ and _u f\+px_ in the
examples above look like passives, with the patient being promoted to the
subject role, so to speak.  Cf.:
h A+px   "[the] human loves [the] bird"
px\A/ h  "[the] bird inverse-love [the] human"

Furthermore, leaving out {h}, we can have _px\A/_ which can be understood
as "the bird is loved".  But we should note that one may also invert
intransitive constructions, e.g.
s M    "it moves"
M\ s   "moves-inversion it" = "it moves"
M\     "there is a motion"

Inversion may also function in a block, with the blocks being delimited by
the standard Lin [and Java] delimiters, i.e. {   }

Unfortunately, Srikanth gives no examples of blocks.

That's all, folks.  The next instalment - which I'll try to get together
later this week - will be 'clauses'.  But that looks a lengthy topic and
will probably have to be split into two or even three parts.




Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>Lin: clauses - Part 1.
Aidan Grey <grey@...>Weekly vocab #3