Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Too long words

From:Carsten Becker <post@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 18, 2004, 18:30
I need your help.

In the conlang I'm working on at the moment, you can get very long verbs in
fact, and that's part of what annoys me about it. Throughout this mail I use
a «´» for macrons, diaeresis/colon for indicating variable vowels:

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Verbs are always formed after the scheme
    [<tense+stem(+mood)+person>+person's role]+trigger's role
     ... the isolating bit of Ayeri. >>

"Person's role" means the role of the pronoun ("person") in the sentence,
e.g. Trigger, Agent, Patient or something else (Oblique)

However, I'm ending up with constructions like (due to the lack of words
only these variations on two examples):

  A.  Mecoyain layayá:ngaris.       (A book is read by him.)
  B.  Layaconiyäinang mecoyáris?    (Does he read a book?)
  C.  Lirón laerasisaohälei.        (The soup is cooked,
                                     lit: was made cooking)

So I thought of creating a bit con-colloquialism for it:

What somehow annoys me is the lenght of the verbs, compared to nouns - Ayeri
is agglutinating, perhaps even fusional and somewhat isolating. Because of
all those endings etc. constructing verbs can get very confusing, and
parsing, too - that is why in the example for mediopassives above, the
causative ending that was thought for nouns originally, slips into the
position where a mood marker is placed. Because of all that complexness, in
colloquial Ayeri, pronouns etc. are not included in the verb, but become
seperate words (of course they also receive suffixes etc.). So the example
"Mecoyain layayá:ngaris." becomes "Mecoyain iyá:ng layáris." But this
easification (is that a word actually?) only works for transitive verbs
(verbs that take one object - monovalent verbs IIRC). Thus, the second
example with the soup that is cooked cannot be easified. Perhaps this
mechanism works for ditransitives as well, but I must test this first. The
tendency is that the colloquial easification is more and more used as well
in the official language. (That means: I want to get rid of those long,
confusing words!!! The only disadvantage of getting rid of including so many
informations in one single word is I would have to rewrite some parts and
I'm pretty lazy at the moment to do so.) >>
(changed a bit for better understanding, changes will be uploaded ASAP,

In any case, if you take the example B and replace "he" with "Peter", the
sentence is "Peterin layaconang mecoyáris?".

My main problem is that due to the lenght and the too many informations of
the word - as said above - constructing and parsing verbs is very difficult,
at least in my opinion. But it's not only the length of the words, it's
rather the ambiguity because it's not clear where a morpheme ends and where
a new one begins. You can hear the morphem borders by stress when speaking,
but indicating stress is not possible or would cause more diacritics. Or am
I wrong and people used to this agglutinatism can handle things easily? If
not - what can else be done to make the morphology easier?

Carsten Becker



Eddy Ohlms <etg@...>
Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>
Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>