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Karnnugaan isn't working

From:Geoff Horswood <geoffhorswood@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 3:51
It started out as such a great evil conlang idea, but
it's so difficut to write anything in Karnuugaan that
I'm really tempted to give up.

The phonotactics are easy enough.  A root may not end
with a stop (except for the glottal stop) and it may
not begin with a glottal stop.

It's the grammar that makes it so tough to make
headway with.

I'm trying to do away with regular semantic classes.
Karnuugaan doesn't have nouns, verbs, adjectives etc.
It has Roots and Modifiers.

Roots are the semantic equivalent of the root
components of Chinese ideographs, and have meanings
centred in a concept.  Eg there is a root "kar" which
has the literal meaning "blood", the metaphorical
meaning "life", and also means "living", "alive", "to
live", "to bleed" and a number of other things,
depending on what other roots it is combined with.
Roots combine in strings, and then have various
Modifiers attached to front (a few Modifiers like the
ones denoting proper names, numbers and suchlike) or
the back (everything else).  And you can have big
strings of modifiers, too.
There are several dedicated Modifiers, for example the
ones carrying the meanings of "now",
"wholeness/completeness", "ancient" and "time".
However, many Modifiers are Roots pressed into service
to further clarify the meaning of the root string.

The problem is this:

Technically, you should be able to say anything with
this.  But I'm having real problems distinguishing
fine nuances of meaning.

It's a great idea, but the grammar is such a
linguistic fever-dream that I can't work it.

I may have to shelve the project, but I have some
other ideas I'm working on...



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-Graffitum spotted on a bridge in England

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H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>
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