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Self-Segregating Morphologies

From:Mike S. <mcslason@...>
Date:Sunday, May 12, 2002, 23:54
Hello group!

This is actually my second post here.  I tried to post a message 
early yesterday but apparently it has to go through listserv, not yahoo.

Anyway, I am designing a logical conlang, and I have been 
experimenting with various self-segregating morphologies.  Here is a 
brief outline of systems I have looked at:

A. Lojban Approach - basically, a required consonant cluster at (or 
near) the front of a word marks the start of the word;  required 
penultimate stress marks the end.  Note though, Lojban's full 
implementation is *much* more complex than the description here 

B. Katanda Approach - Morphemes and submorphemes of form C(C)V(V)(V), 
belonging to different categories, are combined to form roots, and 
then words.  A bit complex at first, but quite regular and very 
productive once grasped. I believe this system is quite ideal for 
Morneau's powerful derivational approach to language design.

C. Ceqli Approach - A single fricatives or stop, or a cluster of 
fricatives and stops, marks start of word; root extended freely by 
vowels, liquids and nasals.  Utterly simple.  This system lends 
itself ideally to languages of the isolating sort.

D. Vorlin Approach - Roots take form CV[CV]C, where [CV] can be 
repeated zero or more times.  Not perfectly self-segregating as 
implemented, but a good start; could be made self-segregating with a 
little tweaking.

Here are some questions to consider:

Are there any systems out there greatly different from the four that 
I have mentioned?  

Is it important to self-segregate the morpheme level, or is word-
level self-segregation sufficient?

Should self-segregation be based on semantics or on phonological 
shape alone? (e.g., should prefix morphemes need to be memorized, or 
should such semantics be identifiable from morpheme shape?)

How much importance do conlangers in general place on self-
segregation?  For those of you who have build self-segregating 
morphologies into your conlangs, what sort of appraoch did you take, 
and why?   

What system do you think is best and why?

Thanks for any food for thought!


---   Mike


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