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Re: Language Sketch: Gogido

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Monday, August 25, 2008, 20:59
On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 3:19 PM, Logan Kearsley <chronosurfer@...> wrote:

> b- bilabial plosive > d- dental or alveolar plosive > g- vela or uvular plosive
<snip> Interesting choice, to represent sounds of indifferent voicing with Latin letters usually associated with voiced consonants. Most conlangs with no voiced plosives or fricatives, or where voicing isn't significant, use |p t k| etc. What does this choice imply, if anything?
> Pure Vowels- > a- /a/, /A/, /{/ > e- /e/, /E/, /I/ > i- /i/ > o- /o/ > u- /u/
> Diphthongs- > ai, ei, oi, ao
If you're going for an inventory pronouncable by the maximum range of people, maybe a three-vowel system (/a i u/) might be better. I had a sketch of a fauxlang once that had three basic vowels, then length distinctions and diphthongs which could optionally be realized as distinct vowels with e.g. a glottal stop between, so /a:/ and /a?a/, or /aj/ and /a?i/ etc. were allophones.
> There's no concept of subjects vs. objects. Rather, everything is > marked for it's theta role.*
Nice. Voksigid does much the same, & it was a significant influence on my gzb, which also marks theta roles with a large inventory of postpositions. Ithkuil marks scads of theta roles with its case system.
> There's a default order of Agent-Verb-Patient, in which case explicit > markings are elided (and it works basically like SVO word order), but
What do you do with experiencer-verb-focus or agent-verb-focus or force-verb-patient sentences, etc.? Is there any way for those arguments to have the preposition elided if they're in a default position relative to the verb, or do they always have to have a preposition marking them?
> I'm a bit iffy on analyzing the agent/patient markers as prepositions > rather than a separate class of particles, but they do behave in the > same way as definitely-prepositional words which also assign theta > roles.
In gzb I have a morphological distinction between spacetime postpositions and abstract postpositions; most of the latter encode theta roles, and the set is open-ended. (The spacetime postpositions also encode the theta roles "path" and "location" in various ways, most of them highly specific.)
> Perhaps it would be useful to make a distinction between adverbial > prepositional phrases and adjectival prepositional phrases (I'm not > doing that here, because Gogido has no distinction between adverbs and > adjectives, but it could be a neat feature for some other language).
I think Larry Sulky made that distinction in his Konya and/or Ilomi, with an inflection or derivation of the prepositions. He thought it would help resolve ambiguity to always mark whether a prepositional phrase applies to its immediate preceding noun, or to the verb wherever it might be. Similarly, it might make sense to have a way to mark whether a given prepositional phrase applies to the immediately preceding noun or to some other earlier noun...? I'm not sure how often real ambiguity as opposed to theoretical would result without such marking; e.g. in "she killed him with the gun in the library", "in the library" could theoretically apply to "gun" but obviously, from the pragmatics of the situation, applies to "killed".
> There's no grammatical number, gender, or case, and tense is optional > (marked with tense/aspect particles).
What about valency, evidentiality and mood? I seem to recall from a summary someone (Tom Chappell?) posted a while ago of a cross-linguistic study of verb inflection and derivation that valency is marked on verbs in more language than any other category, and mood is marked in more languages than tense or aspect. Can't remember where evidentiality/validationality stand in the ranking. gzb marks all of the above except valency with optional modifiers; tense, aspect and mood are marked with core particles or derivational affixes, and evidentiality/validationality/attitudinality with adverbs derived from root nouns.
> *On the subject of theta-role marking, I had another idea for sentence > structure which I don't think I've seen before, and I wonder what > langs, if any, employ it. The idea is to have the theta-role > assignment order be integrated into the meaning of every verb. Or,
Sounds like Lojban, maybe Loglan as well. I'm not sure, but I think it's one of the aspects of the language that make it particularly hard to learn, memorizing the purely word-order based argument structure of each predicate word. (So I hear from some people who've tried to learn it; I haven't seriously tried.) See here: -- Jim Henry


Logan Kearsley <chronosurfer@...>
deinx nxtxr <deinx.nxtxr@...>