My nameless tougue (was Re: New to Language Construction)
|From:||Shreyas Sampat <nsampat@...>|
|Date:||Friday, March 17, 2000, 0:32|
Firstly, I forgot to thank everyone for the welcome. Excuse me.
> Cool. My conlang, Watakassí started out that way, but I had trouble
> keeping words from getting outrageously long, so I compromised by
> allowing some closed syllables and some clusters, but still it prefers
> the oppen structure.
There's a thought. I'll probably end up doing that. I nearly did, just today,
as I was making up words so as to be able to translate the Babel Text, and I
caught myself using a cluster... I endud up changing the word to something
totally different, because I was so irritated. Incidentally, the major reason
I don't like clusters is that they impair my efficiency; I'm a big fan of
Sanskrit so I'll probobly end up using an Indic script, and I don't want to
bother with a vowel killer.
> I don't think so, I like agglutination. But, what's unpleasant about it
> to you? Is it the length that it makes the words? Or is it just that
> you prefer having few affixes on a word?
It's more of a monotony issue; most of my verb stems are fairly short, and then
they have a long stack of affixes on the end that take up more space than the
verb itself did. Verbs in similar tenses end up sounding like the same verb
with different prefix, rather than different verbs with the same suffixes.
<big ol' snip>
>What kind of affixes are used in your lang?Let's see: the assumed characteristics are present tense, voluntary, complete
action, no particular/average intensity.
There are gender affixes e,a,i,and u, which are masculine, feminine, neuter
animate, and inanimate.
Verbs inflect for the speaker's gender, the subject's person and number, and
the subject's gender, in the following manner:
1: s, /sh/ <i use an s with a reversed circumflex, but my font doesn't have one
of those in lower case>
2: t, th <these are retroflexes is the term i believe, pronounced with the tip
of the tongue curled back. the th is aspirated and unvoiced.>
Abstract: l, ll <ll pronounced as a somewhat dentalized l, it has a bit of an
American English y sound to it.>
The abstract person is used to speak of a theoretical or literary subject, or
one who is for some reason unknown, as in "Who ate my socks? Did
someone/anyone eat my socks?"
The tense affixes hea, ha, he, huo, ho, and hu signify general past, long past,
earlier today, general future, long future, and later today. After the
person/gender ending and any tense affix, a glottal stop written ' is added if
any aspectual affixes follow.
The aspectual affixes follow, in order of proper placement, should multiple
affixes be used, each is optional and assumed not to exist if not specified.
The irrealis <isn't that a pretty word> 'alea' or 'ue', interchangeably,
emphasize stories or hypotheses and mark hopes, probability, and indefiniteness
of other natures.
The circumstantial 'sho' marks an action that the agent didn't do of its own
free will, whether it was unconscious or forced, such as by a command or
The crescendo and decrescendo 'kuna' and 'kime' <i don't like how these are so
similar, in later drafts i'll probably change the decrescendo to something like
'nuka' or 'naku' , which would be somewhat reversed forms of the crescendo>
mark changes in the intensity of a state or action, as in 'it's raining
increasingly hard' or 'he's slowing down' <some motion root [probably 'walk'
with an intensive following the decrescendo] +decrescendo>
The intensive and attenuative 'o' and 'iki' mark highly intense or highly
non-intense actions, such as 'gush' and 'drip' from 'flow'.
The generic 'tanu' <which I'm considering cutting out> marks a tendency or a
statement that is usually true but may have exceptions.
The imperfective 'fa' marks actions of a duration "he fell for a full minute
before splatting on the ground", actions that are habitual "the dog keeps
making messes on the floor" or action that become characteristic of a time
period "the dog kept barking all night"
Inceptive and cessative 'ka' and 'kaha' mark an action starting or stopping.
"He ascended to the throne- he ruled-inceptive"
Retrospective 'mo' marks actions of continuing relevance or future relevance,
implying 'there is a reason you, the listener, should know this' or 'there is a
reason the agent does/did/will do this that will reveal itself in the fullness
Iterative 'ne' emphasizes the quantity of an action repeated, 'he bounced three
times before coming to a rest at the bottom of the mountain'
Incompletive 'la' flags unfinished or in'progress actions, "they were [in the
process of] studying when it knocked on the door."
Well, that's the end of it. I'm pondering whether to add a negative affix, or
use a prefix or some floating modifier.