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CONLANG Digest - 1 Nov 2000

From:Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
Date:Friday, November 3, 2000, 17:09
> From: Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...> > Subject: Re: CHAT: Keyboard (Was: YAC: or more exactly: yetanotherconlang > sketch) > > <thinking> ObConlang, I think you *could* design a typewriter for > Chevraqis, it'd just be a pain in the butt.
Aaack, now I have to wonder what an Atlantic keyboard layout would look like.
> From: Amanda Babcock <langs@...> > Subject: Re: CHAT: Keyboard (Was: YAC: or more exactly: yetanotherconlang > sketch) > > (And I used to use ANSI escape sequences to remap my keyboard in DOS - but > Wordperfect ignored the remapping :)
There's supposed to be a country= (?) setting you put in one of the dos config files, but it's been so long since I've dealt with the innards of DOS that I forget.
> From: Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...> > Subject: Permissable /IN/ (was: [i:]=[ij]?) > > >Permissible pontification: (?) there is no tense/lax contrast in English > >before /N/ or /r/ (at least in monosyllables). The vowel is neither [i]
> >[I], but somewhere in-between-- usually closer to [I] I think (it is for > >me). > > Actually, /IN/ is quite permissable in English, and I suspect in Nik's > dialect as well. The thing is, /I/ is raised so that it resembles [i]. > Hence, the lack of the tense/lax contrast before /N/ that Roger pointed > out. *BUT*... there is still a length contrast so that one can still > phonologically speak of a contrast between /IN/ and /iN/.
For me the [N] in /iN/ or /IN/ is halfway between /J/ (palatal nasal) and /N/. I think that's why /i/ and /I/ sounds tend to mutate toward it. It might be vice versa, but I say [IN] and it sounds much different than what would be English /IN/. (All the people talking about the effect of N on the vowel, and nobody mentioned the effect of the vowel on the N...)
> From: Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...> > Subject: Re: [i:]=[ij]? (was Re: Pronouncing "Boreanesia")
> >> For instance, words like > >> "no/know" get rendered as [no-y]. > > > >I've heard visiting Americans claim that we tend to say 'noi' for 'no', > >but that's obviously just an overactive imagination on their part :-) > >although I'm willing to believe a Queenslander might say anything.
> Well, Queenslanders don't say *[noi]~[noj], but it may sound like that to > most Americans who would not be able recognize front-rounded vowels. What > I heard in Brisbane was [no-y].
"Might it be," Muke shouted in sudden amazement, "that we have [now] and Brisbane has [noH]?" (Even if you don't, I think I have just discovered how, really, to pronounce /H/!)
> From: Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...> > Subject: Re: Permissable /IN/ (was: [i:]=[ij]?) > > >Actually, /IN/ is quite permissable in English, and I suspect in Nik's > >dialect as well. The thing is, /I/ is raised so that it resembles [i]. > >Hence, the lack of the tense/lax contrast before /N/ that Roger pointed > >out. *BUT*... there is still a length contrast so that one can still > >phonologically speak of a contrast between /IN/ and /iN/. > > I may have to take that back. I can't for the life of me think of any > examples of English words that have this contrast other than perhaps > "being" and "bingo".
How about "sing" /sIN/ and "seeing" /si:N/ ?
> From: Daniel Seriff <microtonal@...> > Subject: Re: Permissable /IN/ (was: [i:]=[ij]?) > > Kristian Jensen wrote: > > > I may have to take that back. I can't for the life of me think of any > > examples of English words that have this contrast other than perhaps > > "being" and "bingo". > > For me, "being" is two syllables /bi.IN/. The /I/ is only very slightly > raised, not enough that I could call it something other than /I/. I > always pronounce our wonderful participle "-ing" as /IN/.
I think in emphatic speech I could make "being" two syllables. (But it'd probably be ['bI 'IN] or somesuch) It's very odd. Participle -ing always feels like a sort of half-syllable to me. As if, perhaps, it might be something like [J=_G] or [N=_A]. (You know what would be really nice? An IPA-to-speech thingy that could even make the sounds with any of the funky diacritics, so I could tell immediately whether I'm being a complete raving loony bin at the moment.)
> ObConlang: I recently discovered the joys of participles in English, > Greek, Latin, and German. Latin especially has some spiffy participle > constructions (gerunds & gerundives, too). I'm going to have to fiddle > with my languages to make them used far more often. Sorry, no specifics, > just conlangian (or is it conlangesque? or conlangous? conlangal? ah, > the multitudinous English adjectival suffixes!) musings.
(Conlinguistic?) Speaking of adjectival affixes... Does anybody know the rules of the choice of negative prefixes between in- and un-? I know them, as it were, by instinct, but I can't quite analyze why. The odd idea has occurred to me that it might have something to do with vowel harmony, or some other process? Or is it really random and I just don't know it?
> From: Elliott Lash <AL260@...> > Subject: Languages > > 1995 A whole gamut of languages supposedly derived from a common
> though the sound changes were more codelike than actual phonetic changes. > (ie. /b/ became /t/ blah blah) (what was I thinking!)
Another aside: _How_, just how, do things like Proto-IE *dw and *bhr become Armenian *rk and *lb?
> From: Elliott Lash <AL260@...> > Subject: Re: Silindion > > Too bad I didn't think of a rule like this a long time ago, > to implement it now would mean going through at least 500+ > words in my dictionary.
I *hate* when that happens! (Working, days, on a lexicon, and deciding, 'you know, perhaps I can allow <ns> clusters after all' and then having to go back and look at all the etymologies and then realizing you were letting them through half the time... it's second only to realizing about halfway through that you forgot one of your transform rules so half your words are broken)
> From: Eric Christopherson <raccoon@...> > Subject: Re: [i:]=[ij]? (was Re: Pronouncing "Boreanesia") > > The phonetics book I mentioned earlier uses /y/ for a palatal fricative,
used in
> Spanish (it's a Spanish phonetics book). I'm not sure really how a palatal > approximant and a palatal fricative would sound in comparison with each > other, though.
Well, take the 'y' in English "yes" and bring it closer to your palate (or, imagine a stereotypical Spanish accent in English). It should sound something like "zh" /Z/ (which is, incidentally, how I misclassified it myself a while back).
> > And unfortunately for me, Qwerty isn't particularly good at preventing
> > But wasn't the whole point of Qwerty to prevent jams? I'm sure that when > one is proficient enough, not much can prevent jams. Last time I used a > manual typewriter I could only type at about 25 WPM, so jamming wasn't a > problem.
Of course, IIRC, when these keyboards were invented, the idea of 80 wpm touch typists didn't quite exist...
> From: Padraic Brown <pbrown@...> > Subject: Re: Languages > > > 1995 Flavin: My first language. Really just an a priori lexicon with
> >and pieces french and english grammar. I don't remember anything except
> >to form the 1st person present tense of a verb you chopp of the first
> >and do a few other strange transformations. Example caiyar "to be" aiya
> >am" (or something, whatever) > > Actually, I find that a rather curious form of conjugation.
Hmm, one might envision that the protolanguage had something like '@caiyar' as infinitive and 'caiya' is 1s, (having the @ as infinitive marker) and where the initial sounds regularly dropped, leaving 'caiyar' infinitive and 'aiya' 1s.
> From: Robert Hailman <robert@...> > Subject: Re: CONLANG Digest - 31 Oct 2000 to 1 Nov 2000 (#2000-299) > > > In Hadwan/Atlantic I have: > > > > /s/ - s (Hadwan, Atlantic) > > /z/ - z (Hadwan, Atlantic) > > /ts/ - c<dot> (Hadwan) > > /dz/ - z<dot> (Hadwan) > > /tS/ - c<acute> (Atlantic) > > /dZ/ - j (Hadwan, Atlantic) > > /S/ - s<acute> (Hadwan, Atlantic) > > /Z/ - z<acute> (Atlantic) > > Ooh, I like this system. I like putting accents on consonants. :o)
Yup. I had to go through several systems to find actual accented consonants available in common fonts (all those letters are in Times New Roman, Arial, etc)--I have Unicode fonts on my computer, but not everybody has...
> > I come to think, however, that I don't like <j> for /dZ/. (and
> > is unappetizing) > > If I wanted a _regular_ system, it'd be z<acute>, and then /S/ and /Z/
> > be s-caron and z-caron or somesuch... But I don't really like carons. > > (Suggestions?) > > No suggestions, but carons are our friends. :o)
I had carons for them before. But the shape just seemed so complex compared to the dot and the acute. I think I will be keeping <j> for /dZ/. However, the concultural explanation will be that they couldn't find a good Romanization of /dZ/ either and borrowed the old alphabet's /dZ/ letter (which, descended from a kind of zayin, looks already quite like a j...) I already have a habit of not dotting the i's and j's when writing Atlantic, so it's all right. (Why the habit? Probably because in the native Hadwan script the dot indicates the stress accent.)
> > > I've never come across an abcdefg... keyboard, or heard of one. I do > > > know of the Dvorak layout, but I've never seen a Dvorak keyboard > > > anywhere. > > > > I made my own (basically I dismantled my qwerty and rearranged the
> > How'd you get the computer to interperet the keystrokes as their new > vowels? I wouldn't mind dowing this, on the computer in my room.
In windows, there's a setting under language under keyboard under the control panel. On X, you can find a Dvorak .xmodmap if you search the web (you may have one already). I don't know how to do it for the Linux command line, but they gave me the option when I installed the OS. (No, I'm back on W95 now.)
> From: Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...> > Subject: Re: The Combos [hj] [hw] and [gw] in Conlangs > > Roger Mills wrote: > > Very interesting. So Proto-PN *f > Maori /wh/ > Maori /f/. Sound
> > are supposed to be irreversible!! > > Says who? Sound changes simply happen without referrence to the past!
Indeed. I've noticed some later Atlantic words should assume forms disturbingly close to their proto-forms. <actual conlang content, not related to the above> I've been thinking about syntax very little, but I am getting to the point where I'll have to. (Running out of the other basics, y'see.) I think Hadwan might be pretty much SOV, but: I was thinking of V2 languages. Is it feasible, in any sense, to have a V-minus-2, say, where the verb must be penultimate? Because this has been coming up. (<c> = /ts/ here) Is Pavlus. is pavlu-s be.2S Paul.NOM "You are Paul." Pavlus isc vinjius pavlu-s is-c vinji:u-s Paul.NOM be.3S prisoner.NOM "Paul is a prisoner." (Not, say, Pavlus is / Pavlus vinjius isc. Verb-finalness just leaves me so _unfulfilled_.) Pavlus Timutheum waihic Romai pavlu-s timutheu-m waih-ic roma:-i Paul.NOM Timothy.ACC fight.3S Rome.DAT "Paul is fighting Timothy for Rome" Waihic Pavlus Timutheum isc Roma? waih-ic pavlu-s timutheu-m is-c roma: Fight.3S Paul.NOM Timothy.ACC be.3S Rome.LOC "Is Paul fighting Timothy in Rome?" (I have just discovered what "helping verbs" are for.) Pavlus vracir isc Timutheus pavlu-s vra:cir is-c timuthe-u:s Paul.NOM brother.NOM be.3S Timothy.GEN "Paul is Timothy's brother." Would it make sense to require verbs that otherwise would be solo to have a "helping" pronoun for extra "V-2ness"? Say, Sem Timutheus. sem timutheu-s be.1s Timothy.NOM "I am Timothy." (without pronoun) BUT: Sem i. sem i: be.1s I.nom "I am." (with pronoun) [Yes, "I" is <i> in Hadwan. (IE *eg [Hitt. uk, Go. ik] > PH *egh, ey > Hadw iy, i:) By the modern Atlantic stage it can be pronounced just like it is in English, to boot.] Now to think of the Atlantic typewriter keyboard... all those extra diacriticked letters (n-acute, l-acute, r-acute, s-acute, z-acute, c-acute, possibly m-acute and n-grave [for /N/]...) On the other hand, maybe use a "combining" acute and grave for all the vowels, which might use on the consonants--but that's bad conceptually, plus the fact that it won't line up on the l or capitals without looking _really_ ugly--so it'll have to be separate keys for the consonants. Maybe even keep the dot accent instead. The punctuation marks would have to be different too--mark like a low dash (like __ but not _that_ low) for pauses, semicolon-like question mark, etc... Aiiie! Um. I'm finishing this message _now_ (four hours after I sit down) because everything closes in twenty minutes and I need to get money and lunch. *Muke! --