Need advice on generalized parts of speech
|From:||Steve Kramer <scooter@...>|
|Date:||Monday, October 1, 2001, 21:59|
As some of you may know, I'm working on my first conlang, and I don't really
have any linguistic training other than my second language (French). I'm
stumbling along by introducing some interesting concepts and feeling gratified
when there are real-life equivalents. The lack of a /g/ in Arabic, for example,
and the Korean politeness levels which closely mirror the honorifics I invented
for Simafira (which I'll post on later). I'm out on a limb once again with the
latest part of the language, and I'm once again wondering if I'm missing
something, or if I've lucked out again.
The vague idea I'm following is English as used in the hacker community. There
is a tendency to generalize parts of speech among true hackers, both in usage
and construction. For example, "I'll mouse it over to you," or the word
"obviosity" (coined by extension of "generous":"generosity"::"obvious":___)
I proceeded to expound even more upon the concept - why not include a system
which accounts for this fluidity of parts of speech? I believe some languages
use a similar system, where word order plays an important role in case-marking
(Mandarin, I think?)
Accordingly, I've come up with the following, which I believe addresses most of
the common uses of speech. The prefixes described, as well as the different
categories, are not really set in stone as yet.
Sample root word: famene (the act of running)
With no prefix: conceptual (noun; describing an act, state, or object)
famene = "running", "a run" (as in, "I had a nice run on that course
awo- prefix: actor (noun; that which performs what is defined)
awofamene = "a runner"
i- prefix: animate (verb; transitive)
ifamene = "to run something (a horse, for example)"
o- prefix: process (can be noun, or intransitive/reflexive verb)
ofamene = "to run" (or "to become a runner" with the addition of isolating
markers indicating aspect...please be gentle here, I'm still working it out!)
ka- prefix: descriptor (adjective/adverb)
kafamene = "running" ("The running man", as opposed to the one standing
And so on. There are other prefixes to add, I'm sure. Tense, and to some
extent aspect, will be provided by isolating particles which will follow the
word. It's led to some unusual constructions; I'm not sure each of these
categories would make sense for all root words, but there are some creative
possibilities. I tried it with _mauna_ ("hill", a borrowing from Hawai'ian),
and stopped dead when I reached the transitive verb. "How can you 'hill'
something?" I asked out loud, and my wife answered, without missing a beat,
"You're a potato farmer." :-)
Steve Kramer -=oOo=- scooter at buser dot net
Thought for today:
"Awwww, isn't that cute...but it's WRONG!"
_Two Stupid Dogs_