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Theory & Conlanging (Was: Re: theory)

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Sunday, September 17, 2000, 1:31
On Sat, Sep 16, 2000 at 01:34:50PM -0700, Marcus Smith wrote:
> I try to make my languages by-and-large fit current syntactic and phonological > theory, but I am not tyrannical about it. In fact, I have intentionally > introduced features into Telek that many theories predict shouldn't occur. > Some of them I give a historical explanation to, but others I don't. For > example, my active language has a passive construction, but that is because > there was originally an indefinite subject that has been as a passive > morpheme. On the other hand, verbs can incorporate almost any object, even > though theory says only "themes" should be able to. This makes the act of > creation much more enjoyable to me.
[snip] True. I don't force myself to only put stuff into my conlang that is 100% flawless according to theory, nor do I deliberately try to break any theory. For me, theory is OT1H a guide to help me on when I'm stuck with a certain dilemma in my conlang, and OTOH somewhat like a confirmation that something I did makes sense. I try to build as much internal consistency as possible into my conlang, so that even when it doesn't quite fit with the theory, I feel that there is some ground to justify what I did. T