Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: brz reloaded!

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 4, 2005, 19:06

R A Brown wrote:

> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote: > > Hallo! > > [...] > > > Yes. It is clarly an unnatural feature, but who asks for naturalism > > in a loglang? Loglangs are _per se_ unnatural. > > that they could test the WS hypothesis.
Perhaps there is indeed something to the hypothesis - but the differences between the various human natlangs don't really matter. There is the notion of language being a sort of "operation system of the mind", but I don't know what to think about that. Some idea like that is championed by Ian Tattersall, who considers language as we know it to be the key advantage of our species over the Neanderthaleans and their ilk. This brought me to an idea, which may be completely off the mark, namely that Homo neanderthalensis, Homo floresiensis had some sort of "quasi-languages" with grammar but a closed vocabulary - they were mentally unable to coin new words for new things. This is perhaps utter hogwash, though, and I don't really think that way.
> Yep - loglangs that have > made concessions to natlang usages IMO weaken their credentials as a > loglang.
> The most obvious example is Voksigid which has gone a long way > in the 'naturalist' direction; indeed, John Cowan said it could not be > classified as a loglang "because it doesn't encode logic: the predicates > are just zero-valence verbs (and in practice they have perfectly > ordinary distinctions between core and peripheral cases). There's no > machinery for logical conjunctions or quantified variables." > > He is correct IMO. Nor, of course, by insisting that all its lexical > morphemes are verbs, does it behave like a natlang. Perhaps that is one > of the reasons the Voksigid group, which met for several months during > 1991, never completed the language: it is neither fish nor fowl.
I am not familiar with Voksigid. But I concur with you in that any natlang/loglang hybrid probably will fall short of both goals.
> [snip] > >>>Ah, a 'zero vowel', or may _virama_ ? > >> > >>Yes, I have thought further. Fairly obviously 00 must signify the 'zero > >>vowel'. Then, it seems to me, one would have 01 = /u/, 10 = /i/ and 11 = > >>/a/. > > > > Nice. > > Possibly - I still have reservations about consonants only.
Yes. I can understand that very well. It makes sense only if we restrict the vowel-less consonants to morpheme-final position. If we do that, we do not need any length indexing by the first segment of the morpheme, but arrive at my old self-segregation scheme.
> [snip] > >>The two axes, back-front & high-low, have gone. Does [k] fit in with a > >>syllabary? Have I now got an abugida? > > > > > > Sort of, I'd say. But then, such terms do not apply easily, because > > unlike in natlangs, the spoken form is a representation of the written > > form here, not the other way 'round. > > Not really. The letters were chosen because of the sounds they > represented. The spoken form is a realization of the _bit pattern_, not > of the letters.
This is true. The underlying tier is that of the bit patterns. Both the letters and the sounds are realizations of the bit patterns.
> [snip] > >>>>So we take a vowel system i,a,u; if two consecutive > >>>>consonants don't give us one of these, it's a word boundary. > >> > >>Morpheme boundary, I think, is what we want. > > > > So we are essentially at my old self-segregation scheme where each > > morpheme begins and ends with a consonant, with no morpheme-internal > > consonant clusters? > > 'Twould seem so, if we go down this path.
> [snip] > >>>There's also the question how the 'zero consonant' is pronounced when > >>>final in such a string. > >> > >>Yep - I still haven't had any bright ideas about that. > > > > Perhaps as a velar nasal? If /m/ pairs with /p/ and /n/ pairs with > > /t/, it is only logical to have /N/ pairing with /k/. > > Then we have a phoneme that may be realized initially as [?], [j] or [w] > and is realized finally as [N].
Indeed not a particularly elegant solution.
> Or are you suggesting [N] for all > positions? If the latter, then we would have 3 of the four sonorants as > nasals. That would put strong pressure of the sonorant correspond to /s/ > being a nasal. Instead of /s/ ~ /l/, we should perhaps then have /c/ ~ > /J/. But I am not sure that I like a language where the only consonant > phonemes are: /p/. /t/, /c/, /k/, /m/, /n/, /J/, /N/.
That would indeed be more elegant than your original scheme. But not easier to pronounce.
> [snip] > > > Piashi is definitely something worth working out to more detail. > > Thanks. That's a language which seems to be turning out somewhat > differently from what I had expected.
That's something that happens quite often in conlanging, especially in engelanging, I think. Greetings, Jörg.


R A Brown <ray@...>Voksigid (was: brz reloaded!)