Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Conlang Typology Survey

From:Cian Ross <cian@...>
Date:Sunday, June 1, 2003, 4:33
On Tuesday 20 May 2003 10:43 am, Garrett Jones wrote:
> > 1. morphological type
Veldan: inflecting Taroan: some stem changes, but mostly enclitics and particles (isolating?) Oradiendelsa: _very_ inflecting [the above being the most developed of the lot, so far]
> 2. Word order
Veldan: VSO Taroan: SVO if unmarked, free if case-enclitics are used Orad.: SVO by convention, but free in theory due to the rich case inventory
> 3. adposition/noun order
All: preposition - noun
> 4. adjective/noun order
Veldan: adj - noun Taroan: adj - noun Orad.: noun - adj [adjectives are frozen forms of old stative verbs]
> 5. genitive/noun order
Veldan: genetive - noun Taroan: genetive - noun Orad.: not strongly fixed...often attracted to noun - genetive by analogy with adjectives
> 6. relative clause/noun order
All: noun - rel. clause
> 7. main verb/aux verb order
Veldan doesn't use auxiliaries. (Verbs are very richly inflected.) Taroan I'm not sure how to classify: it uses particles that "bracket" the clause, as a rule being the first and last syllables of any clause; the choice of a given pair of particles provides tense information (in conjunction with aspect, marked on the verb itself) Orad. has only one auxiliary, used in some of the optative tenses, and the auxiliary (the copula) precedes the main verb...sort of: the "main" verb is converted to a verbal adjective and the copula is inflected as usual.
> 8. adverb/verb order
Veldan: adv - verb Taroan: adv - verb [noting that no distinction of adj/adv form is made] Orad.: not stable, tending toward verb - adv [by analogy with adj's]
> 9. compounding type
I'm still at least halfway in the dark about what this distinction means....
> 10. case type
All: nominative/accusative [I have an obligatory :) ergative language in work, but nothing solid yet]
> 11. tense system
Veldan: past/present/future tenses, with three levels of near/remote for past and future, and an unmarked form that makes a timeless statement in a main clause, or takes the tense of the main clause's verb when in a subordinate clause (nonredundant marking) Taroan: aspect marked on the verb, bracketing particles give the tense in conjunction with it Orad.: has a time-tense system; the optative mood can be used as a contrary-to-fact marking
> 12. script
No special scripts here....
> 13. number of genders/noun classes
Veldan, complicated: there are six thematic vowels, two inflection sets, and two systems (animate and inanimate) that both make use of the same twelve resulting possibilities. The animate system divides into male, female, neuter, and common. The inanimate system divides into concrete, abstract, and unknown/indeterminate. This is further complicated by the existence of consonant-stem (athematic) inflections, some of which have undergone sound changes, resulting in words that appear to have thematic vowels but that inflect using the athematic system (the lost-consonant declension). Add that up however makes sense to you.... :) Taroan: gender is marked only on pronouns, normally, distinguishing male, female, and inanimate. Orad. sometimes distinguishes (actual) masculine vs. feminine, and there is a separate masculine ending for verbs in the 3rd person, but this is slowly being lost in favor of the feminine/common ending taking over.
> 14. number of cases
Veldan: formally, five cases, but an informal vocative is formed for names by shifting the stress accent of the nominative to the last syllable Taroan: six separate enclitics can be used to mark case-like functions, though none are needed if SVO word order is used Orad.: fifteen (!) cases...which is down from the count in its protolanguage (DELE), because of merging caused by sound changes
> 15. number of phonemes
Veldan: unstable, due to continuous borrowing, though, curiously, /h/ is very disfavored and usually replaced by /s/ or /x/ Taroan: 20, plus 5 vowel diphthongs (offglides?) Orad.: not counted yet :)
> 16. lexicon size
Veldan: 1234 entries, as of this writing, and increasing fairly regularly Taroan: 30 entries [so it goes :)] Orad.: 1305 entries Cian Ross