Re: restricted semantics language
|Date:||Wednesday, June 18, 2008, 2:47|
> [mailto:CONLANG@listserv.brown.edu] On Behalf Of Nils Schäffer
> > I have an oligosynthetic loglang that I've been working on. I'm
> > still not sure how many simple primes I'll have but I'm ultimately
> > working on as few as I can possibly get. The biggest obstacle right
> > now is that I'm attempting to create a system of phonosemantics to
> > underly the basic morphemes.
> phonosemantics sounds interesting. does this mean that you invent a
> phonosemantical system on your own from scratch or are there any sources
> from other languages that you refer to? that's about the only thing i could
> think of that wouldn't have to be "a priori" in my language, if there are
> good reasons.
You could say I came up with it on my own, but then again, there are aspects where
I didn't. What I'm attempting is something based on known universals.
Unfortunately I haven't found much on the subject, and what little I have found
seems to be geared toward the advertising and marketing trade as a way to
create what are alleged to be catchy names for products.
I'm trying to work around the simple universal tendencies that are known. Front
vowels [i] or [e] seem to indicate "near", "small" while back vowels are the
opposite. There's all some sort of connection between "small" and amelioratives
while "big" or "distant" seem to have a pejorative sense. Frontal consonants
also tend toward the same meaning as front vowels. This interestingly does
leave me with some things that do match some natural languages. The first
person I have is "me", the second is "to", and the word for "small" (really a
gradation marker) is "pi". Some ideas are a bit loose in their interpretation
but still work. I use /n/ for "absence" so it can mean "no, not, none, nothing,
black/dark (absence of light), zero, ..." I have /d/ to indicate things like
"divsion, split, two"; /b/ for "round, curvy"; /f/ for "removed, beyond, bad;
/r/ for "liquid, flow, motion", /k/ for "sharp, corner."
> unfortunately i think that i initially gave the impression, that the
> language that i am interested in would have to be oligosynthetic. that is
> not the case. i anticipate hundreds or perhaps thousands of primitives. the
> "restriction" in "restricted semantics" was meant to be qualitative, not
This is just my experiment in minimalism. I don't really intend to take it to the
point of Toki Pona or AUI but want to create something as minimal and logical
as I can without making it unspeakable. Phonosemantics is really giving the
oligosynthetics to a sub-level. My biggest issue right now is that I have a
simple CV(n) syllable shape for each morpheme and a relatively small phonology.
I've made up a table to lay out my schema with initial+final combinations and
this leaves me only about 214 monosyllables to use.
What I have now are
Initials: / j x h k d_Z t_S r\ l z s d t n w f b p m /
Finals: / i e a o u ai au in en an on un /
Disallowed: /ji/ and /wu/