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Group Conlang (was: Re: a Conlang, created by the group?)

From:Pablo Flores <fflores@...>
Date:Saturday, October 10, 1998, 17:07
This is the scheme I propose for inflections, based on
the preferences that you have expressed so far:

construction = caseTag + root + otherTags*  (postposition)

This is, the case marker goes first, then the root, and
then other tags such as aspect, gender, and tense markers.
When these are not enough to clarify a meaning, a postposed
particle is added.

Postpositions (and not prepositions) would be used because:

a) it's a good arrangement for a SOV structure; the verb's not
probably going to use particles (see below, tho).

b) I proposed, was agreed by Carlos, and disagreed by no-one,
that adpositions should be on the opposite side of the root
with respect to case markers.

c) Case markers are prefixed (Carlos and Mathias both proposed
this, and we the others have stayed silent), so adpositions have to
be postfixed according to b).

"Verbs" (predicate-case words) could mimic the -te Japanese verbs
in order for us to take a breath, by using postposed particles.

Finally, I think we could begin creating some words... This is
a big step, but necessary to try these wonderful theorical
structures we've made up. For my part, here are some (to be
discarded later, if you want to).

frar-  "dog"
kjak-  "bite, bit"
wiv-   "red"
s-     "I, me, first person"
qaun-  "hard, strong"

Case markers:
a-   agent
pe-  patient
di-  predicate
ys-  undergoer
mu-  modifier

Other markers:
-o, -i  (dummy gender markers)
-ul  past tense
-e   present tense

_afraro pesi dikjakul_
a-fraro   pe-si     di-kjak-ul
agent-dog patient-I predicate-bite-past
"The dog bit me"

_ysfraro diwive_ or _ysfraro muwive_ ?
undergoer-dog predicate-red-present or modifier-red-present ?
"The dog is red"

Is "being red" a real predicate? Or should we use a modifier
in final (verbal) position to rended the "to be" copula?

_muwiv afraro pesi muqaun dikjakul_
mu-wive a-fraro pesi  muqaun   dikjakul
mod-red ag-dog  pat-I mod-hard pred-bite-past
"The red dog bit me hard!"

Note that if stems always end in a consonant as we decided,
at least a postfixed inflection will have to be added in order
not to produce invalid syllables such as _kjak_ (stops are not
allowed in syllable-final position). This should be gender for
nouns, and tense for verbs... at least a generic tense.

A final example:

jol- "leg"
la   "in" (postp)

_afraro jolo la pesi dikjakul_
"The dog bit me in the leg"

_jolo la_ "in the leg" is before _pesi_ "me" because it's supposed
to modify it somehow (it's my leg, not anyone else's).

What do you think?

--Pablo Flores