Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ    Attic   

Jaĩbi update and request for comment s

From:Christopher Bates <chrisdb@...>
Date:Thursday, August 28, 2008, 16:17
> Nice work, very detailed.
Thanks, although I know there's a lot it doesn't cover. My goal is to write a draft grammar that covers the major points, then go back and revise / fill in the gaps as necessary after I've attempted to write some texts of reasonable length in Jaĩbi. It's been a few months since I started grammar writing though, so it may take me the rest of the year to get to the stage where I feel comfortable attempting that.
> The language has many "exotic" features > which make my own Old Albic look like an euroclone in comparison :) >
Jaĩbi is actually more IE-like, I think, than the last conlanging project I spent quite a bit of time on (Ngwaalq). But I guess it is a bit out there in some ways, I have a habit of going for typologically unusual features / combinations, as long as I think they are vaguely plausible. I think the area where I tend to suck, though, is at fusional morphology - maybe when I'm happy with Jaĩbi I will use it to create a daughter language which has been run through enough changes to have a more fusional profile, rather than isolating/agglutinating. If I remember correctly, that was something I always used to like about Old Albic - it had a nice balance when it came to plain agglutination vs other morphological processes.
> I noticed that your morphosyntax is sensitive of degrees of volition, > though it works in a way not very similar to Old Albic. > >
Yes, the voice system is very sensitive to volition, and the selection of prepositions also depends on it. In terms of similarity to Old Albic, there seems to be some similarity between the choice of prepositions in Jaĩbi and the choice of case in Old Albic, but the verbal systems do seem to differ more. There seem to be semantic differences (in Jaĩbi, transitivity does not guarantee the use of a voice indicating volition, whereas in Old Albic it seems that all transitive verbs are active), and differences in morphological realisation (in Old Albic the distinction seems to be primarily marked by choice of agreement marker, whereas in Jaĩbi it is marked by choice of a fused voice/mood marker). I also note that you have a separate middle voice, whereas in Jaĩbi the middle has been integrated into a three term system, which essentially consists of: Middle - controlled, actor 'version' Active - controlled, non-actor 'version' Passive - uncontrolled Presumably the middle marker is compatible with both active and stative verbs in Old Albic? I find it interesting that Old Albic also has an animacy distinction, although it seems to be grammaticalised (ie a grammatical gender system rather than a purely semantic classification). Jaĩbi has semantic classification in various areas based on animacy, and I view the sensitivity to volition partly as an extension of the semantic classification elsewhere into animate vs inanimate. Animacy of referents has an effect on selection of possessive markers, demonstratives, prepositions, and a number of other morphemes. So there are some interesting similarities with Old Albic, but also differences. They are both languages which are sensitive to control and animacy in the areas of verbal morphology and nominal role marking, but the exact distinctions made are not the same. Chris.


Christopher Bates <chrisdb@...>