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Re: Isolating syntax, agglutinating grammar

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Sunday, April 9, 2006, 8:38
>On 4/8/06, John Vertical <johnvertical@...> wrote: > > Can I expect more than one basic meaning per > > most word+tone combinations? > >I think yes -- which is why so many words in modern spoken Mandarin >are disyllabic. (Not sure whether they can be called bimorphemic, >though, though words such as "shenti" are analysable more easily than, >say, "zhizhu" or "hudie", the canonical bisyllabic-but-monomorphemic >word, at least in some claims.) > >Cheers, >-- >Philip Newton
OK. Thanks. --Roger Mills wrote:
> > > OTOH, I've contemplated a language that *looks* isolating - in that it'd > > be dominatingly monosyllabic - > >IMO predominantly monosyl. langs. probably descend from polysyl. langs., so >you might need to work out the historical development.
Meh... Couldn't I just say that the language's been monosyllabic for quite some time already? :)
> >..but would express cases and stuff with > > mutations, clustering of consonants and maybe even tones, too. > >Certainly possible. If you're actually starting with monosyl.forms, it >might >be necessary to allow rather complex structure, in order to get enough >variety.
My current draft has about 5 initial and 3 final POA with about 10 consonants / clusters each (plus 20-ish vowels/difthongs.) I can think of some possible further additions, but I'm not really going to go fully kitchensink.
>As for case distinctions-- in order to be at least a little realistic, >there >should be phonetic reasons for tones to develop (of course, realism may not >be your criterion, which is OK...). The most common development(s) observed >are: voiceless C lead to high(er) tones, voiced to low(er)
I'd probably start with multisyllabic words plus high/low tone - which, I imagine, would collapse fairly easily into monosyllabic contour tones, no?
> > I'm however afraid the > > morphophonology might get too strained. > >Since when has that ever been a problem for a conlanger??? :-)))
"All verbs must end with a nasal" sort of solutions aren't my thing, nor is unlimited clustering really... John Vertical