Re: Terkunan: help with decision
|From:||Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>|
|Date:||Monday, April 6, 2009, 16:20|
On 06/04/09 17:28:50, The Benevolent Dictator wrote:
> Now, because the final _u(n)_ could be viewed as a separate word --
> that's the whole point here -- I could write it with an apostrophe.
> Phrasal stress is not marked, so the _u_ may be stressed. The
> would be:
> BEFORE AFTER
> rakun rak'u / rak'un
> nesun nes'u / nes'un
> French strikes again!
> In contrast to the indefinite article, I'd not suffix an apostrophe
> to _u'_ as in:
> Iuhan vis u' kan. 'John sees a dog.'
> Instead, no suffixed apostrophe:
> Iuhan vis rak'u. 'John sees someone.'
Perhaps I've missed previous threads where you've justified this, but
why not use the suffixed apostrophe? It could be viewed as a closing
consonant, and thus "raku'" and "rakun" would have the same structure
for stress purposes. (Or maybe your whole point is that an apostrophe
can't count as a word-final consonant because that will screw up other
words. I really really hope not, because much of my answer remains the
same regardless. But another possibility might be "rak-un/rak-u'", with
a hyphen, if you use them/aren't opposed to using them. Spellings like
"co-conspirator" demonstrate that it can be used without a full word on
both sides in at least one language, altho I wouldn't want to be caught
suggesting you adopt orthographical ideas from English *shudder* )
It also seems to be the logical thing to do given you're trying to view
the -'un/-'u part as being identical to (or at least, more closely
related to) the "un/u'" word. The different behavior of the apostrophe
tends to *obscure* that in my view.
Also, it seems to me that nothing's being dropped out in "rak'u" to
justify an apostrophe. It seems to be acting as a binder. Now in
principle I have nothing against that --- in fact, for my own
orthographies I usually use the apostrophe to do neither more nor less
than separate the root from the inflexions/agglutinations. But that
doesn't seem to be the purpose of the apostrophe in Terkunan.
You kinda address that in your last (main) paragraph, but I don't think
this is really comparable to "c'an". What you're proposing, it seems to
me, is to say the apostrophe *justifies* a different behavior for the
actual word on the other side --- and then you observe after the fact
that it's a different word, so you compare it to existing cases. You're
making the comparison at the wrong stage.
Introducing the odd apparent inconsistency, so when the orthography
isn't fully transparent, even if there's an underlying consistency, I
think this would tend to harm the language for its hypothetical native
users, compared to a more fully consistent language. Once there's
something that's hard to understand, when people want to spell new
words, they'll do it according to their understanding, and these
spellings would tend to fossilise. And then the system's gone.
Plus if it's meant to be widely used by a very literate public with a
huge amount of unedited text (i.e. the internet), you'll find variant
spellings of the existing words --- so people will spell "rakun" and
"raku'" alongside the correct forms, at least if the relationship to
"un/u'" is as clear as you want it to be.
: Why? It lets me do morphophonetic orthographies that are honest
about where they're morpho and where they're phonetic. I'm never sure
what to do with irregular words that look like a stem+affix, tho.
> Do you like such a change in Terkunan?
Ultimately it's your language. You can do whatever you like and I can't
stop you. Given that, normally I'm happy to ask why and suggest
something *I* reckon's better, when someone asks a question about their
conlang. Or even say nothing at all (I view conlanging as more of a
private endeavor --- I rarely post about mine, but I have exercise
books full of notes). But here, I think I actually really dislike the