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Re: THEORY: irregular conlangs

From:Matt Pearson <jmpearson@...>
Date:Saturday, October 2, 1999, 18:37
Daniel Andreasson asked:

>>But those of you who persue a natlangy >>touch of your conlang, how far do you go in your >>irregularities?
And Herman Miller replied:
>Not far enough! Some irregularities naturally crept into my languages and I >kept them, but I haven't been trying to add irregularities for realism. >That's definitely one thing I'll want to keep in mind for my reforms of the >Kolagian languages once I get around to it (i.e., when my work load gets >back to normal and I actually have time for time-consuming hobbies like >Kolagian language reform).
Similar story with me. Actually, lot of lexical irregularities have crept into Tokana inadvertently, as a result of changes I've made to the structure. For example, a number of verbs in Tokana were formed by prefixing a preposition to a verb stem (cf. German and Dutch, Russian, and Hungarian). For example, the verb "fitiausa" = "fall apart, collapse" was formed from the verb "tiausa" = "fall down" by prefixing the preposition "fi" = "in(to)". So "fitiausa" was literally "fall in(to)". Recently, however, I discarded all of these prepositions. So now I'm left with a bunch of complex verbs whose derivation was once straightforward, but have now become opaque. The "fi-" part of "fitiausa" is now just a meaningless element stuck on a bunch of verbs. I've also injected some purposeful irregularities (or semi-regularities) into Tokana morphology, for that naturalistic touch. Most of these irregularities are due to sound changes, although in some cases I haven't actually gone to the trouble of reconstructing what those sound changes were... Matt.