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
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
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