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Re: conlang servey

From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Monday, November 4, 2002, 0:43
Sorry I got into the game so late.   I did four of my language, and did them
right in a row: (1) Megdevi; (2) Kamakawi; (3) Zhyler; (4) Njaama.   Curious:
Why didn't you ask about what languages influenced the language in question?
 Anyway, here's the survey. :)

Language name, creator's name, realative date of
creation (just any old number will do), country and
first language of creator, purpose of conlang
(auxlang, conlang, loglang, . . . ).
1.) Megdevi, David Peterson, October 2000, USA, English/Spanish.   I don't
know what the name is for this, but I intended the language to be spoken
between me and my girlfriend.
2.) Kamakawi, David Peterson, March 2002, USA, English/Spanish, artlang.
3.) Zhyler, David Peterson, May 2002, USA, English/Spanish, artlang.
4.) Njaama, David Peterson, October 2002, USA, English/Spanish, artlang.

Phonetics:   number of consonants, number of vowels,
presence of nasalization, tone and how many, where the
accent generally falls.
1.) 53 phonemes (10 vowels, 43 consonants), no phonemic nasalization or tone,
and accent falls in different places for each word type.   It can be
ultimate, penultimate, antipenultimate, or initial.   Stress is not phonemic.
2.) 13 phonemes (5 vowels, 8 consonants, 21 total sounds, with allophones),
no phonemic nasalization or tone.   Accent on penultimate.
3.) 28 phonemes (8 vowels, 20 consonants, 44 total sounds, with allophones),
no phonemic nasalization or tone.   Accent on ultimate for nouns, verbs,
adverbs and pronouns, penultimate for adjectives.   Stress is phonemic.
4.) 28 phonemes (10 vowels, 18 consonants, 37 total sounds, with allophones),
there is phonemic nasalization, and phonemic tone (two, high low, with H, HL,
L, LH patterns).   Stress generally follows the long vowels; otherwise, there
is no stress.

Morphemes:   presence of allomorphs, mutation,
assimilation, prefixes, suffixes, infixes,
suprafixation, dicontinuation, exclusion, total
fusion, subtraction, reduplication.   Is the conlang
agglutinating, isolating or fusional?
1.) There's no allomorphy.   There are prefixes, suffixes, infixes and
circumfixes.   The language is fusional.
2.) The morphology is complex, in that there's lots of derivational
morphology, but some of it is old and non-productive, and some of it is new
and productive.   There are prefixes, suffixes, infixes and reduplication.
It has fusional derivational morphology, but no syntactic morphology; it's
highly isolational in that respect.
3.) There's enormous allomorphy, depending in some cases on syllable count,
in other cases on whether the suffix is being attached to a consonant or a
vowel.   There are only suffixes.   The language is agglutinating,
exclusively suffixing.
4.) There is allomorphy, but it's complicated; has to do with verbs.   There
are prefixes, suffixes and infixing prefixes.   The language is mainly
isolational, but derivation morphology is fusional.

Nouns and such:   subclasses of nouns (common/proper,
abstract, things that may not be expressed explicitly
in affixes), presence of cases and how many and what
kind, kind of possession (alienable, inalienable, no
distinction, etc.) presence of gender, number,
articles, demostratives, adjectives, quantatives.   Are
comparatives expressed by affix, word order or both?
Do pronouns express gender, number, declension?   Are
there indefinite pronouns, possessed pronouns?
Others?   Are prepositions bound, unbound?   How many
prepositons (approximate).   Presence of clitics.   Is
derivational morphology mostly by compounding words or
by affix or both?
1.) There are many different noun forms (the language is based on the Arabic
triconsonantal root system, so there are like 10 different forms for ten
different types of nouns).   There's one case, and it's the accusative.   The
possession doesn't distinguish between alienation.   There's no gender.
There's a singular and plural, marked only on nouns.   There is a definite
article, no indefinite.   There's a proximal and distal demonstrative.
There are many different adjectival forms, via the same morphology.
Comparatives are expressed with suffixes.   Pronouns express gender and
number; they do not decline (except they can take the accusative suffix; not
really a declension).   There are indefinite pronouns, and possessive
pronouns.   There are also non-gender-specific pronouns.   Prepositions are
bound (i.e., they have to occur before something), except in relative
clauses, in which case they can be floating.   There are probably 100
prepositions.   There are no clitics.   You derive things mainly via the
triconsonantal patterns.   Derivation is built into the morphology.
2.) There is no overt difference between nouns, or any other type of word.
There are no cases.   There's enormous variation for possession, depending on
the relationship that is to be expressed between the possessor and the
possessee (I believe there's six different ways to express possession).
There's no grammatical gender, but there is gender on the pronouns, third
person only.   There's singular, dual, trial and plural, but only on
pronouns.   There's no marking on nouns for number, though there is a way of
expressing plural, and it's on the definite article.   (There's a definite
article, no indefinite.)   There are demonstratives, proximal and distal.
They can attach and do all sorts of things.   Adjectives are zero-derived
forms of stative verbs.   Comparatives are expessed with prepostions that do
other things, also.   Prepositions are by no means bound, and can also be
adverbs and parts of the verb, so it kind of hems them in to call them
prepositions.   How many?   Can't be more than 20.   Maybe not even that
many.   A small number.   I think there are clitics, but I'm not sure what
clitics are...   Oh, you know, what yes, yes there are.   A couple.   There's
a lot of zero-deriving in Kamakawi.   There's also morphology, though, most
of which is non-productive, but there's productive stuff, too.
Zero-deriving does most of the work.
3.) There are 17 noun classes, based on what type of thing a thing is (human,
plant, animal, what kind), and then abstract classes.   There are 57 noun
cases, so it wouldn't be a good idea to list them all.   There's the normal
ones (nom, acc, ins, dat, gen), and then a good number of locative cases
(essive and lative), and then some others.   There's no distinction for
posssession.   There is no gender anywhere in the language, not even on
pronouns.   There's also no number on pronouns.   There are only two: a first
and a second person singular.   You can add a plural suffix to each, but
they're not separate pronouns.   For demonstratives, there's a proximal, a
near distal, and a far distal.   Comparatives are a noun case.   Adjectives
are a separate class, but any adjective can be formed from any other word by
switching the stress from ultimate to penultimate.   There are no
prepositions, of course.   If there were, they'd be postpositions, but there
are no postpositions, either: Just suffixes.   There are no clitics.
Derivational morphology is accomplished mainly via the noun classes.
4.) There are no noun classes, per se.   There are tone patterns and syllable
counts that are typically associated with certain types of noun, but it's not
synchronic, and not regular.   There are no cases.   There is no distinction
in possession.   There's no grammatical gender.   There's no plurality marked
on the nouns.   There are no articles.   There are three demonstrative that
do very different things than mark location.   Adjectives are not specially
marked, though they can be derived (certain types).   Comparatives are
expressed with prepositions.   Pronouns express neither gender nor
declension, but there are singular, dual and plural pronouns, inclusive and
exclusive, three persons.   There are no other pronouns.   Prepositions are
bound, in that they always have to appear before somehting.   There are going
to be no more than 5 prepositions, if that many (I'm working on it).   No
clitics.   There's zero-deriving for derivational morphology, but there's
also overt marking.

Verbs and such:
Are person, number, object expressed with the verb?
Are there static verbs (to be)?   Is the object
incorporated into the person marker (making a
phonetically different affix like in the Native
American languages)?   Is transitivity marked for
transitive, intransitive, bitransitive or other?   Is
the person inclusive, exclusive, no distiction?   Kind
of gender.   Are past, present, future expressed?
Recent, remote?   Is mode express, what kind?   Is voice
expressed?   What kind?   Manner?   Aspect?   Please list
what kinds of manner and aspect the conlang expresses
in its verbs.   Presence of adverbs, pro-drop.   Can
nouns, adjectives, adverbs be changed to verbs and
vice versa?
1.) Neither person, number, nor object is expressed on the verb.   There are
static (do you mean stative?) verbs.   Again, no person marking.
Transitivity is marked, as is intransitivity, but not ditransitivity (it's
di-, not bi-).   No gender marked.   There is past, present, future and
irrealis.   There's perfect and imperfect.   Most manner and aspectual ideas
are done with separate verbs, though there is an inchoative affix and a
passive affix.   There are adverbs.   There is pro-drop, but it's only when
the subject is understood, since there's no subject encoding on the verb.
Anything can be changed into anything, as far as verbs, adjectives, nouns,
2.) Verbs aren't marked in any way, as far as person, number and tense go.
There are most definitely stative verbs.   Transititivity is also not marked
in any way.   Tense is marked outside of the verb, on the subject status
markers, and there's a present, a past, and a non-past/irrealis.   The kinds
of manner, etc., that can be marked on the verb are passive, causative,
inchoative, applicative, negative, reversive, and the interupt (e.g., "I
pause eating for a moment").   Everything else is realized off the verb.
Again, anything can be changed to anything, usually with zero-deriving.
3.) 1st and 2nd person subjects and objects are expressed on the verb.   They
can be pulled off the verb and realized in the sentence, though.   There are
stative verbs.   There is no person marking, per se; they're just suffixes.
Transitivity is not marked.   There is no gender in Zhyler.   There is a
past, a present and a future.   There's all kinds of mode, manner and
aspectual marking.   There are: Progressive, passive, irrealis, causative,
inchoative, applicative, repetitive, abilitive, ducative, obligative,
reversive, negative, desirative, necessitive, reflexive, intensive,
interrogative, permissive, habitual, durative, distributive, equative,
comparative, superlative, inceptive and cessive.   All are marked on the
verb.   Pronouns usually don't occur in a normal sentence, so there is
pro-drop.   And anything can become anything, though there's overt morphology
to do the job.
4.) There's no person, number or gender marking of any kind on the verb.
There are stative verbs.   Transitivity and intransitivity are marked on
certain types of verbs, depending on class (there are four classes of verbs,
all with different morphology).   There is no tense, but there's a
perfective/imperfective aspect.   There's a passive.   Pretty much all
modality and aspectual stuff is done off the verb.   There is no pro-drop;
pronouns are obligatory, as is there placement in the verb phrase.   There's
overt morphology to switch word class; no zero-deriving.

Presence of adjective, adverbial clauses and relative
1.) There are base level adjectives, and full adjective and adverb clauses.
There isn't a relative pronoun, but there is a relative marker which
indicates that a relative clause is coming.
2.) Adjectives aren't base level, since they start out as verbs, so while
there are adjective clauses, they aren't usual.   Same goes with adverbs
(they usually get thrown in at the end).   There are relative clauses, but no
relative pronouns.
3.) There are base level adjectives, and adjective clauses, and they occur
right before the noun phrases they modify.   Adverb clauses have the same
structure as adjective clauses, only they come before the verb.   You can
nominalize entire adjective clauses at will.   There are no relative
pronouns; relative clauses are intuitive, or even unnecessary, with all the
4.) There are no base adjectives, so adjective clauses are rare, but they
exist.   Adverb clauses go anywhere.   Relative clauses are kind of built,
like Arabic, and are full sentences on their own, so there are no relative

Does the conlang have an ergative or accusative
system?   Word order and is it free or strict?   Are
adjectives, adverbs and prepositions before or after
the modified word?   Is the word order changed in a
question?   How many (approximately) conjugations are
1.) Accusative system.   Word order is completely free; all six are attested.
  Adjectives can go anywhere, as long as they're within the noun phrase.
Adverbs can go anywhere, as long as they're not within a noun phrase or
prepositional phrase (unless they're a part of that phrase, of course).
Prepositions go before the noun phrase; postpositions after.   Word order
does not change for a question.   There are eight conjugations (past,
present, future, irrealis, and perfect/imperfect).
2.) Accusative system.   Word order is not free; strict VSO.   There is
pro-drop, though, and for equative sentences, the word order is SPO, where P
is the predicate marker.   Adjectives and prepositions occur before what they
modify; adverbs come sentence finally.   Word order isn't changed for a
question.   There are no conjugations.
3.) Accusative system.   Word order is strict SOV, and it never changes.
However, when the subject is encoded on the verb, order is OV.
Adjective/adverb phrases (they're the same) occur directly before that which
they modify (noun phrases or verb phrases).   Word order is not changed for
questions.   I'd prefer to think that there are no conjugations, since
everything can be analyzed as a suffix.
4.) Accusative system.   Word order is SVO, and both strict and free.
There's a core that involves a subject pronoun, a verb, and then an object
pronoun, and that can never be changed, under any circumstances.   After
that, though, other phrases can be thrown anywhere.   Even the subject and
object phrases to which the pronouns correspond can occur before or after the
core, depending on the situation.   Adjectives and prepositions occur before
that which they modify.   Word order is not changed for a question.   There
are no conjugations.

What is the number base for the numeral system (10?
12?)?   Presence of idioms, irregular forms of nouns
and verbs.   Is the language syntax very predictable,
or are there many exceptions?   How much literature has
been produced and what kind (I'm not talking about
translations, but stuff you wrote yourself).   Is there
a history and dictionary of the conlang?   Script
invented?   Other conlangs produced by the creator of
this one.
1.) 10 (I don't like number systems, so all my number systems are simple).
There's no irregularity in this language.   The syntax is not predictable,
since word order is 100% free.   There are paradigms, though, so if you can
get the flow of the language, you can predict which word order will come
where.   I wrote an illustrated book in this language.   It's about 30 pages.
  There is no history, but a large dictionary.   There is a script.   I'm
showing you three others I've created here.
2.) 10.   There's lots of irregularity and metaphor.   The syntax is somewhat
predictable, if you know it.   No literature.   No history, large dictionary.
  No script, though there might be one later.
3.) 10.   Lots of irregularity and metaphor.   The syntax is the most
predictable of any of my languages.   No literature.   No history, large dicti
onary.   Yes, there's a script.
4.) 10.   Lots of irregularity and metaphor.   The syntax is not really
predictable.   There's no literature.   No history, and a small dictionary.
Yes, there's a script.

If you could summarize your conlang in a sentence,
what would you write?
1.) Megdevi is a unique first language, in that it barely resembles English
in any way, and has a huge lexicon, but it suffers from massive regularity.
2.) Kamakawi is a load of a fun rich in metaphor and flexibility of
3.) Zhyler is an incredibly complex and inventive language that does some
amazing things with noun cases.
4.) Njaama has more character and more potential than I've seen yet in a
created language, and due to its built-in system for creating mass amounts of
synonyms, it should lend itself very easily to music and literature.


"imDeziZejDekp2wilDez ZejDekkinel..."
"You can celebrate anything you want..."
               -John Lennon