Archive for the ‘grammar’ Category

#524Roses are red,my house has a doormat,A conlang where everythingmust be put in this format.

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

#524

Roses are red,

my house has a doormat,

A conlang where everything

must be put in this format.

Conlang Sketch Needed for a Fantasy Novel

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

Description

Kaitlin Berry is looking for a conlanger to help create a language for a novel. It should be a language from the 8th to 9th century, spoken by Atlanteans and based on or influenced by several pre-existing Germanic, Celtic and Romance languages.

Employer

Kaitlin Berry

Application Period

Open until job filled

Term

No strict deadline, but the novel should be done within a year to a year and a half.

Compensation

Payment will be $150, based on a conlang sketch, or higher if more content is needed.
In addition, the conlanger will be credited for their work.

To Apply

Email Kaitlin Berry at kab3rry “at” gmail “dot” com to express your interest in the project. Please include qualifications and samples of previous work.

Note: Please assume that comments left on this post will not be read by the employer.

Inraj Sargaĺk: Spatial Deixis

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Inraj Sargaĺk differs from most surrounding languages by its system of spatial deixis; it has two flavours, "very close to both speaker and listener", and "everything else". The "middle deixis" of Sargaĺk, ʒur, has come to signify an inanimate distal deictical determiner.

ʒa - this here, in both of our reaches
ʒu - this here in my xor your reach, or that over there, inanimate
ʒi - this here in my xor your reach, or that over there, animate
As an aside, we find a more complex somewhat similar system in the Lamen language, a mainland isolate in geographical vicinity to the Inraj archipelago (in terms of easily navigable routes).
The Lamen system consists of
ksa - this, in both of our reach
gzət - this, in both of our reach, inanimate

tra - this/that, in the reach of one of us
zrət - this/that, in the reach of one of us, inanimate

eksa - he/she/it, over there, animate
gəksət - it, over there, inanimate
Whether the underlying similarities are due to genetic relation or sprachbund phenomena is not clear. (Obviously, Inraj Sargaĺk is not related to Lamen, but its substrate might be?) 

Inraj Sargaĺk: Spatial Deixis

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Inraj Sargaĺk differs from most surrounding languages by its system of spatial deixis; it has two flavours, "very close to both speaker and listener", and "everything else". The "middle deixis" of Sargaĺk, ʒur, has come to signify an inanimate distal deictical determiner.

ʒa - this here, in both of our reaches
ʒu - this here in my xor your reach, or that over there, inanimate
ʒi - this here in my xor your reach, or that over there, animate
As an aside, we find a more complex somewhat similar system in the Lamen language, a mainland isolate in geographical vicinity to the Inraj archipelago (in terms of easily navigable routes).
The Lamen system consists of
ksa - this, in both of our reach
gzət - this, in both of our reach, inanimate

tra - this/that, in the reach of one of us
zrət - this/that, in the reach of one of us, inanimate

eksa - he/she/it, over there, animate
gəksət - it, over there, inanimate
Whether the underlying similarities are due to genetic relation or sprachbund phenomena is not clear. (Obviously, Inraj Sargaĺk is not related to Lamen, but its substrate might be?) 

seven is zasein (revisited)

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018
zasein = seven (number) (adjective) (Some things Google found for "zasein": a rare term; Zasein SL is a company in the Madrid, Spain metro area; name of a rebel in northern Myanmar; user names; bad OCR of several German texts)

Word derivation for "seven"
Basque = zazpi, Finnish = seitsemän
Miresua = zasein

My previous Miresua conlang word for seven was sezpin. I decided to modify this word to start with Z. The previous word also seemed more similar to the English word seven than I liked.

Seven occurs a handful of times in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This is from chapter 8: The Queen's Croquet-Ground.
"YOU'D better not talk!" said Five. "I heard the Queen say only yesterday you deserved to be beheaded!"

"What for?" said the one who had spoken first.

"That's none of YOUR business, Two!" said Seven.

seven is zasein (revisited)

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018
zasein = seven (number) (adjective) (Some things Google found for "zasein": a rare term; Zasein SL is a company in the Madrid, Spain metro area; name of a rebel in northern Myanmar; user names; bad OCR of several German texts)

Word derivation for "seven"
Basque = zazpi, Finnish = seitsemän
Miresua = zasein

My previous Miresua conlang word for seven was sezpin. I decided to modify this word to start with Z. The previous word also seemed more similar to the English word seven than I liked.

Seven occurs a handful of times in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This is from chapter 8: The Queen's Croquet-Ground.
"YOU'D better not talk!" said Five. "I heard the Queen say only yesterday you deserved to be beheaded!"

"What for?" said the one who had spoken first.

"That's none of YOUR business, Two!" said Seven.

Alternations: An Introduction (and Some Further Explorations) for Conlangers

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Doug Ball began conlanging in 1994, primarily working on a language he calls Skerre. His conlanging interest led him to discover the field of linguistics and ultimately to a career as an academic linguist. Holding degrees from the University of Rochester (BA) and Stanford University (PhD), he is currently a member of the Department of English and Linguistics faculty at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. There, he teaches classes on general linguistics, theoretical phonology, theoretical morphology, and theoretical syntax as well as Native American and Polynesian languages.

Abstract

This essay explores the nature of alternations: variations in form across different contexts. In addition to providing a basic introduction of the phenomena in both English and in other languages, it considers several frameworks for understanding the behavior of alternations in natural languages. This essay also offers some recommendations for the creation of alternations in constructed languages and gives some examples to illustrate these recommendations. It is a revised and expanded version of a talk given at the 7th Language Creation Conference (July, 2017) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Version History

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Detail #384: Long-Range Negation Congruence and Probabilistic Grammars

Monday, September 24th, 2018
Let us consider a language like Finnish (or almost English), where negation is done by an auxiliary. In this language also, the main verb takes a special form (in Finnish, the connegative, in English, the 'infinitive' or the 'active participle', to the extent we would call those 'special' :/ ).

Now, the main point here is that in English and Finnish, the form you expect are different for positive and negative statements:
he sits vs. he does not sithän istuu vs. hän ei istu
In English, for present progressive or whatever it's called, this breaks down:
he is singing vs. he is not singing
Let's however assume a language like Finnish, where this distinction is more clear-cut and present almost throughout the language. Now, we can of course imagine certain non-negative adverbials that weaken a statement triggering the negative form, giving us things analogous to
he barely workhe seldom thinkhe scarcely turn up
where barely, seldom and scarcely essentially become lightly negative auxiliaries.

Now, that's just one of the milder ideas of where such pseudo-negation might turn up. Another could be embedded negation bleeding outwards:
she tell him not to buy bitcoin
she know that he wasn't at work
We could also have negation bleeding downwards:
she doesn't know that he work in finance
We could of course make a probabilistic grammar for this, and that's a topic I think could be worthwhile for conlangers to consider - modelling the rules of a grammar in terms of probabilities.

Let's use p(x) for the probability for such 'mistaken' congruence, i.e. a connegative verb form with an actually 'positive' meaning. p(x) is then a function, where x is some way of representing this input. x is then, perhaps, the distance between the 'outer' verb and the 'inner' verb.

We may give some simple function for this, say, x is at most 75%, and is squared for each unit distance added.Thus, f(x) = 0.75^x

We could then start by considering, for instance, different subject as a difference worthy of one unit. Every single constituent between the verb and the subclause (or non-finite verb phrase) could be one unit, two units if the constituent is heavy. Either of the verbs being telic adds a unit of distance, but both being telic only adds 1.5 units. The object of the outer verb being the same as the subject of the embedded verb removes 0.5 units.

Of course, we could add special cases - certain verbs whose congruence has become 'linked' and so if these two verbs appear, the probability for mistaken congruence is unusually high, or somesuch. I am deliberately leaving the idea a bit vague here - I only want conlangers to think of grammatical rules in probabilistic terms while also presenting a certain grammatical idea that also fits as a suitable topic to represent probabilistic grammar a bit vaguely with.

Detail #384: Long-Range Negation Congruence and Probabilistic Grammars

Monday, September 24th, 2018
Let us consider a language like Finnish (or almost English), where negation is done by an auxiliary. In this language also, the main verb takes a special form (in Finnish, the connegative, in English, the 'infinitive' or the 'active participle', to the extent we would call those 'special' :/ ).

Now, the main point here is that in English and Finnish, the form you expect are different for positive and negative statements:
he sits vs. he does not sithän istuu vs. hän ei istu
In English, for present progressive or whatever it's called, this breaks down:
he is singing vs. he is not singing
Let's however assume a language like Finnish, where this distinction is more clear-cut and present almost throughout the language. Now, we can of course imagine certain non-negative adverbials that weaken a statement triggering the negative form, giving us things analogous to
he barely workhe seldom thinkhe scarcely turn up
where barely, seldom and scarcely essentially become lightly negative auxiliaries.

Now, that's just one of the milder ideas of where such pseudo-negation might turn up. Another could be embedded negation bleeding outwards:
she tell him not to buy bitcoin
she know that he wasn't at work
We could also have negation bleeding downwards:
she doesn't know that he work in finance
We could of course make a probabilistic grammar for this, and that's a topic I think could be worthwhile for conlangers to consider - modelling the rules of a grammar in terms of probabilities.

Let's use p(x) for the probability for such 'mistaken' congruence, i.e. a connegative verb form with an actually 'positive' meaning. p(x) is then a function, where x is some way of representing this input. x is then, perhaps, the distance between the 'outer' verb and the 'inner' verb.

We may give some simple function for this, say, x is at most 75%, and is squared for each unit distance added.Thus, f(x) = 0.75^x

We could then start by considering, for instance, different subject as a difference worthy of one unit. Every single constituent between the verb and the subclause (or non-finite verb phrase) could be one unit, two units if the constituent is heavy. Either of the verbs being telic adds a unit of distance, but both being telic only adds 1.5 units. The object of the outer verb being the same as the subject of the embedded verb removes 0.5 units.

Of course, we could add special cases - certain verbs whose congruence has become 'linked' and so if these two verbs appear, the probability for mistaken congruence is unusually high, or somesuch. I am deliberately leaving the idea a bit vague here - I only want conlangers to think of grammatical rules in probabilistic terms while also presenting a certain grammatical idea that also fits as a suitable topic to represent probabilistic grammar a bit vaguely with.

Expert Needed to Create Multiple Languages for Fantasy Novels

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Description

Olivia Sikes needs approximately 8 interrelated languages/dialects, with some proto-forms, for a series of fantasy novels. The action takes place in a world that is generally based off medieval Europe. The languages are spoken by humans/humanoids (with the exception of a language spoken underwater by sea nymphs, which do still have human anatomy), and are somewhat based on, or similar to, medieval European languages. One language, while based on Norse/Nordic languages, has a unique evolution: it evolves with magic spells, so normal rules of evolution don’t really apply. One language already has phonetics, grammar, some roots and some vocabulary sketched out, but the conlanger is free to change it as much as is necessary.
During the initial stage, conlangs sketches will be sufficient. Later on, full languages and some translations will be needed.
The conlanger will also likely have a hand in worldbuilding the cultures, as language and culture are integral to one another.

Employer

Olivia Sikes

Application Period

Open until job filled

Term

Deadlines are loose, but three finished languages are needed within a year.

Compensation

Compensation is $150 for each conlang sketch as soon as it’s finished, with $150 dollars following for the rest as soon as funds are acquired. In addition, the conlanger is promised a negotiable share of the royalties once the book is published. This will be a recurring job, meaning that translations will be needed for several books, so the conlanger will get a share of the royalties for several books.
In addition, the conlanger will be credited for his work, probably even in the dedication.

To Apply

Email Olivia Sikes at grace “dot” sikes77 “at” gmail “dot” com to express your interest in the project. Please include qualifications and samples of previous work.

Note: Please assume that comments left on this post will not be read by the employer.