Archive for April, 2015

Detail 155: Spicing up predicative possession

Thursday, April 30th, 2015
Let's assume a construction along the lines of English - i.e. a dedicated verb for predicative possession. Let's further assume it behaves very simply in the present tense. ('Present tense' could be changed to something else - imperfect(ive|oid|ish|oroid) aspect, indicative mood, definite object, non-specific forms of 'having', etc). Using English as a meta-language for how this would work we get for the basic present tense the following quite vanilla construction:
I have (a) car
However, to spice this up each noun has an associated preposition*. In other TAM/etc configurations, this prepositions surfaces. This serves to increase the amount of redundancy in the language, and is basically a congruence marker - and since it codes for two things [1) a type of noun class, 2) verb TAM] it might be rather an effective strategy with regards to increasing congruence. Now, there's several places this preposition could surface. The first, and obvious one, is with the possessed noun.
I had with a car
John had to an idea
You had by an apartment in the town, right?
Of course, we could have case:preposition:etc congruence behave oddly for these if we wanted to distinguish them from situations where we for some reason want to say that in collusion with a car, we had another object. Word order could of  course also help figure out which noun is the possessum in case several prepositional phrases occur if we want that to be a strategy here.

Next up is the idea of the preposition being independent of any NPs - either like a German separable prefix or like some kind of general adverbial. Not all that fascinating, but you can probably see it happening:
Erin had a boat by
John had a good life on
Prefixing it to the verb is the next option, giving us all kinds of byhad, onhad, withhad, tohad etc.
Finally, we could make the subject be affected by the preposition of the object! This is somewhat natural - the spatial way we 'have' things is somewhat affected by the nature of the object. (Of course, for some combinations of object and subject, the combination itself may affect the manner of possession - maybe the language takes account of some such combinations, maybe not.) In this case, the language almost gets a peculiarly located split-alignment for possession. At this point we then get:
by Erin had a boat
on John had a good life
to John had an idea
with me had a car
Historically, the classes of possession-types may generalize into expressions for manners of having things, so that by changing the preposition, we change the implied relation of the possessor and possessum. Such semantic differences being explicit only in some TAMs is not unknown - the Georgian verb paradigm is a pretty clear example of markers that do distinguish meaning only appearing in part of the paradigm.

Now we're being a bit boring though - this distinction only happens with one particular verb (or cluster of verbs derived from it, if we consider the preposition a derivational device). So, how about we extend it to a bunch of verbs that are somewhat 'possessive-like'. We could include verbs that include physically moving things (carry, drag along, pull?, push?), verbs of allegiance and such, and maybe some other things as well. Suddenly we've extended the system a bit - and obviously, this system could permit for derivation in the same way it previously did. Of course, the derivation option is not what we're primarily interested in - that's just a door we open for derived languages.

* Of course s/pre/post if you want to, but I warn you, you'll run into the word postdicative and the phrase postsent tense if you do that to this post.

Challenge: Do "Fluid-Inverse" Languages Exist? What Could We Do With Such a Typological Thing?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
Inverse alignment is of course interesting by itself. We have verbs that are marked for whether the subject is higher or lower on some hierarchy (usually something like 1 > 2 > 3 ( 3 prox > 3 obv) > animates of various types > inanimates of various types).

Now, this mentions nothing of the situation with intransitive verbs! One could imagine a bunch of things going on there. (But at the moment, I have not had any good ideas, and hope to post a few tomorrow, maybe.)

[+Inverse, +Intransitive] could indicate non-volitionality - much like absolutive indicates non-volitionality in Fluid-S languages.

However, could we have it to indicate something else? If so, what'd be a reasonable thing for it to indicate?

Also, anyone who knows of such a language is welcome to inform me of it.

An Observation about Ćwarmin

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
Ćwarmin already has gotten one of these "problematic" things that tend to pop up in my conlangs. I am not much for the painstaking meticulous diachronic derivation of a conlang - although it certainly would be good for consistency's sake.

First look at the case and definiteness systems. The combination is full of intentional gaps. That is all fine and dandy, but I later came up with the idea that the definiteness system is the result of a previous proximative-obviative system that has been re-analysed. Makes sense that far, doesn't it. But ... morphologically it doesn't seem to make much sense - I don't really see any way a proximative or obviative marker would fail to combine with certain cases the way they've done in Ćwarmin. Nor does there really seem to be all that much logic to where the failures occur.

Well, I imagine there may be some way of salvaging it - I am not going to abandon it nor change these details - it's just that I basically have to say that "the hypothesis that Ćwarmin previously has been proximative-obviative is somewhat iffy given the facts, and we must hypothesize that several of its relatives instead have developed typical proximative-obviative systems independently while Ćwarmin itself has failed to entirely line up with such a system, and instead either developed some non-canonical variety or something slightly different from it."

On the other hand, flaws like these are appealing in their own way - they're a part of the artwork much like the various imperfections in the piece of wood that has been shaped into a small statue might contribute to its beauty.

#371

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Create a logographic conscript where the glyphs for numbers have the same number of strokes as the numbers they represent. Positional notation is unknown in such a script. Negative numbers are formed by making just as many tears in the paper.

Ouverture de creteg.wordpress.com

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Emmanuel:

Ce blog est plus ou moins abandonné, mais pour connaître en français les dernières actualités du gelota, rendez vous sur le blog du CRÉTEG !

Originally posted on CRÉTEG:

Fondé il y a quelques mois, le Créteg (Centre de recherche et d’étude sur le tahélitchisme et le gelota) ouvre aujourd’hui sa vitrine internet.

Le but de ce centre de recherche indépendant et de lier tous les scientifiques francophones intéressés par les problématiques touchant au tahélitchisme et au gelota, quel que soit le point de vu adopté : linguistique et histoire des religions bien entendu, mais aussi sociologie, histoire de l’art, théologie, philosophie, interlinguistique, ethnologie, …

Pour mener à bien ses missions, le Créteg a lancé une maison d’édition (les éditions du Créteg) qui ne comporte pour le moment qu’une collection, dirigée par Emmanuel Arbaro : les Travaux du Créteg. Une revue en ligne, probablement annuelle, est aussi en préparation. Ce site est à la fois le site du Créteg et de ses branches sus-nommées ; en suivant ses actualités, par exemple via ses flux rss, vous serez tenu au courant…

Voir l'original 68 mots de plus


#370

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

A loligosynthetic language; that is, one whose morphology involves putting squid together.

Notes on a Vaporware Conlang V: Sound Changes, Part 2

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Review of Stage I

Last time, I assigned a bunch of phonemic values to my underspecified proto-phonemes , *q, *x and , and they are currently in complementary distribution. What we’re starting out with for the changes from Stage I to Stage II is the following phoneme inventory:

MOA bilabial alveolar velar uvular glottal
nasals *m *n
plosives *t *k *q
*tʰ *kʰ
taps/flaps *r
fricatives *s *x *h
approximants *w *l

The vowels stayed all the same:

Height Front Central Back
high *i *u
mid
low *a

Stage I to Stage II

For the record, I’m leaving out the syllable delimiter $ when it is not strictly part of the condition of the sound change. It doesn’t matter for most of the changes.

1. Generating bilabial plosives in partial analogy to *m:

  • [+plosive +oral] > *p / _ w

The oral plosives *t, *k, *q produce *p when before *w; remains . This is maybe stretching things somewhat, but let’s just go with *tʷ merging with the result of a merger of *kʷ and *qʷ, all into *pʷ, and then becoming *p. Example words that get affected by this: *kwəs*pəs; *twá.kwa*pá.pa; *qwá.tra*pá.tra.

2. Homorganic nasals (assimilation of nasals’ POA to the following plosive):

  • [+nasal] > *m / _ [+bilabial +plosive]
  • [+nasal] > *n / _ [+alveolar +plosive]
  • [+nasal] > *ŋ / _ [+velar +plosive]

Currently, the relevant plosives are just the voiceless ones, so we get *mp, *nt, *ŋk from this change for combinations that aren’t congruent, e.g. *húwm.txa*hó:n.dja.

3. Retract *r to *x after *q:

  • *r → *x / q _

This means, *qr merges with *qx (see section 6 below). This would be a possible move through a [+back] allophone of *r (maybe via ?[ʐ] for *r), let’s call it .1 Then, devoices after the voicless stop, leaving us with what we might reasonably refer to as *qx₂ if we assume that due to the merger with original *qx₁, the association of *x₂*ʀ̥ with *r disappears over time.

4. Resolve *Vw sequences into monophthongs or diphthongs, respectively:

  • *iw → *eː / _ … a
  • *iw → ɨː elsewhere
  • *uw → *oː / _ … a
  • *uw → *uː elsewhere
  • *aw → *oː

Examples:

  • *tʰíw.qak*tʰé.kak;
  • *tra.qíws*dra.kɨ́ːs;
  • *húwm.txa*hóːn.dja;
  • *ruws*ruːs and
  • *aʔ.ráwk*a.róːk.

5. Simplify coda clusters in unstressed syllables:

  • C → Ø / [–stress] _ C $

In unstressed syllables, clusters of two consonants in final position simplify to leave only the latter, e.g. *ask.tʰíln*as.tíɪn.2

6. Partial reduction of word-initial *q, *qx:

  • *q(x) → *x / # _ [+high]

Examples: *qis*xis, *qxú.kʰu*xú.ku.

7. Merger of remaining *q with *k:

  • *q → *k

Examples: *qə.rán*gə.rán.

8. Vowel lowering before glottal stop:

  • *iʔ → *e
  • *uʔ → *o
  • *əʔ → *a
  • *aʔ → *a / [–stress] _
  • *aʔ → *aː

All of the original non-low vowels drop to the next lower tier3 while *a gets extra treatment: in unstressed syllables it just remains *a while it gets lengthened everywhere else. The glottal stop gets elided in all cases. Examples include:

  • *síʔ.stu*sé.stu;
  • *ti.súʔ*di.só;
  • *tʰu.qə́ʔ*du.ká;
  • *wák.tʰaʔ*wá.ta and
  • *háʔ.ska*háː.ska.

Note that the list above does not include ?*eʔ and ?*oʔ, since they do not occur. So far, we get our *e and *o from *iw and *aw, respectively (see section 4), which means that since *q only turns into syllable-finally after vowels, and *w is considered a consonant for this purpose, *iwq and *awq stay *iwq and *awq until *q eventually merges with *k (see section 7).

9. Metathesis of *xs:

  • *xs → *sx / _ [–alveolar] and !#

Except before alveolar consonants and word-finally (*t, *d, *n, *r, *s, *l), *xs switches around into *sx, e.g. in *ílx.san*íls.xan*íɪ.sjan (*rat.síxs*ra.zíːs).

10. Merger of initial *ts and *ks:

  • *ts, *ks → *s / $ _

Examples of this simplification include: *tsa.káls*sa.káɪs and *tʰíx.ksə*tʰíː.sə.

11. Reduction of *ts:

  • *ts → *z / [+voiced] _ [+voiced]
  • *ts → *s elsewhere

Between voiced sounds in general (both voiced consonants and vowels), *ts turns into *z; all remaining instances of *ts now also become *s (see section 10). Examples:

  • *rát.sra*ráz.da;
  • *kált.su*káɪ.zu and
  • *húlt.stu*húɪs.tu.

11. Metathesis of *ks:

  • *ks → *sk

Note that *ks doesn’t appear at the beginning of syllables anymore at this stage, as per section 10. Example: *rúqs.ra*rúks.ra*rúsk.da.

12. Reduction of *sx:

  • *x → *j / s _

*sx is now further eroded to *sj (see section 9), exemplified by the previously quoted *ílx.san*íls.xan*íɪ.sjan.

13. Elision of *x:

  • *x → *Øː / V _ C

As *x is dropped between a vowel and a consonant, it only leaves compensatory lengthening behind. Note that this is not supposed to lead to long diphthongs like ?*aʊː! Also, we now have created ourselves a bunch of long vowels. Example: *ruʔ.tʰíxk*ro.tʰíxk*ro.tʰíːk.

Furthermore, *x gets lost at the end of syllables – though without triggering lengthening – where the previous change hasn’t yet deleted it:

  • *x → Ø / _ $

Example: *rux.tʰálx*ruː.tʰálx*ruː.tʰál.

14. Reduction of word-initial *kx:

  • *kx → *x / # _

Example: *kxí.kʰal*xí.kal.

15. Simplification of two plosives in succession:

  • *[+plosive -aspirated] → Ø / _ [+plosive +aspirated]
  • *[+plosive ±aspirated]₁ → Ø / [+plosive ±aspirated]₁ _
  • *[+plosive -aspirated] → Ø / _ [+plosive -aspirated]

An unaspirated plosive (*p, *t, *k) gets elided before an aspirated plosive (*tʰ, *kʰ). Generally, if two instances of the same plosive are in succession, they simplify to one. If two unaspirated plosives follow each other, only the second one is kept while the first drops out. Examples:

  • *ít.kʰa*í.kʰa*í.ka;
  • *kúsk.qaxt*kúsk.kax*kúsk.ka*kús.ka;
  • *sák.tri*sá.tri*sá.dri.

16. Reduction of *x after plosives:

  • *x → *j / [+plosive] _

The same thing as in section 12, except now with plosives as well. Example: *krí.txə*krí.tjə*krí.djə.

17. *l vocalization:

  • *l → *ɪ / V _ (C) !#

After vowels, vocalize *l to in syllable codas (except at the end of words if no consonant is present at the end), creating rising diphthongs, for example: *qál.sku*kál.sku*káɪ.sku.

18. raising, lowering:

  • *ə → *ɨ / [+stress] _
  • *ɨ(ː) → *ə / [-stress] _

In stressed syllables, raise to ; do the opposite in unstressed syllables and reduce long *əː to short . Examples:

  • *sa.kə́s*sa.kɨ́s and
  • *tʰílq.tiws*tʰílq.tɨːs → … → *tʰíɪ.dəs

19. Make *ŋx become *ŋk (and simplify *ŋkŋ):

  • *x → *k / *ŋ _

Example: *saŋ.xáŋk*saŋ.káŋk. Where we now get *ŋkŋ (or originally already had it), simplify further to *ŋk:

  • *ŋkŋ → *ŋk

Example: *táŋk.ŋawm*táŋk.ŋoːm*táŋ.koːm*táŋ.goːm.

20. Generate *b from *w:

  • *w → *b / m _

Example: *kʰám.wəʔ*kʰám.wa*kʰám.ba.

21. Dissimilation of *r … r:

  • *r → *d / r … V _
  • *r → *j / r … C _

If *r precedes in the previous syllable, turn *r into *d after a vowel and *j after a consonant. Examples: *srá.rat*srá.dat; *trá.sra*trá.sja.

22. Abolish phonemic aspiration in unstressed syllables:

  • *t → *d / ([+sonorant]) [–stress] _ !#
  • *k → *g / ([+sonorant]) [–stress] _ !#
  • *tʰ → *t / [–stress] _
  • *kʰ → *k / [–stress] _

Since the introduction of the voiced unaspirated plosives *b and *d, we’re stuck with a three-way distinction between [+voiced –aspirated] (*b, *d), [–voiced +aspirated] (*tʰ, *kʰ) and [–voiced –aspirated] (*p, *t, *k). We’re now gradually simplifying this into a [±voiced] distinction, starting with unstressed syllables.4

Examples for this particular change are:

  • *tʰáxt.xuln → … → *tʰáː.tjul*tʰáː.djul;
  • *tsə́l.kaʔ → … → *sɨ́ɪ.ga;
  • *tʰa.kwá*tʰa.pá*ta.pá and
  • *kʰa.kʰít*ka.kʰít*ga.kʰít.

23a. Fix: Undo newly created plosive-plosive sequences:

  • *[+voiced]₁ > Ø / [–voiced]₁ _
  • *[–voiced]₁ > Ø / [+voiced]₁ _

Example: *rást.ras*rást.das*rás.tas.

23b. Fix: Another round of homorganic assimilation:

  • *[+nasal] > *m / _ [+bilabial +plosive]
  • *[+nasal] > *n / _ [+alveolar +plosive]
  • *[+nasal] > *ŋ / _ [+velar +plosive]

See section 2.

23c. Fix: Delete instances of gemination:

  • *C₁ > Ø / C₁ _

Example: *rís.tsa*rís.sa*rí.sa.

Phonemic Inventory for Stage II

A whole lot has changed (and maybe too much for cramming this all into one stage), and especially *x was extremely unstable.

Consonants

MOA bilabial alveolar palatal velar glottal
nasals *m *n
plosives *p *b *t *d *k *g
*tʰ *kʰ
taps/flaps *r
fricatives *s *z *x *h
approximants *w *l *j

Vowels

Height Front Central Back
high *i *u
mid *e *o
low *a

These all can appear as rising diphthongs, however, in my list of 2000 generated and processed words, ?*eɪ and ?*oɪ did not appear, since there is no ?*ʔλ coda in the Proto Language. For diphthongs we thus get this smaller chart:

Height Front Central Back
high *iɪ *ɨɪ *uɪ
mid *əɪ
low *aɪ

Similarly, there are long versions of all vowels, except for ?*eː, however this seems only due to my word generator not generating ‘Ciwx.Ca sequences by chance (*Cíwx.Ca*Ce:.Ca), so ?*eː should be possible. The chart for long vowels looks like this, accordingly:

Height Front Central Back
high *iː *ɨː *uː
mid *eː *oː
low *aː

Note the absence of ?*əː.

  • Montler, Timothy: “Vowel Retraction before Glottal Stop in Klallam.” Studies in Salish Linguistics in Honor of M. Dale Kinkade. Ed. Donna B. Gerdts and Lisa Matthewson. Missoula: U of Montana P, 2004. 300–310. Print. Occasional Papers in Linguistics 17. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. ‹http://montler.net/papers/Montler-KlallamVowelRetraction.pdf›.
  • Seems like I can’t publish anything without having to edit it later … 😩 I updated section 4 and 18 to hopefully make more sense now.
  • More corrections in section 11: my regexes weren’t covering all cases here either. I also decided to just have *ts turn *s everywhere that remains instead of just before voiceless sounds in analogy to the change in section 10.
  • There’s no *əː coming out of this because of the update in section 18. Corrected the vowel chart at the end accordingly.
  • Reader Hallow XIII suggested to me that a change like *kʰák.tʰa*kʰá.ga (“A plosive gets elided after another plosive.”) seems strange and he would rather expect *kʰá.tʰa as the outcome. I modified the rule in section 15 accordingly by adding some alternations based on the original rule. Aspiration is still lost in unstressed syllables, though, so it becomes *kʰá.ta now.
  1. Regrettably, 〈ρ〉 looks too much like 〈p〉 to stay with the Greek letters I’ve used before.
  2. Originally, I had this result in vowel reduction: *i, *u and *a; I decided against this, though, probably because too many syllables would reduce to zero too quickly. I didn’t take notes besides commenting this part out.
  3. Conlanger Ragnar K. noted in another place: “Pharyngeals I would say are the most likely candidates to do that [i.e. lowering of previous vowels], and one could argue that /q/ could be thought of as a ‘pharyngeal’ /k/ in some languages, so that works too, and /ʔ/ also occurs.” He cites Klallam as an example of where this happens, cf. Montler 300–310.
  4. Seriously, this. Very much this. I had a problem, tried to solve it with regular expressions and wound up with two problems instead. I think I may have spent an hour testing and fixing the regular expressions I used for the first two rules in this part as I was writing this up for the website. While I was doing so, I noticed that I had gotten something wrong and my original regex was overly greedy, i.e. not well formed for what I intended it to do. I eventually arrived at these ugly, ugly expressions to match *t (analogous for *k) in the right environments:
    ^(?<![hkpqstx])t(?!ʰ))

    This matches ‘t’ not preceded by ‘h’, ‘k’, ‘p’, ‘q’, ‘s’, ‘t’, ‘x’ at the start of a line if it is also not followed by ‘ʰ’. For the word-medial case, I have:

    (?<![hkpqstx])(.)(?<!')t(?!(?:ʰ|$))

    This matches a full stop (i.e. syllable divider) not preceded by ‘h’, ‘k’, ‘p’, ‘q’, ‘s’, ‘t’, ‘x’, then ‘t’ not preceded by an apostrophe (i.e. stress marker) and not followed by ‘ʰ’.

Notes on a Vaporware Conlang V: Sound Changes, Part 2

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Review of Stage I

Last time, I assigned a bunch of phonemic values to my underspecified proto-phonemes , *q, *x and , and they are currently in complementary distribution. What we’re starting out with for the changes from Stage I to Stage II is the following phoneme inventory:

MOA bilabial dental velar uvular glottal
nasals *m *n
plosives *t *k *q
*tʰ *kʰ
taps/flaps *r
fricatives *s *x *h
approximants *w *l

The vowels stayed all the same:

Height Front Central Back
high *i *u
mid
low *a

Stage I to Stage II

For the record, I’m leaving out the syllable delimiter $ when it is not strictly part of the condition of the sound change. It doesn’t matter for most of the changes.

1. Generating bilabial plosives in partial analogy to *m:

  • [+plosive +oral] > *p / _ w

The oral plosives *t, *k, *q produce *p when before *w; remains . This is maybe stretching things somewhat, but let’s just go with *tʷ merging with the result of a merger of *kʷ and *qʷ, all into *pʷ, and then becoming *p. Example words that get affected by this: *kwəs*pəs; *twá.kwa*pá.pa; *qwá.tra*pá.tra.

2. Homorganic nasals (assimilation of nasals’ POA to the following plosive):

  • [+nasal] > *m / _ [+bilabial +plosive]
  • [+nasal] > *n / _ [+dental +plosive]
  • [+nasal] > *ŋ / _ [+velar +plosive]

Currently, the relevant plosives are just the voiceless ones, so we get *mp, *nt, *ŋk from this change for combinations that aren’t congruent, e.g. *húwm.txa*hón.tja.

3. Retract *r to *x after *q:

  • *r → *x / q _

This means, *qr merges with *qx (see section 6 below). This would be a possible move through a [+back] allophone of *r (maybe via ?[ʐ] for *r), let’s call it .1 Then, devoices after the voicless stop, leaving us with what we might reasonably refer to as *qx₂ if we assume that due to the merger with original *qx₁, the association of *x₂*ʀ̥ with *r disappears over time.

4. Resolve *Vw sequences into monophthongs or diphthongs, respectively:

  • *iw → *e / _ … a
  • *uw → *o
  • *aw → *aʊ

*iw gets lowered to *e before the low vowel *a; an example for this is *tʰíwt.kxa*tʰé.tja. In analogy, *uw lowers to *o (though everywhere). Since *aw can’t lower any further, it stays *aw~*aʊ (I will now assume it’s a diphthong). These three changes only operate within a syllable, except for *iw*e, since the vowel that triggers the lowering will always be in the next syllable since CVaC is not a valid syllable pattern. *əw could lower to merge with *aw but doesn’t – or at least not yet. Examples: *tʰíw.qak*tʰé.kak; *húwm.txa*hón.tja; *aʔ.ráwk*a.ráʊk.

5. Simplify coda clusters in unstressed syllables:

  • C → Ø / [–stress] _ C $

In unstressed syllables, clusters of two consonants in final position simplify to leave only the latter, e.g. *ask.tʰíln*as.tíɪn.2

6. Partial reduction of word-initial *q, *qx:

  • *q(x) → *x / # _ [+high]

Examples: *qis*xis, *qxú.kʰu*xú.ku.

7. Merger of remaining *q with *k:

  • *q → *k

Examples: *qə.rán*gə.rán.

8. Vowel lowering before glottal stop:

  • *iʔ → *e
  • *uʔ → *o
  • *əʔ → *a
  • *aʔ → *a / [–stress] _
  • *aʔ → *aː

All of the original non-low vowels drop to the next lower tier while *a gets extra treatment: in unstressed syllables it just remains *a while it gets lengthened everywhere else. The glottal stop gets elided in all cases. Examples include:

  • *síʔ.stu*sé.stu;
  • *ti.súʔ*di.só;
  • *tʰu.qə́ʔ*du.ká;
  • *wák.tʰaʔ*wá.ga and
  • *háʔ.ska*háː.ska.

Note that the list above does not include ?*eʔ and ?*oʔ, since they do not occur. So far, we get our *e and *o from *iw and *aw, respectively (see section 4), which means that since *q only turns into syllable-finally after vowels, and *w is considered a consonant for this purpose, *iwq and *awq stay *iwq and *awq until *q eventually merges with *k (see section 7).

9. Metathesis of *xs:

  • *xs → *sx / _ [–alveolar] and !#

Except before alveolar consonants and word-finally (*t, *d, *n, *r, *s, *l), *xs switches around into *sx, e.g. in *ílx.san*íls.xan*íɪ.sjan (*rat.síxs*ra.zíːs).

10. Merger of initial *ts and *ks:

  • *ts, *ks → *s / $ _

Examples of this simplification include: *tsa.káls*sa.káɪs and *tʰíx.ksə*tʰíː.sə.

11. Reduction of *ts:

  • *ts → *s / _ [–voiced]
  • *ts → *z / [+voiced] _ [+voiced]

Before a voiceless consonant, *ts changes into *s; between voiced sounds in general (both voiced consonants and vowels), *ts turns into *z. Examples: *húlt.stu*húɪs.tu; *rát.sra*ráz.da, *kált.su*káɪ.zu.3

11. Metathesis of *ks:

  • *ks → *sk

Note that *ks doesn’t appear at the beginning of syllables anymore at this stage, as per section 10. Example: *rúqs.ra*rúks.ra*rúsk.da.

12. Reduction of *sx:

  • *x → *j / s _

*sx is now further eroded to *sj (see section 9), exemplified by the previously quoted *ílx.san*íls.xan*íɪ.sjan.

13. Elision of *x:

  • *x → *Øː / V _ C

As *x is dropped between a vowel and a consonant, it only leaves compensatory lengthening behind. Note that this is not supposed to lead to long diphthongs like ?*aʊː! Also, we now have created ourselves a bunch of long vowels. Example: *ruʔ.tʰíxk*ro.tʰíxk*ro.tʰíːk.

Furthermore, *x gets lost at the end of syllables – though without triggering lengthening – where the previous change hasn’t yet deleted it:

  • *x → Ø / _ $

Example: *rux.tʰálx*ruː.tʰálx*ruː.tʰál.

14. Reduction of word-initial *kx:

  • *kx → *x / # _

Example: *kxí.kʰal*xí.kal.

15. Simplification of two plosives in succession:

  • [+plosive] → Ø / [+plosive] _

A plosive (*p, *t, *tʰ, *k, *kʰ) gets elided after another plosive. Example: *krít.qəlq*krít.qəl*krít.kəl*krí.təl*krí.dəl.

16. Reduction of *x after plosives:

  • *x → *j / [+plosive] _

The same thing as in section 12, except now with plosives as well. Example: *krí.txə*krí.tjə*krí.djə.

17. *l vocalization:

  • *l → *ɪ / V _ (C) !#

After vowels, vocalize *l to in syllable codas (except at the end of words if no consonant is present at the end), creating rising diphthongs, for example: *qál.sku*kál.sku*káɪ.sku.

18. raising:

  • *ə → *ɨ / [+stress] _

In stressed syllables, raise to . Example: *sa.kə́s*sa.kɨ́s.

19. Make *ŋx homorganic (and simplify *ŋkŋ):

  • *x → *k / *ŋ _

Example: *saŋ.xáŋk*saŋ.káŋk. Where we now get *ŋkŋ (or originally already had it), simplify further to *ŋk:

  • *ŋkŋ → ŋk

Example: *táŋk.ŋawm*táŋk.ŋaʊm*táŋ.kaʊm*táŋ.gaʊm.

20. Generate *b from *w:

  • *w → *b / m _

Example: *kʰám.wəʔ*kʰám.wa*kʰám.ba.

21. Dissimilation of *r … r:

  • r → d / r … V _
  • r → j / r … C _

If *r precedes in the previous syllable, turn *r into *d after a vowel and *j after a consonant. Examples: *srá.rat*srá.dat; *trá.sra*trá.sja.

22. Abolish phonemic aspiration in unstressed syllables:

  • t → d / ([+sonorant]) [–stress] _ !#
  • k → g / ([+sonorant]) [–stress] _ !#
  • tʰ → t / [–stress] _
  • kʰ → k / [–stress] _

Since the introduction of the voiced unaspirated plosives *b and *d, we’re stuck with a three-way distinction between [+voiced –aspirated] (*b, *d), [–voiced +aspirated] (*tʰ, *kʰ) and [–voiced –aspirated] (*p, *t, *k). We’re now gradually simplifying this into a [±voiced] distinction, starting with unstressed syllables.4

Examples for this particular change are:

  • *tʰáxt.xuln → … → *tʰáː.tjul*tʰáː.djul;
  • *tsə́l.kaʔ → … → *sɨ́ɪ.ga;
  • *tʰa.kwá*tʰa.pá*ta.pá and
  • *kʰa.kʰít*ka.kʰít*ga.kʰít.

23a. Fix: Undo newly created plosive-plosive sequences:

  • [+voiced]₁ > Ø / [–voiced]₁ _
  • [–voiced]₁ > Ø / [+voiced]₁ _

Example: *rást.ras*rást.das*rás.tas.

23b. Fix: Another round of homorganic assimilation:

  • [+nasal] > *m / _ [+bilabial +plosive]
  • [+nasal] > *n / _ [+dental +plosive]
  • [+nasal] > *ŋ / _ [+velar +plosive]

See section 2.

23c. Fix: Delete instances of gemination:

  • C₁ > Ø / C₁ _

Example: *rís.tsa*rís.sa*rí.sa.

Phonemic Inventory for Stage II

A whole lot has changed (and maybe too much for cramming this all into one stage), and especially *x was extremely unstable.

Consonants

MOA bilabial dental palatal velar glottal
nasals *m *n
plosives *p *b *t *d *k *g
*tʰ *kʰ
taps/flaps *r
fricatives *s *z *x *h
approximants *w *l *j

Vowels

Height Front Central Back
high *i *u
mid *e *o
low *a

These all can appear as rising diphthongs, however, in my list of 2000 generated and processed words, ?*eɪ and ?*oɪ did not appear, since there is no ?*ʔλ coda in the Proto Language. Additionally, however, there is *aʊ. For diphthongs we thus get this smaller chart:

Height Front Central Back
high *iɪ *ɨɪ *uɪ
mid *əɪ
low *aɪ, *aʊ

Similarly, there are long versions of all vowels, except for ?*eː, however this seems only due to my word generator not generating ‘Ciwx.Ca sequences by chance (*Cíwx.Ca*Ce:.Ca), so ?*eː should be possible. The chart for long vowels looks like this, accordingly:

Height Front Central Back
high *iː *ɨː *uː
mid *eː *əː *oː
low *aː
  1. Regrettably, 〈ρ〉 looks too much like 〈p〉 to stay with the Greek letters I’ve used before.
  2. Originally, I had this result in vowel reduction: *i, *u and *a; I decided against this, though, probably because too many syllables would reduce to zero too quickly. I didn’t take notes besides commenting this part out.
  3. Things like *rász.nurást.snu may happen with this change at this stage, but we’re formally cleaning those cases up at the end.
  4. Seriously, this. Very much this. I had a problem, tried to solve it with regular expressions and wound up with two problems instead. I think I may have spent an hour testing and fixing the regular expressions I used for the first two rules in this part as I was writing this up for the website. While I was doing so, I noticed that I had gotten something wrong and my original regex was overly greedy, i.e. not well formed for what I intended it to do. I eventually arrived at these ugly, ugly expressions to match *t (analogous for *k) in the right environments:
    ^(?<![hkpqstx])t(?!ʰ))

    This matches ‘t’ not preceded by ‘h’, ‘k’, ‘p’, ‘q’, ‘s’, ‘t’, ‘x’ at the start of a line if it is also not followed by ‘ʰ’. For the word-medial case, I have:

    (?<![hkpqstx])(.)(?<!')t(?!(?:ʰ|$))

    This matches a full stop (i.e. syllable divider) not preceded by ‘h’, ‘k’, ‘p’, ‘q’, ‘s’, ‘t’, ‘x’, then ‘t’ not preceded by an apostrophe (i.e. stress marker) and not followed by ‘ʰ’.

hen is kalo (revisited)

Monday, April 27th, 2015
kalo = hen (bird) (noun) (Some things Google found for "kalo": a very common term; in Hawaiian kalo means taro plant; Kalo (and Kaló) is an unusual last name; a rare to unusual often masculine first name; member of a subgroup of the Romani people in Western and Northern Europe (plural is Kale); KALO is an independent religious TV station serving Honolulu; KALO is the code for Waterloo Regional Airport in Iowa; Kalo Hair Inhibitor; in Esperanto kalo means callus; in Romani kalo means black; Kalo Nero is the name of a place in Greece; name of places in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Turkey, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Indonesia)

Word derivation for "hen" :
Basque = oilo, Finnish = kana
Miresua = kalo

My previous Miresua conlang word for hen was lona. This is a redo of the word so that it no longer ends in -A.

This word is for a domesticated bird, instead of a wild bird. A hen is adult female chicken.

The word hen does not appear in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass.

#369

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

A ‘syntax of the day’ conlang, which uses a fixed vocabulary, but completely changes its syntax depending on the day of the week. (No-one attempts to speak on Thursdays…)