Archive for September, 2015

Reduplication in Sargaĺk

Friday, September 25th, 2015
Sargaĺk has a few types of reduplication.

  • Non-morphological Reduplication
    These are words that are made to reappear with the same marking in a sentence, with the same referent (if they're nouns), or the same verb (possibly with slightly different markings). With verbs, it restricts the meaning to very literal. In the present tense, it also implies habitual, whereas in the past tense it is very much perfect and intense.

    For nouns, it marks the importance of the noun (or adjective or adverb) with regards to the discourse.
  • Full reduplication in situ
    Intensifies verbs, for nouns it is With nouns it can be restrictive: only x, the only x. For some indefinite pronouns, this changes the meaning (any → some, roughly speaking; one → each, what → is there even such a thing )
  • Single-syllable triplication
    This has a rather specific use: to imply that someone is going on about something too much. Any verb, noun or adjective can be used this way. The syllable before the stressed syllable is tripled.
    Inik mramramrasuta
    stop(imperative) (your) whine-acc.

    Esarsarsartenzvi!
    (you) with your cousins!
    savt kaveveveĺtva nisissu
    she speak-ak-ak-3sg.fem dog-loc
    she is speaking of dogs all the time

Detail #211: Numbers with Rhythm and Metre

Thursday, September 24th, 2015
It seems to me to be pretty likely that some languages might have a very strong idea of numbers forming a very rhythmic and potentially rhyming structure. (Note: rhyme need not be the main repeating thing - it might be alliteration or any kind of phonological similarity combined with some type of rhythmic structure, really). Basically, you'd expect this to happen in some culture where counting is almost always done out loud, and where numbers seldom are used in any more abstract sense.


However, sound changes wear down the rhythmic structure, and undo the rhymes – however, due to the sprachbund having that thing for such structures, the number systems tend to be reshaped so as to replace the old, lost structure with a new structure. This means numbers change faster than other lexemes, as they are reshaped to create some kind of regular, appealing rhythmic flow and rhyme where it has been lost - and not necessarily with the same flow and rhyme as previously; new rhymes, new rhythmic patterns keep emerging.

#431

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

No phonology should be small enough that you don’t require IPA symbols to transliterate it properly.

#431

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

No phonology should be small enough that you don’t require IPA symbols to transliterate it properly.

A Question of Attestation: Extracting Evidentiality

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015
Does any language with grammaticalized evidentiality permit extracting the evidentiality-marker with regards to mood and aspect?

I.e. the normal conditional
she killed the monster (I saw it myself) → if she killed the monster (no evidentiality?)
However, with a type of auxiliary, you would have
if she AUX (I saw it myself) killed the monster → if I had seen her kill the monster
For a conlang, we could here permit counterfactual statements not to have any evidentiality marker on the embedded verb, whereas factual statements with counterfactual evidentials will have evidentiality on both.

Sargaĺk: Taboo Lexemes

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015
A number of lexemes in Sargaĺk have taboos over them. Unlike most similar taboos, however, the main type of lexeme to be subject to such taboos are verbs. These include verbs like
  • give birth
  • die
  • bury
  • bless
  • curse
  • breast-feed
  • care for (the sick)
  • hunt
  • trap
  • rowing, sailing and navigating
  • any verb relating to rites of transition
  • marry
Curiously enough, verbs related to sexual activities are not taboos. The taboos tend not to be absolute - using the "main" verbs for these things when talking about giving birth is considered acceptable for a while after the birth has been carried through. Likewise, from death to burial, speaking about the dead person dying is permissible. Similarly, the burial can be mentioned using that verb for about a forthnight after  the actual death. Blessing and cursing are only mentioned by those verbs when blessing or cursing. The "actual" verb for Breast-feeding is only mentioned by women, and only while having infants to nurse. Caring for the sick is only mentioned while not in the presence of someone who is sick, but also only when someone is sick. Hunting and trapping are only talked about using the "real" lexeme once the hunt or trapping has succeeded. Rowing, sailing and navigating are only talked about when participating in such navigatory activities.

The idea seems to be that talking about these activities with their "real" designation will attract the attention of malevolent spirits – they'll cause deaths so you will have to bury someone, they'll put madness in the minds of the bride or the groom, they'll kill whoever is approaching a rite of transition, they'll bring storms or sickness, they'll make the mother's milk run dry, they'll turn curses into blessings or vice versa, and they'll seal the womb so the baby remains there forever, and they'll scary off the prey. However, these spirits are slow and inefficient, whereas good spirits who are awakened by the actions will be strengthened by hearing the right words.

The words are replaced by more generic verbs:
bury: cover, with a reduced noun meaning 'ground' somewhere in the NP
give birth: cause to go forth
bless, curse: say, with a reduced noun meaning 'strength' somewhere in the NP
care for: to carry drink to
hunt, trap: to tame, with a reduced noun meaning 'food'
rowing: to pull wood
sailing: to catch wind
breast-feed: to
Over time, the reduced nouns tend to get assimilated into the verb, and as that form over time gets more common, it too can become taboo, causing a need for a new, non-taboo construction. The hamster wheel of taboo words keeps rolling.

Sargaĺk: Taboo Lexemes

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015
A number of lexemes in Sargaĺk have taboos over them. Unlike most similar taboos, however, the main type of lexeme to be subject to such taboos are verbs. These include verbs like
  • give birth
  • die
  • bury
  • bless
  • curse
  • breast-feed
  • care for (the sick)
  • hunt
  • trap
  • rowing, sailing and navigating
  • any verb relating to rites of transition
  • marry
Curiously enough, verbs related to sexual activities are not taboos. The taboos tend not to be absolute - using the "main" verbs for these things when talking about giving birth is considered acceptable for a while after the birth has been carried through. Likewise, from death to burial, speaking about the dead person dying is permissible. Similarly, the burial can be mentioned using that verb for about a forthnight after  the actual death. Blessing and cursing are only mentioned by those verbs when blessing or cursing. The "actual" verb for Breast-feeding is only mentioned by women, and only while having infants to nurse. Caring for the sick is only mentioned while not in the presence of someone who is sick, but also only when someone is sick. Hunting and trapping are only talked about using the "real" lexeme once the hunt or trapping has succeeded. Rowing, sailing and navigating are only talked about when participating in such navigatory activities.

The idea seems to be that talking about these activities with their "real" designation will attract the attention of malevolent spirits – they'll cause deaths so you will have to bury someone, they'll put madness in the minds of the bride or the groom, they'll kill whoever is approaching a rite of transition, they'll bring storms or sickness, they'll make the mother's milk run dry, they'll turn curses into blessings or vice versa, and they'll seal the womb so the baby remains there forever, and they'll scary off the prey. However, these spirits are slow and inefficient, whereas good spirits who are awakened by the actions will be strengthened by hearing the right words.

The words are replaced by more generic verbs:
bury: cover, with a reduced noun meaning 'ground' somewhere in the NP
give birth: cause to go forth
bless, curse: say, with a reduced noun meaning 'strength' somewhere in the NP
care for: to carry drink to
hunt, trap: to tame, with a reduced noun meaning 'food'
rowing: to pull wood
sailing: to catch wind
breast-feed: to
Over time, the reduced nouns tend to get assimilated into the verb, and as that form over time gets more common, it too can become taboo, causing a need for a new, non-taboo construction. The hamster wheel of taboo words keeps rolling.

Sargaĺk: Taboo Lexemes

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015
A number of lexemes in Sargaĺk have taboos over them. Unlike most similar taboos, however, the main type of lexeme to be subject to such taboos are verbs. These include verbs like
  • give birth
  • die
  • bury
  • bless
  • curse
  • breast-feed
  • care for (the sick)
  • hunt
  • trap
  • rowing, sailing and navigating
  • any verb relating to rites of transition
  • marry
Curiously enough, verbs related to sexual activities are not taboos. The taboos tend not to be absolute - using the "main" verbs for these things when talking about giving birth is considered acceptable for a while after the birth has been carried through. Likewise, from death to burial, speaking about the dead person dying is permissible. Similarly, the burial can be mentioned using that verb for about a forthnight after  the actual death. Blessing and cursing are only mentioned by those verbs when blessing or cursing. The "actual" verb for Breast-feeding is only mentioned by women, and only while having infants to nurse. Caring for the sick is only mentioned while not in the presence of someone who is sick, but also only when someone is sick. Hunting and trapping are only talked about using the "real" lexeme once the hunt or trapping has succeeded. Rowing, sailing and navigating are only talked about when participating in such navigatory activities.

The idea seems to be that talking about these activities with their "real" designation will attract the attention of malevolent spirits – they'll cause deaths so you will have to bury someone, they'll put madness in the minds of the bride or the groom, they'll kill whoever is approaching a rite of transition, they'll bring storms or sickness, they'll make the mother's milk run dry, they'll turn curses into blessings or vice versa, and they'll seal the womb so the baby remains there forever, and they'll scary off the prey. However, these spirits are slow and inefficient, whereas good spirits who are awakened by the actions will be strengthened by hearing the right words.

The words are replaced by more generic verbs:
bury: cover, with a reduced noun meaning 'ground' somewhere in the NP
give birth: cause to go forth
bless, curse: say, with a reduced noun meaning 'strength' somewhere in the NP
care for: to carry drink to
hunt, trap: to tame, with a reduced noun meaning 'food'
rowing: to pull wood
sailing: to catch wind
breast-feed: to
Over time, the reduced nouns tend to get assimilated into the verb, and as that form over time gets more common, it too can become taboo, causing a need for a new, non-taboo construction. The hamster wheel of taboo words keeps rolling.

hammer is vairu

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015
vairu = hammer (noun) (Some things Google found for "vairu": a uncommon term; a rare last name that can be Indian; similar vairas means steering wheel in Lithuanian; Mont Vairu is a place in French Polynesia)

Word derivation for "hammer" :
Basque = mailu, Finnish = vasara
Miresua = vairu

This is a new Miresua conlang word.

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

There's no graphic for this word because currently there's a problem with the online graphics program that I use. I'll add it in later.

Detail #210: Comparatives, Superlatives and Numbers

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
Use comparatives and superlatives to mark accuracy. Use negative comparatives to mark approximate, but less than or equal. Superlatives mark "more than" in general, and comparatives mark slightly more than or equal.

Stack comparatives and negative comparatives for "about N".