This year I will be participating in Verbruary (a verb a day for the month of February), but with a twist. See, Verbruary (and Lexember) are for new vocabulary, and I create languages with closed classes of verbs. So, beginning tomorrow, I will have write-ups on all 38 verbs in the new language, Xunumi-Wudu, spread out over 28 days.
Archive for January, 2017
I reflect a bit on Lexember 2016. Links and Resources: My post on -piq Dragonlinguistics on Tumblr Also please check out Phonetic Calligraphy on Tumblr and Facebook!
In a language with indefinite and definite articles, have an article that is historically related to the interrogative pronoun/determiner 'what'. Unlike 'what', however, it signifies that a definite noun is the topic of a yes/no-question. In the pseudo-English used to illustrate this, I'll form it analogously to a/an: wha, whan.
you saw wha car?
have you heard whan opera?
the emissary gave wha gift to the king?
the emissary gave a gift to wha king?
wha emissary gave a gift to the king?
A cool thing about this is that definiteness is neutralized in polar questions. Also, other determiners might be forced to behave in quirky ways of the syntax of determiners is anything like that of English:
* you saw wha my car
you saw wha car of mine
(or quirks analogous to that).
Consider a system with several noun classes, and a complicated system of moods, aspects, aktionsarts and tenses. Now, different noun classes – both as subjects and objects – force different conflations of the actual available TAMs.
In Dairwueh, having is expressed using the preposition edə in combination with the third person II copula -
pos neg pos
pres erb dirš ŋey past ŋe ediš (ŋe)
Thus, baud ŋe edə vena - I had a farm (farm was by me).
The preposition edə occurs in some temporal expressions and some fossilized locative expressions, but is otherwise not used much.
However, edə can also take a preprepositional noun or adjective (or even adverb). In combination with the possessive construction, the adjective corresponds to the bolded elements below:
- to have object as/for complement
- X's object is complement
- object is X's complement
- object is complement by X/for X
- owner perceives object as complement
A short translation of the table would be something like
This image should be fairly self-explanatory: the circle expresses insides of things, the upper half circle represents the outside of a convex surface (hill, convex structure, etc), the lower half circle express the outside of a concave surface. 'ule', with regards to a convex surface expresses 'under, beneath', etc. It's worth noting that the surface of the sea also patterns with the concave surfaces.
This is not an exhaustive description of Sargaĺk spatial postpositions, nor does it fully exhaust the spatial usages of the ones presented.
This set of ideas were inspired by discussions with the author of Ayeri.
Let's have a look at deictic marking in the verb complex. We can consider some obvious things - deictic marking can sort of be dependent on person – one could have here unmarked on first person verbs, there unmarked on third person verbs, and maybe put second person in a situation where here is unmarked in the present, but there is unmarked in the past.
Now, since some are marked and some are unmarked, we could go for a direct-inverse kind of situation here:
unmarked marked 1 here there 2 present here there past there here 3 there here
Certain third person NPs could of course doubly inverse this: the demonstrative 'this' itself, as well as a third person listener pronoun.
Now, with verbs of movement, there may be two slots, although both are not necessarily filled. If both are empty in a verb meaning 'depart', a first person subject in the present would be parsed as 'I am leaving (from here to there)'.
Here and there are obviously distinguished, but movements can also happen between two distinct theres, or even from or to an indefinite place - which have their own morphemes, cognate to indefinite pronouns. For verbs of movement, the deictic markers also become more complicated, interacting with aspect in various ways. Perfective movements towards will by default be oriented herewards, so direction towards there is marked by a distinct morpheme, movement towards anywhere is marked by the same indefinite morpheme previously mentioned. Perfective verbs of departure will by default be parsed the opposite way to the table given above, and likewise perfectie verbs of movement along. Imperfective verbs of movement depend on the person in the same way as given in the table above.
The indefinite morpheme previously mentioned is also used when interrogative pronouns are used.
Person is quite common in conlangs, but we can even almost find other person-like structures in human languages - some Asian pronoun systems rather may be ranked by social stature than by speaker > listener > other.
We could imagine some other system, though - the simplest being some way of adjusting how social stature is determined (age, with gender as tie-breaker? gender, with age as tie-breaker? some other type of social structure than any known human structure); maybe to some not entirely 'ordered' type of ranking (so it's more of a social network than a social hierarchy).
Suggestion: come up with a different system than person, and post in a comment.
Let us consider a language different anaphora depending on whether the NP it refers to is definite/specific or indefinite.The definite anaphora are the baseline - the pronoun for the masculine definite noun we call the masculine pronoun, the pronoun for the feminine definite noun we call the feminine pronoun, etc.
Now, we have a hierarchy of genders and numbers:
plur anim > masc sg > fem sg > neut
plur inanim > neut
For each indefinite noun, an anaphora referring to it will use the noun from the class to the right, so
If any people arrive, he(=they) must wait here.
Iif any man arrives, she(=he) may wait here.
If my boss arrives, he(=he) must wait here.