General Conlang Discussion

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Dormouse559 » 2016-07-05, 15:37

Atluk wrote:The ? mark is there since idk what phoneme I want to represent [ɛ] with. Tips?
/ɛ/?

On the rest of your vowels, are /i o u/ ever pronounced [i o u]? If so, those should be included with the other allophones. If not, why not make their phonemic representations /y ɔ ʊ/? For the latter two, I can see an argument for ease of typing, but that doesn't hold for /i/ [y].
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby linguoboy » 2016-07-05, 16:23

Atluk wrote:I am revamping my conlang to improve the vowel system to my tastes. People here seem to gripe about the basic five vowel phonemes, so I plan for my conlang to have six monophthong vowels.

/a/- [a]
/e/- [e]
/i/- [y]
/o/- [ɔ]
/u/- [ʊ]
/?/- [ɛ]

The ? mark is there since idk what phoneme I want to represent [ɛ] with. Tips?

What are your criteria? Do you want something you can type easily with a standard keyboard or what?
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Atluk » 2016-07-05, 19:27

I originlly added [y] for /i/ as I was trying to go with three vowels: [a], [y], and [ʊ] and needed a rounded vowel. My goal is to move away from the five vowel system I usually copy from Spanish. It didn't occur to me at the time that [ʊ] is rounded.

I love [ʊ] as a phone and wanted it to be one of the main monophthongs and built a vowel system around it.

I added others later like [e] and [ɛ] because I like both sounds and couldn't decide which I liked more.

[ɔ] was added due to inspiration from Mongolian.

Yeah, I'd prefer something easy to type. ë seems to be the most logical choice, but I may use umlauts for something else.

Having /y/ as a vowel phoneme to represent [y] could be interesting.

Now that I think about it, I may have too many rounded vowels.

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Atluk » 2016-07-10, 0:11

Well, I got that figured out.

My conlang is agglutinative, so how do such languages form words? What I mean is does every syllable carry a meaning. For example, is "nama" (table) na- "flat" and ma- meaning "surface"? I have to figure this out before I can actually start creating a vocabulary.

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby linguoboy » 2016-07-10, 18:27

Atluk wrote:My conlang is agglutinative, so how do such languages form words? What I mean is does every syllable carry a meaning.

No.

Atluk wrote:For example, is "nama" (table) na- "flat" and ma- meaning "surface"? I have to figure this out before I can actually start creating a vocabulary.

You're thinking of an oligosynthetic language. These can have any sort of grammar.
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Losam » 2016-07-12, 2:41

I have some questions:

  1. In my native language, there is the "ʁ" sound, that doesn't occurs in English. This is a plausible explanation when an English native speakers have an accent or a problem with the word "rio" like in "Rio de Janeiro"? Following the same idea, some native speakers of Portuguese have a trouble with "θ" and "ð". Right?
  2. Which range of diphthongs are possible? I mean: can I use an "ɛi", "ɒi" and ""æu"" for example?
  3. To an English native speaker, is more easy to learn a language by vowels? Because there is around 44 vowels, right?
  4. The clicks sounds really works for something? Nothing against it, I wanna know if is there some use for it.
  5. Sometimes, I saw a symbol in a different place of a vowel chart (for example: "ʌ", according to IPA Chart, is on the left of "ɔ"), how I can recognize or distinguish this sound?
  6. Can I change a voiced consonant to a voiceless and vice-versa? For example an "m" to a voiceless "m"?

Feel free to correct me and provide tips. Thank you your attention and time.

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby linguoboy » 2016-07-12, 16:18

Losam wrote:In my native language, there is the "ʁ" sound, that doesn't occurs in English. This is a plausible explanation when an English native speakers have an accent or a problem with the word "rio" like in "Rio de Janeiro"? Following the same idea, some native speakers of Portuguese have a trouble with "θ" and "ð". Right?

Correct.

Losam wrote:Which range of diphthongs are possible? I mean: can I use an "ɛi", "ɒi" and ""æu"" for example?

A diphthong is simply a complex vowel that glides from one vowel position to another. So the only real limitation is that both sounds don't occupy the same position. (It would be possible to have a vowel which began and ended in the same position after passing through others along the way, but that would be classed as a "triphthong".)

The question of which diphthongs are common or which ones would be likely to be contrasted in the same language is another one entirely. FWIW, all three of the diphthongs you list are found in varieties of English (although not necessarily all in the same variety).

Losam wrote:To an English native speaker, is more easy to learn a language by vowels? Because there is around 44 vowels, right?

I'm not sure exactly what you're asking. The number of distinct vowels in English varies by variety, but I don't know any variety with 44. (You may be confusing the number of vowel phonemes in English with the total combined number of vowel and consonant phonemes, which is close to 44 for most varieties.) My native variety, for instance, probably has about 22 vowel phonemes, depending on how one counts.

But it's important to keep in mind that having a lot of vowels in your native language doesn't necessarily make you better at pronouncing the vowels of another language. Long/tense vowels are diphthongised in most varieties of English, so speakers actually have a lot of difficulty learning to pronounce the pure monophthongs of other languages. There are also other phonological processes (e.g. breaking, fronting, mergers before particular consonants) which complicate which phonetic distinctions come easily to us and which don't.

Losam wrote:The clicks sounds really works for something? Nothing against it, I wanna know if is there some use for it.

I don't understand the question. We use some click sounds[/url] in English, for instance.

Losam wrote:Sometimes, I saw a symbol in a different place of a vowel chart (for example: "ʌ", according to IPA Chart, is on the left of "ɔ"), how I can recognize or distinguish this sound?

I'm not sure I understand the question. Have you tried listening to recordings?

Losam wrote:Can I change a voiced consonant to a voiceless and vice-versa? For example an "m" to a voiceless "m"?

Yes.
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Atluk » 2016-07-12, 16:21

̹I can't answer all your questions, but I'll answer the ones I know.

2. I'm no expert on diphthongs, but I am sure the phones you listed are permissible and maybe even some natlangs use thrm.

5. [ʌ] is the <u> in "duck". [ɔ] is the rounded version of [ʌ], but I'm not quite sure how it is pronounced.

6. Some languages have final devoicing where the consonat at the end of the word and maybe as part of a final syllable is devoiced.

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby linguoboy » 2016-07-12, 16:52

Atluk wrote:̹5. [ʌ] is the <u> in "duck". [ɔ] is the rounded version of [ʌ], but I'm not quite sure how it is pronounced.

Given that the poster is a native speaker of Brazilian Portuguese, [ʌ] will be the problematic sound to produce, not [ɔ]. Saying "the <u> in "duck'" probably isn't very helpful, because who knows how Losam says "duck"? (Many speakers of foreign languages substitute a low central vowel here such as [ɐ] or even [a].)
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Losam » 2016-07-12, 23:27

Thank you guys sooo much for the answers.

linguoboy:

  • For the first question, thank you for the answer. I think that is the reason when a native speaker try to learn a foreign language for the first time, maybe have a problem to reproduce the sound.
  • 3: I made a mess with this question. I wanna mean: the number of phonemes or vowels sounds in English it's a key or make other languages a little bit easily to understand (when we talk about vowels)?
  • About the clicks, I wanna know if they are useful or make any sense. Because is something that I really don't accept the idea of it in a language (no offense).
  • Talking about the fifth, I saw the symbol "ʌ" in a different place than the "normal" place of it (near of "ɔ" according to IPA Chart). For example: the ":" means when a consonant or a vowel is prolonged, right? So, In some languages, I saw a pair of vowels, one short and your partner, long, in a vowel chart.

And yes, the "ʌ" is a little bit difficult to me(but no sooo diffffficult). But sometimes, the most confusing couple is "θ" and "ð".

Atluk:
Well, fine, no problem. That means that I can use "æi" as a diphthong?

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby linguoboy » 2016-07-13, 1:43

Losam wrote:For the first question, thank you for the answer. I think that is the reason when a native speaker try to learn a foreign language for the first time, maybe have a problem to reproduce the sound.

This is a very well-documented phenomenon known as "language transfer" or "linguistic intereference".

Losam wrote:I made a mess with this question. I wanna mean: the number of phonemes or vowels sounds in English it's a key or make other languages a little bit easily to understand (when we talk about vowels)?

As I said, yes and no. Vowels are messy and complicated. It doesn't matter if Language A has more vowels than Language B if the vowels don't line up in any coherent way.

To take one example: In American English, /uː/ is pronounced further forward in the mouth than cardinal [u] (the /u/ of other languages, such as Spanish and German). My ex complained that when he taught German in Kansas, "They could pronounce ü, but they couldn't say u to save their lives." What he meant was that the /uː/ in his students' speech was so far forward that it sounded closer to Standard German /yː/ than Standard German /uː/. So the increased number of vowel phonemes in their dialect was of no real use in helping them to learn to speak German correctly,

Losam wrote:About the clicks, I wanna know if they are useful or make any sense. Because is something that I really don't accept the idea of it in a language (no offense).

This statement makes no sense to me at all. It's like saying, "I really don't accept the idea of coriander in cooking." No one's forcing you to use coriander in your food, but people around the world will continue to cook with it regardless. (And if you try to leave it out when you follow their recipes, it will have consequences.) Is it somehow less "useful" to them because you don't like it?

Losam wrote:Talking about the fifth, I saw the symbol "ʌ" in a different place than the "normal" place of it (near of "ɔ" according to IPA Chart). For example: the ":" means when a consonant or a vowel is prolonged, right? So, In some languages, I saw a pair of vowels, one short and your partner, long, in a vowel chart.

Yes, the triangular colon (ː) marks length.

One thing you have to keep in mind about IPA symbols, however, is that they're not always used to represent phonetic values. When a symbol between slashes, it represents a phoneme, which will have a range of possible realisations. Some of these may be quite close to the phonetic value of the symbol, some won't.

For instance, the actual value of /uː/ in a particular person's speech could be something like [ʉʊ̯̈]. But it's simpler to write /uː/ and it makes comparisons between different varieties easier.
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby linguoboy » 2016-07-13, 2:07

Losam wrote:Well, fine, no problem. That means that I can use "æi" as a diphthong?

Oh, and I know this question was addressed to Atluk rather than me, but I just thought I'd point out that this diphthong is in fact the most common phonetic realisation of /eː/ in Australian English.
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Vlürch » 2016-07-13, 15:19

linguoboy wrote:
Losam wrote:About the clicks, I wanna know if they are useful or make any sense. Because is something that I really don't accept the idea of it in a language (no offense).

This statement makes no sense to me at all. It's like saying, "I really don't accept the idea of coriander in cooking." No one's forcing you to use coriander in your food, but people around the world will continue to cook with it regardless. (And if you try to leave it out when you follow their recipes, it will have consequences.) Is it somehow less "useful" to them because you don't like it?

Your analogy is awesome, much better than some incoherent rambling about unicorns and rainbows if I'd tried to come up with one. :P Anyway, I could be wrong but I feel like the question is more about why people want to use clicks in their conlangs when their native languages don't have them; the answer is more or less the same, but it does have a slight difference. It's probably almost always just that they like clicks and want to experiment with them, because conlanging is first and foremost about having fun for most people, or theoretical research (in lack of a better term) even if it's taken seriously. Personally, I think clicks are interesting because they're so rare as phonemes.
linguoboy wrote:
Losam wrote:Well, fine, no problem. That means that I can use "æi" as a diphthong?

Oh, and I know this question was addressed to Atluk rather than me, but I just thought I'd point out that this diphthong is in fact the most common phonetic realisation of /eː/ in Australian English.

It exists in Finnish, too.

But yeah, since all diphthongs are possible, you could even have something like [ɶɯ̯] or [ɤɞ̯]. Technically, even oral-nasal, pharyngealised-uvularised and/or breathy-creaky-voiced diphthongs and whatnot are possible. Let's not forget tones, strident vowels and R-colouration! [ɶ᷽̏ʶɞ̤̯̃̋ˁʴ]! :mrgreen:

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Losam » 2016-07-14, 1:23

kiitos paljon Vlürch,

Mä rakastaan Suomi. I don't speak Suomi (yet and soo well, but I'm going to) your language is sooo kaunis. Sorry for any mistakes about Finnish.
No problem about the answer. You got the point: "Why people uses clicks sounds in their languages? I mean: In a natural language, clicks sounds makes a important difference between a word to another?"

Also, taking advantage of talking about features of a language: In Finnish, you use all of grammatical cases? It's common in a day-a-day conversation?

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby linguoboy » 2016-07-14, 1:57

Losam wrote:No problem about the answer. You got the point: "Why people uses clicks sounds in their languages? I mean: In a natural language, clicks sounds makes a important difference between a word to another?"

If you mean, "Are they phonemic?" then the answer is, "Yes". In the Khoisan languages, they are every bit as important for distinguishing words as the consonants of your language.

Although it's intended for phonetic transcription, the IPA only includes basic symbols for sounds which are distinctive in some attested natural human language. (Other sounds can be recorded using diacritics to modify the basic symbols.)
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Atluk » 2016-07-15, 15:10

I want to share what I have for a conlang. I have created some experimental sentences to see how well it flows, and I personally don't like the results, but I may need another person's opinion to get a more accurate critique.

I call the language Neyànósonta, meaning "centaur language." As the name implies, it is the native tongue of centaurs. The accent marks determine pitch, which is used to mark both verb tenses and noun class.

It is agglutinative and has a VSO word order. The vowels are pronounced the same as in Spanish except for /u/, which is [ʊ]. Also verbs are conjugated be changing the prefix instead of a suffix.

Here are some example sentences:

"What is that?"- "Wukunesekovuqaga" -Wukune- conjugated verb for stative "to be" in the concrete object class, seko- this, vuqa- what, -ga- question suffix.

"This is my land."- Wekunesekotalàtovo. Wekune- conjugated verb for stative "to be" in the centaur/humanoid class, seko- this, talà- land or earth, tovo- can mean I me or my depending on the context.

"I am a centaur" - "Wekunetovoósonta"

" I speak Neyànósonta." -Tleneyatovoneyànósonta.

"Do you speak Neyànósonta?"- Tleneyayekoneyànósontaga?"

What do you think? Any changes you recommend to make it flow better?

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby linguoboy » 2016-07-15, 15:40

Atluk wrote:"What is that?"- "Wukunesekovuqaga" -Wukune- conjugated verb for stative "to be" in the concrete object class, seko- this, vuqa- what, -ga- question suffix.

Why does it translate to "What is that?" if seko is glossed here (and elsewhere) as "this"?

Atluk wrote:"I am a centaur" - "Wekunetovoósonta"

" I speak Neyànósonta." -Tleneyatovoneyànósonta.

"Do you speak Neyànósonta?"- Tleneyayekoneyànósontaga?"

What do you think? Any changes you recommend to make it flow better?

I'm confused by the tone system. If there are only one or two tones per word, does that mean you've got a kind of pitch-accent system where "\" represents a downstep and "/" an upstep?
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Atluk » 2016-07-15, 15:45

linguoboy wrote:
Atluk wrote:"What is that?"- "Wukunesekovuqaga" -Wukune- conjugated verb for stative "to be" in the concrete object class, seko- this, vuqa- what, -ga- question suffix.

Why does it translate to "What is that?" if seko is glossed here (and elsewhere) as "this"?

Atluk wrote:"I am a centaur" - "Wekunetovoósonta"

" I speak Neyànósonta." -Tleneyatovoneyànósonta.

"Do you speak Neyànósonta?"- Tleneyayekoneyànósontaga?"

What do you think? Any changes you recommend to make it flow better?

I'm confused by the tone system. If there are only one or two tones per word, does that mean you've got a kind of pitch-accent system where "\" represents a downstep and "/" an upstep?


I am unfamiliar with glossing and I'm still trying to figure out how agglutinative languages work.

For the latter question, yes, the language uses a pitch accent system with a downstep and an upstep, but is not limited to two tone per word (more like three per word) because of the way I set it up. Every noun must have a gender and every gender must be marke with a pitch. Also, any verb tense other than present tense must be marked with a pitch accent. For example, if I want to say "I spoke the centaur language" , it would be "Wékunetovoneyànósanta."

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Atluk » 2016-07-19, 16:05

I hate bombarding you guys with questions. Sorry if I get annoying.

Anyway, here is my revised vowel system. The first phone is its basic sound, the second is made through vowel harmony, and the other ones (if any) are the result of allophony.

/a/- [ɑ], [æ]
/i/- [i], [y], [ɛ]

I haven't decided if I want /u/ or /o/ as phoneme and whether I want [o], [u], [ʊ], or [ɔ] as the last basic sound in my three vowel system.

I know that in most languages that back vowels are usually rounded while front vowels tend to e unrounded and you need to spread your phones as far apart as you can on the vowel chart.

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby linguoboy » 2016-07-19, 16:15

Atluk wrote:I hate bombarding you guys with questions. Sorry if I get annoying.

Anyway, here is my revised vowel system. The first phone is its basic sound, the second is made through vowel harmony, and the other ones (if any) are the result of allophony.

/a/- [ɑ], [æ]
/i/- [i], [y], [ɛ]

I haven't decided if I want /u/ or /o/ as phoneme and whether I want [o], [u], [ʊ], or [ɔ] as the last basic sound in my three vowel system.

What kind of vowel harmony system do you have? That might help you decide.
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