Random Conlang Questions

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Random Conlang Questions

Postby Ashucky » 2016-03-31, 23:51

Hello!

This is a thread where you can post quick and random conlanging questions (instead of making a new thread each time, for example). :)

However, if you want to have a deeper discussion about something, please use the General Conlang Discussion thread instead.

And a quick note: before posting a question, maybe check the Useful Resources thread as it might give you an answer immediately.

That's it!
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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby Losam » 2016-05-07, 13:17

Besides the swadesh list, do you know a list of common phrases/expressions to translate to a conlang?

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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-07-20, 16:15

Losam wrote:Besides the swadesh list, do you know a list of common phrases/expressions to translate to a conlang?

This might be a place to start: http://omniglot.com/language/phrases/phraseindex.htm.
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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby Losam » 2016-09-23, 15:53

Anyone here know a good link (besides Wikipedia and others sites about conlanging) that explains about verb tense, aspect and mood (and other properties?). Also, can you give some examples of aspects? And how do you deal with verbs?

Thank you for the help, time and attention.

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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-09-23, 16:13

Losam wrote:Anyone here know a good link (besides Wikipedia and others sites about conlanging) that explains about verb tense, aspect and mood (and other properties?). Also, can you give some examples of aspects? And how do you deal with verbs?

Honestly, Wikipedia and the LCK are pretty solid in this respect. You'd be hard-pressed to find other sites as comprehensive; most only discuss the use of TAM in a particular language or subset of languages.

Your native language is Portuguese? It has aspectual distinctions for perfectness (tinha falado), perfectiveness (falara), and progressiveness (está falando). These are fairly common aspects cross-linguistically, but their usage varies considerably from language to language (or even within the same language). English, for instance, has perfect and progressive aspects, but some varieties of it use the perfect far more than any Portuguese speaker ever would.
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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby Losam » 2016-09-23, 16:28

Yes, I speak Portuguese from Brazil, my native language. Maybe do you know a common concept about aspects and how they change in tenses? If I'm not wrong, basic exist:

[*]1) An action that is completed (I walked);
[*]2) An action that is in progress (I'm walking);
[*]3) An action that isn't completed but isn't in progress, something like an infinitive mode (I walk);

I need some examples of this aspects and different kinds of tenses (past, present and future to be more specific), if you don't mind of course.

I have another question: in my native language, some words that an "a" vowel is in a last syllable tend to change its sound to a "ɐ". If I'm creating a language, this "ɐ" always will occur even if I only use an "a" (open front)?

Also, thank you for the help.

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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-09-23, 16:43

Losam wrote:Yes, I speak Portuguese from Brazil, my native language. Maybe do you know a common concept about aspects and how they change in tenses? If I'm not wrong, basic exist:

[*]1) An action that is completed (I walked);
[*]2) An action that is in progress (I'm walking);
[*]3) An action that isn't completed but isn't in progress, something like an infinitive mode (I walk);

I need some examples of this aspects and different kinds of tenses (past, present and future to be more specific), if you don't mind of course.

In English, the simple present most often expresses habitual aspect. This is used for actions which are expected to occur periodically. In the past tense, habitual aspect is expressed with the used to construction. (This phrase is often pronounced as if it were a single word, i.e. /ˈjuːstə/, and treated something like a modal verb.) Other languages (e.g. Irish) express this synthetically.

[Interestingly, Irish has both a present and a past habitual as well, but it's in the exact opposite of English in having a synthetic tense in the past (i.e. shiúlainn "I used to walk") and a periphrastic construction in the present (i.e. bím ag siúl "I walk"; Irish English "I do be walking").]

I think that's one thing to keep in mind when creating TAM distinctions for conlangs: It's quite common to find only certain combinations of tense, aspect, and mood. In fact, having the complete set of possible combinations ends up looking really artificial. It's also not unusual to find examples of one combination having multiple uses (e.g. English present progressive expressing future as well as present continuous action, "I'm leaving tomorrow").
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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-09-23, 17:05

Speaking of tense, something to keep in mind is that there are more possibilities than just past/present/future. Some languages have a special narrative tense used primarily (or solely) when relating a sequence of events in the past as opposed to simply mentioning something which happened. Others grammatically distinguish the recent past from a more distant past.

Catalan, for instance, uses the perfect construction to express such a distinction. The general rule I learned is to use the perfect for events which occurred the same day and the (periphrastic) preterite for more distinct events, i.e.:

He caminat "I walked." (Just now, or sometime earlier today.)
Vaig caminar "I walked." (Yesterday or before.)

Some varieties of Italian apparently behave similarly.

For some languages, the distinction is between actions recently completed and actions completed in the more distant past. (See how aspect creeps in again?) Welsh, for instance, has a periphrastic perfect which is used for recent actions:

Rw i wedi cerdded fan'ma "I walked here".

For actions just completed, however, you replace wedi "after" with newydd "new(ly)", i.e.:

Rw i newydd cerdded fan'ma "I've just walked here". (Irish English: "I'm after walking here".)

That's just scraping the surface. This is a huge topic that we could spend hours discussing. You need to read up on it and try to come up with some more focussed questions than just "tell me about verbs".
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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby Losam » 2016-09-23, 17:09

I see. I want to know and create a simple concept about tense and aspect for my conlang.
Thank you again for the explanations.


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