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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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby Irusia » 2017-06-17, 18:21

In my conlang, there will be only monophthongs as phonemes, but I want to use diphthongs as allophones. What conditions for diphthongization exist? Can it be related to vowel harmony?

Is there any program to create words automatically from the list of phonemes?
Last edited by Irusia on 2017-06-17, 20:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby razlem » 2017-06-17, 18:55

Irusia wrote:In my conlang, there will be only monophthongs as phonemes, but I want to use diphthongs as allophones. What conditions for diphthongization exist?

Is there any program to create words automatically from the list of phonemes?


http://akana.conlang.org/tools/awkwords/
http://klh.karinoyo.com/generate/words/
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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby Irusia » 2017-06-17, 19:56

razlem wrote:
Irusia wrote:In my conlang, there will be only monophthongs as phonemes, but I want to use diphthongs as allophones. What conditions for diphthongization exist?

Is there any program to create words automatically from the list of phonemes?


http://akana.conlang.org/tools/awkwords/
http://klh.karinoyo.com/generate/words/

Thank you very much!
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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-06-18, 3:01

Irusia wrote:In my conlang, there will be only monophthongs as phonemes, but I want to use diphthongs as allophones. What conditions for diphthongization exist?
As in many conlanging cases, Wikipedia is your friend. That page gives several real-world examples of diphthongization or vowel breaking. A lot is plausible with vowel shifts, so those are just potential starting points.

EDIT: There's also the Index Diachronica, which contains sound changes from a wide selection of languages. You can't directly search diphthongs, but you can search for pieces that interest you ([j], for example, to get sound changes that involve that sound, including as part of diphthongs) and use your browser's search function to finish the job. Again, these don't have to be anything more than inspiration.

Irusia wrote:Can it be related to vowel harmony?
I can see that. As that page explains, vowel breaking can be a result of assimilation, which is the basis of vowel harmony. I haven't thought through any particulars, but I could see diphthongization being a productive part of a broad, Finnish-style harmony system or analogous to German umlaut. It could also be a no longer productive stepping stone toward vowel harmony in the current language.
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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby Vlürch » 2017-09-13, 15:37

Irusia wrote:
razlem wrote:
Irusia wrote:In my conlang, there will be only monophthongs as phonemes, but I want to use diphthongs as allophones. What conditions for diphthongization exist?

Is there any program to create words automatically from the list of phonemes?


http://akana.conlang.org/tools/awkwords/
http://klh.karinoyo.com/generate/words/

Thank you very much!

There's also this one, which is my favourite because you can apply sound changes at the same time.

EDIT: Forgot to ask this random conlang question: what is it called if a certain combination of prefixes and suffixes triggers a change in the vowels and/or consonants of a word? For example, if you had a word like /ɑɣɑ/ and added the prefix /m/, it would not change anything and it would be [mɑɣɑ], but if you also added the suffix /l/, it would for example cause the vowels and the medial consonant(s) to become fronted, resulting in the word [maʝal]; this, however, would not be triggered by the suffix alone, so you'd have [ɑʁɑl], nor would other prefixes trigger it, so you'd also have [nɑɣɑl] or whatever. Does anything like that exist in any real language? Or is it just a form of umlaut or whatever?

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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby Ser » 2017-09-13, 21:24

If it isn't the suffix /-l/ that triggers the fronting in general, but it is something specific to certain words, I suppose you could say it's a case of having irregular stems when /-l/ is attached.

If /-l/ is an inflectional suffix (marking plural, or ergative case, or whatever) you could also mention this is not unlike the so-called "principal parts" of Latin/Greek nominals and verbs, since the irregular stem has to be learned as well.

Umlaut involves assimilation. I'm not sure if the lateral consonant /l/ really counts as "[+front]" to be able to speak of assimilation, but I don't think so. Umlaut usually involves the addition of a vowel like [i] or [a].

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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby ArturitoR2D2 » 2017-11-02, 13:24

Ok, I have a question, and I don't know where to post it, so...
Why this sections hassucha strange order? Couldn't be ordered by conlang? I understand that some of them are too small and we will find a million of short threads, but... I was trying to ask something about Tolkien languages, but I don't know where to ask.
The original questuon was if there is a living thread here about Sindarin, Quenya, Khuzdul or Adunaic. You find a lot of resources online, but is not allways easy to fin an accurate translation. Real experts around here?

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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-11-07, 18:58

This subforum focuses more on the conlangs created by Unilangers rather than the biggies. Those online resources you speak of are probably your best bet for finding someone with experience translating into Tolkien's languages. Ardalambion, for instance, links to or cites translations by several people. You could try contacting those people or the owner of the website for more information.
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Re: Random Conlang Questions

Postby ArturitoR2D2 » 2017-11-14, 17:29

Aha Dormouse, I dind't know, thanks for the info :o (I knew already about Ardalambion, a very good source, thanks again).


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