Breian

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Le Wuumross
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Breian

Postby Le Wuumross » 2011-10-20, 20:46

I would like to show you all a conlang I've been working on for a little while; numerous attempts have lead to be bored by going exotic and trying a little more down to earth language. I just wanted to try and make one that wouldn't be overly hard to learn, and so it seems pretty simple. A little quirk I like about it is the fact that all sentences written in it are relatively short.

Breian is the name I use, but not really a good name since it violates the language's own constraints. It's just a project name, I might change it later.

So I'm going to attempt to explain it here. Hope you are interested by it.

PHONOLOGY

Consonants

p' - /ɸ/
f - /f/
t' - θ
s - /s/
s' - ʃ
h - /h/

r - /ɹ/
l - /l/
w - /w/
y - /j/

m - /m/
n - /n/

p - /p/
t - /t/
k - /k/

All voiced and unaspirated forms of these phonemes are seen as allophones.

Vowels

a - /æ/
e - /ɛ/
i - /ɪ/
u - /ʌ/
á - /a(ː)/
é - /i(ː)/
ú - /u(ː)/

Diphthongs

è - /eɪ/
í - /aɪ/
o - /oʊ/

Phonotactical Constraints

(C1)V(V)(C2)

V = All vowels
C1 = All consonants, excluding /p/,/t/ and /k/.
C2 = All consonants

As you can see, pretty simple so far; It's not too complicated. Now you see why 'Breian' is very illfitting.

Sound Changes

There aren't many sound changes, but there is one:

Only when a suffix or prefix is added, this rule applies. The sounds on the left, if they appear in successive syllables in a word, the first will simplify to the sound on the right:
á, o --->> a
é, è --->> e
í ------->> i
ú ------>> u

Whilst 's'ás'á' (servant) is acceptable since it is a root, 'lúnsú' (one eats) would have to simplify to 'lunsú'.

Stress

The stress of a word lies on the root of the word. Any suffixes or prefixes are left as unstressed and not subjected to the following rules;
1 - One syllable words are not stressed if they are not a noun, verb, adverb or adjective.
2 - Multiple syllable words generally stress on the last syllable that contains 'á', 'é', 'è', 'í', 'o', 'ú'.
3 - When a word does not contain any syllables with these sounds, it stresses on the last syllable.
4 - If it can, it will avoid syllables with stops and instead stress on the prior syllable.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Breian works on a basic VSO word order and this is what is seen as 'normal'. However, if wanting to indicate the topic of the sentence, the topic can be moved to the beginning of the sentence.

Sentences are compacted because of Breian's attempt at being Fusional in relation to its verbs. But use of particles indicates subjects, objects and so on instead.

Adjectives are seen as nouns and are treated the same way. There aren't any cases dictated by suffixes; instead particles do.

I'm going to stop attempting to use the correct lexicon, as I'm failing profusely, so I'll get onto something actually IN the language.

ARTICLES AND PRONOUNS

I have a tradition, with every new conlang I make, that I always begin with the personal pronouns and articles. This time, partly, I have pronouns and yet I do not. But first, here are the articles.

Gender --- Definite --- Indefinite --- Plural --- Possessive*

Personal ----- le ----------- ún ---------- lè ----------- a

Natural ------ lu ----------- en --------- lúnu --------- nus

Material ----- il ------------ un --------- lés ----------- él

Neutral ------ la ----------- an ---------- lás ----------- lo

*The possessive refers to it being in possession, not it possessing.

Now, the genders are pretty regular; anything associated to people are 'personal', anything man-made or objects non-living are 'material', 'natural' is all nature and living objects and 'neutral' are the nouns that refer to non-physical things, like 'joy' or 'time' or 'hunger'.

Now, let's move on to pronouns. Or do we? Verbs conjugate to person very directly, leaving the space for subject empty unless it refers to a certain object. But then the place of object is left. So, I wondered how easy could I make it...

Person --- Singular --- Plural --- Possessive

1st ----------- a --------- lè ----------- a

2nd ---------- él -------- lés --------- nus

3rd ---------- nus ------ lúnu --------- él

Polite 3rd --- lo -------- lás ---------- lo

That's it.

You may think it might get complicated, but if a noun is always with an article or determiner, and not the other way round, it makes sense to give articles at least one other use.

So, whilst 'a' means 'me', 'a suunmet' means 'my watch', 'hem a suunmet' means 'boy's watch' and 'a hem a suunmet' means 'my boy's watch'.

t'úkse wun sa hem s'á a suunmet
That is the boy who stole my watch


VERBS

There are four types of verbs; essentially four endings a verb infinitive can have. The verb ending is an indicator to the verb's meaning as a whole.

[-o] verbs are seen as sensual verbs. Associated with the senses.
[-in] verbs are stative verbs, verbs that define a state and also the progressive forms of other verbs.
[-è] verbs are verbs that dictate movement or change in state.
[-sá] verbs are all other verbs that don't conform to the previous ones.

As mentioned previously, all verbs use suffixes to show their subject. These rules change for each ending.

Male/Female

PRESENT TENSE
Person-o-in-sá
1st Singular-úm/-úma-i/-e--mé/-mè
2nd Singular-ús/-úsa-is'--yé/-yè
3rd Singular-úes/-úa-lé/-lè-a/-ú-sé/-sè
1st Plural-úp'/-úp'a-iet'-un-mius/-míus
2nd Plural-úp/-úpa-ít'-o/-ol-relé/-relè
3rd Plural-úés/úé-t'ét-lú/-lè-t'è
2nd Polite-úf-in-yú
3rd Polite-o-in-es-sú
Last edited by Le Wuumross on 2011-10-23, 17:20, edited 8 times in total.

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linguoboy
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Re: Breian

Postby linguoboy » 2011-10-20, 21:20

Le Wuumross wrote:All voiced and unaspirated forms of these phonemes are seen as allophones.

What are the contexts in which these allophones occurs?

Le Wuumross wrote:Vowels

a - /æ/
e - /ɛ/
i - /ɪ/
u - /ʌ/
á - /a(ː)/
é - /i(ː)/
ú - /u(ː)/

Diphthongs

è - /eɪ/
í - /aɪ/
o - /oʊ/

Anglocentricity FTW!

Seriously, what's wrong with:

í - /i(ː)/
ey - /eɪ/
ay - /aɪ/
ow - /oʊ/?

Morphological Constraints

These aren't morphological constraints; they're phonotactical. Morphology deals with the structure of morphemes.

(C1)V(V)(C2)

V = All vowels
C1 = All consonants, excluding /p/,/t/ and /k/.
C2 = All consonants

Pretty bizarre contraints. I can't think of any language which categorically bars plain oral stops from initial position.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Le Wuumross
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Re: Breian

Postby Le Wuumross » 2011-10-21, 15:25

Ah, got a little mixed up between Morphology and Phonotactics it seems. Not sure how that happened. Sorry about that.

Seriously, what's wrong with:

í - /i(ː)/
ey - /eɪ/
ay - /aɪ/
ow - /oʊ/?


Although, of course, the graphology you proposed could be acceptable, this orthography is temporary. I used it after my futile attempts at combining the orthography to be a natural writing system and a system that I liked to use very quickly to describe the IPA. It became a little cloudy, so this time it's just a fast IPA; I'm going to create my conscript separately this time.

So by writing 'ey', I would be very easily confused whether it means /eɪ/ or /ɛj/, you see? And whether 'ayu' would be /aɪʌ/ or /æyʌ/. With 'è' and 'í' it's a little more quicker and easier to read.

Pretty bizarre contraints. I can't think of any language which categorically bars plain oral stops from initial position.


I tried to make this language flow in a way, so not really stopping the airflow. The stops, I see as walls that are kind of "markers" of the ends of words. So by blocking at the beginning of the word, it doesn't flow as well. Or so I like to have my speakers believe of course.

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linguoboy
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Re: Breian

Postby linguoboy » 2011-10-21, 17:34

Le Wuumross wrote:So by writing 'ey', I would be very easily confused whether it means /eɪ/ or /ɛj/, you see? And whether 'ayu' would be /aɪʌ/ or /æyʌ/. With 'è' and 'í' it's a little more quicker and easier to read.

My bad--I didn't notice that you were already using y for /j/.

Le Wuumross wrote:
Pretty bizarre contraints. I can't think of any language which categorically bars plain oral stops from initial position.

I tried to make this language flow in a way, so not really stopping the airflow. The stops, I see as walls that are kind of "markers" of the ends of words. So by blocking at the beginning of the word, it doesn't flow as well. Or so I like to have my speakers believe of course.

It would make far more sense to me if you allowed them to appear anywhere as underlying phonemes and then wrote phonological rules to increase their sonority in onsets. In many languages without /b/, /p/ becomes [b]--or even [v]--between voiced segments. So you could have a word /pejs/ which would only ever surface as [bɛjs] or [vɛjs] within a phrase.

This is far, far more plausible than banning plain oral stops--universally the most common consonants of all--from initial position--the single most common position for consonants to appear in.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Le Wuumross
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Re: Breian

Postby Le Wuumross » 2011-10-21, 19:31

It would make far more sense to me if you allowed them to appear anywhere as underlying phonemes and then wrote phonological rules to increase their sonority in onsets. In many languages without /b/, /p/ becomes [b]--or even [v]--between voiced segments. So you could have a word /pejs/ which would only ever surface as [bɛjs] or [vɛjs] within a phrase.

This is far, far more plausible than banning plain oral stops--universally the most common consonants of all--from initial position--the single most common position for consonants to appear in.


Well, although it may appear to be a more common rule, I have consciously decided to go against it. I'm sorry if that's not how you would do things. But I find it's an interesting quirk that make my words sound better to me. It's not as if I'm planning for this language to be widely spoken; it's an art-lang. Completely for the entertainment.

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Re: Breian

Postby linguoboy » 2011-10-21, 20:10

Le Wuumross wrote:It's not as if I'm planning for this language to be widely spoken; it's an art-lang. Completely for the entertainment.

Fair enough. Enjoy!
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

spanick
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Re: Breian

Postby spanick » 2011-10-31, 5:26

This is a minor question, but what is the motivation for contrasting the bilabial and labio-dental fricatives?

I ask because it's quite uncommon for these to be distinguished and the rest of the phoneme inventory is not terribly different than English.

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Re: Breian

Postby Le Wuumross » 2016-08-28, 9:28

Breian's gone through a lot of changes in the past month or so, as I'm attempting to develop it for a story I'm writing. Maybe a novel, but I'm not giving any hopes. It's been five years since the last time I tried developing it, and since then it's changed drastically so I'll have to start over I guess. First up is the phoneme inventory:

Consonants:
As before, the consonants are mostly fricatives to give the language a fluid sound to it, apart from the three major plosives, but these only ever exist at the beginnings of words. This I changed from it being a final only, as I realised you can't keep flow if you keep having ends to words. Foolish of me to say the least. It was also addressed before that's it's strange to differentiate the bilabial and labio-dental, but to me that's a quirk I want to retain. No reason why a bit of strangeness should put it off. As well as shifting the importance of the consonants, I've also shifted their notation to make it easier to write and reduce the amount of apostrophes.

FRICATIVESNASALSPLOSIVESAPPROXIMANTS
b - /ɸ/m - /m/bb - /p/v - /w/
f - /f/
d - /θ/dd - /t/l - /l/
s - /s/n - /n/r - /ɹ/
c - /ʃ/
x - /x/xx - /k/j - /j/
h - /h/ng - /ŋ/


I've no idea why young me decided to use 'y' for 'j'. That was stupid. Also, you'll notice an introduction of the velar section that wasn't apparent before aside from 'h'. It's very similar to anglo-centric languages, it's true, but luckily that's what I'm looking to do.

Vowels:
Here I went for a sharp change as well; there are still only seven vowels, and now only two diphthongs. However, I have been considering introducing others dependent on how often I get two vowels next to one another.



y - /i/w - /u/
u - /ɪ/e - /ʌ/
é - /ɛ/á - /æ/
a - /a/

The ordering isn't too logical, for one 'á' should really be on the left-hand side and if I wanted to have a good range then I'd have more rounded vowels, but then again, do I need a range? The parts I've changed are the length: all the vowels can be lengthened, and are only lengthened when they are the are syllable that's stressed in a word. However, stress is also dependent on the vowel. If a word contains one of the 'long' vowels (a, y, or w) then that vowel is the stressed syllable in that word. If there isn't such a vowel, then it's the last syllable. And all this applies only to the root word; prefixes and suffixes aren't stressed.

Diphthongs
éu - /eɪ/
au - /aɪ/

Simple enough, and use the vowels apparent. As I say, I might decide to form other diphthongs, but that depends on how common vowel combinations are. It's proving to be not that much.

The premise I'm going for is a simple, not too complicated inventory that I can type with my keyboard so I can be sure to not use one too often without realising it. Randomly generated words do help and prevent that, but we always select the one's that sound best right? Plus, I've got some words from other means.

Le Wuumross
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Re: Breian

Postby Le Wuumross » 2016-09-02, 20:17

Let's move on shall we

NOUNS
From the original post, not much has changed. Articles remain as the main way to discern case, amount, definiteness and gender. In this way, noun words are unaffected by any fusional means. Meanwhile, the articles are; prepositions that exist attach to the article as suffixes. This means hundreds of article/auxiliary words to define noun roles in a sentence.
















NOMINATIVEACCUSATIVEDATIVEGENITIVEINSTRUMENTAL
PERSONAL
Definiteá
Indefiniteénrénránán
Pluralléuréuéuvéu
NATURAL
Definitelerelesnesves
Indefiniteenrenlennefven
Plurallwnerenenewnevene
MATERIAL
Definiteylryléléulvyl
Indefinitejyljuljélhéulvél
Plurallusrushushuvus
NEUTRAL
Definiterwlwvw
Indefiniteánránrwnnwvw
Plurallasrashwhwva


And so we have the nominative and accusative case, pretty straight forward, the dative case for indirect objects, the instrumental case for the specific situation of 'using' as a preposition, which probably occurred due to articles and prepositions being moulded together somehow...probably. And then we have the genitive case, for use in most cases related to 'of'!

Using these articles, we can also form some pronouns. By using either the prefix 'fe', 'se' or 'de', one can form any pronoun necessary, such a definite 'I', indefinite 'I' and plural 'I'.

This also brings me onto an extra point I left out about word formation. If ever the letter 'e' follows a fricative or a nasal, precedes an approximant and a vowel, then the 'e' falls out the word and is indicated as a '.'
Observe:
fe-lé = f.lé = /flɛ/ (first person singular pronoun)

Makes words flow I little better, I thought. Plus, nasals always fall in line with the fricative it is adjacent to.
Observe!
en-bam = embam = /ʌm'ɸaːm/ (at/beside the indefinite natural location... like a rock)

Observations end!

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Re: Breian

Postby Llawygath » 2016-09-04, 2:53

Why isn't the letter i used? The vowel orthography seems to have been inspired by Welsh (?), but Welsh only uses w as a vowel because the usual six vowel letters (a e i o u y) aren't/weren't enough. (or so is my simplistic understanding.) Not that everything has to be realistic, of course -- judging by the earlier exchange -- but it does seem odd to me.

I'm also wondering why /p t k/ aren't written <p t k>. <bb dd xx> look a bit cumbersome.

Le Wuumross wrote:As before, the consonants are mostly fricatives to give the language a fluid sound to it

Fricatives are fluid? I thought it was approximants and vowels that were fluid, and fricatives not so much. Shows what I know...?

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Re: Breian

Postby Le Wuumross » 2016-09-04, 13:12

Llawygath wrote:Why isn't the letter i used? The vowel orthography seems to have been inspired by Welsh (?), but Welsh only uses w as a vowel because the usual six vowel letters (a e i o u y) aren't/weren't enough. (or so is my simplistic understanding.) Not that everything has to be realistic, of course -- judging by the earlier exchange -- but it does seem odd to me.


Aye, it be true. My orthography is less about defining sounds absolutely and more generating a feel. I didn't have to use 'á' or 'é' either, I still have 'o' and 'i'. If I wanted to make it simpler so I don't have to press 'Alt Gr' I could have my seven vowels correspond to 'a e i o u y w' very easily. Maybe I'm trying to make it look less Anglo-centric without actually making it less Anglo-centric.

Llawygath wrote: I'm also wondering why /p t k/ aren't written <p t k>. <bb dd xx> look a bit cumbersome.


The main reason is /p t k/ never appear anywhere apart from beginning a word. It highlights in the orthography of the language there's no need to construct a new glyph for a sound that doesn't occur much. Again, it's the feel of the words.

Le Wuumross wrote:As before, the consonants are mostly fricatives to give the language a fluid sound to it

Fricatives are fluid? I thought it was approximants and vowels that were fluid, and fricatives not so much. Shows what I know...?[/quote]

No no, you are probably correct. I'm no master of terminology, heck I give the term 'approximants' loosely to j,v,l,r when they aren't quite so easily to categorise. When I say fluid, again it's the feel. 'Essay' is a nicer word to say than 'happy' because you're not causing a stop in airflow.

Although, I suppose fricatives do slow airflow. In the end, I can't quite get my head around a voiceless nasal and so for now I'll keep voicelessness alive through fricatives.

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Re: Breian

Postby hashi » 2016-09-05, 2:40

Le Wuumross wrote:
Llawygath wrote: I'm also wondering why /p t k/ aren't written <p t k>. <bb dd xx> look a bit cumbersome.

The main reason is /p t k/ never appear anywhere apart from beginning a word. It highlights in the orthography of the language there's no need to construct a new glyph for a sound that doesn't occur much. Again, it's the feel of the words.

How did the word-initial voiceless stops develop? Did they disappear from other positions (through voicing or elision or other means), or did they devoice from the voiced counterparts (ie. /b d g/). If the latter, why not keep them spelled with whatever letters are used to represent /b d g/ (presumably <b d x>)? Just because its a new phone, doesn't mean it necessarily needs a need grapheme to represent it. Thinking about it this way will give your language more depth and history behind it too ;)

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Re: Breian

Postby Koko » 2016-09-05, 7:19

There aren't voiced counterparts. <b d x> are respectively /ɸ θ x/. However, while i like artlangs, and the idea of making them look aesthetically pleasing to the creator, i too agree a fine history behind features adds to the conlang.

Since the plosives are represented as <bb dd xx>, it is possible to say that at an "earlier stage" of Breian, these were the affricates /pɸ tθ kx/ and <b d x> were /p t k/. Word-inital affricates became deaffricated, and in all other positions merged with <b d x>, which were then lenited to the phones /ɸ θ x/.

It's up to you the creator if you want a history, but i'm all for leaving it at "it looks nice to me" because artlangs are literally my life! (Seriously, my very first conlangs were artlangs, and my first attempts at realistic conlanging felt wrong and too structured.)


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