General Conlang Discussion

This forum is for constructed languages, both those invented by UniLang members and those already existing.

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linguoboy
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby linguoboy » 2017-03-01, 16:13

Suomalainen Varis wrote:I see. I'm not sure if I'll use it at all, because I'm not sure if stress can really makes any difference. I know that for English, certain words have the same written form, but the only difference is on the stress.

Most languages have some sort of stress, they just don't necessarily have word stress. And if they do have word stress, it's not necessarily distinctive. It may simply be fixed (as in Irish, Polish, Finnish, etc.).

The basic purpose of stress is to help a listener parse utterances. Without it, you end up with a monotonous stream of sound. If your language does not have stress of any kind, you might want to think about what other elements it has (prosodic or otherwise) which help listeners break down sentences and phrases and allow speakers to add emphasis. (In Irish, for instance, there are a lot of syntactic transformations which place emphasis on particular words and some words--notably pronouns--have distinct emphatic forms.)
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Suomalainen Varis » 2017-03-01, 16:33

Interesting. I think I'll use the fixed stress system for the first syllable instead of those rules.
So, what's the point in English about having stress systems that distinguish certain words (for example: OVERflow, overFLOW) if English has a SVO? Isn't that possible to recognize the word only by its position in a sentence?

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby linguoboy » 2017-03-01, 17:04

Suomalainen Varis wrote:So, what's the point in English about having stress systems that distinguish certain words (for example: OVERflow, overFLOW) if English has a SVO? Isn't that possible to recognize the word only by its position in a sentence?

1. Languages are not teological.
2. Languages have a lot of built-in redundancy.
3. As I've said already, stress is one of the ways listeners recognise where the sentences even are.
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How to use toki pona while avoiding its "riddle" aspect?

Postby langmon » 2018-11-10, 11:08

Toki pona is a constructed language containing less than 150 words.
Many of them have got multiple and very broad-scope meanings.

For the purpose of expressing more complex ideas, compound words are used.
So alcohol for example (mentioning it for language purposes only) would be called "crazy water". But of course this is (by design) vague to a certain extent.

There are some aspects of toki pona I really appreciate. It's just that at many times, reading anything written in it can have a major "riddle" aspect.

This is an explanatory example of a toki pona text (written in very simple English, and one wouldn't necessarily express it in toki pona the very, very same way, although the underlying idea still is the same).

"Today I eat some food. Its color is green red. I also drink some drink. It is nice. It is hot. Hot food made the drink. I go somewhere. A place with trees. Nice animal move".

These are some possible interpretations of that example.

"Today I eat some food. Its color is green red." --> Anything with a brown color [toki pona doesn't contain a specific word for it, instead, green and red are combined], it could be bread, chocolate, biscuits, or anything else.

"I also drink some drink. It is nice. It is hot. Hot food made the drink." --> Here, at least there is a high probability of that drink being tea. But what remains is which tea it was. Was it the one that literally and primarily is called tea? Or was it anything that is called tea in a broader sense, while not being the black or green one? And if yes, what was it? There are countless possibilities.

But it also could have been hot chocolate, coffee, guarana, or possibly even hot milk...

"I go somewhere. A place with trees." --> Park? Forrest? Any other place where there are some trees?

"Nice animal move". --> Squirrel? Cat? Bird?

But there also are many other possible interpretations. So I wonder if there is a way to use toki pona without that "riddle" solving aspect. I.e. to simply communicate. And I do know that this question is a difficult one, it even is more difficult than it seems at first glance.
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How useful is Solresol?

Postby langmon » 2018-11-10, 11:59

How useful is Solresol for the purpose of communicating with others who do not have any (high level advancement) common language?
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby razlem » 2018-11-15, 3:13

I know of absolutely no one who uses Solresol. You might find one or two enthusiasts online, but I don't think there's a living community :/
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby langmon » 2018-11-16, 7:29

razlem wrote:I know of absolutely no one who uses Solresol. You might find one or two enthusiasts online, but I don't think there's a living community :/


I also don't know of any big community of Solresol or anything like that.
But I still asked, because "not knowing if there is one" isn't the same as "knowing that there isn't one" :). Besides, at least to me, Solresol still is, to a certain extent, among the Major Historical Significance Conlangs even today. If it wasn't, then maybe I wouldn't even have heard of it.
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Re: How to use toki pona while avoiding its "riddle" aspect?

Postby langmon » 2018-11-16, 7:32

SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:Toki pona is a constructed language containing less than 150 words.
Many of them have got multiple and very broad-scope meanings.[...]
But there also are many other possible interpretations. So I wonder if there is a way to use toki pona without that "riddle" solving aspect. I.e. to simply communicate. And I do know that this question is a difficult one, it even is
more difficult than it seems at first glance.


Someone I recently talked to provided a big puzzle piece. (Or if the idea of some puzzle pieces being bigger than others sounds a bit strange to some of you, you could also think of it as Several Puzzle Pieces Joint Together :)).

This person told me that this riddle aspect is there _by design_ and that it cannot be avoided, or something similar.

Puzzle piece of mine: Fully agreeing that in many situations, this is the case. But we got other ways of communication, too, that can be used 'longside toki pona :).
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby IpseDixit » 2018-12-24, 16:44

Would this be a particularly weird vowel inventory for a natural language?

/ɐ/ /e/ /o/ /y/

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Ser » 2018-12-24, 16:58

IpseDixit wrote:Would this be a particularly weird vowel inventory for a natural language?

/ɐ/ /e/ /o/ /y/

Definitely. I don't think front rounded vowels like /y/ ever appear without some vowel that can serve as some sort of unrounded counterpart, such as /y/ without /i/, or something like /i y ø a o u/ (no /e/ or /ɛ/). I would love to be proven wrong if anyone knows of a natural language like this.

I think /i y e ɐ o/ would be perfectly fine, on the other hand.

EDIT: Okay, I suppose there must be languages with a rounded schwa that could be described as being "/i y ø a o u/", but here I mean /ø/ as truly a front rounded vowel.
Last edited by Ser on 2018-12-24, 18:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby IpseDixit » 2018-12-25, 1:00

What about /ɐ/ /e/ /ø/ /o/?

---

Also, since I'm entertaining the idea of having another go at conlanging and one of the few things I know about my possible future conlang is that it will isolating, do you know some good books that explain how isolating languages work?

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Dormouse559 » 2018-12-25, 4:59

IpseDixit wrote:What about /ɐ/ /e/ /ø/ /o/?

I would expect those to spread toward the corners of the vowel space. /i/, /u/ and /a/ are such a common part of vowel systems because they're as distinct as possible. We're talking about phonemes right now, so there's no reason why you couldn't have a phoneme with both [i] and [e] as allophones, one with both [u] and [o] as allophones, etc. And there are other options, too, since these phones don't have to land exactly in the corners of the vowel space. Take English /i/, which is realized as [ɪi̯] in several dialects.
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Ser » 2018-12-25, 17:27

IpseDixit wrote:What about /ɐ/ /e/ /ø/ /o/?

---

Also, since I'm entertaining the idea of having another go at conlanging and one of the few things I know about my possible future conlang is that it will isolating, do you know some good books that explain how isolating languages work?

You already know some Indonesian, that's a good start. I don't think there's any such books, but I'd recommend looking at the grammars of languages like Mandarin, Classical Chinese, Vietnamese and Khmer, Thai, or those of the Oceanic family and the Khoisan area (multiple families). Some Niger-Congo languages are surprisingly very isolating, notably Yoruba.

Would you like me to write a post broadly comparing Mandarin, Classical Chinese and Ju|'hoan (a Kx'a language from the Khoisan area)? I'd find that fun at least.

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Naava » 2018-12-25, 21:56

Ser wrote:Would you like me to write a post broadly comparing Mandarin, Classical Chinese and Ju|'hoan (a Kx'a language from the Khoisan area)? I'd find that fun at least.

I would! :D

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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby Dormouse559 » 2018-12-25, 22:31

Ser wrote:Would you like me to write a post broadly comparing Mandarin, Classical Chinese and Ju|'hoan (a Kx'a language from the Khoisan area)? I'd find that fun at least.

Oh, would you? That’d be cool. 8-)
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby razlem » 2018-12-26, 8:51

Ser wrote:Would you like me to write a post broadly comparing Mandarin, Classical Chinese and Ju|'hoan (a Kx'a language from the Khoisan area)? I'd find that fun at least.

Yaaaaaas
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Re: General Conlang Discussion

Postby IpseDixit » 2018-12-26, 16:47

I concur with the others

Ser wrote:You already know some Indonesian


Not really :lol:


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