General Conlang Discussion

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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.)
"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

Suomalainen Varis
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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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linguoboy
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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.
"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


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