Vroja

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ShounenRonin

Vroja

Postby ShounenRonin » 2016-04-20, 19:34

Hello! Let me introduce you to Vroja, a conlang I am working on!

I am creating a new conlang and I wanted to do things differently.

Pretty much all of my older conlangs were loosely based on the Spanish alphabet, or the vowels at least and I like conjugating verbs.

With this new conlang, I decided to be different and use entirely different phonemes for the most part and try to create my perfect language.

The rules of the new conlang is loosely based on Austronesian with some Spanish grammar mixed in.

The goal is to be a unique sounding language, particularly with vowels since my limited experiences with other languages all seem to have the same vowel sounds: ɑ e i o u?

Vroja is an SOV language. I have not decided on sentence structure, but I plan for there to be some freedom in word order. I am leaning towards polysynthetic or inflecting. Honestly, I do not know how polysynthetic differs from agglutination.

So anyway, here are the phonemes. Tell me what you think and what does and does not work!

A- æ, ə at the end of a word
E- e, ə at the end of a word
I- ɪ, [i]at the end of a word
O- oʊ
U- u
J- j

Consonants:

B- b
C- tʃ
D- ð
G- ʒ
H- h
Q- k
R- r
L- l
M- m
N- n
V- v
Z- ʃ

Aj- aɪ
Ej- eɪ
Oj- ɔɪ

As you may notice, there is no t or p as I simply dislike those sounds (with the exception of tl as seen in Nahuatl.) When Vroja translates a word that has a t or p in it, it replaces p with a b and a t with a ð (or tʃ if the word ends with a t.)

Now, here is a sample of the vocabulary.

Hrajo- I, me, my
Beja- you, yours (informal)
Vetu- you, yours (formal)
Jora- he, she, it

Vlaj (nominal case)
Miz (object case, dont remember what its called.)
Vli- (shows alienable possession), of
Naj- (inalienable possesoon), of

Caj- Hello, bye
Vrej- Yes
Jervo- No

How do you feel about the phonemes? I tried deviated from my usual Spanish-esque phonology.

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Re: Vroja

Postby hashi » 2016-04-20, 22:02

How can you have <vetu> if you have no /t/ or <t>? How is <hr> pronounced?

I think trying to be as far from Spanish as you can has not really done you any favours. Why not just create a balanced phonology of sounds you can pronounce/like, and ignore what other languages have used? The main thing that irks me about this language is that you've included the voiced version of some fricatives (and not the voiceless equivalent), or vice versa with other consonants. I mean, it's up to you, but I prefer languages that have a more balanced phonology. A few outliers here and there is ok, but this language seems to be all outliers. Whats with the random /oʊ/ for <o> for example? :P

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Re: Vroja

Postby Dormouse559 » 2016-04-20, 22:37

Besides what hashi has said, I find it useful to start with the phonology and develop a romanization later. The Latin alphabet was well suited to represent Latin, not necessarily other languages, so if you use that as your starting point, you will inevitably fall victim to the limits that places on you. Why, for instance, must the language have only five "basic" vowel sounds?

This document may help you with determining what's naturalistic for vowels. It has a sampling of various vowel inventories from a diverse group of languages. As the page shows, languages have been attested with as few as three vowel phonemes and as many as 13 or more. This is by no means all that's possible, but it could be a starting point.
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Re: Vroja

Postby hashi » 2016-04-20, 23:48

This thread should probably also be moved from the translations subforum :P

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Re: Vroja

Postby Dormouse559 » 2016-04-21, 0:09

Good point. Consider it done.
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Re: Vroja

Postby ShounenRonin » 2016-04-21, 1:25

Thanks!

Yeah, I never caught the inconsistency with <vetu>, thanks for pointing that out.

I will create a new alphabet eventually, but I am using Latin script as a placeholder.

Hr is pronounced like Hrothgar from Beowulf. It really only works when it starts a word.

As for basic vowels, it seems to be brought over from Spanish. I think I will add two or three other vowels to the current set.

I really like tʃ being represented by a C. Would it make sense to have a Tl as a separate letter, especially if there is otherwise no T in the language?

I agree with hashi about the fricatives and other letters now that he points it out. It probably does not make sense to have ʃ without s and ð without θ. I like ð and v but I dislike θ and f.

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Re: Vroja

Postby hashi » 2016-04-21, 1:45

ShounenRonin wrote:Hr is pronounced like Hrothgar from Beowulf. It really only works when it starts a word.

Which is?

ShounenRonin wrote:I really like tʃ being represented by a C. Would it make sense to have a Tl as a separate letter, especially if there is otherwise no T in the language?

I've argued with myself about this for a long time. I have wanted to add <č> to my conlang, but since there is no <c>, I feel like it would be inconsistent to just randomly do so. If there was a historical reason for <č> being there and <c> not, sure, that could work, but currently it is unjustifiable in my mind. I feel even more so about digraphs where one of the graphemes doesn't otherwise exist. Although, this can be attested in natural languages, but usually where the orthography was more recently designed. Eg, Maori has the digraph <ng> for /ŋ/, while <g> nor /g/ are present in the language.

It's really up to you whether you want to add the <tl> or not - I wouldn't though. I would recommend against it unless you're able to explain why it's there :P

I agree with hashi about the fricatives and other letters now that he points it out. It probably does not make sense to have ʃ without s and ð without θ.

It is not so much that it doesn't make sense per se, but rather it is not so commonly attested in natural languages. The three most common consonants found in a very large majority of languages if you're interested is /p/, /t/, and /k/.

ShounenRonin

Re: Vroja

Postby ShounenRonin » 2016-04-21, 1:53

hashi wrote:
ShounenRonin wrote:Hr is pronounced like Hrothgar from Beowulf. It really only works when it starts a word.

Which is?

ShounenRonin wrote:I really like tʃ being represented by a C. Would it make sense to have a Tl as a separate letter, especially if there is otherwise no T in the language?

I've argued with myself about this for a long time. I have wanted to add <č> to my conlang, but since there is no <c>, I feel like it would be inconsistent to just randomly do so. If there was a historical reason for <č> being there and <c> not, sure, that could work, but currently it is unjustifiable in my mind. I feel even more so about digraphs where one of the graphemes doesn't otherwise exist. Although, this can be attested in natural languages, but usually where the orthography was more recently designed. Eg, Maori has the digraph <ng> for /ŋ/, while <g> nor /g/ are present in the language.

It's really up to you whether you want to add the <tl> or not - I wouldn't though. I would recommend against it unless you're able to explain why it's there :P

I agree with hashi about the fricatives and other letters now that he points it out. It probably does not make sense to have ʃ without s and ð without θ.

It is not so much that it doesn't make sense per se, but rather it is not so commonly attested in natural languages. The three most common consonants found in a very large majority of languages if you're interested is /p/, /t/, and /k/.


I guess <Hr> is out as a consonant.

Well, Vroja has no /p/ or /t/, but has a /k/. I guess I better add at least one of the other two.

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Re: Vroja

Postby Dormouse559 » 2016-04-21, 2:01

ShounenRonin wrote:Well, Vroja has no /p/ or /t/, but has a /k/. I guess I better add at least one of the other two.
Out of those three /t/ is THE most common. /p/ and /g/ are the stops most likely to be missing among languages that have a voicing contrast on plosives, so /b t d k g/ or /p b t d k/. Can't say whether lacking both is very common.
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Re: Vroja

Postby hashi » 2016-04-21, 2:21

ShounenRonin wrote:I guess <Hr> is out as a consonant.

How'd you jump from "what sound does it make" to that ^ conclusion?

ShounenRonin

Re: Vroja

Postby ShounenRonin » 2016-04-21, 2:22

How is this for a vowel set?

a, i, e, o, æ, aɪ, eɪ, aʊ

ShounenRonin

Re: Vroja

Postby ShounenRonin » 2016-04-21, 2:24

hashi wrote:
ShounenRonin wrote:I guess <Hr> is out as a consonant.

How'd you jump from "what sound does it make" to that ^ conclusion?


You asked what it sounds like, and I have the IPA for it in the OP.

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Re: Vroja

Postby hashi » 2016-04-21, 2:38

You do not. You have IPA for <h> and for <r>, but not for <hr>. Just because the two sounds are adjacent doesn't mean they'd be pronounced [hr] (a glottal fricative followed by a trill) - and that is not something you can always assume. It's not an easy combination to pronounce and would likely mutate.

Take for example <t> /t/ and <r> /ɹ/ in English. In most English dialects, these are not pronounced [tɹ], but usually something more like [tʃɹ].

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Re: Vroja

Postby ShounenRonin » 2016-04-21, 12:22

Oh, okay. <Hr> is pronounced [hr] if that helps.

I will scrap most consonant clusters since I do not like them with the exceptions of H, Q, and M, which can only form a cluster with an L, R, or the newly added W. I like Vr but not Vl.

Is there anything about Vroja you particularly like?

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Re: Vroja

Postby hashi » 2016-04-21, 20:12

So far we've only seen the phonology which I have already voiced my opinion thereof. I might like some of the grammar once/if you get around to posting it :)

ShounenRonin

Re: Vroja

Postby ShounenRonin » 2016-04-21, 23:04

hashi wrote:So far we've only seen the phonology which I have already voiced my opinion thereof. I might like some of the grammar once/if you get around to posting it :)


Sure!

I am going to revamp the phonology by using Nahuatl for inspiration.

I am not that familiar with language families outside of Indo-European, but I did read up on the Austronesian family and it seems the most interesting to me, but there is some influences from other languages such as Spanish, particularly with verb conjugations.

The sentence structure is SOV, but it is also loose, using cases to mark a variety of things such as subject and object.

Vroja has stative and dynamic verbs. I cannot really give you examples since I did not develop the vocabulary beyond pronouns and a few basic words.

Reduplication is used to make a word plural. Originally, beja was going to mean "You", so beja beja means "you all." I don't know if I am understanding reduplication. I heard Austronesian languages have we inclusive and we exclusive, but I chose to leave that out to prevent if from being too much like the RL language family.

The language has two genders: masculine and feminine and it pretty much works the same way it does in Spanish. -e is the masculine suffix while -i is feminine.

All verbs have an infinitive, which has the suffix -aj. These verb conjugations work similarly to Spanish, but with different suffixes, obviously.

I have not decided on sentence structure, but I am leaning towards either polysynthetic or inflecting. With all those verb conjugations and suffixes, it seems like it should be an inflecting language. I don't know much about how polysynthetic languages work.

So far, there are no tenses and I tend to develop that last since I feel like there are so many ways it can be done and there are so many types beyond just the basic past, present, and future.

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Re: Vroja

Postby hashi » 2016-04-21, 23:50

Looks like you understand reduplication fine. In most cases though, the reduplicated word is just a single word, so for example:
beja > bejebeja

In some languages, only part of the word is reduplicated too (such as the first or last syllables), eg:
beja > bebeja, or
beja > bejaja

That's something else you could consider, particularly for longer words.

So if you're copying verb patterns and genders from Spanish, I'd say it's a bit more than just "some influence" from Spanish, tbh.

Polysynthetic and inflection aren't 'sentence structures' per se, they're morphological models. They don't really describe how the sentence is structured really, they describe the way that morphemes interact with the word stems. For example, polysynthetic languages affix stems and morphemes into one unit (ie. potentially making whole sentences or phrases into a single 'word'). Isolating languages keep morphemes and stems separate from one another, and so on.

ShounenRonin

Re: Vroja

Postby ShounenRonin » 2016-04-22, 0:18

hashi wrote:Looks like you understand reduplication fine. In most cases though, the reduplicated word is just a single word, so for example:
beja > bejebeja

In some languages, only part of the word is reduplicated too (such as the first or last syllables), eg:
beja > bebeja, or
beja > bejaja

That's something else you could consider, particularly for longer words.

So if you're copying verb patterns and genders from Spanish, I'd say it's a bit more than just "some influence" from Spanish, tbh.

Polysynthetic and inflection aren't 'sentence structures' per se, they're morphological models. They don't really describe how the sentence is structured really, they describe the way that morphemes interact with the word stems. For example, polysynthetic languages affix stems and morphemes into one unit (ie. potentially making whole sentences or phrases into a single 'word'). Isolating languages keep morphemes and stems separate from one another, and so on.


I see.

So would you say there is too much of a Spanish influence in it?

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Re: Vroja

Postby hashi » 2016-04-22, 0:47

I am not a fan of Spanish personally, so any answer I give to that would be heavily biased :P

If you're going for something that is unique/less obviously based on Spanish, I would tone it down a bit. Perhaps try to variate some of the forms available, or the 'genders'. Speaking of genders, they could also just be called classes. Calling it a 'gender' is an especially (although not exclusively) European thing :P

ShounenRonin

Re: Vroja

Postby ShounenRonin » 2016-04-22, 0:50

hashi wrote:I am not a fan of Spanish personally, so any answer I give to that would be heavily biased :P

If you're going for something that is unique/less obviously based on Spanish, I would tone it down a bit. Perhaps try to variate some of the forms available, or the 'genders'. Speaking of genders, they could also just be called classes. Calling it a 'gender' is an especially (although not exclusively) European thing :P


Yes, that could work. There are genders based on animacy.


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