Kota-Ebau wrote:Imagine: "Mjoǯeckö" means Cat. The "-ö" ending is the Common gender, used for animals and for talking about someone(s) whose name(s) you don't know. Imagine I follow your advice and I say "Mjoǯeck". And you might be saying "Why not?". Well, I can't do that because the "-ck" suffix is the Pacientive Case.
I can give you lots of more examples. It happens almost always when you remove the gender ending.
If I understand the problem correctly:Mjoǯeckö
is cat (mjoǯeck cat
+ ö common gender
You don't want to remove ö common gender
and make it mjoǯeck cat
would look like mjoǯe ?
+ ck pacientive case
and, assuming you do have a word mjoǯe
, it would therefore be ambiguous.
I can see your point (some natural languages with grammatical declinations do have lots of those types of situations and although context usually makes the meaning clear, they can seem especially confusing for people learning the language).
: veeta (second infinitive of veetma "spend") = to spendveeta
: vee (genitive of vesi "water") + -ta (abessive case) = without watersoolast
: soola- (genitive of sool "salt") + -st (elative case) = "from the salt"soolast
: soolas(e)- (genitive of soolane "briny, salty") + -t (partitive case) = "some briny, salty [thing]"värvitud:
värvi- (stem of värvima 'to color') + -tud (past participle) = "colored"värvitud:
värvi (genitive of värv 'color') + -tu (suffix: "without) + -d (plural marker) = "colorless" (plural)
What I don't understand is why you feel you have
to make the ending for mjoǯeck cat
or other words in your conlang represent gender. It's fine
to do that, but I don't see how it's required; it's not the only
option. You could instead make a rule (for example) that all case endings must end in a consonant and all words without case endings must end in a vowel, or something like that. (Or, all case endings must end in any particular set of sounds while all words without case endings must end in a different particular set of sounds; it doesn't have to be consonants and vowels.)
without case ending: always ends in a vowel (-V)
with case ending: always ends in a consonant (-C)
Nominative casemjoǯecke cat
(it could be any vowel, I chose -e randomly; your existing -ö also works)mjoǯe (not sure what it means)
Pacientive casemjoǯeckeck cat mjoǯeck (not sure what it means)
without case ending: always ends in a single consonant (-C) or a vowel (-V)
with case ending: always ends in two consonants (-CC)
, etc) cat mjoǯe (not sure what it means)
, etc) cat mjoǯeck (not sure what it means)
And so on. You could use any vowels (I chose e
randomly) and they don't have to indicate gender at all. Of course, if you want them to do, they can. But it's not necessary. So in other words, if avoiding the ambiguity of homonyms/heteronyms is your goal you can address that with the gendered endings you are describing, or with phonological rules (or, I'm sure, other ways as well).
Yet another option is to give nominative case, or whichever case currently has no ending, a fixed case ending of its own so that your language never has a word that is undeclined. My impression is that this is more or less what you have done, except that you have chosen to have that fixed ending also represent gender.