(no subject)

2013-Feb-08, Friday 22:24
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* I've mostly been working on Jan12 and Jan29 (which I need to post something on), but spent the last couple days on Feb07, even though it's less interesting. It has ergative case-marking but accusative verb agreement. The tenses and moods are imperative, present, past, future-subjunctive, and contrafactual. Non-default aspects are marked by prefixes (dynamic verbs default to perfective and static verbs to imperfective). The perfective lacks the present while the imperfective and habitual lack the imperative. I still have to write up the phonology and the syntax.

* I'm going to Dallas on the 15th for ConDFW instead of Boston for Boskone.

* My sciatica has been acting up this week.
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Jan19 derives stems from roots using ablaut. The roots are mostly CVCVC with some CVC and maybe a few irregular ones. Historically, there are 3 vowels: *i, *a, and *u. They can appear as the following vowels:

Letter Short Long
i [i] [i:]
e [e] [e:]
æ [E]
a [a] [a:]
o [o] [O:]
u [u] [u:]

The grades determine which vowel appears for a given historical vowel at a given place in the paradigms.

Grade *i *a *u
1 [i] [a] [u]
2 [i:] [O:] [u:]
3 [E] [i] [o]
4 [a:] [e:] [O:]
0 0/[e] 0/[e] 0/[e]

Grade 0 = 0 or [e] depending on the rules for initial and medial clusters.

The stem paradigms are made up of C's, which tell where the consonants go, and grade numbers, which tell which vowel grade can appear. An |e| in a paradigm refers to [e].

Read more... )


2013-Jan-17, Thursday 22:46
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I've been working on a new language, Jan12, and translating the Relay 20 text into it. It's an offshoot of Dec29, which I don't think I've mentioned here.

The syntax is basically: Predicate Arguments, with the # arguments (= actual valence) from 0 to 3. Adjunct clauses and secondary predicates may be appended to the host clause. Each predicate also has a potential valence; when the actual valence isn't the expected value, it's marked as a suffix on the predicate. The expected value depends on the clause type, which is marked as a prefix on the predicate. If the type is main or subjunctive, the expected value = the potential valence but if the type is attributive (0-marked), coreferential, resultative, or imperative, the expected value = the potential valence - 1, making the last argument implicit. Argument role inversions are also marked as suffixes on the predicate (this part is still being worked on). There's a possessibility suffix which increases the potential valence in order to insert a possessor argument, e.g. cat (1) => cat+ (2) as in cat+ 1S "my cat" (kirke-n vii).

Either aspect or absolute tense is prefixed to each predicate, except that attributive predicates mostly have implicit aspect. The absolute tenses are used to establish the time, with subsequent clauses marking aspect. There's also a prefix for plural or pluractionality and maybe some for modality, process phases, and degree of comparison.

Jan06 Post C TAM

2013-Jan-12, Saturday 20:25
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Jan06 grammar is hierarchical with inverse marking. It also has noun classes.

Jan06 verbs have 4 aspects and 3 tenses. For each aspect or tense, there's a particular verb stem; either aspect or tense is marked, but not both. The tenses are absolute past, present, and future. The aspects are prospective, durative, perfect, and aorist; the implicit tense for these is relative to the context. Typically, a tense-marked clause will establish the time and be followed by aspect-marked clauses. Example:

3-see-Pst-1S c-cat. "I saw a cat."
3-hunt-Dur-NT m-mouse. "It was hunting a mouse."
Neg m-catch-Aor-OT. "It didn't catch it."
very fast-Dur-NT. "The mouse was very fast."

The moods are indicative, contrafactual, imperative, and subjunctive. Except for the indicative, the moods are marked by particles preposed to the verb. The stems marked for absolute tense are used only by the indicative and the contrafactual. The imperative implicitly has future time. The subjunctive, like the participial forms, has only relative time.

Subjunctive clauses can be used as temporal adjuncts. Here, the aspects act as relative tense markers: the perfect as relative past, the durative as relative present, and the prospective as relative future:

Ant-leave-Pst-M M-Mary Sub Ant-eat-Dur-J J-John.
"Mary left while John was eating."

Ant-leave-Pst-M M-Mary Sub Ant-eat-Prf-J J-John.
"Mary left after John had eaten."

Ant-leave-Pst-M M-Mary Sub Ant-eat-Pro-J J-John.
"Mary left before John ate."

The aorist can also be used:

Ant-eat-Dur-J J-John Sub Ant-leave-Aor-M M-Mary.
"John was eating when Mary left."
(or "John will be eating when Mary leaves.")

For reference, the tags are:

-Pst past
-Prs present
-Fut future
-Aor aorist
-Prf perfect
-Dur durative
-Pro prospective

Sub subjunctive

Ant- antipassive

Jan06 Post B

2013-Jan-10, Thursday 02:20
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Jan06 grammar is hierarchical with inverse marking. It also has noun classes.

Common nouns contain a class marker; this allows them to form plurals by changing the class marker. The class markers correspond to the class agreement
affixes on the verb. There's no class agreement with noun modifiers.

For each class, there may be a number of subclasses. There are two kinds of subclasses: lexical and derived. Some of the latter being based on verb roots
including the action nominals and the participant nominals. The latter are:


There are other derived subclasses such as


Also, ethnic roots combines with classes for language, territory, & people.

The lexical subclasses are (so far)

Description Example Glosses
human, unknown - stranger
man - man, father
woman - woman, mother
child -
elderly or invalid -
large animal - lion, giraffe, crocodile
small animal - mouse
bird - parrot
water animal - fish, squid
invertebrate - cockroach, snail
other animate - fire, ghost
plant, live - tree, herb
plant matter - wood
parts - leg of person, leg of stool
food -
medicine -
mineral - rock
artifact - knife
structure - house
place -
time/event -
miscellaneous -

The singular and plural classes, along with their subclass sets, haven't been determined yet.

Jan06 Post A

2013-Jan-08, Tuesday 23:53
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Jan06 grammar is hierarchical with inverse marking. It also has noun classes.

In Jan06, at most one core argument phrase is allowed per clause (oblique arguments are treated as separate clauses). In a finite bivalent clause where both arguments are 3rd person, the more topical argument must have already been introduced in a previous clause, which may be a topic clause if needed. There's a sort of switch reference marked on the verb for that argument: if it keeps the same more topical argument as the preceding clause, the -OT (Old Topic) suffix appears, but if the argument is the less topical argument of the preceding clause (including the argument of a topic clause), the -NT (New Topic) suffix appears.

The less topical argument of the clause is marked by a verb prefix; if it's anaphoric, its class agreement prefix appears; otherwise, the 3- prefix does. When class agreement is used, the corresponding noun phrase appears only when needed for disambiguation. The inversion prefix (direct or inverse) occurs along with the argument prefix.

The suffix may be local (1st, 2nd, or inclusive person) instead; in this case, it's not clear yet if OT- and NT- prefixes can appear. There are 1st person prefixes which can appear only with 2nd person suffixes.

In a finite univalent clause, the sole argument is marked by a suffix; this can be local, -OT, -NT, -3, or a class agreement suffix. The finite univalent clauses include those with the passive, antipassive, reflexive, and auxiliary forms of bivalent verbs.

In a participial bivalent clause, the argument suffix on the verb is the same as for finite univalent verbs. Inversion is marked along with the syntactical function (attributive, depictive, or infinitive) prefix.

A participial univalent verb has only the syntactical function prefix.

Note: in the examples, single letters are used to represent the not yet defined class agreement affixes.

3-see-Pst-1S cat-c. "I saw a cat."
3-hunt-Dur-NT mouse-m. "It was hunting a mouse."
Neg m-catch-Pst-OT. "It didn't catch it."
very fast-Dur-NT. "The mouse was very fast."

A topic clause contains a particle instead of a verb; if the topic is indefinite, the particle Gnr is used, while if the topic is definite, the particle Top is used. Compare the following two examples:

Top elephant, "As for the elephant,"
Aux-want-Dur-J John-J Inf.Inv-see-NT. "John wants to see it."
Hab 3-like-Dur-NT animal-P. "He likes animals."

Gnr elephant, "As for elephants,"
Aux-want-Dur-J John-J Inf.Inv-see-NT. "John wants to see one."
Hab 3-like-Dur-NT animal-P. "He likes animals."
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I'm not sure which convention, if any, I'm going to attend in February. Boskone sent me an invitation yesterday to fill out the participant survey, so I may go there after all, if they decide I'm a participant and the sciatica permits. Otherwise, I might try to go to ConDFW, also if the sciatica permits, since it's a bit less expensive and I wouldn't need to look for a roommate.

(no subject)

2012-Dec-14, Friday 22:19
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* Lately, the sciatica has been making it hard to get things done, although I did get to the courthouse downtown for jury duty last week. Fortunately, I got a ride to the pharmacy and grocery store this week.

* I've been working on conlang sketches, but nothing of note. I even had to borrow from K'tle phonology to get the latest morphology to work.

(no subject)

2012-Nov-01, Thursday 20:58
qiihoskeh: insect friend (cockroach)
* I got back from Necronomicon late Sunday night. I bought 4 books there.

* I've been working on Oct23. There are no number inflections; person marking on the verbs is supposed to be derived from honorific particles; their placement determines grammatical voice. There can also be honorific prefixes on nouns. There are 9 cases. If a noun phrase appears in a core case and the noun is one of obligatory possession, the person agreement indicates the possessor. The tense and evidentiality endings are fused. The current morphophonology (phonomorphology?) uses vowel deletion and umlaut.

* Due to the latest "upgrade", I have to use Semagic to post.

(no subject)

2012-Sep-22, Saturday 00:22
qiihoskeh: insect friend (cockroach)
My recent SF/F novel reading is
Polaris, Jack McDevitt
Return to Mars, Ben Bova
Lifelode, Jo Walton
Shadow of a Demon, E. Rose Sabin
The Sorceress of Karres, Eric Flint and Dave Freer

I've also read Fountain of Age (stories), by Nancy Kress. I got that and the 1st 3 of the novels above at Chicon, along with a new copy of Passage (Connie Willis).

Chicon 7

2012-Sep-09, Sunday 00:08
qiihoskeh: (journal name)
I got back Tuesday afternoon. The convention was pretty good. I had to stand in the back for most of the Hugos but had a better view than when I was sitting. I'll try to post some more convention details later, but no guarantees.

(no subject)

2012-Aug-26, Sunday 20:22
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* I spent a couple days on C5, which is mostly like C2, but has a pronunciation for the logographics, and biconsonantal roots.

* Then I started Aug23, which is more conventional. It has an alphabetic orthography and drops the polysemy but retains the syntactical function inflection in the form of vowel gradation and the 10 pronoun set (the coreferential pronouns 6 and 7 are specifically relevant). Also, the word order is pragmatically determined.

* I've almost finished my schedule for Chicon 7; it uses a lot of color-coding due to the layout of the Hyatt. It was difficult getting down to only 3 program items per time slot.


2012-Aug-13, Monday 23:36
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Here are my notes for C4. The syntax is SVO Accusative and Head-Modifier.

There are 4 generations of nouns, 3 of univalent verbs, and 1 of bivalent verbs. Univalent verbs are assigned to generations 0, 1, and 2 while bivalent verbs are assigned to generation 3.

The root symbols are a-z, A-Z, and 0-9; this makes a total of 496 roots. The digits, noun generation 0, are used for the pronouns, which are the same as for C2.

Some roots are derivational and must be followed by another root. Each derivational root occupies 4 generations of the same root, so that the base root to which the derivational root is prefixed can be any generation.

The cements have been replaced by switches, which select one of 2 functions for the following root, as well as the generation for that root. The functions are noun modifier or additional noun modifier and main verb or additional main level verb. Only the 1st 4 switches are used with nouns; with verbs, the 1st 4 indicate modifier level, while the 2nd 4 indicate main level. Switch 0 is null. The switch symbols are
    1 :    2 @    3 +    4 $    5 %    6 =    7 &

A noun modifier has an object noun, iff bivalent, but the object noun can't be modified.

Embedded clauses begin with { and end with }.

A relative clause may be used in place of a noun-modifier. A relative clause is constructed as an embedded clause containing a host argument pronoun referring to the head of the clause (6 if the head is the subject, otherwise 7).

A complement clause may be used in place of a noun and its modifiers. It's constructed as an embedded clause. It _may_ contain a host argument pronoun to refer to the other argument of the verb.

Since nouns can't be used as predicates, there's a copula which acts like a bivalent verb syntactically.


2012-Aug-13, Monday 04:55
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I've spent some time working on C3. It has some Lin features, but with differences:
(a) "cements", which mark the "generation" of both the preceding root or head root and the following root.
(b) root class is determined by syntax: component order and a choice of "internal" or "external" cements.
(c) 2 root classes instead of 3
(d) 2 generations instead of 3, so there are only 8 cements instead of 18 (tetrasemy instead of enneasemy)
(e) content roots are single symbols: a-z, A-Z and 0-9, so there are 62 symbols instead of 26; this is what allows me to reduce the generations and classes.

Other features (such as tense) are more like C2.


2012-Aug-10, Friday 16:42
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I spent a few hours to day working on C2. C2 is also known as VAN for Verbs, Adjectives, Nouns, although it's not accurate: Adjectives includes all univalent verbs and Verbs includes prepositions. The goal of C2 is to make a Lin-type concise conlang, even if it's mostly different from Lin. I'm not sure how to present it in detail, but here's an outline.

It's written with 90 symbols plus punctuation. For convenience, ASCII characters are substituted. Pronunciation isn't known, but the symbols might be treated as a syllabary.

The 52 letters occur in pairs and represent content word sets, each set (potentially) containing a verb, adjective, and noun root. Each content word is prefixed by a special symbol which specifies which lexical class (V, A, N) the word belongs to and what its syntactical function is. The functions are noun, attributive, resultative, adjunctive, and predicative. 3 of the 15 possible combinations don't occur and lexical noun functioning as syntactical noun is unmarked.

Conjunctions consist of & (ampersand) followed by a single letter.

Single digits are used as pronouns when prefixed like nouns. Cardinal numbers are strings of digits prefixed like adjectives.

There are a number of single symbol suffixes, used for tense, definiteness, etc. and a few other symbols.

Proper names (and any borrowed word) are enclosed in quotes and otherwise work like content words.

"Caesar"|dc 9*[fr%^0. "With Caesar leader, we shall fear nothing."

C0 Morphology

2012-Aug-05, Sunday 16:19
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I've been working on C0 this weekend. The phonology and the borrowed vocabulary are similar to C1. The inflected word classes are noun, adjective, verb, and postposition. All roots end in consonants (more-or-less). Most class-dependent inflections are suffixes.

Nouns are inflected for number and function (singular, plural, copular, attributive, infinitive, and adjunctive), but not case; this allows the obviation indexes to be appended to the noun. One of the indexes also marks the noun as the recipient or location argument.

Postpositions are inflected for singular, plural, copular, attributive, depictive, and resultative. Stative and inceptive verbs can be derived from postpositions.

Verb forms belong to either the independent order (finite and adjunctive forms) or the coreferential order (infinitives and everything else). Finite verbs are inflected for tense or mood (past, present, future, subjunctive, and imperative) and grammatical voice/alignment (direct, inverse, and reflexive). Adjunctive forms are inflected for aspect (retrospective or stative, progressive or inceptive, and prospective) and voice. Infinitives are inflected for voice. The remaining forms (singular, plural, copular, attributive, depictive, and resultative) are inflected for aspect.

Verbs also distinguish argument structure, the major difference being valence.

Adjectives are similar to static univalent verbs except that they have forms for manner adverbs, lack imperative forms, and have simpler depictive and resultative forms.

Polarity, contrafactual mood, and personal agreement are marked by prefixes.

Personal agreement is marked on bivalent, trivalent, and independent order univalent forms. Bivalent and trivalent verbs can also have bilocal person prefixes. 3rd person markers (proximative, inanimate, or one of the indexes) can be prefixed only if no local argument (1st person, 2nd person, or inclusive person) appears and only if no corresponding noun phrase appears. Although dependent marking is effectively dative, head marking is secundative, the 2nd argument marked on the verb being the recipient.


2012-Jul-31, Tuesday 00:59
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Since I've been working on it, I might as well mention C1, a not very naturalistic conlang.

C1 borrows its noun-pronominal-quantifier system from MNCL (an old project of mine) but has a new verb morphology and makes the lexical classes morphologically significant. It uses indexes to obviate 3rd person pronoun ambiguities. Most vocabulary is borrowed; I should relex it eventually.

The nominal system uses 3 cases + a copular form for the final words of phrases and the attributive form for preceding words; these are marked by vowels and the stems end in consonants. There are 4 plurals, marked by -VCC or -VC pre-final suffixes. The genitive and partitive use similar suffixes.

C1 has a fluid-S alignment WRT cases. For trivalent verbs, the cases system is dative but verb morphology is secundative. Bivalent verbs are split into a couple types: agent, patient verbs and relational agent/patient, location verbs. Grammatical voice isn't marked, but determined (for non-finite verbs) by the cases present.

Finite verbs are inflected for tense or mood (past, present, future, subjunctive, and imperative) and non-finite verbs for aspect (retrospective, progressive, and prospective). Finite verbs are also partially marked for one of the arguments: reflexive, local singular, and local plural suffixes are possible (a 1st or 2nd person pronoun must appear in order to determine the local person). There are also prefixes, such as negative polarity and contrafactual mood.

Adpositions can be inflected similarly to non-finite verbs, taking endings for depictive, resultative, infinitive, and participial, the last being declined.

(no subject)

2012-Jul-14, Saturday 18:20
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I've been working on a number of sketches, none of them going very far yet. One is yet another attempt at triconsonantal roots (TCR7). It's probably better than the other attempts, but that's not saying much. Another (KL-5) combines features of various other projects. It has a K/L pronoun system, an MNCL-type morphosyntax, and it might use noun indexing, although not exactly like Apr20.

Content words consist of an initial C representing a pronoun or an index, any number of VXC medials representing the content (including TAM), and a final VX specifying the syntactical function, including case.

K4 Nouns etc.

2012-Jun-30, Saturday 19:34
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
First, there are some changes to the verb: mainly a matter of which things are 0-marked. The KS- marker is now a prefix while the stative aspect for static verbs and the retrospective aspect for dynamic verbs are 0-marked.

Bivalent nouns take suffixes marking the possessor. These are the same as the verb's object suffixes and for 3rd person, which is 0-marked, the possessor (an absolutive noun phrase) follows the possessum. Univalent nouns don't have possessors unless marked with an h/a- prefix, in which case they act like bivalent nouns. There's no longer a genitive case. Example: |asfarmo| (a-sifar-mo) "our house".

Nouns aren't further marked, but the case markers (ergative and dative), determiners (definite article, specific article, cataphoric article, demonstrative, and content question determiner), some quantifiers (such as the j/y/i- singular marker), and the generic marker (w/v/o-) are clitics; these tend to combine into a single word preceding the noun. For example, |bené sifar| "at the house" (be=ne=j) and gwa=j=w=bo "what kind of place" as in |mé magwaybo?| "What kind of place are we at?" (Note: ma = iNclusive Plural, mé is present tense. Actually, I'm still not sure about this example.) And I should say, "and sometimes including the noun".

There's a dummy noun n(o), used to form pronouns from determiners and quantifiers: |nen| "they", |nén| "he/she/it", |sin| "these/those", |sín| "this/that", |gwan| approximately "who(m)", and |gón| approximately "what" (gwa=w=no). These last 2 are not actually human and non-human, but specific and generic.

K4 Verb Morphology

2012-Jun-27, Wednesday 02:36
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
The verb stem (a root possibly with a derivational prefix) is modified for the semantic role of the subject. This is done by replacing one of the stem short vowels (the prefix vowel if any, else the last vowel of the root including otherwise deleted vowels) with a long vowel or diphthong. There are 4 roles: AGT (actor/agent/donor), PAT (patient/theme), LOC (location/recipient), and neutral (unmarked).

Like K3, K4 uses a K/L person system (see previous entry). These appear as affixes. The possible person and number combinations are KS (K-person Singular), KP, LS, LP, NP, and SS (Same Subject, technically 3rd person but not treated as such). There's also a Reflexive suffix.

Independent Order forms are split into those with no person affixes and those with at least one. The former are used when all verb arguments are either phrases or omitted and consists of the neutral stem; the other stems are used otherwise. The first affix is the subject prefix, chosen according to the person hierarchy K# > L# > SS and NP > SS. Any other person arguments are marked with suffixes; any location/recipient appears first and any agent/donor appears last (K# and NP naturally don't appear as suffixes here).

Imperative Order forms are a subset of the Independent Order forms; the difference in interpretation is due to the context.

Participial Order forms use a coreferential prefix: either HA (Host Agent) or HP (Host Patient). The suffixes may include K# and NP as well as the others. The neutral stem isn't used.

Attributive Order forms are like Participial Order forms except that the coreferential prefixes are replaced by aspect prefixes, these being RET (retrospective), IPF (imperfective), and PRO (prospective) for dynamic verbs. Static verbs usually take the STA (stative) prefix.


qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)

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