Delta Lexicon

2006-Jun-10, Saturday 14:41
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
This is a provisional Atle to English vocabulary.
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(no subject)

2006-Jun-08, Thursday 18:49
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* I have new shoes! A member of the club, S., had a pair that were too small for him.
* I think I'm going to work on the historical phonology for project Delta, construct a protolanguage (partially), and then work forward. The existing material will probably be reworked. For a start, some proposed vowel shifts:
*i  : i or 0
*e  : o or 0
*a  : o or 0
*o  : o or 0
*i: : i
*e: : e
*a: : a
*o: : u
Now I wonder how the four vowels + length system came about.

ETA: possibly preserve the original quality of short vowels when stressed.
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Here's the new version of the orthography and phonology.
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(no subject)

2006-May-06, Saturday 13:10
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* A. came by with cuban coffee again the other day.
* Today, I did a longer (2 A&C's) gongyo with 20 minutes of daimoku.
* The "Delta" superlative is probably done like the {'Yemls} superlative:
base form + quantifier + definite phrase

kittxa-n tu-hazla
hot-"1" Def-pepper
the hottest pepper

Edited to add:
* I should try to get all the comparison stuff for "Delta" or ??atle?? in one place. I need to pin down the exact constructions for the satisfactive and excessive. I also need to work out degree, absolute positives, and absolute superlatives.
* I met Am. here at the library today for coffee.
* I finished reading Something Rotten.

project Delta etc.

2006-May-03, Wednesday 20:30
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* I've finished Shadow of the Giant already.
* I tried to work on project Delta today, mainly the position of the inverse voice prefix. I think that depends on what it might be derived from: an auxiliary or a pronoun. I don't yet know which.

I think the comparative is worked out:
kittxa hale tu-patta tu-hazla
hot compared_to Def-potato Def-pepper
"The peppers are hotter than the potatoes."

fo-kulpi-k tu-hazla kittxa hale tu-patta
Pst-eat-1S Def-pepper hot compared_to Def-potato
"I ate the peppers that were hotter than the potatoes."

I think I might have interrogatives also:
la-ntla tu-kulpi-m
Ina-Int Def-eat-2S
"What are you eating?"
Note that the predicate follows the subject and must be definite.
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
This needs a little bit more work. I also need to figure out where it goes in the grammar.

Last Edited: 2006.May.07 Sun
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qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Last Edited: 2006.Apr.23 Sun

Here are a bunch of affixes, so far without much explanation. This entry is likely to change a lot. The order of the affixes is still in flux, except that |pa-| and |tu-| are always first. There's no sharp delineation between "affixes" and "clitics" so far.

For suffixes, a vowel may be appended to the stem (|o| or |i|, depending on the consonant). After a vowel (either original or appended), the suffix drops |o| or, in the case of |tzi| and |xi|, |i|.

Prefixes may also drop |o| and |i| under certain complicated conditions.

Actant Affixes

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The corresponding personal pronouns are:
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Other Affixes

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Tense, Aspect, and Mood Prefixes

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qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
NOTE: some of this applies to other versions as well.

Last Edited: 2006.Apr.29 Sat

Argument Structure

A word has one, two, or three actant slots, depending on its class. If it has two slots, one takes the "less animate" role when the stem has the direct form and the other the "more animate" role. The first will be called slot A1 and the second A2. If the word has three slots, there's also an "inanimate" role for the third slot, which will be called A3. When the stem has the inverse form, the roles for the first two slots are swapped.

The "more animate" roles include agent, actor (maybe), donor, perceiver, and possessor. The "less animate" roles include patient, theme, recipient, object of perception, and possessum. An object of donation is "inanimate".

The open lexical classes are verb and noun. A lexical verb can function as a syntactical verb or adjective and a lexical noun can function as a syntactical noun or verb (more or less).

With one exception, a word has the same form regardless of how it functions syntactically. A syntactical verb acts as a head for all unmarked slots, while a syntactical noun or adjective always acts as a dependent for slot A1, which must be unmarked. Any other unmarked slot of a noun or adjective acts as a head. The exception mentioned is when a noun or adjective has a second dependent slot, in which case the COA marker is used.

The inverse form of the stem must be used where needed to avoid marked A1 with unmarked A2 (for syntactical nouns and adjectives, this makes sure that A1 is dependent and A2 isn't). It also must be used to keep 1st person actants in A2.

There must be a phrase assigned to each unmarked slot of a syntactical verb, and to each slot except A1 of a syntactical noun or adjective. For the slots that are present and unmarked, argument phrases are assigned to them in this order: A3, A2, and A1. A probable exception is the postponement of complement clauses.


A Head word precedes its dependent phrases.

If the predicate phrase is definite, the subject phrase must also be definite. Because of this, there are three kinds of two-phrase clauses:
Identity: Definite Predicate + Definite Subject
Definition: Indefinite Predicate + Definite Subject
Existential: Indefinite Predicate and Subject

There are probably multiple "plural" particles for noun phrases. They appear after any definite particle. The plural particles aren't used in indefinite predicate phrases and possibly not in indefinite subject phrases.

The coreference markers for time, location, and object of donation are not affixes but relative pronouns, which begin the relative clause. They're needed to indicate that an unmarked A3, Location, or Time acts as dependent, not head, and to indicate that an unmarked A1 acts as head, not dependent.

Query pronouns appear in front the semantic verb phrase, which becomes definite (unless it's partitive). This could also be analyzed as the pronoun being the syntactical verb with the verb phrase as its argument. The response to a query takes the same format.

For yes/no questions, the verb phrase is always indefinite.

Adverbial forms that share at least one argument with the verb are treated like adjectives syntactically. There are probably different adverbial markers for shared and non-shared.

Condition clauses are syntactically adverbial and are introduced by a conjunction ("if"). The condition clause and the conclusion clause must have the same mood. If the mood is actual, the conjunction might be translated as "because" or "when".

Satisfactive/Excessive clauses are also syntactically adverbial.

Inflectional Morphology


In this version, A1 is a prefix slot, while A2 and A3 are suffix slots. However, an incorporated A1 argument is suffixed. The inverse stem is probably formed from the direct stem using a suffix. The reflexive and COA markers are also suffixes, both preempting A2.

Tense, Mood, and Aspect

There are modal prefixes derived from or related to or the short forms of auxiliary verbs in addition to the actual (unmarked), hypothetical, and contrafactual moods.

The indefinite past prefix is the short form of a verb meaning "remember". The indefinite future prefix is the short form of a verb meaning "anticipate". The continuity prefix is also a short form of a verb.

Absolute time markers, like location markers, are reduced forms of oblique arguments and are therefore suffixes.

Pronouns and Determiners

Most demonstratives are derived from the personal and indefinite pronominal stems by prefixing a locational morpheme. Possessives are derived in the same manner. Query and relative pronouns are derived by prefixing "gender" morphemes (animate, inanimate, location, time, etc.) to the query and relative morphemes.

There are also pronominal forms used for focus.


The prefix |txu-| makes perceptions into actions, e.g. |kan| "see" into |txukan| "look at". At can be used with some other verbs as well. The |txu-| form may be required for imperatives.

Alienable possession uses |(o)ri|.
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I'm trying to eliminate the use of "subject" and "object" as syntactical terms and will use P-argument and S-argument instead (for prefix and suffix, respectively).

Word forms within a clause are related using the "within clause" actants and are matched up by having the same gender and number. Sometimes, additional mechanisms (which I've forgotten) will be used to differentiate between matches that are not the same, but have the same gender and number. The 3rd person actants are used for inter-clause coreferences. Other anaphora (such as definite phrases) must be used for inter-sentence coreferences.

Time and place words normally use "within clause" coreference and must be marked specially to be used as non-adverbs. The same is true for other adverbial words, such as those for instrument and manner.

Verb forms functioning as auxiliaries aren't distinguished. Instead, complement clauses are introduced by the conjunction |pe|. Complement clause verbs may take the infinitive (= indirect reflexive) actant |z(o)| to coreference the auxiliary verb's P-argument.

Possibly, Delta is Split-S or Fluid-S.

txaa u z-maama Hwaan. "Juan sees his mother."
ko-txaa pe suna u perru. "I see that the dog is sleeping."
Hwaan u to-guu pe z-txaa u perru. "It's Juan who wants to see the dog." or "Juan's the one who wants to see the dog."

Verb forms acting in a restrictive manner (i.e. syntactical adjectives) don't take any special marking. They must be preceded in the phrase by a noun at some point.

Definite phrases take a Def proclitic (|u|) on the first word. There is also a Ser proclitic for words acting as serial verbs (assuming that's what they are).
I still haven't finished abverbial words and usages, or covered comparatives and probably some other things.

Clause Types

There will be three kinds of clauses:
Identity: Definite Predicate + Definite Subject
Definition: Indefinite Predicate + Definite Subject + any serial Predicates
Existential: Indefinite Predicate and Subject

Verb forms and noun forms are more or less indistinguishable, although there are differences between lexical verbs and lexical nouns as to which inflections apply (e.g. lexical nouns usually don't take tense or aspect).

Word Agreement Classes

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Last Edited: 2006.Apr.04 Tue
Previous Edit: 2006.Mar.20 Mon
Previous Edit: 2006.Feb.21 Tue
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
This has already changed, before I even typed up the original version. I took out inversion and then put it back in, partially. No inversion is simpler -- but I decided it was better to keep the 2nd person actants out of the suffix area for ditransitives.
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Last Edited: 2006.Mar.20 Mon
Previous Edit: 2006.Feb.18 Sat
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Last Edited: 2006.Mar.20 Mon

This is really very preliminary and could be replaced completely.
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qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
This morning, while thawing out, I started yet another conlang sketch, project Delta. There will be three kinds of phrases:

* Definite Subjects and Definite Predicates
* Various kinds of additional phrases
* Other phrases (Definite Objects and all Indefinite Phrases)

The additional phrases are used for things like time, location, instrument or means, manner, etc. Indication as to whether an object phrase is definite or indefinite is made on the object's head. There will also be an indication as to whether or not an object phrase appears.

Note that I'm using "subject" and "object" in a purely syntactical manner; no roles are implied.

There will be three kinds of sentences:

Identity: Definite Predicate + Definite Subject
Definition: Indefinite Predicate + Definite Subject + any serial Predicates
Existential: Indefinite Predicate and Subject

Verb forms and noun forms are more or less indistinguishable, although there are differences between lexical verbs and lexical nouns as to which inflections apply (e.g. lexical nouns usually don't take tense or aspect).


qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)

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