Pi: Introduction

2006-Dec-03, Sunday 16:45
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)

Project Pi Introduction

One of my goals for this language is to investigate the pragmatics of topicality (if that's the term) and related things. It's not intended to be a logical language. On the other hand, I haven't gone overbord to make it naturalistic.

Some Syntax
More Syntax
Adjectival and Adverbial Clauses
Noun Clauses
Purpose Clauses

pi: Purpose Clauses

2006-Nov-29, Wednesday 17:19
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
There are two forms: a long one and a short one. The long one is constructed using the auxiliary -z- "intend". Example:

bi-lâh-e a-bi-n-z-e ne si-kamb-i takpañ.
1XS-run-Ind Adv-1XS-Uns-intend-Ind NE 3IS-see-Sbj Act.tree
"I ran (intending) to see the tree."

There are similar constructions using other auxiliary verbs. Example:

bi-lâh-e a-bi-n-g-e ne si-kamb-i takpañ.
1XS-run-Ind Adv-1XS-Uns-want-Ind NE 3IS-see-Sbj Act.tree
"I ran wanting to see the tree."

In the short form, the purpose clause is introduced by the conjunction ane. Examples:

bi-lâh-e ane si-kamb-i takpañ.
1XS-run-Ind ANE 3IS-see-Sbj Act.tree
"I ran to see the tree."

bi-lâh-e ane Jaano li-kamb-i cipcip.
1XS-run-Ind ANE Act.John 3AS-see-Sbj Act.bird
"I ran so that John could see the bird."

Note that in all examples, the verb specifying the purpose takes the subjunctive mood suffix.

pi: Noun Clauses

2006-Nov-26, Sunday 16:33
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
A noun clause where a set of events is referred to is introduced by the proclitic conjunction ne. Examples:

bi-n-g-e ne-la-kamb-i.
1XS-Uns-want-Ind NE-Act.3AP-see-Sbj
"I want to see them."

tal ki-n-kamb-e ne-Jaano ji-li-comp-e Taamo?
Int 2XS-Uns-see-Ind NE-Act.John 3TS-3AS-hit-Ind Act.Tom
"Did you see John hit Tom?

Embedded yes/no questions are also introduced by ne and contain the question word tal. Example:

tal ki-n-hask-e ne-Jaano tal ji-li-comp-e Taamo?
Int 2XS-Uns-hear-Ind NE-Act.John Int 3TS-3AS-hit-Ind Act.Tom
"Did you hear whether John hit Tom?"

Embedded WH-questions begin with a WH-question word and don't use ne. Examples:

bi-n-????-e hûlo e-li-comp-e Taamo.
1XS-Uns-know-Ind who(m) Uns-3XS-hit-Ind Act.Tom
"I know who hit Tom."

bi-n-kamb-e hûso ji-ki-n-tân-e
1XS-Uns-see-Ind what 3TS-2XS-Uns-give-Ind
"I saw what she gave you."

Note that the latter is distinct from:

bi-n-kamb-e ji-ki-u-tân-e
1XS-Uns-see-Ind 3TS-2XS-Pas-give-Ind
"I saw the thing she gave you."
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Last Edited: 2006.Nov.20 Mon

"Participial" Clauses

Strictly speaking, what the language has probably aren't participles, but special finite forms.

The "active participle" uses a null subject prefix, e.g.
to-li-biz-d-e takpañ golp-e.
TO-3AS-here-Loc-Ind Act.tree Act.big-Ind
"Here's the big tree."
where golpe (and for that matter, takpañ) is an active participle.

The "passive participle" is formed using u- as the object prefix, e.g.
to-li-biz-d-e takpañ bi-u-kamb-e.
TO-3AS-here-Loc-Ind Act.tree 1XS-Pas-see-Ind
"Here's the tree I saw."
where biukambe is a passive participle. Note that u- can be either a direct object or an indirect object prefix if the verb is trivalent. Examples:
ki-bi-u-tân-e "what you gave me"
ki-u-ji-tân-e "to whom you gave it".

These are made into adverbs by putting a- before any actant prefixes, e.g. abiukambe.

Relative Clauses

There are different kinds of relative clauses:

  1. those formed with the adverbs uz "where" or un "when"

  2. those where the argument of an argument is relativized

These are formed as follows:

  1. The adverbs occur first in the clause. These relative clauses are adverbial; the adjectival counterparts are formed using tuz and tun (the forms of these words may change). Example:

    si-golp-e takpañ tuz bi-li-kamb-e cipcip.
    3IS-big-Ind Act.tree where 1XS-3AS-see-Ind Act.bird
    "The tree where I saw the bird is large."

    cipcip, bi-ji-kamb-e uz ki-ji-hask-e.
    Act.bird, 1XS-3TS-see-Ind where 2XS-3TS-hear-Ind
    "I saw the bird where you heard it."

  2. The clause is formed like a main clause except that it's introduced with the conjunction net and uses the prefix te- in place of the pronominal prefix. Example:

    si-golp-e takpañ net bi-li-kamb-e cipcip te-yûm-e.
    3IS-big-Ind Act.tree NET 1XS-3AS-see-Ind Act.bird Act.TE-on_top_of-Ind
    "The tree I saw the bird on top of is large."

(no subject)

2006-Nov-14, Tuesday 17:29
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* I've been working on relative and participial clauses for my new conlang project. The participial clauses are used when a core argument is relativized. The participles are really finite forms using a null prefix if the subject is realtivized or u- if an object is relativized. There are different forms of the relative clauses depending on whether the clause is used adjectivally or adverbially.

* I reread Unwillingly to Earth by Pauline Ashwell and have started rereading Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn.

* My stove is now working, so it's a matter of finding the rest of my dishes and getting some groceries.

(no subject)

2006-Nov-07, Tuesday 14:01
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* It looks like I'll be moving everything tomorrow afternoon; I'm having to hire a moving company, so it may cost me quite a bit. I'm going to try to get my big storage space somewhat ready to move this afternoon and tomorrow morning. I'm not sure how I'm getting from storage to my apartment tomorrow at the same time as the movers; riding on the truck?

Last Edited: 2006.Nov.09 Thu

* Degree in my new project is handled using the adverbial preposition mei:

li-(tall)-e biz takpañ mei 20 (units of length).
"This tree is 20 units tall."

takpañ (tall)-e mei 20 (units of length)
"a 20 unit tall tree"

This relates to "how much" and "so much", previously mentioned:

hûmei li-(tall)-e biz takpañ.
"How tall is this tree?"

li-(tall)-e biz takpañ sômei fon bi-li-kamb-al-i li-(top).
"This tree is so tall, I can't see the top."

It's also related to "as much as":

li-(tall)-e takpañ ûmei li-(long)-e ma-xert-o.
"The tree is as tall as our house is long."

biz takpañ li-(tall)-e ûmei li-st-e koz.
"This tree is as tall as that one (is)."

In the second example, the dummy verb -st- is used. Possibly there are short forms that take agreement directly without using the dummy verb, as the comparative as currently described does. Possibly also, the comparative will have a long form.

(no subject)

2006-Nov-05, Sunday 16:26
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* I still haven't moved anything yet, except for getting a few things from my car. I'm still getting my groceries from near where my car is parked. I think somebody took the almost dead battery from my car but haven't checked.

* I forgot to mention a while ago that I started reading The Andromeda Strain. Now I've started rereading The Color of Distance.

* Possibly "tree" is takpañ not takpa, and pañCVX means "plant" or "organism" and takC- is a static verb stem.

(no subject)

2006-Nov-02, Thursday 13:29
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* I got my new apartment yesterday. Some people from Volunteers of America helped move my bed from storage, so I spent the night there. I managed to sleep despite the chirping of the smoke detector. I still have a lot of stuff to move. I don't know how yet.

* In my new conlang project, the CVX for degree (possibly mei) will be combined with the WH-question root for "how much": hûmei. There will also be a "so much" word composed in a similar manner to be used in result and satisfactive/excessive constructions. The "so" component can also be used by itself in result constructions not involving comparisons.

pi: More Syntax

2006-Oct-31, Tuesday 17:32
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Last Edited: 2006.Nov.05 Sun

Some Adverbial Clauses

Sentences with time-when adverbial clauses and conditional sentences are related, being distinguished by the mood marking in the adverbial clause. Time-when clauses take the indicative mood, possible conditions take the subjunctive mood, and impossible conditions take the contrafactual mood. The time-when and condition clauses are introduced by an adverbial relative pronoun. Examples:

Jaano, un ji-sa-kamb-e takpa, ji-n-sael-e-s.
John, when 3TS-3IP-see-Ind tree, 3TS-Uns-sing-Ind-DefPst.
"John sang when he saw the trees."

Jaano, un ji-sa-kamb-i takpa, ji-n-sael-i-c.
John, when 3TS-3IP-see-Sbj tree, 3TS-Uns-sing-Sbj-DefFut.
"If John sees the trees, he will sing."

Jaano, un ji-sa-kamb-u takpa, ji-n-sael-u-s.
John, when 3TS-3IP-see-Ctf tree, 3TS-Uns-sing-Ctf-DefPst.
"If John had seen the trees, he would have sung."

Note that both time-when and condition clauses allow the definite past and future markers to be appended to the main verb. Note also that some other adverbial elements imply a time-when clause. Example:

Jaano, ji-n-sael-e-s lî-de markuz.
John, 3TS-Uns-sing-Ind-DefPst 3AS-Loc market.
"John sang [when he was] at the market."

Otherwise, the time is marked as indefinite and has to be determined from context. Example:

Jaano, ji-n-sael-e.
John, 3TS-Uns-sing-Ind.
"John sang/has sung/will sing."

The time-when verb can be habitual or iterative. Here's an example using present time:

Jaano, un ji-n-kamb-ahp-e takpa, ji-n-sael-e.
John, when 3TS-Uns-see-Habt-Ind tree, 3TS-Uns-sing-Ind.
"John sings whenever he sees a tree/trees."

(no subject)

2006-Oct-31, Tuesday 17:07
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* I had to take the apartment application back to North Miami so that it can be officially approved. Hopefully, I'll be able to start moving in tomorrow. Since today was my last day in the shelter, I'll have to sleep in my car tonight.

* I worked more on my new conlang project.

Sentences with time-when adverbial clauses and conditional sentences are related, being distinguished by the mood marking in the adverbial clause (time when clauses take the indicative mood, possible conditions take the subjunctive mood, and impossible conditions take the contrafactual mood). Note that both time-when and condition clauses allow the definite past and future markers to be appended to the main verb. Note also that some other adverbial elements imply a time-when clause. Otherwise, the time is marked as indefinite and has to be determined from context. More on all this later.

mol "all" or some other quantifier is needed for phrases used as indefinite topics. E.g. mol takpa, ja-golp-o. "Trees are big."

The CVX particle for introducing the degree element may be related to a verb meaning "count" and maybe a noun meaning "number".

pi: Some Syntax

2006-Oct-26, Thursday 17:32
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Last Edited: 2006.Nov.09 Thu


There's no special comparative form (this assumes that only one quality word appears). The standard of comparison appears as the argument to an adverbial particle koi. Example:

biz takpa li-golp-e li-koi koz.
this/these tree 3OS-big.Ipf-Ind 3OS-KOI that/those.
"This tree is bigger than that one."

Possibly, there is also a long comparative form involving a dummy verb -st-, which would look something like:

biz takpa li-golp-e ûkoi li-st-e koz.
this/these tree 3OS-big.Ipf-Ind UKOI 3OS-DV-Ind that/those.
"This tree is bigger than that one."

To compare less than, either the arguments are reversed, or the word for the opposite quality is used.

There's also no special superlative form. The superlative construction is formed by placing the quality word plus the particle ix before a phrase, which is construed as being definite and plural. Example:

biz li-golp-e ix takpa.
this/these 3OS-big.Ipf-Ind IX tree.
"This is the biggest of the trees."

Topic and Focus

The topic precedes the sentence and is coreferenced with one of the 3P markers (ji(x)/ja(x)). Example:

Jaano, bi-ji-kamb-e.
John 1XS-3PS-see.Prf-Ind.
As for John, I saw him.

The focus usually follows one of the interrogative (tal), negative, or affirmative particles. Example:

ki-li-kamb-e tal Jaano?
2XS-3OS-see.Prf-Ind Int John?
"Was it John you saw?"

Note that 3OS- agrees with Jaano, which is definite. If the focus phrase were indefinite, Un2- would be used instead. Example:

ki-no-kamb-e tal takpa?
2XS-Un2-see.Prf-Ind Int tree?
"Was it a tree you saw?"

Question Words

The question words hûso "what" and hûlo "who(m)" take indefinite agreement. The question words appear first. Example:

hûso ki-no-kamb-e?
what 2XS-Un2-see.Prf-Ind?
"What did you see?"

(no subject)

2006-Oct-20, Friday 15:45
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* I looked at the apartment that the shelter people want me to move into, but it's too small for what I have in storage. But if I turn it down, I'll have to leave the shelter. In the meantime, someone at Volunteers of America has been looking for an alternative. Hopefully, I can stall until Monday.

* For my new project, I might make the historical roots CVX (where X is either C or V), with -CVX noun suffixes and -C verb extensions. The combinations CVX-CVX would be reinterpreted as CVXC-VX so that the language has -VX suffixes applied to verb stems instead of the historical roots. Verb stems with short-long vowel alternation (such as tan/taan) would come from non-extended roots. Some conjunctions and postpositions could also retain the CVX structure. There might also be -CV noun suffixes, but reinterpretations of these couldn't be applied to verb stems due to conflict with the verb mood suffixes.

pi: Morphology

2006-Oct-16, Monday 16:46
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Last Edited: 2006.Dec.03 Sun

Argument Roles

Project pi uses accusative pronoun alignment.
Read more... )

Pronoun Prefixes

The referents of extended plurals include persons associated with the base referents, but which are not present. Note that the only way to form a 1st person exclusive plural is with the extended plural.
Read more... )

The order of the pronoun prefixes is A1-A2-A3-Stem.

All inflected words are formed using these prefixes, including those that act syntactically like participles and infinitives.

Stem Formation

The form of the lexical verb stem is:
where TPoR is Temporal Point of Reference.
Lexical noun stems consist only of roots and derivational suffixes.

Lexical verb roots are mostly CVCC or CVVC. Lexical noun stems are usually CVCCV(C) or CVVCV(C).
Read more... )
The Permanent mood is used for forming semantic nouns from lexical verbs.

Aspect and Temporal Points of Reference

If no aspect is marked, the lexical verb is perfective for the 1st and 2nd classes and imperfective for the 3rd class. If no TPoR is appended, the time is determined from the context.
Read more... )
Probably, absolute present time will instead be marked by an adverb men.

Sample Word Forms

"I see you."

"He gave it to us at that time."

"You want something."


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