Current Project

2017-May-02, Tuesday 19:14
qiihoskeh: (journal name)
Just to post something, here's a simple conlang I'm working on: Apr29

I describe it as an artlang but it's probably better classified as an engelang, since it exists just to try out some morphosyntax ideas, such as the absence of nouns.


2011-Jul-25, Monday 19:35
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)

Mood, Tense, and Aspect

*** This section is most likely to change. ***

TAM is marked by 2 prefixes on the verb: the mood/tense prefix and the aspect prefix. The former appear first; they are:
a- absolute present tense
ta- definite past tense
wa- definite future tense
si- imperative mood

If none of these appear, the tense is relative.

The aspect prefixes are:
p- perfective (aorist)
s- progressive (durative)
i- retrospective (perfect)
ku- prospective (future)

The past tense prefix is usually omitted when the aspect is perfective.

There are 3 classes of verbs with regard to aspect, determined by which prefix (p-, s-, i-) is always omitted. Thus there are root-aorists, root-duratives, and root-perfects. Examples (assuming statements):
kwak. "I went." (root-aorist)
askwak. "I'm going."
aikwak. "I've gone."
atank. "I see." (root-durative)
aitank. "I've seen."
asark saupa. "I'm on the couch." (root-perfect)

However, the imperative mood prefix makes all verbs act like root-aorists, omitting p- but not any other.


2011-Jul-24, Sunday 17:24
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)

Verb Agreement

Verbs are either univalent or bivalent and verb forms are either finite or attributive.

Univalent attributive forms simply append -u to the stem and univalent finite forms append a person-number suffix. These are the same as the noun possessor suffixes:
K: -k, KP: -ka
L: -s, LP: -sa
M: -p, MP: -pa
3rd person: 0
Impersonal: -n

An /a/ may be inserted as with nouns.

Bivalent verbs have an A-argument and a P-argument. Bivalent attributive forms append a person-number suffix, possibly an inversion suffix -i, and finally -u. The person-number suffix is the same as above with the addition of:
Reflexive: -r

The inversion suffix isn't used with the reflexive suffix; it makes the person-number suffix refer to the A-argument instead of the P-argument. Examples (assuming statements):

kyat tansu (direct) "the cat that sees you"
kyat tankyu (inverse) "the cat I see"
kyat tanru (reflexive) "the cat that sees itself"

Bivalent finite forms append a person-number suffix, possibly an inversion suffix -i, and another person-number suffix. The persons are hierarchical:

K > L > 3 > Unspecified > Reflexive

with the higher of the 2 persons used for the latter suffix and the lower for the former. If needed, an /a/ is inserted before the suffix complex, but never between suffixes. Examples (also assuming statements):

tanask. (direct) "I see you."
tansik. (indirect) "You see me."
tanrk. (reflexive) "I see myself."

Note that if exactly one argument is 3rd person, it will be the former if the other argument is local (i.e. K(P), L(P), or M(P)) but the latter if the other is Unspecified, due to the hierarchy:

tans kyat. (tan-0-0-s) "You see the cat."
tanan kyat. (tan-n-0-0) "The cat sees."

(both examples are direct, hence the additional -0).


2011-Jul-23, Saturday 17:16
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
9C-KL uses the now-familiar K/L personal pronoun system for both verbs and noun possessors:
K = 1st person in statements and 2nd person otherwise
L = 2nd person in statements and 1st person otherwise
M = K + L.
K and L are singular and M is dual; the corresponding plural forms are KP, LP, and MP.

Noun Morphology

Except for mass nouns, all nouns are inflected for number; mandatorily possessed nouns are also inflected for person and number of possessor. Singular forms are unmarked while plural forms append a vowel: /u/ after /a/ or /i/ and /i/ otherwise. Examples:
saupa (S) - saupau (P)
stai (S) - stayu (P)
kyat (S) - kyati (P)

The possessive suffixes are:
K: -k, KP: -ka
L: -s, LP: -sa
M: -p, MP: -pa
Unspecified: -n
Indirect Reflexive: -r
3rd person: 0

nistr (nist + Rfx)
sunka (sun + KP)
turik (turi + K)
sarpsa (sarp + LP)

If the possessive suffix begins with a consonant, an /a/ is inserted between the stem and the suffix, provided that either the stem ends in 2 consonants or it ends in 1 consonant and the suffix isn't plural. Examples:
nistak (nist + K)
nistapa (nist + MP)
sunas (sun + L)


2011-Jul-22, Friday 19:51
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
The 9C-KL project is inspired by the old 9-phoneme challenge.

9C-KL Phonology

The writing system is based on an "archaic" 9-phoneme inventory rather than the "contemporary" pronunciation. The 9 phonemes are:
Vowels: /a/
Semivowels: /u/, /i/, and /r/
Consonants: /n/, /s/, /p/, /t/, /k/.

When followed by /a/ or /i/, /u/ is transliterated |w|.
When followed by /a/ or /u/, /i/ is transliterated |y|.
When followed by /p/, /n/ is transliterated |m|.

There can't be more than 2 of the same phoneme in succession. Of the consonant pairs, all but the geminates and those beginning with /n/ may occur initially; only the latter plus /sp/, /st/, /sk/ may occur finally (however, I'm considering allowing final /ps/, /ts/, and /ks/ as well).

The writing system recognizes no prosody.


2011-Feb-01, Tuesday 20:20
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
Naisek is four years old. I recently added the new words for relay 18 (and the translation -- don't look yet!) and just added a page with the vocabulary arranged by word class in addition to the alphabetical page. I should rewrite the grammar, but that's a big job.
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I'm afraid I got tired of the switch-reference and clause-chaining conlang and started on an easy SVO one. It lacks personal agreement, but there are enclitic object pronouns which attach to verb forms. A peculiarity is that verbs have 2 basic stems: one that can take only one enclitic and one that can take 2 enclitics. Besides the primary and secondary objects, there are directionals, which are also enclitic. No verb can take both a directional
and an indirect (primary) object.

The reflexive, passive, and object-omission suffixes go where the 1st enclitic would have gone. There are also inverse and causative forms.

There are 4 verb classes according to how the stems are forms. For 2 of these classes, the 1-enclitic stem is more basic and for another class, the 2-enclitic stem is more basic. The remaining class uses ablaut.

The directionals indicate whether motion is toward, away from, by way of, or to a reference point, that being either the location of the speaker or some other definite location. The last pair are also used for static locations. The directionals can themselves be used as verbs.

Verbs take tense prefixes; for dynamic verbs, these are followed by aspect prefixes.


2010-Sep-18, Saturday 09:32
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
After several attempts at different conlang ideas, I finally have one that seems to be going somewhere (so far: I haven't done anything with nouns yet). It's not going to be one of the better ones, though, because I had to back off from trying to build in historical depth.

Although both subject and object pronominals are clitic pronouns, the object pronouns fuse to the verb in some situations (specifically non-present non-aoristic forms), so that it's almost like the verb agrees with the object when one is present but not the subject. However, the object pronoun is omitted when a noun phrase is present, unlike the subject, which just uses a different pronoun in that case.

Another thing I've done is make the aoristic and the progressive the same (or almost the same) except for accent placement, a feature borrowed from 'Yemls.

Finally (for now) the same 2 roots are used for epistemic, deontic, and potential modals depending on where they go.
qiihoskeh: (font)
In G2 (mentioned in the preceding post), relative clauses are internally headed. This means that the head noun of the phrase appears within the relative clause with the cases appropriate for that clause; a resumptive pronoun immediately following the relative clause has the case appropriate for the matrix.

Originally I had the head noun always appear first in the clause, since the possessor or the whole are usually relativized rather than the possessum or the part (genitives and partitives precede what they modify). Example

house* in man RP died John sold.

However, this made sentences like this:

dog cat mouse bread ate RP caught RP chased RP I saw.

So now I have the phrases containing the head noun appear right before the verb of the relative clause:

bread mouse ate RP cat caught RP dog chased RP I saw.

I'm not sure if it solves all the problems though.

* I don't have articles yet and am not sure where they would go.
qiihoskeh: insect friend (cockroach)
My latest conlang sketches haven't been going well. The main problem is matching phonology, especially the historical part, with morphology, and deciding what affixes to put where.

The newest is animate-inanimate split ergative [I also have a problem with Payne's hierarchy] with 0-marked nominative and absolutive (the other cases are accusative, dative, instrumental, ablative, genitive, partitive, and vocative; there's no ergative since inanimates can't be transitive subjects).

Some other things I'm not sure of:
* postpositions, postpositional verbs, or spatial adverbs?
* if postpositions, is the object one of dative, instrumental, ablative as appropriate or just accusative/absolutive? (verbs require the latter, while adverbs require the former).
* using the same protolevel suffixes for both singular and plural.

So far, the SV-OV-XV order with clause chains and switch-reference hasn't presented a problem.


2010-Aug-20, Friday 19:27
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
* I worked a little bit on E2 today; otherwise I've only been working on the font for it.

* What I have been working on is GEL "Generic European Language", which is supposed to have typically european features without being related to any existing languages.

* The GEL morphosyntax has been outlined, but I'm a little stuck filling in the details. For example, I need a number of declensional stems and around 10 endings. This last is because even though there are only 6 cases, they result from combining with additional cases, such as genitive-partitive, dative-locative, accusative-ablative, and instrumental-ergative.

* There are also historical changes in the TAM system, mainly involving grammaticalization.


2010-Aug-10, Tuesday 12:29
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I've spent the last 5-6 days on E2, so called because of some similarities to E1 (Toilan), mainly in the 9 consonant 4 vowel phonology.

Unmarked clauses are VOS, with fronting used for focus and content question words. Except for quantifiers, modifiers follow nouns, which are marked for one of 5 cases.

WRT subject case, E2 is Active, with the dative case used for subjects of mental-state and perception verbs as well as the nominative and absolutive cases being used for other subjects. However, the affixes are accusative, with the prefix always used for the subject and any suffixes used for objects.

Participles and infinitives are marked for grammatical voice (nominative, absolutive, or dative head/coreference). Finite passives also exist, but are used only for subject omission, since some person-number prefix is needed.

Indicative and contrafactual mood are distinguished in the present and past tenses, but not in the future tense. The aspects are basic (unmarked stative, aoristic, or progressive), specifically progressive, retrospective, habitual, and prospective.

I need to work more on derivation (some are made with prefixes and others with suffixes at present), but the final stem vowel tends to go along with the verb's action type or the noun's internal role.

The vocabulary is around 20 words, not counting function words.


2010-Jul-20, Tuesday 00:29
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
The almost current version of project E1/Toilan has been uploaded; the writing system (an abugida) is at:

The language features a small inventory: 7 consonant phonemes (p t k s m n l) and 4 vowel phonemes (i e a o). Phonological syllables are (C)V(C) with limited codas, while the morphology uses ((C)C)V plus word-final /n/ possible.

Only the imperative mood has person-number marking and there's no formal agreement. There are 4 cases: agentive, patientive, possessive, and partitive. Grammatical voice is marked only on attributive forms; otherwise only argument order and omission are needed.


2010-Jul-17, Saturday 14:08
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I've been working almost exclusively the last couple days on my latest quick sketch currently called Toilan [to.i"lAN]. It has 4 vowels and 7 consonants. (Phonological) syllables are(C)V(C), but morphological "syllables" are ((C)C)V (is there a better term?). Morphemes themselves are made up of whole numbers of morphological "syllables".
Read more... )

some glyphs

2010-Jul-08, Thursday 07:09
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I've done some more work on TIAL, Ampkohlaš, and (indirectly) the TriCons4 writing system. The Ampkohlaš formal writing system is briefly described at

The work left to do on TIAL is mostly tinkering, clean-up, and vocabulary, plus writing "Learn TIAL" (not counting translating that and the reference grammar into some other natlang).

Ampkohlaš (and the others) need a lot more work, especially documenting the syntax.
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
At some point, I realized that a writing system I was developing for TCR4 would work well for Ampkohlaš also: the 4 vowels were already there; I needed to drop 1 consonant and add 3 others, but those glyphs were already made even if not used by TCR4. Some of the character assignments had to be changed, but even these were mostly a matter of romanization.

Next, I need to update the glyph table image and think about possible mappings for the 120 total glyphs so that a font might be made.


2010-Jul-03, Saturday 10:21
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
My newest conlang sketch is called Ampkohlaš [amp'.ko?.laS]. It currently has vowel harmony (more or less), hierarchical agreement, up to 3 arguments marked on the verb, evidentials, and temporal distance. The name actually means

"I told you that earlier today."
with 1st person participant evidentiality implicit.

Everything could change, though, and suddenly, the o- doesn't look right ... I see, it should be



2010-Jun-29, Tuesday 22:16
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I was working on _Learn TIAL_ and needed some examples, so I took some quasi-standard ones and translated them without reference to the official word-list, which is pretty sparse. The sentences are:

1. John ate the meat raw.
2. John ate the meat nude.
3. Mary hammered the metal flat.

This is how they came out:

1. Janno manja karno krude.
2. Janno manja karno nude.

-- say them out loud --

3. Mario perkussa diagramo da sintakso plane.

Q-OVS online

2010-Jun-26, Saturday 01:35
qiihoskeh: insect friend (cockroach)
Parts of the Q-OVS (Ŋovasi) grammar are now online at:
qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)
I've made quite a bit of progress on Q-OVS or Ŋovasi etc. but the grammatical voice system is still giving me fits. Basically, each type of verb has its own distinct set of aspect suffixes. To form a passive or omit an object, the verb switches to the set of a lower valence verb. This works fine for basically dynamic bivalent verbs, but not for static or trivalent verbs. It might be solved by adding more classes, but that means more of the classifier suffixes are assigned to verbs, and there are plenty already. I have eliminated one aspect by adding an autocausative suffix and I'm thinking of adding a passive suffix where needed.


qiihoskeh: myo: kanji (Default)

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