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zompist bboard • View topic - Polysynthetic Conlang

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 9:39 pm 
N'guny
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I thought of an interesting (please tell me if it's wrong!) way of looking at it: consider that time is a space-dimension like the other three. "Nouns", or at least the ones that denote physical objects, refer to things that take up three-dimensional space, while "verbs" have the added dimension of time, while at the same time (no pun intended!) blurring exactly what the physical makeup is. Or something. I dunno, I just thought of it at school when I was bored. Can anyone tell me how close to being right I am?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 9:02 pm 
Avisaru
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How do/you speculate more nominal-centered polysynthetic languages function? Would they be centered on a highly-inflected noun or something like that? With the verb marked on the noun?

Something like this:

"I built a tall building"

becomes

build[past]-I building-tallness


Does that make sense? Or should it be more inflected?

I'm just playing with the idea....

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I suspect that it would be like this.

I(noun)-it-buildgender-past tall-building build.

You could have the choice of verb noun incorporation and object incorporation as well, so it becomes:

I(noun)-it-build.gender-past-tall-building-build.

Say that I was t'eko, a 3rd person inanimate object is -ksi, the verb build's "gender" is -p'e, past tense is -tfa, tall is mnafe-, building is t'a, and build is kfo. Thus:

T'ekoksip'etfamnafet'akfo

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 9:33 pm 
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Well, I think Xap 5 is borderline poly, and it's definitely a nominal-based language, so here's my input:

I built a tall building.

xaapa = building
aputiapa = tall
to build = xa (at least for this kind of build)
I = aa
PAST TENSE = tata

tata aaxa axaapa xaaputiapa. Now thats just the child's language ... extended mode would treat the entire sentence except for the past tense marker as a single word (maybe it is a verbal lang after all?), resulting in this:

-āssāpāputiapa-. This needs a prefix (alu-) to mark the noun class (human being ... (the "I" is actually incorporated into the verb, but even so the noun class has to be marked on every word)) and a suffix to mark the tense. I havent worked out the suffixes yet. Also, I will likely make a rule that the person has to be indicated again in the suffix, even though it is already declared in the body of the word itself.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 10:14 pm 
Smeric
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What I didnt mention was that some of those morphemes are themselves little mini-sentences. aputiapa is just a stolen sentence from Moonshine meaning "the older womann claims she is taller than the younger boy" (this language was going to be the SpeedTalk to end all SpeedTalks). It seems strange to use a sentence as a noun, but Xap speakers are used to doing things like that. This is a bad example because the Xap speakers wouldnt know what those original morphemes meant. I don't have any better examples to show because I am just now in the process of creating these mini-sentence nouns. I might get tired of the idea and throw it away, but for now it's interesting and it gives me a reason to require that extended mode Xap words have a minimum of 5 syllables. It may or may not be polysyntheticism, but it's something interesting for me.

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Avisaru
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2003 7:27 am 
I've got a nouny language which may be polysynthetic. Others in the (distant) family definately will be.

Mine incorporates the verb into the object, marks tense/mood on the subject, and has the object agree in gender with the subject. [To reassure Eddy: the genders are Red, Yellow and Blue]. Adjectives/adverbs modifying the object agree with the object's gender.

Eg, to use a modification of the Babel line, if we want to say "there may be too many living languages in the future", the translation would be:

Jastuŋa uatl jhtfervajhrzuj

Which breaks into
Jastu = world
-ŋ = future possiblitive
-a = ergative (though you can tell anyway, by the lack of agreement)

ua = life [diphtongs rare in this lang]
-t = adjectivizer
-l = Yellow (to agree with Vajhr)

jh- = excessive number
tfer- = to have
Vajhr = language
-z = tense agreement [all the tense/moods are in one of a number of "supertenses", which the object has to agree with. eg. future possiblitive and future optative are the same for agreement purposes]
-u = absolutive [yes, it marks both]
-j = Red (to agree with Jastu]

If there is no incorporated verb, the copula is assumed.

*feels guilty for talking about his conlangs*


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 9:41 am 
Smeric
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