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zompist bboard • View topic - Ayeri grammar thread - updated 01/14/2011

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:28 am 
Smeric
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This is not meant to be competition with Neek, however I thought I might do the same for my grammar. Neek and I have started to write a reference grammar for our conlangs at about the same time IIRC, and I thought it would be nice if people could maybe point out inconsistencies and plain mistakes in my grammar as well. The problem with everything is that you, as an author, often overlook mistakes. I can't promise to do much work on the grammar in the foreseeable future, though, since uni will start again next week.

Without further ado, here is the grammar: Discuss!


Last edited by Jipí on Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:54 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:45 am 
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In section 7.2 on existential constructions, I don't think it's made clear enough why example (94b) is marked as ungrammatical. I think that example should be moved to after the paragraph introducing (95a), or removed entirely.

In 7.3, I'd like a more elaborate description on the difference between using the 'have' verb and a predicate construction; semantic, syntactic, pragmatic, dialectal, whatever it might be.

I only read the parts that I'm particularly interested in cross-linguistically, so I don't know about the other sections.

It would be great if you (and anyone posting grammars) could point toward any specific sections that you're especially proud of or want feedback on!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:27 pm 
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I need to read through it. You have a lot more interesting stuff in your language than I do!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:55 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:47 pm 
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I don't have the time to read this closely at the moment. I really like the extensive footnoting and inclusion of spectrograms. It makes this look a lot like a real natlang grammar, very cool.

There are some places where your English is a little unusual. Page 4 has "morphologic marking" where "morphological marking" would sound more natural. And speaking of that section, are there any cases of long vowels occuring where they are not underlyingly two identical short vowels? If not, it seems a little odd to talk about "long vowels" as a particular thing in the langauge rather than a regular morphophonological process. And why doesn't /u:/ (or [u:]) occur? Also, I would say "romanization" rather than "Transcription into Latin". "Transcription into Latin" sounds like you are writing your grammar in Latin, and it is not the 19th century anymore we don't need to do that :)

Your explanation of stress is kind of lacking, but you also have yellow highlighting there, so maybe you're intentionally marking that area of the grammar as incomplete?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:13 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:47 am 
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Thanks Quesa, I'll have a look at that. There are some cases of a long vowel having been lexicalized. /uː/ is indeed a kind of gap. There are no affixes beginning with -u, and only few words beginning with/ending in u. Ruling it out completely isn't doing it justice because at least in theory you could have words where -u + u- becomes -ū- in compounds, but in all the years it's never occurred.

Tom: People on #isharia have pointed out that they couldn't open the file in their browser either when they tried. Right-click, save-as should help. If that still doesn't work, replace the .pdf with .html, and there'll be a page with the link to the file again which is reported to work.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:20 am 
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OK, I've tried to quickly address some of the issues noted above. #isharia tells me neek and I need to compete more in anticipation of this year's ZBB Awards. Oh well.

And yes, the sections highlighted in yellow are incomplete.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:12 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Looks cool, spectrograms and all. I don't have much to add, but I feel very inspired.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:52 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:05 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:10 am 
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I've always been a fan of Ayeri and I really like where it's at. In general, I like what you have. I'm going to apologise for mostly writing down my criticisms here, rather than all the praise I could give you if I had the time.

Basically, everything I have to say has to do with presentation thus far. I didn't get to reading the syntaxy bits, getting a little tired, but I promise to keep reading soon and I will get back to you on those.

Here goes:

Overall, the structure of the grammar is a little too unconventional for me. I like the old phonology, morphology, syntax kind of structure. I realise such divisions are not always practical, I know from experience; but I do wonder if perhaps you could do: phonology, nouns, verbs etc. I find that the way the document is structured right now, it's jumping from topic to topic a little bit.

And while I'm definitely a fan of being thorough, chapter 3 is a little off for me. I wish you could work it into the text later or just feature it as an appendix. I want to get to the actual morphological system before I go into this kind of analysis. Or it could just be a little shorter. It just seems a little-off pace right now. And I know it's a little weird to criticise the pace of a grammar but hey, in every other way, you're doing a very good job. So maybe it's mainly this chapter that's causing the feeling of "unconventionality". I have to wonder, how interesting is it to know how common suffixation is unless I know something about the suffixes, know what I mean? Also, Prefixation is a second common pattern in Ayeri on page 9 would sound better and clearer as "Prefixation is the second most common method of affixation in Ayeri" in my opinion.

Ajām on page 12 is confusing to me, is that supposed to be Ayām or did I miss there being a j in the romanisation scheme? Or is it a loan? Following it are several Cs all over the document. Are they supposed to be there? What's going on?

In 4.3 I'd like a little footnote explaining crasis because I can't remember what that means. In 4.4.1, there should not be a comma following the en-dash. Further down in example (36), I'd rather say "*anl-vang (bring-2S.A) → anl-a-vang" than "anl-vang (bring-2S.A) → anlavang (*anlvang)", ie. noting the ungrammatical form as ungrammatical right away and dispense with the repeated note that it is ungrammatical afterwards. It seems clearer. Those Js keep on popping upp in the numeral section. Really confusing.

More later.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:01 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:33 am 
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Yes, you forgot to mention that :) I would prefer etymological, actually, but it's your language. By using a single letter you make it seem like a phoneme in it's own right. Which might be a valid analysis, but I find that it is conflicting with the more conservative analysis of them being allophonic, which is what you present us with in your phonology chapter.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:48 am 
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I've just done a quick corpus analysis, and there are a few cases where [ʧ] < [kj tj] and [ʤ] < [gj dj] are in fact phonemic.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 4:39 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:52 pm 
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Reminds me, I gotta get on reading some more.

*goes to read*

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:59 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:24 pm 
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4.1
In example (28): This is just a comment but I to me "I like slowly walking" only works if it's followed by another adjunct: "I like slowly walking down the stairs" where I think down the stairs is able to "push" slowly over the verb.
At the end of 4.1 you say "Again, it can be stated that gerunds are neither fully like nouns, nor are they like verbs in spite of their verbal origin, which makes their exact state as regards parts of speech not fully determinate." I find this a little clunky, especially the last clause. I sympathise, I like longwinded sentences like that, too. But I would suggest "The conclusion, then, is that gerunds are neither fully like nouns, nor are they fully like verbs, despite their verbal origin. Which part of speech they belong to is therefore to is indeterminate." But there are many possibilities and you can probably think of something even better. I just wanted to make a suggestion since I was criticising.

4.1.1
And I go on, "Recurring to example 19:" sounds odd and I'm not exactly sure what you mean. I think you must be using "recur" incorrectly. Do you mean "repeating" or "going back to", maybe?

4.1.2
Is there a way of making inherently plural words singular? Numerals, perhaps? Or something else?
How does inherent plurality manifest grammatically, if at all? Is there any kind of plural marking somewhere else than on the noun? I forget.

4.2
This is actually not the only place in the text where this occurs but I remembered it now: I get confused by your use of = and – to mark morpheme boundaries. Are IND and DIM proclitics rather than prefixes?

4.3
Now you call the case marker enclitic rather than a suffix. Which is it?

4.3.4
"or only for" > "except for"

4.4.3
"Tuyayam is, strictly speaking, a gerund in this case, though." That is already clear. I don't understand what you mean. Should we expect it not to be?

4.5.1
I assumed that AF stood for agent focus, was I right? I think it might be included separately in the list of abbreviations.

4.5.3.4
I personally would use disposition rather than stance.

5.3
What is Prihaytam, what is nanga, veno and tado? What does the phrase mean as a whole?

5.4
Here I get confused – how are these prepositional if there is no preposition. I would call them "oblique constituents", "adjunct constituents", "obliques" or "adjuncts". Also, why did you choose the term benefactive over simple dative?
At the end, could you maybe add some kind of explanation of what yam and na mean? I can't remember.

6.1
In (72), how is devo a verb?
I'd like to see an example of the borderline cases of compounding.
Finally, I think that not only euphonic changes could result in opposite compound orders, it might also just be remnants from an older stage when the order was different or less strict?

6.4.1
In (76a), you write harbor, then harbour.

6.4.3
I'd love to see an example with light verbs.

6.4.4
I think you should include examples of the genitive of origin.

6.4.5
"spacial" > "spatial"


I'm going to have to call it a night, now. I'll try to get 7 onwards to you soon. Sorry to get to this so late :) I have always been a fan of Ayeri and I enjoy it more and more.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:33 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:47 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:36 am 
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Hm, in this case the quantifying suffixes need to be indicated with dashes (they are clitic and can attach probably to all kinds of content words), as do the demonstrative pronouns, which may attach at least to both nouns and verbs. I've always hyphenated from the (inflected) main words in orthography. In so far my use of = is justified, but my reasoning to do so was faulty.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:24 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:07 pm 
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OK, I added the batch of corrections now and rewrote some passages (like the ones under the chapter on Noun Phrases that deals with adjective order). Also, Vec, you seem to have completely ignored the footnotes. I know there's a lot of them and often they're just "See section X, page Y", but sometimes they contain additional explanation. Also, if you had followed some of the cross-references, you would've seen that some things you pointed out you've forgotten what they mean are actually explained in a more detailed way.


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