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zompist bboard • View topic - Analysis Challenge (Now playing: Verblessness?)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:12 am 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:50 pm
Posts: 169
Hey guys!

So, I started sketching a new project. I have a morphosyntactic analysis in mind, but I suspect I may be overthinking it, so I wanted to see what fresh brains drew from the data.

And thus! Here's a collection of translated sentences (organized in groups for convenience), selected to demonstrate some of the grammatical functions I'm interested in. If you have a chance, could you tell me:

1) What lexical categories you identify?
2) What function words you identify, and how you would describe their function?
3) Your first impression of the morphosyntactic typology of this language?
4) Any other interesting hypotheses or observations.

Feel free to ask for further elicitations if you think of any that would better inform your analysis. Thanks for your help!


As a potentially helpful guideline, here are some tentative word-level translation pairs; if you think the data suggests a better gloss for any of them, go for it.

poppak - foot (the appendage)
ttsell - there, deictic indicator for a particular place
xir - that, deictic indicator for a particular thing
tsi - first person pronoun
qal - second person pronoun
onh - relativizer

= = =

A: En xir ppor te? (pointing at object)
"What is that?"

B: Xir ppor kolloq.
"That is a suit of armor."

A: En qa xir ppor tsi kolloq?
"Is that my suit of armor?"

B: Rraq, xir ppor qal kolloq sot. Xir ppor tsi kolloq qa.
"No, that isn't your suit of armor. That is my suit of armor."

A: Khe tsi sonh ppor qal kolloq qqhar tsi te.
"I want your suit of armor."

B: Xonh. At tsi ppor tsi kolloq qqhar qal te.
"Alright. I'll give you my suit of armor."

= = =

Qqhar ngex tsi ttsell.
"I was going there."

Qqhar ngex tsi ttsell khe poppak.
"I was going there on foot."

Qqhar tsi ttsell.
"I arrived there."

En qa at qal khe sonh qqhar tsi ttsell?
"Do you want me to go there?"

Qa, khe tsi sonh qqhar qal ttsell.
"Yes, I want you to go there."

Qqhar ngex tsi ttsell khe anh.
"I am going there now."

Qqhar ngex tsi ttsell khe anh poppak.
"I am going there now on foot."

Qqhar tsi ttsell khe ong rreng'en.
"I arrive there every morning."

Qqhar tsi ttsell khe kkir rreng'en. (An extra to clarify the previous one.)
"I arrived there this morning."

= = =

A: En at qal qqhar te?
"What is your profession?"

B: At tsi qqhar kolloq.
"I am an armorsmith."

A: Khe tsi sonh qqhar onh at qal qqhar tsi kolloq.
"I want you to make me a suit of armor."

B: Xonh, ppor xir mekh qqhar qal kolloq.
"Alright, I will make your armor with this material."

= = =

En xir ppor meng?
"What is that red thing?"

A: En xir at meng ppax?
"Who is that person in the red clothing?"

B: Xir at tsi keng'ir.
"That is my apprentice."

Khe tsi sonh qqhar onh at qal qqhar tsi keng'ir khe onh qqhar kolloq.
"I want you to teach me to be an armorsmith."

Khe tsi sonh qqhar onh tsi khe qal kolloq keng'ir.
"I want to become your apprentice in armorsmithing."


(Round 2)

A: Khe kallong ppor xir mekh at tsi qqhar kolloq.
"I hammered the material into a suit of armor."

B: En qa ppor meng qqhar te?
"Did you make it with red material?"

A: Qa ppor meng.
"Yes, I used red material."

B: Onh at qal ppor meng ppor tsi te.
"The red material that you used was mine."

A: Rraq, ppor tsi te qa! Khe tsi telleng ppor te qqhar tsi qen.
"No, it was mine! I found it in my quarters."

B: Khe ter xal ppor tsi qal telleng!
"We live together!"

(Tentative glosses: ter, "one"; xal, "space, enclosure")

What are your thoughts?


Last edited by Trailsend on Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:39 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Analysis Challenge
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:12 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:12 pm
Posts: 402
So far, I've got en = ?


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 Post subject: Re: Analysis Challenge
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:34 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:12 pm
Posts: 402
Could I request a present-tense version of all the past-tense sentences in the second section? I may be barking up the wrong tree here, but who knows.


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 Post subject: Re: Analysis Challenge
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:00 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:50 pm
Posts: 169
Sure thing! Here are the new sentences, and I've edited them into the OP as well.

Qqhar ngex tsi ttsell khe anh.
"I am going there now."

Qqhar ngex tsi ttsell khe anh poppak.
"I am going there now on foot."

Qqhar tsi ttsell khe ong rreng'en.
"I arrive there every morning."

Qqhar tsi ttsell khe kkir rreng'en. (An extra to clarify the previous one.)
"I arrived there this morning."


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 Post subject: Re: Analysis Challenge
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:09 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:12 pm
Posts: 402


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 Post subject: Re: Analysis Challenge
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:10 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:12 pm
Posts: 402


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 Post subject: Re: Analysis Challenge
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:18 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:50 pm
Posts: 169
Awesome! Many thanks, cromulant, that's greatly helpful! (I don't want to contaminate the environment with my own intentions yet so other people can give their thoughts, but this is definitely the kind of think I'm looking for.)

NOTE: I caught a typo in the original translation set :oops:

* B: Xonh, khe xir mekh qqhar qal kolloq. ("Alright, I will make your armor with this material")
should be
B: Xonh, ppor xir mekh qqhar qal kolloq.


Here's some more data involving khe, at, and te.


A: Khe kallong ppor xir mekh at tsi qqhar kolloq.
"I hammered the material into a suit of armor."

B: En qa ppor meng qqhar te?
"Did you make it with red material?"

A: Qa ppor meng.
"Yes, I used red material."

B: Onh at qal ppor meng ppor tsi te.
"The red material that you used was mine."

A: Rraq, ppor tsi te qa! Khe tsi telleng ppor te qqhar tsi qen.
"No, it was mine! I found it in my quarters."

B: Khe ter xal ppor tsi qal telleng!
"We live together!"

(Tentative glosses: ter, "one"; xal, "space, enclosure")


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 Post subject: Re: Analysis Challenge
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:43 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:12 pm
Posts: 402
Glad to help! This is an interesting language. I'm not in a situation right now where I can ponder it in depth, so I have nothing new to bring at the moment. I hope others will jump in.

Is there any way to rephrase any of your example sentences using a different word order to render the same meaning?

Also, is there a way to form the present progressive without emphasizing the "now?" i.e., a way to say "I am going there" rather than "I am going there now?" As it reads now, it looks like the present progressive is more marked than the past.


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 Post subject: Re: Analysis Challenge
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:51 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:50 pm
Posts: 169


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 Post subject: Re: Analysis Challenge
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:33 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:12 pm
Posts: 402
Hypothesis: there are no verbs. Predicates are formed by various combinations of prepositional phrases, which can be more or less freely ordered within a sentence. Prepositions include at, khe, ppor and qqhar. (Yes, I've revised my opinion of the latter two). Different semantic structures will require different sets of prepositions to be used. Qqhar, which I'd previously thought was a lightverb, seems to mark its object as being the goal or result of an action. Khe (among other functions) marks the instrument, or more broadly, combines with its object to form an adverb of manner; thus, 'to hammer into armor' is translated as khe kallong qqhar kolloq--roughly, 'with a hammer/hammeringly, to make armor.' The expression khe poppak, 'on foot,' might translate more generically as 'walk,' or (perhaps better), 'walkingly.'

Broadly speaking, at seems to be associated with Agents and animates, and ppor, with Patients and inanimates.


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 Post subject: Re: Analysis Challenge
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:39 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:50 pm
Posts: 169


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:03 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:12 pm
Posts: 402
Looks like I about nailed it, *gives self a cigar.*

The penny didn't really drop until I saw the alternate word orders. Then, the constituent phrases became obvious. My first thought after seeing this was that this was an isolating, prepositional grammar with free constituent order--the one constraint being that the 'object' always immediately followed the 'verb.' I was even thinking that as I began my post, but I thought further and wondered whether there was any reason at all to think of qqhar any differently from at and khe, (and now, ppor). The more I looked at it, the less verby qqhar seemed to be. I decided that that, not a rigidly VO language, was what you were probably going for.

There are certain things about this language that seem 'Dwarvish' to me--the harsh, heavy sound with the preponderance of dorsals, and the focus on building and craftsmanship. Any influence there? Of course, I don't know exactly what phonemes I'm supposed to be reading, but it looks pretty """guttural""" any way you slice it. Could you give a rundown of the Romanization?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:13 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:37 pm
Posts: 329

_________________
- My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

- An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:59 am 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:50 pm
Posts: 169


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