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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:43 pm 
Sanci
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The title's pretty straightforward. Any quirks or perks pertaining to your conlang that you can't help but favor?

I've recently written a post on my grammar blog about verb nominalizations, and how the nominalizations can take subjects and objects, as verbs are conjugated before they are nominalized. Ex:
    Sgẃscogudatha telívyta mie.
    sgẃsc-o-g-u-da-tha telív-y-ta m-ie
    school-DAT.SG-GO-1.SG-OBLIG-NOMI-NOM.SG arrive-3.SG-NEG 1-DAT.SG
    The me having to go to school doesn't arrive to me.
    "I don't like having to go to school."

    Thẃlsgymughytha tfamh ólsa févnisym telívyta mie.
    thẃlsg-ym-u-gh-y-tha tfamh ólsa févn-i-s-ym telív-y-ta m-ie
    wake-INTR-1.SG-CAUS-3.SG-NOMI-NOM.SG early.ADJ-NOM.SG by.from mother-NOM.SG-POSS-1.SG arrive-3.SG-NEG 1-DAT.SG
    The her making me wake up early by my mom doesn't arrive to me.
    "I don't like my mom making me wake up early."

I also like that verbal nominalizations utterly replace the need for relative clauses in Adwan:
    Týmdyrucatha pwórgisym telívyta févnosym.
    týmd-y-r-u-ca-tha pwórg-i-s-ym telív-y-ta févn-o-s-ym
    search.for-3.SG-1.SG-FREQ-NOMI-NOM.SG dog-NOM.SG-POSS-1.SG arrive-3.SG-NEG mother-DAT.SG-POSS-1.SG
    The it searching for my of my dog does not arrive to my mother.
    "My mom doesn't like that my dog keeps looking for me."

So, any quirks or perks anyone would like to share?

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Last edited by lctrgzmn on Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:48 pm 
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Something that I'm thinking about incorporating into the next conlang I make is a restriction on quantification of external arguments. That is, they couldn't ge qualified directly. So a sentence like 'every boy kicked the dog' would actually have to involve a cleft or something. Who knows.


Last edited by roninbodhisattva on Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:31 pm 
Lebom
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The thing I love the most about my conlang is how it uses pronouns in a different way than I've seen any natlangs do it. Pronouns consist of a single phoneme. The subject pronoun is prefixed onto the verb, and the object pronoun is suffixed. If subject and object are the same(i.e. "He calls himself Daniel") then of course the word begins and ends with the same phoneme.
Example:
Ru ngario-ma t'aro'z
pl. dog-patient I'walk'them

Agentive/patientive rolls between pronouns are also distinguished by voicing/unvoicing of these phonemes. If the first person singular pronoun had been the object, it would have been d instead of t. If the third person plural pronoun had been subject instead of object, it would have been s instead of z. Since their location in the verb phrase already tells you which is which, the voicing/unvoicing mechanism is redundant. This quirk makes it more naturalistic IMO.

My other favorite thing about my conlang is that transivity is marked by reduplicating the first syllable of the thing in question. An example in English would be "to infinity, and beyond!" realized as "infinfinity, and beyond!"

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:14 pm 
Sanci
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blank stare II wrote:
Ru ngario-ma t'aro'z
pl. dog-patient I'walk'them

Interestingly, Po Zhifmök does something similar, except it uses a symmetrical stop-based pronoun set: stops are singular, fricatives are trial, and voicing each yields the dual and plural, respectively. Velars indicate 1st person, labials indicate second, and alveolars indicate 3rd. For example: I see you three: kshukf (1s.see.2t)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:36 pm 
Sanci
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I kind of do that in Adwan! Except instead of prefixing and suffixing, i use affixed order after the conjugation, so the verb is technically conjugated twice. The endings are the same whether they're subjective or objective, they simply rely on order (and thematic consonants) to tell them apart :p

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:46 pm 
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I just love having something that I can use for personal scribbling. It has a personal meaning to me. It is also a great way to try out all of the funny ideas and get the creative joy of expression into something concrete. Fiddling around with phonologies and their respective orthography has been my most recent pleasure. I like some parts of my current language a lot, but I'm finding the grammar fairly boring in some aspects, so I think I'm going to take what I like from my previous language (some of which I didn't, because I didn't want to copy it all over, but now I feel that some of the ideas were really appealing to me, and I'm going to do a revision to bring those into the new language as well and blend it in with the new features I like of the current one, and then add some even more fresh spices to that.

Sadly, I have to work pretty much 24/7 for the rest of this week, at least, so no more conlanging until some time next week (I've barely had time this entire month, but that's good in one way, because it builds up the will to do it, and it'll be so much fun to get back to it).

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:34 am 
Lebom
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Ouagadougou wrote:
Po Zhifmök uses a symmetrical stop-based pronoun set: stops are singular, fricatives are trial, and voicing each yields the dual and plural, respectively. Velars indicate 1st person, labials indicate second, and alveolars indicate 3rd. For example: I see you three: kshukf (1s.see.2t)


I wish I'd thought of that. Laugh out loud

lctrgzmn wrote:
The endings are the same whether they're subjective or objective, they simply rely on order to tell them apart


That's how mine started out, but somehow the more I use the language the more it evolves without any conscious effort on my part. That's how the voicing distinction came about. I feel that it's a perfect microcosm of language change.

Skomakar'n wrote:
I just love having something that I can use for personal scribbling.


That's why I have more conscripts than I have languages to write with them! One script has been in continual use(though it has changed steadily) since I was in eighth grade, some nine years ago. It's just a cipher of english, based on Tolkien's Runes of Daeron. You should see my grocery list when I go to the store. It looks like a dwarf wrote it :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:40 am 
Sumerul
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lctrgzmn wrote:
I've recently written a post on my grammar blog about verb nominalizations, and how the nominalizations can take subjects and objects, as verbs are conjugated before they are nominalized.

...

I also like that verbal nominalizations utterly replace the need for relative clauses in Adwan

Oh hey, Kannow does this.

Rgŗetdow iciņuctèģàt.
[ʂkretʰtəw ic͡çʰiŋuçʷtʷʰeɔ̯qʷɔtʰ]
r-gŗet-d-ow i-ciņu-ctè-ow-ģàt
SENS.PRES-hold-C6.P.SG-1S.A NONP.PRES-glass-eat-1S.A-C6.DEF
I like eating glass.

Rgŗetdow iciņuctèkģàt.
[ʂkretʰtəw ic͡çʰiŋuçʷtʷʰeɔ̯kʷʰqʷɔtʰ]
r-gŗet-d-ow i-ciņu-ctè-k-ģàt
SENS.PRES-hold-C6.P.SG-1S.A NONP.PRES-glass-eat-2S.A-C6.DEF
I like it when you eat glass.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:46 am 
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Nominalisation of conjugated and inflected compounds.
And a crazy case system, too.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:56 am 
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Phonologies. For every languiage except Thaoa, anyway. For Thaoa the favorite thing is that I made a language I liked without including any of the features I typically like. I like languages with high levels of fusion and even polysynthesis, but none of my conlangs are great examples of this ... Poswa has a lot of highly fusiional *derivations*, but those are easy because they can happen gradually over 4000+ years and not require speakers to have the patterns memorized. The inflection system of Poswa is fairly mild, just as it is in all my other conlangs.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:50 am 
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My favourite thing about Old Albic is its degree of volition marking.

First of all, Old Albic is an active/stative language:

(1a) Transitive
Avarphasa a jana am pil.
AOR-throw-3SG:P-3SG:A the:C.AGT child.AGT the:I.OBJ ball.OBJ
‘The child threw the ball.’

(1b) Instransitve active
Icethsa a jana.
AOR-laugh-3SG:A the:C.AGT child.AGT
‘The child laughed.’

(1c) Intransitive stative
Adraba am pil.
AOR-fall-3SG:P the:I.OBJ ball.OBJ
‘The ball fell.’

The language is fluid-S, with some verbs taking different markings based on agency:

(2a) Agency
Enésa mabrado sandar.
AOR-arrive-3SG:A my-brother.AGT today
‘My brother arrived today.’

(2b) No agency
Enê thagratath sandar.
AOR-arrive-3SG:P your-letter.OBJ today
‘Your letter arrived today.’

The brother actively travels; the letter is just being carried about.

The language also distinguishes degrees of volition of the agent by marking it with different cases:

(3a) Full volition
Ibretasa Senantho am bul.
AOR-break-3SG:P-3SG:A Senantho-AGT the bowl
‘Senantho broke the bowl (on purpose).’

(3b) Accidental action
Ibretasa Senanthon am bul.
AOR-break-3SG:P-3SG:A Senantho-DAT the bowl
‘Senantho broke the bowl (accidentally).’

(3c) Action under external force
Ibreta Senanthømi am bul.
AOR-break-3SG:P Senantho-INS the bowl
‘Senantho broke the bowl (under external force).’

The last degree, external force, is the only degree of volition available to inanimate nouns:

(4)
Ibreta cheri am bul.
AOR-break-3SG:P stone-INS the bowl
‘A stone broke the bowl.’

With negated verbs, the agentive expresses deliberate non-action, and the dative expresses failure despite intention to act. With verbs of perception, the agentive expresses deliberate observation and the dative expresses cursory perception.

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ESTAR-3SG:P human-OBJ only human-OBJ true-OBJ REL-LOC play-3SG:A


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:29 pm 
Sanci
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WeepingElf wrote:
(3c) Action under external force
Ibreta Senanthømi am bul.
AOR-break-3SG:P Senantho-INS the bowl
‘Senantho broke the bowl (under external force).’


This makes me think of the causative mood. Telívy mie(I like it).

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:57 pm 
Smeric
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Something I've been thinking about today (too bad I can't find my old notes): a conlang with a three-way regressive vowel harmony. It went something like this: /i/ turns into [y] when the word ends with /u/, and [e] when the word ends with /a/; /u/ turns into [ɯ] when the word ends with /i/ and /ʌ/ when it ends with /a/; and /a/ turns into [ɛ] when the word ends with /i/ and /o/ when it ends with /u/.
Code:
i → y ɯ ← u
↓         ↓
e         ʌ
ɛ

a → o

Then I was thinking that what if all or most suffixes contained a single vowel, and there was a sound change that elided word final vowels? Then a lot of the grammar would be expressed through umlaut. Way cool!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:05 pm 
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Favorite thing... hmmm.

Squalipsh: the phonology and morphology is so Salishan that it makes me cry joyful tears.
Athanic: the initial consonant mutations, consonant gradation, vowel harmony and Estonianesque phonology. I like that it is a fusion of Celtic and Finnic areal features.
Teskwan: the phonology, although it was borrowed from Nort, making my favorite feature the agglutinative morphology. The allophonic processes are really cool too, although it was Nort's idea completely.
Kūc Modyo: its too much of a relex of English to be proud of, but I like the isolating morphology and VSO word order. (I'm really obsessed with VSO)
Goidhilge: I'm not too far with this, but I like that it is going to be a daughter conlang of Old Irish. The phonology and morphology really intrigues me.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:38 pm 
Avisaru
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Qwynegold wrote:
Something I've been thinking about today (too bad I can't find my old notes): a conlang with a three-way regressive vowel harmony. It went something like this: /i/ turns into [y] when the word ends with /u/, and [e] when the word ends with /a/; /u/ turns into [ɯ] when the word ends with /i/ and /ʌ/ when it ends with /a/; and /a/ turns into [ɛ] when the word ends with /i/ and /o/ when it ends with /u/.
Code:
i → y ɯ ← u
↓         ↓
e         ʌ
ɛ

a → o

Then I was thinking that what if all or most suffixes contained a single vowel, and there was a sound change that elided word final vowels? Then a lot of the grammar would be expressed through umlaut. Way cool!


That is cool!

I'd say one of my favorite things about Ksso is its valency shifts with noun clauses:

The verbs of subordinate clauses tend to be treated as objects, which shifts the subjects of such clauses to indirect objects, and the objects to the locative:
Ottalas waeve'o noni kootao (ena) tsto.
/otːalas ʋaɛfɛna noni koːtao̯ (ɛnɑ) tsto/
[o̝t̪θɑlɑs ʋaɛfɛnɑ no̝ni kɔo̯tɔo̯ (ɛnɑ) tsto̝]
ottala-s wae-ve-na noni koota-o (en-a) tsto
cereal-ATT rest-LOC-TOP you.DAT ate-ACC (1S-NOM)* know
"I know you ate the rest of the cereal."
*Non-topic subjects are commonly omitted when context makes them obvious, and when they do appear, they follow all other nouns.

-ve, a suffix I've been calling "inessive/comitative", that has a lot of different uses, is used to mark the recipient in subordinate ditransitive constructions:
Lopave'o noni vaso motao ena tsto.
lopa-ve-'o noni va-so mota-o en-a tsto
ball-LOC-FOC 2S.DAT 3SF-COM gave-ACC 1S-NOM know
"at-ball to-you with-her gave I know"
"I know you gave her the ball."

And if you wanted to specify location with such a construction, you would have two instances of -ve, usually separated by the other arguments of the object-marked verb:
Lopave'o noni vaso po'steve motao ena tsto.
lopa-ve-'o noni va-so po'ste-ve mota-o en-a tsto
ball-LOC-FOC 2S.DAT 3SF-COM park-LOC gave-ACC 1S-NOM know
"at-ball to-you with-her at-park gave I know"
"I know you gave her the ball at the park."

Compare to "You gave her the ball at the park" on its own:
Lopao'o nuu vani po'steve mota.
ball-ACC-FOC 2S.NOM 3SF-DAT park-LOC gave

So Ksso's basic word order, ignoring topic, is (S/O)IAV, where S and O are subject and direct object (whose order varies), I is the indirect object, A is any other noun or postpositional phrase, and V is, of course, the verb. In constructions with subordinate clauses like those above, this becomes (S2/O)IAV2S1V1, where S2, O, I, and A apply to V2, which is the subordinate (accusative-marked) verb, and S1 is the subject of V1, the main verb. If any of these nouns is the topic, it comes first in the sentence, and the order of the other components remains the same. Focus only affects the order of subject and direct object, and then only when neither is the topic - the focus will come first.

I also really love having syllabic /s f/.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:54 pm 
Smeric
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Qwynegold wrote:
Something I've been thinking about today (too bad I can't find my old notes): a conlang with a three-way regressive vowel harmony. It went something like this: /i/ turns into [y] when the word ends with /u/, and [e] when the word ends with /a/; /u/ turns into [ɯ] when the word ends with /i/ and /ʌ/ when it ends with /a/; and /a/ turns into [ɛ] when the word ends with /i/ and /o/ when it ends with /u/.
Code:
i → y ɯ ← u
↓         ↓
e         ʌ
ɛ

a → o



What vowels do that? Every vowel in a word? The closest vowel to the final vowel? The tonic vowel? Etc.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:14 pm 
Avisaru
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I guess one of my favourite things in Rammy is "bicase", where you use a kind of second case inflection to tell the relationship between a noun and the verb which the noun can be seen as a nominal form of. So from "learn", with absolutive bicase you get "lesson" (as in "that which you learn"), with dative you get "student", with ergative you get "teacher", with locative you get "school", with lative you get "the path to learning" or something, with temporal you get "lesson" as in "time spent in school studying a particular thing"...

One of my favourite things in the Choir Conlang is how you can express certain otherwise confusing references without even using pronouns. Like so:
"The dog with the hat sees the cat. It gives it to it." (i.e. the dog gives the hat to the cat)
dog.ERG hat.POSS see.ACT cat.ABS . give.ACT.OBL

Actually that's not a good example. Let's take another one:
"The dog with the hat sees the cat. It chases it and drops it." (i.e. the dog chases the cat, and the dog drops the hat)
dog.ERG hat.POSS see.ACT-ACT cat.ABS . chase.ACT-ACT and drop.OBL-ACT

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:28 pm 
Avisaru
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Chuma wrote:
I guess one of my favourite things in Rammy is "bicase", where you use a kind of second case inflection to tell the relationship between a noun and the verb which the noun can be seen as a nominal form of. So from "learn", with absolutive bicase you get "lesson" (as in "that which you learn"), with dative you get "student", with ergative you get "teacher", with locative you get "school", with lative you get "the path to learning" or something, with temporal you get "lesson" as in "time spent in school studying a particular thing"...

How is that different from having voice for a participle or for a verbal noun (e.g. infinitive or gerund)?
I mean, yes, it's a nice feature and I like it, I just wonder why you invented a term for it instead of using "voice".


Chuma wrote:
One of my favourite things in the Choir Conlang is how you can express certain otherwise confusing references without even using pronouns.

Yes; that would be nice.


Chuma wrote:
Like so:
"The dog with the hat sees the cat. It gives it to it." (i.e. the dog gives the hat to the cat)
dog.ERG hat.POSS see.ACT cat.ABS . give.ACT.OBL

I am not sure;
How, exactly do you know it's not, for instance, the hat that gives the cat to the dog?
How would you say in Choir "it gives it to it" to mean:
the cat gives the dog to the hat
the cat gives the hat to the dog
the dog gives the cat to the hat
the hat gives the cat to the dog
the hat gives the dog to the cat
and would any two of them sound the same as each other or as "the dog gives the hat to the cat"?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:34 pm 
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My favourite thing in Baranxe'i is probably the infixing of case markers in consonant stems; at least in part because it introduces a marginal [u] - [ɯ] contrast:
tazum /tazum/ [ˈtɑːzɯm] = tazum silk
tazum /tazuum/ [ˈtɑːzum / tɑ:zuɯ̯m] = tazu<u>m silk<adpos>

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:54 pm 
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My favourite thing in Hellesan is its complexity and natural flavour that is only perceptible in small things, as in the slightly archaic pronominal system, vowel harmony only in Low Morençan dialect, or the duality in the verbal system with simple and periphrastical verbs to distinguish aspect.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:42 am 
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I don't really like anything about Kett right now, but the revision should make the vowel system interesting. As for Proto-Kett, fuck yeah construct state.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:49 am 
Avisaru
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TomHChappell wrote:
How is that different from having voice for a participle or for a verbal noun (e.g. infinitive or gerund)?

I'm not sure about the nomenclature here, but I think it's a little different. I don't know of any language that has that sort of parallel between case and nominalisation. There's no actual morphological similarities between case and bicase, so I suppose you could call it voice instead. The form which says this word is ergative in relation to its defining predicate could be called "antipassive voice participle particle" instead of "ergative bicase marker". But I don't know what I would call the forms corresponding to things like locative. Since the forms mirror the list of cases, this seemed like the easiest way. And it felt odd to say that nouns have voice but verbs don't. Does that make sense?

TomHChappell wrote:
Chuma wrote:
"The dog with the hat sees the cat. It gives it to it." (i.e. the dog gives the hat to the cat)
dog.ERG hat.POSS see.ACT cat.ABS . give.ACT.OBL

I am not sure;
How, exactly do you know it's not, for instance, the hat that gives the cat to the dog?

I realised that wasn't a good example (I haven't really figured out how to handle 3-valent verbs) so I changed it. Sorry about any confusion.

There are two ways of seeing it, I think.
The first way is to think of it as voices. If we look at two-valent verbs, a "normal" language might have
active = the marked patient is the semantic patient, and the marked agent is the semantic agent
passive = the marked agent is the semantic patient, and the marked patient is the semantic agent (well, passive is normally valency-reducing, but we can imagine some language doing this)
reflexive = the single noun is both the semantic agent and patient

whereas CC has lots of combinations, like
active-active: the marked patient is the semantic patient, and the marked agent is the semantic agent
passive-passive: the marked agent is the semantic patient, and the marked patient is the semantic agent
active-passive: the marked patient is both semantic patient and agent
passive-active: the marked agent is both semantic patient and agent
active-oblique: the marked patient is the semantic patient, and something else is the semantic agent
passive-oblique: the marked agent is the semantic patient, and something else is the semantic agent
oblique-active: something else is the semantic patient, and the marked agent is the semantic agent
oblique-passive: something else is the semantic patient, and the marked patient is the semantic agent
oblique-oblique: something else is both semantic patient and agent

So to get back to my (new) example, "It chases it and drops it" can be
chase.ACT-ACT drop.OBL-ACT (the dog chases the cat, the dog drops the hat)
chase.PASS-PASS drop.ACT-ACT (the cat chases the dog, the dog drops the cat)
chase.OBL-ACT drop.PASS-OBL (the dog chases the hat, the hat drops the dog)
etc.

You can also think of it as polypersonal agreement.
Imagine instead of a pronoun "it" meaning basically "that which we were just talking about", there are separate pronouns for "that which we were just talking about in the absolutive", "that which we were just talking about in the ergative" and "that which we were just talking about in some other form". Now we just let the verb agree with both of them, and we don't even need to say the actual pronouns.

To extend the system, there are also a few other voices/agreements included. The full list is:
active
passive
oblique
1pers
2pers
imperative
directed ("that")
interrogative
vacant (none specified)

So in the example, you can add lots of other forms:
chase.ACT-1P (I chase the cat)
chase.2P-PASS (the cat chases you)
chase.OBL-INTG (who chases the hat?)
chase.INTG-2P (whom do you chase?)
chase.PASS-IMP (chase the dog!)
chase.PASS-VAC (the dog is being chased)
etc.

Valency 3 verbs don't come up very often, so I haven't worked much on them, but the idea is about the same, except the verb has a third voice/agreement as well.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:36 am 
Sanci
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Modality and Applicative voice structure =)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:48 pm 
Smeric
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äreo wrote:
That is cool!

Thank you! :D

Izambri wrote:
Qwynegold wrote:
Something I've been thinking about today (too bad I can't find my old notes): a conlang with a three-way regressive vowel harmony. It went something like this: /i/ turns into [y] when the word ends with /u/, and [e] when the word ends with /a/; /u/ turns into [ɯ] when the word ends with /i/ and /ʌ/ when it ends with /a/; and /a/ turns into [ɛ] when the word ends with /i/ and /o/ when it ends with /u/.
Code:
i → y ɯ ← u
↓         ↓
e         ʌ
ɛ

a → o



What vowels do that? Every vowel in a word? The closest vowel to the final vowel? The tonic vowel? Etc.

Every vowel. I've been thinking that it could have started with just the last vowel doing it, so it was a vowel mutation sound change. Then that vowel mutated the vowel preceding it, and so forth. Wait, that might not be plausible. I'll keep thinking...

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:15 pm 
Avisaru
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Chuma wrote:
TomHChappell wrote:
How is that different from having voice for a participle or for a verbal noun (e.g. infinitive or gerund)?

I'm not sure about the nomenclature here, but I think it's a little different. I don't know of any language that has that sort of parallel between case and nominalisation. There's no actual morphological similarities between case and bicase, so I suppose you could call it voice instead. The form which says this word is ergative in relation to its defining predicate could be called "antipassive voice participle particle" instead of "ergative bicase marker".
OK ...

Chuma wrote:
But I don't know what I would call the forms corresponding to things like locative.
Participles and/or verbal nouns can have applicative voice and/or circumstantial voice, as easily as passive or active or anti-passive voice; or at least I think so.

Chuma wrote:
And it felt odd to say that nouns have voice but verbs don't. Does that make sense?
That it felt odd? Yes; that certainly makes sense. But there's no reason a language's non-finite verbforms have to have exactly the same voice-system its finite verbforms have. It feels odd to you and me; it wouldn't feel odd to a native speaker.

Chuma wrote:
Since the forms mirror the list of cases, this seemed like the easiest way.
That's a good point. Maybe that should clench it.


Chuma wrote:
TomHChappell wrote:
I am not sure;
How, exactly do you know it's not, for instance, the hat that gives the cat to the dog?

I realised that wasn't a good example (I haven't really figured out how to handle 3-valent verbs) so I changed it. Sorry about any confusion.

There are two ways of seeing it, I think.
The first way is to think of it as voices. If we look at two-valent verbs, a "normal" language might have
active = the marked patient is the semantic patient, and the marked agent is the semantic agent
passive = the marked agent is the semantic patient, and the marked patient is the semantic agent (well, passive is normally valency-reducing, but we can imagine some language doing this)
reflexive = the single noun is both the semantic agent and patient

whereas CC has lots of combinations, like
active-active: the marked patient is the semantic patient, and the marked agent is the semantic agent
passive-passive: the marked agent is the semantic patient, and the marked patient is the semantic agent
active-passive: the marked patient is both semantic patient and agent
passive-active: the marked agent is both semantic patient and agent
active-oblique: the marked patient is the semantic patient, and something else is the semantic agent
passive-oblique: the marked agent is the semantic patient, and something else is the semantic agent
oblique-active: something else is the semantic patient, and the marked agent is the semantic agent
oblique-passive: something else is the semantic patient, and the marked patient is the semantic agent
oblique-oblique: something else is both semantic patient and agent

So to get back to my (new) example, "It chases it and drops it" can be
chase.ACT-ACT drop.OBL-ACT (the dog chases the cat, the dog drops the hat)
chase.PASS-PASS drop.ACT-ACT (the cat chases the dog, the dog drops the cat)
chase.OBL-ACT drop.PASS-OBL (the dog chases the hat, the hat drops the dog)
etc.

You can also think of it as polypersonal agreement.
Imagine instead of a pronoun "it" meaning basically "that which we were just talking about", there are separate pronouns for "that which we were just talking about in the absolutive", "that which we were just talking about in the ergative" and "that which we were just talking about in some other form". Now we just let the verb agree with both of them, and we don't even need to say the actual pronouns.

To extend the system, there are also a few other voices/agreements included. The full list is:
active
passive
oblique
1pers
2pers
imperative
directed ("that")
interrogative
vacant (none specified)

So in the example, you can add lots of other forms:
chase.ACT-1P (I chase the cat)
chase.2P-PASS (the cat chases you)
chase.OBL-INTG (who chases the hat?)
chase.INTG-2P (whom do you chase?)
chase.PASS-IMP (chase the dog!)
chase.PASS-VAC (the dog is being chased)
etc.

Valency 3 verbs don't come up very often, so I haven't worked much on them, but the idea is about the same, except the verb has a third voice/agreement as well.

Thanks. I'm not sure I get it yet, but I have a better feeling that I will eventually.
BTW when you say something like "OBL-INTG" or "ACT-ACT", is one of them "case" and the other "bicase" or something like that?

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