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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:35 am 
Avisaru
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Nortaneous wrote:
Xephyr wrote:
Whimemsz wrote:
I'm also a little concerned about how Algonquian-y it is overall, grammar-wise. A prominence hierarchy, direct/inverse alignment, and proximate/obviate pretty much just occur in Algonquian and the isolate Kutenai...


"Concerned"? Man, IMO we don't see nearly enough Direct-Inverse systems in conlangs. At least I haven't. Which is a shame cause it's cool. I've been trying to get a Direct-Inverse-style conlang off the ground fo ra couple years now. Accusative, Ergative, even Active systems are boring; let's see more conlangs like Tagalog, Ojibwe, or Aleut dammit!


Tagalog? I thought there were a lot of trigger system conlangs, and trigger was a simplification of Austronesian?


IIRC, guitarplayer's conlang has a trigger system. And, as you say, the voice systems of languages like Tagalog are usually not classified as inverse / hierarchical agreement systems. All the major examples of such languages involve a hierarchy of referents that at least partly involves notions like person and animacy. Tagalog, on the other hand, does not select its triggers on that basis - there is some pragmatic basis, possibly involving topicality and definiteness, but little evidence for a person hierarchy. If Tagalog were considered to be an 'inverse' language, then presumably many other languages with pragmatically driven voice constructions would also have to be considered to have inverses.

Also, the conlang I'm currently working on has an inverse system. But I don't think it's that rare, or at least it didn't use to be - there was certainly a fad for them several years ago, but maybe it's died down since then.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:39 am 
Avisaru
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Where on earth did you get the impression I was saying Tagalog had a direct-inverse MSA?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:39 pm 
Avisaru
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Okay, so I've been drowning in a swamp of homework, but I seem to be temporarily out of that mess so I can work on this more. Thanks for the input, and I apologize for taking so long to respond.

Quote:
To judge from these examples (or at least the first one?), the person-marking pronouns and affixes don't seem to be specified for number at all (except the inclusive 1pl in the second sentence). Is there a reason you're still glossing them with things like "2PS"?

My current idea is that first and second person markers are specified for plurality, whereas third person markers are not except for with the explicit -hée thing. My current markers are as follows, with the suffixes first and the independent pronoun thingies in parentheses:

Code:
1SG       -ŋ        (né)
1PL       -qw       (néhée)
2SG       -ł        (ło)
2PL       -d        (łohée)
1+2SG     -si       (bê)
1+2PL     -b        (behée)
3PROX.SG  -ʔ        (aŋí)
3PROX.PL  -ʔ        (aŋíhée)
3OBV.SG   -wetsi    (wetsi)
3OBV.PL   -wetsi    (wetsihée)
3INAN.SG  -g        (gi)
3INAN.PL  -g        (kée)


Quote:
As for the proximate/obviative thing THC brought up...I'm not sure that it even makes sense to describe obviative as higher on a prominence hierarchy than proximate. All you're really doing is calling a proximate "obviative" and an obviative "proximate", because the whole point is that the proximate third person is the more salient or topicalized or important or whatever. I could be wrong, but from everything I know it seems to me that what you've got now is literally just a reversal of definitions, rather than a new way of treating proximate/obviate marking in a hierarchy.

After spending some time trying to make this work I'm coming to the same conclusion, so I think I'm just going to nix it.

Quote:
I'm also a little concerned about how Algonquian-y it is overall, grammar-wise. A prominence hierarchy, direct/inverse alignment, and proximate/obviate pretty much just occur in Algonquian and the isolate Kutenai (and Kutenai's system seems to be connected to the Algonquian one somehow--presumably through an old period of contact). At least as far as I'm aware. And even Kutenai isn't really to the level of Algonquian. There are other systems that are kind of like it, but even if there are others it's an extremely rare system. Or at least a system advanced to this extent is extremely rare. Plus you've got an animacy distinction for noun gender, and overt plural marking on nouns, and a clusivity distinction. There's nothing inherently wrong about all that (one of my conlangs is heavily influenced by Algonquian in certain aspects of the grammar and phonology) ... just, make sure you realize that's what you're doing, I guess? (I'm not 100% sure what I originally intended my point to be...)

Yeah, I'm aware that a lot of it is extremely Algonquianish. I don't intend to change how much of it is inspired by Algonquian languages, but to make it unique by having enough non-Algonquian features to balance it out; the word order, the trigger system, evidentiality and the auxiliary verbs, at the very least, are not particularly Algonquian.

I'm seriously considering fucking with the animacy hierarchy to include a complex politeness system. I'm also probably going to add a human/nonhuman/inanimate distinction instead of just binary animacy, and also a distinction for religious figures, i.e. spirits and deities.

For the evidentiality system, I'm considering having these four distinctions:

  • Direct 1 (speaker was involved)
  • Direct 2 (speaker witnessed it)
  • Inferential
  • Reportative

I'm unsure about the distinction between what I've labeled Direct 1 and Direct 2; the distinction seems to make sense and I definitely think it would be workable, but I'd like to know if it's attested in any natlangs. If it isn't I'll probably use it anyway because I like it, but it'd still be nice to have some real examples. I'd also be interested in adding an evidentiality marker specifically for religious knowledge, but the realisticity of that seems kind of dubious.

I'd also be interested in mixing evidentiality with the tense system somehow, maybe as a future/nonfuture thing. I don't know of any languages that do this, although I'm certain some languages do it, so I'd appreciate it if anyone could give me examples.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:02 pm 
Avisaru
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Risla wrote:
Quote:
I'm also a little concerned about how Algonquian-y it is overall, grammar-wise. A prominence hierarchy, direct/inverse alignment, and proximate/obviate pretty much just occur in Algonquian and the isolate Kutenai (and Kutenai's system seems to be connected to the Algonquian one somehow--presumably through an old period of contact). At least as far as I'm aware. And even Kutenai isn't really to the level of Algonquian. There are other systems that are kind of like it, but even if there are others it's an extremely rare system. Or at least a system advanced to this extent is extremely rare. Plus you've got an animacy distinction for noun gender, and overt plural marking on nouns, and a clusivity distinction. There's nothing inherently wrong about all that (one of my conlangs is heavily influenced by Algonquian in certain aspects of the grammar and phonology) ... just, make sure you realize that's what you're doing, I guess? (I'm not 100% sure what I originally intended my point to be...)


Yeah, I'm aware that a lot of it is extremely Algonquianish. I don't intend to change how much of it is inspired by Algonquian languages, but to make it unique by having enough non-Algonquian features to balance it out; the word order, the trigger system, evidentiality and the auxiliary verbs, at the very least, are not particularly Algonquian.


Well, there's nothing wrong with it looking Algonquian if you like Algonquian languages. Actually, your current work looks a lot like my own latest project in a lot of respects, although the resemblance is coincidental. See, e.g., here, at least as far as I've documentated where I'm going with it.

Also, hierarchical alignment doesn't just occur in Algonquian. Similar phenomena occur in Athabaskan languages like Navajo, at least for 3rd person agreement, in plenty of Sino-Tibetan languages, in at least one language in Indonesia, and if we also allow more passive-like constructions which are obligatory in some cases then in lots more languages besides (e.g. some Salishan languages have passives that are obligatory with 1st / 2nd person objects). The Algonquian languages are just the best known example of agreement and voice driven by a person/animacy/empathy hierarchy.

As far as the trigger system goes... Algonquian languages have, IIRC, a lot of applicatives, which aren't exactly the same but serve a similar function. Also, IIRC at least some Algonquian languages have evidential markers, and they also tend to have sophisticated modal systems that indicate things like degree of belief (e.g. having a 'Dubitative' mood).

Anyway... as I said, there's nothing wrong with liking the way Algonquian languages do things.

Quote:
I'm seriously considering fucking with the animacy hierarchy to include a complex politeness system. I'm also probably going to add a human/nonhuman/inanimate distinction instead of just binary animacy, and also a distinction for religious figures, i.e. spirits and deities.


Speaking of politeness systems and inverse marking... Japanese has lexical alternations that correlate with point of view and empathy. For example, there are two verbs for 'give', one of which is used to take the Actor's point of view, and one the Beneficiary's. IIRC, Japanese also uses alternations in auxiliary verbs (involving deictic verbs like 'come') for this purpose.

Quote:
For the evidentiality system, I'm considering having these four distinctions:

  • Direct 1 (speaker was involved)
  • Direct 2 (speaker witnessed it)
  • Inferential
  • Reportative

I'm unsure about the distinction between what I've labeled Direct 1 and Direct 2; the distinction seems to make sense and I definitely think it would be workable, but I'd like to know if it's attested in any natlangs. If it isn't I'll probably use it anyway because I like it, but it'd still be nice to have some real examples. I'd also be interested in adding an evidentiality marker specifically for religious knowledge, but the realisticity of that seems kind of dubious.


Have you read Aikhenvald's book on Evidentiality? It's quite a good starting point. Also, have you read the grammar of Oksapmin that I posted a link to in the resources thread? Oksapmin distinguishes in its system between involvement or not in the action in the direct case. This isn't a distinction that Aikhenvald has in her classification, I don't think, so I don't know how common it is in Natlangs.

Quote:
I'd also be interested in mixing evidentiality with the tense system somehow, maybe as a future/nonfuture thing. I don't know of any languages that do this, although I'm certain some languages do it, so I'd appreciate it if anyone could give me examples.


Sure they do. Lots of natlangs with evidentiality lack an evidentiality distinction in the future - probably because the primary split in evidentiality systems tends to be direct vs indirect, and direct evidence of an event in the future is impossible barring amazing skills with a crystal ball.

EDIT: download the grammar of Oksapmin here:

http://dtl.unimelb.edu.au/R/YGP9BFEST7K ... ndle=GUEST

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:14 pm 
Avisaru
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Posts: 807
Risla wrote:
I don't intend to change how much of it is inspired by Algonquian languages, but to make it unique by having enough non-Algonquian features to balance it out; the word order, the trigger system, evidentiality and the auxiliary verbs, at the very least, are not particularly Algonquian.

I'm really liking this! :D (just sayin')


Risla wrote:
I'm seriously considering fucking with the animacy hierarchy

Could be fun.


Risla wrote:
to include a complex politeness system.

Ooh. :roll: Chris will like that. I won't.


Risla wrote:
I'm also probably going to add a human/nonhuman/inanimate distinction instead of just binary animacy,

I also think animacy is at least a three-valued quality.


Risla wrote:
and also a distinction for religious figures, i.e. spirits and deities.

OK, then; four-valued.


Risla wrote:
For the evidentiality system, I'm considering having these four distinctions:

  • Direct 1 (speaker was involved)
  • Direct 2 (speaker witnessed it)
  • Inferential
  • Reportative

I'm unsure about the distinction between what I've labeled Direct 1 and Direct 2; the distinction seems to make sense and I definitely think it would be workable, but I'd like to know if it's attested in any natlangs. If it isn't I'll probably use it anyway because I like it, but it'd still be nice to have some real examples. I'd also be interested in adding an evidentiality marker specifically for religious knowledge, but the realisticity of that seems kind of dubious.

My estimate is: Cool! 8)


Risla wrote:
I'd also be interested in mixing evidentiality with the tense system somehow, maybe as a future/nonfuture thing. I don't know of any languages that do this, although I'm certain some languages do it, so I'd appreciate it if anyone could give me examples.

I've read here the claim that English's "will" is more of an evidential than a temporal auxiliary.


chris_notts wrote:
Have you read Aikhenvald's book on Evidentiality? It's quite a good starting point. Also, have you read the grammar of Oksapmin that I posted a link to in the resources thread? Oksapmin distinguishes in its system between involvement or not in the action in the direct case.

What Chris said.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:46 am 
Avisaru
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TomHChappell wrote:
Ooh. :roll: Chris will like that. I won't.


I do like stuff to do with social deixis...

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:03 pm 
Avisaru
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Posts: 807
chris_notts wrote:
TomHChappell wrote:
Chris will like that. I won't.

I do like stuff to do with social deixis...

I like registers, including formal vs informal, or polite vs "common, business-oriented", or whatever.
And social deixis of the "intimate vs acquaintance vs stranger" type is fine with me.
But honorifics and humilifics don't do much for me. (Well, actually, they kind of turn me off.)
I like Chris's conlangs; but I usually skip the parts on honorifics and humilifics with the intention of "coming back to that later".
I like what Chris has to say about natlangs too (e.g. for nearly every phenomenon in each of his conlangs he includes at least one natlang precedent), but my prejudice against honorifics and especially against humilifics extends to natlangs.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:46 pm 
Avisaru
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I should clarify my comment about it being "too" much like Algonquian. For starters, that was a stupid comment on my part. What I was trying to say was basically just, be aware that you're combining a number of disparate grammatical properties in your language which taken together are basically diagnostic of Algonquian to the exclusion of any other language family I know of. It's not a wrong thing to do--my comment was originally intended as more of a "just be sure you realize that's what you're doing and you're okay with that" sort of thing. But I didn't express myself well and it was kind of a stupid comment to begin with anyway. (As a further note it didn't sink in at the time I wrote it that I was talking to Risla, who of course is familiar with Algonquian grammar to a greater extent than most conlangers since she's studying Ojibwe).

That being said, more please!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:55 pm 
Avisaru
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Oh also:
Risla wrote:
My current idea is that first and second person markers are specified for plurality, whereas third person markers are not except for with the explicit -hée thing. My current markers are as follows, with the suffixes first and the independent pronoun thingies in parentheses:

Code:
1SG       -ŋ        (né)
1PL       -qw       (néhée)
2SG       -ł        (ło)
2PL       -d        (łohée)
1+2SG     -si       (bê)
1+2PL     -b        (behée)
3PROX.SG  -ʔ        (aŋí)
3PROX.PL  -ʔ        (aŋíhée)
3OBV.SG   -wetsi    (wetsi)
3OBV.PL   -wetsi    (wetsihée)
3INAN.SG  -g        (gi)
3INAN.PL  -g        (kée)


Okay, I guess the sentence that confused me was this one:
Code:
Né hée sebáaysikaŋał.
né-Ø hée sebáay-si-k-ŋ-ł-Ø
1PS-TOP PL see-IMPERF-EVID-1PS-2PS-DIR
I see you(pl).

I was thinking -ł- somehow had to be the 2pl suffix, and the hée particle didn't apply there. (I'm still not sure, though, why if plural pronominal affixes exist you're using an ambiguous pluralizing particle here--or can it not possibly be pluralizing the topical first person?)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:30 pm 
Smeric
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Does this language have any tone sandhi or allotones?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:11 pm 
Avisaru
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Whimemsz wrote:
As a further note it didn't sink in at the time I wrote it that I was talking to Risla, who of course is familiar with Algonquian grammar to a greater extent than most conlangers since she's studying Ojibwe).


Really? That's cool... it's always nice to have more experts on lesser known languages around.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:27 pm 
Avisaru
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Enh, mii sa go geget! Miinawaa aw Anishinaabemowin aapiji minotaagwad.


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