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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:18 pm 
Smeric
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So I've decided to use the month of January for starting a conlang from scratch. I'll use each day to build some part of the grammar, and get at least 5 new lexical items. This will hopefully give me something rounded by the end of the month, perhaps with the goal of translating some short text. I don't know which one that should be yet though, so advice there would be appreciated.

I didn't have a change to post what I got done yesterday, a basic inventory sketch, so I'm doing that now. I'll work on something else later today and post it separately.

Day 1- Basic Phonological Inventory
I've been having some Kartvelian-inspired phonologies bouncing around in my head lately, so I've decided to go with something akin to Georgian. So this language is going to have a complex consonant inventory with a minimal vowel inventory. The consonant inventory is given below:

Code:
p    t         k    q
b    d         
     s    š    x    χ
v    z         ɣ 
m    n         ŋ
     r    j
     l


These have their IPA equivalents (š is /ʃ/). All of the above consonants can occur as the single onset of a syllable, with the caveat that /ŋ/ can only do so internally. In addition, there are complex syllable onsets of up to 4 consonants (at this point, I may add more later). There are two broad group of consonant clusters, distinguished by what I'm calling r/l-intervention (which I'll get to in a minute). The first group consists of the harmonic and reverse harmonic clusters. Harmonic clusters consist of a non-dorsal stop followed by a dorsal stop or fricative agreeing in voicing. Reverse harmonic clusters consist of a dorsal stop or fricative followed by a coronal stop agreeing in voicing. They are shown below.

Code:
Harmonic clusters:
pk  pq  px  pχ  bɣ
tk  tq  tx  tχ  dɣ

Reverse harmonic clusters:
kt  qt  xt  χt  ɣd


The clusters above behave for all intents and purposes as a single consonant. They cannot be broken up, and can be followed by another consonant. Other clusters do not behave this way. These are the sibilant and -v clusters which are seen below:

Code:
Sibilant clusters:
pš  tš  kš  qš  xš  χš
ps  ts  ks  qs  xs  χs
bz  dz

-v clusters:
tv      kv  qv 
dv     
sv  šv  xv  χv
zv      ɣv


Sibilant clusters can stack with -v clusters, so /tsv/ is a legal onset. Both types of harmonic clusters can also form clusters of the above type, as long as the second member is able to form a legal cluster of that type. So /tks/ is a fine sibilant cluster, but /dɣz/ is not.

In addition to the above groups, there is a cluster forming process that I'm calling r/l-intervention. Clusters of this type consist of a normal sibilant or -v cluster with an /r/ or /l/ inserted between the first consonant. For example, from the sibilant cluster /ts/ you get r-intervening /trs/ and l-intervening /tls/. Harmonic can still be the first member of such a cluster, so /pkrš/ is a legal r-intervening cluster. I haven't figured out other restrictions

Compared to the onset of a syllable, the coda is utterly simple. There may be at most on consonant in a coda, and any consonant may fit here. I haven't thought about the coda a lot yet so I'll have to expand the restrictions / figure out processes later.

The vowel inventory is relatively simple. There are five basic vowels and four 'broken' vowels (rising diphthongs). The nucleus of a syllable may contain one vowel of either type.

Code:
i       u    ia   ua
e       o    ie   uo
    a


Day 1 Lexical Items
tsvob-i 'goat'
-ɣ- 'go'
tuora 'mountain'
sevs-i 'woman' (adult female)
laz-i 'man' (adult male)

A couple notes here- the nominative singular of consonant final nouns ends in -i. Also, verb roots may consist of only consonants, like the verb -ɣ- 'go', above. There will always be a prefix and/or suffix, such as Ø-ɣ-a 'he went'.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:38 pm 
Osän
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You like these challenges, don't you? I say you need a concrete goal to work towards. I also say it's well possible to translate a short text such as the North Wind and the Sun after only a couple of hours speedlanging, so you should be able to translate something more substantial after one month. I don't know off the top of my head what to suggest, though.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:11 pm 
Smeric
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Yeah, I do like these kinds of challenges. I think what I might do is do some kind of short text every couple of days, maybe like the North Wind and the Sun later this and then move on. I am also at a loss though.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:18 pm 
Sumerul
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The Babel text?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:27 pm 
Osän
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I think we need to have a "standard" conlanging medium-length text, since as far as I know there isn't one. Ideally you'd want something out-of-copyright, in case it catches on or something, so taking them from an old book or something seems fine. I know some of these are from Aesop's fables, so you could see if there's a longer one of them, for instance. Or the Babel text is from the Bible, so you could perhaps find a longer one of them (but then I don't really want the Bible as the "standard" text tbh).

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:30 pm 
Smeric
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I agree wholeheartedly agree. Aesop's fables might not be a bad idea to look for this project. The Babel text is fine, but I don't really find it that interesting, and it's from the Bible, like you say. I'd rather have something else, as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:57 pm 
Lebom
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Why not get someone to write an original text designed specifically for this purpose? This ad-hoc text might include things designed to test the limits of the language, although what those things might be, I will leave to people of greater expertise.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:18 pm 
Lebom
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finlay wrote:
I think we need to have a "standard" conlanging medium-length text, since as far as I know there isn't one. Ideally you'd want something out-of-copyright, in case it catches on or something, so taking them from an old book or something seems fine. I know some of these are from Aesop's fables, so you could see if there's a longer one of them, for instance. Or the Babel text is from the Bible, so you could perhaps find a longer one of them (but then I don't really want the Bible as the "standard" text tbh).



I got this book just for that purpose. Filled with lots of good stuff, some stories a paragraph long to about 6 pages long. Some have morals, some are just funny, wide variety of issues covered and no era specific vocabulary. Also written in straight forward English (aesop and bibble passages are a bit to flowery for my taste).


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:34 pm 
Osän
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Adjective Recoil wrote:
Why not get someone to write an original text designed specifically for this purpose? This ad-hoc text might include things designed to test the limits of the language, although what those things might be, I will leave to people of greater expertise.

I don't like these particularly, because they're very hard to write a good one, and "testing the limits of a language" is usually code for "using too many relative clauses and adverbial infinitives". Because I don't particularly like those kinds of structures, I don't tend to include them in my languages, which makes a lot of TCs difficult.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:42 am 
Lebom
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I can't offer you a specific translation. But this website might help.

http://www.arthaey.com/conlang/translationex.html

be warned that some of the hotlinks are 404ed.
Based of what you've accomplished so far, it looks good. The structure behind your clusters is very interesting. Needless to say, I'd like to see more :)


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