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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Hello all. I've written a brief overview of my conlang, Nirimian, which I'm going to include in my college applications, since it's one thing to say that you've made a language and know a lot about linguistics, and another to show that you know what an antipassive construction is well enough to design and use one. Now, what I'm told that the admissions office'll probably pass it over to the linguistics department to be evaluated. Therefore, I'd like to make sure that my description is in the best shape possible before being looked over by these linguists– is anyone willing to look it over? I'm looking more for feedback on how I'm describing the language (e.g., what should I talk about more or less, is my terminology sound, am I using square brackets where I should be, etc.) than feedback on the language itself (e.g., the vowel system is boring, that evidential isn't naturalistic, etc.); while the latter is welcome, I need to send this in by the end of today, and don't really have time to worry about making changes of that breadth right now. Any help would be appreciated.

The description I'm sending in is posted below, though since I can't find any text file formats that are supported by the attachment system, I've had to just copy the text without much formatting. Thanks again for any help.

Saxaletech, saRōmānech, saieroneuch, mestois dañafā sat;
teb da brenhcel ñoteb Caisar, rū brenhcel beliceb thā.
Iadeus geñānh tsēlā meus nibechonh thā aurā theu sarā;
tsebā ñoteus red īmetalē exeducic;
hafeb tsai celeu men meus red Caisarab.  Belēdō
Bruton tsobō dita celeu Caisar hotō rudē:
hanh hotō menolē, hotē olan gānos,
beiānhcō she Caisar.
Tā san, cuetoson red Bruton nas csenosonh red–
Brutus besh otō belos,
botā she thā otūs menolē, botā belosā–
todita lēdeb gau lothasciñolē Caisarat.

Above is Mark Antony’s funeral oration (Julius Caesar, 3.2.73-84) in Nirimian, the language I’ve spent the last three years making up as a way to learn linguistics.  The ‹x›’s represent glottal stops (think of the ‹t› in “bottle” when it’s said in a Cockney accent), the ‹ch›’s velar fricatives (as in “Bach” or “chutzpah”), and the ‹nh›’s velar nasals (like the one that ends “sing”); the mācrōns mark long vowels.
Nirimian is a fusional, fluid-S active-stative language.  Its nouns are inflected across six cases and three numbers, and its verbs across four persons, three numbers, three genders, four tenses, and four aspects.  However, rather than just give a typological classification of the language, I’m going to try to hit some of its highlights in the next few pages.
However, I’ll do so with some semblance of structure, starting with a brief phonological sketch of the language.  The consonant inventory is presented in (1).
(1)      Coronal   Dorsal   
   Labial   Dental   Alveolar   Palatal   Velar   Glottal
Nasals   m (m)   n (n)   ɲ (ñ)   ŋ (nh)   
Stops & Affricate   b (b)   t d (t d)   t͡s (ts)      k g (c g)   ʔ (x)
Fricatives   f (f)   θ (th)   s (s)   ɕ-ç (sh)   x~χ (ch)   h (h)
Approximants      r l (r l)   j (i)   w (u)   
Nasals, liquids, plosives besides /ʔ/, and /f s/ can be geminated.  /θ/ is on its way out, once I can find a good replacement for it in those words which have it.  The vowels system is presented in (2).
(2)   Front      Back
Close   i iː      u uː
Close-Mid      e      o
Open-Mid      ɛː      ɔː
   Open                 ɑ ɑː   
The diphthongs /au̯ ai̯ eu̯ oi̯/ also occur.  Stress falls on the penult if it’s heavy, and otherwise on the antepenult (I admit that’s straight from Latin, as is most of the vowel system).
However, I haven’t just taken these sounds out of nowhere, with no background.  Nirimian has a (very brief and broad) phonological history of its own.  Two of the sound changes which comprise this history are presented in (3) because of their wide-reaching effects.  The first, (3a), is apocope of short vowels in words of three or more syllables, combined with palatalization or velarization of the preceding consonant if the vowel lost is /i/ or /a/, respectively; palatalization was also triggered by a following /j/.  The palatalized and velarized consonants have changed further since, resulting in widespread morphophonemic alternations in the inflection of nouns and verbs.  The second change, formulated in (3b), occurred well after (3a), and consisted of the shift of voiced fricatives to approximants when following a vowel, and to voiced stops otherwise.  There are further historical developments, and I have some rough ideas of allophony and phonotactics, but these are all still in too much flux to describe properly

(3a)   C > [+velarized] /VC0VC0__a#
   C > [+palatalized] /VC0VC0__i#
   Cj > [C, +palatalized]
   [V, +short] > Ø /VC0VC0__#
(b)   [+fricative +voiced] > [+approximant] /V__
   [+fricative +voiced] > [+stop]

So, on to a quick sketch of morphology.  As stated above, nouns inflect across three numbers and six cases.  The nominal inflections are presented in (4).
(4)   Singular   Dual   Plural
Accusative   -Ø   -i   -ā
Ergative   -n   -in   -anh
Locative   -lē   -lī   -lā
Lative   -b   -d   -g
Genitive   -t   -ts   -c
Vocative   -s   -sh   -ch
The ‹i› in the accusative dual and ergative dual represents /j/, which usually interacts with the preceding vowel to produce a diphthong.  Originally the dual marker was a suffixed short /i/, and the plural marker a suffixed short /a/.  After the apocope of short vowels, these suffixes were lost, but palatalized and velarized the preceding consonant, resulting in the forms seen here.  I’ll discuss the use of the cases listed here later on.
Nouns also take some prefixes, mainly possessive prefixes and some proclitic serial verbs.  The serial verbs will be addressed later, but the possessive prefixes deserve some discussion.  Essentially, they indicate the person, number, and sometimes gender of the person possessing the noun.  These prefixes are used whether or not their head is explicitly modified by a noun in the genitive, and their use means that personal pronouns are rarely used as possessive genitives.  A contrast between the absence and presence of a genitive is presented in (5).

(5)   me-nerā   | me-nerā    sōlō-t
   3SF-cat.ACC.S   | 3SF-cat.ACC.S   woman-GEN.S
   her cat   | the woman’s cat
Some nouns, mostly kinship terms and body parts, are considered inalienable, and cannot occur without such prefixes; examples include sasad, “foot,” or samūr, “mother,” given here in their first person singular forms (actually meaning “my foot” and “my mother”).
Furthermore, some nouns undergo stem-changes when bearing prefixes.  For example, the initial /d/ of dafīm, “game,” becomes /l/ in exolafīm, “their game.”  This particular alternation occurs because historically the word began with /z/, which, by the voiced fricative shift previously discussed, became a voiced stop when initial in an earlier form zafīm, but an approximant when following a vowel in an earlier exozafīm.

Verbs, as mentioned earlier, inflect across four persons, three numbers, three genders, and four aspects, and are also marked for tense and voice.  The basic endings are given in (6). 
(6)   Number   Singular   Dual   Plural
   Gender   M   F   M   F   C   M   F
1st Person incl.      -ocht   -echt   -acht   -osh   -esh
1st Person excl.   -eb   -oft   -eft   -aft   -ūb   -eub
2nd Person   -od   -ed   -ost   -est   -ast   -ūd   -eud
3rd Person   -ō   -ē   -ōt   -ēt   -āt   -ūs   -eus
The only deviation from these endings is found in the cessative aspect, in which the /e/ and /ɛː/ of the feminine are replaced with /a/ and /aː/, respectively, resulting in the syncretism of the feminine and the couple in the dual.  Historically, the inflection system was more agglutinative; the morphemes given above are fusions of what were formerly strings of morphemes, some of which are still discernible.  The most obvious are /-oː-/, /-eː-/, and /-aː-/ as markers of the masculine, feminine, and couple respectively; in most forms these have been shortened, since they fall before word-final voiced consonants or clusters.  The fact that the first person exclusive and the second person are marked by    /-b/ and /-d/, respectively, is visible in the singular, as is the fact that the third person and the singular are both zero-marked.  The /-t/ representing the dual is also fairly apparent.  The least obvious of the original morphemes are /-k/, marking the first person inclusive, and /-s-/, marking the plural.  This /s/ fell before the personal morphemes, and in the first person exclusive and the second person was therefore voiced by the following stops.  During the voiced fricative shift the resulting /z/ lenited to /l/, and then, due to its coda position, vocalized to /u/, interacting with the preceding vowels to form diphthongs, which were generalized to the third person as a marker of plurality.  One of these diphthongs, /ou̯/, subsequently monophthongized to /ū/, but did so after the shortening before final voiced consonants, and therefore has remained long in all forms.
The verb’s aspect (aorist, inceptive, cessative, or progressive) is conveyed primarily through an alteration of stems.  The aorist is unmarked, both morphologically and semantically, and usually the source from which the other stems are derived.  The inceptive aspect is marked by alterations in the final consonant of the stem, which originate from palatalization; for example, the inceptive of nateb is natseb, and that of rageb, “to wound,” is raleb, the medial consonant shifting from /gj/ to /dz/ to /z/ to /l/.  The cessative aspect is marked either by a change to the final consonant of the stem resulting from velarization, or the infixation of a nasal immediately before that consonant.  For example, the cessative of nateb is naceb, and that of gudeb, “to choose,” is gundeb.
The formation of the progressive aspect is slightly more complicated.  The progressive is marked by reduplication of the initial pair of consonant and vowel; the progressive of nateb, “to see,” is nanateb, and that of uxāteb, “to close,” is uxuxāteb.  In words beginning with consonant clusters, only the first consonant is reduplicated, along with the following vowel; for example, the progressive of gualeb, “to fill,” is gagualeb.  This also goes for words that begin with single phonemes resulting from consonant clusters, though analogy is beginning to change this; for example, the normal progressive of shafeb, “to wash,” is sashafeb, from earlier sasiafeb, but the alternative shashafeb is not unheard of, though also not at all prestigious.
Verbs are marked for tense by the preterite, anterior and future prefixes /be-/, /ha-/, and    /tsu-/, which are attached to the same stem as the reduplication of the progressive.  Finally, a verb’s voice is either active, which is unmarked, antipassive, marked by the particle gau, or mediopassive, marked by the particle red.  I’ll elaborate on the use of these aspects, tenses, and voices later.

Adjectives take the same inflections as nouns, and agree with their referents in case, number, and gender, marking gender through an ablaut-like process of vowel changes.  Compare nerā deg, “a large cat,” which is feminine, with shalīt dog, “a large tree,” which is masculine.
Participles, verbal adjectives, are derived by appending the suffix /-os-/ to the verb’s stem; this suffix undergoes the ablaut discussed above to mark the gender of the referent.  Participles have no tense or person, but are marked for voice by a following particle, and for the aorist, inceptive, or cessative aspect, as indicated by the stem they are formed from.

That’s most of the notable morphology; now let’s look at Nirimian’s syntax.  My apologies if my description of it fails to follow common forms; syntax is the area I’ve the least formal knowledge in, so this part may not be up to the same amount of snuff.

First, let’s briefly cover the uses of all those grammatical categories I mentioned earlier, starting with case.  The accusative is the unmarked case, and is used for the patient of a transitive verb, both arguments of a linking verb, and sometimes the sole argument of an intransitive verb (see below).  The ergative is used for the agent of a transitive verb, and sometimes for the sole argument of an intransitive verb (again, see below).  The locative conveys both physical and temporal notions of location, encompassing senses such as “in, at, on,” and “at this time.”  It’s also often used adverbially to convey the manner in which something is done.  The lative case indicates motion toward the noun placed in it, and is also used to specify the range of an adjective’s application, e.g., nerā iaxel metathag, “a cat sharp in tooth.”  The locative and lative are also used for the objects of adpositions.  The genitive is used for possession and partitives, and also marks the recipient of a ditransitive verb.  Finally, the vocative marks the addressee of a statement, and is also used to indicate accompaniment, due to syncretism with an older comitative.
I’ve referred to gender previously, and at this point I ought to give a full account of it.  Each noun belongs to one of three genders, masculine, feminine, or couple.  A noun’s gender is determined by both semantic and formal factors; nouns denoting people or animals are grouped according to their physical sex, while other nouns are grouped according to other factors whose exact nature I’ve yet to determine.  The gender I refer to as “couple” is only distinguished in the dual, and is used for nouns which are seldom thought of outside of pairs, such as shoes or eyes.  Gender agreement is marked on verbs, adjectives, some pronouns, and the possessive affixes discussed earlier.  When one adjective, verb, or pronoun needs to agree with two or more nouns of differing genders, the speaker generally chooses whichever gender he or she thinks more characteristic of the group, based on the perceived number and importance of the nouns in each gender.

 On to verbs.  A Nirimian verb’s aspect, as mentioned above, is either aorist, inceptive, cessative, or progressive.  The aorist is the unmarked aspect, and is perfective; it views the action described by the verb as a single point in time, as an event, not a process.  The remaining aspects, on the other hand, are all imperfective, each focusing on a different part of the action.  The inceptive looks at the beginning of an action, but also carries implications of atelicity, and is sometimes used conatively for actions which, though completed, did not fully accomplish the purpose they were undertaken with.  The cessative, on the other hand, focuses on the end of the action, whether it’s been finished or not.  Lastly, the progressive focuses on the continuance of the action in and into the temporal reference point, often with an idea of persistence.  The tenses are fairly straightforward; the future denotes events which are expected to take place in the future, the preterite events which have taken place in the recent past, and the anterior those done in the remote past.  It bears mentioning that “recent” and “remote” past are often determined relative to each other, rather than to the speaker’s time.  For voice, see below.

Nirimian has fairly free word order.  The predominant pattern in independent active transitive and ditransitive clauses is V(A)P(R), that is to say, the verb, optionally followed by the agent (Nirimian is pro-drop), followed by the patient, followed by the recipient, if any.  The other typical orders are shown in (7).
(7)   Type of Clause   Typical word order
   Independent Transitive/Ditransitive   V(A)P(R)
   Subordinate Transitive/Ditransitive   (A)VP(R)
   Intransitive   (S)V
   Antipassive   AV(P)(R)
   Mediopassive   (A)V(R)

I mentioned at the outset that Nirimian has a fluid-S active-stative morphosyntactic alignment, and I should probably elaborate on that now.  The fact that Nirimian is active-stative means that the argument of an intransitive verb is marked sometimes like an agent, and sometimes like a patient; the fact that it’s fluid-S means that the role the argument takes is left up to the speaker, and that it conveys grammatical information, unlike split-S languages, where the role a verb’s argument takes is one of the verb’s lexical features.  In Nirimian, the factor distinguishing whether the argument is agent-like or patient-like is its volition, whether or not it intended to carry out the action in question.  So, for example, contrast (8a) and (8b), which differ only in the case of tsuiret, “bird.”  In the first sentence, tsuiretin is ergative, and the sentence means something like “The bird dove”; it implies that the bird went underwater purposefully and intentionally, perhaps to find prey or escape a predator.  On the other hand, the second sentence, in which tsuiret is in the accusative, its meaning is closer to “The bird sank,” implying that the bird left the surface because it couldn’t maintain the effort needed to stay there.
(8 a)   tsuiret-in   be-xesh-ō
   bird-ERG.S   PRET-sink-3MS
(b)   The bird dove.
   tsuiret   be-xesh-ō
   bird.ACC.S   PRET-sink-3MS
   The bird sank.

This distinction can also be introduced to transitive verbs through Nirimian’s antipassive voice.  The antipassive, marked by the particle gau, lowers a transitive or ditransitive verb’s valency by deleting its direct object, and thus allowing the speaker to convey the agent’s volition.  Nirimian’s antipassive is promotional, emphasizing the agent, which is fronted, and allowing the patient to be optionally reintroduced as an indirect object in the genitive.  So compare the ambiguous sentence in (9a) with the more specific antipassives in (9b) and (9c).
(9 a)   ha-dusc-ō-t   hadel-īn   saf   
   ANT-find-M-3D   scribe-ERG.D   flower.ACC.S   
   A pair of scribes had found a flower.
(b)   hadel-īn   ha-dusc-ō-t   gau   safa-t
   scribe-ERG.D   ANT-find-M-3D   ANTIP   flower-GEN.S
   A pair of scribes had found a flower they were looking for.
(c)   hadel-ī   ha-dusc-ō-t   gau   safa-t
   scribe-ACC.DUAL   ANT-find-M-3D   ANTIP   flower-GEN.S
   A pair of scribes had stumbled upon flower.

On the other hand, Nirimian’s other voice, the mediopassive, is demotional, deleting the agent of a transitive or ditransitive verb and not allowing it to be reintroduced.  Marked by the particle red, the mediopassive has two possible meanings: an actual passive sense roughly equivalent to that found in English, and a middle sense, which means that the agent performed the action on or for itself.  While the argument can be placed in either the accusative or the ergative to convey volition if the mediopassive is used in its middle sense, the argument can only occur in the accusative if it is used passively.  Compare (10a) with (10b), which is more ambiguous because of the use of the accusative.  The mediopassive is also frequently employed where English would use the intransitive version of an ambitransitive verb such as “turn,” “open,” or “fill”; compare (11a) and (11b)
(10 a)   sētā-n   ra-rag-ō   red
   guard-ERG.S   PROG~harm-3MS   MEDPASS
   The guard is purposefully harming himself.
(b)   sētā   ra-rag-ō   red
   guard.ACC.S   PROG~harm-3MS   MEDPASS
   The guard is accidentally harming himself/the guard is being harmed.
(11 a)   guin-ūs   ethē-nh   six-ā
   move-3MPL   wind-ERG.PL   grass-ACC.PL
   The winds move the grasses.
(b)   six-ā   guin-eus   red
   grass-ACC.PL   move-3FPL   MEDPASS
   The grasses move.

Nirimian also features serial verb constructions, in which two uncoordinated and unsubordinated verbs function as a single predicate.  The closest examples in English are imperative constructions with “go,” such as “Go alphabetize the skaters,” though this English construction is probably best analyzed otherwise.  Many of the common serial verb constructions seen in Nirimian also use verbs of motion, such as (12a), though there are also many constructions which don’t involve motion.  There is a relatively small group of verbs which usually appear at least once in a serial verb construction, and many of these have developed proclitic forms which are prefixed to their patient, if they have one, or to the following verb.  These proclitic forms only mark gender and aspect, relying on other verb to convey person, number, and tense.  Therefore, the uncontracted example given above is rather formal, and alternative (12b) is more frequent.  One of the most common of these proclitic serial verbs, tsō-, is the usual method of marking an instrumental, as in (13).  As shown in that last example, when the patient of a proclitic serial verb is a noun phrase of more than a single word, the verb is simply attached to the first word.

(12 a)   b-aush-e-d   calis-ā   be-dr-e-d   lash
   PRET-pick.up.INCEP-F-2S   shell-ACC.PL   PRET-go.from.INCEP -F-2S   ocean.ACC.S
   You started bringing back shells from the ocean.
(12 b)   aush-e-calis-ā   be-dr-e-d   lash   
   pick.up.INCEP-F-shell-ACC.PL   PRET-go.from.INCEP-F-2S   ocean.ACC.S   
   You were bringing back shells from the ocean.


(13)   ts-ō-dosh-ā   nas   lo-chamīr-ā   tsu-sand-ō   tamira-n   lo-xaleta-i
   INS-M-song-ACC.PL   and   3MS-smile-ACC.PL   FUT-annoy-3MS   boy-ERG.S   3MS-friend-ACC.D
   The boy will annoy his two friends with songs and his smiles.

So, all of that said, what better way to illustrate the features I’ve been talking about than with a well-glossed sample?  The translation from Julius Caesar shown at the beginning is glossed in (8), providing for each line first the text in Nirimian orthography, then a phonemic representation of it, the orthographic text subdivided into morphemes, a morpheme-by-morpheme gloss, and finally Shakespeare’s English, preceded, where necessary, with my own more literal translation of the Nirimian.

Saxaletech, saRōmānech, saieroneuch, mestois dañafā sat;
sa.'ʔa.le.tex sa.rɔː.'maː.nex sa.'je.ro.neu̯ch 'mes.tois̯ 'da.ɲa.faː sat
sa-xalete-ch   sa-Rōmāne-ch   sa-ieroneu-ch   mest-o-i-s   da-ñaf-ā   sa-t
1S-friend-VOC.PL   1S-Roman-VOC.PL   1S-countryman-VOC.PL   lend-M-IMP-PL   2PL-ear-ACC.PL   1-GEN.S
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;”

teb da brenhcel ñoteb Caisar, rū brenhcel beliceb thā.
teb da 'breŋ.kel 'ɲo.teb 'kai̯.sar ruː 'breŋ.kel 'be.li.keb θaː
t-eb   da   brenh-cel   ñot-eb   Caisar   rū   brenh-cel   belic-eb   thā
go.to-1S   2PL.ACC   for-SBRD   bury-1S   Caesar.ACC   not   for-SBRD   praise-1S   3MS.ACC
“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”

Iadeus geñānh tsēlā meus nibechonh thā aurā theu sarā;
'ja.deu̯s 'ge.ɲaːŋ t͡sɛː.lɑː meus 'ni.be.xoŋ θaː 'au̯.raː θeu̯ 'sa.raː
iad-eus   geñ-ānh   tsēl-ā   m-eus   nibecho-nh   thā   aur-ā   theu   sarā
inhabit-3FPL   F\bad-ERG.PL   F\REL-ACC.PL   do-3FPL   person-ERG.PL   3MS.ACC   world-ACC.PL   3F-LOC.PL   after
“The evil that men do lives after them;”


tsebā ñoteus red īmetalē exeducic;
't͡se.baː 'ɲo.teu̯s red iː.'me.ta.lɛː e.'ʔe.du.kik
tseb-ā   ñot-eus   red   īmete-lē   exe-duci-c
F\good-ACC.PL   bury-3FPL   MEDPASS   F\many-LOC.S   3FPL-bone-VOC.PL
“The good is oft interred with their bones;”

hafeb tsai celeu men meus red Caisarab.  Belēdō
'ha.feb t͡sai̯ 'ke.leu̯ men mɛː red 'kai̯.sa.rab be.'lɛː.dɔː
haf-eb   tsai   celeu   men   m-ē   red   Caisara-b   be-lēd-ō
hope-1S   indeed   SBRD   F\this.ACC   do-3FS   MEDPASS   Caesar-LAT.S   PRET-say-3MS
I do hope that this is done with Caesar.  He said,
“So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus”

Bruton tsobō dita celeu Caisar hotō rudē:
'bru.ton 't͡so.bɔː 'di.ta 'ke.leu̯ 'kai̯.sar 'ho.tɔː 'ru.dɛː
Brut-on   tsobō   di-t-a   celeu   Caisar   h-ot-ō   rudē
Brutus-ERG.S   M\good.ACC.S   2-GEN-PL   SBRD   Caesar.ACC.S   ANT-be-3MS   M\ambitious.ACC.S
to you, good Brutus did, that Caesar had been ambitious
“Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:”

hanh hotō menolē, hotē olan gānos,
haŋ 'ho.tɔː 'me.no.lɛː 'ho.tɛː 'o.lan 'gaː.nos
hanh   h-ot-ō   meno-lē   h-ot-ē   olan   gānos
if   ANT-be-3MS   F\this-LOC.S   ANT-be-3FS   fault.ACC.S   M\painful.ACC.S
“If it were so, it was a grievous fault,”

beiānhcō she Caisar.
be.'jaːŋ.kɔː ɕe 'kai̯.sar
be-ianhc-ō   she   Caisar
PRET-pain-3MS   and   Caesar.ACC.S
“And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.”

Tā san, cuetoson red Bruton nas csenosonh red–
taː san 'cwe.to.son red 'bru.ton nas 'cse.no.soŋ red
tā   sa-n   cuet-o-so-n   Bruto-n   nas   csen-o-so-nh
here   1S-ERG   let-M-PTCP-ERG.S   Brutus-ERG.S   and   abandon-M-PTCP-ERG.PL
Here I, permitted by Brutus and the rest–
“Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–”

Brutus besh otō belos,
'bru.tus beɕ 'o.tɔː 'be.los
Brutus   besh   ot-ō   belos
Brutus.ACC.S   because   be-3MS   M\honourable.LOC.S
“For Brutus is an honourable man;”

botā she thā otūs menolē, botā belosā–
'bo.taː ɕe θaː 'o.tuːs 'me.no.lɛː 'bo.taː 'be.lo.sɑː
bot-ā   she   thā   ot-ūs   meno-lē   bot-ā   belos-ā
M\all-ACC.PL   and   3MS.ACC   be-3MPL   F\this-LOC.S   M\all-ACC.PL   M\honourable-ACC.PL
“So are they all, all honourable men–“

todita lēdeb gau lothasciñolē Caisarat.
'to.di.ta 'lɛː.deb gau̯ lo.θas.'ki.ɲo.lɛː 'kai̯.sa.rat
t-o-di-t-a   lēd-eb   gau   lo-thasciño-lē   Caisara-t
go.to-M-2-GEN-PL   speak-1S   ANTIP   3S-funeral-LOC.S   Caesar-GEN.S
“Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.“

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
–Herm Albright
Even better than a proto-conlang, it's the *kondn̥ǵʰwéh₂s

Last edited by Jetboy on Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:27 pm
Posts: 189
By some chance does xalet mean friend?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:56 am
Posts: 30
I'm on the train now, so this will be brief, but my first impressions of the very beginning are this - less chat, more business.
I'd simply put the quote in with no explanation. That the grammar is a conlang and you spent three years etc etc, that all goes in a cover letter, not the grammar itself. Also, if this is going to a professional linguist, you don't need to tell them what a glottal stop is. Let the IPA take care of that.
As a general style point, avoid the same conjunction at the start of two concurrent sentences. E.g. 'However, I also have no teeth. However, my mum chews my food for me'.
Don't connect sections with 'now let's look at the morphosyntax, bitches' and the like. Unless there really is a good segue, let your titles do their job.

Getting to my stop. More later, maybe.

Edit: Oh yeah, one more thing - no excuses. No 'I nabbed this feature from language X, soz'. If they notice, meh, if they don't, yeah!

Edit: Concurrent sentences?! I am not a morning person...

Last edited by GBR on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:53 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:49 pm
Posts: 270
Ah, turns out I was wrong about the deadline– it's not due till the end of this week, so no rush.

Ambrisio, yes, xalet does mean friend.

GBR, thank you; even what you've already given me is helpful.

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
–Herm Albright
Even better than a proto-conlang, it's the *kondn̥ǵʰwéh₂s

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