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zompist bboard • View topic - My project, Kaujasas. Questions, critiques solicited!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:19 pm 
Sanci
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I've been working on this language, name settled on Kaujasas, for over a year. It is supposed to be what is most logically pleasing to me in a language, with all of the functions laid out as I'd like them. But as I participate in this forum more and more, I find more issues with grammar, word formation and so on that I'd not previously considered. So I'm looking for third party eyes to take a look at this. :) Here is a brief (compared to my work-in-progress book) summary of the grammatical functions:

Background

Kaujasas is an Indo-European language, at least in its preference for creating words; it prefers to borrow German words, and with Finnish as an "aesthetic" prestige language (mostly because the phonosyntactic rules are nearly identical between Finnish and Kaujasas). It's an SOV language, with a nominative-accusative alignment (considering changing to ergative-absolutive alignment), with a 23-letter Roman alphabet.

Orthography

Vowels


Consonants


There is no vowel harmony as Finnish has, but diphthongs only form when the otherwise non-useful vowel harmony would not be violated. Diphthongs don't form at morpheme boundaries.

Phonotactics

Native words are limited to the following structures: CV, CVC, CVV, CVVC, CVCC, VC, V, VV, VVC and VCC. Consonant clusters are not allowed; this doesn't count glides. Geminate vowels an consonants are phonemic. Most consonants can geminate; the only vowel that cannot is /ə/. Stress is penultimate.

Syntax and sentence structure

Kaujasas is strictly left-branching. Adjectives come before nouns, adverbs before adjectives and verbs, relative clauses before noun phrases, and so on. Postpositions are used instead of prepositions, and subordinating conjunctions come at the end of their clause. The language is a subject-prominent language.

There is no wh-movement; question particles are used instead.

Word classification

Words don't strictly fall into European categories. Nouns, verbs, adverbs etc. are generally the same, but adjectives blur the lines. They are divided into predicative and attributive adjectives; predicative adjectives act as verbs and eschew a copula. Instead of modal verbs (e.g. "could", "should", etc.), Kaujasas has modal particles which follow the verb. (Does this violate a strict left-branching approach?)

Nouns and pronouns

There are three inflections for number: singular, plural, and collective.

There are no cases per se; Kaujasas uses a system of postpositions, of which case markers get included. Those that are not purely genitive, dative or accusative use postpositions. The two can't be combined. Non-case postpositions are almost all divisible into two segments: direction of movement (or lack thereof) + location. For example, the postposition (e.g. "ellean") is divisible into the morphemes elle- (movement away) and -an "near".

Pronouns distinguish between exclusive and inclusive "we". Pronouns can take adjectives as well. (E.g. Hylë he ilke os vöhai on cytsere. clever-ADJ 2;SG self GEN book-PL ACC protect-HAB-PRS "Clever she protects her own books.")

Demonstratives

Often adverbs, demonstratives are mostly formed by adjectives and pronouns/adverbs. For example, wh-questions are mostly composed with vë (adjective form of ve, "what"), proximals with sitë "this" medials with satë "that", etc.

Verbs

Verbs do not directly reflect indicative or subjunctive moods; moods are reflected with modal particles instead, which follow the verb. Verbs are inflected for transitivity, aspect and tense; they are not inflected for person.

Verbs distinguish between transitivity, unaccusative intransitivity and unergative intransitivity. I'm considering lumping transitivity and unaccusative intransitivity into an ergative, and unergative intransitivity into an absolutive. I don't know much about this alignment though, so I'm uncomfortable making the change, but nominative-accusative isn't working for me.

Aspects include: neutral (bare), perfect, progressive, perfect + progressive, continuous, perfect + continuous, and habitual. The tenses are past, present and future.

Verbs also take suffixes for frequentative, momentane, continuative, intentive, extentive, performative, factive, causative, translative, and resultative aspects. This is a direct inspiration from Finnish.

With prefixes and inflections, a verb can look like this:
töhine -> elletöhine -> elletöhinie -> elletöhinehtie ->
elletöhinehtoie -> elletöhinehtoiäie ->
elletöhinehtoiäiesë ->
elletöhinehtoiäiesëjë ->
elletöhinehtoiäiesëjë so
to take -> to take off (undress) -> to undress (unerg.) -> to quickly undress ->
to quickly and purposefully undress -> to quickly and purposefully undress time after time ->
(I) am quickly and purposefully undressing time after time (prog.) ->
(I) have been quickly and purposefully undressing time after time ->
Were it that (I) have been quickly and purposefully undressing time after time...

Adjectives

Adjectives have a comparative and superlative. Attributive adjectives use a copula and do not decline; predicative adjectives do not use a copula and do decline, but the neutral aspect retains the -ë adjectival ending.

Adverbs

Adverbs, even adverbs of time, are always marked with -o. If an adverb is pluralised, the plural marker comes before the adverb ending.

Particles

Borrowed from Japanese and Cantonese, there are question particles, particles that express surprise, excitement, etc.

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Last edited by matsu on Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:38 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:40 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:28 pm 
Lebom
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:20 am 
Sanci
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:42 am
Posts: 28
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:32 am 
Sanci
Sanci
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:42 am
Posts: 28
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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"I'm a man, but I can change... if I have to... I guess." - Red Green


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:22 am 
Lebom
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:40 pm 
Sanci
Sanci
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:42 am
Posts: 28
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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"I'm a man, but I can change... if I have to... I guess." - Red Green


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:39 pm 
Lebom
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