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zompist bboard • View topic - The West Saxon Scratchpad (Formerly the West Saxon Thread)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:36 pm 
Avisaru
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*UPDATE* Things have been a bit hectic for me over the last little while, and I've grown a bit dissatisfied with the state of West Saxon. After repeated failed edits, I've decided to start building the grammar back up from scratch, using whatever I already had as a base. I've decided to use the scratchpad approach to let me be a bit more flexible an experimental in my presentation. Updates will be more sketchy, but hopefully more frequent. Eventually I'll be consolidating what I've got into a more formal grammar, and other resources.
*END UPDATE*

It seems as though my two old threads on West Saxon have been pruned. :( Ah well, c'est la vie. I've not given up on it, however, and have been trying to get myself to do some more work on the syntax portion (as well as some revisions). I've found that the verbal syntax is giving me nightmares, and trying to get it to sound like something reasonably professional is the scribal equivalent of pulling teeth. That's where you guys come in. Here is a rough draft (more like glorified notes, actually) on the 9 tenses of West Saxon. If you could all kindly read, eviscerate, and curb stomp it, pointing out all the things that it is oh so woefully lacking, I would appreciate it greatly. Thanks!

Oh, and here's a link the (partial) , as well as one to the section

In most analyses, West Saxon has three grammatical tenses (past, present, and future) and three grammatical aspects (Perfective, Imperfective, and Perfect). These two sets of three combine two form 9 tense/aspect combinations. Their formation and uses are as follows:

Present Tenses
Simple Present
This is formed by using the simple present tense form of the verb. It denotes:

*Actions currently being performed
*As a "near future" tense, with appropriate adverbs (soon, tomorrow, etc.)
*Current states of being
*Equivalent of the preterit when used as a "narrative" present describing a past event.

Progressive
This is formed by combining the present tense of the verb beun with the durative participle. It denotes:

*Emphatic progressives, with a sense of "I'm right in the middle of x-ing."
*To express actions done habitually in the present.
*To form "since..." and "for..." style constructions, such as "I've lived in Winchester for 3 years/since 2005."
*Equivalent of the imperfect when using the "narrative" present.
*With adverbs of duration, i.e "Monday, I'm washing the car."

Perfect
The perfect is formed by the present tense form of either beun or han, plus the past participle. Beun is used with intransitive verbs, while han is used with transitive verbs. Its uses are as follows:

* To express that an action has been completed, and that it still has a relevance to the present. It can also sometimes be mixed up with the use of the preterit.
* Occasionally used as an equivalent of the pluperfect when using a "narrative" present, but more often the pluperfect is used instead.

Past Tenses
Preterit
The preterit is formed by using the preterit inflected form of the verb and is used to describe actions in the past which have been completed, and are conceived of as being a single, discreet action. It does not matter how long the action actually takes, so long as the action is considered a complete whole, e.g. "I went to Rome last summer."

Imperfect
The imperfect is formed by combining the preterit form of the verb beun with the durative participle. It is used:

* To say that an action was ongoing while another action is taking place.
* As past tense equivalents of the uses of the Progressive.

Pluperfect
The pluperfect is formed by combining the preterit forms of either beun or han with the past participle. It is used to show that an action has been completed before another action that occurs in the past.

Future Tenses
Simple Future
The future tense is formed either by the inflected future form (for the verb beun) or the inflected future of beun combined with the infinitive (for all other verbs). It is used to denote an action that will take place in the future, and is conceived of as a whole, perfective action. It is basically treated like the preterit, except it will occur after "now," rather than before.

The simple future can also be used as a "gnomic" future, to describe timeless, universal, or general facts. This is a continuation of the semantics of the verb beun, which have existed since the Old West Saxon period.

Future Progressive
The future progressive is formed by combining the inflected future form of beun with the durative participle, and it functions as a future tense equivalent of the imperfect.

Future Perfect
The future perfect is formed by combining the future forms of beun or han with the past participle. It is used to describe a future action that will be completed prior to another action which will also occur in the past, or which will have some impact on some point in the future.

That's it. Now, get curb stompin'! Tell me what you like, what you don't like, what you think could use some more detailed explanation, what leaves you scratching your head going WTF? Once this has been bloodied and beaten, I can then hopefully turn it into the grammatical equivalent of the $6 million man or Robocop. Then I can start talking about things like use of the subjunctive, inchoactive and causative constructions, the weln and scoln futures, and so forth. Vielen Dank!


Last edited by Herra Ratatoskr on Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:02 pm, edited 17 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:06 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:51 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:28 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:18 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:49 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:07 pm 
Avisaru
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I'm touched by the interest shown in West Saxon, and wish to thank those who've commented. I'm also sorry that things haven't been updated as much as I'd like. Things I've been working on (and which will be uploaded soon, hopefully) include:

*Examples of each use of the tenses, with a bit more of the underlying logic behind the tenses, and the West Saxon conceptions of time.

*Rules concerning the use of the present vs. future of beun. On further cogitation, it seems the gnomic future means that the es and beþ forms are used in a manner similar to ser and estar in Spanish.

*A sketchy historical phonology/grammar, to replace what got pruned.

*Some notes on Cornwalsc, a medieval dialect/language spoken in Cornwall, along with Kernisc (Cornish). Distinctive features include some preservation of the inflectional vowels from "Old West Saxon," rather than full reduction to schwa, a masculine/feminine gender system (the neuter merges with the feminine), adjectival inflection, but an uninflected article. Also, two consonantal mutations. Incidentally, anyone who knows where I can get some info on Medieval Cornish Grammar, I would appreciate it greatly. A Google search hasn't turned up too much.

*A sketchy, version 0.1 version of a "teach yourself West Saxon" course, called "Speik med Elre" (Talk with Al). It's mainly done with dialogues, then discussion of the grammar.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:45 pm 
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Good to see you back! I agree this is one of the best conlangs around.

The color scheme of your site is really tough on my eyes, though. Would you consider also posting the documents in simple black and white without the bright red frame? Sorry to whine but it's hard for me to read and I'm eager to see your work. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:36 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:11 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:54 pm 
Avisaru
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SAVED! (this was the last post in the forum)

I've finally decided to update any interested parties on the state of West Saxon. After much cogitation (and reading up on Early Middle English dialects, as well as general trends in West Germanic language development), I have decided to give West Saxon a face lift of sorts. I'm reworking it from the ground up, starting with the diachronics. The grammar shouldn't change too much, but there will be some modifications. I'll post the new list of Old to Modern West Saxon sound changes here, and will probably be adding to it as I rework and read. I'll also be posting a timeline of grammatical changes as well in the near future. Any feedback on this would be much appreciated.

Stresses:
Pretonic = occurs before a stressed syllable. Also includes prepositions and enclitic pronouns and the definite and specific articles
Tonic = a stressed syllable
Post-tonic = occurs after a stressed syllable, but still part of a word stem. Includes derivational suffixes
Inflectional = Stress applied to the syllables of inflectional endings


V = Short Vowel
V: = Long Vowel
V:: = Extra-Long Vowel
V(:) = Either Long or Short Vowel
V* = X-SAMPA V
C = Consonant
C: = Geminated Consonant
. = Syllable Boundary
Otherwise, use X-SAMPA

Old West Saxon Period
900-1250

V/V:/_(mb,ld,nd,rd,rn,rl,ng)(V,#)
V:/V/_CCC

a:/O:/_

(f,T,s,S)/(v,D,z,Z)/#_

ea/a/_
ea:/{:/_
{(:)/E(:)/_
eo(:)/2(:)/_
ie(:)/y(:)/_

(e,E)/a/w_

m/n/_. {pretonic,inflectional}
(a,o)/V*/_ {inflectional}

e/i/_(+nasal) {inflectional}

2(:)/jo/#_
y(:)/ju/#_

(V*,e)/@/_ {inflectional}

x/w/(+back)_V
x/j/(+front)_V

O:/o:/_w
(y:,2:)/(y,2)/_j
j/H/(y,2)_

(t,d)T/t/_#
d/t/_st

h(w,r,l)/(W,r_0,l_0)/#_
h//_(w,r,l,n)
(r,l)x/(r_0,l_0)/_

@(n,r,l)/(n=,r=,l=)/_ {inflectional}
(e,a,o)(n,r,l)/(n=,r=,l=)/_. {post-tonic}

(n=,r=,l=)/(n,r,l)/_V

Middle West Saxon Period
1250-1650

(i,u)/(e,o)/_[-nasal]

m/n/_s
m/n/s_ <except initially>

V/V_R/_# <V includes n=, l=, r=>

v(a,o,u)/w/V_C
v/w/V_[+voice]

e/i/_(+nasal) {post-tonic}

je/i/#_C {pretonic}
je/j/#_V {pretonic}

(mb,nd,Ng)/(m,n,N)/_ {pretonic}

sn/ns/V_V

(e,2,o)/(i,y,a)/_ {pretonic}
V:/V/_ {pretonic}

(n,r,l)V/(n=,r=,l=)/C_(C,#) {pretonic}
V//VC(C)_. {pretonic}

V//C_CV {inflectional}

l_0/K/#_
W/w/[+voice]_[+voice]
W/f/_

E(:)/e(:)/_ <Winchester and Kentish Dialects>

(i,y,u)/(e,2,o)/_[-nasal] {non-pretonic}

(tw,dw)/(kw,gw)/_

D/d/#_ {pretonic}

(r_0,l_0)/(r,l)/_

i(:)w/y(:)/_
e(:)w/2(:)/_

w/v/(z_V,#_(l,r))

gw(i,e,ei,a)(:)/g(y,2,2H,o)(:)/_
gw/g/_

n=/@n/[+nasal]_
r=/@r/r_
l=/@l/l_

V:/V/_(r,l).
(i:,y:,e:,2:,O:,o:,u:)/(ij,yH,ej,2H,Oa,ow,uw)/_ {tonic} <dialects with E: break to Ea>
V:/V/_

(ij,yH,uw)/(i,y,u)/_

C:/C/_

h//#_ {pretonic}

t//s_s

l//_r {pretonic}

@//C_C {inflectional} <so long as an illegal cluster is not created>

Modern West Saxon Period
1650-Present

ow/aw/_
ei/ai/_
ui/oi/_

(kn,gn)/N/#_

V/V::/_.[+voice]
V/V:/_[+voice]
V/V:/_.
V:/V/_[-voice].

j/J\_j/#_

(f,T,x)/(p,t,k)/_[+fricative]
(f,T,x)/(p,t,k)/(s,S)_

(t,d,k,g,n,s,S,l,r)j/(ts,dz,tS,dZ,J,S,S,L,4)/_

(mb,nd,Ng)/(m:,n:,N:)/_
(mp,nt,Nk)/(mb,nd,Ng)/_
[+fricative]/[+voiced]/[+voiced]_

n=/m=/[+labial]_
n=/N=/[+velar]_

(pm=,tn=,kN=)/(?m=,?n=,?N=)/_

S.s/S.S/_

(i,e)/(y,2)/S_

(k,g)/(c,J\)/_[+front]

(tS,dZ)/(S,Z)/_.

r/::/V_(+coronal)


Last edited by Herra Ratatoskr on Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:11 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:28 am 
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On the same topic, you might find the of Cornish useful. Obviously it isn't a grammar of Middle Cornish, but it might be a useful temporary/fallback source to fill in gaps in your data. If you haven't already found it, that is :). I wrote an assignment on the history of Cornish last year so I have a few references if you have access to a library - they're mostly on social history though, not really the language itself.

The sound changes look very interesting - I see that WS shares several sound changes in its early stages with English, so effectively you're descending from very EME? Though I guess as you have <ie> variously become /y y: jo jo: 2 2:/, the split has to have occurred very much in the OE period and just shared some later developments with English.

I'm intrigued by your single dialect-specific change :P Have you more worked out on dialects, or is this just the beginning of thoughts in that direction?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:57 pm 
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Alas the SWF was a political fudge needed by the local government so they didn't get into arguments over how to spell "Welcome" on their doormats etc. It's a pick-n-mix solution that attempts to keep everyone happy and has pleased no one. Also there's no real evidence of serious usage. Essentially the problem is that 99.9% of people in Cornwall know no Cornish, so they expect written Cornish to look like the anglicised place names they're familiar with. Any system devised to represent the reconstructed phonology and please people who can read and write more than the odd word, is bound to look weird. Because the language died out between c1600 --1800, and never had a tradition of modern printed literature (e.g. no Bible translation) the idea of duel spelling of names etc., like you see in Britany or Ireland hasn't really taken root in the popular mind. Many people want to 'own' the language, so they can wave it around like a flag, to prove Cornwall isn't part of England, but will never ever get round to learning it (always next year ...) Aaargh, enough! :evil:

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Interesting. It seems like your project is following a similar path to mine (West Saxon started out as "Tecg", a languaged based on the northumbrian/east midlands dialects before I decided to switch it to a West Saxon derivative. Great minds think alike?). If that's the route you're going, then I'll take the time to pimp again. Might give you some food for thought.

I've also updated the sound change list a bit again as well.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:05 am 
Lebom
Lebom
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:26 am
Posts: 153
Location: Oxford


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