zompist bboard

a congress of convoluted conworldery
It is currently Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:49 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:56 pm 
Niš
Niš

Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:47 pm
Posts: 2
I am making a conlang in which the writing system is based off of Arabic but the grammar is not all that similar to Arabic or English(more justification for calling it a conlang if grammar has little similarity to the languages it is based off of).

I plan for it to be agglutinative but not necessarily to the degree that Hungarian is(I mean a sentence spanning word sounds pretty crazy to me but maybe that is just because I grew up speaking English).

Anyway, I thought about it long and hard and decided to assign gender to words of at least these 4 parts of speech:

- Nouns
- Verbs
- Adjectives
- Pronouns

Not all verbs will I assign gender to. For example linking verbs like is or looks will not be assigned gender because they are used to link the subject to the action verb or to adjectives and adverbs.

Pronouns practically already have gender in them. For example "he" is masculine. However "he" could also be neuter, at least in English because it can be used to refer to someone of unknown gender. "it" is clearly neuter.

It does make sense though for all nouns and adjectives to have gender. And again, there are clear examples of where 1 gender makes far more sense. An example of that is the adjective "pregnant" It makes far more sense to say "pregnant" is feminine because male pregnancy, while possible, is extremely rare.

But as for the assigning of gender I figured it would be like this:

- Feminine
- Masculine
- Neuter

Latin had this 3 gender system.

Now I am not so sure I would want inflections from grammatical case. I mean word order is a much simpler way to get across the same ideas as grammatical case. In other words for example instead of having the genitive case you could just use a possession marker on the possessor and either way, you get the same thing across, possession. But the possession marker is way simpler than inflecting every possessable noun for the genitive case.

But how should I decide which words are feminine, which are masculine, and which are neuter? I mean with the pronouns, it is obvious, with some nouns, adjectives, and verbs, it is obvious, but what about the majority of nouns, adjectives, and verbs which are not obvious? Sure, with some I could look at statistics(like for example how many females knit compared to males) but it is likely that for the majority of nouns, adjectives, and verbs, I either won't find statistics or the statistics will be inconclusive(thus me assigning neuter if I just went by statistics). A great example of that would be the word stitch. It really depends on why you are stitching(crafts or medical), thus it would most likely be inconclusive.

So for those words of which statistics won't help, should I look at related words to help me assign gender and if I can't find related words of which the gender is obvious, already assigned, or obvious from statistics, use randomness?

And should I strive for equal # of words in each gender?

My conlang is not naturalistic in the sense that adjectives have an inherent gender and thus do not have to agree with the noun's gender. For example, here is a translation specifying the noun and the adjective and their genders and also specifying pronoun gender:

My NEUT husband MASC is pregnant FEM. I NEUT know that is weird but he MASC is pregnant FEM.
So yeah, adjectives don't have to agree with the noun in gender.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:48 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:03 pm
Posts: 572
Location: Da motte gij witte
So what exactly does gender do in your language if there's no gender agreement?

Anyway, different languages handle this differently. In some languages grammatical gender is based almost exclusively on natural gender, which in the case of your language would mean that neuter would be the largest group by far. In other languages, such as Indo-European languages and (IIUC) Arabic, gender assignment is pretty random and more connected to a word's shape than to its meaning.

You may choose.

_________________
Bearlandic - Kunesian - Nåmúþ


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:35 am 
Šriftom
Šriftom
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 4:43 pm
Posts: 7919
Location: Three of them
Sexing words is always tricky, but it's easier with older words which aren't so worn away and have the, er, important bits still intact.

*Gendering* words, however, is pretty much up to you. It depends what you mean by "gender" - is it merely a way of classifying words to govern how they agree with each other, or is it closely tied to natural gender?

The ALCK has a very good section about this.

_________________
Acronyms Can Really Overstretch Nervous Young Minds.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:45 am 
Sanno
Sanno
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:00 pm
Posts: 16590
Location: One of the dark places of the world
"Gender" is a pattern whereby words in different classes are modified to show that they are related to one another - adjectives "agree" in gender with nouns. If you don't have adjective-noun agreement, it's hard to see in what respect you have "gender". What does it mean for "pregnant" to be a "feminine" adjective - it's not what "feminine" normally means in linguistics?


"Pronouns" "obviously" have "gender" because you speak English, in which pronouns sex-discriminate. There is nothing objective obvious about this. "He" is used with males and "she" with females because that's a rule about English. Many languages have only a single pronoun, "he/it/she", that is used with both males and females.

_________________
Blog: http://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/

But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
as though her heart was brook: Why, why, why! Weh, O weh
I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:53 am 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:34 am
Posts: 1108
Location: The North
caters wrote:
Not all verbs will I assign gender to. For example linking verbs like is or looks will not be assigned gender because they are used to link the subject to the action verb or to adjectives and adverbs.


OK, firstly verbs don't have "gender", because that is a feature of nouns. They can agree with their arguments for it, but it is not a property of verbs per se. Secondly, the definition of which verbs won't take "gender" is so highly notional as to be meaningless; what does it mean to say "used to link the subject to the action verb"? Do you mean auxilliaries? (because "look" is not an English auxilliary) Transitive verbs? (which would be a highly weird thing to base a gender distinction off even if verbs could take gender)

Quote:
Pronouns practically already have gender in them. For example "he" is masculine. However "he" could also be neuter, at least in English because it can be used to refer to someone of unknown gender. "it" is clearly neuter.


No it is not and that is part of the problem! I'm guessing you made this mistake because you're a native speaker of a language which treats masculine as default (I guess perhaps Arabic or French?), but English the more idiomatic usage is singular "they", in spite of what prescriptivists might say, particularly in this day and age where you might be talking about a formerly male-only profession like a doctor where using "he" could get seriously uncomfortable if the person in question turns out to be a woman!

Quote:
It does make sense though for all nouns and adjectives to have gender. And again, there are clear examples of where 1 gender makes far more sense. An example of that is the adjective "pregnant" It makes far more sense to say "pregnant" is feminine because male pregnancy, while possible, is extremely rare.


As others have said, you seem to misunderstand how gender works. Gender is a property of nouns, and they're really the only word class that can be said to "have" gender. Adjectives agree with their head nouns for gender, so in your system a "feminine" adjective only makes sense as part of a paradigm which includes masculine and neuter forms as well. Sure you can have some adjectives which don't decline in a system which otherwise has adjectives showing agreement, but then saying "pregnant" can thus be a "feminine adjective" is meaningless, since those adjectives which didn't decline would still be perfectly grammatical when combined with nouns of any gender.

Quote:
But as for the assigning of gender I figured it would be like this:

- Feminine
- Masculine
- Neuter

Latin had this 3 gender system.
Quote:

You could do with doing a lot more reading on the great variety of gender systems around the world before you settle on one which you like. Doing something "because Latin does it" when you really don't have much experience with languages which have gender systems run along completely different lines really just says you need to read up on more languages.

Quote:
Now I am not so sure I would want inflections from grammatical case. I mean word order is a much simpler way to get across the same ideas as grammatical case. In other words for example instead of having the genitive case you could just use a possession marker on the possessor and either way, you get the same thing across, possession. But the possession marker is way simpler than inflecting every possessable noun for the genitive case.


I don't follow this logic. Sure you can have a single indeclinable possessive marker, but you can also have a single genitive case suffix which never changes, like English -'s. Not every language with case marking is like Latin in having wildly different forms for its case markers depending on the declension. Do you think that just because it's a suffix and not a particle that somehow makes it more complex? Because it really doesn't.

Quote:
But how should I decide which words are feminine, which are masculine, and which are neuter? I mean with the pronouns, it is obvious, with some nouns, adjectives, and verbs, it is obvious, but what about the majority of nouns, adjectives, and verbs which are not obvious? Sure, with some I could look at statistics(like for example how many females knit compared to males) but it is likely that for the majority of nouns, adjectives, and verbs, I either won't find statistics or the statistics will be inconclusive(thus me assigning neuter if I just went by statistics). A great example of that would be the word stitch. It really depends on why you are stitching(crafts or medical), thus it would most likely be inconclusive.


No language assigns gender this way. In the languages you're clearly basing this system off the assignment is to all intents and purposes near random; it doesn't matter how many women vs. men knit or stitch, the words for "knitting", "stitch" and "knitting needle" could end up as masculine, feminine and neuter respectively (or any such combination for that matter), with little regard for any supposed link with women. Even languages with more semantically-driven systems don't divide things this way; in fact it's more likely that "knitting needle" would be assigned masculine because it's a long, thing object rather than assigned feminine because of any apparent association with women.

Quote:
So for those words of which statistics won't help, should I look at related words to help me assign gender and if I can't find related words of which the gender is obvious, already assigned, or obvious from statistics, use randomness?


Again, in the languages you're basing this off of related words are no indication, e.g. in German die Frau "the woman" is feminine, but the semantically closely related word das Mädchen "the girl" is neuter seemingly arbitrarily (in reality it's because words with -chen in German take the neuter gender regardless of the semantics or original gender of the word they're derived from).

Quote:
And should I strive for equal # of words in each gender?


If you want, but it's not necessary by any means.

_________________
https://frislander.tumblr.com/

First known on here as Karero


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:03 pm 
Osän
Osän
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 2:57 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: Lake Tašpa
There are some conlangs that could be analyzed as having gendered verbs.

In Late Andanese, one of my oldest conlangs, verbal gender is explicitly tied to the first syllable of the stem of the verb. If a verb begins with hi-, it is feminine, no questions asked. Therefore, the verb himu "to tax" is feminine even if the tax collector is a man. For a man to be the agent of this verb, there must be an additional prefix, ki-, before the stem. Thus for a man, the verb for tax is kihimu .

I don't know of any natural languages with a setup like this. I think it would be most useful if the gender were tied to something meaningful rather than being just an additional detail that must be learned with each word. And i think it would be likely to survive if the vbs could take different meanings, so e.g. the verb for stitch would have a different semantic meaning depending on whether it was conjugated as masculine, feminine, or neuter.

_________________
Sunàqʷa the Sea Lamprey says:
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:41 pm 
Sumerul
Sumerul
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:44 am
Posts: 2707
Location: suburbs of Mrin
Welcome caters! Have some pickles and tea! (It's a tradition for welcoming new members here).
ImageImage[/quote]

Soap wrote:
I don't know of any natural languages with a setup like this.
I'm pretty sure there aren't. But why would label it feminine or masculine? Does it have any connection to those concepts? In my planned verb root conlangs, I will call it "verb class".

@Frislander:
I wouldn't say that neutral he doesn't exist. It is just as prescriptivist as saying singular they doesn't exist.

_________________
ìtsanso, God In The Mountain, may our names inspire the deepest feelings of fear in urkos and all his ilk, for we have saved another man from his lies! I welcome back to the feast hall kal, who will never gamble again! May the eleven gods bless him!
kårroť


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:24 pm 
Sanno
Sanno
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:00 pm
Posts: 16590
Location: One of the dark places of the world
My conlang, Rawàng Ata, does the same as Merc's conlang, and indeed I used to talk of masculine and feminine verbs. But since in Rawàng Ata it's best seen as a verb transitivity issue, I just call them dynamic and stative now. However, we could certainly imagine a conlang in which there are verb classes distinguished only by their interaction with male vs female arguments.

Similarly, you could have 'gendered' adjectives if you had to mark mismatch between adjectives and nouns. Say, if "angry" is 'feminine' and "meek" is 'masculine', you could have "the he-angry man", "the angry woman", "the meek man" and "the she-meek woman".


You could also maybe talk of 'gendered' verbs if they trigger agreement on nouns, rather than vice versa? "The he-angry he-man stabbed the woman" but "the angry woman stabbed the man".

Although it's more plausible with marking on the object. I believe there are languages where objects agree in gender with the verb, where the verb itself agrees in gender with the subject (that is, subject gender agreement is so powerful that it goes through the verb and into the verb's object). It's not impossible that such a language might allow, say, verbs without subjects to still have an assumed gender-control over their arguments?

It seems conceptually valid, at least, even if it doesn't occur in practice in recorded human languages.

_________________
Blog: http://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/

But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
as though her heart was brook: Why, why, why! Weh, O weh
I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:35 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:21 am
Posts: 608
Location: Cymru
Frislander wrote:
caters wrote:
Not all verbs will I assign gender to. For example linking verbs like is or looks will not be assigned gender because they are used to link the subject to the action verb or to adjectives and adverbs.


OK, firstly verbs don't have "gender", because that is a feature of nouns. They can agree with their arguments for it, but it is not a property of verbs per se. Secondly, the definition of which verbs won't take "gender" is so highly notional as to be meaningless; what does it mean to say "used to link the subject to the action verb"? Do you mean auxilliaries? (because "look" is not an English auxilliary) Transitive verbs? (which would be a highly weird thing to base a gender distinction off even if verbs could take gender)


Verbs may not have gender but a verbal-noun / gerund would, wouldn't it? - If the language's nouns have gender then these should too, no?

_________________
My conlangery Twitter: @Jonlang_
Me? I'm just a lawn-mower; you can tell me by the way I walk.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:44 am 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:34 am
Posts: 1108
Location: The North
Jonlang wrote:
Frislander wrote:
caters wrote:
Not all verbs will I assign gender to. For example linking verbs like is or looks will not be assigned gender because they are used to link the subject to the action verb or to adjectives and adverbs.


OK, firstly verbs don't have "gender", because that is a feature of nouns. They can agree with their arguments for it, but it is not a property of verbs per se. Secondly, the definition of which verbs won't take "gender" is so highly notional as to be meaningless; what does it mean to say "used to link the subject to the action verb"? Do you mean auxilliaries? (because "look" is not an English auxilliary) Transitive verbs? (which would be a highly weird thing to base a gender distinction off even if verbs could take gender)


Verbs may not have gender but a verbal-noun / gerund would, wouldn't it? - If the language's nouns have gender then these should too, no?


Yeah, but as you say those are nouns, so that's not really a counterexample.

Salmoneus wrote:
Similarly, you could have 'gendered' adjectives if you had to mark mismatch between adjectives and nouns. Say, if "angry" is 'feminine' and "meek" is 'masculine', you could have "the he-angry man", "the angry woman", "the meek man" and "the she-meek woman".


But is that "adjectival gender"? What's to say you can't analyse them as different declensions only where they have different genders take a zero form.

Quote:
You could also maybe talk of 'gendered' verbs if they trigger agreement on nouns, rather than vice versa? "The he-angry he-man stabbed the woman" but "the angry woman stabbed the man".


Sure, that would make sense as an idea, but good luck finding a diachronic explanation for it, particularly if you go down the route of the traditional MASC/FEM/NEUT.

Quote:
Although it's more plausible with marking on the object. I believe there are languages where objects agree in gender with the verb, where the verb itself agrees in gender with the subject (that is, subject gender agreement is so powerful that it goes through the verb and into the verb's object). It's not impossible that such a language might allow, say, verbs without subjects to still have an assumed gender-control over their arguments?


Perhaps, but I would then expect the verbs would take a "default" gender, not each verb to take on a lexicalised gender.

Quote:
It seems conceptually valid, at least, even if it doesn't occur in practice in recorded human languages.


I mean yeah, sure, you could do it in a avowedly non-naturalistic "alien" project like Kelen, but I'm guessing that's not what caters's aiming at.

_________________
https://frislander.tumblr.com/

First known on here as Karero


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:13 pm 
Niš
Niš

Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:47 pm
Posts: 2
Well for gender I am aiming for non-naturalistic, thus nouns and adjectives not having to agree in gender and verbs themselves having gender.

For things like possession, plurality, word order, basically everything except for gender, I am aiming for naturalistic.

And since my people use a base 60 number system and the language is agluttinative I think I would have affixation like this:

(Number-Number of number-**Plus)*x-Base-Plural-Gender

The Number and Number of number references the base 60 system

So for example there would be separate affixes for:
1
60
602
603
etc.

This would be the Number affix.

For the Number of number there would be separate affixes for:
1
2
3
4
.
.
.
59

The Plus affix is basically the word for plus.

This will repeat until the number that is meant is fully described.

Then there is the base word itself

The Plural affix is used either in place of or in conjunction with the prefixes describing the exact number.

The Gender affix describes what gender the word has if it does indeed have gender. So for example if you wanted to say something like:

"160 women got pregnant this year and of those, 50 of them had a miscarriage, 10 had a stillbirth, 20 had twins, 2 had triplets, and only 1 had quadruplets"

in my conlang it would look more like this:

"60-2-Plus-1-40-woman-Plural-Feminine got pregnant-Feminine this year and of those 1-50-woman-Plural-Feminine had a miscarriage-Feminine, 1-10-woman-Plural-Feminine had a stillbirth-Feminine, 1-20-woman-Plural-Feminine had twins-Neuter, 1-2-woman-Plural-Feminine had triplets-Neuter, and 1-woman-Feminine had quadruplets-Neuter"


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group