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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:13 pm 
Smeric
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Richard W wrote:
KathTheDragon wrote:
If by "failed attempt" you mean "developed ablaut but didn't happen to undergo the developments that generalise it" then sure. But "failed attempt" is loaded af for that.

I was thinking more of the pattern of CeRC verb roots and, to some extent, CeHC verb roots, which makes PIE seem to have a predominantly triconsonantal root system,

I don't get what you're getting at here. What part of PIE's morphology was as profoundly nonconcatenative as, say, Hebrew?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:11 am 
Niš
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Very nice guide, Iv'e made a start on following the guide to create my own.
I have two questions: What is the other methods other than the diacronic method that was discussed here?
Most of the roots in such a language just coincidentally need to have 3 consonants, or am I missing something in my understanding?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:06 pm 
Avisaru
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KathTheDragon wrote:
Richard W wrote:
KathTheDragon wrote:
If by "failed attempt" you mean "developed ablaut but didn't happen to undergo the developments that generalise it" then sure. But "failed attempt" is loaded af for that.

I was thinking more of the pattern of CeRC verb roots and, to some extent, CeHC verb roots, which makes PIE seem to have a predominantly triconsonantal root system,

I don't get what you're getting at here. What part of PIE's morphology was as profoundly nonconcatenative as, say, Hebrew?

PIE was hamstrung by effectively having just one slot for a vowel, samprasarna notwithstanding. It also had the limitation that, like modern Hebrew, it didn't tolerate tolerate geminates very well - except for -tt-.

While some of the PIE vowel contrasts didn't bear much meaning until later, e.g. in early Germanic languages, the contrast of full and weak grades to contrast imperfective and perfective is seen in the Greek 2nd aorist (eleipon 'I was leaving' v. elipon 'I left') and has left some contrasting pairs in the Slavonic languages. Compare that with the Hebrew vowel contrast for active v. passive. In present tense stems, there was the nasal infix in PIE (possibly stand v. stood, certainly convince v. convict) - all Hebrew offers in the way of infixed consonants is a bit of metathesis in the hithpael of roots starting with sibilants.

Jens Eldegard Rasmussen proposed an infix (variously denoted 'Q' or 'R') in derivations like the causative iterative *mQen-ey-e-t-i 'makes think; from root *men. The infix converted the vowel to *o, and tended to force laryngeals to be dropped from the more consonant-heavy stems. It's been suggest that, from its reflexes, it was some sort of rhotic. (The Austroasiatic and Austronesian distributive infix -ar- comes to mind, though I suppose that's at best just another breakdown in the arbitrariness of form.) Formally, I think we have to consign this infix to pre-PIE.

PIE offers reduplication, which is something Hebrew generally lacks, except for specific root patterns such as 'double ayin'. PIE had reduplicated perfects and presents. I am not sure how far back Attic reduplication goes. Sanskrit offers reduplicated desideratives; I am not sure how far back they go.

Pre-PIE may have had reduplication in nouns - *kʷekʷlos 'wheel' and *bʰebʰrus 'beaver' are the two examples put forward.

Perhaps the warning here to the conlanger is not to overdo the vowel reduction. Another possible problem is with initial consonant clusters. It's nice to have patterns vC₁C₂vC₃... and C₁vC₂C₃v to play with, but it might get a bit difficult if C₁ can be a consonant cluster, as in the common PIE root structure C₁vC₂C₃.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:34 pm 
Smeric
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Richard W wrote:
I don't get what you're getting at here. What part of PIE's morphology was as profoundly nonconcatenative as, say, Hebrew?

PIE was hamstrung by effectively having just one slot for a vowel, samprasarna notwithstanding. It also had the limitation that, like modern Hebrew, it didn't tolerate tolerate geminates very well - except for -tt-.[/quote]
Considering that the entire pi'el binyin is defined by C2 gemination (whether the modern language, which has lost a great deal of its Semitic "flavor," has lost gemination or not), I don't think that's helping your argument. In Biblical Hebrew, only a few consonants cannot be geminated, and even most of those can be geminate in its close relative Phoenician.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:22 am 
Sumerul
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Richard W wrote:
PIE offers reduplication, which is something Hebrew generally lacks, except for specific root patterns such as 'double ayin'.
Hebrew doesn’t lack reduplication in the slightest; in fact it even has quite productive reduplication (in diminutives, for one thing). It also has a very great amount of words one or two of whose radicals are reduplicated in different ways in order to form a tri- or quadriconsonantal root; for example:

Nom. gal “wave (on water)”; Vb. gālal “roll sth. up”; Intensive Vb gilgēl “spin sth. around”; Nom. galgal “wheel”

Nom. hēd “echo”; PNom. hādad “Hadad (‘the Thunderer’)”; Intj. hēydād “hurray!, cheers!”; Intensive Vb hidhēd “reverberate, echo”


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:17 pm 
Avisaru
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Zaarin wrote:
Richard W wrote:
KathTheDragon wrote:
I don't get what you're getting at here. What part of PIE's morphology was as profoundly nonconcatenative as, say, Hebrew?

PIE was hamstrung by effectively having just one slot for a vowel, samprasarna notwithstanding. It also had the limitation that, like modern Hebrew, it didn't tolerate tolerate geminates very well - except for -tt-.

Considering that the entire pi'el binyin is defined by C2 gemination (whether the modern language, which has lost a great deal of its Semitic "flavor," has lost gemination or not), I don't think that's helping your argument. In Biblical Hebrew, only a few consonants cannot be geminated, and even most of those can be geminate in its close relative Phoenician.

It depends what one means by 'Hebrew'. It I understand Astraios, the 'non-concatenative' morphology is alive and well, despite the loss of geminate consonants.

In that case, does the voicing assimilation of -C₁C₂- have much tendency to feed back into C₁vC₂- forms? If it does, the ultimate effect could be reminiscent of the PIE root constraint against *tegʰ and *dʰek. It all adds to the impression of PIE as a (budding) triconsonantal language that strayed from the path.

Of course, one can also get a strong Semitic impression from CVCVC roots. The different forms for different voices of the Austronesian verb give a very strong Semitic look. This is another type of non-concatenative morphology which preserves vowels in morphemes far better than in Semitic. The system is healthy; one gets infixes in obvious loans from English (and Spanish in the case of Tagalog).


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:56 am 
Sumerul
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Richard W wrote:
It depends what one means by 'Hebrew'.
The difference between the Biblical and Modern Israeli forms of Hebrew is only about as great as that between Shakespeare’s English and the international standard: there are very few differences in their grammar (aside from what is considered ‘archaic’ today), some differences in their pronunciation, and a lot of differences in their vocabulary. Talking about unqualified ‘Hebrew’ generally includes all stages of the language, because they’re all so similar and fall within the same system.


Richard W wrote:
In that case, does the voicing assimilation of -C₁C₂- have much tendency to feed back into C₁vC₂- forms?
No, never. Voicing assimilation is allophonic, restricted to modern colloquial speech, and euphonic vowels are not added to break up differently voiced clusters, which Semitic in general has no problem with at all; Hebrew’s managed to maintain (for example) a contrast between |zk|, |sg|, and |sk| for over 3000 years, precisely because those clusters can be broken up in other forms of the same word. Colloquial speech may reduce yizkōr, yiskōr “he will remember, he will hire” to [iskoʁ] and yisgōr “he will close” to [izgoʁ], but this doesn’t in any way affect the other forms of the words where the clusters are broken up—zākar, sākar, sāgar “he remembered, hired, closed” always remain distinct as [zaχaʁ, saχaʁ, sagaʁ], so the underlying voicedness distinctions are always preserved. (The one thing vaguely similar to what you posit is the vocalization of post-vocalic laryngeals, such that underlying aꜥC is pronounced [aaC], which does remind one of PIE, but has absolutely nothing to do with the root-structure or morphology of either language.)


Richard W wrote:
Of course, one can also get a strong Semitic impression from CVCVC roots. The different forms for different voices of the Austronesian verb give a very strong Semitic look. This is another type of non-concatenative morphology which preserves vowels in morphemes far better than in Semitic. The system is healthy; one gets infixes in obvious loans from English (and Spanish in the case of Tagalog).
I’m not sure if you’re implying that the Semitic system is less stable than Austronesian, but I don’t believe it is at all: just take a look at the mess Hebrew can make of loanwords in order to shoehorn them into its verbal morphology, without preserving any vowels at all. For example: faḳs “a fax” → fiḳsēs “to fax sth.”; ḳāṭēgōr “prosecutor” → ḳiṭrēg “to accuse sb.” (this one even reverses the last two consonants); ṭelewīzyā “television” → ṭilwēz “to televise”. All these processes—reduplication, reorganization of consonants, ignoring vowels, etc.—are completely productive in deriving words, and in very vigorous use.


In short, what part of PIE looks anything like this? Doesn’t having, as you said earlier, “just one slot for a vowel” sort of preclude the possibility of analysing PIE as having a Semitic-like triconsonantal system?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:16 am 
Avisaru
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Astraios wrote:
I’m not sure if you’re implying that the Semitic system is less stable than Austronesian, but I don’t believe it is at all

No, I was just pointing out another triconsonantal system, one that happens to have conserved vowels.

Astraios wrote:
: just take a look at the mess Hebrew can make of loanwords in order to shoehorn them into its verbal morphology, without preserving any vowels at all. For example: faḳs “a fax” → fiḳsēs “to fax sth.”; ḳāṭēgōr “prosecutor” → ḳiṭrēg “to accuse sb.” (this one even reverses the last two consonants); ṭelewīzyā “television” → ṭilwēz “to televise”. All these processes—reduplication, reorganization of consonants, ignoring vowels, etc.—are completely productive in deriving words, and in very vigorous use.

I don't see a triconsonantal qal in all this. What's happening to it? Is it going to be replaced by the piel? The derived verbs in the examples above follow the pattern of the piel - except that they have a proper cluster rather than the ghost of one.

Astraios wrote:
In short, what part of PIE looks anything like this? Doesn’t having, as you said earlier, “just one slot for a vowel” sort of preclude the possibility of analysing PIE as having a Semitic-like triconsonantal system?

I'm not sure we really know enough about PIE word derivation. We can't watch it. Could borrowed words readily give rise to standard ablauting vowel roots?

The single slot could be the result of overdoing vowel reduction. Templatic reduplication exists, and triconsonantal verb roots are very common. A difference is that the templates prefix rather than suffix. We even see root extensions comparable in form to those of Semitic and its relatives. I gather that the extensions don't seem to be cognate with those of Semitic. (Can the Semitic root extensions even be projected back to Proto-Afroasiatic?) There's a fair bit that looks like Semitic, and it seems quite plausible that pre-PIE might easily have taken a road that would have left it even more like Semitic.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:36 am 
Sumerul
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Richard W wrote:
No, I was just pointing out another triconsonantal system, one that happens to have conserved vowels.
But “having roots with three consonants in them” isn’t at all what’s meant by triconsonantal system in relation to Semitic languages…

Richard W wrote:
I don't see a triconsonantal qal in all this. What's happening to it? Is it going to be replaced by the piel?
Nothing’s happening to qal. It isn’t going to be replaced; it’s just a closed class, and it doesn’t take loan-roots because it’s a closed class. It also can’t have derived verbs in it, because by definition it is, if you like, the “base” conjugation; it isn’t used to derive verbs from other words, but only from roots. Piel is the “derived” conjugation; it has the meaning of English “-ize, -ify sth.” If you want to derive a verb from a word—loanword or not—you have to use the derived-verb patterns.

Richard W wrote:
The derived verbs in the examples above follow the pattern of the piel - except that they have a proper cluster rather than the ghost of one.
The examples I gave follow piel exactly, there is no “except”. Piel doesn’t have the “ghost” of a cluster in consonant-slot #2, it really does have two available medial consonant slots, both of which must be filled. The fact that the medial of triconsonantal roots surfaces phonetically as a non-geminated single stop in the modern language doesn’t mean that, underlyingly, piel’s structure is not ||CiCCēC||. And it’s precisely this underlying structure involving a cluster, as well as piel’s relative regularity of form (when compared to qal), that lets piel also be an open pattern to verbs derived from pluriconsonantal loanwords (like ṭilwēz “televise”), already-affixed native words (like mispēr “enumerate” from mispār “number”), and reduplicated roots (like gilgēl “roll”).

Richard W wrote:
I'm not sure we really know enough about PIE word derivation. We can't watch it. Could borrowed words readily give rise to standard ablauting vowel roots?
I don’t know, but even if they could, PIE still wouldn’t have a Semitic-like triconsonantal system; it would still just have PIE-like ablaut with a certain coincidental amount of roots having three consonants in them.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:42 am 
Sanci
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Thank you for a very useful and interesting post, tiramisu! I look forward to a possible second part.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:37 am 
Avisaru
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I have a question about metathesis. In your example, it happens between /p/ and /s/. Is that because /sp/ is an illegal cluster? In that case, what happens to legal clusters caused by the same prefix? Does the metathesis get generalized by analogy or by purely phonological processes? I assume, since it happens in reflexive verbs, that you're imitating Arabic Form VIII verbs, which have an infixed /t/. But historically I have no idea why metathesis occurred in every instance in that language either.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:01 pm 
Avisaru
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Right, /sp/ was an illegal cluster.

In Arabic's case, the metathesis began by phonological processes, and then spread through analogy. In Proto-Semitic, the t- metathesized when the first radical of the stem was a sibilant. Arabic -- the Semitic hyper-leveller -- extended this to all consonants, thus making the t- an infix in all cases.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:56 pm 
Sanci
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How might one go about making a language with a PIE-like ablaut system derived from a language with triconsonantal roots?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:39 pm 
Avisaru
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Any update on this? I'd love to see Part II.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:49 pm 
Sanci
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Pogostick Man wrote:
Any update on this? I'd love to see Part II.

I second this in full. Tiramisu did a wonderful job in explaining something and making it seem easy at the same time.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:34 pm 
Smeric
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I concur.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:05 pm 
Niš
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This has been very useful for my conlanging endeavours!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:03 pm 
Avisaru
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It will be a few months before I work on a Part 2. I'm in the middle of a very busy half-year.

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