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 Post subject: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:25 am 
Avisaru
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Have you noticed that there are certain features (not necessarily SAE) that you end up sticking in your conlangs a lot?

Here are mine:
  1. The consonant inventory often ends up using one of these two as a basis:
    1. One inspired by ancient Greek, with tenuis, aspirated, voiced, and nasal obstruents at three places of articulation. A major difference from it that I seem to like making is that, instead of just the one /s/ for the fricatives, sibilants behave just like plosives and can also be tenuis, aspirated, voiced, and nasal (though /z̃/ is given a habit of not wanting to sticking around).
    2. The plosives are like SAE but they have corresponding glottalic versions as well, maybe missing otherwise expected /pʼ ɠ/.
    Whichever choice I make, /ʔ h l r j w/ have a strong tendency of rounding off my consonant inventory.
  2. /a e i o u/ are nearly invariably present, at least at some point. To this I may add /ɛ ɔ/ or /y ɯ/ or, if I don't want them in the earlier stages yet, delete /e o/. Length distinctions may or may not be present, but they often are for smaller vowel inventories. When I do have length distinctions, a conversion from that to a tense-lax distinction is on the common side.
  3. Where /θ ð/ show up, they're remarkably stable if Let's Reform English is any indication. (What? I like those sounds :P)
  4. An avoidance of more complex syllable structures than CCVC.
  5. The phonotactics rules tend to be very simple on a morphophonemic level, often behaving on the syllable and not the whole word (though sound change may have something to say about that). Onset rules are fairly liberal (syllable-initial /ŋ/? Why not?), with plosive+approximant clusters being par for the course, though I will sometimes have a lang force there to be an onset for every syllable. My three most common rules for codas are any consonant, only certain types of consonants (I usually permit at least /p t k m n ŋ s/), or none at all.
  6. Nearly every language has a case system, with nominative-accusative and active-stative my two favorites to use. As regards treatment of ditransitive verbs, secundative languages show up noticeably more often than in real life, but they're not the majority. Suffixaufnahme is not unknown for genitive constructions.
  7. Nouns may have gender, but it's less common than in SAE. When they do, though, the neuter is more common than in SAE. My older conlangs that had gender occasionally also had a rule where third-person genitive/possessive pronouns had to agree with BOTH the subject AND the object (i.e. my words for "his", "her", and "its" all had masculine, feminine, and neuter forms).
  8. Higher numbers tend to be formed like in East Asian languages rather than there being separate words for multiples of powers of ten and the first few numbers past ten. (Replace "ten" with "twenty" if I decide I want that base instead, in which case expect there to be a sub-base of 5.)
  9. Fusional languages invariably trace their origins from an earlier agglutinative stage.
  10. Typically no infinitive; the base form of a verb is the third-person singular.
  11. Causative constructions are more productive than in SAE, especially when deriving verbs.

That's all I can think of for my tendencies. What are yours?

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:29 am 
Avisaru
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Here are some features I overrepresent in my conlangs. Most of the ones I can think of right now are phonological.

  1. Voiced fricatives, whether via an actual voicing distinction in fricatives, as allophones of voiced stops, or via fortition of approximants.
  2. More than one open vowel quality distinguished, e.g. /æ/ vs. /ɑ/.
  3. Vowel systems with at least five vowel qualities. Alternatively, it could be said that I underrepresent three- and four-vowel systems. (Considering their apparent rarity, I don't think I significantly underrepresent two-vowel systems.)
  4. (C)V(F) phonotactics, with F being a restricted set of consonants. Yes, I know that's common in reality, but I think I use this setup even more than real languages do.
  5. Consonant inventories with at least 20 consonants. Again, these aren't uncommon in reality, but I underrepresent languages with smaller-than-average inventories.
  6. Uvular consonants and velar fricatives. I seem to like "guttural" sounds.
  7. Distinction between at least one lateral and at least one rhotic. Among rhotics, I overrepresent /r/ relative to /ɾ/ and various other sounds.
  8. Full clusivity distinctions in first person pronouns, as opposed to no clusivity distinction or optional clusivity à la Mandarin.
  9. Dual number marking, even if it's only limited to a specific area (e.g. pronouns).
Janaharian, my oldest conlang, has all of these features except (C)V(F) phonotactics. (Its own phonotactics are significantly more complex.)

EDIT: I thought of a few more. Also, to be fair, I should note that the majority of entries I'm including in my list are poorly-developed sketches rather than proper conlangs, since only a couple of my conlangs are well developed:
  • Stop systems are frequently missing a voiceless bilabial stop or a voiced velar stop. Fairly often both.
  • Prenasalized consonants.
  • Nasal vowels. They're everywhere.
  • Simple/level tone systems, relative to complex/register ones.
  • Non-pulmonic consonants are rare, although they do occur sometimes.
  • There may be a noun class system, but it's rare for there to be IE/Afroasiatic-style grammatical gender. (There is in Undreve, though!)
  • Some degree of grammatical animacy.
  • Definiteness is uncommon.

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Last edited by Chengjiang on Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:39 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:55 am 
Lebom
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1) I have a very difficult time working with any conlang that has a phonology I don't like. I like labial consonants ("Bamba mumbebap pypembaba." is a sentence in my primary conlang, for example) and the vowel /a/. One might think that using a limited phonology would make sentences in my conlangs much longer than their English translations, but this hasnt seemed to be a problem for me.

2) The lagnuage needs to either be strongly fusional or "feel like" it is. e.g. Poswa has tables for its nouns, such that one can say "made from your breast milk" in just one word (bwul). The number of noun inflections is much lower than Finnish, however, where "not even without our dogs?" can be said in one word. (koirattasikaanko or something, see http://i.imgur.com/QFm6SCE.png) However, Poswa is also highly irregular, unlike Finnish.

3) SOV word order please. Occasionally will toss in an SVO sentence or two, but only if the language is otherwise SOV. Adjectives alwayts after nouns.

4) The entire language has to use only suffixes and infixes, never any prefixes.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:47 am 
Avisaru
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1. I also have problems with not liking my phonologies, which generally means that there aren't any voicing distinctions in obstruents without some other manner of articulation distinctions as well (which often means a single stop and fricative series)

2. More generally, I hardly ever have more than 15 consonants.

3. If possible I have fewer than five vowels, though I generally include a length distinction to compensate.

4. I don't often allow clusters, instead strongly preferring CV(C)

5. It's been ages since I last started a language without polypersonal agreement. However, I will often have a few cases as well to denote grammatical relations.

6. I don't like large gender systems, though EDIT: I'm happy with numeral classifiers.

7. I'm a sucker for large numbers of moods and voices, but I avoid past-present-future tense systems like the plague. EDIT: Furthermore, now I understand what it is, I much prefer aspect over tense. EDIT: I also like to mix in evidentials with the moods.

8. I really enjoy having relative clauses use nominalisation, and further to this I don't have a separate category of adjectives, them being covered by either nouns or verbs.

9. I generally just enjoy large amounts of synthesis, so my languages, though they may have a few fused affixes, end up being generally agglutinative out of pure necessity, with no general bias in favour of either prefixes or suffixes.

EDIT: 10. I often drift towards ergativity, but I do like to do funky things with, say, perception verbs, and to make ditransitive verb dechticaetiaive

EDIT: 11. I also strongly avoid SVO.

EDIT: 12. Preference for subsuming prepositions under verbs, or marking locational concepts on verbs.

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Last edited by Frislander on Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:07 am 
Sumerul
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  1. My languages tend to mark perfectivity as a fundamental aspect distinction; sometimes I split perfective and imperfective up into other aspects, but ultimately they can be grouped into perfective and imperfective. Usually I group stative verbs with imperfective verbs, but at times I will group stative verbs with perfective verbs. Oftentimes I make perfectivity a property of noun stems, with an affix or auxiliary verb being needed to convert a perfective verb to an imperfective verb, and vice versa.
  2. My languages in many cases treat tense as less important than aspect.
  3. My languages tend to have polypersonal agreement, even if it is simple, e.g. only marking the presence of 1st, 1st + 2nd, and 2nd person arguments on the verb.
  4. My languages often have ejectives.
  5. My languages often have uvular consonants.
  6. My languages have had direct-inverse marking more frequently than one would expect.
  7. My languages tend to be ergative-absolutive, but every once in a while I will create a nominative-accusative language.
  8. My languages often do not distinguish adjectives from verbs.
  9. My languages tend to have simple systems of gender (e.g. masculine/feminine, masculine/feminine/neuter, animate/inanimate). (My latest languages, the Tshyak family, are an exception in not having gender at all.)
  10. My languages tend be CV(C), and if they are not, are oftentimes things such as CRV((R)C).
  11. My languages tend to distinguish open-mid and close-mid vowels (with notable exceptions being things like the /æ i ɒ u/ vowel system I once used).
  12. My languages tend to have coda glides that pattern with consonants rather than falling diphthongs.
  13. My languages, at least in proto-languages, tend to have a dual number; however, descendant languages tend to lose it.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:27 pm 
Smeric
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1. Ejectives. The overwhelming majority of my languages have them. This is generally part of a three-way distinction of voiced/unvoiced/ejective, but I also have plain/aspirated/ejective, plain/ejective, and one case of voiced/aspirated/ejective.
2. Big consonant inventories. Uvulars are pretty typical, pharyngeals/epiglottals are frequent. Palatals other than /j/ are rare.
3. I like fricatives, but I don't tend to have many (or any) voiced fricatives.
4. Quite a few of my languages have /ɬ/.
5. Most of my languages distinguish both laterals and rhotics; if they have only one, it's probably a lateral. Very few have neither. Most of my languages with rhotics have /r/.
6. Vowel inventory tends to be /ɑ e i o u/, usually with length distinction.
7. Nearly all of my languages disallow null onsets. C(C)V(C), CV, and CV(C)(C) are my typical syllable constraints.
8. Probably 60% of my languages are VSO; most of the rest are SOV.
9. At least half of my languages are ergative/absolutive, though my most significant and largest language family is nominative-absolutive (except for one language in the family, which is an outlier in a lot of ways).
10. Quite a few of my languages have obviative pronouns.
11. Most of my languages have verbs that decline only for aspect without tense.
12. I've recently become a big fan of languages with a huge number of directional morphemes like the languages of the Pacific Northwest, and so many of my newer languages have these.
13. Oddly, I'm a big fan of vowel harmony but only three of my languages have it.
14. A little over half of my languages have gender, either masculine/feminine or animate/inanimate. Only one has noun classes. The rest have no grammatical gender.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:21 am 
Sumerul
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1. Two-way aspect contrast between perfective and imperfective.
2. Either no tense marking at all or a past/nonpast system.
3. Morphological causatives.
4. Either >=3 plosive series (pʰ pʼ b in Kannow, pʰ p b in Amqoli, pʰ p b ɓ in Gehui), an incomplete voiced series (/p t k ɓ/ in Insular Kett and [by IK influence] Sestmag, /b t d k/ in Enzielu), or no plosive MOA contrast at all.
5. Tone, pitch accent, or phonemic stress.
6. Noun classes. (Kannow, Gehui, Sestmag, to some extent Amqoli)
7. Either CV phonotactics (Vian, Hathe) or complex consonant clusters (Kannow /tʷʰpʰcʰgʷərkʰtʂʰ/, Sestmag /θstseŋləjɒ/, Amqoli /rbʒa/).
8. Avoidance of SVO word order. (Kannow is VSO, Arve is VOS, most others are SOV)
9. Boring nominative-accusative alignment. (The only exceptions are Haruic, and every Haruic language is an exception.)

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:39 pm 
Lebom
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I like this idea!

    Sound Tendencies
    1. Tendency to 4 vowel systems. Sometimes it is a vertical /a ε o i/ or a triangular /a i u/ with some unrounded central vowel
    2. Stops tend not to make a voicing/secondary articulation, namely I'll tend to have /p/ but nothing else there aside from nasals
    3. Inclusion of the velar nasal even at onset and exclusion of the palatal nasal
    4. Fewer Fricatives than stops
    5. Fewer affricates than fricatives
    6. Simple syllable structure. Either (C)V or (C)V(N)
    7. Lack of length, tone, or phonation distinctions on vowels
    8. General aversion to diphthongs
    9. /i/ and sometimes /e/ as mutators of previous consonants
    10. Only one true rhotic or lateral approximant along the lines of /r/ or /l/

    Grammar Tendencies
    1. Head final patterns overwhelmingly
    2. Preference for dependent marking if I'm marking
    3. Adjectives normally not a distinct class
    4. Prepositions normally absent or absorbed into another class
    5. Negation only marked on verbs
    6. typically past vs non-past
    7. Nom-Acc in some sort of way
    8. Typically lean more analytic
    9. No gender distinctions
    10. plurality distinction, if it exists, is only on certain groups of nouns/pronouns
    11. Normally no or rarely used relative clauses
    12. no honorifics grammaticalized

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:01 pm 
Smeric
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Nortaneous wrote:
5. Tone, pitch accent, or phonemic stress.

This reminds me, nearly all of my languages have fixed stress, most of the either penultimate, initial, or antepenultimate. Most of the rest have weighted stress. I don't think I have a single language with phonemic or unpredictable stress.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:04 pm 
Sanci
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Grammar:

1. No grammatical gender. Zompist said something about it in one of his intros to Verdurian - conlangers dislike it, but it's a common feature in several unrelated language families. In my languages, there's never a gender distinction in pronouns, either.

2. No Latin- or Greek-style fusional morphology. Traditionally I'd go for either an analytic or an agglutinative groundplan, but right now I'm working on a language with Semitic-style nonconcatenative morphology. (P.S. real-world Hebrew and Arabic are better about separating tense from subject marking than the Romance languages.)

3. Grammatical inflections that are either regular or unpredictable, with nothing in-between, like the regular-with-many-exceptions verbal paradigms of Romance languages. One of my languages has a closed class of verbal roots, with aspect marking that's irregular with some patterns, like modern-day strong verbs in English. The rest are more regular than that. This is in some ways a consequence of #2 - agglutinative languages tend to be more regular, and so do Hebrew and Arabic verb conjugations.

4. SVO word order.

5. No T-V distinction; politeness is expressed in other means.

6. Grammaticalized aspect distinctions, usually perfective vs. imperfective. This includes the far-future descendant of English, which turned the progressive construction into an imperfective, swallowing the habitual, which in today's English uses simple tenses.

Phonology:

1. A phoneme inventory that looks like Standard Average European, at least as far as fricatives go, with voicing distinctions in both plosives and fricatives. (Just don't ask about the voiceless nasal series in one of my languages...)

2. If there are affricates, such as /dʒ/ then their fricative versions also exist, in this case /ʒ/. There are no gaps in voicing, such as the lack of a /p/ in Arabic.

3. In the a priori languages, onset semivowels /j w/ are either consistently treated as vowels for phonotactics purposes (so, can follow any consonant, even /r l/) or as consonants (so, can precede any vowel, even matching /i u/). Coda semivowels are always treated as vowels, as in the Romance and Germanic languages, rather than as consonants, as in Arabic, Hebrew, or Russian. Even in the far-future descendant of English, /j w/ are for the most part vowels in that they can follow any consonant except /r l/, but they still do not count toward syllable weight for stress purposes.

4. Vowels vaguely look like a five-vowel system. There may be length distinctions, or a schwa in unstressed syllables, or diphthongs, and the far-future English also has /æ/. But there are no front rounded vowels, or triangular vowel systems, or vertical vowel systems, or back unrounded vowels. A lot of this is an artifact of my needing to transcribe these languages in Latin script for RPG players and such. One of my languages, in early versions, had a six-vowel system, with /æ e i ɒ o u/ plus long vowels and diphthongs /aɪ eɪ i: aʊ oʊ u:/, but eventually I merged /æ ɒ/; I decided this was an in-universe merger. Another language began as /a e i o u ə/ but right now I'm stripping it for parts to be used in a five-vowel language.

5. In most cases, stress is predictable from phonology. The one possible exception is due to diachronic artifacts in the far-future English: I initially created this language for a story set in 3411, but then decided to write something else in the same universe in 2869, when the distinctive stress system has not yet been replaced by distinctive length through spelling pronunciations. It's still difficult for me to remember to pronounce character names the 29th-century way and not the 35th-century way.

6. No tones, no ejectives, no retroflex consonants, no phonemic palatalization or velarization or labialization (phonetic features arising from a /j w/ phoneme do exist).

7. Onsets and codas are usually about equally complex. One language I'm working on is probably going to be CV or CVn. The rest are more complex, but are never like Greek with its horrific onsets and simple codas, or Arabic with CVCC, or Hebrew with CCVC. The far-future descendant of English has the same onsets as modern English, except with /j w/ allowed nearly everywhere, and codas like modern English with the -ed suffix removed.

EDIT: I forgot 8. /r/ = [ɹ] whenever consonant clusters are allowed.


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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:24 am 
Avisaru
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This thread was good, I will necro it.

1. >=4 Plosive POAs, including at least one non-plain velar dorsal.
2. No or an incomplete palatal series.
3. A large (7 or more qualities) vowel system, often including length or nasality also.
4. Realis/Irrealis mood distinction.
5. No or few dedicated nonfinite forms, and none specialized as adjectives (participles).
6. Phrase-level clitics.
7. Verb-verb compounding.
8. Initial, but not final, clusters.
9. Nonconcatenative morphology.
10. Semantically broad adverbalizing/subordination strategies.
11. Direct object and agent are marked the same way.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:07 am 
Avisaru
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Hallow XIII wrote:
This thread was good, I will necro it.

1. >=4 Plosive POAs, including at least one non-plain velar dorsal.
2. No or an incomplete palatal series.
3. A large (7 or more qualities) vowel system, often including length or nasality also.
4. Realis/Irrealis mood distinction.
5. No or few dedicated nonfinite forms, and none specialized as adjectives (participles).
6. Phrase-level clitics.
7. Verb-verb compounding.
8. Initial, but not final, clusters.
9. Nonconcatenative morphology.
10. Semantically broad adverbalizing/subordination strategies.
11. Direct object and agent are marked the same way.


5 and 7 are things I like to go in for quite a bit. I will now take his opportunity to update my original post here.

1. Generally my phonologies don't have any voicing distinctions in obstruents without some other manner of articulation distinctions as well (which often means a single stop and fricative series if the latter is present). However I am OK with having gaps in a system where voice does contrast (see my conlang on Tumblr)
2. More generally, I hardly ever have more than 15 consonants.
3. If possible I have five or fewer vowels, and if I have five it's generally not the standard five, though I generally include a length/nasalisation distinction to compensate.
4. I sometimes go in for simple tone systems.
5. I don't often allow clusters within syllables, instead strongly preferring CV/CV(C), though there are exceptions.
6. It's been ages since I last started a language without polypersonal agreement (by which I include person-marking clitics). I may have a small number of cases but in general I'm not a big fan of them.
7. If I have a gender/noun-class system it's never that large.
8. I like having quite a few moods and voices, but I avoid past-present-future tense systems like the plague. Furthermore, I much prefer aspect over tense. I also like to mix in evidentials with the moods.
EDIT: 9. Further to the aspect, I'm a big fan of Aktionsart, so my verb roots will have an inherent aspect and would either fall into different conjugation classes based on that or show stem alternation to form the prefective.
10. I generally just enjoy large amounts of synthesis, so my languages, though they may have a few fused affixes, end up being generally agglutinative out of pure necessity, with no general bias in favour of either prefixes or suffixes.
11. Further to the high synthesis, my languages frequently exhibit both noun-incorporation and verbal compounding.
12. I often drift towards ergativity, but I do like to do funky things with the marking split. I am also like to use hierarchical alignment, and also to make ditransitive verbs dechticaetiaive/secundative.
13. I also strongly avoid SVO, and like to free up my word order a bit.
14. I have a preference for subsuming prepositions under verbs, or marking locational concepts on verbs.
15. If I mark them at all, my relative clauses use nominalisation of some sort, and further to this I don't have a separate category of adjectives, them being covered by either nouns or verbs (though mostly verbs).
16. I strongly prefer parataxis for "subordinate" clauses over non-finite forms.
17 /k/ <k>

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:08 pm 
Smeric
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  1. Most of my conlangs look similar to various natlangs.
  2. Length contrast for vowels or consonants or both is very common.
  3. Front rounded vowels are quite common.
  4. If there's a rhotic, it's usually [r] (sometimes [ɾ]).
  5. Schwa is not as common as it seems to be IRL, neither phonemically or phonetically. Although it comes up a lot in sound changes.
  6. I have practically no fusional languages.
  7. Nominative-accusative alignment is very common.
  8. Languages usually have two voices: active and passive.
  9. Aspects are uncommon, unless they are "baked in" with tense.
  10. Capitalization rules tend to be the same as in Swedish/Finnish.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:25 pm 
Sanci
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1. True palatals (sometimes as allophones, usually phonemic)
2. /ð/ but no /θ/ (usually from older /z/, this is not hugely common in my conlangs, but much more so than in natlangs)
3. No consideration of sonorant hierarchy in phonotactics.
4. Either very simple syllables, or lots of initial clusters.
5. If there are ejectives, invariably /p'/ is not present.
6. Evidentiality
7. Strongly head-initial, VSO word order common.
8. Very little in terms of tense and number


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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:20 am 
Smeric
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I posted above, under my other name, but didnt really give much information. a few more things I like are:

PHONOLOGY:
Bilabial consonants are found in every language and are core speech sounds. /p/ is likely to be the commonest consonant. There is often a set of labialized consonants, but other co-articulations are not found.

The language is likely to be "consonant-strong", meaning that consonants influence the pronunciation of surrounding vowels, but vowels have no influence on the pronunciation of consonants. Any allophones of consonants are predictable either from other consonants or the position in a word. Exceptions to this pattern tend to appear in languages with very small, mostly or entirely CV, setups where one could argue that a syllable rather than a sound is the smallest meaningful bit of information.

If there is any grammatical gender, it is marked by consonants rather than vowels.

There are between 3 and 6 vowels at the phonemic level. Commonest setups are /a i u/, /a i u ə/, /a e i o u/, and /a e i o u ə/. As above, however, the pronunciation of vowels often varies considerably due to sandhi. /a/ is always the commonest vowel, and long sentences can be written without using any of the other vowels.

In languages with a schwa, it is always the rarest vowel in the language. In languages without a phonemic schwa, it usually does not appear even as an allophone of one of the other vowels.

Dense consonant clusters generally do not appear. When two consonants meet at a morpheme boundary, sandhi often reduces the cluster. There is a consonant hierarchy one can use to predict the result of the sandhi, which leans heavily in favor of voiceless stops, bilabials, and labialized consonants. However, syllabic consonants are found in some languages.

There are no minimal pairs between a diphthong and a sequence of the same two vowels. Thus diphthongs can be analyzed as allophones of vowel sequences.

Voiceless obstruents occur more frequently than voiced ones. In some languages, /b/ is the only voiced stop.

There are often marginal consonant phonemes. These mostly arise from previously existing consonant clusters that were worn down. However, some marginal phonemes arise from sound changes affecting consonants that previously were more common, which survived in only a few phonemic environments. For example, in Khulls voiced stops survived a lenition shift only after a nasal. Later, the nasal sometimes disappeared, meaning that the voiced stops could no longer be analyzed as allophones of voiced fricatives. But they remained rare.

It is common to have restrictions forbidding certain consonants to appear in certain parts of a word; for example, in Khulls /r/ cannot begin a word. Most languages allow only a small subset of their consonants to appear at the end of a word. Traces of the Tapilula language's purely (C)V syllable structure are visible even in its descendants 9000 years later.

GENDER:

If there is any grammatical gender, it favors the feminine in ways not found in Earth languages. Feminine words in most semantic fields outnumber masculine ones. Some languages, such as Moonshine and Bābākiam, have two feminine genders but no masculine gender, instead grouping human males with vegetables and some words for young children of both sexes. This tendency often corresponds to cultural traits; in Moonshine, women are taller than men and adult men are only allowed to speak when the nearest woman gives them permission.

Grammatical gender, if present, classifies people based on age and sex rather than just sex. The age categories are not firmly defined and can be used metaphorically. There are often several age categories for children, but all adults share just a single age category.

Mixed gender categories are often present; a man and a woman, referred to as a unit, will take an epicene gender rather than having one gender overrule the other. If there is no epicene, a group containing both males and females will be described with words in one of the feminine genders.

Gender and animacy, if present, can be inherited by nouns describing syntactically inanimate objects, by borrowing from a parent object. That is, a man's arm will be animate (and masculine), and so will his books or any other possessions.

PARTS OF SPEECH:
There are no adjectives or adverbs. Verbs are used instead of these. In some languages, even the nouns can be analyzed as a subset of the verbs.

Pronouns play only a minor role in the language, and some languages lack pronouns altogether, instead using nouns and verbs with person markers.

Verbs are generally the longest words in a sentence. Verbs are heavily inflected in most languages.

Person markers on nouns, denoting their possessor, are common. Languages that lose this system often redevelop it from grammatically unrelated words later on. (For example, Poswa uses -o -e -a for 1st 2nd 3rd; Pabappa lost this due to sound changes but later developed -iba -idi -i from its pronoun system.)

Most languages are highly fusional, with Poswa being the champion by far. Compounds in Poswa usually differ from what one would expect from looking at their parts. For example, the word for playground is made of tae "children" + mušos "playing with each other" + -m "place of", but instead of something such as *taemušosum, the resulting word is taempom.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:10 am 
Avisaru
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Soap wrote:
GENDER:

If there is any grammatical gender, it favors the feminine in ways not found in Earth languages. Feminine words in most semantic fields outnumber masculine ones.


Actually if I understand what your saying correctly this sort of setup is attested for human languages: in the Sepik region, language such as Manambu have a Masculine vs. Non-Masculine/Feminine gender system with the "feminine" as the default gender, which may be changed to the masculine for especially large objects.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:44 pm 
Smeric
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Frislander wrote:
Soap wrote:
GENDER:

If there is any grammatical gender, it favors the feminine in ways not found in Earth languages. Feminine words in most semantic fields outnumber masculine ones.


Actually if I understand what your saying correctly this sort of setup is attested for human languages: in the Sepik region, language such as Manambu have a Masculine vs. Non-Masculine/Feminine gender system with the "feminine" as the default gender, which may be changed to the masculine for especially large objects.

Groups are often feminine in Semitic languages as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:01 pm 
Sanci
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Phonology

1. No gaps in phonemic inventories (in most conlangs).
2. Rather I am not using ejectives and implosives.
3. Retroflexion is common in newer languages.
4. Sometimes also I am using uvulars.
5. I am loving aspirated plosives and nasals.
6. System with five vowels (/i u e o a/ or /i ɨ u ə a/; the last is common in newest sketches).
7. Simple tone (low and high tone) or phonemic length on vowels.
8. /θ ð/ are sometimes in use (in few sketches instead /s z/).
9. Pharyngeals are common only in few cases, ie. in Proto-Samaran.
10. I like palatalized consonants (alveolar and velars).
11. Many fricatives (when a language don't have aspirated plosives in project)
12. /ɣ/

Grammar

1. Nominative-genitive alignment
2. Secundative ditransitive alignment
3. Voice infixed between root's phonemes
4. Many cases (5-10).
5. Ditransitive theme = Instrumental case
6. No commitative case (Commitative = Instrumental. Sometimes I have Vialis.
7. Balance between prefixation and suffixation
8. TAM suffixed
9. Evidentiality (rather preffixed)
10. Dependent-marking or double-marking
11. Three tenses (Past-Present-Future or Past-Non-Past with proximal distinctions in the Past tense)
12. Three aspects (Imperfective, Iterative ~ Habitual, Perfective)
13. I dislike Perfect aspect
14. Gender (sex-based or animacy-based)
15. Number: singular and plural (sometimes also dual)
16. Morphological causative
17. Passive, Medial or Reflexive voice
18. Passive-Causative voice
19. Person suffixed to verb
20. Prepositions
21. SOV word order
22. Right-headed

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:40 pm 
Niš
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I've been trying to make my current conlang different from those I made before, but I still seem to gravitate towards some typical features for my conlangs (though I avoided them mostly in my current conlang):

Phonology:
- SAE-sized consonant system with with at least a simple voicing contrast
- usually some thrown-in ejectives for good measure
- palatal coarticulation is love
- a weird love for /ʙ/ ... can't ... resist ...
- large vowel systems with rounded front vowels
- vowel harmony, based on either front-back or ATR contrast
- vowels have contrastive length
- front vowels /i e y/ and semivowel /j/ palatalize coronals
- nasal vowels, even though I hate them ...
- no tone, fixed stress
- complex onsets with plosive clusters like /tk pt/
- complex syllable structure

Grammar:
- large number of cases (never less than six)
- (badly executed) ergative alignment
- agglutinative, suffixing verbs and simple nouns
- gender system based on semantics, usually animate-inanimate
- dependent marking
- lots TAM affixes
- some kind of reflexive morphology
- number: more than singular and plural. I also seem to have a weakness for singulativ nouns.
- subject person marking
- SOV word order


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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:16 pm 
Smeric
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Zaarin wrote:
Frislander wrote:
Soap wrote:
GENDER:

If there is any grammatical gender, it favors the feminine in ways not found in Earth languages. Feminine words in most semantic fields outnumber masculine ones.


Actually if I understand what your saying correctly this sort of setup is attested for human languages: in the Sepik region, language such as Manambu have a Masculine vs. Non-Masculine/Feminine gender system with the "feminine" as the default gender, which may be changed to the masculine for especially large objects.

Groups are often feminine in Semitic languages as well.
Those are both interesting, but I'd argue that the Sepik setup is very different from Moonshine.

sorry for the rambling structure of this post, i havent been weell lately.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_l ... al_genders

The Sepik languages (and some others) seem to be treating human males as special. Ive even heard of a language in India that groups men with gods but wome nwith common objkects. I believe this is a large number of Dravidian languyages in fact.


Arguably Moonshine is less extrteme than this. In Proto-Moonshine, there were three feminine genders and one masculine gender. One of the three feminine genders also contains words for many objects, such as celestial objects, fire, snakes, worms, abstract concepts such as love and beauty, rivers, soft objects, women's clothing and feminine hygiene products, fish, objects found in or near the ocean, and nations. But it is still a feminine gender in the sense that all words in that gender that describe humans, refer to girls and women. By contrast, there is only one masculine gender, and it contains very few words for nonhumans. Thus masculine objects are outnumbered in every semantic field, rather than being "special" and therfore arguably superior to feminines.

This all happened by chance, and has nothing to do with the Moonshine people's extremely feministic culture.(Moonshine is feministic to such an extreme that it may seem to be a parody). This is why I say its a common trait of my languages; all of proto-Moonshine's close relatives have similar setups, except for those that have lost gender altogether.

But I was intrigued by viewtopic.php?f=12&t=44577 <---this thread earlier into making the setup even more biased against males in the later stage of the language. Sucxh that males could not be the agent of certain verbs unless they took an additional classifier suffix showing which female gave them the permission to do it. I havent done this yet as I dont have a realistic way of deriving it from the parent language, which I dont want to mess with. One possibility would be to collapse the masculine gender entirely ... a change that makes sense and which I was planning to do anyway ... leaving the language with two feminine genders and no other animates. Thus, males are inanimate. This seems comical but it doesnt seem like it's too farr off of the Sepik River setup, except that it's reversed.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:27 am 
Smeric
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Posts: 2261
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Soap wrote:
Ive even heard of a language in India that groups men with gods but wome nwith common objkects. I believe this is a large number of Dravidian languyages in fact.

Uhh, I think that's not only pretty misleading (isn't that technically true of like any European language with grammatical gender as well...?) but also a bit of an oversimplification of the situation in Dravidian languages and doesn't really make sense given how many goddesses we South Indians have. :P In Malayalam, for example, the way it works is that a lot of words referring to men - gods included, of course, as they are male - end in [n] in the singular, including the word for 'man' itself, whereas words referring to women (and common objects) don't AFAIK. In the plural form, this [n] is changed to [r]. A lot of other words referring to people (and deities) of either gender end in -[maːr] in their plural forms whereas common objects' plural forms end in -/kaɭ/. While some words referring to women (including the word for 'women' itself) can and often do have their plural forms ending in -/kaɭ/, this is also true of some words referring to men (such as the word for 'male'!), and it's also frequently possible to have the plural forms of these words for women end in -[maːr] instead, whereas this is absolutely impossible for inanimate objects.


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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:58 am 
Sumerul
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Nortaneous wrote:
1. Two-way aspect contrast between perfective and imperfective.
2. Either no tense marking at all or a past/nonpast system.
3. Morphological causatives.
4. Either >=3 plosive series (pʰ pʼ b in Kannow, pʰ p b in Amqoli, pʰ p b ɓ in Gehui), an incomplete voiced series (/p t k ɓ/ in Insular Kett and [by IK influence] Sestmag, /b t d k/ in Enzielu), or no plosive MOA contrast at all.
5. Tone, pitch accent, or phonemic stress.
6. Noun classes. (Kannow, Gehui, Sestmag, to some extent Amqoli)
7. Either CV phonotactics (Vian, Hathe) or complex consonant clusters (Kannow /tʷʰpʰcʰgʷərkʰtʂʰ/, Sestmag /θstseŋləjɒ/, Amqoli /rbʒa/).
8. Avoidance of SVO word order. (Kannow is VSO, Arve is VOS, most others are SOV)
9. Boring nominative-accusative alignment. (The only exceptions are Haruic, and every Haruic language is an exception.)

10. If verbs take any affixes at all, they mark person, number, and (where it exists) gender/noun class.
11. Nonfinite verbs in place of (most) adjectives.
12. Coronal consonants (and /m/ and /w/~/v/ where they exist) are preferred in suffixes.
13. Neither exclusively prefixing nor exclusively suffixing.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:15 pm 
Smeric
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Vijay wrote:
Soap wrote:
Ive even heard of a language in India that groups men with gods but wome nwith common objkects. I believe this is a large number of Dravidian languyages in fact.

Uhh, I think that's not only pretty misleading (isn't that technically true of like any European language with grammatical gender as well...?) but also a bit of an oversimplification of the situation in Dravidian languages and doesn't really make sense given how many goddesses we South Indians have. :P In Malayalam, for example, the way it works is that a lot of words referring to men - gods included, of course, as they are male - end in [n] in the singular, including the word for 'man' itself, whereas words referring to women (and common objects) don't AFAIK. In the plural form, this [n] is changed to [r]. A lot of other words referring to people (and deities) of either gender end in -[maːr] in their plural forms whereas common objects' plural forms end in -/kaɭ/. While some words referring to women (including the word for 'women' itself) can and often do have their plural forms ending in -/kaɭ/, this is also true of some words referring to men (such as the word for 'male'!), and it's also frequently possible to have the plural forms of these words for women end in -[maːr] instead, whereas this is absolutely impossible for inanimate objects.


It's possible the source I was reading was deliberately deceptive without being false. I remember specifically reading that "gods" were masculine, but it's possible that they intended the reader to interpret this as meaning "gods and goddesses are masculine" without directly saying so. I honestly can't seem to find information on what the true gender system is, apart from an old print copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica saying that the proto-Dravidian gender system was probably male/non-male in singular and person/non-person in the plural. It could be based on obsolete research but it's all I could find.

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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:52 pm 
Lebom
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Posts: 121
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Phonology
1. strong preference for voiceless consonants, where there are voiced stops there are rarely voiced fricatives
2. strong preference for large fricative inventories
3. typically well balanced (no gaps in the) inventories...where there is a stop, there's a fricative and there's a nasal.
4. relatively few phontactical rules, but those that are there usually devoice consonants word finally or through sandhi
5. almost always 5-vowel system with length contrast
6. fixed stress built left to right
7. usually simple syllable structures, but when I do allow for consonant clusters I pretty much go wild and allow for crazy clusters. Maximally I will allow (s)(C)(C)V(C)(C)(s)
8. when rhotics are present, I prefer the uvular trill to the alveolar trill or apprximate

Grammar and Morphology
1. Nom-Acc alignment...I know boring but I have always been less into syntax than phonology
2. no grammatical gender, except occasionally in pronouns
3. no articles
4. either fusional or agglutinative languages
5. use of relative particles rather than pronouns
6. Adjectives follow nouns and are under-inflected compared to the nouns they describe
7. Verb second
8. simple past-present-future tense system layered with imperfective-perfectibility aspects
9. distinction only between realis and irrealis moods

Vocabulary
1. Words for food or eating usually rooted in /nam/
2. Words for reading or book have ktb/ktp consonant roots
3. Separate words for physical emotional feeling
4. Name of the language always ultimately derived from the word to the, though it's never simply "tongue"
5. Other more haphazard nods to existing languages are very common in developing vocabulary.


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 Post subject: Re: Standard Average You
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:36 am 
Avisaru
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There are of course exceptions to these, but in general…
  1. Uvulars
  2. Simple vowel systems
  3. No length distinction in vowels
  4. Some sort of secondary distinction on vowels
  5. Non-isolating morphology, especially polysynthesis
  6. Relatively simple phonotactics such as CVC
  7. Lack of vowel hiatus
  8. Where clusters exist, coda clusters are typically permitted
  9. SO word order
  10. VO word order
  11. Absence of obligatory nasal assimilation
  12. Either a rhotic or a lateral approximant, not both
  13. /k/ <c>
  14. Lack of grammatical moods other than the indicative, the imperative, and the interrogative

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