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zompist bboard • View topic - Polysynthetic Conlang

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 11:27 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:48 am 
Sanci
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I had a play around with polysyntheticism today. I have a little softcover grammar of an obscure polynesian lang called "Big Nambas" (which, humorously, appears to mean "big penis-pouch".. incidentally, there is also a Little Nambas language) that I found in the university library. It inspired me to read over this thread and play around. Though not as synthetic as the languages in this thread, it has head-marking, very productive derivation, and adjectives which act like verbs, etc. And it has prefixing and apico-labials, which are damn awesome.

Anywho, I've been coming up with sentences like these:

'the cat leaps up onto the table'
si.siau.lul.ti le.hes.it.mun a.nan.sou.ti

it.always.sleeps.the it.do-with-feet.fall.her she.gives.rest.the

I suppose this sort of thing is leaning towards oligosynthesis.

I was wondering: are the types of serial verbs seen in creoles/West African languages like Sranan/Akan represented in any way in polysynthetic languages?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 3:18 am 
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Recently, I've begun revisiting my Socialese project (which has taken over for the old Terpish now that the new version is more 'Europeanized') and trying to correct the various absurdities and excesses of previous incarnations. One of these that really stuck out at me was the rather artless and disjointed treatment of both phonology and morphology, which struck me as something of a collage effect. Looking at natlangs like Latin, by contrast, I noticed how words felt much more unified and balanced, as though all the components were working together. Early Terpish fails especially badly here; not only do morphemes feel thrown together, they don't even feel very unified internally due to the ludicrous consonant clusters (like /st!/ ugh...)

To deal with this situation, I'm looking for ways to incorporate tonal and even phonemic sandhi and the like into Socialese. I've also tried to craft a certain feel and character for Socialese akin to the way Latin and Sanskrit both have an unmistakable sound. Grammatically, I intend to cut back on the overuse of incorporation and preverbs, since in the past, I basically piled them on until words regularly consisted of two compounded verbs, three preverbs stacked on eachother, several incorporated locatives, and so forth. Now I plan to limit myself to:

Preverb-locative/directional-verb_root-aspect/mood-personal_marking

I have also gone over the noun class system, though that term seems inaccurate and am considering a sentient/animate/inanimate/immaterial set of classes, though naturally I am open to any suggestions in this area.

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Last edited by Aurora Rossa on Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:58 am 
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one of my pet peeves about polysynthetic languages is that I wonder "How do they know if it's polysynthetic? It might not be. What if the speakers of the languages just talked really fast so that it sounded like one word, so the linguist thought that it was one word with many morphemes?". Just something that irritates me about them.


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Last edited by TomHChappell on Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:37 pm 
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Great thread. Sorry if this would be considered clutter, but I have a question relating to some stuff discussed here.

In the beginning of the thread, vohpenonomae, you mentioned using a nominal morphology. Is this necessary, for polylang that is? What are some of its advantages/disadvantages?

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 Post subject: Affixial poly conlangs
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