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zompist bboard • View topic - Odd natlang features thread

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:33 am 
Sumerul
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:49 am 
Avisaru
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I'm sure we did have one of these. Did you look in the L&L Museum? Maybe the "Tidbits from beyond IE" thread?

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=53

Also, did you mean "The Papuan Languages of New Guinea", or has Foley written a new book? A quick google search didn't reveal anything.

But anyway, I'm sure I can add some things to your list. I'll probably come back later...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:29 am 
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The "Tidbits from beyond IE" thread was just Ran bragging about his native language (Mandarin), and nothing but his native language. You're thinking of Cor's "", which in spite of making it to the L&L Museum, it never received the love it deserved, as I pointed out last time somebody (dhokarena56) .

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:44 am 
Avisaru
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I wrote something a while ago about role insensitive agreement that might fit here:

http://chrisdb.dyndns-at-home.com/blog/ ... -agreement

The best examples come from a Papuan language called Manambu, which has verbal agreement with topical NPs with very little restriction on their role. When the topical NP isn't the subject, then there is also subject agreement. For example:

Topical subject
wun a yarək bə laku-na-wun
I DEM.DIST+fem.sg news already know-ACT.FOC-1fem.sgBAS.VT
'I already know that news'

Topical object
də wun-a:m laku-da-wun
he I-LK+OBJ know-3masc.sgSUBJ.VT-1fem.sgBAS.VT
'He knows me'

Topical location
wun a-də yaba:r yi-tua-d
I DEM.DIST-masc.sg road+LK+ALL go-1stSUBJ.VT-3masc.sgBAS.VT
'I went towards that road'

Also, Elamite marked animate nouns for the person of their referent, which isn't a common feature in natlangs.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:40 am 
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Some Khoisan languages have a mandatory verbal suffix that indicates whether the subject of the sentence is standing, sitting, or lying down. e.g. "I ate (while sitting down)" is one single verb. A very similar feature appears in a language of Mississippi named Tunica. Tunica also has gender, and apparently treats the so-called postural suffix for "while standing" differently depending on the gender of the speaker. For a male, the suffix for standing up is the same as the suffix for sitting; for a female, it's the same as for lying down.


source: google books search

http://books.google.com/books?id=0CsI6v ... 22&f=false

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:42 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:20 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:27 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:02 am 
Sumerul
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Noun modification is probably the most odd thing in L/Dakota, because it's so complicated/restrictive in comparison to English.

1a) If a head noun is definite, it can be modified with the structure Head + Mod. + Art.: wičháša čík'ala kiŋ the little man

1b) If the head noun is plural, the modifier is reduplicated (even if the head noun is animate, which is odd because reduplication usually only marks inanimate plural): wičháša čigčík'ala kiŋ the little men

1c) Phrases of this kind are treated phonetically as compounds; the primary pitch accent is heard only on the head noun: /wi.'ʧʰa.ʃa.ˌʧi.k’a.la.kɪ̃/

1d) If the modifier is a common or inherent property of the head noun, it's made into a full compound: šuŋgwášte kiŋ the good horse instead of šúŋkawakȟáŋ wašté kiŋ

2a) If a head noun is indefinite, there is also the structure Head + Mod. + Art., which is only used in the case of common or inherent properties: šúŋkawakȟáŋ wašté waŋ a good horse

2b) The more common structure is Head + Art. + Mod. + Art., which can be used for both inherent and unexpected properties: wičháša waŋ čík'ala čha a little man ~ a man who is little

3a) With complex relative clauses (i.e. those with more than just a stative verb in them), the structure can only be Head + Art. + Mod. + Art.: wičháša waŋ amápȟa čha / wičháša waŋ amápȟe kiŋ a man who hit me / the man who hit me

3b) Complex relative clauses must be the first nominal element in a sentence, no matter the role of the noun they modify, so that A and B are ambiguous and C is impossible:

A - Wičháša waŋ theyáȟila kiŋ wíŋyaŋ waŋ waŋyáŋke. The man you love saw a woman.
B - Wičháša waŋ theyáȟila kiŋ wíŋyaŋ waŋ waŋyáŋke. A woman saw the man you love.
C - *Wíŋyaŋ waŋ wičháša waŋ theyáȟila kiŋ waŋyáŋke. A woman saw the man you love.

3c) There can only be one layer of subordination per head, so "The wolf [that killed the woman [who saw the man [you love]]] is dead" would have to be translated as something like: A woman saw the man [you love] and now the wolf [that killed that woman] is dead.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:18 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:18 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:22 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:29 pm 
Smeric
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I'm not sure how weird exactly this is, but I've never seen it in any other language. !Xóõ, for many verbs, has entirely different roots depending on whether a group of people or a single person is doing the action or having the state. Ex: tshûu vs. !ʻáã - both mean 'to sit' but the first is used with singular subjects, the second with plural subjects. They appear to not be phonologically related in any way.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:07 pm 
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http://www.veche.net/novegradian - Grammar of Novegradian
http://www.veche.net/alashian - Grammar of Alashian


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:15 am 
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< Cev> My people we use cars. I come from a very proud car culture-- every part of the car is used, nothing goes to waste. When my people first saw the car, generations ago, we called it šuŋka wakaŋ-- meaning "automated mobile".


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:56 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:00 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:41 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:19 pm 
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Where can I get one of these?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:46 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:47 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:29 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:14 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:40 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:24 am 
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