Saturday, August 27, 2016

Dairwueh: Person-Specific Quirky Case

Certain verbs in Dairwueh have no forms for some set of persons, generally one or both of first and second person. Most of these in fact only have third person singular forms. Whenever the subject is "missing" for a verb, it can be formed by having that person's pronoun as a quirky case subject.

The entries below are given as root (meaning) (persons missing) case.
Examples:
mogar (rot) (I, II) acc
ebas (lose, misplace) (I) dat
konav  (bequeath to*) (I) acc
atisal (physically reach, have sufficient stature to reach something) (I, II) gen
embor (appear to be) (IIsg) loc-instr
adval (displease) (Isg, IIsg) acc
saŋəst (remain) (Isg) loc-instr
lohak (fear) (Isg, Ipl, IIpl) dat
All of these do permit having first and second person subjects. These, however, require oblique marking. The oblique marking will also extend to nouns coordinated or apposite to such a subject. Some examples:
jemoga|moga-r
itrot3sgI|rot3sgII
it rots
ve-namoga-r
I-accrot3sgII
I rot
Je, it, is third person, and therefore does not behave in any extraordinary way. Ver, I, however, cannot stand as a nominative subject of mogar, but mogar permits accusative subjects for first and second person, and therefore we get the accusative vena.

These kinds of subjects, unlike the nominative ones, require the 3sg II verb. As mentioned, coordination and apposition do also get affected:
ve-naerha-nakonamik-e
I-accking-accbequeath-3sgII_negnothingneut_acc
I, the king, bequeath nothing
Normally, erha kona(v/š) would be permissible, but since it's in apposition with ver, which cannot stand in the nominative as subject of konav, it must agree in case therewith.
Contrast with the situation where only the third person subject is present:
erha-(a)tkona(-:v)kauda-nugirjera-lir
king-genbequeath(3sg)(3sgII)power-fem.accalongdaughter-dat_fem
with dis- similation of -rir
the king bequeathed (his) power to (his) daughter
Note that erha is in the genitive because it's a transitive verb with a definite subject - a slightly ergative pattern in Dairwueh. Contrast with the following, where both a first person and a third person NP is present - the first person pronoun that has to take accusative as subject of this verb also makes the other noun do so:
ve-nasaerha-naemb-edəŋak-un-əi
I-accandking-masc_accappear
3sgII_past
fightactive
present
participle
masc_plur
 I and the king appeared to be fighting/enemies
Contrast to the next clause, where both subjects are third person, and therefore do trigger person/number congruence, and do not have any curious case marking:

erhasakunər-taemb-ari
dəŋak-un-əi
kingandtribe-fem_plurappear3pl
past,
indicative

fightactive
present
participle
masc_plur

the king and the tribes appeared to be enemies
Since embor is intransitive, erha is in the nominative despite being definite.

* The noun to whom something is bequeathed is marked by the preposition gir, 'along, through'.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Detail #306: Pronoun as Comparison Strategy

This is, I think, a new comparison strategy. Consider a pronoun that indicates that a thing is being compared. I'll be using italicized comp as this pronoun:
Between John, between Eric, the company relies on comp_masc,sg.
 Between X between Y is considered to be similar to how Biblical Hebrew forms 'between', i.e. both nouns are preceded by the same preposition, possibly with an and, i.e. "between X and between Y".

If the compared things differ in gender, comp can by gender congruence relate to either of the nouns. For nouns of the same gender, the first noun is the more X:
between the brother and between the sister, their mother wants comp.fem.dat the painting as inheritance
the mother prefers that her daughter gets the painting as inheritance
between John and between Eric, comp.masc.nom is strong.
John is stronger than Eric

between Tor and between Sven, she likes comp.masc.acc
she likes Tor more than she likes Sven

between Schylla and between Charybdis, comp.fem.nom scares me
Schylla scares me more than Charybdis (does)

between John and between Tina, comp.fem.nom plays the guitar well
Tina plays the guitar better than John

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Detail #305: Social-Status Demonstrative Quality Pronouns

In languages with great amounts of social stratification, where this stratification has been grammaticalized, consider pronouns and determiners with meanings along the lines of
such a/such __s
a similar thing
the same
Now, consider having pronouns meaning things like
a person of
  • the same social status 
  • similar social status  
  • different social status
  • any social status
 So, now we have pronouns signifying:
  • statuswise, such a ...
  • statuswise, another kind of
  • statuswise, a similar kind of
  • statuswise, any kind of
This could be an interesting dimension for a language to seep into.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Musical Notation

Consider a culture of polyphonic improvization where the conductor has a sign language, using the position of the left and right arm to communicate what two of the voices do (probably the middle ones), and the left and right hands to communicate what the top and bottom voices do. Reading the middle lines' meanings requires being able first to read the top and bottom line symbols, because the arm position basically communicated how the middle voices' movements relate to the top and bottom ones.

This system is later on turned into a notation system, whereby each symbol consists of partial symbols for arm position, arm movement, hand signs and so on, so you basically get a series of very stylized 'conductors', with each conductor representing a pulse of the rhythm. Omissions of partial symbols may either mean 'silence' or 'continue previous pitch', depending on stylistic conventions. Sometimes it is unclear which is meant.

Notation for dynamics are done by simply bolding or weakening the lines - this does not, though, communicate which particular voice(s) is (/ are) strengthened or weakened.

As in most conducted musics, the facial expressions and other aspects of body language are interpreted by singers as well, and may sometimes be expressed by stylized faces inserted before a symbol. There is a convention as to what direction the eyes of the stylized faces are directed to direct an instruction at some particular voice.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

#305: Telling Time

In non-earth conworlds, telling time could use non-number-based lexemes. Consider giving hours or their analogies their own names, and giving names to various intervals of time as well.

Beyond this, special times on special days may have their own designations, so e.g. the midnight hour on midsummer has its own specific designation, and would not be referred to in the singular by the same name as other 'hours' at the same time.

In the plural for each "general" hour, the specific exceptions are included, though. Here's some space for fun things: if the language has mandatory definiteness marking, maybe definite 'hours' (which yet are indefinite based on the discourse) exclude the special-name hours, while indefinite hours include special-name hours; finally, discourse-definite definite hours of course only refer to particular hours that have been specified previously.



Sargaĺk: A Common Saying and some Grammar

mist od kaməŕtat od (tućś): all our oars (are still here)
"All", od is a bit peculiar, in appearing both to the left and right of the core NP it represents. In the nominative, it takes its head noun in the pegative, whereas in all other cases, it takes its head noun in the relevant case. With the other cases, the first od- also is marked for congruence. In the plural, for the nominative and pegative the head noun is plural for animates, but singular for all other nouns. With other cases, it is singular throughout, even if the semantics of the situation is plural.

Od is also closely related to the word odka- which signifies 'the whole, all of the (sg), a full, etc'.

tućś signifies 'still, yet, continuously, at least up to now, now'.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sargaĺk Personal Pronouns

I suddenly noticed I have not posted a table of personal pronouns in Sargaĺk, so I guess I might just as wellpost such a thing:


1sg2sg3sg masc3sg
fem
1pl2pl3pl
masc
3pl
fem
pegnettatettaistaavtamiltafintanistainista
nomnenteissumilfinnisanir
accnəna, nətna, -natetna, tet (fem)isavatmisatfiʒatnistnisar
comnəmetemeismeavmismizvifizvinimesinimes
locnəruteruiruavrut|surutmissufissunissuinissu
ablnətsatetsaitsaatsa|sutsamissafissanissainissa
latnərneterneirnearne|surnemissifissinissiinissi
possnem-tet-im-sum-mist-fist-nist-inist-