Thursday, May 30, 2019

Detail #380: A New Spot For Alignment

I recently came across this, a post whose content I am not really going to comment (due to the feeling that I don't know enough about this particular topic.) However, it sparked an idea in my mind:

Why not make an alignment-like system with regards to symmetrical vs. reciprocal actions? Some verbs could imaginably only take one or the other type, and here we could get an interesting set of situations:
  • verbs that are exclusively symmetrical
  • verbs that are exclusively reciprocal
  • verbs that can be either one or the other
Let's use s and r for arguments of exclusively s/r verbs, and S and R for verbs that can take one or the other. The way any particular marking works may differ from the way others are marked: reciprocal pronouns with differential object marking distinguishing different meanings, verbal affixes, particles, auxiliaries, adverbs, etc.
Potential solutions:

Trivial bipartite:
s = S
r = R

Asymmetrical bipartite:
s = S = r


s = R = r

Unhelpful bipartite (unlikely)
s = r
S = R

Tripartite I
s = r

Tripartite II
s = S


r = R

Diagonal Tripartite (unlikely)
s = R


S = r

Unhelpful Tripartite (unlikely)
S = R

Quadripartite (unlikely)
s S
r R
One thing that feels realistic, though, is that for some verbs, you may also have occasional exceptions like so:
Exceptional Marking I
S' = R
R' = other way that coincides with some other thing in the language?
The ' there marks that these are exceptionally marked ones, and that the "R" on the right hand of the equals mark stands for the marking, not the meaning.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Detail #379: Inverse Alignment of an Unusual Type

I think I promised to stop doing alignment things a good while ago, but I am like some kind of addict I guess with regards to alignment.

So, ... let's consider participles. Let's assume participles are uniformly created by affixing some morpheme onto the verb stem. All verbs form their participle this way.

Let us reuse English words, and create the morphology as we go. The participle marker might be -b.

run - runeb
go - goeb
live - liveb
do - doeb
take - takeb
Now we run into the inverse alignment bit, and here we get the unusual twist. Instead of having an animacy hierarchy, we have each verb having a preferred voice. 

'Take', for instance, might prefer active, 'catch' might prefer passive. This is not so much regarding what one is likely to be doing, or even close to an animacy hierarchy, but close to which sense is likely to be used. You are more likely as a hunter-gatherer, for instance, to catch things and talk of things you've caught, than you are to talk of things that are catching things.

The inverse marker then would be a separate morpheme altogether, maybe at the opposite end of the word from the participle morpheme. It could also serve some other role in finite verbs (say, aspectual or temporal or some kind of congruence-like thing?) 
Let's imagine the inverse morpheme is a prefix: en-.
taking: takeb
taken: entakeb

caught: catcheb
catching: encatcheb
Now we get to a part where we can start varying our approach: intransitives. Maybe they're split? Maybe the split is a differential way of marking things (e.g. volition), or maybe it's lexically split.

Maybe intransitives exclusively use the marker that normally marks inverse? So now you'd get
enrun, engo
Just some thoughts.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

An Entirely Unrelated Thing

I mentioned a while ago two life changes that conspire to keep me posting a bit less; indeed, the two changes keep doing so, and due to the nice perks of my new job, I also got a third life change: I've started working out. So that also keeps me a bit occupied, but I think it might be good for the mental faculties in the long run and thus probably will be beneficial for my creativity as well.

However, what I really wanted to mention - and this is a thing I intended to do way back but forgot about in all the every day hassle - is the instagram account of one of the life changes. For readers who are so inclined, meet Oswald the tibbie.

Currently, I am really thinking a lot about my main big conlangs, and this is also reducing the posting frequency significantly. Trying to figure out how to make Bryatesle, Sargaĺk and Dairwueh descend from a single proto-language – and the same for Ŋʒädär and Ćwarmin - does take quite an effort, and developing them all simultaneously also takes some thinking.

Finally, a personal project I've been doing for a while, and which I intend to make into a full-fledged, uh, thing, is my microtonal pitch perception and theory exercise webapp. Currently it is in an alpha stage, and the sound only works on firefox and edge (maybe safari?). Future features will be:
  • persistent states (i.e. it will remember where you left)
  • better sound that also works in chrome
  • a better menu system
  • a login system
  • the app will gather stats about progress in order maybe to be able to improve the exercises to have a better effect?
  • achievements
  • more content, esp. with regards to chord progressions
  • Just Intonation, well-temperaments, more equal temperaments
    • Just Intonation will almost necessitate some type of hexagonal key layout as an option in addition to the piano-based layouts
  • some generative content
  • some ability for the users to generate their own exercises
  • The basic engine also seems rather well-suited for some kind of 'microtonal scale and chord encyclopedia' type of use.
I figure the microtonal pitch perception exercise thing may be of some interest to conworlders. However, I am also interested in hearing feedback! Known issues at the time are:
  • sound engine timing
  • sound quality in general
  • navigability
So, don't complain about those quite yet ...  they're under work.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Nominative Plural Bryatesle

Plural Nominatives

Finally, the one remaining case form in Bryatesle. We have seen some patterns in the previous post about the nominative, and some of these provide us with the nominative plural. Going through the classes schematically, we get:
singular syncretisms implying parallel syncretisms

nom sg
voc sgnom pl voc pl
for one noun in this wider class, knavum, there is a dat pl syncretism, but this is basically the only exception to the rule. Tunsïm is a different exception, with even more syncretism thrown in.
nom sg excl sg(nom pl (excl pl or acc pl))
nom sg acc sg → nom pl acc pl
nom sg
dat sg → nom pl dat pl

For these, do not read AB as a commutative thing, read it rather as 'A is formed using the same morphological suffix as B'. I opted for the symbol '≡' in order that the reader realize that there is some non-standard notations in place. It is also important to note that these are implications, not equivalences, A → B does not imply B → A.*

* Talking about implications not implying something might feel a bit weird if you are not used to reasoning about logic. "A implies B" is essentially the same as "If A is true, then also B will be true", but says nothing about B in case A is not true - if "A implies B" holds and "A is false" holds, we do not know whether B is true or not, or in this rather prescriptive situation, the truth of B cannot be ascertained from the given information.
singular-plural syncretism
Some neuter nouns have a singular-plural nominative syncretism. With the exception of nayga (pine cone), these end in consonants. Thus we can't really say that there exists any specific nominative (singular or plural) suffix for these nouns.

Now that the weirder nouns have been dealt with, we can look at the vanilla regulars. There is some level of "mild" irregularity going on even here, though. Beyond these, some loans from Dairwueh keep their plural nominative for about a generation or two, at least among the intelligentsia. The situation is not entirely similar to Latin in English, since the two languages are in a rather different relationship: both are quite likely at any given moment to be the dominant language of the area.
regular masculine plurals
A large number of masculine nouns have, in the singular, nominative suffixes in free variation. In the standard language, this situation does not obtain in the plural, but some tendencies exist that connect the singular and plural, along the following lines, where the higher up a rule is, the higher it ranks (i.e., a noun for which the suffixes {-a, -i} appear in the singular, the {-a, ...}-rule will be applied.
{-u, -y} → -yri (tho' some -iri or -ere also appear)
{-a, ...} → -ere
{-i, ...} → -ini, sometimes -uny (mainly after velars)
{-e, ...} → -ini, sometimes -uny (mainly after velars)
Nouns ending in a consonant tend to have -ere as plural nominative suffix as well.

In dialects, simplified systems exist (-iri or -ere for all), as well as systems with multiple permissible allomorphs (often in less elaborate systems than in the singular). Common consonants in the masculine plural suffixes are -r, -n, -l and -z. Atnel Bryatesle, however, has masculine (and neuter) plural suffixes with -k or -t in them, likely originating with a different particle in PBD than the particles giving rise to the standard set of suffixes.
regular feminine plurals

The most common regular plural feminine nominative suffixes are
-a, -(V)l, -(V)r/-r(V)
The feminine nouns ending in consonants all are somewhat irregular:
ib, ebel (eye)
sud, sadal (hub)
tsyl, tsular (feather) (dissimilation of -al following -r-)
The feminine plural nominative morpheme depends on the singular nominative morpheme according to this pattern:
-a → -al (dissimilated as -ar)
-i → -ir (dissimilated as -il)
-y → -yr (dissimilated as -il)
-e → -er (after a stem ending in -l, comes out as -ur)
mxera , mxeral ointment
nanmi, nanmir hook
tapsy, tapsyr birthmark
mekse, mekser mare
xable, xablur spear
 Occasional exceptions exist; some former hiatus situations have come out as follows:, ...ail → ...a,
ya, ...yal → ...e,
ue, ...uel →, ...ul
Some historical examples of these have been hit by analogy and rendered similar to the regular plurals, but some regular plurals have also hit and been turned into examples of these patterns.
Examples (with + marking examples that have appeared due to analogy):
gara, garil (bread roll)
rame, ramal (standard-sized wooden container for salted fish)
+nime, nimal (a flute)
sepe, sepul (grass turf)
gyle, gylar (chopsticks)
+rile, rilar (small drinking vessel)

regular neuter plurals
Regular neuter nouns form their plural by suffixes -veku or -uku. If the final syllable of the stem carries stress (or secondary stress), -uku is used. Otherwise, -veku is used. (This is not entirely true, the truth is "if the final syllable carried stress before the -ve- → -u- reduction in unstressed syllables, it is -uku", however, the previously stated rule of thumb will almost always be accurate, but does account for some dialectal differences. This rule has one absolute consequence, however: monosyllabic neuters always have plurals with -uku. A secondary development that has a similar outcome is -veku after consonant clusters becoming -uku. Here, ' marks stress, appearing before the stressed syllable)
ran-uku wool socks
min-uku fox pelts
tert-uku pebbles
'baset-veku mushrooms
ti'rik-uku straws
'tegarks-uku branches
a'gixn-uku riches