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Questions tagged [semantics]

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34 votes
2 answers

Are there any grammatical aspects which do not have parallels in natural languages?

In Describing Morphosyntax, Payne uses a number of diagrams for visually explaining aspects and what they say about actions relative to time. Payne outlines the following, all of which occur in ...
L. L. Blumire's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers

What is the difference between tense and aspect?

Many conlangs contain tense, some contain aspect as well or instead, and much of the recommended reading for conlangers assumes that you know what tense and aspect are and what the difference between ...
Sparksbet's user avatar
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12 votes
7 answers

How could a conlang enforce subjective idealism in a constructed world

Subjective idealism is the monistic metaphysical doctrine that only minds and mental contents exist. It entails and is generally identified or associated with immaterialism, the doctrine that material ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 219
11 votes
1 answer

Is there a practical lower limit to the number of morphemes required in a language?

Many conlangers have tried (and occasionally succeeded in) creating oligomorphemic¹ languages. What are the most minimalistic successful attempts? From this, can we extrapolate a lower bound? ¹also ...
Sascha Baer's user avatar
  • 3,482
7 votes
1 answer

Designing realistic pragmatics, particularly with respect to answering questions

Coming up with new kinds of pragmatics is sort of fun, but it's hard to tell when an idea is incompatible with how people work psychologically. For instance, what are the limits or universals around ...
Greg Nisbet's user avatar
  • 1,715
5 votes
3 answers

Should Auxlangs have metaphors?

Auxlangs are meant to be easily learnt/understood by the entire populace of the world, no matter their native language. So, they are constructed to be unambiguous and it's reference should have a one-...
Krutik Desai's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer

In logical languages, what is the relationship between subset relations and the Axiom of Choice?

I will use Lojban for this example, but any logical language with similar relations could be examined; this should be portable to other Loglans, at least. {cmima} relates sets to their elements; it ...
Corbin's user avatar
  • 216
3 votes
2 answers

Constructed language to minimize any interpersonal conflict?

Is there a conlang that tries to minimize interpersonal conflict based on a theory of how miscommunication can lead to strife? What theory would it draw from? For example, sometimes ambiguity of tone ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer

What languages prefer the shortest sentences?

I read somewhere that Chinese prefers short sentences while English prefers longer ones. I don't have great examples of this, yet. This is particularly problematic in legal texts where an English ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 1,728
2 votes
2 answers

Is There an Optimal Order for Addressing Phonetics, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics?

I am about to create a constructed language. Is it acceptable if I follow the levels of language in the given order: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics? Or do I need to do ...
hikaru-k-bit's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

How to structure verb phrases (as opposed to noun phrases)?

In my question about formal vs. casual noun phrases, I got to the point of distinguishing between causal and formal nouns. Notice that the noun phrases all end with -a, the noun-creator affix. That ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer

With infix connectives, how to handle edge cases?

Suppose we have a language containing an infix connective for building some sort of sequence. For example, perhaps our terminals are natural numbers and commas, and we are considering fragments like &...
Corbin's user avatar
  • 216
1 vote
1 answer

How do languages make lemmata from root words?

(Google tells me the plural of "lemma" could be "lemmas" or "lemmata", so i chose the latter. Please tell me if it's wrong.) From reading online and offline sources, I've ...
solarisNT's user avatar