Questions tagged [syntax]

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2
votes
1answer
73 views

Words for numbers in a language with bijective numeration

Bijective base-k numeration (or k-adic numeration) is a system of writing numerals such that the digits are 1 through k. Thus counting in bijective base-12 (such as my conlang Atili has) works as ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

How much ambiguity for argument roles is possible without sacrificing comprehensibility?

For the purposes of this question, I'm specifically interested in marking theta-roles of verb arguments and possessive constructs, i.e. the things prototypically marked by case in languages that have ...
2
votes
4answers
130 views

How can I talk about weather without expletives?

In English, it is necessary to use a syntactic expletive ("it") when talking about weather: It is sun-ny. EXPL COP.3S sun-ADJ Pro-drop languages can easily avoid the explicit expletive by ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

How typologically unusual is using postpositions in an otherwise head-initial language?

My conlang is predominately head-initial (SVO, n-adj, mostly suffixing), but has postpositions because I'd though that the noun was the head of an adpositional phrase. Wikipedia, however, says that ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Is it reasonable for numerals to behave like verbs?

I am aware that adjectives can pattern like verbs in some natural languages. Is it reasonable for numerals to do the same? Thus Some balls four. There are four balls. Fouring the balls were orange. ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Is num-det-n-adj-rel a reasonable order for a noun phrase?

In English, noun phrases are det-num-adj-n-rel (e.g. "The five orange balls that John saw"). In Spanish, noun phrases are (mostly) det-num-n-adj-rel (e.g. "Las cinco pelotas naranjas las que Juan vió,"...
4
votes
0answers
46 views

Strategies for marking boundaries between potentially discontinuous top-level clauses

What are some strategies for making boundaries between top-level clauses obvious? I think the most straightforward strategy is some kind of collection of sentence-final particles, but I'm curious ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Dealing with core argument loss from syntactic applicativization

If a language limits its relative clause heads to core arguments of a verb such that item 1 below is ungrammatical, it may become necessary within discourse to use an applicative to promote an ...
4
votes
1answer
684 views

Implications of secundative alignment

There are two different ways to handle ditransitive verbs like "give." For the purposes of this post, in the sentence "John gave Bill the ball," John is the donor (D), Bill is the recipient (R), and ...
4
votes
2answers
182 views

Language with nominal TAM and no verbs: Ergative or tripartite?

I'm working on a language with nominal tense–aspect–mood (TAM), i.e. inflecting nouns instead of verbs. So, a sentence like "the woman sees the man", could be roughly translated to something like "the ...
3
votes
3answers
108 views

What are the places where I can attach an indication of tense in relation to a conjugated verb action?

Info My conlang uses verb conjugations only in the present tense. To indicate other tenses (preterite/past imperfect/subjunctive/future/etc) I use the combined phrase "sona," meaning "...
8
votes
5answers
261 views

Syntactic word that carries no meaning - is there a name for that?

Is there a name for words that exist purely for syntactic reasons and carry no lexical meaning? Reason: Some forms of sentence in my language don't have verbs, but information such as tense and mood ...
9
votes
3answers
296 views

What tools exist for creating syntactically correct generated text in new languages?

Another way to put this is, what tools exist to generate sentences in the same way that some conlanging tools generate phonotactically valid words. I've heard people suggest using word generators to ...
16
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2answers
241 views

Is there any concept of “isomorphic” constructed languages?

What I'm thinking is: if two conlangs have the same syntactical structure and can be translated by simply exchanging words while maintaining the same (or very similar) structure, is there are specific ...