Questions tagged [verbs]

For questions dealing with verbs (a part of speach)

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What parts of speech (nouns, adj., verbs, etc.) could be limited to make a language with fewer words?

Essentially, in the English language how many adjectives, nouns, adverbs, verbs, etc. could be combined to make the language possess a single word for a term. E.g. huge, giant, enormous, and big could ...
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4 votes
2 answers
90 views

Are there languages that don't prefix verbs with "to be" or "to do" in continuous or progressive aspect and the like?

I am working on a conlang and wondering how we can rework the "continuous" aspect, like present continuous, looking for how other languages implement such a grammatical verb feature. Some ...
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2 votes
2 answers
92 views

How do you write a language without the word "to" preceding verbs?

I am working on a fantasy language and am perplexed by the true meaning of the word "to" in English, at least when it appears before a verb, as in these sentences. I want to go somewhere. I ...
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4 votes
1 answer
62 views

Is it attested for noun classifiers to be coopted for directionality?

A noun classifier marks on the verb some information about the form of one of its arguments. For example, Atili has a handful of "stationary" classifiers that produce semantic distinctions: ...
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3 votes
1 answer
121 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. ...
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3 votes
4 answers
189 views

Are there languages with five conjugations? If not, how would one construct one?

Most languages I am familiar with have six different person/number combinations for verbs: Singular 1st (I) 2nd (you) 3rd (he/she/it) *Plural 1st (we) 2nd (you (all)) 3rd (they) Obviously, verb ...
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5 votes
1 answer
130 views

Structure only conlang? Nouns?

Are there examples of conlangs that are used by applying their structure such as grammar, sentence structure, intonation, means of combining words, etc… with other features of a given language or ...
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4 votes
3 answers
134 views

What are some strategies for setting verbs apart from other words without knowing it's a verb

In languages with conjugated verbs there is usually a similar structure across verbs that makes them easy to recognize even if you do not know the word. For example in German, all verbs after the ...
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11 votes
3 answers
460 views

What verbs should be irregular in a naturalistic conlang?

I've read that the most commonly used verbs in a language are almost always irregular, and for the most part the irregular forms of verbs can be traced to an archaic form being preserved in the ...
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8 votes
3 answers
300 views

Swadesh List for Verb Infinitives?

I was looking through Wikipedia's Swadesh Lists recently and wondered if there was anything like a Swadesh list for verb infinitives, similar to how Spanish verbs work (to be, to want, to eat, to know,...
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7 votes
2 answers
543 views

How do Romance-based naturalistic conlangs deal with the different principal parts of a verb?

The Latin verb has four principal parts (e.g., ducere, duco, duxi, ductum) that are sufficient and necessary to create all inflected forms and derived words from it. As far as I know, no naturalistic ...
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17 votes
4 answers
457 views

What are the benefits of inventing irregular verbs in one’s conlang?

Many natlangs have irregular verbs that do not follow the same patterns as the majority of verbs, often as a product of old verb patterns that are no longer used. Some of the benefits of not having ...
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12 votes
4 answers
254 views

Do any conlangs have verbs that change form depending on the object?

Are there any examples of constructed languages that have verbs with different forms depending on the object of the verb?
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12 votes
2 answers
436 views

Can Kēlen truly be considered verb-free?

It has been claimed that the conlang Kēlen, winner of the 2009 Smiley award, is supposed to challenge Greenberg's universal of always having a noun-verb distinction by eliminating verbs. In light of ...
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