Hot answers tagged

20 votes
Accepted

Is there any concept of "isomorphic" constructed languages?

There is the term relexification meaning that the words of a given language are replaced by new words without changing the structure of the starting language. Relexification does not only occur in ...
user avatar
6 votes

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

I am not aware of a generic term covering all instances of function words without meaning, but only some specific cases. The pronoun it in phrases like It's raining or It seems that ... is called a ...
user avatar
6 votes

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

One general term would be function words; these are words that do not carry any lexical meaning, but are used to link content words together and clarify their relationships (eg in the case of ...
user avatar
  • 3,486
6 votes
Accepted

How can I talk about weather without expletives?

Here are some ideas haven't been listed yet Allow nouns denoting weather phenomena to form clauses by themselves Use an existential construction Make the subject a location Use an all-purpose weather ...
user avatar
  • 1,590
5 votes

How can I talk about weather without expletives?

There are also language with impersonal verb conjugation, and of course, nothing prevents a verb from being used only in the impersonal. Nahuatl has an impersonal voice, but because it's only used ...
user avatar
  • 1,512
4 votes
Accepted

Is it reasonable for numerals to behave like verbs?

One clear-cut example of a language that treats many things like predicates, numerals included, is Khoekhoe. Khoekhoe marks many kinds of predicates the same way, including numerals. The paper argues ...
user avatar
  • 1,590
4 votes
Accepted

Words for numbers in a language with bijective numeration

Just have two different words, like "twelve" (T) and "dozen". Than the number 1T is one-dozen-and-twelve.
user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How would a language of whistles work

Real-world "whistled languages" are generally adaptations of spoken languages, taking some aspect of the phonology (tone, prosody, sometimes formants) and conveying it through whistling. A ...
user avatar
  • 916
3 votes

Words for numbers in a language with bijective numeration

if the base system is deeply ingrained in the language (in most (all?) natlangs it isn't, numbers predate modern positional notation by millennia; let's say your language had the notation for a long ...
user avatar
3 votes

Words for numbers in a language with bijective numeration

The solution I've gone with is to use two different words as jk suggests in his answer. In speech, both "one-dozen and twelve" ("rurinye-tendi") and "two dozen" ("...
user avatar
  • 1,353
3 votes
Accepted

Dealing with core argument loss from syntactic applicativization

I don't think there are any attested languages that limit the role that relative clause heads can have in the matrix clause. The accessibility hierarchy is a theory explaining the capabilities of ...
user avatar
  • 1,590
3 votes
Accepted

Implications of secundative alignment

So, here are some of the implications of choosing secundative alignment. They aren't really strict implications so much as Stuff You Might Consider Thinking About™. I think the effects of choosing ...
user avatar
  • 1,590
3 votes

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

The most prominent positions in a sentence are the beginning and end, and so those positions are frequently used to indicate the information structure of a sentence. A word carrying grammatical ...
user avatar
  • 3,521
3 votes
Accepted

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

Since it’s your conlang, you can put it wherever you think is best—but my inclination would be immediately adjacent to the verb it applies to. Your sentence structure seems to be VSO, so ...
user avatar
3 votes

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

A common term for such a word would be auxiliary. An example from the Australian language Walmajarri is ma-rna-n-ta-lu, where ma is the auxiliary to which the suffixes are attached. However as your ...
user avatar
  • 3,521
2 votes

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

I do not know of any tools that are specifically designed for producing syntactically valid text, but my own word generator Logopoeist could be made to work for that purpose, and it wouldn't be ...
user avatar
2 votes

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

It is difficult for a machine to passively understand a language (it takes tons of time with machine learning, and that's for Google). Actively, that's even more difficult, as many machine responses ...
user avatar
  • 1,705
2 votes

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

I have heard the term "Proverb" used to describe the word "do" as it is sometimes used in English, and that seems to be something you're trying to achieve here. Example: Q. "...
user avatar
2 votes

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

This word is acting as a copula. It is entirely reasonable for the copula to be omitted in some contexts and not others. For example, Hungarian requires zero copula for third-person constructions in ...
user avatar
  • 1,353
2 votes
Accepted

Strategies for marking boundaries between potentially discontinuous top-level clauses

What are some ideas for features that could be used to support disentangling discontinuous top-level clauses? Interesting question! For a start, some languages have ‘verbal classifiers’ (Aikhenvald ...
user avatar
  • 612
2 votes

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

In your example: Then, the actual translation for "the woman sees the man" would be "the womans sight the man". And that's the problem: "sight" and "man" are both unmarked nouns, leading to ...
user avatar
2 votes

How can I talk about weather without expletives?

Hungarian avoids expletive subject when talking about weather by using an appropriate non-expletive subject. To say that it's sunny in Hungarian, you say Süt a nap. bake.3S the sun "The sun is ...
user avatar
  • 1,353
2 votes
Accepted

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

Such languages are uncommon but not unattested. However, they are more common than prepositional SOV languages and are present in a number of unrelated families around the world. This WALS map shows ...
user avatar
  • 1,590
2 votes

How can I talk about weather without expletives?

In russian: The sun is shining — Солнц-е свет-ит. (Sun lights) It is raining — Ид-ет дождь-ø. ("Goes rain"≈"The rain is going"
user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

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

It is reasonable, but I'm having trouble finding unambiguous precedent for it in natural languages. This handout shows the frequency of different orders of demonstratives, adjectives, nouns, and ...
user avatar
  • 1,590
1 vote

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

Reasonable: sure! We do this in English, fronting the number for emphasis or for poetry. There's no reason why you couldn't do this as a matter of ordinary in your language. Five the orange balls ...
user avatar
  • 2,955
1 vote

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

Are you aware of the World Atlas of Linugistic Structures (WALS)? Combining three chapters of WALS into this combined view I found 21 languages in the sample with the combination NA/SVO/Postpositions. ...
user avatar
1 vote

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

The past tense marker you constructed, sonasato, is a rather long element. Applying the rule "short before long" this would indicate that you put it even after the objects, like Sepyew eu bítõe ...
user avatar
1 vote

Is there any concept of "isomorphic" constructed languages?

For a lower-level kind of isomorphism: I have read a story in which an alien speaks a synthetic language, suited to its own vocal tract, into a machine that converts its speech phoneme-for-phoneme ...
user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible