11

I am not at all certain why you would assume that protolanguages must have no morphology. PIE is just a language like any other before or since. If we review the relevant article, the Font of All Knowledge explains that morphology is the study of words, how they are formed, and their relationship to other words in the same language. Whether your language ...


10

I think the best conlang to look for such cases is Ithkuil. http://ithkuil.net/04_case.html contains a list of all cases. My [short] research suggests that some of them (e.g. navigative for "noun relative to whose vector, arc, or trajectory of motion an event takes place" or allapsive for "amount of time that expected to pass between the contextual present ...


10

A vowel-only language is surely constructable (and I think, learnable, too), but I am afraid that it will be instable against evolutionary pressure. Vowel sequences like /aua/ or /aia/ tend to develop into glides /awa/ and /aja/ giving raise to the first consonants in the language, and at the hiat between two vowel a third consonant, the glottal stop, may ...


9

There are generally a lot fewer vowels than consonants in the phoneme inventory of human languages. That means, with fewer sounds you need to make the words a lot longer if you want to have a decent-sized vocabulary. Also, vowel pronunciation is more varied. There aren't many different ways to pronounce /t/ or /k/, but any regional dialect will change ...


9

Well, there is always Solresol, which has several isomorphic representations, and some of those could be considered vowel-only (depending on the instrument used). For natlangs, there are whistled languages, with a very reduced consonant inventory. They could fit your criteria especially if you consider tones to be a feature of vowels, and look at the ...


8

Proto-Indo-European (PIE) and Proto-Afroasiatic (PAA) are just the earliest ancestors we can reconstruct with reasonable certainty for their respective language families. That does not at all mean that they were the first languages of their regions or the earliest languages that existed. They didn’t materialize out of thin air. They, too, had ancestors and ...


8

If you search for the researchers mentioned in the article, you can find some of their research papers. In those, they describe their methodology. In one paper that I looked at briefly, for example, they mention that they varied the consistency by making the placement of determiners random. (This is actually also mentioned in the Motherboard article). Their ...


8

Well, y'know, ANADEW and all that, but... As far as I know, there is no natural language with a grammaticalized antiperfect aspect--i.e., an aspect where the time of the action is after the reference point, rather than before. Present Perfect: "He has come." Past Perfect (pluperfect): "He had come." Future Perfect: "He will have come." In each case, the ...


8

Difficult question. I think regularity would speed up learning, as children during language learning overgeneralise (see experiments with English past tense endings). Thus instead of learning the correct exceptions at a later stage the corresponding feature would have been learned earlier. There is a programme for teaching Esperanto as a first foreign ...


7

Original Fith is a stack-based conlang (LIFO, reverse polish notation) and considered to be unspeakable in real-time since in order to speak good Fith you need to be able to remember more parts and recurse deeper than what is practically possible for a human. It also has a full set stack operators like "swap the order of the two last stack items" and *rotate ...


7

In a way, vowels are already biphonic! Acoustically, vowels (and most sounds, actually) are simply combinations of formants: specific frequencies at which the vocal tract resonates. The differences between vowels are then caused by differences in the frequencies of the formants. This can be easily seen on a spectrogram, like this one from Wikipedia: In this ...


6

I've seen a paper that children have a lot of trouble learning nonconservative determiners. For instance, "every" is a conservative determiner because every dog is brown is equivalent to every dog is a brown dog – objects that are brown but not a dog don't count toward the truth of the sentence. In contrast, if we define equi dogs are brown as "the number ...


6

Probably the best technique is making the language weird by absence. Instead of giving the language weird phonemes, make it lack the most common phonemes. A language with 5 vowels but no /a/, /i/ or /u/. A language with several consonants, but no /p/, /t/, or /k/. Or totally without bilabials. Or with no stops.


5

You already hint a possible answer in the question: There is an art form named throat singing. A community where throat singing is practiced may carry over the some biphonic distinguishing features to their language. This may include borrowing a biphonic pattern for some formulaic expression from a throat song, or words with special poetic or religious ...


5

You should start with consonants, I don't think you can make a vowel inventory as weird as a consonant inventory (maybe complex tones? creaky voice?). After that, it depends on your opinion of "particularly difficult" and "unnatural and weird". - Click consonants can be easy enough if you don't overdo it (more like Bantu languages/Damin and less like ...


5

I'll take a stab at the "evolve" part. Throat singing might be a possibility, so we could look at the environment surrounding that. "The popularity of throat singing among Tuvans seems to have arisen as a result of geographic location and culture. The open landscape of Tuva allows for the sounds to carry a great distance. Ethnomusicologists ...


4

Children learning an L1 have most of the same challenges as people in general learning an L2. Children learning a conlang, will have all of the problems of children learning a non-community language from a parent-- mostly problems of exposure. Kids need to hear the language for something like 20+ hours a week, less than that and they start to learn a pidgin ...


4

This website contains a video and links to some resources. The most important is this PDF, which explains gestures ("Dritok Gestural Syntax"), phonology and grammar.


4

Solresol actually reverses the syllable order of a word to denote an opposite meaning, though this occurrence is inconsistent through the creator's published dictionary. For example, fala means good, but lafa means bad, and falaredo means accessible, but dorelafa means inaccessible.


4

Quite a few languages have desiderative as an affix within the verbal system (whether it is analysed as an affix or a full mood being irrelevant here). Japanese and Sanskrit do, for example. It is fairly common (as one would expect) for agglutinating or polysynthetic languages to have one such as Quechua, Finno-Ugric or Turkic languages. It is by no mean ...


4

After seeing a lot of different things thrown out there, I've decided to take a shot at this one. I think what you are suggesting is totally possible and plausible. The confusion of answers arises from that fact that a "word" can be defined in a couple different ways. One reputable definition which allows for your proposed linguistic system is found in ...


4

Yes. The Whispering Language is designed for communicating with deaf-mutes -- a language that can easily be lipread. Ahtialan came to be used as a whisper language. Xylphika only rarely demonstrates voicing. Parseltongue seems to be compounded of sibilants and voiceless vowels.


3

If you really mean "morphemes" or "phonemes", then yes, of course you could design your language this way. One straightforward example is the Morse code, composed of three symbols - dot, dash, pause. If you e.g. represent the dot and dash vocally as two different sounds (different duration, different pitch or whatever, or even the traditional dit and dah), ...


3

What I think you meant to ask is to create a stop consonant by stopping air flowing through the nasal cavity while the mouth is open, then releasing it only through the nose while the mouth is closed. The problem is that having no airstream block in the mouth can mean one of two things: producing an oral vowel, such as /a/, or making no sound at all. There ...


3

I think you are looking for the constructed language called Lojban According to an earlier reference to its grammar, Technical note for readers conversant with relativity theory: The Lojban time tenses reflect time as seen by the speaker, who is assumed to be a ``point-like observer'' in the relativistic sense: they do not say anything about physical ...


3

From an information theory point of view, you can express anything if you have at least two signs: computers do this through the use of binary, where the signal is either "on" or "off", or "1" or "0". If you have a "message" with just one bit of information, you can express two meanings, which are "on&...


3

Morotuncanian has some verbal aspects that I rather doubt appear in natural languages of the primary world. Sedative and Excitative verbal aspects. The former aspect expresses the nature of the action, through time, as calming and steady in nature. The latter aspect expresses the nature of the action, through time, as unsteady or agitated in nature, but not ...


3

I tried to find conlangs based on such sounds but could not find any. However, the closest human phonemes to such sounds are clicks and many conlangs use them. I don't know any well-known conlangs that use clicks, but HyPry and Gdili were two that I could find. You could try making one yourself, but given that Beatbox sounds are fairly limited and sometimes ...


1

Your terminology is a little strange, but it sounds like your suggesting something like the tri-consonantal roots of Arabic. For example, د ر س represent the idea of acquiring or giving knowledge. يدرس = to Study; يدرّس = to Teach. The only difference between these and the root is the adding of ي (an infinitive marker) to the start of the word and a ّ to 'to ...


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