Keith Morrison
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How common are reflexive pronouns in natlangs?
Accepted answer
6 votes

Generally speaking, you need a reflexive pronoun of some type if not having one causes ambiguity in who did what to whom. Assume English had no reflexives. "I tossed the ball to I" and "...

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Do we know languages which think about subordinate conjunctions (like 'as,' 'even,' 'while') differently than English does?
4 votes

In Inuit languages, there are no separate subordinating conjunctions. In Inuktitut, you identify the subordinate clause by an affix that indicates a conjunction. For example, take the sentence "...

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Are there any successful conlangs using information density as a design goal?
4 votes

To use your example from Japanese: ika-se-rare-ta-kuna-katta Yes, all one word. A word of 10 syllables, 6 morphenes. What, precisely, is the advantage over "didn't want to be made to go" (8 ...

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How can I add irregularities to a morphological paradigm?
4 votes

Introduce sound changes. For a simple example, say that the sequence -om- becomes -um- in all situations at one point in the language's history, and -at- becomes -it-. This would (using your ...

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Good Real World Languages to Base Proto-Lang Vocabulary
4 votes

One suggestion I'd give: use Proto-Indo-European lexicon for the words you want in your own proto-language, then use a word generator to create the actual roots of your language. That way you're not ...

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Swadesh List for Verb Infinitives?
3 votes

When designing some of my recent attempts at languages, I've used a list of Proto-Indo-European roots (taken from here). Looking at the verbs covered by those roots, you get a good list of verbs which ...

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How to modernize a dead language vocabulary
2 votes

Languages adopt new words (in the sense you're talking about) four ways: Immigration: simply borrow a word from another language, with some phonological changes if necessary to adapt it to the new ...

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Can Root Words Be Derived From Other Root Words
Accepted answer
2 votes

Sure. And like always, real languages got there first. In Quechua, for instance, fist person singular ("I/me") is Ñuqa. 1st person plural inclusive (we, all of us) is Ñuqanchik, and exclusive (us, ...

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

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 ...

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Maximizing the distinction between affirmative and negative sentences
1 votes

This can be accomplished in English, although it's usually looked down upon by grammarians as low class speech: I ain't done nothing to noone / I didn't do nothing to nobody. Although some people ...

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From known languages, what are the expected features of a Generation Ship Language?
1 votes

I'm sort of bemused that every answer I've seen has seemed to overlook the rather large elephant in the room. Data is among the cheapest, most storage efficient things you can carry. Plugged into my ...

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What verbs should be irregular in a naturalistic conlang?
1 votes

Well, the statement is demonstrably untrue. Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) doesn't have irregular verbs, because verbs aren't conjugated. Quechua doesn't have any. And languages like Inuktitut has ...

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Have language regulators ever made concessions and changed the language to adopt naturally occurring changes?
0 votes

L'Académie has done this in the past, and is dealing with the blowback today. French, as people tend to know, uses gender in its grammar. Originally, there were feminine forms such as philosophesse in ...

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How does one write an easily decipherable language?
0 votes

"Omnilingual" was mentioned in comments, and there's your answer; assuming you have two technologically and scientifically advanced cultures, there are universal constants that can be used as a basis ...

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