How much can you detect in the structure of this conlang?

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Rhombic
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:42 pm UTC

How much can you detect in the structure of this conlang?

Postby Rhombic » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:45 pm UTC

Problem: identify the grammar as thoroughly as possible for this conlang, knowing that the genitive and the dative modify the word in the same way (although a preposition/postposition might be used for one of them). Think about slavic languages too... Maybe some verbs can be implied (as "to be" in Russian):

Ni xást'nir xast'nír
D' máte's xim d' ni maté's.
Bu stórdo d' serm'yú:
Stordó d' xást'nir muním.

Abén, abén! Mus'kír
Bu xást'nir d' serm'yú,
Mayés d' mórk'ti xim:
Ni sór'xes d' sor'xés.

Needless to say that word order is quite important.
It is a poem and the acutes (´) actually place the stress on the syllable... I'm not really sure whether that could help at all (not really).

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Carlington
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Location: Sydney, Australia.

Re: How much can you detect in the structure of this conlang

Postby Carlington » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:50 pm UTC

It was given in the post that word order is important, and as the language looks quite isolating, I'd say that word order is quite strict and is used to mark the subject and object of verbs. Punctuation looks to be used mostly the same way as in English, which gives us that "Stordo d' xastnir munim" and "Ni sorxes d' sorxes" are complete clauses, I think. The shorter words are very likely function words and the longer words content words. I'm assuming stress serves no grammatical function. Anything more would probably be more guesswork without an English translation of the poem. Oh, I just noticed - there must be verbs in there, but there aren't any obvious alternations happening, so there's maybe very little conjugation happening. There's probably also not noun genders/classes for the same reason.
Kewangji: Posdy zwei tosdy osdy oady. Bork bork bork, hoppity syphilis bork.

Eebster the Great: What specifically is moving faster than light in these examples?
doogly: Hands waving furiously.

Please use he/him/his pronouns when referring to me.

Rhombic
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:42 pm UTC

Re: How much can you detect in the structure of this conlang

Postby Rhombic » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:52 pm UTC

Carlington wrote:It was given in the post that word order is important, and as the language looks quite isolating, I'd say that word order is quite strict and is used to mark the subject and object of verbs. Punctuation looks to be used mostly the same way as in English, which gives us that "Stordo d' xastnir munim" and "Ni sorxes d' sorxes" are complete clauses, I think. The shorter words are very likely function words and the longer words content words. I'm assuming stress serves no grammatical function. Anything more would probably be more guesswork without an English translation of the poem. Oh, I just noticed - there must be verbs in there, but there aren't any obvious alternations happening, so there's maybe very little conjugation happening. There's probably also not noun genders/classes for the same reason.


Spoiler:
Mostly correct... however stress does have a function in some cases.

Rhombic
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:42 pm UTC

Re: How much can you detect in the structure of this conlang

Postby Rhombic » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:53 pm UTC

Right, I'll give it a bit of a kickstart without spoiler because I'm going to work through it as I'd normally would without previous knowledge:

Setting the first sentence that has to be grammatically complete and self-coherent, I'll assign categories based on: 2-syllable words that switch stress (I will call these B-type), words that precede these (A type) and, for consistency, the word "xim" is left over as C-type, followed by a mismatched A-type word.

ni xást'nir xast'nír d' máte's xim d' ni maté's
A---B1--------B2---A----B1----C--A--A---B2

Rules so far: A can precede B or follow C. B2 can exist by itself as a coherent clause or paired up with A, something that does not happen with B1

Next sentence shows A B1 A B2: B2 A B1 B2

Calling [A B1] = PB1 and [A B2] = PB2; [C A] = PC:
the first sentence is PB1 PB2 PB1 PC PB2
and the second is PB1 PB2: PB2 PB1 PB2

The colon in the second sentence seems to indicate that the structure PB1 PB2 is not arbitrary and can thus imply some syntactic relation. Henceforth, we will call that structure S12. At the same time, after the colon the structure PB2 S12 shows how PB2 can stand alone at least before this larger clause; however, this can be perhaps due to the nature of the colon and we do not have enough information yet.

Returning to the first sentence we have S12 PB1 PC PB2. This must have a fully clear grammatical coherence but, having analysed only two sentences, we lack the tools.

As you can see, this method (which gives hints to the fact that some of the smaller words are grammatical (what we've called A-type)) has been very successful at analysing the sentences: with two sentences we have seen much more than what most of you might have expected with the whole text.


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