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Rayne (Alýr)
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« on: 10 January 2010, 15:18:48 »

All right, so I was thinking that it would be pretty awesome if we could get Stýrash to the point of being really usable, especially for phrases, proverbs, sayings, etc. It feels like, in order to do that, we need some modals.

I based this off of English--perhaps not the most accurate language, but the only Romance language I know.

I kind of sort of broke a semi-rule in Stýrash with accents, but they just seem to make more sense this way, and I like the way they sound more (I like iambs--what can I say?)

A little input, particularly Arti and Fal?


Stýrash has nine modals, listed below. Modals always accompany verbs, attached with an apostrophe. Whether or not the modal follows or precedes the verb depends on what meaning is trying to be conveyed. Modal verbs are always unaccented.

can = we
could= wa
may = ra
might = re
must = ri
shall = ya
should= ro
will = ye
would = wi

Modals in Stýrash follow the verb in a sentence when not asking a question or making a proposition.

válanát ná = she dreams

válanát’we ná = she can dream
válanát’wa ná = she could dream
válanát’ra ná = she may dream
válanát’re ná = she might dream
válanát’ri ná = she must dream
válanát’ya ná = she shall dream
válanát’ro ná = she should dream
válanát’ye ná = she will dream
válanát’wi ná = she would dream

Modals in Styrash precede the verb in a sentence when asking a question (or, in the case of “may,” expression a desire or proposition).

we’válanát ná? = can she dream?
wa’válanát ná? = could she dream?
ra’válanát ná. = may she dream.
re’válanát ná? = might she dream?
ri’válanát ná? = must she dream?
ro’válanát ná? = should she dream?
ya’válanát ná? = shall she dream?
ye’válanát ná? = will she dream?
wi’válanát ná? = would she dream?
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
Falethas Whisperwind
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« Reply #1 on: 11 January 2010, 00:39:39 »

I don't know that Styrásh has this particular characteristic. From the articles already published on the site, it seems that Styrásh expresses modality through distinct grammatical moods and their corresponding inflections than through the use of modal verbs. Some of the sentences you provided can already be expressed with the conjugations that have been nailed down:

"She can dream." → Arnát (na) valanán. (lit. "she is able to dream," akin to Spanish (ella) puede soñar or Italian (lei) può sognare)
"She will dream." → Valanantát (na).

"Must" calls for the addition of a verb like Sp. deber, tener que or It. dovere. Those verbs also fill the function of "ought" ('We ought to do this; I ought not come'), and Styrásh luckily has a similar verb: nonán. Perhaps we should just expand its job?

"She must dream." → Nonát (na) valanán.

The other examples you present would require the construction of a conditional tense (or mood? That could be interesting) and at least one irrealis mood. Styrásh has been screaming for a subjunctive for eons.
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« Reply #2 on: 11 January 2010, 01:31:25 »

Quote
"She can dream." → Arnát (na) valanán. (lit. "she is able to dream," akin to Spanish (ella) puede soñar or Italian (lei) può sognare)
"she is able to dream" and "she can dream" are the same, but given that we have the ability to communicate both in English and one has not melted away, perhaps it might be possibility to have these two forms in Styrash as well? I would like to have as much of verb and verb-related aspects to the beginning of the sentence to cohere with what's on the site and with elven philosophy.

Quote
"She will dream." → Valanantát (na).
Ah, Anwulf's stuff. Yeah, I had forgotten about this.

I have a few issues with this, and they are not necessarily completely solved by my stuff above (it has problems related to deriving from a present-tense conjugation for a future-tense matter).
1) It ignored the parallel question version "Will she dream?" How do we form a question like this. Saying "She will dream?" (just adding a question mark) seems silly to me.
2) It does not sound very nice. >.< If you say it out loud, it feels a bit harsh to me, and hard to say.

Perhaps some of my modal verb additions or new verbs entirely, we need more conjugations and maybe slightly more complex conjugations? This would cohere better with some of Anwulf's ideas:
"She will dream." → Valanantát (na).
"Will she dream." → Tát'valanan (na).
This would sort of be a compromise of forms.

As before, I do not like Anwulf's version of this for auditory aesthetic value. I like the "t'ye" sound. If I could, I would keep Anwulf's process of conjunction but change the conjunction itself:
"She will dream." → Valanant'yé (na).
"Will she dream." → T'yé'valanan (na).
I'm not sure about the apostrophes here. If we did this, as you can see, the accent stuff would change (which is kind of a shame. I think iambs sound so much prettier.)

Quote
"Must" calls for the addition of a verb like Sp. deber, tener que or It. dovere. Those verbs also fill the function of "ought" ('We ought to do this; I ought not come'), and Styrásh luckily has a similar verb: nonán. Perhaps we should just expand its job?

"She must dream." → Nonát (na) valanán.
I don't really approve of this for the same reason I don't agree with the "able to" verb--it keeps elements implying action to get broken up too much. I would rather have some conjunctive form.

Quote
The other examples you present would require the construction of a conditional tense (or mood? That could be interesting) and at least one irrealis mood. Styrásh has been screaming for a subjunctive for eons.
I was looking at this, and got a bit intimidated by the use of the subordinating conjunction many subjunctives entail.
1) Do we have a way to compound (and complex) sentences?
2) Does "Válanát ám delrát ná" ("She dreams and disappears") a correct sentence?
3) Is it possible to put a dependent clause before the verb? [Not as much related to subjunctive irrealis mood as just subordinating clauses]

Let me see if there's a way I can turn some of these modalities into more conjunction-friendly forms...


Ability
válanát’we ná = she can dream [Pr]
válansí’we ná = she could dream [Pa] (she could dream [before, in the past])
válantát’we ná = she could dream [F] (she could dream [in the future])

Probability [Permission in alternate form, when “modal” precedes verb]
válanát’re ná = she might (be) dream(ing) [Pr]??
válansí’re ná = she might dream [Pa]
válantát’re ná = she may dream [F]

Obligation/Future
válanát’ri ná = she must dream
válantát’ya ná = she shall dream
válantát’ro ná = she should dream
válant’ye ná = she will dream
válantát’ye ná = she would dream


I got a little overwhelmed near the end. I discovered that instead of changing modals into a conjunction, it was better to have the modal attachment (i.e. "re" "we") not necessarily change in conjugation, but rather have the verb change and the modal stay the same. This allows the modal to communicate a single idea (we=ability, re=probability), and seems a little more sensible.
« Last Edit: 11 January 2010, 01:50:20 by Rayne Avalotus » Logged

"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
Falethas Whisperwind
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« Reply #3 on: 11 January 2010, 03:33:09 »

Quote
"she is able to dream" and "she can dream" are the same, but given that we have the ability to communicate both in English and one has not melted away, perhaps it might be possibility to have these two forms in Styrash as well?

I'm confused by this. The two are entirely synonymous (unless you mean "can" in the sense of her being allowed to dream, which is another verb altogether). Why introduce an unnecessary circumlocution? The elves, supernaturally perceptive and logical as they are, would find this superfluous. At least it seems that way to me.

Quote
1) It ignored the parallel question version "Will she dream?" How do we form a question like this. Saying "She will dream?" (just adding a question mark) seems silly to me.

Why? Plenty of natural languages do this, namely the Romance languages which so influence Styrásh in its current form.

"Will you dream?" → Sp. ¿Soñarás?; It. Sognerai?

These would be analogous to the Styrásh Valanantás?. "She will dream?" might sound silly to us as speakers of English, but to an elf, valanantát na? would be a perfectly valid query. In languages that convey tense and modality via inflection rather than through the use of auxiliary verbs — the type of language Styrásh has thus far shown itself to be — the intonation of a statement is what marks it as a question.

Quote
2) It does not sound very nice. >.< If you say it out loud, it feels a bit harsh to me, and hard to say.

I think this might be a matter of personal taste. undecided To me, it sounds quite nice and appropriately Styreian: [va.la.nan.'tat]. We have to keep in mind that it's impossible to craft a language which conforms to everyone's idea of beauty; I've talked to people who find Quenya — Tolkien's crowning achievement, the ultimate experiment in euphony and considered by many to be an unparalleled success — to be quite repulsive.

Quote
"She will dream." → Valanantát (na).
"Will she dream." → Tát'valanan (na).
This would sort of be a compromise of forms.

But the elves wouldn't make any distinction between the two. An elf learning Tharian might find the nuance between "she will dream" and "will she dream" extraneous and without point (in other words, typically human :)). Elvish expresses the future tense by appending -antá- + (the appropriate pronominal ending) to the verbal stem. Arti's already given that his stamp of approval.

Quote
As before, I do not like Anwulf's version of this for auditory aesthetic value. I like the "t'ye" sound. If I could, I would keep Anwulf's process of conjunction but change the conjunction itself:
"She will dream." → Valanant'yé (na).
"Will she dream." → T'yé'valanan (na).
I'm not sure about the apostrophes here.

In the example you give, valanant'yé, there is no "tye" sound as far as I see it (if by "tye" you mean a palatalized alveolar plosive → [tj]). An elf would pronounce válanant'yé as ['va.la.nant.'je], with a clear distinction between the stop [t] and glide [j], as indicated by the apostrophe. Remember that apostrophes in Styrásh are akin to word breaks and are reminders that words are being compounded.

I'm also confused as to what "conjunction" you're referencing; the tát you mentioned above is meaningless by itself. Valanantát breaks down to valan- "dream" + -antá- (fut.) + -t (3rd person singular pronominal suffix). These are all inflections, changes we make to the verb to express modality (i.e. mood), tense, person, etc. Conjunctions are words (for, and, but, if, since, because) or phrases (either...or, neither...nor, as long as, so that) that connect words, phrases, or clauses together. Styrásh has a few: i "for"; am "and"; nah "but"; mesh "or." Which reminds me that we need to expand that repertoire, haha...

Quote
If we did this, as you can see, the accent stuff would change (which is kind of a shame. I think iambs sound so much prettier.

We can't overthrow these fundamental stress principles just to accomodate a feature that Styrásh can't really logically display, though. undecided I agree that iambs are quite pretty, but they weren't what Art had in mind when he laid the foundation of the language. I didn't particularly like the way Styrásh sounded when I first came across it, I'll be honest (hehe...oh, confessions), but as I've worked with it and watched it grow, I've come to see the ethereal, uniquely fey beauty it holds in its own way. Have some faith, it'll grow on you!

Quote
I don't really approve of this for the same reason I don't agree with the "able to" verb--it keeps elements implying action to get broken up too much. I would rather have some conjunctive form.

I don't understand what you mean by this at all.

Quote
I was looking at this, and got a bit intimidated by the use of the subordinating conjunction many subjunctives entail.
1) Do we have a way to compound (and complex) sentences?
2) Does "Válanát ám delrát ná" ("She dreams and disappears") a correct sentence?
3) Is it possible to put a dependent clause before the verb? [Not as much related to subjunctive irrealis mood as just subordinating clauses]

(1) Any of the conjunctions I mentioned above can compound a sentence when positioned between clauses. That’s the function of coordinating conjunctions. Lamentably, we don’t have any subordinating conjunctions as far as I know. Although it hasn't yet made it onto the site (hey, Arti!), Anwulf proposed the relative pronoun tu “that, which, who” (tuís in the possessive, i.e. “whose, of which”). There’s also the pronoun “what” in the dictionaries, which could either coexist with tu or replace it altogether I suppose.

(2) The stress in valanát falls solely on the final syllable, so that first accent isn’t correct, but other than that I’d say it’s valid, yep. :)

(3) Styrásh clause order seems to be pretty free so long as the verb-inital word order within those clauses is maintained. So “I know that you went to New Santhala” could reasonably be either

Boll-á (that) ar-sí-s ac Shen’Santhalá.
“Know-I that go-pa.t.-you to New’Santhala.”

OR

(That) ar-sí-s ac Shen’Santhalá boll-á.
“That go-pa.t.-you to New’Santhala know-I.”

Quote
Let me see if there's a way I can turn some of these modalities into more conjunction-friendly forms...

“Modalities” are grammatical moods. Realis (indicative), irrealis (conditional, subjunctive), deontic (commissive, imperative, optative), epistemic. Like I said above, conjunctions are a wholly different part of speech. I don’t quite see how it’s possible to convert a mood to a conjunction...?

These examples you provide can all be accomplished with the addition of some moods we don’t yet have and their accompanying tenses. In any case, Styrásh verbs aren’t modal, so conjugation will be carried out via inflection. That’s not to say we can’t use the syllables you’ve given in the construction of new affixes, though! For example, -wa- could join with -an- to form a conditional affix -anwá- (if we decide to opt for the conditional being a tense rather than a mood). We could then have such expressions as arnanwá ethrán al’marthím “I could cross the river,” or just ethranwá al’marthím “I would cross the river.
« Last Edit: 11 January 2010, 05:12:56 by Falethas Whisperwind » Logged

Epthaeranté á sáh pheranía sáh alyría; ahmantát naithím sá sae'llán styaeyías.
"The rain whispers down through the trees; elvish music will rise in answer."
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« Reply #4 on: 11 January 2010, 07:21:29 »

My goal in trying to create modals was to be able to create a Styrash phrase list for basics like "Hello," "How are you?" "I am fine." (Poor translations of what the styrash would be of course).

I'm finding that, based on incongruities in the current system and differing beliefs about how to proceed, this may be too large a project for me.

Quote
I don't really approve of this for the same reason I don't agree with the "able to" verb--it keeps elements implying action to get broken up too much. I would rather have some conjunctive form.
In other word, you have the subject of the sentence slicing the "can" and the "dream" in the Styrash version of "She can dream." "Dream" is a verb, an action, a word implying activity, and it seems to me against the principles of elven belief (i.e. that action comes first, that all things are doing and becoming) to have the subject break these into two parts.

Quote
Have some faith, it'll grow on you!
I've been doing Styrash on and off for the last seven years (since summer 2002). How long have you? Please don't talk to me like I just started working on this language--I really don't like being talked down to (comes from hating hierarchies). I like the way that some things sound, but not all of them. I prefer less harsh consonants in general, and when they must be used, prefer to find ways to soften them.

You seem to have a lot of good ideas, and I think you have a better grasp on the language and how it functions than I do. I really think you should take over this project, Felathas. We really need more elements developed to make the language actually usable.
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #5 on: 11 January 2010, 09:12:58 »

Quote
In other word, you have the subject of the sentence slicing the "can" and the "dream" in the Styrash version of "She can dream." "Dream" is a verb, an action, a word implying activity, and it seems to me against the principles of elven belief (i.e. that action comes first, that all things are doing and becoming) to have the subject break these into two parts.

Ah, now I see what you mean. I agree with you on that point. (Note, though: "can" — or "is able," in this context — is the main verb of the sentence when it's translated to Styrásh, not "dream"). The way the canon sentences stand, a sentence like "She can dream" would be Arnát na valanán. However, according to the Principles (and my own personal view of the language, haha) it should rather be Arnát valanán na, since na "she" is the subject of arnát and is not an integral part of the verb's conjugation. Perhaps we should start the trend of moving the subject pronouns to their proper final position in future texts.

Quote
I've been doing Styrash on and off for the last seven years (since summer 2002). How long have you? Please don't talk to me like I just started working on this language--I really don't like being talked down to (comes from hating hierarchies)

I didn't intend for that to come across as condescending, and I sincerely apologize if it rang that way. undecided I tried writing a smile into it, but I guess the Internet had other ideas, damned technology. I also had no idea you've been tinkering that long! Puts me to shame. Buries me in it, actually...haha.

Quote
You seem to have a lot of good ideas, and I think you have a better grasp on the language and how it functions than I do. I really think you should take over this project, Felathas. We really need more elements developed to make the language actually usable.

Thanks, Rayne! You show far more faith in my abilities than I, haha. I drop my two sans' worth here and there when it's called for, but language doesn't rank very highly on the Caelerethian priority list. If ever the need arises to pop out a workable Styrásh grammar, I'll gladly jump in and get my hands dirty. :D Until then, though, I'm just happy to develop it bit by bit, fleshing it out here and there when it's appropriate.
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Epthaeranté á sáh pheranía sáh alyría; ahmantát naithím sá sae'llán styaeyías.
"The rain whispers down through the trees; elvish music will rise in answer."
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« Reply #6 on: 11 January 2010, 09:26:25 »

Perhaps we should start the trend of moving the subject pronouns to their proper final position in future texts.
This seems like something that should be in that entry. Hm. You will find working with me that I am not afraid to attack entries already on the site. The world, in my opinion, is a continually changing and evolving one. Why should the entries not change and evolve, too?

Quote
I also had no idea you've been tinkering that long!
I'm not as knowledgeable as I once was. At one point I was trying to compose Styrash poetry, but Artimidor got busy or didn't want to help me flesh out the poems I'd written. Hm. Perhaps you can help: http://www.santharia.com/dev/index.php/topic,8243.0.html

Quote
Thanks, Rayne! You show far more faith in my abilities than I, haha. I drop my two sans' worth here and there when it's called for, but language doesn't rank very highly on the Caelerethian priority list.
What does?

Quote
If ever the need arises to pop out a workable Styrásh grammar, I'll gladly jump in and get my hands dirty. :D Until then, though, I'm just happy to develop it bit by bit, fleshing it out here and there when it's appropriate.
Well guess what? There's a need! Perhaps we can get our hands dirty together. I don't mind helping in the construction of a modal/mood Styrash lesson, if you don't mind working with me. I can try to help organize it, but I will certainly need some help.

If this is a project you might be interested in, perhaps we can first decide together what exactly we want to be able to say (what moods, modalities we want), and then work from there?
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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