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1  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: Questions, Comments on Styrásh on: 08 April 2008, 20:57:07
I've just had a look at the post about factitives and bahuvrihis again. I have explained both in the opening paragraph of each section, but perhaps not clearly enough. It's a bit hard for me to tell, because I understand what I'm reading without the need for a lot of explanation. But that's also the aim – a concise explanation so that people don't get confused by too much info.
2  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: Questions, Comments on Styrásh on: 07 April 2008, 22:06:54
I only come by here very occasionally these days. I've been doing some work on a new conlang recently.

I've always assumed that the stem and the nom sg in Styrásh were the same and, therefore, the case endings were added to the stem. Thus your first sample declension is correct. The language doesn't have a formally marked nom sg like Latin, Greek or Sanskrit, for example. Similarly, monosyllabic nouns such as dós and daér shouldn't be a problem.

As for the conjugation of the verb, at least one irrealis mood such as the subjunctive or conditional or optative might not go amiss. The language would thus have a mood for declarative statements; one for commands; and one expressing doubt or uncertainty.
3  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: Just a question.... and a request... on: 17 February 2008, 14:20:45
I see that just over a year has passed since we were discussing Styrásh consonants in that thread. Tempus fugit again. Never got round to dealing with vowels.
4  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: New styrásh (elvish) vocabulary here! on: 15 February 2008, 14:32:15
Work on Styrásh comes in fits and starts, I've found. Also, conlanging takes a lot of work, and since Art has the whole of Santharia to deal with, he doesn't really have the time to devote to Styrásh.

If you're going to discuss word formation, it's more useful to talk about general categories rather than individual affixes, viz.

  • deverbal nouns
  • deadjectival nouns
  • denominal adjectives
  • deverbal adjectives
  • denominal verbs
  • deadjectival verbs

In addition, there can also be nouns from nouns (e.g. agent nouns), adjectives from adjectives (e.g. diminutives), and verbs from verbs (e.g. iteratives); and compounding (e.g. endocentric compounds; bahuvrihis etc.).
5  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: New Gnomish Vocabulary Here! on: 17 September 2007, 19:13:42
Could the causatives and factitives both work the same way, ie. the gnomes don't really make a distinction between them?

If adjectives are treated as stative verbs, it's possible there'd be no formal distinction between them.

So anyway, there needs to be more types of verbs?

Yes, but I wouldn't get carried away trying to distinguish them all. That way madness lies. :)
6  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: New Gnomish Vocabulary Here! on: 17 September 2007, 14:10:19
Gaffin's list includes both causatives and factitives. The former are "cause/make + vb"; the latter are "cause to become + adj". These can be both synthetic (i.e., a verb is inherently causative or factitive) and analytic (i.e., derived by using a light verb like "cause" or "make" and a verb).

Often, causative verbs are the transitive form of some intransitive verb, although others such as "stop" stay the same (e.g. I stopped (intransitive), but I stopped the car (transitive; i.e., "caused the car to stop").

These are just two types of verbs, and there are lots of others that have different inherent semantic roles such as "know" and "die" which are stative verbs; or middle verbs where the subject is the thing affected by the action (e.g. The stone hit the wall – someone had to have thrown it, though).

In addition to all this, languages often use light verbs. These are verbs which support other parts of speech to make something like a compound verb (e.g. "get ready", "take a look", "give a damn"). They tend to be idiomatic.
7  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: New Gnomish Vocabulary Here! on: 17 September 2007, 10:48:54
From the discussion above, it looks like SVO. 
It's looking like verb modifiers follow the verb while noun modifiers preceed the noun.  Is this realistic, or should it be the same for both nouns and verbs?

For verbs, that would make sense in a VO language. For nouns, less so, though it's not impossible. Gnomish probably wouldn't have relative clauses like English so that a phrase such as "the judge, who was known for his strict sentences…" might be "the for his strict sentences known judge…", which parallels the adjective in a phrase such as "the black cat".
So it's possible, just very unusual? 

Yes. Finnish, for example, has /v/ (marked), but not /f/ (unmarked).

Gaffin, since you seem to be trying to do a crash course in linguistics, perhaps it might be easier when it comes to the sounds of Gnomish to pick the orthography first and worry about the technical details afterwards. So long as the orthography is consistent, there won't problems later. For example, your might do something like this (just an example):

Vowels and diphthongs
a á e é i í o ó u ú
ae ie ue ao io uo

b c ch d dh f g gh h j k kh l lh m n p r rh s sh t th v w y z zh

That's how the sounds would be written. Each sound can only be written in one way so that ch and kh represent different sounds. You don't know exactly what the sounds are. That's another step in the process which you can sort out in due course.
8  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: New Gnomish Vocabulary Here! on: 17 September 2007, 00:49:39
I was going to comment, but it looks like Anwulf is here, so let's see what he has to say first. 

*wonders if Anwulf uses email notification*

Oh don't let me stop you from commenting. :)

Besides, I'm trying to stick with general comments rather than detailed ones on the specifics.
9  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: New Gnomish Vocabulary Here! on: 17 September 2007, 00:45:36
Blimey! I can see that people have been busy with Gnomish. :)

There's a lot here to comment on, but I think at this stage you need to be considering the broad picture rather than get utterly bogged down on details.

1. What sounds are going to be in the language and how are they going to be represented in writing? (Be consistent!)
2. What types of syllables are permissible? (Think of general structure, not specific combinations of sounds.)
3. What sort of stress system is it going to have? Where will primary stress be assigned? Is there any secondary stress?
4. What sort of inflectional morphology is the language going to have? Lots like Finnish, Russian or Chukchi? Some, like Italian or Spanish? Or not much at all, like English or Chinese?
5. (For later.) What are the derivational morphemes of the language?
6. What is the syntax of the major clause constituents of the language? SVO like English; SOV like Japanese or Vedic Sanskrit; VSO like the Afro-Asiatic languages or the Celtic languages?
7. What's the structure of the phrase? Do modifiers follow their heads (so most VO languages, including VSO languages)? Or do modifiers precede their heads (so most OV languages)?

Languages with free word order such as Warlpiri or, apparently, Hungarian are rare. The idea of free word order is usually completely misleading. Even in highly inflected languages there's really no such thing.

For the most part, if a language has voiced sounds such as /b, d, g/, then it probably also has /p, t, k/. But it's possibly for languages to have the marked member of such a pair while the unmarked sound is absent. It's called an accidental gap. (This is an observation about the whole s ~ z thing that was mentioned somewhere far above. :) )
10  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: Common words for Styrash and Thergerim on: 01 August 2007, 12:23:24
"Please", it appears, is often derived from verbs meaning "ask, request, beg etc.", but I can't find any of these in the Styrásh word lists. It might also be a polite request in the form of a phrase as in Italian per piacere or per favore. Looks like the language needs verbs for asking and requesting.

I suppose "thank", when the word is not opaque as it is in English, may be connected to words like "grateful" or "gratitude".

I suppose in Styrásh you might also be able to say {Please}, styraiáh salén "Please be quiet".
11  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Library / Re: The Curse of Tacunija on: 28 June 2007, 20:17:50
Art's right about the commas. There's kind of an excess of them. Here's a version with revised punctuation:

On Heckra's slopes, a princeling elf
Of peaceful, loving kind
Had met demise unwarranted,
And left this world behind.

Life force drained
From body weak
With time cut short,
And rosy cheeks
Bereft of cheery hue;
And from pale lips
Was uttered forth
A curse that would ring true.

A curse of quarrel, strife, and feud
On all the ilk and kin
Of those who'd spilt his noble blood;
Thus sorrow did begin.

Three flames from Heckra sealed the pact,
And thrice would it return
To haunt the mournful Firedamned
In flames that ever burned.

a.) With time cut short > By time cut short
b.) Was uttered forth: "Forth" seems redundant with "uttered". You could have something like "Was <insert suitable monosyllabic verb here> aloud". Or perhaps "Was blazèd forth".
c.) A curse that would ring true > A curse that would come true. The curse hasn't taken effect at this point.
d.) A curse of quarrel, strife and feud: I feel the verse really needs to say something about the curse causing these things, unless I'm meant to read the line to mean that the curse came from the quarrel, strife and feud.
e.) And thrice it would return: problem here is that "it" is obviously the curse, but nearest likely antecedent for the pronoun is "Three flames". By the way, what pact? It might help to make that explicit. It's clearly connected to the curse, but what was the bargain? (All right, that might come with the explanatory text.) However, the three~thrice parallelism is a good use of rhetoric.
12  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: Help with charactor wood elf name on: 21 June 2007, 13:58:32
My advice would be a monomorphemic form for the verb to lose. What about something like maedán or maadán?

{maessití} só styrós só mí-daiferím The elf lost the ruby. (finite past tense)
styrát só {maedanhé} mí-daifér sá styrasí The elf woman has the lost ruby. (past participle as adjective)

In accordance with the principles on compounding which I suggested, the name would be the same in Styrásh as it is in English, so *Quérin'túlch would be ill-formed, but the somewhat arbitrarily emended Túlch'querín (NB location of stress on second element!) would be all right.
13  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: A future tense for Styrásh: a proposal on: 15 June 2007, 17:51:59
Art, here's a revised entry for the future tense based on the one you wrote for the past tense. I've changed words here and there, but kept what you wrote as a template. There are no special rules for the formation of the future.

The examples are in a table, but message board tables aren't rendered in the same way as HTML tables.

The Styrásh Future Tense. The Future Tense is used whenever actions that take place in the future are put into words. Tharian examples are the forms "I will write", "you will draw" or "we will guess" to correspond to the Present Tense equivalents of "I write", "you draw" and "we guess". While Tharian also forms the future by using "going to" (e.g. "I'm going to write"), this form would be translated by the simple future in Styrásh.

The Future Tense is formed by adding -t- to the infinitive. It then takes the following endings to express singular and plural forms for each person. As is the case in the Present Tense, the subject follows the verb. Conjugation is regular, there are no exceptions unlike in Tharian, where there exists a variety of Future Tense forms in examples like will warn, shall draw and going to cut. In Styrásh the Future Tense always follows the same scheme: infinitive + tense addition + person form. However, about to (e.g. "I'm about to write") is formed by using the adverb rofú just with the future tense.

Let's take a look at a concrete example now by using the word "unán" (to leave, infinitive stem "unan-") and conjugate it in Future Tense form. Future Tense suffix and person suffixes are marked in white:

1st personI will leaveunan-t-á
2nd personyou will leaveunan-t-ás qué
3rd personhe/she will leaveunan-t-át nó/ná

1st personwe will leaveunan-t-áns iuí
2nd personyou will leaveunan-t-antís queí
3rd personthey will leaveunan-t-anté noí/naí

Other examples: der-án (to wound) – deran-tá (I will wound), han-án (to set) – hanan-tá (I will set), injèr-án (to guide) – injèran-tá (I will guide), veiv-án (to read) – veivan-tá (I will read).
14  Santharian World Development / Languages and Runes / Re: A future tense for Styrásh: a proposal on: 15 June 2007, 10:43:32
All right. I'll have a look at the page on tenses and try to recast this in the same format.

Is it OK to make rofú "just" official?
15  Santharian World Development / People of the World of Caelereth / Re: Caltharian Dialect and Nomenclature on: 14 June 2007, 02:31:57
I think you're demanding too much of -o-. Perhaps if you made it simply an adjective-forming infix might be a better idea so that Mertogran might be literally "aggressive Gran" or "warlike Gran", or equivalent to "Gran the Aggressive/Warlike" or "Gran the Fishmonger" or "Gran the Scourer of Dung from the Royal Privies". :)
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