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Grammar and Syntax Megathread

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Author Topic: Grammar and Syntax Megathread  (Read 149 times)
LLR
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« on: December 12, 2016, 06:23:17 am »

The defining part of any language - grammar and syntax. We have some starting points from our pronouns:

1st person sing: Jo
2nd person sing: De
3rd Person Sing: Ed Ea Et
3rd person sing (inanimate): El

1st person plur: Ilor
2nd person plur: Delor
3rd person plur: personal: Eor inanimate: Elor

But that's basically all...

What are y'all thinking (I'll submit some ideas later, of course)
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Figueira
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2016, 07:51:41 am »

I take it "Et" translates to the English singular "they", while "El" translates to "it"?

Anyway, what should the sentence structure be? Maybe we can do something weird like OVS?
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 08:40:51 am »

I take it "Et" translates to the English singular "they", while "El" translates to "it"?

Anyway, what should the sentence structure be? Maybe we can do something weird like OVS?

Yes, that's correct.

OVS interests me but I also like having verbs at the end of a sentence though
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 08:52:03 am »

imo the first question should be: which features do we want to represent by noun/verb endings and which do we want to represent by modal verbs/adverbs/etc

e.g. latin conveys person, number, tense, mood (indicative/subjunctive/imperative), and voice (active/passive) in its verb endings, while english conveys most of these via modal verbs ("will" etc)
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LLR
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 11:05:13 am »

imo the first question should be: which features do we want to represent by noun/verb endings and which do we want to represent by modal verbs/adverbs/etc

e.g. latin conveys person, number, tense, mood (indicative/subjunctive/imperative), and voice (active/passive) in its verb endings, while english conveys most of these via modal verbs ("will" etc)

I definitely think that the amount of helping/modal verbs in English is excessive and that doing as much as we can through endings is ideal. However, simplicity is always the goal, so we may take whatever measures necessary to achieve ease and simplicity
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2016, 05:04:47 pm »

second question (assuming we're covering at least like two or three different features with verb affixes) - fusional or agglutinative? (basically, do we want to have e.g. one affix that means third person singular indicative past tense, or do we accomplish this by stapling together separate affixes that mean one of those things each)

i would strongly prefer the latter
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2016, 06:58:36 pm »

second question (assuming we're covering at least like two or three different features with verb affixes) - fusional or agglutinative? (basically, do we want to have e.g. one affix that means third person singular indicative past tense, or do we accomplish this by stapling together separate affixes that mean one of those things each)

i would strongly prefer the latter

A mix that leans toward the latter? (so the latter, but it's contracted somehow so words don't get impossibly long)
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2016, 08:40:37 pm »

second question (assuming we're covering at least like two or three different features with verb affixes) - fusional or agglutinative? (basically, do we want to have e.g. one affix that means third person singular indicative past tense, or do we accomplish this by stapling together separate affixes that mean one of those things each)

i would strongly prefer the latter

A mix that leans toward the latter? (so the latter, but it's contracted somehow so words don't get impossibly long)

I agree with you on this.
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2016, 03:05:33 pm »

We can't come up with too much vocabulary without grammar... Let's start with nouns - how many cases? And later, what should the endings be?
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2016, 03:42:46 pm »

We can't come up with too much vocabulary without grammar... Let's start with nouns - how many cases? And later, what should the endings be?
Here's my proposal.

I say we use the three cases for English pronouns: nominative, oblique, genitive.

Endings: -Ø (nominative), -al (oblique), -ux (genitive)

If the root of the noun ends in the same vowel as the beginning of the case suffix, -r- is placed in between.

Using examples from words already created:

The food is good: "...suxa..."
I ate the food: "...suxaral..."
The food's flavor is strong: "...suxaux..."

The sand is brown: "...selez..."
I touched the sand: "...selezal..."
The sand's grains are small: "...selezux..."

Of course, there's also stuff like genders/classes, and number to consider.
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2016, 10:23:55 pm »


I say we use the three cases for English pronouns: nominative, oblique, genitive.

Endings: -Ø (nominative), -al (oblique), -ux (genitive)

I'd like to propose the following corresponding suffices for plural nouns:

-(e)r (nominative), -(e)rol (oblique), -(e)rux (genitive)

where the parenthetical e appears iff the base noun ends in a consonant.  This is intended to evoke a reduced plural -or suffix, like the ones on the plural pronouns.  One consequence of this proposal is making singular and plural genitive forms homophonous if the lemma ends in -u, but I think that's an ambiguity language can live with.
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2016, 10:37:06 pm »

Sorry for double-posting, but this is really a separate thought.

I don't want to exactly replicate English's case system, but I'd accept it with a little tweaking.  Like maybe throw in a fourth case, say, instrumental, to unite constructions like "in Terris" tarnuunan, "by road", "with jam" sogooan, "smiled upon by the stars" hodjeron (note metaphor), etc.
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2016, 10:47:58 pm »

I like both of those suggestions! Also, welcome!
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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2016, 07:11:37 am »

Sorry for double-posting, but this is really a separate thought.

I don't want to exactly replicate English's case system, but I'd accept it with a little tweaking.  Like maybe throw in a fourth case, say, instrumental, to unite constructions like "in Terris" tarnuunan, "by road", "with jam" sogooan, "smiled upon by the stars" hodjeron (note metaphor), etc.

This is actually a great idea.

So "-n" in the singular and "-(e)rn" or "-(e)ron" in the plural?
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2016, 12:06:21 pm »

Sorry for double-posting, but this is really a separate thought.

I don't want to exactly replicate English's case system, but I'd accept it with a little tweaking.  Like maybe throw in a fourth case, say, instrumental, to unite constructions like "in Terris" tarnuunan, "by road", "with jam" sogooan, "smiled upon by the stars" hodjeron (note metaphor), etc.

This is actually a great idea.

So "-n" in the singular and "-(e)rn" or "-(e)ron" in the plural?

I'm interpreting it as -an in the singular and -(e)ron in the plural.
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« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2016, 08:23:45 am »

Do we want to have gendered nouns/adjectives?
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« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2016, 12:33:45 pm »

Do we want to have gendered nouns/adjectives?

Maybe some kind of noun classes that aren't tied to gender?
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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2016, 12:58:23 pm »

Do we want to have gendered nouns/adjectives?

Maybe some kind of noun classes that aren't tied to gender?

That seems a good idea

Based on the words we have so far, I think the three options should be "-is" nominatives,  "-ez" nominatives, and "-in" nominatives

How should those decline, then?
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2016, 11:03:27 am »

Do we want to have gendered nouns/adjectives?

Maybe some kind of noun classes that aren't tied to gender?

That seems a good idea

Based on the words we have so far, I think the three options should be "-is" nominatives,  "-ez" nominatives, and "-in" nominatives

How should those decline, then?

Tbh, imo, "-is" and "-ez" are far too similar sounding to really support different sets of inflections over a longer period. What you could have though is the nominative ending's grade of voicing influencing case inflections, so, idk, have a nominative in "-ez" turn the genitive (?) ending "-x" into "-g" or "-r" or whatever we would agree upon as a voiced equivalent to "x" (since the obvious option "ɣ" doesn't exist here).
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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2016, 02:31:38 pm »

Do we want to have gendered nouns/adjectives?

Maybe some kind of noun classes that aren't tied to gender?

That seems a good idea

Based on the words we have so far, I think the three options should be "-is" nominatives,  "-ez" nominatives, and "-in" nominatives

How should those decline, then?

Tbh, imo, "-is" and "-ez" are far too similar sounding to really support different sets of inflections over a longer period. What you could have though is the nominative ending's grade of voicing influencing case inflections, so, idk, have a nominative in "-ez" turn the genitive (?) ending "-x" into "-g" or "-r" or whatever we would agree upon as a voiced equivalent to "x" (since the obvious option "ɣ" doesn't exist here).

Good idea. Perhaps the third ending could be "-ar" or "-ad"?
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2016, 06:37:01 am »

Do we want to have gendered nouns/adjectives?

Maybe some kind of noun classes that aren't tied to gender?

That seems a good idea

Based on the words we have so far, I think the three options should be "-is" nominatives,  "-ez" nominatives, and "-in" nominatives

How should those decline, then?

Tbh, imo, "-is" and "-ez" are far too similar sounding to really support different sets of inflections over a longer period.

are they though? remember also that final "-is" would be a stressed syllable and final "-ez" would be an unstressed syllable
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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2016, 06:53:23 am »

one thing i wanted to propose is a subordinating infix -c-

e.g.
to shinesilnu
the light shining on me… sicilnu …
starhodj
sand, dustsilez
stardustsilez hocodj

(obviously these examples are ignoring other affixes)
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« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2016, 07:02:13 am »

in that second example both words would take the same case markers etc

and you can draw a distinction between (can't think of the right terms right now) an integral relationship (silez hocodj = stardust) and like ownership or whatever (silez hodj[+gen] = a star's dust/dust belonging to a star/whatever)
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« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2016, 12:51:40 pm »

Do we want to have gendered nouns/adjectives?

Maybe some kind of noun classes that aren't tied to gender?

That seems a good idea

Based on the words we have so far, I think the three options should be "-is" nominatives,  "-ez" nominatives, and "-in" nominatives

How should those decline, then?

Tbh, imo, "-is" and "-ez" are far too similar sounding to really support different sets of inflections over a longer period.

are they though? remember also that final "-is" would be a stressed syllable and final "-ez" would be an unstressed syllable

Ah, did not know that. Then I agree, stress + voicing is probably enough of a distinction to keep up differences. Would the classes affect only adjectival declination, or also changes in nominal inflection? If the latter (take Latin as an example), here a few ideas on how nominative endings could tweak the ideas of declination we have at this point.

"-IS" Nouns (Class I or whatever)
berís
berál
berúx
berén

berír
beról
bérux (if no differences in writing with our genitives, why not a difference in pronunciation?)
berón

"-EZ" Nouns
hábez
hábel
hábeg
háben

habzír
habzól
habézug
habzón

"-IN" Nouns
sulín
sulinál
sulinúx
sulinén

sulinír
sulinól
sulíx
sulinón

Before completely critising all of that, hear me out: "-ez" endings in singular more often than not are "e", simply because stress there sits at the first syllable, and with a lack of schwa unstressed vowels in natural languages often move towards "e". This unstressed e is lost completely in the plural when the stress moves behind it onto the ending, safe for the plural genitive "ux", where it sits, on all three declinations, on the penultimate syllable (which is also the reason the unstressed u is deleted completely in the "in" declination, with "sulínux" being simplified to "sulíx"), to differentiate it from final (or initial) stressed singular genitive "úx".

The "g" in the genitive endings of the "ez" nouns is a sort of voiced version of the "ux".

I very much like evergreen's idea, btw.
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« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2016, 02:46:34 pm »

I like these suggestions a lot, but the "-in" plural endings seem quite clunky...

sulnir, sulnol, and sulnon would be simpler even, if you really want to keep this construction
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