Conlanging 2020-01-15

By Max Woerner Chase

I was mostly taking it easy and replaying puzzle games today, but I did some work on The Tongue of Light, or rather its immediate ancestor language. When I actually started putting stuff together, I realized I'd rather use stative verbs, and have a way to transform verbs into nouns that can be in noun phrases, than to have adjectives be inherently nounlike. I'll have to think over the implications of this, but I think it addresses some concerns I had about natural ways of expressing simple ideas.

I'll try to go into a little detail... Basically, there are several aspect distinctions that get drawn, and they're all periphrastic. The thing was, I was trying to have the aspectually-modified verb act as an object to the aspect verb, which meant I was ending up with confusing combinations of noun case. Switching to stative verbs made the sentences shorter and left them with fewer parts to worry about getting to agree.

Now that I lay all of this out, I see it's possible that I might have just pushed off the complexity, and maybe I can formulate a sentence that has the exact same issues. (Try constructing sentences with "to help", for example, and see if they still make sense. I have a suspicion that I'll end up extending the use of a word I came up with for a slightly different purpose. This has happened a few times already, and it's nice when it does.) I should also make sure that using stative verbs to modify nouns still makes sense to me.

In any case, I hope I explained that well enough; I should maybe start being specific in my examples. Next time, or next week, maybe.

(I also started working on porting the blog publishing pipeline to out-of-the-box Ubuntu. I believe the only change I needed to make was to have a different command for generating the notifications, but that's probably not enough, somehow. I'll also need to remember to install the various dependencies, including sass, whatever I'm using to compress the images, some stuff for pyenv... It's probably not too much...)

Good night.