Conlanging - Planning 2018-07-18

By Max Woerner Chase

In this post:

So, for this week, I had the idea that I'd do things kind of like how it is now in Draw a Box, with daily goals that don't explicitly build on each other. Since it's a weekly project, I can just dump in the current status of things each entry.

I don't know what I'll feel comfortable doing by the end of this week, but I want to try to approach this language from a perspective of successive refinement. Like, right now, I'm seeing what I have in terms of building blocks for the grammar, and I can note stuff like, oh, these bound morphemes should interact in such and such a way.

Basically, the big artifact I want to have at the end of this is some kind of list of all of the grammatical concepts I pulled in to make things work, like the inessive case.

I also want to put together a rough sketch of the sounds that might be involved, and an explanation for the morphemes in terms of a hypothetical proto-language. I want the latter because I already have some idea of how this went from isolating to agglutinative to fusional. (Perhaps I could propagate structure through multiple layers of ancestry, then start working on sounds and bringing them forward.)

Next time, I start writing up the assumptions I've made.

(By the way, I'm still hacking on Structured Data. It's at a point now where it would probably be interesting if I tried to use it...)

July 16

Many of the people shouted twice.
[tu (v)].proximate.plural.perfective [toki wawa (v)].proximate.plural.perfective [jan (n)].proximate.plural.nominative [mute (adj)].plural.nominative [pini (n)].obviative.plural.inessive
Happy people often shout.
[mute (v)].proximate.plural.imperfective [toki wawa (v)].proximate.plural.imperfective [jan (n)].proximate.plural.nominative [pilin pona (adj)].plural.nominative
The kitten jumped up.
[sewi (v)].proximate.singular.perfective [soweli lili (n)].proximate.singular.nominative [jump (n)].obviative.singular.instrumental [pini (n)].obviative.plural.inessive

I didn't feel like glossing "jump" in Toki Pona

The kitten jumped onto the table.
[tawa (v)].proximate.singular.perfective [soweli lili (n)].proximate.singular.nominative [supa (n)].obviative.singular.accusative [jump (n)].obviative.singular.instrumental [pini (n)].obviative.plural.inessive
My little kitten walked away.
[tawa (v)].proximate.singular.perfective [soweli lili (n)].proximate.singular.nominative [lili (adj)].singular.nominative [mi (n)].first.singular.genitive'[jo (adj)].singular.accusative [weka (n)].obviative.plural.accusative [walk (n)].obviative.plural.instrumental [pini (n)].obviative.plural.inessive
The rain came down.
[anpa (v)].proximate.plural.perfective [telo sewi (n)].proximate.plural.nominative
The kitten is playing in the rain.
[musi (v)].proximate.singular.imperfective [soweli lili (n)].proximate.singular.nominative [telo sewi (n)].obviative.plural.intrative
The rain has stopped.
[mi (n)].first.singular.accusative [pana (v)].obviative.plural.cessative [telo sewi (n)].proximate.plural.dative
Soon the rain will stop.
[mi (n)].first.singular.accusative [pana (v)].obviative.plural.cessative [telo sewi (n)].proximate.plural.dative [kama lili (n)].obviative.plural.inessive
I hope the rain stops soon.
[wile (v)].first.singular.imperfective [mi (n)].first.singular.reflexive [pana (v)].first.singular.cessative [telo sewi (n)].proximate.plural.dative [kama lili (n)].obviative.plural.inessive

Conclusion: verbs don't agree with aspect. The aspect mark does come at the end, and it should interact somehow with the person/plural suffix.

July 17

Once wild animals lived here.
[ale (v)].proximate.plural.perfective [soweli (n)].proximate.plural.nominative [soweli (adj)].plural.nominative [lon (n)].obviative.singular.inessive [en (conj)].inessive [pini (n)].obviative.plural.inessive
Slowly she looked around.
[lukin (v)].proximate.singular.perfective [ona (n)].proximate.singular.nominative [sike (n)].obviative.plural.accusative [ilo wawa ala (n)].obviative.plural.comparative
Go away!
[o (v)].second.singular.imperfective [sina (n)].second.singular.nominative [tawa (v)].second.singular.inchoative [weka (n)].obviative.plural.accusative
Let's go!
[o (v)].first.plural.imperfective [mi (n)].first.plural.nominative [tawa (v)].first.plural.inchoative

Could also use dual instead of plural.

You should go.
[wile (v)].second.singular.imperfective [sina (n)].second.singular.nominative [tawa (v)].second.singular.inchoative
I will be happy to go.
[jo (v)].first.singular.inchoative [mi (n)].first.singular.nominative [pilin pona (n)].proximate.plural.accusative [kama (n)].obviative.plural.inessive [tawa (v)].first.singular.inchoative

I've decided here that in this language you "have happiness", which makes you a "happy person". I guess I'm trying to see what it'll take to decide I want a copula.

He will arrive soon.
[kama (v)].proximate.singular.cessative [ona (n)].proximate.singular.nominative [kama lili (n)].obviative.plural.inessive
The baby's ball has rolled away.
[sike (v)].proximate.singular.perfective [sike (n)].proximate.singular.nominative [jan lili (n)].obviative.singular.genitive'[jo (adj)].singular.nominative [weka (n)].obviative.plural.accusative

Two things occur to me here. One is that I'm not sure if all of the stuff I've done so far is how proximate/obviative actually works. The other is that I'll have to think more about this, because the verb "to roll" can easily involve ergativity, and I haven't really accounted for that.

The two boys are working together.
[pali (v)].proximate.dual.imperfective [mije lili (n)].proximate.dual.nominative [tu (adj)].plural.nominative [wan (n)].obviative.plural.comparative

I used dual! *toot*

This mist will probably clear away.
[mi (n)].first.singular.accusative [sama (v)].obviative.plural.imperfective [pana (v)].obviative.plural.cessative [kon telo (n)].proximate.plural.dative [ni (adj)].plural.dative [kama (n)].obviative.plural.inessive

"To me it is likely that 'it' will cease to give this mist."