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Ideas for Handling Four Specific Verb Constructions

I'm looking for help with Kosi. This Conlang post gives the four verb constructions I'm having trouble with. I'd like some ideas so Kosi can express these constructions differently from English. Thanks. --Trebor, 12:21, 3 July 2004 EST

Well... In Trentish this construction has been used but is still undocumented (I should work on it..). These kinds of constructions use something I call a "frame verb": it is basically a verbal particle placed after the main verb. A sentence like "I believe him to be a problem" would interlinearize to "him-Topic problem-be-1p-3p believe", where believe is the frame verb, and the main verb inflects to agree both with the agent of the main verb (him, 3p) and the agent of the frame verb (me, 1p). This construction also is used for other purposes, such as questions—the question frame verb nisya could be glossed as "which" or more literally as "want to know which"—or evidential particles ("know X is true", "suspect X is true", etc.). Theoretically these can stack on top of each other as well, with the medial frame verbs taking minimal verbal marking: "I suspect that you know that I believe him to be a problem" = "him-Topic problem-be-1p-3p believe-2p know-1p suspect". —Muke Tever |
Possibly moods could be used for this—either an open, productive class of moods (...seems unlikely) or perhaps a small set of semantically broad ones that could be buttressed by specific words (similar to how a small set of counters can cover all kinds of mass nouns). On the far hand you could degrammaticalize it entirely and require separate clauses: "I believe this: He is a problem", "he seems like this: he is good", "I promised him this: I will buy the cat food", "I persuaded him this: he will buy the cat food". Toki Pona does things like this, as does Anna Wierzbicka's Natural Semantic Metalanguage. —Muke Tever |

Accents in Atlanliŋwa

I have to design my accent system around a certain set of phonetic assimilation rules... Unfortunately I have absolutely no idea what kind of accents sound natural. For that matter, I don't even know what kind of accent systems exist -- I know there's pitch accent (Japanese, Ural-Altaic) -- what does English use?

Currently, I have this idea (in order of precedence):

  • Accent is determined before affixation or assimilation.
  1. Single-syllable words are not accented.
  2. Accent on the second syllable if the consonant is doubled.
  3. Accent on the first syllable if it is pronounced as a long vowel (a, `o, yi and wu) (IPA: /a:/, /o:/, /i:/ and /u:/).
  4. If the third syllable begins with y or w, accent the third syllable.
  5. If the second syllable begins with a consonant that is not palatalised or labialised, and has the same place or manner of articulation as the third syllable's consonant and is not y or w, then
    1. If the first syllable is not palatalised or labialised, then accent on the first syllable
    2. Otherwise, accent on the third syllable
  6. Otherwise, accent the second syllable.

So, we have (→ indicates post-assimilation):

  1. mal
  2. aτ̂ika
  3. akàwa → akwa
  4. liŋawa → liŋwa
    1. pyinita → pyinta
    2. awàgalu → awgalu
  5. laga
A decent description of accentual systems in natlangs (in the context of devising a notation for describing them) along with an extensive list of example natlang stress patterns (described in the aforementioned notation) is found at the Stress System Database. Strictly speaking I don't suppose a stress system has to be naturalistic; a lexical stress system can place accents any old how.
In other words, from a conlanger's perspective your method could work fine for assigning stress to words, but how will native Atlanliŋwa speakers place accent on a word they don't recognize? (They don't necessarily have to know. They might have to guess, if their language has primarily lexical stress. But a speaker of say Finnish would probably stress it on the first syllable, as any other word in their language.)
Any case as for kinds of accent, there are stress accent (based on loudness) and pitch accent (based on, well, pitch), as well as tone accent. —Muke Tever | 21:02, 16 Aug 2004 (PDT)
Interesting. Since there are no such things as 'natural' accent patterns, I'll go forward with my idea then.