Conlanging, in plain English.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Drowning in information

A mërèchi idiom: àgë ràcü càshisöp'n, ní kasírisöp'n. "My brain is càshi but not síri". càshi means wet externally, even dripping, and síri means soaked, saturated or humid; so this translates roughly as "My brain is wet (with information) but it's not soaking in".

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Recent developments in Mirexu

It seems that I haven't written here about Mirexu, mërèchi's sister language. Perhaps there wasn't anything much to write by the time I stopped updating.

Mirexu has been used in two Conlang relays, numbers 15 and 16. The text I produced for Relay 15 was quite satisfying, but inbetween then and Relay 16, I lost my notes on when to use which kinds of complement clause. The resulting text for Relay 16 is painful for me to read; every single sentence ended up being a content-filled subordinate clause and an empty main clause consisting only of a modal verb (sometimes two deep!).

So! In an effort to wrench Mirexu back from the wrongheaded direction it took off the rails over a year ago, I recently resumed development.

Mirexu is meant to be a polysynthetic language. I'm attempting to build it entirely out of inflected forms of noun and verb roots, as Comrie analyzes Tamil to be. I am also drawing upon Abkhaz for inspiration. All of the roots and many of the bound morphemes are imported from mërèchi through a regular sound change process which mainly affects the vowels.

The corrections made so far, on the 19th of January, are:
  • situational possibility (can, is able to) is to be expressed with the derivational morpheme -se on the main verb, instead of the construction using a complement clause in -i followed by the fully inflected verb aisen, "may"
  • situational necessity (must, needs to) will use the newly-created derivational morphemes -dju (for positive necessity) and -dar (for negative necessity), instead of the construction using a negated complement clause and the fully inflected verb adarusan, "must not"
  • epistemic possibility and necessity will probably still use a periphrastic construction, unless I introduce evidential morpemes
Other blemishes introduced by the relay which still need to be corrected include:
  • create a way to say "always" without using the verb root kumela "to continue on"
  • create an overall scheme for the treatment of "any", "every", "each" etc. without needing adverbs, adjectives or periphrastic constructions
  • address conditional statements, both if...then and when...then
There is a lot of work to do!