I’m on a bit of a grammar kick at the moment – doing Lexember is a brilliant way of identifying holes not only in vocabulary but also in grammar.Continue reading “Non-verbal predicates in Qári”
Recently, I’ve been reading the second edition of Semantics by Kate Kearns. I recall skimming through the first edition while still at university, but I’ll confess that not much stuck back in 2008. Chapters 8 and 9, on Aktionsarten and tense and aspect respctively, have made me reconsider what I’ve been doing with aspect and telicity marking in Qári.
I’ve been uneasy about this for a while, and this unease has grown as I’ve created more and more sample sentences for my Lexember entries (a post summarising Lexember 2020 is forthcoming!) – up until now, I’ve been using the telic markers –ye and –yó with verbs to indicate that the telos or endpoint has been reached (almost like a perfective marker, to be honest). Essentially, I have been morphologically marking what is semantically the least marked property. This is dumb.
So, taking some inspiration from “inverse number marking”, I’ve come up with a system which I feel is at once more realistic and more elegant. Commentary, as always, is highly welcome.Continue reading “Rethinking telicity and aspect in Qári”
Why yes, I did spend NYE conlanging, why do you ask? Here’s some details on an aspect of Qári clausal syntax which was not covered in the previous post, and which I thought would be more complex than it actually was.
Qári only permits the subject of a subclause to be relativised. That is to say, in a construction such as I whipped the boy₁ [the boy₁ kicked the dog], only the boy can be relativised, not the dog:
Já sokiksáye at sagya [i yeqajeye at qénó].
1sg whip:tel def boy [act kick:tel def dog]
I whipped the boy [who kicked the dog].
Note how the active voice marker i, optional in main clauses, is obligatory in subclauses.
As the attentive reader will no doubt recall, Qári is possessed of a wealth of strategies to promote arguments to the status of subjecthood. Thus, to express I whipped the dog whom the boy kicked, the verb in the subclause takes the passive voice:
Já sokiksáye at qénó [hó yeqajeye at sagya].
1sg whip:tel def dog [pass kick:del def boy]
I whipped the dog [who was kicked by the boy].
The same applies with ‘oblique’ arguments. Consider the sentence He conquered the city₁ [you sent the army to the city₁] – here the city is promoted to the subject of the relative clause by means of the applicative voice:
Só jalaye at qár [á geduye at kitsánára ná].
3sg conquer:tel def city [appl send:tel def army 2sg]
He conquered the city [to which you sent the army].
(Note here also the resurfacing of VOS word order.)
Note, however, that only core oblique arguments can be promoted to subject: adjuncts cannot. Thus I burnt down the house in which the boy kicked the dog cannot be expressed in Qári by means of a relative clause. Rather a coordinate clause must be used (note also the use of the anterior tense marker yé):
Já áxeyó at áda, qeyindu at sagya yé yeqajeye at qénó.
1sg burn:tel def house | and_there def boy ant kick:tel def dog
I burnt down the house, and there the boy had kicked the dog.
So far, we have only looked at relative clauses which qualify a noun phrase in the main clause which is not a subject. When relative clauses qualify main-clause subjects, the constructions are broadly the same, with the only difference being that the voice marker is preceded by the relative marker é:
At kitsánu [é i jalaye qár] pálebuye at txumatu.
def warriors [rel act conquer:tel city] castrate:tel def men
The warriors [who conquered the city] castrated the men.
At txumatu [é hó pálebuye at kitsánu] kyá qár.
def men [rel pass castrate:tel def warriors] inhabit city
The men [whom the warriors castrated] inhabited the city.
I’ve spoken before as an advocate of Wm S Annis’ suggestion of using a diary as a conlang creation tool. Below I copy and analyse a fairly bog-standard entry from my journal.Continue reading “Fá hó yé nijá tipót já? – a Qári journal entry”
An introduction to some aspects of Qári clausal syntax.Continue reading “Qári clausal syntax”
An introduction to the verbal morphology of the Qári verb – revised 05 Dec 2020.Continue reading “Qári verbal morphology”
Or, a brief guided tour of some of the main features of the Qári grammar. The ones I find most interesting, at least! We begin with the morphology of nouns, adjectives and pronouns.Continue reading “A typological overview of Qári grammar – part 1”
As I’ve worked through my list of roots, derived from the Leipzig-Jakarta list, I’ve realised how iterative this process can be. Starting out with only a handful of affixes, I can create dozens of words from one root, if I so wish. But new roots reveal new potential affixes, which can then be applied to earlier roots… Ultimately, the challenge here is knowing when to stop!Continue reading “One hundred and one Old Qári roots and their derivatives (part 2)”
One of the first conlanging “texts” I discovered back before the internet was the Etymologies in The Lost Road and Other Writings, the fifth volume in the History of Middle Earth series. I used to pore over the roots and their derivations for hours. This series of posts, hopefully, captures some of the spirit that I found so beguiling back in 1996.Continue reading “One hundred and one Old Qári roots and their derivatives (part 1)”
A discussion of word-formation in Old Qári, along with a discussion of the phoneme inventory.Continue reading “Nonconcatenative morphology in Old Qári word-formation”