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Arpien

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My first new conlang in 48 years!

No phonology yet, so of course no vocabulary yet.

It has 22 "open" word-classes and 80 "closed" word-classes.

The words "open" and "closed" are in quotes, because the real difference is that wherever an "open" word-class can be used, certain phrases can also be used there and be equally grammatical; but where a word from a "closed" class can be used, only another word from the same class can be substituted for it and still have a grammatical utterance.

It's completely isolating, and so it has no "morphology".

Its syntax can be written in Chomsky normal form.

It is entirely head-final.

Every phrase consists of two parts; the complement and the head.

The head determines both the word-class that the complement has to come from, and the word-class that the entire phrase can be substituted for.

OTOH if you know both the word-class of the complement and the word-class whose distribution the entire phrase's distribution matches, then you know the word-class the head must be from.

It is neither right-branching nor left-branching, since, when the head happens to come from one of the 22 "open" word-classes, it could be phrasal, even if the complement isn't phrasal. OTOH the head might be a single word (and, if it comes from one of the 80 "closed" classes, actually [u][i]must[/i][/u] be a single word), but the complement might be a phrase. In either case the head would still have to come after the complement.

I will publish a list of the word-classes, and the CFG grammar, when I get around to it, which I hope will be soon (but who knows?).

The purpose of this conlang is just to see whether or not I can actually make a conlang according to this formalism.

The capital letters are nonterminal symbols; they can be replaced by another non-terminal or by a string of non-terminals. The lowercase letters and numerics are "quasiterminal" or "metaterminal" symbols; they can be replaced by single words of the appropriate class, which are the terminal symbols. The lowercase letters represent "open" word-classes, and the numerics represent "closed" word-classes.

"A" represents sentences and/or clauses. "B" represents nouns and noun-phrases and phrases which can be used as if they were nouns.



A --> a

  |  A C
  |  B D
  |  C G
  |  D H
  |  E I
  |  F J
  |  G 17
  |  H 18
  |  I 19
  |  J 20
  |  K 21
  |  L 22
  |  M 23
  |  N 24
  |  O 25
  |  P 26
  |  Q 27
  |  R 28
  |  S 29
  |  T 30
  |  U 31
  |  V 32


B --> b

  |  A E
  |  B F
  |  C K
  |  D L
  |  E M
  |  F N
  |  G 33
  |  H 34
  |  I 35
  |  J 36
  |  K 37
  |  L 38
  |  M 39
  |  N 40
  |  O 41
  |  P 42
  |  Q 43
  |  R 44
  |  S 45
  |  T 46
  |  U 47
  |  V 48


C --> c

  |  A O
  |  B P
  |  C 1
  |  D 2
  |  E 3
  |  F 4


D --> d

  |  A Q
  |  B R
  |  C 5
  |  D 6
  |  E 7
  |  F 8


E --> e

  |  A S
  |  B T
  |  C 9
  |  D 10
  |  E 11
  |  F 12


F --> f

  |  A U
  |  B V
  |  C 13
  |  D 14
  |  E 15
  |  F 16


G --> g

  |  A 49
  |  B 50


H --> h

  |  A 51
  |  B 52


I --> i

  |  A 53
  |  B 54


J --> j

  |  A 55
  |  B 56


K --> k

  |  A 57
  |  B 58


L --> l

  |  A 59
  |  B 60


M --> m

  |  A 61
  |  B 62


N --> n

  |  A 63
  |  B 64


O --> o

  |  A 65
  |  B 66


P --> p

  |  A 67
  |  B 68


Q --> q

  |  A 69
  |  B 70


R --> r

  |  A 71
  |  B 72


S --> s

  |  A 73
  |  B 74


T --> t

  |  A 75
  |  B 76


U --> u

  |  A 77
  |  B 78


V --> v

  |  A 79
  |  B 80



I haven't decided on the exact correspondence between the usual terms for word-classes and the terms I'll use when talking about Arpien. But here's my first, partial, approximation.

A Sentence or Clause

B Noun or Noun Phrase


C Auxiliary or Sentential Adverb


D Monovalent Verb or Verb Phrase (including most intransitive verbs)


E Complementizer or Phrasal Complementizer


F Adjective or Adjective Phrase


G Makes a Clause out of an Auxiliary or Sentential Adverb


H Makes a Clause out of a Monovalent Verb


I Makes a Clause out of a Complementizer


J Makes a Clause out of an Adjective


K Makes a Nominal Phrase out of an Auxiliary or Sentential Adverb


L Infinitivizer; Makes a Noun out of a Monovalent Verb


M Makes a Noun out of a Complementizer


N Makes a Noun out of an Adjective


O Conjunction for Clauses, or, Subordinator for Adjunct Clauses (resulting phrase modifies a sentence or clause)


P Bivalent Verb Taking a Noun and a Complement Clause; or Postposition (resulting phrase acts as an auxiliary or as a sentential adverb)


Q Subordinator for Adjunct Clauses (resulting phrase modifies a monovalent verb or verb phrase)


R Bivalent Verb or Verb Phrase (including most monotransitive verbs)


S Makes a clause into a complementizer


T Postposition Resulting in Phrasal Complementizer


U Relativizer


V Postposition Resulting in Phrasal Adjective; e,g, Genitive Postposition; or, Conjunction for Nouns


1 Adverb that Modifies an Auxiliary or Sentential Adverb


2 Makes an Auxiliary or Sentential Adverb out of a Monovalent Verb


3 Makes an Auxiliary or Sentential Adverb out of a Complementizer


4 Makes a Complementizer out of an Adjective


5 Makes a Subordinator out of an Auxiliary or Sentential Adverb


6 Adverb that Modifies a Monovalent Verb


7 Makes a Monovalent Verb out of a Complementizer


8 Makes a Monovalent Verb out of an Adjective


9 Makes a Complementizer out of an Auxiliary or Sentential Adverb


10 Makes a Complementizer out of a Monovalent Verb


11 Adverb that Modifies a Complementizer


12 Makes a Complementizer out of an Adjective


13 Makes a Phrasal Adjective out of an Auxiliary or Sentential Adverb


14 Participlizer; Makes an Adjective of a Monovalent Verb


15 Makes an Adjective out of a Complementizer


16 Adverb that Modifies an Adjective


67 Trivalent Verb Requiring a Noun and Two Complement Clauses


68 Trivalent Verb Requiring Two Nouns and a Complement Clause


69 Trivalent Verb Requiring a Noun and Two Complement Clauses


70 Trivalent Verb Requiring Two Nouns and a Complement Clause


71 Trivalent Verb Requiring Two Nouns and a Complement Clause


72 Trivalent Verb (Including Most Ditransitive Verbs)

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