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Author Topic: Studies Toward a Descriptive Grammar of Phantomilian  (Read 1579 times)

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Offline Questklonoa

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Re: Studies Toward a Descriptive Grammar of Phantomilian
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2019, 02:16:09 AM »
Woahie, I wasn't expecting a complete language translation project :big_smile:

But yeah looks like a lot of work you did there!!!

Offline Cobra!

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Re: Studies Toward a Descriptive Grammar of Phantomilian
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2019, 04:24:47 PM »
Holy hell that is comprehensive! :O

Are you going to come up with like lessons and materials to teach what you've found? I am so desperate to learn this!

Offline Elias Foxmane

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Re: Studies Toward a Descriptive Grammar of Phantomilian
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2019, 10:33:45 PM »
Woahie, I wasn't expecting a complete language translation project :big_smile:

But yeah looks like a lot of work you did there!!!

It was, but fortunately, the work is not unpleasant. This first paper took about... two weeks, I think, from starting analysis to finishing the draft. The next document will probably take more time than that. I will know that I am ready to write when I have a model that can make sense out of the unused lines in the game, save for the words which we do not have attested. As I think that I understand perhaps about 80% of how the verb system works by now, I hope that I am close to being able to do just that. I do still need to investigate the relative and interrogative pronouns, too -- there is quite a bit of nuance there that I am not sure I have quite wrapped my mind around yet, particularly in how the words compound.

Holy hell that is comprehensive! :O

Are you going to come up with like lessons and materials to teach what you've found? I am so desperate to learn this!

I am just glad that such a dry project is drawing such interest! The short answer to your question is: yes. I am still thinking about how to arrange the material, but something like the 'student grammar' layout of J. Gresham Machen's New Testament Greek for Beginners would work very well, introducing the material step-by-step toward greater and greater complexity. While I have to work at this fairly abstruse level for right now, I am eager to reduce observation to practice. There is still quite a bit of work to do before that point, however.

The way that I envision the project going from this point is as follows:

1) Publish the cleaned-up transcript of the in-game audio files -- at present, I still need to go back through for one final pass to touch up some of the transcriptions to better represent some of the more unusual phonemes of the language like Leorina's breathy 'f' and the odd guttural consonant.
2) Publish the second, final, and massive paper which will follow the strategies of my previous effort to argue for what I deduce as the fundamental grammatical structure and conventions of Phantomilian.
3) Refine models and introduce solutions to observed lexical gaps. (Let us just say that the verb system is... compact?)
4) Compile and (cautiously) expand the lexicon, as needed.
5) Publish the 'student grammar', possibly as a companion to the lexicon.

And as I am as much a student of Phantomilian as anyone, I would love to be able to learn it practically, by use, when the time comes.

I just hope that I don't take too long.  :embarassed:

-Foxmane

Offline Elias Foxmane

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Re: Studies Toward a Descriptive Grammar of Phantomilian
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2019, 10:18:20 PM »
It took me rather longer than I had wanted to finish this stage of the project, but I am pleased to post a transcript of the Phantomilian of Lunatea's Veil for all characters (excluding Tat and Popka) that will form the basis of our future efforts. While interpretation cannot be avoided in transcribing dialogue, I have made every effort to ensure that the script is set down as accurately as possible for the use of others besides myself.

Dialogue has been transcribed with an aim of approximating the natural readings of English phonology, but the reader will bear in mind what has been discussed before regarding the possible consonant mutations. I have made explicit in the text where multiple readings are possible, but minor variations in pronunciation of well-known words (e.g. 'Beiyo' / 'Beliyo', 'Lot / Loto') have at times been standardized for greater ease to the reader. Upon further reflection, I have opted to use 'kh' for all consonants of an undefined guttural character rather than introduce an unnecessary symbol like  'x' for something like the Greek 'chi' due to the relative rarity of its use. Finally, the reader will note that Leorina and Momett both use a very aspirated 'f' sound in their speech to which it is tempting to assign another symbol like a digraph 'ff'. However, because this might disguise certain relationships between words, I have opted to leave these as single 'f' as a compromise between complete accuracy and ease of analysis.

-Foxmane

[Addendum: It slipped my mind when posting to give credit to the source of a majority of the English text used in this document, which was obtained from http://www.geocities.ws/klonoas_dream/scripts.html. My hearty thanks are due to the original transcriber.]
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 05:41:04 AM by Elias Foxmane, Reason: Citation »

Offline Cobra!

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Re: Studies Toward a Descriptive Grammar of Phantomilian
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2019, 10:20:31 AM »
You can use something like Memrise or Anki to make a course for people like me to learn and memorise it! =P

Offline Elias Foxmane

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Re: Studies Toward a Descriptive Grammar of Phantomilian
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2019, 07:15:56 PM »
You can use something like Memrise or Anki to make a course for people like me to learn and memorise it! =P

I am passingly familiar with Anki -- a number of clergy whom I know have recommended it for Greek learners, and a friend of mine is making use of it for Turkish and French -- but I am not at all familiar with Memrise. Is it possible to take the user through a slide deck in that platform? The grammar book could possibly be converted with relatively little effort in that case.

Anki might present some more difficulties, given that there do appear to be a lot of function words and quantifiers to Phantomilian that don't translate well. I am not sure that a flashcard deck is a good way to present the information -- but I have never found flashcards to be my own preferred way of learning a language, so perhaps I am biased. I will consider it as a supplement when this project is a little more mature.

And as long as I am posting...

Project Update

I have finished what I think is a pretty exhaustive course of morpheme analysis and have now moved on to actually writing the second paper to be presented. I plan to post it in chapters as each section is completed, rather than all in a lump. I also will be posting a corrected version of the dialogue that removes unnecessary non-dialogue lines and corrects the typographical errors of the English script used for an index to the Phantomilian dialogue. This second version also makes some changes to the Phantomilian text as the identity of a number of obscured words have become clear as I continue to work with the material. This corrected version will go up with the first chapter.

Offline Cobra!

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Re: Studies Toward a Descriptive Grammar of Phantomilian
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2019, 02:16:09 PM »
...but I am not at all familiar with Memrise. Is it possible to take the user through a slide deck in that platform? The grammar book could possibly be converted with relatively little effort in that case.
All you do in Memrise is create levels consisting of "cards" (I guess), where you enter a name in the target language field, and the translation in the language they're learning it in.

I personally prefer Memrise because unlike Anki or other flash card systems, it doesn't use the honor system, I'm usually too hard or easy on myself with those.

Anki might present some more difficulties, given that there do appear to be a lot of function words and quantifiers to Phantomilian that don't translate well. I am not sure that a flashcard deck is a good way to present the information.
You mean like particles to set tone or whatever? Like in Japanese or Korean?

The Memrise courses for Japanese do the following:
  • Watashi > I
  • No > Possesive Particle
  • Watashi no > My
  • Watashi no terebi > My TV

Is this what you mean?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 02:18:17 PM by Kuroa »

Offline Elias Foxmane

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Re: Studies Toward a Descriptive Grammar of Phantomilian
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2019, 10:28:02 PM »
All you do in Memrise is create levels consisting of "cards" (I guess), where you enter a name in the target language field, and the translation in the language they're learning it in.

Ah, so a game structure, then. That could be feasible for vocabulary drills if there is interest, even if I prefer grammars that have the student translating from the start. It is an option that I will certainly explore, since I want to make this information available as widely as possible once it is all arranged.

You mean like particles to set tone or whatever? Like in Japanese or Korean?

The Memrise courses for Japanese do the following:
  • Watashi > I
  • No > Possesive Particle
  • Watashi no > My
  • Watashi no terebi > My TV

Is this what you mean?

Something like it, perhaps. I will try to explain what I mean. All of the Japanese examples are specific ways of explaining the possessive genitive, which speaking from my experience is better understood as a particular use of a grammatical case. Tone-markers (I suppose that this includes honorifics, which are often explicitly grammaticalized in the East Asian languages) and quantifiers would fit better under the heading of pragmatics, which would be closer to my intent. I am thinking of something along the lines of a contextual use of a particle like Greek 'μή', which can be either a strong negativing particle and adverb, or as a conjunction approximating the meaning of 'lest [thus-and-so]', or as an untranslated particle in an interrogatory statement where a negative statement is assumed. These are just things that one has to know, and unless the flashcard for this particle was presented to prompt for a particular syntactical context, I think that it would not serve the purpose.

To give Phantomilian examples that might be difficult in a flashcard system, consider the difference between 'wa' and 'wafi' based on what I have written before. 'Wafi' appears to designate a peculiar member of some class (e.g. 'someone', SW (1); perhaps also demonstrative 'that', interrogative 'what'), as in the phrases:

'Dufiya man? Maniwafi?' (Joliant Fun Park / Jungle Slider)
What's okay?

'Wafirawa?' (Baguji 4)
W-what was that?!

'Wa' also appears to act as a quantifier for undefined entities and seems to require in its English translation the dummy subject 'they', 'people', or something of the kind to carry the sense:

'Waputuru Jolianto, bakiro tuhurupuru kuda...' (Volkan Inferno)
All they do is play in Jolaint, while they only fight in Volk...

'Dan... wafiyu lu...' (Embryo Compass)
The... The power... It's consuming her...

'Manipa paramyu... rumurufuru... wafidu deona!' (Volk Council Hall)
It's pointless to fight them head-on. We have to go to the source of the problem!

As I read these statements, the first appears to me a quantifier prefixed to the present participle of the verb 'to play' that refers to the class of citizens of Joliant, the second a quantifier prefixed to a form of the verb 'fiya' ('to be') that may be used along with an abstract noun ('power'), and the third takes the adverbial suffix '-fidu' meaning roughly '-wards', which seems to imply that this kind of construction can be used for an unknown place or entity as well. The term 'quantifier' is the only one I can think of to apply to this kind of function.

These uses do have some conceptual overlap, or it would not be possible to identify this morpheme as having a consistent function. However, I confess myself at a loss as to how I would present this kind of distinction on a flashcard platform. I would need better names for these uses first, but I don't know how to present the information necessary to the distinction without going into a description that would fit better in a book.

If a Memrise course would help, I will most definitely continue to think on the matter and try to come up with something. There is usually a solution to be found.

--Foxmane
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 10:30:45 PM by Elias Foxmane »

Offline Cobra!

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Re: Studies Toward a Descriptive Grammar of Phantomilian
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2019, 05:50:37 PM »
...I am thinking of something along the lines of a contextual use of a particle like Greek 'μή', which can be either a strong negativing particle and adverb, or as a conjunction approximating the meaning of 'lest [thus-and-so]', or as an untranslated particle in an interrogatory statement where a negative statement is assumed. These are just things that one has to know, and unless the flashcard for this particle was presented to prompt for a particular syntactical context, I think that it would not serve the purpose.

So a word or particle that sets the tone of the sentence? My other native language, Scots, has these.

"Gaun'ae" is an imperative particle. When telling someone to do something, this is used in a sentence to let others know they aren't joking around. This word, when used like this, has no English equivalent, so would be omitted when translating to English.

Another is "Haw", which is added at the start of a sentence as a way to sort of convey that the speak is fed up or annoyed.

To give Phantomilian examples that might be difficult in a flashcard system, consider the difference between 'wa' and 'wafi' based on what I have written before. 'Wafi' appears to designate a peculiar member of some class (e.g. 'someone', SW (1); perhaps also demonstrative 'that', interrogative 'what'), as in the phrases:

'Dufiya man? Maniwafi?' (Joliant Fun Park / Jungle Slider)
What's okay?

'Wafirawa?' (Baguji 4)
W-what was that?!

'Wa' also appears to act as a quantifier for undefined entities and seems to require in its English translation the dummy subject 'they', 'people', or something of the kind to carry the sense:

'Waputuru Jolianto, bakiro tuhurupuru kuda...' (Volkan Inferno)
All they do is play in Jolaint, while they only fight in Volk...

'Dan... wafiyu lu...' (Embryo Compass)
The... The power... It's consuming her...

'Manipa paramyu... rumurufuru... wafidu deona!' (Volk Council Hall)
It's pointless to fight them head-on. We have to go to the source of the problem!

So what I would do is have "Wafi" as "Someone; that; what", and "Wa" under "They; People" Personally, I think that would be all one would need to understand what it means and what it's used for.

Follow that up with examples of it's usage, like above, and you should be good.

Offline Elias Foxmane

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Re: Studies Toward a Descriptive Grammar of Phantomilian
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2019, 07:27:07 PM »
So a word or particle that sets the tone of the sentence? My other native language, Scots, has these.

"Gaun'ae" is an imperative particle. When telling someone to do something, this is used in a sentence to let others know they aren't joking around. This word, when used like this, has no English equivalent, so would be omitted when translating to English.

Another is "Haw", which is added at the start of a sentence as a way to sort of convey that the speak is fed up or annoyed.

Scots is not a language I have encountered much outside of a few scattered biographies, so thank you for the lesson. I do love it when languages get right to the point; a good friend of mine is fond of saying that the Roman Empire was doomed when they started pushing the verb all the way to the back of their sentences.

There are a few Phantomilian particles that appear to be of this kind. Suffixed '-na' seems to have two related uses: in an interrogative statement, to mean something like 'isn't it?', or as a means of emphasis at the end of a noun or verb phrase (imparting perhaps a bit of a sense of 'of course!'):

'Heimps… heimps! Les satchi da! Les urut fopo na satchi daya.' (Embryo Compass)
Damn it! Damn it all... Power is worthless. It cannot even overcome sorrow...
('Les' is 'no / not' based on clear examples elsewhere in the script. 'Da' here is probably not the copulative particle 'da', but a form of 'ada' (power), which seems to lose its weak front vowel every chance that it gets. 'Les urut' is thus probably 'not-overcome', and 'na' thus seems to give the sense of 'not even' in the English.)

'Yumeurafi digu fopo na?' (Terminus of Tears)
Are you... the King of Sorrow?

'Seik eruna huim na!' (Baguji 2)
WE are going to save the world!

(Incidentally, yes, that second example does invalidate a portion of my first paper discussing a form of the copulative particle, 'da'. I heard the line wrongly for years, and the music that plays in the scene would make one swear that the line is '...fopo da?' But it is '...fopo na?', plain as the day, in the raw audio. Very odd.)


So what I would do is have "Wafi" as "Someone; that; what", and "Wa" under "They; People" Personally, I think that would be all one would need to understand what it means and what it's used for.

Follow that up with examples of it's usage, like above, and you should be good.

What you have proposed seems like a very workable solution. I do tend to overcomplicate things, and if demonstrative examples are enough, I will be happy to oblige. Perhaps once I finish the chapter section I am working on now, which goes into general principles of the grammar that will hopefully help to parse out individual words and functions of morphemes, I can put together a Memrise course based on what is clear and unambiguous so far while the rest of the lexicon begins to come together.

--Foxmane