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Page history last edited by Matthew McVeagh 1 year, 7 months ago



Matthew McVeagh | my conlangs


A language in which all modes of grammar are possible – all word orders, case systems, adpositions, verb systems, etc.


Of my current planned languages, this is one I consider more valuable than others. All of them are aiming to show something is possible, but this one might actually be useful. Learning it would facilitate, and in fact require, learning the grammar of the world's languages. It would be fairly easy for a person to express themselves in their favourite grammar mode, the difficulty would be learning enough of the language to understand others expressing themselves in their preferred mode.


As an example, let's look at how Omnigrammar would handle morphosyntactic alignments. These are apparently incompatible ways of associating/dissociating the core arguments of intransitive (S) and transitive (A, P) verbs; how can one language allow you to express all of them?


Omnigrammar would have (at least) the following cases:

  1. Intransitive: S only

  2. Ergative/Agentive: A only

  3. Accusative/Patientive: P only

  4. Nominative: S and A

  5. Absolutive: S and P

  6. Transitive: A and P

  7. Direct: S, A and P


You just apply whichever alignment you feel like, using the relevant cases. You could switch alignments in the next sentence, it doesn't matter, as long as it's comprehensible. So for the following alignments you'd use the following cases:

  1. Accusative: S and A = Nom, P = Acc

  2. Ergative: S and P = Abs, A = Erg

  3. Split Ergative: the above two in different situations

  4. Active: likewise

  5. Tripartite: S = Intrans, A = Erg, P = Acc

  6. Transitive: S = Intrans, A and P = Trans

  7. Direct: S, A and P = Direct


It would be possible to combine any of these with direct-inverse marking or Austronesian trigger type marking on verbs as well.


Not only that but it should be possible to indicate these cases (/syntactic roles) by means of suffixes, prefixes, separate particles or even by word order. Granted the word order option would not indicate anything clearly, but it would be within the rules of the language to apply it, and if someone wants to use OVS word order on a "John hit Jim" type sentence that's their lookout.


Omnigrammar would be preparatory for Interlingual Pasigraphy, which would follow its all-encompassing grammatical pattern.



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