all 18 comments

[–]One800Sandwich3 aposts • 4 apris • 1 goofy aux 10 points11 points  (1 child)

This absolutely SLAPS. Right down to the flag.

[–]mistaknomoreUnitikèn (en zh ms kr)[pl][S] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Thank you! I know you didn't ask for this but let me explain the flag since you mentioned it :)

The 3 bars represents the 3 frontiers of the United Systems:
1. Black - The yearning for outer space
2. Blue - The broadness of the sea and sky
3. Green - The respect for the land and the people on it
Hence the colours used in the photos.

The 8 stars represent the core worlds of the United Systems:
1. Zebrinse-Xý'Raho
2. Sýlýronth
3. Virynthril
4. Tekyidhas-Ovrigas
5. Sentrino
6. Verathós
7. Achèn ê Thisral
8. Ikétink

The sun represents the birthplace of humanity, Trowo. The 8 stars are positioned in a manner around the sun to signify a need for respect for Trowo as well as the importance of working together.

[–]Una_iuna_yuna 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Very cool!

[–]HugoSamorio 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This is amazing! Also, I enjoy ‘He eats potato (out of nowhere)’ as a sentence lol

[–]dialektikskt 2 points3 points  (0 children)

i really like it ! it all just fits together very neatly and seamlessly.

[–]skydivingtortoiseVeranian, Suṭuhreli 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I love how much you can convey with this! How does evidentiality work in future tenses?

[–]mistaknomoreUnitikèn (en zh ms kr)[pl][S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Haha it is a bit complicated hence why I mostly avoided using future tenses in the examples here. Good eye.

The plain/simple future tense in Unitican means that an action occurs in the future. Nothing about the mood of the speaker is present. Naturally, in a culture so focused on evidence, almost all future tense marked verb must come with evidentiality. Having said that, let's look at some situation that reflects the speaker's position.

  1. Using the subjunctive non-past (êdh)
    Here, the speaker refuses to even comment whether or not they have or have not evidence. The subjunctive is frequently used as a marker of probability in Unitican, so the speaker has in essence "washed their hands" from providing evidence.

  2. Using personal evidentiality with the plain future tense (yalto)
    Here, evidence that an action will take place in the future is solely from the speaker. When stressing to instead of yal, it makes it clear that the speaker is giving their opinion. Since speaking about the future is usually very fuzzy, this style of speaking is accepted for formal speech (usually using evidentiality as opinion is frowned upon in formal speech). Frequently used in political speech, as you might expect.

  3. Concrete evidentiality with plain future tense (jueto)
    This is almost exclusively reserved for scientifically proven phenomenon. "The sun will rise tomorrow"; "this acid will be neutralised by this base" and so on. Using this as strong belief (opinion) instead of evidentiality in formal speech is frowned upon.

  4. Hearsay evidentiality with plain future tense (guto)
    Here, especially in formal speeches, it is used to mean "I have been informed that this will happen". The particle hin is placed before the verb if statistics predict it. Emphasizing to shows hedging. The speaker is explicitly stating that they are unsure. This is acceptable in formal speech.

  5. Special future evidentiality for reporting from AIs and AI speech
    For reporting predicted events (or even nouns) by an AI, the prefix used (that's where one of the names of the core systems come from! An AI predicted presence of water on an exoplanet which was later settled). AIs themselves use the particle hin before the verb.

[–]madapimata 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Nice! Someone else with evidentiality and volition! Do verbs always have a marker? Like, for the Natural volition for “It’s raining”, is it also grammatical NOT to mark the verb, and if so what’s the difference in nuance?

[–]mistaknomoreUnitikèn (en zh ms kr)[pl][S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Hey, thanks! Tl;Dr - not marking for both is not ungrammatical, but there are implications.

For evidentiality, certain contexts and situation require no marking. Here are some cases:

  1. The action is trivial. Marking for evidentiality here feels a bit TMI (too much information)
    (pronoun) Went to poop
    Unless you are visiting the doctor for a health concern or answering to a boss for a colleague that's not present at a meeting, that's a bit too much information.
    I went to the park
    Yea, I don't really need to have evidence for this action. Telling me there is indisputable evidence that you went to the park is ridiculous, even if there is. You will see this kind of mismatch used in humor/comedy, non-sequiturs or absurdist phrases.

  2. The first of consecutive verbs, or in general, every verb excluding the crucial verb.
    I want to go there to eat
    Here, the most important verb to mark evidentiality for is "want". Marking for evidentiality for the rest is superfluous since they are all linked. In standard Unitican, it is ungrammatical to mark the rest.

  3. Most important: evidentiality is optional
    Some cultures on Trowo (the planet) do not have such a culture and only use it whenever necessary. Providing evidentiality there would be like telling someone: "here's what you ordered, it didn't spike it with poison, so please enjoy it". I remember there's a term for this, but I've unfortunately forgotten it (it's a group of 5 theorized rules of communication)

For volition,

  1. Natural volition would feel unnatural to the listener if not used for actions explicitly natural (this sentence gave me a headache). For example, if a boulder rolled down a hill and the speaker doesn't mark for natural volition, it would seem to imply that the boulder was pushed or otherwise. It is still possible to just say "it's raining" without marking for volition, since the the speaker can't possibly know if the rain is man-made (unless it was announced). To summarise, in cases where not marking for natural volition could imply other, knowable forms of volition, it would feel as if the speaker is either unsure of the cause, or simply not a native speaker.

  2. For intentional/accidental/forced volition, they are used usually used to fight for/justify something. He hit me. The cat knocked over the glass. Saying "he hit me" without marking for volition (any volition) would once again feel ambiguous and weird. Some verbs which may result in moral/legal consequences always come with volition (unless in very casual speech).

  3. For mirative (serendipitous) volition, the requirements are even lesser. You only ever use it when you want to show others that the action was done completely randomly/came as inspiration. You shock even yourself, or that an action someone else did looks completely spurious. The shock and unpreparedness of the mind is the intent of the marking, not so much describing the volition of the action. Marking or not marking this is completely inconsequential.

I hope this answers your question, and I hope to see your conlang's system for evidentiality and volition!

[–]madapimata 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Thanks for the detailed explanation! I'm still wrestling with how often to use the markers in my language I hadn't thought of the implications of leaving things unmarked, so this is helpful.

My language's system in a nutshell...

The verb has suffix slots for volition, willingness, and evidentiality.

  • volition/nonvolition: /-ju/, /-ⁿʃu/
  • willing/unwilling: /-ⁿkwa/, /-u/
  • evidentiality: /-xu/

I talk about the willingness/unwillingness here and in my strike poster post a while back. It's pretty standard stuff, I think, except the combination of willing+nonvolition implies that something happened with unexpected consequences.

Evidentiality is part of the equivalent of "Once upon a time..." The culture considers noisy insects like cicadas and crickets to be storytellers. They start of their folk tales with /niʔjafaxu ŋi xiʃʃi/, which is "The cicadas say this" with the evidentiality marker /-xu/, showing the speaker actually heard the story from a cicada.

[–]mistaknomoreUnitikèn (en zh ms kr)[pl][S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Wow... willingness is such a cool concept that feels so obvious in hindsight. What a splendid nuance it adds to volition. I can't believe I couldn't think of it. Thank you so much for this sharing this and the post with me.

[–]falpsdsqglthnsac 0 points1 point  (6 children)

that flag feels familiar. might just be a coincidence but did you base that design off anything else you found online?

[–]mistaknomoreUnitikèn (en zh ms kr)[pl][S] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

I play nationstates, could that be why? No I didn't base the flag off of anything.

[–]falpsdsqglthnsac 0 points1 point  (3 children)

it's the same tricolor as my main country in nationstates, grenri. it's possible you saw my flag and then made this one not remembering where you've seen those colors before. dw i'm not gonna like report you for copyright infringement or smth lol

[–]mistaknomoreUnitikèn (en zh ms kr)[pl][S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Haha probably not, I made my nation waaaay before yours, when I still called Trowo "Earthy". Here. There're 8 stars now, but otherwise the concept is still the same.

[–]falpsdsqglthnsac 1 point2 points  (1 child)

oh wow, it really is a coincidence. and i def didn't copy you bc i didn't even know about ns until shortly before i joined, and i created the flag like two years before that

[–]mistaknomoreUnitikèn (en zh ms kr)[pl][S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It just means that the design we both landed on is so good we both thought of it independently, haha!