Grammar and Lexicon of Okuna

Matt Pearson is an associate professor of linguistics at Reed College, in Portland, Oregon. He specializes in syntactic theory and cross-linguistic variation, with an emphasis on the structure of Malagasy. He has been creating artlangs, and collecting examples of artlangs from SF/F literature, for many years. While completing his Ph.D. at UCLA, Matt was hired to design the alien “hive” language for the short-lived NBC show Dark Skies, and also did dubbing and dialog coaching for the show.

Abstract

Matt Pearson’s Okuna has long been recognized as one of the premier artistic language created in the modern era. This is the full grammar and lexicon of Okuna presented in one document.

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Case Marking and Event Structure: One Conlanger’s Investigations

Matt Pearson is an associate professor of linguistics at Reed College, in Portland, Oregon. He specializes in syntactic theory and cross-linguistic variation, with an emphasis on the structure of Malagasy. He has been creating artlangs, and collecting examples of artlangs from SF/F literature, for many years. While completing his Ph.D. at UCLA, Matt was hired to design the alien “hive” language for the short-lived NBC show Dark Skies, and also did dubbing and dialog coaching for the show.

Here, Matt has written up his LCC1 presentation. You can view a video of that presentation here.

Abstract

This paper explores how arguments are distinguished using case marking in different languages, with particular reference to the ways in which case marking is affected by factors such as animacy, definiteness and specificity, the aspect of the clause (perfective versus imperfective), and the event-type of the predicate (including whether it is stative or dynamic, telic or atelic, durative or punctual). The paper includes both a typological and an autobiographical component. I begin by briefly illustrating how case marking interacts with argument and event structure in various natural languages. I then show how my own efforts at language construction have been informed by these phenomena, and how my attempts to invent a unique yet naturalistic case system have broadened my understanding of argument and event structure in natural languages.

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