A new, slightly bizaare, conlang
|From:||Elliott Lash <erelion12@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, July 20, 2005, 1:50|
A co-worker and I have been working on and off on a
conlang for the a few weeks. I thought it was time to
talk about it a bit on the list. I'll be using a kind
of orthography that uses no diactritics, but in the
actual orthography (which I wont show on the list just
now) there are several diactritics.
The phonology is kind of extraordinary:
The vowels may be long, short, creaky long and creaky
short. (diactrics: /:/, /_k/, /:_k/)
In the orthography, a doubled vowel is long, and a
creaky vowel is followed by a _~_
After uvulars, /i/ becomes /@j/
After a creaky voiced syllable, all vowels become
/p_>/ (bilabial unvoiced ejective) _p_
/b_</ (bilabial voiced implosive) _b_
/d'/ (retroflex voiced plosive) _d_
/t'/ (retroflex unvoiced plosive) _t_
/q_>/ (uvular unvoiced ejective) _q_
/g\_</ (uvular voiced implosive) _g_
/m/ (bilabial nasal) _m_
/F/ (labiodental nasal) _w_
/n'/ (retroflex nasal) _n_
/N\/ (uvular nasal) _ng_
/r'/ (retroflex rhotic) _r_
/K/ (alveolar lateral unvoiced fricative) _lh_
/K\/ (alveolar lateral voiced fricative) _lz_
/|\|\/ (lateral alveolar click) (I use || below
since it's easier) _!_
/?/ (glottal stop) _'_
/f_>/ (labiodental unvoiced ejective fricative) _f_
/v_</ (labiodental voiced implosive fricative) _v_
(While the last two dont seem like the actual
descriptions, they are distinct sounds.)
/FaKp_>i/ after _walhpi_
/dae_k/ before _dae~_
/Ka:m/ sibling _lhaam_
/b_<Y:t'i/ parent _byyti_
/mEKa:/ child _melhaa_
/b_<Yt'i:/ flatbread _bytii_
/Ki:/ kiln _lhii_
/Ef_>a:_k/ take, eat _efaa~_
(more will be given below)
Nouns are inflected only for regular plural and for
collective or mass plural.
the "regular" plural is formed as follows:
A nasal is prefixed to the beginning of the word that
assimilates in place of articulation to the first
sound. (Thus, uvular with uvualr, bilabial with
bilabial, retroflex with retroflex, labiodental with
labiodental). Where things get tricky is with
laterals, nasals and vowels. Before front vowels, the
sound /F/ is used as a plural marker, before back
vowels the sound /N\/ is used. Before laterals the
retroflex nasal /n'/ is used.
Before nasals the nasal itself is reduplicated and
then followed by the vowel /i/.
du' /d'u?/ fish > ndu' fish /n'd'u?/
byyti /b_<Y:t'i/ parent > mbyyti parents /mb_<Y:t'i/
gen /g\_<En'/ person > nggen people /N\g\_<En'/
lze' /K\E?/ spoon > nlze' spoons /n'K\E?/
!aalza /||a:K\a/ squirrel > n!aalza /n'||a:K\a/
efaa~!i /Ef_>a:_k||i/ eater > wefaa~!i /FEf_>a:k||i/
o'di!i /O?d'i||i/ possessor > ngo'di!i /N\O?d'i||i/
we'e /FE?E/ fly > wiwe'e /FiFE?E/ flies
ngalh /N\aK/ I, me > ngingalh /N\@jN\aK/ we, us
melhaa /mEKa:/ child > mimelhaa /mimEKa:/ children
(I dont have an example of a retroflex nasal yet)
The collective plural is relatively simple after all
that. It is formed with the prefix ba- /b_<a/:
toon /t'O:n'/ water > batoon /b_<at'O:n'/ downpour
lhpaa~ /Kp_>a:_k/ fog > balhpaa~ /b_<aKp_>a:_k/ lots
ngooro /N\O:r'O/ locust > bangooro /b_<aN\O:r'O/ a
These guys are pretty interesting. The tense system is
pretty easy. There's just an inflected past tense. The
bare stem is used as the present. Other verbal ideas
are derived by means of particles. The past tense is
formed by reduplicating the verbal root.
efaa~ /Ef_>a:_k/ to take, eat
efaa~efaa /Ef_>a:_kE_kf_>a:_k/ ate
(no need to write the ~ for creaky voice more than
once, since creaky voice spreads)
vi /v_<@j/ hold
vivi /v_<@jv_<j/ held
Some verbs are compounds, these still just
reduplicate the verbal root:
to:nefaa~ /t'O:nEf_>a:_k/ to drink
lze'vi /K\E?v_<@j/ to cook, serve
lze'vivi cooked, served
From this basis however, different directional and
manner prefixes can be added to the root to talk about
different types of action.
lh(e)- /K(E)/ adds a meaning of _fast and random_
i'- /i?/ adds a meaning of _slow and deliberate_
da- /d'a/ adds a meaning of _roundtrip_
That's all we have so far, but others are planned.
These change the meaning of the verb considerably:
di /d'i/ to be located, be at
lhdi /Kd'i/ to be scattered all about haphazardly
lze'vi /K\E?v@j/ to serve, cook
lhelze'vi /KEK\E?v@j/ _to dole out fast and with
little regard to where the food winds up_
i'lze'vi /i?K\E?v@j/ to carefully apportion out
(or in the cooking sense:) _to cook slowly and
evenly_ In a passive sense, this becomes: to be
simmering, to be slow-roasting.
qi /q_>@j/ to go, move on foot, be well, function
daqi to go and come back, to make a trip
lhdaqi to run about willy-nilly and return
lhqi to scatter about
i'qi to move carefully testing out the path"
In all of these cases, the past tense is formed by
reduplicating only the root.
These come divided into three types. First there are
proclitic role particles which help define a noun's
role in the sentence. Then there are enclitic clausal
particles that show how the phrase or clause that
preceded them is viewed by the speaker. The third is a
The role particles so far are:
o' commitative with
nga benefactive for, to (or untranslatable)
pe source from
The clausal particles so far are:
ea~ emphatic or contrastive (and vocative with
lhovi softener particle _so be it, anyway, you know_
olhelh regret particle
The other particles so are are:
ge negative particle (precedes the word/phrase like
qa future tense particle
te malefactive particle
SENTENCES AND NOTES
Nouns may be marked with any proclitic particle if the
semantics of the sentence allows:
efaa~ nga ngalh du'
take ben. I fish
"I eat fish" (where the fact that you're being
benefited by eating, nourished etc, is being marked by
You can further change this sentence by applying an
nga ngalh ea~ efaa~ du'
be. I emph. take fish
"I am eating fish for myself"
Or you can emphasize and deemphasize the subject the
du' ea~ efaa~ ngalh
fish emph. take I
"the fish are eaten by me"
lhpaa nga ngalh "I am being rained on"
rain ben. I
This specifies that the rain is falling down upon you.
If you want to specify that you and the rain were in
the same set of circumstances and setting, then you'd
lhpaa mi ngalh "It's raining, I (am there)"
rain exp. I
Or you can emphasize the fact that you're being
adversely affected by the rain:
lhpaa nga ngalh te "It's raining on me"
rain ben. I mal.
And you can further emphasize this with the emphatic
lhpaa nga ngalh tea~ (contraction of te ea~)
rain be. I mal.emph.
"It's raining on me!!"
I think that's okay for right now, since this is a
large post, and I need to do some actual work now..
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