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Thoughts on my Gwr Language

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Monday, September 13, 2004, 2:27
In the course of the current relay, I composed the first substantial (well,
60 or so words!) text in this language, whose existence I've known about
ever since the Kash were discovered.  It's monosyllabic, tonal, analytical;
SVO, Adj-N, Possessor-Possessed.  Almost no morphology, but lots of little
particles, lots of compounding and serial verbs-- rather like what I imagine
Chinese or Vietnamese to be like. (1)

The person who received my version found it easy to translate (as I knew it
would be), and commented that likes analytical languages, "wish[ing] they
were more popular among conlangers."  It seems to be true that we don't
favor such languages (or do we, and I just haven't encountered many?); are
we so much in love with complexity?
Any thoughts or comments?  Any suggestions as to how an apparently
uncomplex language might be jazzed up?

There is some historical morphology, because the proto-language was
basically CVCV(C).  Modern speakers, however, would be completely unaware of
the relationship between llaq [d`_la?] (low-rising tone) 'tell a story,
narrate' and guÿng or gu@ng [gu_1N] (low tone) 'a story', but in fact they
derive from *guláp and *gúlap respectively.  (This is the fun part, almost
every proto-form can have two outcomes, and as I work thru the list of
proto-forms I'm finding many homophonic outcomes.)
(1) I've actually had some slight contact with Vietnamese-- a fellow student
and I once managed, with a dictionary, to mostly make sense out of a
linguistic article. (A _real_ one, not something by the pseudonymous Quang
Phuc Dong of the South Hanoi Institute of Technology :-) )

Favorite VN compound verb:  suc phuc 'to recover one's forces', which will
find its way into Gwr eventually; and perhaps Ngo will be a family name.
Diem [dz)yEm], even with native -m > ng, is not phonologically possible in
modern Gwr.


Isaac A. Penzev <isaacp@...>