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more blabbing about Tech, the eternally unfinished conlang

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 21, 2003, 13:14
Finally, I'm coming up with ideas for my conlang that don't involve
consonant phonology! Some features of the language I have SO FAR:

1) Tech roots are based on two-consonant cores, usually with an extension of
a third consonant, and one core vowel (two in some cases), with nouns and
verbal nouns of the form CVC-(V)C- and verbs as CVCVC. Verbs are derived in
much the same way as Semitic, with internal inflections (lenghtened vowels,
geminated or prenasalized consonants, affixes). Pronouns and particles, the
"undeclinables", are of the form CV.

But that's for Old Tech. In the modern language, short vowels in open
syllables disappear, leaving only the residue of a palatized (for /i/ and
/e/) or labiovelarized (for /u/ and /o/) preceding consonant, but no change
with /a/ and /@/. Words with no vowels at all will occur rather frequently,
like /bwlw?\/ "to blossom, mature, prosper".

2) There will be a complex, two-dimensional case system, like I and some
other members of this list discussed just earlier -- local cases have the
two axes of location and movement, and non-nominative cases can be
genitivized (as in Basque). Both prefixes and suffixes are used for
declensions (with appropriate initial mutations for the noun, compare to

3) Words have a literal meaning and a number of metaphorical meanings. In
fact, I was able to apply Bomhard's Nostratic roots in the context of an
"erotoglossia" -- a specialized language for sexual purposes. I won't get
into the specifics here since this is a family-oriented forum....

4) Bomhard's Nostratic roots will be used for the core vocabulary. The next
"layer" would consist of Indo-European (or Eurasian if possible),
Afro-Asiatic, Kartvelian, Dravidian, etc., but with speculative Nostratic
retro-shifts. I expect at least "version 1.0" of the language to resemble
Kartvelian more than anything (ejective stops/affricates), followed by
Semitic (pharyngeals).

5) Labiovelars in Common Tech, i.e. /kw/ and /gw/, have the reflexes /kp)/
and /gb)/ (and mutations /xf)/, /Gv)/ and /Nm)/) in at least one African
dialect. Another dialect somewhere has /fw/ and /vw/, while one in Central
Asia has /xv/ and /Gv/. Most dialects have vowel harmony/Umlaut along the
lines of Uralic and Altaic.

6) There may be one African dialect that has clicks, but I don't know how
I'm going to come up with those, if I do in the first place.

7) Neuter nouns use the ergative, which will probably be a reversal of
nominative and accusative.

8) Adjectives follow nouns and agree in case, number and gender -- and
definiteness, meaning ALL words take the definite article if the noun does.
But there's the issue of "construct state", the |id.afah| of Arabic, where
the head noun doesn't take the definite article, or something like that.

But the definite article in the modern language has disappeared except
before words beginning with /?/, leaving only mutation of the initial
consonant that changes according to gender, number and case.

I really need to get a homepage for this langauge; I only have one rough FAQ
in the Files section for this Yahoo! list. ~Danny~


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>