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Maya & Dis (was Unattested... but possible?)

From:Joseph a.k.a Buck <zhosh@...>
Date:Saturday, March 26, 2005, 5:55
I must change my setup here soon so that it doesn't use MS to screw up ...
erh, edit ... my replies to HTMLs.

> (That "e" just gets stuck onto the last definite noun in any clause.)
In Maya, 'e emphasizes the word. Maya tends to use 'a or 'o for clause endings.
> Do you know if the Tzeltal "te" and the Maya "te" are
> cognate, by any chance? (I think it's "tyi" in Ch'ol.)
I'm sure they are.
> There are just too many particles that start with "t". "Te"
Yep, same in Maya.
> Purely subjectively, I've always found some other
> verb-initial languages like Gaelic or Arabic to be pretty
> "possessive". That is, they make their possessive
> constructions do an awful lot of work. I have a car = Gaelic
> "There's a car at me!" I know Gaelic = "There's Gaelic at
> me!" That one always makes me laugh.
The only VSO natlang I know (sorta) - Welsh - doesn't use this structure for "have". But Navaho sorta does: I have a car = my car exists.
> The language I'm making for a friend's book does precisely
> this. Well, precisely its opposite. Voice indicates
> singular, lack thereof indicates plural. Null number and
> verb negation is handled by the nasal, as if you had ni- "not me/us!"
That I handle differently. The differences between a noun & verb & modifier in Dis are that a noun is spoken with a normal tone, verb is spoken with a high tone, and a modifier with a low tone: thus = eye, thús = see, thùs = visually. dis = words, dís = speak, dìs = orally. When I first started Dis, I considered making negation via nasalization of the vowel in the root, but alas could not do a tile for negation plus another accent on a vowel. I rejected affixing an "n" since suffixing -'n = definite article. So I cast negation via a modifier: shès sithús sen = I see you shès sithús sen = not I-see you To negate the pronoun: rishès rathús sen = I, having been negated, you are seen r- renders the verb passive/intransitive (sorta). All verbs in Dis are transitive.
> Are there any Mayan languages that mutate initial consonants?
I'm not aware of any languages indigenous to the western hemisphere that do, but that does mean there aren't any.
> What would these be used for? I am your... constructions?
> Like Nahuatl "nimotoch": "I am your rabbit."
Inclusive we: syedís = we (you & I) are speaking <something> zyedís = we (you & I & others) are speaking <something>