Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

New Language: Zhyler (Noun Classes)

From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 10, 2002, 9:52
    So, I really liked Turkish, so I thought I'd create a Turkic like
language.  I drafted one up, kind of got bored with it, and left it.  The
other day I took a look at it again, found many things I didn't like, so I
had to "change" them, and ended up making an almost totally different
language.  One of the things I incorporated (don't ask me why), is what has
come to be a rather large noun class system (20 classes).  What I was
wondering is if people who speak languages with noun classes in them could
take a look at my classes and see if they make sense, seem natural, etc.
Here it goes (snipped from my Appleworks document):

Shoot, hold on.  I can already see there are going to be some transcription
issues here.  Okay.  First, [a] is a back, unrounded vowel, not a front
unrounded vowel.  [oe] is a close-mid, front rounded vowel (I don't know the
symbol :(  Sorry).  [M], of course, is a high, back, unrounded vowel, but the
other places you see capital letters (aside from [S] and [Z], and the
affricates they appear in) represent something entirely different.  As I say
below, the first of each pair represents the suffix, the second the pronoun.
So each of the suffixes have an underspecified vowel, which you represent in
real life with a capital letter.  Unfortunately, most of these have SAMPA
values.  So, the following represent different sets of underspecified vowels
(there are a ton, so I won't detail them): /N/, /A/, /O/, /E/, /Q/, /I/, /X/,
/J/, /Y/, /U/, /F/, /B/ and /W/.  Of course, that has nothing to do with the
semantics, does it...?  Oh well:

The suffixes associated with the noun classes attach to all nouns, and also
appear in subject or object position in verbs, where relevant.  The other
form is the pronominal form, which is rare, but there.  Here be the classes,

i.) -kA/ka: Sentient beings (humans or imagined intelligent life) which don't
have a particular career or job or title associated with them: man, relative,
mother, aunt, boy...
ii.) -vEn/ven: Animals that live on the land and have four legs and fur:
bears, dogs, mice, raccoons, horses...
iii.) -ZFl/Zil: Animals that fly that aren't insects: birds, bats...
iv.) -mXs/mos: Animals that live (essentially) in the water and swim or
ungulate: fish, jellyfish, rays, skates, sharks, whales, dolphins, seals...
v.) -dI/di: Sentient beings that have a job or career or title associated
with them: king, teacher, blackbelt, sage, lawyer, doctor...
vi.) -bOl/bol: Plants that stick up out of the ground and are higher than
one's knee: trees, bushes, some flowers, creeping vines...
vii.) -jJ/ju: Indestrubtible/non-living natural objects: mountains, lakes,
oceans, stars, planets, rocks, dirt...
viii.) -kIz/kyz: Animals that live on the land, have four legs and no fur:
frogs, lizards, turtles, elephants, rhinos, hippos...
ix.) -tSYb/tSoeb: Insects: beetles, ladybugs, butterflys, dragonflys, flies...
x.) -mUs/mus: Animals that crawl along the ocean floor: crabs, sea slugs,
xi.) -lEr/lar: Plants that cover things or raise no higher than one's knees:
grass, moss, certain types of flowers...
xii.) -mAl/mel: Other land animals: kangaroos, gorillas, monkeys...
xiii.) -tF/te: Mollusks, sea plants and other water animals: seaweed,
xiv.) -DB/Da: Ideas, concepts, emotions, places (e.g. names of
xv.) -SW/SM: Things made by humans that a man of average build can lift and
hold without difficulty: baskets, staplers, swords, books, headphones,
xvi.) -dZN/dZoe: Things made by humans that a man of average build cannot
lift: houses, trains, cars, steel girders, airplanes, boats...
xvii.) -nQ/nu: Actions, things one can do: running, (a/the) jump, pointing,
swimming, jogging, working, kyaking...
xviii.) -wW/wi: Substances: sweat, breath, fire, water, air, gas, slime,
xix.) -gI/gM: Parts of things: leaves, stems, limbs, pods, handles, seeds...
xx.) -bAn/ban: Food and all else.


"fawiT, Gug&g, tSagZil-a-Gariz, waj min DidZejsat wazid..."
"Soft, driven, slow and mad, like some new language..."
                    -Jim Morrison


John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
jesse stephen bangs <jaspax@...>
Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>