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CHAT: "Frogman" -- an IE language!

From:Daniel A. Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Friday, May 12, 2000, 17:24
While Orcish is an isolate language based on nothing, I decided to make
Frogman an Indo-European offspring.  But a lot has changed in the language,
as it has become a tonal language.  Here I'm working out the PIE-to-Frogman
phonological changes.

Frogman is both a "centum" and a "satem" language, and it also has undergone
a Grimm's Law-like change as Germanic and Armenian have.  So far, I have:


p    ph
b    p
bh   b
t    th/t.h
d    t/t.
dh   d/d.
k^   ch
g^   c
g^h  z
k    kh
g    k
gh   g
kw   qh
gw   q
gwh  ñ (= [N], the eng)

Note: Frogman Ch is an aspirated stop and voiceless C is plain (but may be
ejective/glottalized).  ch/c/z are palatal stops or postalveolar affricates,
and q/qh are uvular.  ñ is simply [N], the IPA "eng".

The dentals become retroflexes when palatized, as in Sanskrit.  Thus the
"dotted" th/t/d.

The tones are determined by a syllable-final consonant, which may only be a
simple voiceless stop.  So to do a little experimentation...

ad- near, at, to > at (mid tone)
agwh-no- lamb > àkno (low tone)
angh- tight, painful > ànk (low tone)
ant- front, forehead > ánt (high tone)
ap- take, reach > áp (high tone)
arg- shine; white; silver > ark (mid tone)
arH- fit together > arha (two mid tones)

(Thanks to Christopher Gwinn, who has a fairly exhaustive list of PIE roots
at his website:

The other consonants are h, which result in low tone (the three laryngeals
h1 h2 h3 are preserved; I'm not sure how each one is to be realized), s
(results in high tone), r, l, v (= w or v), and j (last four result in low
The vowels are, long and short, a e i o u; the PIE schwa is written as an
apostrophe (if at all).  Length is marked with a circumflex and tone is not
indicated in long vowels (they're almost always mid-tone anyway).

The diphthongs are monophthongalized like such:

ai > æ (ae ligature, pronounced as in "cat")
ei > ei (closed long e)
oi > ø (o-slash, as in French _peu_)
ui > y (French _tu_)
au > å (a-ring, as in "saw")
eu > w (high central unrounded, Russian bI)
ou > ou (closed long o)

So let's look at a few more words:

aus- shine > ås (aós)
band- drop > pãt (nasal a)
bhebhr / bhibhros beaver > bìprós (low then high)
bheH2-os light > behó
bhei- strike > bei
bheudh- aware, make aware > bw`t
  (Latin Extended Additional has w-grave for Welsh)
dghuH fish > tgù
dhE- put > dê (long e)
dhe-dhe-ti set, to > dedethi
dheH1s- holy > dèse?
duis twice > týs
ghaiso- stick, spear > gæso
ghdhies- yesterday > gd.é
  (note the retroflex d and the high tone of e)
ghduH fish > gtúh
gweHu-s ox, bull, cow > qehú (there's that uvular stop)
gwhedh- pray > ñèt (pronounced "nget")
iod that > jòt
kwat- ferment, be sour > qhát
-kwe and > -qhe
  (always used as a suffix and marks a sociative "case")
kwe  interrogitive > qhe (qhe? = what?)
nmrtos immortal > nmrtó (or ànmrtó, or even ànmèrtó)
nogw-s naked > noq, or noqó
pOi- drink > pôj (still a diphthing because o is long)
wal- strong > val (v here is pronounced [w])
wleik- flow > vléik (v here is pronounced [v])
wrmi- worm > vrmi or vèrmi (v is [w] because r is a vowel)

Gramatically, the language is a bit simpler; it behaves much more like an
agglutinative language than an inflected one.  There are as many as ten
cases (at least seven or eight anyway) but only one declension (like
Finnish); verb grammar might be a little tricky, but who knows...

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