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Re: Grammatical tones

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Saturday, August 24, 2002, 2:23
On Fri, Aug 23, 2002 at 10:30:43PM -0300, Pablo David Flores wrote:
> H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...> writes: > > > I don't know how plausible it is, but Ebisedian inflects gender by > > shifting the stressed (high-pitched) syllable. Of course, in many cases > > the consonant changes as well, but that is only because of emphasis. > > I'm working on a similar thing for Senu Yivokuchi, only > the tone is lost in the modern language. I also wanted > to ask the experts whether this is plausible. It's quite > similar to the Ebisedian emphasis-triggered alternation > (I swear I didn't know!) but this is a human language > and E. is not...
But Ebisedian *is* supposed to be a human language. The Ebisedi are more or less human manifestations, albeit in a rather unusual universe.
> The modern language has pairs like these: > > bir- 'know' / pir- 'wise man, sage' > deka- 'painful' / teka- 'sick person, suffering one'
Interesting. Ebisedian has two ways of forming such nouns: 1) the usual way is to take the radix form of an adjectival noun, and prefix it to _bis33'di_, "person". E.g., rosa'ni [r`o"sani], "wise" rosanobis33'di [r`o%sanobi"s@\di], "wise person" 2) an idiomatic way is to prefix the adjectival noun with one of the proper noun prefixes, thus turning it into a name, or a special designation: Kasa'ni [k_ha"sani], "expertise", "mastery"(*) oKasa'ni [?ok_ha"sani], "Expert"(*) (epicene name) iKasa'ni [?ik_ha"sani], "Expertise" (personified(*) abstract noun) (*) there really isn't an adequate translation for _Kasa'ni_. It refers to a superlative, ultimate mastery, the culmination of _cusa'ni_, intelligence, _rosa'ni_, wisdom in dealing with matters and things, coupled with the learnings of experience. The _hoKasanii'_ (pl. of _oKasa'ni_) are a special group of people among the Ebisedi, the pioneers and masters of learning. (Long con-history here which I will omit. :-P) Thus the designation _oKasa'ni_ is special; it's not just an ordinary "expert" but a capitalized "Expert". (**) not really *person*-ified, because _i-_ is neuter; but it does indicate a special designation, such as we distinguish between "the thing" and "the Thing" in English. [snip]
> Is an intermediate stage plausible (e. g. creaky voice > becoming an intrusive glottal stop or glottalization, > as in /b_ki_kr/ -> /b?i_kr/ -> /p'i_kr/ or /bhi_kr/)? > The change from creaky voice to /?/ to /h/ would fit in > nicely, since /bh/ -> /p/ regularly. (SYV has "aspirated" > voiced stops alongside unvoiced ones, like PIE.)
Sounds plausible to me. :-) I'm no expert at phonology, though; so I leave it to somebody more qualified than I am to answer your question. T -- The peace of mind--from knowing that viruses which exploit Microsoft system vulnerabilities cannot touch Linux--is priceless. -- Frustrated system administrator.