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Re: The Unahoban Language

From:Roberto Suarez Soto <ask4it@...>
Date:Monday, September 16, 2002, 12:52
On Sep/13/2002, Jim Grossmann wrote:

> Apologies in advance for any defects in my criticisms and comments; others > may have made these points already, or made them better than I did, or > avoided my mistakes.
Don't worry. I found your review deep and very useful :-)
> c) But what happens when two words in a compound respectively end > and begin with strong vowels? For example, what if the order of > roots were "uru + ilhe"? Do you insert a consonant, or simply permit > the sequence of syllabic vowels, or do something else?
It simply stays like that: "uruilhe". Strong+strong brings a dipthong, while strong+weak makes the weak one disappear. Is it wrong/weird? :-?
> d) As for consonants, what clusters does your language permit, if > any? Are there long (geminate) consonants?
I'm still working on this, with help from Pablo David Flores O:-) So I'll post the results when I have this part tidied up.
> e) Pronunciation: A small point: I assume that you meant "aspirated" > rather than "aspired."
Yes O:-)
> f) I'm not familiar with the terms that you use to describe some > of the vowels. I don't know Spanish, alas. I don't know what you > mean by "close" vowel here. Is a close vowel rounded or high?
High, I think. The IPA chart I have has only two "dimensions" for vowels: front/central/back and open/open-mid/close-mid/close. I think this is open = low ("a" is "open"), closed = high ("u" is "closed"). So, a "closed e" would be a little more high than "normal e". Maybe it's easier to understand this way :-)
> g) I don't understand your description of "ae." Is it "a" as in English > "cat"?
I think so. "ae" would match the /a/ sound, while "a" would match /A/.
> How does one assign gender to an adjective that modifies groups of nouns > that stand, respectively, for masculine beings, feminine beings, and/or > other things?
Neuter. The neuter form is the catch-all form for almost everything not explicitly defined :-)
> What's the gender of the Unahoban word for "small" in the Unahoban phrase > for "small men and women"? (This isn't a big problem: there's no law > against repeating the adjective. "small-masc. men and small-fem. women.)
Hmmm. Neuter again? :-m :-) It's a bit like spanish: when speaking about masculine beings, you use the masculine form; when speaking about feminine beings, the feminine form. And when speaking about mixed groups, you use the masculine form too. So in Unahoban this role is accomplished by the neuter form. You could say even that spanish is a sexist language, while Unahoban is more politically correct ;-)
> Strictly speaking, perfective is an aspect and imperative is a mood.
Oops O:-)
Thank you very much, specially for taking the effort of reading the page and making this review :-) -- Roberto Suarez Soto


John Cowan <jcowan@...>