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Re: Tallefkeul: tones and whatnot

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Monday, August 26, 2002, 7:44
En réponse à Christopher Wright <faceloran@...>:

> > I have added a system of tones to Tallefkeul. It's a five-tone system, > with low, middle, high, low-rising (hereafter RISING), and > high-falling > (hereafter FALLING) tones. The initial tone of just about every word > has > meaning, but since there are monosyllabic words, the subsequent tones > are > usually just there for pronunciation. (No slight toward phoneticians > intended.) I also changed the verbs so that tone conjugation has > information about the agent, whereas the other conjugation has > information on the patient. (I didn't realize that this was a > wonderful > system for an ergative language to have and horrible for a nominative > language until just now.) >
Is Tallefkeul nominative?
> Anyway, I was wondering how realistic this system of grammatical tones > is. If it isn't realistic, then I'll keep it; if it's realistic, I'll > make it a bit more difficult somehow. Christophe, I can't yet aspire > to > your abilities in making horrible complexities in language. >
Hehe, well, I didn't put tones in Maggel (actually, stress in Maggel is the only regular feature of the language. I figured that having one regular feature in the language - but only one - would make it even stranger than if it had none ;))) ), but that's because I ate enough tones with Itakian (which, with its complex rules of phonetic realisation makes the whole thing even more complicated...). As for your system, I don't think it's completely unrealistic. But since I don't know much about the mechanisms of tonogenesis, I cannot give a definite answer.
> Tones indicate on nouns both gender and article (that is, whether it > is > definite or indefinite). Feminine indefinite is indicated by a high > tone, > definite with falling tone. Masculine indefinite has a rising tone, > definite has low tone. Adjectives try to agree with nouns in gender > (using the same system, but with gender alone), except when it's > inconvenient for pronunciation. >
Or add some tone sandhi rules!!! They are one of the lovely complications of many tone languages ;)))) . My Itakian is packed with them (but it's packed with all kinds of sandhi anyway ;))) ).
> As you may recall, Tallefkeul has a Welshish system for verbs. There > is > currently one inflecting verb (hereafter COPULA) used as an auxiliary > for > all other verbs. The tone on the copula indicates agent person. Three > persons are indicated for this, whereas patients have four persons (or > actually a second third person). First person is indicated by middle > tone, second by falling, third by low. > > The lexical verb contains information on number. It can conjugate for > singular, plural, few, and many, though the latter two are not often > used. They are indicated by middle, rising, low, and high tones > respectively. > > I think that's all. I'll include a sample of this system with tones. > > Rezhainf shourlae thallom dharyoki (m, indefinite). > L R M F M L R M F > One should outrage never anyone. > > The significant tones in the sentence are the first, third, and > seventh. > Indicative sentences don't like ending in a high tone. After the > significant tones, that was the only rule I had to consult other than > the > list of valid tone combinations: LL, LR, RM, ML, MF, MH, FM, HH, HF, > HM. > > I have to lie down now, as I'm feeling empty-headed. >
Understandable :)) . Well, I like what I've seen so far. Tone is an extremely nice thing to complicate a language (especially when it's not written down ;))) ). About complicated languages, I've just discovered a new irregular feature in Maggel. Now you may think that I've already reached the summum of irregularity with what I have already. And yet I just managed to achieve more!! How? Well, until now Maggel had words that represented only remotely what was spoken, but in any case all sounds were represented, even if strangely or irregularly. Also, silent letters were common. But I've just discovered that Maggel also has the opposite of silent letters, i.e. sounds that are pronounced but cannot be found in the written word at all, even remotely!!! And I'm not talking about sounds appearing from the clash between incompatible sounds (like |himidu| being pronounced ['CE~mptU], with a epenthetic [p] between the incompatible [m] and [t]) but real phonemes!! The first example of a word containing this feature is |a fre|: the first, which is pronounced [@ fReId], with a phonemic /d/ which is not represented in the writing at all!!! So, haven't I reached a new level of complexity and irregularity or what? ;))) Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.