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Tallefkeul: tones and whatnot

From:Christopher Wright <faceloran@...>
Date:Sunday, August 25, 2002, 14:51

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.)

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.

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.

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

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.



Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>