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Some features of Quaelits

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Friday, November 3, 2000, 15:46
Roots are usually bisyllabic; pronouns, case markers and bound morphemes
are usually monosyllabic. If the root begins with a consonant, it is
usually a noun (or nominalized verb); if it begins with a vowel, it is a
verb (or other predicative word).

When these two are linked together, it forms a sort of "epithetical"

'eema "father"
=algwan "to speak"
'eemalgwan "speaking father" (i.e. "loquacious, outspoken, talkative
(' = glottal stop; ee = long e)

hromts'we "stone"
=ich'wän "to cut, cleave, incise"
hromts'wich'wän "cutting stone" (i.e. knife, axe, arrowhead)
(ts = /ts/, ch = /tS/, C' = ejective consonant, ä = fronted a)

And there's even a use of a "swear word" as an intensifier:
'amswél'ee "wild turkey" (a rare trisyllabic)
=axwen "to curse, damn"
'amswél'eexwen "bloody/damn/f**king wild turkey"
(é = high tone on e; x = /x/)

And that brings me to prosodic tone. Bisyllabics may be one of three
tones: atonal, oxytonal and barytonal. I use no accent, acute accent and
grave accent, respectively, to mark these. To use a meaningless (or
onomatopoeic?) word:

atonal: haha
oxytonal: háha (acute accent on first a)
barytonal: hahà (grave accent on second a)
But that grave accent becomes an acute (hahá) if it is the last word
before a full stop, colon, semicolon, comma or other pause, as in Greek.
(Or is it the other way around?)

The tones come from PNC "tense" consonants, but I made them affect the
vowel, or else I'd have way too many consonant phonemes.

The last feature -- and this one I'm still working on -- is the occurence
of "laryngeals" (glottal and pharyngeal consonants), which affect vowels
and resonants (r, l, n, m). Vowels and resonants can become
voiceless/aspirated, glottalized ("creaky voice" or "checked") and/or
pharyngealized. In rare instances, stops, affricates and fricatives may
be "laryngealized".

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