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Lin and Gulf and how they may relate to Tech

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Saturday, April 20, 2002, 22:33
All this discussion of language compactness in Lin and Gulf has inspired me
greatly. I had this in mind for a long time, but now I got a clear vision of
what I'm seeking for my conlang....

First, Tech is essentially Arabic and Armenian spoken simultaneously by a
Georgian in a hurry. Why I say this: the whole idea of "word skeletons"
forming the basic vocabulary comes from the lexology of Semitic languages,
and the reduction of words to many consonants and few vowels came from
Georgian. Patterns of stress and sandhi come from Indo-European. Plus the
vocabulary (at least the first thousand-plus roots) are taken from
Proto-Nostratic (Bomhard version plus some comparison with Dolgopolsky),
Proto-Indo-European (reformed and glottalicized Pokorny version) and
Proto-Semitic. Later additions from Arabic, Hebrew, Georgian and Armenian
might fill in the gaps later; I choose these four languages for their
phonetics and the fact they include "glottalized" consonants. Plus I just
happen to like those languages a lot.

The idea of "compression", which was done quite effectively with Lin (I
still need to read all of Ray's descriptions), also came from languages like
Georgian, where apparently Proto-Nostratic roots lost pre-accent vowels and
formed those initial clusters Kartvelian languages are infamous for. Only I
go further, syncopating all or most of the vowels AFTER the stressed
syllable, and thus end up with long consonant strings at the end of words.
This also creates palatized and labiovelarized consonants, potentially
tripling the phonemic inventory. Also, a word derivation is often a matter
of just moving a vowel over a space or two, or changing it, or Umlauting it
(yes, there's some form of residual vowel harmony just as there is consonant
"softening" and "w-coloring").

Armenian also has some wicked clusters, and these occur at the end of words
and not just word-initially. It also includes a lot of those Greek loans I
want in Tech (and so does Georgian).

What I'm really excited about, however, is what may result from all those
consonant clusters: something I call fusion. Just as hydrogen atoms fuse
into helium atoms and release massive energy in our sun, certain consonant
clusters may cause the creation of things like clicks from clusters
containing velars or uvulars (yes, two kinds of clicks based on point of
rear-mouth closure!), double articulations (like the "kp" sounds of many
African languages), unusual articulations like linguolabialized "pt"-like
sounds found in a few Papuan languages....

But that will be one of the last stages in formation of the language, and
that would be the product of rapid speech of a more
phonemically-conservative standard language. Here is where the hundreds of
potential consonant phones may show up. Don't know if I'll reach Gulf's
alleged 800 though. Don't really care anyhow.

Speaking of. The Techians (the name Tech will be used after all because it
turns out to be a possible derivative of the root t'-k "to be noble,
gentleman" and non-ejective voiceless stops are aspirated) are an advanced
humanoid race -- elves in fact. Their species, _homo sapiens sylvanus_, is
believed by some to be an incarnation of angels or jinns, usually but not
always benevolent in nature. Females are often regarded by some Muslims to
be apparitions of houris, the maidens of Paradise.

Ob-OT: What other fictional creations of incarnate angels, spirits, even
gods, are there (not counting ancient mythologies like Greek and Nordic)?