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Etabnannery, no Maggelity (long)

From:Tristan <kesuari@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 11, 2003, 12:55
(In case you didn't read the subject and can't see the scroll bar (or
whatever your mail client uses to indicate the length), this is a
horribly long email.)

Sally Caves wrote:
> So YOU'RE the culprit, Tristan! :)
Of course ;)
> Does RRRRRRamnunari have a language
That u doesn't make sense. The vowel there is essentially the same as the one in 'cat' in Australian and American English. (I'm assuming you're trying to spell 'etabnannery'.)
> it's attached to? A web site? Where does the emPHASis go in the word?
Of course: Etabnanni /ra:2mn&2n/ 2=low tone. In Etabnanni, the stress always falls on the first syllable of a word, but in the English word etabnannery, the second syllable (or third if you evilly pronounce the initial e-) gets the stress. There is no website. As I've either just explained or am about to badly explain in another email I've either sent or haven't yet, there isn't really a grammar to Etabnanni. It's probably my only language that has a better word-list than morphology/syntax. Mainly because I *never* throw out words because it's boring enough to think of roots for them... Anyway, if you can consider a collection of: - orthography; - phonology; - about 50 words; - a grammar whose basic idea is fixed but which has an ever-changing implementation because I either lose it or decide I don't like it; - historical sound changes from five languages ago into it, though only the changes from Middle to Modern Etabnanni is well-defined; and, - smallish amount of historic events that have caused changes to the language, both written and spoken a language, then do so. Otherwise, don't. A note on the orthography, as this is the most well-defined part of Etabnanni. I started work on Etabveng /ra:2mne2/ (Etabnanni Orthography) while I was being bored in a Japanese class and being interested by the Eastern Asian orthographies, and it shows. There are three scripts, one ideographic (I don't think I've ever named it), one alphabetic (the RAAWMNEW /ra:2me2/) and one that occupies the ground in between alphabet and syllabry (the etabveng). The scripts are written right-to-left, top-to-bottom (like Hebrew or Arabic). Like CJK scripts, it is a fixed-width script, written in 'boxes'. (Just to let you know, the alphabetic RAAWMNEW is always transliterated in capital letters and the etabveng is always transliterated in lowercase letters, even proper nouns at the beginnings of sentences. I don't, then, have a good argument for why 'Etabveng', in the sense of the orthography as a whole, 'Etabnanni' and a handful of other words, get capital letters except because that's what I've always done (and it's handy to distinguish between the Etabveng and the etabveng, even if I hate that kind of a distinction). One or two words have a nativised English orthography, so the people who speak Etabnanni I generally call 'the Thaff' (/Ta:f/, I promise it makes sense for my dialect even if it doesn't in yours) rather than 'the tab'. They are also sometimes call the Bats, this is their special animal. Yes, that 'tab' is 'bat' backwards is a complete co-incidence.) Anyway, the ideographic is borrowed from a neighbouring tribe. Unfortunately, Natalia Gruscha (she's since changed her surname when she got married but I can't remember what it is), who is/was in charge of said neighbouring tribe never got around to developing the ideographs that I know of. Or maybe a couple were made, I dunno. So in the end, only about dozen are used for some grammatical words (e.g. articles), and when writing in Etabnanni, I would just put in a placeholder or a highly convoluted ligature for them. The RAAWMEW and etabveng both decend from the same script (as does the Old Finnstek script; the modern Finnstek script was modelled on it but is simpler or more complex, depending on whether you look at the printed/formal form or the cursive form). The common script was a very ugly and probably hard-to-read script that was 'built up' into phonemes (so you would have a symbol for stops, points of articulation etc. similar to that script of Tolkien's). It was thus similar to the Modern Finnstek printed script, especially in the consonants. Unfortunately, I've lost my reconstruction of this script and everything on Old Finnstek, so trying to accurately re-reconstruct it would be like trying to reconstruct Common Germanic from Dutch and Flemish. (No, I did reconstruct the common script after designing at least the RAAWMEW and etabveng (and, less relevantly, the New Finnstek Script too), possibly the Old Finnstek script as well.) The RAAWMEW is, as I said, a phonemic script. It is sometimes referred to as the Angular Etabveng, because it is. It has a perfect one-to-one mapping and is used in pronunciation dictionaries and when spelling borrowings from languages that do not have a native right-to-left orthography. (For languages with native r2l scripts, the native script is generally used.) For historical reasons, tone is encoded on the consonant *after* the vowel, or with W (the letter used to denote a low tone comes from the same original letter as the letter used to denote Middle Etabnanni /w/, transliterated as 'w'). The letter ASCIIfied 'n' represents the sound /N/ and contrasts with 'N' (which is /n/). The letters ASCIIfied as 'WM', 'WN', and 'WR' are actually single letters, and represent the low-tone forms of /m/, /n/ and /r/.* The script was originally a religious script, but as the Thaff became more secular, it lost its significance and came to be used first for abbreviations before gaining its current use. The Thaff see the advantage of a phonemic script and as words change pronunciation, the spellings change too. *The observant reader may theorise a low-tone form of /N/. It doesn't exist because /N/ never exists at the end of a syllable, so there is no vital reason for it to be. While a word with a structure like VlCV (Vl=low-toned vowel, C=consonant, V=vowel) would normally use the low-tone form of C, 'Wn' is used if C=/N/. The etabveng is the normal script and the reason why 'etabnannery' is a word. It is sometimes called the Cursive Etabveng. The spellings were standardised during the Middle Etabnanni period and represent a perfectly phonemic script of that time; however, Etabnanni has changed dramatticaly between the Middle and Modern periods, losing a voicing distiction in consonants, picking up a two-level tone distinction in vowels, simplifying consonant clusters from something like (heavily simplified) CCVCC or maybe CCCVCC in extremes to CVC (with no CC other than long consonants), monophthongising diphthongs and suffering i-mutation. Searching the archives for Etabnanni will probably find you a list of all the sound changes if you're that interested; I think the first message that mentions the language should have them (there may have been some subtle changes since then). The etabveng is written somewhat like the Korean script, in groups of almost syllables (a maximum of six letters in one box in extreme cases, though normally you would use multiple boxes if you had more than four letters). Lots and lots of ligatures are used, often with specific meanings (and thus verge on being ideographs). There are three different forms of the letters: the top form, the full form and the bottom form. The full form is used in the middle of 'syllables' and when the letters are used in isolation. The letters may all be stretched to accomadate more sounds into a space. Normally only the bottom form is, though, and the letter spreads out to the next box. (Oh, also, there are two standards of writing the etabveng: one holds that whenever possible, vowels should be the full-form letter; the other couldn't care less if something represented a consonant or a vowel.) The etabveng has a marker for Middle Etabnanni stress, which was free, and has different letters for long and short vowels. In the ASCIIfication, both are lost. In the proper Latinisation, they aren't. (Anyway, at this point, I will say that, though it looks incredibly different, the full-form of the etabveng was originally designed from incredibly and purposefully warn down syllables using Latin and Greek letters as a starting point. This explains why the etabveng for w has so many points (I think it's over seven in the formal full form but my nearest copy of it is outside of arms-reach and I'm too lazy to stand up just now). Full and half (i.e. top and bottom)-forms don't necessarily come from the same character.) Tristan (has written way too much).