Etabnannery, no Maggelity (long)
|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:
- 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
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).