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Tama-i update

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Thursday, October 2, 2003, 19:04
Million dollar question of the day: should Tama-i be spelled "Tama-i",
"Tamai", or "Tamahi"? (I'm inclined to go with the last, since it reflects
the pronunciation better, I being the one complaining about Pinyin, etc.

OK, here's a quick update on Tama-i, with a sample text (as suggested by
Joe) that would give you an interesting comparison with Ebisedian.

1) I've decided to move Tama-i later in the history of the Ferochromon,
   to somewhere around the early middle part of the Era of Scattering (as
   opposed to the early part of the same). In the early part of this Era
   was Early Tama-i, which represents an intermediate stage between
   Ebisedian and Tama-i. This means that more radical sound changes have
   occurred, as well as the development of radical new grammatical

2) Here is the tentative list of sound changes:


[8] -> [@\] or [w@\] depending on context
[y] -> [i]  or [wi]
[o] -> [@\]
Stressed [@\] -> [1] (still a bit unsure about this one)
Unstressed [@\] -> elided
Final [i] -> [I]
[A] -> [O]
[&] -> [e]      (in direct contrast to Ebisedian's aversion of [e])

(Lots of dipththongs also developed, but I haven't fully worked them out


[G] -> [g]
[x] -> [k_h]
[N] -> [g~]     (Not nasal stop, but nasalization of the following vowel,
                eg. [Na] -> [ga~])
[k_h] -> [k]
[D] -> [z]
[T] -> [t_h]
[t@\] -> [?]    eg. [t@\"mi] -> [?m="mi]
[t_h] -> [t]
[Z] -> [z]
[S] -> [s]
[dZ] -> [dz]
[tS] -> [ts]
[tS_h] -> [ts_h]
[@\l@\] -> [l=]
[@\r`@\] -> [r`=]
[v] -> [w]
[f] -> [hw]
[p_h] -> [p]

There are probably more changes to add to this list, esp. on the vowel
side, but it's pretty close to what I have in mind for Tama-i now. Also
interesting is the development of many consonant clusters which were
studiously avoided in Ebisedian.  The aversion to overclustering is still
somewhat retained, but treated differently: rather than inserting [@\]
(like Ebisedian does), syllabification occurs, as can be seen in the
[@\r`@\] -> [r`=] change.  For example, _l3r3si'_ [l@\r`@\"si] became

3) New verb forms: verbs now have (optional) personal endings, developed
   from fusion with personal pronouns, and are optionally inflected for
   tense. These personal endings retain case inflections; it is likely
   that Tama-i's descendent would have trigger marking with an Ebisedian
   case system... >:-)

4) And now, the Tama-i version of the classic (ahem) Ebisedian story of
   the Woman and Her Son (given with IPA transcription so you can compare
   with the Ebisedian version):

Tama-i                                  IPA
------                                  ---
hilra bista' bi'lni.                    hIlra bIs"ta "bilnI
hicr3 zi'li h3mr3'nei.                  hItzr`@\ "zilI h@\"mr`1nej
ka'K3zd0i zi'l0 h3ki'g3.                "kak_h@\zdOj "zilO h@\"k1g@\
kue ll3's zilu bistei'                  kwe l="l@\s zilu bIs"tej
k3'mat, gi'jli gi'?                     "k@\mat, "gidzlI "gi?
le's l3'ru hisi'tm.                     les "l@\r`u hI"sitm=
bista' bi'ln0i tau'mat,                 bIsta "bilnOj tawmat
his0' mi'mr3n3 hilr3'sli.               hi"sO "mimr`@\n@\ hIl"r`@\slI.
m3ka hisi' h3mr3'n3 hilr3.              m@\ka hI"si h@\"mr`@\n.n@\ hIlr`@\
m3ci' ke'g3sl0i hilr3 h3'jm0.           m@\"tsi "keg@\slOj hIlr`@\" h@\dzmO
k3k3'k gu h3jmei' le's l3'rutm?         k@\"k1k gu h@\dzmej' les "l@\r`utm=
kuez t0' k3'mat,                        kwez "tO "k@\mat
h3zda gi'jl0i k3'k gislu f3k3' z3 v33'. h@\zda "gidzlOj "k@\k gIslu
                                        hw@\"k@\ z@\ "w@\:
hale's. hale's m.                       ha"les. ha"les m=

I'll give 50,000 brownie points to whoever can parse this without help.
:-P (I'll post an interlinear later.)  2,000,000 brownie points to whoever
can trace the Ebisedian origins of each word. :-P :-P

Especially difficult in this passage are the pronouns. Here's a hint:  1st
person pronouns are NOT derived from their Ebisedian counterparts, but
from the Ebisedian _sili_. The other pronouns remain the same, but all
Tama-i pronouns often behave like clitics. They also exhibit "latent
initial consonants", which I'll explain later. :-P

Besides the misbehaviour of pronouns, there are also grammatical shifts,
including a sometimes different preference for word order, and the more
common appearance of prepositions.  Ebisedian's nominator sentences are
obsolete, and have been mostly replaced by the subjective case. However,
for topics and titles, the preposition _ilra_ (from the Ebisedian
preposition _ili'ro_ + _a_), "about", is employed.

(BIG HINT:) The Ebisedian particles _ti_ and _timi_ have become completely
cliticized, and have lost all their vowels. They exhibit latent initial
consonants as well.


No! I'm not in denial!


H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>