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Introducing Mashish

From:Heather Rice <florarroz@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 3, 2002, 14:54
Hi guys!

Since Mashish is now in a more permanent form,  I am
going to give you a little sketch of it.

Phonetics:  p,b,m,d,t,th,n,r,z,s,sh,zh,ch,
Vowels:  long a,e,i,o,u
short `a,`e,`i,`u
nasal a~,o~,u~

Vowel Harmony:  there is vowel harmony between
different vowels.  Some vowels (a,e,i) cannot occur in
a sequence, so they are alternated thus:  a-i, e-u,
i-a.  So "banana" could not be pronounced this way,
rather it should be "banina".
syllable structure is almost excusively CV, and short
vowels are not pronounced at the end of a word.  If
there is a short vowel ending a word, it causes that
entire last syllable to not be pronounced.  So
"Kulok`u" is pronounced "Kulo", but "Kulok-" is
considered to be the noun's root.

There are three main word types, verb, noun and
adjective.  There are six genders, human, animate,
inanimate, moving inanimate (i.e. it moves, but it
ain't alive.  Ex. clock, calculator, water, etc),
unpalpable, abstract.  Nouns are pluralized (according
to the gender type), and have a demostrative.  Verbs
have 3 persons, singular and plural.  There are two
conjugations that are determined by the type of
personal affixes, but there are four types of verbs,
depending upon phonetical ending and what gender of
noun they modify.  Tense is considered to be cyclical,
which is really cool when you begin to think about it.
 The near future is about to become the present, which
is about to become the past and around the circle
again to the future.  Adjectives are sometimes treated
like verbs, sometimes like nouns.  They have all their
own categories and subcategories and affixes.

Tone.  In Mashish tone doesn't mean pitch of voice,
but rather strength of word.  Its sort of like a
definite article, but much more.  (I got this idea
from work.  A doctor had just done brain surgery and
he was waiting for the patient to wake up and "wiggle
his toes" to make sure that all the proper nerves were
working and all and anyway, the patient wasn't awake
yet, but tossing around sort of restless like, and the
doctor was trying to hold his arm still so the monitor
could take his blood pressure and while holding his
hand, the doctor commented that he had "good tone"
meaning muscle strenth.)  So, adding tone to a word
adds strength of meaning.  It distinguishes the
difference between "I am a cook."  (Really, I'm a
student, but I cook my own meals.) and "I am a cook."
(I'm a professional chef.)

There's more to the conlang, but instead of typing on
and on about grammar, I included a little lullaby  I
wrote.  It's called "Vanila Mouse"  and its sort of a
play with the vowel harmony between a and i, e and u.
(Note, sometimes "y" is considered to be a i,
sometiems not.)  Accent on all last syllables.


Nenu ame tutush nenu
child my shsh child

Banina ti caokonyatlu
Banana yours eat-will-should

Banila-mish ka binaku
Vanilla-mouse here come-present-3ps

Do mashmi baku tutush nenu
orelse mouse-small come-3ps shsh child

Banila-myash ketu ketu
Vanilla-the-mouse verysmall verysmall

iByanina lanje tjanu
plural-the-Banana sweet helikes

Ga ti bahima kichva~n~ku
SUB you mother keep-from-him

Banila-myash de amemu
Vanilla-themouse from my-own

Nenu (or nene) = child
ame = kin possession 1 person sing
tutush = quiet, shsh
Banina = banana
ti = ownership possession 2 person sing
caoko = eat
nja = na + -j- = future
na = present
-j- = on affixes = irrealis,
on stem words = definite article
tlu = should, expectation
Banila = vanilla (surprise, this one)
mish = mouse
ka, ki = here
ba = come
ku = he, him
3ps = 3 person sing
Do = or else
-mi = little, small
ketu = from k`ite, an adj that takes the mood vowel
mutation of root verbs.  ketu is an intessive form of
i- = plural
lanje = sweet like sugar
tyanu = from the verb tan`u, present, 3 person of a
weak verb
Ga = subject marker that is optional
bahima = mother
kach = keep
ve~n~, va~n~ = from somebody
de = preposition "from"
-mu in "amemu" = one, place hold for a person, so
"amemu" = my (ame-) one, own (-mu).

Have to go,

"Like apples of gold in settings of silver,
So is a word in the right circumstance."

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