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Interlinears for toma heylm

From:Amanda Babcock <langs@...>
Date:Thursday, November 11, 1999, 21:55
Ok, stuck at work with my customers all out of the office.  What to do?

How about I provide interlinears for my three t-shirt candidates?  Let me
do toma heylm first, since it's the one I submitted for the shirt.

        toma     ilom       delye           teryek      arya
        language aux:conditional here

Stress is on the first syllable.

Noun case is shown via prefixes and suffixes.  The only noun in the above
sentence is in the nominative, so it is bare.  Nouns have gender.  There
is a tendency for nouns ending in vowels to be male and those ending in
consonants to be female, but apart from that, it is not marked.

There are 6 cases.  Inexplicably, I can't find a genitive case.  I'll have
to consult the source documents when I get home, but I think this was one
of those "interesting" design decisions ;).  Affixes each have two forms,
one to attach to vowels and the other to attach to consonants.

The case affixes:
                                language        tongue

        Nom.    none            toma            elek
        Acc.    -u/-yu          tomayu          eleku
        Dat.    a-/ay-          atoma           ayelek
        Instr.  o-/oy-          otoma           oyelek
        Caus.   hi-/iy-         hitoma          iyelek
        Loc.    yu-/uy-         yutoma          uyelek

In the case of prefixes, stress remains on the first syllable of the root.
If the chart looks messy, try a fixed font with tab stops set to 8 spaces.

Pronouns are declined; "ilom" is the possessive form of the second person
singular.  Between them being declined into 6 cases, some of them being
gendered, and some of them having duplar forms as well as plural, there
are 46, and they are all irregular!  Plus, they have 6 cases, but they're
a completely different set than the nouns (oh dear).  Pronomial cases are
nominative, accusative, possessive, dative, ablative, and reflexive - I'm
not even sure that's a case.

Verbs agree in gender and number with the subject, much like
the past tense in Russian.  The verb "to belong" has the following forms:

teral   to belong
terot   belongs (f)
teryek  belongs (m)
???     belong (pl)  *my notes are at home!

There is another pattern for verbs:

dimitet         to walk
dimitil         walks (f)
dimityok        walks (m)
dimitrai        walk (pl)

Every verb belongs to one of these two patterns.  Which belongs to which
is a matter of memorization, but due to the different forms of the
infinitive it is not difficult to remember.

The copula, "ey", does not decline or take auxiliaries.  I now find this
annoying.  I sense a grammar reform coming on...

Now, as for tense, mood, and aspect of verbs, it uses the three-modifier
system that I picked up from an article on Creole grammars.

        seta    "anterior" tense
        delye   conditional mood
        dava    non-punctual aspect

eff dimitil:            I walk
eff seta dimitil:       I walked
eff seta delye dimitil: I wanted to walk or would have walked or was about
                                to walk; I was going to walk
eff seta dava dimitil:  I was walking or I used to walk
eff seta delye dava dimitil:    I would have been walking or was going to
                                habitually walk
eff delye dimitil:      I want to walk, would walk, am going to walk
eff delye dava dimitil: I want to/would/am going to be walking/to
                                habitually walk
eff dava dimitil:       I am walking or I habitually walk

There are some auxiliaries which work with "delye" to convey things like
"should", "what if...", "can" etc.  I don't like this either.  It's way
too English-ey.  I'll have to come up with some paraphrases instead.

That leaves "arya", "here".  It's an adverb.  Adverbs in toma heylm don't
decline or take particles.  Do adverbs in natlangs ever inflect?

About the only thing I haven't covered is the number system.  It seems to
be a mixed base-5 and base-10 system.  The base-5 stuff gives fun numbers
like "lesyet: 390,625".

As you might have guessed, I made this language a long time ago.  Trying
to explain it has been fun!  It did take longer than I expected, though.
Interlinears for the other two languages will have to wait for another