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Re: Grammar and Glossary for Eretas mk4

From:Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
Date:Monday, November 3, 2003, 20:30
--- Keith Gaughan <kmgaughan@...> wrote:

Just some initial remarks and minor

> This document details--in a rather disorganised > fashion--the preclassical > Eretas language. This is the language spoken by > the theocracy culture that
> was the source of the Porteressians. I do not > know their name, but that doesn't matter > currently.
You might want to describe or define what modern language(s) preclassical Eretas is in apposition to. Were I writing a Latin grammar, I might say "Archaic Latin is the preclassical language of Latium which gave rise to the Latin language, ultimate parent of the Romance language family". You might also want to describe the Porteressians, their country and their theocracy.
> Eretas has gone through a lot of changes since > I first started it. It began > as a brainfart, which I called Iritasa. One > night in October 2001, I took > that mess and tried to put some shape on it. > One description I got for it > was "It looks rather like Tolkien's Quenya with > a triple helping of Finnish > and umlauts 75% off the menu price". In > retrospect Eretas, or Eritas as it > was called then, did look somewhat like that.
I know a lot of conlangers describe their own efforts and travails in creating a language. Especially if a conculture is involved, I've always fancied the anthropological approach: you describe the language as if you were an anthropologist or linguist studying the material. [I always forget which of us did it, but the Antarctican cultures and their languages were done up this way to vèry good effect. My own document on the cultures of the World is in like vein, though from the perspective of a native anthropologist rather than one from *here*.] But this is a purely stylistic comment; I don't mean to impose if this is just a toss of you want to hammer out a description for!
> I took that comment to heart when I read it. I > didn't want the language to > be some kind of Tolkien rip-off--whatever > influences there were in there > from his languages, I wanted them to be > influences and nothing more. The > language should have a character of it's own.
This is certainly a valid criticism.
> 2. Phonology and Orthography. > > Eretas has two series of consonants: the > _velar_ series and the _palatal_ > series. Note: where two consonants are > seperated by a slash, the consonant > one the left is the voiced form and the other > the unvoiced. > > Nasal Stop Fricative Lat. > Fric. Lat. Approx. Flap > Bilabial m b/p > Labiodental v/f > Dental d/t dh/th > Alveolar n s/s hl > l r > Alveoplatal dj/tj sj/sj > Palatal nj gj/kj /hj > Velar n g/k /h
No *hly?
> 4. Eretas has six vowels, five of which > correspond to the classical latin
> Stress, as in Spanish, generally falls on the > penultimate syllable. When it > does not, stress is marked with an acute > accent, e.g. <me'osses> 'rain'. [2]
Indicate which vowel that accent should be on in your ascification. Is it méosses (most likely) or meósses?
> [2] In the native orthography, stress is > indicated by special versions of > the vowel glyphs that evolved from two > consecutive instances of the > glyph.
I like that and may have to discover that some conlanguage in the World does it that way! :)
> 6. Final consonant clusters are exceptional. > Earlier in its history, Eretas > lost its final vowels and consonants. Final > nasal, rhotics, sibilants and > liquids had their quality infused into any > vowels they were next to, but > this effect has now gone.
I think that's called infection (?).
> 9. Pronouns, Demonstratives and Articles. > > Information on pronouns is a bit sparse right > now. Suffice to say that I > know the noun <essu> 'Thing, Entity, > Individual' is commonly used a an > impersonal pronoun and sometimes as a general > 3rd person pronoun. More > commonly used are the demonstratives as 3rd > person pronoun. I'm not sure > what their shape in all forms is right now. > > Deixis Pronounal Definite
> This nar ir > That nal il > Yon nan in > > Formerly, the pronounal and definite forms were
> identical. The definite form > ended up being attached as a clitic to the > previous word, causing <na> to > wear away, causing the <r>, <l> and <n> to > become syllabic. It later > seperated [6] again and gained epenthetic <i>. > > [6] Is this even possible?
Why not?
> 13. The 'that which was/is/will be done' Verbal > Noun.
A sort of participal of necessity, Karthago delenda est style of thing.
> I only know of one > instance of seeing this, and that's the word > <ellevas> 'history' (lit. 'that > which was done'). It comes from the verb > <ellen> 'do'. I haven't a clue how > it's formed for other verbs yet. [7] > > [7] Nor do I even know its proper name!
Hm. Perhaps more of a res gestae (plain past ppl.) sort of thing.
> 15. The Continuative Noun. This means 'having > done something'. It's useful,
Perhaps a "perfective verbal noun"? Continuative gives more the notion of 'was doing something'.
> 16. Numbers. > > These are currently quite tentative and very > much subject to change. I'm > not quite happy with them. They seem too ad-hoc > and messy even for a real language.
[snip] Perhaps. I rather like the sound of them. They appear to be base 6, will that remain? Padraic. ===== To him that seeks, if he knock, the door will be opened; if he seeks, he shall find his way; if he searches for a way, he shall find his path. For though the Way is narrow, it's wisdom is written in the hearts of all: if ye would seek and find Rest, look first within! [The Petricon] -- Ill Bethisad -- <> Come visit The World! -- <> .