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Re: Grammar and Glossary for Eretas mk4

From:Keith Gaughan <kmgaughan@...>
Date:Monday, November 3, 2003, 21:39
Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...> wrote:

> --- Keith Gaughan <kmgaughan@...> wrote: > > Just some initial remarks and minor > proofreading... > > > This document details--in a rather disorganised > > fashion--the preclassical > > Eretas language. This is the language spoken by > > the theocracy culture that > > [theocratic]
Nope, _theocracy_--that's what they called it. Should have offset that from the text to emphasise it.
> > 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.
I've an idea of what Classical Theocracy Eretas is like, but I'm not quite satisfied with the ideas yet. Also, Classical Eretas splits off into at least two dialects: Porteressian Eretas and Empire Eretas, which both develop into their own languages. To give a decent idea of what's going on, I'd have to explain the story of Portu and those who followed him, and that could get quite long!
> 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.
The Porteressians developed out of the Theocracy. Portu preached the concept of the schizophrenic god. This didn't go down to well the Theocrats for various reasons, and he and his followers were persecuted and most eventually left to establish a new homeland.
> > 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.
Later, but not quite yet! What I'm currently presenting is my sketches of the language. I don't want to cloud it with concultural details currently.
> [I always forget which of us did it, but the > Antarctican cultures and their languages were > done up this way to vèry good effect.
That was Brad Coon and Feorran.
> 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.
Of the older version of the language, yes, but I'm hoping that anything that could trigger that particular one's been removed.
> > 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?
Hmm... explain? <hly> is perfectly valid. Not the nicest sound, but valid nontheless.
> > 4. Eretas has six vowels, five of which > > correspond to the classical latin > > [Latin]
Ok, ok! As it happens, I don't like that I'm using 'y' as a vowel in that position. It feels wrong, but I can't think of an effective alternative right now.
> > 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?
Your first guess was correct.
> > [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! :)
Fire away!
> > 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 (?).
Good stuff!
> > Deixis Pronounal Definite > > [Pronominal]
D'oh! Damn these late nights! I should have known better.
> > Formerly, the pronounal and definite forms were > > [Pronominal]
Ditto. Once is excusable, but...
> > 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?
I'd doubts after I came up with the idea. It seemed a bit, well, artificial.
> > 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'.
I borrowed that from Burushaski[1], which has this feature, and is called the 'Continuative'. Thinking about it, it acts more like an adverb than a noun...
> > 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?
Kind of, but things start to get funky. Very funky. There's some other notes scrawled onto some sheets at home. I'll post up more details then. K. [1] -- Keith Gaughan | | It used to be full of stars, but now I'm full of scars.


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>