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R: Vaiysi phonology

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Sunday, June 18, 2000, 11:52
> Hello everyone! > > Here's an extract from the Vaiysi grammar I'm writing. I'd like to hear
> comments, since I've promised to myself that I'll finish to write it in
> summer. Here you are: > > First of all an introduction: > << > Vaiysi is an inflecting language. This means that it adds prefixes,
> and infixes to some parts of the speech to change or specify their
> It has a quite complex nominal and verbal morphology, but it's much
> than Latin or Greek. Vaiysi has inherited from Suimeni, its mother tounge, > an ergative / absolutive case system. This means that the subject of > intransitive verbs (verbs which can take the object) is marked for a case > called ergative, and that the subject of intransitive verbs and the object > of transitive verbs are generally unmarked, in a case called absolutive. > Vaiysi has four other cases: dative, genitive, locative and allative.
> is the case of the indirect object (I give you the book) or of the object
> antipassive constructions, genitive resembles English 's, locative carries > the meaning 'in' or 'on', while allative 'to' or 'into'. Adjectives are > usually declined as nouns, and adverbs are directly deviced by adjectival > stems. Vaiysi verb conjugation is another quiet complex argument. Verbs > distinguish tense, person, number, aspect and voice, and their conjugation > is as difficult as that of French or Italian verbs, far more difficult
> the English one. Vaiysi has five tenses: present, past, future, anterior
> posterior, plus an imperative mood. A particular construction is that of
> verb 'to be', which has become in Vaiysi a suffixed particle (-yeam...).
> language is largerly SVO, but the word order is not very rigid. There are > only prepositions, not potpositions; all prepositions govern the genitive > case. > >> > > Here's the phonology: > << > Classical Vaiysi Phonology > The phonemic system of Classical Vaiysi is as follows (in Kirshenbaum IPA) > > Consonants: > > u.stops p t k q > v.stops b d g > u.fricatives f s h > v.fricatives v z > u.affricates tS > nasals m n > lateral l > flap r > > In transliteration, the affricate /tS/ is written ch. > h /h/ occurs only word initially, and is still pronounced by educated > people, but is generally dropped in many dialects and in rapid speech. > n /n/ usually becomes /N/ before /k/ and /g/, and m /m/ before /p/ and /b/ > (we say it is assimilated in its place of articulation). > r /r/ is not to be pronounced as in English 'rose', but as in Spanish or > Italian 'caro', and it should never modify the pronounciation of the > previous vowel. > q /q/ is a glottal stop, that is a stop is produced either by the suddent > opening of the glottis under pressure from the air below, or by the abrupt > closure of the glottis to block the airstream. The glottal stop is always > voiceless, as the complete closure of the vocal cords precludes their > vibration. > It is very important to keep s /s/ and z /z/ apart: the former is > unvoiced, as in 'send', the latter is voiced, as in 'realize'. > Double consonants are not to be pronounced twice, but they mark a long > consonant: kyemma /k@'em:a/. > > Vowels: > > front back > high i u > mid e @ o > low a > > In transliteration, schwa /@/ is written y. > > Other vowels are pronounced a /a/, e /e/, i /i/, o /o/ and u /u/, > as in car, regulate, Jim, crow, full. > > Suimeni had two series of vowels: short and long ones. Vaiysi has a series > of diphthongs directly derived from these long vowels (a > a; e > ye; i > > iy; o and u > ou), and treated as such in the vowels' reducer's
> Alternations between vowels and diphthongs are very common in the
> > Accent > The accent is a stress accent. It generally falls on the last long vowel
> each word. If there are no long vowels, it falls on the first syllable. > Monosyllabic words obviously stress the only syllable they have. > tal = house > taleiy = houses /ta'lej@/ > > There are, anyway, a few exceptions: prepositions are proclitic, thus they > do not bear any accent. > riyt taluni = outside the house /ri@'t:aluni/ > > The vowels' reducer > Vaiysi has retined from its mother tongue the use of a long vowels'
> this because, in both the languages, two long vowels can't stand in two > adjacent syllsbles, and the latter displaces the former. This mechanism is > rather innovative, and hasn't been observed in any of the other Hyarian > languages. There are rather complex reduction patterns, but the most > important ones affect those diphthongs derived from Suimeni's long vowels. > So: > > ya + long vowel > a > ye + long vowel > e > iy + long vowel > i > ou + long vowel > u (always, even when ou is from Suime:ni o:) > > Example: S. eka, V. yego = he comes > S. eke, V. egeiy = he came > > Present Past > Suime:ni e:ka e:k+e: > eke: > Vaiysi yego yeg+eiy > egeiy > > vyankeo = he is killed > vyank+yark(antipassive) > vankyarko = he kills > vyank+yark(antipassive)+eiy(past.3s) > vyankarkeiy* = he killed, > > *Important: notice that the root's vowel in _vyank_ isn't shortened
> the last syllable _eiy_, with his long vowel, has already shortened
> and this last one can't rearrange the root. > >> > > Well, Pablo proposed to call this last feature "shortening" or "length > dissimulation" because "vowels' reducer" sounds like a shrinking machine. > : ) Anyway I think this is one of the coolest features of the language. > > I'm waiting for your reply. > > Luca > > > > > >