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From:Dennis Paul Himes <himes@...>
Date:Monday, September 15, 2003, 2:21
    I recently moved.  In doing so I came across some old notebooks of mine
containing my design of Beek (/bek/), an early conlang of mine.  This is a
language which I had referred to in vague terms on this list when discussing
my conlanging history.  I would have guessed that I'd designed it in the
early '70s before I found the notebooks, but the notebooks are Yale
University notebooks, which implies that it comes from my New Haven days,
which would be from '78 to '80.  One of the notebooks comes with some maps
of a continent, with mountains, rivers, and cities marked, but no names.  I
think I know what the story was to be for the fiction Beek was being
designed for.  In any case, it was never written.
    The notebooks are both mostly blank.  One has a description of the
alphabets and grammar repeated with variations (and a few minor
inconsistencies) in two separate sections.  The other has an English/Beek
and Beek/English dictionary.  I count about 320 words in the latter.  The
second notebook also has tables of words on common themes, such as kinship
or numbers.
    Beek has 33 letters.  There is both an old and a modern alphabet.  The
old alphabet consists of markings above and below a continuous horizontal
line.  These markings are all straight line segments, with a few dots.  The
modern alphabet consists of separated letters, mostly curved, clearly
derived from the old alphabet.  These are the standard Roman trans-
literations of the letters, with what I believe were my intended
pronunciations, although those are not indicated in the notebook:
A   /A/
U   /U/
E   /E/
I   /I/
O   /O/
AR  /ar/
OR  /or/
AI  /aI/
OI  /oI/
AU  /aU/
S   /s/
T   /t/
P   /p/
K   /k/
F   /f/
Z   /z/
D   /d/
B   /b/
G   /g/
V   /v/
R   /r/ or /r=/ (or however you indicate vocalic R)
L   /l/
N   /n/
M   /m/
Y   /j/
W   /w/
H   /h/
ZH  /Z/
SH  /S/
J   /dZ/
CH  /tS/
DH  /D/
TH  /T/

In addition, the vowels a,u,e,i,o were often doubled, indicating tenseness,
AA  /a/
UU  /u/
EE  /e/
II  /i/
OO  /o/

These five digraphs are really digraphs in Beek, the other digraphs above
(e.g. "ar") are single letters in Beek.

    Beek is partially inflecting and partially isolating.  There are four
noun genders, masculine, feminine, neuter1, and neuter2.  Epicene nouns are
included in neuter1.  Nouns have three numbers, singular, dual, and plural.
Adjectives follow nouns, and agree with them in gender and number, except
that adjectives have no dual, plural adjectives agree with dual nouns.
Nouns have two cases, normal and possesive.  Personal pronouns distinguish
between inclusive and exclusive "we".  Aspect, tense, mood, and voice in
verbs are all indicated by auxiliary words.  There's a note that word order
should be VSO, but the few examples I have don't support that.

    Here are two segments of the Our Father, which I had translated in the
notebooks.  Some of the words I couldn't find in the dictionary, or else-
where.  From context, though, I would guess that "pres" is "give".  It also
seems from context that "luu" should be "day" and "luutens" "daily", but the
dictionary lists "luu" as "star" and "gekka" as "day".

suu      koom   shrt    wa       seeessa il pristendii
you.SING father our.EXC who.MASC being   to paradise

veen eppr armrii epprboi suut
wish call good   name    your.SING

suu      pres sin shr    har    luu  assimuu mistuu luutens shrt
you.SING ?    to  us.EXC during star this    bread  ?       our.EXC


                 Dennis Paul Himes    <>
        Gladilatian page:

Disclaimer: "True, I talk of dreams; which are the children of an idle
brain, begot of nothing but vain fantasy; which is as thin of substance as
the air."                      - Romeo & Juliet, Act I Scene iv Verse 96-99


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