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Zaik! (Hi there!) - Description of Lyanjen

From:Matt McLauchlin <matt_mcl@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 29, 2000, 5:17

I see I've already been introduced by Barry. My name's Matt; I'm a
linguistics major (just finished my first year) at McGill University in
Montreal. I've recently undertaken a conlang project, Lyanjen, as mentioned,
and I'd love to get input (of any kind - "You know, this reminds me of..."
"Oh, I see. That's usually called..." or whatever. I need the help -
remember, I'm only a first-year!!)

Here's a brief sketch with some salient features.

Phonology. Consonants: /d/, /dj/, /Z/, /r/, /s/, /z/, /b/, /k/, /p/, /t/,
/n/, /nj/, /g/, /S/, /m/, /l/, /lj/. Barry got a little bit excited over the
writing system, but actually it has its own writing system, and I used (for
example) c to represent /S/ and edh to represent /dj/ mostly to have one
letter = one phoneme in Roman transcription.

Vowels are divided into "masculine" (/o/, /u/) and "feminine" (/e/, /i/)
vowels (/a/ is neuter). The feminine vowels and /a/ change sound when
they're stressed: e = /E/, é = /e/; a = /a/, á = /{/; i = /I/, í = /i/. U
and I make diphthongs, but u can only be added to a feminine vowel or A, and
I can only be added to a masculine vowel or A.

Nouns: six cases, nominative, ergative, absolutive, genitive, locative, and
dative. Consequently:

Verbs: All adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions are verbs. Verbs'
transitivity is determined by the noun cases used with them. For example:
I-nom RED = I am red.
I-erg RED = I make (something) red.
RED I-abs = I become red.

In the case of prepositions, they are also moving verbs depending on the
I-nom UP = I am up.
I-nom UP TOWN-loc = I am above the town.
I-erg UP YOU-abs = I lift you up.
UP I-abs = I ascend; I am lifted.
UP I-abs TOWN-gen MOUNTAIN-loc SUMMIT-dat = I go up the mountain from the
town to the summit.

Some verbs also change meaning depending on the noun cases:
I-erg SELL = I sell.
SELL I-abs = I am sold.
SELL I-dat = I purchase.

To say something like "I believe that you are mistaken," say, you say I-erg
To use a restrictive clause like "the man who stole my watch," you say,
MAN-nom, THAT-ONE-erg STOLE WATCH-abs I-gen.
To use an unrestrictive clause like "this man, who stole my watch," you say
"MAN-nom-this, AND THAT-ONE STOLE (etc.)

Other neat things:

Conjunctions can be suffixes, like Latin -que.
There's an aut/vel distinction.
There are tu and vos forms for both plural and singular second person.
There are exclusive and inclusive we.

The website for the worldbuilding project that includes Lyanjen is . It's nowhere near finished (I only
have the phonology up), but it will be added to. Esperanta versio ankau
haveblas samloke.

Hope this was interesting. I look forward to your comments.

Blessed be,                        Écartons ces romans
Matt McLauchlin                          qu'on appèle systèmes,
GM18, Montreal, Canada             Et pour nous éléver
English/français/esperanto               descendons dans nous-mêmes.
icq: 4420218                               -Voltaire

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