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Phonology and Nominal Morphology of Muëuä( my new conlang)

From:Joe <joe@...>
Date:Thursday, November 28, 2002, 21:05
You can find a better laid out version(same text) here:

A grammar of Muëuä

Muëuä is an inflecting/fusional language in the North Zitubian language
family. It is, in fact, distantly related to the Zitwbata dialects. However,
the two languages diverged so much as to be almost unrecognisable as
relatives. Muëuä is the largest of the northern Mountain languages.

Chapter 1: Phonology


Muëuä has a very similar vocalic phonology to Zitwbata, however, instead of 6
vowels, it has 12. This is because vowels of different lengths count as
seperate phonemes.
Front Fr. Rounded Back Bk.Rounded
Closed |ï|/i:/ |y|/y/, |ÿ|/y:/ |ü|/u:/
Close-mid |i|/?/
|ë|/e:/ |u|/?/
Open-mid |e|/?/ |ö|/?:/
Open |a|/a/ |ä|/?:/
The long and short vowels are phonemically distinct. Also, all vowels after
the semivowels |u|/w/ and |i|/j/ are long, as in the name of the language.
However, if a vowel is stressed, there is no marker for length, so it is not
necessarily possible to predict exact pronounciation from spelling. Length is
marked by a diaeresis, and stress is marked by an acute. So, if the second
syllable in muëuä were stressed, it would be spelt muëuá


Muëuä has quite a limited consonantal phonology. There are next to no
voiceless consonants in non-word-initial positions. Either way, Muëuä has the
following consonants:

|b| - /b/
|c| - /k/
|d| - /d/
|g| - /g/
|i| - /j/
|l| - /l/
|m| - /m/
|n| - /n/
|p| - /p/
|r| - /r/
|s| - /s/
|t| - /t/
|u| - /w/

Chapter 2: Nominal Morphology


Muëuä has two main Genders, a fairly clean split between animate and
inanimate. However, the animate gender divides yet again inte three
sub-classes, according to their domain, Air, Earth, or Water. However, the
difference between the three sub-classes is minimal. For instance, you have
the word for 'tree', edrin, which is an inanimate, you have 'man', nië, an
animate earth, you have 'wind' lemuä, an animate air, and you have 'fish'
niïlö , an animate water As you can see, The animates all end in a vowel, the
earths |ë|, the airs |ä|, and the waters |ö|. These are all roughly declined
in the same (quite illogical) way, and they only differ in the Ergative,
Absolutive, and Loctive Singular, the Inanimates, of course, are marked by
the extension |in|.


There are three numbers in Muëuä, The Singular, the Collective/Abstract, and
the Plural. They do exactly what they suggest. To clarify the
Collective/Abstract, the Collective of edrin,'tree' is edrërin,'forest'. The
other two are fairly obvious in function.


Muëuä has 7 cases. These are the Absolutive, the Ergative, the Locative, the
Instrumental, the Elative, the Dative, and the Allative.

The Absolutive represents the object of a transitive sentence, and the
subject of an intransitive one. The Absolutive is the form listed in the

The Ergative is the subject of a transitive sentence and the indirect object
of an intransitive one.

The Locative simply says where something is (in or on something)

The Instrumental says what something is done with.

The Elative describes where something is coming from

The Dative describes the indirect object in transitive sentences.

The Allative describes where something is going to


The Nouns are declined in this way(singular first, collective/abstract second
and plural third):

Absolutive edrin edrërin edrï
Ergative edrël edralï edreniö
Locative edriniï edriniä edrö
Instrumental edrïn edrïnië edrën
Elative edril edrälï edreniä
Dative edrïm edrëliniä edrëm
Allative edrä edräniä edrim

Absolutive nië niël niä
Ergative niëlö niïl niï
Locative niëmuë niümuä niö
Instrumental niän niänië niüniä
Elative niëräl niëraliö niëm
Dative niärë niölë niälï
Allative niÿrë niÿniä niÿ

Absolutive lemuä lemuël lemuä
Ergative lemuälï lemuïl lemuï
Locative lemuämuä lemuümuä lemuö
Instrumental lemuän lemuänië lemuüniä
Elative lemuëräl lemuëraliö lemuëm
Dative lemuärë lemuölë lemuälï
Allative lemuÿrë lemuÿniä lemuÿ

Declension of niïlö, fish Singular Collective/Abstract Plural
Absolutive niïlö niïlel niïlä
Ergative niïlalü niïlil niïlï
Locative niïlomuö niïlumuä niïlö
Instrumental niïlan niïlanië niïluniä
Elative niïleräl niïleraliö niïlem
Dative niïlarë niïlolë niïlalï
Allative niïlyrë niïlyniä niïlÿ

Other Affixes
A negative prefix may be applied (muä-), as can a definite and indefinite
prefix(a- and të-, respectively) If there is already a vowel at the start of
a word, the indefinite prefix lengthens it: (ie. edrin, 'tree', and tëdrin ,
'a tree'.) If it is already long, all that happens is that |t| is added. The
definite article lengthens the initial vowel, if there is no initial
consonant(edrin as opposed to ëdrin, 'the tree'). However, the definite
prefix is used only for emphasis, and the indefinite is only used in
conjunction with the definite. The same rule applies for the negative prefix
(edrin and muëdrin 'not a tree, no tree'). This does, of course, mean you can
get huge words like muäniïleraliö(from no school of fish.)