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look! a new conlang - comments/suggestions?

From:Robert Jung <robertmjung@...>
Date:Sunday, December 21, 2003, 14:42
Hi all,

Here's a new conlang of mine (the second successful one): Any comments or
suggestions? They're all welcome.

Kosi Grammar and Wordlist

Kosi Grammar

What is Kosi?

Kosi is a conlang made for a conworld. Like Latin in Roman times on Earth, Kosi is
the auxiliary language of
the planet Kosia. It is the scholarly language, and the source of many creole
languages spoken by the common people; its descendants have a distinct,
feel horrifying to the scholars. Previous to 1902, speaking one of the creoles in
the presence of a scholar was punishable by death; happily, nowadays
such speech is frowned upon by educated people but for speaking such a tongue will
not even result in laughter. So the visitor to Kosia is safe to use
any tongue he/she might find handy in the quest to understand the culture and way
of life of Kosia's inhabitants.


Kosi has a rich phoneme inventory:

The consonants pronounced as in English are: |b|, |d|, |g| (always hard), |h|
(never silent), |k|, |l|, |m|, |n|, |p|, |s| (never voiced), |t|, |th| (never
voiced), and |v|. |c| is 'ts' as in 'hats'. |cj| is 'ch' as in 'chip'. |dh| is 'th' as
in 'that'. |j| is 'y' as in 'yet'. |ll| is a whispered form of 'l'
with air blown through the lips. |sj| is 'sh' as in 'ship'. The following
consonants can be palatalized: b, d, g, k, l, m, n.

The vowels are pronounced as follows: |a| is 'a' as in 'father'. |ä| is 'a' as in
'bat'. |e| is 'e' as in 'set'. |i| is 'ee' as in 'meet'. |o| is 'oa' as
in 'boat'. |ö| is ö as in German Schröeder. |u| is 'u' as in 'rule'. |ü| is u
as in French lune. |y| is the schwa vowel /@/. Phonemic vocalic length is
present in Kosi, marked by doubling the vowel: aa, ää, ee, ii, oo, öö, uu, üü,
yy. These long vowels are a part of the alphabet, and are alphabetized after
their short counterparts.

Stress is on the first syllable.

Syllable structure is generally C(C)V(C): kelj, pymp, heit, kantei, mil, toov, sjop.

Consonant/vowel elision can occur when a noun is modified by an adjective: piruksa 'red' +
auto 'car' = piruks' auto 'red car', häästi 'good' + söbru 'friend'
= hääst jöbru 'good friend', öt 'five' + eiv 'year' = öj eiv 'five years',
binom 'tasty' + vacjo 'dinner' = bino' vacjo 'tasty dinner'.


Kosi has two numbers, six possible possessors, and sixteen cases, appearing
suffixed to the noun in that order.

The cases are as follows:
'to the house'
'of the house'
'by way/means of the house'
'into the house'
'onto the house'
'in the house'
'on the house'
'at the house'
'out of the house'
'from the top of the house'
'from near the house'
'as far as the house'
'with/accompanying the house'
'for the house'
'as a house'
'at 5:00'

Possession is expressed as follows:
1st person singular
'my house'
2nd person singular
'your house'
3rd person singular
'his/her house'
1st person plural
'our house'
2nd person plural
'your-plur. house'
3rd person plural
'their house'

Plural is formed with the suffix -(a)k: hasak 'houses'.

An example of a fully inflected noun is this: hasakimem 'by way/means of our houses'.

The personal pronouns are as follows: ni 'I', di 'you', sti 'he/she', nak 'we',
dak 'you', and stava 'they'.

All infinitive verbs end in -da, and have three syllables; the first syllable
contains the root vowel, the second syllable contains the linker vowel, and
the third syllable is the infinitive suffix -da. The first syllable of the verb is
always the one which will be changed for past tense.

Person is marked on Kosi verbs with suffixes:
'to me'
'to you'
'to him/her'
'to us'
'to you-plur.'
'to them'.
When a verb has more than one argument (i.e., has more than just a subject), an
accusative- or dative-case pronominal markers are used, and are always preceded
by the verb's 'linker vowel'.

There are two tenses, past and nonpast. The former is formed with vowel lengthening
plus the person endings (e.g. lekuda 'to read' > leikust 'He/she read',
kelida 'to speak' > keilist 'He/she spoke'. Long vowels never occur in the root vowel
of an infinitive verb, but only in the nonpast forms.) The latter
is formed with only the person endings (e.g. lekuda 'to read' > lekust 'He/she
reads', kelida 'to speak' > kelist 'He/she speaks').

Two examples of fully conjugated verbs are these: leikudusin 'You read (a book)',
keiljestesenön 'He/she read us (a book)'.

The suffix -(i)n converts an inherently intransitive verb into a transitive one,
or an inherently transitive verb into an intransitive one.

Causative verbs are formed by the infix -vje-: öppada 'to learn' > öppavjeda 'to
teach', tabeda 'to eat' > tabevjeda 'to feed', tomada 'to fall' > tomavjeda
'to fell/to cause to fall'.

Adjectives must agree in case and number with the nouns they modify: nadhi 'big' + hasai
'house' = nadhivai hasai 'for the big house', nadhi 'big' + hasak
'houses' = nadhik hasak 'big houses', nadhi 'big' + hasakai 'for the houses' = nadhikai
hasakai 'for the big houses'. Note that the use of quantifiers
does not affect the number: öt 'five' + has 'house' = öt has 'five houses' - and not *öt hasak.

The suffix -ve nominalizes verbs: lekuda 'to read' > lekuve 'reading'. The suffix
-vö verbalizes nouns: tüsi 'fire' > tüsivö 'to burn'. The suffix -(i)tha
nominalizes adjectives: häästi 'good' > häästitha 'goodness'. The suffix -(i)thu
adjectivizes nouns: nom 'noun' > nomithu 'nominal'.


Kosi has many creoles, including Kuosja /kwos_ja/, Koshíwê /koSi:we~/, Kohsînye
/koSIñe/, Koshima /koSina/, Kjasa /k_jasa/, Kiyeksea'y /k_jekseA7aj/, Kocia
/kotSa/, Khosiyani /xoSiani/, and many, many others; some scholars estimate there to be
over 200 creoles spoken on Kosia. Some features that distinguish
these languages from Kosi include: loss of |ä|, |ö|, |ü|, and (only in some
positions) |y|; gaining tones; loss of phonemic vocalic length; gaining some
new phonemes (/w/ and /7/ in particular); gaining phonemic aspiration or
glottalization (or both); gaining vowel harmony and/or consonant gradation;
of adjective-noun vowel elision and/or agreement; and the acquiring of noun-class
systems (Kosjima in particular); and gaining an accusative case, an
system, or a tripartite system. The most-liked (or rather, least-disliked) of these on
the part of the scholars is one called K'osihwa?u. The scholars
are currently debating, in the Scholar Forum (sölkiire büroom) in the capital
city of Avaiha, whether to replace Kosi, the current official language, with
the language or to make it the second official language after Kosi.


O=Other (Germanic, Romance, and others)

emoda-O: to like
eiv-H: year
häästi-E: good
irada-H: to write
jömööl-H: fruit
julic-O: street
kaheksy-E: eight
kahrym-E/H: four
keksö-E/H: two
keok-H: blue
kelj-E: language
kinjo-W: lunch
komida-O: to come
köth-W: left (as opposed to right)
liate-O: milk
mandilau-H: almond
mil-O/W: one thousand
naranu-H: orange-colour
naranu jömööl: orange-fruit
neri-E: four
öt-H: five
öör-E: evening; night
piruksa-H: red
ross-H: bad
sol-O: sun; day
staridhan-W: road
sjarga-H: yellow
sjo-H: word; morpheme
sjop-O: shop; store
tauer-O: tower
tojä-H: egg
toov-H: lake
torta-H/O: cake
un-O: one
vacjo-H: dinner; supper
vedher-O: green
vireth-O: cold; cool
visu-H: water
voro-H: hot; warm