Vote! (or: Help!)
|From:||Vasiliy Chernov <bc_@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 17:27|
I wish to support the recent vogue for longish posts on Conlang ;)
I have a reason for that. You may remember my complaints about my main
problem: proliferation. My conlangs multiply, and I cannot duly elaborate
each of them.
I've just sketched a new group of five related dialects (historical
phonology in much detail, plus some grammar). And I am applying
for advice to the list as for which of them is worth further elaboration
more than others. So maybe at least one of them will become
something more than a few tables on paper sheets.
* * * *
I still have no names for the five dialects, so I simply mark them:
A, B, C, D, E. They used to be spoken in the would-be world of Nadeia, to
which belong some other conlang projects of mine, including a few very old
In medieval Nadeia, all the five dialects featured below acquired the
status of _Aulic_ languages (linguae aulicae) - that is, new literary
languages that were considered inferiour to real classical langs (like
Latin or Greek) but superior to numerous unwritten vernaculars. All five
are dead now. However, they are still taught in schools, used in liturgy
and sometimes otherwise, and serve as the source of technical terms
borrowed into modern languages of Nadeia.
* * * *
All the five tongues are related. They are descendants of a dialect of
Arabic spoken in Nadeia of ca. 7th century by a tribe known from the Latin
chronicles as _galvini_, which is why present-day Nadeian scholars
include them in the Galvinic subfamily of Semitic. All five evolved in
neighboring areas, and present an example of convergent evolution:
belonging to different dialectal groups of Galvinic, they acquired many
similar features in phonology and grammatical structure. Specifically, in
their attested forms they have nearly identical phonemic inventories and
very similar sound combinatorics, which allows me to use the same
transliteration scheme for all five.
Vowels - < a o u i e > are roughly as in Spanish; y [@] (absent in E);
double letters stand for long vowels (but [@:] is spelled < eo >); < ea oa
ie uo > are falling diphthongs ending in schwa; < u > and < i > following
another vowel are glides (mind in particular < ui > [uj], < iu > [iw]).
No vowel clusters are allowed. Every syllable begins with a consonant.
Word-initial vowel letters are pronounced with a preceding glottal stop.
Before a non-initial vowel, the glottal stop is marked with an apostrophe,
before a consonant - with acute on the preceding vowel.
Each consonant phoneme is denoted with one letter (combinations like
< sh > denote two sounds, double letters stand for geminates). Special
comments are required for x [x] (voiceless velar fricative), j [j] (palatal
glide); r (always syllable-final, absent in A) resembles the syllable-final
r in rhotic accents of English; syllable-final n or m following a *long*
vowel or diphthong denote merely the nasalization of the vowel (in A, this
vowel nasality is opposed to syllable-final consonantal [m / n / N] which
can follow only *short* vowels).
In E, syllable-final fricatives get voiced before [v] and all resonants,
which is reflected by the orthography only for [f] > [v]: _seavmota_
[se@vmota] 'seven', but _tiismota_ [ti:zmota] 'nine'.
* * * *
To let you see what each of the five dialects sounds like, I give below
a comparative table of numerals (1 - 10, 100, 1000). Please use fixed-
width fonts and set line length to 77 or more.
For some numbers (1, 2, 1000) Proto-Galvinic offers more than one
potential protoform, and I haven't decided yet which of the concurrent
etyma survives in which dialect. However, as the historical phonology has
already been settled, I can predict the result of sound development for
each form in each tongue. In the table below I mark the concurrent
candidate forms for same numeral with lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).
Dialect: A B C D E
1 a peuhytu pouhijy poohetu pauhije vauhita
b ehatu ahajy ahotu ahaje eheta
c faaltu faaljy foaltu foalje foalta
d foupo tiupu fuipy teupu tiuvu
e heexxu joaxxy jaaxxy joixxe xaixka
f muniuwu mynaupy munauhu meniufe maneuva
g mounu miuny muinu meune miuna
h hoinu hoiny heenu hiine haina
i paifmousu poofmiusy poasmuisu poameuse voivmiusa
j fimiuxai timauxei fimauxoi timiuxoi timeuxee
k xounmiufee xeunmautii xoonmoofai xeunmiutee koonmeutii
l foleu fylou fyloo fulau fulau
2 a eifniuni iefnauni iesnauni ieniuni iivneuni
b feinfiuni fiintauni siinfauni hiintiuni fiinteuni
c houffu juofty juuffu leufte loofta
d liifmo liufmu lief'y liefmu lief'u
3 feneufefu fanoufaty sanoosafu hanauhate fenaufeta
4 ielpe'afu aalpa'oty aalpamofu aalpahote ealpemota
5 xaunsefu xounsaty xoonsafu xounsate xaunseta
6 seiffefu siiftaty siffafu siftate siesteta
7 sief'afu sauf'oty saafmofu saafhote seavmota
8 femiunihefu famaunijoty samaunijafu hamiunijote femeunixeta
9 fiis'afu ties'oty fiesmofu tieshote tiismota
10 axelafu oxaloty moxalofu hosalote moselota
100 mi'efu mi'aty mi'afu mi'ate mi'eta
1000a ealfo aulfy aulfy oolfu eulfu
b haliulo halaulu holauly haliulu heleulu
c xeulhiuwu xealjoupy xeuljauhu xauljiufe xoolxeuva
d xynaihefu xeneijoty xenoijafu xynoijote xaneexeta
e xeulhu xealju xeulju xeulje xoolxa
f xainai xeinei xoinoi xoinoi xeenee
(Comments to the concurrent forms)
1a is the main form of the numeral in the proto-language. It is preserved
in all dialects, but in some with an altered meaning (to 'sole', 'alone',
'the same', etc.), and then is superceded by another word as the numeral
1b is preserved in all dialects as the form required in compound numerals
(21, 1001, etc.) and as a pronoun ('a person', 'someone', 'anybody', etc.).
It never becomes the main word for the numeral 'one' in other uses.
1c-d were originally adjectives that meant 'single', 'sole'. 1c becomes the
main form of 'one' quite often.
1e-l are borrowed words. They may supercede the native words only in some
of the Galvinic langs. In others, they may or not be preserved with various
related meanings ('one time', 'one point in a game', 'apiece', etc.).
2a and 2b were concurrent forms of the numeral already in the protolang.
2a is masculine (its regular feminine derivate is not shown in the table),
2b was used for both genders. In some dialects both 2a and 2b may be
preserved with a new differentiation by gender (2a for m., 2b for f.).
All dialects preserve at least one of these lexemes as the mandatory
form used in compounds (32, 102, etc.) but in other uses they are often
superceded by 2c or 2d.
2c and 2d are loanwords with similar original meaning ('a pair', 'a
couple'), in which use they are mostly preserved even in those dialects
where they don't become the main form of 'two'.
1000a is the main form in the protolang. 1000b-f are early loans that
sometimes supercede it.
* * * *
All the numerals above are given in the form used with masculine nouns (all
Galvinic langs have two genders, masculine and feminine). Note that for
3-10 the f. form would be shorter than the m. one.
Besides, all the forms chosen for illustration are in conjunct status,
without any suffixed article or pronoun. This is not the form that can be
used independently, but morphologically it is usually the simplest.
Finally, all words are in the nominative case. In Proto-Galvinic as well
as in its daughter langs, numerals (as well as adjectives) are basically
nouns, and nouns mostly have three cases.
Just to show you what various forms of same word can look like (and to
illustrate the morphological differences between the five dialects), I
provide below a comparative table of some forms of the lexeme 1a (which,
as I already mentioned, survives in all dialects but may have an altered
meaning in some). This word is inflected as a regular adjective.
A B C D E
def cj m N: el peuhytu al pouhijy al poohetu ol pauhije el vauhita
def cj m G: el peuhyti al pouhiji al pooheti ol pauhiji el vauhiti
def cj m A: el peuhyte al pouhija al pooheta ol pauhija el vauhite
def cj f N: el peuhytefu al pouhijaty al poohetafu ol pauhijate el
idf cj m N: peuhytuin pouhijoin poohetuin pauhijein vauhiteen
idf cj m G: peuhytein pouhijiin poohetiin pauhijiin vauhitiin
idf cj m A: peuhyteen pouhijain poohetain pauhijeen vauhitain
idf cj f N: peuhytefuin pouhijatoin poohetafuin pauhijatein vauhiteteen
p3sm cj m N: peuhytuho pouhijyhy poohetuhy pauhijehe vauhitaha
p3sm cj m G: peuhytihy pouhijihi poohetihe pauhijihi vauhitihi
p3sm cj m A: peuhyteho pouhijahy poohetahy pauhijahe vauhiteha
p3sm cj f N: peuhytefuho pouhijatyhy poohetafuhy pauhijatehe vauhitetaha
def idp m N: al peuhytul al pouhijyf al pooheef ol pauhijef el vauhitoo
def idp m A: al peuhytel al poohetaijau el vauhiteu
al pouhijaf ol pauhijaf
def idp f N: al peuhyteef al poohetaf el vauhiteas
al pouhijaif ol pauhijaf
def idp f A: al peuhytefef al poohetafa'ie el
al pouhijatar ol pauhijatar
idf idp m N: peuhytou pouhijeu poohetuu pauhijeu vauhitoo
idf idp m G: peuhytiu pouhijiu poohetiu pauhijiu vauhitiu
idf idp m A: peuhytea pouhijau poohetau pauhijoo vauhiteu
idf idp f N: peuhytefou pouhijateu poohetafuu pauhijateu vauhitetoo
p3sm idp m N: peuhytuu pouhijeo poohetuo pauhijea vauhitaa
p3sm idp m G: peuhytii pouhijie poohetie pauhijie vauhitie
p3sm idp m A: peuhytie pouhijaa poohetaa pauhijaa vauhitea
p3sm idp f N: peuhytefuu pouhijateo poohetafuo pauhijatea vauhitetaa
Determination statuses: def - definite ('the'); idf - indefinite ('a');
p3sm - pronominal (or possessive), 3rd person singular ('his', 'its').
Phrase position statuses: cj - conjunct; idp - independent (AKA emphatic or
Cases: N - nominative, G - genetive, A - accusative (or
Genders: m - masculine, f - feminine. The above forms of the lexeme 1a are
* * * *
So, my 2 questions (to those who've read so far) are:
1) Which of the five dialects (A-B-C-D-E) looks, at a glance, more pleasant
(or less awkward) than others?
2) Which of the candidate forms for the numerals 1, 2, 1000 suit your chosen
Of course, you can mention more than one lang/etymon, for example:
'B, C nice, E ugly, 1c best for B, 1e for C.'
I'll be grateful for any suggestions - thanks in advance!