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New Language Sketch

From:nicole perrin <nicole.eap@...>
Date:Sunday, February 27, 2000, 2:11
K, this is just going to be a quick sketch, because I already spent lots
of time writing everything down and I'm kinda sick of thinking about
this, but this is my newest language, S'inahen:

p t k f s h r l w j n m       all as IPA, plus  s', which is /S/

a e i u o       also as IPA, plus y, which is /I/

The <r> is an alveolar tap in the standard dialect (this shows that I've
actually made up dialectal variations, which is a first for me, and I
won't go into here)

Roots are in the form

Nouns are marked as agent, patient, or oblique and singular or plural.
There are eight genders, in a hierarchy of the following order:
abstract concepts, men, women, children, animals, other animates/living
things, fantastic creatures/things, inanimates/dead things (I've
mentioned this before, quite a while ago actually).  Each gender has its
own declination for the three cases, which I won't go into here either.
The oblique case is used in conjunction with prepositions.

Tense (past, present, future), aspect (perfect, imperfect, progressive)
and mood (indicative, negative, imperative) are marked on an auxiliary
verb, <skan>.  Each mark consists of one letter, tense being all
consonants, aspect being vowels, and mood being consonants again.  For
example, present progressive indicative would be s+u+k, or <skansuk>.
Voice is also marked on this verb, as a prefix.  The two voices are
active and passive, so for the above combination of present progressive
indicative you would have <kaskansuk> or <s'iskansuk>.  This marking of
voice on the verb is the only thing to indicate the subject and object
of the sentence, since nouns are only marked as agent or patient.

Word order is also determined by the gender hierarchy.  The noun higher
up, whether it is agent or patient, comes first.  Then comes the
auxiliary verb, then either the agent or patient (whichever is lower),
then the main verb.  Adjectives precede nouns and agree with them in
case and adverbs precede the main verb.  Subclauses have different word
order:  Auxilary, high item (A or P), low item (A or P), main verb.

A prefix is required to determine what part of speech (noun, verb,
adjective, adverb) a particular word is.

That's basically all I have so far.  I'll give a few examples:

fukara s'iskansak fukistti hakoror
fu.kar.a s'i.skan.s.a.k fu.kist.ti ha.koror passive.aux.present.imperfect.indicative
noun.flower.patient verb.see
The flower is seen by the man.

fukara kaskansak fukistti hakoror
fu.kar.a ka.skan.s.a.k fu.kist.ti ha.koror active.aux.pres.imperfect.indicative noun.flower.patient
The man sees the flower.

fukary s'iskansan fusijanly hahaman
fu.kar.y s'i.skan.s.a.n ha.haman passive.aux.pres.imperfect.neg noun.child.agent
The man is not loved by the child.

fukary kaskansan fusijanly hahaman
fu.kar.y ka.skan.s.a.n ha.haman active.aux.pres.imperfect.neg noun.child.agent
The child does not love the man.

Yup, that's about all there is to it so far.  Whaddaya think?--Comments
please!  And if anyone could give me any insight as to the status of my
noun and verb marking system, please do.  Do any natlangs mark only for
agent/patient on the noun and then for active/passive on the verb to
show who is the subject or object?  I know it's just about impossible to
come up with a totally unique idea, but I've never seen it before and I
want to know how other langs might treat it.


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