Re: Chemehuevi orthography (was: Re: non-English WEB sites)
|From:||Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>|
|Date:||Monday, April 28, 2003, 20:21|
On Friday, April 25, 2003, at 04:06 PM, Roger Mills wrote:
> Dirk Elzinga wrote:
> (A lot of interesting material here, which I've snipped)
>> This inventory is pretty straightforwardly represented by the
>> p t ts (tc) k kw '
>> v r g gw
>> s h
>> m n ng
>> m' n' ng'
>> y w
>> y' w'
>> i ü u ii üü uu
>> o oo
>> a aa
>> Three comments on the choice of symbols.
>> i. My original proposal had <q> for [N] and <q'> for [N?]. These were
>> rejected in favor of <ng> and <ng'>. Fine with me; it is an odd
> The only problem I can foresee: can /N/ and /G/ occur as a cluster?
> that "ng" could be ambiguous?) If the language is CVCVCV... (as it
> from exs.) then there's no problem.
The language isn't quite CVCVCV...; there are NC clusters. I originally
had <q> for /N/ because I wanted to avoid this very ambiguity. However,
the native speakers and the semi-speaker were very uncomfortable with
it. I figured that /NG/ was an unlikely cluster in any language, not
just Chemehuevi, so using <ng> shouldn't cause any undue hardships.
> And how about indicating /?/ with something that shows up a little more
> clearly in typescript? Maybe "q" here?
There are many precedents (as you might suspect) for <'> as /?/,
including the practical orthographies of the other Numic languages. So
the <'> gives a little uniformity across the language family. I do
foresee problems if there is a register which involves any kind of
elision; <'> would be unavailable for representing it. The status of
glottals in Central and Southern Numic is very unstable; perhaps best
not to call too much attention to them :-).
>> All word medial vowels which were
>> once voiceless are now fully voiced, and all word final voiceless
>> vowels are now deleted, though they appear upon suffixation. Here's an
>> [aipats] 'boy'
>> [aipatsin] 'my boy'
>> The _i_ of /aipatsi/ only emerges when a suffix like /-n/ is attached.
>> We know that _i_ belongs to the noun stem since the quality of the
>> vowel preceding the possessive suffix varies unpredictably with the
>> stem; so for [aipats] the vowel is [i], for [naro?] 'shirt' the vowel
>> is [o] ([naro?on] 'my shirt'), for [paGap] 'shoe' the vowel is 
>> ([paGap1n] 'my shoe'), etc.
> Does the -n suffix have an underlying final V too?
Etymologically it does. Sapir shows _-nni_, _-mmi_, and _-aNa_ for
first, second, and third person singular enclitic (possessive)
pronouns; these are _-n_, _-m_, and _-N_ in Chemehuevi. However, the
possessives are the very last thing to occur on a noun, so there is no
way to determine what the vowels are now. I'm going to try some
postpositions to see if that will smoke them out, but I'm not too
> Interesting. Like you, I think I opt for not indicating them in
> writing (of
> course, in a dictionary you'd list something like "aipats(i),
> Then too, your consultants may have other ideas.........
I am prepared to argue forcefully for their inclusion in a dictionary
in exactly the form you show. For language learners, there needs to be
some way of recovering the vowels so that inflection can be done
>> This vowel deletion becomes particularly interesting when the
>> accusative suffix is involved. The accusative suffix has the form
> How do you know it's -(j)a, if the /a/ never appears? Comparative
>> [aipats] 'boy.NOM' (from /aipatsi/)
>> [aipatsi] 'boy.ACC' (from /aipatsi-a/)
> What happens if the -n possessive sfx is added to an acc. form???
> Can you give an ex. of an a-final word? Would it be:
> *kapit* '....', kapitan 'my ....', kapitay ?? '....(acc)'
> and what for 'my .... (acc.)' ???
It's fairly clear that the accusative case suffix is /-a/ and that the
/j/ is inserted following a stem-final /a/. I found a couple of
instances of the accusative suffix appearing in full when followed by a
clitic pronoun (though not a possessive; I would expect the same thing
to happen with a possessive as well -- I just can't find them in the
Hagakaya' ivantün ha'üsutuiy?
hagaka -ya -' iva -ntü -n ha'üsutui -y
which -ACC -you at.here -PTC -NMZ like -PRES
'Which one do you like?'
Nüü makayaang küaw magavü.
nüü maka -ya -ang küaw maga -vü
I that -ACC -him yesterday give -PAST
'I gave that to him yesterday.'
Kupiaing tükatüava watsümpa.
kupi -a -ing tükatüa -va watsü -mpa
coffee -ACC -he table -at put -FUT
'He will put the coffee on the table.'
These examples pretty clearly show that the vowel of the accusative is
> The problem of lost final V occus in an Indonesian lang. of my
> The first researcher chose not to indicate them in citation forms, but
> had to include the definite or other context form, where they
> "hah" 'pig', "hahkje" def. (/hahi+ke/, regular metathesis; he was
> hence "j" = [j]).
> "sus" to weave "sustwahar" 'weave thatch" (/susu+tahar/)
So in effect he transferred the notion of principal parts of a lexeme
from the classical languages to this Indonesian language. Hmmm. I like
principal parts where there is a history for them (or no other way to
tease out inflectional classes), but it seems to me that including the
deleted vowel in citation form is a much more efficient way to describe
> But only CVC(V) roots and final /i,u/ were involved, not the whole
> inventory as in Chemehuevi. (Final underlying /a/ was deleted in some
> all cases; I forget offhand how he handled that)
Huh. I suppose that high vowels, being less sonorous, are more prone to
deletion. The irregularly deleted /a/ on the other hand sounds like an
> More recently, an American in the field proposed writing such words
> with a
> final "y, w", which would not otherwise occur in CVC_# position. IIRC
> speakers/writers didn't go along with the idea, perhaps because they'd
> already learned to use the Dutch-devised system.
Inertia is difficult to overcome. Do the vowels ever show up as such,
or are they always glides?
"I believe that phonology is superior to music. It is more variable and
its pecuniary possibilities are far greater." - Erik Satie