A new discovery near Urtalkas - early progress
|Date:||Sunday, September 1, 2002, 18:35|
Firstly, I forgot the glottal stop in my last post:
q - glottal stop.
Apologies for that error. Maybe that third glass of mountain wine before
proofreading the message was a mistake.
Anyway, back to the story of the Urtalkas script. For all Professor
Hutlarhe's faults (I know for a fact that he cheated at batrhap), he
immediately realised the importance of the stone artifact when it was
uncovered. He published his initial research on the language within 2 orbits
of the artifact's discovery, an act which eventually led to this current mad
circus of conjecture and assertion among linguists across the continent.
Hutlarhe set the foundation for all subsequent research, and in particular
made the following observations:
1. There are points of regularity in every word examined.
2. In particular, the first or second syllable (or more rarely the third
syllable) of each word is limited to a restricted set, namely "las", "les",
"los", "sal", "sel", "sol", "alts", "elts" or "olts".
3. A second regularity occurs further into each word, in that almost every
word will contain the consonant "p" or "m". Indeed, something approaching
half of all the words Hutlarhe examined included the fragments "aqu'p" or
4. Turning to our particular artifact, Hutlarhe noted that the following
repetitions in each word
i. saltso'vo'eslaqu'p *pwa'zcik*
ii. las *pwa'zcik* aqu'msikzcleksincan
ii. laspwa'zcikaqu'msikzcle *ksincan*
iii. las *ksincan* laqepgvcusa'bkleso'es
iii. lasksincanlaqep *gvcusa'b* kleso'es
iv. losdzcanaqu'pswo' *gvcusa'b* gwiteifc
v. oltsqlubeifcyaqu'p *gvcusab* seifc
The first observation convinced Hutlarhe that each word actually represented
a complete phrase, clause or sentence.
He postulated that the small set of introduction syllables identified in his
second observation could either be scene setting syllables, or were maybe
pronouns of some description, or possibly could play some grammatical role
such as a coding key for mapping out the structure for the rest of the word.
He later promoted this last possibility as the most likely candidate, and
named this position in each word the 'modelling section'.
Similarly, Hutlarhe concluded that "aqu'p" and "aqu'm" were grammatical
features of each word. Controversially, he called the 2 syllables ending in p
or m the 'action section', and developed in due course a range of possible
interpretations on how this section affected the rest of the word.
The last observation raised fewer controversies. Hutlarhe postulated that -
pwa'zcik -> dog
ksincan -> man
gvcusab -> book
and that many objects in the language were composed of two syllables. He also
noticed that the range of second syllables was more restricted than the
first, with -an, -ik, -o'es, -eifc and -a'b occuring quite commonly. This led
Hutlarhe to name the first syllable the 'object root syllable' and the second
syllable the 'object modifier syllable'.
(pwa'zcik as dog has proved to be more controversial than the other two
assertions, with some claiming that the fragment could be interpreted as
Well, that's all for tonight. In my next post, I'll explain some of the
features of objects which my good friend Professor Canhe has recently