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Exit Methkaeki, (re)enter Mephali

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 18, 2005, 2:52
As many of you already know, the first conlang I ever created was
originally called "Mephali" [mEfali], a corruption of "Mephaehi", which
is what you get if you advance the letters in "language" forward in the
alphabet but keeping vowels vowels and consonants consonants: l->m,
a->e, n->p, etc; the first version of the language wasn't really a
language at all but English encoded with that algorithm.

Over the years I have changed the fundamental basis of the language many
times, usually keeping the same name, but sometimes letting it change as
well.  Methkaeki was my most recent such effort.  But I'm declaring it
dead and returning to the original name, and giving the project some
much-needed attention and a fresh start.

I am also continuing to work on my other two languages,
Okaikiar and Curnalis; the latter is the lang I'm creating via the
McGuffey Reader, and I'm not doing anything else with it until I've made
it at least through the first book.  Okaikiar is pretty stable right
now, mostly because I think it's kinda boring and am contemplating
radical surgery on it.  I expect I'll get some ideas from Curnalis,
which is typologically similar (highly inflecting).

Anyway, the point is, while all three are active projects - though not very
ctive at the moment since real life has a bad habit of distracting me
with relatively unimportant things like working, packing for the move,
taking care of my baby, etc - I'm turning my gaze Mephaliward at the
moment.  And I could use some advice.

Mephali is a highly-agglutinating language, with syllables that already
have complex consonant clusters, so at the morpheme boundaries things
can get pretty ugly.  As an example, I took a shot at the One Ring poem
(inspired by the "tricky translations" thread, of course), and the
phrase "in the darkness" in the last verse becomes this monstrosity of a
word in Mephali: |oñgelpñiþji| /,oN.gelp'NiT.Zi/.  The /pN/ and /TZ/
feel like articulatory gymnastics to me.  Any suggestions for realistic
lenition/assimilation rules that might help out?



Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>
Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Christian Thalmann <cinga@...>