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Aredos grammar gets it's comeuppance!

From:Dan Jones <feuchard@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 11, 2001, 0:03
Well, after loosing all my Aredos vocab, I've decided to reform the grammar
again. It's become slightly more Latinate, especially in the nominal
declensions, but verbs are still PIE enough to be interesting. Below I'm
going to start in the proper way- phonolgy.

Phonology 1.1 - Vowels

Aredos possesses nine simple vowels, but only five symbols to represent
them, transliterated as a, e, i, o, u.

a only represents /a/.

e can represent /e/, /E/ or /@/ depending on the phonetic environment of the
vowel. In open syllables, it represents /e/, in closed syllables /E/ and in
unaccented initial syllables it represents /@/. None of these distinctions
is phonemic.

i can represent either /i/ or /I/. Final short <i> has the pronunciation of
/I/. Again, this distinction is not phonemic.

o can represent either /o/ or /O/. /o/ occurs in open syllables, /O/ in
closed ones. The distinction is not phonemic.

u represents only /u/.

It will be noted that all of these vowels can occur either long or short. In
the transcription, length is marked with a macron (here an acute accent: á,
é, í, ó, ú. Vocalic length is phonemic, note the minimal pair zéhos "plague"
and zehos "soil". Long vowels are generally from combinations of vowels and
laryngeals in PIE, although *eu and *ou become ú and *ei becomes é.

There are three permissible diphthongs: ae /ai/, oe /oi/ and au /au/. The
somewhat bizarre form of <ae> instead of <ai> is because in the Aredos
script <ai> can easily be confused with the letter <o>, and oe is by analogy
from that. "Long" diphthongs, where the first element is long, are rare, but

Phonology 1.2 - Consonants
Aredos possesses four series of consonants, although some would argue that
the palatal series are allophones of the velar series. This is best
disregarded, as i /j/ and h /h/ are phonemically distinguished.

                 bilabials dentals palatals velars
stops          p /p/     t /t/       c /c/       c /k/
                   b /b/    d /d/     g  /J/      g /g/
fricatives     f /P/      z /T/     h /C/     h /x/
                  v /B/     z /D/     h /Q/     h /G/
approximants                                     h /h/
rhotics                    r /r/
laterals                    /l/
semivowels u /w/                  i /j/
nasals         m /m/   n /n/     gn, ng /n_j/ gn, ng /N/

The palatal series (excepting /j/) are found only next to front vowels, and
the velar series is only found next to back vowels, so in this way, they
could be considered allophones of each other. The palatal series is not a
retention from Proto-Indo-European, the PIE palatal and velar series
collapsed in the Carastan family before the Imperial Period. The distinction
between palatal and velar consonants has arisen since early Imperial times
under influence of following front vowels.

As is shown in the table, H represents five different sounds. The rules for
the occurrence of the sounds are completely regular, however. When not
intervocalic, the sounds are voiceless, when intervocalic, voiced. When
followed by a front vowel, the sounds are palatal, when not, velar. Final h
is a voiceless glottal fricative (not a velar approximant, as the table
suggests), somewhat like final -h (visarga) in Sanskrit; this sound only
occurs infrequently. None of these phonetic realisations are phonemic.

Z represents both /T/ and /D/. It represents /T/ initially and /D/
otherwise. Both of thse sounds are from PIE *dh.

In later Aredos, the bilabial sounds /P/ and /B/ became labiodental /f/ and
/v/. <f> is always from PIE *bh. <v> is either from *bh or postvocalic *w.

Phonolgy 1.3 - Stress
Unlike Latin and Sanskrit, but like Vedic and Ancient Greek, Aredos had a
pitch accent, not a stress accent. The accented syllable is slightly higher
in pitch than the rest of the word.

The rules for the positioning of this accent are complicated and involve
several things. The rules for identifying the accented in nouns are
completely different to the rules for deriving the verbal accent, so we will
deal with the nouns first.

In Aredos morphology, the strong cases of the nominal paradigm are the
nominative and accusative, while the remaining cases are weak. The position
of the accent was mobile, occurring on one part of the noun in the strong
cases and another part in the weak cases.

Nouns can be divided into two types when dealing with the accent:
proterodynamic and heterodynamic. Proterodynamic nouns are the nouns
with -i- or -u- in the final part of the nominative case, like percus, or
clácia, or zétis. All other nouns are heterodynamic. Proterodynamic nouns
place the accent on the first syllable of the word in the strong cases and
the final vowel of the inflectional ending in the weak cases.

Heterodynamic nouns on the other hand place the accent on the penultimate
syllable in the strong cases and on the final vowel of the inflectional
ending in the weak cases.

Examples (the stressed syllable is in capitals):

zÉtis (nom), clÁciam (acc), zétÍs (gen), percAU (loc)

Agros (nom), darvÉ (abl), cAlcoi (pl. nom), ansuI (loc)

This system of mobile accent was confined to consonant stems in PIE, but was
generalised in Aredos. It is curious that a complicated system was
generalised in favour of a more simple system, like the accent in o-stems in

In early Aredos, it seems that the verb was not accented when in its normal
position (final). However, when the language required that all lexical items
be stressed, the original accent pattern had been forgotten, so a new system
was developed. Under this system, the accent was placed on the plural verbal
inflections; otherwise, the penultimate (or antepenultimate if the
penultimate was light) syllable carried the accent.

Other words, such as adjectives, adverbs and pronouns all stress the
penultimate syllable if heavy and the antepenultimate syllable if the
penultimate is light, a system that is also found in Sanskrit and Latin.
Clitics are not accented.

I'll deal with nominal morphology next...


La plus belle fois qu'on m'a dit
          "je t'aime"
                   c'était un mec
                             qui me l'a dit...
Francis Lalane


John Cowan <cowan@...>