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Questions, Taalen verbal system (long)

From:Aidan Grey <grey@...>
Date:Thursday, October 17, 2002, 6:37

   Now that I'm back and here, do I need to restart the friday vocab exercises?

    A question on mutation:

    If  soft mutation looks like this: p,t,c,b,d,g > b,d,g,m,n,ñ (or /N/); 
   And breathed like this: p,t,c,b,d,g > f,/T/,/X/,v,/D/,/G/; m>v; s>sh, sh>h

    What would happen to l and lh (the famous welsh ll)?

    (soft - from old nasals; breathed  from intervocalic position,stop 
clusters, and -s)

   Also, here's a basic survey of the verbal system in Taalen, with example 
verbs _rag'h_ and _tala_. Tala is a weak, denominal stative verb from tal 
'tree', a word visible in the name of the language.

   NB: -g'h indicates that the stem end in a stop, and since syllables 
can't end in stops, only fricatives, the apostrophe distinguishes between a 
-g stem and a -gh /G/ stem. This also means that ragran is /' and 
regin is /'re.gIn/. 3si means 3rd sg inanimate, and 3sa applies to animate 
(animate and inanimate being the nominal classes like gender).

   I hope my formatting remains...


Absolute forms are generally the forms used when in predicate position. 
Interrogative and negative particles require the use of conjunct forms, and 
conjunct forms are also required when modifying nominals or serving as 
subordinate clauses. For example:

   I am tree-like.   Talan.
   I am not tree-like.    En dalen. (or for Q-celts, en dtalen)
   a tree.   Tal.
   a tree-like tree.  Tal tala. (the conjunct verb agrees in class with the 
head noun, but you can't tell here. This can also mean 'tree of trees'.)
   my great carrying.  Na ragas maar (< marar - so you can see agreement in 
   the tree which I carried.  I tal raghen.
   the tree which it (inanimate) carried. I tal raghar.

Present tense, absolute:
         Generally, strong verbs take the thematic vowel i-, with 
accompanying i-affection. Weak verbs, usually denominal and stative verbs, 
take the thematic vowel a-.
         In the second singular, the expected ch personal ending is 
replaced by s in the strong conjugation. This arises from the palatization 
of ch by the thematic vowel, and the resulting sh simplifying.
         In the third person singular, the forms are unique. The animate 
conjugation does not take any vowel, which causes stops to become 
fricatives. The inanimate keeps this fricativization, but also suffixes the 
thematic vowel a-, with strong verbs appearing with i-mutation.
         In weak verbs, final a- will drop before endings, and other vowels 
will form diphthongs or vowel clusters (-e + -a- > -ia- for example), and 
final diphthongs will simplify before making new diphthongs or clusters. 
For example, the stative verb derived from the preterite 4s absolute of 
rag'h, raede, conjugates as 1s raedian, 2s raediach, 3sa raede, 3si raedia, 
4s raedei, etc.

Pres. Abs.      Strong  Weak
         rag'h 'to carry'        tala 'be tree-like'
1s      (a/i)n  regin   talan
2s      ach/is  regis   talach
3sa     -       regh    tala
3si     a       regha   tala
4s      i       regi    tali
1p      (a/i)mme        regimme talamme
2p      (a/i)va regiva  talava
3p      (a/i)th regith  talath
4p      (a/i)re regire  talare

Present tense, conjunct:
         The conjunct is used after conjunct particles, and in subordinate 
         Ancient grammarians characterized this tense as lacking a thematic 
vowel. This is misleading, as a thematic e- does appear in certain 
situations. The ancients thought this e- had developed from syllabic 
consonants, but recent developments suggest that it may derive from an 
original thematic i- lost in certain environments. In general, verb final 
voiced fricatives and m vocalize to create diphthongs. Other stem-final 
consonants are affected by breathing mutation before the thematic vowel and 
personal ending.
         As in the absolute conjugation, the 2s ending takes s instead of 
the expected ch. The 3s conjugations are also distinctive. The animate is 
identical to the absolute form, but the inanimate takes r. In addition, the 
4s takes e instead of the expected i.

Pres. Conj.     Strong  Weak
         rag'h 'to carry'        tala 'be tree-like'
1s      en      raghen  talen
2s      es      raghes  tales
3sa     -       ragh    tala
3si     ar      raghar  talar
4s      e       raghe   tale
1p      emme    raghemme        talemme
2p      eva     ragheva taleva
3p      eth     ragheth taleth
4p      eis     ragheis taleis

Imperfect tense, absolute:
         The imperfect absolute is characterized by the syllable ne, which 
often surfaces as a homorganic nasal prior to the final stem consonant.

Impf. Abs.      Strong  Weak
         rag'h 'to carry'        tala 'be tree-like'
1s      n-en    rañgen  talanen
2s      n-es    rañges  talanes
3sa     n-e     rañge   talane
3si     n-a     rañga   talana
4s      n-i     rañgi   talani
1p      n-emme  rañgemme        talanemme
2p      n-eva   rañgeva talaneva
3p      n-eth   rañgeth talaneth
4p      n-era   rañgera talanera

Imperfect tense, conjunct:
         The imperfect conjunct is characterized by i-affection and the 
thematic e-.
         In the strong conjugation, soft mutation affects the stem final 
consonant. Note also that the 3si and 4s have thematic a-, vice e-.
         Since most weak verbs end in vowels, notice that the i-affection 
affects only the final vowel. When the thematic vowel is suffixed, it 
dissimilates and creates i-diphthongs. The 3s inanimate is distinctive in 
that this creates the disyllabic digraph ia /ij/.

Impf. Abs.      Strong  Weak
         rag'h 'to carry'        tala 'be tree-like'
1s      en      reñen   talein
2s      es      reñes   taleis
3sa     e       reñe    talei
3si     a/ia    reña    talia
4s      (a/e)r  reñar   taleir
1p      emme    reñemme taleimme
2p      eva     reñeva  taleiva
3p      eth     reñeth  taleith
4p      eis/eira        reñeis  taleira

Preterite tense, absolute:
         The preterite is marked by ta or sa. Strong verbs take ta, weak 
verbs take sa, which often surfaces as ra. This tense is known for syncope 
as well, usually in even-numbered syllables. Resulting consonant clusters 
create much confusion, because their development was very complex.
         Stems ending in voiced stops, voiced fricatives, and m generally 
voice the suffix (-ta- > -da-, -sa- > -ra- or da-), and then vocalize to 
form a diphthong. Stems in unvoiced stops usually become stems in hta, or 
in a fricative (i.e. -p- + -sa- > -pha). Stems in l, lh, or r in strong 
verbs become ltha or rtha, and weak verbs usually lengthen (a.k.a. widen) a 
vowel. Nasals assimilate homorganically, and voice a following consonant, 
resulting in nd-, though this often further changes, and the nasal is lost 
with compensatory lengthening.
         Interesting about this conjugation is that the 4s form can become 
a stative verb on its own, conjugated as another weak stative verb, and 
often serving a role analogous to the past participle. Thus, the 4s form 
raede can also be used as an adjective-verb meaning '(be) carried'   .

Pret. Abs.      Strong  Weak
         rag'h 'to carry'        tala 'be tree-like'
1s      (t/s)an raedan  taalan
2s      (t/s)ach        raedach taalach
3sa     (t/s)a  raeda   taala
3si     (t/s)o  raedo   taalo
4s      (t/s)e  raede   taale
1p      (t/s)amme       raedamme        taalamme
2p      (t/s)ava        raedava taalava
3p      (t/s)ath        raedath taalath
4p      (t/s)as raedas  taalas

Preterite tense, conjunct:
         All verbs form this with si. Like the n- of the imperfect, the s- 
often migrates and becomes infixed. I-affection is standard in strong verbs 
only, though it does appear in some weak ones.
         When the si- suffix immediately precedes another vowel, it often 
becomes sh-. Note also that it hardens following voiced stops to unvoiced 
stops. Unvoiced stops generally remain, though ts- often becomes ss-, and 
fricatives are often assimilated similarly. If not, they defricativize to 
unvoiced stops. Nasals are lost with compensatory lengthening, and with 
prosthetic stops metathesized (-ns- > -nts- > comp. len. + -st-). Liquids 
sometimes follow this process as well, especially if syncope, common in 
this declension, has been at work. In the example below, the 3si form 
taastia derives from talasia > talsia > taltsia > taatsia > taastia, but 
can appear as talsia. The form talasha can also apper as talsha. This is 
the most difficult tense to master because of these changes and options.

Pret. Conj.     Strong  Weak
         rag'h 'to carry'        tala 'be tree-like'
1s      sin     rescin  taastin
2s      sis     rescis  taastis
3sa     si      resci   taasti
3si     sia/sha rescia  taastia/talasha
4s      siar/shar       resciar taastiar/talashar
1p      simme   rescimme        taastimme
2p      siva    resciva taastiva
3p      sith    rescith taastith
4p      sira    rescira taastira

Future tense, absolute:
         This tense is perhaps the simplest of all of them. The o- of the 
or- marker is used after a consonant, to replace a stem final a, and is 
dropped in all other cases. Syncope is very rare in this tense.

Fut. Abs.       Strong  Weak
         rag'h 'to carry'        tala 'be tree-like'
1s      (o)ran  ragoran taloran
2s      (o)rach ragorach        talorach
3sa     (o)r    ragor   talor
3si     (o)ra   ragora  talora
4s      (o)ri   ragori  talori
1p      (o)ramme        ragoramme       taloramme
2p      (o)rava ragorava        talorava
3p      (o)rath ragorath        talorath
4p      (o)ras  ragoras taloras

Future tense, conjunct:
         The future conjunct marker, ra-, also causes few changes in the 
verb stem. The conjunct forms of the future are more likely to undergo 
syncope, however.

Fut. Conj.      Strong  Weak
         rag'h 'to carry'        tala 'be tree-like'
1s      ran     ragran  taalan
2s      rach    ragrach taalach
3sa     or      ragor   talor
3si     ra      ragra   taala
4s      re      ragre   taale
1p      ramme   ragramme        taalamme
2p      rava    ragrava taalava
3p      rath    ragrath taalath
4p      ras     ragras  taalas

Subjunctive, absolute and conjunct:
         The same form serves for both absolute and conjunct. The marker 
ya- causes i-affection, and also causes vocalization of adjoining voiced 
stops, voiced fricatives, and m, creating diphthongs. Unvoiced stops and 
fricatives are voiced: top'h 'to cover' > tobya /to.'bya/

Subjunctive     Strong  Weak
         rag'h 'to carry'        tala 'be tree-like'
1s      yan     raeyan  taleyan
2s      yach    raeyach taleyach
3sa     ya      raeya   taleya
3si     yo      raeyo   taleyo
4s      yar     raeyar  taleyar
1p      yamme   raeyamme        taleyamme
2p      yava    raeyava taleyava
3p      yath    raeyath taleyath
4p      yas     raeyas  taleyas


Douglas Koller, Latin & French <latinfrench@...>
Pavel Iosad <pavel_iosad@...>
Amanda Babcock <langs@...>
Aidan Grey <grey@...>Taalen mutations