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Re: Language Sketch: Yargish Orkish

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Thursday, August 15, 2002, 22:48
Quoting Andreas Johansson <and_yo@...>:

> INTRODUCTION > > I don't normally see myself as a particularly creative person, but > sometimes inspiration strikes quite irrespective of my conscious wishes.
I don't know about that. Your posts on your other projects seemed interesting enough. I'd be interested to see more of them (including this one) in the future.
> The stress falls on the first syllable of the stem of the head word in each > phrase. Thus in _u-chash-yarga_ "the strong warrior (erg)" the stress falls > on YAR.
Does this mean that the article and any modifiers are clitic?
> GRAMMAR > > Yargish is an ergative SOV language. Despite its interfictionally being > spoken by non-humans, it doesn't have any very alien features (this far, at > least).
It would be interesting to do a poll (Peter, you reading this?) on how many people on the list have ergative-absolutive languages. There seem to be an awfully large number of them, far more than the statistical 30% of natural languages. (This is, of course, not a critique of your choice: Phaleran itself does, afterall, have a split ergative system.)
> NOUNS > > The Yargish noun has four cases; absolutive, ergative, dative and locative. > The first three are about what you'd expect, while the locative is only > used in combination with postpositions (see below). The plural number is > indicated with a prefix _na-_, orginally an independent word meaning > "many". Taking the word _yarg_ "(Orc) warrior", the paradigm of a > regular noun then is: > > - sg pl > - abs yarg nayarg > - erg yarga nayarga > - dat yargu nayargu > - loc yargiz nayargiz
Does Yargish have an antipassive? If so, which case marks demoted patients, dative or locative? (Presumably, the dative, if the locative is only used with prepositions.)
> PRONOUNS > > Yargish pronouns don't have any gender distinctions, nor any > formal/informal distinctions, which makes for a neat pronoun > table with forms for three persons, two numbers and four cases > (again, the locative is only used with postpositions). > > - > - abs ang nazur zdi naja ach nava > - erg nga zura zda ja acha va > - dat ngu zuru zdu ju achu vu > - loc ngiz zuriz zdiz jayz achiz naviz
Can you talk a little more about the suppletion here?
> POSTPOSITIONS > > Yargish has a largish number of postpositions, that combines with the > ergative, dative and locative cases. For spatial postpositions, the > ergative carries ablative meaning, the dative allative and the locative, > um, locative meaning. Taking _dir_ "forest" and _-zata_ "in, inside", > we then have:
It's a little unusual that the ergative would carry that oblique spatial meaing, but possible if phonological sound changes collapsed two originally distinct cases. Is this the case in Yargish?
> VERBS > > The Yargish verb has two tenses, present and past,
> The future is handled by the present form plus an adverbial signifying > "tomorrow" or "next year" or whatever.
So, the "present" is really a nonpast, as in many Germanic languages.
> Yargish has noun-like adjectives, that preceed the noun the modify.
Presumably, these do not agree with the modified noun in case, or number, right? ========================================================================= Thomas Wier Dept. of Linguistics "Nihil magis praestandum est quam ne pecorum ritu University of Chicago sequamur antecedentium gregem, pergentes non qua 1010 E. 59th Street eundum est, sed qua itur." -- Seneca Chicago, IL 60637