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Re: Name of Valdyan: Ilaini

From:Irina Rempt-Drijfhout <irina@...>
Date:Saturday, October 20, 2001, 10:04
On Saturday 20 October 2001 10:18, Matt33 wrote:

> --- Irina Rempt <irina@...> wrote:
> > I've finally figured out what the Valdyans call > > their language: > > Ilaini "the languages", a collective plural form, > > analogous to _arli_ > > "the realities" meaning "the world, the universe". > > Do you mean that Valdyas is the name that "we" use in > English, but that the Valdyan civilization calls its > own language Ilaini? Or does Ilaini refer to the > entire collection of regional dialects that I think > you mention on your webpage?
The kingdom is "Valdyas" in its own language as well; it's a compound of the name of the river Valda that runs right through it from north to south, and -yas "region, land" : "Valdaland". The language didn't have a distinctive name because I didn't know what the people themselves called it, so I called it Valdyan in English because it's the language of Valdyas. I recently figured out that the collection of dialects (in fact, anything in the range of variants that someone would recognize as "speaking the same language, but a bit different") is usually called Ilaini "the languages".
> > In spite of the spelling with -ai-, it's pronounced > > [i'lani]. The > > -ai- is only to show that this is an /a/ that keeps > > stress in any > > position. > > Interesting, as I'd tend to view -ai- of Ilaini as > [aj] or even [e].
Well, it might be [e] in some dialects :-) More likely [E], though.
> So, you use -ai- to indicate > irregular stress on /a/ - is that right? Or is it > that whenever -ai- appears, then you must change > normal stress to align with the -ai-?
Both. Valdyans (my spelling is, of course, a transliteration) use the letter "a" with a stroke through it, making it "ai" ([Aj] or [aj] depending on dialect). This is always stressed; if you want [aj] that conforms to normal stress you must spell it "ay" (with the stroke under instead of through the "a"). Regular stress is on the first syllable of the root: a minimal pair is _perayn_ "we may" ['perAjn] and _Perain_ (a male name) [pe'rAjn].
> >Valdyan words *ending* in -ain have [aj], > > but whenever > > there's something after it (like an inflectional > > ending) it reverts to [a]. > > So, you might write "Thai" (phonetically) as _tain_?
No, the /n/ is always pronounced; I should have said that words ending in -ain have [ajn], and "ai" reverts to [a] (always stressed) when there's a *syllable* in the same word following the syllable with "ai". It's just that all the words with "ai" in the last syllable that I've encountered happen to end in -ain. Example: _idain_ "water" [i'dAjn], plural _idaini_ "sea" [i'dani] (but: _irain_ "pair of hands" [rAjn], plural _iraini_ [i'rajni], because _rain_ "hand" and _tain_ "god" are the exceptions to the /ai/ -> /a/ rule, even in compounds)
> And, you might write "lot" (phonetically) as _laint_? > Is that right, or am I totally off?
*I* pronounce "lot" as [lOt], but then I learned my English in Britain. Valdyans would hear the British pronunciation as "lot" and the American pronunciation as "lat". Valdyans would probably spell "Thai" as "tay", not in the least because that's an existing word (it means "while"). If they spelt it "tai", they'd pronounce "Thailand" as ['talAnd]. Irina -- --------------------------------------------------------------------- By my troth, we that have good wits have much to answer for. We shall be flouting; we cannot hold. - William Shakespeare, _As You Like It_