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Re: new lang

From:Aidan Grey <grey@...>
Date:Thursday, March 7, 2002, 0:20
At 01:42 PM 3/6/2002 +0100, Christian Köttl wrote:
>With slight changes in >the orthography (like w for /u/) it would look even more Welsh, >although I might say that Welsh orthography is sometimes a bit odd.
It definitely has Welsh overtones. And the syntax is nearly identical to Irish.
>And it might be assumed that the "f" is missing from the unvoiced fricatives >because it was lost.
Actually, /f/ is present, I just have it orthographically represented (at the moment - I keep changing my mind about it) as 'ph'.
>The case systems hints at an interesting history, just compare the >case endings for paucal forms and for normal forms, and the Ablaut in >the paucal forms. Is it an Ablaut?
No, it's an umlaut. U-umlaut, to be precise. Sorta. Here is a break down of what happens to various vowels by J/I umlaut (in genitives) and by U umlaut (in Paucal): J/I U a ai au e ei eu i i iu o oe u u ui u ei i iu I'm not sure whether that should be called an umlaut or not, but I think it's clearly not an ablaut.
>I think it is very interesting to give preeminence to feminine as it >suggests that women hold most of the power in the society.
That's exactly where it comes from. The conculture that goes with the lang is matrilinear and matrifocal.
> But of course, it is plausible to have three >pronouns anyway.
For the most part, the three genders aren't important. Nouns don't have gender, so masculine and feminine only refer to specific people and certain gender obvious nouns (mother, father, John, Suzie). Common gender refers to all other things (actor, person, table, happiness, etc.).
>Then, I have some more questions: >How is the imperative formed? With the subjunctive? Something else?
Yes, the imperative is formed from the subjunctive (as a jussive/hortatory use) with bare root used often in the 3sg. Ledhiamme! Let us separate! Ser! Flow!
>Is the 'common' gender ("sa") in the singular used for neutral >pronouns or for groups that are both male and female, like "The >police, they are coming!" - many languages use the singular here.
No, just for common gendered nouns. For example, the topicalized sentence below: Ar i pal meuradar e. COP:PRES ART herb-NS steep:PRES-4th pron:3sgc-OS. "It is the herb which is being steeped." lit. "It is the herb which something is steeping it" Note: the verb form 'meuradar' should actually be in the conjunct form, since it acts as an adjective modifying the noun 'pal'. However, I have only created the present and past 3rd person conjunct forms so far...though on second thought, it might be _meurr_ or _maurr_. (The present conjunct is formed without the epenthetic/thematic vowel -a-, so the stem _meur(a)-_ + conjunct person ending _-r_.) An example of the absolute and conjunct forms: with my favorite verb _ledh_ 'separate'. She separates me from you. Ledha se en asce. sep:PRES-3sg pron:3sf-N pron:1sg-O from-2sg That is a separate problem. Ar ten ogas ledh. COP:PRES-3sg that-NS problem-NS separate:PRES.CONJ-3sg Look at the separated boys! Eithia o ngaras leddath! look:SUBJ-3sg to boy:OPl separate:PRET.CONJ-3pl That _leddath_ will commonly appear as just _ledda_, the 3sg having become standard in common speech. The way it is given here, with the true form, makes it literary.
>It's probably a bit unfair to post so many questions for a young >language at once, but I am really curious. And then, I think that >Aidan has presented a language with a lot of history encapsulated and >that is - of course - also a very interesting aspect.
Thanks! It's taken years to get here. I'm making this language into what I kept trying to force Aelya to be, and this works much better. Aidan