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new lang

From:Aidan Grey <grey@...>
Date:Friday, March 1, 2002, 18:39
   Hey all,

   I've given up on Aelya. It depends on Tolkien's works so much, and
there's so much infighting there I don't expect to ever see everything I
need to. So I started a new lang, a priori from the start (well, with some
borrowing of idea). the tentative name is Sephas, but it will change.
here's some basics:

   VSO! Yay!

  Phonology: fairly standard 5 vowel system with two additions:
orthographic au pronounced like upturned-c (/6/?) in unstressed syllables,
and in stressed syll. before clusters, and y as schwa between consonants.
Words can only end in a continuant (vowel, sonorant, or fricative).
Clusters allowed initially, medially, but not finally. The roman
transliteration alphabet: a b c ch /x/ d dh /D/ e g gh /G/ h i l lh /L/ m n
o p ph r rh /R/ s sh /S/ t th /T/ u v y. Lh and Rh are as in welsh, Gh is a
voiced velar fricative, otherwise fairly standard. Oh, and r can be rhotic
or a flap or a trill, depending on dialect, with flap the most common.

   Nouns: no gender, except in naturally gendered nouns. Preeminence given
to feminine (i.e. masculine nouns derive from feminine ones: ladhe
'queen' > ladhon 'king'). three cases (nominative, objective, and
genitive), 2 numbers (sg and pl). There are paucal nouns as well, which
indicate a number easily counted. 2 or 3, most of the time, thought with
larger numbers it implies ordered arrangement. Sample declension:

   pal 'herb, medicinal plant'

  (Case then Number)
NomSg (NS): pal
OS: palle
GS: paile
NP: pala
OP: palas
GP: pailen
Paucal forms:
NS: paulu
OS: paulure
GS: paulle
NP: paula
OP: pauluas
GP: pauluin

there are 4 declensions, based on final phonemes: end in vowels, dipthongs,
sonorants or fricatives (fric. from older stops results in changes. E.g.
cadh 'war' GS caiste)

Adjectives: actually verbs in a semi-relative form. I have a lot to figure
our here still.

Verbs: 5 "tenses": present, imperfect, preterite, future, and subjunctive.

   Example conjugation: (with tense marker then personal ending after)

  Ledh: separate, mark out as special or distinctive, focus on, be
concerned with

present 1sg: ledhan (-a-n)
imperfect 2sg: lendech (old) or ledhanech (new) (-ne-ch)
preterite 3sg: alhedhe (as-e-0)
future 1pl: leisomme (-so-mme)
subjunctive 2pl: ledhiava (-ia-va)

there is no passive (though something close with impersonal 4th person
forms), progressive and some other aspects formed via synthetic syntax (a
la Irish): I am separating you from your mother. Aren o ech ledhas as ech
amme. Lit. Am-I at your separating from your mother.

pronouns: 1,2,3 person, sing and plural. 3sg has masc, fem, and common
genders (so, se, sa respectively). Also a 4th person, used obviatively, and
only occurring in the singular. This fourth person is also used to form

examples of 4th p. use:

    he ate his soup: (his own): Alhaspe o urphalle. PRET-drink-3sg
poss-3sgm soup-OS.
    he ate his soup (someone else's): Alhaspe era urphalle. with poss-4th
    The soup was eaten: Alhaspedar i urphalle. PRET-drink-4th art-sg
soup-OS. Lit. Someone ate the soup.

    Interesting derivation note: urphal 'soup' is from water-plant. Soup is
herb-water! Obviously, used only for thin broths and consommes. A stew
would be something different, and would use a different verb too.

   Whaddaya think?