Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

More about the morphology of the noun in my NPL

From:Christophe Grandsire <grandsir@...>
Date:Friday, August 27, 1999, 12:30
First of all, thanks to Barry Garcia, John Cowan and Ed Heil for their
kind posts. They convinced me to send these news about my New Personal
Conlang (NPL will be a short for this). Now they must fear: "Oh no! What
have we done? Now he's going to bore us even more with his conlang!" :)
I was just kidding (I hope at least :) ). This post is an "as for my
conlang" answering to Fabian's post about his quantifiers and all this
interesting stuff that seems like the definite suffixes I added to my
NPL just three days ago. Well, don't flee, this mail will be shorter
than the others (and there will be just one boring table). So here we

        The definite suffixes are suffixes added to nouns that replace the
suffixed article -e (or -o for animate nouns) because they already have
a sense of definition. I don't have all of them already but most of them
are possessives and demonstratives. Those suffixes have generally two
forms: a long one, that generally agrees in gender (animation) with the
noun it completes, and a short one that doesn't. Currently there are
only two suffixes that don't have short form, and one that doesn't have
long form. Long forms are considered more polite and formal than short
forms, but the choice between the long form and the short form is
generally more complicated than just that. I'll bother you with in
another post if you want to (it's just a way to say that I'm not sure on
how they are used :) ). Those suffixes never attract the stress (which
must then be marked with the umlaut on the stressed vowel(s)) and the
long possessive suffixes always complete the construct state of the noun
(the short forms don't behave like this).

        The different suffixes I have so far are (best viewed with a
fixed-width font of course):
                                long form               short form

my (inanimate)                  -(u)darc /(@)d@Rk/
                                                        -(a)c /(@)k/
my (animate)                    -(u)tarc /(@)t@Rk/

thy (inanimate)                 -(u)szui /(@)s@j/
                                                        -(u)s /(@)s/
thy (animate)                   -(u)szuija /(@)s@jdZ@/

his/her epicene (inanimate)     -(ch)eli /(tS)@l@/
                                                        -(e)h /(@)tS/
his/her epicene (animate)       -(ch)eluum /(tS)@l@wm/

his masculine (i/a)             -(i)queva /(@)k@v@/     none

her feminine (i/a)              -(i)zleva /(@)zl@v@/    none

our (inanimate)                 -(ae)sti /(@j)st@/
                                                        -(t)in /(t)@n/
our (animate)                   -(ae)stone /(@j)st@n@/

your plural (inanimate)         -(ae)hheum /(@j)h@m/
                                                        -(h)on /(h)@n/
your plural (animate)           -(ae)hheumon /(@j)h@m@n/

their epicene (inanimate)       -(q)eumadh /(k)@m@D/
                                                        -(q)eud /(k)@d/
their epicene (animate)         -(q)eufadi /(k)@P@d@/

its/their inanimate (i/a)       none                    -(r)i /(R)@/

this/that (inanimate)           -(o)cei /(@)k@j/
                                                        -(r)i /(R)@/
this/that (animate)             -(o)ceiri /(@)k@jR@/

resumptive (inanimate)          -(e)pas /(@)p@s/
                                                        -(e)p /(@)p/
resumptive (animate)            -(e)pasfu /(@)p@sP@/

The gender in parentheses is the gender of the completed noun. In this
case, i/a means the form is used with inanimate nouns as well as animate
nouns. "None" means that the form doesn't exist. Hence it is not
possible to differentiate a masculine possessor from a feminine
possessor with short forms, only the epicene form is available.
Its/their (inanimate possessor) has only a short form (coming from the
short form of the demonstrative without a doubt). This means that in
formal context, you can't refer to an inanimate possessor with a suffix.
You must use a complete form. In very familiar contexts, a noun with a
short possessive suffix can be used as an alternate to the construct
case (like the use of the short possessive adjectives in Dutch). The
demonstrative (this/that) has only one level of distance (like "ce" in
French). Like in French, adverbs or particles can be used to specify.
The demonstrative has only a spatial/temporal meaning, the resumptive is
used to refer to the last idea discussed. This suffix can also be used
with the construct state (even in short form, that's an exception) to
show a thing possessed by the last thing discussed, whatever it is
(animate or inanimate). Finally, the letters in parentheses are put when
adding the suffix would have broken the rules of phonotactics, or put
two vowels together. In that respect, those suffixes are much simpler
than the article.

        Wow! I hope reading this chart will be less boring for you than it was
for me to write! (just kidding :) ) To finish with, here are some
examples of how those suffixes are used:

smar: book ->   smaredarc /smaR'ed@Rk/: my book (formal)
                smarc /sm'aRk/: my book (informal)
                esmarc /Esm'ark/: my books (informal)

pecar: dog ->   apecarzleva /apk'aRzl@v@/: her dogs (formal)
                opecarh /opk'aRtS/: his/her dogs (informal)
                pecarpasfu /pek'aRp@sP@/: this dog  (which we've just talked about)

        That's all (and that's enough :) ) for today. The next post, if you
want a "next post" will be about the verb morphology. Tell me if you're
interested :) .

        Christophe Grandsire

        Philips Research Laboratories --  Building WB 145
        Prof. Holstlaan 4
        5656 AA Eindhoven
        The Netherlands

        Phone:  +31-40-27-45006