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"Roumant", or maybe Narbonósc. Part VII

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Thursday, December 28, 2000, 23:57
Hi everyone,

This time I won't bother you with verbal paradigms (unless you want to, I still
have a lot to show, especially about 4th and 5th conjugations verbs :) ). No,
this time I will discuss about a nice lexical feature I found in "Roumant", as
well as an overview of the numerals. But let's first see this lexicon feature:


In a previous post about the cluster /-min-/ and its evolution in Romance
(con)langs, I had said that in "Roumant", "man" was hom /O~/ (from Latin
hóminem) while "woman" was fêne /fEn/ (from Latin fémina). Well, in fact it's
not completely right. It's true that hom means "man" and fêne means "woman", but
only in biological sense of the word. That's to say: hom and fêne are used to
refer to men and women as living creatures, human animals, or humans in general
(hom can be used to refer to humans in general for instance). But to refer to
actual men or women, to individuals, one doesn't use those words but rather the
words dom /dO~/ (from Latin dóminus) and dône /don/ (from Latin dómina). Those
words are also used with proper names to mean respectively Mr. and Miss/Mrs (in
this case, the definite article can be used with dom and dône, except when
calling people. This is optional though). Still, there is one case where hom and
fêne are used to refer to individuals: when they are used in a married couple.
In this case, hom and fêne are respectively synonyms of spoux /spu/: husband and
spouse /spuz/: wife (note also the existence of the word comsort /kO~'sOr/:
partner which, although grammatically masculine, is semantically neutral and can
be used for both men and women).

Finally, there are also the words douem /dwE~/ and douêne /dwEn/ (same origin as
dom and dône, but with the addition of a diphtongation. Personnally I think they
come from a different dialect of "Roumant" than the main dialect I'm describing,
and they were borrowed in the main dialect with different meanings than their
counterparts). The actual meaning of those two words depends heavily on the
context but can often be approximated by "sir" and "madam". They can also refer
to the oldest man or woman of a community (French "doyen" and "doyenne"). Douêne
is also used to refer to a nanny, but can also refer to the "madam" of a
brothel. Those are not really polysemic words. They rather have a broad meaning
of "referring to a superior in a community, or someone who cares after others".
All this seems logically derived from the meaning of the Latin original word

Well, that's all for the nice lexical feature I was talking about. I'd like to
hear comments about it, and examples of other conlangs with similar or different
but neat lexical features like that, especially from other conRomance langs.


Like all other Romance languages, "Roumant" has both cardinal and ordinal
numbers. But it has also few other sets of numbers, more limited in use and more
conservative, like the multiplicative or distributive ordinals.

The cardinal numbers:
0: zéro /'zero/                   100: cente, cem /sa~t, sa~/
1: um, une /9~, yn/               101: cente-um /sa~'t9~/
2: doux /du/                      102: cem-doux /sa~'du/
3: treis /trE/                    ...
4: catre /katr/                   108: cente-utte /sa~'tyt/
5: cinque /sE~k/                  109: cem-nouve /sa~'nuv/
6: seix /sE/                      110: cem-deice /sa~'dEs/
7: sette /sEt/                    111: cente-ondice /sa~tO~'dis/
8: utte /yt/                      112: cem-doudice /sa~du'dis/
9: nouve /nuv/                    ...
10: deice /dEs/                   119: cem-deice-nouve /sa~dEs'nuv/
11: ondice /O~'dis/               120: cem-veint /sa~'vE~/
12: doudice /du'dis/              130: cem-treinte /sa~'trE~t/
13: trêdice /trE'dis/             ...
14: catordice /katOr'dis/         180: cente-uttante /sa~ty'ta~t/
15: quindice /kE~'dis/            190: cem-nouvante /sa~nu'va~t/
16: seidice /sE'dis/              200: doucentes /du'sa~t/
17: deice-sette /dE'sEt/          300: treicentes /trE'sa~t/
18: deice-utte /dE'syt/           400: catrecentes /katr@'sa~t/
19: deice-nouve /dEs'nuv/         500: cincentes /sE~'sa~t/
20: veint /vE~/                   600: seicentes /sE'sa~t/
21: veint-um /vE~'t9~/            700: settecentes /sEt'sa~t/
22: veint-é-doux /vE~te'du/       800: uttecentes /yt'sa~t/
23: veint-é-treis /vE~te'trE/     900: nouvecentes /nuv'sa~t/
...                               1 000: mille /mil/
28: veint-utte /vE~'tyt/          1 001: mille um /mil 9~/
29: veint-é-nouve /vE~te'nuv/     1 002: mille doux /mil du/
30: treinte /trE~t/               ...
31: treinte-um /trE~'t9~/         2 000: doux meile /du mEl/
...                               10 000: deice meile /dEs mEl/
39: treinte-é-nouve /trE~te'nuv/  100 000: cem meile /sa~ mEl/
40: carante /ka'ra~t/             1 000 000: um milhom /9~ mi'l_jO~/
50: cincante /sE~'ka~t/           2 000 000: doux milhoms /du mi'l_jO~/
60: sossante /sO'sa~t/            10 000 000: deice milhoms /dEs mi'l_jO~/
70: settante /sE'ta~t/            100 000 000: cem milhoms /sa~ mi'l_jO~/
80: uttante /y'ta~t/              1 000 000 000: mille milhoms /mil mi'l_jO~/
90: nouvante /nu'va~t/            ...

1 is the only number that agrees in gender with the noun it completes. 100 is
cente in front of a word beginning with a vowel or h+vowel, but cem in front of
a word beginning with a consonnant. é: and is put between tens and units when
the unit begins with a consonnant. 1 000 is mille /mil/, except when it is
multiplied by another cardinal, in which case it's meile /mEl/. As for the
hyphen, it is put only between hundreds, tens and units.

The ordinal numbers:
They are adjectives that agree in number with the noun they complete. They exist
from 1st to 1000th (as well as its multiples), but there is no ordinal
corresponding to milhom (which is a noun, not a pronoun-adjective), and it's
impossible to build ordinals corresponding to 1 001st and such. Finally, only
the first 16 ordinals are commonly used, the others being usually replaced by
the corresponding cardinal used with the definite article. That's why I'll show
here only the first 20 ordinals:

1st: prime /prim/        11th: ondésime /O~de'zim/
2nd: segonde /s@'gO~d/   12th: doudésime /dude'zim/
3rd: tierce /tjErs/      13th: trêdésime /trEde'zim/
4th: carte /kart/        14th: catordésime /katOrde'zim/
5th: quinte /kE~t/       15th: quindésime /kE~de'zim/
6th: sexte /sESt/        16th: seidésime /sEde'zim/
7th: septe /sEpt/        17th: deice-settime /dEsE'tim/
8th: ottave /O'tav/      18th: deice-uttime /dEsy'tim/
9th: none /non/          19th: deice-nouvime /dEsnu'vim/
10th: désime /de'zim/    20th: vigésime /viZe'zim/

One thing worth noting is that adverbs derived from the ordinal numbers are
always adverbs in -é, not in -mente. For instance: primé: first(ly), segondé:

The multiplicative adverbs:
They come from Latin, even though they underwent some modification. They are
used to mean "once, twice, three times, etc..." and are commonly used, even
though they exist only until 20. Beyond 20, cardinal numbers with the feminine
noun veis /vE/: time are used.

once: sem /sE~/                11 times: ondicens /O~di'sE~/
twice: bis /bi/                12 times: doudicens /dudi'sE~/
3 times: terr /tEr/            13 times: trêdicens /trEdi'sE~/
4 times: caterr /ka'tEr/       14 times: catordicens /katOrdi'sE~/
5 times: quincens /kE~'sE~/    15 times: quindicens /kE~di'sE~/
6 times: seicens /sE'sE~/      16 times: seidicens /sEdi'sE~/
7 times: settens /sE'tE~/      17 times: deice-settens /dEsE'tE~/
8 times: uttens /y'tE~/        18 times: deice-uttens /dEsy'tE~/
9 times: nouvens /nu'vE~/      19 times: deice-nouvens /dEsnu'vE~/
10 times: deicens /dE'sE~/     20 times: vigens /vi'ZE~/
And after that: 21 times: veint-une veis.

The fractions:
Fractions whose denominator is between 3 and 16 are formed like in English:
cardinal number + ordinal number. 1/2 is also special and is said: une médi /yn
'medi/. All those fractions are feminine. Beyond this, fractions are given by
two cardinal numbers separated by the preposition eintre /E~tr/: between, among.
Unlike the previous fractions, those ones are masculine. For instance: doudice
eintre treinte-é-cinque: 12/35.

The decimal numbers:
Like in French, the decimal part is separated from the integer part with a comma
(comme /kO~m/ in "Roumant"). For instance: pi igàl treis comme catordice: pi
equals 3.14.

The approximative numbers:
They are masculine nouns, normally formed by adding the suffix -aim to the
corresponding cardinal number, which sometimes provokes some orthographic
changes. For example:
um cincaim /9~ sE~'kE~/: about 5.
um doudiceaim /9~ dudi'sE~/: a dozen.

There is one exception though: um milhar /9~ mi'l_ja/: about a thousand.

Those nouns are very much used in "Roumant".

The simple operations:
The four simple operations are:
- the addition: a soume /a sum/ (soumâre /su'mar/: to add):
  5+7=12: cinque mais (or é) sette som (or fam, or igàl) doudice.
- the substraction: a reste /a rEst/ (restâre /rEs'tar/: to substract):
  21-6=15: veint-um mins seix som (or fam, or igàl) quindice.
- the multiplication: a multiplicaceam /a myltiplika'sa~/ (multiplicâre
/myltipli'kar/: to multiply):
  4*9=36: caterr nouve (or catre pêre nouve) som (or fam, or igàl)
- the division: a divisam /a divi'za~/ (dividâre /divi'dar/: to divide):
  14/2=7: catordice eintre doux (or catordice dividàt pêre doux) som (or fam, or
igàl) sette.

Some particular numerals:
The feminine nouns ace /as/, bine /bin/, trine /trin/, caterne /ka'tErn/, quine
/kin/, sesne /sEsn/, settine /sE'tin/, uttine /y'tin/, nonine /no'nin/ and deine
/dEn/ are used to names the faces of dice and numbered cards. Except for ace,
they are not commonly used, except among professional players. The cardinal
numbers are normally used instead.

A little less commonly used, but still important are the adjectives derived from
numerals, like the adjectives in -arr (feminine -are): primarr /pri'mar/:
primary, segondarr /s@gO~'dar/: secondary, terciarr /tEr'sjar/: tertiary,
caternarr /katEr'nar/: quaternary, etc... and in -âou (feminine -âle): binâou
/bi'nau/: binary, ternâou /tEr'nau/: ternary, octâou /Ok'tau/: octal, décimâou
/desi'mau/: decimal, etc...

Finally, expressions like "one by one", "two by two" are usually rendered as "um
pouès um", "doux pouès doux" ("one after one", "two after two"), but there are
also adverbs, called distributive adverbs (which derive from the distributive
adjectives of Latin), which have the same meaning but have a strictly literary
use (they are never used in speech, but often enough in books to be still
learned, kind of like the French simple past) and exist only from one to 16.

one by one: uné /y'ne/             9 by 9: nonené /non'ne/
two by two: biné /bi'ne/           10 by 10: deiné /dE'ne/
three by three: triné /tri'ne/     11 by 11: ondiné /O~di'ne/
four by four: caterné /katEr'ne/   12 by 12: doudiné /dudi'ne/
five by five: quiné /ki'ne/        13 by 13: trêdiné /trEdi'ne/
6 by 6: sesné /sEs'ne/             14 by 14: catordiné /katOrdi'ne/
7 by 7: settené /sEt'ne/           15 by 15: quindiné /kE~di'ne/
8 by 8: uttené /yt'né/             16 by 16: seidiné /sEdi'ne/

Well, I think that's quite enough for this already much too long post :) .
Congratulations for those who read it through! As usual, all your comments are
more than welcome. If you're not fed up with "Roumant" (whose final name should
certainly be Narbonósc /narbo'nos/) I still have some things to say about the
prepositions and conjunctions, as well as about the verbs. Tell me if you want
to know :) .

Oh, and I almost forgot: Happy New Year to everyone!