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Old Sanhr Pronominology

From:Peter Ara Guekguezian <pag-conlanglist@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 17, 2007, 23:07
I've been doing some heavy-duty tweaking on the pronouns. Voici!

Personal Pronouns:

1st Exclusive   /eG-/ ex      1st Inclusive  /ep/ eb

2nd Singular    /coN-B/ cogv  2nd Plural     /paN-B/ bagv

3rd Singular    /BaN+/ vaj    3rd Plural     /G+re/ yre

Non-personal Pronouns:

3rd  /Bok-/ voq

4th  /G-oi/ xoe

5th  /ez/ ez

6th  /r/ r

Pronoun Allomorphy (note that the 3rd non-person pronoun is not used as
a prefix or suffix, and that its "+LOC" form is the same as the 3rd
person singular's, since that form <voqaj> is actually from a
combination of the two pronouns /Bok-/ & /BaN+/:

       ROOT    +LOC      PRE _V       PRE _C   PRE C_V SUF V_# SUF C_#

1EXC   ex      iexí      (C)ex        (V)xe    ex      xi      exi

1INC   eb      iebí      (C)eb        (V)be    eb      bi      ebi

2SG    cogv    cogví     (V)cogv      (C)ojgo  ojgv    ceg     ecog

2PL    bagv    bagví     (V)bagv      (C)amgo  amgv    beg     ebog

3SG    vaj     voqaj(í)  (C)oj/(V)vaj (C)oji   oj      vaj     oj

3PL    yre     yrevaj(í) (V)yr        (V)yre   eyr     yre     iyre

4      xoe     xoií      (V)xoi       (V)xoe   exoi    xoe     ixoe

5      ez      iezí      (C)ez        (V)ze    ez      zi      ezi

6      r       ré        (C)r         (C)re    r       r       er

The roots (phonemic) and the actual allomorphs (phonetic):

       ROOT     +LOC      PRE _V   PRE _C  PRE C_V SUF V_#  SUF C_#

1EXC   /eG-/    jEI”GM:   EG       GE      EG      wM       EiwM

1INC   /ep/     jEI”b1:   Eb       bE      Eb      b1       EIb1

2SG    /coN-B/  kOU”NwM:  gONw     ONNO    ONNw    J\EN     EigoN

2PL    /paN-B/  p6”NwM:   b6Nw     ANNO    ANNw    bEN      EiboN

3SG    /BaN+/   BOU”gAJ   OJ ~ vAJ OUJi    OJ      vAJ      OJ

3PL    /G+re/   “r_je:vAJ Z\r_j    Z\r_jE  EZ\r_j  Z\r_jeI  1Z\r_je

4      /G-oi/   RO”j1:    Roj      ROI     EROj    RoI      1Roi

5      /ez/     jEI”z1:   Ez       zE      Ez      z1       EIz1

6      /r/      re:       r        rE      r       r        Er

If you're curious as to what's going on phonetically, I invite you to
try to figure it out. If you're lazy (like me), then just ask lots of

The 3rd Singular Independent (+Locative) pronoun is actually a
suppletive form including the 3rd non-personal pronoun: /Bok-/ + /BaN+/
= /Bok-BaN+/ => /Bok-aN+/. The 3rd Plural Indept. pronoun is also
suppletive, /G+re/ + /BaN+/ => /G+reBaN+/, actually a genitive
compound-thing, literally "the them of him/her/it", "his/her/its them".
The 3rd non-personal pronoun occurs but rarely on its own, though one
will find it strewn around in the morpheme soup so plentiful in Old
Sanhr. Its indept. form <voqí> /Bo"k-1/ [BOU"gM:] is still extant,
though its use is limited compared to that of the other non-personal
indept. pronouns.

The allomorph of the personal pronouns (prefixes on verbs and
postpositions, suffixes on verbs and nouns) depends on whether the
adjacent phone (on the inside of the word) is a vowel or a consonant.
Occasionally an adjacent liquid will condition the vowel-adjacent
pronoun allomorph, though most often it requires the consonant-adjacent
allomorph. If the adjacent phoneme is /1/ sounded as a glide (usually
[j], but sometimes [w] or [r\]), it always conditions the
consonant-adjacent allomorph. If an additional affix or clitic is
attached on the outside of the pronominal morpheme, that affix is itself
conditioned by the allomorph of the pronoun.

The meaning of the six personal pronouns is relatively straightforward.
The 1st inclusive and 2nd and 3rd plural are often used instead of the
other three when in a "formal" situation. Just what is involved
pragmatically in making a situation "formal" is kind of hazy to me, as I
haven't spent enough time immersing myself in Sanhr culture. However, if
you're meeting someone for the first time (or second, or third...) the
situation is actually NOT formal. In order for it to be formal, the
participants must know each other to some extent. Of course, if they are
very familiar with each other, then the situation is NOT formal either.
'Tis tricky...

As for the non-personal pronouns, here's a weird li'l overview of the
Syntactic/Semantic spaces they fill:
3) here
4) there
5) right here
6) somewhere
Relation to 1st/2nd:
3) by/before us
4) away from us
5) among/inside us
6) not with us
3) in close sight
4) in far sight
5) intuitively seen
6) not visible
3) just mentioned
4) mentioned a while ago
5) unmentioned, but well-known by all
6) unmentioned, not known by any
3) immediate situation
4) non-immediate situation
5) commonplace, adage, generalization
6) conjecture, supposition
Evidentiality (by 1st/2nd), etc.
3) first-hand evidence
4) hearsay, rumor, reliable source
5) familiar/obvious topic, in-joke, intuition, “gut feeling”
6) guess, puzzle, mystery, taboo (not known, or at least not supposed to
be known)
3) prime topic, main idea
4) side topic, rumination
5) new topic, but directly connected to prime topic
6) completely new topic (curveball)
3) Full (continuation)
4) Moderate (continuation)
5) Full (tangent)
6) Little to None (tangent)

As you can guess, I need better names for these than 3rd, 4th, 5th, and
6th. Note that these only apply to referents that can be replaced by a
3rd *personal pronoun*. Also, the 3rd personal pronouns are used instead
of the 3rd non-personal pronoun in many situations. However, if there is
only one non-personal referent, the 3rd personal pronouns can be used to
distinguish singular from plural (though that's often not needed, since
the whole singular/plural distinction is not very important in Old Sanhr).

Also, a little treat: Old Sanhr often uses the indept. (+LOC) forms of
the non-personal pronouns as copulae, which role has been extended to
that of conversational particles. I'm going to attempt to use them in
everyday speech henceforth...

3  voqí  [BOU"gM:]
4  xoií  [RO"j1:]
5  iezí  [jEI"z1:] (make sure the <z> is dental!)
6  ré    [re:] (feel free to trill away!)

Used as:
3: "Yeah..." "Go on..." "and..." "yep" "nope" "oh yeah..." "prol'ly" "I
see" "I'll bet he did..." "then what?" --- agrees with other party's
statement; answers rhetorical questions; expects normal continuation of
conversation flow; necessary to establishing rapport with others and
keeping them interested in what you in turn might say.

4: "Yes/No, but..." "sure, if..." "well, I guess..." "hmmm..." "maybe...
but *I* think..." "could well be" "I dunno (but I'll ask around)" ---
partial agreement with other party's statement FOLLOWED BY unsureness
about, doubt of, or disagreement with the rest of their statement;
introduces alternate opinion, tangent, corollary, or rebuttal in
relation to other party's statement; shifts conversation away from a
'sensitive topic'.

5: "Of course!" "Same old, same old!" "That's our friend!" "Duh!" "Now,
now, young (wo)man..." "Oh... THAT!" "Why didn't you say so?"
"Obviously" "Everyone knows that" "right you are, as always" "no shit,
Sherlock" "there, there..." "Why, soitenly, dollink!" "Yeah, that's how
she goes!" --- indication that the other party's statement is obvious,
expected, stereotypical, common-sensical, or otherwise taken for granted
by the listener; required response to a commonplace, slogan, adage,
proverb, in-joke, etc.; depending on intonation, can express flattery,
coyness, condolence, coquettry, naïveté, or biting sarcasm toward the
other party.

6: "unbe-fucking-lievable" "WTF?" "No you didn't!" "That's crazy!" "Huh?
What just happened?" "Her?! No way!" "Holy shit!" "Why, God, WHY?" "How
did you find us?" "Huh--that's a doozy" "Whoa, you threw me for a loop
there!" "Woo Hoo!" "Yauuugh!" "D'oh!" "¡Ay, caramba!" --- interjects a
sudden, extreme outburst of emotion: surprise, anger, sadness, pain,
mania, giddiness or any other emotion, as long as it's sudden and
extreme; expresses shock, incredulity, indignancy, a general reaction to
something that is unexpected or uncalled for in the situation; random
outburst much utilized in comedy, often by a pompous fool (or a town
drunk having set himself on fire again!)

Again, thanks for the input!