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C'ali update: desinences; gender

From:Thomas Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Thursday, March 24, 2005, 10:42
So, it occurred to me that I had never done anything
on this list about case declensions in C'ali.  Phaleran
has, at eight, a larger number of cases than C'ali's
three. But those eight cases in Phaleran are largely
agglutinative in nature, while C'ali's cases are divided
into seven primary declensional classes, and 15 to 20
smaller and generally unproductive ones.  In the
C'aliological literature they are known not by number
but by poetic names given them by the first C'ali

  tlokwastoru   < tlokwa-, 'blade given to youths upon
                            entering adulthood'
  snykhestoru   < snykh-, 'eclipse of Gelene' [*]
  saxmëstoru    < saxmë-, 'martial prowess' [+]
  æntwesistoru  < æntwes-, 'game of hunt'
  qwelistoru    < qweli-, 'fallen leaf, fall foliage'
  ainaxestoru   < ainax-, 'ruddy soil'
  eut[nustoru.  < eut[nu-, 'down'

[[*] Remember that Phalera is actually a moon of the gas giant
Gelene that orbits Upsilon Andromedae.  For a period of around
five to six days approximately every eight months, Phalera
enters the umbra of Gelene, totally blocking out all but
artificial and star light.  The fact that Phalera does rotate
on its own axis and does not have a rotation equal to its
revolution, as would be expected of a satellite of a large
planet, has lead Phaleran scientists to conclude that Phalera
was gravitationally caught by Gelene at some cosmologically
relatively recent date.

[+] This word is now the standard word for 'man' as can be
seen in all my earlier posts on C'ali.]

These names, handily, are mnemonic in nature, since each
word is also a member of the class which it names. Using
the above order of declensional class, we have:

    Agent    Patient   Genitive   Typical Gender

1.  -qa       -s         -m         [ II  ]
                         -phu       [ III ]
2.  -oi       -kxë       -ous       [ IV  ]
3.  -thei     -ci        -n         [ I   ]
4.  -ti       -si        -in        [ I   ]
              -sön                  [ III ]
5.  -ti       -lai       -qo/-qwa   [ III ]
6.  -C:a [*]  -teio      -my        [ V   ]
7.  -lem      -'es       -n         [ V   ]

[ [*] the [C] here represents a lengthening of the
preceding consonant.]

A certain amount of morphological levelling has occurred
in this paradigm.  Under pressure from third declension
masculine nouns, the patientive suffix -sön has been remodelled
on -ci which share the same gender.  Likewise, the highly
marked complex glottalized aspirate /th'/ (actually not a phoneme,
but a harmonic cluster that patterns like one) in fifth declension
nouns has a strong tendency to shift towards -ti of the fourth
declension, again especially when sharing the same gender.


Gender assignment is by no means absolutely correlated
with desinence class.  There are many counterexamples to these
generalizations.  One may note that there are five genders:

First:    almost all male, whether human or animal;  lower
Second:   almost all female, whether human or animal.
Third:    flying things, the air, celestial objects,
          most deities, most wild animals, all flora,
          religious items, members of the upper nobility
Fourth:   tools, language acts, most domesticated animals,
          water and other liquids, words relating to the
          peasantry and the proletariat
Fifth:    abstractions, metals, art and artwork, words
          relating to the bourgeoisie, foreign loan words
          when not obviously fitting into one of the
          other categories, epicene gender. The 5th gender
          is the residue gender.

There is some tendency for gender I nouns to migrate
to gender III, a reflection of C'ali gender-roles, but this
does not appear to be threatening the vitality of the class.
Likewise, gender IV nouns tend increasingly to be shifting
to gender V.

That's about it for now.  At some point if I ever scan in some
of my maps, I'll post to the list.

Thomas Wier	       "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally,
Dept. of Linguistics    because our secret police don't get it right
University of Chicago   half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of
1010 E. 59th Street     Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter.
Chicago, IL 60637