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Re: C'ali update: desinences; gender

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Thursday, March 24, 2005, 19:37

On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 04:39:57 -0600,
Thomas Wier <trwier@...> wrote:

> 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.
That's quite a few. Few conlangs have that degree of irregularity.
> In the > C'aliological literature they are known not by number > but by poetic names given them by the first C'ali > grammarians: > > 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 ] > -th'e > 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.
The case endings look very different in the various declension classes. How did these differences come about? AFAIK, such declension class systems arise from more regular paradigms by way of sound changes, as in Indo-European, for example.
> 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 > nobility > 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.
Nice! This gender system reminds me of systems found in Northeast Caucasian languages.
> That's about it for now. At some point if I ever scan in some > of my maps, I'll post to the list.
I am looking forward to that. Greetings, Jörg.