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Just for you, Wiz (Super Long)

From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Saturday, May 5, 2001, 3:59
In a message dated 5/4/01 2:05:54 PM, dbell@GRAYWIZARD.NET writes:

<< " I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition
which this margin is too narrow to contain"
- Pierre de Fermat >>

    Did you think I was lying?
    Anyway, I have a little sister on the way (I'm twenty, my mother's forty, 
my yet-to-be-named little sister is zero), and, seeing as both my linguistics 
class and cognitive science class have been talking about child language 
development, I first had the idea of talking to my little sister in a 
different language every week so that she could make all the connections for 
the different sounds, and so she would be familiar with various types of 
syntax, grammar, etc., and have a jump start on learning those languages.  
Then, just this past Wednesday when Prof. Hinton was talking about children 
who grew up under certain circumstances in which they never were exposed to 
language, I came up with the idea of inventing a language to speak to her in, 
in which there were a whole bunch of facets she wouldn't be exposed to in 
English, and which, by means of this language, she wouldn't find strange when 
she encountered them.
    So, I came up with this language, which I call Wivojs ("wiv" is the root 
for "speak", "oj" is the stem for an instrument noun, and "s" makes it 
passive, so it's kind of like "a thing spoken").  It's influenced largely by 
Hawaiian, Swahili and Megdevi (my first language), with Esperanta 
characteristics.  After coming up with much of it, I thought it might be a 
good auxilliary language.  It's main purpose is for my sister, though.  So, 
here we go:

General Info:
    This is a largely agglutinating language, though not fully.  The 
preferred word order is SOV, but it doesn't have to be since word order is 
free.  It's an accusative language.  Ummm...I think that's it, for now.

Vowels: A(I'm just going to write it as /a/) e i o u & ([&] is the "a" in 
"cat", right?  If not, pretend.  Anyway, if I were going to think about 
making this a real auxilliary language [I never would], I'd probably drop the 
Stops: k t p g d b ? (the glottal stop isn't an actual letter; when two 
vowels occur next to each other, a glottal stop is inserted in between)
Fricatives: f v s z S Z h
Nasals: n/N m ([n]>[N]/_[k]&[g])
Approximants: j w l

Word Construction and Stress:
    I have a long list of consonants that can and can't appear next to each 
other and in what positions they can and can't appear.  Suffice it to say I 
have [tS], [dZ] and other common consonant clusters, but there are no 
syllabic nasals or liquids.
    As for stress, I found that I naturally pronounced words with the stress 
on the second to last syllable, but it was a little different.  If this were 
a tone language (which it's not), then all the syllables up to the last would 
be pronounced in one tone, and the last would be a higher tone, while the 
vowel of the second to last syllable would be lengthened.  Example:
    me.pwi:.tsi (the bird)

    Non function words are all derived from roots, like Esperanto.  Ironic, 
as there's a discussion of roots going around: The root itself is an actual 
word in Wivojs: the imperative.  But that comes later.  Now for some words.

    [me] is the definite article and [nu] is the indefinite article.  The 
both attach to singular and plural count nouns.  The difference between count 
and mass nouns I'm thinking of here is like Rick from Casablanca says: "I 
came to Casablanca for the waters", "But we're in the desert here, Ricky", 
"Seems I was misinformed".  So, "waters" is a count noun, takes an article, 
whereas "water" is a mass noun.

    I've come up with 18 different basic nouns, off of which more affixes can 
be appended to make other kinds of nouns.  If anybody can think up others, 
I'm open to suggestions.  Here they are (I'm pasting this from my document, 
so there may be some parts which refer to stuff I haven't explained yet):
1.) Sensient, Animate Noun: -i, as in pili (man), heni (bunny)
2.) Active Verbal Noun: -&n, as in mav&n (love)
3.) Passive Verbal Noun: -&ns, as in mav&ns (being loved)
4.) Active Instrument Noun: -oj, as sklaloj (writing utencil)
5.) Passive Instrument Noun: -ojs, as koSojs (chair)
6.) Active Human Noun: -i, as mavi (one who loves [only made from verb roots])
7.) Passive Human Noun: -is, as mavis (loved one)
8.) Active Place Noun: -&p, as mav&p (place where one loves)
9.) Passive Place Noun: -&ps, as mav&ps (place where one receives love)
10.) Active Instance of Action Noun: si-, simavu (a loving)
11.) Passive Instance of Action Noun: si- -s, simavus (an instance of being 
12.) Nature Noun: -ef, as taflef (leaf)
13.) Substance Noun: -ez, as haSez (water)
14.) Concept Noun: -in, as wanin (number)
15.) Mass Noun: All count nouns are always accompanied by an article under 
all circumstances.
    Mass nouns have no article.  So: mehaSez (the water), haSez (water)
16.) Smallest Part Noun: -ub (to mass noun), haSezub (drop of water)
17.) Color Noun: -im, as Zenim (orange)
18.) Conduit Object Noun: -elm, as klasultSelm (bullet)
19.) Food Noun: -iz, as jamiz (ice cream)
20.) Gathering/Function: wa- -ig, as wahasig (party)

    So far, just the simple ones: No generic, reflexive, or anything like 
that.  I don't know if I'll have any for those.  So:
        Sing.       Plu.
1st.        ani         anani (exclusive.  Inclusive is waani)
2nd     wani        wawani
3rd     zali            zazali
    As you can probably tell from here, to pluralize nouns you reduplicate.  
If a word begins with a vowel and has a consonant that follows it, though, 
you reduplicate that cosonant, as with anani (so you don't get aani).

Adjectives & Adverbs:
    Adjectives are made just by adding [e] to the front of any word.  For 
natural adjectives such as beautiful, [e] is added to the front of the root 
without any other affix.  So, taking an above example, [mavu] is "to love", 
and [emavu] is "loving", the adjective.  All adjectives follow the nouns they 
modify.  For adverbs, you add [i] to the front.  All adverbs of manner and 
time can occur wherever in the sentence.  Adverbs of place (prepositions and 
the like) are attached directly to the nouns they modify.  So, [bi] means 
"in" or "into" (means "into" with the accusative), and [bibaks&p] means "in 
the house".

Cases and such:
    There are four basic cases with a bunch of prepositions, and the four are 
the Big Four: Nominative, Accusative, Dative, Genetive.  The nominative is 
unmarked.  The accusative is marked in a couple different ways (will be 
discussed when I get to verbs).  The dative is marked with the prefix [ka] 
(more in the verb section).  The genetive is marked with the prefix [ju] on 
the noun that follows whatever noun is being owned.  So, [meheni juani] means 
"my bunny" ("ani" means "I", and "me" is "the".  You could also say [nuheni 
juani] which would mean "a bunny of mine", implying that you have more than 
one bunny).

    My verbs are kind of funny.  Experiencer verbs end in [u], 
non-experiencer transitive verbs in [a], non-experiencer intransitive verbs 
in [o], and ditransitive verbs in [e].  And I already said that the 
imperative is the bare root.  Some examples:
mavu "to love" (familial)
bala "to hug"
loso "to cry"
live "to give"
liv "give!"
    Prefix [na] to an experiencer verb to get an intransitive experiencer 
verb.  So:
namavu "to be in love"
    The object of an [u] verb takes [ta] as its accusative prefix.  So:
    ani tawani mavu  "I love you
    The object of an [a] verb takes [ma] as its accusative prefix:
    ani mawani bala "I hug you"
    The direct object of a ditransitive verb takes [ma], and the indirect 
object [ka]:
    ani kawani mameheni live "I give a bunny to you"
    To make a verb passive, add [s] to the end of a transitive verb.  For the 
imperative, if an [s] can't be added to the back due to unacceptable 
consonant clusters, add it to the front.  If it can't be added to the front, 
add [&s] to the end:
smav "be loved!"
bals "be hugged!"
slos "be cried!" (being spoken to tears?)
sliv "be given!"
    What else about verbs...  Oh, duh!  The vowel ending is the present 
tense.  Suffix [t] for the past tense, [k] for the future tense, and [p] for 
the uncertain tense (accompanied probably by an aspect prefix).
    Some aspect prefixes: [de]=perfect; [Zi]=desireative; [dZa]=abilitive; 
[a]=progressive; [mu]=possibilitive; [ha]=permissive.  I see this is getting 
long, so I'll speed things along and cut this short.

    Inspired by Esperanto, but, as I discovered with my first language, 
Esperanto's five are pretty limiting.  So here it is:
Negative: &-                        Thing: -oj
Nonspecific Inclusive: g-           Person: -ents
Nonspecific Exclusive: l-           Place: -amz
Indefinite: n-                      Reason: -is
Definite: m-                        Kind: -&l
Interrogative: v-                   Time: -eb
Demonstrative Near: Z-          Manner: -uS
Demonstrative Far: h-           Quantifier: -o- -oz
Universal Inclusive: s-             Instance: -alt
Universal Exclusive: b-

    I realize that at least a few of these will probably need some 
explaining, but I've just been writing this darn e-mail too long.  Maybe 
that's why you all split it up into different chunks...

Other Features:
    I'm giving up on doing the rest by just having this "other features" 
section.  There are two verbs for "to be": One for locative expressions, "ko" 
(ani ko bimebaks&p "I am in the house"), and one for the rest, "emo" (ani emo 
elij "I am happy").  I tend to use SVO with "to be", but you could do it SOV, 
all the same.
    Relative clauses are formed by putting either the pronoun "ments" or 
"nents" from above after that which is being relativized and then writing out 
the whole sentence.  So:
    ani tamepili ments zali manutestiz namat viZu.
    I    the man  the one he a pizza        ate        saw
    I saw the man who ate a pizza.
    However, there's this other situation I came up with that I thought was 
kind of interesting.  Take the situation in which you've had a party at which 
a lot of men and women were at.  So, you say "The man who was at my party ate 
a pizza".  In this case, there was no one man who was at the party (unless it 
was a really lame party), so he's one of a number, and so "at my party" isn't 
specific enough to quantify definiteness.  So you use the indefinite pronoun 
    mepili nents zali lawahasig juani kot manutestiz namat.
    the man a one he at party  mine was a pizza         ate
    The man who was at my party ate a pizza.
    Anyway, I thought that was pretty neat.  Anyway, that's all I'll say 
about this language for now.  I realize if anyone were somewhat interested in 
this, there'd be a bunch of stuff which needs more explanation.  But, this is 
just too, too long, so I'll do that at another time, if necessary.  So, 
that's my three day language.  Imagine what it'll be like after a month.  :)  
Or by the time my sister can actually use language. ~:D



The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>