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Re: Elvish ideas ...

From:JS Bangs <jaspax@...>
Date:Thursday, July 24, 2003, 4:05
Andreas Johansson sikyal:

> I mentioned, last week I think, that I've begun to work on an Elvish language > for the same coniverse that hosts Yargish. Most aspects still remain quite > hazy, but some things are settling down, in particular phonology and spelling. > I thought I'd present some of it here, in the hope of attracting some feedback. > > The Elves we're speaking of are essentially just skinny, long-lived humans > with pointy ears - they are not immortal, not in possession of any inherent > superior wisdom or anything like that. Were they to be found in our world, > biologists would, little doubt, conclude they were another species within the > Homo genus.
This is quite similar to what Yivrindi are: humans w/ a natural lifespan of ~400 years. I waffle on the pointy ears, though.
> The "front" versions of these consonants can be forced before back vowels by > inserting a _-e-_; _cea_ is [tSa]. > > Initially or preceeded by a consonant other than _t d c g ch gh_, _e_ before a > back vowel spells [j], eg _creach_ [krjax]. > > Similarly, _o_ before an unrounded vowel > spells [w], eg _coar_ [kwar].
I like these conventions. The resulting frequency of |ea| and |oa| remind me of Romanian, or Portuguese, as another poster mentioned.
> An uninflected noun never begins in a fricative; fricativizing an initial stop > makes the noun definite, eg _creach_ "castle", _chreach_ "the castle". It > should be stressed that "fricative" and "fricativizing" here essentially > means "anything spelt as stop+h" and "add -h" respectively. Thus we also see > _cea_ [tSa] "lady" and _chea_ [Sa] "the lady". I'm not yet sure what to do > with nouns beginning in a vowel, liquid or [w-] or [j-] - leaving those > without a definite-indefinite distinction strikes me as odd, but I don't > really know what I want to do with them. Something evil, little doubt.
This morphology pleases me. It's not overbearing and doesn't lengthen the word too much, but you get a lot of information in.
> The possessive, finally, is formed by infixing an _-i-_ , turning the stem > vowel into an diphthong. Pronunciation; _ii_ [ej], _ei_ [ej], _ai_ [aj], _oi_ > [oj], _ui_ [uj]. Yes, _oi_ is ambigious between [wi] and [oj]. The possessive > goes after the thing possessed; _chreach chain_ "the castle of the lord". To > top it off, it, out of misplaced sympathy, echoes any accusative ending on the > thing possessed, giving us things like _chreanco chainon_ "the castles (acc) > of the lords".
This is quite similar to the Yivrian possessive, though Yivrian lacks the twisted complications :-). It seems clear from this and the behavior of plural -n- that the proto-language must have had several infixes. The plural -n- was probably imperfectly generalized to a suffix, while the -i- remained as it was. Does this fit with your plan? -- Jesse S. Bangs Jesus asked them, "Who do you say that I am?" And they answered, "You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationship." And Jesus said, "What?"


John Leland <leland@...>
Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>