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 email@example.com
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
And Jesus said, "What?"