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Re: Elvish ideas ...

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 23, 2003, 17:11
Andreas Johansson scripsit:

> (Did anyone hear anything more about that proposal for merging half-a-dozen > related genera into Homo? At any rate, I'm talking about something roughly as > close to us as were Neanderthals, not something like Chimps.)
Specifically, the proposal merges the Homo, Pan (chimps), and extinct Australopithecus and Ardipithecus genera into Homo, and merges family Pongidae into Hominidae. The latter will then have three living genera: Homo, Pongo (orangs), and Gorilla.
> There'll, of course, be multiple languages spoken by this Elves; we're > currently dealing with one spoken in areas close to where the Yargish are > found. That's why these particular Elves have felt the need to come up with > the Yargish orthography I mentioned. > > Speaking of orthography, the language uses eighteen glyphs, romanized as: > > p b m t d n k g ñ r l s i e a o u h > > Most are what you'd expect. _h_ isn't really a letter; it turns the preceeding > (oral) stop into a fricative; _bh_ = [B], _th_ = [T] and so on. As might be > guessed, fricatives (other than /s/) are relative newcomers in the phonology. > > _t d c g_ are [t d k g] before back vowels; before _i_ and _e_ they're > respectively [tS dZ tS dZ] - notice that the alveolar-velar distinction is > neutralized; it returns with fricativization, since _th dh ch gh_ before front > vowels is [T D S Z] (cf [T D x G] before back ones). > > 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]. > > The constraints on what constitutes a valid syllable are somewhat complex. > Suffice to say here that valid initial clusters consist of a stop or fricative > plus a liquid, and that valid final ones of a nasal plus an homorganic stop. > > --- > > As regards morphology, I've this far largely looked at nouns. > > A noun can take up to four "modifications" - it can be marked as definite, > plural, accusative and possessive. The corresponding unmarked noun is > therefore indefinite, singular, nominative and, well, non-possessing. > > 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. > > Plurals, more well-behavedly, are formed by adding _-an_, or, after vowels, > simply _-n_, except, for no good reason, when nouns end in a fricative, in > which case the fricative becomes a stop (AKA, the "h" is dropped) and a > homorganic nasal is inserted before the newly-born stop. Eg _cean_ "ladies", > _canan_ "lords" (sg _can_), but _creanc_ "castles". > > Accusatives, serving as direct objects, and probably in some other > miscellaneous functions, are formed by suffixing -o to the stem. It goes > before the pl -an (which loses its -a-), but of course after the pl infix with > final former fricatives. Not yet sure how it combines with nouns ending in > vowels. > > 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". > > Well, that'll have to suffice for now. > > Andreas
-- LEAR: Dost thou call me fool, boy? John Cowan FOOL: All thy other titles thou hast given away: That thou wast born with.