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New language: Wamen

From:FFlores <fflores@...>
Date:Sunday, October 10, 1999, 2:35
Hi, people! I'm working on a new language. And this time
it won't fade and die like the others. ;) The name of the
language is Wamen (no etymology as yet), and it's spoken
by the people in a conculture I'm developing for a role-
playing e-mail list where whole societies play, instead
of single-person players.

Here's a short description:


i   y   u
  e   o

where <y> = /i-/ (/u-/ in some dialects), and all others have
IPA values.


Stops  p t     k kw
       b d     g gw
Nasal  m n
Frics  f s          h
Apprx  w l j r

where <kw> and <gw> are either /k_w/ and /g_w/ (labialized?)
or co-articulated /kp/ and /gb/ (haven't decided yet), and
<r> is a flap. All others have their IPA values.

Syllable structure: (C)V(A, N)
where C is any consonant, V is a vowel (no diphthongs), A is
an approximant, and N is a generic nasal (corresponding to the
next PoA). The phoneme /f/ can only occur initially.

Allophonic variants:

/ti/, /di/, /ni/, /li/, /si/ = [tSi], [dZi], [n_ji], [l_ji], [Si]
/hi/ = [Ci]
/ho/, /hu/ = [Po], [Pu]

All words are accented in the first syllable, with secondary
stress on longer words, and a slightly rising tone on the last
syllable for more-than-two-syllable-long words.

Word order: SOV or OSV (see below), head-last, postpositional.

Nouns: No cases except for pronouns; no fixed structure for roots.
They can be added possessive suffixes. No number distinction, and
no gender. Among the possessive suffixes, there are two for 'respective'
and 'not respective' possession (e.g. 'his own' vs. 'the other guy's').

Verbs: usually CVC or CVCVC roots. They can be marked as direct or
inverse. Direct verbs use SOV, while inverse verbs use OSV; this is
to emphasize the topic, which has to go first. Subjects are 'weak'
topics (they default to topics, so they are very marked); objects
are 'strong' topics (the inversion is rather marked). Inverse verbs
can also be interpreted as passive voice. Still figuring out what
happens with oblique topics.

Verbs also have two resumptive stems, when for time and other for
place resumption (they actually have broader functions; time resumption
is the least marked). Also a special genitive suffix to link them with
nouns like 'time', 'way', 'reason', and a relativizing suffix to make
subordinate clauses (which come before their heads).

Pronouns: both prefixes and free forms. They can be elided if context
is clear. There are pronominal prefixes for third person only, divided
in genders (masculine, feminine, animate, inanimate1, inanimate2 [don't
ask yet]). Free pronouns, only for first and second person (distinguishing
masc/fem). Third person free pronouns usually replaced by demonstratives
or titles like 'master', 'father', 'fellow' more or less as in Japanese.

Possessives: you can use either nominal suffixes, or the free pronouns in
a subordinate clause like the one I told you about (similar to Ainu):

        fadi ly       nynoda
        1s   have.SUB teacher
        'my teacher' < 'the teacher that I have'

There are three such possession verbs: one for relationships, one
for inalienable possession, and one for alienable possession.

That's all for now. My body is reminding me it needs to sleep sometimes. :)

--Pablo Flores