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Notya's pitch accent

From:Grandsire, C.A. <grandsir@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 10, 1999, 13:31

        During my week of holidays, I didn't work very much on language :), but
I nevertheless discovered an interesting feature of Notya: it has a
pitch accent!

        I already told you that Notya had an intensity accent that always falls
on the last syllable of a root or radical, and that unaccented words
fall on the stress curve of the preceding word. But I discovered that
over this intensity stress pattern is superposed a pitch accent pattern
that partly depends on the previous one. As far as I recognize it, the
pitch accent functions as follows:

- There are two levels of pitch: high pitch (H) and low pitch (L).
- After the intensity-stressed syllable, all syllables are L (so all the
unaccented words are low-pitched).
- The intensity-stressed syllable is always high-pitched.
- The pitch accent is root-based, that is to say that when compounded,
roots keep their pitch accent, even if they lose their intensity stress.
- The pitch accent curve of a root is simple: all syllables are H except
the first one. If the root is monosyllabic, then it is H (to obey the
fact that the intensity-stressed syllable is always H).

        Given those rules, it's easy to stress any word, as like the intensity
stress, the pitch accent is completely regular (exceptions can be found
but only in poetry, as it seems that the poetry in Notya is based on the
pitch accent of words). It may be a proof that this language (which is
the secret language of a kind of organisated diaspora called the Noli,
formed by people controling a kind of intern source of supernatural
energy called No) is a constructed language made to be a secret code
between Noli, or at least an old natural language that was modified to
fit the criteria of the Noli (I don't know what they could be). Anyway,
here some examples:

shjeco: book (compound from shje: read and co: thing)
yocha: back (I'm not sure of its meaning, I do that from memory)
_   ___        _   __
 \_    \_____   \_   \_____
pon tjomu mem, yam nomu wam: "Never use No if you can do it other wise"
/'pon 'domumem 'yam 'nomuwam/

NOTE: final "n" and "m" are considered syllabic and are always L, as
they are suffixes.

And finally the sentence of the Conlang T-shirt:
_   __   _
 \_   \_  \_
yam tyan kim: Your language goes here
/'yam 'tjan 'kim/

        As usual, I welcome all your comments. Is such a pattern naturalistic
or not (not that it will change anything, as Notya has certainly, if not
an artificial origin, at least a large part of human engineering in it)?

        Christophe Grandsire

        Philips Research Laboratories --  Building WB 145
        Prof. Holstlaan 4
        5656 AA Eindhoven
        The Netherlands

        Phone:  +31-40-27-45006