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Vocalic Language, take two

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Sunday, September 19, 1999, 17:54
Okay, I think I've got the general structure down of my vocalic

b  d  g
p  t  k
m  n  ng
mh nh ngh
v  z  gh
f  s  x
w  =FF  j  (=FF =3D y-umlaut)
wh =FFh jh
   l  r
   lh rh

y-umlaut represents turned-h, that is, rounded palatal glide

Orthography   Phonetic
i y    u      i y    u
 e oe  o       e o"  o
  =E8             E
   =E4   a         a   A

NO DIPHTHONGS, combinations like {ai} are pronounced /a.i/, not /aj/

oe can also be written =9C (oe ligature).  If an /e/ follows an /o/, it's
written o=EB, to prevent confusion with oe.  It seems that an earlier for=
had a simple 5-vowel system, i e a o u, with phonemic length.  Short u,
o, and a became fronted, while short i became e, while short e became
=E8.  This shows up in certain phonetic transformations, when inflections
cause certain combinations of vowels:
yy -> u
oeoe -> o
=E8=E8 -> e
=E4=E4 -> a
ee -> i
Other combinations of identical vowels have an epenthetic x added
What happened was that uu became =FB (long u), etc.

Also (and these may be switched)
yu -> u
oeo -> o
=E8e -> e
=E4a -> a
ei -> i, e
Here u=FB became =FB, etc.
Ei represents either =EAi (which became =EA, now e), or ii (which became =
now i)

Syllables are (C)(L,G)V
Most roots are C(L,G)V(V)
One group of roots, almost all having to do with science and religion
are CVCV, with the second consonant never a glide, and neither consonant
a voiceless nasal or voiceless liquid; these are probably borrowings
from an unknown language



Punctual: ri-
Progressive: --
Perfective: ri=E4-
Habitual: jo-
Prospective: ri=E8-

Past: u-
Present: -- (cannot take punctual)
Future: j=E8- (can only take perfective or progressive)
  For a "simple" future, like "I will walk", the rpesent is used with

Evidentiality - not used if subject is first person:
Sensory: -a
Cognitive: -j=E8
Reportative: -ly

Class I
Negation: -m=E4

Class II
Able: -oe

Class III
Must: -aoe
Want: -lea
Hope: -eso (remember -j=E8-eso -> -jeso)
Need: -yme (remember -ly-yme becomes -lume)

Class IV
Repetition: -pja
First time: -moe

Class V
Begin: -ny
Stop: -eala (-yme-eala -> -ymiala, -j=E8-eala -> -jeala)
Resume: -rol=E8

Only one suffix from each class can be used.  In addition, they all
modify the verb directly.  So, able+begin means "can begin to do X", not
"begin to be able to do X", for those meanings, various circumlocations
are used, for instance, the verb _lo=EB_ (be able).  Also, one cannot
(usually) negate the suffixes, -m=E4oe means "able to not do X", not
"unable to do X", that also would require circumlocations.

The order is usually as given, however some freedom of order can occur
in the modals, classes 2-5, but 2&3 are never seperated, nor are 4&5,
thus it can be summed up as 1((23)(45)).  More research is needed to
learn just what determines the order.  The speakers just say that those
orders are "natural" in those contexts.  In addition, one sentence has
been recorded with the order 3-1-5, the form being un=E4ej=E8leam=E4eala =
n=E4e, "write"), meaning "did not want to stop writing (cognitive)".=20
(u-n=E4e-j=E8-lea-m=E4-eala; past-write-COG-want-NEG-stop)


Sentient being: =E4-
Supernatural phenomena: nhe-
Natural phenomena: mhoe-
Social groups, phenomena: le-
Edible Animals: ngime-
Non-edible Animals: me-
Edible Plants: ngit=E4-
Other: t=E4-

Nominative: --
Absolutive: a-
Dat/Alienable poss: =E8na-
Inalienable poss: ifa-
Instrumental: yny-
Locative: ka-

Singular: --
Dual: -no (final -y becomes -u)
Trial: -ly (final -y becomes -u)
Plural: -nai (final -y becomes -u)
  It seems that there was once an -y- with these suffixes; incidentally,
the words for "two", "three", and "many" are no, ly, and nai.  My theory
is that there was once a plural suffix -y to which these words were
added, and the -y was then lost, but still shows up in the y+y

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