Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Tech gender and mutation

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Friday, March 26, 1999, 22:02
More random notes=85

Tech has three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter.  Nouns are also=20
classed according to whether they describe animate or inanimate objects,=20
but I won't get into that just yet.  Inanimate objects and abstract=20
notions can be of any of the three genders, but generally, masculine and=20
neuter gender indicates the idea of initiation and incompleteness, while=20
feminine indicates completeness and perfection.

Nouns, adjectives, and verbs (yes, verbs =96 conjugation indicates gender=
of subject as well as number, which can be singular, dual, paucal, and=20
plural) generally, but not always, have telltale endings indicating=20

Masculine: no ending, thus ending in a consonant
Feminine: -@h ending (an aspirated schwa vowel; the ending came from=20
archaic -@t)
Neuter: -@~ ending (a nasalized schwa vowel)

This is in cases where the word stands alone, but before other words in=20
a phrase (e.g. a noun before a referent adjective, which typically=20
follow the noun), the ending is lost, but it residually affects the=20
initial consonant of the following word.  This is mutation, which can=20
also be found in the Celtic languages:

Masculine: no mutation
Feminine: lenition (or t-prefixing on initial vowels)
Neuter: nasalization (or n-prefixing on initial vowels)

For example, with _q'adas_ "holy":

     ?aL:A:h q'adas "holy God" (L: =3D lengthened velar lateral=20
continuant, A =3D low back unrounded vowel)
     ?@:x@rIzd'Ij@ G'adas@t "holy Eucharist" (@: =3D mid-close back=20
unrounded vowel, d' =3D implosive d, G' =3D implosive voiced uvular stop)
     ?@:@nGElIj@ NG'adas@~ "holy Gospel" (NG' =3D prenasalized voiced=20
uvular stop, @~ =3D again, nasal central schwa vowel)

More on these two types of mutation later on.  There is a third type of=20
mutation, but it only affects initial vowels; it's called aspiraion and=20
results in an h-prefixing upon the following word.

Now there are exceptions: though _p'n@:m@_ "spirit" is neuter, the Greek=20
word it came from does not end in _nu_; rather, there is no mutation: _=20
p'n@:m@ q'adas_ "Holy Spirit".

Sorry for the messy ASCII IPA stuff.

Get Your Private, Free Email at