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A Conlang Sketch I uncovered

From:Elliott Lash <erelion12@...>
Date:Thursday, March 31, 2005, 0:17
Looking around some files on my computer, I came
across an old sketch of a conlang. It's more of a
collection of sentences, but I'll try to figure some
things out to post here.

1) Phonology:

 t p k  q (uvular?)
 d b g  G (seems to appear as a glottal stop)
 n m ng

 s y l r

 i   u
  e o

(e and o seem rare)

2) Phonological Alterations.

a) voiceless stops seem to become voiced in the
vicinity of "G" and nasals.  (tn > nd, nt > nd, Gt >
d, etc.), this happens accross words

b) the combinations: "tp" "tk" "pk" "kq" become "pp",
"kk" "kk", "qq", respectively, there may be other such

c) voiced stops become  nd, mb, ng, ng respectively
when in the vicinity of a nasal.

d) the combinations "nr" "nng" and "Gng" become "nn".

e) the combination "ls" becomes "ll"

f) the combinations "ngq" and "nnq" becomes "qq"

g) the combination "nm" becomes "mm"

h) a connector vowel is inserted in the following
contexts:  1) any stop + s 2) any nasal or nasal
combination (nd, mb, ng) + a voiceless consonant,
except _q_ and _k_ 3) a nasal combination + another
nasal combination (ng + ng, ng + mb, etc)

The connector vowel is determined by the vowel of the
following syllable. It is "i" if the following
syllable as "e" or "i", "a" if the following syllable
has "a" (or at the end of a phrase), and "u" if the
following syllable has "u" or "o".

I think that's basically it. There may be a few

3) Nominals

Nouns have several cases, but 5 seem to be present in
the material that I found

 a) -sut "Absolutive"
 b) -(a)r "Locative referring to location on top of
 c) -sub "Locative referring to location at something"

 d) -nusub "Allative, movement towards something
 e) -is "having a meaning of 'concerning X'"

(the two locatives will be called Loc1 and Loc2, for
now, the letter [e] will be called "relational")

(from this I can probably figure that, _-nar_ probably
would be some sort of allative case referring to
movement towards the top of something)

3 plural markers are found,
  a) -mi  (with human nouns)
  b) -l   (with pronouns)
  c) -qit (with animal nouns)

Presumably there would be more.

A noun is made definite by inserting the infix -n-
before the last consonant of the root or the plural

Example:  kapang "dog" > kapann "the dog"
          kapaqqit "dogs" > kapaqqinVt "the dogs"
       (the "V" means an undetermined connector vowel)

Possessive suffixes can be added before case suffixes.
The two possessive suffixes in the corpus are:
  -gu "my"
  -ut "his"

 quppak > quppaggu "my bed" > quppaggur "on my bed"
 kapang > kapangut "his dog" > kapaqqitut "his dogs"

Sample noun declension:

sangun "chief"
                Singular    Plural
Absolutive    sangunusut    sangummisut
Loc1          sangunar      sangummir
Loc2          sangunusub    sangummisub
Allative      sangunnusub   sangumminusub
Relational    sangunis      sangummiis  (sangummis?)
-nar Allative sangunnar     sangumminar

Definite Declension:
sangunn "the chief"

Absolutive    sangunnusut    sangumminusut
Loc1          sangunnar      sangumminar
Loc2          sangunnusub    sangumminusub
Allative      sangunnusub    sangumminnusub
Relational    sangunnis      sangumminis
-nar Allative sangunnar      sangumminnar

4) Verbs

Two main types of verbal roots:

a) Complex
 These have two parts, separated in dictionary entries

 by a slash
   un/ng  "to see"
   ba/lus "to be named"
   pat/n  "to tell"
   ya/tu  "to do, perform"
   qut/puk "to sleep"
   sa/ngu "to rule"
   tup/mur "to fight"
   yang/aq "to greet"

b) Simplex
  These have simple roots:
   dawuk "give"  (the only example in the corpus)

Verbal roots have the following characteristic forms
in sentences (X is the first part of a complex root, Y
is the last)


This form is used for finite verbs. The ergative is an
affix denoting the subject of a transitive verb, if
the subject is pronominal. If it is nominal or if the
verb is not transitive, then this affix isn't there.
In simplex roots, the affix is infixed before the last
consonant of the root, if any. The absolutive is an
affix denoting the subject of a stative or
intransitive verb and the object of a transitive one.
If the object or subject is a nominal
then this affix is not applied.  The indirect object
is an affix denoting the indirect object, obviously.

This form is added to a grammatical verb of the form
ya/tu, which contains tense and mode information. The
tense affixes are inserted between the two parts. The
following tenses are found in the corpus:

-ngui- "present"           yanguitu
-sak-  "past"              yasaktu
-suq-  "future"            yasuqtu
-pat-  "immediate future   yapattu
-kuG-  "past progressive"  yakudu

example:  tumbuimurisit yanguitu "I fight him"

tup/mur "to fight" > tup-ngui-mur-V-s-it
-ngui- 1st singular ergative
-s-    3rd singular absolutive masculine
-it    transitive verb

example: baquilusumit yasaktu "You named me"

ba/lus "to name" > ba-qui-lus-V-m-it
-qui- 2nd singular ergative
-m-   1st singular absolutive
-it   transitive verb

example: balussok "He is named"

ba/lus "to name"
-s- 3rd singular absolutive masculine
-ok stative verb

 pandusut pattanalum yapattu
  "he's going to tell me a story"

pand "story" >  pandusut "story" (absolutive)
pat/n "to tell"  pat-ta-n-al-um
-ta- 3rd singular ergative masculine
-al- translative/benefactive verb
-um  1st singular indirect object


This form is used for infinite verbs, it has only an
indirect marking, other arguments are denoted in
different ways. The relative or subordinate are
various affixes that subordinate the verb to other
elements in the sentence

  kapann qundupuk "the sleeping dog"

kapang "dog" > kapann "the dog"
qut/puk "to sleep" > qut-n-V-puk
-n- subordinate

 dagarminusut tumbumur unatangit yasaktu
 "He saw the men fighting"

dagar "man"
 > dagarmi "men"
  > dagarmin "the men" > dagarminusut "the men" (abs)

tup/mur "to fight" > tup-n-V-mur
-n- subordinate
un/ng "to see" > un-V-ta-ng-it
-ta- 3rd singular ergative masculine
-it transitive verb


There's more in the corpus, mostly about adjective,
clitics and copulative sentences, but that's for
another time, I think. There also seems to be a way of
deriving nouns from verbs that can be determined from
the corpus, but I'll talk about that later.


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Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Rodlox R <rodlox@...>