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Calistan revisited

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Saturday, July 29, 2000, 1:59
Well, I started over with Calistan, which, in case you don't remember,
is my attempt at creating an IE-based fiction language.

Again, the small Mediterranean island nation of Calisto is peopled by a
people who appear to be for the most part of Celtic stock, and probably
Armenian to a lesser extent.  The Calistans make up the vast majority
of the tiny nation, which lies due east of another island nation --
Malta.  Like Malta, the Calistans are almost entirely Catholic, and
write with Latin script.  Also, Greek, Italian and Albanian have a
meager presence on Calisto.

The Indo-European language spoken by the people of Calisto is very
conservative, even Hittite-like.  It is a satem language (but
labiovelars are preserved as uvular (!) consonants, and a form of
Grimm's Law created voiceless-voiced-glottalized triads.  (The
"glottalized" stops/affricates are either voiced implosive or voiceless
ejective, probably the latter.)  A very distinctive feature is a
reversal of s-consonant initial pairs in Proto-IE.

Better yet, I'll just compare PIE with Calistan:

p > p
b > p'
bh > b
t > t
d > t'
dh > d
k^ > c /ts/
g^ > c' /ts'/
g^h > z /dz/
k > k
g > k'
gh > g
kw > q
gw > q'
gwh > ñ /N/
s > s
st > ç /s:/
sk > x /S:/
h1 > ' /?/
h2 > h
h3 > h' /X/
n > n, an (y = /@/)
m > m, am
r > r, ar
l > l, al
y > j
w > v
(f in foreign words only)

a, e, i, o, u > same
@ > a
long vowels > á, é etc.
ï, ü > separate syllable, not a diphthong
ai > æ /&/
au > å /A/
oi > ø /%/
eu > w /i-/
ei, ou > same

Calistan has the eight-case system of traditionally reconstructed IE,
along with the three genders and three numbers of the same.  A complex
system verbal system with tense, aspect, mood and status distinction.
But a radical departure in Calistan is the use of pronomial suffixes
for posessed nouns and for objects of verbs.  (There are striking
parallels to Georgian, in fact.)  Prepositions are matched with case
endings to produce numerous other "cases".

Upon the native vocabulary are grafted Greek, Latin and Semitic
borrowings.  Even grammatical features are borrowed along with grammar.
 In fact, with Semitic influence, a "broken plural" has emerged,
usually to be construed as a collective plural, rather than a
"numbered" plural which comes from IE.  Verbal classes (including
causatives) are likewise taken from Semitic, with complex systems of
ablaut to boot.

A short vocabulary coming soon.  I'm not sure if I'm going to put this
on my website, since it's of lesser priority than Tech and the world of
the Techians.


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