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yet another new conlang; a terminology question (kinda long)

From:Shreyas Sampat <laopooh@...>
Date:Thursday, March 14, 2002, 19:32
: First of all, Tsiressa seems already to be a language full of detail,
: judging from the poem. Congrats!

Well, being a derived lang from something I've been working on for a year or
two, it's got a lot of stuff under the surface for me to mess with.  Thank

A few things: X-SAMPA.

: 1. I don't know the background of Tsiressa's spelling, but at a few points
: (like nh= /J/, d=/dh/) it seemed difficult to me. But again, I don't know
: the background.

The orthography is historically conditioned, at least partially (thus the
seemingly bizarre values for vowels), and the strict phonetic notation
obscures some of the systematicness.
In less strict notation:

i-Dánn drítta ka-mmádt, she-nhhíd toz-sirát av-jutúd...
/1dan: drit:a k@m:at: SIJ:id tUzs1rat avJ\}tud/

...Áy, tánn tu-zirát nhíde, kash-tu-bvésta, sin nút kash-tu-zhédah mún!
/aj tan: t1z14at JidI k@St1bvesta s1n nut kaSt1Zed@x mun/

To explain the orthography:

Stressed vowels are marked with acute or trema. Acuted vowels are of normal
roundness, trema vowels of reversed roundness.
<íéáóú    ïëäöü>
/ieaou    y2Q7M/

Unstressed vowels take the roundness of the stressed vowel, and are
By virtue of sound changes, unstressed /i/ and /u/ merged into a high mid
vowel, but certain inflections make a distinction between the two, and so it
is useful to mark them differently.
<i/u> <e> <a> <o>
/1 }/ /I Y/ /@ (rounded schwa; noted @ for convenience.)/ /7 U/
When unstressed /a/ appears at either end of the word, it is realised as /a

Consonants: (the consonant inventory is less unusual)
p b f v m w    /p b f v m w/
t d s z sh zh n    /t d s z S Z n/
c j ch jh nh y    /c J\ C j\ J j/
k g h x ng    /k g x x N/
r l rh lh    /4 l r= l=/

A voiced-unvoiced pair like <dt> denotes a voiceless consonant that was
lengthened by a formerly long vowel.  Other consonants are lengthened by
doubling them if they are single-character graphs, or by adding <h> if they
are digraphs.  <x> and <h> are interchangeable, but <x> must occur if /h/ is
preceded by a consonant.

: 2. Is is common in Tsiressa to bring attributal phrases to the front?
: This habit is common in English or German, but there are also languages
: that don't tolerate this. (First sentence of poem)

This was partly due to error on my part and partly due to rearrangement of
the phrasing to match the original text better.
A more ordinary phrase-ordering would go this way:
Drítta i-dánn ka-mmádt, she-nhhíd toz-sirát av-jutúd...
...Áy, tu-nhhíde she-zirát tánn, bvésta, sin i-nnút mún shédah!
white sword like, summer over-land hangs
O, of-summer-country sword, come, and me again-melt!
(this using the informal imperative of the naked stem, rather than the
formal imperative kash-.)

It is the backing of modifiers that is unusual, rather than the fronting.

: 3. Word order: In the first sentence (Rel. clause: Object + its attribute
: + Predicate + Relative marker on Subject of main clause; subject of main
: clause + location + Predicate). So, basically SOV in main clauses?
: Head first? Prepositions?

SOV in main clauses, head-last, prepositions.

: 4. The case system is quite "European standard": A genetive, an
: An unmarked nominative. Is there a dative? It isn't necessary, btw.
: had only three cases (which quickly merged into only two!), called Nom.,
: Gen. and Akk. by modern scholars. (or so I remember ;-)) There is reason,
: of course, why these cases are found so often.

Formally, there are two cases: accusative and non-accusative.  The other
relations are all considered oblique, though they are all expressed by
prefixing, mutating structures exactly like the accusative is marked.

: 5. Is there an "attribute" ending for nouns? I mean this because of
: (mutated subject of first clause) and "nhide" (attribute of land in second
: clause).

Not native to Tsiréssa; that comes from a Nrit structure, but it is
certainly there in one aspect.

: 6. Just a suggestion: There a many languages that do not reflect
: differences in pronounciation, coming from different forms or positions,
: in spelling.
<clip German>

The reason I note the mutations in Roman transliteration is that I find it
easier to interpret when I do so; the native script has provision for
showing unambiguously (though in a slightly artificial manner) the root form
and mutated form.

: Thanks a lot for sharing your creation with us, and KUGTW. (How I like
: abbrevations! ;-))

Thank you for the comments.

Now, for the question:

What do I call this affix here? It serves the purpose of marking a noun
modified by some arguments:
It's mandatory when the noun is being modified by a relative clause.
It's mandatory when it's being modified by an appositive.
It can optionally be used when the noun is modified by serial adjectives.
If so, the noun's case inflection particle moves up to the first adjective.

(X, <she-> is the affix in question.)

Cey-llínrh am-mócho, she-mmárin ka-bálik.
/cIjl:inr= Qm:oCU SEm:a41n kabal1k/
agt-worm X-tree
The tree that was eaten by the worm fell.

Shagále, she-zrhkátul, i-dláynos núf ka-házs.
/SagalI SIzr=kat1l 1dlajnMs nuf kaxas:/
Shagále X-poet 1p.DAT
Shagále, the poet, gave me mirrors.

I-zrítta, tánna, chorát sh'-iránda vi-Zhagále nu-dándi.
/1z4it:a tan:a CV4at S14anda v1Z@galI n1dand1/
ACC-white black blue X-flower in-Shagále

Dritta, tánna, chorát y-iránda vi-Zhagále nu-dándi.
/d4it:a tan:a CV4at j14anda v1Z@galI n1dand1/
white black blue ACC-flower in-Shagále

I give the white, black, and blue flower to Shagále.
(There is probably some subtle emphasis shift here in the affix-shuffle.)


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