Semitic-style nonconcatentative morphology and han4zi4.
|From:||Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, August 9, 2006, 19:21|
I'm working on a new take on a language I've been
plinking away at for the last six months or so (for
now, I call it M@khi:S [m@.Xi:s`] = "of the coasts",
since they're a coastal people).
The backbone of most roots is a one-to-four consonant
stem, and there are a large number of affixes for
things like pronominal clitics, negators and so on.
m-k-S (/S/ = [K], which alternates with [s`] in coda
and consonant clusters)
"to go, to come" this is also the root for "coast"
(the basis for the name of the language). The two
roots used to be distinct in the final consonant,
until a sound shift merged the sibilants [s`] and [K].
ma:kS [mA:xS] = perfective/telic verb root
i:mka:S [i:mxa:S] = imperfective/atelic verb root
mu:kS [mu:xS] = arrival / departure ("act of ___")
me:kS [me:xS] = origin / destination ("place of ___")
Directionals (required for this particular verb, and
most other verbs of motion)
na = towards (Ger. "hin", Eng. "hither")
k'i = away from (Ger. "her", Eng. "hence")
n@-mu:kS = arrival (Ger. "Ankunft")
n@-me:kS = destination
k'@-mu:kS = departure (Ger. "Abfahrt")
k'@-me:kS = origin (Ger. "Herkunft")
(unstressed vowels have an overwhelming tendency to
reduce to schwa, hence the alternations in the
Now, I have this masochistic desire to do two things:
One, to come up with a way of representing all this in
...and two, understanding that I can't represent
_every_ morpheme with a unique character (why would I
even want to try?), I want to come up with some
phonetic writing system to represent what I can't come
up with a character for (= kana).
I'm thinking this: characters for roots, and a
heavily-modified Semitic abugida (appropriately
Sinicized so it doesn't look too out of place amongst
all the ideograms) for everything else, including
roots I can't find or cobble up a character for.
Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?
I'm working on a modified form of the Aramaic alphabet
(since the phonology is heavily based on Hebrew
anyways), and may be able to come up with samples of
what I'm thinking of in a few days, once I figure out
the nuts and bolts of all this.
I'm also planning to incorporate a large number of
Chinese loanwords (with a split akin to the Japanese
on- and kun'yomi, where the characters can either be
read in their M@khi:s forms, or a rather mangled
Chinese reading), but for that, I need to come up with
a plausible conhistory.
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