Archive for April, 2011

to be (to exist) is ozal (revisited)

Saturday, April 30th, 2011
ozalozal = to be (verb "to be/to exist" - to be - infinitve) (some things Google found for "ozal": a very common term; similar Özal (or Ozal) is an uncommon last name, notably former Prime Minister and President of Turkey Turgut Özal; name of a character in Clash of the Titans (2010); an unusual first name; Özal Group is a Turkish conglomerate; means "ago, before" in Turkmen)

Word derivation for "to be/to exist":
Basque = izan, Finnish = olla
Miresua = ozal

This is the other verb to be, to be/to exist, the infinitive form. Similar to the Spanish verb ser. My previous Miresua word for "to be/to exist" was olna. I'm changing this word because the LN consonant combination was odd. Having a Z in the new word will remind me to treat this verb like the Basque verb izan.

That's enough verbs and verb conjugations for now. Next month, something different.

Ivivi

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ivivi'.

ivivi

  • (v.) to really like

Ivivi iko puka i’i.
“I really like this doorway.”

Notes: Check this out:

A circular doorway.

I recognize that this isn’t practical for humans, given our shape, but man is that cool!

I also don’t know what it says on that sign. One of these days I want to learn either to read Chinese or speak it (not both).

The picture I took here cleverly cuts out the little chain that prevents one from passing through this circular portal. I really wanted to walk through it. Alas, it was not meant to be…

(Note: This word derives from ivi, the verb meaning “to please”.)

jakāellīñ

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

jakaaelliinj

jakāellīñ

Finally, the 18th Conlang Relay text. I loved this text. With a little tweaking (which I did, of course) it was a story about two legendary Kēleni culture-heroes. :-)

The first sentence is:

ñi jakāellīñ jarēspe sū janūwa ī;

And right away, as the object of ñi, we have an unfamiliar word. I had to create this word for the relay, though I had the concept of the thing already. I also had to create related words, of course. Anyway, jakāellīñ refers to a small (6-30 inches in height) statue, traditionally carved from jade (ankāelle) though other materials can be used. Traditional subjects for jakāellīñi include deities, heroes, ancestors, animals, and sometimes trees. They are usually displayed in niches decorated with cloth and plant matter, and they are considered lucky. They are not used directly as idols or for worship, despite the fact that many have a religious significance.

Tiku

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'tiku'.

tiku

  • (v.) to stand, to be standing, to stand up (in certain contexts)
  • (adj.) standing, erect

Ai kupi ia ua ai e tiku ai…?
“Are you standing or sitting…?”

Notes: HAPPY CATURDAY! :D

When we were leaving one evening, we turned and saw Keli doing this:

Keli stand/sitting.

:lol:

Half of her is sitting, half of her is standing. I wonder if a language has a word for this… She’s just so wretchedly adorable!

Today’s iku should look somewhat familiar. It’s actually built off the iku for kupi, which means “to sit”. The extra liney bits indicate standing. And even though this is a stative predicate (to be standing up), it can be used for “to stand up” primarily based on the shape of the glyph itself. That is, it kind of looks like someone standing up, so it’s used as such.

Torn Tongue: Nouns Beginning with "J"

Friday, April 29th, 2011
Vocabulary words have appeared in various other posts.  Here are some more nouns beginning with "J" in each of the three noun classes.


NATURAL / LIVING
English ........... Torn Tongue

jaguar ............... rrerg
jewel (rough) ..... yart
juice ................ marth

TECHNOLOGICAL / CONCRETE
English ........... Torn Tongue
jelly .................. tomald
jewel (cut) ......... yalt
jewelry .............. tiyalt

ABSTRACT / MISCELLANEOUS
English .......... Torn Tongue
joke ................ larfal
justice ............. birreg

jēhe

Friday, April 29th, 2011

jeehe

jēhe

We’re on the sixteenth and final sentence of the 14th Conlang Relay Text:

ñi þō jēhe cī;

and we get a few short words and the noun jēhe which means “truth”. The short words consist of the relational ñi and the exhortative marker and the modifier þō. Put this all together and we have:

“Let this be truth.”

which is a speech act finalizing the ceremony.

High Eolic word of the day: ngassú

Friday, April 29th, 2011

ngassú (adverb): again, yet again.

send ngassú ta tendápam púrandatál nattúcemec
you again NEG buy.PERF.TRANS chicken.all.ACC market.INESS
“again you have not bought enough chicken at the market”

Dơk Nhuang: Beginnings

Friday, April 29th, 2011

So I got onto a Vietnamese kick today, for some who knows ungodly reason, and ever since about 2pm I’ve been sketching up a phonology and thinking about grammar for something inspired by the language that until about 1pm today I knew (close to) nothing about. I’m going to sketch out a couple ideas here I’ve had for grammar. I’ll make a phonology post later, but just so you know the lay of the land a little bit, look at these two posts I made: you can see the consonant inventory here and the basic vowel inventory here. The orthography isn’t totally settled, so I’ll post about that later too.

Also, the language’s name is Dơk Nhuang [ɗɤk ɲu̯aŋ], which means something like ‘Language of the Nhuang’, though I’ll be calling it [i]Nhuang[/i] for the remainder of the post. Nhuang is monosyllabic (though it doesn’t have tone, at this point) and isolating. The only morphological processes are reduplication (which is mostly used to derive extended words with the same meaning as the base) and compounding. The basic word order is SVO, though there is flexible placement of non-core arguments/constituents. They may occur to the left or right of the VP.

Word classes
The major word classes in Nhuang are [i]noun[/i] and [i]verb[/i]. Nouns are differentiated from verbs in that they 1) may form the head of NPs and 2) must follow the copula le [lɛ] to form a predicate. Verbs may form the head of predicates without the copula and may be preceded by the future marker keu [kɛw] and the verbal negator [sɤ]. Verbs are further subdivided into [i]stative[/i] and [i]active[/i] verbs; they are distinguished by syntactic tests. Stative verbs may be preceded by degree adverbs (i.e. bi [ɓi] ‘very’) and may not follow imperative markers (of which there will be several). Active verbs may not be preceded by degree adverbs, but may follow imperative markers. Stative verbs may also be used as postnominal modifiers, while active verbs must occur in a relative clause. This distinction is probably gonna get split up somehow, but I’m not sure how yet.

In addition to these two broad open classes, there are several closed classes: pronouns, demonstratives, classifiers, numerals, quantifiers, prepositions, adverbs and sentence level particles.

Reduplication
There is no inflectional morphology in Nhuang, though there are a couple derivational morphological processes that are quite productive. One of these is reduplication, of which there are two types of reduplication: (1) intensifying reduplication and (2) alliterative reduplication. The first type applies stative verbs and adverbs and involves full reduplication of the word in question. It indicates a more intense meaning: vưà [vɨɜ̯] ‘red’ > vưà vưà ‘very red, deep red’. The second type of reduplication is also quite productive, and is not limited to specific lexical classes. Alliterative reduplication reduplicates only the first consonant of the base word in question, adding to this a vowel nucleus that is different from the base’s nucleus, but predictable based on regular rules. Every base nucleus has one or two corresponding alliterative nuclei. This type of reduplication is stylistic in nature; the reduplicated version of a word (usually) has the same meaning as the base. In some cases, there is some sort of semantic drift and the alliterative form has been lexicalized. Some examples of alliterative reduplication are:

rieu [ʐjɛw] ‘mask’ > rieu rê [ʐjɛw ʐe:] ibid.
dak [ɗak] ‘black’ > dak dai [ɗak ɗəj] ‘night’ (example of semantic drift)

I still haven’t worked out the exact correspondences between the base and reduplicant vowels here.

Nouns and the NP
Nouns are divided into three broad classes: inanimate, feminine and non-feminine. The second two classes are animate. Membership in these classes is generally based on semantics, though I haven’t figured out the specifics of how this works. Each class is associated with a classifier or classifiers (haven’t decided how many for each there will be), and demonstratives are sensitive to class membership in their form. The order of elements in the noun phrase are:

Article – {Demonstrative} – Numeral – Classifier / Measure word – Head Noun – Attributive modifiers – {Demonstrative} – Possessive – Relative Clause

The only obligatory element is the head noun. The demonstrative may occur on either side of the head noun. Right now this is just a sketch, so I don’t know the details of how this total structure works.

Basic clause structure
The basic word order in Nhuang is SVO. This order is fairly rigid for the core arguments of the clause: subjects precede the verb, while objects follow it. The VP (= [V O]) combo forms a tight constituent, and the object may not be separated from the verb complex by any elements. The subject NP is usually the first constituent in the clause. The peripheral elements of a clause- such as adverbs, prepositional phrases, etc- usually after the VP. However, it is possible to place peripheral constituents between the VP and the subject NP. Thus SVOX and SXVO are both valid word orders.

Wh-questions are generally in situ, though it is possible to front a question wh-word/-phrase. In this case, if the wh-word is a core argument, a resumptive pronoun occupies the argument slot. This is also the case in focus fronting.

There is a large inventory of clause final particles used for various purposes that I haven’t quite figured out yet. for example, yes-no questions are formed with the interrogative particle [mɨ].

Phew. That’s all I cant type out right now. My brain is buzzing with ideas, but they’ll have to wait til tomorrow. I should be posting on the verb complex and perhaps focus/wh-fronting. Feedback is welcome as always!


Turning Japanese

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Here’s a phonology I cooked up in a few minutes that’s pretty much a copy of Japanese, with some of my own touches.

Consonants


The voiceless labial stop /p/ only occurs doubled; historically, it has merged with /h/ when single. The glottal fricative is [ɸ] before /u/. The siblants /ts dz s z/ are palatalized to [tɕ dʑ ɕ ʑ]. The voiced affricate usually loses it’s stoppage between vowels, becoming either [z] or [ʑ]. The sonorant /r/ is a flap unspecified for lateralness.

I’m thinking of adding /x/ for some flavor/

Basic vowels:


The vowels are pretty simple. The mid vowels are laxed before a syllable final consonant to [ɛ ɔ] and are always lax in diphthongs and triphthongs. The vowels /y u/ do not occur in the same words, participating in vowel harmony.

Diphthongs/triphthongs


The chart above shows the cooccurance of the glides with vowels and falling diphthongs. The glides do not occur before homoorganic high vowels.

The maximum syllable is CGVC, where C is a consonant, G a glide and V a vowel or falling diphthong. The glide /j/ occurs with all initials, while the glide /w/ occurs only after velar initials or /m/. Word initial, there may be an open onset. Word medially, there must be an onset, a glide, or both.

Syllable final consonants are severely restricted. Word internally, there may only be a copy of a following voiceless obstruent or nasal /ŋ/ . Long /ss/ > [tts]. These stops obstruent sequences are often realized as a [ʔC] sequence. The nasal is realized as slightly postvelar in this position. Before labials, the nasal becomes labio-velar: [ŋ͡m]. Word finally, the choices are slightly larger: /t k ŋ/ all occur.


Turning Japanese

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Here’s a phonology I cooked up in a few minutes that’s pretty much a copy of Japanese, with some of my own touches.

Consonants


The voiceless labial stop /p/ only occurs doubled; historically, it has merged with /h/ when single. The glottal fricative is [ɸ] before /u/. The siblants /ts dz s z/ are palatalized to [tɕ dʑ ɕ ʑ]. The voiced affricate usually loses it’s stoppage between vowels, becoming either [z] or [ʑ]. The sonorant /r/ is a flap unspecified for lateralness.

I’m thinking of adding /x/ for some flavor/

Basic vowels:


The vowels are pretty simple. The mid vowels are laxed before a syllable final consonant to [ɛ ɔ] and are always lax in diphthongs and triphthongs. The vowels /y u/ do not occur in the same words, participating in vowel harmony.

Diphthongs/triphthongs


The chart above shows the cooccurance of the glides with vowels and falling diphthongs. The glides do not occur before homoorganic high vowels.

The maximum syllable is CGVC, where C is a consonant, G a glide and V a vowel or falling diphthong. The glide /j/ occurs with all initials, while the glide /w/ occurs only after velar initials or /m/. Word initial, there may be an open onset. Word medially, there must be an onset, a glide, or both.

Syllable final consonants are severely restricted. Word internally, there may only be a copy of a following voiceless obstruent or nasal /ŋ/ . Long /ss/ > [tts]. These stops obstruent sequences are often realized as a [ʔC] sequence. The nasal is realized as slightly postvelar in this position. Before labials, the nasal becomes labio-velar: [ŋ͡m]. Word finally, the choices are slightly larger: /t k ŋ/ all occur.