Archive for April, 2015

Notes on a Vaporware Conlang IV: Sound Changes, Part 1

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

So, if you remember, some time earlier this spring I came up with some designs for another conlang after being prodded a bit by some people I know online for a while:

Now I’ve spend the better part of the week obsessing over coming up with a bunch of sound changes that would turn my musings about a proto language sound inventory as sketched out in part III to the recent version sketched out in part II. It seems like this is not so much vaporware anymore after all … I’ve been thinking about maybe giving this project a name some time soon.

Believe it or not, this is the first time I’m actually seriously applying sound changes to something,1 so if there are any overly weird things that can’t even be hand-waved away, tell me. I think most of the changes are a little on the cautious side, though.

Some Notation Conventions

I will assume you’re familiar with the usual way sound changes are notated:

X → Y / Z

This means that X turns into Y under the conditions of the environment Z.

I will also use the following additional abbreviations:

  • C: consonant
  • V: vowel
  • _ (underscore): position of X in the environment
  • # (hash sign): start or end of a word, i.e. a word boundary
  • $ (dollar sign): start or end of a syllable, including word boundaries

Sometimes, feature notation is being used as a shortcut for groups of vowels or consonants: [±feature].

Proto Lang Allophony (Stage I)

The (re)constructed phoneme inventory for the Proto Language looked like this in my previous post (I’m copying these things over for convenience, adding changes that occurred while working on the sound changes themselves):

MOA labial dental velar guttural
nasals *μ [m~n~ŋ]
plosives *t *k *q [k~q~ʔ]
*tʰ *kʰ
fricatives *s *x [x~h]
liquids *w *λ [r~l]

And the vowels:

Height Front Central Back
high *i *u
mid
low *a

The sound changes below apply a degree of allophony so that the underspecified proto-phonemes *λ, *μ, *q, *x actually receieve an assumed phonemic value:

1. Position-based alternation between [r] and [l] for *λ:

  • *λ → *r / $ (C) _
  • *λ → *l / _ (C) $

Basically, what happens here is that *λ will be realized as [r] in syllable onsets and as [l] in syllable codas, i.e. there is a complementary distribution at this stage.

2. Position-based alternation between [m], [n] and [ŋ] for *μ:

  • *μ → *m / _ [+bilabial]
  • *μ → *n / _ [+dental]
  • *μ → *ŋ / _ [+velar]
  • *μ → *ŋ / _ [+guttural]

Here, *μ is assimilated to the point of articulation of the following consonant. “Guttural” refers to *q and *x here. This assimilation can also happen across syllable boundaries:

  • *μ → *m / _ $ [+bilabial] (unless C _)
  • *μ → *n / _ $ [+dental] (unless C _)
  • *μ → *ŋ / _ $ [+velar] (unless C _)
  • *μ → *ŋ / _ $ [+guttural] (unless C _)

Unless a consonant is preceding, *μ further assimilates in POA to the next consonant across a syllable boundary. The assimilation continues (resistance is futile *badum tsh*):

  • *μ → *m / [+bilabial] $ _ (unless _ C)
  • *μ → *n / [+dental] $ _ (unless _ C)
  • *μ → *ŋ / [+velar] $ _ (unless _ C)
  • *μ → *ŋ / [+guttural] $ _ (unless _ C)

*μ also assimilates in POA to preceding consonants at the beginning of syllables, unless followed by a consonant. And what’s more:

  • *μ → *m / _ V [+bilabial]
  • *μ → *n / _ V [+dental]
  • *μ → *ŋ / _ V [+velar]
  • *μ → *ŋ / _ V [+guttural]

In this set of changes, *μ assimilates in POA to a following consonant even if a vowel is in between them. The next set now takes care of almost all remaining instances of *μ:

  • *μ → *m / [+front] _
  • *μ → *n / [+center] _
  • *μ → *ŋ / [+back] _
  • *μ → *m / _ [+front]
  • *μ → *n / _ [+center]
  • *μ → *ŋ / _ [+back]

The above set is maybe somewhat of a weird change: *μ changes according to the frontness of vowels here: *m ~ *i, *n ~ *ə/*a, *ŋ ~ *u. If this is too unnatural, I will change this – or maybe there is a way to build in another condition to achieve the same outcome. Anyways, just for good measure let’s also do:

  • *μ → *n / # _

All remaining instances of word-initial *μ will be realized as [n].

3. Position-based alternation between [q], [ʔ] and even [k]2 for *q:

  • *q → *ʔ / V _ $
  • *q → *k / _ ŋ
  • *q → k / ŋ ($) _

Syllable-finally after vowels, *q is realized as a glottal stop [ʔ]; before and after [ŋ], it has a velar release [k], and remains [q] in all other places.

4. Position-based alternation between [x] and [h] for *x:

  • x → h / V ($) _ ($) V
  • x → h / # _ V

*x will have a glottal release [h] anywhere between vowels and initially before a vowel.

Intermission: Some Example Words

These words are randomly generated with Wharrgarbl, as mentioned in the previous article in this series. Many of these changes are very unspectacular so far.

*it *it
*kwas.ku *kwas.ku
*kwu.wakt *kwu.wakt
*sawk *sawk
*suq *suʔ
*sλas.tu *sras.tu
*sλu.sə *sru.sə
*sμi.kxəq *sni.kxəq *sni.kxəʔ
*tʰas.kʰuμ *tʰas.kʰuŋ
*tλi.taλs *tri.tals

Applying Stress Rules

The Proto Language has syllable-weight based stress rules and I wrote a little script to apply this. What weird missyllabifications of CCC clusters occasionally appear are due to Wharrgarbl lacking checks for sonority-hierarchy related issues. If I handcrafted all proto words, this wouldn’t be an issue in this case. I decided to use a word generator, though, to get a taste of how my words may look like and turn out with all the changes applied, en masse.

Syllable stress basically counts how many consonants there are in a word and increases a counter by 1 whenever it finds one. The syllable that is more consonant-heavy receives stress. In case of a tie, the first syllable will be stressed. Monosyllabic words currently don’t receive stress; depending on them being content words or particles, this will of course change. I will have to sketch out some grammar for the Proto Language in that case, though. If I want the Proto Language to be mildly inflecting, long bisyllabic words are awkward anyway, but generated bisyllabic words still give a taste of how the final outcome could look like.

For the words above, applying the stress rules results in:

*it (1)
*’kwas.ku (3:2)
*kwu.’wakt (2:3)
*sawk (3)
*suʔ (2)
*’sras.tu (3:2)
*’sru.sə (2:1)
*sni.’kxəʔ (2:3)
*’tʰas.kʰuŋ (2:2)
*tri.’tals (2:3)

Prospect

In the next installment, we’ll start eroding things and also generate a bunch of vowels, giving us *it, *’pas.ku, *pu.’wak, *saʊk, *so, *’sras.tu, *’sru.sə, *sni.’kja, *’tʰas.kuŋ, and *tri.’taɪs.

  1. I know, I know, there is Playing with Sound Changes, but I consider that play. This time is for real.
  2. A change to my original designs!

Aspect, Ergativity & Possession

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

I re-watched Jessica Coon’s presentation entitled Rethinking Aspectually Based Split Ergativity. It inspired some changes for Umu.

I learned that Mayan languages have two person-marking morpheme sets, traditionally labeled ‘Set A’ and ‘Set B’. Set A is used for ergatives and possessives—which are syncretic. Set B is used for absolutives.

I made Umu with vowel harmony. All words have two variations, based on their vowels. Words switch from one form to the other. Until now, I used this vowel shift to signal possession. But lets Mayan it up a bit.

Review

Vowel Harmony
Light vowels: a, o
Dark vowels: e, u
Neutral vowels: i, ö

By default, Umu words end in a, u, i and ö. The vowels i and ö are neutral. They don’t change and can be in either light words or dark words.

  • Words ending in a can only contain a, o, and i and ö.
  • Words ending in u can only contain e, u, and i and ö.
  • By default, words ending in i and ö can only contain an a or a u—but not both—and other neutral vowels.

All of this applies to a word’s default form. When a word undergoes vowel-shift:

  • The final a becomes e and any o becomes u.
  • The final u becomes o and any e becomes a.
  • Neutral vowels stay the same.

Basically light words become dark words and versa vice. It’s nothing new. I did it to squeeze more than four vowels into the language but didn’t really know how to use this feature. In the end, I settled for possession.

image
kama
water

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‘eru
child

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mari
mother

image
iv (jövö)
fire

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keme
water’s

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‘aro
child’s

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meri
mother’s

image
iv (still jövö)
fire’s

The examples above cover all the bases. As you can see, words with only neural vowels don’t change at all expert in writing. And that’s were we left off.

What’s New

If Mayan can squeeze ergatives in with possessors so can I. Henceforth, the subjects of transitive verbs will take the genitive a/k/a, d/b/a the ergative.

Unlike Mayan, where ergativity comes up as person markings on the verb, Umu will use straight up word case. …I think.

So before, where we’d have a sentence like:

image imageimageimage
Vi tja ‘eru mari.
PRFV bathe child mother.
The mother bathed the child.

We get:

imageimageimageimage
Vi tja ‘eru meri.
PRFV bathe child GEN/mother.
The mother bathed the child.

Why? Well for one, now I can front the topic and have an indefinite agent. Remember that in Umu, preverbal arguments are indefinite:

imageimageimageimage
Meri vi tja ‘eru.
GEN/mother PRFV bathe child.
A mother bathed the child

That’s cool. Additionally, it’s confounding. Reason enough to do it all the time. Though not all the time…

How Bout Aspect?

You might be wondering why I started out on aspect. If you’re a real nerd you already know. …Or you’re good with context clues. …Or you watched the video.

Well. It’s because ergative systems aren’t ergative all the time. They split along various illustrious factors such as person, animacy, lexical category, source, control, tense, aspect, and other words as well.

But with Mayan, and now Umu, the split involves aspect. In fact this whole mess started with my trying on aspect morphemes—some of which I shall introduce to you now.

wpid-wp-1411880308071.jpeg
vi
already completed

wpid-picsart_1411791740608.jpg
tam
just completed

wpid-picsart_1411690332483.jpg
zaj
in progress

wpid-picsart_1411792936109.jpg
hara
not yet completed

wpid-wp-1411793827540.png
kru
unreal or not yet existing

Nice huh? The punchline is Umu will use an ergative-absolutive pattern with aspect-free clauses and the perfective aspects, and a nominative-accusative pattern with nonperfective aspects.

  • ERG/ABS: no aspect morpheme, vi and tam
  • NOM/ACC: zaj, hara, kru

Perfectives & Aspectless Clauses

Here we see a tidy ergative-absolutive alignment. With the addition of case making we now find unambiguous infinite agents and patients. Though some of these forms are rarely used.

The aspect morpheme always precede the verb, regardless of where the arguments are.

image image image
Tja ‘eru meri.
bathe child GEN/mother.
The mother baths/bathed the child.

image image image image
‘Eru vi tja meri.
child PERF bathe GEN/mother.
The mother bathed a child.

image image image image
Meri tam tja ‘eru.
GEN/mother JUST.COMPLETED bathe child.
The child was just bathed by a mother.

image image image
Meri ‘eru tja.
GEN/mother child bathe.
A child is bathed by a mother.

image image image image
‘Eru meri tam tja.
child GEN/mother JUST.COMPLETED bathe.
A mother just bathed a child.

More topical (older) information goes nearer the end. Newer, contrastive or unexpected info appears closer to the beginning.

In intransitive constrictions, the sole argument remains in the absolutive—not the genitive/ergative.

image image image
Vi tja ‘eru.
PERF bathe child.
The child bathed.

image image image
Tam tja mari.
JUST.COMPLETED lay.down mother.
Mom just took a bath.

This gives rise to a new, interesting ambiguity.

Remember. Arguments can be covert/dropped if understood, or for reasons stylistic or poetic. Compare the following sentences. The covert argument is marked in gray and glossed in parentheses.

image image image image
Vi tja ‘eru (meri).
PREF bathe child (GEN/mother).
(The mother) bathed the child.

image image image
Vi tja ‘eru.
PREF bathe child.
The child bathed (itself).

This difference between agent and experiencer would have been ambiguous without the new case marking. In the first example, child is the patient of the covert mother’s action. The sentence could answer a question like, “What’s mother doing?”

In the second, the child experiences the intransitive action, answering questions like, “What’s that kid doing?” or “Who’s taking a bath?”.

The ambiguity is fun and easily navigable within its context. In both instances, we ultimately end up with a clean kid—which satisfies.

But it gets better:

image image image
Vi tja (‘eru).
PERFN bathe child
(The child) bathed.

image image image image
Vi tja (‘eru) (meri).
PERF bathe (child) (GEN/mother).
(The mother) bathed (the child).

Both here can be the affirmative response to similar questions.

Did the kid take a bath?
—Bathed (yes)

Did mom bathe the child?
—Bathed (yes)

In fact the shortest answer to any of it is:

image image
Vi.
PERF.
Yes/it happened/it’s done.

Or for no:

image image
Mna vi.
No PERF.
No/its not done.

That’s how to answer yes/no questions in Umu. A bare verb, a bare aspect morpheme, or both together for affirmatives. A negated verb, negated aspect marker, or a negated aspect marker and verb for negatives. But never just the negative mna on its own. We can’t get too lazy now.

Careful what you’re negating. Aspect markets are safer. Bare verbs can mean many things.

image image
Mna tja
No bathe.
Don’t bathe! OR
(She) didn’t bathe. OR
(It’s) unbathed.

Nonperfective Clauses

Here’s where we get crazy.

Going back to Jessica Coon, I learned that in the Mayan language Chol—and many ergative languages—nonperfective clauses show a nominative-accusative pattern. In Chol, this means that the subject of transitive verbs use Set A (ergative/possessive) morphemes like before. But now the subject of intransitive verbs also use Set A—where as before in perfective clauses they use Set B.

Why?

That’s what everyone’s trying to understand. Coon suspects something very sneaky. That in nonperfective clauses, the aspect morpheme isn’t a helping verb but the main verb itself! This main verb takes a single, intransitive argument which is a formally possessed nominalized predicate.

So instead of saying, say, “The mother is bathing” and interpreting mother as the agent a/k/a the subject a/k/a nominative, what’s really being said is something like, “The mother’s bathing is happening” where mother’s-bathing is now the experiencer. It looks like a nominative-accusative pattern because the Set A morphemes are used for both ergatives and possessives. But really it’s just the (possessed) absolutive argument of an intensive verb. So the split isn’t a split at all but rather just possession in disguise.

If your head’s in a spin, watch Coon explain it. My powers and knowledge have very real and hard limits. It took me a few goes to unpack everything myself. But it is in truth a thing of beauty. Wait till you see how I fuck it up.

Umu Nonperfectives

Umu and I mangle everything we touch. And sadly, years of gifted and accumulated academic research is not beyond our grasp. But happily for Coon, in my world her hypotheses is demonstrably correct. It’s a simple, beautiful world I live in.

Recall the aspect morphemes zaj, hara and kru. How lovely they sound to our ears and our minds. These are our nonperfective morphemes which means they let us know the action under discussion isn’t done.

As before, I’ll give you some examples and I’ll dance some arguments around the verb and we’ll see if you notice anything different.

image image image image
Zaj hapa me’u wre.
PROG punch shark GEN/man.
The man is punching the shark.

image image image image
Mna hara nna ma’o.
NEG NOT.COMPLETE eat GEN/shark.
The shark hasn’t eaten yet.

image image image
Kru zan wre.
will stand GEN/man.
The man will win.

You’ll first notice that now the sole arguments of intensives take the genitive case, compared to perfectives:

image image image
Vi zan wra.
PERF stand man.
The man won.

This is the main difference. But it gets crazier.

The “subjects” of these verbs are actually possessing what we assume is the main verb—or the main verb and its object in the case of transitives. These possessed verbs and their victims are in fact the sole augments of the aspect morpheme, the real main verb of the sentence. Buh-buh-buh-bum!

Well so what, you say. Well it’s important because of word order. Remember all that dancing around with definites and indefinites? That’s gonna be different here. Let’s start with the intransitives.

image image image image
Nna ma’o mna hara.
eat GEN/shark NEG NOT.COMPLETE.
A shark hasn’t eaten yet.

The shark owns the eating, so they’re stuck together. Nna ma’o. If post verbal nna ma’o means the shark’s eating, then pre verbal nna ma’o means a shark’s eating.

This happens because the aspect marker hara is actually the main verb of the sentence. Contrast this with vi—an aspectual morpheme that isn’t the main verb:

image image image image
Me’u mna vi nna.
shark NEG PERF eat.
A shark hasn’t eaten.

The two sentences in every way are identical in meaning except the aspect. But their word order is very different. You might be thinking, “When would I need to say that?” Remember that Umu doesn’t like plurals that much so a more logical translation might be indefinite sharks or some sharks. So be careful because some sharks haven’t eaten yet.

Now for the man:

image image image
Zan wre kru.
stand GEN/man will
A man will win.

To stand is an idiom for to win. Vuj li kru tan zan öré kru. There will come a day when a man will stand up. (Sometimes after consonants I spell wre as öré. They sound the same.) Compare this to a perfective. Again we see different word order and different case marking.

image image image
Wra tam zan.
man JUST.COMPLETED stand.
A man just stood up.

Now for the transitive. Let’s recopy the first example.—possibly Umu’s the default word PROG:

image image image image
Zaj hapa me’u wre.
PROG punch shark GEN/man.
The man is punching the shark.

The man owns the punching and the shark. Post-punching sharks are definite: hapa me’u: the shark punching. Preverbally they’re indefinite: me’u hapa: a shark punching. Both are followed by their owner GEN/man. Hapame’uwre: the shark punching of the man. Me’uhapawre: a shark punching of the man. To make him indefinite, take the man and all his friends and stick him before the main verb, in this case the aspect morpheme zaj:

(Sometimes I group words together to make it easier to say and highlight proper stress patters. The first vowel of a “word” is stressed unless it’s ö.)

image
image
image
image
Zaj me’uhapawre.
PROG shark punch GEN/man.
The man is punching a shark.


image
image
image
image
Hapame’uwre zaj.
punch shark GEN/man PROG.
A man is punching the shark.
image
image
image
image
Me’uhapawre zaj.
shark punch GEN/man PROG.
A man is punching a shark.

If all this wasn’t enough, remember that Umu often drops augments. This means it’s important to know the word order of both types of clauses.

For example, with nonperfectives, if we get rid of all the arguments we’ll have something that looks like a verb and an a aspect marker. If the “verb” comes after the aspect marker, that means the covert “subject” is definite but the covert “object may be definite or indefinite.

image
image
Zaj hapa.
PROG punch.
The X is punching a/the X.

image
image
image
image
Zaj hapa (me’u) (wre).
PROG punch (shark) (GEN/man).
(The man) is punching (the shark).

image
image
image
image
Zaj (me’u) hapa (wre).
PROG (shark) punch (GEN/man).
(The man) is punching (a shark).

When the “verb” precedes the aspect marker, we know the “subject” is indefinite but again the definitiveness of the object is unknown:

image
image
Hapa kru.
punch will.
A X will punch a/the X


image
image
image
image
Hapa (me’u) (wre) kru.
punch (shark) (GEN/man) will.
(A man) will punch (the shark).


image
image
image
image
(Me’u) hapa (wre) kru.
(shark) punch (GEN/man) will.
(A man) will punch (a shark).

Only nonperfectives will allow verbs to precede the aspect marker.

When only one argument is overt you must identify what case it’s in and check whether the aspect marker is perfective or nonperfective if present. Otherwise it’s curtains.


Tagged: aspect, conlang, ergativity, grammar, pseudoglyphs, umu

#368

Friday, April 24th, 2015

A conlang for Yu-Gi-Oh fans, in which nouns can be set in attack or defense mode, verbs can be equipped to nouns, and adverbs can be set as traps.

Detail #154: Some Experiments with Inverse Alignment

Friday, April 24th, 2015
Inverse alignment is a system wherein nouns are ordered on a hierarchy of animacy  or somesuch (often also person, such that i.e. 1 > 2 > proximative > obviative or similar, as in Ojibwe). Objects and subjects are not explicitly marked as such by congruence on the verb nor by case marking. Instead, verbs have a marker that can invert the order, so that the lower-ranked noun is subject instead of the higher-ranked one. Unlike a passive, this does not reduce transitivity.

However, could we have some neat other things going on? How about involving the indirect object in some way? It's quite natural that the indirect object will be higher ranked than the direct object; might we simply have two suffixes, "-INV1" and "-INV2", where INV1 switches subject and object, and INV2 switches indirect object and object.

Now, of course, this ends up somewhat incomplete. We can now generate the meanings that follow in English. Note that the examples are dumb, but it's pretty hard to come up with an example where three nouns that all could be objects or recipients or subjects occur. Let's assume a culture where kingdoms are legal entities distinct from kings, and where slavery is permitted so as to make sense of it all.

assumed hierarchy: the woman > a man > a kingdom (note, the = prox, a = obv in this example, and not the usual def. vs. indef)
the woman gave a man a kingdom (no inversion)
the kingdom gave a man a woman (INV1)
the woman gave a kingdom a man (INV2)
the kingdom gave the woman a man or the kingdom (INV1+INV2)

I'm making some odd assumptions here: 1) inverse switches the highest and lowest. This seems unnatural - it is more likely for the highest and next highest to switch places. Let's fix that. Now INV1 switches the two "highest", and INV2 switches the two lowest.
the woman gave a man a kingdom (no inversion)
a man gave the woman a kingdom (INV1)
the woman gave a kingdom a man (INV2) 

We still lack a few possible meanings. I don't like the idea of repeating operations like these - seems too much like some kind of algebra. An INV3 that switches the end-point arguments would probably be a bit better than repeated operations. We'd still lack one possible meaning:
the woman gave a man a kingdom (no inversion)
a kingdom gave a man the woman (INV3)
a man gave the woman a kingdom (INV1)
the woman gave a kingdom a man (INV2)
?a kingdom gave the woman a man (lacking)
?a man gave a kingdom the woman
Some languages do not really distinguish direct and indirect objects, so we could possible accept conflating some of them. Having all six possible permutations as independent morphemes seems somewhat boring. Combining the INV-suffixes could work - and it would be interesting to do some weird stuff where the combinations are not entirely straightforward.


goose is hanari (revisited)

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
hanari = goose (noun) (some things Google found for "hanari": an uncommon term; Hanari (and similar Hañari) is an unusual last name; a rare first name; Hanari Solomon is a female cosplayer; Hanari Apartment in Osaka, Japan; similar Hannari Tofu Japanese cushions and plush toys; name of places in Iraq, South Korea and Pakistan)

Word derivation for "goose" :
Basque = antzara, Finnish = hanhi
Miresua = hanari

My previous Miresua conlang word for goose was hanira. This is a small change to make the word no longer end in -A.

I found the word goose, as in a bird, in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in a stanza of the poem "You Are Old, Father William".
"You are old," said the youth, "And your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak—
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

#367

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Make a snonlang (snail conlang), with snonemes (snail phonemes), snorphology (snail morphology), snyntax (snail syntax), and snemantics (snail semantics).

More than you wanted to know, now at jsbangs.conlang.org

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

For a while now I’ve been putting up articles at jsbangs.conlang.org which relate to elements of the setting, languages, history, and philosophy behind my published works. I haven’t made a very big deal about it, though, mostly because I wanted to make sure that I had a critical mass of articles before I publicized it, to avoid sending people to an empty site.

Well, I guess it’s full enough, because here you go: more than you wanted to know about Storm Bride and other fantasy works-in-progress. The site is still very incomplete, and I have a dozen TODOs written to myself about topics that I still want to cover. I refrain from writing all of the articles right away, since I suffer from worldbuilder’s disease as it is, and writing encyclopedia articles about my creations sometimes threatens to get in the way of actual stories. But I do get to write the encyclopedia articles at some point. Right now you can see a bunch of articles relating mostly to Storm Bride, including a pretty complete description of the Praseo language, and some details about the Yakhat which never quite made it into the published book.

I intend to trickle articles up onto that site, and I’ll make an announcement here whenever I hit certain milestones. For now, though, feel free to poke around and let me know if there’s anything you particularly like or want to know more about.


Tagged: conlang, storm bride, wiki, worldbuilding

Ćwarmin: Personal Pronouns – a final version

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
So, the Ćwarmin personal pronouns after some pruning and further design.

Notes:
The distant possessive subject is a case that is exclusive to the personal pronouns. 

Ćwarmin has gone through a rather interesting change in its typology: hints from cognate languages suggest that their shared proto-language had a proximate-obviative system. Remnants of this exist in Ćwarmin, but behave more like a switch-reference system, if only for just a handful of verbs. As the proximate-obviative system disintegrated, it was replaced by a specific-definite-indefinite three-way contrast. The definite signifies a referent known to both speaker and listener, the specific is only known to the speaker.

This also made its way into the pronoun system - in the singular, the third person distinguishes referents known to the speaker only from referents known to both. In part, this carries over from pronouns for proximate and obviative nouns. The distinction was lost in the plural, but survives in the nominative and accusative for the paucal. Now, on the other hand, the definiteness morphology is starting to appear on first person pronouns as a way of coding for clusivity in some dialects - definite first person plural is inclusive, specific first person plural exclusive. However, the morphology presented below is a more usual, classical Ćwarmin set of pronouns.

When stressed, the pronoun takes the bolded form. When unstressed, it agrees in vowel harmony with the following word, except over intonation phrase breaks - in which case it agrees in vowel harmony with the preceding word.

The third person singular definite is also the demonstrative used for a nearby object, so basically 'this' (with a slight tinge of 'that'). The morpheme i/u- can combine with IIIpl to form 'these' (with a slight tinge of 'those'), thus "i sit" or "u sut" gives the nominative, "i sić" or "u suć" the accusative, etc. It is seldom combined with the paucal. Ək/ak is the demonstrative used for a non-nearby object, so basically "that". It can combine likewise with the IIIpl for plural demonstratives, but the IIIpl without ək/ak basically serves as such a demonstrative in its own right as well.
For singular as well as plural nouns, i/u serves as the demonstrative determiner ('this noun'), whereas ək/ak serve as the demonstrative for singulars, sit/sut as the demonstrative for plurals.

Nota Bene: blogger hates letting tables go unmolested. It is very possible that new lines are deleted, and so on. I've been trying to get it to work properly for a while now and it just seems blogger can't stand not altering it. Thus, if, say, san and śen again are merged, you can tell them apart by one being bolded, the other not. The same happens in a bunch of other places throughout this table. There apparently is no way of circumventing this without adding actual extra rows of cells.

IsgIIsgIIIdefIIIspecIpcIIpcIIIdefpcIIIspecpcIplIIplIIIpl
nom



sanśənbec
bac
i
u
əkakdaldelranrəntawoktejəkmewok
mejək
marmercer
cor
sit
sut
acc



ataśətəśbacaś
becəś

təś
taś
daljaśdəljeśranaś
 
reneś
waśjeśwoś
jəś
meś
maś
cereś
coroś
sić
suć
dist.
poss.
 subj



atak
ətək
bacan
becən 
inin unun teś
toś
dalun
dəlin
ranun
renin
--manak
mənək
cenek
conok
-
gen

anak
ənek
bacak
betək
ite
uta
teś
toś
daltudəltiranu
reni
tawun
tejin
-manak
mənək
cenek
conok
sitek
sutok
dat

aranś
ərənś
bacanś
bəcənś
in
un
tən
tan
donś
dənś
rənśronśwokśjikś-mankś
mənkś
cenkś
conkś
siteś
sutoś

gen.
abl



xaranś
źerənś
bacaś
 bəcəś 
ir
ar
ter
tar
doroś (no front form!)ronoś (no front form!) wośjeś-markś
mərkś
cerkś
corkś
sikeś
sukoś
inst



źerəp
xarap
barap
berəp
tap | təptap təpdaŕap
dəŕep
ranap
rənəp
tawap
tejəp
-manap
mənəp
canap
cənəp
sitəp
sutap
com-
to



xarkuś
źerkiś
backuś
 beckiś
itiśutuśtetiś
totuś
dalmaku dəlməkirammaku remməkitawaku
tejəki
-maruś
məriś
coruś
cereś

sitiś
sutuś
com-with

santuc
sentic
batuc
becic
itic
utuc
tetictotucdalmac
dəlmec
rammac
rəmməc
tawac
tejəc
-maruc
meric
coruc
ceric
setec
sotoc
neg


źerə
xaro
bicə
buco
istə
usto
tistə
tusto
daltus
dəltis
rono
rənə
tenə
tono
-marto
mərtə
carto
certə
settə
sotto

#366

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

A language in which subject, object, and indirect object are marked with different alphabets (cyrillic, arabic and katakana respectively), so a sentence like “I bought flowers for Maria” would become:

- Ай bought فلاورس  マリア.

In oral speech you distinguish them using stereotypical accents you might find in movies.

final (last) is apulen

Sunday, April 19th, 2015
apulen = final (adjective) (some things Google found for "apulen": an unusual term; user names; similar Apuleni is a rare last name; Ye Pikvu Apulen Shet is a Marathi song title; Rio Apulen (or Appeleg) may be the name of river on the Argentina - Chile border; similar Apulien is the German name for Apulia which is a region of southern Italy)

Word derivation for "final (last, ultimate)":
Basque = azken, Finnish = lopullinen
Miresua = apulen

Another Basque word for final is the similar azkeneko. Another Finnish word for final is viimeinen.

The word final does not appear in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass.