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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:26 pm 
Avisaru
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So even though I just posted this phonology in the post your conlang's phonology thread, but I'm going to repost it here and start a thread for this language because I'm going to be working on it a lot. It's supposed to be somewhat North American-y. I'll try to post at least one feature a day, if I have the time. The language's name is Hiirawə, pronounced [hi:ɾawʉ].

Consonants (in orthography)-
Image

The stop kw is /kʷ/, r is /ɾ/, and y is /j/. The nasals /ŋ ɴ/ are marginal phonemes in nasal + stop clusters involving /k kʷ q/; they are represented by n orthographically. Other than those, the rest of the orthography is the same as the IPA.

Vowels (in orthography)-
Image

The vowels are usually equivalent to their IPA vowels, though a is father back than IPA /a/. The vowel e is [ɛ].[/color] The doubled vowels represent long versions of ii uu aa = /i: u: a:/. Of the vowels, the schwa /ə/ is lowered to [a] in words that contain a uvular. When not lowered, it varies between [ɨ] and [ə]. After /w/, it is [ʉ].

Words may begin in zero or one consonants, and any consonant may occur initially. Between vowels are there limited number of clusters: nasal + stop or /s/, /s/ + stop and /h/ + stop. The nucleus of a syllable may be a short vowel, a long vowel, or the schwa followed by a short high vowel /i u/ (this is relatively rare). A word may end in any vowel or one of the consonants /n t s ts m k/. Since word/stems are generally two syllables, the phonotactic structure can be:

(C)V(V)(C)CV(V)(C)

Stress is placed on the first long vowel, if there is one. If there is no long vowel, stress is placed on the first non-schwa vowel. If there is no full vowel, I haven't figured out what to do yet: maybe stress the first schwa and change it to [e] or [a], or perhaps have it prosodically bind into the following word. I think the second is more cool.

Next, I'll be posting about nominals. They're pretty simple.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:27 pm 
Avisaru
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Hiirawə Noun inflection
Noun stems are classified as either independent or dependent. Independent nouns are without the absolutive suffix -u when they head NPs, while dependent nouns must take a suffix (usually -u) or be part of compound to be used to head NPs. Dependent stems may end in a consonant, the schwa /ə/ or the vowel /e/. Some examples below:

Independent
eyək 'man
nahti 'soup, broth'
waaspe 'hill'

Dependent
saah- 'horse, domesticated animal[/b]
utsə- 'air, wind'
anqe- 'knife, blade, sharp object'

The absolutive suffix -u has the following allomorphy after such dependent stems

saah-u > saahu 'horse'
utsə-u > utsuu 'air'
anqe-u > anqiu 'blade, knife'

Nouns may take several classes of suffixes: plural, case, absolutive, and derivational. The arrangement of these suffixes is shown in the table below:

Image

The absolutive suffix is mutually exclusive with both the plural suffix and the case suffixes. Derivational suffixes may create a dependent or independent stem. The various suffixes (are arranged below):

Plural
-ara PLURAL

Case
-at HUMAN OBJECT
-kwe INSTRUMENTAL
-hii LOCATIVE

Derivation
-ki DIMINUTIVE
-ats- AUGMENTATIVE (dependent)
-(ə)sqə- PEJORATIVE (dependent)
-si FEMININE

The combination -ara-at > -əraat. Some stems have special forms used before the plural suffix eyək > iik-.

This is basically all I have right now, as I haven't thought about nominal syntax that much.

Also, what I'm thinking for the verbal system:

-- Verbs are minimally composed of a verb stem and a final suffix. Final suffixes are divided into finite and and non-finite classes.
-- Finite final suffixes indicate a small number of tense/aspects. Non-finite final suffixes are converbial or pariticipial in nature. Both types may be used in independent clauses, but non-finite suffixes require the use of the clitic =tsa which acts as a copula in predicates with nominal clauses. Non-finite suffixes are also used for clause combining.
-- Between the stem and the final suffix are are suffix slots for aspect, mood, voice/valency and other derivational suffixes. I haven't decided how they are organized yet.
-- I'll probably include some prefixes to indicate voice/valency and mood. Negation will be prefixial
-- One interesting idea that I've been thinking of incorporating from Pawnee is the idea of interrogative pronouns being prefixes on the verb. I'm going to have to work on this, but I'll probably end up with some kind of interrogative morphology on the verb.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:03 am 
Avisaru
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Mmm.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:05 am 
Avisaru
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Is that an awful "mmm" or a neutral "mmm" or a something else "mmm"?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:39 am 
Avisaru
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Interessant. Sehr interessant.

I like the independent vs dependent distinction. It seems vaguely like the absolute vs construct state of Arabic nouns, but I really don't know enough to make a full comparison of the two systems.

Any chance we could see some complete declensions, with all possible suffixes? I actually find that the easiest way to wrap my head around a noun system as a whole.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:15 am 
Avisaru
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Danke! I'll give you some forms of eyək (pre-plural iik- and saah-. I might not use all the derivational suffixes though, as I'm not sure of their level of productiveness yet.

eyək 'man'
eyəkat 'man.OBJ'
iikara 'men'
iikəraat 'men.OBJ'

eyəkəskuu 'bad man; (that darn) man' (here, the /q/ in the pejorative suffix harmonizes with the velar in the stem)
eyəkəskaat 'bad man.OBJ'
eyəkəskaara 'bad men'
eyəkəskəraat 'bad men.OBJ'

I'm not sure what the distribution of the locative and instrumental case suffixes will be human nouns. So I just gave you singular, plural, and then the respective object forms of those, along with a form with the pejorative derivational suffix. Now for saah- 'horse, domesticated animal', a dependent stem:

saahu 'horse'
saahkwe 'with a horse, by horse, by riding'
saahkii 'on a horse' (/h-hii/ > [hkii])
saahara 'horses'
saaharakwe 'with horses'
saaharahii 'on horses'

saahki 'dog' (lit. 'little horse')
saahkikwe 'with a dog, using a dog'
saahkihii ?'on a dog'
saahkiara 'dogs'
saahkiarakwe 'with dogs'
saahkiarahii 'on dogs'

Again, I'm not sure to what extent the locative and instrumentals will be productive with animate nouns. Something like saahkwe might get lexicalized, and I'm not sure what the instrumental or a locative of a dog would mean. I haven't nailed down the uses of these cases yet, but they'll be very semantically determined, instead of grammatical. The semantics of a given noun will greatly play into how the cases can be used.

And actually, just for kicks, let's get some derivation stacking with a good amount of inflection:

waaspesqəqiarahii 'on the bad little hills'

Could make for a good place name, that.


Last edited by roninbodhisattva on Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:36 am 
Avisaru
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Me liketh. It's a nice balance of not-overly complicated, but quirky enough in the details to be interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing how the semantics/case use issue plays out. And I'm already liking touches like the fact that the word for dog is "little horse". It's showing signs of well-thought-outness, even at this early stage.

And I can pronounce it. That's always nice. Looking forward to seeing more!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:02 am 
Avisaru
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Why thankee! I'll be posting soon with how the cases actually work with nouns. Also, though, I've decided to add another case suffix, -(i)ru COMITATIVE. The form -iru is used after consonants, and -ru after vowels. Like the plural suffix, it trigers secondary stems in some nouns: iikiru 'with the man'


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:25 am 
Lebom
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I really the phonology, nice and simple yet without being too minimalistic and divergent from default (you know, /p t k m n N v s h/ and stuff :D) with an North American flair, but in a distinctive way.

roninbodhisattva wrote:
I'm not sure what the distribution of the locative and instrumental case suffixes will be human nouns.

How about using the instrumental case as a comitative when attached to an animate noun?

Also, what is the difference between plural and pre-plural?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:42 pm 
Avisaru
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Fanu wrote:
roninbodhisattva wrote:
I'm not sure what the distribution of the locative and instrumental case suffixes will be human nouns.

How about using the instrumental case as a comitative when attached to an animate noun?

I had this idea, but I decided to add a separate comitative case suffix if you look at the post above. Probably instrumental human and animate nouns will be used with extra agents or something. Not sure yet.

Fanu wrote:
Also, what is the difference between plural and pre-plural?

The pre-plural is the form of some stems that is used when the stem directly precedes the plural suffix. So the pre plural form of eyək is iik-. I just didn't have any other term for it.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:45 pm 
Avisaru
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The instrumental could be used when someone is acting on behalf of another, or with verbs of asking or commanding. Just a random idea.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:40 pm 
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This language looks quite promising. Its aesthetic matches my own taste, and the grammar seems to become interesting as well. I'd especially looking forward to read more about the verbal system.

roninbodhisattva wrote:
waaspesqəqiarahii 'on the bad little hills'

Could make for a good place name, that.

Indeed. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:42 pm 
Lebom
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The opinion of a total noob: I really like it. If Eskimo and Iroquoian had a baby, I'd imagine it would look like this.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:50 am 
Avisaru
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cedh audmanh wrote:
This language looks quite promising. Its aesthetic matches my own taste, and the grammar seems to become interesting as well. I'd especially looking forward to read more about the verbal system.

Thank you! I'll definitely be posting something on the verbal system soon, though it may take me a little while to type it up. At least a general overview of what I'm thinking of for the structure, as that's solidified a little better.

Anyway, as I've been thinking about it a lot today, a post on case usage. I'll list each case name with it's suffix and explain the uses.

ABSOLUTIVE ∅/-u
The absolutive is the basic, unmarked form of any noun. With dependent nouns it is marked by the suffix -u, while independent nouns do not take a suffix. The absolutive marks most NPs functioning as core arguments, except for nouns which refer to humans when they are used as objects. I haven't figured out which, if any, functions the absolutive will have on oblique on NPs. It may simply be the case used after adverbials/prepositions. One function I may include is the marking of durations of time with bounded events: "He read the book in an hour." I'm not sure on this one though, yet.

HUMAN OBJECT -at
The suffix -at is found exclusively on nouns denoting humans that are used as an object. This does not just include direct objects, but indirect objects and applicative arguments as well.

INSTRUMENTAL -kwe
The instrumental generally functions to show the means by which an action is performed, and is marked by the suffix -kwe. The instrumental is also used to denote the substance that something is made of (in this case being adnominal): aasekwe əskwit 'house (made out) of wood, wooden house' (wood-inst house). It is rarely used with animate nouns, perhaps only the subject that is caused to do something in causative constructions. I'm also thinking about making it that inanimate nouns cannot be used as transitive agents, or perhaps agents all together, and instead of saying something like "The rock killed her" you would have to use something akin to "someone killed her with a rock." I may also give the instrumental ablative functions.

LOCATIVE -hii
The locative case is marked by the suffix -hii. In it's basic meaning, it signals static location ('in, at, on') and direction towards a location ('to'). With animate nouns, the locative generally means 'among': iikarahii 'among the men'. With names and names of groups of people, it indicates location in that person's home/territory.

COMITATIVE -(i)ru
The comitative is marked by the suffix -(i)ru and translates as '(together) with' or 'in the company of'. It is also the most common device for conjoining NPs: iikiru niske 'man and woman, people' (Lit: 'woman with man'). I'm actually thinking of allowing this case to 'stack' with the locative case to indicate 'in the presence of'. The contrast with the normal comitative function would be that the locative-comitative combination would indicate that the marked noun was a passive presence in the action described by the verb, while a plain comitative would indicate direct involvement of the marked noun in the action: tənkatarahiiru 'in the presence of the elders'.

This is all I have at this point, and I realize it's sketchy. I need to really work out more exact case usage, but I suspect this won't happen til I start translating.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:25 am 
Avisaru
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So this is the basic structure of the verb that I'm thinking of:

Inflected verb:
(EVIDENTIAL-)MODE-STEM-FINAL SUFFIX

Verb stem:
(PASSIVE -)ROOT-ASPECT/VALENCY

Clitics (all optional):
ADVERBIAL/CONNECTIVE=INTERROGATIVE=NEGATIVE=VERB=DIRECTIONAL=PERSON

Putting this all together, you get something like this:

(ADVERBIAL/CONNECTIVE)=(INTERROGATIVE)=(NEGATIVE)=[(EVIDENTIAL)-MODE-[(PASSIVE)-ROOT-(ASPECT/VALENCY)]-FINAL SUFFIX]=(DIRECTIONAL)=(PERSON)

In addition to this, there will be complex predication in which the verb is combined with another form. This probably looks something like this:

Clitic = [Verb + Verb] = Clitics

I'm not sure about this part yet though, and really a lot of this is still up in the air. The system is evolving to fit a heavy focus on the modal prefixes. Verbs are basically massive affairs in this language, though unlike some polysynthetic languages, you don't have stuff like discontinuous stems going on. Other than directional clitics, the semantics of the verb itself are basically encapsulated in the verb stem, instead of being spread out over several zones of the verb template (say like Caddoan or Athabaskan).


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:44 pm 
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This rocks. Both the phonology and the grammar are beautiful, realistic and interesting, and the
language indeed has some North American, perhaps southeastern, flavour. Rock on!

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ESTAR-3SG:P human-OBJ only human-OBJ true-OBJ REL-LOC play-3SG:A


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:22 pm 
Avisaru
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WeepingElf wrote:
This rocks. Both the phonology and the grammar are beautiful, realistic and interesting, and the language indeed has some North American, perhaps southeastern, flavour. Rock on!

High praise! Thank you!

And actually, I'm thinking that I will actually put this as an imaginary language isolate somewhere in North America. Probably somewhere in the southern Great Plains.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:03 am 
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roninbodhisattva wrote:
WeepingElf wrote:
This rocks. Both the phonology and the grammar are beautiful, realistic and interesting, and the language indeed has some North American, perhaps southeastern, flavour. Rock on!

High praise! Thank you!

And actually, I'm thinking that I will actually put this as an imaginary language isolate somewhere in North America. Probably somewhere in the southern Great Plains.


You may want to join the League of Lost Languages.

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...brought to you by the Weeping Elf
Tha cvastam émi cvastam santham amal phelsa. -- Friedrich Schiller
ESTAR-3SG:P human-OBJ only human-OBJ true-OBJ REL-LOC play-3SG:A


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:09 am 
Avisaru
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Ya know, that's a pretty good idea. I'll think about it.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:03 pm 
Avisaru
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Damn, this language is getting cooler by the post! I like the complexity of the verb system, and I can see a lot of room for cool idiomatic expressions with it.

And I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets a bit of an Amerindian vibe from the language.

Rock on, robinbodhisattva!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:06 pm 
Avisaru
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So I'm thinking of reviving this and maybe simplifying the ideas I had for the verbal system somewhat. Moving away from the pretty-agglutinative end of things to the more just inflectional end. I just wanted to give it a bump at this point.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:22 am 
Avisaru
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Bump. Or stupid double post.


Last edited by roninbodhisattva on Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:58 am 
Avisaru
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You actually did post that. By mmm back in Febrary, I meant "delicious".

I want moah.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:17 am 
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You did post it... and only like 5 posts up. :|


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:37 am 
Avisaru
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finlay wrote:
You did post it... and only like 5 posts up. :|

Shit how did I miss that. OH well. Double post edited out. That's what I get for posting at 4am.

Anyway, something tiny and a little bit new: I've decided to add a few syllable initial consonant clusters. Legal clusters are formed with a stop, /s/ or /y w/ + the glottal stop: /pˀ tˀ kˀ kʷˀ qˀ sˀ yˀ wˀ/. These are not realized as glottalized consonants phonetically, but instead as clusters with separate articulations for each consonant. Also, I've added /θ/ as a third fricative.


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