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 Post subject: Latin-Sindarin Hybrid
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:17 pm 
Smeric
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So I hope this is the right place. What I've done with Latin and Sindarin is more complex than a mere cipher. Its grammar includes things from English, Spanish, Latin and Sindarin. The vocabulary is mainly obtained through a set of rules from Latin roots or Latin-like adapted roots. Consequently the lexicon is something in constant expansion that can get richer anytime, having words coined with a systematic methodology.

This is what I wanted, since my original intention was to have something useable anytime with the feel of Sindarin and I'm too lazy to invent a whole lexicon (plus, in this case, you already have Tolkien's Sindarin for that - I'm not Tolkien, and this is done totally out of admiration and respect for his work). There are a few words directly from Sindarin or invented by myself, but that's a minority. It won't be uncommon to find irregularities as it's not yet settled. I haven't written any grammar before, so I'll go step by step here.

I've seen this thing being called a bogolang, a hybrilang, etc. but I chose not to include any of these names in the title since I saw no general consensus on the net and I thought it may give a misleading first impression. In any case, I hope what it is is clear from the previous description.

The source of vocabulary

First of all, one needs the lexicon ready. This is the "ciphering" part. In order for something to be like Sindarin, it has to come from something which is, historically, as the language which evolved into Sindarin. This language was Common Eldarin, in one of its stages. It has a phonology not very distinct from Latin; nevertheless, some minor adaptations are needed. Once these adaptations are made, I'll say the roots are in "Latin". Firstly, gemination is lost as distinctive in plosives. Secondly, the phoneme /w/ is replaced by /gw/ (vinum /winu/ to *gwinu /gwinu/), and so the sequence /g/ + /w/ is a new phoneme /gʷ/ (sanguis: /gwis/ to *sangue /gʷe/). This minor distinction is very relevant.

This is what "Latin" phonology looks like, more or less:

Nasal: /m n/ <m n>
Plosives: /p b t d k g kʷ gʷ/ <p b t d k g qu gu>
Fricatives: /f s/ <f s>
Liquids: /r l/ <r l>
Semivowels /j/ <i>

Vowels: /a e i o u/ <a e i o u> Diphthongs: /ai oi aw/ <ae oe au>

From here we can get the hybrid conlang's words with a regular set of sound changes. The consonantal changes are more regular and realistic than the vowel changes. Vowels, having less room to vary, follow some irregular rules that I made up without any basis on Sindarin. But before the sound changes, I'll say how roots are extracted from each part of speech.

Nouns and adjectives Take the accusative form and drop -m, the result should end in one of the three vowels -a, -e or -u. For adjectives do the same with masculine gender (gender is going to be lost and it doesn't matter anyway, because all final vowels will fall later). For example:

porta, -ae f. - *porta door
filius, -ii m. - *filiu son
rex, regis m. - *rege king
senatus, -us m. - *senatu senate
bos, bovis m. - *bogwe cow, bull
malus, -a, -um - *malu evil, bad
vetus, veteris - *vetere veteran, old
prudens, prudentis - *prudente prudent
acer, acris, acre - *acre sour, bitter

Verbs There are two verb classes: a-verbs and i-verbs or primitive verbs. For a-verbs, which encompass the Latin first conjugation, the root ends in the infinitive's a, dropping the -re from -are. Even though Latin verbs are listed by their first person singular present indicative tense, I will list them by their infinitives here because it's more convenient. For i-verbs, which encompass the rest of the verbs, drop the whole infinitive ending and append an -e:

amare > *ama- love
laudare > *lauda- praise
loqui > *loque- talk
timere > *time- fear
facere > *face- do, make
emere > *eme- buy
partire > *parte- split
venire > *gwene- come

Prepositions, adverbs and other parts of speech

For these, the root normally coincides with the "Latin" form resulting from mere phonological adaptation. Adverbs are largely interchangeable with adjectives in the conlang, or can be derived internally (I'll talk about that later for the conlang's internal morphology). However, most prepositions and other parts of speech do not come from Latin and are either invented by me or taken directly from Sindarin. Among words used as in Latin, we have:

bene > *bene well
inter > *inter between
sive > *sigwe or

Once the word is phonologically adapted and we have the proper root shape, we can apply the sound changes for the consonants and change the vowels in a special pattern. I'll describe these next post.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:02 pm 
Smeric
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Eandil wrote:
Once the word is phonologically adapted and we have the proper root shape, we can apply the sound changes for the consonants and change the vowels in a special pattern. I'll describe these next post.


Today I'm going to talk about the consonant changes, which will be very relevant later for discusing mutations. The phonological system of "Latin" was:

Quote:
Nasal: /m n/ <m n>
Plosives: /p b t d k g kʷ gʷ/ <p b t d k g qu gu>
Fricatives: /f s h/ <f s h>
Liquids: /r l/ <r l>
Semivowels /j/ <i>


I'm including /h/ now because I think it's the best stage to do so. Latin ortographical <h> will be a true "Latin" phoneme. However, since it doesn't usually happen medially, it won't be relevant for the sound changes I'm going to describe, but I will mention it in the mutation section.

And the "Latin" phonotactics are mainly that of Latin, obviously.

On to the sound changes. I'm going to classify them according to their environment.

Previous sound changes: Before applying anything, make sure that the labialized velars become labials. Thus, /kʷ gʷ/ > /p b/. This doesn't apply to /gw/, hence the importance of the distinction.

Consonant sound changes: Lenition

This sound change affects consonants between vowels. Think of lenition as a softening. Voiceless plosives <p t k> will become voiced ones <b d g>, and voiced ones will become fricatives <v/bh dh gh> (gh will drop later, being only orthographical - it can also be dropped from orthography and represented with the apostrophe '). Among nasals, /m/ will become fricative, a "spirant m" or "nasal v" which will later become simply /v/ <v> or <mh>. /gw/ will simplify to /w/ <w>. /s/ will debuccalize to /h/ <h>, but /s:/ <ss> won't. The rest of the consonants will remain. If, because of compounding, /h/ gets between vowels, it will shift to a velar voiceless fricative /x/ <ch>, later shifted to [ç]. Examples:

*sape- > sabe- to know
*pete- > pede- to ask for
*face- > fage- to do, make
*loque- > lope- > lobe to talk
*habe- > have- to have
*cade- > cadhe- to fall
*age- > aghe- > a'e to act, to perform
*eme- > eve- to buy
*tine- > tine- to possess, to hold
*defere- > defere- to differ
*pesa- > peha- to weigh
*classe > classe class
*lupuhomine > lubuchovine werewolf, lit. wolf-man

Nasal changes

These changes operate in a cluster involving a nasal and, usually, a stop (in this order). These clusters happen between vowels. They develop thusly:

/mp/ /nt/ /nk/ ([ŋk]) <mp nt nc> > /mb/ /nd/ /ng/ ([ŋg]) > /mm/ /nn/ /ng/ ([ŋg]) <mm nn ng>
/mb/ /nd/ /ng/ ([ŋg]) <mb nd ng> > /mm/ /nn/ /ŋŋ/ <mm nn ng/n'n>

However, when final vowels drop and these are left in the end of the word, all the changes revert (you could also say they never happened, it doesn't matter). Examples:

*campa- > camba- > camma- to settle, make a camp
*campu- > **cambu > camp the country, the fields (because final vowels drop, a change I'll mention later)
*inter > inder > inner between
*cantu > **candu > cant singing
*sangue > sambe > **samme > samb blood

These changes are of great importance since they will be involved in the formation of the past tense, and one needs to know how to restore a root if it's to be suffixed (something which is needed for some parts of the grammar). As an irregularity, some Latin verbs will be treated as if they never had a nasal (predere for prendere), but I'll also talk about this when I talk about the past tense.

Other nasal clusters may not change (/nf/, /ns/)

The next time I'll describe how most consonant clusters simplify, which encompassess all other sound changes.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:31 pm 
Avisaru
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in the meantime can we see a sample text

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:57 pm 
Smeric
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Kereb wrote:
in the meantime can we see a sample text


Sure! Sorry, I forgot, because I originally posted this in ephemera and forgot to include the text also in here.

Quote:
A bit of philosophy (the part I'm currently studying at school) in a (complex) cipher of Latin. What do you think about it? What does it look like to you? Is it understandable, do you get any words, other than direct Greek names?

Prihecretig: Empedocles

Empedocles grind dar i arche nanner in ilivint bader: ab, aer, eghen ar terr.
Sibara ar iontha ilivint hain of fuirth en-avar ar e-dyscurdh hwe en-udh.

Sevelithyd ar dyfferinth ephyrthail vaes ennir Socrates ar i Sephist

I Sevelithyd ennir syn nar duis: Aimb fengir i bass uin physis nan bolis ar aimb grinnir dar i arete bunt na aphrinnen.

Dyfferenthint nanner pader. I Sephist bint aur, sidh Socrates un. I Sephist nanner riledewist, Socrates nant assolodest on mi thim vyril. Min mithudh, i Sephist ohanner i rhedureg; Socrates, i dhialogh rasanel (med i vithudh hocrateg). Finel, i Sephist bodannen dar i arete nant i hochiss hugiel, dom Socrates bodant dar i arete nant cussibi na vun ar iost, 'werthodhas (podad hammen be ennillithualehem vurel).


Translation:

Quote:
Presocratics: Empedocles

Empedocles thought that the arkhe was the four elements: water, air, fire and earth.
These elements where pulled together and apart by forces of love and discord or hate.

Similarities and differences between Socrates and the Sophists

The similarities between them were two: both made a transition from the physis to the polis and both thought that the arete could be taught.

Their differences were four. The Sophists asked for money, but Socrates did not. The Sophists were relativists, Socrates was an absolutist regarding moral topics. About their method, the Sophists used rhetoric; Socrates, the rational dialogue (with the Socratic method). Finally, the Sophists thought that the arete was the social success, while Socrates thought that the arete was managing to be good and just, virtuous (a line of thought known as moral intellectualism).


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:57 pm 
Smeric
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Latin = cool and I'm learning it.
Sindarin = cool and I'm also learning it.

the Hybrid = even cooler, and I really do want to learn it. I think it would help me find a deeper interest in Latin and diachronics.

What would the name of the conlang be?

hibridam (hybrida) > heveredh i-everedh
or
miscellum > mescil or mescill? i-vescil (would a double <ll> become /ɬ/?)

What does happen to those /sk/ clusters? I keep confusing with them with /ks/ which seem to simplify to /s/?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:11 am 
Smeric
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Bristel wrote:
Latin = cool and I'm learning it.
Sindarin = cool and I'm also learning it.

the Hybrid = even cooler, and I really do want to learn it. I think it would help me find a deeper interest in Latin and diachronics.

What would the name of the conlang be?


Nice, I'm glad you like it! Thanks a lot. ('Raith vylth!) To be honest, I haven't thought yet about a name (I never gave it much importance, specially since it's still an on-going project). What about Silladen (sin-Latin)?

Bristel wrote:
hibridam (hybrida) > heveredh i-everedh


You can keep Greek y, since y exists in the Language as the phoneme /y/ <y>. Thus, hybrida would become hyvredh (i chyvredh) (you can also treat it as an i, ending up with hevredh, I'd say both are acceptable). The epenthetic vowel you seem to be adding is something that only happens if word-final; compare English enter (where the r becomes syllabic or adds a schwa, in rhotic dialects) but entrance (which keeps a normal /tr/ cluster). You're probably thinking of "four" pader. I'll talk about these later today.

Bristel wrote:
or
miscellum > mescil or mescill? i-vescil (would a double <ll> become /ɬ/?)


/l:/ <ll> is tolerated, and in fact I have other reasons to keep it. This word would become mescell, and if definite, i vescell (the mix, I think).

Bristel wrote:
What does happen to those /sk/ clusters? I keep confusing with them with /ks/ which seem to simplify to /s/?


/sk/ is maintained and /ks/ swaps to /sk/. What you are saying is true for some contexts, when some intolerabe cluster would arise (mixtura wouldn't develop into **mesctor, since /skt/ is not allowed and simplified to /st/). I'll also talk about these clusters in the next post, later today.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:54 am 
Smeric
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Bristel, by the way, where are you learning Sindarin from? Do you know Ardalambion?

Eandil wrote:
The next time I'll describe how most consonant clusters simplify, which encompassess all other sound changes.


These remaining sound changes are divided in those occuring after an occlusive or after a liquid (r, l).

It's important not to confuse a liquid cluster (r, l + consonant), which usually happens in the syllable boundary, with clusters involving a plosive or a fricative and r, l (e.g.: bl, br, dr, gl). The latter are treated as if their plosive was between vowels, consequently undergoing lenition (*capra > *cabra).

Liquid change

Happens after r and l. The rule of thumb is: everything fricativizes.

/p t k/ turn into <ph th ch> /f θ x/ [f θ ç]
/b d g/ turn into <bh dh gh> /v ð ɣ/ [v ð ]. If you don't like <bh> in any form, just go for <v>. I don't mind.
/gw/ <gw> turns into /w/ <w>
/m/ turns into /v/ <v> (again through nasal v or spirant m)
/h/ turns into /x/ [ç] <ch> (this is rare)

The rest of consonants should remain as they are. Examples:

*arbore > *arbhor tree
alternative *arbu > *arbh tree
*multu > *multhu very
*ursu > *urs bear

Occlusive change

This is important as it affects many prefixed words. The assimilation which happened in Latin is many times replaced with the one that would happen from this. For example, we won't directly translate *apprende (from apprehendo) but rather *ab- + *prende (to learn, lit. "take from").

This change affects consonants after an occlusive. The result depends solely on the second consonant, not the first. It operates this way:

/p t k/ fricativize to <ph th ch>
/b d g/ remain.
/h/ fricativiezes to <ch> as well.
And everything else not mentioned now or in the following paragraph remains.

For these described changes, the initial occlusive which caused the mutation is lost. However, for the following ones, it undergoes chesirization, leaving the consonant double as a mark of its previous presence:

plosive + /s/ or /f/ > ss or ff

For /r/ and /l/, a cluster is formed and not simplified. Examples:

*ob-clusigwu > *ochluhiwu occlusive
*ab-prede > *aphredhe to learn
*ab-surdu > *assurdhu absurd

Note: the sound changes described so far are supposed to happen, more or less, simultaneously.

Consonant cluster simplification

Most consonant clusters can be simplified according to the aforementioned rules, but there are some things to be noted:

Initial clusters with s-:

These have their own evolution:

sp- becomes ph-
sc- becomes ch- or s-
st- becomes th-

However, str- becomes rh- (devoiced r), as does scr-.
Medially, -str- becomes -thr- (I don't think -spr- ever happens medially).

Technically, a devoiced l, lh, also exists initially, but I don't think it will ever happen in words coming from Latin. It would have to begin with spl/scl/stl, which, as far as I know, don't happen initially.

Finally and medially, the clusters /sp st/ remain, /sc/ can do this or become /x/ <ch>. Latin /ps ks/ <ps x> should flap to fit the phonology to /sp sk/ <sp sc>.

Examples:

*scribe > *rhive- to write
*speculu > *pheculu > mirror
*strella (< Latin stella) > *rhell
*scire > *chire- or *sire- to know (because *sce- would be a very short root, < Latin scio)

Other sound changes worth mentioning are vowel apocope, epenthesis and metathesis. Apocope is nice to adapt because it happened, luckily, in Common Eldarin to Sindarin and in Latin to Romance. The contexts are also very much alike: usually unstressed second-to-last short vowels like u or e. Another kind of apocope is the one that makes every final vowel fall (-a, -u, -e) and usually also diphthongs (-ia, -ie, etc.). Example:

*speculu > *pheclu
*teneru > *tenru

Epenthesis and metathesis are the two possible solutions to word-final apocope that leaves a consonant cluster which is not allowed word-finally in such a position. For example, take the words above.

*pheclu > **phecl > *phelc > *phelch mirror
*tenru > **tenr > *tern tender
*igne > **ign > *igen > *ighen fire

When should you use epenthesis and when metathesis: I usually apply metathesis when the result is allowed in Sindarin phonology. To me, it's more elegant and it also makes the word shorter, which is nicer. However, in some situations I just don't do it (like for ignis above). Sometimes you can use both, with different meanings:

quattour > *quatru > *patru > *padru > *padr > *pader four
patre > *padre > *padr > *pard > *pardh father

So yes, for short, there's no mandatory rule in this other than phonological limitations. A tip: when adding an epenthetic vowel, take e as the default unless the final consonant is -l, in that case, pick o. So for example mirror above could also be *phegol.

If there is any consonant cluster I've not said how to solve here, please let me know (I'm probably forgetting something). Next post I'll talk about vowels, so we can finally transcribe words completely (that's why I've been marking everything with an asterisk until here).


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:08 pm 
Smeric
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Two things: before doing the post about vowels (which I'll probably do tomorrow), I forgot to mention assimilation, which also happens. The changes are more sporadic and more intuitive (they happen as in Latin) so that's why I didn't make them explicit. But if for example s-f meet in syllable boundaries, make them -ff- (like in Latin dis-facilis to difficilis).

If nasals meet, they usually assimilate too: -mn- > -nn-; -nm- > -mm- > -m-

Latin's own plosive and nasal geminates tend to simplify (e.g. summa to suma, bucca to buca) before anything else (buca won't undergo an occlusive change, for example).

Secondly, a small piece of poetry I just translated from a song by Ensiferum:

Audh i glavad i-chennin
[awð i.'gla.vad i.'çɛ.n:in]
hear-IMP the call-VbN fall-PP-PLU-DEF
Hear the call of the fallen ones

Sabed lain in gwand timment.
['sa.bɛd lajn iŋ.'gwand 'ti.m:ɛnt]
know-VbN those which-PL go-PAST-3S time-3P-POSS
Wisdom of those whose time has gone

Gwew 'wedeg braw felien brennad,
[gwɛw 'wɛ.dɛg bɾaw 'fɛ.ljɛn brɛn.'nad]
live-IMP life-2S-POSS brave son-1S-POSS firstborn
Live your life bravely my first born son,

Mi bo'engaimp, lotha, u-gorr!
[mi bɔ.ɛŋ.'gajmp 'lɔ.θa u.'gɔr]
in battlefield-P fight-IMP run-NEG-IMP
On battlefields, fight, don't run!

Roots used: *aude- (audire) to hear, *clama- (clamare) to call, *cade- (cadere) to fall, *sape- (sapere) to know, *gwade- (vadere) to go, *tempu- (tempus, -oris n.) time, *gwigwere (vivere) to live, *bragwu- (bravus, -a, -um) brave, *filiu- (filius) son, *primu- (primus) first, *natu- (natus) born, *pugna- (pugna) battle, *campu- (campus) field, *lucta- (luctare) to fight, *curre- (currere) to run.


Last edited by Thry on Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:18 pm 
Smeric
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Yes I do know of Ardalambion, and I have a Sindarin lesson PDF.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:24 pm 
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I think some more example sentences are in order.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:21 pm 
Smeric
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I believe that scl- initial roots are all borrowings from Greek.

ie. sclodia sled, sclopetum rifle

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:13 am 
Smeric
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Bristel wrote:
I believe that scl- initial roots are all borrowings from Greek.

ie. sclodia sled, sclopetum rifle


Ah, nice, thank you. That makes me wonder wether Spanish escopeta is from there. So these words would show the devoiced L I was talking about: *lhobedu. I also remembered that prefixes ending in -s with words beginning with cl- would produce -scl- medial clusters, which would evolve into -thl- just like medial -scr- evolves into -thr-.

As you can see, all these sound changes are designed to arrive at Sindarin's phonology. Sindarin also has initial hw-, which I may derive irregularly from "Latin" initial gw-. Other than that, I can simply invents words with it, for example "or" which is hwe.

Today I'm finally going to talk about vowels and diphthongs. This will hopefully be the last major post having to do with the "transcription" part, and then I'll pass to the grammar, with sample sentences.

Vowel apophony

In order to make the words more dissimilar to each other, this apophony is the "rule of thumb" carried out: a remains, e > i, i > e, o > u, u > o. However, there are exceptions. Notably, for nouns in the final-to-be syllable (which is normally the second-to-last, since final vowels drop), if making e remain e can't cause confusion, then make it remain. So turn *terra into terr because there is no such thing as *tirra which could merge with the resulting form terr (earth). This is done because of distinctiveness: Sindarin nouns in i have no distinct plural forms.

I don't think it happens much, but for example /ji/ is not tolerated. Latin /je/ would remain as /je/. /wu/, on the other hand, could happen easily. Take the verb for want, (volere >) *gwole- > gwol- (not gwul). However, underlying forms remain. This is why, even if "time" is temp, "their time" is timment (possessive suffix -ent). That is also why "they want" is gwylir (y corresponds to mutated u, not to mutated o; plural suffix -ir).

Also, on a different note, regarding hw- (devoiced w, as in Old English hwat > "what"), you could alternatively have the verb hwol pl. hwylin for "to want" as well.

Latin diphthongs ae, oe remain as they are (oe and more rarely ae can be treated as e, but this is not recommended for distinctiveness). au reduces to /o/ o if not the last or only syllable in a word.

Since all final vowels drop, genders disappear. Endings with /j/, *-iu and *-ia, should drop as well. Alternatively, to keep distinctiveness, you can put the /j/ behind the final consonant which came immediately before it, thus creating a diphthong (ai is possible, ei > ai/ei, oi > ui and ui is possible).

Examples of all this:

*manu > man hand
*caelu > cael sky, heaven
*agonia > a'un/a'uin agony
*memoria > mivur/mivuir memory
*amoenu > avoen/aven neat
*musca > mosc fly
*mundu > mond world
*puru > por pure
*iconu > egun icon
*gwetere- > gwider veteran, old (also gwed, from *gwetu-) ultimately from Latin vetus, -eris
*ogwu > ow egg (**uw is impossible)

All these words above are in their definitive, useable forms.

Alternative apophony

Alternatively to the apophony above, there's a second one. It words this way: a > e > i > u > o > a. This apophony is mainly used for morphological derivational suffixes in Latin. This way, they can be previously adapted and it has a different flavor. Most Latin typical derivational endings (for nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc. are not transliterated, but rather have their own form, sometimes irregular, but always similar.) Since these adaptations are mainly irregular, the chain change described is not a rule, but a trend.

Examples:

in- > un- (negation) in-, un- (but in- > en- meaning "in, inside")
dis- > dys- dis-
-tione > -san (not lenited) -tion
-ment > -ment (lenited if necessary) -ment
-tate > -thad -ty
-tute > -thod -tue (as in "virtue")
-anu > -en -an (as in "American")
-ale > -el -al (as in "animal")
-are > -er -ar (as in "angular")
-icus > -eg -ic or -ical (as in "Indic" or "magical")
-osu > -as -ous (as in ambidextrous)
-eus > -/-ui/-ew (as in aureus, "golden")
-ibile > -evel/evol
-e > -/-ig (adverbial ending)
-logia > -logh -logy
-tia > -th (as in "constancy" < constantia)
-dia > -dh (as in verecundia shame)

I'm probably missing a lot (and I didn't include prepositional prefixes), if anybody wants to know a particular one just let me know. If you need a vowel to append the suffixes, let it be i.

For example:

*sene, *senectute: sen > senithod (old, old age) Latin senex, senectus

possibility < possible + -ity < poss- + -ible + -ity:
*pote- + *-ibile + *-tate > pudivlithad (pussivlithad is also allowed, more irregular but more familiar)

Next post I'll begin with noun and adjective inflection and maybe some other thing.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:08 pm 
Smeric
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Eandil wrote:
Next post I'll begin with noun and adjective inflection and maybe some other thing.

So I finally found some time to continue. I'll explain today how nouns work in the language.

Grammar is intended to be Sindarinish, not Latinish. So there is no case, and nouns inflect solely by number since gender was lost too in the process of final-vowel apocope. There are two numbers: singular and plural.

Adjectives have lost gender and case, but not number, so adjectives agree with their nouns in number. They also have, consequently, singular and plural forms.

Plural is indicated by means of i-mutation, which means vowel umlaut. As Old Eldarin evolved into Sindarin, its plural marker *-i dropped, but it left its "scent" in the previous vowels. This mechanism is copied in Silladen (Silladen is the hybrid's name). We can invent a historical "Latin" morpheme *-i (which is the Latin masculine nominative plural, among other things) as an explanation. It dropped because of apocope, but it left a change in vowels that makes them sound closer to /i/. In any case, the patterns are these:

Plural and i-mutation

If the final (or only) syllable in the word:

a > ai: pardh, pairdh father(s) (< *patre)

The irregular change a > e/ei also happens before an L plus fricative: in Eilph (the Alps), singular *Alph (*Alp)

e, i > i: phen phin spine(s) (< *spina)
o, y > y: dor dyr hard (< *duru)
u > ui, y: udh uidh hate(s) (< *odiu), ulch ylch eye(s) (< *oculu)

y is the most simplified or modern form. The standard usage for it is when the syllable coda is complex (more than one consonant).

aw, au > oe: aur oer gold(s) (< *auru)
the rest of diphthongs remain: aer aer air(s) (< *aere)
traghoedh treghoedh tragedy, -ies (< *tragoedia)

y is the phoneme /y/

This is the explanation that many nouns skipped the "regular" change e > i if possible. For a noun with i as its main vowel, there is no different plural form. So the measure is taken that this situation is avoided, in order to maximize distinctiveness and diminish ambiguity.

This more reduced umlaut takes place when the syllable is non-final and the word is not monosyllabic:

a, e, o > e: frader fredir brother(s) (< *fratre), poreth perith purity, -ies (< *puritia), sedher sedhir star(s) (< *sideru < sidus, sideris n. [NB: I know in Latin these nouns don't have an accusative with this shape, but it's done anyways for the transcription])
i > i: sinad > sinaid senate(s) (< *senatu)
u, y > y: surur syruir sister(s) (< *sorore), hyvredh hyvridh hybrid(s) (< *hybrida)
o > oe: (underlying au) pober poebir poor (< *paupre)

For the rest of diphthongs use the above explanation (i.e., no change).

For nouns with an epenthetic vowel, there are two possibilities: either treat them normally (as I've done above for brother, poor, etc.) or ignore the epenthetic vowel. If this last approach is taken, which is more sophisticated, the epenthetic vowel itself doesn't change and the second-to-last vowel is treated as if it were in a final syllable (as it was, historically). So frader would pluralize as fraider, e'en as i'en (fire < *igne), arthegol as erthigol (article < *articulu). The regular plural for this last one would be erthegyl, a very different form (but both are valid).

I'll continue next post with verbal conjugation.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:15 pm 
Lebom
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I wish I had more to offer the conversation, but for what it's worth I think this whole idea is brilliant. I have been conlanging since 2004 and this is the first conlang of someone else's that I've actually wanted to learn. I hope you develop the grammar and vocab to that point.

Are you using the sound change applier(or another program of the sort), or are you making these sound changes by hand?

Again, fascinating thread, keep up the good work.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:01 am 
Smeric
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I agree. If I were given wordlists and grammar, I'd actually learn this.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:52 am 
Avisaru
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Me too, perhaps. This looks good, isn't too foreign or difficult, and develops at a good pace. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:59 am 
Smeric
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Eandil wrote:
Plural is indicated by means of i-mutation, which means vowel umlaut. As Old Eldarin evolved into Sindarin, its plural marker *-i dropped, but it left its "scent" in the previous vowels.

I like it! Reminds me of Elnian, a conlang I created inspired by Sindarin. It also has i-mutation for plurals. Thanks Ardalambion for such good information! XD

Keep up the good work!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:19 am 
Smeric
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This is nice stuff - a romlang of a kind I haven't seen yet. I like how it all works out and acquires a unique flavour unlike any Romance language - real or imaginary - I have knowledge of. It is not even similar to Brithenig, which is based on Welsh sound changes; after all, Sindarin was strongly influenced by Welsh, though Tolkien did not simply apply the sound changes of Welsh to Common Eldarin but worked out something independent.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:31 am 
Lebom
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Izambri wrote:
Eandil wrote:
Plural is indicated by means of i-mutation, which means vowel umlaut. As Old Eldarin evolved into Sindarin, its plural marker *-i dropped, but it left its "scent" in the previous vowels.

I like it! Reminds me of Elnian, a conlang I created inspired by Sindarin. It also has i-mutation for plurals.


I think some Celtic languages do something like this too, right? At least I know the consonants are often affected by those around them.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:52 am 
Smeric
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@blank stare II Thank you once again :)! I thought this would pass away because nobody would be interested, but I'm glad to see I was wrong.

I know the program, but I'm much more manual (I can invent them as I need them when translating something, and since the spirit is more cipherish than conlangish I don't need it). Also, I once read in Ardalambion that Tolkien's words seem to be "carefully hand-crafted". I favor that. In addition, at least at this point, some rules are just being settled and I prefer to pay attention to the process as much as possible.

@Bristel and Mr. Z, thank you for your views on this. Actually, by the time I finish this thread, anybody should be able to write a text - all the grammar is Sindarinish (ultimately Indo-european) and the (sometimes huge) holes I found were supplied by ideas of my own or something else. I'll try to make some posts covering the main points of syntax and other areas, and I'll try to make it fit and not feel "forced". I hope I've succeded on that, it'll be nice to hear other people's opinions.

For wordlists: the good thing that "ciphers" have is that you don't need a wordlist. If you pick a word, apply the rules I described (sorry if I forgot any, you can try), you'll end up with an useable root! That's already good Silladen, by definition. Except for determinants, pronouns and the kind (which I'll try to present, I've already got a more-or-less stable system), the rest is simple as that. If any time you're trying to translate something and you doubt in a morpheme, a vowel or a cluster, I have no problem in trying to solve it.

@Izambri, thank you as well :). Is there any thread about Elnian? Good to see the idea occurred to other people, with Sindarin. I guess that's because if you tried a mix between Quenya and Latin, you'd end up with Latin!

@Weepingelf, I have to agree with you (and thank you). Even if not every one, some words really get a shape I like. For example take enfir (Latin *inferni), the word for hell, I really like that one. It reminds me of why I liked Sindarin so much. Tolkien did a good job.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:54 am 
Smeric
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blank stare II wrote:
Izambri wrote:
Eandil wrote:
Plural is indicated by means of i-mutation, which means vowel umlaut. As Old Eldarin evolved into Sindarin, its plural marker *-i dropped, but it left its "scent" in the previous vowels.

I like it! Reminds me of Elnian, a conlang I created inspired by Sindarin. It also has i-mutation for plurals.


I think some Celtic languages do something like this too, right? At least I know the consonants are often affected by those around them.


I don't know if some Celtic language does it, but the main characteristic of Celtic languages is consonant mutation (which the hybrid also has, I'll deal with them soon).

You don't need to go very far for examples of i-mutation, they're already extended as fossils within Germanic languages: mouse vs mice, strong vs strength, etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:13 pm 
Smeric
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Izambri wrote:
Reminds me of Elnian, a conlang I created inspired by Sindarin. It also has i-mutation for plurals.

Sindarin does that?! Oh noes! I'm working on a conglang that also does that!

And oh noes! After reading this thread I got inspiration to something similar myself. Like Japanese > Cornish or something.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:28 pm 
Sanno
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blank stare II wrote:
Izambri wrote:
Eandil wrote:
Plural is indicated by means of i-mutation, which means vowel umlaut. As Old Eldarin evolved into Sindarin, its plural marker *-i dropped, but it left its "scent" in the previous vowels.

I like it! Reminds me of Elnian, a conlang I created inspired by Sindarin. It also has i-mutation for plurals.


I think some Celtic languages do something like this too, right?

Yes. They do. Odd that Tolkien would incorporate such a feature into a Celtic-inspired language.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:05 pm 
Smeric
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Eandil wrote:
I'll continue next post with verbal conjugation.

I've decided to change the order. Instead of talking about verbs today, I'm going to talk about noun mutations which will help me to introduce the pronominal system and some determinants as well later on.

There are five mutations: lenition, nasal mutation, liquid mutation, stop mutation and mixed mutation. Each mutation is related to the already described sound changes. Since this is a linguistics forum, I doubt I need to explain what a mutation is, but more or less: a set of words is perceived as a unit, and consequently some consonants in the beginning of words are treated as being in the middle of the perceived unit, thus making some unexpected sound changes in that environment operate.

Lenition

Lenition operates as the homonymous sound change, making consonants soften between vowels. Lenition is also a reflection of said change, since it actually occurs in the same environment (at least, historically). The most common source of lenition is the singular definite article i (its plural, in, triggers a different mutation). There is no indefinite article in the language. I'll give the rules with examples (for simplicity, I'll simply list the meaning and the true Latin form):

pardh > i bardh (father, the father, < pater)
pri- > i bri- (pre..., the pre... < pre-, a common prefix happening in the word "prefix" itself)
plow > i blow (rain, the rain < pluvia)
taur > i daur (bull, the bull < taurus)
trun > i drun (thunder, the thunder <* tronus)
curdh > i gurdh (heart, the heart < cor)
claw > i glaw (key, the key < clavis)
crodhar > i grodhar (raw blood, the raw blood < cruor)
bow > i vow (cow, the cow < bovis)
blanc > i vlanc (white, the white < *blancus)
brew > i vrew (short, brief; the short, brief < brevis)
duf > i dhuf (house, the house < domus) NB: <f> is final /v/'s orthography.
dragan > i dhragan (dragon, the dragon < *draco)
gef > i 'ef (gem, the gem < gema)
glach > i 'lach (ice, the ice < glacies)
grath > i 'rath (grace, the grace < gratia)
gwen > i 'wen (wine, the wine < vinum)
mardh > i vardh (mother, the mother < mater)
nached > i nached (birth, the birth < nascior root)
favail > i favail (family, the family < familia)
phen > i phen (spine, the spine < spina)
them > i them (theme, the theme < thema this one is a learned word)
chul > i chul (school, the school < *schola)
surur > i hurur (sister, the sister < soror)
huven > i chuven (man, the man < homo)
hwoled > i chwoled (will, the will < volo root)
lebedh > i lebedh (liquid, the liquid < *liquidus)
lhubed > i thlubed (rifle, the rifle < sclopetum) - thanks to Bristel for this one.
rasan > i rasan (reason, the reason < ratio)
rheved > i threved (writing, the writing < scribo root)

Prepositions which end or ended in a vowel (no under, na towards, to, mi in, between, les without, med with) trigger soft mutation or lenition, but prepositions which contract with the article don't. The article has an alternative form -(i)n, used for both singular and plural, which makes a single word together with the preposition (for example, nuin is "under the", uin is "from the" from o(d) "from"). These contractions contain historical similarities to both lenition and nasal mutation, and trigger the so-called mixed mutation.

But back to lenition, we have to distinguish between two possible general causes of mutations: those from the environment (phonological mutation) and those from the grammaticalization of the changes (grammatical mutation). If the mutation is of the last type, it happens no matter where it is. For example, the direct object of a verb undergoes grammatical lenition, even if you front it for emphasis. Contexts where lenition happen include mainly:

-Adjectives after their noun, the default position: Rus vlanc (white rose)
-Genitives after their head nouns, specially names: Can bardh Father's dog
-Not appositions: Dew Pardh (God Father - as in God Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
-Direct objects after their verbs, the default position: Im dhylch (he bought candy)
-Adverbs after their verbs: Deng val (he said badly)
-Not attributes: I Per vun vs. I Per (na) bun (the good boy vs. the boy is good)
-The verb directly after its one-word subject: Mair dheng (Mary said)
-The second element in a compound: murdragent < murth + tragent (deathbringer)
-As already mentioned, after prepositions (formerly or not) ending in a vowel: no gael (under the sky)

The only non-grammatical mutations in the above list are (1) the one of adverbs after their verbs, which is positional (so Mal deng for "Badly he said") and (2) the one of verbs immediately after their one-word subjects (so Gwer'en Mair, mardh Dhew, deng for "The virgin Mary, mother of God, said"). The rest are forced to happen by grammar, either by grammaticalization of the mutation itself, or by a strict syntax (i.e., nouns cannot fly away from their prepositions). As an example of grammaticalization we have a difference between Mair dheng and Vair deng, the first is "Mary said" and the second is "S/he said Mary".

I think this is enough for now. Next time I'll describe some other mutations and their usages. If anybody has any question, I'll be happy to respond.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:48 pm 
Smeric
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Eandil wrote:
I think this is enough for now. Next time I'll describe some other mutations and their usages. If anybody has any question, I'll be happy to respond.

Today I'm going to talk about some other mutations.

Nasal mutation

The second most important mutation after lenition is nasal mutation. The main sources of it are prepositions ending in a nasal and, above all, the plural definite article in. The article, even if the most common source, behaves irregularly, showing reduced forms. Because of this, I'll list examples with both the plural article in and the preposition an "for". As before, I'll list the rules with examples (the ones I used for lenition, but in plural). It's important to notice that this change does not mirror internal nasal changes. Examples:

pairdh > i phairdh, a phairdh (fathers/parents, the parents, for parents)
pri- > i phri-, a phri- (pre- in a plural word)
plyw > i phlyw, a phlyw (rains)
toer > i thoer, a thoer (bulls)
truin > i thruin, a thruin (thunders)
cyrdh > i chyrdh, a chyrdh (hearts)
cloe > i chloe, a chloe (keys)
credhair > i chredhair, a chredhair (raw bloods)

byw > i myw, am myw (cattle)
blainc > i mlainc, a mlainc (white pl.)
briw > i mriw, a mriw (short, brief pl.)
duif > i nuif, an nuif (houses)
dregain > in dregain, an dregain (dragons)
gif > i ngif, an ngif (gems) NB: initial <ng-> represents /N/, the velar nasal.
glaich > in glaich, an glaich (ices)
graith > in graith, an graith (graces)
gwin > in gwin, an gwin (wines)

mairdh > i mairdh, am mairdh (mothers)
nechid > i nechid, an nechid (births)

fevil > i fevil, af fevil (families)
phin > i phin, aph phin (spines)
thim > i thim, ath thim (themes)
chuil > i chuil, ach chuil (schools)

syruir > i syruir, as syruir (sisters)
hyvin > i chyvin, a chyvin (men)
hwelid > i 'welid, a 'welid (wills)

lebidh > i lebidh, al lebidh (liquids)
lhybid > i 'lybid, al 'lybid (rifles).
resain > idh resain, adh resain (reasons)
rhevid > idh 'revid, adh 'revid (writings)

I've separated them into blocks so that the patterns are easier to see.

The main situations when this mutation happens are:

-After the plural article in
-After bare prepositions ending in a nasal (an for, dan against)
-After a prepositional prefix ending in a nasal (un- "in-" and en- "in-" (place) from Latin in-). For example Latin invenio > engwin- to find, illegalis > ulli'el illegal

Mixed mutation

This mutation is a historical combination of two mutations, the ones already described (nasal + lenition). It has elements from both. It only happens in two contexts: after the singular genitival article en and after contracted prepositions with articles (mi + i/in = min in the, na + i/in = nain to the, o + i/in = uin from the, no + i/in = nuin under the, or + i/in = erin over the). Contracted prepositions work for both singular and plural nouns with their single form.

The genitival article is used before a singular noun, is almost always definite, and what is introduced by it modifies the head noun. It's like our "of", but only in the singular and with common nouns (since, for names, we just use the bare name lenited). For example "sea wind" is gwent e-mar (lit. wind of-the sea). The plural equivalent is simply the plural article in in apposition, triggering its usual nasal mutation. So "call of the fallen one" is clavad e-gannen, "call of the fallen ones" is clavad i-chennin. As you can see, these are usually typed with a hyphen to emphasize the relation (it's less important in the plural). The rules:

pardh > e-bardh (of the father)
pri- > e-mri-
plow > e-mlow
taur > e-daur
trun > en-drun
curdh > e-gurdh
claw > e-glaw
crodhar > e-grodhar

bow > e-bow
blanc > e-mlanc
brew > e-mrew
duf > e-duf
dragan > en-dragan
gef > e-gef
glach > en-glach
grath > en-grath
gwen > en-gwen

mardh > e-mardh
nached > en-nached

favail > en-favail
phen > e-phen
them > e-them
chul > e-chul

surur > e-hurur
huven > e-huven
hwoled > e-'woled

lebedh > e-lebedh
lhubed > e-'lubedh
rasan > edh-rasan
rheved > e-'reved

There are only two remaining mutations: occlusive mutation and liquid mutation, and these do mirror real sound changes. I'll describe them next post and the contexts in which they happen.


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