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 Post subject: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:02 am 
Smeric
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I’d like to give you a brief introduction to Himmaswa, a language I created many years ago, dropped due to lack of inspiration, and recently revamped.

Himmaswa is one of several languages spoken by a people who live in a vast region of forests, swamps, rivers, lakes, and low hills. It is an analytic language with topic-comment alignment and T/SVO word order. Nouns are not marked for case, number, or gender. Verbs lack any grammatical agreement and clear tense marking, but take a variety of marking for aspect and mood through the use of a set of auxiliary verbs.

To start out with I will outline only the phonology and orthography, and follow with other grammatical features later on.

Phonology

Consonants
Himmaswa has 18 consonants, 19 including the glottal stop. The consonant inventory is as follows:



The glottal stop is predictable in its appearance before initial vowels and will thus be left out of transcriptions.

Additionally, many consonants followed by /i/ vowels become slightly palatalized, particularly /ʧ/ and /ʤ/, which are palatalized to /ʨ/ and /ʥ/ respectively.

Vowels
Himmaswa has a fairly complex vowel system. There are 38 vowels, diphthongs and triphthongs. Several types of phonation occur in vowels: length, rhotacization, creaky voice, breathy voice, and rounding, however, they are in many cases non-phonemic.

Some general rules of vowel phonation:
- length is always accompanied by a change in vowel quality, rhotation, or creaky voice.
- rhotation is always accompanied by length and generally by creaky voice.
- creaky voice does not occur in close vowels or front vowels.
- rounding/unrounding is phonemic, but only occurs in the two open-mid vowels.
- breathy voice is always phonemic.

The following is a comprehensive chart of all vowels:



Because of the three-way differentiation of open-mid rounded vowels, in some dialects /ɔ/ is raised to /o/. In other dialects, /ɔ̰/ retains the more archaic diphthongal pronunciation /ɑʊ̯/. Similarly, /ɚː/ is in some dialects rendered as /əː/ or /ɘː/, while in others it is merged with /ɚ̰ː/. Some dialects also merge the diphthongs /æɪ̯/ and /a̰ɪ̯/.

Syllable Structure
Himmaswa syllable structure is (C)(C)V(C)

Only nasals and voiceless stops may come syllable-finally, though in compounds voiceless stops sometimes become voiced or undergo other changes.

The initial consonant cluster may contain a wide variety of consonant combinations. The primary restrictions on initial consonant clusters are:
- two nasals never appear together
- two fricatives never appear together
- geminates never appear
- stops never appear with stops of the same articulation point
- nasals never appear as the second consonant when they are of the same articulation point as the initial consonant
- /f/ never appears as the second consonant
- when /j/ and /w/ appear as the first consonant in a cluster, or when nasals are followed by a stop of a different articulation point, an extra-short /ə̆/ is generally inserted between the consonants.

Voiced and unvoiced pairs may appear together, e.g. /pdal/ ‘courtyard’.

Orthography
Himmaswa is written primarily in a logographic script called Fkeuswa. (There is also a phonetic script, Fkeumgerswa, which is based heavily on Southeast Asian scripts and thus seems vaguely out of place in a conworld. I may introduce it later). Fkeuswa characters may contain both semantic and phonetic elements. There is at least one semantic element present in every character, be it a pictograph, ideograph, or conceptual radical, but many do not contain any sort of phonetic indicator. Phonetic elements for the most part only reflect the pronunciation of the initial consonant or consonant cluster, but in some cases may give a more complete indication of the pronunciation.

Examples:
/jøœ̯t̚/ 'cattle' is a pictograph of a bull’s head, and contains no phonetic element.
/na̰ː/ 'to restrict; to limit' comprises two radicals with no phonetic element: 'a cover' and 'a limit'
/wʊɪ/ 'to remain; to be unfinished' comprises one semantic radical and one phonetic element which indicates only the initial consonant: 'a container' and /wat̚/ 'to replace; instead of'
/tɾœk̚/ 'to know' comprises one semantic radical and one phonetic element: 'mind; thought; logic' and /tɾɔ̰k̚/ 'father'
/ɡœm/ 'region; zone; area' comprises two radicals and one full character used semantically, with no phonetic element: 'a cover', 'borders' and /ɲɑ̰˞ː/ 'ground; earth; dirt' (abbreviated)


Because of the thickness of the strokes, characters are often simplified or abbreviated when compounded.

This may be a minor simplification, such as in the following character:
/daŋ/ 'therefore' is made up of the radicals 'a body; a stem' and 'ground; support' and the phonetic complement /dɔ̰m/ 'temple'


Sometimes, abbreviation may remove a significant portion of the character:
/ʤɡʊt̚/ 'rain' comprises the semantic radical (× 3) 'several small objects' and /iɔ̯/ 'sky'
/kiɔ̯n/ 'thunder; lightning' also employs this abbreviated form of 'sky' with /kœ̰ɔ̯ŋ/ 'to go' serving as a phonetic complement.


More than one character may be abbreviated in this way:
/ʊp̚/ 'mud' is made up of /əɪŋ/ 'water' and /ɲɑ̰˞ː/ 'ground; earth; dirt', both as abbreviated semantic elements.


Simplification sometimes takes on a more extreme form, making the original character all but unrecognizable.
/sɑ̰˞ː/ 'place; spot' is a compound of /tkuːk̚/ 'noble' and /əɪ̯t̚/ 'pedestal; what'

/pnɪ̤ç/ 'thing; item; object' is a nearly unrecognizable compound of 'a lid' and the phonetic complement /pni̤ə̯/ 'to meet', which itself is a heavily simplified compound of the radicals 'a limit' 'ground; support' and /ɡsəɪ̯/ 'to come together; to gather'

That's all for now.


Last edited by clawgrip on Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:36 am, edited 10 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:29 am 
Smeric
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I cannot say that I like the phonology as much as the script. The consonant inventory merely elicited a "Hmm, I have seen that several times already" reaction, and the vowel inventory looks rather messy and unsystematic (and creaky-voiced vowels are in my opinion overused in conlangs).

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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:32 pm 
Smeric
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Thanks for your comments. The consonant system is not meant to be unusual or groundbreaking and I recognize its similarity to English (aside from the variety of consonant clusters that may begin a word). The vowel system is based to some extent on Southeast Asian languages, and is especially inspired by Khmer, (which has an extremely messy vowel system). The messiness of the system is intentional and is meant as a degeneration of a previously more systematic vowel system that had interacted with a subsequently lost set of aspirate consonants. As for creaky voice, since I have not really been part of the conlang community in any measure, I don't really know what is over or underused. I also didn't intentionally add it so much as it just spontaneously occurred as I pronounced it.

I'm glad you like the script though.


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:49 pm 
Avisaru
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I disagree with WeepingElf - I love the vowel system. I don't see enough people using rhotacized vowels! And the script is gorgeous.


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:30 am 
Smeric
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Thanks.

I get the feeling that many people hesitate to put rhotacized vowels in their conlangs because they associate rhotacism too strongly with English, and want to try to push away from English phonology as much as possible. But in this language it just seemed right to include them.


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:22 am 
Smeric
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Small update.

Writing and Punctuation
Himmaswa is written left to right, top to bottom. There are only two punctuation marks, , which indicates the beginning of a passage, section, or chapter, and , which indicates the beginning of a sentence or utterance. Unlike English, they are not required, and may be dispensed with when not needed. There is no equivalent to a comma. Speech pauses are left implicit, though if representing a pause is deemed necessary, the new-utterance mark may be used for that purpose.

Parts of Speech
Himmaswa vocabulary can be broadly divided into four main parts of speech: nouns, verbs, conjunctions, and sentence-final particles. However, the bulk of the vocabulary can be classified as either nouns or verbs. Words equivalent to English adjectives are verbs, as are prepositions.

Nouns
Nouns in Himmaswa do not inflect for gender, number, or case, and do not typically change form in any way. Each root noun is typically represented by a single character in the script.

teen /tʲiːn/ ‘seed’
kaak /ka̰ːk̚/ ‘animal; beast’
oy /ɔɪ̯/ ‘circle; ball’

Characters represent roots on a one-to-one basis. Most roots are monosyllabic, however, there are several bisyllabic roots which are still represented by a single character, e.g.

tobor /tɔbɔ̰˞ː/ ‘to continue’
gondol /ɡɔndɔl/ ‘to safeguard; to conduct; to control; to manipulate’
diaje /dʲiə̯ʤɛ/ ‘family; tribe’

Many nouns are formed through compounding. Typical linking of nouns is done with the verb ler / lɚ̰ː/ ‘to be associated with; of’, e.g. erñ ler ton /ɚ̰ːɲ lɚ̰ː tɔn/ ‘the bottom of the foot’, but many compounds are formed by simply reversing the elements, i.e. tonerñ /tɔnɚ̰ːɲ/ ‘sole of the foot’. Sometimes, compounds may carry redundant information, e.g. btia’oyt / btʲiə̯.ɔɪ̯t̚/ ‘tower’, which is a compound of btia /btʲiə̯/ ‘building’ and oyt /ɔɪ̯t̚/ ‘tall building; tower’. Compound nouns may also contain verbs, such as btoasiang /btɔ̯o sʲiə̯ŋ/ ‘steel’, which is made up of  btoa /btɔ̯o/ ‘metal’ and siang /sʲiə̯ŋ/ ‘to be white’. Sometimes the verbal element may be reanalyzed as a noun and placed initially, as in dreungga /dɾœŋ ɡa/ ‘gathering; party’, which is made up of dreung /dɾœŋ/ ‘to gather; to get together’ and ga /ɡa/ ‘instance; example; iteration’.

This reanalysis of verbs as nouns occurs even outside of compounds, and can in some cases cause ambiguity when attempting to translate.


Kmeun ler hwai beym tui sgaon huoo gliañ daak.
/kmœn lɚ̰ː hwa̰ɪ̯ bejm tʊɪ̯ sɡa̰ʊ̯n hʌu̯ ɡlʲiə̯ɲ da̰ːk̚/
enemy of 1 PL 3 fear NEG die EMPH
‘Our enemies are not afraid to die,’ or
‘Our enemies do not fear death.’

While on the whole words do not change form, certain words undergo alterations and contractions in certain compounds, e.g.

jbung /ʤbʌŋ/ ‘god; deity’, trauk /tɾɔ̰k̚/ ‘father’ jbuntrauk /ʤbʌntɾɔ̰k̚/ ‘God’

pnih /pnɪ̤ç/ ‘thing; item; object; possession’, ork /ɔ̰˞ːk̚/ ‘here; this place; this’ pñork /pɲɔ̰˞ːk̚/ ‘this thing’

The noun is always first in a noun phrase, followed by relative clauses. There is no definite or indefinite article, definiteness instead being indicated by the topic structure. There are, however, three demonstratives, which occur directly after the noun.
ork /ɔ̰˞ːk̚/ ‘here; this place; this’
uang /uə̯ŋ/ ‘there; that place; that’
euuk /œɔ̯k̚/ ‘over there; that place over there; that there’


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:04 pm 
Sumerul
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How does the romanization work?

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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:40 pm 
Smeric
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The Romanization is a somewhat illogical system I devised over 10 years ago when I first came up with this language. I've grown accustomed to it so I continue to use it. That's why I add IPA to everything.


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:11 am 
Sanci
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This looks very cool, and I also must say I very much appreciate the vowel system. By the way, are all rhoticized vowels also creaky-voiced?


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:38 pm 
Sumerul
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[quote="clawgrip"]The Romanization is a somewhat illogical system I devised over 10 years ago when I first came up with this language./quote]
But how does it work? It looks interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:29 pm 
Smeric
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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:51 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:28 am 
Smeric
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<ou> might be a good idea. I should probably replace <aey> and <uu> with <ea> and <ou>.


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:56 am 
Sumerul
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Yeah, and that'd be consistent with the other centering diphthongs.

How do you distinguish between modal and creaky vowels in the romanization? (in the... two... cases where they contrast)

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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:23 am 
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/ɔ/ is <o>, /ɔ̰/ is <au>.

/ɚ̰ː/ is <er>, /ɚː/ is <ur>.

Both of these were originally separate vowels that coalesced (not just in con-history, but in my actual history of creating this language), but the original <au> (which was /ɑʊ̯/) and <ur> (which was /ʊ˞ː/ or some such) didn't have creaky voice to begin with. I found <au> and <ur> annoyingly similar to <o> and <er> and eventually ended up just merging them. But since <au> and <ur> never had creaky voice, they ended up making it the only contrastive element for these two pairs of vowels only. Odd, but not implausible I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:36 am 
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I want to add some updates on verbs and so on, and also on some slightly contrived explanations to account for the vowel system. For now, the only update is on the script, which now has a total of 400 characters.



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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:52 am 
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Verbs, Part 1
Himmaswa verbs do not conjugate for tense or agreement of any kind. However, verbs serialize with other verbs and nouns to form complex meanings, and employ a number of coverbs to indicate mood and aspect.

Verbs often appear in groups of two, three, or more. Sometimes these may be set phrases, such as:

tpaiyleum /tpæi̯lœm/ ‘to sprinkle; to dust; to shower’ from tpaiyl /tpæi̯l/ ‘to be wet; to sprinkle’ and eum /œm/ ‘to drop’

heatpaiytpeak /hɛə̯t̚pæi̯t̚pɛə̯k̚/ ‘to declare; to announce; to speak out’ (formal) from heat /hɛə̯t̚/ ‘to say’ paiyt /pæi̯t̚/ ‘to transmit’ and peak /pɛə̯k̚/ ‘to go out’.

Other times they may simply be assembled as necessary to describe a particular situation:


Hwai paeyk keuong stak ftek dua.
/hwa̰ɪ̯ pɛə̯k̚ kœɔ̯ŋ stak̚ ftɛk̚ duə̯/
1 exit go buy return PERF
I went out, bought (it), and came back.

Most modal and aspectual coverbs come after the verb they modify. A few examples are presented here, with the verb jio /ʥiɔ̯/ ‘to climb’ and the topic ia /iə̯/ ‘man’:

Ia jio borm. /iə̯ ʥiɔ̯ bɔ̰˞ːm/ ‘The man can climb.’
Ia jio klaang. /iə̯ ʥiɔ̯ kla̰ːŋ/ ‘The man will climb.’ / ‘The man should climb.’
Ia jio dua. /iə̯ ʥiɔ̯ duə̯/ ‘The man has climbed.’ / ‘The man has finished climbing.’
Ia jio joum. /iə̯ ʥiɔ̯ ʤʊm/ ‘The man has climbed before.’

Though most auxiliaries follow the verb, there are some that precede it:
Ia ach jio. /iə̯ at̚ ʥiɔ̯/ ‘The man might climb.’
Ia flet jio. /iə̯ flɛt̚ ʥiɔ̯/ ‘The man is about to climb.’ / ‘The man seems ready to climb.’ / ‘The man is going to climb.’

The negative huoo /hʌu̯/ comes last in the verb phrase:


Ia jio joum huoo.
/iə̯ ʥiɔ̯ ʤʊm hʌu̯/
man climb EXP NEG
‘The man has never climbed before.’

Typically, coverbs appear directly after the main verb phrase. The main verb phrase includes any number of verbs that have been serialized into a single compound, e.g.:


Trauk ler hwai de jau pniah fneuut huoo.
/tɾɔ̰k̚ lɚ̰ː hwa̰ɪ̯ dɛ ʤɔ̰ pnʲi̤ə̯ fnøœ̯ hʌu̯/
father of 1 descend approach meet HAB NEG
‘My father usually doesn’t come down to meet (us).’

Adverbials may follow or proceed the coverb. If they are considered to represent a separate idea, they will follow, e.g.:


Ia tmooay borm duich.
/iə̯ tmuə̯j bɔ̰˞ːm dʊɪ̯ʧ/
man run can be.quick
‘The man can run, and quickly.’

In cases when the adverbial is considered integral to the overall meaning of the verb, it is often subordinated into a compound with the main verb, and the coverb(s) will thus follow it:


Tui jartftekwaat dua.
/tʊɪ̯ ʤa̰˞ːt̚ftɛkwa̰ːt̚ duə̯/
3 arrive be.late PERF
He arrived late/He was tardy.


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:35 pm 
Sumerul
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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:10 pm 
Smeric
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Thanks! By the way I originally started this language in 1998.


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:16 pm 
Sumerul
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yeah, i figured, i wasn't being particularly serious there :P

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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:33 pm 
Smeric
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As was mentioned in the isolating conlang thread from a while ago, it seems a lot of the time people seem more interested in developing synthetic conlangs. I thought it would be interesting to develop an isolating one, because although the perception is that isolating languages are easy to make, I've found that this is not necessarily the case. I've attempted to strip away as many grammatical function words as I can (though they still exist), and leave a lot up to context and word order. I've found it challenging to develop rules and patterns that are sufficient to clear up the ambiguities that result from a lack of articles, extensive/mandatory case marking, standard derivational patterns to change nouns to verbs, etc.. I'm enjoying the process though.


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:29 am 
Smeric
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Voice, Topics, and Pronouns
Himmaswa verbs have no way of overtly indicating passive voice. Focus and nuance is instead indicated through word dropping and the placement of arguments as the topic. As the word order is SVO with the topic first, this means placing the element of focus at the beginning of the sentence. Examples:


Gedraap ut dua perdger.
/ɡɛdɾa̰ːp ʌt̚ duə̯ pɚ̰ːdɡɚ̰ː/
chairperson write PERF document
The chairperson has written the document. (focus is on describing details of the chairperson, in this case, something that the chairperson did)


Perdger gedraap ut dua.
/pɚ̰ːdɡɚ̰ː ɡɛdɾa̰ːp ʌt̚ duə̯/
document chairperson write PERF
The document was written by the chairperson. (focus is on describing details of this document)


Gedraap ut dua.
/ɡɛdɾa̰ːp ʌt̚ duə̯/
chairperson write PERF
The chairperson has written (it). (focus is on whether or not this chairperson has or has not done something)


Perdger ut dua.
/pɚ̰ːdɡɚ̰ː ʌt̚ duə̯/
document write PERF
The document has been written. (focus is on whether or this document has or has not had something happen to it (in this case, being written))

Pronouns
The following is the list of Himmaswa pronouns:
hwai /hwa̰ɪ̯/ 1st person
duool /dʌu̯l/ 2nd person
tui /tʊɪ̯/ 3rd person nominative
itui /ɪtʊɪ̯/ 3rd person oblique
These may optionally be pluralized with the addition of beym /bejm/ 'many'

The third person pronouns tui and itui make up one of the only instances of overt differentiation between nominative and oblique positions, and is the result of the loss of the historical system of topic/predicate distinction.

There are also specialised pronouns:
nung /nʌŋ̩/ relative pronoun ‘that’
ayt /əi̯t̚/ interrogative pronoun ‘what’

Topic Marking
There is also a third class of topic pronouns, which function mainly as topic markers and (aside from tui) rarely appear independently:
tui /tʊɪ̯/
keun /kœn/
wia /wiə̯/

The differences between these three pronouns are mainly contextual and dialectical. The standard dialect employs tui in most cases, using keun in contexts where tui could be confused with itui, and occasionally with topics that are not subjects. The standard dialect does not use wia at all. Some dialects use keun or wia exclusively as redundant topic markers.

Redundant topic pronouns frequently appear after topics containing relative clauses (including so called adjectives).


Perdger nung gluañdraapge hoongpaak tui jikge ut dua.
/pɚ̰ːdɡɚ̰ː nʌŋ̩ ɡluə̯ndɾa̰ːpɡɛ huːŋ̩pa̰ːk̚ tʊɪ̯ ʥɪk̚ɡɛ ʌt̚ duə̯/
document REL chancellor request TPC official write PERF
The document that the chancellor requested has been written by the official.

Relative Clauses
Relative clauses are extremely frequent in Himmaswa, and differentiation between relative and regular clauses is not always required. Therefore, heuop piang /hœɔ̯p̚ pʲiə̯ŋ/ [ flowing.water.swamp be.big ] could equally mean "the big flowing-water swamp" or "The flowing-water swamp is big." Pronouns can be used to disambiguate when necessary. The relative pronoun will mark the clause as relative, i.e. heuop nung piang /hœɔ̯p̚ nʌŋ pʲiə̯ŋ/ "the flowing-water swamp that is big," while a topic-marking pronoun will make it a standalone clause, i.e. heuop tui piang /hœɔ̯p̚ tʊɪ̯ pʲiə̯ŋ/ "The flowing-water swamp is big." This use of tui, as mentioned above, frequently occurs with topics that have relative clauses.

In the standard dialect, when the topic and subject both contain relative clauses, the topic, if marked, is invariably marked with keun, and the subject with tui.


Heuop nung hwai beym twarng keun ia nung duool heattaiyng bochaot tui keuong joum pauk.
/hœɔ̯p̚ nʌŋ̩ hwa̰ɪ̯ bejm twa̰˞ːŋ kœn iə̯ nʌŋ dʌu̯l hɛə̯ttæi̯ŋ bɔʧa̰ʊ̯t̚ tʊɪ̯ kœɔ̯ŋ ʤʊm pɔ̰k̚/
[ flowing.water.swamp REL 1 PL be.located.at TPC ] [ man REL 2 converse yesterday SBJ ] go EXP too
The man you spoke with yesterday has also been to the flowing-water swamp we went to.

An alternate method of topic marking occurs with aa(k) /a̰ː(k̚)/ ‘to be’ when emphasis on the action is also desired:


Perdger nung gluañdraapge hoongpaak aak ut dua.
/pɚ̰ːdɡɚ̰ː nʌŋ̩ ɡluə̯ndɾa̰ːpɡɛ huːŋ̩pa̰ːk a̰ːk ʌt̚ duə̯ /
document REL chancellor request TPC be write PERF
The document that the chancellor requested has indeed been written.

Note: I got tired of the white boxes around the characters, so I'm going to start adding transparencies to them even though it slightly reduces the quality.


Last edited by clawgrip on Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:26 pm 
Smeric
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I'm having a bit of a dilemma with this language regarding compounding. The language has a mixed system for compounding, and I'm not sure how realistic it is.

The language is heavily right-branching, e.g. Io nung keuong bochaot tui ftek. | man REL come yesterday TPC return | "The man who came yesterday has returned." Standard genitive phrases are also right-branching, e.g. teuop ler io | hand GEN man | 'the hand of the man'.

However, the language has both left-branching compounds, e.g.:
bo-chaot | before-day | 'yesterday'
Him-ma-swa | him.plant-eye-language | 'Himmaswa'

and right-branching compounds e.g.:
btoa-siang | metal-be.white | 'steel'
oyng-haa | reasoning-mind | 'logic'.

Naturally, the right-branching compounds can easily be turned into full phrases, i.e.
btoa nung siang | metal REL be.white | 'metal that is white'
oyng ler haa | reasoning GEN mind | 'reasoning of the mind'
This does, however, delexicalize them.

There seems to be precedent in English, which is also heavily right-branching, yet has primarily left-branching compounds, e.g. 'snowshoe', 'yesterday', 'day trip'. or 'the man's hand'.

It is made more complicated by the fact that the language is heavily context-dependent and words are not typically marked for their roles within the phrase.

I am wondering what the best thing to do here is. Should I impose restrictions on what type of compounds can be right- or left-branching? Would topic fronting (which is a major feature of this language) affect this in any way? I'd appreciate any advice anyone may have.


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:00 am 
Smeric
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I thought I would write up a little bit of explanation on how the script itself is formed, in case anyone is interested.
There is a set number of strokes, of which all characters are made up. There are six basic categories, with further subcategories, which are outlined in this table:



Notes:
-any stroke may undergo some form of alteration such as squashing or slight bending in order to fit aesthetically into a character.
-sur jmot ler erñ: The hook appearing on the left or right carries semantic meaning, but this is for the most part ignored except when doing calligraphy. (there is a real world precedent in Chinese characters: the t-shaped upper portion in 右, 有, and 布 is actually a completely different element from the t-shaped portion in 左, 友, and 宏, however this difference is non-contrastive and can effectively be ignored outside of calligraphy). The hookless form appears only when there is no space for hooks.
-sur jmot ler jgoym and sur jmot ler chdark have contracted forms that occur when they are affixed to another element. Sur jmot ler chdark has an additional contracted form that appears in certain special cases.
-the wiap strokes may be angled slightly to fit onto the ends of surkleh, kleh naa, sur kloa jgoym and sur kloa chdark.
-when the endpoints of strokes are especially close to each other they may sometimes be merged into a continuous line. However, the constituents of these compound lines remain obvious.

It may be of interest to note that this system of permitted strokes evolved gradually and naturally. I didn't originally decide on the strokes and then design the characters based on these rules; I just started designing characters, and after some time they naturally fell into these patterns, until it became recognizable enough that I was able to formally define them.


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 Post subject: Re: Himmaswa language
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:07 am 
Sanci
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I simply want to say that Himmaswa is excellent.

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