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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:23 am 
Šriftom
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So I finally got myself to conlang enough to justify making one of these, yay!

Common Zein. Think a Proto-Romance sort of scale (the common ancestor of a langfamily descended from an imperial prestigelang), but aside from massive reanalyzation of the verbal system the similarities end right there. Its parentlang, Imperial Salanjan, was your standard glorious imperial language, until its imperial polity was massively disrupted by a nomad invasion. Truly by this point it had already changed itself massively, but this provides a convenient cut-off point, and extant examples of Zein, quite distinct from Salanjan, in local texts (particularly those from Kenrui, the Valley Źijn state left over following the incursion of the Udraþ into the lower Rægil river valley.)

Salanjan was a fairly case-heavy agglutinative language, with heavily ergative syntax. So heavy in fact that while the Zein daughters lost case marking almost entirely, they still retain the ergative alignment of their ancestor, marked via word order: muŧok ɔgɔẉeq ko 'she loves me' versus pontal muŧɔk 'she goes' (in case it's not clear, the order is Erg-V-Abs). It also developed a 4-way gender contrast (masc - fem - common - neuter) where none existed in Salanjan, and some freaky pluralization patterns, which I'll post next time so this post doesn't get lost in a comp seizure.

I'll close with a full sentence: śɛmaŧɔ nal ɔwønćereq isɔkɔẉeĩ kusń orehɛẉɛ. "the trader habitually moved wine casks between cities."
breakout (parentheses indicate linking approximants): ś-ɛmaŧ-ɔ nal ɔ-(w)-ønćer-eq isɔkɔ-(ẉ)-eĩ kusń orehɛ-(ẉ)-ɛ
interlinear: DEFpref-trader-DIRcommon again/often PRETpref-move3tr wine_caskPL among/between cityPL

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:58 am 
Lebom
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Like the idea of ergative syntax. My conlang Kämpya does a similar thing (though it also has ergative markers). Are there any natlangs that do this that inspired you? Or did you think of it yourself?

But where did the gender contrast come from? Was it influenced by the nomad language?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:47 am 
Šriftom
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The ergative alignment indicated by word order violates a universal. One of the universals that doesn't have any counterexamples in known languages. It just seems like one of those things that, while rare, would be eminently feasible as a possible language feature.

The gender affixes were, in Salanjan, simple affixes to differentiate the gender of a given personal noun, e.g. tradesman vs. tradeswoman. They gradually spread to more and more nouns, joined by fossilized versions of the adjective a 'all' (becoming the Zein common gender) and the collective prefix æ- (which became Common Zein neuter ). The language actually went through a period of circumfixal gender marking, as shown by Imperial Salanjan rěmuri 'father' kumuko 'mother' rěmori 'brother' kumoko 'sister', which following the dropping of the prefixal gender markers in Ker Salanjan (a related variety which had significant influence on Common Zein) and Common Zein became respectively ḿru ŋ́ku ḿro and ŋ́ko (acutes on N M and Ŋs indicate syllabicity).

Udraþ did not have any significant influence on the development of the Zein family as a whole, but they did heavily influence parts of the later Valley Źijn continuum (being jackbooted oppressors of some of its speakers.) In fact the main direction of influence was the reverse; the ergative tendency in Salanjan and Zein was so strong that Udraþ itself switched alignments, as well as adopting the Salanjan base-16 count system. (Trivial Fun Fact: Udraþ is the sister language to Drydic (now known as Dryw), my former namesake.)

I should probably throw the phonology up since it's slightly batty.
Consonants
Code:
     Lab  InterD  Dent  Retr Pal   Velar Uvular
stop p b          t d        ć [ʨ] k g   q
fric f    ŧ       s (z)      ś [ɕ] h
nas  m    n             ň          ŋ
lat               l          ĺ [ʎ]
rho               r [ɾ] ř [ɽ]
appr w                       j     ẉ [ɰ]

Vowels
Code:
i y          u
 e ø   ə ḿ   o
   ɛ   ń ŋ́   ɔ
        a
əw əẉ
aj aw aẉ
oj ow
wo

Common Zein allowed any vowel to be nasalized in open syllables; word-finally, however, they were restricted: ɛ̃ ẽ and collapse to , ĩ and to ĩ, õ ɔ̃ ũ and to , ə̃ merges with ń, and ɔ̃ ã aũ collapse to (ø əw əẉ aj oj aẉ and wo do not occur in nasalizing environments. Yet xD ).

I might spew out the number system next, or possibly the gender/case systems (there's a definite prefix thrown in there too :-D )

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:33 pm 
Smeric
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Looks pretty hot. Universals were made to be shat upon, that's my take on the whole ergative syntax thing.

Keep it comin keep it comin.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:13 am 
Sumerul
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So is direct the only explicitly marked case?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:01 pm 
Šriftom
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clawgrip wrote:
So is direct the only explicitly marked case?

I'll take this as a jumping point to write something up (I've been struggling to do this for several days, stupid brain.)

In a word, no. the Oblique and Instrumental (and in the pronouns, the Dative) are the marked cases. But the interplay of the case endings and the gender markers can sometimes obscure this. As I said, there's four genders: Masculine, Feminine, Common, and Neuter; a given noun has the structure (DEF-)STEM-CASE-GENDER(-PLURAL), but of course this can be somewhat obscured, as in ḿror brother (the direct form), plural ḿroň. More examples are worth giving (ḿro brother, ŋ́ko sister, igɔ warrior, ɛlčo blade):
Code:
M     sg          pl        def  sg       pl
Dir   ḿror        ḿroň      Dir  siḿror   siḿroň
Obl   ḿrorś       ḿroňś     Obl  siḿrorś  siḿroňś
Inst  ḿrou        ḿrouň     Inst siḿrou   siḿroũ

      sg          pl        def  sg              pl
Dir   ŋ́koh        ŋ́kohn     Dir  siŋ́koh          siŋ́kohn
Obl   ŋ́kohiś/ŋ́koć ŋ́kohniś   Obl  siŋ́kohiś/siŋ́koć siŋ́kohniś
Inst  ŋ́kohu       ŋ́kohnu    Inst siŋ́kohu         siŋ́kohnu

C     sg      pl            def  sg       pl
Dir   igɔẉa   igɔẉaũ        Dir  śigɔẉa   śigɔẉaũ
Obl   igɔśa   igɔśaũ        Obl  śigɔśa   śigɔśaũ
Inst  igɔwa   igɔwaũ        Inst śigɔwa   śigɔwaũ

N     sg      pl            def    sg       pl
Dir   ɛlčoẉɛ  ɛlčoẉeĩ       Dir  śɛlčoẉɛ  śɛlčoẉeĩ
Obl   ɛlčośɛ  ɛlčośeĩ       Obl  śɛlčośɛ  śɛlčośeĩ
Inst  ɛlčowɛ  ɛlčoweĩ       Inst śɛlčowɛ  śɛlčoweĩ

W and are linking approximants, they'll probably do strange things in the daughter langs tho :P

Ok I've got nothing more in me (there's more info, but I can't make myself type it up), and don't want this post to die. I'll try to add some more soon. *clicks submit*

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