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Project Bronze scratchpad

Post by Shemtov »

This is a language with no conculture; I'm using it to test some linguistic ideas.
/b ɓ t d ɗ k g/ <b bh t d dh k g>
/m n ŋ/ < m n ng>
/ɸ~p̚ f s ʂ h/ <fh~p f s sh h>
/l/ <l>
/ʋ j/ <v y>

/i ɪ e ɛ u ʊ o ɔ ä ə/ <i y ê e u ư ô o â a>

/˥ ˩ ˦˥ ˧˩/ <á à ả ạ>

Roots are all (CV)CV(C)
The only word final codas allowed are /m n ŋ t k p̚/ [p̚] is an allophone of /ɸ/. When a vowel is added after it, it becomes /ɸ/.

The language has tense/lax vowel harmony, ə being the lax version of â. It also has tone harmony. This means that a high tone cannot occur with a low tone.

Core Cases:
The language is tripartite.
Erg.: (h)ềp/(h)ếp/(h)ép/(h)èp (h is added after a vowel-final root)
Acc. ngị/ngỵ/ngỉ/ngỷ
Abs: ∅

4 nouns in ergative case:
<mạtè> "yam" <mạtèhèp>
<bhìshồk> "boat" <bhìshồkềp>
<yỷm> "heart" <yỷmép>
<tộdhộ> "Fighting Staff" <tộdhộhếp>
Non core Cases:
Genitive: -gú/gù/gừ/gứ: This case can be used for motion away from with a verb of motion and the absence of a possessed. It is also used to express proximate relations, if what normally be the possessed takes the locative. Two genitives in sequence indicate an equitave meaning.
Dative: -(h)ạmà/(h)ảmá/(h)ậmầ/(h)ẩmấ: This case can be used for motion toward with a verb of motion. With intransitive verbs, the Subject will take this case instead of the unmarked Absolutive to indicate passivity. Similarly, a sequence of the Erg. case marker followed by this one indicates passivity of transitive verbs.
Locative: (h)ó/(h)ò/(h)ồ/(h)ố
Instrumental: -fỉm/fịm/fỵm/fỷm. This case can be used for a perlative meaning with a verb of motion
Monosyllabic words form their plural by simple reduplication:
<yỷm> "heart" <yỷmyỷm> "hearts"
Disyllabic words can form their plural in two ways:
1. Reduplicating the first syllable:
<mạtè> "yam" <mạmạtè> "yams"
Most words that form this plural are lax vowel stems, however <shủmếng> "tree" <shủshủmếng> "trees"
A subclass of this plural is those lax vowels that not only reduplicate their first syllable but become tense vowel stems:
fhửbhỏm "jerky strip" fhủfhủbhổm "jerky strips"
2. Reduplicating the last syllable:
<bhìshồk> "boat" <bhìshồkìshồk> "boats"

The dual is formed by the prefix "ngả/ngạ/ngẩ/ngậ"
The paucal (3-5) is formed by adding the dual prefix to the plural form.

The pronouns as a class are all monosyllabic in the singular form. They also have only level tones. There is no number distinction in the 2nd and 3rd person:
1p sing.: dhòm
1p plural inclusive: dhòmdhòm
1p Dual inclusive ngàdhòm
1p Paucal inclusive ngàdhòmdhòm
1p plural exclusive: dhòmdhừp
1p Dual exclusive ngàdhòmdhừp
1p Paucal exclusive ngàdhòmdhừp
2p: lế
3p: váng
Verbs have 3 tenses: Past Present and future and four moods: Indicative Subjunctive optative and potential.

The Verb optionally takes a marker of the subject or agent. This is followed by the tense marker (except in tone shifting verbs)
Tense Markers:
Past: (h)ậng/(h)ẩng/(h)ạng/(h)ảng
present: kò/kó/kồ/kố
Future: nựn/nửn/nủn/nụn
The intransitive verb takes the plain pronoun as the person marking, adjusted for tone and vowel harmony.
"I Sang"
Transitive verbs take the pronouns, but with the tone shifted to a contour.
váng késỷdhỏmảng
váng késỷ-dhỏm-ảng
3p kill-1p-PST
"I killed him/her/it/them"
Tone shift verbs are a class of monosyllabic high tone verbs that shift to low tone in the past instead of taking the suffix:
fhửbhỏmngỷ mửngdhỏmkó
fhửbhỏm-ngỷ mửng-dhỏm-kó
jerky-ACC eat-1p-PRSNT
"I eat the jerky"
dhòmèp fhửbhỏmngỷ mựng
dhòm-èp fhửbhỏm-ngỷ mựng
1p.sing-ERG jerky-ACC eat\past
"I ate the jerky"

The Subjunctive mood marker is (h)ỉk/(h)ịk/(h)ỷk/(h)ỵk. The subjunctive mood can't have person marking except in use 3, where 2p marking is required.
Uses of the subjunctive:
1. Dubative subjunctive. Used with the question particle <ỷ> before the verb. The semantics are different from a normal question with <ỷ> following the verb, in that either the question is rhetorical, or is a gentle imperative.
2. Conditional subjunctive. Used as "if", a protasis , followed by an indicative apodosis.
3. Imperative subjunctive. This may be analyzed as a 5th mood with lếhỉk/lềhịk/léhỷk/lèhỵk as the ending in the intransitive and lểhỉk/lệhịk/lẻhỷk/lẹhỵk in the transitive.

The optative mood is used for wishes. dhè/dhé/dhế/dhề
The potential mood is used to show that the speaker believes something is possible, but is currently unsure. (h)ám/(h)àm/(h)ằm/(h)ắm

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