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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:54 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:37 pm
Posts: 329
In this thread, I mentioned that I have started working on what I'm calling "primordial languages". These are 4, perhaps 5, proto-languages that I will use to create descendant proto-languages for the world I am starting to work on. The idea is to make them all analytic/isolating and then derive the descendants to be whatever typology I want. Also, I plan to make them very different from each other in terms of phonology, morphology, etc., and center each one around a common theme.

Primordial Devani is the first such language, and is the first significant bit of conlanging I've done in a while. I have a bunch of ideas sketched out in terms of phonology, inflection, and syntax. However, when I started trying to detail them with explanations and examples, I ran into the bane of all conlangers: creating vocabulary. This conlang has developed quite fast compared to my usual glacial pace of conlanging, so I figured I would start a scratchpad thread with temporary vocabulary made up as I go. I hope this will help me continue the momentum I've had over the past couple weeks.

Primordial Devani is the ancestor language of the deva, (what I am currently?/permanently? calling) one of the races in my conworld. Generally, the goals for it are the following:

  • Melifluous phonology: this will be the "Sindarin" of my world, as it were

  • Very little inflection of nouns

  • Verbal inflections focused on volition, evidentiality, mood, and modalities, with a bit of tense, politeness, and person mixed in

  • No verbal inflection for voice or number

  • Nominative/accusative alignment

  • Mostly head-final & left branching, with postpositions (including case markers)

  • Topic - Subject - Verb - Object sentence order

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Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


Last edited by Vardelm on Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:26 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:09 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:37 pm
Posts: 329
Devani: Phonology

Consonants
Code:
/ p b     t d     k g gʷ /
/ ɸ β θ ð s z ʃ ʒ x ɣ ɣʷ h /
/ m       n         ŋ ŋʷ /
/           ɹ   j     w /


Code:
< p b       t d       k g gw >
< f v th dh s z sh zh x j jw h >
< m       n             ñ ñw >
<             r     y     w >



Monophthong Vowels
Code:
/ i   u /
/ e ə ɔ /
/ æ /

Code:
< i   u >
< e ë o >
< a >

  • /ə/ tends to be pronounced a bit shorter than the other monophthongs


Diphthong Vowels
Code:
/ iɔ /
/ eɔ ɔi /
/ æi æu /

Code:
< io >
< eo oi >
< ai au >

  • Diphthongs are generally longer than monophthongs, and are actually known as the "long" vowels


Allophony
/ æ / often realized as [ a ] at end of word
  • I don't have many ideas on allophony for the language yet. However, I'm also not sure I need it much since this is a proto-proto-language...


Syllable Structure
Syllable structure is simple (C)V.

Only initial syllables can omit the onset consonant.


Stress
Stress (for now?) is uniformly on the penultimate syllable.

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Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


Last edited by Vardelm on Sun May 01, 2016 10:05 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:31 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:37 pm
Posts: 329
Devani: Basic Sentence Structure

Intransitive = SV

    SUBJECT

    mëkani

    scholar

    VERB

    agwari yo xo

    read

    The scholar is reading.


Transitive = SVO

    SUBJECT

    mëkani

    scholar

    VERB

    agwari yo xo

    read

    OBJECT

    zhiva

    book

    The scholar is reading the book.


Topic = TSV or TSVO

    TOPIC

    the zhiva

    book

    SUBJECT

    mëkani

    scholar

    VERB

    agwari yo xo

    read

    OBJECT

    dau

    it

    Regarding the book, the scholar is reading it.


Sentence order & structure is quite rigid. The language has a nominative-accusative alignment, evidenced by the word order, which is what determines whether something is the subject or object. There is no accusative case particle to make the distinction.

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Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


Last edited by Vardelm on Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:22 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:37 pm
Posts: 329
Devani: Verbal Inflection 1

Core Verb Structure

[main verb] [mood or tense/evidence] [politeness] [person-volition]


Volition and Person Marking
Verbs are marked with a particle for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person to agree with how the subject is being referenced. Subjects can be dropped so that only the verb's person marking indicates the referent.

Verbs are either volitional or non-volitional. Depending on which category a verb falls into will determine which set of person/volition particles is used to mark the verb phrase.

Code:
                 1st  2nd  3rd
Volitional -     thi  te   xo
Non-volitional - dha  dë   ju

Going back to one of the previous examples, agwari "to read" is a volitional verb, and mëkani "scholar" is a 3rd person referent, so the person/volition particle used is xo.

    mëkani
    scholar
    agwari yo
    read
    xo
    3P.VOL

    The scholar is reading.

Evidentials and Tense (the Indicative Mood)
Verbs in the indicative mood must take one of 12 auxiliaries. The auxiliaries mark 4 tenses and 6 evidentials. They are:

Tenses
  • Future - marks a discussion event that is in the future relative to the speech event (absolute future)

  • Non-future - marks a discussion event that is in the present or past relative to the speech event (absolute present or past)

  • Non-past - marks a discussion event that is in the present or future relative to the speech event (absolute present or future)

  • Past - marks a discussion event that is in the past relative to the speech event (absolute past)

Evidentials
  • Direct Involvement - Indicates the speaker played a part in the discussion event or has previous experience/knowledge about an objective assertion.

  • Visual Witness - Indicates the speaker saw the discussion event transpire. The line between direct involvement and visual witnessing can be a little blurry, and depends on to what extent the speaker felt they played a part in the event.

  • Non-visual Witness - Indicates the speaker has sensory evidence of the discussion event which is not visual in nature.

  • Direct Inference - Indicates the speaker has direct involvement, or is a visual or non-visual witness to indirect or circumstantial evidence which leads them to the conclusion that the proposition is true. (Using the label "direct inference" might not be a great label.)

  • Reportative - Indicates the speaker has hearsay evidence, where the speaker has been personally told the assertion, has overheard the assertion, or the facts are assumed to be general knowledge.

  • Indirect Inference - Indicates the speaker is drawing an indirect conclusion based on reports/hearsay or is simply making an assumption based on guessing.


The future and non-future tenses are used with the direct involvement, visual witness, and non-visual witness evidentials. The past and non-past tenses are used with direct inference, reportative, and indirect inference.

Code:
               direct     visual   non-visual   direct                 indirect
             involvement  witness   witness    inference  reportative  inference
non-past        zai         yo       shayo
past           ñwëzai      ñwëyo    ñwëshayo
future                                           yire        mare        vure
non-future                                        yi         mani        vuni


    mëkani
    scholar
    agwari
    read
    yo
    NONPAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL

    The scholar is reading. (I can see him.)

    mëkani
    scholar
    jwohai
    sleep
    ñwëshayo
    PAST.NONVIS
    ju
    3P.INV

    The scholar was sleeping. (I could hear him.)

    kusho
    monk
    murasu
    pray
    yi
    NONFUT.DIRINF
    xo
    3P.VOL

    The monk is praying. (He is usually doing so at this time.)

_________________
Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


Last edited by Vardelm on Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:15 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:37 pm
Posts: 329
Devani: Verbal Inflection 2

Non-indicative Moods
There are 3 other moods besides the indicative, depending on how one wants to count them. They are marked with auxiliaries that replace the tense & evidential system of the indicative mood, and are found in the same location of the verb phrase. All 3 still use the volition/person particles, although they are sometimes omitted with the imperative.


Optative Mood
The optative mood expresses a hope, wish, desire, or fear that the utterance is true. It is marked with the auxiliary va.

    sheo
    novice
    deshu
    living
    va
    OPT
    ju
    3P.INV

    May/let the novice be alive!


Subjunctive Mood
The subjunctive is mostly used in relative clauses and conditionals (detailed later), but is also found as the primary verb of a sentence. In such cases, it conveys a sort of permissive or necessitative mood, as per English "may", "should", or "would".

The subjunctive auxiliary agrees with the animacy of the subject referent.
Code:
animate - tho
inanimate - thu

    sheo
    novice
    suña
    leave
    tho
    SUBJ
    xo
    3P.VOL

    The novice may/should leave.

    suña
    leave
    tho
    SUBJ
    te
    2P.VOL

    You may/should leave.


Imperative Mood
The imperative expresses commands, pleas, intent, encouragement, requests, prohibitions. Like the other moods, it still (by default) uses the volition/person marking particles. Due to the nature of a command, it is almost always used with volitional verbs. When the imperative is used with the 1st person, it can be viewed as a commissive or cohortative, and with the 3rd person as a jussive mood. Sometimes, with the 2nd person, the volition/person particle or even the imperative auxiliary itself can be omitted. This is generally considered much more direct and rude unless there is great urgency, such as being in battle.

    murasu
    pray
    ki
    IMP
    thi
    1P.VOL

    Let us pray. / We shall pray.

    koju
    run
    ki
    IMP
    te
    2P.VOL

    (You shall) Run!

_________________
Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


Last edited by Vardelm on Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:49 pm 
Smeric
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:44 am
Posts: 1998
Location: suburbs of Mrin
I think that unless different species produce different sounds and/or thinks very differently than humans, languages and cultures will be constrained by geography rather than by species (unless if intelligent species are separated by geography).

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ìtsanso, God In The Mountain, may our names inspire the deepest feelings of fear in urkos and all his ilk, for we have saved another man from his lies! I welcome back to the feast hall kal, who will never gamble again! May the eleven gods bless him!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:12 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:37 pm
Posts: 329
mèþru wrote:
I think that unless different species produce different sounds and/or thinks very differently than humans, languages and cultures will be constrained by geography rather than by species (unless if intelligent species are separated by geography).

I would agree with that. The races will start on different continents, and there will be linguistic cross-pollination over the centuries. As an example, my Tibetan Dwarvish language will get reworked, and will be a result of descendant languages of Primodial Dwarvish coming into contact with descendants of Primordial Devani. I don't want to create a world where elves speak Elvish, dwarves speak Dwarvish, etc. Instead, I picture these "primordial" languages as being 4 different PIEs of this world. There may, or probably will be, other minor languages on the side, but the major languages of the world will almost certainly be influenced by these.

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Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:10 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:37 pm
Posts: 329
Devani: Modality

Modality is set apart from verb moods (including the indicative, which is marked by tense & evidence) in that the modal particles come just before the phrase that they modify. Most often they are placed in front of the verb phrase, but that can also be used with noun phrases. They are also optional, and can be used in combinations.


Interrogative - idha
Questions are formed with the interrogative particle idha. In front of the verb phrase, it poses a neutral question as to whether the entire proposition is true or not. For such questions, the reportative evidential is used, essentially asking "Can you report that X is true?".

    mëkani
    scholar
    idha
    INT
    jwohai
    sleep
    mani
    NONPAST.REP
    ju
    3P.INV

    Was/is the scholar sleeping?

The particle can also be in front of noun phrases, which shifts the question to whether it was that referent that was involved in the event or someone/something else.

    idha
    INT
    mëkani
    scholar
    yo
    NONPAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL
    zhiva
    book

    Was the scholar reading the book (or someone else)? (emphasis added)

    mëkani
    scholar
    agwari
    read
    yo
    NONPAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL
    idha
    INT
    zhiva
    book

    Was the scholar reading the book (or something else)? (emphasis added)

In front of a verb in the subjunctive, idha turns the question into request for permission or whether the act ought to be undertaken.

    idha
    INT
    agwari
    read
    tho
    SUBJ
    thi
    1P.VOL
    zhiva
    book

    May/should I read the book?

When combined with the imperative, the question can also be for permission, but such that the act should be performed immediately.

    idha
    INT
    agwari
    read
    ki
    IMP
    thi
    1P.VOL
    zhiva
    book

    Shall I read the book?


Negative - anu
The negative particle anu simply negates the phrase it is placed in front of.

    sheo
    novice
    anu
    NEG
    agwari
    read
    yo
    NONPAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL

    The novice is not reading. (I can see him.)

    anu
    NEG
    sheo
    novice
    agwari
    read
    yo
    NONPAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL

    It's not the novice reading. (I can see him. It's someone else.)

With a subjunctive verb and interrogative particle, the question is whether the act should not be undertaken.

    idha
    INT
    anu
    NEG
    agwari
    read
    tho
    SUBJ
    thi
    1P.VOL
    zhiva
    book

    May/should I not read the book?

With an imperative verb, the statement becomes a prohibition.

    anu
    NEG
    raijusa
    pass
    ki
    IMP
    te
    2P.VOL

    You shall not pass!

Image

(Couldn't resist.... :-D )


Dubitative - pëso
The dubitative particle pëso expresses that there is chance the proposition is true, but isn't very likely.

    kusho
    monk
    pëso
    DUB
    murasu
    pray
    vuni
    NONFUT.INDINF
    xo
    3P.VOL

    The monk might be praying. (But probably not. He doesn't usually do so at this time, but I haven't seen him elsewhere.)


Potential - azhini
Azhini communicates that there is a chance, and a decent one, perhaps 50/50, that the statement is true. There's a decent chance it's not, but it wouldn't be surprising either way.

    mëkani
    scholar
    azhini
    POT
    agwari
    read
    yo
    NONPAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL

    The scholar could be reading. (I saw him go in the other room.)


Probabilitive - kona
The particle kona expresses that the statement is most likely true. There's a small chance it's not, but that's not likely.

    mëkani
    scholar
    kona
    PROB
    jwohai
    sleep
    shayo
    NONPAST.NONVIS
    ju
    3P.INV

    The scholar is probably sleeping. (He went into the bedroom some time ago and I haven't saw/heard him since.)


Energetic - gwe
Gwe marks the speaker's certainty that statement, or at least the phrase that marked, is true and correct. It can be translated as "definitely", "surely", "certainly", etc.

    mëkani
    scholar
    gwe
    EMPH
    jwohai
    sleep
    shayo
    NONPAST.NONVIS
    ju
    3P.INV

    The scholar is definitely sleeping. (I can hear him clearly!)


Focus - sa
Because all of the modal particles can be placed in front of various phrases in a sentence, they tend to emphasize that phrase to some extent. The particle sa explicitly marks the phrase as the focus of the sentence. It especially helps mark focus on the verb, since the other modal particles technically change the meaning of the entire sentence, rather than just the verb phrase.

    si
    FOC
    mëkani
    scholar
    murasu
    pray
    yo
    NONPAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL

    The scholar is praying. (As opposed to someone else. I saw him.)

    kusho
    monk
    si
    FOC
    murasu
    pray
    yo
    NONPAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL

    The monk is praying. (As opposed to doing something else. I saw him.)

_________________
Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


Last edited by Vardelm on Sun May 15, 2016 6:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:43 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:37 pm
Posts: 329
Devani: Pronouns and Politeness

The one verbal inflection not covered yet is politeness. Because it's only one particle and politeness also plays a large part in the pronoun system, they are covered together here.

Personal Pronouns
Code:
                        Informal   Formal
1st Person                 vi      voiya
2nd Person                 ne       numi
3rd Person Animate        edha     midhu
3rd Person Inanimate           dau


Formal pronouns are used with strangers or acquaintences who are not close, and a degree of politeness is expected or desired to be shown. Informal pronouns are used in the same situations where politeness is not needed, such as with someone who is obviously lower on the social heirarchy, such as a servant.

Within a given conversation, or even in the same sentence or phrase, the use of different formalities of pronouns conveys a different attitude of the speaker towards the relationship. This usually occurs when using 1st and 2nd person, but can occur with 3rd person pronouns as well to convey respect to that person. With respect to 1st & 2nd person, the different levels are:

    1st Person Formal + 2nd Person Formal = polite speech
    This is the pattern used when wishing to convey a level of politeness to the addressee, and the same level is expected in return. This is occurs when the two parties are roughly co-equals, and do not have a close, personal relationship.

    1st Person Informal + 2nd Person Formal = humble speech
    This combination is used when showing deference to the addresses.

    1st Person Formal + 2nd Person Informal = authoritarian speech
    This is the level used when establishing or maintaining status over the addressee.

    1st Person Informal + 2nd Person Informal = familiar speech
    This combination is used between friends and family members in a casual setting, unless there is some reason to use one of the other patterns (such as scolding a child).


Pronouns can also be used in apposition together, almost like a compound, in order to achieve meanings for which there isn't a dedicated pronoun. This allows the speaker to still achieve the social deixis listed above, plus clusivity distinctions. When using 1st and 2nd person, it's standard to place the 2nd person pronoun first.

    2nd Person Formal + 1st Person Formal = speaker & addressee(s) = polite, inclusive “we”

    2nd Person Informal + 1st Person Formal = speaker & addressee(s) = humble, inclusive “we”

    2nd Person Formal + 1st Person Informal = speaker & addressee(s) = authoritarian, inclusive “we”

    2nd Person Informal + 1st Person Informal = speaker & addressee(s) = familiar, inclusive “we”

    1st Person Formal + 3rd Person Formal = speaker & associates but not addressee(s) (depending on context) = polite, exclusive “we”

    etc.

    1P + 2P + 3P = speaker, addressee(s), & associates = “we all”


    vi
    1P.INF
    audhaiñë
    welcome
    zai
    NONPAST.DIR
    thi
    1P.VOL
    numi
    2P.FOR

    I welcome you! (Direct involvement & humble, as from a citizen to a government official.)

Note that the person/voltion particle thi does is not inflected for politeness, so vi is used at the beginning to add the distinction.

    numi
    2P.FORM
    voiya
    1P.FORM
    suña
    leave
    ki
    IMP
    thi
    1P.VOL

    Let us leave. (A polite, but insistent suggestion.)

    numi
    2P.FORM
    voiya
    1P.FORM
    suña
    leave
    tho
    SUBJ
    thi
    1P.VOL

    We may leave. (A polite suggestion that is less insistent since it's not an imperative, and therefore even more polite.)

Also note that the person/volition particle used with the verb is, in order of preference, 1st person, 2nd person, then 3rd. That is, if 1st person is used in the subject, then that is the person/volition particle used. If not, and second person is used, then the person/volition particle is 2nd person. Otherwise, it's 3rd.


Verbal Formality - me
Finally, verbs can be marked for formality, which adds another level of politeness in the mix. The particle me appears just before the person/volition particle. It is used for formal proceedings such as legal hearings, government functions, and sometimes even just speeches given at social gatherings.

    numi
    2P.FORM
    voiya
    1P.FORM
    suña
    leave
    tho
    SUBJ
    me
    FORM
    thi
    1P.VOL

    Please, we may leave. (A very polite suggestion.)

_________________
Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


Last edited by Vardelm on Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:23 am 
Avisaru
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:12 pm
Posts: 402
Just a terminological comment: you refer to "inflection," but the inflections seem to be particles rather than affixes; this seems to be a largely isolating language from what I've seen so far, lacking what I think of as verbal inflection. (I'm assuming the spaces indicate that the morphemes are separate words.) At the same time, I see strong potential for the particles to actually glom onto the verb and become affixes (perhaps that's the plan?), especially if their order is fixed.

I'd be curious to see a maximally "inflected" verb.

The dual tense system is cool as shit. And I think I see the semantic motivation for which system is used for which evidential...


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:40 pm 
Avisaru
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Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:37 pm
Posts: 329
cromulant wrote:
Just a terminological comment: you refer to "inflection," but the inflections seem to be particles rather than affixes; this seems to be a largely isolating language from what I've seen so far, lacking what I think of as verbal inflection. (I'm assuming the spaces indicate that the morphemes are separate words.)

That's all correct. It's intended to be mostly isolating, and the spaces are indeed separate words. This is the first analytical/isolating conlang I've worked on, so it's quite probably my terminology is bonkers. I used the terms "auxiliaries" and "particles", and I'm not even sure if I should use "auxiliaries". The tense/evidential "auxiliaries" and formality & person/volition "particles" are not used apart from modifying the verb. Should I maybe be referring to all of them as "particles" and "conjugation", rather than "inflection"?


cromulant wrote:
At the same time, I see strong potential for the particles to actually glom onto the verb and become affixes (perhaps that's the plan?), especially if their order is fixed.

Yes, that's the plan. For this particular lang, I would like to turn the descendants into aggluntinating/fusional, and then to Semitic-style non-concatenative. My thought (which hopefully is workable) is to take 1-3 syllable roots in this language, use a lot of compounding and serial verbs to form 3-5 consonant roots. I haven't worked that out at all, yet, and it will probably be a while before I do.


cromulant wrote:
I'd be curious to see a maximally "inflected" verb.

Actually, if you have looked through the examples, you basically have. The only "inflections" ("conjugations"?) I have are tense/evidence, formality, and person/volition, unless you also count the modal particles that are placed before the verb (or other phrases).


cromulant wrote:
The dual tense system is cool as shit. And I think I see the semantic motivation for which system is used for which evidential...

Thanks! It was a last minute inspiration, so I'm not sure how plausible it is.

The idea is that the system would have started out as either past/non-past or future/non-future, and then half of the evidentials morphed into the other tense system. I see the direct involvement, visual, and non-visual evidentials as being more certain or factual than the other 3. As such, I see them as making more of a distinction between past & present, since those tenses are more in the "realis" realm. If you say someone is currently reading because you can see them in the other room, that's different than saying they were reading some time ago and you had seen them then. If you state your intention to do something in the future, that's still an intention that resides in the present.

On the other side, inferring that someone has done something or is doing something doesn't seem a huge distinction. Inferring that someone WILL be doing something is a bigger jump, so it seemed a good idea to separate along the future/non-future divide.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:14 am 
Avisaru
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Here's where the scratchpad gets a little scratchier. I was starting to work on other pronouns (interrogative, indefinite, etc.) and having trouble. Then I thought maybe I could work on postpositions, and those could maybe inform what pronouns I need. For example, instead of having a "where" pronoun, I could just use "at what".


Devani: Postpositions

Vocative
The vocative particles also play a part in politeness (continuing from the last section). Perhaps they should be labeled as "case" rather than being "postpositions", but they follow the noun they modify and are the only postposition that has more of a syntactic function than semantic.

Vocative phrases can come before or after any of the main phrases (topic, subject, verb, & object).

Formal Masculine - zhi
Formal Feminine - zhu
Informal Masculine - we
Informal Feminine - wo

    ne
    2P.INF
    Tënomi
    Tenomi
    wo
    VOC.INF
    murasu
    pray
    tho
    SUBJ
    te
    2P.VOL

    You, Tenomi, should be praying.


Postpositions in general will not make a distinction between locational & directional/path meanings.

ja - at / along
  • basic locative, "at" for a point, "along" for a path
  • spatial only
  • includes possession (not ownership)

gweza - from / away from
  • specifies origin of movement or reference point for position
  • spatial only
  • not used for home towns, countries, etc.

iwe - to / towards
  • goal or destination for movement or reference point for positions
  • generally spatial only
  • sometimes used for recipients when they are more directly affected than using zu (below), especially when effect is malefactive

ni - of / because of / from / in place of
  • common, "genitive" meaning
  • origin regarding a relation
  • used for homes ("I'm from Kansas"), material, qualities, causes, etc.
  • also used as derivational suffix, as in Devani "originating from the Deva" ("Deva-ish")

zu - to / for
  • used for indirect objects, recipients, & beneficiaries
  • indirect affectedness
  • includes "ownership" (or at least that something is "for" someone, to benefit them.)

doñwe - in / inside / into
  • goal or destination for movement into, movement inside, or position in/inside

shiñwe - out / outside / out of
  • origin for movement outside, movement out of, or position out of/outside


Postpositional phrases come before the head noun or before the verb that they modify.

    mëkani
    scholar
    edha
    3P.INF
    zu
    for
    fauma
    desk
    ja
    at
    jwohai
    sleep
    ñwëyo
    PAST.VIS
    ju
    3P.INV

    The scholar was sleeping at his desk. (I saw him.)

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Last edited by Vardelm on Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:51 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:58 pm 
Smeric
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Basically it is like case.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:43 pm 
Avisaru
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mèþru wrote:
Basically it is like case.

Yeah, but pre- & post-positions are like case anyway.

I may change the vocative particles to come before the addressee, which would make them more like the topic particle. That might make more sense & be more consistent since they serve a syntactic function.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:46 am 
Avisaru
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I've been thinking about this off & on the past week, and I think I like what I already wrote in an earlier edit of this post, so.....

Devani: Relative Clauses

Primordial Devani can place relative clauses either before or after their head noun. SVO word order is also maintained. The main difference is that relative clauses that precede the head noun are marked at the end with ni, the "genitive" postposition. Relative clauses after the head noun are introduced with the relativizer weo.

For easy comparison, here are two sentences that don't have relative clauses.

    vi
    1P.INF
    agwari
    read
    zai
    NONPAST.DIRINV
    thi
    1P.VOL
    zhiva
    book

    I am reading the book.

    mëkani
    scholar
    agwari
    read
    mani
    NONFUT.REP
    xo
    3P.VOL
    zhiva
    book

    The scholar read the book. (He told me.)


Relative clauses preceding the head noun are marked by ni (shown in italic blue for clarity):

    vi
    1P.INF
    agwari
    read
    zai
    NONPAST.DIRINV
    thi
    1P.VOL
    mëkani
    scholar
    agwari
    read
    mani
    NONFUT.REP
    xo
    3P.VOL
    ni
    of
    zhiva
    book

    I am reading (the scholar read)'s book.
    I am reading the book that the scholar (has) read.


Relative clauses following the head noun are introduced by the relativizer particle, weo:

    vi
    1P.INF
    agwari
    read
    zai
    NONPAST.DIRINV
    thi
    1P.VOL
    zhiva
    book
    weo
    REL
    mëkani
    scholar
    agwari
    read
    mani
    NONFUT.REP
    xo
    3P.VOL

    I am reading the book that the scholar (has) read.


In the above examples, note that the head noun zhiva "book" is a patient/theme. Mëkani "scholar" is an agent, so it shows up in the subject position of the relative clause. Relative clauses can also use an object to describe the head noun.

    mëkani
    scholar
    weo
    REL
    agwari
    read
    mani
    NONFUT.REP
    xo
    3P.VOL
    zhiva
    book
    jwohai
    sleep
    ñwëshayo
    PAST.NONVIS
    ju
    3P.INV

    The scholar that read the book was sleeping. (I could hear him.)


Relative clauses can also use just a verb, forming an intransitive clause.

    murasu
    pray
    ñwëyo
    PAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL
    ni
    of
    kusho
    monk
    suña
    leave
    yo
    NONPAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL

    The (that was praying)'s monk (has) left.
    The monk that was praying (has) left.

    kusho
    monk
    weo
    REL
    murasu
    pray
    ñwëyo
    PAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL
    suña
    leave
    yo
    NONPAST.VIS
    xo
    3P.VOL

    The monk that was praying (has) left.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:45 pm 
Avisaru
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I've stalled a bit over the past several weeks on Devani, but I've had some work going on with my other planned "primordial languages". Still, it seems I have better luck getting things to solidify by posting here, so I'm going to shift this post to be a general scratchpad for all 4 (maybe 5) languages. I'm going to label each post clearly as to which language the post is about, and give each language a color code as well to help that out. I've already gone back and edited my earlier posts on Devani. The labels & colors will be:

Devani
Dwarvish
Elvish
Jinn

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:07 pm 
Avisaru
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I think I posted last night while too tired for safe posting. Apparently, I posted my Jinn intro as a complete edit to my Dwarvish intro. So, here's an attempt to re-write the Dwarvish intro.

Dwarvish: Goals

The following items are what I currently have as parameters for Primordial Dwarvish:

  • Phonology inspired by Uralic languages & Russian, showing as phonemic palatalization & gemination, plus complex syllables

  • Austronesian voice / trigger system

  • Large number of noun cases as per Finnish, Hungarian, or Basque

  • Quirky noun case for subjects (per Icelandic) and objects (per Finnish)

  • A focus on number, with several noun numbers, momentane & iterative aspects, and verbal pluractionality

  • Verbs conjugated for aspect, but not tense

  • Serial verbs

  • Emphasis on spatial orientation, movement, & deixis

  • Classifiers

  • Augmentative & diminutive gender system

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Last edited by Vardelm on Tue May 03, 2016 9:04 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:09 pm 
Avisaru
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Posts: 329
Dwarvish: Phonology

Consonants
Code:
/ p  pʲ  t   tʲ             k  kʲ  q  qʲ  ʔ /
/        ts  tsʲ                            /
/ f  fʲ  s   sʲ   ɬ  ɬʲ     x  xʲ         h /
/ m  mʲ  n   nʲ             ŋ  ŋʲ           /
/                 l  lʲ  j         ʁ  ʁʲ    /

Code:
< p  pj  t   tj             k  kj  q  qj  ‘ >
<        ts  tsj                            >
< f  fj  s   sj   ł  łj     x  xj         h >
< m  mj  n   nj             ŋ  ŋj           >
<                 l  lj  y         r  rj    >

Notes:
  • Palatalized consonants are known as “hard” consonants, while unpalatalized are "soft".
  • Labials, alveolars, and laterals are considered “shallow”, and velars and gutterals are "deep".
  • Palatalization is phonemic in most consonants, but voicing is not.
  • Gemination is phonemic.



Vowels
Code:
/ i  i:               /
/        ʊ̈  ʊ̈:        /
/               o  o: /
/ e̞  e̞:   (ə)         /
/        a  a:        /

Vowels
Code:
< i  î               >
<        u  û        >
<               o  ô >
< e  ê               >
<        a  â        >

Notes:
  • /ə/ is not a full, recognized phoneme. It appears only in speech to ease pronunciation of some consonant clusters and at the beginning of words that start with a geminated consonant.
  • Length is contrastive on all vowels except /ə/, which is always quite short.
  • / ʊ̈ ʊ̈: / are only partially or “half” rounded most of the time, and can be realized completely unrounded as [ ɪ̈ ɪ̈: ].

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Last edited by Vardelm on Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 9:43 am 
Smeric
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Vardelm wrote:
Notes:
  • Palatalized consonants are known as “hard” consonants, while unpalatalized are "soft".


Usually, palatalized consonants are known as "soft", but perhaps your Dwarves feel differently about this.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 10:03 am 
Avisaru
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WeepingElf wrote:
Usually, palatalized consonants are known as "soft", but perhaps your Dwarves feel differently about this.

Hmm.... It seems I completely misread my sources on palatalization! :oops: It seems more logical to me that palatalized consonants would be "hard", since the tongue is pressing against the hard palate. Thanks for the notice. I will probably switch the 2 around if I decide I can live with the change. :)

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 8:25 pm 
Avisaru
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Jinn: Goals

This is the current design intent for Primordial Jinn:

  • Mostly African inspired phonology featuring pre-nasalization, clicks, glottalization, tone, and vowel phonations

  • "Nounless" morphosyntax as in the Salishan languages

  • VSO word order

  • Head-marking & right branching syntax

  • Active-stative (leaning accusative) and secundative alignment

  • Large number of tenses & aspects

  • Singulative & plurative numbers in addition to singular & plural (because Jinn > Jinni, obviously!)



EDIT: Consonant & vowel inventory moved to the post below on Jinn phonology since there is a bit more info now.



I could use some feedback on this phonology so far. Questions:

1) I have clicks marked as ejective like the stops & affricates, but is that kosher? Should they instead be marked by glottalization, or does it matter?

2) The consonants seem like they're a bit too regular/symmetrical to me. Thoughts?

3) I'm planning on a 3-way modal voice, breathy/murmured/slack voice, and creaky/glottalized voice for the vowels. However, most of the languages I've seen associate phonation with consonants, not vowels. What languages, if any, have their vowels described with differing phonation types instead of the consonants?

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Last edited by Vardelm on Sat May 14, 2016 8:47 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 8:41 pm 
Sumerul
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Vardelm wrote:
I could use some feedback on this phonology so far. Questions:

1) I have clicks marked as ejective like the stops & affricates, but is that kosher? Should they instead be marked by glottalization, or does it matter?

What you are looking for are ejective-contour clicks, which is a click that has a separate front release from back release, and the back release is ejective (and typically uvular).

Vardelm wrote:
2) The consonants seem like they're a bit too regular/symmetrical to me. Thoughts?

The main change I would make, except for making the ejective clicks have an ejective stop or affricate component after the click component, would be to eliminate the labial ejectives.

Vardelm wrote:
3) I'm planning on a 3-way modal voice, breathy/murmured/slack voice, and creaky/glottalized voice for the vowels. However, most of the languages I've seen associate phonation with consonants, not vowels. What languages, if any, have their vowels described with differing phonation types instead of the consonants?

Phonation can definitely be associated with vowels, e.g. languages with breathy-voiced vowels. Consider register, where vowel phonation is a key component (and often interlinked with tone).

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 8:51 pm 
Avisaru
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Thanks for the quick reply!


Travis B. wrote:
What you are looking for are ejective-contour clicks, which is a click that has a separate front release from back release, and the back release is ejective (and typically uvular).

I'm not sure if that's what I'm looking for or not, but I'll do some reading. :) I'm still having a difficult time understanding glottalization in general. For stops, it seems that "glottalized" means they are either ejective or implosive, but I'm not sure about that. For clicks, I may be looking for ejective-contour clicks, as you suggest, but I may be looking for just glottalized. I haven't even heard a good recording of glottalized vs. regular consonants, so it's difficult to know.


Vardelm wrote:
The main change I would make, except for making the ejective clicks have an ejective stop or affricate component after the click component, would be to eliminate the labial ejectives.

Good call.

EDIT: Done. :)


Vardelm wrote:
Phonation can definitely be associated with vowels, e.g. languages with breathy-voiced vowels.
Consider register, where vowel phonation is a key component (and often interlinked with tone); vowels can definitely have phonation.

Fantastic! I was thinking of trying to mix phonation, tone, & maybe surrounding consonant environment in some way, and this looks like just the thing!

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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 8:00 am 
Avisaru
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Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:37 pm
Posts: 329
Vardelm wrote:
Travis B. wrote:
What you are looking for are ejective-contour clicks, which is a click that has a separate front release from back release, and the back release is ejective (and typically uvular).

I'm not sure if that's what I'm looking for or not, but I'll do some reading. :) I'm still having a difficult time understanding glottalization in general. For stops, it seems that "glottalized" means they are either ejective or implosive, but I'm not sure about that. For clicks, I may be looking for ejective-contour clicks, as you suggest, but I may be looking for just glottalized. I haven't even heard a good recording of glottalized vs. regular consonants, so it's difficult to know.

I found some audio samples of various clicks, particularly of the !Xóõ / Taa language on this page from the UCLA phonetics lab, which was immensely helpful. I have at least a little better understanding of glottalization now. I ended up going with glottalized oral clicks, which are sometimes described as "ejective", even if that isn't exactly true or exactly the same as non-click consonants. They will parallel the ejective consonants, and nasal clicks will parallel the pre-nasalized consonants. I think some contour clicks might show up in descendant languages, though.

Thanks much for the link. That little poke helped point me down a path of learning what I needed for clicks & glottalization.

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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 8:45 am 
Avisaru
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Jinn: Phonology

Outdated: Consonants, Vowels, Registers, & Syllable Structure
More: show
Consonants
Code:
/             ǀ         ǀˀ     ǁ   ǁˀ     ǂ         ǂˀ                                /
/            nǀ        nǀˀ    nǁ  nǁˀ    nǂ        nǂˀ                                /

/   p   b     t    d    t’                                  k   g   k’     q   q’     /
/  mp  mb    nt   nd   nt’                                 ŋk  ŋg  ŋk’    ɴq  ɴq’     /
/             ts   dz   ts’               tʃ   dʒ   tʃ’                               /
/            nts  ndz  nts’              ɲtʃ  ɲdʒ  ɲtʃ’                               /
/             s    z                      ʃ    ʒ                                   h  /
/            ns   nz                     ɲʃ   ɲʒ                                      /
/       m          n                           ɲ                                      /
/                              l               j                w                     /

Code:
<           !t        !t’    !l   !l’   !k        !k’                                >
<           !nt       !nt’   !nl  !nl’  !ñk       !ñk’                                >

<   p   b     t    d    t’                                  k   g   k’     q   q’      >
<  mp  mb    nt   nd   nt’                                 ñk  ñg  ñk’    ñq  ñq’      >
<             ts   dz   ts’               c    j    c’                                 >
<            nts  ndz  nts’              ñc   ñj   ñc’                                 >
<             s    z                      sh   zh                                   h  >
<            ns   nz                     ñsh  ñzh                                      >
<       m          n                           ñ                                       >
<                              l               y                w                      >


Notes:
  • Glottalized oral clicks pattern as ejectives, while nasal clicks are parallel to pre-nasalized consonants.
  • Palatal clicks can be realized as alveolar clicks ( <!> ).
  • /n/ as a coda before an onset consonant that is anything besides /l j w h/ is glottalized (has a glottal release), which separates it from creating a pre-nasalized onset. This is ignored in rapid speech.
  • /h/ in coda is often realized as /ħ/ or /ʕ/.
  • /w/ in coda is realized as /β/.


Vowels
Code:
/ i     u /
/    a    /



Register
Jinn's vowels are also subject to a register consisting of pitch/tone and phonation. The registers are:

  • Mid tone - modal voice
  • High tone - creaky voice
  • Low tone - breathy/murmured voice
  • Falling tone
    • high to mid, high to low, or mid to low tone contour
    • creaky voice tapering to modal voice when in the 1st syllable of a word starting a sentence or after a pause, or following a syllable with creaky or modal voice
    • modal voice when following a syllable with breathy voice
  • Rising tone
    • low to mid, low to high, low to mid tone contour
    • breathy/murmured voice when in the 1st syllable of a word starting a sentence or after a pause, or following a syllable with breathy/murmured or modal voice
    • modal voice when following a syllable with creaky voice


Syllable Structure
Syllable structure is (C)V(C).

Initial syllables can omit the onset consonant.

Onsets: All consonants are allowed as onsets.

Codas: Clicks and perhaps /j/ are not allowed in coda. (/j/ may end up forming diphthongs.)

_________________
Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


Last edited by Vardelm on Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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