księżyc - нохчийн мотт

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księżyc - нохчийн мотт

Postby księżycowy » 2012-07-07, 13:57

So, I've decided to take up some Chechen. Go ahead, call me crazy. :P
Instead of clogging up the other Chechen thread (which has been mostly for general discussion and resource talk) I've decided to make a new thread just for my notes.
I believe I've unlocked the mysteries of the Chechen alphabet and phonology. I'll post it later today.
Last edited by księżycowy on 2014-06-26, 22:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: księży - нохчийн мотт

Postby księżycowy » 2012-07-08, 1:46

Ok, so over the next few posts I'll be explaining the Chechen Cyrillic script (supplemented by a proposed Latin script* and IPA) and Chechen pronunciation.

I'll start simple and build from there. By the time I get done, all our minds will be mush. :P

Vowels (Simple):

Chechen has quite an assortment of vowels, especially since the other languages from the region usually have less then half the amount. :P

Basic Chechen vowels:
Cyrillic- а, е/э, и, о, у
Latin - a, e, i, o, u

(using general Eastern U.S. pronunciation)
а = /a, ə, ʌ/ - father (short), sofa
е/э = /e, ɛ/ - play (not diphthongized), bed
и = /i/ - free (short)
о = /o/ - go (short)
у = /u/ - boot (short)

Now all of these basic vowels have long ans short versions, which are represented by the same exact Cyrillic letters. Thus:

Long basic vowels:
Cyrillic- a, е/э, и/ий, о, у
Latin - aa, ee, ii, oo, uu
IPA- /aː/, eː, ɛː/, /iː/, /uː/
These are pronounced just like the short vowels, but obviously held a bit longer.

Next time we'll get into some of the fun stuff, and learn why Cyrillic Chechen can be a bitch! :twisted:

*The Latin variant I'm using is the one outlined by Nichols in her dictionary, which she uses to great effect to show vowel differentiation that the current Cyrillic system couldn't dream of representing. All credit for this Latin variant goes to her.
Last edited by księżycowy on 2012-07-11, 14:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: księży - нохчийн мотт

Postby księżycowy » 2012-07-08, 12:58

So, we've learned that Chechen Cyrillic doesn't generally mark length. But what about the other "complex" vowels/diphthongs.

But before that, I forgot to mention something last time.
long ii is usually written ий in Cyrillic. Which I've fixed in the post.


е/э, as we have seen, is used for e/ee. But it's also used to make a few other diphthongs.
ia, ie in Latin Chechen.
ia = /iɛ, iæ/ - a short i (palatization) followed by e/ae*
ie = /iːe̯/ - (Chechen i followed by a short e)

And, as with Russian, Cyrillic е can also represent the "je" glide, with both a short and long e.

The same is true of Cyrillic o. One is represented by Latin o and the other is uo.
o = /u̯ɔ/ - like dog with a short u/w before
uo = /uːo̯, uːə̯/ - like long Chechen u with a short o/ə after.


Cyrillic a, o and y are modified by ь‌‌‍‌ to make three new vowels.
aь = /æ/ - like cat (ae in Latin)
oь = /y̯œ, yːø/ - like German ü followed by German ö (oe in Latin)
yь = /y, yː/ - like German ü (y in Latin)

I think that will do it for now. More to come. :wink:

*Depends on the dialect as to which variant is used.

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Re: księży - нохчийн мотт

Postby Massimiliano B » 2012-07-09, 21:32

Chechen has a very beautiful phonology! I like Northeast and Northwest Caucasian languages. Linguist Vitaly Shevoroshkin says that Salishan and Wakashan languages are much closer to North Caucasian languages as any other languages. If only it were true!

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Re: księży - нохчийн мотт

Postby księżycowy » 2012-07-09, 23:28

Yeah, I'm loving Chechen! It's one of the coolest languages I've looked at in a looooong time! 8-)

It's as if Latin, Georgian, Salish, and Germanic were fused together. I can certainly see where someone would think that Wakashan/Salish and the Caucasian languages are related.

I've also heard of the idea that Caucasian and Athabascan are related. I can see where that came from too.

Not that I particularly subscribe to either theory.

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Re: księży - нохчийн мотт

Postby księżycowy » 2012-07-11, 12:57

Back to the alphabet and phonology.
Diphthongs this time!

Cyrillic - Latin - IPA & Pronunciationː
ей/эй - ei - /ei̯/ day (diphthongized as in English)
ай - ai - /ʌi̯/ - sofa followed by a short i
- aai /ai̯/ father followed by a short i
ой - oi - /oi̯, u̯oi̯/ - go followed by a short i (and sometimes with a short u/w before)
ев/эв - eu - /ɛu̯/ - bed followed by a short u/w
ов - ou - /ou̯, ʌu̯/ - go followed by a short u/w or plus followed by a short u/w

And that does if for the vowels!
Next time we'll go into the consonants.

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Re: księży - нохчийн мотт

Postby księżycowy » 2012-07-13, 13:53

Chechen has a three-way (or four-way, depending on the analysis and dialect) distinction with it's stop consonants. Plain, long and glottal/pharyngeal.

Cyrillic: <Base Latin letter>
Plain - Long - Glottal/pharyngel
п - пп - п1 <p>
т - тт - т1 <t>
ц - ~ - ц1 <c>
ч - ~ - ч1 <ch>
к - кк - к1 <k>
кх - ккх - къ <q>
б - ~ б1 <b>
д - ~ - д1 <d>
г - ~ - г1 <g>

All of these consonants (with the exceptions of ц/c and кх/q) are basically pronounced just as in English in their plain form. The long form is also pronounced the same, except that is it held longer.
Chechen Latin c is pronounced like cats. Q is pronounced as a k that is said in the back of the throat.
Things start to complicate a bit when we start to look at the Cyrillic letter 1.

For voiceless stops it represents ejectives (glottal):
п1 - p' - /p'/ p pronounced with a glottal stop at the beginning
т1 - t' - /t'/ t pronounced with a glottal stop at the beginning
ц1 - c'- /t͡s'/ cats pronounced with a glottal stop at the beginning
ч1 - ch' - /t͡ʃ'/ chair pronounced with a glottal stop at the beginning
к1 - k' - /k'/ k pronounced with a glottal stop at the beginning
къ - q' - /q'/ q pronounced with a glottal stop at the beginning
The glottal stop doesn't truly exist in English, but it can be found in colloquial/dialectal pronunciations of some words, such as "bottle" or "cat."

1, for the voiced stops (and other consonants yet to be covered), as well as what this letter represents when it stands alone, is the pharyngeal approximate. Under some analyses this is said to be a quality of the consonant, and in others it's a quality of vowel.
As this topic is a bit hard for me to explain, so I'll direct you here.

1 - w - /ʕ, ʡ/ pharyngeal
б1 - bw - /bʕ/ b followed by the pharyngeal
д1 - dw - /dʕ/ d followed by the pharyngeal
г1 - gh - /ɣ, ʁ/ at one time this might have been g followed by the pharyngeal*, but right now is like the French r

*A complete guess on my part

Had enough yet? :P If not, more to come! :wink:

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Re: księży - нохчийн мотт

Postby księżycowy » 2012-07-15, 13:01

Now for the rest of the consonants.
с - s - /s/ like sit
ш - sh - /ʃ/ ship
х - x - /χ/ loch (Gaelic), Buch (German)
хь - hw - /ħ/ like Arabic ḥā’ ح or Abkhaz Ҳы
х1 - h - /h/ hat
в - v - /v/ vase
з - z - /z/ zeal
ж - zh - /ʒ/ vision
м - m - /m/ mother
н - n - /n/ note
л - l - /l/ lute
р - r - /r/ trilled/flapped r
рх1 - rh - /r̹/ like Ancient Greek ῥ or Welsh rhagfyr; a voiceless r
й - j - /j/ yet
ю - ju/juu - /ju(ː)/ sequence or semivowel j and vowel u
я - ja/jaa - /ja(ː)/ sequence or semivowel j and vowel a
ъ - ' - /ʔ/ glottal stop (not often written)

And now we can turn back to the "problem" of pharyngealization. For most of the above consonants we still use 1 to represent the pharyngeal after them, just like with б1, д1, etc.

But, what about the consonants that use 1 to represent ejective consonants, such as т1, п1, etc?
Well, that is taken care of with хь.
Basically, for voiced consonants 1 is used to represent pharyngealization, and хь is for voiceless consonants.
So:
пхь /pʕ/
тхь /tʕ/
схь /sʕ/
м1 /mʕ/
ж1 /ʒʕ/
etc

And that does it for the alphabet and pronunciation. :partyhat:
Next up is some grammar. Things will probably move a bit slower now.

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Re: księży - нохчийн мотт

Postby księżycowy » 2012-07-21, 16:31

I forgot to mention that уьй is the long equivalent of уь. :oops:

So, Chechen has 8 cases for nouns. Yup, eight cases. :twisted:









CaseExample
Nominativeда
Genitiveден
Dativeдена
Ergativeдас
Instrumentalдеца
Substantiveдех
Comparativeдел
Locativeдега

(These are all singular)

We'll go over the cases one by one (as my textbook does).

The nominative is the base form of the noun, and it is used as the subject of intransitive verbs and the direct object of the transitive verb. This is an important distinction, as we shall see with the ergative case.

A few examples:
Со т1емало ву.
I soldier copula
I am [a] soldier. ("soldier" is in the nominative case)

Иза учебник ю.
she/it textbook copula
It is [a] textbook. ("textbook" is in the nominative case)

We'll touch on the other usage of the nominative case (direct object of transitive verbs) when we go over the ergative case.

Now on to the plural form of the nominative case.
There is no clear cut way to figure out plural forms in Chechen. There are four main ways to form the plural:
-(а)ш/й
-augmented base + (а)ш/й
-vowel change + doubling of consonant + (а)ш/й
-vowel change + (a)ш/й (sometimes with augmented base)

So what's all this about augmented bases and vowel changes? In some cases the stem of the noun gets an added little something, usually -н- or -p- or -чу-.
Vowel changes are a staple of Chechen grammar, so get used to them!
For what we're talking about here, the most common vowel changes are:
а -> аь/е
у -> а
о -> оь
As per usual, the specific changes for particular nouns needs to be learned, they can't easily be predicted. (I'm starting to get the feeling this is going to be like learning Polish or Georgian, a bunch of exceptions and needing to learn different forms of nouns, verbs, etc. Yay!)

So how about a few examples?
машен -> машенаш (car)
помидор -> помидораш (tomato)
да -> дай (father)
гата -> гатанаш (towel, augmented)
бух -> баххаш (bottom, vowel change & doubling)
у -> аннаш (wooden board, vowel change & doubling?)
стол -> стоьлаш (table, vowel change)
ча -> черчий (bear, vowel change & augmented)

More next time.

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Re: księży - нохчийн мотт

Postby księżycowy » 2012-08-13, 11:28

On to the next case! Instrumental!

-(а)ца
-ица
Are the basic endings for this case.
Even in the plural, this ending is added to the end of the plural form.
Some examples:
Singular-
г1ишло -> г1ишлоца
ларма -> лармаца
стаг -> стагаца

Plural-
г1ишлош -> г1ишлошца
лармаш -> лармашца
нах -> нахца

And that will do it for today. And, alias, I probably will have to put Chechen on hold for awhile. With my SAC, CSAILC, NAILC, etc. duties/wants I really don't have much time for Chechen anymore. BUT, I shall return soon! :wink:


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