New Conlang I'm Working On

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New Conlang I'm Working On

Postby ronindracarys » 2006-03-02, 16:14

Ok, so it's been a while since I've posted...probably a year, in fact, but here is a little something I've been working on fr the past couple of weeks. The language is of yet not named, but it's mostly based of Amerindian languages. There a few of my own ideas thrown in too, of course.

For now I'll just post the phonology, and if anyone is interested, I will post some info on the morphology and syntax. Characters in blue are in X-Sampa, while those in black are the equivalent orthographic representation.

- Bilabial /p p_h p_>/ p ph p'
- Alveolar /t t_h t_>/ t th t'
- Palatal /c c_h c_>/ c ch c'
- Velar /k k_h k_>/ k kh k'
- Uvular /q q_h q_>/ q qh q'
- Glottal stop /?_>/ '
- Pharyngealized glottal stop /?_?\_>/ 7

- Dental /T/ θ
- Alveolar /s/ s
- Alveolar lateral /K/ ł
- Postalveolar /S/ š
- Palatal /C/ ć
- Velar /x/ x
- Uvular /X/ K
- Pharyngeal /X\/ H
- Glottal /h/ h

- Alveolar /ts ts_h ts_>/ ts tsh ts'
- Lateral /tK tK_h tK_>/ tł tłh tł'
- Postalveolar /tS tS_h tS_>/ tš tšh tš'
- Alveolar-dental /tC tCh tC_>/ tć tćh tć'
- Velar /kx kx_h kx_>/ kx kxh kx'

- Bilabial /m m_>/ m m'
- Alveolar /n n_>/ n n'
- Palatal /J J_>/ ń ń'
- Velar /N N_>/ ng ng'
- Uvular /N\ N\_>/ N N'

Approximnts- /w l j/ w l y

- Short /i e a o u/ i e a o u
- Long /i: e: a: o: u:/ ii ee aa oo uu

Syllable structure is (C1)(C2)(C3)V(C4)(C5)(C6). As distance from the nucleus increases, sonority decreases. Thus in a cluster or C1C2, C1 must be less sonorous than C2, and so on and so forth. There are a few special clusters:

1. C1 may always be /?/
2. If C1 = /s S/ then C2 may equal any plosive, approximant, or nasal.
3. C6 may always equal /s S/

I haven't worked out all the allophonic rules right now, but the few I have are:

1. Identical sounds merge
2. Nasals assimilate to the following consonant.
3. Clusters of vowels are separated by the glottal stop. A second long vowel becomes short (/ii/+/oo/ = /ii?o/)
4. Across boundaries of /? ?_?\ h X\/ the vowel /a/ rises if followed by a higher consonant. Thus /a/+/i/ becomes /e?i/.
5. Plosives and affricates followed by the glottal stop merge to become ejective.
6. /kj/ becomes /c/ and /k?_?\/ becomes /q_?\/.
7.After pharyngeals, /i u/ and thier long counterparts lower to /e o/.

Finally, onto the stress system. The language employs a pitch-accent system based on Ancient Greek's. There are three contrastive accents, which manifest as tones on a certain syllable of the word. They are high, mid, low, and high-falling. These accents are placed on one syllable of the root, but may be mutated by affixes. The high accent is marked by acute accent (á, etc.), the low is marked by a grave (à, etc.), the mid by no accent, the high-falling as circumflex (â, etc.) There are two criteria for determining where to place the accent:

1. If the antepenultimate syllable is short (or one does not occur), the penultimate may receive any of the five accents.
2. If the antepenultimate syllable is long, it may bear either the mid or high-rising accents or the penultimate syllable may bear the high, low, or mid accents. Here, an antepenultimate syllable bearing the mid accent is marked with an under-dot (ạ, etc.).

Thus for the unaccented root, taxa there are four accentuation patterns: taxa, táxa, tàxa, tâxa, and the unaccented trisyllabic root ootsinga, has five possible combinations: ọotsinga ôotšinga ootsinga ootsínga ootsìnga. Not all of these permutations exist, but they are contrastive: tàxa place, put vs. taxa mountain vs. tâxa give as a gift.

There are further complications to the system. Though roots and particles (we'll get to that in the section on morphology) bear accent, affixes are divided into three accent classes, based on how they affect the accent of a root they are attached to:

1. The neutral affixes do not affect a root's accent at all.
2. The raising affixes raise the root accent one step: high, high-falling, mid --> high and low --> mid.
3. The lowering affixes lower the root accent on step high --> high-falling, high-falling --> mid; and mid, low --> low. This will often create an illegal penultimate syllable with the high-falling accent after a long antepenultimate. It is simply shifted to the antepenultimate syllable in this case.

*takes a breath* Wow, a lot to type out there. Ok, so if anyone is interested, or just has any comments on how I can make this naturalistic, post away.
"Rage- Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaens countless loses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls..."

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Postby Kuba » 2006-03-03, 12:08

I like the system - although I like voiced consonants too much to omit them. ;)
I also like that your languages is tonal, I'd like to invent one like this , but until I don't know any tonal language for real, I stick to the "normal" ones...
One suggestion: I'd write ć as ś, since this is the way palatal fricatives are written in some natural languages (like Polish or the translitertion of Sanskrit) - but this is merily a suggestion, I don't want to impose myself.
Since I'm a Polish speaker, I associate ć rather with [ʨ] than with [ɕ]. But I gather that you want to use ć because the according plosives are c, c' and ch.

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