K'anerhtónian revisited

A forum for all topics related to constructed languages
Post Reply
User avatar
Evynova
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun 01 Jan 2017, 18:28
Location: Belgium

K'anerhtónian revisited

Post by Evynova » Tue 17 Oct 2017, 21:24

So I really wasn't satisfied with how my first conlang turned out, so I decided to start anew. That being said, I kept the general "vibe" of the language intact, focusing mainly on the execution. I tweaked the phonology as well as the grammar, and I can safely say this revamped version I like much more than my first attempt. The original background for the conlang still holds true: it is the official language of the K'anerhtóh, a civilisation thriving in the mountains that rise in the north of Rajnlokem.

With that out of the way, here is a summary of what I have come up with so far:

Phonology
I kept most of the consonants I originally had, with very little changes. The main difference with v1 is the vowels.

Consonants
/m m̥ n n̥/ <m mh n nh>
/p pʰ pʼ t tʰ tʼ k kʰ kʼ/ <p ph p' t th t' k kh k'>
/f fʰ fʼ s sʰ sʼ ʃ ʃʰ ʃʼ/ <f fh f' s sh s' c ch c'>
/h/ <h>
/l l̥ r r̥/ <l lh r rh>
/w ʍ/ <w wh>

Staying true to the original, consonants contrast in two ways: nasals, approximants and trills contrast between voiced and devoiced; plosives and fricatives (with the exception of /h/) can be plain, aspirated or ejective.

Notes:
- /x/ is an allophone of /h/ when word final, or when preceding a plosive.
- /ʃ/, and its contrasts, are in free variation with /ʂ/.
- /ʍ/ can also be realised as /xʷ/
- There is a gradation of importance in contrast. Ejective > aspirated > plain. This will be important later.

Vowels
The K'anerhtónian language has 5 pairs of vowels. Each pair consists of an unrounded vowel, and its rounded counterpart.

/ɯ u/ <u ú>
/ɪ ʏ/ <i í>
/ɤ o/ <o ó>
/ɛ œ/ <e é>
/ɑ ɒ/ <a á>

Notes:
- Dipthongs are not allowed. If two vowels follow each other, they will be pronounced as though they were part of separate syllables.
- Unrounded vowels can be pronounced as /ə/ when word final.

Additional information
- Syllable structure is (C)V(C).

- A plosive, when word final, automatically becomes plain. The contrast reappears if a suffix is added.
E.G.: Het' is pronounced /hɛt/, but het'ec is pronounced /hɛtʼɛʃ/

- A nasal cannot follow or precede a different nasal. The same holds true for fricatives and approximants.
E.G.: /mn/ /fʰs/ /l̥w/ are not possible clusters.

- If a nasal, trill or approximant precedes or follows a plosive, it is automatically devoiced.
E.G.: Kant will be pronounced /kɑn̥t/. Plarta is pronounced /pl̥ɑr̥tə/.

- When a consonant follows or precedes the same consonant, but with a different contrast, it is geminated, and the stronger contrast is applied.
E.G.: <php'> will be pronounced /pːʼ/. <shs> will be pronounced /sːʼ/.

- When two plosives are in a cluster, only the last one is pronounced. The contrast of the preceding consonant does not matter.
E.G.: <phk'> is pronounced /kʼ/. <t'p> is pronounced /p/.

Grammar
Word order is VSO. The verbal construction must begin the sentence; not even an adverb can precede it. More about verbs in the conjugation section.

Nouns
Nouns may be of two genders: human, and non-human. This influences the choice in pronouns, as well as which suffix to use for the genitive case.

Talking about cases, here is a list of all 16 noun cases used in K'anerhtónian:
Spoiler:
- Nominative: subject of a verb
>> unmarked

- Oblique: combination of accusative and dative; object of a verb.
>> -m

- Genitive: marks possession. The suffix is applied on the possessor.
>> -rh for non-human possessers; -whí for human possessors.

- Benefactive: for sb/sth; to sb/sth. Positive connotation.
>> -r

- Comitative: in the presence of sb or sth.
>> -at

- Instrumental: with the help of sb; using sth.
>> -he

- Privative: without, in the absence of sb or sth.
>> -k'e

- Intensive: used to aggrandise sth or sb, to express the importance of sth or sb. Used as an vocative equivalent when addressing or mentioning people of higher social rank.
>> -áró

- Attenuative: used to diminish sb or sth. It is an insulting way to denigrate sb.
>> -anhi

- Vocative: used when addressing someone of similar or lower social rank.
>> -na

- Inessive: sth or sb is inside sth or sb.
>> -óc

- Pertingent: expresses physical contact with sth or sb, or close proximity with sth or sb.
>> -erí

- Adessive: sth or sb is outside sth or sb.
>> -s

- Ablative: sth or sb is moving away, or out of sth or sb.
>> - il

- Allative: sth or sb is moving towards, or into sth or sb.
>> -úk

- Perlative: sth or sb is moving through, or along sth or sb.
>> -ec
There is a singular-plural distinction in nouns. Singular is unmarked. Plural takes the suffix -h, and rounds the preceding vowel. If it follows a nasal, approximant, or trill, it devoices it. If a plosive or a fricative precede it, the plural mark simply disappears.

Adjectives
Adjectives follow the noun that they qualify or quantify. They agree in gender, number and case.

- Human is unmarked. Non-human requires the suffix -a.
- Plural, like nouns, is marked with -h and the rounding of the preceding vowel.
- If the intensive or attenuative is applied to the adjective, it must also be applied to the noun, even if the suffix only applies semantically to the adjective.

Verbs
As stated earlier, the verb construction is the very first thing that begins a sentence, and nothing else can take its place.
Verbs inflect in mood, tense and aspect. They also take the mark of their respective subject, and potential object. Verbs construct as such:

object- mood- VERB -tense -aspect -subject

The object prefix, and the subject suffix also serve the equivalent of pronouns, which are not used in K'anerhtónian. Nevertheless, even if their referents are expressed later in the clause, the affixes must still be attached to the verb, as an inherent part of the structure. The "person affixes" that refer to objects are the same affixes used for objects, albeit to the oblique case.

Here are the person affixes:

Image

And here is a table summing up the conjugation of K'anerhtónian verbs:

Image

Notes:
- The imperative, marked with a prefix, still requires the person affixes.
- The speculative/inferential is used when talking about events that were not witnessed first-hand. It is also the de facto irrealis mood to be used when talking about hypothetical situations, in combination with the conditional.
- The non-present tense, as the name suggests, is used when mentioning actions that are not taking place now (in a broad sense). Past actions, as well as actions that will take place in the future, are non-present, and require the suffix.
- The continuous aspect refers to an action that takes place over a prolonged period of time.
- The habitual aspect refers to an action that repeats itself in time.
- The inceptive marks the beginning of an action. Following the same logic, the terminative marks the end of an action.
- The intensive and attenuative are also used with verbs, and respectively aggrandise or diminish a verb.
- Several aspect suffixes can follow one another, so long as they are not contradictory. They may be added in any order, though the most important one (as far as semantics go) is placed last.
Last edited by Evynova on Thu 19 Oct 2017, 09:18, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Omzinesý
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2220
Joined: Fri 27 Aug 2010, 07:17
Location: nowhere [naʊhɪɚ]

Re: K'anerhtónian revisited

Post by Omzinesý » Wed 18 Oct 2017, 13:17

Non-present tense is typologically not attested. Not that you couldn't have it.
It would maybe be more "natural" if it was analysed like remote tense, not a pure tense but something being not relevant conserning now. Maybe.
Is there no zero-marked aspect?
How would you express a punctual event, say 'X died'? Which aspect does it have?
User avatar
Evynova
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun 01 Jan 2017, 18:28
Location: Belgium

Re: K'anerhtónian revisited

Post by Evynova » Wed 18 Oct 2017, 14:40

Omzinesý wrote:Non-present tense is typologically not attested. Not that you couldn't have it.
It would maybe be more "natural" if it was analysed like remote tense, not a pure tense but something being not relevant conserning now. Maybe.
Is there no zero-marked aspect?
How would you express a punctual event, say 'X died'? Which aspect does it have?
I have to admit I didn't check if the non-present tense was used in natlangs. It does not bother me, though; it doesn't seem too far-fetched. But I could clump present and future together as the unmarked tense, and transform the "non-present" into a past tense for the sake of naturalism. The first version of this conlang constructed the future tense by means of an auxiliary derived from the verb "want" which would have followed the verb structure. So, "I will come" would have been said Horin sk'um, instead of Horakin with an adverb or something.

Punctual events are unmarked. It seemed obvious to me, and I forgot to explain that, my bad lol. "He died" would be something like:
Fenakwhe
/fɛn.ɑk.ʍɛ/
Fen-ak-whe
die-NP-3SG
Post Reply