Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciated!)

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Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciated!)

Post by Ilaeriu » Thu 12 Aug 2010, 04:04

I posted this in the old forum, but I've done some revamps then and it's taking on a lot more structure. I hope it's not against from rules for me to post several times in succession so I have different posts for different sections, e.g. phonology, grammar, etc.
Please also remember that I am not a linguist, and the most grammar education I have is whatever they're teaching this year at my high school. I'd appreciate clarification and corrections to my incorrect or non-technical terms. :mrgreen:
--
Backstory
Mahal s'Aentoui (the Aentoui language) is a dead language, created for the purposes of a conworld and novel that I'm writing. In the first years of the world it was the original proto-language of all Creation, but in the aeons that have passed it has branched into various families, spawning many descendants. It's current use is preserved only in holy writings and as a sacred language for the priests and the highly educated.

Orthography and Pronunciation
Consonant Ortography
Image
XSAMPA
(in no particular order)
b - /b/
k - /x/ OR /k/
kk - /x'/ OR /k'/
f - /f/
t - /T/ OR /t/
tt - /T'/ OR /t'/
s - /s/
j** - /S/
l - /l/
ll - /l'/
h - /h/
m - /m/
n - /n/
nn - /n'/
g - /N/
gg - /N'/
r - /4/
The usage of <g> and <j> is simply for convenience when typing on a keyboard. The proper orthography should be the IPA symbol for /N/ (the hooked n) and the S-cedilla respectively, neither of which the board seems to render properly.

a - /A/ ei @ 7 i u/ /j w/
æ - /ei/
e - /@/
i - /i/ (/j/ before vowels)
o - /7/
u - /u/ (/w/ before vowels)

Vowel Length
Aentoui grammarians recognize three vowel lengths: short, ordinary, and long. Our linguists, however, would probably prefer to categorize the "short" vowel as a diphthong.

Any given syllable can have up to three vowels (see Sylllable below). /j/ and /w/ are considered short vowels. The second vowel in clusters such as "ao", "ai", etc., are also considered short. It is important to remember here that the nucleus vowel remains 'ordinary' length.

Ordinary vowels are pronounced with ordinary length. Not much to say here.

Long vowels are represented by doubling the nucleus vowel. The pronunciation of this varies between the various schools of language study, but there are two most commonly accepted ways. The first is holding the vowel length for double the amount of time, showing the difference by changing the pitch from the first vowel to the second. The second method is by inserting a light glottal stop between the two ordinary vowels. It is important to remember here that only two of the same ordinary-length vowels = one long vowel.

I'm having trouble explaining this part, perhaps someone with more linguistic experience can help me? Thanks!

Syllable Pattern/Constraints

(C)(*r,l,w,y)V(V)(C**)(C***)

*The consonant preceding this cannot be any of the four listed.
**Has to be a nasal, unless the second consonant is a fricative. The nasal shifts to the position of the second consonant.
***This cannot be a k, h, or any palatalized consonant

Stress

Stress is generally not marked in First Tongue texts. While not adhering to any strict rules, there are a couple guidelines to guessing the which syllable the stress lays on.

For 2 syllable words, the stress can often go on either one, with a preference for the first syllable. For these words, memorization is the best way to remember.

3 syllable words almost always have the stress on the middle syllable. (An obvious exception is the word "Aentoui", pronounced AEN-to-UI.)

4+ syllable words almost always have the stress on the first syllable and the penultimate syllable.

Those syllables with lengthened or doubled vowels will almost always have the closest stress moved to that syllable, or added to the current stress.

Misc.
• <b> can only be in a medial consonant position except for rare occurences (e.g. loanwords)
• /k/ and /k'/ exist as allophonic variants of /x/ and /x'/ respectively, which is why they are represented with identical orthography
• /t/ and /t'/ are in a similar situation as the above
• the /h/ sound is often omitted or weakened
Last edited by Ilaeriu on Thu 12 Aug 2010, 07:14, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Ilaeriu » Thu 12 Aug 2010, 04:05

Grammar
Aentoui is an agglutinative language, I would say. The only language I fluently speak, other than English, is Filipino Tagalog. As such, to avoid the language from appearing to English, I've based many parts of the grammar on Filipino, with additions from Latin, Korean, stuff I've read around the Internet and my own ideas.

Nouns
Nouns are the basic building blocks of Aentoui. They form the basis for most other words in the language. Meaning, many verbs are simply conjugated forms of a noun. (Compare halum, sewing needle, and atalum, sewing or knitting.)
Nouns have no gender as they do in Romance languages.
They are inherently singular. Plurality is either taken out of context or shown by either reduplicating the initial syllable or using the definite plural article "kae".

Verbs
As said above, most verbs are derived from nouns, although naturally there are exceptions where there is no logical noun to derive it from or there could be possible ambiguity.

Roots have no tense unless modified. Without modification the root remains a noun. However, the base root may be used for the imperative, when accompanied with 'you'. (Art > Food. Art jau > Eat!)

Verbs are inflected according to tense, aspect, mood and politeness.
Tense
There are five tenses in Aentoui: remote past, past, present, future, and remote future. All tense modifiers are prefixed onto the verb.
Image

Aspect and Mood
There are six aspects and four moods in Aentoui. Both are always suffixed. Should a verb be inflected with both aspect and mood, the aspect is suffixed first, followed by the mood. They don't drastically change forms when inflecting for politeness, unlike the tenses. More information on politeness below.
Image

Adjectives (and adverbs)
Like verbs, many adjectives are derived from a root noun. The adjective follows the noun it describes (i.e. head-initial). An intermediary particle "s(i)" is required.

Alaeri >> God
Alaeri s'annotun >> Mighty God.

Adjectives are treated much as nouns. Thus, the particle "s(i)" can be much treated as meaning "that is." In addition, words that are normally adjectives in English can stand alone in Aentoui.

Atikula iakannu.
ati-kula ia-kannu
please-get OBJ-orange
"Please get the orange (ones)."

Adverbs do not work in any way different that ordinary adjectives, except in that they go before the verb they are describing.

Jira si gaelu nun iakuaru.
jira si gaelu nun ia-kuaru
quick ADJ.MARKER go.PAST to OBJ-room
"(S/he) quickly went to the room.

Politeness

In a similar manner to Korean, politeness is inherently inflected in verbs and other sentence structures. Aentoui grammarians have classified four degrees of politeness:

1st Degree - Ordinary
The 1st degree is simply the ordinary inflections of the verbs and sentences, left untouched.
The ordinary degree is the most widely used, including but not limited to: friends, colleagues, people you have been formerly introduced to ; writing and literature; family members of your age group or below; people of a lower social status than you; etc. Because of the nature of the language, this degree has largely fallen out of use. It is normally only used to render the word of God, since there is none higher than Him and thus is not required to speak in the higher degrees.

2nd Degree - Polite
The second degree has its own set of tense inflections that are different from the original ordinary set. Mood and aspect inflections, however, are left generally intact. If the verb is inflected in mood or aspect but not tense, usually an obligatory "-(a)ku" is inserted after the mood or aspect inflection, denote the polite voice.
The 2nd degree is used when conversing with: strangers; parents and their siblings (this rule is often relaxed); to customers, etc.; bosses, employers, or people otherwise societally superior when in an informal setting; priests or shamans in an informal setting; older siblings/cousins/kin when in a formal setting; etc. The 2nd degree is also common in literature, most especially when scientific or mechanical.

3rd Degree - Respectful
The third degree draws from the ordinary degree for tense inflections, adding modifications. Mood and aspect inflections are left intact as well, with an obligatory "-taas" added in situations similar to those previously described.
The respectful degree is used with: bosses, employers, etc. when in the work or formal setting; government officials; higher military ranks; family elders (grandparents and above); praying to spirits or other lesser deities; conversing with priests or shamans in a formal setting or for the first time; etc. The third degree can also be used when apologetic, or for begging.

4th Degree - Sacred
The fourth degree draws from the 2nd degree in terms of its vocabulary, with additions. Once more, the obligatory particle for mood and aspect inflections is "-alae." The sacred degree avoids direct
The sacred degree is used only when speaking to God. Kings or other heads of state may also enforce that the sacred degree be used when directly addressing them.

In all, it is best to feel your way around the four degrees instead of trying to fit people into certain categories. You will often get a sense of who should be addressed with what degree and so on.
Last edited by Ilaeriu on Thu 12 Aug 2010, 07:23, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Ilaeriu » Thu 12 Aug 2010, 04:06

Sentence Structure

First Tongue utilizes a fairly strict VSO (verb-subject-object) order. Phrases are connected and separated using conjunctions.

A proper sentence really only requires a verb. Oftentimes the participating nouns are taken from context.

Ex. Arart.
ENG: (I) ate.

If only one noun is included, the particle 'ia' is either prefixed or suffixed on the noun to mark its status as either subject or object respectively. For example:

Ex. Arart ianamalaeiu.
ENG: (I) ate lamb.

In this case, the 'ia' acts almost as a placeholder for the word 'I'. Without it, it would be unclear if the speaker had eaten a lamb or if a lamb had eaten something else.

Complex Phrases
In sentences where it can be unclear where the subject ends and the object begins, the particle 'ni' can provide a divider of sorts.

Arart si jira ibon s'isla ni lilek.
ar-art si jira ibon si isla ni lilek
PAST-eat ADJ fast bird ADJ red S/O worm
"The red bird quickly ate the worm."

Alternatively, the verb can be placed in between the subject and object:

Ibon s'isla arart si jira lilek.

Samples
Nun jaigu namaonaannir nauuaka mahal io al atuimunnir akuraka io.
nun jaigu namao-naa-nnir nauuaka mahal io al namao-imu-nnir akuraka io.
in beginning past.HON-have-PERF humanity language one and past.HON-share-PERF speech one.
"In the beginning, humanity had one language and shared one speech."
"In the beginning man had one language and a common speech." (orig.)

FULL TEXT:
Nau Atos nun Babil

Nun jaigu namaonaannir nauuaka mahal io al atuimunnir akuraka io. Jaeio atujenttahullen kae nauu, arhaesen iairuta nun Jinar al atukaran iaakkar. Atuaento iaiollo, "Kuaeio, guuriuaiat taio kae raku al fiiraiat maehara ianiia." I'Atungaejun niia kkosa harutu raku, al uanot ni lujen niia. "Kuaeio, iikrag taio akiran ikae mismo'til, ija naa iaatos ija kkaoien nun laeta, lurag iiran kabal-yaizmo al ikaiarion ti nun kabal kkarguua'il."

Nnae Iahuaeh atuabaji lurag kuhaesen iaakiran atos'ir ija kae nauu atugarumien. Atuaento Iahuaeh, "Illaemt taioaka niia, al aita amlan mahal niaa. Arkauafiae niia i jaeio kani niia. Taakalnnae ot kaaua niia kahikaua ija aeriaelan niia. Kuaeio, aabajiat taio, al kuuloaru mahal niia, lurag kiaeiajunnae.

Al ikaatuiarion Iahuaeh niia kalim akkar nun kabal uilu kkarguua'il, al gariarumil iaarkiran. Ttuua Babil jaruun nil - aiil akkar atukuloaru Iahuaeh mahal kkarguua uilu'il. Kalim akkar, ikaatuiarion iaIahuaeh nun kabal uilu kkarguua'il.
The translation of the passage that I used was:
The Tower of Babel

In the beginning man had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. Yahweh said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So Yahweh scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel – because there Yahweh confused the language of the whole world. From there Yahweh scattered them over the face of the earth.
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Sankon » Thu 12 Aug 2010, 16:04

Great work so far! Here are a few (often nit-picky) comments. OK, not a few. But here goes.
Ilaeriu wrote:Image
I see that you have /b t k/, an unusual system of plosives. You also mentioned that /b/ only occurs mid-word, I assume from lenition of /p/ intervocalicaly. However, /t/ and /k/ do not appear to lenite intervocalicaly, so it seems unrealistic. I myself am working on something with a strange series of plosives /p t d g t_h k_h/, so I give a diachronic explanation as to why the system is unbalanced (/N/ became /g/, /l/ became /d/, /p_h/ merged with /f/, and /k/ merged with /x/ intervocalicaly and /k_h/ word-initially). The trick to making an unbalanced phoneme inventory seem real is an explanation of why it's so strange.

Is <ae> = <æ>? I don't see <æ> anywhere, but I do see some <ae>...

[quote-"Ilaeriu"]/j/ and /w/ are considered short vowels. The second vowel in clusters such as "ao", "ai", etc., are also considered short. It is important to remember here that the nucleus vowel remains 'ordinary' length.[/quote]

Your ""short" vowels are semivowels (you can analyze /ai/ as [aj] etc.).
Ilaeriu wrote:• /k/ and /k'/ exist as allophonic variants of /x/ and /x'/ respectively, which is why they are represented with identical orthography
• /t/ and /t'/ are in a similar situation as the above
• the /h/ sound is often omitted or weakened
In what environments do these occur?
Ilaeriu wrote:the base root may be used for the imperative, when accompanied with 'you'. (Art > Food. Art jau > Eat!)
Does that differ from "you (are) food"? How?
Ilaeriu wrote:Tense
There are five tenses in Aentoui: remote past, past, present, future, and remote future. All tense modifiers are prefixed onto the verb.

Image
When would you use the past, remote past, future, remote future? Remoteness is relative, give us some guidelines.

What is "=double vowel=" and "=double vowel-ri-"?
Ilaeriu wrote:Aspect and Mood
There are six aspects and four moods in Aentoui. Both are always suffixed. Should a verb be inflected with both aspect and mood, the aspect is suffixed first, followed by the mood. They don't drastically change forms when inflecting for politeness, unlike the tenses. More information on politeness below.

Image
What is the "incomplete cessative"?What about voices? (passive, antipassive, middle, active, etc.). Are they shown through syntax or other devices? Are they not here at all?

Do verbs conjugate for personal agreement?
Ilaeriu wrote:First Tongue utilizes a fairly strict VSO (verb-subject-object) order. Phrases are connected and separated using conjunctions.

A proper sentence really only requires a verb. Oftentimes the participating nouns are taken from context.

Ex. Arart.
ENG: (I) ate.

If only one noun is included, the particle 'ia' is either prefixed or suffixed on the noun to mark its status as either subject or object respectively. For example:

Ex. Arart ianamalaeiu.
ENG: (I) ate lamb.

In this case, the 'ia' acts almost as a placeholder for the word 'I'. Without it, it would be unclear if the speaker had eaten a lamb or if a lamb had eaten something else.
Could you elaborate? You mentioned it marks the status of a noun as subject or object, but that still leaves ambiguity.
Ilaeriu wrote:Complex Phrases
In sentences where it can be unclear where the subject ends and the object begins, the particle 'ni' can provide a divider of sorts.

Arart si jira ibon s'isla ni lilek.
ar-art si jira ibon si isla ni lilek
PAST-eat ADJ fast bird ADJ red S/O worm
"The red bird quickly ate the worm."

Alternatively, the verb can be placed in between the subject and object:

Ibon s'isla arart si jira lilek.
Wouldn't the first sentence be "Jira si arart ibon s'isla ni lilek" (you mentioned adverbs come before their verb)? And the second "Ibon s'isla jira si arart lilek"? Also, what happens to the meaning of the sentence if the verb is in that position? Does it stress the subject?
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Ilaeriu » Thu 12 Aug 2010, 16:52

Nice to see feedback! I'll try to answer all your questions. :mrgreen:
Sankon wrote: I see that you have /b t k/, an unusual system of plosives. You also mentioned that /b/ only occurs mid-word, I assume from lenition of /p/ intervocalicaly. However, /t/ and /k/ do not appear to lenite intervocalicaly, so it seems unrealistic. I myself am working on something with a strange series of plosives /p t d g t_h k_h/, so I give a diachronic explanation as to why the system is unbalanced (/N/ became /g/, /l/ became /d/, /p_h/ merged with /f/, and /k/ merged with /x/ intervocalicaly and /k_h/ word-initially). The trick to making an unbalanced phoneme inventory seem real is an explanation of why it's so strange.

Is <ae> = <æ>? I don't see <æ> anywhere, but I do see some <ae>...
Yes, I've been told :D Although I realize now that b would be odd, since I don't have any other voiced consonants. I just don't like the sound of stops in general, but I added those because no stops is unrealistic.
And you lost me at "lenite intervocalicaly". :D Sorry, but I'm no linguist, could I get that in English? Thanks. LOL.
Oh, yeah, <ae> = <æ>, I was just too lazy to put in the proper symbol. :P
Your ""short" vowels are semivowels (you can analyze /ai/ as [aj] etc.).
Ah, okay, thanks! I'll note that.
In what environments do these occur?
Mainly the stops come when the consonant is word initial, but I haven't set very exact rules for it yet. Anyway, they're supposed to be allophonic to native ears.
Ilaeriu wrote: Does that differ from "you (are) food"? How?
Yes, because "you (are) food" is "Jau art". If you wanted to be backwards and say "food is you," you could say "Aita art jau." Aita is the copula, but it's only necessary to use it in situations like this where clarifications would be needed.
Ilaeriu wrote: When would you use the past, remote past, future, remote future? Remoteness is relative, give us some guidelines.

What is "=double vowel=" and "=double vowel-ri-"?
The ordinary past and future can be used for any given date in the past and future. Just like how you can use -ed for "Dinosaurs hunted" and "Uncle Jerry hunted".
You're right, remoteness is relative, so it's usually at the discretion of the speaker when to use it. Most often it's for emphasis - emphasis that the event is/was really far away.
In the example text below, the remote past is only used in the first sentence of the passage. Throughout the rest, the ordinary past is used, even though the events took place at the same time. So it's also rather flexible that way.

Oh, oops. You can see those *s - I had the explanation in the document but forgot to post it. That's the doubling of the first nucleus vowel in the word. For example, the verb "kula" (get): in the future tense, would be "kuula"; in the polite future, would be "kuriula".
Ilaeriu wrote: What is the "incomplete cessative"?What about voices? (passive, antipassive, middle, active, etc.). Are they shown through syntax or other devices? Are they not here at all?

Do verbs conjugate for personal agreement?
An action or task that was completed unfinished. I'm not exactly sure how to show the voices yet, but its on my list of things to work out :mrgreen: As you might be able to tell it's still very much a work in progress.

And no, they don't.
Ilaeriu wrote: Could you elaborate? You mentioned it marks the status of a noun as subject or object, but that still leaves ambiguity.
Oh, it's suffixed if it's a noun and prefixed if it's an object. It's almost like it's a "placeholder" for the unsaid part of the sentence.
Ilaeriu wrote: Wouldn't the first sentence be "Jira si arart ibon s'isla ni lilek" (you mentioned adverbs come before their verb)? And the second "Ibon s'isla jira si arart lilek"? Also, what happens to the meaning of the sentence if the verb is in that position? Does it stress the subject?
Oops, no. I meant to change the section on adverbs, because I realized it would create some sort of ambiguity if it came before the verb. You see, if the verb is moved to the middle (like in the example) it might have been unclear if the adjective was describing the verb or the subject, even with the 'si'.

And yes, it does.

Anyway, thanks for reading through all that! :mrgreen: I'll be posting and updating as things get more concrete!
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by sangi39 » Thu 12 Aug 2010, 17:18

Ilaeriu wrote:And you lost me at "lenite intervocalicaly". :D Sorry, but I'm no linguist, could I get that in English? Thanks. LOL.
Well, "intervocalically" means "between vowels", which is the easy part.

Lenition in this context means the changing of one sound into another sound further up what is known as the "sonority hierarchy". For example, a plosive is the "strongest" kind of sound, but oddly at the bottom of the sonority hierarchy, above this are affricates, then fricatives, followed by nasals, then "liquids", then high vowels, then mid vowels, then low vowels. In other words, when a sound becomes lenites, it becomes "weaker" or "more sonorous". Voiceless sounds are also "stronger" and less sonorous than voiced ones. Wikipedia has a nice article about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenition.
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Ilaeriu » Thu 12 Aug 2010, 17:41

Ah, I see. Thanks!

So, to answer the question, /t/ and /k/ actually lenite intervocalicaly, as you put it. I replied later that /t/ and /k/ normally appear word initial while /T/ and /x/ tend to appear more median and final.
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Sankon » Thu 12 Aug 2010, 18:49

Where did /p/ go?
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Golahet » Thu 12 Aug 2010, 23:08

Ilaeriu wrote:The usage of <g> and <j> is simply for convenience when typing on a keyboard. The proper orthography should be the IPA symbol for /N/ (the hooked n) and the S-cedilla respectively, neither of which the board seems to render properly.
"ŋ" works well for me. "ş Ş Ŋ" too.

Ilaeriu wrote:Aentoui grammarians recognize three vowel lengths: short, ordinary, and long. Our linguists, however, would probably prefer to categorize the "short" vowel as a diphthong.

Any given syllable can have up to three vowels (see Sylllable below). /j/ and /w/ are considered short vowels. The second vowel in clusters such as "ao", "ai", etc., are also considered short.
That means that the "short vowels" are non-syllabic (and diphthong-forming, but not diphthongs themselves).

Ilaeriu wrote:Long vowels are represented by doubling the nucleus vowel. The pronunciation of this varies between the various schools of language study, but there are two most commonly accepted ways. The first is holding the vowel length for double the amount of time, showing the difference by changing the pitch from the first vowel to the second. The second method is by inserting a light glottal stop between the two ordinary vowels. It is important to remember here that only two of the same ordinary-length vowels = one long vowel.
This sounds like it isn't vowel-length, but a vowel cluster, with an optional epenthetic glottal stop between them. For ordinary vowel-length changing the amount of time would be enough.

Ilaeriu wrote:(C)(*r,l,w,y)V(V)(C**)(C***)

**Has to be a nasal, unless the second consonant is a fricative. The nasal shifts to the position of the second consonant.
Does this mean that a coda cluster can be either any nasal + any consonant (except those listed) and any fricative + any nasal? Or that it could be either any nasal + any consonant (except those listed) and any fricative + any consonant (...), and if any consonant + any nasal would happen due to morphological reasons, then it is resolved by metathesis?

Ilaeriu wrote:Stress
Is stress phonemic for words with less than four syllables?

How is stress phonetically realized? (E.g. for my conlang, stress is marked by having high tone on the stressed syllable and make the vowel longer (but not that much longer that long vowels are in a language with phonemic vowel length), and having mid tone on all unstressed syllables except the syllable directly following the stressed syllable which instead have low tone. That's a phonetic description of the stress.)

Ilaeriu wrote:Misc.
• <b> can only be in a medial consonant position except for rare occurences (e.g. loanwords)
Word-internally?

Ilaeriu wrote:• /k/ and /k'/ exist as allophonic variants of /x/ and /x'/ respectively, which is why they are represented with identical orthography
• /t/ and /t'/ are in a similar situation as the above
What is the contexts for the allophones? Fricatives in codas and plosives in onsets? Or something else?


Some of this might have been asked and answered already, but I have to go, no time to read more now.
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Ilaeriu » Fri 13 Aug 2010, 15:07

Mahal wrote:"ŋ" works well for me. "ş Ş Ŋ" too.
Odd. Anyway, I'm way too lazy to use the proper orthography :D While I prefer the look of those characters as opposed to <g> and <j>, I suppose functionality wins the day.
That means that the "short vowels" are non-syllabic (and diphthong-forming, but not diphthongs themselves).
This sounds like it isn't vowel-length, but a vowel cluster, with an optional epenthetic glottal stop between them. For ordinary vowel-length changing the amount of time would be enough.[/quot]

Ah, I see. I'll edit those then.
Does this mean that a coda cluster can be either any nasal + any consonant (except those listed) and any fricative + any nasal? Or that it could be either any nasal + any consonant (except those listed) and any fricative + any consonant (...), and if any consonant + any nasal would happen due to morphological reasons, then it is resolved by metathesis?
No, it can't be simply any nasal. It can be any consonant, but the nasal preceding it must be located at the location of the second consonant. (e.g. it has to be "saugk", not "saumk".) (While writing this, I noticed that my word for time violates this rule. No wonder it never sounded right to me. Editing! >:D)
Actually, your question's made me think, and I think I said it wrong. I'm having trouble explaining myself though, but I'll try. It should be:

Codas (this means final consonant cluster, right?) can only be:
nasal + plosive (both in same location)
any non-fricative + fricative
r + any consonant except l
l + any consonant except r

Palatalized consonants and /h/ cannot be word-final.
Is stress phonemic for words with less than four syllables?

How is stress phonetically realized? (E.g. for my conlang, stress is marked by having high tone on the stressed syllable and make the vowel longer (but not that much longer that long vowels are in a language with phonemic vowel length), and having mid tone on all unstressed syllables except the syllable directly following the stressed syllable which instead have low tone. That's a phonetic description of the stress.)
It can be, but it's not that common.

I'm not exactly sure how to describe the stress... To be honest I didn't realize that it was done differently in other languages. I suppose the tone goes up slightly and the vowel is held longer than usual.
Word-internally?
Yes, but I'm thinking about taking this rule out :D
What is the contexts for the allophones? Fricatives in codas and plosives in onsets? Or something else?


Some of this might have been asked and answered already, but I have to go, no time to read more now.
Actually, it was just this one question that was answered already, but you guessed it right :( Fricatives in codas (and word-internally) and plosives in onsets - as a general rule, but nothing to definite. It often changes from region to region and even speaker to speaker.

Thanks for all that! Sorry if I misunderstood/misused some of the finer linguistic terms.
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Sankon » Fri 13 Aug 2010, 19:39

A coda doesn't have to be a consonant cluster: it can also be just a single consonant.

e.g. "gik" has an onset "g", nucleus "i", and a coda "k".
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Golahet » Sat 14 Aug 2010, 17:24

Ilaeriu wrote:Nouns
Nouns are the basic building blocks of Aentoui. They form the basis for most other words in the language. Meaning, many verbs are simply conjugated forms of a noun. (Compare halum, sewing needle, and atalum, sewing or knitting.)

Verbs
As said above, most verbs are derived from nouns, although naturally there are exceptions where there is no logical noun to derive it from or there could be possible ambiguity.
Are there some general rules for what a verb should mean in relation to the meaning of the noun? You may find that no choice is obvious. (In my conlang every noun means "{verb}er", and every verb means "is/am/are (a) {noun}(s)". Using your example, the noun meaning "sewing needle" in my conlang, when turned into a verb, means "is/am/are (a) sewing needle(s)", and a noun derived from a verb meaning "sew/knit" means "sewer/knitter". To get other words you need to use other affixes independent from the nominalization/verbalization.)

How do you say "a sewer/knitter" in Aentoui?

Does "h{root}" mean "instrument for at{root}ing"?

Ilaeriu wrote:They are inherently singular. Plurality is either taken out of context or ...
Does "context" in this case refer to numerical adjectives and other quantifiers (e.g. "two cat" = "two cats")?

Ilaeriu wrote:All tense modifiers are prefixed onto the verb.
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Oh, oops. You can see those *s - I had the explanation in the document but forgot to post it. That's the doubling of the first nucleus vowel in the word. For example, the verb "kula" (get): in the future tense, would be "kuula"; in the polite future, would be "kuriula".
So, aart and ariart are "will eat"?

Is the "k" in "kula" an affix itself? Otherwise I think that -ri- is an infix rather than a prefix.

Ilaeriu wrote:Image
I guess -iat means that it have high probability but not 100%, since otherwise it is indicative, and that it applies to any tense, otherwise it is combined with tense (I think "will surely occur" suggest otherwise).

arartiat jau halum = "you must have eaten a sewing needle"?
arartfiaeieniat jau halum = "you must have been starting to eat a sewing needle"?

How do you express "maybe" or "may", i.e. undefined for how likely it is?

Ilaeriu wrote:Adjectives (and adverbs)
Like verbs, many adjectives are derived from a root noun. The adjective follows the noun it describes (i.e. head-initial). An intermediary particle "s(i)" is required.

Adjectives are treated much as nouns. Thus, the particle "s(i)" can be much treated as meaning "that is." In addition, words that are normally adjectives in English can stand alone in Aentoui.
Would "houseboat" be "{boat} si {house}", since a houseboat is both a house and a boat?

Ilaeriu wrote:In sentences where it can be unclear where the subject ends and the object begins, the particle 'ni' can provide a divider of sorts.

ar-art si jira ibon si isla ni lilek
PAST-eat ADJ fast bird ADJ red S/O worm
So I guess "s(i)" is only placed between the head noun and the string of adjectives, not repeated for all adjectives? E.g. "a big blue cat" is "{cat} si {blue} {big}" rather than "{cat} si {blue} si {big}"?

Ilaeriu wrote:1st Degree - Ordinary
The ordinary degree is the most widely used ... Because of the nature of the language, this degree has largely fallen out of use.
What does this mean? If two priests or two highly educated people that are friends talk with each other, or to someone with lower rank, would they still use a higher degree?

Ilaeriu wrote:4th Degree - Sacred
The sacred degree is used only when speaking to God. Kings or other heads of state may also enforce that the sacred degree be used when directly addressing them.
How sacred? Would a devout monotheist accept using this degree towards a worldly king? (E.g. I personally would never address the Pope as "Father".) Maybe if I were thrown into your conworld I would use the 3rd degree in that context, and replace the 2nd person pronouns, "you", with phrases as "the king" or "the emperor". Would that be deemed reasonable behavior by your conpeople?

Ilaeriu wrote:First Tongue utilizes a fairly strict VSO (verb-subject-object) order.
Is the language completely head-initial? What I've seen seems to be head-initial: VSO, noun-adjective, verb-adverb.

Are it's adpositions prepositions?

Ilaeriu wrote:If only one noun is included, the particle 'ia' is either prefixed or suffixed on the noun to mark its status as either subject or object respectively. For example:

Ex. Arart ianamalaeiu.
ENG: (I) ate lamb.

In this case, the 'ia' acts almost as a placeholder for the word 'I'. Without it, it would be unclear if the speaker had eaten a lamb or if a lamb had eaten something else.
It looks from this like it acts exactly like a placeholder, as a word or a clitic.

Ilaeriu wrote:No, it can't be simply any nasal. It can be any consonant, but the nasal preceding it must be located at the location of the second consonant. (e.g. it has to be "saugk", not "saumk".)
So a homorganic nasal, then.

Ilaeriu wrote:It can be, but it's not that common.
Then it's phonemic, but with light semantic load.
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Ilaeriu » Sun 15 Aug 2010, 03:43

Sankon wrote:A coda doesn't have to be a consonant cluster: it can also be just a single consonant.

e.g. "gik" has an onset "g", nucleus "i", and a coda "k".
Oh okay then, thanks!
Are there some general rules for what a verb should mean in relation to the meaning of the noun? You may find that no choice is obvious. (In my conlang every noun means "{verb}er", and every verb means "is/am/are (a) {noun}(s)". Using your example, the noun meaning "sewing needle" in my conlang, when turned into a verb, means "is/am/are (a) sewing needle(s)", and a noun derived from a verb meaning "sew/knit" means "sewer/knitter". To get other words you need to use other affixes independent from the nominalization/verbalization.)

How do you say "a sewer/knitter" in Aentoui?

Does "h{root}" mean "instrument for at{root}ing"?
I haven't made any rules yet, but I see that they will be needed. For the ambiguous ones, at least, I've made separate verbs for them. They can also be differentiated by both context and supporting words. Making rules for this, however, is now my priority.

A sewer/knitter is "halumnno", the "-nno" being a suffix meaning "one who...".

Oh, no. I just dropped the 'h' when conjugating because "atahalum" easily turns into "atalum." I should write that rule down somewhere when <h> is concerned...
Ilaeriu wrote:They are inherently singular. Plurality is either taken out of context or ...
Does "context" in this case refer to numerical adjectives and other quantifiers (e.g. "two cat" = "two cats")?

Yes, or in cases where it would be obvious that there are many of the noun question. The word "kae" also marks plurality if needed.
So, aart and ariart are "will eat"?

Is the "k" in "kula" an affix itself? Otherwise I think that -ri- is an infix rather than a prefix.
Yup, you got it!

Oh yes, -ri- is an infix. I should take out the part about 'all' being prefixes, then.
I guess -iat means that it have high probability but not 100%, since otherwise it is indicative, and that it applies to any tense, otherwise it is combined with tense (I think "will surely occur" suggest otherwise).

arartiat jau halum = "you must have eaten a sewing needle"?
arartfiaeieniat jau halum = "you must have been starting to eat a sewing needle"?

How do you express "maybe" or "may", i.e. undefined for how likely it is?
"-iat" is also more like "believing" that it will definitely occur. Often used in a religious context.

Yup, those sentences are almost correct, but "-amli" would be more natural in this sense, because like I said "-iat" is more used in a religious context, which I should have specified.

Maybe or may can also use "-aka".
Would "houseboat" be "{boat} si {house}", since a houseboat is both a house and a boat?
Yes, it could be said like that.

So I guess "s(i)" is only placed between the head noun and the string of adjectives, not repeated for all adjectives? E.g. "a big blue cat" is "{cat} si {blue} {big}" rather than "{cat} si {blue} si {big}"?
Actually, for a string of adjectives, you would use "and". So the phrase would be "{cat} si {blue} ki {big}," or "Nauael si auul ki laka."

What does this mean? If two priests or two highly educated people that are friends talk with each other, or to someone with lower rank, would they still use a higher degree?
Oops, typo :oops: . No they would use the first degree, but this is mainly a ceremonial language and the causal degree has largely fallen out of use right now. Go back a couple thousand years in my conculture's history and two priests would use the first degree when conversing with one another, or to people of a lower rank.
Actually, now that you mention it, the first degree would be used during ceremonies when speaking to lower ranked people, but proclamations to a general crowd are often done in the second degree to be polite. Even priests or high-ranked people use a higher degree when speaking to elderly people below their rank.

How sacred? Would a devout monotheist accept using this degree towards a worldly king? (E.g. I personally would never address the Pope as "Father".) Maybe if I were thrown into your conworld I would use the 3rd degree in that context, and replace the 2nd person pronouns, "you", with phrases as "the king" or "the emperor". Would that be deemed reasonable behavior by your conpeople?
Depends on which culture. Most of the citizens actually would not accept this, but a tyrant king who is rather arrogant would probably insist on this, seeing as it is his "divine right". Sort of like how "your Majesty" and "majestic" used to be only words applied to God, until divine right kings began using it to style themselves.
But the more benevolent, devout kings don't practice this, and insist only on the third degree, as is their right.

Is the language completely head-initial? What I've seen seems to be head-initial: VSO, noun-adjective, verb-adverb.

Are it's adpositions prepositions?
Yes to both.
So a homorganic nasal, then.
If that's the right term for it then yes :)

Then it's phonemic, but with light semantic load.
Ah, okay then.
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Re: Mahal s'Aentoui (First real conlang, feedback appreciate

Post by Golahet » Mon 23 Aug 2010, 10:26

Ilaeriu wrote:In sentences where it can be unclear where the subject ends and the object begins, the particle 'ni' can provide a divider of sorts.

ar-art si jira ibon si isla ni lilek
PAST-eat ADJ fast bird ADJ red S/O worm
Ilaeriu wrote:Actually, for a string of adjectives, you would use "and". So the phrase would be "{cat} si {blue} ki {big}," or "Nauael si auul ki laka."
When would it be ambiguous without the "ni"?

What does "arart si jira ibon si isla lilek" mean?
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