Okay, I haven't posted anything con-related in ages
so I thought I might make a development thread for Proto-Hyalim. So far there's not much... I've been having trouble deciding what I want to do with this language. I've been redoing the most basic things for ages now, but seeing as I want to develop a family from this proto-language I thought it was time to do
Anyway, ask and comment away—just keep in mind that I might not be able to answer them
. I only have a basic idea of a few things. The case system, for instance, is still in development but I would still appreciate any comments that might help me develop it further.
The traditional reconstruction of Proto-Hyảlim consists of seven short vowels, five long vowels and two diphthongs. The low vowels */ɛ/ and */ɔ/ are theorized to have been realized as *[æ] and *[ɒ] by some scholars, seeing as they pattern with */a/ and */aː/.
/i iː u uː/ <i ỉ u ủ
/e eː o oː/ <e ẻ o ỏ
/ɛ a aː ɔ/ <ĕ a ả ŏ
/a͡i a͡u/ <ai au
Proto-Hyảlim is usually reconstructed as having a consonant inventory consisting of 19 separate phonemes. Despite being a very marginal phoneme—only occurring in a handful of reconstructed words—the phoneme */ŋ/ is never left out of reconstructions. There are a few phonemes some scholars choose to leave out, especially the three-way distinction of dental, alveolar and retroflex articulation in the coronals. The reason for this is the lack of evidence pointing towards there ever being one, seeing as Proto-Hyảlim is unwritten. The only daughter language to have retained this presumed three-way distinction is the extinct language Ayi
. It has been argued that the three-way distinction is an innovation of Ayi rather than something inherited directly from Proto-Hyảlim. We will choose to ignore this theory and go with the majority; we will assume that Proto-Hyảlim actually possessed this three-way distinction.
/m n̪ n ɳ ŋ/ <m nh n ņ ŋ
/p t̪ t ʈ k/ <p th t ţ k
/θ s h/ <z s h
/ɾ ɽ/ <r ŗ
/w l ɭ j/ <w l ļ y
The onset was optional in Proto-Hyảlim. It could consist of a single consonant or a consonant cluster. There were no restrictions regarding which consonant could appear in the onset, even though *ŋ appeared sparsely. However, there were restrictions regarding onset cluster. We have chosen to use the symbol G
to describe the second element in the optional onset cluster simply because the glides *y and *w were the most common element, mainly because they could cluster with almost anything. The only exceptions were the retroflexes. They couldn't cluster with the glides; they could only cluster with *ŗ and *ļ. However, only *ţ and *ņ could do this; the other two retroflexes could only appear on their own in the syllable onset.The nucleus
The nucleus was simple in Proto-Hyảlim; it could be any vowel, long or short. However, the diphthongs were restricted to open syllable. This often caused syllable-final diphthongs to monophthongize during suffixation. *ai
were monopthongized to *ĕ
, respectively.The coda
Unlike the onset, the coda in Proto-Hyảlim was severely restricted to only a handful of consonants. It often had to harmonize with the following syllable's onset consonant or consonant cluster. In other words, one could say that there were two archiphonemes; *T and *N. This means that the coronals had to assimilate with the following syllable's onset. In other words, even if the root ends in *ţ, it would have to assimilate to *t if an added suffix begins with *n. Essentially, the syllable coda was restricted to having the three coronals (both nasal and plosive), *z, *s, *k and *m.Stress
The stress in Proto-Hyảlim is believed to have been very simple and regular. Most native roots appear to have had primary stress on the penultimate syllable. Compounds received primary stress on the primary element and secondary stress on the secondary element.
Proto-Hyảlim nouns possessed a class distinction consisting of animate and inanimate nouns, as well as an abstract or elemental class. Nouns of this type included body parts and abstract concepts like fear as well as words like *ỉma
"water" and *nhaz
"fire".Definite and number
The indefinite plural is marked as a suffix which varied depending on the class or gender of the noun. Abstract (or elemental) nouns were marked using the suffix -k
, while animate nouns utilized the suffix -z
and inanimate nouns -s
The definite singular is marked using the suffix -ra
for animate nouns, using -na
for inanimate nouns and -ya for abstract nouns.ANIMATE*kahĕ
*kahĕra "the fish"INANIMATE*katri
*kahĕri "the fish"
*katrina "the net"ELEMENTAL*lảrau
*katrini "the nets"
*lảrauya "the heart"
*lảrauyi "the hearts"
Fun fact: Several of Proto-Hyảlims descendants would later add the plural suffixes to the definite plural forms as well through the use of analogy.Case
Proto-Hyảlim had a case system consisting of six different cases: the nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, locative and instrumental. Each case usually had more than one role and the function of these cases were sometimes dependent on the class of the noun in question. For instance, the genitive when used with the post-position zĕ
marked the origin of animate and abstract nouns; lảrauţu zĕ
"of the heart". The origin of inanimate nouns used the same procedure only substituting the genitive case for the locative case; hảwan zĕ
"of the earth/ground".
The case suffixes followed the number/definite suffixes. An epenthetic -e
- was inserted between the plural suffix and the case suffix.
• The nominative marked the subject of transitive and intransitive verbs. Impersonal verbs were required to carry a dummy verb which was marked using the dummy pronoun nara
in its nominative form.
• The accusative marked the object of transitive verbs. Impersonal and intransitive verbs required a subject and an object. This was achieved through the use of the dummy pronoun narath
in its dative, probably from the old accusative form.
• The genitive marked the possession of all nouns, as in "The man's (GEN) child". It also marked the origin of animate and elemental nouns alongside the post-position zĕ
• The dative marked the indirect object of a ditransitive verb. It was also used to mark possession of nouns in the sense of "having" something alongside the post-position mu, roughly translated as 'of' in glosses:
kyảraņi mu lảrau
kyả-ra-ņi mu lảrau
child-DEF-DAT of heart
The child has a heart
• The locative marked the general location of things with the use of postpositions meaning "in", "at/on" and so on. it also marked the origin of inanimate nouns alongside the post-position zĕ
• The instrumental marked the instrument of an action, company and the subject of
causative constructions or ditransitive verbs. Personal pronouns
The pronouns of Proto-Hyảlim were only marked for the nominative, genitive and dative. It is believed that that the other cases merged with the nominative and the genitive in Pre-Proto-Hyảlim. The nominative behaved like a nominative, accusative and instrumental, while the genitive behaved like a genitive and locative. The dative only took on the usual functions of a dative case, except for when the 3rd
person pronoun was used as a dummy pronoun in intransitive and impersonal construction. In other words it is theorized that the 3rd
person merged the accusative with the dative instead of the nominative.1st person
SINGULAR | PLURAL2nd person
NOM: ra | raz
GEN: rin | rinaz
DAT: yuri | yuraz
SINGULAR | PLURAL3rd person
NOM: ai | ayĕz
GEN: anả | anĕz
DAT: ya | yanaz
SINGULAR | PLURAL
NOM: nara | naraz
GEN: na | naz
DAT: narath | naraz