Porphyrogenitos' scratchpad and intermittent glossolalia

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DesEsseintes
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Re: Porphyrogenitos' scratchpad and intermittent glossolalia

Post by DesEsseintes »

Porphyrogenitos wrote: 31 Oct 2018 22:17 ajidá lavyéki ‘the old city’
ajidá e savyéki ‘the city is old’
anachidá ‘to some cities’

mbáza mvyéki ‘an old sparrow’
anopáza novyéki ‘to some old sparrows’
opáza so novyéki ‘the sparrows are old’

evyéki ‘the old one’
dumvyéki ‘of an old one’
anovyéki ‘to some old ones’

etené savyéki ‘she becomes old’
sémbya sevyéki 'he seems old’
Nice. Latin meets Bantu. [:D]
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Re: Porphyrogenitos' scratchpad and intermittent glossolalia

Post by Porphyrogenitos »

A cross between an artlang and an "oligosynthetic" engelang.

Phonology

/m n ŋ/ <m n ng>
/p t ts tʃ k/ <p t ts ch k>
/b d dz dʒ g/ <b d dz j g>
/f θ s ʃ x/ <f th s sh kh>
/v ð z ʒ ɣ/ <v dh z zh gh>
/l ɾ w j/ <l r w y>

/a e i o u ə/ <a e i o u ë>
/ai̯ au̯ eu̯ oi̯/ <ai au eu oi>

Stress is phrase-final. On all but the stressed syllable, vowels undergo the following reduction chain:

a > ə
e o > i u
oi̯ eu̯ > i u
ai̯ au̯ > e o

This is not shown in the orthography, however.

The "fun" thing about this language is that all roots are strictly (C)V, meaning there are only 270 possible phonemically-distinct roots. The goal isn't necessarily to have an oligosynthetic language, as there will be homophony, but I will be trying to get by with relatively few roots.

There is one possible coda, an archiphonemic nasal /N/ that assimilates in place to following consonant and is realized as [ŋ] before a pause. It is spelled <n>. Its role will be discussed below.

Pronouns

There are only three basic personal pronouns, one for each person.

1: la
2: mo
3: si

Each can be optionally reduplicated to specify plural number, but ordinarily number is left to context.

Morphosyntax

Phonologically speaking, there are only two real morphological operations: reduplication and suffixation of /N/. However, these each instantiate different morphological operations depending on word class.

Reduplication marks a causative on verbs. Thus, to 'die', when reduplicated, becomes toto [tuˈto] 'kill'. On nouns, as in pronouns, reduplication serves to optionally specify plural number, though it may often be more interpretable as 'a group of X' rather than a simple grammaticalized plural.

On transitive verbs, -n marks both a passive and a reflexive, semantically similar to the Spanish se reflexive. In many cases, such as with animates, its interpretation is ambiguous between the two. E.g. mo toton [mutuˈtoŋ] could mean 'you kill yourself' or 'you are killed', somewhat similar in ambiguity to the English you got yourself killed. Inanimate subjects generally preclude a reflexive interpretation, e.g. tse raran 'the rock was broken' , while imperatives generally preclude a passive interpretation e.g. toton! 'kill yourself!'

On pronouns and nouns, -n marks a genitive, possessive, or associative, e.g. lan va 'my/our tongue', which is also the name of the language, with va also being 'language'.
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Re: Porphyrogenitos' scratchpad and intermittent glossolalia

Post by Porphyrogenitos »

An amusing system of initial mutations. Ultimately, in the modern variety, only non-nasal obstruents show mutations, though /m/ and /n/ historically had mutations, so their development is shown, too.

There is the unmutated grade, a mutated grade that originated as a geminated grade (triggered by complete assimilation of some preceding segment), and a nasal grade. The modern mutation system:

Unmutated / Mutated / Nasal

Code: Select all

ɸ	p	ɸ
θ	t	θ
x	k	x
p	ɸ	m
t	θ	n
k	x	ŋ
The historical development:

Stage 1

Unmutated / Mutated / Nasal

Code: Select all

p	pp	mp
t	tt	nt
k	kk	ŋk
b	bb	mb
d	dd	nd
g	gg	ŋg
m	mm	mm
n	nn	nn

Stage 2

Unmutated / Mutated / Nasal

Code: Select all

ɸ	pp	mb
θ	tt	nd
x	kk	ŋg
p	bb	mm
t	dd	nn
k	gg	ŋŋ
m	mm	mm
n	nn	nn

Stage 3

Unmutated / Mutated / Nasal

Code: Select all

ɸ	p	b
θ	t	d
x	k	g
p	b	m
t	d	n
k	g	ŋ
m	m	m
n	n	n

Stage 4

Unmutated / Mutated / Nasal

Code: Select all

ɸ	p	β
θ	t	ð
x	k	ɣ
p	β	m
t	ð	n
k	ɣ	ŋ
m	m	m
n	n	n

Stage 5 (modern)

Unmutated / Mutated / Nasal

Code: Select all

ɸ	p	ɸ
θ	t	θ
x	k	x
p	ɸ	m
t	θ	n
k	x	ŋ
m	m	m
n	n	n
Some varieties show distinct reflexes for the mutated grade of historic /b d g/ and for the nasal grade of historic /p t k/.
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Re: Porphyrogenitos' scratchpad and intermittent glossolalia

Post by Porphyrogenitos »

A system of allocutive agreement - "a morphological feature in which the gender of an addressee is marked overtly in an utterance using fully grammaticalized markers even if the addressee is not referred to in the utterance".

This would be part of a language in which every utterance would explicitly encode the sex of the speaker, addressee, and referent (in some manner or another). This system does most of the work with the "addressee" part. I have not decided on many details of the language, but the forms are essentially arbitrary - I am envisioning it in a kind of Afroasiatic context, so I will suppose that the forms -s and -t and derived from Arabic sayyid (or another Semitic cognate) and the Afroasiatic feminine -t (perhaps reduced from a feminine version of the former).

In this language, every word in the language is explicitly marked for sex/gender with a final unstressed vowel - /ə/ for masculines, /i/ for feminines. Stress is uniformly penultimate. All verbs (at least every finite/full verb) take one of three allocutive forms that agree with the sex of the addressee, which also have an honorific function for some speaker-addressee dyads. The historic source of these forms were, in fact, honorific particles, and in previous stages of the language they did, indeed, have more of an honorific function. The language also has further systems of honorifics encoded into the pronominal and verbal agreement systems, as well as various honorific particles (all of which are also gendered).

The three allocutive forms are:

null
-s masculine
-t feminine


They are suffixed after the final unstressed vowel of the verb.

I will explain the function of each form in each possible male/female dyad.

Male speaker, male addressee

Between two male speakers, the allocutive suffixes retain a significant honorific function.



This is the intimate form. The null form is used for address between brothers and close male relatives of roughly equal age. Depending on the situation and the circumstance of the individual relationship, it may be used in address between a father and son. It is used between close male friends, and between male acquaintances in highly casual contexts (compare a male English speaker addressing a male stranger or acquaintance as "buddy"). Moving from the -s form to the null form is often considered (whether explicitly remarked upon or not) a special moment in a male friendship.

Until the early 20th century, was used by superiors to address inferiors. Modern usage requires "equal" use of allocutive forms.

-s

The honorific form for men. Used to address respected male relatives and male strangers and coworkers. Used in professional and formal contexts, e.g. in a court of law all or a legislative proceeding males address each other with the -s allocutive form.

-t

Would normally be understood as ungrammatical. If used intentionally, may be seen as an attempt to mock or emasculate. In the gay subculture, may be used by men to address each other, often with a sarcastic tone. (Compare English speaking gay men referring to a man as "Miss So-and-so")


Male speaker, female addressee



Does not normally appear in speech. If a male second-language learner used this form to address a woman, it would elicit a correction and an awkward or uncomfortable response (at best). If used intentionally in direct address, it is considered extremely degrading and offensive, perhaps comparable to calling a woman "cunt" or "cow" in English. It carries a desexing and dehumanizing connotation that goes above and beyond most gendered insults - even when calling a woman a whore, or catcalling a woman, men use the feminine -t form.

-s

Ungrammatical; though very rarely might be used to depict a woman as domineering or mannish"; e.g. in (fabricated) quoted speech, depicting a henpecked man as addressing his wife with -s forms.

-t

The essentially obligatory feminine form used in address by men to women, save for the uncommon exceptions outlined above.

Though having passed out of living memory long ago, historical documents show that the -t form was originally honorific in nature, and was used by men to address respected female relatives and high-status women, with the null form being used for intimates.


Female speaker, male addressee



Not used to address adult men. May be used to address male infants or very young boys. Use for adult men would simply be perceived as ungrammatical.

-s

Normal, essentially grammatically obligatory use for females addressing males.

-t

Ungrammatical, unless a woman is attempting to insult and emasculate a man by addressing him as if he were a woman. May be used in the gay subculture by females to address close gay male friends, compare to an English-speaking fag hag addressing her friend as "girl", or, ahem, "gurl". Like this English usage, it may be considered cringey and unacceptable.


Female speaker, female addressee



May be used by female intimates; perceived as extremely casual and unladylike; "improper" and considered prescriptively ungrammatical. May be used to emphasize "lower class", "street-smart", "badass" identity. Most women rarely or never use this form to address another woman; some women wouldn't be caught dead addressing another woman this way and would be quite offended if addressed in this manner. Would sound laughable and incongruous coming from the mouth of e.g. an elderly matron or a princess.

However, some elderly rural women recall that when growing up, it was normal for young women to address each other with the null form, and would switch to the -t form upon marriage.

-s

Normally ungrammatical and essentially unheard of; though may be used in the lesbian subculture to address "butch" or "manly" women.

-t

The normal, essentially obligatory form for a female addressing another female.

As recently in the 19th century, however, in some dialects the -t form was restricted to respected female relatives and high-status women.


Group address

The masculine form, -s, is always used in address to mixed-sex groups. -t forms are only used if the group is all female. For a male group of mixed status/intimacy, men use the -s form. On an occasion when a man is addressing a group of intimates, the null form may be used.

Undirected speech

The polite masculine form -s is used by default in newspapers, academic and government writing, TV broadcasts, signage and public announcements, etc, unless women are assumed to be the primary or sole readers/audience (e.g. a women's magazine or column).

In literary writing, the -s form is most common, but writers have extensive freedom in this matter. A writer may e.g. use the null form to give the impression of a male narrator who is close friends with the (presumed male) reader; the writer may also use the -t form to give the impression that the narrator assumes the reader to be female. Speakers have extensive metalinguistic competence in the various forms; a woman will not be offended if she picks up a book and reads a null form. Speakers may play with the forms and use them to disguise their own identity and that of their addressee; e.g. the classic conceit of a woman who writes to her male lover using the -t form to make it look like she is writing to a close female friend to anyone who happens upon the letters; or a closeted gay man who emails or speaks on the phone with his boyfriend using -t forms to make it appear that he is straight and addressing a girlfriend.
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Re: Porphyrogenitos' scratchpad and intermittent glossolalia

Post by Porphyrogenitos »

Speculating about an IE lang that underwent significant collapse/reshuffling of phonemic contrasts, inspired by the defective encoding of Mycenaean Greek.

I'm thinking:
  • centum, with secondary palatalization, like Greek
  • all three PIE stop series collapse into one, like Tocharian (apparently?)
  • PIE /d/ and /dh/ reflected as new /l/, implying that plain voiced and voiced aspirates first merged, then /d/ > /l/, then voiced/voiceless merger
  • /r/ and original PIE /l/ merge, after a RUKI-type change producing a /ʃ/
  • maybe original /s/ > /h/ in many positions, like Greek, followed by /ʃ/ > /s/?
  • loss of final stops
  • simplification of word-initial and word-medial consonant clusters by deletion and epenthesis - syllable structure not quite reduced to (C)V(C)
  • typical laryngeal outcomes, idk
  • I really can never remember anything about IE verbal morphology so I don't know what happens there
PIE *gʷḗn might end up as something pleasingly irregular, like nom. s. kʷéna (or kʷénas?), acc. s. kʷénan, gen. s. nās (< kʷnās) - or perhaps vocalized to kunā́s.

Assuming both *dyḗws and *deywós have reflexes, like in Latin, they would be something like jōs (with monopthongization) and lewós.
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Re: Porphyrogenitos' scratchpad and intermittent glossolalia

Post by Porphyrogenitos »

I was revisiting an idea about a conlang with a very small, Polynesian-style phoneme inventory and Polynesian-style CV syllables, but with numerous CV bound roots (with significant homophony, often 3+ meanings paired to a (C)V unit) that combine to form all free lexical items, which uniformly take the shape CVCV (save for loans and a few exceptional items) and can form compound lexical items - though only a maximum of two, meaning a maximal word has the form CVCVCVCV.

Thus you could have things like:

ka- 'away from'
te- 'towards'
-ni 'locomote by foot'
-la 'motion of a round object'

kani 'walk away'
kala 'roll away'
teni 'walk towards'
tela 'roll towards'

The new thing I've been thinking about introducing is Rotuman-style metathesis, e.g. in a certain position kanikain, perhaps → kɛn.

Thus in certain positions the structure of lexical items is further obscured, and in some cases kind of looks like a form of ablaut:

kɛn 'walk away'
kal 'roll away'
tejn 'walk towards'
tɛl 'roll towards'

What I'm divided on is exactly where and how the metathesis should happen. My understanding is that in Rotuman it's partially syntactic/prosodic, and partially morphological.

For this language, I kind of want to make it purely syntactic/prosodic, so that it's essentially predictable and doesn't need to be represented in the orthography. I'm thinking of a syllabic orthography. If it was represented in the orthography, I was thinking it could be represented simply by the addition of some kind of mark to the two symbols representing a metathesized CVCV segment.

But it would also be interesting if it played a morphological or morphosyntactic role, too - in fact, I assume that later in the history of the language it would be grammaticalized in this manner.

For now, assuming only a syntactic/prosodic rule, I'm thinking this is how the distribution will work:
  • Metathesis effects bimoraic units, which have the form CVCV.
  • Bimoraic units cannot occur across word boundaries.
  • Bimoraic units are formed from left to right within a word.
  • Therefore, particles (which have the form CV) are never part of a bimoraic unit and are never affected by metathesis.
  • Metathesis occurs to all but the last bimoraic unit in an utterance.
  • Thus, if someone utters a lone metathesized form in a non-vocative, non-quotative context, it is interpreted as an incomplete statement.
  • E.g. kani 'he walks away' (a complete utterance) vs. kɛn 'he walks away, ...' - the latter utterance might prompt the listener to ask what the speaker was going to say.
  • Vocative forms are always metathesized.
  • Lexical items pronounced with list intonation are not metathesized.
  • Speakers are capable to distinguishing between metathesized and non-metathesized form in quoted speech, but a word quoted without the context of speech (i.e. a citation form) is, as with list intonation, always unmetathesized.
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Re: Porphyrogenitos' scratchpad and intermittent glossolalia

Post by Creyeditor »

That looks interesting. Did you know that some linguists entertain(ed) for some Austronesian natlangs? I think I once came across a book that tried such an analysis for Indonesian. I will let you know if I re-find it. As for the metathesis, I think it looks good the way it is. If you want to you could add some phonological conditioning, e.g. certain vowel combinations are not allowed and metathesis is blocked in such contexts.
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Re: Porphyrogenitos' scratchpad and intermittent glossolalia

Post by Davush »

Porphyrogenitos wrote: 27 Nov 2020 06:15

The new thing I've been thinking about introducing is Rotuman-style metathesis, e.g. in a certain position kanikain, perhaps → kɛn.

...

What I'm divided on is exactly where and how the metathesis should happen. My understanding is that in Rotuman it's partially syntactic/prosodic, and partially morphological.

What a coincidence! I was just reading a paper on Rotuman metathesis the other day, and thought it provided good inspiration for Hakuan, although I am planning on it being a grammatical, not only prosodic. I liked your metathesis-gone-even-further with the ablaut kani ~ kɛn...perhaps something similar will happen in a Hakuan descendant if metathesis does become a prominent feature.
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Re: Porphyrogenitos' scratchpad and intermittent glossolalia

Post by Porphyrogenitos »

Thanks for the comments. I think I'll use this lang for lexember, meaning I'll have to commit to at least a tentative phoneme inventory.

I was originally thinking of going with something truly extremely small, like ~30 possible syllables, but I suppose I'll allow something slightly larger, in the range of a Polynesian language with a very attenuated inventory, like ~50 possible syllables, not counting vowel length.

I think I will give it four vowels, /i e a u/, with vowel combinations resulting from metathesis resolving in the following manner (subject, probably, to dialectal variation):

Code: Select all

  a       e       i       u
a a       ɛ <ä>   e       o
e ja <ia> e       i       ø <ö>
i ja <ia> je <ie> i       y <ü>
u wa <ua> we <ue> wi <ui> u
And for the consonant inventory...hmm. It kind of depends on how I want to handle hiatus. Hmm. Well, I suppose I will basically side-step the issue and simply inset a glottal stop before any would-be vowel-initial syllable. Although one could still say that glottal stop is non-phonemic because of the following properties:
  • It appears at the beginning of stressed vowel-initial syllables (in lexical words and emphatically stressed particles)
  • It does not appear at the beginning of unstressed syllables (i.e. particles), or at least only optionally
  • When a vowel-initial syllable undergoes coalescence with a preceding vowel, glottal stop does not appear in the coda of the new syllable (i.e. it does not undergo metathesis, e.g. [kati] > [ket] but [kaʔi] > [keː])
In unstressed vowels, /i/ and /e/ are neutralized, with /a e i u/ being realized as [ə ɪ ɪ ʊ]. Vowel in open syllables that have undergone coalescence (like [kaʔi] > [keː] above) are always long.

Okay, for the consonants:
/m n/
/p t k (ʔ)/
/v s x/
/l/

Hm, okay, that gives 44 syllables. Good enough.

Lastly:

/n t s l/ may have the allophones [nʲ tʲ sʲ lʲ] before [ja je], sometimes with the [j] being absorbed completely. For some speakers these allophones may even be realized as [ɲ tʃ ʃ ʎ]. In this context /k x/ may also be realized as [c ç]. An alveolar in a metathesized syllable preceding a palatalized alveolar undergoes assimilation and also becomes paltalized. (As in the name of the language, hasunite [hʷoʃɲet])

/k x/ are realized as [kʷ xʷ] before rounded segments.

[x] is in free variation with [h] (and [hʷ] in rounded contexts).
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