The Esseintial Ch’eweyõw̌e Blog

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The Esseintial Ch’eweyõw̌e Blog

Post by DesEsseintes »

Welcome to the Esseintial Ch’eweyõw̌e Blog!

In here I’m going to scribble tidbits about a new conlang of mine called, you guessed it, Ch’eweyõw̌e. It’s great, so read on!

I’m probably going to just present whatever I’m thinking about. This is all very new and up in the air, so things will be in flux. And that’s the fun bit, right?

Predictably enough, I’ll start with the phonology.

Phonology

There are 29 phonemic consonants, including 5 ejective stops, 4 glottalised continuants, and three clicks.

/m n/ m n
/mˀ nˀ/ m̌ ň
/p t t͡s t͡ʃ k ʔ/ p t c ch k ‘/’
/p’ t’ t͡s’ t͡ʃ’ k’/ p’ t’ c’ ch’ k’
/ʘ ǀ ǁ/ cp’ ct’ cc’
/s ʃ x h/ s sh x h
/z ʒ ɣ/ z zh g
/j w/ y w
/jˀ wˀ/ y̌ w̌

There are five phonemic oral vowels, all of which can occur short or long, and two nasalised vowels that are always realised long. There are no diphthongs.

/a e i o u/ a e i o u
/aː eː iː oː uː/ á é í ó ú
/ãː õː/ ã õ

Notes on Distributions:
* The coronal stops t t’ and the palatoalveolars ch ch’ sh zh do not occur before the high vowels i u.
* The glottal stop can occur word-initially, where it is written <‘>, and after the vowel a word-medially, where it is written <’>.
* Notes on yV and wV syllables: 1) The syllables yi wu only occur as a result of glide excrescence word-initially and intermorphemically; 2) The syllable wo and the glottalised syllables y̌i w̌o w̌u only occur as result of glide excrescence intermorphemically; 3) wi, albeit rare, is a fully phonemic sequence.

Notes on Phonotactics
* All syllables have an onset and a nucleus. Zero onset is not allowed in any position. Hiatus therefore does not occur.
* The maximal onset is CG where G is one of w y. Combinations of glide and vowel after a consonant are restricted to wa we ya ye yo after a consonant.
* Words cannot start in a vowel; if a vowel-initial morpheme is found word-initially, one of y w g is prepended to the word. Note that words can start in a glottal stop.
* Words normally end in a vowel, but there are notable exceptions. Currently, permissible word-final consonants are limited to c ch s sh x z zh.
* There are no word-medial codas, and therefore no consonant clusters except across word boundaries.

I’ve probably left out lots of stuff, so do ask if anything or everything is unclear.

I’ll post about morphophonology next. Maybe tomorrow. I should probably also discuss the clicks and their realisations. Soon. Maybe.
Last edited by DesEsseintes on 08 Jun 2019 06:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Esseintial Ch’eweyõw̌e Blog

Post by Micamo »

I've been awake for 48 hours but

SCOTS
My pronouns are <xe> [ziː] / <xym> [zɪm] / <xys> [zɪz]

My shitty twitter
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Re: The Esseintial Ch’eweyõw̌e Blog

Post by DesEsseintes »

I’ve no idea how to interpret Darth Micamo’s mystifying comment and shall therefore move swiftly on. Onwards say I!

Th’Aesthetic

I completely forgot to include sample words in my last post. Let’s remedy that. Here’s a meaningless sample:

Yay̌á’oc wonõzhe ‘ãxu yaswéye ct’ókyeňe. Néy̌inu ‘icc’yápe yohõt’e ‘iyeyõ ‘awap’yõ gám̌e ha’ézh hów̌osh.

And here are some words that actually have meanings assigned to them:

cuyòno - knife
niwõt’a - friends
wowõt’áy̌e - friendship

Musings about my Phonology Choices

This phonology was actually initially inspired by Siouan languages like Lakhota and the “looseness” of their long, stringy words. I wanted a lot of open syllables and a profusion of intervocalic glides. I also wanted a lot of n h. To break it up a bit, I decided to have glottalised continuants which are a favourite of mine. The ejectives followed quite naturally from that.

My initial sketches had a plain lateral and a glottalised lateral /l lˀ/ which I then rejected in favour of rhotics /ɾ ɾˀ/ mostly because I couldn’t put a háček on an l. However, I subsequently decided not to include any liquids. One reason is that my early sketches of the Híí languages contained no liquids, but I later completely caved in and they now proliferate in Híí and Limestone. This time I’m going to be strong!

Seriously, Des? Three Nooby Clicks?

The clicks came later. I’ve been wanting to do clicks for ages, but I’d never been able to think of a way to romanise them without violent paroxysms of self-loathing.

This time, c came to the rescue!

I noticed early on when sketching this language that I really liked mixing c c’ ch ch’ with my ws and ys. I then suddenly thought of using c as a click “prefix”, giving:

cp - bilabial click
ct - dental click
cc - lateral click

I love this! So now I have clicks. Yay, rakkī. But only three of them.

...which feels a bit nooby despite natlang copouts like Sesotho. Therefore, I’ve come up with some allophony for them which gives me six realisations.

* The default realisation is glottalised [ʘˀ ǀˀ ǁˀ], and this glottalisation is indicated in the orthography as cp’ ct’ cc’
* However, following one of the nasal vowels ã õ, clicks are nasalised and unglottalised [ʘ̃ |̃ ‖̃] and so written cp ct cc (the preceding vowel already marks the nasalisation, so I felt it unnecessary to indicate it again).

This is still probably nothing like how clicks work in natlangs, but I like it.

More later.
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Re: The Esseintial Ch’eweyõw̌e Blog

Post by DesEsseintes »

Some Morphophonology
Time for Tame Morfofo

As some of you may know, I love the morfofo. (That rhymed! And it’s in iambic hexameter!) Nevertheless, I must say that the open syllables and general feel of this language have made me want to keep the morfofo quite tame this time. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of it; it just doesn’t perform any acrobatics, nor does it do silly Híí things like g → ch.

So let’s start looking at some of the more general principles. I don’t want to write long posts, so I’m going to do this in snippets. Hopefully, I will later on deal with morfofo specific to certain aspects of the grammar, such as certain prefixes and suffixes. Provided I actually come up with any.

Palatalisation

I’m going to start with palatalisation. There are two active palatalisation processes. The first sees the palatalisation of Cy clusters where C is a coronal stop, affricate, or fricative.

{t c} {t’ c’} s z + y → ch ch’ sh zh

The second process has coronal stops undergo affrication before high vowels.

t t’ → c c’ / _{i u}

It’s worth reiterating in relation to this that ch ch’ sh zh do not occur before high vowels. Similarly, the only permissible yV sequences after a consonant are ya ye yo. It is therefore perfectly plausible to analyse all instances of ch ch’ sh zh as underlying Cy sequences.

Examples:

tát’ + yo → tách’o
s + yekèy̌a → shekèy̌a
t + uyòno → cuyòno

Fun fact: the word cuyòno knife, which has already been mentioned twice in this thread, was inspired by the username of Tuyono on this board. I always liked the euphony of that nick, so I decided to use it, slightly modified, as a word in Ch’eweyõw̌e. I always like to have a nice word for knife for some reason. Must be my bloodthirsty nature.

I know this isn’t much, but I’m suddenly feeling extremely lazy. More tomorrow!
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Post by Tuyono »

This is all very cool! A phonology full of "weird" sounds (like clicks and glottalised continuants) often makes me feel lost if it's the first thing I read about the language, but the way you present it is quite easy to understand. I'll definitely follow this thread, thanks for sharing :)
DesEsseintes wrote: 07 Jun 2019 18:38 * The maximal onset is CG where G is one of w y. Combinations of glide and vowel after a consonant are restricted to wa we ya ye yo after a consonant.
Interesting! This limitation makes sense in a way I can't define. Also, I wonder why yo is allowed but wo isn't.
DesEsseintes wrote: 07 Jun 2019 18:38 Currently, permissible word-final consonants are limited to c ch s sh x z zh.
So there isn't total symmetry between x and g. Also interesting!
DesEsseintes wrote: 08 Jun 2019 17:21 Fun fact: the word cuyòno knife, which has already been mentioned twice in this thread, was inspired by the username of Tuyono on this board. I always liked the euphony of that nick, so I decided to use it, slightly modified, as a word in Ch’eweyõw̌e. I always like to have a nice word for knife for some reason. Must be my bloodthirsty nature.
This made me laugh [:D] And I love the fact that you want the word for knife to be pretty.
Spoiler:
Tuyono originally means Bird-Person in my first, terrible conlang Somiy'a. Must be my peacefull nature.
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Re: The Esseintial Ch’eweyõw̌e Blog

Post by DesEsseintes »

Thanks for your comments, Tuyono. [:)]
Tuyono wrote: 08 Jun 2019 21:38 This is all very cool! [...]quite easy to understand. I'll definitely follow this thread, thanks for sharing :)
Thanks! Good to know it’s not an indecipherable mess.
DesEsseintes wrote: 07 Jun 2019 18:38 wa we ya ye yo
I wonder why yo is allowed but wo isn't.
I decided not to distinguish o wo after consonants for several reasons: I find it naturalistic to have more distinctions involving front vowels; I don’t want w to be as frequent as y; and I personally don’t feel very comfortable distinguishing Co Cwo.

Also, I’m glad you weren’t upset at my twisting your nick for my own evil ends. :mrgreen:
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Post by DesEsseintes »

A Sinister Plot is Hatched...

Remember how I said there weren’t going to be any consonant clusters apart from those CG onsets (which barely even count)? You probably don’t, but I do. Well, I’ve thought of a splendid way to cheat!

I’m considering analysing m n as glides and therefore eligible for the G position in onsets. That way I get much of Cm Cn. Let’s try some word forms:

cnéne
‘ayózhmu
wok’nóto


I don’t see a reason not to love these. Consider this very likely.
Edit: I decided against this in the end.
Last edited by DesEsseintes on 08 Aug 2019 05:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by gestaltist »

Due to sonority hierarchy, it'd be likely for clusters with liquids to also be allowed in that case. What are your thoughts on that?
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Post by DesEsseintes »

gestaltist wrote: 12 Jun 2019 11:49 Due to sonority hierarchy, it'd be likely for clusters with liquids to also be allowed in that case. What are your thoughts on that?
Since liquids do not occur in Ch’eweyõw̌e, this shouldn’t be a problem. [:D]
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Post by DesEsseintes »

I’m going to revive this by posting two updates:

1. Lateral approximants are back in! There is a plain lateral and a glottalised one, i.e. /l lˀ/. Since a háček won’t comfortably sit atop an ell, I’m romanising these l l’. The laterals do not cluster, unlike /j w/, and therefore constitute a separate class within the phonology.

2. Despite my initial enthusiasm, I’ve decided against allowing CN clusters.
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Post by DesEsseintes »

Whoa!

Ch’eweyõw̌e is still pretty great! Really, you must read on! It’s changed a bit though so I’m posting this updated inventory first:

There are more consonants; there are implosives and laterals now.

/m n/ m n
/mˀ nˀ/ m̌ ň
/p t t͡s t͡ʃ k ʔ/ p t c ch k ’
/t’ t͡s’ t͡ʃ’ k’/ t’ c’ ch’ k’
/ɓ ɗ/ b d
/ʘ ǀ ǁ/ cp’ ct’ cc’
/s ʃ x h/ s sh x h
/z ʒ ɣ/ z zh g
/l j w/ l y w
/lˀ jˀ wˀ/ l’ y̌ w̌

The vowels have also been revised. There is no longer a length distinction in vowels.

On a deeper and more mysterious level there are only three phonemic vowels |a e o|. However, as we will find out when (not if!) we start talking about the morpholophonology [sic], these interact in fun ways with the glides to produce the following vowels:

/a e i o u/ a e i o u
/ã õ/ ã õ

But that is not all! Syllabic structure in Ch’eweyõw̌e is C(y)(w)V so complex nuclei exist where one or both of the glides combine with vowels to produce the following set of complex nuclei:

wa we wi (wo wu)
ya ye (yi) yo yu
yue


The combinations in brackets (yi wo wu) only occur with glide only in onset.

yu yue are pronounced [ɥy ɥø].

One last thing: every word is accented on the penultimate or antepenultimate syllable. More on that in my next post.

More soon! Good things come to those who wait.
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Re: The Esseintial Ch’eweyõw̌e Blog

Post by DesEsseintes »

Exploring Morfofo: Simple Noun Patterns

I’m not gonna lie. I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with this language, but I’m having lots of fun exploring the possibilities of the phonology and the morfofo processes I’ve come up with.

So what I’m going to do is show off the possibilities with a possible morphology. If that makes sense.

Stems

Let’s start by clarifying what a stem is. Although Ch’eweyõw̌e is strictly a C(G)V language (all syllables are open), there is no such restriction on stems, which may take several forms:

C-final, e.g. tén wòx
CG-final, e.g. pély shònw
CV-final, e.g. bé wéte nop’ó
(C)GV-final, e.g. ‘áp’ye

There are already quite a lot of sub-divisions of these stem classes but for now I just wanted to make the point that stems come in all shapes and sizes.



What’s with the Accents?

Note that all stems come with an inherent accent pattern. If the accent falls within the stem, it is marked with an acute. Some C-stems and CG-stems, however, have a supernatural power: they seek to move the accent on to the following syllable. These are marked with a grave on the last syllable.

Let’s make some nouns!

We will start with positing an unmarked singular and a plural marked with a suffix -o for a class of nouns which we will call inanimate nouns.

Let’s start with a simple stem like beyót. That would then yield a singular in beyót and a plural in beyóto. Unfortunately, both these forms are wrong! I’m so annoying aren’t I?

Ch’eweyõw̌e is strictly open-syllables only, so we need to fix the singular by introducing this rule:

Ø → e / C_#

An epenthetic e comes to the rescue and voilà our singular form is obtained:

beyóte

Now the plural. Thing is, I didn’t tell you that the -o suffix comes with a twist: it shifts the accent of the word one syllable to the left. So our plural then becomes:

béyoto

I like it. beyóte → béyoto has a nice rhythm to it.

Now let’s see what happens when we try to apply the same rules to a monosyllabic C-stem such as tén. Using our epenthetic e-rule we effortlessly obtain the singular téne. However, the plural presents a new problem: there is no syllable to the left to shift the accent on to. So should we just ignore it and leave it where it is? Of course not; Where’s the fun in that!

So here’s a new rule: When the accent recedes to the left of the word boundary, it subsequently shifts two syllables to the right.

tén + o → ^teno → tenó

However, we encounter a new problem since Ch’eweyõw̌e words cannot be stressed on the final syllable. Again a new rule is needed: When the accent falls on the ultimate it shifts to grave accent on the penult.

Thus: tenó →tèno

And there we have it: téne → pl. tèno

Wasn’t that fun?

As for the phonetic realisation, acute-accented syllables are high-pitched with a gradual down step on the remaining syllables in the word. Meanwhile, a grave-accented penult is lengthened and has a falling-rising intonation.

Let’s do one more before bed, using wòx. We’ll need one more rule right at the start, and a highly specific one at that. It’s called Weak Palatalisation:

x g → sh zh / _#

This applies to the singular before the addition of the epenthetic e, so our singular form is wòshe. Now, a penult grave will try to push the tone onto the following syllable *woshé but it gets pushed right back because of our previous rule so we end up back where we started.

The plural on the other hand undergoes tone shift one to the left as before so the result is wóxo.

wòshe → pl. wóxo. Are you enjoying this as much as I am? Probably not.

Ok. That’s it for now I think.
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Post by gestaltist »

Ch’eweyõw̌e has always been one of my favorites aesthetically, and it’s only improving with each iteration. I love the rules you came up with. :)
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Post by DesEsseintes »

gestaltist wrote: 05 Oct 2020 20:09 Ch’eweyõw̌e has always been one of my favorites aesthetically, and it’s only improving with each iteration. I love the rules you came up with. :)
Thanks! I’m glad you liked it and that someone read it! [:D]
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Post by Khemehekis »

The name reminds me of an old conlang named Chleweyish. It was done by one Carlos Something-or-other.
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Khemehekis wrote: 06 Oct 2020 05:26 The name reminds me of an old conlang named Chleweyish. It was done by one Carlos Something-or-other.
A quick google yielded a 20-year-old webpage with a song.

Maybe I’ll use the word nyéwo for lake, inspired by Chleweyish nyivo. The plural is then nyewówo (see post below).
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Simple Vowel-Final Stems and Glide Excrescence

Now that we have a solid grasp of how the underlying stems interact with suffixes and tone shifts (you’ve all memorised the rules of course?), vowel-final stems should be fairly straightforward. I’m going to start with stems ending in -o as they present the least complications.

Let’s first work with the stem nop’ó. As the stem already ends in an open syllable and the singular morpheme is zero, there’s no need for an epenthetic e. However, our accent rule kicks in to prevent word-final stress and we get nòp’o.

Now for the plural. How do we add an -o to a vowel in a language that’s strictly C(G)V and therefore disallows hiatus? Let’s give a round of applause for the Glide Excrescence rule:

Ø → y / e_V (at a morpheme boundary)
Ø → w / o_V (at a morpheme boundary)

Not forgetting to shift the accent one syllable to the left we obtain the plural nóp’owo

nòp’o → pl. nóp’owo

Very nice. Let’s do another one, but with a different stress pattern this time. ct’ázo is even easier to form the singular of (raise your hand if you lovelive this syntax Jackk) since the accent is already in the right place. When we form the plural, however, we again find the accent pushed outside the word boundary ^ct’azowo; the accent jumps two syllables to the right to remedy this and we get ct’azówo.

ct’ázo → pl. ct’azówo

Veritable frissons of delight.

Moving on, let’s next consider stems in -e. Again the singular is straightforward as no epenthesis is needed; the stem wéte is just that in the singular. The plural again makes use of the Glide Excrescence rule, this time adding a y (the final accent rule also operates):

wéte → pl. wetéyo

Lovely. Now, notice that the singular of e-stems is indistinguishable from those of C-stems. Therefore, learners of the language* will need to memorise the plurals of such nouns to know which class they belong to. Isn’t that fun?
*All of them!

Now all that’s left is stems ending in -a. Now, my first idea here was to use an excrescent /ɣ/ g since it’s the most glide-like fricative and the PoA is right. However, that felt like a rather safe and boring option so instead I opted for this rule:

Ø → h / a_V (at a morpheme boundary)

Let’s see what that looks like with a stem like chwèla:

chwèla → pl. chwélaho

I’ve always been a bit afraid of intervocalic h which is one reason I want to use it in Ch’eweyõw̌e.

To conclude this evening’s post, here is a summary of the plural patterns seen so far. I've also added some extra ones that follow the same rules but exhibit accent patterns that weren't covered explicitly.

Code: Select all

C    téne      tèno
     beyóte    béyoto
     wòshe     wóxo
     ‘áwase    ‘awáso

Ce   wéte      wetéyo
     ‘esèňe    ‘eséňeyo

Co   ct’ázo    ct’azówo
     nòp’o     nóp’owo

Ca   dyáwa     dyawáho
     chwèla    chwélaho
More coming soon!
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DesEsseintes wrote: 06 Oct 2020 16:11
Khemehekis wrote: 06 Oct 2020 05:26 The name reminds me of an old conlang named Chleweyish. It was done by one Carlos Something-or-other.
A quick google yielded a 20-year-old webpage with a song.
Yes! The original "Starling's Song" -- the first relay! With such oldie-but-goodies as Teonaht, Rokbeigalmki, Watakassí, Kerno, and Brithenig!
Maybe I’ll use the word nyéwo for lake, inspired by Chleweyish nyivo. The plural is then nyewówo (see post below).
Bravo! I love the way you did a deliberate homage to one of the conlang classics! And the way you subjected it to that peculiarly Ch’eweyõw̌e excrescence in the plural made it all your own!
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Post by DesEsseintes »

The Wonders of Umlaut

There is Umlaut. Yes, vowels become other vowels under the influence of neighbouring vowels. But only when said neighbouring vowels are actually glides masquerading as vowels. It’s great.

Long ago i.e. on Tuesday, I mentioned that there are stems that end in a glide, or more accurately, a consonant followed by a glide. For instance, ‘ónahy is such a stem. Since singulars are zero-marked, something has to be done about that unsightly word-final hy cluster. Without further ado, let me introduce the Final Glide Rule:

y w → i u / C_#

So the singular must be ‘ónahi then. Wrong: Umlaut exists!

Umlaut only applies to vowels in the penultimate syllable of a word ending in one of i u (and those are always from underlying y w).

The umlaut rules for words ending in i, hencegoingforward known as i-umlaut, are as follows:

o a e → we e i
wa we → we wi
yo ya ye → yue ye i


So the singular then is ‘ónehi. No umlaut applies to the plural which is ‘onáhyo.

The rules for words in final u are:

o a → u o
wa → o
yo ya → yu yo


Note that e ye we are not affected by u-umlaut.

shálw an example of a w-stem. The forms are

shólu, pl. shàlo

Hold on. Not shàlwo? No, because Cwo is not a permissible sequence in Ch’eweyõw̌e so whenever it would appear to arise, it gets simplified to Co. Writing out the rule can be your homework, children.

Here are some more words displaying umlaut:

p’wìli, pl. p’wélyo
‘ákweni
, pl. ‘akónyo
yùtu
, pl. yóto
‘icc’yòsu
, pl. ‘icc’yáso

Let’s look at another root though and uncover some more mysteries. This time the root ‘ákanw is gonna shed light on a phenomenon as yet unencountered on our journey.

The singular, as it turns out, is ‘ókonu which leads is the next rule: If the last two syllables of a root both contain the vowel a, both of them undergo umlaut.

‘ókonu, pl. ‘akáno

Here’s an example with i-umlaut:

dénecc’i, pl. danácc’yo

Sindarin shmindarin...
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Re: The Esseintial Ch’eweyõw̌e Blog

Post by Aevas »

I enjoyed reading this (which is to say the posts from this year, since I figured the previous ones were out of date). I too like the general esthetic of the language. The various processes give it an extra layer of depth without going overboard.
As for the phonetic realisation, acute-accented syllables are high-pitched with a gradual down step on the remaining syllables in the word. Meanwhile, a grave-accented penult is lengthened and has a falling-rising intonation.
Could you elaborate on the unaccented syllables are pronouned? Like what is the pitch of the first syllable in wetéyo?

Also, since there is no accent mark in the name Ch’eweyõw̌e, can I assume that the accent is on the nasal vowel? (I'm also assuming there is some process going on there, that you'll get to later.)
nòp’o → pl. nóp’owo

p’wìli, pl. p’wélyo
If these refer to an ejective p, then that is missing in your phoneme inventory.

Finally, what is the reasoning behind the apostrophe vs the hacek? At first glance it looks like apostrophes are for ejectives and clicks, and haceks for sonorants. But then you have <l'>, which goes against this (if it's due to the ascender, then the same question would go for <c'>).
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