Yélian: A revision

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Iyionaku
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Yélian: A revision

Post by Iyionaku »

Corphishy wrote:I have decided to start a new topic instead of try to clean up the old one. The main reason for this being that I kind of need to start over. Vuase's first thread kind of started out on the wrong foot. I am writing a reference grammar along with this, and as of right now I have just finished the first draft of the phonology section.
Thank you for that introduction, Corphishy, could not have written it better. I will be doing the same for my furthest-evolved conlang Yélian. That is because I recently re-explored the old thread: Horrible! I did not seem to have any linguistics knowledge. (I called a declension conjunctive II without having a conjunctive I [o.O] ) So, there is a lot of improvement needed. Also, Yélian has changed markably since then. Most translation challenges are up to date, however.

Phonology

Yélian's phonology is pretty simple. It contains 20 consonant phonemes and ten vowel phonemes (six monophtongs, four diphtongs). The most interesting part is that Yélian distinuishes /aɪ̯/ and /a̯iː/ as separate phonemes: See niys /na̯iːs/ - lighter vs. nais /naɪ̯s/ - on top.

The consonants are as follows:

8 stops: /b p d t c g k ʔ/ <-- four places of articulation, distinction voiced/voiceless, except for /c/
3 affricates: /t͡ʃ t͡s ͡ps/ <-- the last one occurs only in archaic and ceremonial words as well as in the informal greeting psat
1 tap/flap/vibrant: /r/
4 fricatives: /β v s ʃ/
2 nasals: /m n/
1 approximant: /j/
1 lataral approximant: /l/

The vowels:

closed: /i u/
mid-open: /e o œ/
open: /a/
Diphtongs: /aɪ̯ a̯iː ɛɪ̯ aʊ̯/

Phonotactics

Yélian's maximum syllable size is CCVCC, as in crist (christian). The fact that I used a loanword to emphazise that already shows that this maximum broadth is quite rare. Most syllables are maximum CCVC or CVCC.

The clusters are heavily restricted: at the onset, only the following onsets can occur:

- b/p/d/t/g/k + r/l/j
- β + r/l
- s/ʃ + b/p/d/t/g/k/l/r

For research, I found two words that did not fit in this pattern: ymire [ˈʃmiːrə] - insect; arachnid and ymitu [ˈʃmiːtʊ] - proud. I am now thinking about revising that or declare them as exception; No matter what I do, this is by no means productive.

At the coda, the following can occur:

- r/l/s/ʃ + b/p/d/t/g/k
- m/n + s

One can say that CC- occurs only at the beginning of a word, and -CC only at the end of a word. If two words merge, there will be huge assimilation processes due to that. The assimilation processes can occur multiply and be so strong that you cannot tell anymore that a word is cognate to another. Example: ádamay (breakfast) comes from adan (early) and damay (food, meal-time, meal).

(Unfortunately and very sadly, I didn't manage to write an etymology dictionary so I often cannot tell anymore from which root a particular word came.)

If two stops are next to each other, one of them is dissimilated. Generally speaking, you can say that voiced consonants remain next to unvoiced ones, so /pg/ appears as [g], and /dt/ as [d] and so on; furthermore, a consonant is remaining when it is more fronted that the other one. So /pt/ becomes [t], /tk/ becomes [t] and so one. However, some exceptions occur: The word fecbrats /βekbrat͡s/ (inherent, congenital) is realized as [βɛkrɐt͡s], so the b is elided in opposition to the normal rules.

Stress

Stress in Yélian is predominantly weight-based. However, there are so many exceptions that stress is always marked.
In most of the words, stress appears on the penultimate syllable. If differing, the stressed vowel is marked with an acute: á é í ó ú ǽ iý.

If a word has more than two syllables and the last two ones are CV, then the stress is nearly always on the antepenultimate syllable: Some examples include iádama, lacátera, nánamo, válita.
If a noun is derived from a root, the stress is not shifted: So it is vanit (Hand), but vánipul (glove), vánisce (one hand full), vántuler (wrist).
Around 100 roots are stressed on the last syllable. Examples include eván (unfortunately), arák (black), avép (card game).
Loanwords generally keep the stress from the native language: cf. 'æfiáns yarrow, from Géarthnuns öifans [øjˈfãs] yarrow; éyiltut (whale), from TLFKAT eeyıtłut [ɛːje̝t͡ɬo̝t] n whale.

Allophony

coda /r/ is usually realized as [ɾ] or even [d].
/β/ is realized as [f] after /i/, and is silent in coda.
/ʃ/ is [ɕ] after /e i/
/c/ is [c] word-initial, but [ɟ] between vowels and [d] before /i/.
/g/ is [x] between vowels if the second one is an open vowel.

Hiats are generally allowed, /au/ is not realized as [aʊ̯] but as [a.u].
However, when two identical vowels meet, a glottal stop is inserted. So /aa/ -> [aʔa]
Yélian vowels vary greatly when unstressed.

/a e i o u/ -> [ɐ~ə ɛ~ə ɪ ɔ ʊ] (œ always remains). The exact pronuciations can vary by the mood of the speaker. There are some vowels that have to be spoken openly. They are sometimes marked with gravis accent: à è ò ù. Indeed, this is more an etymological rule than really done thoroughly.

Orthography

Generally speaking, the orthography of Yélian is relatively close to phonemic. Most letters are also self-explanatory.

/b p d t c g k ʔ/ <b p d t z g k ʻ>
/t͡ʃ t͡s ͡ps/ <ty ts ps>
/r/ <r>
/β v s ʃ/ <f v s y>
/m n/ <m n>
/j/ <i>
/l/ <l>

/a e i o u œ/ <a e i o u æ>
/aɪ̯ a̯iː ɛɪ̯ aʊ̯/ <ai iy ei au>

A well-recognized signature feature of Yélian is the writing of /ʃ/ as <y>. This writing played around in my mind since I experienced that Spanish uses <j> for [x] - years before I actually started conlanging!
I am not happy at all about <z> for /c/. It looks really ugly. <ti> has been discussed by the Northern Standard, but has been rejected as there are minimal pairs (like azenu and atienu, spoken [aˈteːnu] and [aˈtjeːnu], respectively).
Some occurrences of /k/ are written <k> or <qu> due to etymological reasons. (This was my noobish eurocentrism; However, I am not changing it because it has started to feel Yélian as well).

Also note that <i> is both a vowel and a consonant.

The alphabet of Yélian is as follows:

A B C D E F G I IY L M N O P R S T U V Y Æ Z ʻ
a b c d e f g i iy l m n o p r s t u v y æ z ʻ

Note that IY is a letter: words starting with it are written this way. So [ˈa̯iːvɔɾ] (doctor) is written IYvor when sentence-initial. Also note that IY can be pronounced both [a̯iː] and [iɕ] when actually being I + Y. Therefore, in the northern standard you use a circumflex to distinguish both. If the [iɕ] pronuciation is [iɕ], it is written <îy>. The same is sometimes done for /au/ as <aû> when it's a hiat.

<oi> and <ui> are pronounced [ɔʊ̯] and [uː], respectively. There are several more quirks in the orthography; this is a part of Yélian that is not that easy to learn.
Last edited by Iyionaku on 03 Aug 2017 08:15, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Iyionaku »

Morphology

This thread will deal with how words are formed morphologically. Yélian grammarists usually differentiate five parts of speech:

- Nouns
- Pronouns
- Verbs
- Classifiers (Prefixes on Verbs and suffixes on nouns that are not case or plural, respectively, including adjectives and most adverbs)
- Particles (some Adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, intensifiers, relative pronouns, interjections)

Nouns and pronouns are declinable, Verbs are conjugatable. Classifiers and particles normally do not inflect, except of a small class of relative pronouns.

Nouns

Nouns in Yélian have three cases (Nominal, Genitive, Enumerative) and, depending on the noun, one to four numbers (Singular, Dual, Plural, Collective). Each noun has one of three noun classes, called animate, inanimate and conceptual. The classes are marked with definite clitics: a' or an' for the animate, u' or un' for the inanimate and æ' or æn' for the conceptual class. However, some dialects only diffentiate between animate and inanimate, having no æ class anymore.

Gender

The gender is determined by the noun class. Animate nouns are humans, most animals, jobs, weather, seasons and groups of persons. Some examples:

A'broya (man), an'áia (woman), an'elas (lion), a'iacbor (fisherman), a'faldu (rain), a'fost (winter)

As well as three exception words:

A'parcas (sun), a'yéliun (moon), an'abár (tree)

Inanimate nouns are some animals that don't move, plants, events and all things that can be touched (not spoken literally, a "star" can also be touched). Examples:

u'yitár (Star), u'pilat (house), u'tivelsupar (desk), u'rédovo (jacket)

Conceptual nouns is everything else, mostly concepts, emotions, language etc.

æ'ifral (friendship), æ'matay (word), æ'taniys (success)

Note that the definite article is always separated from the noun by the so-called Bramat Enervor (BE, literally: noun connector). This is mandatory in both standards, although the BE does not have any phonetical value at all. Also note that the BE ' is different from the glottal stop ʻ (admittedly, this is really hard to see in this font).

Case

Nouns in Yélian do not really inflect for case. Nevertheless, the traditional grammar distinguishes three "cases" for nouns: the Nominal, Genitive and Enumerative.

The Nominal case is the lexical noun form and serves as subject, direct and indirect object as well as for nearly any other case (like adverbials). Yélian is a direct-inverse language and therefore only the verb ending determines which noun is subject or direct object, respectively. The indirect object, however, is shown by prepositions, mostly pès (towards, to, for) and can (for, in order to). (See Syntax).

The Genitive case shows possession. The word order is fixed as possessor - possesive. The genitive case is formed by changing the definite article to "o" (in all genders). Typologically, this is more a preposition, but counts as case anyway. This connection is therefore very familiar to English speakers (Norse genitive). Note that o is also connected with BE:

U'pilat on'abaróanor (The house of the forster), Un'aélico o'Paul (Paul's car), An'îyi o'naku (The child of the fire, popular first name).

The Enumerative case is used to count something. The syntax is relatively unfamiliar in Europe. Diachronically spoken, the enumerative is an old "real" genitive, so counting is like "of-masters three" instead of "three masters".
The Enumerative is formed by adding the suffixe -ʻi (after vowels) or -i (after consonants) to the stem. It is also sometimes used to show indefiniteness, especially when introducing a new character to a story.

Broya-ʻi mia yiunʻet tuminan-i minca
man one waited minutes five
A man waited five minutes.

Number

Yélian nouns can have one to four numbers, depending on whether they are conceptual (only singular then), uncountable (singular and collective), countable (singular, plural, collective) or countable-geminable (singular, dual, plural, collective).

The collective is used when talking about everything from something. It is formed regularly with the suffixes -ó (after consonants), or -mé (after vowels). Some collective forms have also lexicalized and used as synonyms to older stems. Examples:
an'abár (tree) -> abár-ó (all trees, also: forest)
u'resif (water) -> resif-ó (water, also: open seas)
a'puleo (human) -> a'puleo-mé (all humans, also: mankind)

The plural is relatively complex. It is used for an arbitrary amount of something that is countable.
Normally, it is formed by adding the suffixes -n (after vowels) or -an (after consonants). About 60% of all Yélian nouns form their plural this way.
a'pimi (mouse) -> pimi-n (mice)
a'karasé (consequence) -> karasé-n (consequences)
un'ubakíl (brick) -> ubakíl-an (bricks)
un'escon (stone) -> escon-an (stones)

When a noun ends on unstressed -em, -el, -en, -es, -er, -an or -ar, this syllable is replaced by -an.

a'fot-er (testis) -> fot-an (testes)
u'sæf-em (apple) -> sæf-an (apples)
æn'ibavan (experience) -> ibav-an (experiences)

But: If the last syllable is stressed, the syllable is not replaced. Example: an'avár (cat) -> avár-an (cats)

When a noun ends on -iys, the syllable is replaced by -iyn. Example: a'teriys (dog) -> teriyn
When a noun ends on -al, the syllable is replaced by -aun. Example: u'slonal (costume) -> slonaun (costumes)
When a noun ends on -in, the syllable is replaced by -ian. Example: a'devin (aspect of the one god) -> devian (aspects of the one god)

When a stressed syllable is <voiceless consonant> + <dark vowel> (/pa po pu ta to tu ka ko ku/), the consonant is voiced.
an'icatyer (fish) -> igaty-an (fish)
u'paru (night) -> barun (nights)
u'como (beer crate) -> gomon (beer crates).

And finally there are some completely irregular forms.
a'broya (man) -> braye (men)
an'áia (woman) -> æiæ/áiaien/áian (women)
æn'ula (curse) -> ulàs (curses)
a'puleo (human) -> palan (people)
a'garos (shadow, darkness, horror) -> garon
un'ílveret (year) -> ilvetan (years)
a'cumucer (cobblestone) -> cumuceran (cobblestones) <-- looks regular, but the regular form should be *cumucan

The Dual number, finally, is used for pairs of nouns and is therefore only used for nouns that are geminable (appear as two regularly). It is formed by the suffixes -m (after vowels) or -em (after consonants). Examples:

u'bepel (shoe) -> bepelem (a pair of shoes) -> bepan (shoes)
a'rei (ear) -> reim (a pair of ears) -> rein (ears)
an'æʻiy (foot) -> æʻiym (a pair of feet) -> æʻiyn (feet)
a'vanit (hand) -> vanitem (a pair of hands) -> vanitan (hands)

It is important to emphazise that two randoms things of one does not require the dual, but the plural. So "two shoes" it is not "*vanitemi 2", but "vanitani 2".

There are only a few exceptions. One is, that if a word ends with -on, this syllable is replaced by -um. As only very few nouns have this coda (and even less form dual altogether), at the moment there are only three examples known:

vinescon (kidney) -> vinescum (both kidneys)
And in some dialects also:

precon (hoof of an artiodactyl) -> precum (both hoofs of an artiodactyl)
micon (hoof of a perissodactyl) -> micum (both hoofs of a perissodactyl)

Both forms are found in neither standard as they normally cannot form dual. Standards use "meil" (front hoof) and "conan" (back hoof), both with regular duals.

The other one is gacúl (eye), which becomes gacún (both eyes).
Last edited by Iyionaku on 24 Mar 2017 13:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Iyionaku »

3. Pronouns

This section deals with the pronouns in Yélian.

a. Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns differ from nouns inasmuch as they have a subject and object form (subsequently called Rectus and Obliquus). The rectus pronouns are relatively rare as Yélian is pro-drop. They are only used in certain contexts (I will propably show this in the syntax section). The 3SG inanimate pronouns, however, are never used, neither in subject or object form.

The following table will show Yélians personal pronouns.

Image

b. Possessive Pronouns

Yélian has possessive pronouns that appear before the possessive. They are formed quite regularly: in Singular, they obtain the suffix -o, in Plural -im. The nominalized form of possessives obtains the suffixe -ol and -il, respectively. The following table shows the possessive pronouns.

Image

c. Other pronouns

Yélian has one single demonstrative: vat. It has to be accompanied by a noun, there is no nominalized possessive.

There are two types of reflexives: One is a true reflexive, formed out of the personal pronouns and the suffixe -ʻi, the other one can function both as reflexive and intensifier, formed by the verbal prefix pavi-. Note that they are mostly, but not always, interchangable.

Interrogative pronouns include the polar question markers barcai and barcest (which are, in fact, lexicalized forms of the verb barca - to ask). Other additional pronouns are shown in the table of correlatives below.

Image

This is a very prescriptive table. In practise, some words have become out of use, like the obsolete ivit (that way). Cimanci has become a quite rude interjection with that you can block annoying questions ("because it is that way! Now shut up!" --> "Cimanci!"). Bolcat has been replaced by the relatively new collective plural, olcem, however is still used.
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Iyionaku »

4. Verbs

Verbs in Yélian inflect after the person, number and clusivity of the subject, for certain conjugations also after animacy in the 3rd person singular. Yélian verbs have 3x2=6 conjugation patterns, as there are three morphological moods (indicative, jussive and conditional) and two diatheses (direct and inverse). Tense and Aspect are, along with several other cateogries, expressed by prefixes on the verb. (See the next chapter "classifiers" for a more thorough description). This chapter will mainly focus on the verb conjugation itself.

Yélian verbs are always conjugated after stem + ending. There are some exceptions when the stem ends on a vowel or certain consonants, but this might be to broad here. So I'll focus on the regular expressions.

The direct conjugation

Yélian is exclusively head-marking: The verb alone determines which noun is agens or patiens, there is no syntactical case. If the verb is in direct conjugation, the subject is the agens and the object is the patiens.
Example with the stem yam (to kiss):

A'broya yam-et an'áia.
DEF.AINM-man kiss-DIR.3SG DEF.ANIM-woman
The man kisses the woman.

The inverse conjugation

This conjugation simply switches the sentinetial roles: The subject is the patiens and the object is the agens. There is no other change in the sentence structure, however.

An'áia yam-it a'broya.
DEF.ANIM-woman kiss-INV.3SG DEF.ANIM-man
The woman is kissed by the man.

The jussive conjugation

The jussive is used for obligations, orders and sometimes causatives. Imperative and Adhortative are expressed with the jussive conjugation as well. A few verbal classifiers make the use of the jussive obligatory, including ian- (to have to), ra- (to be ought to) etc.

Rat yam-as!
1SG.OBL kiss-JUS.2SG
Kiss me!

The conditional conjugation

This conjugation is exclusively used in combination with the conditional classifier di-. It expresses some conditions and irreal events.

Vigo sa rat di-yam-vem, re di-nàl-vælis.
if 2SG.REC 1SG.OBL COND-kiss-COND.2SG, 1SG.REC COND-happy-COP.COND.1SG
If you kissed me, I'd be happy.

(Keep in mind that rectus pronouns are normally not used, this is just for clarification. The form "vælis" is an irregular form of the copular verb.)

Jussive and conditional can obtain the inverse endings as well, which are just put agglutinatively after the jussive/conditional endings (although assimilation processes occur). If there are no inverse endings, the "plain" jussive or conditional is considered direct inherently.

Vigo re di-yam-vain-o...
if 1SG.REC COND-kiss-COND.1SG-INV.1SG
If I just were kissed...

Overview

The regular endings are shown in a table below.

Image
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Re: Yélian: A revision

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5. Classifiers

Classifiers appear as suffixes on nouns, and as prefixes on verbs. They serve for various things:

1. describing state, nature or quality of a noun or verb (similar to other language's adjectives and some adverbs)
2. describing TAM on verbs
3. some other things like negation, addition etc.

While nouns usually bear two classifiers at a maximum (example: neralnelniyp, meaning "little red bug"), verbs can be really elaborate. Similar to the Sumerian language, there are a lot of "slots" of a verb that can be filled; another order of prefixes is not allowed. The slots are as follows:

-7 negation prefix ci-, additional suffix pou- or negative addition prefix cou-
-6 mood prefix {1} (only conditional di- and necessitative ian- if position -2 is already filled)
-5 time prefix (past, future)
-4 aspect prefix (perfective, ingressive, terminative)
-3 one or more intensifiers (like ya- (very), ut- (too) or rit- (so))
-2 mood prefix {2} (all other mood prefixes like tya-, meg-, or ian- if occurring alone)
-1 one or more adverbs as determiner*
0 verbal root
+1 direct/inverse suffix or adjectivizer
+2 jussive/conditional suffix

* Adverbs itself can have their own classifiers that will be incorporated before the adverb stem. If there is more than one adverb, sometimes there will be a fugen-è.

A maximum example:
Re coudiyaidéstyaritpafitècepacasolkvaino.
Re cou-di-yi-adés-tya-rit-pafit-è-ce-pacas-olk-vain-o.
1SG not_either-COND-PST-PERF-ABL-so-easy-and-NEG-noticable-kill-INV.COND.1SG
I would not have been able to be killed that easily and unnoticed either.

However, such forms are very rare, and for the sake of understanding you might outsource some of the information in a subordinate sentence.

Adjectival and adverbial classifiers

As mentioned before, those are a special case. By Yélian grammarists they are also called "ambiclassifers", because they can occur both after a noun and before a verb. In a dictionary, they are always put with a suffix -ba, so in fact they are described as stative verbs.

Example: nelba (to be red), nàlba (to be happy), obínba (to be soft).

They use their own slot system:

-3 the negation prefix ce- (note that it differs from the verbal prefix ci-)
-2 one or more intensifiers (like ya- (very), ut- (too) or rit- (so))
-1 superlative prefix (a- or et-, can only be filled if +1 is filled too)
0 stem
+1 comparative suffix (-a or -t)

Example:

A'porceceritaleyit
a=porce-ce-rit-a-leyi-t
DEF.ANIM=cow-NEG-so-SUP-beautiful-COMP
The cow that is not just the most beautiful one
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Davush »

I don't have any particular comments regarding the phonology or grammar, but I like the feel of the language. It has its own quirks and feels like one with a 'deep' history. I would be interested in seeing this develop. Crazy agglutination like 'Re coudiyaidéstyaritpafitècepacasolkvaino' scares me a bit though!

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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Iyionaku »

6. Numerals

This section will deal with Yélian's numerals. Yélian's numeral system is base-10; higher bases are 100, 1000, 100000 and 10000000 (10 millions)

Cardinal numerals

Yélian's cardinal numerals always follow the noun they modify (the noun itself is in the enumerative case). The most important cardinal numbers are:

0 ocút [ɔˈkuːt]
1 mia [ˈmi.ɐ]*
2 prena [ˈpɾeːnɐ]
3 ti [ti]
4 perta [ˈpeɾtɐ]
5 minca [ˈmiŋkɐ]
6 vita [ˈvitɐ]
7 gèt [xɛt]
8 muven [ˈmuvən]
9 náfia [ˈnaːɸɪ̯ɐ]
10 fúria [ɸuːɾɪ̯ɐ]
100 cút [kut]*
1000 pes [pes]*
100000 palin [ˈpalɪn]

*A few notes:

1 mia is pronounced with a hiatus [ˈmi.ɐ] when it stands on its own, but in any form of this root derived from it (e.g. the classifier miat [just]), it is pronounced as a diphtong: [mɪ̯at].

Note that 100 cút [kut] is spelled and pronounced differently to the conjunction cut (but): [kʊt].
The same appends for 1000 pes [pes] opposed to the preposition pès (towards, to, dative marker): [pɛs]

Ordinal numbers

Ordinal numbers are formed very regularly by adding the suffix -to to the cardinal number.

mia -> miato (the first) [but: pronunciation changes to [ˈmɪ̯ato]
prena -> prenato (the second)
ti -> tito (the third)
perta -> perato (the forth); that is one of only two exceptions from that rule.
minca -> mincato (the fifth)
vita -> viato (the sixth) -> that is the second one.

Iteration numerals

For that, a suffix -pod is added. Unlike as for ordinal numbers, there are quite a lot of exceptions (highlighted bold):

once: yapod
twice: prenapod
thrice: tipod
4 times: perapod
5 times: mincapod
7 times: gètapod
8 times: muvapod
100 times: miacúpod
1000 times pesapod

Distributive numerals

Those are formed with the suffix -fò. (E.g. mia -> miafò (one each)). There are no exceptions.
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Iyionaku »

7. Prepositions

Ok, let's have a quick view at Yélian's prepositions. There a very few prepositions that actually matter. Yélian does not distinguish between location and movement to something (e.g. pun "in" and "into"); the exact meaning has to be retrieved from context, mostly by verb choice. Note that the definite article is not used in combination with a preposition.

Un'ero but pun reider.
DEF.INAN=money be.3SG.INAN in cupboard
The money is in the cupboard.

Raubai un'ero pun reider.
FUT-lay-1SG DEF.INAN=money in cupboard
I will put the money into the cupboard.

Yélian is a language that is very rich of prepositions. Altogether, there are 64 prepositions in common use, and a few dozen obsolete ones that will not be described here.

Locational prepositions

acus - next to; beneath
at - coming from, from
at (...) pès - from (...) to
bar - from, only used with a handful of verbs and for pieces pulled out of something
cer - at, next to (only used with indirect object; rare but used in idioms)
cetse - within; among
clu - along; following
coi - distant to
cu - next to; beneath; accompanied by; also: within a timeframe
cud - above
deve - behind; beyond
el - around; next to (rare, poetic)
evan - opposite to; also: against
garu - around
iu - through; by, past
iy - out of; from
oci - among
or - next to (mainly used with place names)
pas - on, upon; onto; at
pès - to, towards; from (in inverse sentences); in the direction of; dative marker
pun - in, within; into (only used with vascular interiors, i.e. boxes, buildings etc.)
sep - at; next to (used with both direct and indirect objects, thus replacing cer)
tap - after, behind
upan - under; below
- in; into (used with place names and anything non-vascular, like a field)
yor - between; within
yor ... yor - between
zet - in front of

Temporal prepositions

aquis - after
còl - during
der - when
iv - from that point on; from, starting
na - until
pur - for (time frame, rare)
roc - for a specific time frame, e.g. roc duminani 5 - for five minutes
siy - before
tize - since
u - marking a specific moment point in time or a frame that is determined to end, e.g. u fros - in winter
viy - around a specific point in time or a frame that is determined to end, a little "fuzzy", e.g. viy yélicur - around evening

Other prepositions

acusit - next to, neighboring (only used with persons)
as - as (archaic)
bats - as (working as); functioning as
cal - opposing, against, contra
can - for; about; dative marker
cet - like; just as; as well as
citusats - let alone; not to mention (classification as preposition is dubious)
cùs - instead of, in place of; rather than
den - depending on; as required; determined by
dès - regarding, concerning, respective
elcendu - for the sake of (archaic)
er - targeting; only used with action nominals
es - filled with (only used with liquids)
esce - filled with; stuffed with
evan - against; also: opposite to
fecun - with; featuring; involving
- per (rare; normally, distributive numerals are used)
inu - despite; in spite of
lebats - corresponding to; respective
ma - from the viewpoint of
met - except for; aside from
naʻi - up to; except for
per - regarding; concerning; matter of
pèseva - in opposition to;
qua - than (can be omitted most of the time)
yicun - without
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Iyionaku »

Excursion: Color terms

Since I want to keep this thread alive but struggle to start with syntax, here come the basic color terms of Yélian!

enír
lum
arák

nel
lionas
iben
bold
oret
put
yulem

metîy
neli
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by shimobaatar »

Nice to see this thread. Yélian has always seemed rather real to me, as far as conlangs go. I can't say for sure what exactly that means, though. Where, if anywhere, is it meant to be spoken?
Iyionaku wrote:8 stops: /b p d t c g k ʔ/ <-- four places of articulation, distinction voiced/voiceless, except for /c/
Is glottal not counted as a separate POA?
Iyionaku wrote:This connection is therefore very familiar to English speakers (Norse genitive).
Huh? What's the Norse genitive? Unless you just mean the way the genitive case was formed in Old Norse, but what does that have to do with English?
Iyionaku wrote: The Enumerative case is used to count something. The syntax is relatively unfamiliar in Europe. Diachronically spoken, the enumerative is an old "real" genitive, so counting is like "of-masters three" instead of "three masters".
The Enumerative is formed by adding the suffixe -ʻi (after vowels) or -i (after consonants) to the stem. It is also sometimes used to show indefiniteness, especially when introducing a new character to a story.

Broya-ʻi mia yiunʻet tuminan-i minca
man one waited minutes five
A man waited five minutes.
Is the enumerative only used with dual and plural nouns?
Iyionaku wrote:The following table will show Yélians personal pronouns.
Is "abstract" the same thing as "conceptual"? Are "masculine", "feminine", and "undetermined" nouns types of animate nouns?
Iyionaku wrote:Yélian has possessive pronouns that appear before the possessive. They are formed quite regularly: in Singular, they obtain the suffix -o, in Plural -im. The nominalized form of possessives obtains the suffixe -ol and -il, respectively. The following table shows the possessive pronouns.
When you say "the possessive", do you mean the possessor or the thing that is possessed? When would you use the nominalized forms?
Iyionaku wrote:Yélian is exclusively head-marking: The verb alone determines which noun is agens or patiens, there is no syntactical case. If the verb is in direct conjugation, the subject is the agens and the object is the patiens.
You say that, when the direct conjugation is used, the subject is the agent and the object is the patient, but how do you know which noun is the subject and which is the object?

Looking at your examples, do you mean that, when the direct conjugation is used, the noun before the verb is the subject/agent and the noun after the verb is the object/patient, and vice versa when the indirect conjugation is used?
Iyionaku wrote:Since I want to keep this thread alive but struggle to start with syntax, here come the basic color terms of Yélian!
Could you tell us more about the different standards you've mentioned?

Iyionaku
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Iyionaku »

shimobaatar wrote:Yélian has always seemed rather real to me, as far as conlangs go. I can't say for sure what exactly that means, though. Where, if anywhere, is it meant to be spoken?
This is about the highest compliment an artlanger can get. Thanks a lot! [:)] It was meant to be spoken in a conworld for a book I intended to write when I was 14/15 years old. However, the story of the first 100 pages was a relex of Harry Potter, so I discarded that project. The world, however, is still vibrant in my head; it's just that there is no real "conflict" anymore. Plus, I have stopped showing interest in fantasy literature.
Within that conworld, Yélian is the most widespread language with about 200 million native speakers and up to 600 million L2 speakers. It is mainly spoken in two countries, firstly in the United Provinces (VP) where it is co-official language in about a third of the 254 provinces, and secondly in the Kingdom of Shelliania that used to conquer wide regions of today's VP (hence spreading their language).
shimobaatar wrote:Could you tell us more about the different standards you've mentioned?
This is exactly where the standards come from: The Northern Standard is governed by the VP and the Southern Standard by the Kingdom of Shelliania. They don't differ too much, a little more than Serbo-Croatian or BE/AE, but less than, for example, Czech and Slovak or the Scandinavian languages. Speakers of both standards can communicate with ease, unlike dialect speakers, as some dialects differ heavily from the standard language. (Don't ask; I haven't really developed the dialects yet.) I will eventually elaborate the differences between the standards, that are mainly in Syntax, Lexicon and Orthography, but only a little in pronunciation and hardly at all in morphology. I hope I can hold my promise to you, shimo, this time, unlike for Caelian (which is, by the way, spoken in the same conworld and remotely related to Yélian).
shimobaatar wrote:Is glottal not counted as a separate POA?
Oh, of course it is. Sorry.
shimobaatar wrote:Huh? What's the Norse genitive? Unless you just mean the way the genitive case was formed in Old Norse, but what does that have to do with English?
Huh? I wanted to google it - no results. I think I'm confusing it with something else. I mean the genitive of the form The life of Brian, which is Æ'vinquasé o'Brian in Yélian, so exactly the same word order.
shimobaatar wrote:Is the enumerative only used with dual and plural nouns?
No, if there is only one, it is also used, as shown in the example you quoted: "Broya" is in singular because there is only one (mia).
shimobaatar wrote:Is "abstract" the same thing as "conceptual"? Are "masculine", "feminine", and "undetermined" nouns types of animate nouns?
Yep and yep. Only pets and humans get "masculine" or "feminine". Any other animal is always masculine. The undetermined pronoun "vut", however, corresponds to French "on" or German "man" but is becoming extinct slowly. In fact, it is only used in a few idioms or fixed statements by now. What's missing in that table is the gender-neutral 3SG pronoun "ce", which is not used in spoken language but has become quite widespread in written texts for equality reasons.
shimobaatar wrote:When you say "the possessive", do you mean the possessor or the thing that is possessed? When would you use the nominalized forms?
The possessed. The nominalized forms are used the same way as English pronouns "mine", "yours" etc., but rarer.
shimobaatar wrote:You say that, when the direct conjugation is used, the subject is the agent and the object is the patient, but how do you know which noun is the subject and which is the object?

Looking at your examples, do you mean that, when the direct conjugation is used, the noun before the verb is the subject/agent and the noun after the verb is the object/patient, and vice versa when the indirect inverse conjugation is used?
Exactly, or more precise: The first noun is the subject/agent and the second noun is the object/patient, as Yélian shows SOV word order when an object pronoun appears.
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Iyionaku
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Iyionaku »

Differences between Northern Standard (NS) and Southern Standard (SS) - Part 1

Phonology

The phoneme normally described as /ɸ/ (and not /β/ as stated above) varies greatly between the standards. In the NS, it is always realized, but as [ɸ] between vowels and as [f] anywhere else. SS is more complicated: The realization is normally [ɸ] between two vowels, but [f] after /i/ and [h] after /a/. In the anlaut /fr/ or /fl/, it is realized as preaspirated [ʰɾ] or [ʰl], and it's not realized at all anywhere else, thus only affecting the length of the preceding vowel.

/s/ and /ʃ/ are free allophones at the end of a word in the SS, but not so in the Northern one. Hence taruy (danger) can be pronounced [tarʉs] or [tarʉʃ] in the SS, but only as the latter in the NS.

/ɾ/ is realized as [ɾ] word-intern and [d̟] in coda for the SS, but as [r] word-intern and [ɾ] in coda for the NS.

The unstressed vowels in SS are all very close to [ə], but more distinct in NS.

Orthography

The NS alphabet lacks the letter <z> for the phoneme /c/. This is, depending on the word, written as <ti>, <t>, <c> or <y>. The reason for this inconsistency is that the phoneme itself varies greatly between Yélian dialects (even in Southern ones), so the actual pronunciation can be very difficult to determine in SS. The phoneme z word-intern causes the preceding vowel to be open if it's stressed. As this indication lacks in NS, often a gravis accent is used then. A few examples:

farmer: SS zémedor, NS témedor
research: SS gezal, NS gètial
deamon: SS zolor, NS solor
cherry: SS zodris, SS codris
powder: SS zezu, SS cècu
fence: SS bozoner, NS bòtioner
to deliver: SS maza, NS màtia

In Southern Standard orthography, it is not possible to distinguish between the sequence i + y that is pronounced /iʃ/ and the letter iy that is pronounced /a̯iː/. In Northern Standard, the Nicolor (literally "cap") is used on top of the i in the first case. In theory it looks like a mixture between a macron and a gravis accent, but as the scope for that is limited in Unicode, normally the circumflex is used.

A good example for that is the word piya. In SS, you have to retrieve from context if this is a verb that means "to call" - and pronounced [ˈpa̯iːɐ] in that case - or a noun that means "kitchen" (pronounced [ˈpiːɕɐ] ). In NS, the first word is spelled piya but the second one is spelled pîya.

In the Southern standard, the phoneme /k/ is written <c> most of the time, but sometimes also <k> (most of the time at the end of a word) or even <qu>. In the Northern standard, those alternative spellings have been abandoned and the phoneme is always written <c>. A few examples:

fire: SS naku, NS nacu <-- this is now homographic to "speech"
kilometer: SS kilomètre, NS cilomèter
to seem (prefix): SS quad-, NS cad-
to live: SS vinqua, NS vinca
media: SS quinoc, NS cinoc
suffering: SS zarek, NS sàrec
order (formal): SS áquisgui, NS ácisgui
black: SS arák, NS arác

The word "power" and derived terms is spelled staú in the South and staû in the North.

Next: part II of differences (syntax, lexicon etc.)
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Iyionaku »

Oh man, this was a long break, where was I again? Oh yes, differences between NS and SS.

Differences between Northern Standard (NS) and Southern Standard (SS) - Part 2

Grammar and Syntax

Oblique personal pronouns always go before the verb in both standards. But if they are preceded by a preposition, in Northern standard they are treated like a normal object and are placed behind the verb, while in Southern standard, they are still placed before the verb.

Cáraquis, pès sanet rocurai.
Cáracis, rocurai pès sanet. (NS)
Later, I will go to you.

Southern Yèlian is almost exclusively pro-drop, while Northern Yélian uses personal pronouns more often.

Any impersonal adverbials and conjunctions consisting of a preposition and -at, like pèsat "to that", canat "for that", iuvat "by that" etc. Are placed at the end of a sentence in Northern standard, but prominently directly in the beginning in Southern standard.

Reflexives: The inflectional reflexives like reʻi "myself", saʻi "yourself" etc. are much more prominent in Southern standard, while the Northern standard almost exclusively switched to the generic reflexive classifier pavi.

See examples for all three differences below:

Renicratest u'pilat. Iuvat tyavinquest yicun ianperaven númalo. (SS)
Pavicratest u'pilat. Renim tyavincest yicun ianperaven páriero iuvat. (NS)
We build a house ourselves. Therefore we can live without having to pay rent.

You can also see a lexical difference: "rent" is númalo in Southern Standard, but páriero in Northern Standard.

Furthermore, Northern Yélian has a slightly reduced inflection system. Some of the more intricate combinations of conditional and inverse flectional endings have been reduced, as well as irregular forms of the verb balia in the past tense: While Southern Yélian has a distinct conjugation pattern, in Northern Standard it's just formed with the prefixes yi-, just in all other verbs.

Yiyasmibalit, pariút dityaceniveinun. (SS)
San yiyasmibeil, pariút dityacenivun. (NS)
You all have been kind, therefore you might be rewarded.

Some prefixes work slightly different in each standard. For instance, ra-, the propositive, triggers jussive mood if it's negated in Northern standard, but not in Southern Standard.

Reo méva rat yibicet pi cirapalai pès palancilaran. (SS)
Reo méva rat yibicet pi cirapalas pès palancilaran. (NS)
My mother told me that I shouldn't talk to strangers.

Lexicon

There is a bunch of words that are different between Southern and Northern Standard. Most of them are understood and prevalent in the entire Yélian speaking area, but a lot more dominant in one of the two standards. Some actually have slightly different meanings in the other region, or are considered outdated.


gym: SS staunúm, NS indiunúm
to succeed (as in heritage): SS tacura, NS coʻara
ocean: SS vetafi, NS vetamé (vetafi is also known, but outdated)
to explore: SS malaya, NS persanda

Some words are due to cultural differences, but the common root is clear:

general practicioner: SS iyvormiato, NS iyvorlevon
here (the place here): SS azifenúm, NS atinúm
emergency manager: SS mucalanor, NS ytepálanor

In many cases, the Northern standard word is a loanword. Examples:

A-levels (school degree to be able to study): SS BZA (bevel o'zosáramarasan), NS abitúr
train station: SS biytubol, NS lokostatión (even though small stations are sometimes called bîytubol)
side dish, snack: SS pelès, NS snæc
bacteria: SS niypuniu, NS bactér (in Northern Standard, niypuniu is every kind of living thing that's not visible with bare eyes)
computer: SS tetperyor, NS pècè
television: SS lovalor, NS televisión
communism: SS leʻituma, NS comunismo
steak: SS bádepas, NS stèc

To summarize my post about the differences, you can say that it's clearly the same language and the differences are about as big as between British English and American English.
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Omzinesý
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Omzinesý »

Does the enumerative case appear in any natlang?
I see why it couldn't but I've never seen it.

Iyionaku
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Re: Yélian: A revision

Post by Iyionaku »

Omzinesý wrote:
14 May 2020 22:05
Does the enumerative case appear in any natlang?
I see why it couldn't but I've never seen it.
To my knowledge there isn't. The term is coined by myself; I used to call it "genitive" before, which doesn't fit as there is already a genitive that's formed differently. Of course there are languages that use the genitive for counting (Russian or old high-standard German come in mind), but I don't think there is a natural language that uses a genitive construction exclusively with numbers.
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