Alál: Compound Nouns, Briefly

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Alál: Compound Nouns, Briefly

Post by kiwikami »


  Taısılǐklı lakúual.
  [təj.zɪˈɬek.ɬi ɬəˈku.vəl]
  Apparently this language still exists.

About six years ago at a Navajo language workshop, I messed around with verbs. The thing that emerged as a result has gone through a lot of revisions, to the point where the old thread would require a massive overhaul to be up-to-date. Thus, a new one. This is a scratchpad where I can work through things as I fiddle with them and try to get Lulaál/Lazáal/Alǐkal/Alǐhaal (context-specific endonyms for the language here called Alál) into a form that I find satisfactory, if never complete. Don't expect these notes to be following any particular direction of thought; I'll be posting things as I think of them, and using this more as an update hub than anything else as morphemes get wiggled around. I want to have all of this written down in one place to keep it organized, and to get feedback.

I tend to write my notes in a vaguely sketch grammar / textbook-esque format, which can be a bit verbose, and I make a lot of references to things elsewhere in my notes that I haven't gotten around to discussing on here yet, so hopefully it's readable.

Maybe someday I'll get around to coming up with color terms.



Nouns: A Brief Description of Stuff

Alál nouns consist of a root, falling into a particular class, and a case affix.

The root takes the shape C(C)V[*]C. The center V is referred to as the root vowel, and may be any of the three resting vowels, ı, a, or u. Roots are henceforth written in small caps (e.g. RIH); for a given noun, the class (1-3) is given following the root (e.g. RIH3 'honey', RIH2 'yellow (color)',).
 • The root vowel may not be any of these vowels' standing (í á ú) or pulling (ì à ù) counterparts. Thus KAX 'log' is a valid root, while KÁX is not.
 • The [*] here refers to one of a wide variety of partially-lexicalized, partially-derivational 'axis' markers, which may be of the very broad pattern (C)(C)V(V)(C)(C)(V)(C). Their mechanics will be discussed later. When written, vowels that are part of axis markers within a noun are not restricted to the resting type (e.g. while there can be no root KÁX, there may be a root KAáaX with incorporated áa axis).
 • Roots with a Class-N# derivative infix are written with the infix in small caps following the root vowel (e.g. KATAH3 'paint sponge', HTAḶAIK3 'bug repellent').


Alál has three simple noun classes, numbered Class 1-3. There is also a fourth "Class N#", which is used for certain derived forms. A noun's class, together with its root vowel, dictates a noun's declension patterns. All nominal roots are presented here in their C(C)V[*]C citation form, written in small caps (axis markers in lower case) with their class number immediately following, as it is often the case that two or three nouns have identical roots and differ only in class: for example, HRAS2 'cake / layered pastry' and HRAS3 'sheet of paper'. There are general semantic tendencies, as seen below, but a noun's class must largely be memorized.

Class-1 tends to appear with:
 • abstract concepts as experienced by a group or society (e.g. war, peace, language, economic recession)
 • large objects, particularly animate ones, geographic features, or natural forces (e.g. wind, sun, ocean)
 • groups of abstract or concrete objects taken as a whole (e.g. flock, year, homework, psychology)

Class-2 tends to appear with:
 • many concrete nouns (e.g. rock, tree, person)
 • abstract concepts as experienced by an individual (e.g. most emotions)
 • foods comprised of multiple combined ingredients (e.g. chicken pot pie)
 • most kinship terms (e.g. father, sibling, great-aunt's cousin in law's ex-wife)

Class-3 tends to appear with:
 • small objects, particularly those that tend to come in groups (e.g. marble, pebble, drink can)
 • foods comprised of a single ingredient, or very few (e.g. tomato soup)
 • undeveloped or unfinished things (e.g. infant, seed, draft of an essay)
 • kinship terms for younger relatives (e.g. little brother)
 • pieces of things (e.g. eggshell, letter [in a word])

There is a semi-productive derivational pattern for concrete Class-2 nouns in which, when instead declined in Class-1 or Class-3, they indicate an augmentative or diminutive (respectively) form of the concrete noun in question. For example, ZIL2 'river/stream' may become ZIL1 'large river'. However, this is not universally possible; ZIL3 does not correspond to 'small brook' but rather to 'drainage pipe' or 'sewer'.

While a semantic relationship between the ZIL roots is clear, this is not always the case. The meaning of a Class-1 noun (or any other) cannot always be predicted from that of its Class-2 or Class-3 counterparts, if they even exist. ḲMAM1 is lightning, while ḲMAM3 is thread. And so on.


The case affix takes one of three shapes: infix, (prefix+)infix, or infix+suffix. These three behave slightly differently in particular morphological situations; notably, the (prefix+)infix type loses its prefixed counterpart in most cases except in formal speech (glossed as HON), or to differentiate what we might consider a proper noun. As an example, LAL1 lál 'language.OBL', but LAL1 alál 'The/This Language.HON.OBL'.

Even in formal speech, the (prefix+)infix type will also lack its prefixed component when it is the first noun in a compound (e.g. záz 'ocean.OBL' > azáz 'The Ocean.HON.OBL' > zázukatu 'saltwater fish.OBL') or when in any complex noun (e.g. zîaıáz 'his ocean.OBL', zatùıáz 'The Northern Sea.OBL'). The other case affix types undergo no such change and do not have honorific variations.

Case affixes always consist entirely of vowels and vowel clusters; the complete chart of them will be given shortly, and the three types are identified via their notational convention: V, (V-)V, and V-V, respectively.

Regarding the root vowel and noun complexity:
 • If the noun is possessed and/or has an axis or TV marker, then it is considered complex.
  ‣ Complex nouns retain their root vowel.
   • (ZIhkáL3 'waterfall' + ı = zıhkáıl 'waterfall.AGT')
   • (HUhaS3 'confidante' + a-u = huhaasu 'confidante.OBL')
 • If the noun is unpossessed and does not have an axis or TV marker, then it is considered simple.
  ‣ Simple nouns that are not in Class-N# delete their root vowel.
   • (ZIL1 'river' + ı = zıl 'river.AGT')
   • (HUS2 'fire' + a-u = hasu 'fire.OBL')
  ‣ Simple nouns in Class-N# retain their root vowel, though the # determines its quality (standing, resting, or pulling)
   • (KUMAL1 'organizer' + ŕ.a = kúmal 'organizer.OBL')
   • (HAHAṬ3 'round tablecloth' + r̀.à = hàhàṭ 'round.tablecloth.PAT')

How the case affix is applied:
 • An infixed component appears between any axis markers and the final consonant of the root.
  ‣ (XUurS2 'intestines' + ıu = xuurıus 'intestines.AGT')
 • A suffixed component appears precisely where one would expect it: word-finally. Let's not worry about compounds just yet.
  ‣ (XUurS2 'intestines' + a-u = xuurasu 'intestines.OBL'.)
 • A prefixed component always appears before the first consonant of the noun. This may seem obvious, as such is the nature of prefixes, but this is worth noting to distinguish this vowel from one added via root vowel epenthesis (RVE) as a result of 'initial pulling'. A pulled vowel will appear either word initially or between the consonants of a word-initial CC cluster, if possible. Thus the initial a- in the example below is part of a case affix, but the initial u- in utàuh 'plate/platter.PAT' is not; it is instead the result of TUH3 + ù, where the pulling vowel triggers RVE.
  ‣ (LAL1 'language' + (a-)á = alál 'The/This Language.HON.OBL'.)


Nouns in Alál, as hinted above, are declined for one of three cases: agent (A), patient (P), and oblique (O). The usage of each of these cases will be described later; roughly, the oblique is used in isolation and for adpositional constructions, while the agent and patient indicate arguments of a verb, with the exact nature of those arguments depending on the verb's voice, valency, and volition (as Alál has fluid-S alignment). The case affix used differs depending on the noun's root vowel and class; thus, the declension pattern for KAT2 'light' differs from those of both KAT1 'sun' and KIS2 'child'. The full paradigm is as follows:

Image

A specific case marker may be referred to by giving the root vowel, class number, and case, traditionally in this order; e.g. A1A is the affix that corresponds to the agent case for Class-1 nouns with the root vowel a, while I2O is the a-ı affix for the oblique case in Class-2 nouns with the root vowel ı. Specific patterns and the nouns that use them may be identified by only root vowel and number; this is considered the declension class. Thus we may refer to A2 nouns such as HAH2 'wind' and may also refer to the A2 pattern [aı|a-a|aú] (in the order AGT|OBL|PAT), which when applied to HAH2 produces haıh 'wind.AGT', haha 'wind.OBL', and haúh 'wind.PAT'.

Loanwords and foreign names are typically analyzed as if the final vowel is this case marker, or if the word ends in a VC(C)V pattern, as if the final two vowels are part of an infix+suffix pair. Thus the name Bob, interpreted as Papa (with final /a/ deleting and causing the preceding consonant to become voiced) would decline as if in declension class A2: Paıp|Papa|Paúp. The country of Australia, interpreted as Astrìlıá, would be in class I1: Astrìlı|Astrìlıá|Astrìulı. Note that the u-ı marker in the patientive keeps the ı word-finally but moves the u to precede the final consonant. Similarly, Canada (Káḳataa) uses an A2 pattern but retains the extra final a: Káḳaıta|Káḳataa|Káḳaúta. My username (Kíuîkamí) would take I3: Kíuîkamí|Kíuîkamàı|Kíuîkamùı.

Below are examples of simple nouns illustrating all non-Class-N declension patterns.

Code: Select all

				AGT	OBL	PAT
1A	ZAZ1	'ocean' 	zaìz	záz	zuaz
2A	HAH2	'wind'		haıh	haha	haúh
3A	RAL3	'melody'	ríla	ràl 	arùla
1I	RIḶ1	'temperature'	rìḷ 	rıáḷ	ruḷı
2I	RIẒ2	'food'		rıẓ	raẓı	rıúẓ
3I	ḲIṢ3	'stick'		ḳíṣ 	ıḳàıṣ	ıḳùıṣ
1U	KUḲ1	'glacier'	ukìuḳ	kuáḳ	kuḳ
2U	LUK2	'vine'		lıuk	laku	lúk
3U	LUT3	'awl'		líut	ulàut 	lùt
And just a couple of examples of how this interacts with ŕ and :

Code: Select all

			  AGT	  OBL	  PAT
2U	ḲUR̀2	'bag' 	  ḳıù	  uḳàu	  ḳúr
2A	MZAŔ2	'friend'  mzaí	  mzáa	  mzaúr
1A	ḶAŔ1	'war'	  ḷaìr	  ḷár 	  ḷuá

Class-N# nouns are those that incorporate one of a restricted set of derivational infixes; for these nouns, the infixes themselves carry the case information, and regular case markers are not used. They are identifiable in citation form by the presence of an additional CV or CCV component in the root before the final consonant. They themselves have three varieties (Class-N1, -N2, -N3) which only describe the quality of the root vowel (i.e. whether it is standing, resting, or pulling, respectively). This combines with the V in this second CV component to produce what could be called nine additional declension patterns, but which are better described as three patterns with varying root vowel qualities.

For example, KAX2 is a root meaning 'log'. It is a simple noun in Class-2, and its forms are kaıx|kaxa|kaùx.

There are some derived terms KASAX1, KAḶIX3, KAṬUX2.

KASAX1 - "log cabin"
 • Class: NA1, because of the second vowel being A.
 • Class-NA# declension: aı|a|à - 1 indicates a standing root vowel, typically written as ŕ.
 • Declension pattern for KASAX1: kásaıx|kásax|kâsax

KAḶIX3 - "wood pulp"
 • Class: NI3, because of the second vowel being I.
 • Class-NI# declension: ıı|aı|àı - 3 indicates a pulling root vowel, typically written as .
 • Declension pattern for KAḶIX3: kàḷııx|kàḷaıx|kàḷàıx

KAṬUX2 - "lumberjack"
 • Class: NU2, because of the second vowel being U.
 • Class-NU# declension: ıu|u|àu - 2 indicates a resting root vowel
 • Declension pattern for KAṬUX2: kaṭıux|kaṭux|kaṭàux

These infixes are related to the set of handling verbs, which I'll get to later.


...Alright, time to get back to actual work. I'm certain this is filled with typos but it's far too late in the night for me to be worried about that.

This episode of "Kiwikami Has An Important Paper To Be Writing Right Now But Instead Is Procrastinating" was brought to you by the letter M. Which Alál has now.
Last edited by kiwikami on 08 Sep 2021 11:54, edited 21 times in total.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál, Again

Post by kiwikami »

Some Things about Conditions and Causality

Like I said: absolutely zero logical connection between this and the previous post.
This is probably nonsense. I am very, very tired.
Let's talk about conditional constructions.

There are two possible structures for any sentence expression either causal or conditional relationships. They are the raŕ and mas constructions. First, consider the sentence "If I ate meat, I would eat fish" and the corresponding vocabulary Razıkmıẓàx 'I eat meat.HAB' and Razıktuẓàx 'I eat fish.HAB'.

Causal relationships between clauses are expressed using the E-axis adpositional markers, predominantly E úl, E+ u, and E- . This is temporal ordering, the same as the R-axis, but with causality implied. In these simple constructions, raŕ is more common than mas, as there is no need to comment on some possible world where the truth value of the first statement is different; I do eat meat, and do, following logically from this, eat fish. Thus, RAŔ2 is used in its (irregular) oblique case () as the object of the adposition to carry case for the VP immediately following it.

R-axis raŕ construction:
Ir·Razıkmıẓàx rá Razıktuẓàx
[while] I.eat.meat.HAB [the.following] I.eat.fish.HAB
 (Usually) I eat meat, and while doing so, I eat fish.
 While I eat meat (as usual), I eat fish.

E-axis raŕ construction:
Úl·Razıkmıẓàx rá Razıktuẓàx
[while+caus.] I.eat.meat.HAB [the.following] I.eat.fish.HAB
 I (usually) eat meat, and in doing so, I eat fish.
 Because/since I eat meat, I eat fish.

(Do forgive the lazy glossing; I'm not feeling up for super-clear morpheme boundary notation right now.) A mas construction is entirely possible here, just significantly less common in causal constructions (though very common in conditional ones). Here, we use the irregular oblique form of MAS2 to refer back to the previous VP.

R-axis mas construction:
Razıkmıẓàx ır·mas Razıktuẓàx
I.eat.meat.HAB [while+caus.] [the.previous] I.eat.fish.HAB
 (Usually) I eat meat, and while doing so, I eat fish.
 While I eat meat (as usual), I eat fish.

E-axis mas construction:
Razıkmıẓàx úl·mas Razıktuẓàx
I.eat.meat.HAB [while+caus.] [the.previous] I.eat.fish.HAB
 I (usually) eat meat, and in doing so, I eat fish.
 Because/since I eat meat, I eat fish.

Negation is a thing.

E-axis mas construction:
Razıktıkmıẓàx úl·mas Razıktıktuẓàx
I.eat.meat.HAB.NEG [while+caus.] [the.previous] I.eat.fish.HAB.NEG
 I (usually) don't eat meat, and because of that, I don't eat fish.
 Because/since I don't eat meat, I don't eat fish.

The key here is that both RAŔ2 and MAS2 are simple. They do not need truth-value infixes if the verbs on either side are both true statements about the current world under discussion. Consider a situation, however, in which this is not the case:

Because I eat meat, I eat fish (except I don't actually eat meat) -> If I ate meat, I would eat fish.

Here, let us restrict discussion to the MAS2 construction, as it is significantly more common. We begin, as before, with the E adposition úl, and then provide the actual truth of the first statement; in this case, it is negative: Razıktıkmıẓàx, 'I do not eat meat'. (Either the numeral-0 -ktv- or TV -ìt- negative construction may be used in this particular example; we'll go with the former.)

This is followed by an inflected form of MAS2 which refers back to the preceding verb but, with the addition of a truth value (TV) affix, sets up a hypothetical or alternate world in which the preceding verb has the indicated truth value. The TV forms for MAS2 and RAŔ2 are slightly irregular, and are as follows:

Code: Select all

Affirmative	mulas	rulá
Negative	mıtas	rıtá
Hypothetical	maras	rará
Undefined	amìḷas	arǐḷa
The exact functions of these I'll describe... later.

So, to recap, the real-world truth is established (e.g. Razıktıkmıẓàx 'I don't eat meat...'), and mas is then used to establish the truth value of the hypothetical world constructed (e.g. úl·mulas '...but if I did, then...'). The following verb is understood to exist in this constructed world. It may be followed by its own accompanying MAS2 form with a TV that establishes its truth in the real world. Effectively, RAŔ2/MAS2 is used to switch between referenced worlds.

Razıktıkmıẓàx úl·mulas Razıktuẓàx.
 I don't eat meat, but if I did, I would eat fish (which I may or may not, currently).

Razıktıkmıẓàx úl·mulas Razıktuẓàx (mıtas).
 I don't eat meat, but if I did, I would eat fish (which I currently don't).

Razıktıkmıẓàx úl·mulas Razıktıktuẓàx mulas.
 I don't eat meat, but if I did, I still would not eat fish.

Evidence that RAŔ2/MAS2 serves to switch referenced worlds is in the alternative constructions in which, rather than followed by MAS2, the second verb is preceded by RAŔ2. In this case the TV of RAŔ2 refers to the constructed world, and that of the verb to the real world, in an inverse of the MAS2 construction. This inverse RAŔ2/MAS2 relationship is found across Alál, as these words appear in a wide variety of contexts.

[copied from above]
Razıktıkmıẓàx úl·mulas Razıktıktuẓàx mıtas.
 I don't eat meat, but if I did, I would eat fish, which I currently don't.

Razıktıkmıẓàx úl·mulas rıtá Razıktıktuẓàx.
 I don't eat meat, but if I did, I would not eat fish, which I do.
*I don't eat meat, but if I did, I would eat fish, which I currently don't.

Razıktıkmıẓàx úl·mulas rulá Razıktıktuẓàx.
 I don't eat meat, but if I did, I would eat fish, which I currently don't.

We can also comment on worlds where something is not true that, in this world, actually is:

Razıkmıẓàx úl·mıtas Razıktıktuẓàx mulas.
 I eat meat, but if I didn't I would not eat fish (which I do).

The hypothetical -àr- TV is used for if-then statements where the truth of the first assertion is in question. This, as with all the other constructions, also works in different tenses.

Razıkmıẓàràx úl·mulas Razıktuẓârax.
 If I eat meat, then I might eat fish.
 (It is uncertain whether I am currently vegetarian.)

Aràẓârax kıúm úl·mıtas Iràıẓàx kút.
 If I didn't eat the meat, then I ate some fish.
 (It is uncertain whether I ate a specific piece of meat.)

Aràârsıàx kıúm kú·mulas Iràıktıẓuàx kút.
 If I eat the meat, then I mustn't eat any fish (later).
 (It is uncertain whether I will be eating a specific piece of meat.)
 (Note that we use E- here because the meat-eating is ordered before the fish-eating.)

The undefined -àḳ- TV is complicated but we'll translate it in this case as "be unable to".

Razıkmıẓàḳàx úl·mulas Razıktıktuẓàx (amàḳas).
I can't eat meat, but if I could, I would eat fish (which I can't).


This is very unfinished but I'm tired, so I'll talk about the RAŔ2 versions of these later. It's sleep time. Toodles.
Edit: Fish is now monomorphemic and so can be incorporated; examples have been edited to reflect this.
Last edited by kiwikami on 27 May 2021 20:59, edited 7 times in total.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál, Again

Post by kiwikami »


What, me? Write a few thousand words of theological and political conworlding when I should be working on an important presentation due Friday? Never. Why would I do such a thing.

Alright, time for a historical data dump in the form of the introduction to a language textbook. This would arguably go better in the "Concultures" part of the forum, but I'd like to keep Alál things together, since I don't plan to be doing too much long-winded conworlding. Just had to get this out of my system. Every single thing in here is liable to change.

Please forgive any incoherency; I am in a constant state of very tired.


 -out of date, removed for editing-


Alál has always been very heavily linked to a particular conworld (well, con-universe) and to some extent to a particular con-religion based on events that occur in a book I may or may not ever write. As someone who's described myself as an agnostic polytheist, I'm rather ambivalent about religious topics in the real world, but things aligned in this fictional one such that I've put quite a lot of thought into what it looks like, and I'm somewhat partial to elaborate pantheons.

In brief, Hexanism is a belief system in which five "architects", archetypal beings embodying various natural forces and objects (specifically, the paired concepts of sun/glacier, ocean/flesh, wind/stone, time/doorways, and thunder/thread) who would later split themselves into multiple distinct (and color-coded) aspects that constitute the pantheon proper, created this particular conworld from the remnants of other long-dead worlds. This was done as a gift for the sixth architect (death/memory), who is believed to be sleeping beneath a particular volcano in the lesser western continent. The sixth architect has some power to shape the world via lucid dreams, and may have had a hand in guiding the evolution of this planet's sentient life, for reasons unknown to any but itself. Its awakening is expected to herald the end of the world. It's... basically Azathoth. Reincarnation and oneiromancy are important aspects, with a major dividing issue being whether the architects' aspects can reincarnate (resulting in "sleepwalkers", who are either mortals who have some variety of "godly" power while in altered states of consciousness or fanatics on bad ash lichen trips, depending on who you ask).
Last edited by kiwikami on 03 Jan 2021 23:01, edited 3 times in total.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál, Again: Possessors and Benefactors

Post by kiwikami »


I gave an overview of this in the What Did You Accomplish Today thread, but here it is in more detail.
I have a lot of Swahili homework to be doing, so this is rather unedited but hopefully readable.
Possessors and Benefactors

Nouns can be marked for two kinds of possession, here referred to as the possessive and benefactive. The first of these may be translated as “[noun] that belongs to [possessor]”, while the second is “[noun] that is intended for [possessor]”. The English “my food” may thus be translated two separate ways, with the first meaning “food that I made” and the second “food for me (to eat)”.

The possessive markers for the first through fourth persons are az(v), ul(v), vù, ıv, and ì, where (v) is omitted in the singular for az and ul if the root vowels are a or u, respectively. The third-person ıv has the form í for I-roots. They are infixed following the first consonant of a noun, and are themselves followed by the case marker, second consonant, and any suffixed vowel. Their plural forms are produced by the addition of ŕ immediately following; note that this pluralizes the possessor, not the noun itself, as nouns are entirely unmarked for number. As usual, note that v here represents the root vowel of the noun.

Code: Select all

			Singular	Plural
child			kası (KIS2)
my child		kazaısı 	kazíası 	(note aı-metathesis)
our child		kulaası 	kuláası
your child		kıùası		kıùrası
his/her child		kíası  		kírası		(note í form)
someone's child		ıkìası 		ıkìrası

decision		ruák (RUK1)
my decision		razuuák		razúuák
our decision		ruluák		rulúuák
your decision		ruùmuák		ruùruák		(note m-epenthesis)
his/her decision	rıuuák		rıúuák
someone's decision	urùuák		urùruák

language		lál (LAL1)
my language		lazál		lazáal
our language		lulaál 		luláal
your language		laǔal		laǔral
his/her language	laıál		lıáal
someone's language	alǐal		alǐral
The benefactive markers for the first through fourth persons are ìz, ìs, ìt, îv, and ìvr̀.
Unlike the possessives, these have separate plural forms, which are ìk, ǐhv, ítv, îkv, and ímv.

Code: Select all

			Singular	Plural
food			raẓı (RIZ2)
my food (to eat)	ırìzaẓı		ırìkaẓı
our food (to eat)	ırìsaẓı		ırǐhaıẓı 	(note aı-metathesis)
your food (to eat)	ırìtaẓı		ırítaıẓı 	(note aı-metathesis)
his/her food (to eat)	rîıaẓı		rîkaıẓı 	(note aı-metathesis)
someone's food (to eat)	ırìhìaẓı	rímaıẓı 	(note aı-metathesis)

friend			mzáa (MZAŔ2)
my friend		mazǐzaa		mazǐkaa
our friend		mazǐsaa		mazǐhaxáa	(note x-epenthesis)
your friend		mazǐtaa		mzítáa
his/her friend		mzîaáxa		mzîkaáxa	(note x-epenthesis)
someone's friend	mazìǎaxa	mzímaáxa 	(note x-epenthesis)
	
note			txazu (TXUZ2)
note for me		tuxìzazu	tuxìkazu
note for us		tuxìsazu	tuxǐhuazu
note for you		tuxìtazu	txítuazu
note for him/her	txîuazu		txîkuazu
note for someone	tuxìùazi	txímuazu
Both a possessive and benefactive marker may appear on a single noun, but not separately; they fuse to form a single infix, as indicated by the following table (possessive on rows, benefactive on columns). If this looks tremendously overcomplicated, fear not! It absolutely is! But it does show up elsewhere.

Image

Note: [1.3] and [1.4] have the forms à and àx when the root vowel is a, and [3.3] has the irregular plural form ırí for the root vowel ı.

The nominal possessive and benefactive markers are identical to the person infixes found in verbs. The possessives correspond to the subject markers; the benefactives correspond to the object markers fused with a fourth person subject. This is why the possessives have a derivable plural form while the benefactives each have a suppletive plural form; plural objects have different person infixes, while subjects mark plurality elsewhere.

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food				raẓı
food made by you		rıùaẓı
food made for him		rîıaẓı
food you made for him		rûıaẓı

note				txazu
note written by me		txazuazu
note written to you		tuxìtazu
note written from me to you	txatuazu

mercy				kama
mercy shown by him		kaıama
mercy shown to us		akìsama
mercy shown to us by him	kısaama
Specific nominal possessors and benefactors are specified using the adpositions ẓa for the former and xa for the latter; these need not be accompanied by the appropriate nominal infixes, though doing so adds contrastive emphasis.

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ẓa·kama kası		the mercy the child showed
ẓa·kaıama kası		the mercy the child showed (as opposed to someone else)
xa·kama kası 		the mercy shown to the child
xa·kîaama kası		the mercy shown to the child (as opposed to someone else)
A postnominal construction is also possible with mas:

kama ẓa·mas kası
 ['qɑm t͡ʃə məs 'qɑ.zɪ]
 ka<a#.a>m ẓa mas kı<a#.ı>s
 mercy<OBL> POSS the.previous.OBL child<OBL>
the mercy the child showed

Nominal infixes may also indicate a possessor while an adposition indicates a benefactor, or vice versa.

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xa·kazama kası 	the mercy I showed to the child
ẓa·akìzama kası 	the mercy the child showed to me
ẓa·kaızaama kası 	the mercy the child (as opposed to someone else) showed to me
This follows the same rules for polyadpositional constructions as regular axis adpositions.

the food the man (made) for the child
xa· kası ẓa·raẓı kaha

xa rá kı<a#.ı>s ẓa rı<a#.ı>ẓ ka<a#.a>h
 BEN the.following child<OBL> POSS food<OBL> person<OBL>

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ẓa·rá kaha xa·raẓı kası 	the food the man made for the child (equivalent to the above) 
ẓa·rá kaha xa·raıaẓı kası 	the food the man (as opposed to someone else) made for the child 
ẓa·rá kaha xa·rîaaẓı kası 	the food the man made for the child (as opposed to someone else) 
Rûuẓàx xa·rıàıúẓ kıùası.
 ['rwod͡ʒɑx xə 'rjɑjut͡ʃ 'kjoʕ̞zɪ]
 rı<ûv>ẓàx xa rı<và-ıú>ẓ kı<vù-a#.ı>s
 eat<2.3> BEN food<1.3-PAT> child<2.-OBL>
You ate the food that I made specifically for your child.

Note that, as with verbs, there is no infixed reflexive pronomial option. To express the equivalent of “food that I made for myself to eat”, a combined infixed and adpositional construction is typical:

ẓa·ırìzaẓı zıám or xa·razaıẓı zıám
the food made by me for myself

The construction ẓa...verb-NMLZ can also be used to indicate how a thing was created, when followed by a nominalized verb (which may be fully conjugated). The noun must act as the object of the verb in question.

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ẓa·raẓı hrîasraàx	the baked good (lit. the food made by someone baking it)
ẓa·raẓı haràsraàx	the baked good I made (lit. the food made by me baking it)
This can be used with the infixed possessive for contrastive emphasis, in which case this possessive must agree with the subject of the verb that is the object of ẓa:

ẓa·raxaaẓı haràsraàx
the baked good I made (as opposed to someone else)

ẓa·raaẓı hrasraàx
the baked good he made (as opposed to someone else)

If a benefactive is added, the marker for that benefactive must be fused with the corresponding possessive marker matching the subject of that verb (i.e. the benefactive will only appear in its usual form, identical to the verbal fourth person subject markers, if the subject of the verb is in fact fourth person).

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arìtaẓı 		the food (someone made) for you
ẓa·arìtaẓı hrîasraàx	the baked good (someone made) for you
*ẓa·arìtaẓı haràsraàx	*the baked good I made for you
ẓa·rataaẓı haràsraàx	the baked good I made for you
Similarly, xa...verb-NMLZ can indicate for what purpose a thing was created. This may be used with the infixed benefactive for contrastive emphasis, which must agree with the subject of the verb that is the object of xa. Here are some examples with ḳalaàzàz [ŋəɮ'hɑ.ʒɑʃ] 'poison.OBL', which are definitely not just an excuse for a meme. Note that ḳalaàzàz is a compound and that the possessive/benefactive infixes apply to the first component, while derivational axis infixes (e.g. -kú- in ḳalaàzaaz) apply to the second.

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ḳalaàzàz				the poison		
ḳîaalaàzàz				the poison for him
xa·ḳalaàzàz Kuâsku 			the poison for Kuzco
xa·ḳîaalaàzàz Kuâsku 			the poison specifically for Kuzco
xa·ḳalaàzàz ḳaluraàx			the poison for killing him
xa·ḳulaalaàzàz ḳalùluraàx		our poison for killing him
xa·ḳalùalaàzàz ḳalùluraàx		our poison specifically for killing him
xa·ḳîaalaàzàz ḳaluraàx Kûsku		the poison specifically for killing Kuzco
ḳalaàzakûaz				that poison
Note that we see Kuzco's name here in the oblique (Kuâsku) when it is the object of the prepositional phrase headed by xa, but in the patientive (Kûsku) when it is the object of the verb Ḳaluàx 'it must kill him' (with the -ra nominalizer). One of these days I'll talk about how loanwords and proper nouns are declined (short answer: the last pre-C vowel is assumed to be a case marker and everything is reanalyzed based on this). The noun here must be the subject of the verb in question (though an inverse verbal construction may be used so that it isn't necessarily the agent), unless the verb's subject marker is in neither the third nor fourth person.

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xa·ḳalaàzàz aÍrıẓraàk		the poison for him to drink (“for being drunk by him”)
xa·ḳalaàzàz Ḳalùluraàx		the poison for us to kill him (with)
xa·ḳaùalaàzàz Ḳulùluraàx	the poison you made for us to kill him (with)
Ḳalùluàx [ŋɐ'ɬoɮvɑx] 'we should kill him/let's kill him!' here is the first person inclusive subject, third person singular object E+ form of Ḳalàx 'to kill (intentionally)'. The E 'event time' axis expresses a combination of tense and mood, with E+ u in the absence of any specified reference time (R axis) being a optative/hortative/imperative marker. We can get other constructions with other combinations of tense affixes, which I should probably talk about at some point. Some examples are shown below.

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Ḳalùlsîax	[ŋɐ'ɬoɬsiˌɑx]		we're going to kill him (R+)
Ḳalùlsasıîax	[ŋɐ'ɬoɬsəˌzjiɑx]	we haven't killed him yet (R+<~EXCL>)
Ḳalùllısîax	[ŋɐ'ɬoɬɪˌsiɑx]		we're going to kill him again (R-R+)
Ḳalùllıuàx	[ŋɐ'ɬoɬɪˌvɑx]		we were going to kill him (R-E+)
Ḳalùlılìàx	[ŋɐ'ɬoɮɪˌɬeɑx]		we've been killing him (R-*)
Ḳalùllılıàx	[ŋɐ'ɬoɬɪˌɬjɑx]		we killed him long ago (R-~EXT)
Ḳalùllıkûax	[ŋɐ'ɬoɬɪˌkwɑx]		we had killed him (R-E-)
I just really like the alveolar lateral fricative.

...One of these days I'll get around to writing up things like 'phonology' and 'basic verb conjugation'.
Last edited by kiwikami on 27 May 2021 21:05, edited 7 times in total.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál, Again: Possessors and Benefactors

Post by Creyeditor »

Just wanted to mention that I am still reading (and enjoying!) this.
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Re: Alál, Again: Possessors and Benefactors

Post by DesEsseintes »

Creyeditor wrote: 19 Mar 2020 19:01 Just wanted to mention that I am still reading (and enjoying!) this.
Same. I would have liked to comment in more detail, but for now I will limit myself to reiterating that Alál is one of my all-time favourite conlangs.
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Re: Alál, Again: Possessors and Benefactors

Post by GoshDiggityDangit »

DesEsseintes wrote: 20 Mar 2020 05:29 Alál is one of my all-time favourite conlangs.
[+1]
It’s so weird and quirky! Can’t wait for more content, and I especially can’t wait for the phonology.
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Re: Alál, Again: Possessors and Benefactors

Post by kiwikami »

Edit: Updated with new verb conjugation paradigms.
Creyeditor wrote: 19 Mar 2020 19:01Just wanted to mention that I am still reading (and enjoying!) this.
DesEsseintes wrote: 20 Mar 2020 05:29Same. I would have liked to comment in more detail, but for now I will limit myself to reiterating that Alál is one of my all-time favourite conlangs.
GoshDiggityDangit wrote: 20 Mar 2020 05:44 [+1] It’s so weird and quirky! Can’t wait for more content, and I especially can’t wait for the phonology.
Thank you all so much! I'm really glad this mess is of some interest.

Aspectual Distinctions? Sort of?

Verb classes? Eh, I just call them 'modes', as a nod to Navajo, and because defining these things in relation to concepts like aktionsarten, grammatical aspect, and telicity is turning out to be unsatisfactory, as they conflate those categories a bit.

Alál marks a combination of lexical aspect and telicity, with grammatical aspect thrown in on top like little perfective sprinkles, where the various markers have interlocking derivational relationships that relate to each other in ways that I didn't realize I'd just memorized until I tried to put it on paper and wasn't certain how to. Whoops. This took a long time to sort out.

The modes are, roughly, momentane, conclusive, durative, stative, inceptive, inchoative, terminative, cessative, iterative, and frequentative. Let's go through these one by one.

A note: The final -a, -x, or -h seen in these verbs are voice/volition markers, which are required lexically. Others include , -âxa, -ûmu, -îhı, -k, -t, -s, -r, -usa, -ura, -ıta, and -ıka, but examples below are chosen to avoid inverse, causative, or extra-/anti-volitional constructions, so these should not appear.


MOMENTANE

The momentane -tvr̀k (as usual, V here refers to the root vowel and thus will vary from word to word) is also called the impermanent, as impermanence of result is the defining feature of the variety of verbs with which it is associated. Roughly, the momentane is found in verbs that are lexically semelfactives (atelic punctual), but can also be used with verbs that would be considered activities (atelic durative) to indicate a shortened duration, and with some telic verbs (achievements and accomplishments) to express both shortened duration and, critically, impermanence of the end result.

Absent any tense markers, momentanes refer to an event taking place in the very recent past. A present tense marker (R* ls or E* kl) could be used to specify the present, but this is rare, as momentanes are generally grammatically perfective and without interior composition (thus it is strange to consider them 'ongoing', with the exception of those describable as reduced-duration non-semelfactives.) More often, the present tense is used to describe a momentane verb that is about to happen: e.g. Kaıtìtlastàka 'he is about to blink'.

 Lexical semelfactives (atelic punctual, instantaneous actions)
  Kaıtìttàka  he (just) blinked
  Ṣıḷtìka   he (just) squeezed it once
  Lmırtìka  he (just) licked it
 Lexical activities with reduced duration (atelic durative, short-lived or 'failed' actions)
  Mîltıka   he (just) took a short nap
  Zaızızatàk  it (just) flowed forwards a short ways
  Lırtìka   he (just) remembered it only briefly
  Thıùstùka  he (just) went hunting unsuccessfully
 Lexical achievements/accomplishments not terminating in a stative or durative result
  Ḳaıltàk   he was (just) distracted (lit. he died briefly)
  Rastàka   he (just) went there briefly (and returned/didn't stay)
  Raısakatàka he (just) hopped / jumped in place (i.e. not to any location)

I want to linger on Thıùstùka 'he went hunting unsuccessfully' for a moment. Consider also the durative past tense Thıùslıaı 'he hunted something (but did not kill it)' or 'he was hunting something' and conclusive Thıùsàx 'he hunted and killed something'. The durative expresses an atelic action, where the goal has not been achieved. The conclusive is telic. The momentane indicates an endpoint to the action, but not the achievement of the implied goal; there is no change to the world wherein, following the hunting, something is now dead. That's what is meant when the momentane shows up outside of semelfactives.

CONCLUSIVE

The conclusive (a name borrowed from the Navajo mode, partially in order to emphasize the link between this and the durative and partially just because this is what I've always called it and 'perfective' is a bit too broad) deals with verbs that are lexically achievements or accomplishments (i.e. telic), terminating in some stative or durative result (e.g. there is usually a change of state involved, or some new knowledge gained, or what-have-you). It is generally perfective, referring to a completed event seen as a whole, and without any tense marker it always describes some event occurring in the recent past.

Unlike the momentane, which can sometimes take a present tense marker to mark an ongoing state (becoming continuous/imperfective), this is not possible for the conclusive; to indicate an equivalent present-tense, ongoing action, the durative is necessary. Not all durative verbs have corresponding conclusive forms, but all conclusives can be put into the durative to express an ongoing event.

Ḳaılà   he (just) died*
Maràx   he (just) found it
Rasàx   he (just) went there (and stayed for some duration)
Raısakaàx  he (just) jumped up (to some location)
Rıẓàx   he (just) ate it
Thusàx   he (just) hunted and caught it

* The verb 'to die' is an unusual case as it has a stative form Ḳaılí 'he is dead' which, if it patterned like other stative verbs, should have the inchoative form Ḳaılsí 'he died' and its present-marked counterpart Ḳaıllassí 'he is dying'. This present-marked inchoative does appear in polite speech (e.g. a doctor breaking the news to a grieving family member), but in general, the act of entering into the 'dead' state is in the conclusive, with a durative present-tense construction. This is just an irregular quirk of death.

DURATIVE

Durative verbs that are either unmarked for tense or are in the present tense are continuous, indicating some ongoing activity or state, which may or may not be working towards a specified endpoint; regardless, that endpoint has not yet been achieved. They are thus atelic. Unlike the durative mode in Navajo from which its name came, duratives in Alál can absolutely refer to directional movement.

Haıktìzaıhe is flying backwards
Ḳaılı   he is dying
Maraı   he is looking for it
Mílaı   he is sleeping
Rasaı   he is going there
Rasakaaıhe is jumping up to there
Rıẓaı   he is eating it
Thusaı  he is hunting it

Actually marking the present tense here implies immediacy, urgency, or expediency:

Ḳaıllası   he is dying right now (for the love of god, get a doctor)
Mıllısaı   he is sleeping right now (so he won't notice you sneaking downstairs)
Rıẓlısaı   he is eating it right now (so you'd better get some before it's all gone)

In the past tense, it specifically indicates an action that was ongoing but hadn't reached its established goal (if there is one) at the point of reference. This can have an imperfective 'view the action as an ongoing event' sense, or a perfective 'view the action as a completed event' one; no distinction is made. The key is that either there is no end goal or, alternatively, that the end goal has not been reached.

Haıktìzlıaı   he was flying backwards
Ḳaıllıı     he was dying (but didn't/hadn't yet)
Marlıaı    he was looking for it / he looked for (but didn't find) it
Míllıaı    he was sleeping
Rıẓlıaı    he was eating it / he nibbled at it (but didn't finish)
Thuslıaı    he was hunting it / he hunted (but didn't catch) it

The durative is atelic and impermanent but is only necessarily imperfective in the present tense. The permanence element here is what distinguishes it from the stative.

STATIVE

The stative captures inherent or long-lived qualities of an object or person, as well as more temporary states that imply a necessity for or tendency towards performing a stative verb's corresponding durative action (e.g. durative MIL 'be sleeping' > stative MIL 'be tired'). Stative verbs are always atelic.

Mílí   he is tired
Mraıkǔrıit is rotten
Ríẓí   he is hungry
Sıuṣíh  he is vigilant
Taısí   he exists
Ztaıkí  it is red

INCHOATIVE

Inchoative verbs (marked by -zím) describe entrance into a state described by a corresponding stative verb. When unmarked for tense or marked for the past tense, they express a successfully completed action, much like the conclusive. In the present tense, they express an ongoing process. The initial /ʃ/ will assimilate to /s/ if preceded by /s/, most frequently seen in that present-tense construction.

Mílzím    he (just) got tired
Míllıssím   he is getting tired (note assimilation)
Mraıkǔrzım  it (just) rotted
Mraıkùrlassímit is rotting (note assimilation)
Ztaıkzím   it became red
Ztaıklassím  it is becoming red (note assimilation)

An ongoing process in the past can be expressed using a combination of the past reference time and future event time markers (R-E+ lımu), meaning 'was going to X'.

Mraıkùrlımuzím  it was (in the process of) rotting (but didn't/hadn't yet)

INCEPTIVE

Inceptive verbs (marked by -zt, often realized as -zvt to avoid CCC clusters) describe the onset of an action described by a corresponding durative verb. They act similarly to inchoatives; when unmarked for tense or marked for the past tense, they express a successfully completed action, much like the conclusive. In the present tense, they express an ongoing process. Like inchoatives, that /ʃ/ becomes /s/ following another /s/, with that present tense being the most common instance of this.

Haıktìzzata  he (just) started flying backwards (he took off, backwards)
Haıktìzlassata he is starting to fly backwards
Marzata   he (just) started looking for it
Marlassata  he is starting to look for it (note assimilation)
Mílzıt    he (just) fell asleep
Míllıssıt    he is starting to fall asleep (note assimilation)

As with the inchoative, an ongoing process in the past can be expressed using a combination of the past reference time and future event time markers (R-E+ lımu), meaning 'was going to X'.

Míllımuzt    he was (in the process of) falling asleep (but didn't/hadn't yet)

CESSATIVE

Cessative verbs (marked by -lùm) describe leaving a state described by a corresponding stative verb. When unmarked for tense or marked for the past tense, they express a successfully completed action, much like the conclusive. In the present tense, they express an ongoing process. The initial /ɬ/ will assimilate to /s/ if preceded by /s/, most frequently seen in the present-tense construction.

Mîllum   he (just) stopped being tired
Míllıssùm  he is growing less tired
Ztaıklùm  it (just) stopped being red
Ztaıklassùmit is currently undergoing deredification

TERMINATIVE

Terminative verbs (marked by -uḷ) describe the cessation of an action described by a corresponding durative verb; notably, if there is some implied end goal as would be described by a conclusive verb, that goal has not been achieved. They act similarly to inchoatives; when unmarked for tense or marked for the past tense, they express a successfully completed action, much like the conclusive. In the present tense, they express an ongoing process.

Haıktìzuḷa  he (just) stopped flying backwards (he landed, backwards)
Haıktìzlasuḷhe is stopping flying backwards
Maruḷ   he (just) stopped looking for it (without having found it)
Marlasuḷ  he is stopping looking for it (i.e. giving up)
Míluḷ    he (just) woke up
Míllısuḷ   he is waking up

As usual, the initual u here will metathesize with any preceding ı, as in the past tense :

Mílluıḷ    he woke up (some time ago)



I'm gonna cut off here and talk about the last two later, as they interact with plural objects in a way that I haven't completely worked out yet (because of pluractionality), and also because I have DnD in fifteen minutes and thus need to skedaddle.
Last edited by kiwikami on 23 Jul 2021 19:33, edited 4 times in total.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál: Consonant Phonology

Post by kiwikami »


 *gasp* I actually wrote out allophonic variation?
 Clearly the world is, in fact, ending.

Consonant Phonology

Alright. Here's a consonant-specific phoneme inventory...

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	tʼ~ʔ
	t 				k
m					ŋ
	s	ɬ	ʃ	ç 	x
	ts	tɬ 	tʃ
	ɾ
...and orthography.

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	ṭ
	t 				k
m					ḳ
	s	l	z	h 	x
	ṣ	ḷ 	ẓ
	r

Abbreviations for rule-writing purposes:
C consonants
D /t͡s t͡ɬ t͡ʃ tʼ ŋ/ (If you're thinking 'Excuse me, what the hell kind of natural class is that supposed to be?', that's fine. I ask myself this on a daily basis. These all pattern together now and then, and are written with the dots in the orthography. Thus, D. Is this naturalistic? Eh, probably not. I don't much mind, though.)
N nasals
A affricates
F fricatives
P plosives/oral stops (excluding /tʼ/ and /ɾ/)
V vowels
v root vowel of word (used in epenthesis)
First things first:

 The 'dotted' consonants historically (both in- and out-of-universe) used to be a sort of ejective series, and in some dialects still are (in particular, [kʼ] for /ŋ/ is very common in poetic or stylized speech). The relationship between dotted and dotless consonants is not the same across pairings, given pairs such as /k ŋ/ and /t tʼ/; the orthograpical convention is not meant to capture a particular phonological pattern, but rather the historical tendency for these particular pairs of sounds to pattern with each other and for these former ejectives to be subjected to certain restrictions. Namely, identical sequences of any of /t͡s t͡ɬ t͡ʃ tʼ ŋ/ are disallowed, although schwa-dropping may reinstate /ŋŋ/ sequences, which become effectively geminates.

 D1D1 > DvD

  Ḳakàḳḳàṭlàx > Ḳakàḳaḳàṭlàx [ŋɐˈqɑɴǝˌɴɑt͡ɬʼɑx] 'I killed almost all of them.'
  (Dialects with schwa-dropping between sonorants may instead have [ŋɐˈqɑɴːɑt͡ɬʼɑx])

 All other CC clusters are allowed in all circumstances with the exception of word-initial or -final sequences of two identical* consonants, which will be separated by RVE. Other initial CC sequences are allowed but dispreferred; pulling vowels will trigger root vowel epenthesis (RVE) between these two consonants rather than word-initially, where possible (e.g. tàul > utàul [ʊˈtɑvl] > [ˈftɑvl] 'young adult.OBL' but ḳràum > uràum [ŋʊˈɾɑvm] (*uḳràum) 'small bell.OBL').
 Don't worry too much about [ʊ]>[f]. The vowels are a fun time. We'll get to them later.

C1C1 > C1vC1 /_#
 C1C1 > C1vC1 /#_


  Zaḳḳ > Zaḳa [ˈʃɐŋǝŋ] 'It formed holes (in it).'
  zaızáhumm > zaızáhumum [ʃɐjˈʃaʝʊmʊm] 'sea-green'

 *A very important consideration here is that consonants that are orthographically 'dotted' are considered to be 'identical' to their non-dotted counterparts for the purposes of this particular rule. This is a remnant of a time when the difference was only one of airstream mechanism, and this rule happened to ignore the pulmonic/glottalic distinction.
 CCC clusters are disallowed, unless either the first or third consonants are /ɾ/ and all consonants in the cluster are alveolar or post-alveolar. Thus only CCC clusters of the structure ɾC[+alv]C[+alv] and C[+alv]C[+alv]ɾ are permitted. Other clusters are avoided via RVE between the second and third consonant.

CCC > CCvC *with /ɾ/-related exceptions

  Kıttklaı > Kıttakalaı [ˈketǝgǝɮǝj] 'He is supposedly watching you.'
  Khaılzta > Khaılzata [ˈkçǝjɬʃǝd] 'He is starting to wander.'
  Mûarrràaı > Mûarraràaı [ˈmwɑɾǝˌɾɑhɪ] 'Y'all are looking for it nearby.'
   (Only one of the Cs may be /ɾ/; ɾCɾ clusters, including ɾɾɾ, are also disallowed.)
  Marzta [mɐɾʃt] 'He is starting to look for it.'
   (This is fine; all consonants in the cluster are alveolar or post-alveolar.)

 Also note that all of these clustering rules happen before those that apply to vowels, and some of those vowel-specific rules produce semivowels, /h/, or quite commonly /v/. This can create new CCC clusters, which are permitted (e.g. hıìtku [ˈçjet.kvǝj] 'adversary, opponent.OBL').
 And finally some good old pseudo-stress-dependent intervocalic voicing, which completely ignores /ɾ/. I say 'pseudo' because it's actually dependent on the vowel type of a given syllable, specifically conditioned only by the unmarked 'resting' or lax vowels, which can only take stress if they are in the first syllable, or the acute-accent-marked 'standing' vowels, which are dispreferred for stress. Consonants before unstressed syllables containing the grave-marked 'pulling' vowels, which are preferred for stress, will not voice.

C > [+voi] / V(ɾ)_(ɾ)V[-stress,-pulling]

  kası [ˈkɐsɪ] > [ˈkɐzɪ] 'child.OBL'
  latu [ˈɬɐtʊ] > [ˈɬɐdʊ] > [ˈɬɑdv] 'bone.OBL'
  Zatǐkı [ʃɐˈteki] > [ʃɐˈtegi] 'something is red'
  maẓruaṭ [ˈmɑt͡ʃɾvǝʔ] > [ˈmɑd͡ʒɾvǝʔ] 'forest.PAT'
  but maẓráṭ [mɐt͡ʃˈɾaʔ] 'forest.OBL'
 Clusters of two identical consonants elsewhere merge to one; this is not reflected in the spelling. This notably happens after the voicing rule, producing minimal pairs of voiced/voiceless consonants intervocalically before some unstressed syllables.

C1C1 > C1

  Mruhhaı [ˈmɾɔççǝj] > [ˈmɾɔçǝj] 'It [i.e. a spray-on bleach solution] is cleaning underneath it.'
  (mru<v>h-ha-ı)
  Mruhaı [ˈmɾɔçǝj] > [ˈmɾɔʝǝj] 'He [i.e. a person or roomba] is cleaning it.'
  (mru<v>h-ı-a)
/tʼ~ʔ/

 So /tʼ/ is an odd case. It is often realized as [ʔ] word-medially and as [tʼ] elsewhere, though it retains the latter pronunciation in formal, poetic, or stylized speech. There's also this:

tʼP > Pʼ
tʼA > Aʼ

  Ḳàṭkaàx [ǝˈɴɑtʼqɑx] > [ǝˈɴɑqʼɑx] 'I am carrying it in a bag balanced on my head.'
  Ḳǎṭẓaḳmaı [ǝˈɴɑtʼt͡ʃǝŋmǝj] > [ǝˈɴɑt͡ʃʼǝŋmǝj] 'I am carrying it around aimlessly.'
  Úhakìṭtııs [uʝǝˈketʼtɪjs] > [uʝǝˈketʼɪjs] 'He is herding them into a circle.'

 Note that this occurs before DD > DvD.
tʼ{s ɬ ʃ} > {t͡sʼ t͡ɬʼ t͡ʃʼ}

  Tıṭsîtıka [tɛtʼsiˈteg] > [tɛt͡sʼiˈteg] 'He will bite it.'
  Ḳısaṭzìaı [ŋɛzǝtʼˈʃeǝj] > [ŋɛzǝˈt͡ʃʼeǝj] 'It is crawling in front of us.'
  Xakǐhakaṭlàx [xǝˈkeʝagǝtʼˌɬɑx] > [xǝˈkeʝagǝˌt͡ɬʼɑx] > 'He created all of them.'

tʼ>ʔ / V_V
t > ʔ / _C
 t > ʔ / _#


 Between vowels, before any consonants that didn't already trigger a change via an earlier-ordered rule, and word-finally, we get a glottal stop, except in formal or poetic speech or in some dialects that retain more ejectives.

  Tıṭàx [ˌtɛtʼɑx] > [ˌtɛʔɑx] 'He bit a piece off of it.'
  Txukìtaḳuṭaı [txʊˈkedǝŋʊtʼǝj] > [txʊˈkedǝŋʊʔǝj] 'He is comparing the two of them.'
  Txuṭmáaı [ˈtxɔtʼmahɪ] >[ˈtxɔʔmahɪ] 'He is proctoring it.' [i.e. an exam]
  Maẓraìṭ [mɐd͡ʒˈɾʕetʼ] >[mɐd͡ʒˈɾʕeʔ] 'forest.AGT'
/t k/

[+velar] > [+uvular] > / _ɑ

  Kàtaı [əˈkɑdǝj] > [əˈqɑdǝj] 'I am watching it.'

Ph > Pʰ

  Ràsakaàx [əˈrɑzəkhɑx] > [əˈrɑzəkʰɑx] 'I went up there.'

 This is very dialect-specific and more common in older speakers; academic speech and most younger speakers regardless of dialect will not do this, and are much more likely to drop the [h], particularly in /_ɑ contexts.

t > ∅ / _A

  Hıtẓârax [çɛtˈt͡ʃaɾɑx] >[çɛˈt͡ʃaɾɑx] 'He pushed it away.'
  Lıutḷım [ˈɬɛftt͡ɬɪm] > [ˈɬɛft͡ɬɪm] 'It is falling apart.'

 Note that this occurs after intervocalic voicing, thus *[ˈɬɛvd͡ɮɪm].
/m ŋ/

 N > [+syllabic] / #_C[except /ɾ/]
 C > [+voiced] / N[+syllabic]_


  Mhuàḷàx [ˈmçvɑd͡ɮɑx] > [m̩ˈʝvɑd͡ɮɑx] 'I restrained him.'
  Mlûkurutaaı [mɬuˈkoɾʊdǝhɪ] > [m̩ɮuˈkoɾʊdǝhɪ] 'You are leading them westward.'
  Ḳmaàktarı [ˈŋmɑqtǝɾɪ] > [ŋ̍ˈmɑqtǝɾɪ] 'I don't understand it.'
  but Mraıkí [ˈmɾɐjgi] 'It is black.'
  but ḳramu [ŋɾɐmv] 'bell.OBL'

 Here we have some lovely initial syllabic nasals, and voicing assimilation that produces the only possible environment where you'll find stressed voiced oral stops or fricatives aside from [v] (since voicing is otherwise dependent on unstressed environments and certain vowel types).
/s ʃ ɬ ç x/

 There's really not a lot to say about these... yet

ɬ > l /_C[+voiced]
ɬ > l /_#

  lál [ɬaɬ] > [ɬal] 'language.OBL'
  Ḳaılmáı [ŋɐjɬˈmaj] > [ŋajlˈmaj] 'He is dying alone.'

 Some /z/- and /ɬ/- initial morphemes will have that consonant assimilate to a preceding /s/ (e.g. tìz-ls-zím > Tìzlıssím [ɪˈteʃɬɪsim] 'It is getting foggy [outside]'), but /sz/ and /sɬ/ clusters are not otherwise disallowed.

Image
...until I get around to expanding this.
Edit: Updated with some things about fricatives.
Last edited by kiwikami on 24 Jul 2021 20:49, edited 8 times in total.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál: There are consonants!

Post by DesEsseintes »

tʼP > Pʼ
I love this rule [insert heart emoji here]
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Alál: Verbs?

Post by kiwikami »

DesEsseintes wrote: 01 May 2020 11:16
tʼP > Pʼ
I love this rule [insert heart emoji here]
[:D] With only one phonemic ejective, there just needed to be a way to get more to show up.

Verbs?

Alright, basic verb structure, here we go.

Alál verbs, like nouns, are based on C(C)VC roots, which may have a variety of lexicalized meanings depending on transitivity, aspect, volition, and the presence of derivational axis markers. The complete internal structure is as follows, though note that a maximally-complex verb cannot have all of these categories, as some are mutually exclusive (e.g. if a verb has an object incorporated as OBJ, it will never also take the habitual HAB marker).

VOI/VOL1 - HAB ~ root1<SUB/OBJ-QUANTS-NUMS-QUANTO-NUMO-OBJ> ~ 'Again' - TV/Q - link/ATTR - root2<axis> - ASP - DIST - VOI/VOL2

Each of these components is worth a post of its own, but I'll put a brief summary of each here for reference. This is a very, very broad overview, but it's a place to start.

VOI/VOL1
This is the prefixed component of the inverse (í- or vì-) and causative (ú- or vù-) voice circumfixes. These prefixes have a two-way volitional/nonvolitional distinction, as opposed to the four-way distinction in the suffixed component.
Îkatık 'I am being watched by it.'
kâtat 'I was noticed by it.'
Ûkatàs 'I showed it something.'
kâtar 'I (accidentally) revealed something to it.'

HAB
The habitual aspect is independent of other aspectual distinctions, representing an action that is repeated and seen as usual or customary; it is typically preferred to the frequentative aspect when the action is repeated permanently or over a very long duration, or to the exclusion of other actions (e.g. the frequentative Kxatḳumaı 'I go around swimming / I swim often' vs the habitual Kukxataı 'I am a swimmer [professionally or as a primary hobby]'). It is expressed via reduplication of the first C and V of the root: C1VC2 > C1V~C1VC2 or C1C2VC3 > C1V~C1C2VC3.
lazraı 'I am a dancer.'
Ḳaḳazṭamılaı 'I usually sleep on my belly.'
klìmı 'Cheer up!' lit. 'A thing tends to improve.'

ROOT1
This is the primary root. The vowel of this root is considered the 'root vowel' (v) and used for root vowel epenthesis (RVE) in all cases, unless there is a secondary root, in which case the secondary root's vowel becomes v for all suffixes following its introduction (including aspect, the distributive plural, and the voice/volition suffix).
Ḳazrakàaḳaı 'We all go crawling around.'
 [Primary root is ḲAṬ, so v for ŕkvr̀ 'all' is a; no secondary root, so later RVE to break up an illegal cluster also uses a.]
Ḳazrakàṭmııllıḳaı 'We all still go around sleeping on our bellies.'
 [Primary root is ḲAṬ, so v for ŕkvr̀ 'all' is a; secondary root is MIL, so later RVE to break up an illegal cluster instead uses ı.]

SUB/OBJ
Alál has polypersonal agreement which marks both subject and object using a single fused infix. Object plurality is indicated by this infix; subject plurality is not. All of these affixes are shown in the chart below, with the first column indicating the subject markers for intransitive verbs. I'll go into detail later about some of these, such as the variant forms in brackets. 4 is an indefinite third person, and i is an inclusive 'we'.

Image

QUANTS
Subject quantification, including general plurality. Again, I'll go into more detail later, but here are some examples.
Raùlaı 'You are singing.'
Raùrlaı 'Y'all are singing.'
Raùrukàlaı 'All y'all are singing.'
Raùlaı 'A few of y'all are singing.'
Raùsaḳlaı 'Most of y'all are singing.'

NUMS
Subject plurality, in the numeral sense. Alál is base-6 and marks seven grammatical numbers, including 0, which is one of two forms of negation. The general plural quantifier is also (usually) required for any numbers above one, though there are specific somewhat-idiomatic constructions that allow a higher number alongside the singular quantifier such as use of a singular-dual to show indecision. A singular number may be used to emphasize that the speaker is the only one performing the action (e.g. Mazıxmılılaı 'I was the only one still asleep'). Use of numbers higher than the dual is productive but rare, found mostly in liturgical texts, set phrases, and derived terms (e.g. xatmaṭmaàx 'The Six Who Built')
Raılaı 'He is singing.'
Rıálaı 'They are singing.'
Raıktalaı 'He is not singing.'
Rıátḳalaı 'They two are singing.'
Rıázḷalaı 'They five are singing.'

QUANTS
Object quantification, excluding general plurality. These all begin with a repetition of the first C of the root.
Rûkıẓàx 'You ate them.'
Rûkırúkıẓàx 'You ate all of them.'
Rûkırzııẓàx 'You ate a few of them.'
Rûkırsıḳıẓàx 'You ate most of them.'

NUMO
Object plurality, in the numeral sense. Second verse, same as the first.
Rıàẓàx 'I ate it.'
Rıkàẓàx 'I ate them.'
Rıàkkatıẓàx 'I ate none of them.'
Rıkàzzıṣıẓàx 'I ate three of them.'
Rıkàttumıẓàx 'I ate six of them.'

OBJ
Object incorporation is limited. It creates a habitual meaning and is mutually exclusive with HAB, and only non-compound nouns may be incorporated. For most nouns, the entire C(C)V(TV-axis)C pattern is incorporated, with 'n-declension' (classes 1-3 indicated via standing, resting, and pulling vowels, respectively). Thus the incorporated forms of KHIT2 'meat', RUḳrK3 'frayed rope', and SASAK1 'hospital' are khıt, rùḳruk, and sásak respectively. There is a special form for CVC simple nouns in class 2, which take a CCV pattern (e.g. XUM2 'blood' > xmu). Incorporated nouns may not be possessed. Verbs with incorporated objects must take intransitive person infixes.
Rıẓàx maúx 'It ate the egg.'
mxaẓàx 'It is an ovivore.'
Ràzaı raḳùaúz 'I am wearing armor.'
Razraḳùzzaı 'I tend to wear armor.'
Mruhaı sâsak 'He is cleaning the hospital.'
Mrıusásakhaı 'He is a hospital sanitation worker.'
Mrıusásakhîxu 'He is a thoroughly disgruntled hospital sanitation worker.' [This isn't prescriptively quite 'right' because it rather implies the worker is being used as some sort of human mop, but using the antivolitive with normally volitional actions to indicate extreme reluctance is good for a giggle.]

'Again'
There are a lot of different ways to capture different kinds of repetition - reduplication of the final -VC of the root rather straightforwardly produces a 'do X again' meaning. Simple enough, though it combines interestingly with the 3rd and 4th persons.
Rıàẓıẓàx 'I ate it again.' (3rd person object)
Iràıẓıẓàx 'I ate another one.' (4th person object)

TV/Q
Truth value. This is a lovely mess of semantics that I'll discuss more later. In brief, there are five similarly-structured suffixes which may go here, which we'll call the affirmative, negative, hypothetical, and undefined. The affirmative (ùl) is mostly used for emphasis, often contrastive, or to express certainty. The negative (ìt) is, well, a negative, though its scope is different to that of the numeral negative and it doesn't act as an actual negative in compounds. The hypothetical (àr) indicates the possibility of the event in question (what 'could' or 'may' be), and the undefined (ìḷ) is usually used to refute some event, due to its impossibility or the failure to meet some presupposition. The final suffix is Q (-àm) - it is used for yes/no question formation, where the truth value of the utterance is on the table and at issue.
Ḳaılùlı 'He is most definitely dying!'
Raılìtıá 'He is (pointedly) not singing.'
Tıâmartaakamí 'They might be giants.'
Raùmzaẓàmuḷa? 'Have you stopped your habitual lava-drinking?'
...Razımzaẓìḷàx. 'I don't drink lava. I never drank lava. I beg your actual pardon?'

LINK/ATTR
Roots in compounds are connected by a linking morpheme, which may be null, m, k, or ıu. This is lexicalized but there are some reasonably common patterns, with m indicating a causal relationship between verb components, k indicating purpose or intent, and ıu in indicating action in spite of some existing condition. These morphemes are fused with the attributive verb marker, which makes... attributive verbs. I'll get to those later. The attributive forms of these are , vŕm, vŕk, and íu respectively.
Lmıulmuḳalà 'He died of thirst.'
luluk lmıulúmḳalà 'the ivy-beetle that died of thirst'
Sazmıumılàx 'I slept through the storm.'
kası samíumılàx 'my child, who slept through the storm'
Thıákkultakaı 'They are performing thakuǔltak (a ritual group dance before a hunt).'
saıtṭuk thıákáklatakaı 'the quack doctors, who are performing thakuǔltak'

ROOT2
This is the second root in a compound. Typically the first root will be a modifier of this one, and it is this root to which aspectual and voice/volition distinctions apply; this leads to opacity in meaning for many compounds, as the exact meaning of the first root is underspecified (including whether it is in fact verbal at all, or whether some nominal meaning is intended). For example, Kıutìtmuḳalà may be parsed as referring to the drowning of a non-swimmer ('he died due to being unable to swim'), or to the starvation of a large sea mammal ('it died due to lack of fish'); the former is the 'correct' interpretation, and the one generally understood, but alternative compound interpretations are frequently used in puns or wordplay. One could envision this word being used in a newspaper headline to announce an aquarium permanently shutting down.

AXIS
A whole slew of mostly-derivational affixes (or infixes, if used in compounds) derived from expressions of motion in physical space. They still serve that purpose in verbs of motion, but many have taken on more esoteric or idiomatic meanings and have become effectively part of the root. This also includes tense. I won't go into much detail here, but here are some examples to illustrate the variety.
Razsaḳàma > Razsaḳàma 'I am wandering aimlessly > I am wandering aimlessly backwards.'
Kxukàsıḳa > Kxukàskusaıḳa 'I am lining them up > I am lining them up from right to left.'
Sazkazím > Sazkaḷazzím 'I am healing > I am healing (as well/poorly) as expected.'
Zaızı > Zaızı 'It is flowing > It is flowing downwards from high up.'
Ḳaılí > Ḳaılhakí 'He is dead > He is as good as dead.'
Ixìtà > Ixìtkılà 'It rained > It looks like it rained.'

ASP
Aspectual markers - I talked about these in greater depth earlier and won't go into it again here; I haven't explained the iterative and frequentative aspects much yet, but I think I'll leave those for their own post.

DIST
This is the distributive plural marker , which is actually identical to the iterative aspect and likely derived from it. It is used to specify that actions applying to a plural object (or performed by a plural subject, for intransitive verbs) are applied separately, to each object one at a time. Verbs without this marker can be perceived as ambiguous for this, but generally will be interpreted as a collective plural (i.e. 'all at once'), though this may be specified with the use of SAR2 as an additional argument for emphasis.
Râsax 'They went there (likely together).'
Râsax saır 'They went there (definitely together).'
Râsaḳa 'They went there (separately, on different occasions).'
Ḷakǎḷakâax 'I fought them all (at once).'
Ḷakǎḷakâaḳa 'I fought them all (one after another).'
Makàtumaxàx 'I gathered six eggs (at once).'
Makàtumaxàḳa 'I gathered six eggs (over some period of time).'

VOI/VOL2
The second half of the voice/volition affix; the active voice has no corresponding prefixed counterpart. There are three voices (active, inverse, and causative) and four volitional qualities (volitive, involitive, supervolitive, and antivolitive), the first two of which are the most common. Volitive (a/h/x, í-k, ú-s) and supervolitive (á, í-ıka, ú-usa) verbs imply agency on the part of the subject; if intransitive, the single argument is in the agentive case. Involitive (∅, ì-t, ù-r) and antivolitive (ŕxvr̀, ì-ıta, ù-ura) verbs do not imply agency, and if intransitive, their single argument takes the patientive case. (See, I mentioned earlier Alál was active-stative, and now it's finally relevant.) Verbs that differ only in volition may have very clear relationships (volitive Hazkahakâx 'I fly down to the ground', antivolitive Hazkahakâarxà 'I fall to the ground from a great height'), or they may not, due to idiom or semantic change (involitive Xıumı 'He is bleeding', supervolitive Xıumıá 'He is a martyr').
 I'll discuss them in more detail later, but briefly, the supervolitive indicates a sense of drive, will, or conscious intentionality, usually directed towards a goal, likely despite some sort of obstacle. The antivolitive indicates reluctance and a specific, willful intent to avoid the action in question. Compare volitive Ràsahàxàx ḳum 'I walked to the top of the mountain' and supervolitive Ràsahàxǎ ḳum 'I made it to the top of the mountain', or involitive Ḳaılà 'He died' and antivolitive Ḳaılàrxà 'He died (after fighting for his life)'.


Alright.
That's enough.
I have a paper to submit for publication in two days and should be finishing that instead of writing all of this.
Last edited by kiwikami on 24 Jul 2021 20:25, edited 5 times in total.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál: Verbs?

Post by Creyeditor »

This is the way I want to see conlangs presented [:)] Great work.
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Alál: Vowels and Stress

Post by kiwikami »

Creyeditor wrote: 29 Aug 2020 23:15 This is the way I want to see conlangs presented [:)] Great work.
Thank you! I am very glad this mess can bring joy.



Vowels and Stress. And [f]'s here too. For [f]unsies.

Alál has either a three- or nine-vowel system, depending on analysis. Effectively, there are three vowel 'classes' with three corresponding types/groups/what-have-you: resting, standing, and pulling. Let's call them 'flavors'. The distinction between flavors is a combination of height and tendency to attract stress. Flavors behave very much like tone, in that various morphemes may affect them (or may appear as 'floating' elements that attach to an immediately preceding resting vowel - these are traditionally written as ŕ and in isolation as in lieu of a preceding vowel they will both be realized as [ɾ]) and they are subject to change depending on their proximity to other flavors of vowels; e.g. three standing or pulling vowels in a row (regardless of intervening consonants) are not permitted, and so the middle vowel in such a group will become pulling or standing, respectively.

I choose to consider this a three-vowel system with the added flavor quality, for several reasons. First, roots only ever contain resting vowels, and a wide variety of morphological processes lead to vowels changing form; thus, it seems useful to consider flavor as a separate value added on top of the three base vowels. Secondly, the flavors do not necessarily form natural classes. The only commonality between [ u] and [a], for example, is that both are standing forms; they differ in height, backness, and roundedness to boot.

Frankly the best way to describe these things is probably via some sort of autosegmental approach, but I really don't feel like putting that together right now. [:|] As it is, this all sounds much more complicated than I think it honestly is.



Resting vowels (ı u a) are marked with no diacritic. They appear as [ɪ ʊ ə] in most contexts, or the lowered [ɛ ɔ ɐ] in #C(C)_ position. They are dispreferred for stress, but if a word contains only resting vowels, the initial syllable will be stressed. Unstressed resting vowels trigger intervocalic voicing in preceding consonants.

aẓı ['ŋɐd͡ʒɪ] 'arm.OBL'
txuz ['txɔʃ] 'book.PAT']

When resting vowels are paired with each other, they metathesize to force the sequences [əj] ua [və] ıu [ɪv] and uaı [vəj].

hh əjç] 'air.AGT'

They also appear as [j f/v h/ʕ̞] when adjacent to other vowels. We'll get to that later.



Standing vowels (í ú á) are marked with an acute accent, or are unmarked if the preceding vowel is a caron-marked pulling vowel (e.g. áà > âa) - this orthographic quirk is a remnant from when the vowel 'flavors' were a tonal distinction and there was some fancy downstepping going on. They appear as [ i u a] in all contexts, except that ú may be realized as [w] before a stressed pulling vowel (most commonly seen in the 2nd subject, 3rd-singular object marker, ûv - e.g. Kûısà ['kwesɑ] 'You were born there'). They are preferred for stress over resting vowels, but dispreferred compared to pulling vowels. Unstressed standing vowels trigger intervocalic voicing in preceding consonants.

kúlut ['kuɮʊt] 'whale.OBL'
ḷaḳaí [t͡ɬɐŋ'hi] 'army.AGT'
hmál [çmal] 'conquered territory.OBL'



Pulling vowels (ì ù à) are marked with a grave accent, or are unmarked if the preceding vowel is a circumflex-marked standing vowel (e.g. àá > ǎa). They appear as [e o ɑ] in all contexts and are preferred for stress. They also may not appear as the first phonemic vowel in a word; should this otherwise be the case, the word's root vowel will be epenthesized in resting form to the beginning of the word. This will be reflected in the orthography unless the root vowel is the same as the pulling vowel that triggered the epenthesis (compare Lìraı and Ikùısà below, both with root vowels ı but different initial pulling vowels.) Resting u in this case will typically become [f] or [v] (assimilating to the voicing of the following consonant), thus leaving the pulling vowel still as the surface (though not underlying) first vowel. In non-formal speech, resting a (schwa) epenthesized in this way is often not pronounced.

Lìraı [ɪ'ɬeɾəj] 'Someone is dancing.'
mà [ə'mɑʔ] 'shrub.OBL'
Ikùısà [ɪ'kojsɑ] 'You were born somewhere.'

Unstressed pulling vowels do not trigger intervocalic voicing in preceding consonants. Thus Kùkà['fkoqɑʕ̞ɪ] 'He is carrying it in an open container on his head' but Kǔka['fkogahɪ] 'He is bringing it down (here) in an open container'.

There is a morphophonological exception to the pulling>standing>resting stress preference. Past a certain morpheme boundary within the verb (specifically, past the axis markers or the position where such markers would go), the priority changes from 'stress in pulling>standing>resting' order to 'try to put the stress before this boundary, preferring that order where possible'. In short, the language doesn't like its stressed syllables being too close to the end of a verb if it can help it.

If you have a mix of standing and pulling vowels in one verb, or more than one of either, there's no chance that resting ones get stressed. However, stressing the left side of the boundary takes precedence over the pulling>standing>resting order; if there's only one standing or one pulling vowel and it's on the right side of the boundary, any left-side resting vowel will be stressed. If there's more than one, and all standing/pulling vowels are past the boundary, then stress is assigned left-to-right among the standing/pulling vowels with no regard for hierarchy.

Here are some examples of what that looks like in practice, with C(onsonant), S(tanding), R(esting), P(ulling) below, and - used to show the boundary:

 CRCSC-R | One S, before the boundary. S is preferred over R. S is stressed. E.g. Kahí 'It sees us.'
 CRCRC-S | One S, after the boundary. S is usually preferred over R, but not post-boundary. First R is stressed. E.g. Hazumí 'I am green.'
 CSC-S  | Two Ss. Pre-boundary is preferred over post-boundary. First S is stressed. E.g. Hú 'They are green.'
 CRC-P  | One P, after the boundary. P is usually preferred over R, but not post-boundary. R is stressed. E.g. Ka 'It saw it.'
 CSCPC-RR | One S, one P. P is preferred over S. P is stressed. E.g. Kûkataı 'You are watching them.'
 CSCRC-P  | One S, one P. P is preferred over S, but not post-boundary. S is preferred over R. S is stressed. E.g. Kítatà 'Something saw y'all.'
 CRRC-SCCP | One S, one P, both after the boundary. P is usually preferred over S, but post-boundary the leftmost non-standing vowel takes precedence instead of following the typical order. S is stressed. E.g. Hıumîrmu 'He is green, despite his best efforts.'



Vowel reduction. Honestly, rather like with the stress, I sort of know how everything works intuitively/instinctively at this point, and I feel that by putting it on paper I'm somehow going to get something wrong, so I do apologize for any oddness. Pairs and such of standing and pulling vowels do not change with one exception (in addition to the aforementioned occasional [w]): sequences of identical standing or pulling vowels become a standing/pulling-resting sequence (e.g. àà > àa, íí > íı, etc.) Resting vowels are more variable; they will reduce if adjacent to another vowel.

U. Will become [v], assimilating to [f] if adjacent to a voiceless consonant. It is the preferred vowel to reduce, where possible (e.g. resting-resting sequences ua and ıu are [və] and [ɪv], not [ʊh] and [jʊ] - usually). A uu sequence is usually [vʊ]. This is not universal - in general, CCV and VCC sequences are preferred over CCR and RCC sequences, where R is a reduced vowel. Thus, a sequence ıus would definitely be [ɪfs], but ıust would be [jʊst]. It also reduces in #_CV and VC_# contexts.

ḳamu [ŋɐmv] 'rock.OBL'
huarsaẓ ['çfəɾzət͡ʃ] 'safehouse/refuge.OBL'

I. Will become [j]. It is preferred after u for reduction, thus becomes [əj] rather than [hɪ] outside of the CC restrictions mentioned above. An ıı sequence is usually [jɪ].

hııtıḳ ['çjɪdɪŋ] 'sinus infection.OBL'
katıát [kə'tjat] 'dusk.OBL'

A. Will become [h], or [ʕ̞] if either immediately following or preceding a back vowel. Both [ə] and [h] tend to delete in informal speech, [h] in particular deleting when adjacent to [ə], and [ə] also deletes word-finally for nearly all speakers regardless of formality register. (Preservation of word-final [ə] is a marker for specific dialect groups.) An aa sequence is usually [hə].

ḳaḳaìr [ŋəŋ'heɾ] 'cave system.AGT'
ḳaúl [ŋʕ̞ul] 'death.PAT'

In V_V contexts, a resting vowel will always reduce. VVVV, as well as VVV sequences where all three vowels are "the same" (regardless of flavor - thus uuu and úuù both count here), are not permitted and will be broken up via epenthesis of a consonant depending on the second-to-last vowel in the sequence. This is x for a, h for ı, and m for u. Thus the word 'lazy person.OBL', glossed ka<áa-a>x-a (or ka<áa-a.#a>x to use my own notation), would be realized as kaáxaaxa ['khaxhəxə] > ['kʰaɣəɣ].



Alright, it's six in the morning and I have seven hours of DnD tomorrow, good night y'all.
Last edited by kiwikami on 30 Mar 2021 19:51, edited 1 time in total.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál: Vowels and Stress. And [f]'s here, too.

Post by Creyeditor »

Yeay for autosegmental phonology, floating features and a pitch-accent like system. Great work as usual. I agree that presenting autosegmental analyses is always painful. I usually draw the structures with forest in Latex and the just snip them, upload them on some website. Still not so much of a pleasure. Three further notes: could the system be called pitch-accent, in the same way Sanskrit is sometimes called a pitch accent system, because of the different degress of strength in different morphemes, wrt stress? Only that in your system every vowel has this "strength".
Second, what would you think about introducing moras/syllable weight? Resting vowels could be underlyingly mora-less, i.e. difficult to stress, unless there is not other vowel. They also easily reduce to consonants. Standing vowels would be monomoraic, they can be stressed, but don't need to be. They basically head a light syllable, which is okay for stress but not perfect. Pulling vowels would then be long (bimoraic) underlyingly and only shortened very late in the phonological/phonetic derivation. They attract stress, because of the stress to weight-principle, i.e. because stress prefers heavy syllables. On the surface all vowels could be of the same length, but such an analysis would basically make your stress system, a weight-sensitive left-oriented stress system instead of some phonological lexical stress/pitch accent fusion.
Third, I think your language would be great data for an Optimality Theory description [;)] Stress the initial vowel, unless there are Standing vowels. Stress the Standing vowels, unless there are Pulling vowels and so on.
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Re: Alál: Vowels and Stress. And [f]'s here, too.

Post by kiwikami »

Creyeditor wrote: 20 Mar 2021 21:30 \I agree that presenting autosegmental analyses is always painful. I usually draw the structures with forest in Latex and the just snip them, upload them on some website. Still not so much of a pleasure. Three further notes: could the system be called pitch-accent, in the same way Sanskrit is sometimes called a pitch accent system, because of the different degress of strength in different morphemes, wrt stress? Only that in your system every vowel has this "strength".
Mmm, that's a good point, I hadn't thought of describing it as pitch-accent, but that would make a lot of sense.
Creyeditor wrote: 20 Mar 2021 21:30Second, what would you think about introducing moras/syllable weight? Resting vowels could be underlyingly mora-less, i.e. difficult to stress, unless there is not other vowel. They also easily reduce to consonants. Standing vowels would be monomoraic, they can be stressed, but don't need to be. They basically head a light syllable, which is okay for stress but not perfect. Pulling vowels would then be long (bimoraic) underlyingly and only shortened very late in the phonological/phonetic derivation. They attract stress, because of the stress to weight-principle, i.e. because stress prefers heavy syllables. On the surface all vowels could be of the same length, but such an analysis would basically make your stress system, a weight-sensitive left-oriented stress system instead of some phonological lexical stress/pitch accent fusion.
This is a great idea! I confess I don't know much about how syllable weight works in natural languages, but I'll do some looking into that. This would also help to explain how non-pulling vowels interact with consonants, since they don't trigger intervocalic voicing, suggesting that this voicing only occurs on non-heavy syllables. I'd need to give some thought into how consonant clusters, play into that since those would also have an effect on syllable weight, but intuitively this feels like a very useful way to look at things.
Creyeditor wrote: 20 Mar 2021 21:30Third, I think your language would be great data for an Optimality Theory description [;)] Stress the initial vowel, unless there are Standing vowels. Stress the Standing vowels, unless there are Pulling vowels and so on.
Oh, it definitely would - I might put together an OT tableau for stress one of these days, I just get college phonology class flashbacks whenever I see those little cartoon hand pointers. [:D]


A brief interlude on imperatives.

Wrote this up instead of working on my dissertation proposal. As one does.

There are two primary ways to form imperatives and similar constructions. The first is the use of the axis marker -u (recall that 'axis' markers are a set of inflectional and derivational affixes that appear in a certain position within verbs and nouns, so named because in verbs of motion they often indicate direction). When used in this way, it is glossed as DEO (deontic); its technical name (due to being the 'positive' form of the event time axis) is E+. This is thus the E-imperative.

E+ is typically used to form complex tense and aspect combinations, as it orients the event time later than the reference time, thus allowing for constructions such as Ḳaılà > Ḳaıllıà > Ḳaıllıuà “it died (just now) > it died (back then) > it was going to die” and Ḳaılısaí > Ḳaılısu "it will stay dead > it will stay on the brink of death ('keep being going to die')".

When used in the present tense, it instead acts as a deontic mood whose exact purpose changes depending on the person marked on the verb. In the first, inclusive first, third, and fourth persons, it is effectively an optative.

Mazılusta.   "I want to go to sleep."
Uìskùlhıut.   "I hope we have fun."
Mítıtkıhuaàx.  "Someone should help y'all down from up there."
Uírıǔrukumuàk! "May they all be destroyed!"

In the second person, it is a polite imperative, serving to mark requests. Due to being an axis marker, its is not limited in the lexical aspect or volition of the verb to which it attaches; thus, it can be used to express hope that an individual will perform or experience an event nonvolitionally, or that they will be in some ongoing state.

Maǔzraẓuàx. “(Please) bring me along.”
Mıùlusta.  “(Please) go to sleep!”
Tuhùukuàx. “(Please) hunt.”
Tuhùukuaı. “(Please / I hope you will) be hunting.”
Lûkılíkıttumîmaramáuàx. “(Please) herd all six of them far away.”

Verbs that are volitional or extra-volitional and in the conclusive aspect have a second possible imperative form, created by omitting both the conclusive aspect marker and the volitional one (the extra-volitional á remains), resulting in a verb lacking overt aspect and sometimes volition marking (but interpreted as a conclusive volitive/extra-volitive). This is the simple imperative, and is less polite.

Maǔzraẓ! “Bring me along!”
Tuhùuk! “(Go) hunt!”
Lûkılíkıttumîmaramá! “Oh for god's sake, get all six of these animals as far away as possible!”

It can be used in the first or third (or fourth) person to imply immediate necessity. The first inclusive is an imperative or command that includes the speaker. These, unlike the second person forms, are not considered especially impolite.

Mxaız. “He really needs to poop.”
Zazul. “I need to be quiet.”
Rìr!  “Somebody do something!”
Ḷaxùr! “(We must) attack them!”

It's worth noting that the lack of typical verb suffixes means many of these forms are homophonous with related nouns that share a related root. Mxaız is also the agentive form of MXAZ2 'feces', rìr is the agentive of RIR1 'important event', and zazul, purely coincidentally, could be interpreted as the oblique form of some derived noun ZAzuL2 from the root ZAL 'arch', which... come to think of it I'd probably use that to describe the garlands used in English garland dances. Guess I'm adding that to the lexicon. My first thought was 'protractor' but that'd be zàtal, and an actual archway would just be zala, maybe zaakala if it was especially tall.

This can all be negated. Numeral negation with -ktv negates the command (do not [do the thing]) while negation using -ìt negates the verb (do [not the thing]). The latter is rarer, complicated, and tends to have consequences elsewhere in the verb, such as prompting a change in volition; it also simply doesn't work in compound verbs.

Mxaızìtıskıá. “He really needs to keep holding it in as long as possible.”
Zazuktal!  “I shouldn't be quiet!”
Rìktì!    “Nobody do anything!”
Ḷaxǔktı!   “Don't (let's) attack them!”

This works just fine with more complex structures like the quantifier- and axis-heavy animal-herding verb above, or with incorporated objects:

Razıktuẓ. “I am desperately craving ('really need to eat') fish.”
Rıùhluẓ!  “Eat ashes!” [a reasonably strong curse]

Note that there is no simple imperative equivalent to “(Would that you) go to sleep!” because “sleep” does not have a conclusive aspect form, only a durative. The derived verb “sleep in/late”, however, is in the conclusive, and so works here. It is also extra-volitive, which is perfectly fine in this construction but retains its final á.

Mıǔlsuǎ  “You slept in!” (mıùlsù-à-á)
Mıùlsùuǎ! “You should sleep in!” (mıùlsù-u-à-á) [E-imperative]
Mıùlsǔa!  “Sleep in!” (mıùlsù-á) [simple imperative]

There is a single exception to the requirement that the verb be in the conclusive. “Moving” tense markers (e.g. the “ongoing past” R-*, translated as “still be Xing”, as opposed to the regular past R-) are typically not permitted with the conclusive (or momentane) aspect, since these aspects are inherently perfective and don't play well with long durations. The durative, on the other hand, may be either perfective or imperfective (usually the latter) depending on tense and context. As such, the simple imperative can be used for durative verbs provided that one of these tense markers is present – the durative marker is absent, but implied. Thus while we can't have “Be sleeping!”, we can have “Keep sleeping!”.

Mıùlıl!   “Keep sleeping (as you have been)!” [using R-* “still” -ıl]
Mıùlısa!  “Keep sleeping (starting from now)!” [using R*+ “continue” -ısa]
Kultıskıá! “(We must) keep swimming (until further notice)!” [using R-+ “perpetual” -ıskı]

Verbs in the momentane, stative, inchoative, inceptive, cessative, terminative, iterative, and frequentative modes/aspects may not use the simple imperative, and must use the E-imperative.

Irùlîax maú? Kultàx : Kultàx...What do we do? We swim, swim...
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál: A brief imperative interlude

Post by Creyeditor »

Sorry for getting caught up in the phonology. I just wanted to mention that things that happen between light syllables only are sometimes linked to mosaic foot structure.

The imperative also looks cool, especially the general deontic one. I have to admit that I am a bit lost with Alál specific terminology, but I haven't been following the thread closely.
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Re: Alál: A brief imperative interlude

Post by kiwikami »

Creyeditor wrote: 13 May 2021 20:56 Sorry for getting caught up in the phonology. I just wanted to mention that things that happen between light syllables only are sometimes linked to mosaic foot structure.
Ah - I should definitely read up more on how feet and moras work; that's a bit of a gaping hole in my phonological knowledge!
Creyeditor wrote: 13 May 2021 20:56The imperative also looks cool, especially the general deontic one. I have to admit that I am a bit lost with Alál specific terminology, but I haven't been following the thread closely.
Thanks! Yeah, that's my bad - I do tend to use a lot of... effectively made-up or non-standard (or borrowed from Athabaskanists) terms for things. This language has been in development for about six years now, and a lot of things come from my old notes that I've just gotten used to. Since this thread is rather out-of-order, I know I'm not exactly presenting things in the most reasonable order. In particular, I should really get around to describing what "axis markers" actually are, why they're called that, and how they work, since they show up a lot and their descriptions are rather opaque.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Alál: A brief imperative interlude

Post by Omzinesý »

I like this lang.
I just don't have patience to read the thred through. Still trying.
My meta-thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5760
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Re: Alál: I finally describe what axis markers are

Post by kiwikami »


 I mention these a lot. Should probably talk about them.

(My apologies for any inconsistencies - this developed very organically over the course of about six years from scrawlings on the wall of my college's math-and-stats hallway, and my note-taking has been patchy at best with great reliance on memory.)


'Axis' markers (so called because they originate from indicators of movement along particular axes, e.g. up/down or forward/backward) are a collection of derivational morphemes that appear in certain places within a verb or noun (for the former, just before the aspectual marker - for the latter, just before case marking). They also, in a slightly altered form, serve the role of prepositions. In some cases, they are productive; motion and position verbs, for example, still use some of these markers to indicate direction of motion or location. Thus we can take the verb Zuàraı 'I'm lugging it around' and add aka 'upwards' to produce Zuàrakaaı 'I'm lugging it upwards'.

Other verbs, as well as nouns, have since developed lexicalized forms including many of these axes, most of which have changed due to idiom and semantic shift and acquired additional meanings. The resulting set is very varied, including derivational morphemes for careful, excessive, or attempted action, all tense markers, the copulas, and prepositions serving the functions of 'or' and 'however', all wrapped up in the guise of 'motion/orientation in a particular direction'.

They come in roughly two categories: static and transitional, where the former (e.g. 'in front') references a particular area while the latter (e.g. kıta(z) 'from front to back') indicates motion or transition from one area to another, along a given axis. They are denotated formally, at least in my notes, by the letter of the axis in question on an XYZ-inspired scale, followed by some combination of +, -, and * to show any transition. The '+' and '-' cases indicate progression on the axis relative to some reference point, while '*' indicates the reference point. Static axes have only one such symbol (e.g. X+, C*) while transitional ones have two (e.g. X+*, C*-).

When used productively, the reference point of a transitional marker is typically the subject of the verb. Thus, for Zuàrakaaı above, we would describe aka as Y*+, which is 'movement from the reference point further in the + direction on the Y axis'; the thing being lugged is moving upwards. Similarly, would be simply Z+, or 'further in the + direction on the Z axis' (arbitrarily, 'forward' is designated as +).

Quick note: Using Y*+ notably requires that the starting point of the object being moved be at the subject's level - after all, as said, the subject is generally the reference point. If the object is being moved from somewhere below the subject, then we would instead use Y-+ ıkkà.

The axes consist of X, Y, Z, C, P, R, and E, roughly right/left, up/down, front/back, in/out, near/far, and then future/past for both reference and event time. More than one may appear in a given word (but not two of the same category - e.g. R- and X+* are fine, but R- and R+ are not) in which case they appear in the order YCPXZRE.

Here is the complete(ish) table of these gosh darned things. Many have variant forms depending on whether they are appearing in verbs, nouns, or as prepositions. There are also a couple of other very old, unproductive sets, of which the only one that still shows up anywhere is W 'closeness-to-water', zẓ-zà-ta-ẓá-aza-aẓà-tàza-kataz-ızkà, which appears in some noun like kazàax 'driftwood' and hıtaaxı 'inland town' and in verbs from several religious texts.

Image


 This is a big topic and will be very multi-part; this bit will just go through X to test out presenting the info in this way. Later I'll go through the others and talk more about how they operate morphologically, their reduplicated forms (love a little ininfixfixation), and the somewhat fossilized 'contact' morphemes mv, rv, and r̀m. That'll also be where I finally talk about how prepositional phrases work, though there'll be a bunch of examples of those here.


X - right-to-left, north-to-south

This axis encodes both a right/left dichotomy and a more global north/south one. Which meaning is meant is lexicalized for most nouns and non-motion verbs, where other idiomatic or semantically shifted meanings are not instead intended; productive use of these in verbs of motion will typically be ambiguous.

 x* s[t] (ut) horizontally aligned 
 In motion verbs (st): Careful or precarious movement [Kıurstàx 'He is cliff-climbing']. Movement in a specifically straight line or without deviation [Ríktalrıstǎ 'He went directly home'].
 In other verbs (st): Careful action [Lalstıá 'He is speaking deliberately'].
 In nouns (s): Constructed, makeshift, artificial, or false [hasaka 'skybox', mrısàıṭ 'game token', skáatı 'artificial gravity'].
 As preposition (ut): Generic 'at' or 'in' for places, particularly open spaces and non-buildings, countries, etc. [ut·Tásí haxı 'He lives in town'].

 x+  right
 In motion verbs (): Motion on the right or north of some reference [Ḳul 'He keeps right (on the road)'].
 In other verbs (): Involving the right side of the body [Skaràx 'He strikes it with his right hand']. Relating to north [Lımkakatàx 'He gazes nostalgically northward'].
 In nouns (): Involving the right side of the body [zaḳùaḷa 'right glove'] (semi-productive). Involving north [stııár 'northern continent'] (unproductive). Undeveloped or incomplete [àıs 'fetus', akı 'sapling'] (productive).
 As preposition (): To the right or northern side of something [·haxı kulıuáḳ 'the town north of the glacial lake'].

 x- su left
 In motion verbs (su): Motion on the left or south of some reference [Ẓímsuí 'It is listing to the left'].
 In other verbs (su): Involving the left side of the body [suzta 'He scoops it (a liquid) up in his left hand']. Relating to south [Haık·kasu 'It is visible in the southern sky'].
 In nouns (su): Involving the left side of the body [zasuaḷa 'left hand'] (semi-productive). Involving south (unproductive) [zasuáz 'southern ocean'].
 As preposition (su): To the left or southern side of something [su·kulıuáḳ kaızaás 'the glacial lake south of the salt flat']. When the object is a clause or some phrase introduced by RAR, sets up the new phrase as an alternative or counterpoint to the other [su·Ḳaılǎrı Mîlarí or Ḳaılǎrı su·ráa Mîlarí 'Maybe he's dead, or maybe he's sleeping', kulıuáḳ su·ráa kaızaás 'the glacial lake or the salt flat'].

 x+* (s)tú right-to-here
 In verbs (): Motion to a reference point from the right or north [Lıkuḳ 'He is visiting us from the north', Tzíax 'I bring it (a plate or something held in a flat palm) over from the right'].
 In nouns (): Moving or extending to a reference point from the right or north [ıáh 'north wind'].
 As preposition (stú): Moving or extending to a reference point from the right or north [stú·saızaara kaızaás 'the parade coming to the salt flat from the north'].

 x*+ (us)ta here-to-right
 In verbs (ta): Motion to right or north from a reference point [tatìka 'He scoots a bit to the right'].
 In nouns (ta): Moving or extending to the right or north from a reference point [kıḳtaaḷı 'island chain stretching northward', xalua·ḳmataama 'starboard dockline (on a boat)'].
 As preposition (usta): Moving or extending to the right or north from a reference point [usta·maızaaṭa haxı 'the meadow stretching northward from town'].

 x-* us(ù) left-to-here
 In verbs (us): Motion to a reference point from the left or south [Zkaımusîhı 'It's drifting leftwards'].
 In nouns (us): Moving or extending to a reference point from the left or south [luusmak 'pilgrim from the south'].
 As preposition (): Moving or extending to a reference point from the left or south [·laku maızaaṭa 'the road stretching southward from the meadow']. Note that there is an initial u here which reduces to [f], but it is unwritten as the first vowel is ù and thus would trigger initial epenthesis of u regardless.

 x*- sù(tu) here-to-left
 In motion verbs (): Motion to left or north from a reference point [Zıùluàx 'Slide to the left!'].
 In other verbs (): Performing an action excessively, being a state to an unusual degree [Mımsîmsuı 'He is an alcoholic', Zǐlı : Zìı 'It's quiet - too quiet'].
 In nouns (): An excess of something, one who displays such excess [ḳııám 'wealthy person', lmual 'drought', laàl 'chatterbox, one who talks too much']. Moving or extending to the left or south from a reference point [xalua·ḳmaama 'port dockline (on a boat)'].
 As preposition (sùtu): Moving or extending to the left or south from a reference point [sùtu·maḳát mkár 'the orchard stretching southward from the hill'].

 x+- k(u)sa(t) right-to-left
 In motion verbs (kusa): Motion from right to left or north to south across, or in lieu of, a reference point [Ṭírkusaàx 'They fled from north to south', Taṭkákusatàk 'It (electricity) passed through him from right to left'].
 In other verbs (kusa): As above, or used more generally to indicate 'crossing' or 'traversing' an expanse regardless of direction [Márkusaàx hasıu·hkamı 'He guided her through the Fire Swamp'].
 In nouns (k(u)sa): Spanning or patching a gap, regardless of direction [muksaàuṭ 'hammock', krıksahaḷ 'adhesive bandage']. The (u) here appears only epenthetically to break up illegal consonant clusters, instead of using the root vowel of the verb stem.
 As preposition (kusat): Moving or extending from right to left or north to south across, or in lieu of, a reference point; also used for general traversal regardless of direction [kusat·zalı maḳát 'the river running through the orchard (possibly north-to-south)', kusat·ḷıáz zalı 'the bridge crossing the river'].

 x-+ ıskù left-to-right
 In motion verbs (ıskù): Motion from left to right or south to north across, or in lieu of, a reference point [Zalıskǔı 'It arches from left to right'].
 In other verbs (ıskù): As above or, particularly with plural subjects, motion while arranged in a row [Ḷamrarıskù 'They are fighting in line formation', Htıâḳmaıskù 'They are sneaking away in single file'].
 In nouns (ıskù): Arranged in a row [lıuskùuát 'whalebone wall', kaıskǔal 'syzygy']; note ıu metathesis in lıuskùuát.
 As preposition (ıskù): Moving or extending from left to right or south to north across, or in lieu of, a reference point [ıskù·maza huál 'the lava flowing south-to-north through the wasteland'].


This is likely in great need of grammar-checking and edits and I will continue this later, but for now, I must sleep. And get my mother a birthday present.
Last edited by kiwikami on 12 Aug 2021 22:50, edited 2 times in total.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

:eng: :mrgreen: | :fra: [:)] | ASL [:S] | :deu: [:|] | :tan: [:(] | :nav: [:'(]
Khemehekis
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Re: Alál: I finally describe what axis markers are

Post by Khemehekis »

kiwikami wrote: 08 Aug 2021 07:45  In nouns (s): Constructed, makeshift, artificial, or false [hasaka 'skybox', mrısàıṭ 'game token', shıkáatı 'artificial gravity'].
I'm going to go off on a limb and guess that haaka means "sky"?

In Kankonian, "skybox" is oshmulhozos, from oshmul (sky) and hozos (cube).
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Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 77,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
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