S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o Lat-u: The Singing Tongue

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qwed117
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S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o Lat-u: The Singing Tongue

Post by qwed117 »

Oh jeez, where do I start. This is the first thread I've made in 3 years on the CBB (yes, it's been *3* years, I have not made a thread since 2017).

In April last year (or at least, that's as far back as my documentation goes), I began to work on a new conworld, one that would be focused on maintaining more realism, in contrast to Waxworld, which operates on its own sorts of level. I'm trying to flesh out ~10 protolangs that came to dominate the land, which is, if anything, knowing my (lack of) productivity, a bit too much.

Anyways, this thread will be devoted to one of those proto-languages, and all of its descendants. This language family would come to predominate most of the planet, especially over the last millennium, during which the discovery of an previously uninhabited continent by a few small groups led to a massive increase in its influence. It is noticeably like Proto-Indo-European, but naturally will have its own quirks. Here's a little, minimally-edited copypaste of what I have down on the languages, over at the sQwedgepad


First protolang, of the most Proto-Indo-European-like language family

/p t k bˀ dˀ gˀ b d g/
/s₁ s₂ s₃ h₁ h₂/ also notated as F₁ F₂ F₃ F₄ F₅ due to the uncertain realizations of most of the fricatives, a good estimate is [s ʃ sʷ x h]
/m n ŋʲ m̥ n̥ ŋ̥ʲ r r̥ l l̥/
/j w/

/a e o i u/
/eː oː iː uː/
/m̩ n̩ ŋ̩ʲ r̩ l̩/
/m̩ː n̩ː ŋ̩ʲː r̩ː l̩ː/

example words:
*dˀoːŋʲ-o 'to bind'
*m̥urk-i 'worm'
*(h₁)s₃em- 'tooth, bone, jaw'

Words are generally formed of three parts: a root, a theme vowel, and a suffix. Occasionally, often in nouns, the theme vowel is absent.

The word m̥r̩kidˀyem "near a couple worms" can be used to show this. It is composed of a root m̥urk-, a theme vowel -i- and the stem -Vdˀyem, which is the paucal locative. The theme can be considered equivalent to the final vowel of the stem in some analyses. In some forms, denoted with a -V, the theme remains present in the word, but in other forms, theme vowels may instead be lost, or replaced with another vowel, as required by the paradigm.

I think that's enough for today
Spoiler:
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What is made of man will crumble away.

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Re: S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o Lat-u: The Singing Tongue

Post by GoshDiggityDangit »

That looks fun. I always love romanizations that include numbers. I'm very excited to see the outcome(s)!
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Re: S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o Lat-u: The Singing Tongue

Post by sangi39 »

Oooo, this could be fun [:D] It does have a sort of PIE vibe, but it still feels different enough. Having /u/ in *m̥urk-i seems to point to more vowels forming the equivalent to the PIE "short grade". Does it have the sort of *-Vy- ~ *-i- ablaut that PIE does?
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That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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Re: S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o Lat-u: The Singing Tongue

Post by Vlürch »

GoshDiggityDangit wrote:
30 Apr 2020 04:41
That looks fun. I always love romanizations that include numbers. I'm very excited to see the outcome(s)!
Same! Also languages with voiceless liquids, and this has both, so... yay! Looking forward to how it'll grow.

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Re: S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o Lat-u: The Singing Tongue

Post by qwed117 »

GoshDiggityDangit wrote:
30 Apr 2020 04:41
That looks fun. I always love romanizations that include numbers. I'm very excited to see the outcome(s)!
Thank you, I was intending to use it to create a feeling like PIE's laryngeals. And I'm definitely more than glad to see someone other than me who enjoys that. I hope you'll like the outcomes.
sangi39 wrote:
30 Apr 2020 14:04
Oooo, this could be fun [:D] It does have a sort of PIE vibe, but it still feels different enough. Having /u/ in *m̥urk-i seems to point to more vowels forming the equivalent to the PIE "short grade". Does it have the sort of *-Vy- ~ *-i- ablaut that PIE does?
I tried to make it emulate PIE yet clearly be a completely different language. In part that's because PIE operates under the reality that we don't have enough information about the present or future, while I have no idea how much this protolang will change over time.

So far, I think I've marked out /e i o u/ as forming the equivalent to the PIE "short grade". I haven't done too much thought into the ablaut pattern, and part of why I've been wanting to write this thread (and stalling in the process) was to further flesh this out. Just doing a quick look at my wordset only returns a handful that have Vj/Vw diphthongs:

*piːs₂gˀmejr̩ː 'same, alike, similar, one in two'
*l̥ajs₂-i 'to view, to see, to perform, to execute'
*s₃ajmŋ̩ʲː- 'seed',
*traws₂- 'bleat, animal cry'
*praws₁-e 'to carry, to lift, to raise'
*majh₁-e 'to warn, to fear, to caution'
*wajm- 'squirrel'

Right now, I don't think adjectives are set to be declining, and even so the particular form of *piːs₂gˀmejr̩ː, which has a syllabic rhotic on the end, indicates that it's not a true diphthong, so it really doesn't deserve to be a part of this set. With that exception, the entire list of Vj/Vw diphthongs are all aj/aw, and aren't present in words with another elongated vowel grade. Now, in S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o, the /a/ vowel is special, because it doesn't pattern as a vowel with short and long forms, and often appears as the extended grade of short syllabic resonants. With that in mind, I think that some aj/aw -> i/u ablaut can/will be reconstructed. I still have to think a lot about how ablaut actually patterns, especially with long vowels existing outside of the ablaut system, though, so this might be up for reinterpretation eventually
Vlürch wrote:
02 May 2020 20:50
GoshDiggityDangit wrote:
30 Apr 2020 04:41
That looks fun. I always love romanizations that include numbers. I'm very excited to see the outcome(s)!
Same! Also languages with voiceless liquids, and this has both, so... yay! Looking forward to how it'll grow.
Glad to hear you like it. It took a lot to put voiceless liquids in this and make it feel sort of natural, and I'm not sure that the words with voiceless liquids fully reflect my goals or match with the aesthetics or the evolution of the language, so they're still a bit "up in the air"
Spoiler:
My minicity is Zyphrazia and Novland
What is made of man will crumble away.

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Re: S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o Lat-u: The Singing Tongue

Post by shimobaatar »

Oh, cool! After seeing bits of this language throughout Lexember, I'd been hoping we'd get to learn more about it.

I like the reconstructed aesthetic. Of course, the asterisks and hyphens contribute to this, but the subscript numerals in particular are also a big part of it, in addition to the use of, for example, *m̥ and *oː rather than something like <mh/hm> and <ō/ó/oo>. It is generally reminiscent of PIE - purposefully, I take it - but as you've said, it has its quirks. For instance, the fricatives, three sibilants and two "laryngeals", definitely help set this language apart from PIE (the sibilants, at least, make me think of Proto-Semitic or the Old South Arabian languages instead). I also like that *m̥ *n̥ *ŋ̥ʲ *r̥ *l̥ are voiceless rather than syllabic, but that there actually are syllabic sonorants as well, and that they distinguish length.
qwed117 wrote:
29 Apr 2020 08:37
Words are generally formed of three parts: a root, a theme vowel, and a suffix. Occasionally, often in nouns, the theme vowel is absent.

The word m̥r̩kidˀyem "near a couple worms" can be used to show this. It is composed of a root m̥urk-, a theme vowel -i- and the stem -Vdˀyem, which is the paucal locative. The theme can be considered equivalent to the final vowel of the stem in some analyses. In some forms, denoted with a -V, the theme remains present in the word, but in other forms, theme vowels may instead be lost, or replaced with another vowel, as required by the paradigm.
Interesting! There are some intriguing hints at the larger system here, such as the *ur~*r̩ alternation in the root and the paucal locative morpheme.

One question: you've written that "The theme can be considered equivalent to the final vowel of the stem in some analyses". Perhaps there's something I'm missing, but if *m̥urk- is the root and *-Vdˀyem is the stem, and *-i- comes after *m̥urk- and before *-Vdˀyem, then might it be possible that what that sentence was intended to say was either that the theme can be considered equivalent to the initial vowel of the stem, or that it can be considered equivalent to the final vowel of the root?
qwed117 wrote:
29 Apr 2020 08:37
I'm trying to flesh out ~10 protolangs that came to dominate the land, which is, if anything, knowing my (lack of) productivity, a bit too much.
I think I can relate, unfortunately. Best of luck!

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Re: S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o Lat-u: The Singing Tongue

Post by qwed117 »

shimobaatar wrote:
07 May 2020 23:51
Oh, cool! After seeing bits of this language throughout Lexember, I'd been hoping we'd get to learn more about it.

I like the reconstructed aesthetic. Of course, the asterisks and hyphens contribute to this, but the subscript numerals in particular are also a big part of it, in addition to the use of, for example, *m̥ and *oː rather than something like <mh/hm> and <ō/ó/oo>. It is generally reminiscent of PIE - purposefully, I take it - but as you've said, it has its quirks. For instance, the fricatives, three sibilants and two "laryngeals", definitely help set this language apart from PIE (the sibilants, at least, make me think of Proto-Semitic or the Old South Arabian languages instead). I also like that *m̥ *n̥ *ŋ̥ʲ *r̥ *l̥ are voiceless rather than syllabic, but that there actually are syllabic sonorants as well, and that they distinguish length.
Yep, in general, relying on IPA like transcription definitely adds to the reconstructed feel, which was a key goal- part of why words have the shape they do in this language. That in addition to the fricative series was intended to clearly set it aside from PIE. I don't know if any natlangs distinguish length in syllabic resonants (not counting Nuxalk, because it appears to syllabify the length contrast), but I figured it seemed cool enough (and given that it's reconstructed, the appearance of syllabic length could just be more simply understood as a [əːmː] sequence)
shimobaatar wrote:
07 May 2020 23:51
qwed117 wrote:
29 Apr 2020 08:37
Words are generally formed of three parts: a root, a theme vowel, and a suffix. Occasionally, often in nouns, the theme vowel is absent.

The word m̥r̩kidˀyem "near a couple worms" can be used to show this. It is composed of a root m̥urk-, a theme vowel -i- and the stem -Vdˀyem, which is the paucal locative. The theme can be considered equivalent to the final vowel of the stem in some analyses. In some forms, denoted with a -V, the theme remains present in the word, but in other forms, theme vowels may instead be lost, or replaced with another vowel, as required by the paradigm.
Interesting! There are some intriguing hints at the larger system here, such as the *ur~*r̩ alternation in the root and the paucal locative morpheme.

One question: you've written that "The theme can be considered equivalent to the final vowel of the stem in some analyses". Perhaps there's something I'm missing, but if *m̥urk- is the root and *-Vdˀyem is the stem, and *-i- comes after *m̥urk- and before *-Vdˀyem, then might it be possible that what that sentence was intended to say was either that the theme can be considered equivalent to the initial vowel of the stem, or that it can be considered equivalent to the final vowel of the root?
Yep, the stems regularly cause ablaut, although in this case, I actually decided to go back and decide that there would be no ablaut here, so the form would be only *m̥urkidˀyem. Worth noting however, that the plural dative would be *m̥r̩kigˀoːr. And yes, there'll be a lot of fun cases [:P]. With regards to the question, this is a choice in how you analyse the words. Theme vowels vary on a word to word basis, but every short vowel* is "attested" as a theme vowel. So there's all *m̥urk-i 'worm', *s₁l̩der-o 'star', *dŋ̩ʲːw-e 'salt', kiːdh₁-u 'path, way, road'. The origin cannot be completely ascertained, but given my understanding of how case distinctions generally form, I think it would be clearest to understand the theme vowels as being a portion of the root that would be elided behind certain affices and not so behind others. The V merely shows where the vowel was elided, and where it wasn't. Arguably it'd be more correct to display the affix as *-V-dˀyem to more accurately show my intention, but I don't think that's necessary.

Of course, I will note that in later descendants the theme vowel sequences get significantly altered, to the point where they are not separable from the affix.

*The vowel 'a' is a strange thing. Based on it's lack of alteration with long vowels, and rare alterations with syllabic resonants, it appears to make sense that it was not a full vowel per se, but possibly a reduced vowel, most likely pronounced either /ɐ/ or /ə/. I cannot find a noun in my wordlist that has an -a theme, but verbs have a similar, more robust theme system, and do have -a themes, so I think it's fair to say that -a themes exist.
shimobaatar wrote:
07 May 2020 23:51
qwed117 wrote:
29 Apr 2020 08:37
I'm trying to flesh out ~10 protolangs that came to dominate the land, which is, if anything, knowing my (lack of) productivity, a bit too much.
I think I can relate, unfortunately. Best of luck!
Thank you for your well wishes!
Spoiler:
My minicity is Zyphrazia and Novland
What is made of man will crumble away.

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Re: S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o Lat-u: The Singing Tongue

Post by Omzinesý »

Is "singing" just the name of the language or is it spoken by singing or something?

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Re: S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o Lat-u: The Singing Tongue

Post by qwed117 »

Omzinesý wrote:
08 May 2020 12:42
Is "singing" just the name of the language or is it spoken by singing or something?
To answer your question quickly, the language is not spoken by singing or anything special. It is no Silbo Gomero. The word *s₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o appears to have meant "sing" in the proto-language, but is repurposed in many descendants to mean "speak" or "say", which leads to the name I used above. *Lat-u simply means "tongue", and similar to English, is used in many descendants to refer to language. I will often use *s₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o or sngdo to refer to the language, although that is merely just shorthand, not a real name.

Nominal Declensions

*S₁ŋ̩ʲːd-o Lat-u has been reconstructed to have eight different cases, a nominative-direct, dative, ablative, locative, caritative, possessor, possessed-instrumental (listed as an instrumental here), and comitative case and likely four different numbers, a singular, dual, paucal and a plural form. In addition to this, nouns, decline with regards to definiteness. With this, it would have 48 different inflected forms, however, no known dual or plural caritative forms exist, bringing the total number of inflected noun forms to 44.

Code: Select all

Indefinite	SINGULAR	DUAL (?)	PAUCAL		PLURAL
NOM/DIRECT	-Vt		-Vtjat		-Vtm̩		↘-Vdoːn
DATIVE		-gˀre		-gˀret		-Vgˀr̩m		↘-Vgˀoːr
ABLATIVE	-lajm		-limt		↘-liːm		↘-liːn
LOCATIVE	-Vdˀje		-Vdˀjet		-Vdˀjem		↘-Vdˀjoːn
CARITATIVE	↘-Vn̥ajr				↘-Vn̥iːr	
POSSESOR	-es₁		-s₁et		-s₁m̩		↘'-es₁n̩ː
INSTRUMENTAL	↘-oh₂s₃e	↘-oh₂s₃et	↘-oh₂s₃m̩	↘-oːh₂̩n̩
COMITATIVE	-ŋ̥ʲem		-ŋ̥ʲemt		-ŋ̥ʲm̩		-ŋ̥ʲm̩
				
Definite	SINGULAR	DUAL (?)	PAUCAL		PLURAL
NOM/DIRECT	-Vtal		-tjal̥		-Vtm̩t		↘-Vdoːl
DATIVE		-gˀrel		↘-gˀreːl̥	-Vgˀr̩mt		↘-Vgˀoːl
ABLATIVE	-lil		↘-limtal	↘-liːl		↘-liːl
LOCATIVE	-Vdˀjel		↘-Vdˀjeːl̥	-Vdˀjeːl	↘-Vdˀjoːl
CARITATIVE	↘-Vn̥iːl				↘-Vn̥iːl	
POSSESOR	-Vl̥		-s₁el̥		-s₁m̩l		↘'-es₁n̩ːl
INSTRUMENTAL	↘-oh₂s₃el	↘-oh₂s₃el̥	↘-oh₂s₃m̩l	↘-oːh₂̩n̩l
COMITATIVE	-ŋ̥ʲm̩l		-ŋ̥ʲm̩l̥		-ŋ̥ʲm̩l		-ŋ̥ʲm̩l
As was mentioned earlier, the language features a lot of ablaut. The symbol indicates that the vowel grade in the prior syllable should be reduced if possible. For example, in the word *m̥urk-i has a singular nominative *m̥urkit, and a singular caritative *m̥r̩kin̥ajr. An example of a word with no ablaut is *lat-u, which has a singular nominative *latut and a singular caritative *latun̥ajr. It doesn't represent a tone.
Spoiler:
My minicity is Zyphrazia and Novland
What is made of man will crumble away.

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