Taimát (Kumarian) Scratchpad

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GoshDiggityDangit
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Taimát (Kumarian) Scratchpad

Post by GoshDiggityDangit »

Taimát was spoken on a small island chain south of India. These islands, collectively known as Kumari Kandam, disappeared into the ocean in November of 1657. Since this time, the island has reappeared and disappeared many times, the last of which was in 1988. The islands have been charted once, in a chart of the Indian Ocean created by Louis L. Delarouchette in 1817. Due to the archipelago's unstable nature, linguists and anthropologists are not able to study the language and culture of the natives. However, in 1926, a young man who called himself Gelma drifted onto shore near the Sri Lankan city of Matara. He claimed that he came from the northern-most of the islands, named Gama in the chart. He was fluent in Sri Lankan, English, and a strange language he called Taimát. He passed away in 1930 due to Influenza. Before he passed, researchers were able to document some of Taimát. Unfortunately, he was very coy about his origins and native language, so there is not a large amount of documentation. As well, none of the papers on the language are up online, and so I have had to use books from my local university's library to get the information.
REAL WORLD: Taimát (aka Kumarian) is an a priori conlang I am developing for an alternate history. I am going to try to present the language in the style of an actual paper on an actual language, and I hope to write a grammar for the language. Please critique my work and the writing style, as the language is still a work-in-progress.
Last edited by GoshDiggityDangit on 14 May 2020 07:51, edited 1 time in total.
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sangi39
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Re: Taimát (Kumarian)

Post by sangi39 »

Presumably the people from these islands aren't human, or there's some sort of magic or interdimensional stuff going on that means the islands remain inhabitable to humans and the just appear to disappear under the waves for decades at a time.
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

GoshDiggityDangit
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Re: Taimát (Kumarian)

Post by GoshDiggityDangit »

sangi39 wrote:
11 May 2020 09:12
Presumably, the people from these islands aren't human, or there's some sort of magic or interdimensional stuff going on that means the islands remain inhabitable to humans and the just appear to disappear under the waves for decades at a time.
There certainly is magic. IRL, Kumari Kandam is a mythological lost continent from Tamil culture. It sank beneath the sea in myth, and I wanted to stick with that aspect. Thanks for the query!
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Re: Taimát (Kumarian)

Post by GoshDiggityDangit »

Phonology of Taimát

The phonemic inventory of Taimát is not terribly interesting. The consonant inventory is averagely sized (23 phonemes):
/p b t d ʈ ɖ k g/ <p b t d ṫ ḋ k g>
/m n ɳ ŋ/ <m n ṅ ŋ>
/r/ <r>
/v s z ʂ ʐ h/ <v s z ṡ ż h>
/j w/ <y w>
/l ɭ/ <l l̇>

And it features a six-vowel system:
/i u/ <i u>
/e/ <e>
/ɛ ɔ/ <ɛ o>
/a/ <a>


Stress in Taimát seems to be phonemic as well. Take súvar [ˈsu.vaɾ], sand, and suvár [suˈvar], sandal. Stress is written with an acute diacritic on the stressed vowel. Beyond the first two syllables of a word, the rhythm for secondary stress is trochaic. Take kávanì [ˈka.vaˌni], L. Kumarius (brown slender loris). Secondary stress is only written when it is necessary to be very specific, but when it is, it is written using the grave diacritic.

The syllable structure is relatively complex. It allows for two onset consonants and two coda consonants. This does not apply to [h], however. [h] may only occur by itself, and may not be a coda. Nasals assimilate in place to following plosives, excluding [m].
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Re: Taimát (Kumarian)

Post by GoshDiggityDangit »

About the grammar idea, I think this language is better suited for one. I will be updating this thread, but less so. I will use this thread more as a scratchpad than anything else.
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Re: Taimát (Kumarian) Scratchpad

Post by GoshDiggityDangit »

Now that I think about it, the "phonemic stress" stuff is poorly thought out. I think I will just replace it with something else, but I use length a lot, so I'll have to figure something else out. Tone? Breathiness? Creakiness? We'll see.
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Omzinesý
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Re: Taimát (Kumarian) Scratchpad

Post by Omzinesý »

GoshDiggityDangit wrote:
14 May 2020 08:56
Now that I think about it, the "phonemic stress" stuff is poorly thought out. I think I will just replace it with something else, but I use length a lot, so I'll have to figure something else out. Tone? Breathiness? Creakiness? We'll see.
I have never heard breathy or creaky voice be used as a "stressing feature".
Pitch accents are interesting.
One can make stressing more interesting too, by linking it with vowel reduction and merger in unstressed syllables.

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Re: Taimát (Kumarian) Scratchpad

Post by GoshDiggityDangit »

Omzinesý wrote:
14 May 2020 22:02
I have never heard breathy or creaky voice be used as a "stressing feature".
That’s true. However, I’m not looking to have variable stress anymore. What I’m looking for is a way to make, say, súvar and suvár different while keeping the stress position the same, whereas in the past they would be distinguished solely by stress position.
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Re: Taimát (Kumarian) Scratchpad

Post by Omzinesý »

GoshDiggityDangit wrote:
15 May 2020 09:10
Omzinesý wrote:
14 May 2020 22:02
I have never heard breathy or creaky voice be used as a "stressing feature".
That’s true. However, I’m not looking to have variable stress anymore. What I’m looking for is a way to make, say, súvar and suvár different while keeping the stress position the same, whereas in the past they would be distinguished solely by stress position.
So you need something that can attract stress in later stages of the language.

1)
Mordvinic languages had something like: if the vowel in the first syllabe (stressed in Uralic languages) was +high, the stress moved to the second syllable. I remember badly and I've never studied it thoroughly. I think Japanese has something a bit similar with lenition of high vowels.
Later unstressed first vowels can change and lose the conditining of the rule.

2)
Yes, I think breathy/creaky voice could do.
Say, the language has phoneme/h/ it lenites and makes the vowel breathy. Breathy voice quite easily changes to a low tone. Tones are labile, so it can soon be a high tone. Later a pitch accent changes to a stress accent.
A glottal stop could easily create a high tone directly.

3) A syllable can be "heavy" with other features than vowel length. Coda is the easiest option.
Say, the proto-language had suvar and suvvar, and stress lies on the first "heavy" syllable. Later geminates are lost.

4)
A very simple alternative is that in the proto-lang had a penultimate stress. Then some syllables are lenited and stress is left irregular.
Suvára
Súvar
Last edited by Omzinesý on 24 May 2020 22:02, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Taimát (Kumarian) Scratchpad

Post by shimobaatar »

GoshDiggityDangit wrote:
11 May 2020 07:57
He was fluent in Sri Lankan, […]
I'm sorry I don't have anything more substantial to say, but do you perhaps mean Sinhala?

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Re: Taimát (Kumarian) Scratchpad

Post by GoshDiggityDangit »

shimobaatar wrote:
24 May 2020 21:35
I'm sorry I don't have anything more substantial to say, but do you perhaps mean Sinhala?
O shoot, it is! That will help me when writing the document, thanks!
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