Canocua (ona:taʔwę): an Iroquoian conlang

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anonymous123
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Canocua (ona:taʔwę): an Iroquoian conlang

Post by anonymous123 »

Hey CBB!

Now that my relay run is finally done (whew!) I'm going to share some info about a conlang I've been working on for a little bit, to which I'll be devoting some more time in the future. Canocua (autonym: ona:taʔwę) is a Northern Iroquoian language spoken by approximately 1400 people in the central area of present-day New River, WV, United States. The autonym means "village language," but the English exonym is from Proto-Northern-Iroquoian *knõkʷeh "they are people, they are human" (the Canocua equivalent would be gayǫ:kwe).

Here's a brief summary of its diachronics:

Iroquoian
 ⤷ Proto-Iroquoian
  ⤷ Proto-Northern-Iroquoian
   ⤷ Lake Iroquoian
    ⤷ Iroquois Proper
     ⤷ Canocua


I'll post morphological data as it becomes solidified, but I do have a verb structure down, which is as templatic as it is in other Iroquoian languages, and I will post that with the other data. Until then, here are my sources (last updated: 8/31/2020 1:03 ET):

Julian, Charles (2010). A History of the Iroquoian Languages (PDF) (PhD thesis). University of Manitoba.

Note that I'm working from scarce resources, as the Iroquoian languages have not had much modern academic coverage. While the first paper mentioned above has been an amazing source (which I recommend if you're interested in Iroquoian linguistics), I will begin to use more sources that are more specific to certain Iroquoian languages as I find them, and so continue to improve my yet limited knowledge about this awesome language family.

Can't wait to share more soon!
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ona:taʔwę phonology and orthography

Post by anonymous123 »

Ah yes, of course I forgot to upload literally the basis of the entire language. Because I'm a conlanger.

Phonology:
Spoiler:
Image
As you may be able to tell if you know Iroquoian languages such as Mohawk and Seneca, the phonology presented here is quite similar; lack of labials, nasalized vowels, etc.
Orthography:
Spoiler:
Image
In my personal opinion, the orthography I created for Canocua seems realistic and aesthetically pleasing (feel free to give feedback). It helps Canocua "fit in" with the other Iroquoian languages (and other Native American languages for that matter)
As stated in my first post, I will upload some grammatical data soon when I get it solidified. Stay tuned :con::thinking:
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GoshDiggityDangit
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Re: Canocua (ona:taʔwę): an Iroquoian conlang

Post by GoshDiggityDangit »

This is a very interesting concept, and I'm excited to see more! Where did you find resources for Proto-Iroquoian?
Disregard anything said above; I know nothing.
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Re: Canocua (ona:taʔwę): an Iroquoian conlang

Post by anonymous123 »

GoshDiggityDangit wrote: 01 Sep 2020 13:38 This is a very interesting concept, and I'm excited to see more! Where did you find resources for Proto-Iroquoian?
Thanks, I'm glad to hear that! A History of the Iroquoian Languages (linked above) is my primary source right now. The Wikipedia and Wiktionary pages for Proto-Iroquoian are also great starting points.
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DesEsseintes
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Re: Canocua (ona:taʔwę): an Iroquoian conlang

Post by DesEsseintes »

I’m curious to know how the lateral affricate developed, especially given the absence of a lateral approximant. If I were to hazard I guess, I suppose Cl clusters could have turned into the lateral affricate while the lateral approximant merged with /j w/ but please, prove me entirely wrong! [:D]
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Re: Canocua (ona:taʔwę): an Iroquoian conlang

Post by anonymous123 »

DesEsseintes wrote: 01 Sep 2020 15:53 I’m curious to know how the lateral affricate developed, especially given the absence of a lateral approximant. If I were to hazard I guess, I suppose Cl clusters could have turned into the lateral affricate while the lateral approximant merged with /j w/ but please, prove me entirely wrong! [:D]
Good guess, but not quite, considering Cl clusters in Proto-Iroquoian and Proto-Northern-Iroquoian are already very rare as it is, if not nonexistent. It was actually evolved from /tʃ/, which, during early stages of Canocua's development, evolved from /tsh/, usually in PNI /ts/ where a reflex with /h/ follows. The lateral approximant did merge with /j w/, though!

Here's an example with Canocua and other Iroquoian languages: (all words in IPA)

PNI *-nẽtsh- "arm"
> Mohawk, Oneida -nʌ̃tsh-
> Tuscarora -nə̃tʃh-
> Nottoway *-nẽtʃh-
> Onondaga, Cayuga -nẽtsh-
> Huron -nẽsh-
> Seneca -nɛ̃sh-
> Canocua -nɛ̃t͡ɬ-
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DesEsseintes
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Re: Canocua (ona:taʔwę): an Iroquoian conlang

Post by DesEsseintes »

It’s cool that your lateral affricate corresponds to sibilant affricates in the other langs.

Nitpick though:
anonymous123 wrote: 01 Sep 2020 16:56 considering Cl clusters in Proto-Iroquoian and Proto-Northern-Iroquoian are already very rare as it is, if not nonexistent.
I don’t think that’s true. Just as a couple of examples, hr and hrj are reconstructed all the way back to PI, and the extremely common nominaliser affixes -hsr and -ʔtshr (pg. 148 in Julian Charles) are reconstructed back to PNI.

Given the large number of irregular reflexes in Cherokee dialects of clusters that include tl hl, etc. that are hard to reconstruct the PI ancestors for, I find it difficult to believe that C-liquid clusters were rare in proto-Iroquoian.

Of course, we don’t know the precise nature of the liquid.
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Re: Canocua (ona:taʔwę): an Iroquoian conlang

Post by anonymous123 »

DesEsseintes wrote: 01 Sep 2020 17:57 It’s cool that your lateral affricate corresponds to sibilant affricates in the other langs.

Nitpick though:
anonymous123 wrote: 01 Sep 2020 16:56 considering Cl clusters in Proto-Iroquoian and Proto-Northern-Iroquoian are already very rare as it is, if not nonexistent.
I don’t think that’s true. Just as a couple of examples, hr and hrj are reconstructed all the way back to PI, and the extremely common nominaliser affixes -hsr and -ʔtshr (pg. 148 in Julian Charles) are reconstructed back to PNI.

Given the large number of irregular reflexes in Cherokee dialects of clusters that include tl hl, etc. that are hard to reconstruct the PI ancestors for, I find it difficult to believe that C-liquid clusters were rare in proto-Iroquoian.

Of course, we don’t know the precise nature of the liquid.
Sorry, that was a misunderstanding on my part. I thought by Cl you meant /l/ and not all the other liquids. Speaking of those, /r/ eventually shifted to /d/ in Canocua.
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Canocua verb template, version 1

Post by anonymous123 »

While I get the rest of the verb morphology sorted out, here's the general structure of the verb in Canocua. As you can probably infer, not all of these "slots" will be filled. I will post the details/content of each part of the template one-by-one, as I get them worked out. The template itself may also be changed, depending on what else I learn about the structure. The morphophonology that will occur on the boundaries between slots in the template should be interesting [}:D] The diachronics of highly synthetic languages such as the Iroquoian languages are also fascinating to study.

Also, I've seen a lot of interesting derivational affixes! Probably the best part about Iroquoian languages, besides how awesome they look, is that derivation can lead to a wide variety of different words from any given root.

Verb Template:
Spoiler:
ImageImage
(It's in two images so that the text can be legible; my image hoster isn't the best at preserving quality)
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eldin raigmore
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Re: Canocua verb template, version 1

Post by eldin raigmore »

anonymous123 wrote: 02 Sep 2020 03:01 While I get the rest of the verb morphology sorted out, here's the general structure of the verb in Canocua.
This is great!
I am curious about templatic morphology or slot-and-filler morphology.
I’m interested in the semantics of some of these!

Do nouns also have a template?

What about adjectives, or other parts-of-speech?
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Re: Canocua verb template, version 1

Post by anonymous123 »

eldin raigmore wrote: 02 Sep 2020 05:41
anonymous123 wrote: 02 Sep 2020 03:01 While I get the rest of the verb morphology sorted out, here's the general structure of the verb in Canocua.
This is great!
I am curious about templatic morphology or slot-and-filler morphology.
I’m interested in the semantics of some of these!

Do nouns also have a template?

What about adjectives, or other parts-of-speech?
Thank you for the kind words ❤

Nouns and other parts of speech don't have templates; nouns can have possessive prefixes, but that's all I have solidified at this point. Adjectives in most Iroquoian languages don't change morphologically, either. Besides, a large number of Iroquoian adjective words are modified stative verbs, of course with some exceptions.

Another note: Cherokee is the only extant Southern Iroquoian language, and as such is quite deviant from the rest of the Iroquoian languages.
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Canocua verbs, slot 1: prepronominal prefixes

Post by anonymous123 »

Yikes, I have really neglected this thread, haven't I? I don't usually post on forums. Gotta set reminders for this stuff [:3]

Anyway, after a couple of days of procrastination rigorous conlanging, I present the first part of the verb template. The Iroquoian languages, including Proto-Iroquoian and Proto-Northern-Iroquoian, have/had an extensive system of prefixes that appear before the obligatory pronoun slot. These are usually called prepronominal prefixes, and they mark several miscellaneous grammatical features. Some prefixes can only occur with certain verb bases (more on that at another time), and they occur in a set order. As you may be able to tell, the vast majority are inherited from Proto-Northern-Iroquoian in structure, but with the addition of a 7th position class template slot for imperative, which was originally incorporated into the pronominal prefix.

Image

Even from cursory readings of NI verb structure, I find it hard to even comprehend the amount of verb forms a single root can take, excluding incorporated nouns. I wonder whether an Iroquoian language could ever surpass the purported 1,502,839* mathematically possible verb forms of the legendary Archi language of the Caucasus. (There's only one way to find out)

*Source: Kibrik, A. E. (2001). "Archi (Caucasian—Daghestanian)", The Handbook of Morphology, Blackwell, pg. 468.
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