Two Ergative Romlangs

A forum for all topics related to constructed languages
Post Reply
User avatar
VaptuantaDoi
sinic
sinic
Posts: 445
Joined: 18 Nov 2019 07:35

Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Context

I’m very bad at finishing romlangs (and very good at starting them), but hopefully this thread will incentivise me to do something. I’ve been working on two romlangs to experiment with different ways of evolving ergativity from a nominative-accusative ancestor; the first (Vissard) is a galloromlang which evolved a split-S system encouraged by an earlier marked nominative; the second (Illyrian) is an Eastern romlang in which the ergative structure derives from an old passive perfect construction, which was later generalised to all aspects. Interestingly, the Latin nominative evolved to the Vissard ergative but the Illyrian absolutive; while Vissard’s absolutive derives from the accusative and Illyrian’s ergative from the dative. This post, however, is only about Vissard, because I've been working on it for longer and the phonology is more interesting. Illyrian will be coming soon though...

What is Vissard?

Vissard is a galloromlang spoken in the althist island of Visserland, which is in the North Sea about 60 miles off the coast of England. It's equivalent to the OTL Dogger Bank. Dogger Bank is the remnant of the ancient landmass Doggerland which connected England and Europe. In the Vissard timeline, the Dogger Bank moraine was about 100 feet higher and remained above water, forming an island 160 by 60 miles in size. Some Vissard linguists have proposed that Vissard's ergativity was influenced by a pre-Roman Visserlandic language; they suggest that Visserlandic was an ergative language, potentially a Vasconic one. However, ergativity likely developed too late for this to be tenable.

Phonology

I’ll just start by outlining a bit of Vissard phonology. After working through a number of inventories, I’ve settled on this one, inspired mostly by French/Franco-Provençal/Occitan.

Consonants
/p b t d k ɡ/
/f β s z ʃ ʒ h ʁ/
/m n ɲ ŋ/
/l/

Vowels
/i y u/
/ɛ œ ɔ/
/ɑ/

Unusually for a romlang, /h/ and /ŋ/ are both phonemic segments. /h/ derives from loan-words (e.g. Old Norse hulfr "holly" > /hylˈβɑ/) and /ŋ/ from analogised coda nasals (e.g. /dɔ ˈdɔŋ/ "I give" analogises to /duˈŋɛ/ "to give").

Major historical developments

Vissard of course underwent a number of sound changes, but the two most distinctive are the evolution of vowels and the palatalisation of velars.

Vowels
Western Vulgar Latin (WVL) had seven vowels */i u e o ɛ ɔ a/ with long and short variants; originally allophonic but later made phonemic. Old Vissard (OV) merged short and long /i u a/, while long /eː oː ɛː ɔː/ were diphthongised to /ei̯ ou̯ i̯ɛ u̯ɔ/. In unstressed syllables, /ɛ ɔ/ merged in favour of /e o/. Word-final vowels (or unstressed vowels before a word-final /s/) other than /a/ were usually dropped except following a consonant cluster that did not follow the sonority hierarchy (e.g. PRESBYTERUM > /prɛstro/, PATREM > /patre/). /a/ was also sometimes dropped (AQUA > /a(ɣ)w/, CASA > /c͡çai̯s/). Some consonants precipitated a yod onto the preceding vowel (word-final stressed /l n s/ and all palatals).

Old Vissard vowels
/i u e o ɛ ɔ a/
/ei̯ ou̯ oi̯ ai̯ au̯ i̯ɛ u̯ɔ i̯ɛi̯ u̯ɔi̯/
atonic /i u e o a/

Middle Vissard (MV) then underwent a major monophthong shift, probably started by a raising of /e o/ to distinguish them from /ɛ ɔ/. This then impinged on /i u/’s vowel space; /u/ was fronted to /y/ (as is areally very common; it was probably /ʉ/ in Old Vissard) while /i/ was centralised to /œ/ (reminiscent of New Zealand English’s /æ ɛ ɪ/ → /ɛ ɪ ə/ shift). Then /e o/ were fully raised to /i u/. This also applied to unstressed /i u e o a/ which became /œ y i u a/. The diphthongs /ei̯ ou̯/ were spread to /ai̯ au̯/ and at least in one dialect area /i̯ɛ u̯ɔ/ likewise became /i̯a u̯a/.

Middle Vissard vowels
/i y u ɛ œ ɔ a/
/ai̯ au̯ i̯ɛ u̯ɔ i̯ai̯ u̯ai̯/
atonic /i y u œ a/

Modern Vissard then backed /a/ to /ɑ/ and smoothed the diphthongs /ai̯ au̯ i̯ɛ u̯ɔ/ to /ɛ ɔ i u/. The triphthongs /i̯ai̯ u̯ai̯/ became /i̯ɛ u̯ɛ/ and then /jɛ ɥɛ/. By reassignment of stress, atonic /ɛ ɔ/ were reindtroduced.

Vissard vowels
/i y u ɛ œ ɔ ɑ/

This means that the reflexes of WVL */e o/ and */ɛ ɔ/ are switched between open and closed syllables (i.e. long vs. short in WVL). Long /eː oː ɛː ɔː/ give /ɛ ɔ i u/, while short /e o ɛ ɔ/ give /i u ɛ ɔ/.
Spoiler:
Long:
PISUM > */peːso/ > /pɛs/ “pea”
FLŌREM > */floːre/ > /flɔʁ/ “flower”
CAECUM > */tʃɛːko/ > /ʃi/ “blind”
FOCUM > */fɔːko/ > /fu/ “fire”

Short:
VIRIDEM > */verde/ > /βiʁd/ “green”
BUCCAM > */bokka/ > /buˈtɑ/ “mouth”
VENTUM > */vɛnto/ > /βɛŋt/ “wind”
CORPUS > */kɔrpos/ > /kɔʁs/ “body”
Stress reassignment

In Franco-Provençal, stress reassignment to the final syllable is common but irregular (e.g. FARĪNA > /farˈna/, CUBITUM > /kuˈdu/). In Vissard, this was completely regular and affected all words, including the swath of feminine nouns ending in /ɑ/. This shift occurred in the 18th century, perhaps due to French influence.
Spoiler:
FARĪNAM > MV /faˈrœna/ > V /fɑʁœˈnɑ/ “flour”
QUATTUOR > WVL *ku̯attro > MV /ˈkɥatru/ > V /kɥɑˈtʁu/ “four”
AVUNCULUM > WVL *au̯nklo > MV /ˈau̯nklu/ > V /ɔŋˈklu/ “uncle”
Palatals

As in mainland French, Latin velars were palatalised in two positions. Firstly, before Latin Ī I Ē E Æ Œ, which happened in WVL. Secondly, before Ā A, which happened much later. The first palatalisation gave WVL */t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/; in French these became /t͡s d͡ʒ/ (later > /s ʒ/), while in Vissard they simply deaffricated to give /ʃ ʒ/.

CĒRAM > /ʃɛˈʁɑ/ “wax”
CĪVITĀTEM > /ʃœˈtɑ/ “city”
GINGĪVA > /ʒiˈɲœ/ “gum”
GENUCULUM > /ʒiˈnɛl/ “knee”

The second palatalisation gave some more interesting results. Pre-Old Vissard likely had simple velar + semivowel sequences */kj ɡj/; in OV they were most likely /c͡ç ɟ͡ʝ/. They were distinguished from /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ based on the category ±sibilant; this allowed them to front to MV /t͡θ d͡ð/. Finally, Vissard deaffricated them to /t d/, merging with existing /t d/. (Think that’s strange? Franco-provençal dialects have any of /θ ts s f st h ɬ fl/ as reflexes too).

CAPRAM > */kjapra/ > /tɑˈβʁɑ/ “goat”
CABALLUM > */kjaβalo/ > /c͡çaˈai̯l/ > /tɛl/ “horse”
GALBINUM > */ɡjalb(i)no/ > /dɛˈnu/ “yellow”
GAMBAM > */ɡjamba/ > /dɑŋˈbɑ/ “leg”

Orthography

In stressed syllables /i y u ɛ œ ɔ ɑ/ are generally <i u o e ue ô a>; in unstressed syllables <e u o ê i ô a>. Semivocalic [j ɥ w] are <y (h)u w>. /p b t d f β ʃ ʒ h ʁ l m n ɲ ŋ/ are <p b t d f v ch j h r l m n gn n>, although <h> may also be silent. Where /t d/ derive from CA GA, they are irregularly <th dh>. /s z/ are generally written <s z> word-initially and <ss s> between vowels. “Soft” <c> (before <i e>) is /s/ while soft <g> is /ʒ/; this use of <c> is unetymological and derives from French. /k ɡ/ are <qu~k gu> before <i e> and <c g> otherwise, except the sequence /kɥ/ is <qu(h)>. <n> is always /ŋ/ word-finally or before a consonant and always /n/ word-initially or non-word-finally after a consonant; otherwise it may be ambiguously either of /n ŋ/ (e.g. dona /duˈŋɑ/ "he gives" vs. dôna /dɔˈnɑ/ "woman").



Well, I promised you two ergative romlangs and delivered one romlang without addressing its ergativity at all. We'll get there eventually!
Pāṇini
hieroglyphic
hieroglyphic
Posts: 32
Joined: 16 Sep 2017 14:24
Location: Between a rock and a hard place.

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by Pāṇini »

I'm loving the vibe of Vissard [:D], perfectly captures the "weird Gallo-Romance lect" aesthetic.
(Think that’s strange? Franco-provençal dialects have any of /θ ts s f st h ɬ fl/ as reflexes too).
Do you have any reading recommendations for Arpitan? I'd love to see what other weird changes the dialects have up their sleeves.
/aɪ kænʔ r̼̊ ʌnəɹstʲænd r̼̊ jəɹ æksɪnt r̼̊/
User avatar
VaptuantaDoi
sinic
sinic
Posts: 445
Joined: 18 Nov 2019 07:35

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Diphthong hardening
This is just a small update post to display a feature I'm adding to Vissard: diphthong hardening or "Verschärfung". This is when the second element of a closing diphthong turns into a consonant; it's seen in sporadically in Romansch and Arpitan as well as the germanic Faroese. Here are some examples:
Arpitan:
NĬVEM > /nai̯/ ~ /nɛk/
*PRŌDE > /praw/ ~ /prok/

Romansch:
*PĬRAM > /pɛkr/

Faroese:
Old Norse þrír > /ˈtrʊdʒɪr/
róa > /ˈɹɛkva/

Conditions
Diphthong hardening occurred regularly in Old Vissard, where it affected the diphthongs /ei̯/ and /ou̯/ when word-final and stressed.

ei̯ ou̯ → ek ok /_#[+stress]

With the regular later development of

ek ok → ik uk /_
PRŌDE "profitable" > /prou̯/ > /pʁuk/ proc "enough"
NŌDUM "knot" > /nou̯/ > /nuk/ noc "figure (of wood grain)"
RĒGEM "king" > /rei̯/ > /ʁik/ ric
This also analogised to some derived forms:
MERCĒDEM "pay" > /mert͡ʃek/ > /miʁʃik/ merchic "gratitude"; *MERCĒDIS > /merˈt͡ʃei̯s/ > /miʁʃiks/ merchix "gratitude ERG"
FOEDUM "ugly" > /fei̯/ > /fik/ fic "ugly"; FOEDUS, FOEDA > /fei̯s fei̯a/ > /fiks fikɑ/ fix, feca (M.ERG and FEM respectively)
There are a few instances where Verschärfung happens unexpectedly, and cannot be explained through analogy
TRĒS "three" > /trei̯, trek/ (both forms seen) > /tʁik/ tric (although note /tʁɛˈʃɛŋt/ 300)
NIGRUM "black" > /nei̯r/, /nekro/ > /nɛʁ/ ner "black" but /niˈkʁu/ necro "blight"
PULLUM "chicken" > /puk/ poc "rooster", /puˈkɑ/ poca "hen"
It also very irregularly happened with other vowels
ACŪTUM "sharp" > /ɑɥk/ aüc; likewise M.ERG /ɑɥks/ and FEM /ɑɥˈkɑ/
VĪNUM "win" > proto-V *vīna "vine for growing wine grapes" > /βœˈɡɑ/ viga "grapevine"
FRAUDEM "fraud" > /fʁɑk(s)/ frac, frax "joker"



Pāṇini wrote: 28 Jul 2021 01:14 I'm loving the vibe of Vissard [:D], perfectly captures the "weird Gallo-Romance lect" aesthetic.
Thanks! That's exactly the look I was going for.
(Think that’s strange? Franco-provençal dialects have any of /θ ts s f st h ɬ fl/ as reflexes too).
Do you have any reading recommendations for Arpitan? I'd love to see what other weird changes the dialects have up their sleeves.
I don't actually have much Arpitan stuff. Those sound changes I got were from either the Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages* or from French wikipedia articles. I do remember enjoying Nagy's Faetar grammar, although it's a very Italianised Arpitan lect.

*The section on Arpitan's references (that I could find online) include:
https://www.persee.fr/doc/roma_0035-802 ... 120_0000_1 (in French)
https://www.e-periodica.ch/cntmng?pid=r ... 68:32::506 (also in French)
https://excerpts.numilog.com/books/9782307028482.pdf ( [:S] looks like they're all in French)
User avatar
Dormouse559
moderator
moderator
Posts: 2887
Joined: 10 Nov 2012 20:52
Location: California

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by Dormouse559 »

VaptuantaDoi wrote: 25 Jul 2021 03:54 (Think that’s strange? Franco-provençal dialects have any of /θ ts s f st h ɬ fl/ as reflexes too).
Ha, don't I know it! [xD] There's an Arpitan variety for every occasion.

I like where Vissard is going! I look forward to seeing the grammar.
VaptuantaDoi wrote: 28 Jul 2021 11:54
Pāṇini wrote: 28 Jul 2021 01:14 Do you have any reading recommendations for Arpitan? I'd love to see what other weird changes the dialects have up their sleeves.
I don't actually have much Arpitan stuff. Those sound changes I got were from either the Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages* or from French wikipedia articles.
I'll have to get my hands on that Oxford book. If I'd had any idea there was a set of sound changes floating around, maybe I could have spent a bit less energy trying to make sense of these reflexes.

My main sources so far have been these sites (also in French):

Dictionary of Savoie Arpitan dialects, Grammar of Savoie Arpitan

Patois VdA - Aosta Valley Arpitan resources (also in Italian and Arpitan)
User avatar
All4Ɇn
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1712
Joined: 01 Mar 2014 07:19

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by All4Ɇn »

I really love the look for this and also want to add I'm really looking forward to seeing the grammar!
VaptuantaDoi wrote: 25 Jul 2021 03:54 In Franco-Provençal, stress reassignment to the final syllable is common but irregular (e.g. FARĪNA > /farˈna/, CUBITUM > /kuˈdu/). In Vissard, this was completely regular and affected all words, including the swath of feminine nouns ending in /ɑ/. This shift occurred in the 18th century, perhaps due to French influence.
Are words in Vissard actually stressed on the last syllable or is it closer to French's practice of rhythmic groupings?
User avatar
VaptuantaDoi
sinic
sinic
Posts: 445
Joined: 18 Nov 2019 07:35

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Illyrian Ergativity

I thought I'd better live up to the title and present some ergativity and showcase the other language; Illyrian. I still have no idea where it will be spoken, but I definitely know how it became ergative! This post deals with the diachronics of Illyrian's ergative system, then looks at the ergativity of nouns, skipping verbs so I have something to do later. In the future I will hopefully start doing some comparative posts looking at how Vissard and Illyrian handle different ergative things, but that'll have to wait for a bit. All this post is in IPA because I have no idea how to romanise Illyrian.

Diachronics

In the Vulgar Latin from which Illyrian evolved (IVL), there were two ways of forming the past perfect tense. The first was the expected Romance formation using HABĒRE as an auxiliary combined with the past participle:
*ˈhabi̯o ˈskriptʊs
“I have written”

*i̯eˈrɔnɪmʊs ˈabɛt ˈskriptʊs ˈunʊ ˈlɪbru
“Jerome has written a book”
IVL also retained the Latin passive perfect construction using ESSE for transitive verbs.
HIERONYMŌ LIBER SCRĪPTUS EST
name-DAT book-NOM write-P.PPL be.3SG
“A book was written by Jerome”

TIBĪ (EGO) VĪSUS SUM
2SG.DAT 1SG.NOM see-P.PPL be.1SG
“I was seen by you”
Eventually, the passive formation won over for all transitive past perfect sentences. IVL also merged ESSE with the participle, similarly to how a future was formed from the infinitive fused with HABĒRE.
*i̯eˈrɔnɪmo ˈlɪbrʊ ˈskriptɛst
“Jerome wrote a book”

*ˈtɪβi ˈi̯o ˈvisʊsʊ
“I was seen by you”
While intransitives still used auxiliary HABĒRE:
*ˈhabi̯o ˈskriptʊs
“I have written”
In Old Illyrian (OI) this further evolved giving the following conjugation for the past perfect, agreeing only with the accusative argument.

véaris “it is seen”

Code: Select all

véar-su	véar-sumu
véar-Ø	véar-ist
véar-is	véar-sun
Spoiler:
Modern Illyrian will be something like this (using an example verb; I haven't got the conjugations figured out yet)

ˈβea̯ris “saw it”

Code: Select all

ˈβersu  ˈβersumu
ˈβer    ˈβearist
ˈβearis ˈβersun
Now that this had become a synthetic tense, it was no longer considered a passive, while still taking S in the dative and O in the nominative. Meanwhile, the inherited synthetic Latin imperfect had been becoming less popular as a past tense, and the perfect forms were becoming a cover-all past tense. This made the transitive perfect one of the most common tenses, which gradually created the connection of transitive subjects being dative and objects nominative. In later OI, this is attested by the increasing number of mistakes in other tenses; it seems this spread through the tenses first to the imperfect, then extending into the present and later into the future. The syntactic changes mirrored this; IVL’s predominant word order was SVO, but the passive perfect constructions caused a spread of SOV order. This too spread through the other tenses and in modern Illyrian became the predominant word order. This may have been supported by the fact that IVL also used some pre-verbal object pronouns.

IVL probably had four cases; nominative, genitive, dative and accusative, resulting from a loss of the Latin vocative and a merger both in form and function of the Latin ablative and dative. Throughout the OI period, these four cases were retained but the dative and nominative are more commonly referred to as the ergative and absolutive to reflect their usage. In Middle Illyrian, the accusative remained only in very limited circumstances, used as a vocative and in imperative constructions. Its vocative usage was taken over by the absolutive, while imperatives kept a nominative/accusative alignment, taking subjects in the absolutive and objects in the ergative, as well as maintaining a SVO order.

Modern Illyrian

This evolution leaves modern Illyrian with a three-case noun system (with agreement in articles, adjectives and possessive pronouns), a verbal system which has two different past perfect tenses and a SOV word order.

Nouns
Illyrian nouns have three cases, which each have quite a broad usage. The absolutive is used for the objects of transitive sentences and the subjects of intransitive sentences, as well as the subjects of all imperative sentences. The ergative is used for the subjects of transitive sentences, the objects of imperative sentences and as an instrumental. The genitive is used for possessives and attributives. Nouns have two genders, masculine and feminine, and take suffixed definite articles or are preceded by indefinite articles.

Articles
The definite article derives from Latin ILLE “that (one)”. There is not much notable about it except that the genitive plural forms were irregularly reduced in Middle Illyrian (OI /loa̯ru lu̯oru/), perhaps due to haplology as most genitive plural nouns ended in /Vru/.

Code: Select all

     Singular      Plural
     Masc  Fem     Masc  Fem
Abs  -(l)i –(l)ə   -(l)i -(l)i
Erg  -(l)i –(l)ə   -(l)i -(l)i
Gen  -(l)i –(l)ə   -l    -l
These are suffixed to declined nouns. In all forms but the genitive plural, the /l/ is optional and often elided in fast or casual speech.
Spoiler:
Unlike in Vissard, the morphological load on articles has dropped massively; in Illyrian they show primarily definitivity with vestigial case and very reduced gender and number marking.
The indefinite article is a separate word, deriving from Latin ŪNUS “one”

Code: Select all

     Singular      Plural
     Masc  Fem     Masc  Fem
Abs  nu    nə      ni    ən
Erg     ni            ni
Gen     ɲu         noa   nuo
Masculine nouns
Most masculine nouns derive from the Latin second declension (e.g. /kuttu/ “cat”, /βocu/ “eye”, /buɲu/ “bath”)

Code: Select all

     Sing  Plur
Abs  -u    -i
Erg  -Ø    -i
Gen  -i    -oaru
Spoiler:
The ergative form reduces any diphthong in the root to its first constituent, and the genitive plural reduces it to an unstressed form (/i̯e e̯a ai̯/ → /i/, /au̯ oa̯/ → /u/, /u̯o/ → /ə/).

Code: Select all

foaku “fire”
     Sing  Plur
Abs  foaku foaki
Erg  fok   foaki
Gen  foaki fukoaru
This can also change the onglide which is regularly attached to stressed word-initial vowels (with /ɟi̯e ɟe̯a ɟai̯ ɟau̯ ɟoa̯ βu̯o/ → checked /ɟi ɟe ɟa ɟa ɟo ɟu/, unstressed /i i i u u ə/, or stressed /ɟi ɟu ɟu ɟe ɟo ɟa ɟa/ → /i u ə i u i u/).

Code: Select all

ɟunu “year”         ɟoau “egg”    βuoku “needle”
     Sing  Plur     Sing  Plur    Sing   Plur
Abs  ɟunu  ɟuni     ɟoau  ɟoai    βuoku  βuoki
Erg  ɟun   ɟuni     ɟoa   ɟoai    ɟuk    βuoki
Gen  ɟuni  ənoaru   ɟoai  uoaru   βuoki  əkoaru
Roots ending in /c ɲ/ change to /i̯k i̯n/ in the ergative. The genitive plural also causes root /e o a a a/ to change to /i u ə u i/ (the three reflexes of /a/ being due to its origin in stressed checked /i u/ and borrowed /a/)

Code: Select all

ɟinocu “knee”          paɲu “fist”
     Sing   Plur       Sing  Plur
Abs  ɟinocu ɟinoci     paɲu  paɲi
Erg  ɟinoik ɟinoci     pain  paɲi
Gen  ɟinoci ɟinucoaru  paɲi  puɲoaru
Some masculine nouns derive from the Latin third declension (/pur/ “bread”, /far/ “end”, /ɟirm/ “worm”)

Code: Select all

     Sing  Plur
Abs  -Ø    -Ø
Erg  -i    -u
Gen  -Ø    -u
Spoiler:
The same alterations take place, except with the reduced diphthongs in the absolutive singular and plural and genitive singular. The genitive plural has no effect as it doesn’t change the stress.

Code: Select all

səpon “soap”
     Sing    Plur
Abs  səpon   səpon
Erg  səpoani səpoanu
Gen  səpon   səpoanu
Feminine nouns
Most feminine nouns derive from the Latin first conjugation (e.g. /lu̯orə/ "wool", /βu̯opə/ "water", /kəstuɲə/ "chestnut")

Code: Select all

     Sing Plur
Abs  -ə   -Ø
Erg  -Ø   -i
Gen  -Ø   -uoru
Spoiler:
The expected checking of diphthongs, /c ɲ/ → /i̯k i̯n/, change of stress with /ˈu̯oru/ and alternation of glides occur.

Code: Select all

kuorə “house”       picə “piece”   βuorə “wing”
     Sing  Plur     Sing  Plur     Sing  Plur
Abs  kuorə kur      picə  pik      βuorə ɟur
Erg  kur   kuori    pik   pici     ɟur   βuorə
Gen  kur   kuruoru  pik   picuoru  ɟur   əruoru
User avatar
VaptuantaDoi
sinic
sinic
Posts: 445
Joined: 18 Nov 2019 07:35

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

My main sources so far have been these sites (also in French):

Dictionary of Savoie Arpitan dialects, Grammar of Savoie Arpitan

Patois VdA - Aosta Valley Arpitan resources (also in Italian and Arpitan)
Thanks for these! I'll have to try not make Vissard too Arpitany, it's very tempting.
All4Ɇn wrote: 29 Jul 2021 15:01
VaptuantaDoi wrote: 25 Jul 2021 03:54 In Franco-Provençal, stress reassignment to the final syllable is common but irregular (e.g. FARĪNA > /farˈna/, CUBITUM > /kuˈdu/). In Vissard, this was completely regular and affected all words, including the swath of feminine nouns ending in /ɑ/. This shift occurred in the 18th century, perhaps due to French influence.
Are words in Vissard actually stressed on the last syllable or is it closer to French's practice of rhythmic groupings?
I'm not really sure yet. I might choose a compromise, with a lot of unstressed clitics but not full phrasal stress; i.e. there will often be units larger than words which only have one stressed syllable, but all function words will usually have a stressed element. If that makes any sense.
User avatar
VaptuantaDoi
sinic
sinic
Posts: 445
Joined: 18 Nov 2019 07:35

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Vissard Nouns

Vissard has three genders; neuter, masculine and feminine. Although the neuter articles derive from Latin neuters, the class of nouns they combine with do not. The Vissard neuter is a more recent innovation which is used for common nouns such as ungendered animal terms, professions or human-referrent nouns, and some abstract nouns such as months, days of the week and directions.

Articles
There's a lot of articles. The definite article, deriving from Latin ILLE, declines for case, number and gender and can be combined with three prepositions (ed, â and en from , AD and EN). The indefinite article (from ŪNUS and ALTER) cannot be combined with prepositions but still declines. All articles have two forms; a full form and a reduced form. The reduced form is used before a word beginning with a vowel

Definite
All forms derive from Latin ILLE.

Code: Select all

Plain
           Singular           Plural
        Neut Masc Fem     Neut Masc Fem
  Abs -  lo   ue   la  -   la  lês  lês
  Erg -  lo   lo   la  -   la   la   ê
Reduced
           Singular           Plural
        Neut Masc Fem     Neut Masc Fem
  Abs -  l’   l’   l’  -   l’  lês  lês
  Erg -  l’   l’   l’  -   l’   l’   l’

Compound with articles
                     Singular           Plural
                  Neut Masc Fem     Neut Masc Fem
With ed – full -  dro  due  dra  -  dra  drês drês
        – red. -  dr’   d’  dr’  -  dr’  drês drês
With â  – full -   â    â   ala  -  ala   ês   ês
        – red. -  al’  al’  al’  -  al’   ês   ês
With en – full -   no  nue   na  -   na  nês  nês
        – red. -   n’   n’   n’  -   n’  nês  nês
Note that the s of the plural is voiced /z/ except before a voiceless consonant.
lês erçi
"The harrows"
[lɛ̈zɪɐ̯ˈʃi]

lês dilun
"Mondays"
[lɛ̈zd(i)ˈɫyɰ̃]

lês piel
"The lice"
[lɛsˈpjeɫ]
Before consonants, non-initial vowels may be dropped from the full forms, especially before a two-syllable word. These aren't identical to the reduced forms; for example, ê never becomes l' before a consonant.
l'vernues
"The paint ERG" (full lo vernues)
[ɫvɪɐ̯ˈnœs]

l'clôtha
"The bell" (full la clôtha)
[ɫkɫɔˈtɒ]
This is more common when the consonant clusters would be fewer consonants when the vowel is elided; e.g. lo restesl'restes is common but dro strênjedr'strênje would be very rare. This process is more common when following word-final vowels.


Indefinite

Code: Select all

           Singular           Plural
        Neut Masc Fem     Neut Masc Fem
  Abs -  un   un   na  -  tra  tros tras
  Erg -  un  êns   na  -  tra  tre  tre
Reduced
           Singular           Plural
        Neut Masc Fem     Neut Masc Fem
  Abs -  n’   n’   n’  -  tr’  tros tras
  Erg -  n’  êns   n’  -  tr’  tr’  tr’
The nasal was initially /ŋ/ only in the masculine and neuter singular full forms, but was later analogised to all singular forms; na is [ŋɑ].


Nouns
I won't bore you with the boring bits; this section will just be a brief overview. The main points to note are that:
  • The Latin nominative gives the Vissard ergative, while the accusative gives the absolutive
  • The absolutive is always (pretty much) the unmarked form
  • Nouns stopped declining for number during the 17th century, and thereafter number was only marked on articles
  • Irregular or semi-regular Latin nominatives were mostly lost by analogy; this is most notable in the third declension, where the nominative was usually restructured to end with IS, e.g. PATER "father" → *PATRIS → /pɑˈtʁis/
Masculine nouns
Masculine nouns, mostly deriving from the Latin second and third declensions, have an ergative in -s.
that "cat" > thats
/tɑt tɑts/
This is voiced to /z/ when not following a voiceless consonant.
ôrno “winch” > ôrnos
/ɔʁnu ɔʁnuz/

tav "head" > tavs
/tɑv tɑvz/
Nouns ending in l lose the l and replace it with s
goernel "rudder" > goernes
/ɡwiʁnɛl ɡwiʁnɛz/

çiel "sky" > çies
/ʃjɛl ʃjɛz/

Feminine nouns
Feminine nouns are of two types. The first end in a and are invariable.
gna "toenail" > gna
/ɲɑ ɲɑ/
A few end in other vowels and are also invariable
gengi "gum" > gengi
/ʒiŋʒi ʒiŋʒi/

vue "life" > vue
/vœ vœ/
The second type decline as masculine nouns, with an ergative in s.
rêsôn "reason" > rêsôns
/ʁɛzɔŋ ʁɛzɔŋks/

Neuter nouns
Neuter nouns decline as either masculine or feminine nouns.
lo grel "jackdaw" > lo gres
/luɡʁɛl luɡʁɛz/

lo merla "blackbird" > lo merla
/lumiʁlɑ lumiʁlɑ/
Most neuter nouns also have corresponding masculine and feminine forms.
ue grel "male jackdaw" > lo gres
/œɡʁɛl luɡʁɛz/

la grêla "female jackdaw" > la grêla
/lɑɡʁɛlɑ lɑɡʁɛlɑ/

ue merlo "male blackbird" > lo merlos
/œmɛʁlu lumɛʁlus/
User avatar
VaptuantaDoi
sinic
sinic
Posts: 445
Joined: 18 Nov 2019 07:35

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Personal Pronouns

Vissard, like French, has a wide variety of personal pronouns; many of these are clitics.
  • Subject clitic (S and A for 1st, 2nd but only A for 3rd)
  • Object clitic (only O for 1st, 2nd but both S and O for 3rd)
  • Indirect object clitic
  • Reflexive subject clitic
  • Emphatic
  • Possessive
Subject Clitics
Subject clitic pronouns are unstressed. They have been greatly reduced from the Latin roots, mostly due to their relative redundancy when used alongside conjugated verbs.

Code: Select all

   Sing.  Plur.
1.      eç
        ç’
2.   et    os
     t’    s’
3.      el
        l’
  • os and s’ are /uz/ and /z/, or /us s/ before a voiceless consonant. Also ç is /ʃ/ now, so eç ç’ are /iʃ ʃ/.
  • The reduced forms ç’ t’ s’ l’ are used whenever they are next to a vowel, either before or after, except when the vowel is separated by a pause. All of the reduced forms are used before a semivowel, and additionally, ç’ is used before /p t k f v ʃ m n ɲ ŋ l ʁ/, t’ before /p k f v s ʃ m/ and s’ before /p t k b d g f v ʃ ʒ m n ɲ ŋ l ʁ/.
  • Apart from os, all the initial vowels in the non-reduced forms are epenthetic and non-etymological.
  • derives from the first person singular EGO; in Old Vissard this became jo, while in Middle Vissard this was reduced to j’ and subsequently sporadically devoiced; both forms were in common use until the middle of the 19th century, when the voiced form began to fall out of favour.
  • The number distinction has been lost in both first and third person, and gender has been lost in third person. This was due to a semantic extension of eç~ç’ and a phonemic merger of all third person forms.
  • The third person one is ergative, and are thus only used for the subject of a transitive sentence. It is often used even when a subject is specified, especially in its reduced form.
Object Clitics
Object clitics follow the subject clitics.

Code: Select all

   Sing.  Plur.
1.   me   nos
     m’
2.   te    os
     t’
3.      lo
        l’
  • The same rules for using the reduced forms apply, and additionally m’ is used before /p b t d k g f v s z ʃ ʒ n ɲ ŋ l ʁ/ (i.e. me is only used before /m/ or consonant clusters). Nos and os do not have reduced forms; they are /nuz uz/ before voiced segments and /nus us/ before voiceless ones. (Actually, you can apply this to any clitics ending in s.)
Indirect Object Clitics
Indirect object clitics follow the object clitics.

Code: Select all

   Sing.  Plur.
1.   mi   nôs
     m’
2.   ti    ôs
     t’
3.   lê   lis
     l’
Reflexive Subject Clitics
Reflexive subject clitics are made up from fusions of the subject pronouns and the reflexive pronouns.

Code: Select all

   Sing.    Plur.
1.  çon    nonês
2.  tut     ovês
3.      lês
  • The third person subject forms is used even when the subject has been stated as a noun.
  • First person singular was jo me in Old Vissard, then either jom or analogously chom in Middle Vissard; eventually the preponderance of the voiceless subject clitic won out and the form çon is now used.
  • A now obsolete custom is writing these in such a way as to more clearly show the etymology; i.e. ço-’n, tu-’t, lê-’s, no’-nês, o’-vês. This is now considered very archaic, like writing today as to-day in English.
Emphatic Pronouns
Emphatic pronouns are used for emphasis, as objects following prepositions or to disambiguate gender or number when it is not marked in the verb or subject clitic. They all derive from accusatives; they do not decline for case but are treated as absolutive.

Code: Select all

   Sing.   Plur.
1.   mê    nês
2.   tê     ês
3n. çun   çotra
3m. uel     ês
3f. ela    elas
  • The /v/ was lost in all forms of VŌS (well, apart from the middle of ovês, where it was protected by /s/); initially just in unstressed forms but later by analogy to everything.
  • The neuter forms çun and çotra derive from the Old Vissard phrases cho un “this one” and che otra “those others”, due to the ambiguity which was arising between neuters and masculines.
Possessive Pronouns
Possessive pronouns function similarly to adjectives, and as such they decline for case and gender; like articles, they also decline for number (apart from the 3pl in the standard language)

Code: Select all

Absolutive:
           Singular                Plural
     Neut.   Masc.   Fem.    Neut.   Masc.   Fem.
1s.    mo      mo     ma       ma     mos     ma
2s.    to      to     ta       ta     tos     ta
3s.    so      so     sa       sa     sos     sa
1p.  nostro  nostro nostra   nostra nostros nostras
2p.   ostro   ostro  ostra    ostra  ostros  ostras
3p.   lôr     lôr    lôra

Ergative:
           Singular                Plural
     Neut.   Masc.   Fem.    Neut.   Masc.   Fem.
1s.    mo     mos     ma       ma     mue     mi
2s.    to     tos     ta       ta     tue     ti
3s.    so     sos     sa       sa     sue     si
1p.  nostro nostros nostra   nostra nostrue nostri
2p.   ostro  ostros  ostra    ostra  ostrue  ostri
3p.   lôr     lôrs   lôra
  • All but the 3rd plural forms have completely analogised to match each other. In some dialects, lôr is extended to match everything.
  • lôr derives from the Latin masculine genitive plural of ILLE; ILLŌRUM. This was then reanalysed as an adjective *ILLŌRUS and treated as such; this is why unlike the other possessive pronouns, it has no plural forms.


I've also been working on a French/langued'oïl lect spoken on Visserland (Guissais), a creole based on this (Syélunyu), and another creole spoken in the same Sprachbund based on Vissard (Kinsyikru). Maybe one/all of these will appear in this thread one day. Kinsyikru and Syélunyu will be fully syntactically ergative, but Guissais will only show a few aspects of it. I've also been considering a complete rehaul of Illyrian which will make it less Romanian-y and more Sardinian-y or Tirkunan-y.
User avatar
VaptuantaDoi
sinic
sinic
Posts: 445
Joined: 18 Nov 2019 07:35

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Illyrian Nouns
Illyrian nouns have three cases; absolutive (with its roots in the Latin nominative), ergative (Latin dative) and genitive~ablative (Latin genitive). What I said in the last post about Illyrian largely holds true, excluding all of the actual forms; proto-Illyrian merged the Latin ablative and dative and lost the vocative, then Old Illyrian switched nominative to absolutive and dative to ergative, and finally Middle Illyrian lost the vestiges of the accusative which Old Illyrian kept. Nouns have two genders; masculine and feminine. Most nouns with an absolutive in -u are masculine, all of those with unstressed -a are feminine and those ending in a consonant are unpredictable. As in other eastern romlangs, definite articles are suffixed to nouns.

Nouns in -a
These nouns (henceforth “first declension” nouns) derive from the Latin first declension with nominative -A. All of these nouns are feminine and there isn’t much irregularity.

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE           DEFINITE
     Sing   Plur     Sing     Plur
Abs  -a     -Ø~-V    -ala     -ili
Erg  -Ø~-V  -i       -ili     -ili
Gen  -Ø~-V  -aru     -ilu     -arul
Note that several morphophonemic processes take place which will be discussed later (hopefully). Here are some examples of first-declension nouns:
Spoiler:
luna “moon”

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE           DEFINITE
     Sing   Plur     Sing     Plur
Abs  luna   lun(u)   lunala   lunili
Erg  lun(u) luni     lunili   lunili
Gen  lun(u) lunaru   lunilu   lunarul
bukka “mouth”

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE           DEFINITE
     Sing   Plur     Sing     Plur
Abs  bukka  bukku    bukkala  bukkili
Erg  bukku  bukki    bukkili  bukkili
Gen  bukku  bukkaru  bukkilu  bukkarul
Nouns in -u
This declension (“second declension”) derives from the Latin second declension in -US and -UM in the nominative. The prototypical declension is as follows:

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE           DEFINITE
     Sing   Plur     Sing     Plur
Abs  -u     -i       -ul      -il
Erg  -Ø~-V  -i       -li~-ili -il
Gen  -i     -uru     -ilu     -urul
Here are some examples of second declension nouns:
Spoiler:
bainu “wine”

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE           DEFINITE
     Sing    Plur     Sing     Plur
Abs  bainu   baini    bainul   bainil
Erg  bain(i) baini    bianli   bainil
Gen  baini   bainuru  bainilu  bainurul
pillu “son”

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE           DEFINITE
     Sing   Plur     Sing     Plur
Abs  pillu  pilli    pillul   pillil
Erg  pilli  pilli    pillili  pillil
Gen  pilli  pilluru  pillilu  pillurul
kaborru “horse”

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE              DEFINITE
     Sing    Plur       Sing      Plur
Abs  kaborru kaborri    kaborrul  kaborril
Erg  kaborro kaborri    kaborrili kaborril
Gen  kaborri kaborruru  kaborrilu kaborrurul
Nouns in -Ø
The third declension, deriving from the Latin third declension in -S~-IS. Illyrian has retained most of the semi-irregular reduced nominative forms from Latin, which makes this the most irregular declension. There are broadly two classes of third declension nouns; zero-absolutive and reduced-absolutive; the former having a -Ø~-V ending deriving from Latin -IS (also by coincidence some of those in -X) and the latter having a reduced, unpredictable form. These nouns may be either masculine or feminine.

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE           MASC DEFINITE     FEM DEFINITE
     Sing   Plur     Sing     Plur     Sing     Plur
Abs  -Ø~-V  -Ø~-V    -il      -ili     -ila     -ili
Erg  -i     -u       -il      -ul      -il      -ul
Gen  -i     -u       -il      -ul      -il      -ul
Here’s a couple of examples of zero-absolutive nouns:
Spoiler:
pon “bread” m.

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE           DEFINITE
     Sing   Plur     Sing     Plur
Abs  pon(o) pon(o)   ponil    ponili
Erg  poni   ponu     ponil    ponul
Gen  poni   ponu     ponil    ponul
pebr “fever” f.

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE           DEFINITE
     Sing    Plur    Sing     Plur
Abs  pebr(e) pebr(e) pebrila  pebrili
Erg  pebri   pebru   pebril   pebrul
Gen  pebri   pebru   pebril   pebrul
And here’s some funky reduced-absolutive ones:
Spoiler:
rek “king” m.

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE           DEFINITE
     Sing    Plur    Sing     Plur
Abs  rek(e)  reg(e)  rekil    regili
Erg  regi    regu    regil    regul
Gen  regi    regu    regil    regul
kittá “city” f.

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE              DEFINITE
     Sing     Plur      Sing     Plur
Abs  kittá   kittat(a)  kittáila kittatili
Erg  kittati kittatu    kittatil kittatul
Gen  kittati kittatu    kittatil kittatul
pru “flower” m.

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE           DEFINITE
     Sing   Plur     Sing    Plur
Abs  pru    prul(u)  pruil   prulili
Erg  pruli  prulu    prulil  prulul
Gen  pruli  prulu    prulil  prulul
yum “man” m.

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE         DEFINITE
     Sing   Plur   Sing   Plur
Abs  yum(u) yumnu  yumil  yumnili
Erg  yumni  yumnu  yumnil yumnul
Gen  yumni  yumnu  yumnil yumnul
There are lots more but you get the point. Also in the third declension are a couple of nouns with an absolutive in -u (corresponding definite -ul) which changes to -ur in other forms.

tempu “time” m.

Code: Select all

INDEFINITE              DEFINITE
     Sing    Plur       Sing     Plur
Abs  tempu   témpur(u)  tempul   témpurili
Erg  témpuri témpuru    témpuril témpurul
Gen  témputi témpuru    témpuril témpurul
Indefinite article
Deriving from ŪNUS in the singular and QUANTUS “how many” in the plural (compare Romanian niște, Aromanian nishti from Latin NESCIŌ QUID “I don’t know what”. It precedes nouns.

Code: Select all

     SINGULAR   PLURAL
     Masc Fem   Masc  Fem
Abs  nu   na    ndi   ndi
Erg  ni   ni    ndi   ndi
Gen  nnu  nnu   nduru ndaru
Note that masc.abs.sing. nu, gen.sing. nnu, erg.plur. ndi and gen.pl. nduru, ndaru (but notably not ndi when used as an absolutive) trigger gemination of the first consonant of the following word:

pru “flower” m.

Code: Select all

     Sing        Plur
Abs  nu ppru     ndi prul(u)
Erg  ni pruli    ndi pprulu
Gen  nnu ppruli  nduru pprulu
Note that this blocks allophonic lenition:
[nʊpˈpɾuˑ | ndɪˈɸɾuˑlʊ]
[nɪˈɸɾuˑlɪ | ndɪpˈpɾuˑlʊ]
[nːʊpˈpɾuˑlɪ | ndʊɾʊpˈpɾuˑlʊ]
User avatar
VaptuantaDoi
sinic
sinic
Posts: 445
Joined: 18 Nov 2019 07:35

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

I’ve decided to jump in and do some sentences in Vissard. This is all subject to a hell of a lot of change, but it should give a feel for the language. The text I’ll translate and then annotate is the donkey warning Dormouse posted in the translations thread.


Original English text
Warning for tourists: The donkeys are wild and can be very dangerous! They may fight each other when they are eating or mating! You could easily be seriously injured! Elderly people and parents, use care! Keep dogs away from the donkeys!


Full Vissard text

N’avertesement entri la torist: L’asnos tra sêvajo sons, e tra ferlic possens êstri! Lo pos k’ lês batens din mêngent o din foint. Lo pos k’ ovês scaens cretecament! La vies e la paris ovês varda! Serva la thin devras dr’asno!

[nɑ̈vɪɐ̯tiz(i)ˈmæŋt əŋtχiɫɑ̈tuˈʁist || ɫɑ̈zˈnus tχɑ̈sɛ̈vɑ̈ˈʒu suŋks | itχɑ̈vɛ̈ɐ̯fɪɐ̯ˈɫik pusəŋksɛ̈sˈtχi || ɫuˈpus kɫɛ̈zbɑ̈ˈtæŋks dɪŋməŋˈʒæŋt udɪŋˈfwɪŋt || ɫuˈpus kuvɛ̈sskɑ̈ˈæŋks qχitikɑ̈ˈmæŋt || ɫɑ̈ˈvjɛz iɫɑ̈pɑ̈ˈʁiz uvɛ̈zvɑ̈ɐ̯ˈdɒ || sɪɐ̯ˈvɒ ɫɑ̈ˈtɪŋ divʁɑ̈zdʁɑ̈zˈnu]


Line-by-line gloss

N’avertesement entri la torist:
[nɑ̈vɪɐ̯tiz(i)ˈmæŋt əŋtχiɫɑ̈tuˈʁist]
un avertesement-Ø entri la torist-Ø
M.SG.ABS.INDEF warning-ABS for N.PL.ABS.DEF tourist-ABS
“Warning for tourists”
Spoiler:
avertesement n.n. “warning” is from the verb avertuer, ç’avertis “to warn” (ADVERTĪRE), with the nominalising suffix -ment from L -MENTUM. It’s equivalent to French avertissement.

entri prep. “for, amongst” from L INTER, cognate to French entre “between”.

torist nn. is a borrowing from English or French.
L’asnos tra sêvajo sons, e tra vêr ferlic possens êstri!
[ɫɑ̈zˈnus tχɑ̈sɛ̈vɑ̈ˈʒu suŋks | itχɑ̈vɛ̈ɐ̯fɪɐ̯ˈɫik pusəŋksɛ̈sˈtχi]
la asno-s tra sêvajo-Ø sons, e tra vêr-Ø ferlic-Ø poss-ens êtri
N.PL.ERG.DEF donkey-ERG N.PL.ABS.INDEF wild-ABS be.PL.PRES.INDIC, and N.PL.ABS.INDEF very-ABS dangerous-ABS be.able.to-PL.PRES.INDIC be.INFIN
“The donkeys are wild and can be very dangerous!”
Spoiler:
Note that the adjectives are being treated as neuter nouns here; this is a very common feature of Vissard. This explains the SOV word order and why la asnos is ergative, rather than absolutive.

asno nn. “donkey” is from Latin ASINUS (cf. French âne, Old Arpitan asno); note the stress shift to the final syllable which was retained due to the consonant cluster.

sêvajo adj./n. is cognate to French sauvage, from Latin SILVĀTICUS “of the woods”. It is treated as a neuter noun here, meaning “wild one(s)”.

sons vb. “are” is from êstri “to be”, which is highly irregular and derived in parts from Latin ESSE, STĀRE and SEDĒRE, similarly to French être. sons is from the first person plural SUMUS, which was extended to all plural forms.

ferlic adj./n. “dangerous” is from Old Vissard férlec, from Old Norse fárligr “hazardous, dangerous”

vêr adj. “true, definite” from Latin VĒRUS “true”, now used as an adverb or adjective intensifier.

possens vb. “can” is from posser “to be able to”, from a VL variant of Latin POSSE, likely *possēre; compare Arpitan possêr. It is still cognate to French pouvoir, but through a different VL form.
Lo pos k’ lês batens din mêngent o din foint.
[ɫuˈpus kɫɛ̈zbɑ̈ˈtæŋks dɪŋməŋˈʒæŋt udɪŋˈfwɪŋt]
lo poss-Ø k lês bat-ens din mêng-ent o din fo-int
3.ABS be.able.to-SG that 3.REFL fight-PL.PRES.SUBJ while eat-PRES.PPL or mate-PRES.PPL
“They may fight each other when they are eating or mating.”
Spoiler:
This uses the construction lo pos ek “it’s possible that”, modelled on lo falis ek “it is necessary that”; the latter is equivalent to French il faut que. Both are used with the subjunctive.

batens vb. “fight”, infinitive bater is from a variant of Latin BATTUERE, cognate to French se battre.

din prep. “in” is used with the present participle to mean “while”, similarly to French en; it’s from a combination of “of” and IN “in”.

mêngent vb. “eating” is the present participle of mênger “to eat”, from Latin MANDŪCĀRE “to chew” and cognate to French manger, Arpitan mengier etc.

fori vb “to mate, fuck” is irregular, from Latin FUTUERE and cognate to French foutre; it is no longer considered obscene and is in common usage.
Lo pos k’ ovês scaens cretecament!
[ɫuˈpus kuvɛ̈sskɑ̈ˈæŋks qχitikɑ̈ˈmæŋt]
lo poss-Ø k ovês sca-ens cretec-a-ment
3.ABS be.able.to-SG 2PL.REFL injure-PL.PRES.SUBJ serious-FEM-ADV
“You could easily be seriously injured!”
Spoiler:
This uses the same construction as before. Note that a reflexive is used rather than a passive to translate “be injured”.

lês scaer “to injure” is from Old Vissard se scaðair, borrowed from Old Norse skaða “to harm, damage”.

cretecament adv., from cretic “critical, serious” is a recent borrowing from Latin CRITICUS.
La vies e la paris ovês varda!
[ɫɑ̈ˈvjɛz iɫɑ̈pɑ̈ˈʁiz uvɛ̈zvɑ̈ɐ̯ˈdɒ]
la viel-s e la pari-s ovês vard-a
N.PL.ERG.PL old-ERG and N.PL.ERG.PL parent-ERG 2PL.REFL guard-IMPER.PL
“Elderly people and parents, use care!”
Spoiler:
More adjectives being used predicatively! This time, the subject in the ergative because it’s an imperative construction, which is always treated nominative-accusatively in Vissard.

viel adj./n. “old (people)” is from VL *vęklos, from Latin VETULUS; compare French vieux, Arpitan vieu.

pari n. “parent” is from L PATER “father”; the terms “mother” and “father” are expressed either with more colloquial papa and mama, or with slightly higher-register fara and mora, Old Vissard faðra and moðra, borrowed from Old Norse fáðir and móðir.

varda vb. “guard, keep, watch over” (varder) is from either Frankish *wardōn “to protect” or Norse varða; most likely the latter, as Frankish *w is generally retained as /w/ in Vissard; e.g. wad “ford” from wad.
Serva la thin devras dr’asno!
[sɪɐ̯ˈvɒ ɫɑ̈ˈtɪŋ divʁɑ̈zdʁɑ̈zˈnu]
serv-a la thin-Ø devras dra asno-Ø
hold-PL.IMPER N.ABS.PL.DEF dog-ABS away of+N.ABS.PL.DEF donkey-ABS
“Keep dogs away from the donkeys!”
Spoiler:
serva vb., infin. server “keep hold of” is from L SERVĀRE “maintain, protect”; compare Italian serbare “to keep”. It’s a nice example of the number distinction in the imperative; the singular is sêrva /sɛʁˈvɑ/ and the plural serva /siʁˈvɑ/;

thin nn. “dog” is from CANIS; note the palatalisation of C+A to /t/ as well as the regular raising of tonic A following a palatal (Bartsch’s law; compare French chien).

devras adv. “a long way from”, Old Vissard devuoras, de fuoras is from “of” and FORĀS “outside, outdoors”.
User avatar
VaptuantaDoi
sinic
sinic
Posts: 445
Joined: 18 Nov 2019 07:35

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Vissard Numbers

Cardinals

The numbers one to ten are as follows:

un, , tre, cotro, çuenc, sies, set, uêt, no, die
/yŋ dɔ tʁɛ kuˈtʁu ʃœŋk sjɛs sɛt ɥɛt nu djɛ/
[ỹø̯̃ŋ do tχɛ kuˈtχu̟ ʃœ̃ỹ̯k sj̥ɛs sɛt ɥɛt nu̟ djɛ]
  • /yŋ/ occurs rather than expected */ɛŋ/; OV was regular with ŪNUM > *uɲ > /ui̯n/, but then MV simplified it to /yn/ rather than the expected lowering to */oi̯n/ and then */ai̯n/, which would give */ɛŋ/.
  • un is the only number that declines for case and gender; masculine ergative uns /yŋks/, feminine una /yˈŋɑ/ < ŪNUS, ŪNA.
  • The final /s/ of TRĒS was lost in pre-OV; the earliest attestations suggest */trei̯/ or */tre/.
  • QUATTUŌR shows an interesting development. The WVL form was something like *ku̯áttro, following the tendency of losing post-tonic coda R, reinforced by the removal or restructuring of nominatives, e.g. PATER → *patre (PATREM) or *patris. In very early OV it is attested as /kwatro/, but this soon became /ku̯ɔtro/, with the relatively rare /wa/ being replaced by much more common /u̯ɔ/; the expected development would have been */katro/. This then regularly became MV /kutru/ with a stress shift to modern /kuˈtʁu/.
  • çuenc derives from VL *kínku̯e, due to regular dissimilation of the two QU’s in CL QUĪNQUE.
As in French, the numbers 11 to 16 are formed from Latin synthetic compounds.

ongi, dôgi, trêgi, catorgi, quingi, sêgi
/uŋˈʒi dɔˈʒi tʁɛˈʒi k(ɑ)tuʁˈʒi kœŋˈʒi sɛˈʒi/
[ũø̯̃ˈʒi dɔ̈ˈʒi tχɛ̈ˈʒi ktuʁˈʒi kœ̃ỹ̯ˈʒi sɛ̈ˈʒi]
  • These were all stressed on the penult in Old Vissard (/ˈondʒe ˈdou̯dʒe ˈtrei̯dʒe/) but the stress regularly shifted.
  • The collapse of unstressed -DECIM to /ʒi/ is similar to that of the Latin suffix -ATICUM to /ʒu/; with /dke/ → /dɡe/ → /ddʒe/ → /dʒe/ → /dʒi/ → /ʒi/.
  • QUĪNDECIM didn’t de-labialise QU as there was only one in the word; cf. French cinq vs. quinze.
  • ongi appears to derive from a VL *ọ́ndeke rather than expected ŪNDECIM (i.e. *úndeke); this is common for Western romlangs (French onze, Spanish once) but not Eastern ones (Italian undici, Romansch indesch)
17 to 19 are innovated synthetic compounds, from Old Vissard /di̯ɛi̯/ “10” + /e/ “and” + the number.

d’-e-set, d’-e-uêt, d’-e-no
/d(i)ˈsɛt d(i)ˈɥɛt d(i)ˈnu/
[ˈdzɛt ˈdɥɛt ˈdnu̟]
  • In Old Vissard these were /di̯ɛi̯-e-sɛt di̯ɛi̯-e-u̯ɔi̯t di̯ɛi̯-e-nu̯ɔ/; the fact that /di̯ɛi̯/ was still diphthongised shows that these compounds were created after the first diphthongisation common to most Western romlangs.
  • Middle Vissard then addressed the unstressed triphthongs differently; while isolated /di̯ɛi̯/ regularly became /di̯ai̯/, in this position is was reduced to /di/. This then fused phonologically with /i/ “and”. One explanation for this irregularity is that /di̯ɛi̯-e/ was reanalysed as */di̯ɛ-i̯ɛ/, which then regularly became /di-i/ and thence /di/.
  • Although these were sometimes written as single words, scribes began to write them with the three elements distinct. In eye dialect they can be written without the -e- to reflect how it is almost always elided; d’set, d’uêt, d’no.
The multiples of ten 20 to 90 all derive from the Latin terms.

vrent, trent, crent, çinquent, sêssent, setent, êtent, nonent
/vʁɛŋt tʁɛŋt kʁɛŋt ʃœŋˈkɛŋt sɛˈsɛŋt s(i)ˈtɛŋt ɛˈtɛŋt nuˈnɛŋt/
[vʁæ̃ẽ̯t tχæ̃ẽ̯t qχæ̃ẽ̯t ʃœ̃ỹ̯ˈkæ̃ẽ̯t sɛ̈ˈsæ̃ẽ̯t ˈstæ̃ẽ̯t ɛ̈ˈtæ̃ẽ̯t nuˈnæ̃ẽ̯t]
  • The Latin forms were all stressed on the GIN syllable (e.g. QUĪNQUĀGÍNTĀ); after the intervocalic G was lost, Old Vissard moved the stress to the preceding vowel. This is why the forms have /ɛ/ rather than /i/; e.g. proto-Vissard */kʲinkwˈa.enta/ → OV /tʃinˈkai̯nta/ rather than */kʲinkwaˈenta/ → */tʃinˈkenta/.
  • Middle Vissard lost the final unstressed /a/’s which all of the terms had in Old Vissard apart from /vei̯nt/ rather than shifting the stress as would be expected.
  • The form /vʁɛŋt/ occurs for expected */vɛŋt/, an innovation which can be dated to late Middle Vissard. This is likely due to the influence of trent and crent; both being monosyllabic (except in careful speech) and of the form /Cʁɛŋt/ (or in Middle Vissard /Crai̯nt/). The influence of this may be seen in the proscribed /stʁɛŋt/ for setent, which occurs in all areas (although generally inconsistently) but has not yet become accepted.
  • Some rural dialects have generalised the /ʁ/ to all forms, even the polysyllabic ones; i.e. /vʁɛŋt tʁɛŋt kʁɛŋt ʃœŋˈkʁɛŋt sɛˈsʁɛŋt ˈstʁɛŋt ɛˈtʁɛŋt nuŋˈʁɛŋt/. Studies have shown that this analogy follows a very specific progression; first affected was /vʁɛŋt/, then spread through ?/stʁɛŋt/, both of which occur across the whole island. ?/ɛtʁɛŋt/ is the next, followed by ?/ʃœŋˈkʁɛŋt/, then ?/sɛsʁɛŋt/ and finally ?/nuŋˈʁɛŋt/; each form being rarer and occurring in a more restricted area than the previous. This is mostly due to phonological form and proximity to other numbers with etymological /ʁ/.
  • In the 19th century, calques of French soixante-dix, quatre-vingt and quatre-vingt-dix were occasionally used (sêsent-die, cotro-vrent, cotro-vrent-die) but were confined to pretentious or literary usage.
Numbers in between are formed by compounds, with e “and” used except before un, cotro and uêt. These are written hyphenated.

vrent-un, vrent-e-dô, vrent-e-tre, vrent-cotro, vrent-e-çuenc, vrent-e-sies, vrent-e-set, vrent-uêt, vrent-e-no
/vʁɛŋˈtyŋ vʁɛŋtiˈdu vʁɛŋtiˈtʁɛ vʁɛŋtkuˈtʁu vʁɛŋtiˈʃœŋk vʁɛŋtiˈsjɛs vʁɛŋtiˈsɛt vʁɛŋˈtɥɛt vʁɛŋtiˈnu/
[vʁə̃ẽ̯ˈtỹø̯̃ vʁə̃ẽ̯tiˈdu̟ vʁə̃ẽ̯tiˈtχɛ vʁə̃ẽ̯kuˈtχu̟ vʁə̃ẽ̯tiˈʃœ̃ỹ̯k vʁə̃ẽ̯tiˈsj̥ɛs vʁə̃ẽ̯tiˈsɛt vʁə̃ẽ̯ˈtɥ̥ɛt vʁə̃ẽ̯tiˈnu̟]

The word for 100 is undra [ỹø̯̃ˈdʁɒ], ultimately from Old Norse hundrað “120”. hundrað gave Old Vissard /ˈundrað/ “120” (the “long hundred”), while /tʃɛnt/ from Latin CENTUM was used for the “short hundred” (100). Eventually the long hundred became less popular, and the meanings of /undrað/ and /tʃɛnt/ were conflated to both mean 100. By Middle Vissard times, /tʃɛnt/ was falling out of use as a cardinal number, perhaps to better differentiate it from multiples of ten like /trɛnt/ and /krɛnt/, and /yndra/ was ubiquitous, giving modern undra. However, -çent is still used in ordinal form (see below).

Ordinals

The first four ordinals are suppletive.

pruem, mêsen, renen, kir
/pʁœŋ mɛˈzɛŋ ʁiˈnɛŋ kiʁ/
[ˈpχœ̃ỹ̯ŋ m(ɛ̈)ˈzæ̃ẽ̯ŋ ʁ(i)ˈnæ̃ẽ̯ŋ ˈkɪɐ̯]
  • pruem is from Latin PRĪMUS “first”, OV /prim/
  • mêsen is from MAGIS “more”, giving OV /mai̯s/ “second(ly), but”. This was reinforced in MV with the adjectival suffix /-ai̯n/ (-ĀNUS), giving /mai̯ˈsai̯n/.
  • renen is of uncertain etymology; the earliest attested OV form is /ˈreno/, which alternates with /tɛrtʃ/ < TERTIUS. This may possibly derive from Latin PERENDINUS “on the day after tomorrow”, however, the loss of the first syllable that early on is highly irregular and there are no other romlang cognates. The MV form simply added /-ai̯n/ by analogy with mêsen.
  • quir is from QUARTUS; OV /kwert(s)/, MV /kir(s)/; with the irregular /ts/ > /s/ change in MV, and the singular reinterpreted as ending in singular /r/.
  • These all have feminine forms (prima, mêsêna, renêna, kera [pχœˈŋɒ mɛ̈z(ɛ̈)ˈŋɒ ʁiz(ɛ̈)ˈŋɒ kiˈʁɒ~qχɒ]) and ergative forms (pruems, mêsens, renens, kirs [ˈpχœ̃ỹ̯ks m(ɛ̈)ˈzæ̃ẽ̯ks ʁ(i)ˈnæ̃ẽ̯ks ˈkɪɐ̯s].
Higher numbers use the prefix des- to form ordinals.

desçuenc, dessies, desset, desuêt, desno, desdie
[disˈʃœ̃ỹ̯k diˈsj̥ɛs diˈsɛt diˈzɥɛt dizˈnu̟ dizˈdjɛ]
  • This derives from the Old Vissard preposition /des/ “out from”, from Latin “of” + EX “from”.
  • These ordinals don’t decline for gender or case.
  • The ordinal form of undra is desçent [disˈʃæ̃ẽ̯t], from Latin CENTUM; this only occurs for 100th, not for any other compounds containing undra.
Where compound numbers end in distinct 1, 2, 3 or 4, they are replaced by their ordinal forms. Otherwise des- is used.

vrent-cotro “24” → vrent-quir “24th”
undra-êtent-e-dô “182” → undra-êtent-e-mêsen “182nd”
vrent-e-no “29” → desvrent-e-no “19th”
undra-êtent “180” → desundra-êtent “180th”

Evidence of a Celtic substrate
Vissard shepherds use an archaic counting system which appears to have derived from a Celtic language spoken on the island before Latin. Eastern Vissard shepherds use the following system:

/ˈkiŋ ˈtiŋ ˈtʁid pɛˈʁid piˈpɛd fiˈpɛd siˈvi diˈvi ˈnɛd ˈdɛd/ repeated twice, the second time with /dɛd/ followed by /ˈwɛŋt/.

These bear resemblance to the proto-Celtic ordinals *kentus, *alyos, *tritiyos, *kwetwariyos etc. Similarly to Yorkshire yan tan tethera (which this was transparently insired by), the original forms of these have been heavily obscured by forced rhyme and modification. /ˈtiŋ/ was first assumed not to be of Celtic origin, but the currently accepted pathway is of *kentus alyos being assimilated to *kint int, then the coda of *kint spreading to give *tint, then the rhyme re-instated by dropping the final /t/. The word for shepherd, kentird [kɪ̃ẽ̯ˈtɪɐ̯d] supports this theory; its earliest attested form is OV /kenˈterd/, almost certainly from *kentos + Latin -ARDUS. Some scholars suggest that this Eastern substrate was Brythonic Celtic.

Western Vissard uses a very different system:

/ˈjuŋ fiˈdɑː ˈtruŋ dɑkɑˈkɑː ˈkaj fiˈsit ˈzaj dɑkɑˈbit ˈnaj fiˈdaj/

These appear to be from a different branch of Celtic. The elements /fi/ and /dɑkɑ/ are most likely non-Celtic; perhaps /fi/ from Old Norse fær “sheep” or fætt “fleece”, and /dɑkɑ/ cognate to Swedish tacka “ewe”.
User avatar
VaptuantaDoi
sinic
sinic
Posts: 445
Joined: 18 Nov 2019 07:35

Re: Two Ergative Romlangs

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Here's some irregular Vissard nouns:
Key: Absolutive, ergative — [ɑe̯pʰɪi̯ˈæi̯] — (English) — [LATIN]

prêbêtro, prêstirs — [pχɛ̈bɛ̈ˈtχu̟ pχɛ̈sˈtɪɐ̯s] — (priest) — [PRESBYTERUM, PRESBYTER]

croc, cres — [ˈqχuk ˈqχɛs] — (cross) — [CRUCEM, CRUX]

dent, dis — [ˈdis ˈdæ̃ẽ̯t] — (teeth) — [DENTEM, DĒNS]

thantôr, thantors — [tɑ̃ẽ̯ˈtɔɐ̯ tɑ̃ẽ̯ˈtuɐ̯s] — (singer) — [CANTŌREM, CANTOR]

net, nes — [ˈnɛt ˈnɛs] — (night) — [NOCTEM, NOX]

pari, pars — [pɑ̈ˈʁi ˈpɑɐ̯z] — (father) — [PATREM, PATER]

flôr, flos — [ˈfl̥ɔɐ̯ ˈfl̥uz] — (flower) — [FLŌREM, FLŌS]

temps, temps — [ˈtæ̃ẽ̯ps ˈtæ̃ẽ̯ps] — (time) — [TEMPUS, TEMPUS]

boc, bos — [ˈbuk ˈbuz] — (bull) — [BŌVEM, BŌS]

ôn, om — [ɔ̃ỹ̯ŋ ũø̯̃ŋ] — (person) — [HOMINEM, HOMŌ]
The common nominalising ending -çôn has the ergative -ç, which has a stress shift. In native vocabulary, this has a palatalising effect.
raçôn, rêç — [ʁɑ̈ˈʃɔ̃ỹ̯ŋ ˈʁɛʃ] — (reason) — [RATIŌNEM, RATIŌ]

informaçôn, informaç — [ɪ̃ẽ̯fuɐ̯mɑ̈ˈʃɔ̃ỹ̯ŋ ɪ̃ẽ̯fuɐ̯mɑʃ] — (information)

infecçôn, infecç — [ɪ̃ẽ̯fikˈʃɔ̃ỹ̯ŋ ɪ̃ẽ̯ˈfɛkʃ] — (infection)

memorisaçôn, memorisaç — [mimuʁizɑ̈ˈʃɔ̃ỹ̯ŋ mimuʁiˈzɑʃ] — (memorisation)

façôn, feç [fɑ̈ˈʃɔ̃ỹ̯ŋ ˈfɛʃ] — (way) — [FACTIŌNEM, FACTIŌ]

oraçôn, oreç [uʁɑ̈ˈʃɔ̃ỹ̯ŋ uˈʁɛʃ] — (prayer) — [ORATIŌNEM, ORATIŌ]
Post Reply