SBäk e Dlor

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SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

SBäk e Dlor ['zbä̤ʔ.ʔɛ.'dˡɔr] 'The Language of Dnor' (I'll call it just Dlor.) has been my side-project for a pair of weeks. In the beginning, it was just a laboratory for testing some ideas of mine, but it seems to have grown an adolescent.

Some features

Phonology
- It has /b/ and /k/ but does not have /p/ or /g/.
- It has a simple ATR vowel harmony.
- Its waord structure is very simple (CV)CV(C)
- A pitch-register system of accent
- Floating tones (or pitch-registers)

Morphology
- Monosyllabic roots
- All grammatical morphemes are CV-prefixes.
- A very strict number of morpheme slots
- Reduplication could appear

Morphosyntax
- It is a strict VSO language. (Left-dislocation of topics is possible, but they still have an in-situ pronoun in the cause.)
- No case marking
- Inflectional categories of verbs
-- Middle voice
-- Simple applicatives (do nice things with Middle voice)
-- Associated motion
-- Instumental cuasatives (they can also derive denominal verbs)
- Denominal verb derivation is so productive that it can be seen as a kind of incorporation.
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

Verb morphology

This post will not be the final or complete description.

Dnor morphology is extremely simple. The root is CV(C) and all but one prefixes are CV-. The Middle voice prefix is just s-. Compounding does not happen and all verbs have thus just one root.

The verb template is

-4/-3 Middle voice /Applicative (Their order can vary, so they can both appear in the same slots.)
-2 Instrumental causative
-1 Associated motion
0 The root

Let us start from the slot -1 that hosts markers of associated motion. Associated motion is the only purely inflectional category in the verb. It is thus typologically strange that it appears closest to the root, as a kind of infix inside stem.
Associated motion is "optional", i.e. all clauses do not have to code motion.

There are three morphemes in the slot.
jo- 'the subject arrives and them VERBs'
be- 'the subject VERBs and then leaves'
mu- 'the object arrives, moves or leaves'

As you see, the system is not symmetric. The subject has more distinctions than the object. On the other hand, the example (1) could not be grammatical if 'he' was the subject, because there are only AM prefixes for the subject's arriving before or leaving afterwards, not moving while the action of the main verb happens.

(1)
Mu-kom kah sa.
O.AM-see sg1 3
'I saw him coming.'

The system is not deictic either. It is not about coming here or going there but rather entering and leaving the focus of action. It can well be were the speaker is but if you are telling a narrative, the focus place is probably where the story happens, not where you are telling it.

Associated motion prefixes are used in the discourse to introduce new referents or telling that an old referent will not appear for a while.

(2)
Jo-bar s-je mon no loo bo knas*.
S.ARRIVE-say DEF-young man COMPL have to eat
'The young man come and said that he is hungry.'

* loo bo knas really means 'be hungry' not 'have to eat' although it is syntactically identical with the latter one.

The instrumental causatives either
1) add the verb "an instrument" with which the action is done. They also demand the verb to have an agent, so they often the causativize the original verb. The "instrument" is very often a body part.

Some most common instrumental prefixes

ku- 'to do with moth or teeth'

sek 'to be dead'
-> kusek 'to bite dead' ~ 'to kill with teeth'

ko- 'to do with words' ~ 'too order' ~ 'to request' (clearly of the same origin with the previous one)

kâj 'to go'
-> kôkaj 'to order to go'

la- 'to do with a stick'

bak 'to speak'
labak 'to write' <- 'to speak with a pen'

bo- 'to do with hand'

kneej 'to salute'
-> bokneej 'to handshake'

bobak 'to speak sign language'

kre- 'to do with a plot or trap'

kâj 'to go'
-> krêkaj 'to trick to go'

ma 'with a vehicle or a container'

bloon 'to pour'
-> mabloon 'to pour from a bucket or other container'

2) or derive denominal verbs. It is very often the same prefixes that are used in both functions.

ku- 'to eat or drink N'

kol 'fish'
-> kukol 'to eat fish'

ko- 'to speak about'

töos 'love'
-> kötoos 'to speak about love'

la- 'to stick'

bram 'foot'
-> labram 'to stick a foot (a stick)'

bo- 'to handle' (also metaphorically)

tlôok 'a bomb'
-> bôtlook 'to handle explosives'

kre- 'to pick or hunt'

kol 'fish'
krekol 'to fish'

ma- 'to bring or travel'

mis 'boat'
-> mamis 'to transport with boat'
-> smamis 'to travel by boat' (Middle voice)

Some of those denominal causatives are extremely productive. ku- 'eat/drink' can, for example, be added to any noun that is edible in the context.


Let as look at Middle Voice before Applicatives.

Middle voice is a device that decreases the valency of the original verb. Its meanings can be
- reciprocal (to love each other)
- reflexive (to wash (onself))
- anticausative (The door opened.)
Sometimes - an antipassive (I read (something))

The Middle Voice marker is s-. Historically it derives from the third person pronoun sa 'he/she/it'. Before NPs, s- works as the definite article and its origin is the same.

Stative verbs ('to be big', 'to sit' ...) are usually intransitive in the first place, so they do not need a Middle voice, so a causative verb with Instrumental causative prefix often peairs with an anticausative with Middle voice. When they both appear, a passive reading is usual.

goom 'to be open'
-> bogoom 'to open with hand'
-> sgoom 'to open INTR.'
-> sbogoom 'to get opened'

Applicatives are morphologically very simple. The preposition that appears before an oblique NP is just positioned before the verb. The most common of those prepositions is dre 'for (BENEFACTIVE PREPOSITION)'

(3a)
Bogoom John s-gögoom dre s-mas.
open J DEF-door for DEF-lady
'John opened the door fro the lady.'

(3b)
Dre-bogoom John s-mas.
APPL-open J DEF-lady
'John opened (the door) for the lady.'

Mi is an interesting grammar word because it has a fluid status either as an adjective or a preposition. It marks distributive plural, 'each of them'. (4a) and (4b) are thus synonymous. (4b) is more used if the NP is a direct object.

(4a)
s-mi mon
DEF-mi man
'each of the men'
~
(4b)
mi s-mon
mi DEF-man
'each man'

Because it can be a preposition, it can also be an applicative. Because the middle voice, in the function of an antipassive, kills the object argument promoted by the applicative, the meaning of (5b) is something like 'John jumped many of something.' It thus forms a kind of iterative aspect marker. It is though not very frequently used.

(5a)
Brám John mi mun
jump J DISTR.PL time
'John jumped many times.'

(5b)
s-mí-bram John
MID-APPL-junmp J
'John jumped frequently.'
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

Phonology

Consonant phonemes
t tˡ k
b d dˡ
s
m n
l j ʁ

/tˡ/ and /dˡ/ are stops with lateral releases. They are pronounced like clusters /tl/ and /dl/, but phonotactically they behave like phonemes.

Vowel phonemes
i u
e o
ɛ ɔ
ä

Vowel harmony
If the root has -ATR vowels (ɛ ɔ ä), prefixes/proclics have
- /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ instead of /e/ and /o/.
- [ɪ] and [ʊ] instead of [i and [u.

If the root has +ATR vowels (i u e o), prefixes/proclics have
- /e/ and /o/ instead of /ɛ/ and /ɔ/
- i] and [u instead of [ɪ] and [ʊ]

Mid-vowels thus merger in prefixes/proclitics. Closed vowels have just allophonic variations.

Phonotactics
The maximal syllable structure is sCVC and minimal just V. The s is nearly always a prefix.

Longer words (those that contain prefixes) are (s)(CV)CV(C).

A coda is thus allowed word-finally only.


Pitch-Registers

There are two tones, high and low, as well as three phonations, creaky, modal, and breathy. High tone cannot combine with creaky or breathy phonations. So the system is best analysed as having an unmarked pitch-register, low-modal, and four marked values, high tone, breathy voice, and creaky voice, which cannot combine with each other.

The orthography

a - unmarked
ä - breathy voice
â - creaky voice
á - high tone

There might be something more in morphologically complex words, but I am not sure.

Only the first syllable of the word has a contrastive tone. One can though ask if words a defined so that they begin in the accented syllable and the grammatical morphemes left to it are independent particles.

Rules for Awkward (it's more fun to decide tones oneself)
t/tl/l/b/d/dl/m/n/s/l/r/j
i/e/ee/a/u/oo/o
(C)V(C)
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Re: SBäk e Dlor - NPs

Post by Omzinesý »

Nouns don't really inflect. So this post is more about syntax of NPs (Noun Phrases) than morphology of nouns.

The syntax pattern is:

Article - adjective - the noun - relative "clauses" and genitive modifiers

All words in the NP before the head noun are / can be proclitics, i.e. they adapt to vowel harmony and are often unstressed.

The definite article is usually a non-syllabic s-. When it is emphasised 'that particlar N', it is sá. The syllabic sa without the high tone is the third person pronoun.

smon 'the man'
sá mon 'that particular man'

There is no indefinite article. The closest thing is adjective noj 'only', but it can be preceded by the definite article snoj 'the only'.

Adjectives are a clused class with ten-ish members. They often form antonyms.

good - bad
big - small
light - dark
old - young/new
female - male

Plural markers
mi 'distributive plural'
and
ru 'collective plural'
are also adjectives.

Number words also appear in the adjective slot.

Genitive modifiers are preceded by preposition e (agrees vowel harmony) 'of'.
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

Omzinesý wrote: 08 Mar 2023 16:20 Phonology

Consonant phonemes
t tˡ k
b d dˡ
s
m n
l j ʁ
/s/ is laminodental before other consonants.
/s/ is apicoalveolar when it is not followed by another consonant.

The sequence /ss/ is also possible. It is pronounced as a long laminodental sibilant.
There is thus a contrast between [s and [s̪:].

sâm [sa̰m] 'a young person'
s-sâm [s̪:a̰m] 'the young person'
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Omzinesý wrote: 18 Mar 2023 18:53 /s/ is laminodental before other consonants.
/s/ is apicoalveolar when it is not followed by another consonant.

The sequence /ss/ is also possible. It is pronounced as a long laminodental sibilant.
There is thus a contrast between [s and [s̪:].

sâm [sa̰m] 'a young person'
s-sâm [s̪:a̰m] 'the young person'
That's really neat! Where did you get the inspiration for this from?
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

VaptuantaDoi wrote: 18 Mar 2023 22:38
Omzinesý wrote: 18 Mar 2023 18:53 /s/ is laminodental before other consonants.
/s/ is apicoalveolar when it is not followed by another consonant.

The sequence /ss/ is also possible. It is pronounced as a long laminodental sibilant.
There is thus a contrast between [s and [s̪:].

sâm [sa̰m] 'a young person'
s-sâm [s̪:a̰m] 'the young person'
That's really neat! Where did you get the inspiration for this from?
Thank you.
S- is usually a prefix and it can be added to any word, those beginning with s too. So I just started thinking how this double s should be pronounced.

I the languages I know having s+C clusters, the s is usually laminodental, but because s is the only sibilant in the inventory, it can well be rebuccalized.

So these two allophones solved the problem.

I don't think if something similar appears in natlangs. Russian щ is pronounced longer than other consonants because it historically derives from a cluster.
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

Omzinesý wrote: 08 Mar 2023 16:20 Phonology

Consonant phonemes
t tˡ k
b d dˡ
s
m n
l j ʁ

/tˡ/ and /dˡ/ are stops with lateral releases. They are pronounced like clusters /tl/ and /dl/, but phonotactically they behave like phonemes.

[...]

Vowel harmony
If the root has -ATR vowels (ɛ ɔ ä), prefixes/proclics have
- /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ instead of /e/ and /o/.
- [ɪ] and [ʊ] instead of [i and [u.

If the root has +ATR vowels (i u e o), prefixes/proclics have
- /e/ and /o/ instead of /ɛ/ and /ɔ/
- i] and [u instead of [ɪ] and [ʊ]

Mid-vowels thus merger in prefixes/proclitics. Closed vowels have just allophonic variations.

Phonotactics
The maximal syllable structure is sCVC and minimal just V. The s is nearly always a prefix.

Longer words (those that contain prefixes) are (s)(CV)CV(C).

A coda is thus allowed word-finally only.
[...]
I have been playing with three possible phonotactic systems and consonant inventories.

a) The one described above
- no consonant clusters (except those beginning with s)
- dental stops with lateral releases (they are handled like phonemes)

b) like the one above but any obstruent+resonant clusters are allowed (the earlier name was Dnor)
- stops with lateral releases are not needed cos clusters dl and and tl are allowed

c) Like the one above but prestopped resonants (b͡m d͡n d͡l ɟ͡j, I think q͡χ instead of ɢ͡ʁ) are allowed
- I think stops with lateral releases aren't very good at this system either

ATM I like alternative c) the most.

t k
b d
s
b͡m d͡n
m n
l j ʁ
d͡l ɟ͡j q͡χ

- Prestopping could be analysed as a suprasegemntal as well, but they aren't so many that I need to.

Do you think it is natural to have q͡χ instead of ɢ͡ʁ cos the system does not have other voiced "back" stops either?

Prestopping could also interacts with the pitch-register of the preceding syllable. Do you have suggestions how?
Edit: I kept the old one.
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by DesEsseintes »

If you added t͡s every continuant would have a prestopped version. Much elegant.
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Omzinesý wrote: 23 Mar 2023 15:30 Do you think it is natural to have q͡χ instead of ɢ͡ʁ cos the system does not have other voiced "back" stops either?
That seems natural to me, especially if /ʁ/ has a voiceless allophone.
Prestopping could also interacts with the pitch-register of the preceding syllable. Do you have suggestions how?
Maybe plain /m n l j ʁ/ can't occur after high tone, while /bm dn dl ɟj qχ/ can?
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

DesEsseintes wrote: 23 Mar 2023 17:37 If you added t͡s every continuant would have a prestopped version. Much elegant.
Maybe, maybe not
I'll see if it's needed.
VaptuantaDoi wrote: 23 Mar 2023 23:09
Omzinesý wrote: 23 Mar 2023 15:30 Do you think it is natural to have q͡χ instead of ɢ͡ʁ cos the system does not have other voiced "back" stops either?
That seems natural to me, especially if /ʁ/ has a voiceless allophone.
I don't know. Maybe word-finally when the next word starts with a voiceless consonant. Anyways /ʁ/ is usually voiced.

VaptuantaDoi wrote: 23 Mar 2023 23:09
Prestopping could also interacts with the pitch-register of the preceding syllable. Do you have suggestions how?
Maybe plain /m n l j ʁ/ can't occur after high tone, while /bm dn dl ɟj qχ/ can?
Maybe?
I have to think about tonogenesis in this lang.
I just know even less how phonations develop.
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Omzinesý wrote: 25 Mar 2023 20:10 Maybe?
I have to think about tonogenesis in this lang.
I just know even less how phonations develop.
Your combo of phonations and tone suggests loss of coda consonants to me, something a bit like Vietnamese. Maybe

Ø, m, n > unmarked tone
l j ʁ > ɦ > breathy voice
b t d k > ʔ > creaky voice
s > h > high tone

Then final vowel loss would generate codas again and explain them only being word-final position. Of course that's just a suggestion.
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

VaptuantaDoi wrote: 26 Mar 2023 03:30
Omzinesý wrote: 25 Mar 2023 20:10 Maybe?
I have to think about tonogenesis in this lang.
I just know even less how phonations develop.
Your combo of phonations and tone suggests loss of coda consonants to me, something a bit like Vietnamese. Maybe

Ø, m, n > unmarked tone
l j ʁ > ɦ > breathy voice
b t d k > ʔ > creaky voice
s > h > high tone

Then final vowel loss would generate codas again and explain them only being word-final position. Of course that's just a suggestion.
Thank you! I hadn't realized that breathy voice is related to voiced consonants.
I think it will be very much like that. I'll read about tonogenesis in Vietnamese.
I think the natural source of prestopping is geminates (at least Saami made it that way). So maybe jj becomed ɟj and the first j also cases breathy voice. So breathy voice would be the only pitch-register before ɟj, maybe.
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

Basic syntax

Sbäk e Dlor has a strict VSO word order.

(1)
Labal smon dëel.
write DEF.man letter
'The man wrote a letter.'

At least in main clauses, subject drop is ungrammatical.

It is possible to left-dislocate the topic. In situ, it is replaced by the third-person pronoun sa. Such topicalization is not very common.

(2a)
Smol, labal sa dëel.
'The man wrote a letter.'

(2b)
Sdëel, labal smol sa.
'The letter was written by the man.'
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

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Statives

Statives work as (syntactically) intransitive predicates.

sön 'to be happy'

Sön smon.
be_happy DEF.man
'The man is happy.'

They can also modify anominal head.

smon sön
DEF.man be_happy
'the happy man'

I'm considering if the modifying form should have a special "participle" form, formed with prestopping the first consonant. On the other hand, I try to keep the morphology simple.

Nouns cannot work as predicates without a copula, in main clauses at least.
Verbs cannot modify a noun without a relativizer.
Adjectives, which precede the noun they modify, are a closed class and cannot work as predicates, even with a copula.
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

Dlor does not have a real infinitive. Complement clauses are usually real subordinate clauses.

There are however some aspectual auxiliaries that govern di 'at' and the verb.

ool 'to continue'

Ool di labal.
'He is still reading.'
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

The genitive preposition is ra. (In the name of the language, it is e but things change.

Genitive phrases can be lexicalized. Then they lack the definite article. (That is common in Romance.)

tléel ra môor
child of school
'pupil'

The modifying word can even be a verb or a stative. Verbs don't usually work like nouns.

nup ra bäj
room of be_together
'living room'
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

Omzinesý wrote: 23 Mar 2023 15:30
Omzinesý wrote: 08 Mar 2023 16:20 Phonology

Consonant phonemes
t tˡ k
b d dˡ
s
m n
l j ʁ

/tˡ/ and /dˡ/ are stops with lateral releases. They are pronounced like clusters /tl/ and /dl/, but phonotactically they behave like phonemes.

[...]

Vowel harmony
If the root has -ATR vowels (ɛ ɔ ä), prefixes/proclics have
- /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ instead of /e/ and /o/.
- [ɪ] and [ʊ] instead of [i and [u.

If the root has +ATR vowels (i u e o), prefixes/proclics have
- /e/ and /o/ instead of /ɛ/ and /ɔ/
- i] and [u instead of [ɪ] and [ʊ]

Mid-vowels thus merger in prefixes/proclitics. Closed vowels have just allophonic variations.

Phonotactics
The maximal syllable structure is sCVC and minimal just V. The s is nearly always a prefix.

Longer words (those that contain prefixes) are (s)(CV)CV(C).

A coda is thus allowed word-finally only.
[...]
I have been playing with three possible phonotactic systems and consonant inventories.

a) The one described above
- no consonant clusters (except those beginning with s)
- dental stops with lateral releases (they are handled like phonemes)

b) like the one above but any obstruent+resonant clusters are allowed (the earlier name was Dnor)
- stops with lateral releases are not needed cos clusters dl and and tl are allowed

c) Like the one above but prestopped resonants (b͡m d͡n d͡l ɟ͡j, I think q͡χ instead of ɢ͡ʁ) are allowed
- I think stops with lateral releases aren't very good at this system either

ATM I like alternative c) the most.

t k
b d
s
b͡m d͡n
m n
l j ʁ
d͡l ɟ͡j q͡χ

- Prestopping could be analysed as a suprasegemntal as well, but they aren't so many that I need to.

Do you think it is natural to have q͡χ instead of ɢ͡ʁ cos the system does not have other voiced "back" stops either?

Prestopping could also interacts with the pitch-register of the preceding syllable. Do you have suggestions how?
Today, I prefer the original consonant inventory A again :)

Maybe I could add an uvular voiceless fricative.

There could be diphthongs as well.
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

Dlor has two words for 'to love'. Grammatically, both of them are statives, I think.
Neither of them can be used if nonhumans. (I considered if you can use either of them of pets, but I don't think so.)

Dëek means feeling strong goodwill, or having tender feelings towards somebody. It is close to Greek philos love but it is also a component in romantic love.

Bur is possessive love. You want to bind with the other person. It also includes jealousy. This ward is also used of erotic love, sexual will in a deeper sense than just being horny.

Often 'I love you' is translated Dëek ú bur tlee pu mee. 'I love and love you.'

Of course, there are other words for 'to like'.
My meta-thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5760
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Omzinesý
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Re: SBäk e Dlor

Post by Omzinesý »

Nouns
kol 'fish'
mon 'man'

Statives
sek' to be dead'

Verbs
bak 'to speak'
bar 'to say'
bobak 'to speak sign language' (bak 'to speak')
boneej 'to handshake' (neey 'to salute')
dloom 'to pour'
kâs 'to eat'
kây 'to go'
kôkaj 'to order to go' (kây 'to go')
kom 'to see'
kusek 'to bite dead' ~ 'to kill with teeth' (sek' to be dead' )
labak 'to write' (bak 'to speak')
madloon 'to pour from a bucket or other container' (dloom 'to pour')
neey 'to salute'
tlokây 'to trick to go' (kây 'to go' )

Adjectives
ye 'young/new'

Pronouns
kah 'I'
sa 'she/he/it/they'
My meta-thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5760
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