Spoken Language

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Creyeditor
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Spoken Language

Post by Creyeditor » Sun 21 Sep 2014, 17:44

Spoken Language
I always heard a lot about the iconicity of sign languages. I also heard that the iconicity could vanish through historical processes. So, in the western continent of my conworld, the sign languages are more common than spoken languages. They have a long diachronic history. However, there are also some visually handicapped people, who can't communicate using sign languages. Those people speak the spoken languages (also called 'blind languages', 'mouth languages' or 'ear languages'). These languages have a high degree of iconicity. Here is a quick overview about on of those 'mostly nameless' languages.

Phoneme inventory

The phoneme inventory is rather symetric, if you adjust some things. This symetry is important for some morpho-phonological processes. The vowel inventory is sometimes also called the vowel space. '~'s indicate free variations.
The archiphoneme /N/ assimilates in place to a preceding consonant, if there is one. Syllable finally it nasalizes the preceding vowel. If it appears word initial or between vowels, it assimilates in place to the following vowel. All in all the realizations include [Ṽ], [m], [ŋʷ], [ŋ], [n], [ɲ].

Code: Select all

alveolar velar labial
/t~c/   /k/   /kʷ~p/   voiceless plosives
/d~ɟ/   /g/   /gʷ~b/   voiced plosives
/s~ɕ/   /x/   /xʷ~f/   voiceless fricatives
/z~ʑ/   /ɣ/   /ɣʷ~v/   voiced fricatives
/l~j/   /N/   /w~ʋ/    sonorants
/i/     /ɨ/   /u/      high vowels
/ɛ/     /a/   /ɔ/      low vowels
Vowels are also diferentiated by length and volume. I will indicate louder volume by the stress sign. Whereas length is involved in morphophonological processes, volume might only be important for pragmatics. The same is true for intonantion.

Code: Select all

Lengths/Volume normal loud
shortened       ă     ˈă
normal          a     ˈa
lenthened       aː    ˈaː
Morphophonological Processes
There are several morphophonological processes in this language, most of them can be viewed as iconic.
  • Ultimate Vowel Shortening: The vowel of the last syllable is shortened.
  • Ultimate Vowel Lengthening: The vowel of the last syllable is lengthened.
  • Phrase Reduplication:A phrase is reduplicated. The result is a new phrase.
  • Word Reduplication: A word stem is reduplicated. The result is a new word.
  • Word Final Consonant Lenition: The last consonant of a word is lenited using a certain hierarchy.
  • Word Final Consonant Fortition: The last consonant of a word is lenited using a certain hierarchy.
The aforementioned hierarchy is in fact two hierarchies. The leftmost is the most fortis and the rightmost one is the most lenited. I am not sure what I want to use as the fortis version of the voiceless plosives though.
  • voiceless plosives <-> voiced plosives <-> voiced fricatives <-> sonorants <-> ∅
  • voiceless plosives <-> voiceless fricatives <-> voiced fricatives <-> sonorants <-> ∅
For voiced plosives and voiceless fricatives, the choice of the hierarchy is not that difficult, but lenition of voiceless plosives e.g. can lead to allophony of /b/ and /f/.

This is probably also the best place to mention the vowel space. Vowel space is used for pronouns and obviative-proximate-distinctions. Front vowel indicate proximity and back vowels indicate obviative positions. Low vowels are used for first person and high vowels are used for non-first person. (The distinction between PROX1/PROX2 and between OBV1/OBV2 is discussed later in detail.)

Code: Select all

/i/       /ɨ/       /u/
3.PROX2   2SG       3.OBV2

/ɛ/       /a/       /ɔ/
3.PROX1   1SG       3.OBV2
Morphology
Nouns are inflected for number and proximity. Proximity is indicated by the OBV2 and PROX2 marker taken from the vowel space. Whereas this is obligatory, the number marking is optional and indicated by word reduplication.

Verbs are inflected for aspect. In addition some of theme are inflected for person of the object, others for the person of the subject and there are also some which are said to be inflected for location instead.
Aspects are the following:
  • Durative: indicated by either word reduplication or ultimat vowel lengthening
  • Iterative: indicated by word reduplication
  • Habitualis: indicated by phrase reduplication
  • Perfective: indicated by ultimat vowel shortening and word final consonant fortition
  • Progressive: indicated by ultimat vowel lengthening and word final consonant lenition
Adjectives agree with their noun in proximity.
Syntax
The general word order is (X)SV(O)(X), but a topic can be fronted, and a focus can be moved in a poition directly left to the verb.
The language is pro-drop and copulas are optional.

Wh-words do occur either at the beining or at the end of a sentence. Yes/No-Questions can be indicated by intonation, by a interrogative particle or by a pronoun refering to the subject and occuring at the end of the sentence.

What do you think about this? What do you like about this? What do you hate about it? What did you have trouble understanding with? What do you want to know more about?
Last edited by Creyeditor on Wed 08 Nov 2017, 19:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Squall
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Re: Spoken Language

Post by Squall » Sun 21 Sep 2014, 18:31

Creyeditor wrote:I always heard a lot about the iconicity of sign languages. I also heard that the iconicity could vanish through historical processes. So, in the western continent of my conworld, the sign languages are more common than spoken languages. They have a long diachronic history. However, there are also some visually handicapped people, who can't communicate using sign languages. Those people speak the spoken languages (also called 'blind languages', 'mouth languages' or 'ear languages'). These languages have a high degree of iconicity. Here is a quick overview about on of those 'mostly nameless' languages.
That is interesting. [:)]
How do non-blind people communicate when their hands are busy? How do they call other people when they want to talk?
English is not my native language. Sorry for any mistakes or lack of knowledge when I discuss this language.
:bra: :mrgreen: | :uk: [:D] | :esp: [:)] | :epo: [:|] | :lat: [:S] | :jpn: [:'(]
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Creyeditor
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Re: Spoken Language

Post by Creyeditor » Sun 21 Sep 2014, 18:43

The same way non-signing people communicate when their mouth is full because they are eating. Either we might talk a bit slurry or we might just wait 'till we swallowed. For the non-blinds that mean that they either articulate while still e.g. holding the tool they were using and thereby not allowing different hand shapes or they might just use one hand or they might even wait until they've finished.
Calling is done by waving or, if the person is not looking at you, you might have to approach a person and touch them.
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Egerius
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Re: Spoken Language

Post by Egerius » Sun 21 Sep 2014, 19:01

This is a very interesting aporoach at, uh, "languages for the handycapped" and at glottogenesis as a whole.
[+1]

Are there also "bilingual" people who know and use both ways of communication?
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Creyeditor
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Re: Spoken Language

Post by Creyeditor » Sun 21 Sep 2014, 20:46

Very good question [:)]

In the past the bilinguals were mostly relatives or friends of the 'spoken language users'. In the future they will be of growing importance as interpreters, since there is a lot of trading going on with the main continent, where the speaking/signing situation is like the one in our world.
Also, thanks for the feedback so far [:)]
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Re: Spoken Language

Post by Creyeditor » Mon 22 Sep 2014, 17:00

Sorry for the double post.

Orthography
This orthography is phonemic and should only be used for academical purpose.
Consonants:
/t~c d~ɟ k g kʷ~p gʷ~b/ <t d k g p b>
/s~ɕ z~ʑ x ɣ xʷ~f ɣʷ~v/ <s z x gh f v>
/l~j N w~ʋ/ <l n w>

I decided to use the labial and the alveolar variant as a base instead of the labiovelar and the alveopalatal/palatal. Also, I prefer <l> to <j> (because it could be seen as /ɟ/) or <y> (because I need it as a vowel). The nasal archiphoneme is <n>, regardless of it's realization.

Normal Volume Vowels:
/ĭ i iː ɨ̆ ɨ ɨː ŭ u uː/ ì i ii ỳ y yy ù u uu
/ ɛ̆ ɛ ɛː ă a aː ɔ̆ ɔ ɔː/ è e ee à a aa ò o oo

Loud Vowels:
/ˈĭ ˈi ˈiː ˈɨ̆ ˈɨ ˈɨː ˈŭ ˈu ˈuː/ î í íí ŷ ý ýý û ú úú
/ˈɛ̆ ˈɛ ˈɛː ˈă ˈa ˈaː ˈɔ̆ ˈɔ ˈɔː/ ê é éé â á áá ò ó óó

As you can see long vowels are indicated by doubling the letter, short ones be a grave accent. Loud vowels are indicated by an acute accent. The circumflex is seen as a combination of the grave and the acute accent.
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Re: Spoken Language

Post by Creyeditor » Wed 08 Nov 2017, 19:01

I just rediscovered this thread [:D]
Just wanted to share a tiny bit of language context information with you that has emerged since then. The glottogenesis favored signed languages over spoken languagess on this continent, because it is a very LOUD continent. So if you talk, nobody can understand you. I imagined there would be a lot fjords with huge waves and maybe volcanos. Don't know if this sounds realistic at all. On the other hand I really want a crazy fjord continent.

I also corrected some typos in the first post.
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