Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

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Iyionaku
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Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Tue 25 Jul 2017, 09:18

I was a little bored so I decided to do what I have been wanting to do for a long time:

1. Phonology of Ular
2. Grammar of Anto
3. Chinese Characters

1. Phonology

Consonants

Ular has the following consonants, with romanisation behind:

/p pʰ t tʰ k kʰ/ <p ph t th k kh>
/ѵ ɾ/ <v rh>
/m n ŋ/ <m n ng>
/ɹ j w/ <r j w>
/l ʟ/ <l lh>

Ular has a rather uncommon phonology as it doesn't have any fricatives, although fricativized phones occur as allophones of the aspirated plosives between vowels: pʰ > f, tʰ > s, kʰ > h

Also, the vowels are very uncommon as there are only three vowel phonemes, and all are back vowels:

/ɑ o u/ <a o u>

Here too, front vowels occur as allophones of the back vowel phonemes (details to be elaborated).

Ular has six "tones" although only five of them are true tones, the sixth one is in fact nasalization, where tone is heavily under influence of adjacent syllables (tone sandhi).

1. Tone: high (á ó ú) 55
2. Tone: middle (ā ō ū or unmarked) 33
3. Tone: low (à ò ù) 11
4. Tone: rising (â ô û) 24
5. Tone: falling (ă ŏ ŭ) 53
6. Tone: nasal (ã õ ũ) tone occurs as:

1. Tone after 4. Tone (bâbá)
2. Tone after 1. Tone and 5. Tone (babá/babă)
3. Tone after 2. Tone and 3. Tone (babà/bàbà)
Last edited by Iyionaku on Tue 25 Jul 2017, 19:26, edited 1 time in total.
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Ketumak » Tue 25 Jul 2017, 18:49

Hi. The Ular phoneme inventory looks interesting. You've got a lot of unusual features into a small set of phonemes.

Any more thoughts on when the front allophones of back vowels might occur? I'd suggest at least after alveolar consonants. You could get more complicated though and throw in a harmony rule here. How about if the stressed vowel of a word is fronted (by following an alveolar), then subsequent vowels are also fronted, regardless of what consonants they follow?
Good: :fra: :esp: :por: | OK :ita:

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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Tue 25 Jul 2017, 19:30

Ketumak wrote:Hi. The Ular phoneme inventory looks interesting. You've got a lot of unusual features into a small set of phonemes.

Any more thoughts on when the front allophones of back vowels might occur? I'd suggest at least after alveolar consonants. You could get more complicated though and throw in a harmony rule here. How about if the stressed vowel of a word is fronted (by following an alveolar), then subsequent vowels are also fronted, regardless of what consonants they follow?
Thanks for your feedback. I guess your proposal of alveolar consonants makes sense, especially as there are a few. Vowel harmony won't work though, but you cannot know that: Ular is exclusively isolating, one syllable equals one morpheme, most words are made out of one morpheme, one morpheme corresponds to one Han character.

Phonotactics

Ular is (C)V(C), where the last consonant is not allowed to be a stop.
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Wed 26 Jul 2017, 10:01

Note: I just decided that Ular is spoken at the Island of Hainan in Southern China (海南), that is called Ular (园咱), literally "our country", in Ular. It is a language isolate, but has always been under heavy influence of Chinese, especially Cantonese. There are a lot of statements that don't make literal sense in Ular because they have been directly borrowed from Chinese (although with Ular reading.)

2. Writing system

Ular used to be an unwritten language for most of its time, but has acquised Han characters for the last 500 years due to raising influence of Mandarin. Therefore, the meanings of many basic characters correspond widely in Standard Mandarin. In fact, many Ular texts can be understood by Mandarin speakers in case they regard the differing word order. However, many compounds are formed differently, and hence certain character series can be strange for Mandarin speakers.

Direct accordances

山 ngù - mountain (Mandarin shān)
妈 nă - mother (Mandarin mā)
飞 vō - to fly (Mandarin fēi)
用 jūng - to use (Mandarin yòng, also a phonetic borrowing)
我 lăn - I, me (Mandarin wǒ)
女人 jónngō - woman (Mandarin nǚrén)
的 pō - Genitive particle (Mandarin de)

Obvious borrowings

咱 lăr - we (from Mandarin 咱们, an 1PLIN pronoun)
妈和爸 năphānwă - parents (literally "mom and dad")
火力 õlhphór - fire (literally "fire force")
山山 ngùngù - mountain range (literally "mountains")
飞鸟 vōwâ - bird (literally "fly-bird")

Not-so-obvious borrowings

您 pã - you (in Plural, but is a polite pronoun in Chinese)
天日 lhùmù - sky (literally "sky-sun")
森人 vájngō - monkey (literally "forest-man", cf. Malay "Orang Utan")
砖寮 wũlpál - house (literally "brick-hut", but 寮 is mostly "Laos" in Standard Chinese)

Things that won't make sense for Chinese people

哲人 ánngō - king (literally "wise-man", means "philosopher" in Chinese)
心血 phūkù - important (literally "heart-blood", means "effort" in Chinese)
妈叫 nă'áw - to be named (literally "mother-scream")
歌迷 kàmû - Comparison particle ("fans" in Chinese, but was chosen because of phonetic resemblance to Mandarin gēmí)
个忒 kūthò - Dative particle (symbols read as gètè in Chinese, but don't bear any meaning as far as I know)
Last edited by Iyionaku on Wed 30 Aug 2017, 06:33, edited 7 times in total.
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Creyeditor » Wed 26 Jul 2017, 11:24

Just a quick note: <ular> means 'snake' in Indonesian/Malay. Don't know if you already know.
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Thu 03 Aug 2017, 13:50

Creyeditor wrote:Just a quick note: <ular> means 'snake' in Indonesian/Malay. Don't know if you already know.
No, I didn't. Apparently it's also "potter" in Arumanian. Oh, and "beer" in my main conlang Yélian. [:D]

3. Grammar

Word order and topicalization

Ular is an almost exlusively isolating language, with little to no inflection. Structurally it's a topic-comment language with a primary word order of OVS. Together with the topic, it yields TOVS. The topic, however, is unmarked and can be elided if it is clear from context or hasn't changed since the last sentence. Example sentence:

做人山作去他。
Thàngngō ngù kúnglhù tōn.

[tʰäŋ˩ˈŋoː˧ ŋu˩ kuŋ˥ˈ˩ʟu tən]
TOP=worker mountain climb 3SG.ANIM
As for the worker, he climbs the mountain.
The worker climbs the mountain.

The topic does not need to be the subject ob a sentence. It can be the object as well. In that case, there does not need to be an object pronoun. If you want to emphasize the object pronoun, you can mark it with the circumposition 得 ... 把.

作去做人。
Ngù kúnglhù thàngngō.

TOP=mountain climb worker
As for the mountain, the worker climbs it.
The worker climbs the mountain.

Or:

得那把作去做人。
Ngù tā nà tū kúnglhù thàngngō.

TOP=mountain PART DEM.DIST ACC climb worker

The topic can also be an adverbial.

新日山作去做人。
Phŏngmù ngù kúnglhù thàngngō.

Tomorrow mountain climb worker
As for tomorrow, the worker climbs the mountain.

The topic is not necessarily part of the sentence before. It can also be a superordinate.

江魚魚很吃江鳟。
Khùvāng vāng rhōngtŭrh khùtŭn.

fish PL delicious trout
Among the fish, trout is delicious.
Trouts are delicious fish.
Last edited by Iyionaku on Wed 30 Aug 2017, 06:36, edited 2 times in total.
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Fri 04 Aug 2017, 06:44

Postpositions

Ular exclusively uses postpositions that normally cover a wide range of functions. Those can be either monosyllabic, like 对 thŏ (for, to, until, through, also: there) or disyllabic, like 个忒 kūthò (for, at, to, dative particle). There are only few true postpositions, but many verbs can be used as postpositions as well (coverbs).

All postpositions have two forms: unmarked and marked. The unmarked form only occurs if the adpositional phrase is the first one in a sentence.

歌迷你大。
Lăn kàmû má khũr.

1SG like 2SG big
Compared to me, you are big. (=You are bigger than me.)

汤做有我。
thŏ thóng lhójù lăn.

2SG for soup make-PST 1SG
For you, I made soup.

If an adpositional phrase occurs in the mid of a sentence, it has to be "claused", i.e. embedded by the postposition, where the marked form of a postposition is used. There are two cases:

If the postposition is disyllabic, the postposition turns into a circumposition, where the first syllable precedes the noun phrase and the second sylabble succeeds it. For glossing convenience, the first part is always marked as PART.

你大
Má khũr lăn .

2SG big PART 1SG like
You are big, compared to me. (=You are bigger than me.)

If the postposition is monosyllabic, the particle 得 is put before the noun phrase. In the example phrase I used 手 (DEM.PROX) for the object, which could also be omitted if the context is clear. Note that you cannot use 他 or 她 for inanimate objects.

手做有我。
Thóng thŏ ngâ lhójù lăn.

soup PART 2SG for DEM.PROX make-PST 1SG
As for the soup, I made it for you.
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Fri 04 Aug 2017, 07:51

A few important grammatical features and particles

This section names a few important grammatical features, as well as the most important particles.

The plural of nouns can be formed by reduplicating the last syllable of the noun head. It is facultative for all inanimate nouns, and is never used with numerals. The tone of the second syllable sometimes varies: it is always 3rd tone when preceded by a 5th tone and always 1st tone when preceded by a 4th tone.

妈 nă (mother) -> 妈妈 nănà (mothers)
睛 nû (eye) -> 睛睛 nûnú (eyes), but: 睛二 nû máng (two eyes)
啤 pŭ (beer) -> 啤啤 pŭpù (beers), not necessarily marked
砖寮 wũlpál (house) -> 砖寮寮 wũlpálpál (houses), not necessarily marked

The associative plural (= a person and their accompanyment) is formed with the particle 们 (màn)

矮女 rhājón - girl -> 矮女们 rhājónmàn - the girl and her friends

The collective plural is formed with the particle 都 (tów).

江魚 khùvāng - fish -> 江魚都 khùvāngtów - all fish
咱 lăr - we -> 咱都 lărtów - we all

The past of a verb is formed with the particle 有 (jù).

她得读她 Tōn tā râw tōn - She reads
她得读有她 Tōn tā râwjù tōn - She read

There are two particles for the future: 时 (khõr) for the definite future and 希望 (òpãl) for the hypothetical future. They correspond roughly, but not always, to the English differentiation between going-to-future and will future.

我得读我 Lăn tā râw lăn - I read
我得读时我 Lăn tā râwkhõr lăn - I am going to read
我得读希望我 Lăn tā râw òpãl lăn - I will read

Note that 时 is a coverb and has to be placed after the main verb, while 希望 can occur anywhere else.
Last edited by Iyionaku on Wed 30 Aug 2017, 06:40, edited 1 time in total.
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Thu 10 Aug 2017, 13:41

Other particles and auxillary verbs

ngò - causative. The word order is as follows: Topic - Object - Verb - Causee - 攴 - Causer.

木门把手有看的再蚊。
Jûnkó tū ngâ khārh jù Pōtũr ngò Jón.

door ACC DEM.PROX open PST Peter cause John
John made Peter open the door.

mŏn - Imperfective aspect. Used in past for the imperfect tense and in present for the progressive aspect. Always succeeds the main verb.

她得读着她。
Tōn tā râw mŏn tōn.

TOP=3SG.FEM read PROG 3SG.FEM
She is reading.

她得读着有她时的,在去有他男。
Tōn tā râw mŏn jù tōn khõrpō, phūlhù jù tōnrăr.

TOP=3SG.FEM read IMPF PST 3SG.FEM while come_in PST 3SG.MASC
While she was reading, he walked in.

- literally "to suffer", but primarily used to form passive sentences. Word order: Topic - verb - 负 - patient.

木门得开
Jûnkó khārh .

door open suffer
The door was opened.

ôr - coverb with the meaning "to cause". Marks the agent in a passive sentence. Word order: Topic - 得 - agent - 惹 - verb - 负 - patient.

木门的再
Jûnkó tā Pōtũr rō khārh kă.

door PART Peter cause open suffer
The door was opened by Peter.

(In that sentence, the patient is omitted because it is clear from context)

歌迷 kàmû - particle for the comparative. Word order: Superior - 歌 - Inferior - 迷 - Adjective OR Inferior - 歌迷 - Superior - Adjective.
(Examples see previous posts)

máw - particle for the superlative. Word order: Superior - Adjective - 卯 OR Topic - 得 - Superior - 把 - Adjective - 卯.

猫兽大
Tânkūng khũr máw.

cat big SUP
The cat is the biggest one.

女人
Jónngō tōn máw.

woman PART 3SG.FEM ACC beautiful SUP
Among the woman, she is the most beautiful one.

kõm - particle for the static preterite. Normally, adjectives can be juxtaposited to a noun without a copula verb. In past, however, 艮 must be used. Appears after the adjective.

狗兽手速。
Wónkūng ngâ lhã.

dog DEM.PROX fast
This dog is fast.

狗兽那速
Wónkūng nà lhã kõm.

dog DEM.PROX fast STAT.PST
That dog used to be fast.
Last edited by Iyionaku on Wed 30 Aug 2017, 06:42, edited 1 time in total.
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Ælfwine » Thu 10 Aug 2017, 18:39

I always wanted to make a Chinese or Korean derived/inspired lang, but my lack of knowledge about pretty much everything drove me away.

So [+1]
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by shimobaatar » Sat 12 Aug 2017, 04:17

Iyionaku wrote:2. Grammar of Anto
Anto?
Iyionaku wrote:Ular has six "tones" although only five of them are true tones, the sixth one is in fact nasalization, where tone is heavily under influence of adjacent syllables (tone sandhi).

1. Tone: high (á ó ú) 55
2. Tone: middle (ā ō ū or unmarked) 33
3. Tone: low (à ò ù) 11
4. Tone: rising (â ô û) 24
5. Tone: falling (ă ŏ ŭ) 53
6. Tone: nasal (ã õ ũ) tone occurs as:

1. Tone after 4. Tone (bâbá)
2. Tone after 1. Tone and 5. Tone (babá/babă)
3. Tone after 2. Tone and 3. Tone (babà/bàbà)
So the 6th tone's pronunciation varies based on the preceding tone? Are syllables carrying this tone always nasalized, though? If there's a 4th tone syllable followed by two 6th tone syllables, are both 6th tone syllables pronounced with the 1st tone? What happens if the first syllable of a word is carrying the 6th tone? Does tone sandhi operate across word boundaries? What if the first syllable of an entire utterance is carrying the 6th tone?
Iyionaku wrote:There are a lot of statements that don't make literal sense in Ular because they have been directly borrowed from Chinese (although with Ular reading.)
What do you mean? Are you saying that Ular speakers sometimes write with Chinese syntax?
Iyionaku wrote:Ular used to be an unwritten language for most of its time, but has acquised Han characters for the last 500 years due to raising influence of Mandarin. Therefore, the meanings of many basic characters correspond widely in Standard Mandarin. In fact, many Ular texts can be understood by Mandarin speakers in case they regard the differing word order. However, many compounds are formed differently, and hence certain character series can be strange for Mandarin speakers.
Do they use simplified or traditional characters in modern times? These look traditional to me, but I really don't know enough to be able to tell.

Anyway, this looks cool so far! How heavily would you say Ular has been influenced by Sinitic languages? Does it have a sizable amount of loanwords?
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by DesEsseintes » Sat 12 Aug 2017, 04:23

shimobaatar wrote:Do they use simplified or traditional characters in modern times? These look traditional to me, but I really don't know enough to be able to tell.
So far in the thread, Iyionaku has only used simplified.
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by shimobaatar » Sat 12 Aug 2017, 04:30

DesEsseintes wrote:
shimobaatar wrote:Do they use simplified or traditional characters in modern times? These look traditional to me, but I really don't know enough to be able to tell.
So far in the thread, Iyionaku has only used simplified.
Well, shows what I know. [xD] I recognized some characters from Japanese, and since Japanese wouldn't use simplified characters, I figured they must be traditional. I guess those characters I recognized must have been simple enough already?
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by DesEsseintes » Sat 12 Aug 2017, 04:47

shimobaatar wrote:
DesEsseintes wrote:
shimobaatar wrote:Do they use simplified or traditional characters in modern times? These look traditional to me, but I really don't know enough to be able to tell.
So far in the thread, Iyionaku has only used simplified.
Well, shows what I know. [xD] I recognized some characters from Japanese, and since Japanese wouldn't use simplified characters, I figured they must be traditional. I guess those characters I recognized must have been simple enough already?
One way to spot it here is in the radical of 读 which corresponds to Japanese 読 (and traditional Chinese 讀).

Other simplified elements in the characters OP has used so far include 马 for 馬 and 门 for 門.
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Mon 14 Aug 2017, 07:11

shimobaatar wrote:Anto?
That's an old, meanwhile abandoned language of mine. There are dozens of translation examples around the translation corner. I liked some of the grammar ideas I've head, but phonology, prosody and lexicon was just batshit ugly.
shimobaatar wrote:So the 6th tone's pronunciation varies based on the preceding tone? Are syllables carrying this tone always nasalized, though? If there's a 4th tone syllable followed by two 6th tone syllables, are both 6th tone syllables pronounced with the 1st tone? What happens if the first syllable of a word is carrying the 6th tone? Does tone sandhi operate across word boundaries? What if the first syllable of an entire utterance is carrying the 6th tone?
Difficult question. Yes, tone sandhi operates across word boundaries. If the first syllable in a sentence carries the 6th tone, it is pronounced with 2nd (mid) tone. Syllables carrying this tone are indeed always nasalized. If more than one syllable with 6th tone comes across, all are pronounced with the same tone.
shimobaatar wrote:What do you mean? Are you saying that Ular speakers sometimes write with Chinese syntax?
Yep, especially many idioms commonly used in Ular are literal Mandarin and don't make real sense regarding Ular's grammar. For example, the English phrase "beggars can't be choosers" is 饥不择食 in both Mandarin and Ular, but 饥 actually means "famine" in Ular, 不 is normally not used for negation, and 食 is indeed a word for "food", but not the most commonly used.
shimobaatar wrote:Do they use simplified or traditional characters in modern times? These look traditional to me, but I really don't know enough to be able to tell.

Anyway, this looks cool so far! How heavily would you say Ular has been influenced by Sinitic languages? Does it have a sizable amount of loanwords?
Thank you! As DesEsseintes already stated, I exclusively use simplified characters. I think that Ular will be heavily influences. "Sizeable" is relative as I have only got about 250 words altogether, but there are indeed some borrowings including 用 jūng (Mandarin yòng) or the distal demonstrative 那 (Mandarin ). But also grammar has been influenced, for example the genitive structure with the particle 的 or the usage of the movement verbs 去 (to go to) and 来 (to come from).
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
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Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Fri 25 Aug 2017, 09:24

Tone - part II

This section will deal with the six tones of Ular a little more broadly. To explain the exact tone heights, I'll use the common system of numbers from 1 (very low) to 5 (very high).

The "default" tone in Ular is the mid tone (33). If not interfered by the 1st or 3rd tone, it's the entry tone of a clause.

The tones in Ular can be divided into two groups. While the first three tones have a fixed pitch and do not interfere with other tones, the tone 4-6 vary depending on previous tones.

Tone 1 is the "high tone" and is always 55. In Laphu (the official romanization), it is marked with an acute: á ó ú
Tone 2 is the "neutral tone" and is always 33. It is marked with a macron or not marked at all: a o u / ā ō ū
Tone 3 is the "low tone" and is always 11. It is marked with a grave: à ò ù

Tone 4 is the "rising tone". Is is marked with a circumflex: â ô û. Note that the tone is marked exactly the other way round as it is done in the IPA. Depending on the pitch of the preceding tone, it can have three different realizations. The "pitch of the preceding tone" is always the pitch that a tone ends with. (Example: the "pitch of the preceding tone" of a hypothetical tone that was 14 would be 4).

a) If the pitch ends on 1, tone 4 is realized as 13.
b) If the pitch ends on 3, tone 4 is realized as 35.
c) If the pitch ends on 5, tone 4 is realized as 55, i.e. is identical to the 1st tone.

If two or more 4th tones occur adjacent to each other, they add each other up. Example: If a 3rd tone (low) is followed by three 4th tones, the realization will actually be: 11 13 35 55

Tone 5 is the "falling tone". It is marked with a breve: ă ŏ ŭ (not with a hacek as in Pinyin!). Depending on the pitch of the preceding tone, it can also have three different realizations in a way very similar to the 4th tone:

a) If the pitch ends on 1, tone 5 is realized as 11, i.e. is identical to the 3rd tone.
b) If the pitch ends on 3, tone 5 is realized as 31.
c) If the pitch ends on 5, tone 5 is realized as 53.

Tone 6 is the "strong tone". It is always nazalized and its pitch follows the preceding syllable, i.e. is 55 after the 1st tone, 33 after the 2nd tone and 11 after the 3rd tone. After 4th, 5th or other 6th tones, the pitch depends on the pitch of the preceding tone again.

As soon as I'm home, I will create a table that shows all possible combinations of the tones 1 to 6.
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
Iyionaku
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun 25 May 2014, 13:17

Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Fri 25 Aug 2017, 09:43

Possession

There are two main possibilities to express possession:

1. "Chinese possession": This is the most universal method and can be used for almost all cases. There are a few exceptions, most notably including locational nouns like 园 ù (land, country). Those nouns cannot be used together with personal pronouns and the "chinese possession".

It uses the particle 的 pō. It's pattern is: Possessor - 的 - Possessive

你的手机得
Ná pō ngâphá tā

2SG GEN cellphone TOP
Your cellphone

汉汉的市
Jújú pō thăw

Chinese-PL GEN city
The city of the Chinese [native name of Haikou, the largest city on Hainan]

But not possible :

*咱的市得
*Lár pō thăw tā

1PL GEN city FOC
Our city

2. "Native possession": This can only be used for non-alienable possession and only if the possessor is a personal pronoun or a few other selected nominals like 什 (someone). It does not need a particle and instead is just created by juxtaposition: Possessive - Possessor.

爸你的
Tâ ná tā

father 2SG TOP
Your father

This is the only acceptable construction for some locational nouns:

市咱得
Thăw lár tā

city 1PL TOP
Our city

Obligatorily possessed nouns

There are four nouns in Ular that cannot stand alone, but always have to be possessed, i.e. be accompanied by a (sometimes generic) possessor. Those nouns are:

phū - heart
thā - head
ngâ - hand
- eye

Hence the sentence "He has a good heart" cannot be:

*他的心一园他。
*Tōn tā phū ów ù tōn.

3SG.MASC TOP heart one have 3SG.MASC
He has a good heart.

Instead it has to be one of the following:

他得他的心把园他。
Tōn tā tōn pō phū tū ù tōn.

3SG.MASC TOP 3SG.MASC GEN heart ACC have 3SG.MASC
? He has his good heart.

他得心他把园他。
Tōn tā phū tū tōn ù tōn.

3SG.MASC TOP heart one 3SG.MASC ACC have 3SG.MASC
? He has his good heart.

(把 can be omitted, depending on context.)
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
Iyionaku
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun 25 May 2014, 13:17

Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Tue 29 Aug 2017, 14:30

When and when not to use 得

The usage of the focus particle 得 is a rather complex topic of Ular grammar. Generally speaking: 得 separates the topic from the comment, but its use is not always mandatory and in certain surroundings even prohibited. When you use it is explained here. The most important abbreviations are T (Topic), S (Subject) V (Verb) and O (Object). Note that the unmarked word order in Ular is TOVS.

1. A transitive sentence where T is a plain noun or pronoun does not require 得, but it's also not prohibited.

猫兽儿人蜇有它。
Tânkūng rhánngō tō jù tōn.

cat child bite PST 3SG.NEUT
The cat bit the child.

However, 猫兽儿人蜇有它 would also have been a valid sentence.

2. A transitive sentence where T is accompanied by adjectives, adverbs, numerals or conjunctions requires 得 mandatorily. It is put after all modifiers. The word order is: Noun - Numeral - Adjectives - Conjunctions - Adverbs - 得.

猫兽黑儿人蜇有它。
Tânkūng ălh rhánngō tō jù tōn.

cat black TOP child bite PST 3SG.NEUT
The black cat bit the child.

我你恶我。我从你无爱我。
Lăn má khū lăn. Lăn tōng má pãm á lăn.

1SG 2SG hate 1SG | 1SG therefore TOP 2SG NEG love 1SG
I hate you. That's why I don't love you.

他现我去着他。
Tōn rhŭ lăn lhù mŏn tōn.

3SG.MASC now TOP 1SG go PROG 3SG.MASC
He is coming to me now.

3. A plain intransitive statement always requires 得.

在去着有我。
Lăn phū lhù mŏn jù lăn.

1SG TOP in go IMPF PST 1SG
I was getting in.

If a topic is not directly followed by the direct object, 得 may or may not be necessary.

4. If the topic is followed by an indirect object, 得 is not mandatory. The topic is already marked with the circumposition 个忒.

金革书手给有他。
Mâkó kū lăn thò tháng ngâ lù jù tōn.

Mark TOP 1SG DAT book DEM.PROX give PST 3SG.MASC
Mark gave me this book.

However, 金革个我忒书手给有他 wouldn't have been wrong either and would emphasize that is was Mark who gave me the book, and nobody else.

5. If the topic is the direct object, 得 is prohibited. Use 把 instead.

你把爱我!
Má tū á lăn!

2SG ACC love 1SG
It is you that I love!

While 你把你爱我 would have been valid (emphazizing the object at the object position), *你把得爱我 or even *你得爱我 would have been big no-no's.

However, if you use the direct object again, it is allowed to clause it with 得...把, yielding the topic being followed by 得 again.

你得你把爱我!
Má tā má tū á lăn!

2SG TOP 2SG ACC love 1SG
Regarding you: I love you!

6. If the topic is the indirect object, 得 is prohibited as well. Use 个忒 instead.

个忒书手给有金革。
Lăn kūthò tháng ngâ lù jù Mâkó.

1SG DAT book DEM.PROX give PST Mark
It was me who Mark gave this book to.

7. If the topic is any adverbial that is not followed by a postposition, 得 is mandatory.

新日你看去时我。
Phŏngmù má khû lhù khõr lăn.

tomorrow TOP 2SG see go FUT 1SG
Tomorrow I am going to visit you.

8. If the topic is a prepositional construction, 得 is allowed, but very unusual.

糖那森人迹看着我。
Lánnà thŏ vájngō vójkhú mŏn lăn.

Lana for monkey search PROG 1SG
I am looking for the monkey for [=in order to help] Lana.

糖那对森人迹看着我 would also be possible.

9. If an adverbial or prepositional construction is followed by another adverbial or the hypothetical future, 得 is mandatory.

糖那对希望森人迹去我。
Lánnà thŏ òpãl vájngō vójlhù lăn.

Lana for HYP.FUT monkey search PROG 1SG
I will find the monkey for [=in order to help] Lana.

10. If an adverbial or nominal construction is used elliptically, 得 may not be mandatory, but is nearly always used, also in colloquial speech.

苹个你忒给有什?
Phông kū má thò lù jù rū?

Apple PART 2SG DAT give PST who
Who gave you the apple?

爸我
Tâ lăn .

father 1SG TOP
My father.

11. In a passive sentence, 得 is facultative and normally not used in colloquial speech if the agent is not named.

木门开负。
Jûnkó khārh kă.

door open suffer
The door was opened.

In a passive sentence if the agent is named, it is mandatory (see chapter "Other important auxillaries"

12. If the topic is the subject and followed only be a stative verb, 得 is prohibited.

狗兽那速艮。
Wónkūng nà lhã kõm.

dog DEM.PROX fast STAT.PST
That dog used to be fast.

The rules regarding questions are yet to elaborate.
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
Iyionaku
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun 25 May 2014, 13:17

Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Wed 30 Aug 2017, 14:11

Numerals

The number system of Ular is base-5, however, higher numerals as well as "zero" are loaned from Chinese (mainly Cantonese).

Cardinal numerals

The base numerals from 1-10 are the following:

ów
máng - 两 does not exist in Ular
phál
vûrh
õn - always pronounced with high tone: [ɔ̃́]
五一 õn'ow
五二 õnmáng
五三 õnphál
五四 õnvúrh
â

As shown, the numbers from 6 - 9 are formed with 5 + 1. The same occurs, for example, for 78:

五二十五三
õnmáng â õnphál

The numerals for 0, 100, 1000, 10000 and one million are all derived from Cantonese (except for 0, that comes from Mandarin)

0 零 lông - cf. Mandarin líng, /o/ is realized as after alveolars in Ular
100 百 - cf. Cantonese baak3
1000 千 thón - cf. Cantonese cin1
10,000 万 màn - cf. Cantonese maan6
1,000,000 兆 thùj - cf. Cantonese siu6
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
Iyionaku
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun 25 May 2014, 13:17

Re: Ular: Old brooms sweep clean (hopefully)

Post by Iyionaku » Fri 01 Sep 2017, 14:24

Pronouns

This section deals with the various pronouns of Ular.

Personal pronouns

The system of personal pronouns is rather simple: There are the six basic pronouns 1-3SG/PL, however the 3PL pronoun is actually just formed by reduplication of the 3SG pronoun. Like in Chinese, different symbols are used depending on sex of the person: 他 male, 她 female, 它 animate and 祂 for deities. However, those pronouns cannot be used for inanimate things. For that, demonstratives are used if necessary.

1SG: 我 lăn [lɛ̂n]
1PL: 咱 lár [lɛ́ɹ] ! inclusive and exclusive!
2SG: 你 [mɑ́]
2PL: 您 [pɑ̃̄] ! not a courtesy pronoun!
3SG: 他/她/它/祂 tōn [tīn]
3PL: 他她/他他/她她 tōntōn [tīntīn]

Demonstrative pronous

Ular features a two-way distinction between demonstratives: proximal and distal. The proximal pronoun is 手 ngâ [ŋɑ̌̄], which also means "hand". The distal demonstrative used to be 足 óm [ɔ́m], also meaning "foot", but unfortunately this evident and clever construction has fallen out of use. Instead, the Chinese demonstrative 那 [nɛ̀] has been borrowed. Additionally, there is a third demonstrative pronoun which works the other way round: 哪 ô [ɔ̌̄] marks that the position of something is not known. It also means "somewhere" and "where".
Note that it is not possible to confuse 手 with its secondary meaning "hand", because "hand" is obligatorily possessed in Ular (as "foot" used to be as well). Also note that the phonetical difference between 手 and 那 is big enough, because the phoneme /ɑ/ is realized as [ɛ] in 那.

书手 tháng ngâ - this book
书那 tháng nà - that book
书哪 tháng ô - that book somewhere

手什手 ngâ rū ngâ - this (someone's) hand
手什那 ngâ rū nà - that (someone's) hand
手什哪 ngâ rū ô - that (someone's) hand somewhere, any hand


Interrogative and indefinite pronouns

In all cases, the interrogative and indefinite pronouns are identical. In a question, the question word is fronted and put as the topic, whereas an indefinite pronoun is not allowed to be topic. Markable is that there is no distinction between who/someone and what/something.

[ɹū] - someone, something; who? what?
ô [ɔ̌̄] - somewhere; where?
[mǔ̄] - then; sometime; when?
tōng [tīŋ] - to follow; from; therefore; why?
mán [mɑ́n] - adjectivizer; that way; how?
nùng [nỳŋ] - for; targeting; for any reason; what for?; targeting what?

Reflexive pronouns

There is only one reflexive pronoun in Ular: 头 thā [tʰɛ̄]. It always stands alone. Again, a confusion with the secondary meaning "head" is impossible because "head" has to be mandatorily possessed.

我头岩有我。
Lăn thā lhó jù lăn.

1SG self hit PST 1SG
I hit myself.

我头什岩有我。
Lăn thā rū lhó jù lăn.

1SG head someone hit PST 1SG
I hit a (someone's) head.
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
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