Introducing Qutrussan

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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by gestaltist » Sat 04 Nov 2017, 21:20

Davush wrote:
Since the spread of Classical Qutrussan, various 'Low Qutrussan' dialects/languages have arisen in the various provinces. The Western varieties are generally more divergent.
Wouldn't that place the likely origins of the language to the west? Languages tend to be the most varied close to their birthplace.
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Sat 04 Nov 2017, 21:29

gestaltist wrote:
Davush wrote:
Since the spread of Classical Qutrussan, various 'Low Qutrussan' dialects/languages have arisen in the various provinces. The Western varieties are generally more divergent.
Wouldn't that place the likely origins of the language to the west? Languages tend to be the most varied close to their birthplace.
That did occur to me, but I had in mind that the classical language held more sway in the East (its home region) due to its prestige status so dialects there are more conservative. Not sure how realistic that is, though.
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Mon 06 Nov 2017, 12:19

Probably spent too much time on this recently, but here's a rough map of the new Qutrus homeland and provinces. I think I prefer this island. (Can an island this size even be called an island, or is it more of a semi-continent?)

Image
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Thu 09 Nov 2017, 12:04

The Updated Passive

I have decided to change the passive because I wasn’t really happy with the first attempt. It left too many –aya-sequences, producing ugly things like ‘ayadayáqsaḥ’. Instead, the passive marker is now ṛ- which forms the passive stem:

daqs- to hit
ṛdaqs- to be hit

zal- to eat
ṛzal- to be eaten

It used to be realized as a /ɾC/ cluster, but is now generally /əC/ where C represents gemination of the following consonant.

The stem is the conjugated like a normal non-past verb:

ṛdaqsan – I am hit, I was hit
ṛzalaḥ - It is/was eaten

This basic passive form can have both a non-past and past meaning, depending on context. If the past really needs to be emphasised, the passive participle + past copula can be used.

The participle is formed by adding ṛ and lengthening the initial syllable, then adding the adjectival/relativizing suffix –Vq or –Vqqa (when used attributively):

ṛdáqsaq – hit
ṛzálaq – eaten
ṛthímiq - spoken
ṛthímiqqa gilga – the spoken language
ṛdáqsaq par – the man who was hit

The participle adds the suffix –ssa- to form a past tense. This is considered to be a contraction of yussuḥ.

Qutrussán hacsa ṛthímissaḥ
Qutrussan was spoken there

Par zúrmi ṛthaggassaḥ
The man was killed in the mountains

I am happier with this passive I think. I don't know whether I'll keep any trace of the -aya- passive.
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Sun 12 Nov 2017, 12:42

Minor update with some verb stuff.

Although a good number of roots are monosyllabic CVC type, this obviously can't account for all verbs. A second common type is CVC.CVC, where the syllable is often reduplicated, many of which probably stem from some sort of onomatopoeia. These behave in their own way.

phasphas- to wipe, to rub

The non-past is conjugated as other verbs, simply add an echo vowel and personal suffix:
phasphasan, phasphasar, phasphasaḥ, etc.

The past however does not have the prefixed long vowel. Instead, the final syllable is lengthened, and sa- is added before personal suffixes.

phasphas-
phasphássa-

phasphássan (I wiped) phasphássar (you wiped) etc.

Some final consonants will geminate instead of adding -s:

mishmish
- to walk
mishmishin - I walk
mishmísshan - I walked

I am thinking about having the initial syllable reduce to schwa, so:

phăsphássan, mĭshmísshan, etc.
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by gestaltist » Mon 13 Nov 2017, 11:07

Could you talk a bit about the derivational morphology of Qutrussan?
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Mon 13 Nov 2017, 22:17

Sure, although it isn't completely fleshed out at the minute. I find derivational morphology one of the more fun parts of conlanging, so I leave it till last. This also means that I have more words to play with by the time I start working on it properly.

Verb > Noun
This derivation creates a generic noun from a verb and is usually used with monosyllabic verbs. The nouns meaning isn't always predictable though, and it is not really productive. It is formed by lengthening the stem and adding -a:

zal- to eat
zála - food

ctav - to think
ctáva - a thought, idea

The second I call a root extension and is an infix of VyV: where V is an echo vowel. The sequence -iyí- becomes -iví-. The general meaning conveyed is one of a more intense form of the original root, reciprocal action, or action over a longer period. It is now very idiomatic and not productive.

daqs - to hit
dayáqs - to fight

thim- to speak, say
thivím- to have a conversation

Someone associated with an action (like -er in English) takes the suffix -nsa, but usually from the nominal root. It differs a bit from the present participle as it has a more specialised meaning. There is also -gul which acts as more of a collective, i.e. 'that group of people which x'

lal- to sing
lála - a song
lálansa - a singer
lálagul - singers (as a whole), lálansu - singers (individuals)

The suffix -tĭr is used to indicate tools.

cóllus - wheel
cóllusqa - 'having wheels'
cóllusqatĭr - wagon, car

phasphas- to wipe, rub
phasphastĭr - cloth (for wiping)

-lur and -ban commonly make nouns of place.

hitsal - flower
hitsallur - garden

cónum - wares, goods
cónumban - market

A common diminutive is -(s)sin. Sometimes it indicates physical smallness, and other times more idiomatic. It sometimes appears added to passive participles.

qótuv - cat
qótuvsin - little cat

thim- to speak
thíma - speech, language
ṛthímassin - a word (a little spoken thing) (maybe this will use the bare stem i.e. ṛthimsin instead)

-qa and -án commonly form adjectives from nouns. -qa is used more for a sense of 'possessing the quality' whereas -án is more 'in like of'.

durru - power
durruqa - strong

Qutrus - Qutrus
Qutrussán - from Qutrus, Qutrussan language

par - man
parrán - manly

há- can be used as an intensifier. With colours and some common adjectives, lengthening and reduplication the initial syllable has a similar function.

ramai - big
hárramai - very big

duluth - black
dúduluth - pitch black
rárama - big, huge

Although Qutrussan doesn't have gender, males and females can be indicated by suffixes -ar and -íth. For animals, the 'inherent' gender of the unmarked noun appears arbitrary.

qótuv - a (female) cat
qótuvar - a male cat, a tom cat

Compounding of nouns is also quite common. Sometimes the first noun appears in a reduced form or in the genitive. It is nowhere near as common as English or Chinese however. More recent compounds are usually just genitive + noun.

thar - earth
bŭncă - cloud
tharbŭncă - fog

lĭm - salt
mamma - water
lĭmyamma - saltwater

Phew, looks like I had more than I imagined, although there is still quite a bit to add but this gives a basic idea. [:D]
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by gestaltist » Mon 13 Nov 2017, 22:49

I like it - especially the infix.

I gotta say, I hope I can one day create a conlang as aesthetically pleasing as Qutrussan.
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by DesEsseintes » Wed 15 Nov 2017, 08:21

“Davush” wrote:The Updated Passive

I have decided to change the passive because I wasn’t really happy with the first attempt. It left too many –aya-sequences, producing ugly things like ‘ayadayáqsaḥ’.

I actually think ayadayáqsaḥ is rather delicious, although you must follow your own taste, of course.

An idea: if you haven’t thought of morphological causatives in Qutrussan, your y-rich forms could serve for those? They would be somewhat less common than the passive probably, being a more marked construction?
gestaltist wrote:
Mon 13 Nov 2017, 22:49
I gotta say, I hope I can one day create a conlang as aesthetically pleasing as Qutrussan.
Qutrussan is indeed pretty. [:)]

Gigi, have you identified what it is you find so pleasing about it?
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Void » Thu 16 Nov 2017, 00:59

Looks aesthetically pleasant. Have any grammatically quirky sentences?
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by gestaltist » Thu 16 Nov 2017, 11:31

DesEsseintes wrote:
Wed 15 Nov 2017, 08:21
Gigi, have you identified what it is you find so pleasing about it?
That's a good (and hard) question. I wonder if you have?

One thing that I have noticed is that Davush's word-coining is on point. With a lot of Qutrussan words, I think to myself, "yes, that's exactly what a word meaning X should sound like." But this is a very subjective and hard to analyze feeling.

Other than that, I can't put my finger on what I like about it so much...
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 11:32

Void wrote:
Thu 16 Nov 2017, 00:59
Looks aesthetically pleasant. Have any grammatically quirky sentences?
Qutrussan is quite boringly IE in its overall structure, although it is a lot more strictly head-final than most classical IE languages, which make some things seem a bit closer to Japanese/Korean in some ways, but there are no major grammatical quirks I can think of. A brief overview would be: SOV, 5 cases, postpositions, non-past/past distinction, morphological passive, subjunctive form, extensive use of nominalisation of verbs.

Perhaps a sentence which illustrates many of these features would be:

Căn cúcŭr zúruvli hósha yussuhĭmmai, săm murli sna cissirda, thassăm zihósh yussuḥyá
2SG.GEN go.GER.NOM mountain-DAT.PL good COP.PAST-3SG-ADV-but if house-DAT my come.PAST-2SG-SUBJ then. better COP.PAST-3SG-EMPH
I think it was good that you went to the mountains, but it would have been better if you had come to my house (Lit: I think your going was good but if you came to my house, then it was better.)


DesEsseintes wrote:
Wed 15 Nov 2017, 08:21

I actually think ayadayáqsaḥ is rather delicious, although you must follow your own taste, of course.
It does sound nice as a stand-alone word, but I somehow feel it doesn't fit Qutrussan which prefers shorter words in general. There is a periphrastic causative, but maybe I can put -aya- to a different use somewhere. It is on the shelf for now though. (Sorry! [:O] )
gestaltist wrote:
Thu 16 Nov 2017, 11:31


One thing that I have noticed is that Davush's word-coining is on point. With a lot of Qutrussan words, I think to myself, "yes, that's exactly what a word meaning X should sound like." But this is a very subjective and hard to analyze feeling.
I find coining words which are aesthetically pleasing and which 'evoke' the meaning to be enjoyable, time consuming, and frustrating at the same time, so thank you for the kind words! [xD] Although I don't use any particular strategy, I think a lot of them rely (mostly unconsciously on my part) on similar combinations of sounds found in familiar IE/Semitic languages, which makes them seem semi-recognisable. For instance, I started another conlang with quite a non-IE phonology, and coming up with words which 'fit' the meaning is very very difficult so far.
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Thu 23 Nov 2017, 17:51

Just a minor update on some things I have been thinking about. I haven't had too much time this week unfortunately.

Reflexives/Reciprocals

The pronouns have a separate reflexive/reciprocal form. They can be inflected for case, but the nom. and acc. forms are identical.

1sg. ná - hánna
2 cá - hácca
3 shá - hássha
1pl. nuvu - húnnu
2 - cuvu - húccu
3 - shuvu - hússhu

Used reflexively, the subject pronoun may be omitted and instead only the reflexive pronoun.

tsun- 'to see'

ná hánna útsnun
I.nom myself.acc PAST-see-1sg
'I saw myself'

Often, 'ná-hánna cá-hácca' become 'nă-hánna, că-hácca', etc.

When used reciprocally, the subject is usually included and may be reduced to nŭ/cŭ/shŭ.

thivím- 'to converse'

shŭ-hússhu thivímúhă
they-themselves converse-NONPAST-3PL
'They are talking to each other'

ménau hússhul álluḥ
women themselves-DAT PAST-sing-3PL
'The women were singing to each other'

zallia cŭ-húccu ádăqsur?
why you.PL-yourselves PAST-hit-2PL
Why did you hit each other? (Or why did you hit yourselves?)

Hácca and Húccu are often used vocatively:
hácca! Hatral citta - Hey you! Come here

The affix -(n)nóḥ can be applied to question words indicating 'I don't know'. This was actually inspired by a Polynesian language I think (maybe Hawaiian?) but I can't remember where I read it exactly. If anybody knows the language or any languages which do something similar I'd be interested to hear!

Za csa yaḥ?
what that COP

Zannóḥ
what-nó
I don't know

Zatral curur?
where-DAT go-2P
Where are you going?

Zatralnóḥ
where-DAT-nóḥ
I don't know (where to)

It can also be applied to verbs to mean 'I don't know if...':

Murli cussushnóḥ
house-DAT go.PAST-3-nóḥ
I don't know if s/he went home

There were some other clause-final affixes/particles that I wanted to include but I'm not sure how well they fit into Qutrussan. I think these would be classed as modal particles, but please let me know if I'm wrong! (I also have no idea how to name these).

-ĭm indicates 'I think that' 'It seems that':
-llá indicates something that should be obvious
-mai indicates a negative sentiment from the speaker about the clause

Zúrmi yaḥĭm 'I think he is in the mountain'
Zúrmi yahallá 'Of course he is in the mountain!'
Zúrmi yaḥmai... 'He is in the mountain but (I don't like that)'

And probably quite a few others. That's all for today! [:D]
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Sun 26 Nov 2017, 17:08

It's a quiet Sunday and what is better to procrastinate with than working on a conlang... :roll:

Compound Verbs
With compound verbs, there are now three main types of verb stem: 'original', 'reduplicated' and now 'compound'. Compound verbs, as the name suggests, are usually formed from a verbal root with a preposition attached or sometimes a noun. These behave slightly differently in the past.

Basically, the preposition/added element is separated from the verb root, and the verb root inflects for the non-past as usual.

tsatthim- 'to announce' (from tsat- 'outward' and thim- 'to say')

The non-past suffixes are added as usual:
tsatthimin, tsatthimir, etc.

The past, however, uses the past stem of thim- (which is íthm-) giving: tsadíthm- not *átsătthim or similar.

zámai zúruvmiqqa mandasli curuḥda tsadíthmaḥ
priest.NOM mountain-LOC-REL temple-DAT go-SUBJ announce.PAST-3SG
The priest announced that he would go to the temple in the mountains

háctav- 'to plan' (hár- 'before, earlier' ctav- 'to think'), past stem: haráctăv- (hár- + áctăv)

năn máhar vă thithvíma haráctăvan.
my mother with converse.GER.ACC plan.PAST.1SG
I had planned to speak with my mother

taḥgŭdd- 'to throw away' (taḥ- 'downward, away' gŭdd- 'to throw') past stem: tahógŭdd-

ăsh taḥgŭddŭccai?
3SG.ACC throw.away-2SG-INTER
'Would you throw it away?'

cuttsú haicalli tahógŭddan
stick.ACC lake-DAT throw.PAST-1SG
'I threw the stick (down) into the lake'

Complement Clauses
This is still a bit fuzzy, but I am thinking of marking the subject of a main clause when there is also a complement clause, mostly because the accusative is often not different from the nominative in many nouns, and I don't really like Qutrussan having 2 nouns next to each other with no differentiation when they belong to separate clauses.

The subject of the main verb is marked by -assha. This probably comes from hássha 'his/herself'. If the subject of the two clauses is the same, it is optional.

zamaissha qazi zúruvmi curuḥda tsadíthmaḥ
priest-NOM child mountain-DAT.PL go-SUBJ announce.PAST-3SG
'The priest announced that the child would go to the mountains'
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Fri 01 Dec 2017, 13:20

Working on Proto-Qutrussic, I thought it might be fun to see what a sister language for Qutrussan might look like. Here are the numbers 1-10 compared:

Qutrussan - Unnamed Sister Language

je:ka - ʕe:ga
mǝtsa - mɔso
θinna - ʧin
ʃo:la - ʃo:r
tsuma - ʧu:m
piruc - pɛrgo
sanuc - saŋgo
ħappu - ʕapo
gu:la - uɣú:r
ħaika - ʕa:ga

(Trying out possible orthography for sister language:)

yéca - għēga
mŭtsa - moso
thinna - qin
shóla - shōr
tsuma - qūm
piruc - pergo
sanuc - sango
happu - għapo
gúla - uğūr
haica - għāga


The outcome for 1 and 10 was the same in the sister language, so I altered the vowel in '10' but I'm not sure how actual languages would deal with such a case? If sound change renders two numbers the same?

The sister language may or may not be extinct. I suppose it would be more realistic to have some surviving Qutrussic languages (that aren't Qutrussan) on the island given its size. If I do take it further, it will probably be spoken in Stias, the southern more desert region of the island - I feel the 'harsher' aesthetic would suit this region as compared to the 'softer' Qutrussan spoken in the milder climate zone. Does anybody know how realistic it might be to have an island the size of France + Spain joined speaking one language?
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by ixals » Fri 01 Dec 2017, 14:43

I like the sound and the orthography of the sister language, especially ħ because it reminds me a bit of Maltese!
Davush wrote:
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 13:20
The outcome for 1 and 10 was the same in the sister language, so I altered the vowel in '10' but I'm not sure how actual languages would deal with such a case? If sound change renders two numbers the same?
I think in a case of number, homophones would be exchanged quickly. Doesn't Brazilian Portuguese (when spoken on a telephone) already replace a number just because it is similar sounding? I remember reading something like this. But I think the vowel in ten could stay the same because it is pronounced carefully to avoid confusion. Another alternative would be to add something to it or replace it completely. I think "two hands" would be likely and then it gets irregularly shortened because of its frequent usage. Or maybe adding an adjective and have ten be "full one" or "big one", maybe even reduplication (+ shortening)?
Davush wrote:
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 13:20
Does anybody know how realistic it might be to have an island the size of France + Spain joined speaking one language?
Depend on for how long the language has been spoken on the island. Spanish is spoken almost everywhere in South America and that area is definitely bigger than France and Spain and that's been the case for some centuries. I think Russian and English (USA/Canada and Australia) are good examples as well. I'd only say that there would be a lot of emerging dialects depending on the terrain etc. In more ancient times it was probably a bit harder to have an area that big to have the same language depending on how resistant older languages are, I mean Basque still exists today.
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Sun 03 Dec 2017, 19:37

Thanks! The <għ> digraph for /ʕ/ was actually inspired by Maltese. As for how long the language has been present in the region, well Proto-Qutrussic peoples probably arrived around 1000 years from the present setting in several waves, and Qutrussan was present by around 500 years ago.

I have recently been trying to think of some etymologies for Qutrus, Qutrussan and its sister languages. I don't know whether I like the term Proto-Qutrussic, as it privileges Qutrussan (even though this is the dominant language).

Qutrus, possibly from Proto-Qutrussic *k'u:ttur-ʕos 'the dawn people', referring to the tribe which settled first in the area known as Qutrus. Is it realistic for a tribe/ethnic name to become the name of a region or city?

Stias, where the sister language is spoken, may derive from a non-Qutrussic language word for desert *zriis, as the region is quite desertic. The ethnonym might be Stissus from *zɽiis > sti:s-ʕos, i.e. 'the desert people'. I don't really like the sound of the Stissusán for the language however, perhaps they will use a different suffix or maybe rename them entirely. The sC clusters did probably exist in Proto-Qutrussic, but were simplified very early on, perhaps even before the crossing to Qutrus island, so the name Stias must be later than this change or resisted the change.

Opinions or thoughts on the etymologies? I am also wary that the endonym has become a toponym for the entire island and province - I will probably have to change this or rethink the etymology. Maybe *ʕos means 'place' or 'shore'. The Dawn Shore is quite nice now I think of it.
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Thu 07 Dec 2017, 11:00

[Edit: I actually decided to wait until I can post a more 'in-world' phonology of Qutrussan using native terms and categories - I think that would probably be more fun to create and read. [:D] ]
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Mon 11 Dec 2017, 12:31

Some more thoughts about place names etc.

Originally, the island/continent (at what point does a large island become a continent?) was called Qutrus, however I am unsure whether this should etymologically be 'The people of Qútur' or 'The place of the Qútur'...

I am thinking about changing the island's name to one of the following (or perhaps maybe the capital city of Qutrus Province):

Saraqlás
Saraqlus
Saraphsíma
Saraqsíra


All of which will end up meaning something like 'clear island' or 'beautiful waters' or similar, with sara meaning 'clear, shining, beautiful' and the second element meaning island/waters/shores. The second element may be a borrowing from a non-Qutrussic language.

I'd like to hear which of the above names people prefer, if any, or is sticking to the whole island as 'Qutrus' better? If I do change the name of the island, the language group would probably have to be changed to 'Saraqlean' or 'Saraqrsíran' or whichever, rather than 'Qutrussic'.

If Qutrus is an ethnonym, it can probably be used in the plural 'The Qutrus', otherwise 'The Qutrussans'.
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Re: Introducing Qutrussan

Post by Davush » Sat 16 Dec 2017, 10:21

I have missed a few lexember days, but what I've missed in vocab creation I've made up for in script... [:D]

This form is alphabetic left-to-right and probably arose out of a more blocky form. There is also a more cursive style which approaches a syllabary more. I want it to look distinct but not 'alien'. Any comments/criticisms welcome as usual!

Here is a preview of the work in progress:

It says:
Saraqlásmi gilga s-Qutrus thimúnă (In Saraqlás we speak Qutrussan)
(and then the 7 province names of Saraqlás).

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