Nagrgnda scratchpad

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Nagrgnda scratchpad

Post by Evynova » Fri 15 Dec 2017, 23:32

Because my exams at uni are coming up and work is piling up, I haven't been able to be very active and I missed a few days of Lexember that I might try to catch up on if I have more time. However, that did not stop me from thinking about conlanging and I have come up with a new idea that just can't help posting on here. So here we are lol.

Nagrgnda is a language isolate spoken by a community on a remote island off the coasts of Rajnlokem. Archaeological evidence suggests they may be related to now extinct peoples that thrived on the island of Rajnlokem and in some parts of the Urxan empire. Their language is believed to be the only remnant of a larger family that disappeared with their speakers when they were either driven to extinction or were assimilated by the proto-K'anerhtóh and the Urxa.

The consonant inventory consists of 21 consonants. Plosives and affricates contrast with voicing, as do the two co-articulated trills.

/p b t d c ɟ k g ʔ/ <p b t d c j k g '>
/t͡ɬ d͡ɮ c͡ç ɟ͡ʝ k͡ʟ̝̊ ɡ͡ʟ̝/ <tt dd cc jj kk gg>
/ʀ͡r ʀ̥͡r̥/ <x q>
/m n/ <m n>
/ɾ r/ <l r>
  • Plosives and affricates contrast between voiced and voiceless. /t d t͡ɬ d͡ɮ/ are dental [t̪ d̪ t̪͡ɬ d̪͡ɮ].
  • /n/ is also dental [n̪].
  • /ɾ r/ are alveolar.
  • /k͡ʟ̝̊ ɡ͡ʟ̝/ are velar lateral affricates.
  • /ʀ͡r/ and /ʀ̥͡r̥/ are co-articulated alveolar-uvular trills; they are fairly rare and are thought to have appeared from Proto-Nargrgndic clusters */qr/ and */ɢr/.
  • The nasals /m n/ and the trill /r/ can be syllabic, as in the name of the language.
The vocalic inventory of Nagrgnda is a relatively simple 3-vowel system.

/i ä u/ <i a u>
  • /i/ is close front unrounded. It is realised /e/ in some environments, usually before trills.
  • /ä/ is open central unronded.
  • /u/ is close back rounded. It is realised /o/ in some environments, usually before trills.
  • Vowel length is not phonemic.
  • There are no diphthongs.
  • Syllable structure is CV(C). The coda cannot contain an affricate or a co-articulated consonant.
  • The glottal stop can appear anywhere and often word initially, as words cannot begin with a vowel.
  • /ɾ/ → /l/ before and after /r/. /ɾ/ → ∅ before or after the co-articulated trills.
  • /i/ → /e/ and /u/ → /o/ when before or after a trill.
Tone & pitch accent
Nagrgnda uses a combined system of pitch accent and tone. Tones are mostly found on verbs where they are used for conjugation. Nouns also use tones, albeit more sparsely, and other word classes hardly use them, if at all.

There are two register tones (unstressed/low and stressed/high) and four register tones (rising, falling, dipping and peaking). For the sake of clarity, I will use the following IPA diacritics for the tones:
  • Low/unstressed: /i/
  • Stressed/high: /ī/
  • Rising: /í/
  • Falling: /ì/
  • Dipping: /ǐ/
  • Peaking: /î/
A typical Nagrgnda root is between one and three syllables long. Depending on the length of the word, different types of tones will be used. An infinitive verb has by default no tone. A preterite is realised by having the first and third syllable become high. The idea is that the middle vowel is lower than the two ones surrounding it; over the course of the whole word, the tone lowers and rises again. This logic can then be applied for shorter words. For a verb that is two syllables long, the preterite has the first syllable falling, and the second rising. And for a monosyllabic verb, the past perfective will be constructed by means of a falling-rising tone. For exemple:

Ma'gana /maʔgana/ "to speak" → mā'ganā /māʔganā/ "spoke"
Caxa /caʀ͡ra/ "to walk" → càxá /càʀ͡rá/ "walked"
Bu /bu/ "to see" → /bǔ/ "saw".

Tones can consequently be used in a number of ways, which will be developed in the grammar section of this thread. It will be posted when I have enough content to make a substantial post.
Last edited by Evynova on Sun 17 Dec 2017, 13:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nagrgnda scratchpad

Post by Evynova » Sun 17 Dec 2017, 13:20

Nagrgnda uses a rigid SVO word order. There is very little morphology, and syntax will carry most of the grammatical information.
Dagu bi'a nattata.
/dägu biʔä nät͡ɬätä/
Person play music.
Someone is playing music.
The morphology is extremely limited; prepositions are common.
Jabrgi bi 'ǹbá ni tutidda.
/ɟäbr̩gi bi ʔǹ̩bá ni tutid͡ɮä/
Deer DEM run.PRET to forest
The deer ran towards the forest.
In this last example, the definite article/demonstrative bi follows the noun. Aside from the article/demonstrative, adjectives and adverbs also follow the words that they qualify.

The negative particle usually follows the verb as well. That said, the negation is movable and can be placed after either the subject or the object. As a result, it is those parts of speech that will be negated, and not the entire sentence.
Ru bǔ kkak pid.
/ru bǔ k͡ʟ̥ak pid/
I did not see him/her.

Ru kkak bǔ pid.
/ru k͡ʟ̥ak bǔ pid/
I did not see him/her (someone else did).

Ru bǔ pid kkak.
/ru bǔ pid k͡ʟ̥ak/
I did not see him/her (it is someone else I saw).
Nagrgnda uses very limited morphology. The most common affixes are the agentive suffix -ci, the causative suffix -tu, and an informal "irony marker" -jju. Examples:
Li, "to die" → litu, "to kill"
Lilici, "a killer"
Lilijju, "to die" (expresses disbelief, doubt, or shows that the word must not be taken literally but rather as a joke, usually hyperbole)
Plurality is expressed by means of a tone. The last syllable of a plurisyllabic word becomes high-tone. A monosyllabic root will use a rising tone. Note that the aforementioned suffixes are not considered part of the root, and tones don't apply to them.
Jabrgi "a deer" → jabrgī "deer (pl)".
Lici "a killer" → líci "killers".
As said in the first post, conjugation is primarily achieved by means of tones. Tones will convey information pertaining to tense, whereas aspects and moods will typically be expressed via the use of auxiliary words.

Present tense:
The present tense is unmarked. The verb remains as is.

The preterite is used to refer to an action that took place in the past and has no repercussion on the present.
  • For monosyllabic verbs, the vowel receives a falling-rising tone.
  • For bisyllabic verbs, the first syllable has a falling tone, and the second a rising tone.
  • For plurisyllabic verbs, the first and third syllables are high tone.
Future tense:
The future tense refers to an action that will, without a doubt, take place, such as a planned event.
  • For monosyllabic verbs, a rising-falling tone is used.
  • For bisyllabic verbs, the first syllable has a rising tone, and the second syllable, a falling tone.
  • For plurisyllabic verbs, the second syllabe uses a high tone.
For future actions that are forecasted or anticipated (that have been subjectively judged to happen but for which the certainty is not absolute; a potential mood if you will), the conditional auxiliary is coupled with the future tense.

Conditional mood:
The conditional mood is expressed by means of the auxiliary word kama before the verb, which can obviously be conjugated to either of the three tenses.

Interrogative mood:
In a question, word order is not altered but a question particle dar precedes the verb (and all of its potential auxiliaries).

Imperative mood:
Nagrgnda has no imperative mood. Instead, the modal 'a't ("must" or "should") is used.

Imperfective aspect:
The imperfective is used to refer to actions that took or are taking place over a long period of time (continuous), that repeat(ed) themselves in time; or a continuous state over a certain period of time. The auxiliary 'n'a is used.

Perfect aspect:
The perfect, used with the past tense, serves to denote an action that took place in the past but is still going on as of now. Alternatively, it also serves to focus on the result of an action, rather than the action itself, and can be used with the other tenses. Ggi is the particle for the perfect.

A punctual event does not require the use of any auxiliary.
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