Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

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Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by Isfendil » Fri 12 Oct 2018, 19:02

Alright, first thing's first, massive disclaimer: Last time I posted a language on here was three years ago now and I tried to "go hard", so to speak, by posting full screenshots of graphs and specially formatting posts and junk. I have since discovered that while I do like forums I kinda hate using them to post conlangs because the layers of formatting become upsetting for me to deal with. I will absolutely try to communicate any of the information that people want out of this language in a clear and organized manner but it's not gonna be any more fancy than it must. That being said, I'll get on to the language.

ᶜYramuata (also called Syrġastuata or Zawyat ᶜYrām) or Iramite in english is a fairly ancient language of the Afro-Asiatic phylum's Semitic branch. While I use it in three separate conworlds, the only context I will talk about it in is my fantastical history of the world. In this particular world, there are sub-dimensions called mirages that are the truth behind the myth of "lost cities" and "forbidden kingdoms" such as the City of Brass, Shangri La, and Xibalba- Syrgastuata is spoken inside one such pocket dimension, which stretches from the shadows of the Arabian Peninsula to the Western Sahara and is named in the upper world ("our" world, so to speak) after the most famous city therein, Iram of the Pillars.

People have been bleeding into these realms through accidental paths for the thousands of years since they've come to exist, and the ancient semites are no exception: How a unique group managed to get to the region around the city of Iram, which shadows the Rubᶜ al-Xāli in the Upper World, is unknown, but why they are there is not - the location is the largest oasis known to human beings, the perfect place for such wanderers to put a large settlement, and put it there they did.

Being an early break off of the Semitic people who managed to colonize the Arabian peninsula, ᶜYramuata has a small amount of historical similarities with Arabic and, to a lesser extent, south Arabian languages, but shows wild differences in other ways. Its most striking feature would be the almost completely unconditional recycling of its consonantal system, which has gone through some kind of odd phonation and articulation shift to the point where some etymologically common roots are a bit difficult to recognize. Its other notable features are its use of an enclitic semi-subjective, semi-partitive suffix, which can compound with a definite article that is likely cognate to the article found in some South Arabian languages, and its production of a common gender Pronoun and verbal inflection due to conflation and analogy between the old semitic dual, a derivation of the indefinite pronoun, and the number 1, which has had its expected W-Ħ-D root replaced. This last development is conjectured to be the direct result of confusion when referring to the sentient beings known as djinn in both the Upper World and in the Iram mirage, whose biological sex is . . . holistic, to say the least (I did say fantastical history)- however this theory is hotly contested as djinn are still (relatively) common throughout the MENA region and almost none of that region's languages came up with similar innovations. It is more likely that it came to be due to coincidence and the great mover of semitic diachrony, analogy. It is on such grounds that Iramite, and its descendants, are considered to be a unique, lost branch of the Semitic language family.

The stage of Iramite that will (hopefully) be the subject of this thread is Zawjat Syrġastas, or "Noble Speech," which is not the oldest stage but represents a sort of "Classical" language that arose as the writing culture became especially strong in the 3rd century BC up to the beginning of the first century, where it slowly gave rise to Zawjat Maiganētas, "Imperial Speech". It demonstrates the full force of differences between the Iramite branch and the rest of semitic without the more confusing developments of the later daughters. It is also the most well understood older language in the branch. It was preceded by an Ancient Iramite which had no discrete endonym and was written in either a crude south Arabian abjad or Proto-Iramitic, which is a syllabary based on cueniforme. Mercifully, Syrġastuata is written in the Noble Hand, a refined version of Proto-Iramitic that suddenly appeared in the 500s BC and is essentially a simplified handwritten syllabary, supplemented with consonantal diacritics from the abjad, making for very precise if difficult transcription of speech. I will not, unfortunately, be posting samples of this script any time soon, as I want to focus on the language itself.

Later Today I will post the phonology of the language and its romanization, after which I will ask any interested readers where they want to go next, whether they wish to explore the diachrony, the verbal system, the rich system of affixes, et cetera. There will be a list.
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Re: Phonology and Topic List

Post by Isfendil » Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27

PHONOLOGY OF THE NOBLE SPEECH

Image
{Disclaimer: I may accidentally exchange the macron with a circumflex for long vowels, and y for ə; this is because I use a different romanization for my personal use. I apologize if this causes confusion}

Several items in this phonology are made conspicuous by their absence. There is no voiced dental fricative, for one; no lateral fricatives or affricates; no affricates barring the allophones of <z> and <ž>, and most conspicuous is that there are absolutely no emphatic consonants barring <r>. Where could they have gone? The truth of the matter is that they are still there, they've simply changed drastically. As was mentioned, Noble Iramite comes off as very distinct from other semitic languages at first, the reason for this being that the consonants underwent a sort of phonation shift, similar to the kind of shifts proposed for various Indo European languages such as Greek, Proto-Germanic, Avestan, et cetera. This couples with several shifts and merges that occurred at uncertain times to produce the above. They are as follows:
{Disclaimer: Using neutral glyphs instead of IPA values for proto-semitic because of the contention in the community. The glyphs should *not* be seen as indicative of any specific phonetic value, even though I have one in mind. This is to avoid arguments and lengthy ecclesiastical councils about Proto Semitic phonology in the thread}

From Proto Semitic* -> to Iramite {in Romanization}

Nasals->Unchanged
Labials
p*->f
b*->b when root initial and final, p when root medial
w*->w

Coronals
t̠*->t
d̠*->r
ṱ*->d

t*->t
d*->θ
ṭ*->d

š*->s
s*->s
z*->r
ṣ*->z
r*->l root initially, r elsewhere

ś*->š
ṣ́*->ž
l*->l

Dorsals
k*->k
g*->x
q*->g
ḫ*->x
ǧ*->ġ, except x root medially

Laryngeals
ᶜ*->ᶜ, except ħ root medially
ḥ->ħ
ʔ->ʔ
h->h

With the exception of the dorsal and pharyngeal fricatives, and the voiced bilabial stop, there is a clear shift in each group. The voiceless phonemes remain consistent, the voiced phonemes lenite, and the emphatic phonemes de-emphasize and become voiced. Why this happened is anyone's guess but it's hardly unprecedented in other languages, just in semitic. In addition to that of course you have some expected shifts such as the merging of the dentals and the sibilants. One issue is it is not clear whether the merges preceded the shift or followed it, or perhaps were even contemporaneous with it.

As for vowels, the situation is . . . upsetting. Some of the vowels are perfectly predictable and have well established, clear reflexes in the proto-languages and the more well-known sisters- or rather, it is well understood in theory what the vowels became. I will list them below, with reminders of their phonetic value.

i*, u* -> y [ɨ]
a* -> a [ə]
ī*-> i [iˑ]
ū*-> ō [oˑ]
ā*-> ā [äˑ]
ay,aw->preserved

<e> is one of the more bizarre vowels, largely because it seems to be morphologically conditioned rather than phonologically. It appears in numerous function words such as prepositions, as well as the singular enclitic pronouns. It's most unusual and obvious role is that it is the theme vowel for biliteral roots. Numerous common semitic words, such as the words for father, brother, hand, name [even roots that are triliteral in other languages] end up with this theme vowel, almost unilaterally, in both nouns and verbs. Final geminate roots (roots where the second and third consonants are the same) also have this vowel. Finally, the long counterpart, <ē>, has seemingly no relationship to this vowel at all.

<o> has several occurences. The most expected environment would be places where ô has become contracted, while the second most expected region is vowel harmony between <y> in the preceding syllable and <ô> in the next, as in the plural pattern Zowôj [zɔwoˑj]. Also to be expected, it's the preferred vowel in loanwords with short back vowels of any kind (as there are . . . no other candidates in the Iramite inventory). The only irregular appearance of o is as the final in some of the passive participle patterns for verbal substantives (substantive in this case meaning nouns & adjectives), such as the Hijyfᶜala pattern, where the passive participle is mēfaᶜol.

<ē> and <ū> are the most unpredictable, with their only guaranteed occurrences being reflexes of <uy*> and <iw*> respectively (and, likely, their long vowel counterparts). The issue is that they are found in remote or unexpected contexts, such as the Ground-stem passive participle {mafᶜalu, OBL: mafᶜalē}. One would think that they are reflexes of a later shift with yw and yj, but there are environments where yw and yj occur independently. In the ethnonymic suffix -uata [uwɐtɐ], this might actually be an insight into the proto-semitic reflex of the akkadian adjectival suffix -ūtu, which . . . raises even more questions about the presumed cognates of said suffix in other semitic languages (either they are not cognates at all, or . . . well, let's not think about the other thing).


Alright! If any of you have any more burning questions about the phonology, feel free to ask them. Or, we can decide on what other aspect of the grammar you'd like to see next-

Nominal Morphology [Either Patterns, or Inflections]
Pronominal Morphology
Basic Verb

I'll think of more as I go along.

I provide best information in response to questions, so I would appreciate as many questions as possible. They don't even have to be directly about Iramite, they can be about general Semitic [so long as it isn't too off topic].

I hope this interests you!
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progenitor of a New Semitic

Post by Ahzoh » Sat 13 Oct 2018, 05:52

I too use <c> to indicate pharyngeals.
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progenitor of a New Semitic

Post by Isfendil » Sat 13 Oct 2018, 06:30

Ahzoh wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 05:52
I too use <c> to indicate pharyngeals.
It's so much easier right? Honestly more natlangs should go the somali route.
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progenitor of a New Semitic

Post by spanick » Sat 13 Oct 2018, 14:13

I definitely like where this is going!
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by Isfendil » Sat 13 Oct 2018, 18:04

I figured as well I should probably make a list of all of the vocabulary that was used so far and a brief blurb about cognate relationships, what affixes make it be, et cetera.

In order of appearance

ᶜYrāmuata [ʕɨɹᵞäˑmuˈwɐˑt̪ɐ]
2 components
ᶜYrām -> Proper name, unknown origin. Got turned into ʔiram when loaned into arabic for some odd reason.
-uata -> Ethnonymic, adjectival suffix, permanently fused with feminine ending -at, and nominative singular -a.

Zawjat, Zowōj [zɐ͡wjɐt̪], [zɔwoˑj]
Means speech, root Z-W-J, related to Ṣ-W-Y in other semitic languages
Feminine of Zawja, which is sentence.
Zowōj is the internal plural of Zawja, not Zawjat.

Syrġastuata [sɨɹᵞɣɐstuˈwɐˑt̪ɐ]
3 components
Syrġa -> Nobleman, root S-R-Ġ
-st -> Abstract noun suffix, feminine -t permanently fused.
-uata -> see ᶜYrāmuata
Literally meaning Noble-ish, "Nobilian"

Syrġastas [sɨɹᵞˈɣɐst̪ɐs]
3 components
Syrġa -> Nobleman, root S-R-Ġ
-st -> Abstract noun suffix, feminine -t permanently fused.
-s -> comes after nominative -a ending. Enclitic qualitative-relative suffix.
Literally meaning "that is of or has the quality of the [the concept of] Nobility".

Maiganētas [ˈmä͡jgaˌneˑt̪ɐs]
2 Components
Maiganēt(a)-> G-N-Y in the "Jam" stem passive participle, meaning "Empire," literally "all of that which is seized or held," cognate to Q-N-Y in other semitic languages.
-s -> Encl.Qual.Rel, see above.

The format of these entries irks me so if you have suggestions or templates I'd appreciate them. Questions welcome as well.


Remember to ask about what you'd like to see next! Even if it isn't suggested! That's the only way I'll be able to gauge interest
Spoiler:
Alternatively you ask for/about nothing and this collects dust
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by Isfendil » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 05:30

I would also like to say that if you wish for me to translate something specific into Iramite, I would be happy to make the attempt. You can PM me or post it here if you wish.

Just as well, if you have questions about the setting [if you're confused about it or want to know how it will affect the language] I will readily answer those as well.

Finally, please, say what you'd like to see next, I'm gauging interest here.
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by DesEsseintes » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 06:12

I’ll be following this, for sure. As for what I’d like to see next, I’m going to be predictable and ask for nominal morphology. I’m especially interested in broken plurals and whether the formation of plurals is relatively systematic according to the phonetic shape of the singular noun.
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by Ahzoh » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 10:36

>Syrġastas
>Maiganētas
I like these, they have a Greco-Roman feel.

You could try translating these commissive statements:
https://conworkshop.com/translation.php ... e69cd054a0
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by Isfendil » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 20:08

Ahzoh wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 10:36
>Syrġastas
>Maiganētas
I like these, they have a Greco-Roman feel.

You could try translating these commissive statements:
https://conworkshop.com/translation.php ... e69cd054a0
Thank you! The partial classical feel is kinda what I was going for, especially since the Noble period of Iram corresponds to the classical period in Greece and Carthage.

I will get to work on the nominal morphology post and then a post with those translations [and the breakdown of words therein] soon afterwards while you all decide what you'd like to see after that.
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BASIC NOMINAL MORPHOLOGY, AND BROKEN PLURALS

Post by Isfendil » Mon 15 Oct 2018, 03:02

BASIC NOMINAL MORPHOLOGY, AND BROKEN PLURALS

There are three major developments with regard to the morphology of nouns in Syrġastuata, pertaining to the reformation of its case system, the formation of plurals, and the definite article. All of these developments are similar but not exactly the same in execution to developments in other semitic branches.

The case system and plurals are fairly easy to understand though there are some unfortunate (although systematic) irregularities that will just have to be dealt with. The basic system as it developed from proto-semitic is as follows:

PS Nominative and Genitive singular endings -*um/*im merge into -y, with infixed -t- for feminine of course.
PS Accusative singular ending *am became -a, same feminine system.
There was an additional development before the case system became fixed and spread- the endings changed their meaning, likely due to analogy with the plural (which in other semitic branches has an ending that serves the purpose of both accusative and genitive, but resembles the genitive, and no distinct accusative form) and the influence of the oblique nature of the genitive case. Luckily it is uniform, applied to all nouns and adjectives that show their case at all. So, -a is now nominative, and -y is accusative and genitive, called oblique.
The full indefinite paradigm, shown here thanks to the very useful root kylb- {meaning "dog"}

Masculine
NOM.SG kylba
OBL.SG kylby
NOM.PL kylbō
OBL.PL kylbi
Feminine
NOM.SG kylbat(+a for enclitics)
OBL.SG kylbaty
NOM.PL kylbāta
OBL.PL kylbāty

Unfortunately, there's one necessary addition to this paradigm that might prove a little unexpected:
Common Plural
NOM.PL kolōb [Pre-Enclitic form: kolobo]
OBL.PL kolōbi

This is, as some of you might recognize, an internal plural pattern. Now, the presence of sound plurals (plurals formed with the plural case endings) for both masculine and feminine in addition to broken plural patterns (internal plurals formed by changes to the root, which usually take singular endings) is not unprecedented- Arabic, after all, has masculine sound plural endings, it just tends to restrict them to certain words. The use of all types of plural, sound and internal, for a single word is unique to Iramite, and is fairly irregular in its application. Its purpose is clear for animal words, words that have semantic categories for which full gender inflection might be seen as necessary, such as kylb and many other animal words. Which internal plural pattern is used, though, is unpredictable, and there are many distinct patterns for forming such plurals.

This unpredictability is actually not the norm for the language, as in many cases the plural patterns are completely predictable [Unlike arabic, for which only the limited number of patterns and strong prosodic rules can allow partial prediction, or gyᶜyz, for which no discernible pattern to the internal plurals has been discovered yet, due to a lack of scholarship]. There are specific patterns for which the plurals are not predictable, outlined below:

The C¹v̆C²C³- noun and adjective pattern, the most basic and semantically diverse pattern in the language. The internal plurals of such words can have any one of the known plural substantive patterns, including for words that are grammatically feminine, which are just as likely to have the -t infix on an internal plural pattern as they are to have a regular -āt suffix on the basic pattern- as such, plurals must be memorized for each CvCC- word.
There is as well the C¹v̆C²v̆C³ noun pattern, for which there are two internal plurals that are unpredictable with exceptions; CoCōC, CyCuaC. The latter pattern cannot occur for nouns with glides as their middle or initial radical, or first aleph roots. There is an upsetting complication as well - take the word malyk, which means master or owner, and has a full inflection pattern. Malyk's feminine singular form is Malkata , and its masculine plural is molōk. The feminine plural is, however, malkāt-, and there is a common plural molōkta that takes the singular feminine case endings as if it were morphologically singular, but aggrees with the common (where possible) and feminine plural verbs and adjectives respectively. This is the curse of "common" nouns, which require the full semantic range of gender, in this pattern. The common plural form is also not predictable, it can have the feminine t- affix, it can not, it can be the same broken plural pattern as the masculine, or not- the only invariability is that the t- affixed forms always take the morphologically singular endings, while the unfixed forms take the plural.

Some plurals for previously used nouns will be listed below.
Internal
Syrga -> Sorōġ
Kylba[+t] -> Kolōb
Malyk -> Molōk
Zawja -> Zowōj
I swear I did not plan this at all this isn't even the more common internal plural.

Sound
Zawjat -> Zawjāt
Maiganēta -> Maiganejāta


I realize that perhaps it would be best to cover both the definite article AND the -s suffix in a single go, as they have become inextricably linked in their morphology. They affect each other in bizarre ways, so that will be next, and *then* I will take more topic suggestions.
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by Isfendil » Mon 15 Oct 2018, 05:00

I am afraid that the thread title might be bugged in the "front page" section so I am posting this message BUT it would be kinda silly to post a message with no content so I will translate the first of the comissive statements, just as a teaser of morphology, with gloss and IPA.

"I will kill you if ye do that."

yražžažkam facaltamaira allai
[ɨˈɹᵞɐd͡ʒˑɐʒˌkɐm fɐˌʕɐlt̪ɐˈmä͡jɹᵞɐ ʔɐˈlːä͡j]

y-ražžaž-kam facal-tamā-əra allai
1S-kill.NPST-2CP do.PF-2CP-COND DIS.OBL

rest assured all of the nongrammatical components will have their citation forms in the vocabulary list after the second part of Basic Nouns is posted.
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by protondonor » Mon 15 Oct 2018, 05:47

I really like the phonation chain shift! Is that kind of change attested in any Semitic natlangs?
Kaimen Keling: Uralic goes Germanic
Kolyma Ainu: Ainu language spoken in mainland Siberia
Wetokwa: a priori, spoken in a Death Valley-like environment, former speedlang
Mañi: a Ngerupic language inspired by Oto-Manguean, Cariban, and Mataco-Guaicuruan
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by Isfendil » Mon 15 Oct 2018, 05:54

protondonor wrote:
Mon 15 Oct 2018, 05:47
I really like the phonation chain shift! Is that kind of change attested in any Semitic natlangs?
Not to my knowledge, though Ge'ez tends to borrow emphatic roots from other semitic languages that pharyngealize the emphatic consonants by replacing the emphatic consonants with voiced ones e.g. Qaṭala->Gadala, instead of the expected k'at'ala; aand there's the Aramaic (spread to hebrew) beγaδ kefaθ shift where all plain stops that follow vowels spirantize, but that's only marginally related.

Also we have no idea what the precise values of akkadian are so there's a real chance things may be a bit odd on that front, but that's just pure conjecture.
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by Birdlang » Wed 17 Oct 2018, 11:48

I like it. It has a Maltese-Somali feel in the alphabet. And maybe you should translate the Tower Of Babel, which would be great to compare with the other Semitic language versions.
Ꭓꭓ Ʝʝ Ɬɬ Ɦɦ Ɡɡ Ɥɥ Ɫɫ Ɽɽ Ɑɑ Ɱɱ Ɐɐ Ɒɒ Ɓɓ Ɔɔ Ɖɖ Ɗɗ Əə Ɛɛ Ɠɠ Ɣɣ Ɯɯ Ɲɲ Ɵɵ Ʀʀ Ʃʃ Ʈʈ Ʊʊ Ʋʋ Ʒʒ Ꞵꞵ Ʉʉ Ʌʌ Ŋŋ Ɂɂ Ɪɪ Ææ Øø Ð𠌜 Ɜɜ Ǝɘ
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by Isfendil » Wed 17 Oct 2018, 16:18

Birdlang wrote:
Wed 17 Oct 2018, 11:48
I like it. It has a Maltese-Somali feel in the alphabet. And maybe you should translate the Tower Of Babel, which would be great to compare with the other Semitic language versions.
Oh that's a very good idea, thank you for suggesting! I will get on that after I've done the commissive statements. It will be good to see the comparisons.
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Re: Phonology and Topic List

Post by shimobaatar » Sat 03 Nov 2018, 15:03

Wow, I'm sorry it's taken me this long to respond to this thread! "Iramite of the Pillars" is such a cool-sounding name for a language with such an interesting history!
Isfendil wrote:
Fri 12 Oct 2018, 19:02
I have since discovered that while I do like forums I kinda hate using them to post conlangs because the layers of formatting become upsetting for me to deal with. I will absolutely try to communicate any of the information that people want out of this language in a clear and organized manner but it's not gonna be any more fancy than it must.
I think that's completely fair.
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
PHONOLOGY OF THE NOBLE SPEECH
Are the affricates more like [d͡zz d͡ʒʒ] or [dd͡z dd͡ʒ]? Can any consonant be geminated?

Is there anything you'd consider notable about the language's prosody?
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
{Disclaimer: I may accidentally exchange the macron with a circumflex for long vowels, and y for ə; this is because I use a different romanization for my personal use. I apologize if this causes confusion}
Might I ask why? You don't have to answer, of course.
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
no lateral consonants;
Given the presence of /l/ in the table above, might you have meant lateral fricatives?
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
and most conspicuous is that there are absolutely no emphatic consonants barring <r>.
Does the rhotic's emphatic quality have any effect on surrounding vowels?
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
b*->b when root initial and final, p when root medial
Are [p] and [b] not separate phonemes, then?
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
<e> is one of the more bizarre vowels, largely because it seems to be morphologically conditioned rather than phonologically. It appears in numerous function words such as prepositions, as well as the singular enclitic pronouns. It's most unusual and obvious role is that it is the theme vowel for biliteral roots. Numerous common semitic words, such as the words for father, brother, hand, name [even roots that are triliteral in other languages] end up with this theme vowel, almost unilaterally, in both nouns and verbs. Final geminate roots (roots where the second and third consonants are the same) also have this vowel. Finally, the long counterpart, <ē>, has seemingly no relationship to this vowel at all.
Huh! Very interesting!
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
<o> has several occurences. The most expected environment would be places where ô has become contracted, while the second most expected region is vowel harmony between <y> in the preceding syllable and <ô> in the next, as in the plural pattern Zowôj [zɔwoˑj]. Also to be expected, it's the preferred vowel in loanwords with short back vowels of any kind (as there are . . . no other candidates in the Iramite inventory). The only irregular appearance of o is as the final in some of the passive participle patterns for verbal substantives (substantive in this case meaning nouns & adjectives), such as the Hijyfᶜala pattern, where the passive participle is mēfaᶜol.
Could you elaborate on what you've said about vowel harmony?
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
Nominal Morphology [Either Patterns, or Inflections]
Pronominal Morphology
Basic Verb
For whatever it's worth, I personally like to cover nominals before moving on to verbs (not that I'm not interested in the verbs).
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 18:04
ᶜYrām -> Proper name, unknown origin. Got turned into ʔiram when loaned into arabic for some odd reason.
اللغة الإرمية؟
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 18:04
-uata -> Ethnonymic, adjectival suffix, permanently fused with feminine ending -at, and nominative singular -a.
When you say "permanently fused", do you mean that these suffixes are used regardless of whether or not the noun is feminine?

Also, it seems like, in the "-uata" suffix, the stressed <a> is lengthened somewhat?
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 18:04
The format of these entries irks me so if you have suggestions or templates I'd appreciate them.
Oh, really? I actually quite like how you've formatted this.
Isfendil wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 05:30
Just as well, if you have questions about the setting [if you're confused about it or want to know how it will affect the language] I will readily answer those as well.
Ah, if setting-related questions are allowed, then I have several!

-Not exactly a question, but I'd be interested in hearing more about the djinn.
-How much knowledge do people in the Upper World have of the mirages?
-If you accidentally find yourself in a mirage dimension, are you stuck there, or is there a way to leave?
Isfendil wrote:
Mon 15 Oct 2018, 03:02
PS Nominative and Genitive singular endings -*um/*im merge into -y, with infixed -t- for feminine of course.
PS Accusative singular ending *am became -a, same feminine system.
There was an additional development before the case system became fixed and spread- the endings changed their meaning, likely due to analogy with the plural (which in other semitic branches has an ending that serves the purpose of both accusative and genitive, but resembles the genitive, and no distinct accusative form) and the influence of the oblique nature of the genitive case. Luckily it is uniform, applied to all nouns and adjectives that show their case at all. So, -a is now nominative, and -y is accusative and genitive, called oblique.
Interesting!
Isfendil wrote:
Mon 15 Oct 2018, 03:02
The use of all types of plural, sound and internal, for a single word is unique to Iramite, and is fairly irregular in its application. Its purpose is clear for animal words, words that have semantic categories for which full gender inflection might be seen as necessary, such as kylb and many other animal words.
Oh, wow!
Isfendil wrote:
Mon 15 Oct 2018, 03:02
I realize that perhaps it would be best to cover both the definite article AND the -s suffix in a single go, as they have become inextricably linked in their morphology. They affect each other in bizarre ways, so that will be next
Looking forward to it!
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Re: Phonology and Topic List

Post by Isfendil » Sat 03 Nov 2018, 21:11

You posted this at quite the auspicious time, I was working on the second nominals post!
shimobaatar wrote:
Sat 03 Nov 2018, 15:03
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
PHONOLOGY OF THE NOBLE SPEECH
Are the affricates more like [d͡zz d͡ʒʒ] or [dd͡z dd͡ʒ]? Can any consonant be geminated?

Is there anything you'd consider notable about the language's prosody?
The affricates are more stop than fricative, so the former. Any consonant can be geminated, yes, it's just those two in particular have special allophones when they are.
As for the language's prosody, there is something, but my ability to communicate what it is is limited by my vocab. I haven't studied prosody thoroughly, you see. All the same, what I've noticed is that there is a bias in the footing towards the center left of the word, so heavier syllables will try to concentrate themselves there. I apologize if that isn't clear, it really is the best I can explain. Perhaps once you see the larger words or the more aggressively inflected nouns it will become clearer.

shimobaatar wrote:
Sat 03 Nov 2018, 15:03
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
{Disclaimer: I may accidentally exchange the macron with a circumflex for long vowels, and y for ə; this is because I use a different romanization for my personal use. I apologize if this causes confusion}
Might I ask why? You don't have to answer, of course.
I essentially have two conflicting and equally beloved aesthetics for this language- the tolkienesque, which uses circumflexes, dioreses, and the schwa, and the classical, which uses macrons, /y/ for [ɨ], and jod. This is because I use this language in two different settings, one which is not in this world, and in the fantastical history. In the latter, it is contemporaneous with and has the same role as classical languages, so I employ the classical romanization style here, because that setting is the one I am focusing on for this thread's purpose, and will be less alien to readers.

shimobaatar wrote:
Sat 03 Nov 2018, 15:03
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
no lateral consonants;
Given the presence of /l/ in the table above, might you have meant lateral fricatives?
Absolutely. Oversight on my part, will rectify. Thank you for pointing it out.

On a slightly related note, I've learned this year that textbooks are notoriously difficult to proofread. I think this probably extends to forum posts, so I'd appreciate further attempts at pointing out errors. If it turns out it is not an error it could turn into a fun explanation anyway.
shimobaatar wrote:
Sat 03 Nov 2018, 15:03
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
and most conspicuous is that there are absolutely no emphatic consonants barring <r>.
Does the rhotic's emphatic quality have any effect on surrounding vowels?
Funnily enough, not in this stage of the language. Instead, the velarization is just more pronounced when adjacent to front vowels and/or close vowels, and is virtually nonexistent with <ā>
shimobaatar wrote:
Sat 03 Nov 2018, 15:03
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
b*->b when root initial and final, p when root medial
Are [p] and [b] not separate phonemes, then?
I suppose they are but for some reason it irks me to think of them that way. Also, eventually loanwords make it into later stages of the language that keep /p/ instead of turning it into an /f/, which makes the distinction phonemic.
shimobaatar wrote:
Sat 03 Nov 2018, 15:03
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 03:27
<o> has several occurences. The most expected environment would be places where ô has become contracted, while the second most expected region is vowel harmony between <y> in the preceding syllable and <ô> in the next, as in the plural pattern Zowôj [zɔwoˑj]. Also to be expected, it's the preferred vowel in loanwords with short back vowels of any kind (as there are . . . no other candidates in the Iramite inventory). The only irregular appearance of o is as the final in some of the passive participle patterns for verbal substantives (substantive in this case meaning nouns & adjectives), such as the Hijyfᶜala pattern, where the passive participle is mēfaᶜol.
Could you elaborate on what you've said about vowel harmony?
Alright so essentially what happens is the plural pattern should be [zɨwoˑj] <zywōj>, cognate to arabic or ge'ez plural pattern CuCūC, but when preceding a long <ō> in the next syllable, the <y> will become a short <o>. That's really it. The other environment where short <o> appears is just where a long <ō> has contracted and has got little to do with harmony.

shimobaatar wrote:
Sat 03 Nov 2018, 15:03
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 18:04
ᶜYrām -> Proper name, unknown origin. Got turned into ʔiram when loaned into arabic for some odd reason.
اللغة الإرمية؟
!نعم!
shimobaatar wrote:
Sat 03 Nov 2018, 15:03
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 18:04
-uata -> Ethnonymic, adjectival suffix, permanently fused with feminine ending -at, and nominative singular -a.
When you say "permanently fused", do you mean that these suffixes are used regardless of whether or not the noun is feminine?

Also, it seems like, in the "-uata" suffix, the stressed <a> is lengthened somewhat?
Yup! Though generally if the noun doesn't have any explicitly real masculine semantics (such as Tawruata, "bullish/bull-ery"), it'll probably take feminine or common agreement anyway.

shimobaatar wrote:
Sat 03 Nov 2018, 15:03
Isfendil wrote:
Sat 13 Oct 2018, 18:04
The format of these entries irks me so if you have suggestions or templates I'd appreciate them.
Oh, really? I actually quite like how you've formatted this.
That is actually incredibly heartening to hear, thank you!
shimobaatar wrote:
Sat 03 Nov 2018, 15:03
Isfendil wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 05:30
Just as well, if you have questions about the setting [if you're confused about it or want to know how it will affect the language] I will readily answer those as well.
Ah, if setting-related questions are allowed, then I have several!

-Not exactly a question, but I'd be interested in hearing more about the djinn.
-How much knowledge do people in the Upper World have of the mirages?
-If you accidentally find yourself in a mirage dimension, are you stuck there, or is there a way to leave?
On Djinn: Djinn are essentially a subrace of human (all fantasy races in this alternate history are) but they are unique for a few reasons. For one, they actually have a large presence in the Upper World, in the MENA region, and were a great impact on its cultural development. For another, djinn have *exceptionally* variable appearances, ranging from angelic, to demonic, monstrous, beautiful, downright bizarre, or any mix of these, and they are determined entirely at random- the "theme" of the parents does not pass onto the child. Thirdly, Djinn are true hermaphrodites, though their individual expression of this is unique to each individual. Finally, they are nearly physically infallible, but extremely psychosomatic - they do not weaken with age, they're extremely resistant to physical illness, but their feelings can and will kill them - mental illnesses such as depression needn't move a djinni to suicide but simply cause the poor wretch to waste away and die on their own. That's the short explanation.

On Knowledge of the Lower World: Depends on closeness and accessibility. Iram and the Great Desert are a bit inaccessible because entrances to them are in remote parts of the desert, so even people near their think those places are a myth, but in Mesoamerica the indigenous people were very aware of their own Lower World, though it was the subject of some mythology of its own. Then of course there is Shambala, and all the legendaria associated with that- by the modern day, the mirages are known to exist, but access to them is still unreliable, and knowledge of them is a bit scarce.

On Accidental Displacement: Golden Rule, not infallible, is that it is difficult to fall into a mirage, but those who do fall in together and at once, and often they cannot leave. However, those who were born in a mirage can often come and go as they please, though they generally do not. Often if someone born in the upper world needs to leave they will need the help of a mirage-native, unless they are very knowledgeable at magical wayfinding, which most people are not.



Thank you so much for these questions, they made my day, and I appreciate all of the praise as well. As always any additional questions are very welcome.

Second part of nominal morphology to come soon!
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by Isfendil » Sun 04 Nov 2018, 04:55

BASIC NOMINAL MORPHOLOGY PART 2

QRPS = Qualitative Relative Pronominal Suffix

Case Irregularities
Before I go over the definite article and the . . . Qualitative Relative pronominal suffix (I need a better name for that, open to suggestions) I realize I forgot to go over additional irregularity in the case system.
First, in words that consist of two or more syllables and end in a closed syllable that is not a consonant cluster, the noun's nominative is unmarked, like in the world Malyk.
In words that consist of two or more syllables and have a final syllable which cannot be fully contracted, such as in a CyCCaC pattern word, the feminine paradigm is as follows
For Tynsa'-, which means femininity or womanhood
NOM.SG Tynsa'a
OBL.SG Tynsa'ty
NOM.PL Tynsa'āta
OBL.PL Tynsa'āty

As you can see, in feminine words of this category, the nominative singular looks exactly like a masculine nominative singular. However, understand that if such a word IS singular masculine, it will NOT HAVE an ending when indefinite!

Both of these aforementioned irregularities are irrelevant when it comes to the definite and QRPS declensions, or their combined declension.


The Definite Article
Definiteness in Iramite is marked by an enclitic /r/ suffix that in certain environments will have a theme vowel identical to the case vowel, which in places where syllabics allow, might be elided. These environments are usually when there is a suffix on the noun, such as one of the pronominal suffixes, or the QRPS.
The origin of the definite article is almost certainly from the voiced coronal fricative demonstratives that became the definite article in some south arabian languages (dhu) and demonstratives in arabic, hebrew, and ge'ez (allaði, hazzé, zantu).

The definite paradigm on some principal parts, illustrated below.

kylba- "dog".
NOM.MS kylbar
OBL.MS kylbyr
NOM.MP kylbōr
OBL.MP kylbir

NOM.FS kylbatar
OBL.FS kylbatyr
NOM.FP kylbātar
OBL.FP kylbātyr

NOM.CP kolōbor
OBL.CP kolōbir

malyk - "master"
NOM.MS malykar
OBL.MS malykyr
NOM.MP malykōr
OBL.MP malykir

The rest is the same.

Demonstration of theme vowel and where it appears when 1.CS suffix /ni/ is added.

Kylbarni "My (male) dog".
Kylbyrni "of my (male) dog".
Kylborni "My (male) dogs".
Kylbatrani "My (female) dog". Etc.
Kylbatryni
Kylbātarni
Kolobroni
Kolobryni

Malykrani
Malkatrani
Moloktarni


QRPS
Now for the QRPS. It takes the form of an enclitic /s/ and came from one of the ancient semitic relative pronouns which has reflexes in akkadian, punic, and funnily enough, modern hebrew rather than biblical. The use of the QRPS is.... Difficult to define. It is logical, but it is used in a wide variety of ways the relationships between which are difficult for me to put into words, though I'll try. Essentially, it is meant to relate the deponent of a phrase to its head in a way that is not. It has a meaning essentially corresponding equally to relative, adjectival, and some kind of qualitative genitive. The actual oblique case, which contains the genitive, is for syntax and possessives. The QRPS can also be used as a sort of abstract noun suffix.

I will try to illustrate this with some examples.

Zawjat Syrġastas - Noble Speech. The more literal translation is of speech that is qualified by the nobility's use. The word for nobility, Syrġasta, is the noun, and thus refers to the class of people. Why a possessive is not used here is simply because the relationship is more qualitative.

Illasemas - "No-name". This is a combined version of Illa (ABE) and sem (name), meaning "without a name", that has changed the nature of the phrase. Where before it was prepositional, it's now a single noun, qualified by the preposition. It can still inflect, as well, with Illasemys being the oblique.

Nystar Myxatħyllata - "The woman is a blacksmith/ is smithing".
Nystar Myxatħyllatas - "The woman (who is a) blacksmith".

The upper meaning for the word Myxatħyllata is more adjectival or participle, while the lower one with the suffix makes it a quality of "Nystar", the woman.

Now for the paradigm.

Indefinite
NOM.MS kylbas
OBL.MS kylbys
NOM.MP kylbōs
OBL.MP kylbis

Syrġata - Noblewoman
NOM.FS syrġatas
OBL.FS syrġatys
NOM.FP syrġātas
OBL.FP syrġātys

The suffix is rarely compounded with the definite article but some forms change when it is.

Biliteral sem - "name".
NOM.SG semras
OBL.SG semrys
NOM.PL asmāras
OBL.PL asmairas

The nom and obl singular forms are also how the combined auffix appears on nouns which end in one consonant.

Triliterals
NOM.MP kylboros
OBL.MP kylbirys

NOM.FS syrġatras
OBL.FS syrġatrys
Etc.

If this was even half as confusing for you all to read as it was for me to write I apologize and implore that you ask questions and point out better ways to organize things.

As of now though, the book is open again! What shall be our next topic?

Pronominal Morphology
Noun Patterns (Not including patterns related directly to verbal patterns)
Basic Verb, full inflections (Ground Stem)
Or something you might suggest? I am open to anything.
Last edited by Isfendil on Sun 04 Nov 2018, 05:31, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Iramite of the Pillars - Progeny of a Lost Semitic

Post by protondonor » Sun 04 Nov 2018, 05:24

Isfendil wrote:If this was even half as confusing for you all to read as it was for me to write I apologize and implore that you ask questions and point out better ways to organize things.
I like what you're doing but, yes, that was kind of confusing. I might have:
  • split the case irregularities and QRPS stuff into two separate posts
  • derived the name for QRPS from the form itself
  • put case paradigms into tables
Anyway, all your suggested topics sound good, but I'd like to see some verbs (cause verbs are great!).
Kaimen Keling: Uralic goes Germanic
Kolyma Ainu: Ainu language spoken in mainland Siberia
Wetokwa: a priori, spoken in a Death Valley-like environment, former speedlang
Mañi: a Ngerupic language inspired by Oto-Manguean, Cariban, and Mataco-Guaicuruan
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