Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

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SalsburySteak
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Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by SalsburySteak » 06 Jun 2013 14:38

1. An Overview

The word "Tiwahelubasukeni" is derived from the elements "ti," the marker for mass number, "wahelu," bird, "ba," human (and the gender marker for humans), and "sukeni" (language).

Basically, Tiwasukeni is a language spoken by a very small population of, to put it bluntly, bird furries. I honestly haven't worked out much of their culture yet (any conworlding I do at the moment is strictly related to another continent), so I haven't got much more to say here, yet.

2. Phonology

As I think I mentioned a couple of times, Tiwasukeni is a musical language, as befits its native speakers. As I may have also mentioned, I am by no means well-versed in music theory, and so much of the musical aspect of it is hitherto largely ignored. The version you've seen so far has been one derived by humans to match our speech patterns, with consonants and vowels and whatnot. What there is, however, is this:

There are eight notes in the scale used in Tiwasukeni, which I have marked with the letters A through H. In addition, there are also two octaves, which in total makes sixteen phonemic pitches. These sixteen, in the human variation, are transcribed as consonants, as such:

Code: Select all

/p t k ʔ s w n r b d ɡ h f j m l/
 ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
 A B C D E F G H a b c d e f g h
Note that, orthographically, all consonants are the same as in IPA except /ʔ j/, which are <' y>. Note also that majuscule letters denote the higher octave, and minuscule denote the lower.

And what about vowels, you ask?

Those in the musical version of Tiwasukeni are what I call "tones," although they're not akin to tones in, say, Chinese. Basically what they are is HOW the certain pitch is transmitted, and there are seven:

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Plain short -> /a/
Plain long --> /i/
Trilled -----> /u/
Flat short --> /o/
Sharp short -> /e/
Flat long ---> /aw/ <au>
Sharp long --> /aj/ <ai>
Trilled, since I think that's the only one that may warrant explaining, is four eighth notes (if we here consider "short" notes as quarter notes) in quick succession.

2.1 SYLLABLE STRUCTURE

Obviously, since only one tone can go with each pitch, each syllable in the human variation is a very strict CV.

2.2 STRESS

Being a musical language, Tiwasukeni doesn't really have stress; what might be close are its measures, which actually have a semantic use: 4/4 time (again, assuming short notes are quarters) is what you see most often, and is the basic, declarative sort of time. 3/4 is employed in questions. 2/4 is often employed as a sort of emphatic thing, for exclamations and occasionally commands (although for the latter there is also an imperative mood).

As for the lengths of the different tones, all the short ones (/a e o/) have the length of one quarter note (as previously stated), and the long ones (/i u aj aw/) and the trill are considered long (twice the length of short, and therefore half notes).

In the human variation, it's actually a pitch-accent system, where the first note in a measure takes high pitch and the others are low. That said, one point here that doesn't directly translate to some feature in the musical version is this: if there is a long note that takes up both the last beat in one measure and the first in the next, it takes rising pitch, and whatever comes after it takes falling pitch (except if it's 2/4 time, and it's a long note, in which case it takes the rising again).

Some examples, using the dummy word "tamikutekela":

4/4: /ta˦mi˨ku˨˦te˦˨ke˨la˨/

3/4: /ta˦mi˨ku˦te˨ke˦la˨/

2/4: /ta˦mi˨˦ku˨˦te˦˨ke˦la˨/

Since the end of a word or even a sentence does not inherently mark the end of a measure, these pitches can and will vary depending on the word's placement within the utterance.

3. The Tiwasukeni Script

Honestly, not really certain what to call it; pretty sure it IS an alphabet, but I could be wrong on that count. In any case, I'm afraid, this section is more or less just a placeholder, since I can't upload an image of it at the moment (I'm at school, and most if not all the image sites are blocked). I guess I'll get to it when I get home.
Edit: Home now, so here's the script in all its... glory. I guess.
Image

Basically how syllables are constructed is from a consonant/pitch, placed in the center, and a marker above (indicating high octave; not necessary, but often included anyway) or below (for low octave, always necessary). If the tone is neither flat nor sharp (and therefore base or a trill), one adds the appropriate marker to the right, and the appropriate length (trill has its own length marker, which is the two horizontal lines above one vertical line symbol). If it IS flat or sharp, one adds that marker to the left, and the length on the right. A sample of the script (which reads "Tiwasukeni") is at the bottom of the image.

I guess that's all I've got for now. Next post, I'll get into the actual grammar a bit. Let know if this post was incoherent or something; if it wasn't, I definitely want to know what y'all think so far.
[tick]: :eng: | [:)]: :fra: | [:|]: :esp: :jpn: | [:(]: :lat: | :con:: Tiwasukeni, Ṣanzaḥwya
Looking to learn at some point: :ara: :cym:

SalsburySteak
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Re: Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by SalsburySteak » 07 Jun 2013 00:07

All right, so, some grammar stuff now.

4. Basic Syntax

Really, when I say basic syntax, I mean stuff that you absolutely must know in order to construct a sentence, like, for example:

Tiwasukeni's basic sentence order is Trigger - Verb - Subject - Object.

Modifying words always follow the head; in large part Tiwasukeni is head-first.

4.1 The Trigger

The trigger, or the topic, or whatever you want to call it, is always required in a sentence. The trigger, with the exception of certain particles and interjections, must always come first in a sentence or clause. It can be one word or a whole phrase in and of itself, and is marked with the particle ti. Exactly what form the trigger has is expressed on the verb.

I'll get into more detail later, but for now, I think, this is enough to be going on with.

5. Verbs

Verbs must be the second element in any sentence. Every verb has three base forms, and almost all verbs are regular. Beyond those three base forms, most other verb functions are affixes. The general order of these affixes for finite verbs is as follows:

POLARITY - MODALITY - TRIGGER MARKER - ROOT VOWEL - AGENT - VERB ROOT - PATIENT - TENSE - ASPECT

Note, of course, that the only two parts of any verb that are mandatory are the trigger marker and the verb root.

5.1 Trigger Markers

These denote what role the trigger plays in the sentence, and there are three of them: one if the trigger is the subject, one if the trigger is the direct object or subject of a one-argument verb, and one denoting that the trigger is an indirect object or a part of a prepositional phrase. They are as follows:

Code: Select all

|  Subject  | D. Object | I. Object |
|    toy-   |    haw-   |    gal-   |
Note that each ends in a consonant; the verb roots, as you'll see, all begin in vowels, and so they must be put next to each other.

5.2 Verb Roots

As said previously, each verb root begins with a vowel, for example, -odefe, one of the roots for "be."

Each verb has two vowel-initial roots, the gnomic and the temporal. The difference between these is that the temporal must take a tense and aspect, and the gnomic cannot at all.

5.2.1 Ablaut, etc.

To modify a gnomic root into a temporal one, a cyclical form of ablaut for the initial vowel is used -- note that none of the other vowels are modified. In addition to this, the first consonant in the root switches "octaves," so for example T changes to D and vice versa.

The ablaut cycle is as follows:

Code: Select all

U -> A -> I -> E -> AI -> AU -> O -> U
So, for example, the gnomic root "-odefe" would, in its temporal form, become "utefe." The verb "-abumu," eat, becomes "-ipumu."

Note ALL form changes from gnomic to temporal are entirely regular.

5.3 Personal Agreement

Verbs can (and in cases of pro-drop, must) agree with up to two arguments: the agent and the patient. Both uses take the same affixes, and are differed by their place; the patient comes directly after the verb, and the agent actually is an infix; it comes after the initial vowel in the verb root. For example:

toyasaibumuse
toy-a<sai>bumu-se
TRIG.SBJ-<1S.SBJ>eat-<3S>
"I eat it."

And, technically, even these are made of two affixes: a number and a person. The number is a consonant; s- for singular, h- for paucal, and b- for plural. While nouns are able to express many more grammatical numbers than these, they form groups, which shall be talked about later. The three persons (which are vowels) are -ai for 1st, -o for 2nd, and -e for 3rd.

5.3.1 Special Forms

In addition, there are also certain other things that can be put in the place of the patient affix. The more common two are -naku- (for mutual action; the agent must be paucal or plural, if used) and -homa- (for reflexive). There is one more that is very uncommon, that is -'ake-, which is an intransitivity marker; however, it is much more common to simply not include a patient.

5.4 Tense and Aspect

These are another pair of affixes that end in a consonant and begin with a vowel, respectively, and therefore must be used together; of course, as mentioned, they also can only be used with the temporal form of the verb.

A list of tenses is as follows:

Code: Select all

-kopit- : Immediate Future
-badik- : Immediate Past
-mat-   : Hodiernal Fut.
-sos-   : Hodiernal Past
-tok-   : Post-hodiernal
-botew- : Pre-hodiernal
-leh-   : Near Fut.
-bakay- : Near Past
-'el-   : Remote Fut.
-lot-   : Remote Past
-fed-   : Present
-net-   : Historical Past
-hem-   : Legendary Past
The last two are very rarely used; historical past is used when talking about events one was not alive for. Legendary past is used for events that no one alive was around to experience.

As for the others, the immediate tenses are used in reference to events an hour in either direction; post- and pre-hodiernal typically don't extend past a week, after which the near tenses are used. Remote tenses are used after a year in either direction, typically. Of course, these sometimes vary between speakers.

Aspects are as follows:

Code: Select all

-a    : Perfective
-au   : Imperfective/Continual
-upe  : Prospective
-aibu : Inceptive
-iti  : Cessative
-esa  : Defective
-oka  : Durative
The defective and durative are less common than the others, but still have their uses. They translate respectively as "almost (verb)" and "(verb) for a while." Inceptive works as both an inceptive and an inchoative.

5.5 Modality

Modality comes directly before the trigger marker. There are sixteen modality affixes, total.
  • -wauha- is the evidential, used when one has personal evidence of something happening.
    -ketu- is the reprobative, used when one has second-hand evidence.
    -raiwe- is the mirative, used to express surprise.
    -sesi- is the commissive, used to promise something.
    -kukai- is the propositive, used to suggest that someone do something.
    -'ehema- is the causative; its usage seems fairly self-evident.
    -ki'u'a- is the hortative, used when encouraging something.
    -rara- is the necessitative, used when something is needed.
    -sasau- is the permissive/potessive, used when someone is able or is allowed to do something.
    -laitapi- is the prohibitive, used when something is forbidden.
    -tawai- is the volitive, used when something is wanted.
    -maisisa- is the assumptive, used when something is assumed or thought.
    -'ahuba- is the deductive, used when someone has figured something out.
    -lalowa- is the dubitative, used when someone has doubt about something.
    -'au'amau- is the hypothetical, also used when something is suggested, though not as a command, which is the propositive.
    -rewitau- is the conditional.
5.6 Non-finite Verb Constructions

5.6.1 The Non-finite Form

The third and last base form of a verb is its Non-finite form. To form the non-finite, take the temporal form and replace the initial vowel with one of three endings, depending on the initial vowel of the GNOMIC form -- ha- if the vowel is /a ai au/, yi- if it's /i e/, and wu- if it's /u o/. For example:

-abumu -> -ipumu -> hapumu (eat)
-oweke -> -uyeke -> wuyeke (do)

Some certain verbs are irregular:

-odefe -> -utefe -> wotefe (be)
-uwahe -> -ayahe -> wowahe (fly)

5.6.2 The Supine

The supine uses a syntactic construction: take the non-finite, and add the word moku (for) before it. It has more or less the same use as the Latin supine. When used with a finite verb, the supine construction comes directly after the finite verb.

5.6.3 Participles

There are six participles, with three tenses (past, present, future), and two voices, active and passive. Participles are formed by prefixing the non-finite; as is usual, the tenses and voices have their own prefixes (tense comes first): past uses ge-, present fe-, and future le-. Active uses –to-, and passive –ha-. For example:

Wahelu fetowowahe – the flying bird;
Wahelu lehahapumu – the bird that will be eaten

Participles can be nominalized by suffixing –ko. This is translated roughly as “those who ___,” e.g.:

Fetohapumuko – those who are eating;
Gehahapumuko – those that were being eaten

5.6.4 The Gerund / Infinitive

These use the same forms in Tiwasukeni, and there are two forms: an active and a passive. Since it is for all intents and purposes considered a noun, it with henceforth be called simply the gerund. These are constructed by suffixing –toyu (for active) and –hawe (for passive) to a non-finite root. In very polite speech, it is also proper to prefix wuyeke- (which you might recognize as the non-finite of “do”).

Some examples of gerunds:

hapumutoyu – eating / to eat;
hapumuhawe – being eaten / to be eaten

Note that the active gerund is also used as a parallel to the English phrase “having (verb)ed,” e.g.:

Hapumuhawe wahelu ti hawigemauwigama.
hapumu-hawe wahelu ti haw-igemauwi-gam-a
eat-GER.PASS bird TRIG TRIG.DOBJ-leave-past-PRFV
“Having eaten, the bird left.”

Also, of course, gerunds can take arguments:

Hapumuhawe pote kiwulu wahelu ti hawigemauwigama.
hapumu-hawe pote kiwulu wahelu ti haw-igemauwi-gam-a
eat-GER.PASS DOBJ snake bird TRIG TRIG.DOBJ-leave-past-PRFV
“Having eaten the snake, the bird left.”

That’s pretty much all she wrote as far as verbs are concerned. I’ll probably cover nouns and adjectives both next post, since morphologically those are less involved than verbs. Thoughts/criticism much appreciated.
[tick]: :eng: | [:)]: :fra: | [:|]: :esp: :jpn: | [:(]: :lat: | :con:: Tiwasukeni, Ṣanzaḥwya
Looking to learn at some point: :ara: :cym:

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Yačay256
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Re: Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by Yačay256 » 07 Jun 2013 22:32

Hello and welcome to the board!,

I would just like to say I am pleased to see someone attempting a musical language besides myself. I am okay in music theory, even though I do not play a musical instrument and sing like a Tuvan attempting the Beijing Opera, but I do hope I can give worthwhile commentary.

Anyways, I have several comments on Tiwahelubasukeni: Firstly, the "tones" you mentioned are not tones but rather timbres; that said, they seem perfectly reasonable from what I know.

Secondly, your using case distinctively in your latinization is very unusual, though not unheard of (though only Klingon comes to mind) and your phoneme inventory seems unrealistic to me: Perhaps have a look at some Austronesian Languages - personally, I think a Micronesian-esque consonant inventory (think Chuukese or Palauan) with a West African vowel inventory would be excellent.

Also, what do you mean by "two octaves"? Do you mean a single musical interval of 4:1, in a fashion similar to the Bohlen-Pierce Scale and its tritave with an interval of 3:1? Or are you setting one of two convetional 2:1 octaves as the "base" octave and using the other, either above or below, for some form of nonconcatenative morphology, kind of like the complex system of consonant and/or vowel ablaut in Wintu or English's strong verbs? Otherwise, I do not see how this could work, though I might be misunderstanding something obvious here.

You seem to have too many grammatical distinctions: In my own personal and humble opinion, this is fine, but I suggest you do it elegantly to avoid it becoming a case of a kitchen sinky conlang.

With regards to the trigger, in Austronesian Alignment natlangs, the trigger IS the subject. While there are plenty of double object languages, like Yagua, Panyjima, Nahuatl and Kiribati (and my own conlang :mrgreen: ), I cannot see how you could have to subject arguments.

Good luck on your conlang and I hope I was not too harsh!
¡Mñíĝínxàʋày!
¡[ˈmí.ɲ̟ōj.ˌɣín.ʃà.βä́j]!
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Hello, colleagues!

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Re: Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by SalsburySteak » 13 Jun 2013 05:59

Yačay256 wrote:Firstly, the "tones" you mentioned are not tones but rather timbres; that said, they seem perfectly reasonable from what I know.
Ah, yes, timbre; I knew tone wasn't the right word there.
Secondly, your using case distinctively in your latinization is very unusual...
It doesn't, really; the A-H "orthography" was just showing what actual non-musical phonemes corresponded to the musical ones, I don't actually use it for anything, other than that, at least. The lower case letters denoted the eight notes of the lower octave, and the upper case ones denoted the higher octave.
and your phoneme inventory seems unrealistic to me
It's not really meant to be naturalistic; my explanation for it is that the in-conworld human linguists that first stumbled upon it developed a system of conveyance for humans to use with some of the more common consonants and vowels found in all the languages they'd encountered.
Also, what do you mean by "two octaves"? Do you mean a single musical interval of 4:1, in a fashion similar to the Bohlen-Pierce Scale and its tritave with an interval of 3:1? Or are you setting one of two conventional 2:1 octaves as the "base" octave and using the other, either above or below, for some form of nonconcatenative morphology, kind of like the complex system of consonant and/or vowel ablaut in Wintu or English's strong verbs? Otherwise, I do not see how this could work, though I might be misunderstanding something obvious here.
Okay, this is what I got stuck on. I tried looking that stuff up, and some of it I kind of got, but a lot of it was way over my head. [:x]
From what I did understand, I can kind of craft a reply, though I'm not certain as to how much sense it's going to make, if any.

Basically, the Tiwasukeni octave is divided into seventeen equal temperament semitones (from A flat to H sharp); each of these semitones is I would say 75 or 80 cents apart. Now, the two octaves used in the language are one apart from each other (which is to say there's an unused octave in between the two), so as to not muddle the lower octave's H-sharp and the upper's A-flat. Basically, and though this doesn't really come out exactly in the consonant-and-vowel version of the phonology, it's equatable to voicing.
You seem to have too many grammatical distinctions: In my own personal and humble opinion, this is fine, but I suggest you do it elegantly to avoid it becoming a case of a kitchen sinky conlang.
Yeah, the verb affixes could use a little bit of fixing up, to be honest. There are a lot of nominal affixes, too, but those aren't really just limited to being affixes; close to all of them can be used as independent lexemes.
With regards to the trigger, in Austronesian Alignment natlangs, the trigger IS the subject. While there are plenty of double object languages, like Yagua, Panyjima, Nahuatl and Kiribati (and my own conlang :mrgreen: ), I cannot see how you could have to subject arguments.
It's not really like Austronesian alignment; I guess I would more put it as a highly-grammaticalized -- and more importantly grammatically enforced -- topic, and of course a topic can be a subject, an object, or whatever.

And you definitely weren't too harsh; I just didn't understand all of that music theory stuff. [:x]

(Yeah, sorry this took me a while to post; today was really my first day off in pretty much a week. Finally out of school, though, so yay! Should have the noun/adjective section up tomorrow sometime.)
[tick]: :eng: | [:)]: :fra: | [:|]: :esp: :jpn: | [:(]: :lat: | :con:: Tiwasukeni, Ṣanzaḥwya
Looking to learn at some point: :ara: :cym:

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Ilocar
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Re: Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by Ilocar » 13 Jun 2013 07:13

SalsburySteak wrote:The version you've seen so far has been one derived by humans to match our speech patterns, with consonants and vowels and whatnot
I highly doubt the human version would be even close to mutually intelligible with the Original language spoken by the Waheluba(I assume thats what they're called based on the language name), if consonants, followed by vowels that only have two pitches and two seldom-used pitch contours are meant to stand in for 16 unique pitches and 2 or 3 pitch contours, it just doesn't work unless the tonality of the human version actually mimics the original.

To a speaker of the original language, where meaning is derived from melody and rhythm, I can't imagine the human version, which from that perspective seems like a combination of confusing noise that is almost monotone. I doubt any speaker of this original language would believe what they were hearing was their own language.

in all likelihood humans, being reasonably able singers, would attempt to sing the actual pitches(several octaves lower, of course, if these bird-people actually have similar vocalizing organs to song-birds) or whistle them, which on the whole would at least clearly seem like an effective immitation to the speakers of the original language, perhaps it might degrade (among humans) into a language with a minimal phonemes and highly complex tonal contours based on the original mimicry, while the consonants and vowels probably mimic (to some degree) articulation effects such as your "trills" and so on.

What you currently have there seems more like(based on your description of how the original language is supposed to work) a cipher of the language, but perhaps I misunderstood something. the individual consonants are supposed to be replacements for eight notes on a scale?

on its own however, all con-world issues aside, it's actually a really unique and interesting conlang.
Rhûnido, my conlang :)

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Re: Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by Batrachus » 14 Jun 2013 16:39

1. B and H are the same pitch
2. You have got way too much redundace in vowels. In equal temperament (which is almost universal) flat of the higher tone or sharp of the same sound equally. Nonetheless, not every tone in a scale can be sharped or flatted. I recommend using 11 semitones in every octave instead.
3. What does trilled mean?
:ces: Native
:slk: Mutually intelligibile with native language
:eng: Almost fluent
:esp: Little
:deu: Little more
:epo: Everybody can speak it!
:con: Speedlang

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Re: Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by Ambrisio » 18 Jun 2013 06:09

1. B and H aren't the same. In German notation, B is what we call B-flat, and H is what we call B-natural.

2. Equal temperament (especially 12-tone-to-the-octave equal temperament) is by no means universal, even on Planet Earth. Balinese music, for example, uses tunings that don't even have octaves. Arabic music uses quarter-tones. Persian music uses a highly unequal 17-tone scale. Jazz and barbershop quartet music use 'blue notes', and many contemporary American classical composers use tunings based on the overtone series, some with as many as 31 tones to the octave -- in fact, two of my compositions use a 27-tone tuning.

Even in classical European music, C# and Db aren't the same -- C# is slightly higher in pitch, and I bet it isn't any more difficult to tell the difference between C# and Db than between, say, /f/ and /θ/ in English.

3. This is a conlanging/linguistics forum. Everyone should know what a trill is.

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Re: Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by greatbuddha » 20 Jun 2013 04:33

Even in classical European music, C# and Db aren't the same -- C# is slightly higher in pitch, and I bet it isn't any more difficult to tell the difference between C# and Db than between, say, /f/ and /θ/ in English.
C# and Db are different in European music? I'll remember to keep them seperate when I'm playing baroque-era pieces on my cello then. Totally won't make them sound completely out of tune.
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Re: Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by kiwikami » 20 Jun 2013 06:13

I've always been under the impression that C# and Db are the same note. If they're not, then I've been very, very confused for years now (which I suppose may explain why I'm so awful at most musical instruments - but I doubt that.)

That said, I like your idea, I just think it's following a slightly skewed pattern of logic. Musical languages are awesome - I'll say it outright (at least, in my opinion), but they follow different rules than "regular" 'langs, since they require some knowledge of musical theory to create. So allow me to break this down, showing what I think could use some elaboration. These appear to be the sources of confusion, so if you explain these a little better, maybe everyone (myself included) will get what you're trying to say:
Ambrisio wrote:As I think I mentioned a couple of times, Tiwasukeni is a musical language, as befits its native speakers. As I may have also mentioned, I am by no means well-versed in music theory, and so much of the musical aspect of it is hitherto largely ignored. The version you've seen so far has been one derived by humans to match our speech patterns, with consonants and vowels and whatnot.
If humans are adapting a musical language, and not trying to keep (as Ilocar suggested) the musical aspect, then what resemblance would it really have to the original language apart from syntax? It would essentially be a cypher, with (if I'm reading you correctly) the octave distinction replaced by voicing of particular consonants that stand in for the notes themselves.

Basically, from what I can see, the two versions of the language go by entirely different phonetic rules, though they have the same morphology and syntax. Is this correct?

A brief note: your use of "trill" here is different from the standard linguistic use of "trill." Yours refers to a sound produced, I presume, as a "vowel" fluctuating rapidly between two different pitches (that is, I believe, essentially what the musical definition is.) The linguistic trills are, as far as I know, exclusively consonants. That's not to say there can't be vowel trills - just that Batrachus' confusion was perfectly justified. A trilled vowel-like sound is fine - it's just not the same as a trilled consonant (the former varies in pitch, that wobbly sound one gets when rapidly depressing two piano keys alternately, while the latter is the vibration of the articulator in the mouth by the airstream.)

Back to what I said about C# and Db, they are the same. They're two different names for the same note. I, like you, am not well-versed in musical theory, but I have played piano and clarinet for long enough to know that a sharp means (put very simply and mostly free of musical technobabble) to hop one semitone up, and a flat means one semitone down. C and D are a major second apart - a whole tone, so two semitones. Thus, C# hops up one, and Db hops down one, and they meet in the middle. I'm not sure how this affects your conlang.

If your trigger actually is a trigger and not a topic, then you may want to distinguish between agent-patient rather than subject-object. This is a really quick explanation that might clear things up: here. (I apologize if the source isn't reliable or the information is incorrect - it's not quite my area of expertise, so if anyone else knows more, please share.)
I would like to note, however, that if you are truly using a trigger, the passive voice is likely unneeded. You may want to do some more research into trigger languages (conlangs, and Austronesian languages) to figure it out entirely, but to avoid redundancy and make the most out of this system, you might want to remove the passive voice and use an agent-trigger construction (an example is at the above link) to express the idea.

You do have... quite a lot of verb conjugation. However, this is certainly not a problem if everything fits together. I'd warn you about overdoing it and kitchen-sinking, but I'm sure you've figured that out already, and really, it all works out however you want it to work - lots of conjugation and declension isn't always a bad thing at all. Actually, your system seems perfectly reasonable - especially when you peek at such things as Sanskrit, which is rather infamous for this.

I see and tentatively understand your use of the octaves as ablaut. This is quite clever. And in the human version, it switches voicing, correct?

I'm sure there's plenty more to discuss, but I'll let you elaborate on this first. This really is interesting, and I look forward to seeing more. Just keep in mind that some things may not click together, and revision will probably come in waves as you go on. I can't count the number of times I've scrapped some part of a conlang and remade it from scratch just because it didn't quite click. Carry on, conjugate to your heart's content, and keep moving forward!
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by Ambrisio » 20 Jun 2013 07:50

Actually, whether C# and Db are different depends on the instrument you play. The piano and wind instruments are fixed-pitch, which means that they conform to a fixed tuning with 12 tones in the octave. So there's no room for all those extra sharps and flats. But on orchestral strings like the cello (my instrument) there's a lot of space between C and D, so cellists cram more notes into that space to sound more expressive.

It's kind of like the English alphabet. The letter A, for example, can stand for many different speech sounds. Like the two a's in 'always'. Saying /elwɑjz/ instead of /ɑlwejz/ would sound weird (as would playing Db instead of C# on a cello), but there's really no need to convey that information in writing.

Also, I'd like to point out that musical trills are not played by pressing two keys on the piano at the same time. That would be a chord. A trill is played by rapidly alternating between two notes with consecutive fingers. If this last requirement were relaxed, it would be called a tremolo.

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Re: Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by kiwikami » 21 Jun 2013 23:26

Ambrisio wrote:Actually, whether C# and Db are different depends on the instrument you play. The piano and wind instruments are fixed-pitch, which means that they conform to a fixed tuning with 12 tones in the octave. So there's no room for all those extra sharps and flats. But on orchestral strings like the cello (my instrument) there's a lot of space between C and D, so cellists cram more notes into that space to sound more expressive.
Hm. Thank you. I was unaware of this - please forgive my ignorance of musical theory (the only instruments I play are piano and a handful of woodwinds, so yes. That would do it.)

SalsburySteak, please feel free to disregard what I said.
Ambrisio wrote:Also, I'd like to point out that musical trills are not played by pressing two keys on the piano at the same time. That would be a chord. A trill is played by rapidly alternating between two notes with consecutive fingers. If this last requirement were relaxed, it would be called a tremolo.
That is what I meant - rapid alternation. I did say "rapidly fluctuating" and "rapidly depressing two piano keys alternately" - but I apologize if this was unclear. I know that a tremolo is a different case, but I figured that as a pitch-based language, this conlang would likely have its "trills" as actual trills - the notes being consecutive - since any more variation in pitch may lead to misunderstandings. I realize that I could have been more specific (especially in mention of the piano keys).
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: Tiwahelubasukeni / Tiwasukeni

Post by SalsburySteak » 26 Jun 2013 02:57

Well, real life, with a bit of ridiculous computer stuff, has again kept me from posting nearly as much as I would like. How wrong I was in thinking that graduating would grant me more time! Ah, well. Anyway, this post is pretty much dedicated to responding to Kiwikami’s big post o’ stuff, since it was probably the most comprehensive.
kiwikami wrote:If humans are adapting a musical language, and not trying to keep (as Ilocar suggested) the musical aspect, then what resemblance would it really have to the original language apart from syntax? It would essentially be a cypher, with (if I'm reading you correctly) the octave distinction replaced by voicing of particular consonants that stand in for the notes themselves.
Yeah, the whole “human variant” stuff was pretty much garbage. I’m 95% convinced at this point that I’m gonna scrap that whole idea, with the exception of the orthography, because, to me, at least, <Tiwasukeni> looks much more familiar and digestible than <B-FE:C’G->.
A brief note: your use of "trill" here is different from the standard linguistic use of "trill." Yours refers to a sound produced, I presume, as a "vowel" fluctuating rapidly between two different pitches (that is, I believe, essentially what the musical definition is.) The linguistic trills are, as far as I know, exclusively consonants. That's not to say there can't be vowel trills - just that Batrachus' confusion was perfectly justified. A trilled vowel-like sound is fine - it's just not the same as a trilled consonant (the former varies in pitch, that wobbly sound one gets when rapidly depressing two piano keys alternately, while the latter is the vibration of the articulator in the mouth by the airstream.)
No, it stays at the same pitch. Since for all intents and purposes the “short” notes (represented by <a e o>) are quarter notes, the best way to explain a “trill” is four quarter notes in succession.
Back to what I said about C# and Db, they are the same. They're two different names for the same note. I, like you, am not well-versed in musical theory, but I have played piano and clarinet for long enough to know that a sharp means (put very simply and mostly free of musical technobabble) to hop one semitone up, and a flat means one semitone down. C and D are a major second apart - a whole tone, so two semitones. Thus, C# hops up one, and Db hops down one, and they meet in the middle. I'm not sure how this affects your conlang.
Yeah, to be honest, the whole flat/sharp thing doesn’t really work. What I intend to do instead is “rising” and “falling.” Basically, a rising note would start at a natural and glide upward to a sharp; a falling would glide downward to a flat – so, for example, “te” would start at B and go to B#/Cb, and “ko” would start at C and fall to B#/Cb. “Tai” and “kau” would work the same but would be held twice as long.
If your trigger actually is a trigger and not a topic, then you may want to distinguish between agent-patient rather than subject-object. This is a really quick explanation that might clear things up: here. (I apologize if the source isn't reliable or the information is incorrect - it's not quite my area of expertise, so if anyone else knows more, please share.)
I guess I should have probably distinguished between agent and patient; in effect it’s what I meant. The subject/object bit was just a terminology error on my part.
I would like to note, however, that if you are truly using a trigger, the passive voice is likely unneeded. You may want to do some more research into trigger languages (conlangs, and Austronesian languages) to figure it out entirely, but to avoid redundancy and make the most out of this system, you might want to remove the passive voice and use an agent-trigger construction (an example is at the above link) to express the idea.
I should note here that an actual grammatical voice only presents itself with participles and gerunds, which of course only serve in an adjectival and nominal capacity, respectively.
You do have... quite a lot of verb conjugation. However, this is certainly not a problem if everything fits together. I'd warn you about overdoing it and kitchen-sinking, but I'm sure you've figured that out already, and really, it all works out however you want it to work - lots of conjugation and declension isn't always a bad thing at all. Actually, your system seems perfectly reasonable - especially when you peek at such things as Sanskrit, which is rather infamous for this.
It’s all due to the agglutinative nature of the beast. With verbs it doesn’t really come out, but the absolute vast majority of nominal affixes can and will function just fine as nominal stems.
Also, the affixes I gave would in reality be considered ridiculously exhaustive. A good many of them, especially in tense and aspect, wouldn’t be much used at all in everyday conversation, and might even be considered a bit archaic.
I see and tentatively understand your use of the octaves as ablaut. This is quite clever. And in the human version, it switches voicing, correct?
Iiiiin theory; but since the only consonants that do have voice distinction are the non-glottal stops, it’s not quite so pure. /ʔ s n w r/ become /h f m j l/ and vice versa.

Again in theory, I should have most of tomorrow off. This might perhaps give me ample time to work on a post detailing nouns. Maybe. I... hope. [:x]
[tick]: :eng: | [:)]: :fra: | [:|]: :esp: :jpn: | [:(]: :lat: | :con:: Tiwasukeni, Ṣanzaḥwya
Looking to learn at some point: :ara: :cym:

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