Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

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Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by Chagen » 22 Jul 2016 03:55


A language whose native name simply means "(The) Language", Kirroŋa is the native language of the Binnan people and the official one of their homeland, Binnanni Lateŋ (often just called "Binnanni", even though that's technically a genitive), a country on Thōselqat. Binnanni exists on the coasts east of Pazzel, and the Paz encountered them first as they traveled east to trade and commune with the Adari, Heocg, and Sun. Binnanni was little more than rest stop--there was effectively nothing there besides some "primitive savages", and the Binnan were almost completely ignored as the world turned: acknowledged on a map, but viewed as a quaint coastline nation far too insignificant for the major players of the world to care about. The Paz merchant prince Vēdnaranā said in his journal: ādhrāva ūṣrā yētha. ūṣrā, dṛk pezī klicī qa jriqā. kidda braqtirūmi rabodhawallītirū, kūvāya drēgvūya, dnaṣēyyū "On these coasts there is nothing. Nothing but primitive people and water. Even the most bloodthirsty king would regret counquering this place."

All this changed, however, when modern advances in technology revealed huge amounts of natural oil, metals, and other highly important material underneath Binnanni's coastal land. As such, the country now enjoys a wealth far exceeding it's population or history--a wealth explosion that occurred in less than a century. The country still reels from being thrust into the spotlight--what were tiny villages without much running water or electricity 80 years ago are now booming metropoli filled with cars, designer stores, and rich tourists. The government isn't satisfied, however--it truly wants to make Binnanni a massive world player, and is dedicating millions upon millions of dollars attracting massive corporations, exporting Binnan culture worldwide, and building even more modern works such as observatories, universities, museums, and much more. In this tumultuous time, the Binnan are thrust in the middle of a chaotic time. Might they lose their own culture as their country globalizes itself? How ironic, that after hundreds of years of defending their culture from being eradicated by outsiders, that their own government might be the true killer of their culture...

Kirroŋa has always been of great interest to Thōselqat linguists, in part due to its extremely bizarre morphology, being effectively the only language on the entire planet to mark case on verbs as well as nouns, outside of its moribund sister languages. Together with its five sisters, Kirroŋa is a part of the Kirrongic family, though it comprises literally 99% of said family's speakers. It it spoken by around 55 million people. Most other countries have Binnan immigrants and enclaves, and it's not hard to find a school that has classes on it. Due to the cosmopolitan nature of modern Binnanni, many speakers also know other languages such as Pazmat, Azenti, Heocg, Sunbyaku, etc.

This first post will serve as an overview of Kirroŋa's phonology, as well as a basic overview of its morphology, grammar, and unique features therein, which shall be expanded in other posts.

1.01 Phonology:

Kirroŋa has a rather large amount of consonants and vowels. It distinguishes vowel and consonantal length. It is completely devoid of any fricatives except for /h/, which itself can only appear word-initially and word-medially, and cannot appear in consonant clusters. It does have affricates, however. Vowel wise, it has massively elaborated on its historical three-vowel system, and has front rounded vowels (but no back unrounded ones). However, it has a highly complex morphophonology.

1.02: Sound Inventory and Phonotactics

Kirroŋa's has the following phonemes:

/m n ɳ ŋ/
<m n ṇ ŋ>

/p b t d ʈ ɖ k g/
<p b t d ṭ ḍ k g>


/ts dz tʃ dʒ ʈʂ ɖʐ/
<q z c j ṭc ḍj>

/w l j ɾ~ɺ r ɽ~ɻ/
<w l y ŀ r ṛ>

/a aː i iː u uː e eː o oː y yː ø øː ɛ ɛː ɔ ɔː/
<a aa i ii u uu e ee o oo ý ýý ø øø é éé ó óó>

Geminated consonants double their respective letter, except for /ʈʂː ɖʐː/ which are written <ṭcc ḍjj>.

Phonotactics: Each Kirroŋa syllable roughly can be described with (C)(R)V(C). However the situation is much more complex than that:

-The only consonants which can end a word are the resonants /r l/, the nasals, and the voiceless stops. Voiced stops may end a syllable if its word-medial, hence why words like udgi "thief" are acceptable.

-"R" refers to any of the following: /w r l j/. /tj dj ʈj ɖj kj gj/ do not occur: they are the origin of the affricates (i.e *ty > q). Words ending in one of these stops will palatalize into affricates when suffixed with morphemes beginning in /j/: for instance, drýt "death", -yo "his" > drýqo "his death". Because of this, no word actually ends in an affricate, outside of loanwords such as the verb koyoj "comprehend" from Pazmat koyojarā "comprehension".

-Homo-organic stop+affricate clusters are banned and become geminated affricates.

-Retroflexes force a dental obstruent to become retroflex, and geminate when next to any other obstruent; e.g hi<a>ṇ-ki > heṇṇi

-If a word ends in an unacceptable consonant or a CC cluster (very common through derivation/inflection), then a trailing -u is added. For instance, infixing the instrumental <id> to the verb wul "feel (emotionally)" gives us wu<id>l > *wuidl > wýllu "soul" (the gemination and vowel change will be explained later).

-If a word ends in a three consonant cluster through derivation, then the cluster is broken up: CCC > CCuC. If this still results in an unacceptable syllable at the end, a trailing -u is added; e.g infixing <id> to hund "cut" gives us hýnnudu "battlefield": huidnd > hýnnud > hýnnudu

-These rules do not apply to all words. Many verbs, for instance, end in normally banned consonants such as ned "sleep", as do many suffixes and infixes. This is because it's expected that these are suffixed into acceptable forms.

-Vowel hiatus is banned. Anytime vowels come together, they merge into one vowel; detailed explanations are in the section below.

1.03: Morphophonology

Kirroŋa has rather extensive morphophonology. The actual underlying rules are simple, but they are extremely pervasive. Even the most simple of declension, conjugation, or inflection will require their usage. Before talking about the morphophonology, it's important to talk about Kirroŋa's assimilation hierarchy. Morphemes in Kirroŋa can be split into three categories: words, suffixes, and infixes, in that order. Put simply, a morpheme will always assimilate to a morpheme above it in the hierarchy. Go back to wýllu above: the infix <id> fully assimilates into the word wul. This assimilation through gemination is a constant in Kirroŋa; it occurs even when the cluster would acceptable in a word.

For instance, ṛitno means "dirt", and has a medial /tn/ cluster. However, if we take a word ending in /t/, such as idat "boy", and add the accusative suffix -nu, the result is idattu. The reason we consider the suffix to be nu and not, say, -u+gemination is because when suffixed to vowel-final words its true form surfaces: hoŋŋenu "house (ACC)".

The hierarchy explains why both progressive and regressive assimilation occur in Kirroŋa. One thing to remember is that in strings of suffixes, assimilation is always regressive. The presumptive mood suffix -adan combined with the potential suffix -hý gives us -adahhý. Another important fact is that if the second suffix begins with a voiced stop, it forces a previous voiceless stop to voice. Suffixes containing voiced stops are actually quite rare, but one example would be suffixing the proximative don to the adessive -ýt, creating -ýddon. The assimilation appears progressive, but it is actually regressive: -ýt's /t/ is voiced and geminates.

The hierarchy also explains why infixes are always added to a suffix before it is suffixed onto a word. This is important for morphophonological reasons.

Vowels, however, are much trickier. As said above Kirroŋa bans vowel hiatus and merges any vowels that touch together (there are some exceptions however). Understanding this requires looking back at its ancestral vowel inventory. Old Kirroŋa (henceforth referred to as "O.Kir") had an extremely simply three-vowel inventory of /a i u/, with no distinction of length, and allowed vowels in hiatus. However, in a process called the First Great Vowel Merger, or FVM, all such hiatuses were merged into new vowels. These added long variants of /a i u/, as well as /e o y/ to the language. Soon, afterwards, a Second Great Vowel Merger ("SVM") occurred--for /a i u/, the results were the same, but now /e o y/ were allowed to participate in the mergers, creating their long variants, and the new vowels /ø ɛ ɔ/, finally filling out the inventory. Analogy then ran through the system, and what was once sound change now became an extremely important part of Kirroŋa's grammar. Here is a chart detailing the results of merging vowels. This happens anytime two vowels are brought together, often through suffixing or infixing. Memorize it well. It will be on the test:


So, from the chart, we can see why infixing <id> to wul gives us wýllu: /ui/ > /y/.

Some things of note:

-This chart does not include /y ø ɛ ɔ/. They do not merge with any vowels, except for themselves (which results in lengthening, as seen for the vowels in the chart). Anytime they are forced next to other vowels, an epenthetic /w/ is inserted (compare how epenthetic /u/'s are used to break up unacceptable clusters).

-The order of the vowels doesn't matter: /ai/ and /ia/ alike merge to /e/

-Some minor trends can be noticed here. /a/ "drags" the high vowels /i u/ down to /e o/, and drags those mid vowels to the open-mid /ɛ ɔ/, for instance.

These mergers explain the distribution of vowels in Kirroŋa. At the top we have /a i u/, the three vowels it has inherited from its ancient form. Then, there are the long variants of those vowels, and /e o/. These derive from the mixture of those three vowels, and are less common but still plentiful. Finally, there are /ø ɛ ɔ/, which are only formed through combinations of the FVM vowels (excluding /y/ obviously). As such they are far rarer--they are effectively non-existent in verbs, affixes, and infixes, only truly appearing in combinations of suffixes such as in the word nedetċému "Perhaps (he) thought about going to sleep". In addition, their long forms are basically non-existent and merely hypothetical constructs. Infixes and suffixes contain only /a i u o e y/.

1.04 Underlying Forms

Because of the above vowel mergers, it is important to remember the underlying forms of Kirroŋa words: the "raw" form of a word, which is then warped by morphophonological processes into the form produced by the speaker. A huge amount of morphology will not make any sense without understanding underlying forms. In this grammar, underlying forms are marked with italics and a preceding *, much like how reconstructed words are marked in real-life grammars of proto-languages. Underlying forms are important for any word, suffix, or infix which contains /e o y/.

Let's begin with an example: take the verb ned "sleep". Infixing the locative <ta> suffix creates the word "bed" (< "where one sleeps"). One would assume that the word would be netadu. However, it is...natedu? What exactly is going on?

Well, this is because ned is *naid. When viewed like this, suddenly it makes sense: *na<ta>id > *nated > natedu. Likewise, infixing onqý "pig" with the diminutive <ala> gives us aalonqý "piglet": *a<ala>unqý.

However, this mainly applies to infixing. When suffixing, vowels don't "split" like this. As such, the intentive mood suffix -ukku combined with the possibilitative mood -emu creates ukkømu, as in kirranukkømu "perhaps (he) was going to speak". Likewise, suffixing the -um stative oblique case to hoŋŋe "house" gives us hoŋŋøm. However, infixing the <ala> diminutive gives us haaloŋŋe "small house, cottage, hut": *ha<ala>uŋŋe.

Unfortunately, there's one tricky thing about this: "broken verbs". Kirroŋa possesses a small amount of verbs which have two completely distinct meanings. However, derivational infixing showcases that they are actually two entirely separate verbs. Examples would help: ceŋ can mean either "dream" or "pluck, play an instrument, (by analogy) be a musician". In O.Kir, "dream" was *kyiaŋ and "pluck" was *kyaiŋ. Both verbs then became ceŋ. When used as verbs, they're homophonous: ceŋorowo is either "(she) will keep plucking" or "(she) will keep dreaming". However, derive words from them, and their differences will be made clear: "instrument" is cóŋiŋ and "daze, reverie" is cuŋaŋ. Both are derived with the <oŋ> instrumental infix like so:

*ca<oŋ>iŋ > cóŋiŋ
*ci<oŋ>aŋ > cuŋaŋ

All broken verbs have a root vowel of /e o y/. Thankfully, there are very few of them--five with <e>, five with <o>, and five with <ý>, with 30 total meanings. In all honesty, broken verbs really only show their true nature when deriving words from them, otherwise they simply appear to be verbs with two distinct meanings (and in many cases one of the meanings is rarely used, having been replaced with other verbs) All other verbs with root /e o y/ are always underlyingly /ai/, /au/, and /ui/, respectively. The broken verbs will be listed later, but some examples are mel "drizzle", "slap", tloŋ "grow", be cautious", and ṇýp "crawl", "lie down".

These rules generally wrap up the morphophonology of Kirroŋa. With them, one can understand the processes acting on this admittedly extreme example: druttalluukkýṭcaadannayemmu, meaning "Even if (he) had suddenly thought about planning to die by her hands...". Below is the verb again along with its underlying form, showcasing how much the two differ:


However, even the simplest sentences showcase heavy morphophonlogy:

no hoŋŋøm amaayobu
*no hoŋŋe-um am-a-o<ya>b
1S house-S.OBL do-PFV-SUBESS<3S>
"I am underneath the house"

(am "do" is necessary in these copular sentences with oblique arguments, as the verbal case markers must have a verb to appear on)

ye handoŋŋu kurawat eṇḍeyadu
*ya-i handa-uŋ-nu kura-wat eṇḍ-i-a<ya>du
3S.F sword-2S.POSS-ACC lake-M.OBL carry-IMPFV-ALL<3S>
"She is carrying your sword to the lake"

When glossing sentences, I will always provide the underlying form below the surface version.

1.05: An Overview of Kirroŋa

This section is a brief overview of Kirroŋa's various features. None of them will be elaborated in detail--that's for later posts.

Kirroŋa is underlyingly an agglutinative language where each morpeheme has exactly one meaning. However due to the large amount of morphophonological fusion of consonants and vowels it straddles the line between fusional and agglutinative. It is overwhelmingly head-final, possessing SOV word order and being Noun-Adjective.

Kirroŋa nouns possess a variety of cases. It is Nominative-Accusative, though a bizarre quirk concerning subjects of intransitive verbs which are not inherently intransitive led to a minority opinion that it was actually Tripartite, but no linguist on Thōselqat adheres to that now. Kirroŋa's far more interesting feature is the fact that it features the extremely strange phenomenon of verbal case--that is, markers on verbs that correspond to case in most other languages. Nouns are still marked for case, however: Nominative, Accusative, Dative, Genitive, Benefactive, and finally two oblique causes: the Stative Oblique (glossed S.OBL) and Motive Oblique (M.OBL). These cases form the core syntactic cases.

The Oblique cases are where things get unusual: They mark a noun as ready to be modified by a verbal case. The verb itself takes a massive amount of cases: 10+. Certain cases have different meanings depending which Oblique they take; others demand a particular one. As an example:

nadu hoŋŋøm leŋataya "The woman walks in(side) the house" (Stative)
nadu hoŋŋewat leŋataya "The woman walks into the house" (Motive)

There are also a small amount of cases which do not govern obliques, such as the Optative (yes, that is a case in this language): yo tloŋoraginon "I hope that he will be cautious".

All verbal case suffixes are infixed with person markers corresponding to their oblique, even though Kirroŋa doesn't mark the subject or object. A lack of person marker is translated "something/someone" depending on context.

There are no articles. Number is distinguished only in pronominal elements, but there are three numbers: singular, dual, and plural. Nouns can be suffixed with possessive person marks: handano "my sword", handoŋ "your sword", handaye "her sword", etc. Unusually negative and interrogative markers exist: handenu "no one's sword", handommi "whose sword?" These can take case markers too: nuuṇṭýcuŋe "for his wife" (*nuuṇṭýt-ya<u>-iŋe). It should be noted that these markers--case and possessive--are technically clitics, as they suffix to the last word of a noun phrase.

Adjectives are nominal and require nouns to be in the genitive, the adjective itself taking any relevant case and possessive markers.

Verbs are richly marked with distinct Tense, Aspect, and Mood markers in that order; the mood marker is infixed to the final aspect marker, with any following mood markers suffixed. Case markers are then suffixed. While the verb only distinguishes three tenses (Past, Present, and Future), it possesses a patently absurd amount of aspect and mood markers.


That wraps that up. My next post will be on nouns and adjectives; the post afterwards will cover verbs.

I mostly have basic grammar and syntax down. I'm unsure about some of the markers, however: I might make a zero person marker on a verbal case suffix mean "it/they" instead of "s.thing/".
Last edited by Chagen on 13 Sep 2016 00:19, edited 3 times in total.
Nūdenku waga honji ma naku honyasi ne ika-ika ichamase!
female-appearance=despite boy-voice=PAT hold boy-youth=TOP very be.cute-3PL
Honyasi zō honyasi ma naidasu.
boy-youth=AGT boy-youth=PAT love.romantically-3S

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Re: Kirroŋa

Post by k1234567890y » 22 Jul 2016 06:47

The "verbal case" looks like the so-called applicstive voice( ) and the focus system of austronesian languages, but it's a great idea. good job done, Chagen! (:
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.

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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Basic Nominal and Verbal Morpholog

Post by Chagen » 26 Jul 2016 03:37

k1234567890y wrote:The "verbal case" looks like the so-called applicstive voice( ) and the focus system of austronesian languages, but it's a great idea. good job done, Chagen! (:
Hm. It could be quite possible to view them as Applicatives. It's really a matter of how you look at it though.

Basic Kirroŋa Nominal and Verbal Morphology

This post shall cover the basics of constructing a sentence in Kirroŋa. By the end the reader will be capable of producing simple utterances as complex as ditransitives with additional oblique arguments, such as "The woman gives the fruit to the man under the tree". I have done this instead of two separate posts focusing on verbs and nouns each for two reasons: First, Kirroŋa's verbal case muddies the separation between nouns and verbs, and secondly learning morphology in a vacuum is rather useless. Without knowledge of how verbs work, being able to decline a Kirroŋa noun in all of its cases is utterly useless for producing even the most simple of sentences. That said, now we begin.

2.01 Nominal Morphology

Nouns in Kirroŋa are inflected in one of 7 cases: Nominative, Accusative, Dative, Genitive, Benefactive, Stative Oblique, and Motive Oblique. There is no number or definiteness: all of Pazmat jīmanaym jīmnāyīm jīmanīmvo jīmnīyīm "to a woman/to the woman/to some women/to the women" would be translated as nadona in Kirroŋa. Number is distinguished in possesive pronouns (handano handnuro handnotu "my sword/our two's sword/our sword") but they are not the focus of this post.

There are no specific classes of nouns like Latin's Declensions--they may freely end in any allowed final consonant or vowel, though effectively all vowel-final nouns outside of loanwords end in /a i u e o y/ only. The main important distinction between nouns depends on if they are consonant-final or vowel-final. The case endings are as shown:

NOM: -ø, -u (special case; explained in 2.01.02 below)
ACC: -nu
DAT: -ana
GEN: -mi
BEN: -iŋe
S.OBL: -um
M.OBL: -wat

Case suffixes follow the assimilation hierarchy as shown in the previous post--as such, consonant-final nouns, for instance, geminate when in the Accusative, Dative, or Motive Oblique, while vowel-final nouns coalesce with the Nominative, Dative, Benefactive, and Stative Oblique (except for -ý nouns). To provide some examples, following are the nouns kaŋ "man", idat "boy", nadu "woman", rama "girl", and onqý "pig", declined in all of their cases:


This does not include examples of vowel-final nouns ending in other vowels, such as ṛitno "dirt" or hoŋŋe "house" but their forms are easily formulated with knowledge of vowel mergers: for instance, the dative of the two aforementioned words are ṛitnóna and hoŋŋéna.

Words in this color are digressions: commentary by me, Chagen, on the conlang itself, clarifications on unusual situations and rules, errata, and other miscellaneous statements.

I am still not perfectly sure on the case suffixes. I am thinking of enforcing the different between -C and -V words by slightly changing the suffixes for each kind. For instance, the dative could be -an for -C nouns and the full -ana for the -V nouns.

With that said, let's actually learn what these cases mean.

2.02 The Nominal Cases of Kirroŋa

Nominative: The Nominative, as expected, denotes the subject of a noun. Kirroŋa is Nominative-Accusative in alignment, however, the Nominative acts a little strangely. Normally, like many languages, it has no dedicated marker. However, astute readers will notice that I have given a desinence for it regardless: -u. This ending is used on nouns that are the subject of intransitive verbs whose meanings are not inherently intransitive. For instance, take the verb hapt "break". When this verb is used intransitively in Kirroŋa, similar to English, it means the subject itself breaks; "the sword breaks". When used transitively, it means the subject is breaking something else: "the woman breaks the sword". In Kirroŋa, "the sword breaks" requires that "sword" takes the dedicated NOM suffix, and this is glossed <EXNOM> for "Explicit Nominative:

hando hapta
*handa-u hapt-a
sword-EXNOM break-PFV
"The sword breaks"

If the Explicit Nominative is not used, then the sentence is actually transitive! It should be translated "The sword breaks (something)": compare how it is also not used when the object actually appears:

handa hapta
*handa hapt-a
sword break-PFV
"The sword breaks (something)"

nadu handanu hapta
*nadu handa-nu hapt-a
woman sword-ACC break-PFV
"The woman breaks the sword".

The Explicit Nominative is not required when the verb is inherently intransitive, such as "die" or "cry"; in other words, when the verb has no actual object, a so-called Unaccusative verb:

idat druta
boy die-PFV
"The boy dies"

Underlying form glosses will not appear on extremely simple sentences such as this.

rama kurom muhadayon
*rama kura-um muh-a-do<ya>n
girl lake-S.OBL cry-PFV-PROX<3S>
"The girl cries next to the lake"

If the Explicit Nominative is used on these Unaccusative verbs, it carries the implicit meaning that the action happened due to the willful actions of another being: idatu druttana "the boy died (some sentient being willfully killed him)". On some verbs it's simply ungrammatical however. The verb am "do" never takes the Explicit Nominative.

Due to this odd quirk, a minority opinion amongst Thōselqat linguists for a while was that Kirroŋa was actually a tripartite language. Under this view, the Explicit Nominative, unmarked Nominative, and Accusative were actually an Absolutive, Ergative, and Accusative. However, the fact that the so-called Absolutive was marked (as rare on this planet as on Earth) and didn't appear on inherently transitive verbs torpedoed this view, though the idea that Kirroŋa was once Tripartite still has minor merit, especially considering quite a few of its sister languages are Ergative or Tripartite, with their respective markers corresponding to Kirroŋa's.

Indeed the so-called Explicit Nominative may not even be a nominative! The proof for this theory derives from the Adjectives and Demonstratives, which regularly exhibit one stem for the Nominative and one for all the other cases. The Explicit Nominative of these words is not built upon the Nominative stem, but instead the Non-Nominative stem.

Wow, that's the longest and most complex description of a Nominative I have ever done!

Accusative: After the unusual Nominative, Kirroŋa's Accusative is pathetically simple: it marks the direct object of a verb and...not much else. idat ramanu dragi "The boy is fucking the girl"

Dative: Indirect object of ditransitive verbs. Otherwise not much else, there's no funky stuff here like verbs taking their direct objects with the dative. This also does not have an allative use except in casual speech of speakers influenced by Pazmat (mainly westerners, as they are closet to Pazzel). na rurru nadona glomman "I throw the ball to the woman"

Genitive: The Genitive marks possession...somewhat. In all honestly, the most common way to "X's Y" in Kirroŋa is to simply juxtapose the two and place a possessive marker on the next noun: idat lediiŋye "the boy's leg". The Genitive is far more commonly used when combining nouns with adjectives--the noun is in the genitive, and the adjective, placed after it, takes the requisite case markings:

kaŋŋi ahuddýŋe
*kaŋ-mi ahudd-iŋe
man-GEN atheltic-BEN
"For the athletic man"

This same process occurs in Heocg, and indeed in many of the languages between them--evidence of a former Sprachbund?

ahudu does not correspond to one English word--it encompasses fitness in all respects, and thus may be translated as "athletic", "strong", "fit/in-shape", "intelligent", "crafty", "clever", "(of machines) running perfectly", and so on. Its related noun ahuta could have an entire post written on its subtle meanings and cultural baggage.

The demonstratives, such as dam "that" do not require their noun to be in the genitive , though if used with adjectives, dam is placed in its irregular genitive deŋe.

Benefactive: Highly unusual in that it appears as a verbal case as well (though it is a part of Kirroŋa's Non-Oblique Verbal Cases--more on those later), the Benefactive states who an action was done for, as such often translates as "for", "for X's sake", etc. This could also use the Benefactive verbal case; compare the following sentences:

na yiiŋe drawagunu waŋi
*na ya<i>-iŋe dra<wa>g-nu waŋ-i
1S 3S.F-BEN prostitute-ACC buy-IMPF

na drawajanu waŋiŋayiipu
*na ya<i>-iŋe dra<wa>g-ya-nu waŋ-i-ŋe<ye>p
1S prostitute-ACC buy-IMPF-BEN<3S.F>

Both of these mean "I am buying a prostitute for her" or "I am buying her a prostitute". Use of either one depends mainly on speaker preference, though the first definitely places more emphasis on who the prostitute is being bought for--it's for her, whoever "she" is--whereas the second doesn't place special emphasis on that.

Kirroŋa's word for "prostitute", drawaja is formed from infixing the incorporation root wa "buy" into the root drag "fuck (vulg.)"--literally, "buy-fuck" and suffixing -ya (which palatalizes drag). Kirroŋa does not have full noun incorporation like many Polysynthetic langs, but it does have basic incorporation for deriving new words. Note that wa is a simplified form of waŋ "buy" which does indeed appear in the sentence. Some words are drastically different from their incorporated root: free noun kami "head" and incorporated root -imi "head, mind, brain, thought". Like usual, more will be explained later.

This also showcases how Kirroŋa combines infixes and suffixes to derive words--most derivational processes do not use infixing alone.

One novel use is the use of a nominalized future verb phrase with in the Benefactive, to create a purpose clause, which goes before the main clause. Like all deranked verbs in Kirroŋa, the subject is expressed through a possessive marker and does not appear in the deranked clause: Kirroŋa uses the Possessive-Accusative strategy:

drawajanu waŋoradayuuŋe, wataŋŋat leŋedu
*drawaja-nu waŋ-or-a-da-ya<u>-iŋe wataŋ-wat leŋ-i-adu
prostitute-ACC buy-FUT-PFV-NMLZ-3S.M.POSS-BEN market-M.OBL walk-IMPFV-ALL
"He is walking to the market so that (he) may buy a prostitute"

In addition, the deranked verb may not be double-marked if it takes a Benefactive itself, so the Benefactive verbal case may not be used. This will be elaborated on more when I get to deranked clauses.

Stative Oblique and Motive Oblique: These two cases must be spoken of together. They are what link nouns to Kirroŋa's verbal cases. The Stative indicates position where, both literally and metaphorically, while the Motive denotes motion, and activity. They are useless on their own (except that adjectives in them act as Adverbs), and as such I will leave them at that. The following section on verbs will describe their uses in greater detail.

2.02.02 Pronomial Declension: Pronouns Possessive Suffixes

Please ignore the sentences in the first post when it comes to pronominal elements and their inflections. The info in this post is what is correct.

Kirroŋa's pronouns have very similar declension to nouns, but with a slight few differences in what desinences they take. In addition, they have a few irregularities.

Kirroŋa has a pretty standard set of pronouns. Unusually, it distinguishes number in pronouns but not nouns, and even has three numbers: Singular, Dual, and Plural. The Dual and Plural are derived through infixing -ir and -t, respectively, to the singular stem. However, many pronouns exhibit irregular forms. In terms of person, Kirroŋa has 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th (s.thing/, and NEG (nothing/noone). There are interrogatives meaning "what" and "who", but they are demonstratives (which take the same desinences except in the Accusative and Genitive). The 3rd-person distinguishes gender in the singular as well. The Pronominal cases are:

NOM: -ø, -wa
ACC: -n
DAT: -na
GEN: -mi
BEN: -iŋe
S.OBL: -um
M.OBL: -t

The pronouns are as follows:

(Person: S/DU/PL)

1: na/ner/nat
2: tuŋ/týr/tuŋŋu
3: ya/yer/yat
3S.M: yo
3S.F: ye
4: rid/riddu/riddu
NEG: inu/irin/innu

The 3S ya translates as either "it" or singular "they" depending on context. It is not offensive to use it in reference to humans whose gender is unknown or irrelevant. Also, the 4th-person and Negative pronouns rarely use their dual and plural forms, the singular being generally preferred for everything.

The pronouns decline regularly, albeit with their unique desinences.

In addition to free-standing pronouns, Kirroŋa has a large group of possessive suffixes which are directly attached to nouns. They take case alone; there is no suffixaufnahme. They take the same desinences as their free-standing counterparts, and indeed appear very similar to them, but with some extremely tiny differences. There are also dedicated interrogative suffixes. Here's the full list.

1: no/ura/natu
2: uŋ/tý/uŋŋu
3S: ya/yer/yat
3S.M: yo
3S.F: ye
4: idi/irid/iddi
NEG: inu/irin/innu
INTERR: ummi/ýrom/utum

These suffixes are usually written with an apostrophe separating them from their host word, somewhat like the ='s possessive clitic in English, unless they begin with a vowel and have coalesced into their host nouns. So, "my fruit" is huqi'no and "my man" is kaŋ'ŋo. In contrast, "your fruit" is huqýŋ and "your man" is kaŋ'uŋ.

This is not fully decided yet, so I may not keep the apostrophe.

Remember that the 3rd-person suffixes will palatalize any word ending in /t d ṭ ḍ k g/; gemination does not occur: "my son" is idat'to but "her son" is idaqe.

Because of these suffixes, Kirroŋa almost never uses its genitive pronouns for possession. Indeed, the most common way to express possession for ANY noun is to simply juxtapose it with a possessed noun. "the man's eye" is almost always kaŋ apa'yo, not kaŋŋi apa; the Genitive's main purpose is to link nouns together.

Demonstratives do not normally take possessive suffixes, though they can take possessive nouns: ruruŋ dam "that ball of yours" (ball-2S.POSS=DEM). They do take them, however, when the demonstrative is turning the adjective into a noun: haŋ'doŋ "your red one"

One very important use of Possessive suffixes is in deranked verbs, which do not allow an explicit subject; instead the entire phrase, having been turned into a noun, is possessed, the possessor acting as its syntactic subject. This was explained in the Benefactive section above. When the subject is a full noun, they may appear to be in the deranked clause, but they are actually juxtaposed next to it, effectively possessing the entire clause:

tuŋ tompýkkudoŋŋi kat, adémuwanuu?
*tuŋ tomp-i-ukku-da-uŋ-mi=kat ad-a-emu-we<no>
2S practice-IMPF-INTEN-NMLZ-2S.POSS-GEN=because come-PFV-POSSIB-COMI<1S>
"Since you're going to practice, can I come along?"

This can be proven by the fact that these possessor nouns do not take the Explicit Nominative even when the deranked clause would normally require it:

hando hapttana
handa-u hapt-pan-a
sword-EXNOM break-PST-PFV
"The sword has broken"

handa hapttana'dayami kat, na kema'do waŋýkku
*handa hapt-pan-a-da-ya-mi=kat na kema=do waŋ-i-ukku
sword break-PST-PFV-NMLZ-3S.POSS-GEN=because 1S new=NMLZ.ACC buy-IMPFV-INTEN
"Since the sword broke, I'm going to buy a new one."

handa "sword" is not in the Explicit Nominative in the second sentence, which shows that it not actually part of the clause hapttana'dayami kat; it is merely next to said clause, the clause itself being possessed by that noun.

The final pronominal elements are person suffixes, but as they are exclusive to verbal morphology they appear in 2.03.07. There are other pronouns, such as hamin "everything", but I will cover them in a later post.

2.03 Basic Verbal Morphology: Tense, Aspect, Mood, and Case

Kirroŋa verbs are richly inflected with such complexity they are nearly polysynthetic. Most verbal roots in Kirroŋa are monosyllabic, such as drut "die", leŋ "walk", drag "fuck, bang", muh "cry", jit "pound down, hammer in", kid "beat (up)", kir "speak", and nrob "avert one's eyes/avoid others in shame after being caught, shut oneself away in disgrace". However, there are many disyllabic verbs, as Kirroŋa allows nouns and verbs to compound together to form more complex verbs. No special morphology is needed: the two constructions are simply put together, and the compounds are head final like English "outrun".

Notably, noun-verb compounds are highly restricted: only monosyllabic nouns may be compounded, and these compounds undergo the regressive assimilation seen in other morphological processes. In contrast, verb-verb compounds do not assimilate except in voicing and when they would create a banned cluster. Finally, a third way to form verbs is to infix verbs or nouns with special markers, such as <ka> which forms causatives. Interestingly, a few of these markers are effectively incorporated nouns or verbal roots, such as <imi> above.

Some examples:

munned "cry oneself to sleep" (muh "cry", ned "sleep"
kidgir "verbally tear someone's self-esteem down, insult, belittle" (kid "beat up", kir "speak")
jamnýp "fall to one's feet in exhaustion, collapse" (jam "fall", nýp "lie down")
centram "manifest/appear in one's dreams" (ceŋ "dream", tram "appear, manifest")

Verb-Verb compounds often have a "serial" feel; for instance, with jamnýp, one falls and thus ends up lying down.

kaŋwaŋ "buy another person as a slave/servant" (kaŋ "man", waŋ "buy"

I find it deeply ironic that in my examples, the first Verb-Verb compound undergoes assimilation and the first Noun-Verb compound doesn't, when the opposite is what's normally supposed to happen.


nemiid "rest one's thoughts (esp. after a traumatic/intense affair)" (<imi> "head", ned "sleep")
drukat "murder" (<ka> "CAUS", drut "die"
cýtteŋ "aspire for, dream about" (<utti> "success", ceŋ "dream")

2.03.02 Phonotactics of Verbs, Suffixes, and Infixes

As said before, verbs are not beholden to the same phonotactical restraints as nouns and other words. For instance, they may end in banned consonants or clusters: ned "sleep", hund "cut", etc. This is because verbs always are suffixed with markers, never appearing alone. However, they still follow their own unique sets of rules:

-Verbs never end in affricates.

-All verbs end in consonants. Absolutely no vowel-final verbs exist, though vowel-initial ones do.

-Verbs which end in clusters like hund always end in either: homorganic Stop+Nasal, Rhotic/Lateral+Obstruent (irt "wander aimlessly", halg "scream"), or voiceless Stop+Stop; one of these stops must be a coronal and retroflexes do not occur (wakt "give", hapt "break"). Geminates never occur.

-CRVCC verbs are extremely rare; only three are known to exist: klipt "pull s.thing from water", nraṇḍ "take records of transactional dealings", and truln "quiver one's eyes in existential horror as one dies"

-The vast majority of cluster-final verbs have /a i u/ as their root vowel. Verbs with /e o y/ as their vowel are almost exclusively VC, CVC, or CRVC. It appears that Old Kirroŋa had a basic verbal root structure of (C)(R)V(V/C)C.

-Basic verbs (i.e ones not formed from compounding/derivation) never have long vowels--those are the sole domain of verbs formed from derivation, usually infixing.

Infixes and suffixes possess their own unique phonotactic rules, though they are much simpler:

-All infixes and suffixes, underlyingly, are one of: V(V), V(V)C, CV(V)(C), V(V/C)CV, or VCV(V/C). For instance, the Possibilitative -emu is underlyingly VVCV. Since /e o y/ require underlying VV, no affix has more than one of them in it.

Now that this is finished, we can move onto actually inflecting verbs.

2.03.03 An Overview of Kirroŋa Verbal Inflection

This is not an exhaustive list of verbal inflections--those will be provided in another post.

Kirroŋa verbs mark tense, aspect, mood, and case in that order. More specifically, the basic Kirroŋa verbal template is:


Only one tense is ever used on a verb, but as many aspects and moods as necessary may be added on. The first mood is infixed to the final aspect (however, as all aspect markers end in a vowel, it's really more that the first mood is suffixed), then any remaining moods are suffixed. Then, verbal case suffixes are added--first, the obliques, and then the non-obliques. Each case marker is infixed with a person marker corresponding to the actual noun the marker applies to. Finally, any other random markers, such as the nominalizing marker, are added. Moving on, let's talk about the various categories in order:

2.03.04 Tense

Tense denotes the time an action took place, and is very simple in Kirroŋa. There are only three tenses. The first is the Present, which is unmarked. However, sometimes it can also be used for a past verb: it might be better to call it the "Non-Future".

The second is the Past. It is marked with -pan on the verb. Since every single verb in Kirroŋa ends in a consonant, however, the /p/ of the marker never appears, instead geminating the verb: drut "die" > druttan "died", wakt "give", wakttan "gave"

Finally, there is the future. It is -or. Yay. dragor "will fuck", melor "will slap"

2.03.05 Aspect

Aspect is far more important than Tense, and has far more markers. It is also the only category which will always appear without fail on a verb. In addition, two of its markers are special, in that they are mandatory on the verb.

These are the Perfective and Imperfective. The Perfective is marked with -a and denotes that an action has happened in its entirety. As such, it's often translated as the simple present, past, or future in English:
na apa "I see"
na appana "I saw"
na apora "I will see"

Note that often the Perfective alone can make a verb past: na apa could also mean "I saw". The imperfective is marked with -i and denotes than action is ongoing, or was ongoing at a specific point--as such it often translates as the English progressive:

na api "I am seeing"
na appani "I was seeing"
na apori "I will be seeing".

Some aspects and mood either demand one of these two aspects, or change their meaning depending on which one. In any case, they are always the first aspect and must appear no matter what.

Some other aspects of note (this is not an exhaustive list):

tru-: Habitual. This denotes that the subject does the action often or regularly; usually takes the Perfective. Also has the sense "a lot" at times, especially in the Imperfective: ye tompatru "she usually practices", tuŋ muhitru "you cry a lot", na huqinu pummanatru "I used to eat fruit often"

Kirroŋa has two verbs meaning "to eat". pum is used when eating food that is naturally harvested, such as fruit or vegetables. taŋ is for when the food is either inherently artificial (candy, bread, etc.) or must be worked by humans to be palatable/safe to eat (meat, eggs, etc.)

-uwo: Continuative. Translates to "still" in the Imperfective, and "keeps X'ing" in the Perfective: na taŋýwo "I'm still eating"; bukka týro jamowo!? "why do you two keep falling over?!"

-rimi:Nostalgiabilitive. This highly unusual aspect denotes an action that the subject could once do, but no longer can. It has a somber feeling: na leŋŋanarimi "Once I could walk (but no longer, and I feel sad about this)". When used with the Habitual, the overall sense is "remember when...": ner ḍjurappanarimi? "Remember when us two would sit and watch the stars?"

-qqi: "Perfect". Scare quotes because this has some subtle differences with the English Perfect. This is used ONLY to introduce new situations: statements like "The train has arrived" or "He's gotten taller recently". Statements like "I've lived here for a decade" do not use this; Kirroŋa would use a Perfective Habitual for that. Likewise, it would use the Imperfective Habitual for "I have seen many things over the years".

Sometimes, this doesn't even translate into a perfect in English! for instance, it would be used in "It's getting bigger!", if this was new, highly salient information: piturru cariqqi!. Likewise, you would use it when stating some highly surprising information: "Urbana is here!?" (Urbana hoṭaqqi?!) or "Why are (you) fucking my husband!?" (bukka naŋŋa'non dragiqqi!?). Put simply, this aspect is used not only for relevant information to the current time, but also for new and/or surprising information.

2.03.06 Mood

Kirroŋa's set of moods is extremely extensive and could pretty much be a whole post onto itself. It distinguishes a huge amount of subtle meanings, and the following list is but a mere glimpse:

-ukku: The Intentive mood: this indicates that the subject was intending on doing the action at a later date. Often, it can best be translated as "X is planning to [verb]", "X aims to [verb]", or "X is going to [verb]", but note that subject must intentionally be planning on doing the action. Due to the inherently future meaning this is not often seen combined with the future. Glossed [INTEN]

idat dam haḷidaŋŋu lodokku
*idat dam haḷidaŋ-nu lod-a-ukku
boy DEM.DIST.NOM competition-ACC win-PFV-INTEN
"That boy plans on winning the competition"

ŋeruu na raalimi mutu dragokku!
*ŋeruu na raali-mi mut-u drag-a-ukku
this.year 1S babe many-ACC fuck-PFV-INTEN
"I'm gonna fuck a ton of chicks this year! (I explicitly aim on fornicating with many women)"

-iṭca: The Contemplative. The subject is thinking about doing the action, and "thinking about X'ing" is a pretty good translation. Glossed [CONTEM]:

na yen ḍḷaŋŋaneṭca
*na ya<i>-n ḍḷaŋ-pan-a-iṭca
"I thought about visiting her"

Notably, when used with the Future Imperfective it carries the idiomatic meaning "I wonder...":

na yen ḍḷaŋoriiṭca?
*na ya<u>-n ḍḷaŋ-or-i-iṭca
"I wonder if I should visit her?"

-hý: The Potential. Pretty bog-standard:

týr irum amahý?
*týr irum am-a-hý
2DU really do-PFV-POT
"Can you two really do (this)?

na kaŋ gonad'duwa un drutkidorahý!
*na kaŋ gonadd=da-owa un drutkid-or-a-hý
1S man strong=like.that NEG
"I can't beat a strong man like that to death!"

The Potential is not used to ask for permission, as "can" is in English. That uses the Possibilative -emu "maybe, perhaps". That mood is also used for phrases like "It could appear": (ya) tramému, not (ya) tramahý, which is more "it has the ability to appear". The Potential is only used when discussing a being's ability to perform an action; phrases about possibilities use the Possibilative.

-uju: Moralitive. This denotes that the action is acceptable according to the subject's moral code or principles. It usually appears in the negative, and contrasts with the Potential:

na un amahý! "I can't do that!" (I don't have the ability required)
na un amoju! "I can't do that!" (Doing such a thing would go against my principles)

-adan: Presumptive. Translated as "even if...", it indicates that an action will not prevent some future outcome from occurring. Usually occurs after other mood suffixes:

kýnnariimodan, puru niqorum; unnom akum ye drutora
*kýnnar-i-emu-adan puru niqa-ur-um un-ma-um akum ye drut-or-a
speak.the.truth-IMPV-POSSIB-PRESUMP too late-S.OBL true-S.OBL soon 3S.F die-FUT-PFV
"Even if (you) are speaking the truth, it's too late; he will surely die soon."

2.03.07 Verbal Case

And now we come to Kirroŋa's star feature: verbal case. This topic could light practically any Thōselqat Linguistics convention on fire--some take the system as it is, some view it as an extremely strange set of applicative voices, others refuse to comment. Whatever the case, it exists.

Case markers appear after the TAM markers in the Kirroŋa verb. The vast majority of them are locative and oblique cases--they usually correspond to prepositions in English and other Indo-European languages, or cases in Finnish and other Uralic languages. However, they are split into two distinct categories. The locative/oblique ones are referred to as the "Oblique Verbal Cases". The rest are called the "Non-Oblique Verbal Cases", and they ALWAYS appear after the Oblique cases. Many of the Non-Obliques have extremely strange meanings that don't even map to normal nominal cases in other languages.

The nominal oblique cases--Stative and Motive--work with the verbal cases. Nouns marked in those two cases appears after all other nouns no matter what--Kirroŋa is strictly Core-Oblique-Verb, "Core" referring to NOM, ACC, DAT, etc. The first oblique noun corresponds to the first oblique case marker on the verb, and so on.

All verbal case markers are infixed with person markers corresponding to the noun they belong to: Kirroŋa leaves the subject and object up in the air yet laboriously marks obliques. These suffixes are quite similar to the ones used for possession on nouns, but do differ slightly. They distinguish 3 numbers: Singular, Dual, and Plural. The overall dual marker is <ira>, while the plural is <tu>, though most of them are clearly irregular. The infixes are as follows:

(Person: S/DU/PL)

1: no/ura/natu
2: uŋ/urro/uŋŋu
3S: ya/yera/yu
3S.M: yo
3S.F: ye
4: idi/radi/iddu
NEG: inu/ranu/innu
INTERR: ummi/ýrommi/utummi

(The 3S <ya> can mean "it" or singular "they". It is not offensive to use it for humans whose gender is irrelevant)

The 4th-person means "something/someone"; the Negative means "nothing/noone". These and the Interrogative rarely distinguish number, using the singular for everything, but the Dual and Plural forms have been provided for the sake of completeness.

An example of the infixes being used:

yo leŋatano "He walks over to me"
yo leŋatora "He walks over to us two"
yo leŋatanatu "He walks over to us"
yo leŋatoŋ "He walks over to you"
yo leŋatorro "He walks over to you two"
yo leŋataya "He walks over to it/them"
yo leŋatayo "He walks over to him"

yo leŋatommi? "He walks over to whom?"

And so on. Person infixes are not used in deranked verbs.

The Stative and Motive Obliqe nominal cases work with the verbal cases. The Stative is used when its noun is stationary; the Motive when motion is involved. Some verbal cases differ depending on what case is used:

tuŋ rurru hoŋŋøm glommanataya "You throw a ball in the house" (Stative: the listener is inside the house)
tuŋ rurru hoŋŋewat glommanataya "You throw a ball into the house" (Motive: the listener was outside the house and threw the ball inside)

Other cases demand one of them. Often these are non-locative cases; the Instrumental for instance requires the Stative:

nadu huqinu haalandom hundeyoŋ
*nadu huqi-nu haalanda-um hund-i-o<ya>ŋ
woman fruit-ACC sword<DIM>-S.OBL cut-IMPFV-INSTR<3S>
"The woman is cutting the fruit with a culinary knife"

While the Allative requires the Motive:

wataŋŋat apaayadure!
*wataŋ-wat ap-a-a<ya>du-re
market-M.OBL see-PFV-ALL<3S>-IMPER
"Look over at the market!" (lit. "Look towards the market!")

If no noun is given, then only context will determine whether the Stative or Motive meaning should be used.

The Stative/Motive split is mostly limited to the locative cases, but there are a rare few which maintain the split and are not inherently locative, such as the Comitative.

Since the meanings of the cases are pretty cut-and-dried, here's a list of all of the ones which currently exist. This is not final--I am still creating more and more as time goes on, but the majority of the system is intact already:

Inessive/INESS: -ta (S/M) (in, into)
Instrumental/INSTR: -oŋ (S) (with)
Proximative/PROX: -don (S/M) (alongside, next to)
Comitative/COMI: -we (S/M) (with, along/together with)
Adessive/ADESS: -ýt (S/M) (on, onto)
Prolative/PROLAT: -nam (S) (by means of, through)
Subessive/SUBESS: -ob (S/M) (under, underneath)
Allative/ALL: -adu (M) (towards, to)
Perlative/PERLA: -nara (S/M) (through, across, on the other side of, opposite of)
Circumessive/CIRCUMESS: -nuŋ (S/M) (around, besides, next to)

Some important things to note:

-The Prolative, not the Instrumental, must be used when an instrument is a non-corporeal object; a good example is speaking a language. "He speaks (with) Pazmat" is ye Pazukirum kiratrunayam not *ye Pazukirum kiratroyoŋ. Likewise:

dreggumi unøk ýmum zimanayarre, burro daŋŋa!
*dra<id>g-mi unøk ým-um zim-a-na<ya>m-ro burro daŋŋa
dick-GEN=instead.of mind-S.OBL think-PFV-PROL<3S>-IMPER idiot EXPL
"Think with your mind, not your dick, you fucking idiot!"

-The Comitative with the Stative Oblique means "alongside/with": darinuum taŋiwawý "I'm eating with my friend(s)". With the Motive, however, the overall sense is more going to be with: daroŋŋu utawawýre "Go and be with your friend(s)". The Motive-Comitative is much less common and usually warps a verb's meaning.

In the above examples you can see an example of the rule /jy/ > /y/, then followed by the typical epenthetic -w-: *taŋi-wa<yu>i > *taŋi-wayý > *taŋi-waý > taŋiwawý

More cases will be given in later posts as time goes on.

With that said, now we move on to the Non-Oblique Verbal Cases.

2.03.08 Non-Oblique Verbal Cases

The Non-Oblique verbal cases are the most unusual of the cases. Despite having the same morphology as the Obliques, they always appear after the Obliques. Their name stems from the fact that they do not ever take obliques, expressing their arguments solely as person infixes.

The thing that makes them highly unusual is that their meanings often do not correspond to cases in other languages. The Oblique cases, even if they are verbal, still correspond to nominal cases worldwide. The Non-Obliques, however, often have meanings more comparable to moods, voices, or other valency changers; they are only called "cases" because they morphologically pattern like the Oblique cases. Following a few a examples of them:

-gin: The Optative. Yes, the Optative is a case in Kirroŋa. It means "X hopes that [verb]", and the person infix indicates X:

puru nawami'danomi kat, tuŋ hiŋgiginon!
*puru na-am-i-da-no-mi kat tuŋ hiŋg-i-gi<no>n
INTENS hungry-do-IMPFV-NMLZ-1S.POSS-GEN=because 2S cook-IMPFV-OPT<1S>
"I hope you're cooking something, because I'm hungry as hell!"

-ka: The Causative, this suffix means "because of X", "thanks to X", "due to X", etc:

na un nedahýkoŋŋu! daŋŋa kýrare!
*na un ned-a-hý-ka<uŋŋu> daŋŋa
"I can't sleep because of you all! Shut the fuck up!"

-ŋe: The Benefactive, which has the sole honor of being both a nominal and verbal case. Otherwise, it means the same thing as its nominal self: both the following sentences mean "The boy strives for her", but the first uses a Benefactive pronoun, and the second uses a Benefactive verbal case:

idat yiiŋe cýtteŋa
*iday ye-iŋe cýtteŋ-a
boy 3S.F-BEN aspire-PFV

idat cýtteŋaŋayii
*idat cýtteŋ-a-ŋe<ye>
boy aspite-PFV-BEN<3S.F>

There are a small amount of others. Like before, these will be expanded upon in a later post.

2.03.09 Verbal Miscellanea

There are a small set of other affixes on the verb. Most are more suited to other posts, but I will go over a few of them here:

-re: This is Kirroŋa's imperative marker. While most languages view the imperative as a Mood, this is not a mood morphologically. It appears after ALL other verbal suffixes--including the Non-Obliqe Case markers. It is not marked for person. Unusually, it can also mean "must", but only when used in the Imperfective; all of uses of it as a straight Imperative demand the Perfective:

odum kaŋ do ḍiŋare!
*odum kaŋ=do ḍiŋ-a-re man=DEM.ACC bring-PFV-IMPER
"Bring that man over here!"

ṇýhe tuŋ laṛire!
ṇýhe tuŋ laṛ-i-re
by.tomorrow 2S learn-IMPFV-IMPER
"You must learn (it) by tomorrow!"

-dam: This nominalizes verbs: drutadam "dying", leŋatadam "walking over there", apuŋŋam "looking with (it)", etc. It's the exact same as the generic demonstrative dam and inflects the same way, using the special Demonstrative declension. You'll learn more about it in a later post.



This concludes the post on basic Kirroŋa nominal and verbal morphology. With it, the reader should be capable of constructing simple sentences. The top of the next post will be Demonstratives and Adjectives; after that, the most likely post will be an in-depth overview at the remaining aspects and moods of Kirroŋa.

I hope you enjoyed this post and this language in general. Please feel free to comment or ask me any questions, or point out spelling/grammatical errors.
Nūdenku waga honji ma naku honyasi ne ika-ika ichamase!
female-appearance=despite boy-voice=PAT hold boy-youth=TOP very be.cute-3PL
Honyasi zō honyasi ma naidasu.
boy-youth=AGT boy-youth=PAT love.romantically-3S

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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Demonstratives and Adjectives)

Post by Chagen » 06 Aug 2016 04:22

Come on, people! Make some noise.

Before I begin, I have some minor errata of previous posts:

-The Dative ending for regular nouns is now -an for words which end in a consonant such as idat "boy" or kraṭ "dog". The chart in the first post will be updated as soon as possible to reflect this. This also may or may not foreshadow a minor reworking of the case suffixes where I split the -C and -V words into two actual classes with distinct endings (though the endings will still be very, very similar).

-Possessive suffixes are not longer separated by an apostrophe: idatto "my boy", not *idat'to

-I have made some slight changes to glossing underlying forms. When two or more morphemes are (combined with parentheses like this), it means that they are part of one unit. For example:


This means that *doh-ma in the underlying transcription form one unit, meaning "funny". I do this because sometimes words must be broken down into more parts then they actually gloss as.

-In addition to the above, clauses in [brackets like this] are deranked, usually attached to a noun.

-Words connected with equals signs <=> indicate that they are part of one unit, such as a demonstrative and its noun, or a deranked verbal clause and its subject noun. It does not always mean that one of them is a clitic (though it could).

-In affixes, <C²> indicates that when the affix is attached to a Consonant-final word, it geminates that final consonant.

-From now on, posts will make references to sections which do not exist; they appear in later posts. Until the post with that section is made, these future references will be listed as [[XX.XX]] and will be updated with the correct section as soon as it is a part of this thread.

Adjectives and Demonstratives

Adjectives are words which describe the qualities of other nouns (or verbs, when used adverbially). Demonstratives are deictic words which usually describe a noun's position in space. Kirroŋa has both classes of words, distinct from nouns and verbs. However, the two are conflated, mainly in that they possess the same declension desinences. Since the demonstratives are the "original" class, the term for their overall morphology is "Demonstrative Morphology". Speaking of...

3.01 Demonstrative Morphology

Both adjectives and demonstratives share some common characteristics. First of all, they have distinct stems: the (Implicit) Nominative is built to one stem, while all others are built to another stem. Interestingly enough, the Explicit Nominative is NOT built to this stem, lending credence to the theory that it is not actually a Nominative morphologically. In addition, several demonstratives demonstrate (ha!) irregular forms in a few cases. The demonstrative case endings are almost identical to the pronominal ones, except in the Accusative and Genitive:

NOM: -ø, -wa
ACC: -u
DAT: -na
GEN: -i
BEN: -iŋe
S.OBL: -um
M.OBL: -t

All demonstratives and adjectives are post-noun. Their syntax and uses will be described later on--for now, let's introduce some examples.

3.02 Demonstrative Pronouns

dam: The most basic demonstrative pronoun, dam has the non-NOM stem da; here's a full declension of it:

NOM: dam
EXNOM: dawa
ACC: do
DAT: dan (irreg.)
GEN: de
BEN: deŋe
S.OBL: dom
M.OBL: dat

dam generally means "that", as in an object which is distant from both the speaker and the listener. It is also used when nominalizing verbs and adjectives (more on that later).

jun: This demonstrative means "this"; an object close to the speaker, but not the listener. It is completely regular, with the NON-NOM stem of ju- (e.g DAT juna or BEN jýŋe

mýdu: This demonstrative means "that", when the object in question is next to the listener. As such, often a translation such as "that X near/by you" is ideal, though often the distinction is meaningless translation-wise. It's non-NOM stem is mýn-, and it is regular.

durom: This is an intensive of dam, and refers to objects that are quite a ways off. Its non-NOM stem is dura-, and it has an irregular Dative of duron, similar to dam's own dan.

nebu: This demonstrative specifically marks out a member of a group. I know that all demonstratives do that, technically, but nebu puts heavy emphasis on it: "I want that car", and as such often should be translated as "this X" or "that X" with italics. At times, it may even be used as an ad-hoc article! Often drawn out too:"I want thaaaaaaaaat one!" Its non-NOM stem is nab-

awa: Means "here", non-NOM stem of ot-.

kuk: "There" near listener. non-NOM stem: kug-

rawi: "There", away from both speaker and listener. non-NOM stem is ret-

3.02.02 Demonstrative-esque Pronouns

These are a small class of pronouns which take pronominal desinences, but which exhibit the dual-stem behaviour of demonstratives. There are only two of them, and they are Kirroŋa's two interrogatives:

bita: "what". Non-NOM stem is bi-:

NOM: bita
EXNOM: biwa
ACC: bin
DAT: bina
GEN: bimi
BEN: biŋe (irreg.)
S.OBL: bým
M.OBL: bit

bum: "who". Non-NOM stem of bý-:

NOM: bum
EXNOM: býwa
ACC: býn
DAT: býna
GEN: bými
BEN: býŋe (irreg.)
S.OBL: býwum
M.OBL: být

3.03 Demonstrative Syntax

Demonstratives always appear after their noun, which is always in the Nominative: kaŋ dam "that man", diri mýdu "that tree (next to you)", kraṭ nebu "that (particular) dog", and so on. It is the demonstrative which takes case, not the noun:

na kraṭ juu kaṛṛana
*na kraṭ=ju-u kaṛ-pan-a
1S dog=DEM-ACC train-PST-PFV
"I trained this dog (here)".

oṇṇuḍu juu aṇare, pa kaŋ dan neŋe eṇḍare
*oṇṇuḍu=ju-u aṇ-a-re pa kaŋ=dan neŋe eṇḍ-a-re
package=DEM-ACC grab-PFV-IMPER then man=DEM.DAT 1S.BEN carry-PFV-
"Take this package, then deliver (it) to that man for me"

Of course, they can be used on their own as well:

durom apare!
*dura-um ap-a-re
"Look at that (thing) way over there!"

Demonstratives do not normally take possessive pronouns (except in special cases). They can be used with possessed nouns, however:

kraṭ dam "that dog"
kraṭto dam "that dog of mine"
kraṭca dam "that dog of theirs"
kraṭcer dam "that dog of those two"

nebu is used more often than usual--perhaps to specify the particularness of that possessed noun:

Aa, ma...ittroŋ nabu kiddanému? Nakum...
*aa ma ittra-uŋ=nab-u kid-pan-a-emu nakum
"Ah, welll...I might have hit that car of yours? Oops..."

Kirroŋa's most common word for "car" or "automobile" is ittra, a loanword from Pazmat iśt(a)ra. Kirroŋa does possess a native word, worrur, from wor "steer, lead" and rur "roll (around), spin", but this is not very common.

3.03.02 Demonstratives Used with Adjectives

Demonstratives appear after adjectives, so Kirroŋa is Noun-Adjective-Demonstrative; if the noun is possessed, the possession occurs on the noun itself, not the adjective or demonstrative:

ittrayomi zuro dam
ittra-yo-mi=zu-ro dam
car-3S.M.POSS-GEN fast-NOM
"that fast car of his"

However, this is not the only, or even most common way to express this, as you will see later.

3.04 Adjectives

Adjectives describe qualities of nouns. They come in a variety of classes; four, to be specific, with the first being much rarer than the other three. In addition, those three can be split into two subclasses each, depending on the root they are attached to.

3.04.02 Adjective Classes

Athematic Adjectives are the smallest class. These have no special endings marking them as adjectives, and represent a very old category of words. Only a few words, such as the numbers, are here; however, some very important suffixes form athematic adjectives so they are disproportionately common. I'll use the numbers from one to ten as examples here, even!

1: yan
3: krup
4: ahi
5: noŋ
6: hak
7: qet
8: jah (NOM. jahha)
9: kor
10: mýŋ

-du Adjectives have citations forms ending in -t, such as ahut "strong, clever, fit", jallut "bizzare, unusual", and amot "active, energetic, (of machines) running normally". The actual desinence of this class is -ut; of course, if the root ends in a vowel, then the beginning -u will merge, as seen in amodu which is underlyingly *ama-udu.

-du adjectives have a NOM-stem of -ut, as seen above. Their non-NOM stem is -udd-. They have an irregular Dative: the ending is -uddan, not the expected *-udduna.

Those who take the time to decline one of these adjectives (or who check the chart at the end of this section...that works too, I guess) will notice that a -du desinence never actually occurs in these words. Why are they called "-du" Adjectives, then? Well, they used to end in -du but now they don't, and I'm too lazy to change the name. Yup. That's it. Disappointing, I know.

mýhut "distant, far away"
grot "wide, fat" (cf. gran "fatten up", grennu "junk food")
irýt "intelligent, smart" (cf. iri "smarts, intelligence, cleverness")
gurut "wise, keen"
gonot "strong, impressive, imposing"

-mý Adjectives form the second large class. Their citation forms end in -mý when attached to vowels: namý "hungry", dumý "sad", dakimý "chilly". When attached to consonants, the /m/ assimilates as usual: idattý "boyish, puerile", luppý "hot", dohhý "funny"; finally, the rare few which have -CC roots are -CCumý. Their non-NOM stems are in -ma. They have completely regular declension.

uddý "good"
hundumý "violently slashing, out-of-control"
dagamý "embarrassing"

-ro Adjectives are the trickiest class, but still not too complicated. Their citation forms and Nominatives are in -ro, but their non-NOM stems are in -ur. This means that:

-Vowel-roots undergo assimilation in every stem but the nominative: daro "happy" (doru ACC), zuro "fast" (zuuru ACC),

-Consonant-final roots geminate in the Nominative: pitto "big" (pituru ACC), taŋŋo "scary, terrifying" (taŋuru ACC)

-Those with -CC stems have Nominative forms in -CCuro, and normal non-NOM stems in -CCur: jakkuro "stubborn (jakkuru ACC)

Other than that, these adjectives are the same as the others

aqiro "beautiful"
aparo "visible"
drutaro "mortal"

Following is a chart where I have declined a variety of adjectives: one Athematic, and then two of each of the three remaining classes, in order to demonstrate the differences between vowel- and consonant-final roots. The adjectives in question are:

yan "one"
gurut "wise"
amot "active"
namý "hungry"
dohhý "funny"
daro "happy"
nakko "bad"


3.04.03 Adjective Syntax, Nominalized Adjectives

Adjectives appear after their noun, which is placed in the genitive. Like the demonstratives, the adjective is what takes case:

uwa na kaŋŋi dohho daŋorémuginon!
*uwa na kaŋ-mi=(doh-ma)-u daŋ-or-a-emu-gi<no>n
again 1S man-GEN funny-ACC meet-FUT-PFV-POSSIB-OPT<1S>
"I hope I'll be able to meet that funny man again!"

Also like demonstratives, the noun is possessed. It's still genitive when used with adjectives:

idaqemi namý puru dumom wulapa...
*idat-ye-mi (na-mý) puru (du-ma)-um (wul-ap)-a
boy-3S.F.POSS-DAT hungry-NOM INTENS sad-S.OBL
"Those hungry boys of hers look so sad..."

As said in 3.03.02, adjectives appear before demonstratives. However, one other way to use the two together is with a nominalized adjective, which leads us to the next section:

3.04.04 Adjectives Without Nouns/Nominalized Adjectives

It's all well and good that we can use adjectives to describe nouns, but what about when our adjectives have no nouns? We can say "He hates sour fruit", but what about "He hates the sour ones"?

This requires nominalization of our adjectives. The process is simple: take the non-nominative stem of an adjective, and suffix the dam demonstrative directly to it, assimilating as necessary. This creates a demonstrative meaning "the X one"; it inflects exactly like the free-standing adjective dam itself:

amot "energetic" > amoddam "the energetic one"
gurut "wise" > guruddam "the wise one"

uddý "good" > uddadam "the good one"
namý "hungry" > namadam "the hungry one"

daro "happy" > dorram "the happy one"
taŋŋo "terrifying" > taŋurram "the terrifying one"

Now we can use adjectives without nouns:

t-taŋurram nerru appanému!?
*(taŋ-ur)-dam ner-u ap-pan-a-emu
terrifying-NMLZ 1DU-ACC see-PST-PFV-POSSIB
"M-maybe that scary thing saw us two!?"

piturro aṇare ø otumma
(pit-ur)-da-u aṇ-a-re ø otumma
big-NMLZ-ACC grab-PFV-IMPER and
"Grab the big one and come over here"

otumma "come (over) here" is a clipping of otum arre "(same meaning)", unusual in its lack of an aspect or verbal case suffix

This also provides an alternative method for using an adjective and demonstrative together: just nominalize the adjective! The following two sentences both mean "that beautiful woman", but the first has a separate adjective and demonstrative, while the second uses a nominalized adjective:

nadumi aqiro dam
nadu aqýrram

The second is generally preferred by speakers, both for its succinctness and the less confusing syntax. The first is still seen occasionally, however. Note that in both methods, the noun is what takes any possessive suffixes, while the demonstrative takes case: following is "for his beautiful wife/woman" in both methods:

In Kirroŋa, attaching a possessive suffix to "man", "woman", "boy", or "girl" carries the idiomatic meanings of "X's husband/wife/son/girl"

naduyomi aqiro deŋe
naduyo aqýrreŋe

The second is strongly preferred in all contexts, as the first has a rather confusing syntax.

3.04.05 Adjectives Used Adverbially

Like many languages, Kirroŋa has Adjectives pull double duty as adverbs. To use an adjective as an adverb, simply place it in one of the oblique cases and place it next to a verb (this is about the only time where the nominal oblique cases are used for something other than connecting nouns to a verbal case). Which one should you use? Well, the Stative is the usual choice, when one simply wishes to modify a verb:

puru zuurum leŋi!
*puru (zu-ur)-um leŋ-i
"You're walking too/very quickly!"

Doraka pudda kommo, pratoddu hattanoyyadayiiŋe kat, dreggu burrom kluppana ø'we katollu hata. Burro daŋŋa...
*Doraka pudda kom-ro pratod-nu hat-pan-a-uyya-da-ye-iŋe=kat dreggu (bur-ma)-um klup-pan-a ø'we katol-nu hat-a burro=daŋŋa
NAME INTENS drunk dick stupid-S.OBL take.out-PST-PFV jail-ACC idiot EXPL
"Since Doraka was drunk as hell and thought he was in the strip club, he stupidly pulled his cock out and now he's in jail. Fucking idiot..."

I made that sentence like three days ago and already the grammar makes no sense to me. Such is the perils of the early stages of making a language...

The Motive Oblique, however, is used to express becoming a state (a form of metaphorical motion, if you will), so it appears with verbs such as tloŋ "grow" or car "become":

piturru tloŋi!
*(pit-ur)-t tloŋ-i
big-M.OBL grow-IMPERF
"It's growing/getting big(ger)!"

tuŋ ahuddut carire!
*tuŋ (ah-udd)-t car-i-re
2S strong-M.OBL become-IMPERF-IMPER
"You must get/become strong(er)!"

Of course Kirroŋa possesses many distinct adverbs of its own such as we "now". Many of these however are clearly old words or even verbal roots (!) in one of the Oblique cases, such as hamat "all over the place/haphazardly".

3.05 Reduplicated Adverbs
Interestingly enough, while reduplication is almost nonexistent in Kirroŋa's morphology, it has quite a few adverbs featuring it. Most of these do not possess any distinct adverbial morphology (indeed, some appear to have a more adjectival meaning!), and they have a wide range of meanings; one can compare the huge amount of CVCV-CVCV adverbs Japanese has; Kirroŋa examples are miha-miha "cutely, childishly", rulu-rulu "rolling", hama-hama "clumsily". These have restricted phonology compared to normal words: they only have the vowels /a i u e o y/ with no long vowels seen, and never have affricates; geminates however do appear though less frequently short consonants. In terms of vowels, they have two variants: in the first, the vowels of the first part are directly repeated in the second, as seen in all of the examples so far. In the second, the first part has the same two vowels, while the second part has different vowels; in these, the vowels are always the same height (/a/ appears to be neutral in regards to height); in addition, /y/ does not ever appear with /i/: midi-mudu is possible, but *midi-mýdý is not.

One unusually common variant on this is to have have alternating voicing: the first part of the adverb has at least one unvoiced stop, while the second has its complementing voiced stop: meta-meda "flowing, calmly undulating", koto-godo "(of a personality) sharp, abrasive". Another has the form SVCV-(N/R)VCV, with the second nasal or resonant sharing the POA of the first stop (/w/ patterns as a velar here and the taps for some odd reason count as stops), and : tara-nara "really high up", ḷitu-ṇitu "bouncing".

The fact that the retroflex tap counts as a stop is tricky for Thōselqat linguists. If not for the retroflex stops already in Kirroŋa, one could postulate that the tap derives from a stop, but since it clearly does not, where did it come from and why does it pattern as a stop in this one specific case?

The lateral tap also patterning as a stop here is unusual, though a common theory is that it derives from an alveolar plosive with lateral release (usually assumed to be a coronal given Kirroŋa's preponderance of them); the lack of evidence for a corresponding fricative is easily explained with Kirroŋa's utter lack of any fricatives, a quirk which appears to extend back hundreds or even thousands of years from looking at its dying relatives and old papers on it from other languages: Paz linguist Yaśaśamarā said, over a thousand years ago "The language of this Binnayez people has a great paucity of consonants...they have nothing corresponding to the richness of Pazmat's f, v, s, z, th, dh, ṣ, ẓ, ś, ź, x, gh, or ḥ, outside of a consonant corresponding to our ḥ but with none of the forceful or artful trilling..."

These reduplicated adverbs usually have meanings relating to either physical/emotional characteristics (guda-guda "fat, chubby", durra-durra "droning, overly verbose, boring"), the manner an action was done, usually translated as a gerund (waṭa-waṭa "waving one's arms wildly in delirium/confusion", hakku-hakku "coughing, wheezing, gasping, out of breath"), or the speaker's opinion/experiences on the actions of another (rodo-rodo "ignoring (me) completely", guru-giri "annoyingly, aggravatingly"_. They appear in sentences normally, usually at the beginning of a sentence or before the verb; the following sentence features of two of them:

rodo-rodo ye hoŋŋewat zuurum lide-lide leŋŋinayoda
*(rodo-rodo) ye honŋŋe-wat (zu-ur)-um lide-lide leŋ-pan-i-no<ya>da
ignoring.EGO 3S.F house-M.OBL quick-M.OBL worriedly walk-PST-IMPFV-INTERESS<3S>
"She worriedly walked quickly throughout the house, completely ignoring me"

In the sentence, the first adverb, rodo-rodo, appears at the beginning because it is an adverb relating to the speaker's experience/opinion on the action, whereas the second, lide-lide, appears before the verb to emphasize that it is describing the actual action itself.

The above sentence showcases a verbal case I have not mentioned yet (mainly because I made it up on the spot right now): the Interessive, glossed <INTERESS>. It can take both oblique cases; in the Motive, it means "throughout" as seen above, denoting that the subject is moving amongst/throughout the object(s) in question without leaving them; in the Stative, it means "amongst" in the locative sense, though this is uncommon; more commonly, the Stative gives it a distributive sense: "You will find water fountains distributed throughout the various floors", or "There are collectible items in each of the game's ten levels" or "The debris is scattered around the area" It has the marker noda; interestingly, this almost appears a combination of the Circumessive nuŋ and the Allative -adu, which are two cases whose meanings together somewhat form the Interessive's meaning. A few of Kirroŋa's more complex verbal cases appear to be compounds of two simpler cases with some slight alterations.

These adverbs are rather casual and don't appear often in formal speech/writing. The adverbs relating to opinions or experiences are the most common in more formal contexts; one relating to traits are usually ignored in favor of actual adjectives, such as gýddo/gýdur for "fat, chubby" instead of guda-guda.

3.06 Intensity, Comparison, and Manner of Adjectives and Adverbs

These are placed together from their similarity. Kirroŋa does not have dedicated morphology for comparison, instead using periphrastic constructions. Before delving into that, however, I will go over some basics relating to intensity. Most of this involves particles. Kirroŋa's particle clitics have been neglected up until now. Like usual, particle clitics are post-positional. Since they are clitics and not suffixes, they appear at the end of word phrases, and are separate words which do not merge with their arguments. In glossing, they use the standard equals sing <=> to show their connection. The phrases or clauses they are connected with are always placed in [brackets like these].

3.06.02 Intensity

[Reduplication]: This is a simple ad-hoc way of intensifying an adjective or adverb: simply reduplicate it! Mostly restricted to informal speech.

puru: This not actually a clitic; it's an adverb. It has no set meaning, and simply intensifies whatever it placed in front of--just about any word outside of a noun. You have already seen it in many example sentences. Depending on context, it may be translated as anything from "very", "a lot", "really", "a ton", etc.

However, it has a special form, a suffix which is attached to a particle, adverb, or adjective in its non-NOM form: -ppu for words ending in a vowel and -appu for words ending in a consonant. This has special meaning of "too": amoddappu "too energetic", gýdurappu "too fat".

This is actually a word which may take possessive suffixes, meaning "too X for [possessive suffix]". Unusually, the infixation point for -appu is -appu<> (one would expect -a<>ppu); this is because the actual suffix is -ppu(ru), the /a/ is just a linking morpheme like -o- in "speedometer". An example:

dohhom amému? "Dakimappu"? Dakimappuummi, eladat? Tarare ø witonidde!
*(doh-ma)-um am-a-emu? (daki-ma)-ppu? (daki-ma)-pu<ummi> eledat? tar-a-re ø wit-a-unid-re
funny-S.OBL do-PFV-POSSIB cold-too.much cold-too.much<INTEROG> boy<DIMIN> shut.up-PFV-IMPER and work-PFV-REGRESS-IMPER
"You jokin'? "Too cold"? Too cold for whom, a little boy? Shut up and get back to work!"

When used adverbially, one suffixes this to an adjective and then puts it in one of the obliques: zuurappuum "too quickly".

Likewise, this may be used an actual substantiative; the suffix in this form is -ppurram/-appudam and acts as a demonstrative (underlyingly, the suffixes are -ppur-dam and -appu-dam): na hommappudo un imepa "I don't want the one that's too/very spicy". "For X" must use a Benefactive here: idatan piturappudo yuuŋe un waktare "Don't give that (one) to the boy, it's too big for him."

To be used adjectively, the suffixes turn into -mý adjectives (-ppumý/-appumý): kaŋŋi neŋe ahuddappumý "The/That man who's too strong for me".

The literal translation of idatan piturappudo un waktare is "Do not give the one that's too big to the boy", but I chose a more liberal translation to better convey the underlying meaning.

Also note that Kirroŋa's verb for "want" is imep, literally "mind-look", from imi- "head, mind" and ap "look (towards)"

pudda: An even more intensive variant of puru, pudda is bordering on being vulgar: pudda kommo "drunk as hell", pudda burro "crazy stupid, dumb as hell", etc.

Like puru, this has a special suffixed variant: -ppuda and -appud: taŋurappunodu "way too scary for me", hommappuyadda "scary as hell for them".

And of course, there are noun versions: -ppuddam/-appuddam. Likewise for adjectives, where they are still -mý adjectives: -ppudamý/-appuddý.

daŋŋa: An incredibly vulgar word, this adverb often translates as "fucking" and is unusually post-positional except when used with verbs, such as in burro daŋŋa "fucking idiot". Likewise, ittreŋe daŋŋa uwa witi "he's working on that fucking car again"

As before, this has a special suffixed version, which means "way too fucking X", basically; it has the form -ddaŋ/addaŋ: hommaddanoŋ! "(That's) way too fucking spicy for me!

The noun variant of this (-ddaŋŋam/-addaŋŋam) often means "[adjective] (little) fuck/shit/bastard/asshole/motherfucker/etc.": dohhaddaŋŋam! "cheeky little fuck!", jakkuraddaŋŋam! "stubborn little bastard!", caŋguddaddaŋŋam! "broke-ass motherfucker!"

The adjectival variant (-ddaŋŋý/-addaŋŋý) is like usual.

These suffixes seen on adjectives are actually part of a special class and by no means are the only ones. For instance, the suffix -uṭṭa means "so X that": neŋe hommoṭṭaya... "it's so spicy for me...". These are collectively called...actually, I'm not sure what the hell these would be called, but they exist and will be elaborated in [[XX.XX]]. Note that while the above three followed the same basic patterns for deriving their nominal and adjectival forms, these patterns do not hold for all of these suffixes: -uṭṭi's nominal and adjectival forms, for instance, are respectively uṭṭun (declines like jun above) and -uṭṭomý. This suffix in particular is important to form "so X that..." clauses: gurudduṭṭayemi kat na lamým tarranowo "She was so wise that I respectfully remained quiet"

3.06.03 Comparison/Manner

Kirroŋa's method for comparison involves the use of demonstratives and demonstrative-like words. Several of these are actually suffixes added to regular demonstratives. This construction is also used to denote some shades of meaning and manner not related to comparison per se. Moving on:

-uwam: When added a nominalized adjective, this means "like that" or "that X", denoting that the thing in question exemplifies that trait. -du, -mý, and -ro adjectives thus respectively end in -uddowam, -madowam, and urrowam. It's a standard dam-style demonstrative (yup, I am getting good usage out of that demonstrative):

idat irýddowa tuŋŋun lumom zimmanora
*idat(iri-udd)-da-uwa tuŋŋu-n (lu-ma)-um zimman-or-a
boy intelligent-NMLZ-such 2P easy-S.OBL outsmart-FUT-PFV
"A boy that clever will easily outsmart you all."

A Genitive or possessive marker shows who or what the noun is being compared with.

nana irýŋŋi handa kyarurrowo waktare.
*na-na iri-uŋ-mi handa (kyar-ur)-da-uwa-u wakt-a-re
1S-DAT wit-2S.POSS-GEN sword sharp-NMLZ-such-ACC bring-PFV-IMPER
"Bring to me a sword (that's) as sharp as your wit."

gonoddowommi? "Who is as strong as that?"
gonoddowenu "No one is as strong as that!"/"No one is that strong!"

3.06.04 The Comparative

-otti is Kirroŋa's dedicated comparative marker. It is attached directly to the non-NOM stem of an adjective and has the non-NOM form of otta:

irýt "clever"
irýddotti "more clever"

namý "hungry"
namótti "hungrier"

daro "happy"
dorotti "happier"

Note that these are demonstratives: dorotti is not an adjective meaning "happier", it is a demonstrative meaning "that which is happier (than)". When used with nouns, the noun is thus Nominative and not Genitive, and these comparative adjectives may be used on their own: piturotto imepi! "I want the bigger one!"/"I want the one which is bigger!"

The comparison is complete with, of all things, a Stative Oblique, usually in between the adjective and its noun/pronoun:

na tuŋum zuurotti
*na tuŋ-um(zu-ur)-otti
"I'm faster than you"

Of course this may be used adverbially as well:

loganu nom zuurottom druttana
*loga-nu na-um (zu-ur)-otta-um drut-pan-a
quarry-ACC 1S-S.OBL fast-COMP.DEM-S.OBL kill-PST-PFV
"He killed the quarry more quickly than I did"

Kirroŋa's oldest method of comparison actually involved a verb along with the Locative verbal case marker. The verb as later dropped--but the Stative Oblique its Locative took remained.

Kirroŋa does not possess any dedicated morphology or constructions for forming a superlative. The most common method is to simply take the comparative demonstrative and put puru after it: puru dorotti "the happiest" (adverbially, puru dorottom). An informal and relatively new method is to suffix -ppu to it: dorottappu (adverbially, dorrottappum), but this is restricted to casual speech.

Likewise, Kirroŋa does not have dedicated morphology for the Inferiorative, Sublative, or Equative, unlike Pazmat. Similar to English, these are handled through ad-hoc methods; the Inferiorative, for instance, can be expressed with the adjectival suffix -unam: na idatum ahuddunam "I'm not as strong as that boy", with an addition of puru to mean the Sublative: na puru ahuddunam "I'm the least strong". As seen above, the Equative uses -uwa.

Basic Adjectival Derivation

The following is only a small glimpse of derivational morphology in Kirroŋa; a more detailed overview will appear in a later post. For now, though, it's useful to know a few methods of derivation.

3.07 Deriving Adjectives From Nouns

<u>-u, -mý class: A common way to derive adjectives, this infixes <u> and also suffixes that same vowel to nouns. The resulting adjective is -mý classThe meaning is generally "possessing the characteristics of [noun]":

kaŋ "man" >koŋumý "manly, impressive, tough, handsome"

ittra "car" > ýttromý "automotive, pertaining to cars"

kraṭ "dog" > kroṭumý "canine"

tir "water" > týrumý "wet, drenched"

-mi, -ro class: This suffix derives an adjective that means "possessing [noun]"

bobu "beard" > bobumiro "bearded"

ket "hair" > kettiro "hairy"

<e>, -du class: These adjectives refer to being immersed in the noun; metaphorically extended to emotions and other feelings:

tir "water" > tiirut "underwater"

ḍum "pain" > ḍømut "in pain"

waṭa "confusion, delerium" > wétot "confused, delerious"

3.07.02 Deriving Adjectives From Verbs

-a, -ro class: Basic derivational marker:

ap "see" > aparo "visible"

nub "work properly, be functional/sane" > nubaro "functional"

drut "die" > drutaro "mortal"

3.07.03 Deriving Adjectives from Other Adectives
Very important: When deriving an adjective which is itself derived, one suffixes and affixes to the derivational marker, not the stem. For non-derived adjectives, the derivational marker is applied to the stem itself.

<in>-u, -mý: Forms negative adjectives:

daro "happy" > denumý "unhappy, miserable"

aparo "visible" > apenumý "invisible"

amot "active, energetic" > emmomý "inactive, lethargic"

namý "hungry" > nenumý "satiated, full, stuffed"

3.07.04 Deriving Nouns From Adjectives

-aŋ: A basic nominal derivation, akin to -ness, -ship, -hood, etc. in English; applied to the adjective's non-NOM stem:

daro "happy" > doraŋ "happiness"

nakko "bad, wrong" > nakuraŋ "evil, injustice, wrongdoing, crime"

dumý "sad" > dumaaŋ "sadness, grief"

3.07.05 Deriving Verbs from Adjectives

Kirroŋa generally does not derive verbs directly from adjectives (or much of anything, really), instead preferring to place the non-NOM form of the adjective (-du classi adjectives have the ending -ut since -udd cannot end a word) with am "do" (cf. Japanese's suru verbs): nama am "starve" ("make hungry"), ahut am "strengthen", apor am "produce, manifest", duma am "sadden", nakur am "commit a crime, do evil" These are technically two words, but effectively nothing can come between them, so they're one word for all practical matters.

A few have been fossilized and are written as one word: doram "cheer up, make happy", gurom "wisen, teach, educate".


With that this extremely long post is now finished. Next up will be in-depth descriptions of more Kirroŋa aspects, mood, and verbal cases.
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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Demonstratives and Adjectives)

Post by Clio » 06 Aug 2016 16:26

I've only read the first post and some of the second, but I just wanted to say that I really like this language so far! Your choice to make the vocalic morphophonology symmetric is really interesting. I also particularly liked the idea of the explicit nominative and your description of how the case system isn't quite tripartite. The use of the explicit nominative with unaccusative verbs also struck me; it seems like a really cool way to express what is essentially the passive voice in a very different framework. Is there any particular rhyme or reason to the unaccusative verbs that cannot take an explicit nominative?
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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by Chagen » 13 Sep 2016 00:19

Tweaks and Clarifications

This is a little "side-post" of some little tweaks I have made to Kirroŋa--adjustments of suffixes, a few minor alterations here and there, clarifications on various things, etc.. I am currently working on a full post which lists some more verbal affixes; I felt that these should be here instead of taking space in there. Like all of my conlangs, Kirroŋa is an ever-changing language. Things said in a post can easily be invalidated or altered later on when whim strikes or I get a new idea. I am extremely lazy and therefore editing the old posts is a pain, and such edits would be opaque to most of you, since editing would not bump the thread or even be evident absent of re-reading the thread. Making a new post bumps the thread and brings attention to these tweaks, and to be honest I just really want to make a post. Without further ado, here we go:


Firstly, long vowels are now written with ogoneks instead of doubling the vowel letter, except for long <ý ø é ó> which still double the letter (though they are effectively non-existent anyway). Bolded because it's important. This is because the doubled vowel letter thing just looks bad to me, for lack of a better term. I explained possible reasons in another post:
I picked the doubled-vowel-letter method to make it look more like an Austronesian or North American language (where that appears to be common), but something about it just drives me up the wall for reasons I can't even begin to explain. I think it has to do with how how most long vowels in Kirroŋa appear awkwardly in the middle of words, like nedaawe "trying to sleep". Another factor, I think, is that a major feature of Kirroŋa is that it merges almost any two vowels into one--nearly all Kirroŋa words are strings of single vowels, with none in hiatus. Long vowels, however, are still written as two vowels, which clashes with the rest of the language and looks ugly.
I like the look of ogoneks, they fit with the rest of the orthography, and I've already used them for Heocg. Therefore, from now on, naduum "woman (S.OBL)" will be written nadųm, okoriiŋe "for the lion" will be written okorįŋe, and na adaadan "Even if I go" will be written na adądan. That looks better...

Kirroŋa's actual phonology is still pretty much the same, but [æ] is now an allophone of /ɛ/ especially in casual/fast speech. It is near-universal for speakers influenced by Pazmat.

Geminate stops in fast speech are often pronounced as short stops with a slight aspiration for voiceless stops and breathy voice for voiced ones. This change mostly exists because Kirroŋa can feature a lot of strings of geminates and I feel that pronouncing these the "normal" way--with a slight stop before pronouncing the consonant--would sound kind of ridiculous if there's three geminates in a row.

Suffixes containing /j/ do NOT palatalize coronals unless they are deriving a word; if they are inflecting a word, they simply geminate the coronal like usual. This is a recent analogical change. Now, "his dog" is kraṭṭo, not kraṭco like before. Note that this means that the 1S and 3S.F possessives are now homophonous for any word ending in a coronal, since they respective suffixes -no and yo will both geminate any coronal <T> to <TTo>. For instance, "my dog" is also kraṭṭo. Of course the other numbers are still distinct: kraṭura "us two's dog", kraṭṭatu "our dog".

Kirroŋa now has a special property called "ghost sounds". These appear in suffixes, and are denoted with a /h/, /w/, or /j/ in parentheses. These suffixes are all CVC, CVCV, or VCVC, and the ghost is always the first or last consonant. None of the suffixes I have shown you contain them; two suffixes which do are the Antessive verbal case -aye(h) which means "behind, after", and the Reciprocal aspect marker -(w)omi, whose meaning should be obvious (however the Kirroŋa Reciprocal has some special connotations and meanings, which will be detailed in the following post). They are called "ghosts", because they sometimes do not appear when one would expect them. When placed next to a vowel, ghosts appear, but when next to a consonant, they do NOT trigger gemination like one would expect. For the coda ghosts, they drop if they end a word. For an example, look at these words with -aye(h) and jam "fall" (which with -aye(h) often means "fall down"):

jamąye "fall down" (jam-a-aye(h)
jamąyeta "fall down into (it)" (jam-a-aye(h)-ta
jamąyehadu "fall down towards (it)" (jam-a-aye(h)-adu

In the final word, -aye(h) appears to have an /h/, preventing it and -adu from merging their vowels. However, if this were true, then we would expect the first and second words to be *jamąyehu and *jamąyetta, respectively. Thus, we must conclude that -aye(h)'s /h/ is a ghost. Likewise, using -(w)omi as an example:

garawomi "study together"
garabaromi "begin to study together")

Once again, one would expect the second sentence to be *garabarromi if the suffix were -womi. Instead we must write it as -(w)omi.

A initial /h w j/ in a suffix is not necessarily a ghost (on the other hand, these sounds never end suffixes unless they are ghosts). For instance, the initial /w/ of the Comitative -we is not a ghost, since it displays expected behavior: appearing before vowels (leŋawe "walk with") and assimilating before consonants (garonidde "returning to studying together"). Same goes for the Potential -hý: apahý "able to see", apakummý "no longer able to see".

A final quirk concerns coda ghost /w j/'s. When a suffix containing them ends a word (monosyllabic suffixes must also be free of infixes), the latent consonants appear to manifest as vowels, something only noticeable from the resultant mergers. For example, take the Conatative mood marker -awa(y):

nedewe "trying to sleep" (ned-i-awa(y)
kidewayemu "possibly trying to hit" (kid-i-awa(y)-emu
glommanąwata "tried to throw it in (there)" (glom-pan-a-awa(y)-ta

When final, -awa(y) all of a sudden becomes -awe, which only makes sense if ghost /j/ appears as an /i/ which immediately merges with the second /a/. Otherwise, it behaves exactly as one would expect a ghost sound to--before consonants, the /j/ disappears instead of assimilating, and before vowels it appears and prevents them from merging with its suffix.

In cases where a suffix containing an onset coda is suffixed to one containing a ghost coda, both ghosts drop and the two assimilate as normal.. For instance, combining the Regressive -uni(y) with the Reciprocal -(w)omi gives us -unumi (*-uniomi), as in jaṇonumi (*jaṇ-a-unumi) "return to kissing (each other)".

Finally, note that a ghost coda drops completely when the next suffix's vowel is the same as the final vowel of the ghost coda's own suffix (and the second suffix has an open onset). Thus, the Conatative -awa(y) and Desderative -abba combine to make awąbba, as in ye puru amewąbba "She really wants to have a go at it".

Words which end in a banned consonant and thus append a trailing /u/ in the NOM add suffixes as if the /u/ weren't there. Put simply: the Genitive of hýnnudu "battlefield" is not *hýnnudumi but hýnnuddi, because the word is underlyingly *hýnnud. This does not mean that every word ending in -du acts like this, however. The word nadu "woman" truly ends in /du/ and thus its Genitive is nadumi, not *naddi.

Verbs may now end in geminates, such as nahh "climb" but there are restrictions. Namely:

-The only clusters allowed in the onset are Cy clusters
-All geminate-final verbs with /e o y/ as their root vowel are underlyingly /*ai *au *ui/, and these vowels never occur with a initial cluster (i.e *qokk is not an acceptable verb, but qakk and tokk are.

Geminate-final words have a past tense in -CCan and NOT the expected -*CCupan (though this DOES appear in older texts, and is about the only evidence for the past tense marker being -pan); nahhana "(I) climbed".


A verbal case suffix in a balanced verb with no person-infix is 3rd-person singular. That's just a really tortuous way to say that the 3S person infix can now be dropped. After all, the 3rd-person singular is probably the most common, and having a zero-morpheme for it is common in real-life languages. However, note that this only applies to balanced verbs; in deranked verbs, verbal case suffixes do not take any person-infixes whatsoever regardless of what they actually agree with.

With this rule, the sentence tuŋ leŋąyadu "You walk towards it" can be tuŋ leŋądu. However, one may still use the 3S morpheme <ya> for emphasis or if it's absolutely necessary to disambiguate. Note that <ya> may be used for humans as well, unlike "it" in English: tuŋ leŋądu could mean "You walk towards it", "You walk towards her", "You walk towards him" or "You walk towards them (sing.)". If you're walking towards a person and their gender is important, then you can still say leŋąyedu "walk towards her" or leŋąyodu "walk towards him". Usually, however, the gender is left unstated. Kirroŋa generally leaves gender for the actual pronouns/possessive suffixes.

The imperative suffix -re makes its verb morphologically deranked. What a deranked verb is will be explained later, but the important thing to take away from this is that a verb's verbal case suffixes do not have any person-infixes (though they still take oblique cases) when imperative:

tuŋ akom nedatayadanųn "You sleep on the floor next to me"
akom nedatadorre! "Sleep on the floor next to (me)!"

Because of this, in the Imperative (and indeed whenever a verb is deranked) oblique pronouns that would normally be implicit (thanks to person-infixes on verbal cases) may have to be explicitly stated; the above imperative sentence could be akom nom nedatadorre, since otherwise it's unclear just what the Proximative -don is for. Though, if context supplies the necessary information, this isn't mandatory.

If a verb contains both explicit oblique arguments (i.e arguments that are connected to nouns in an oblique case) and implicit ones (usually pronominal arguments that rely on the person-infixes alone), the explicit arguments' cases always appear before the implicit ones.

The intensive forms of Adjectives described in section 3.06.02 are morphologically demonstratives; they are defective and only decline in the Nominative. This is something I never clarified fully. I might have them use one or two more cases with special meanings, but I can't think of anything right now and I have more important parts of this post to work on.

Spoken Kirroŋa now uses slightly different nominal case markers depending on whether the verb ends in a consonant or a vowel. The markers are almost still identical, but each has been slightly adjusted; in the following list, the first ending is the form for -C word and the second is the form for -V words. Remember that this is only for nouns; demonstratives and pronominals use their endings/irregular forms as normal with no distinction for the ending of a word.

NOM: -Ø/-Ø
EXNOM: -u/-u
ACC: -nu/-nu
DAT: -ą*/-ana
GEN: -mi/-mi
BEN: -iŋ/-iŋe
S.OBL: -um/-um
M.OBL: -at/-at

*: This form is highly unexpected; presumably it comes from eliding the /n/ of -ana to create *-aa > -ą, but it seems odd that an nasal would be elided, when one would normally expect a syncope of the final /a/ to beget -an.

Following are the words kaŋ "man" and nadu "woman" inflected in all of their cases:


Morpheme Alterations

The verbal Subessive marker is now -(w)ob, and the Instrumental marker is now -(y)oŋ. Indeed, now any monosyllabic verbal case marker that begins with a vowel now contains a ghost (except ones with <ý> like the Adessive ýt). Thus, leŋubu "walk under it" is now leŋawobu and witóŋ "work with it" is now witayoŋ.

The Pseudo-Perfect Aspect marker is now -cci, changed from -qqi. Another little change made because I like the look and sound better.

The Accusative marker for the pronouns and possessive suffixes is now -u, like the demonstratives. However, the Genitive is now -(m)i. This is the only occurrence of a ghost sound which is not either of /h w j/. There is scant evidence that ghost nasals existed in much greater quantities early in Kirroŋa's life, but now this is the only survivor. However, since pronouns are expected to be irregular anyway, a common view is that these pronouns are simply irregular in the Genitive, as well as possible cribbing from the Demonstrative paradigm.

The pronouns, the possessive suffixes the person-infixes for the verbal case markers, have changed slightly. Following are the new forms; most are the same, but a minority have changed a little. The ones which have changed are bolded.


1: na/ner/not
2: tuŋ/týr/doŋ
3: ya/yer/yu
3S.M: yo
3S.F: ye
4: rid/rįr/ritu
NEG: inu/irin/ittu

Possessive suffixes:

1: no/ura/nut
2: uŋ/tý/uŋu
3S: ya/yer/yut
3S.M: yo
3S.F: ye
4: idi/irid/iddi
NEG: inu/irin/innu
INTERR: ummi/ýrom/utum


1: no/ura/otu
2: uŋ/urro/uŋŋu
3S: ya/ira/yu
3S.M: yo
3S.F: ye
4: idi/radi/iddu
NEG: inu/ranu/innu
INTERR: umi/urommi/utumi
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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by Linguifex » 13 Sep 2016 03:45

I don't have much to say besides that I appreciate that you've put quite a bit of work into this language.
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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by Chagen » 13 Sep 2016 04:19

Nominal Rework Incoming

I'm making this minor update to inform you all that I am currently in the process of reworking and substantially altering Kirroŋa's nominal system. This will entail several new cases entering the language--at least two are locked down as of now: the Causal and Semblative/Essive, but probably a one or two more will appear. I'm thinking a Translative would be nice. Kirroŋa's nominal cases generally do not correspond to locational or instrumental phrases or cases, as the verbal case system handles that already. Therefore, I want to use different kinds of cases than the usual Finnic-esque bloat of a million locational cases. For instance, the Essive could be very interesting, as it could be for using adjectives adverbially, creating words like "Finnic-esque" above, and perhaps for temporal clauses (i.e "when I had finished working").

This rework would also clarify the declensions of Kirroŋa. Unlike the declensions of Latin or Greek, Kirroŋa's declensions are more split along word classes. Right now, Kirroŋa has:
-C nouns
-V nouns
Broken Nouns (you'll learn about these in the next post)
Pronouns/Possessive Affixes (you might want to consider the Pronouns a separate declension thanks to their irregular forms in many cases)

What I aim to do is to keep the idea of separate declensions, but have less "main" declensions with subclasses in each one. Each Declension will have its own unique set of case markers. Each subclass will share a majority of its case endings with its other subclasses, but will differ very slightly in 1-3 cases. The total schema is like so:

-Consonant-stem Nouns
-Vowel-stem Nouns
-Broken Nouns
-Pronouns (highly irregular forms)
-Possessive Affixes
Descriptives (the combined term for demonstratives and adjectives)
-Consonant-stem Adjectives (Athematics, -du adjectives,-ro adjectives)
-Vowel-stem Adjectives (-mý adjectives)*

*: Identical to the Demonstratives (at least as of now--things are always subject to change!)

I might also delete a case, probably the Benefactive, as it doesn't see much use and kind of sits there awkwardly. The Casual could easily take its place, given that the semantics of "because of her" and "for her" aren't really all that different, but I may keep the Benefactive regardless because why not.

Why am I doing this? Well, right now, Kirroŋa's case endings don't sit well with me. I do like that they are clearly related, such as the Dative -ą-/-ana/-na, as opposed to having completely dissimilar endings for the various declensions, but right now they aren't varied enough. What little variation they contain isn't enough to justify having that variation at all, in my eyes. Thus, I will first start by creating a archaic form for each case ending: what it might have been in Old Kirroŋa, for instance. From that I will derive the case endings for each declension, and subclass, if necessary.

I have actually already done this with one ending: the Motive Oblique. Its archaic form was *-watu, which in Kirroŋa appears as:
-tu in the Pronouns and Broken Nouns(natu "me", tetu "night sky")
-t in the demonstratives and -V Adjectives (dat "that", namat "hungry")
-at in the -C, -V nouns, and -C Adjectives (ýbot "clear sky", idatat "boy", yanut "one", amoddat "excited", dorat "happy")

Note that the concept of subclasses would make more sense in Middle Kirroŋa; Modern Kirroŋa has shaken the up the system a bit by often borrowing endings from other declensions. This phenomena is well attested in real-life language after all--even across word classes such as Latin and Greek cribbing -o stem NOM.PL endings from the demonstratives.

As for the diachronic explanation of these various ending-forms? Who knows. A mere cursory knowledge of language's like PIE and the family it spawned show that often times languages are a chaotic mess. There are many inexplicable factors in PIE and in the various IE languages, so Kirroŋa really isn't all that worse, especially when all of the case endings are still related to each other.

I should mention that for all of my dramatic language and excessive verbiage in this post, the actual endings will probably not stray too far from where they are right now. They could, and that possibility is open, but it's rather likely that, e.g the genitive will retain its /m/ and possibly the high-front vowel.

Regardless, any upcoming charts will include some new cases and endings. All will be explained. Eventually. I'm well aware I've said that so many times in this thread I sound like a broken record, but Kirroŋa is a pretty messy and chaotic language right now as I endlessly adjust every minor thing and rebuild. I hope it is worth it.
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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by Chagen » 13 Sep 2016 04:20

Linguifex wrote:I don't have much to say besides that I appreciate that you've put quite a bit of work into this language.
Thanks for the compliment! It really helps just to know that people appreciate my work enough to actually comment on it. And if you look at the post below yours, you'll see that I have quite a bit more work to do!
Nūdenku waga honji ma naku honyasi ne ika-ika ichamase!
female-appearance=despite boy-voice=PAT hold boy-youth=TOP very be.cute-3PL
Honyasi zō honyasi ma naidasu.
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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by Iyionaku » 13 Sep 2016 07:25

I haven't read every part of your essay, but what I have read looks extraordinarily good, especially the vowel merger and the high assimilations (which is one part of linguistics I still struggle a lot with). The verbal cases are interesting, but I agree with my predecessors that it should maybe be named differently. According to Wikipedia, some linguists have stated that a "verbal case" is just any case that is determined by the verb, which would count for Nominative, Dative and Accusative, for example, while nominal cases are determined by a noun (Genitive, Instrumental, certain Locative cases). If this is the current state of research I cannot say.

In the end this got me thinking that I, indeed not counting myself as noobish anymore, still have a lot to learn and a long path to go until I can create such in-depth languages.
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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by Frislander » 13 Sep 2016 19:23

Can I just have a little orthographic gripe: I would have had <q> and <c> the other way round, as that's generally how it works in natlang romanisations (certainly in Pinyin).

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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by gestaltist » 13 Sep 2016 20:49

I love the concept (and execution) of broken verbs.

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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by Chagen » 13 Sep 2016 20:59

gestaltist wrote:I love the concept (and execution) of broken verbs.
I haven't even talked about those yet!

The funny thing is that broken sounds are pretty much the basic concept of ghost sounds but improved. Broken nouns are actually far more complex than broken verbs, though, since verb roots in the end are only suffixed by three things: consonants, and the perfective /a/ and imperfective /i/.
Frislander wrote:Can I just have a little orthographic gripe: I would have had <q> and <c> the other way round, as that's generally how it works in natlang romanisations (certainly in Pinyin).
It depends, but I've always viewed <c> as a good letter for indicating palatal sounds of all types: Americanists use <č> for voiceless alveolar palatal affricates, Italian uses <ci> for it, English and English inspired orthographies use <ch>, <ç> is the IPA symbol for v.less palatal fricatives, etc. <q> makes more sense to me for /ts/ if I'm not already using it for a guttural sound.
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female-appearance=despite boy-voice=PAT hold boy-youth=TOP very be.cute-3PL
Honyasi zō honyasi ma naidasu.
boy-youth=AGT boy-youth=PAT love.romantically-3S

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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by gestaltist » 14 Sep 2016 11:18

Chagen wrote:
gestaltist wrote:I love the concept (and execution) of broken verbs.
I haven't even talked about those yet!
You did, on the ZBB, didn't you?

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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by Chagen » 15 Sep 2016 23:59

gestaltist wrote:
Chagen wrote:
gestaltist wrote:I love the concept (and execution) of broken verbs.
I haven't even talked about those yet!
You did, on the ZBB, didn't you? far as I know? What do you mean by "broken verbs" here, by the way? Because I think you're thinking about something else. Broken verbs are actually quite simple: it's the broken nouns that are far more annoying honestly.

But I think you're going to be happy. Because I'm currently working through a huge change to Kirroŋa's morphology and historical phonology that pretty much takes the concept of broken verbs--and applies them to the entire language: roots, affixes, and suffixes. Verbs, nouns, demonstratives, and adjectives.
Nūdenku waga honji ma naku honyasi ne ika-ika ichamase!
female-appearance=despite boy-voice=PAT hold boy-youth=TOP very be.cute-3PL
Honyasi zō honyasi ma naidasu.
boy-youth=AGT boy-youth=PAT love.romantically-3S

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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by gestaltist » 16 Sep 2016 10:36

Oh wait... I wrote broken verbs? I meant the broken nouns, sorry.

I didn't catch my mistake and made us both quite confused, it seems.

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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by DesEsseintes » 16 Sep 2016 19:10

Chagen wrote:Eventually. I'm well aware I've said that so many times in this thread I sound like a broken record, but Kirroŋa is a pretty messy and chaotic language right now as I endlessly adjust every minor thing and rebuild. I hope it is worth it.

I'm pretty sure it's going to be worth it. [;)]

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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Phonology Alterations)

Post by Chagen » 16 Sep 2016 21:27

Kirroŋa Phonology Remodel; Old Kirroŋa Diphthongs, Triphthongs, and Other Phonology Quirks

I am sorry as hell this is a complete mess of a post. It has been expanded to thrice the original size and filled with a bunch of extraneous detail for no real reason other than I have nowhere else to put this stuff.

In my process of creating Kirroŋa I have found myself often dissatisfied with current state of things. So, I have been tweaking constantly. Right now, I have just created yet another tweak, but this one is significant enough to deserve its own post. Since it is not exactly a post on Kirroŋa itself, it will not be normally numbered; instead, it is labeled "X1"

This change is a remodel of Kirroŋa phonology. First adds a new set of consonants: aspirated stops, in both voiced and unvoiced varieties, like the famous ones of Proto-Indo-European and Sanskrit vintage. They are spelled the same way: <ph bh th dh ṭh ḍh kh gh>, but have some very skewed distribution, which is odd on its face but completely understandable in context of their historical origin.

That leads me to my second part: this change is not one of Kirroŋa, but Old Kirroŋa. Referred to from now on as OK or O.Kir (here, the word "Kirroŋa" or "Kir." by itself refers to modern Kirroŋa, the language actually discussed in this thread). This is the first time I have actually done anything resembling historical diachronics with Kirroŋa. Because of this change's venerable age, it is actually more of a subtle, "behind the scenes" change. Kirroŋa still looks almost identical: this change, however, serves to explain several quirks and oddities of it, explain the origin skewed distrubution of certain consonants, and add some nice and naturalistic irregularity to the language. Without further ado:

X1.01 Old Kirroŋa Phonology

In the following post, a hash sign <#> indicates a word boundary, either the beginning or end. For instance, #Ca refers to a Ca syllable at the beginning of a word, while Ca on its own means a word medial one (Ca# refers to a specifically word-final syllable, but the distinction between those and medial syllables is irrelevant for this post)

OK had a phonology very similar to Kirroŋa (at least consonant-wise). The main difference was that there was a set of voiceless resonants, but only /w j/ (presumably voiceless /m n r.../ once existed, but by OK they are completely gone without a trace), spelled with a dot <.>. The sole reflex of these consonants in Kirroŋa are the ghost /w j/ mentioned in previous posts. In addition, OK appeared to have two guttural sounds, an *h and a *ḥ. The exact pronunciation of these two consonants is difficult to discern, and they are reconstructed pretty much solely to explain why Kirroŋa has two specific Broken Gutturals (those are detailed in the following post); in this post they are brought together into one vague phoneme <H>, as Kirroŋa's own /h/ is a chaotic mixture of the two. In any case, these consonantal distinctions are completely irrelevant for this post.

Nonetheless, I might as well explain further in this side note. The distinction between /h ḥ/ is only relevant in suffixes and few a few special subclasses of nouns, verbs, and adjectives. In short:

-/h/ reflexes in Kirroŋa as <h>, and acts unusually for a consonant when suffixing: before consonants, it drops and lengthens the vowel before it, while before vowels it appears; that is: ahC > ąC, aha > aha. Note that a lengthened diphthong breaks into -aya, -awa, -uya, or -uwa sequence (and this prevents that diphthong from later causing gemination). Thus, "take a piss, urinate" > kąpana "took a piss", but kahora "will take a piss". At the same time: keh (*kaih) "stir, swirl" > kayapana "stirred", kehora "will stir"

I kind of want to give verbs like keh an irregular past tense in -ąn (e.g kayąna) but I have no suitable justification for why these verbs and these verbs alone have anomalous past tense forms.

Unless...I do a really weird form of analogy that's honestly stretching a bit. The gist is that almost all verb end in a consonant (well, all of them do, but the above specials appear to not). This means they have past tenses with geminates (druttan "died", karran "trained", etc. Geminates are long like long vowels. Thus, the past tense morpheme is viewed not as -pan, but as -[LONG]an. So, kayapana is viewed as an odd form and analogically turned into the historically inaccurate kayąna (the long form of keh plus -an. I guess the long-vowel verbs like will just be viewed as irregular.

-/ḥ/ drops completely in Kirroŋa and its existence is solely derived from its effects on neighboring consonants: it geminates them as per usual, whereas before vowels it disappears. Thus, ŋraḥ "take a bath" > ŋrappana "took a bath", ŋróra "will take a bath". It appears to have been less common in OK than /h/, and notably most root verbs don't have it, whereas it's quite common in derived verbs.

Unusually, Kirroŋa decided that <uhV ihV> become <uwV iyV>. Later, it also decided that <uwu iyi aha> in particular become <ų į ą>. This did not happen if the second vowel was part of a diphthong; hence why "will take a piss" is kahora and not *ką(w)ura or something.

The above is taken as evidence--about the only conclusive evidence--that /a/ was a vocalic counterpart to /h/, much like how /u i/ were to /w j/. It is quite a nice pattern--three vowels, three resonants which have special status in OK.

Vowel-wise, however, things were different, and this is what I am focusing on. As stated in the first post, OK had a tiny vowel inventory of /a i u/ with no distinction of length whatsoever. OK also had a free stress or pitch accent (I am undecided on Modern Kirroŋa's own suprasegmentals). Which of the two is unknown and unreconstructable by now; in any case, the distinction is academic, as either would lead to the situation in Kirroŋa. I will not indicate stress except for a few special cases.

There's nothing preventing me from having vowel length in OK--I could just say that [u: i:] were underlyingly /uw ij/. Indeed, that's already a rule in OK--it's just that /uw ij/ are very rare and only appear through derivation/inflection.

Stress in OK displays some interestingly skewed distribution. While it was completely free, stressed suffixes, particles, and demonstratives are utterly non-existent. If these could ever take stress, it was clearly some kind of secondary stress, but the more likely answer was that they were actually more like clitics (especially the demonstratives and particles). For the purposes of Modern Kirroŋa, this explains the complete lack of aspirated consonants outside of roots.

OK's phonotactics were quite simple: Every syllable falls into the pattern (C)(R)V(Y)(C), where C is any consonant (note that /n/, /l/, and /r/ were more like Archiphonemes, assimilating to whatever consonant was next to them), R is any resonant /l r w j/, and Y was one of the two semivowels /w~u j~i/.

OK did not allow the syllable /ji/. When it did occur through morphology, the /j/ dropped and an epenthetic /w/ was placed instead. However, Modern Kirroŋa, in morphologically transparent forms (such as certain nouns), has restored this syllable (albeit pronounced [çi]), but in others, such as verbal person affixes, such as the Comitative 3S.F -wawį, the original form remains. The same goes for verbal aspect-mood combinations, where the original forms with epenthetic /w/ prevail. Of course, in opaque root forms, such analogy never happened.

Unusually, OK had some suffixes that were just a bare resonant: -w -j -h, -ḥ. These were directly suffixed to words and had even in the time OK underwent some sound change that Kirr. faithfully preserved (these had to have happened before the gemination and vowel mergers detailed below). Notably: -Cw -Cy -Ch -Cḥ > -Cuw -Ciy -Cah -CCa (soon after, the first three became -Cų -Cį -Cą before consonants).

OK appeared to have distinguished some form of syllable weight, but it was irrelevant for its stress. Instead, it appears that it did not like words to have too many overly heavy syllables. Even though they should have been normally acceptable, words like klautraŋ (Kir. klotraŋ "large fish, sea creature") were abnormally rare. Usually, the heavier one syllable was, the lighter any adjacent to it would be. Figuring out the specifics is trying: the best guess is that any phoneme in a syllable added to its weight (leading some to believe that it was less a system of weight and more one of complexity), with vowels counting as less heavy than consonants (which mostly were the same weight, though final resonants were probably lighter than final stops)

This would explain why the various affixes, both verbal and nominal, are overall much simpler than what the full phonotactics allow, rarely going more complex than VCVC. Since Kirroŋa is almost exclusively suffixing this gives it a "top-heavy" feel.

Normally, resonant-resonant clusters such as /*rl/ were banned, but /w j/ had special status, which finally leads us to the reason I made this post:

Curiously enough OK considered its guttural fricatives to be resonants, at least somewhat. The main evidence of this is the curious fact that /H/ did not ever enter consonant clusters except /w j/--much like the other resonants.

X1.02 Old Kirroŋa diphthongs and triphthongs

OK had nowhere near the same hatred for adjacent vowels as its daughter. It had a set of diphthongs, all formed from the three vowels it possessed: /ai ia au ua ui iu/. It also had triphthongs, formed by taking either of /i u/ and placing them in front (e.g /iau/, etc.); note that two alike vowels never appeared in these, such as /*iia/), and these were always of the form VaV (that is, rising diphthongs preceded by a semivowel). However, it is often better to think of the falling diphthongs /ia ua ui iu/ as instead being consonant clusters; i.e *nian was a CVYC syllable, but more like a CRVC syllable.

This explains some quirks of OK's diphthongs. For one, syllables featuring a consonant cluster and a falling diphthong (such as **nriaŋ) are non-existent, but those featuring a rising one (nraiŋ "grab" > Kirroŋa nreŋ "wrest, forcibly take from, confiscate") are commonplace, something which makes far more sense if /ia/ is itself a cluster, in which case *nria would be banned much like any CCC cluster.

Nevertheless, they clearly had some special significance, as falling diphthongs could appear after resonants, even though normally clusters like /*rw *ry/ weren't accepted; yet, syllables like /riu ria liu/ could appear. However, the only diphthongs that could appear after /w j/ were rising ones; falling diphthongs and all triphthongs (which were inherently falling; the distinction is academic here) could not appear.

If a true distinction between, say, Cwa (CRV) and Cua (CVY) in OK, that distinction was long-gone before the modern language's time. Should it have existed, both kinds of syllables reflexed the same in the later language--though, thanks to Kirroŋa's heavy analogy, the distinction actually exists there, somewhat.

Triphthongs in OK were clearly secondary--they are far rarer than one would expect in roots and almost always appeared from affixing a vowel-initial suffix to a word ending in a diphthong. There should have been nothing preventing one from appearing a root form--they are nothing more than the combination of a Cw or Cy cluster with a diphthong in the nucleus, but they are extraordinarily rare nonetheless. Of the few that exist such as kiaiŋ they are almost exclusively /iVV/.

This has been assumed to been some kind of ban against overly heavy syllables, but this hypothesis is flawed considering that CRAYV syllables (which should have had the same weight as a hypothetical CYVYC syllable) like tlauŋ "grow" were commonplace.

Triphthongs with medial /i u/ (e.g /aua uiu/, etc.) early in OK's history broke into VyV and VwV sequences. The ones with /a/ as their medial acted as normal (i.e Cia and Ciau took the same general path). In the extremely rare cases where a rising diphthong combined with a rising one and both possessed the same glide elements (i.e Cai-ia), they had unique reflexes:

Cai-i(a/u) > Cayy(a/u) > Cey(au)
Cau-ua > Cawwa > Cowa

The rest, however, had a rather involved history. To explain the Kirroŋa reflexes of these diphthongs and triphthongs, I have to make two kinds of distinctions: the first is of rising and falling diphthongs. The second is initial and medial/final syllables. The reflexes are as follows:

Rising Diphthongs

These are much easier. These almost invariably reflex as the familiar vowel mergers already familiar to Kirroŋa, in medial, initial, and final syllables, when they are before consonants. Before vowels, they break into awV and ayV sequences (though analogy has much disturbed initial patterns)

Falling Diphthongs

These are trickier. In initial syllables with no onset, and after vowels, they immediately become consonant clusters e.g uaŋ > Kir. waŋ "buy"

When they are after consonants in all syllables, however, things are slightly more complex. The diphthong is treated as a consonant cluster, and as per Kirroŋa assimilation rules geminates the consonant (unless the diphthong begins with /i/ and the consonant is a coronal or velar plosive, in which case the diphthong palatalizes it). The glide portion of the diphthong disappears: mutua > Kir. mutta "apple". Note that this happens even initially, meaning that OK had initial geminates for a while. What happens next depends on whether the geminate is initial or not:

There is one notable exception to this however: /ui/. For whatever reason, this one diphthong did not geminate but instead just collapsed to /y/ later.

In addition, according to these rules, there should be no geminate palatal consonants; yet such consonants exist in Kirroŋa. They hail mainly from one situation in OK; stop-stop C.CiV clusters where the second stop was a dental: ket-tiat-i "hair-lose" > Kirr. keqqati "hair loss, balding", nik-tiaiŋ "fire-sing" > Kirr. nicceŋ "loudly sing, lose onesself in drunken revelry". Sonorant-Stop clusters remained: laun-ṭiud "oil-fry" > Kirr. loṇṭcud "deep fry".

Initial geminate stops become aspirated stops: buaud "sit down" > bwaud > bbod > Kir. bhod "meditate". All other initial geminates revert to regular stops, but transfer their gemination to the next consonant: nuaH > nwaH > nnaH > Kir. nahh "climb".

This is why verbs containing a final geminate are invariably CVCC: something like *nrahh would require OK *nruaH, an unacceptable syllable, and a vowel-initial verb would have no onset to transfer gemination to the final consonant. At the same time, there was nothing preventing a triphthong, so jepp "bounce" comes from OK giaip

Medial or final geminate remained as normal,except for geminate stops after a stressed syllable. In that case, the geminate became an aspirated stop. Note that geminates in clusters also turned to normal and never assimilated with the previous consonant.

The above sound laws explain the quirks of the aspirated stop series in Modern Kirroŋa, which have a skewed distribution:

-Initial aspirates never occur in consonant clusters (they themselves are formed from clusters)
-No words end in an aspirate, not even verbs (non-initial aspirates require a cluster, and thus must be medial; they were not a part of the consonant system when the verbal roots first came into being)
-Aspirates before any complex vowels (/e o y ø ɛ ɔ/) are extremely rare, and of those that exist, they are almost always phV or bhV (they would require a triphthong, and a i-initial triphthong would palatalize the coronals and velars before they aspirated
-In all consonant clusters featuring aspirates, they are always the second element, as in anghat "broken limb"
-Aspirates are exclusively found in root forms such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives; they are non-existent in particles, demonstratives, pronouns, and all suffixes/infixes (these were not stressed and the concept of "initial" doesn't apply to them)
-Most nouns with medial aspirates are of the forms (C)VChV(C) (OK did not generally like disyllabic nouns to have two overly heavy syllables. Usually, one of the syllables was less heavy, so a word like e.g *krátuat (Kir. *krathat) would have been discouraged

To provide an example of how knowing these historical changes explains unusual morphology: Kirroŋa itself has a curious derivational prefix a- (combined with a <i> infix)-of murky meaning (the closest approximation would be a sense of aoristic completion) which unexpectedly geminates words attached to it: hoṭ "be here, be present" > ahhut "arrival" (< "having been present"), jak "trip" > ajjek "pratfall, falling on one's face/butt". On its face, this is not terribly unusual--the prefix clearly ended in a consonant (any one would do) which assimilated as usual. However, this supposed consonant does NOT appear when this suffix is added to vowel-initial roots: eṇḍ "carry" > ąyiṇḍ "delivery" (*a-a<i>iṇḍ). And, at the same time, when added to verbs with a final geminate or which begins with an aspirate, it doesn't geminate the root: bhod "meditate (orig. "sit down")" > abhayud "enlightenment",

This unusual behavior is perfectly explained when one constructs the OK model ḥua-<i>-Ø. /ḥ/ in OK dropped in the modern language, but clearly it had geminated from the diphthong and transferred its gemination before this. Indeed, there are other prefixes which do this (not many, but prefixation is notably uncommon in both languages anyway) and almost all of them can be reconstructed as being ḥuV or ḥiV.

X1.04 The Implications of These Changes on Modern Kirroŋa

For all the verbiage I have wasted here the significance this has to the modern language is less than one would expect. Analogy has run rampant, generally preferring to merge vowels instead of deal with this unusual . Thus the Dative of u-stem nouns, for instance, suffixes -ana to the noun. This would result in -CCana (Cuana > Cwana > CCana), but instead we find a Dative in -ona, as in nadona lakona ýbona "to the woman, flower, clear sky". Likewise, the Possibilitive -emu and the Desiderative -abba should be -emmabba (emuabba > emwabba > emmabba), but instead it is -emobba, as in ye patįmobba? "maybe he wants to play?"

This applies the other way as well. For instance, take patįmobba "wants to play" up there. This breaks down to the morphemes pat-i-emu-abba, whose underlying forms are *pat-i-aimu-abua (note how -abba was not analogically remodelled, as it is a base morpheme). Running the changes said above should give us the form *paqemmabba. This obviously does not occur. Kirroŋa has used copious amounts of analogy to bowl over these changes, instead using vowel merging.

However, this mainly applies to morphologically transparent forms, such as inflections nouns, verbs, and adjectives. In bare roots, of course, no analogy was made, and these changes have given Kirroŋa a new set of nouns and verbs called "Broken Nouns/Verbs". They will be expanded on in a new post, but I can spare some time to give basics. Broken nouns are more common, and are any noun which ends in -e, -o, or -ý--or, in other words, any noun which ended in -ai, -au, or -ui in OK. Such words are hoŋŋe "house, residence", hano "hand fan", jedý "rogue warrior, ronin", tamý "cat", etc. They have two distinct stems: a "sound form" in -e/-o/-ý before consonants (and before nothing at all), and a "broken form" in -ay/-aw/-uw, which occurs before vowels. Thus, we have NOM hano and TRANS hanobǫ, but DAT hanawana.

There is another kind of broken noun, with two subclasses; examples højų "encampment" and niką "fire" (these are called "consonantal broken nouns", as opposed to the vocalic types above), but those will be covered later. They are formed from various consonantal suffixes in OK, and exhibit the same sound and broken stem differences, but are sufficiently different to warrant being a class of their own. Regardless, all broken nouns are morphologically -C nouns.

I can't help but notice that due to this, -V nouns can only end in exactly three phonemes: /a i u/. Any noun ending in /e o y/ is a broken one.

Broken verbs also exist, and notably can be disyllabic; one example is ore "sing": na oraya "I sing", tuŋ orepana "you sung", ye orayora "she is singing". Broken adjectives are rare, as they would only show distinct sound and broken stems if they were -ro class. Still, a few exist, such as uktįro, uktiyur- "proud, prideful, courageous" or umero, umayur- "intoxicated, unable to be reasoned with".

I have spend far too many words on something that's supposed to be left for a different post.

In general, these changes apply mostly serve to work behind the scenes, explaining unusual traits in Kirroŋa's morphology and phonology. Sometimes they have disposed of with analogy, other times they remain.

One such example of both things appearing is infixing on words which have a complex vowel (remember that /e o y/ are always underlying /ai au ui/). When infixing these words with an infix beginning with a consonant, such as the locative <ta>, the infix is placed between the underlying vowels: ned "sleep" > nated "bedroom" (*na<ta>id). When infixing a vowel-initial infix, however, Kirroŋa always places the vowel after the underlying ones. For instance, take the a-<i>-Ø model above. Infixing it to ned should get us *annayid but instead we find annįdaro "well-rested".

This is actually more of a hacky change so that words with complex vowels still undergo vowel mergers. I do like the breaking effect though. I might postulate that both kinds occur, depending on some condition. I like the idea that the infix is placed post-diphthong when it is <V> or <VC>, and intra-diphthong when <CV> or <VCV>. I think. It's still a mess.

Unfortunately, this means I probably have to rewrite my verbal case infix chart, unless I just handwave it and say that person infixes are always intra-diphthong. But man, I'll probably go back and rewrite it anyway. Ugh.

Funnily enough, the position of the <i> infix above shouldn't affect anything: OK a-na<i>id and a-nai<i>d should both lead to Kirr. anayid.
Nūdenku waga honji ma naku honyasi ne ika-ika ichamase!
female-appearance=despite boy-voice=PAT hold boy-youth=TOP very be.cute-3PL
Honyasi zō honyasi ma naidasu.
boy-youth=AGT boy-youth=PAT love.romantically-3S

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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by Chagen » 19 Sep 2016 02:44

Phonology Post Part 2 (Errata and Additions)

I've realized that I didn't mention a few things or didn't clarify things well in the above Phonology post, and I also have made a few minor adjustments. I could simply edit the post, but then the changes were be opaque due to the lack of a bump (or anything indicating the changes) and it also wouldn't let me increase my post-count. So, please bear with my post-count whoring. It's my thread dammit, I can double or triple post if I want!

Somehow, this has become a part two instead of a simple errata post. Bear with me. I want to talk (modern) Kirroŋa's phonology a little more)


I've never really clarified by terminology, mainly because I haphazardly use different terms for the same thing myself. No more. I am sticking to a logical and unchanging set of terms for everything. Most of them should be obvious, but the ones that require explanation are:

Sonorant: This refers to the rhotics, laterals, and nasals: in other-words, non-obstruents that are not semivowels. These would be /m n ɳ ŋ l ɾ~ɺ r ɽ~ɻ/ <m n ṇ ŋ l ḷ r ṛ>.

Sonorants are a tiny bit restricted compared to other consonants. On their own, they are fully distinguished, but in clusters they are always homorganic. In addition, the retroflexes are more restricted: they only appear medially and finally; initially, they are only found in consonant clusters with retroflex stops and nasals.

In all honest, Kirroŋa should have a palatal nasal, probably spelled <ń> or <ñ>, formed from historical /nj/ clusters like the other palatal consonants. Unfortunately, I cannot pronounce palatals nasals well, and I tend to avoid sounds I have difficulty pronouncing as I forget to keep them distinguished and leave them moribund by accident. On the other hand, I have retroflexes in here and I suck ass at pronouncing those either (and you may notice that they're rarer than the dental/alveolar stops). The option's always on the table, I guess.

Rhotic: A non-nasal sonorant: /l ɾ~ɺ r ɽ~ɻ/ <l ḷ r ṛ>. These are special in that they are the only consonants allowed in initial consonant clusters (of course, /w j/ once were, but they caused gemination and disappeared). Note that the retroflexes only appear in the clusters <Ṭṛ Ṭḷ> initially (Ṭ = any retroflex stop or nasal). In phonotactical descriptions, these are referred to with R; e.g Kirroŋa's basic syllable structure is (C)(R)V(V)(C).

Resonant: A consonant with an approximant MOA, which possesses a vocalic counterpart. These are /w j h/, with the vocalic counterparts of /u i a/. In addition, these are split into two subclasses: /w j/ comprise the semivowels, while /h/ is a guttural resonant. Even all the way back in OK, these consonants had some very special properties:

-The semivowels could not be the last underlying consonant of a root (/h/ could, however)
-These three consonants could appear in consonantal affixes: prefixes, infixes, or suffixes which were either a bare -w -j -h, or which were VC (e.g aw ij). These suffixes behaved in unusual ways, and will expanded upon later. In OK, Cw# Cj# Ch# became Cuw Ciy Cah, which later became long vowels before consonants.
-The semivowels were the only consonants along with the rhotics that could enter initial consonant clusters.

In phonotactics, <Y> stands for resonants (I'm sorry if it seems confusing that rhotics get <R> but resonants don't)

Guttural: Either of the two glottal consonants in OK: /h ḥ/. These had some overlap with the resonants (more so with /h/ than /ḥ/).

Fortis/Lenis: These refer to stops: fortis stops are the aspirates, lenis stops are the non-aspirates (I probably wont be using these terms much however)

Lingual: Any non-labial lenis stop: <t d ṭ ḍ k g> (these are the stops which are palatalized by /j/). This is a neologism I made from the latin word for "tongue", as these stops are pronounced with the tongue as opposed to the lips like the labials are.

Geminate: This term refers to geminate and aspirated consonants, as they both derive from historical geminates. If I want to refer to geminated consonants alone, then I'll use the term lenis geminates (though I might just say "geminates" and leave it up to context).

Simple vowel: /a i u/.

Complex vowel: /e o y/ (underlying /ai au ui/)

Geminates and Kirroŋan verbal root shapes

The main reason I made this post. I've decided that final geminates in Kirroŋa CAN appear in roots with clusters (i.e something like pratt is now possible) when before it wasn't). The reason for this goes back to OK:

While (most) verbs are monosyllabic in Kirroŋa (or at least, all root verbs--most of the disyllabics appear to be secondary), verbal roots can take a few shapes that are normally not allowed for regular syllables; this is because verbs are supposed to be invariably suffixed, their bare/uninflected forms never appearing.

This is not unattested in real-life languages; Japanese, for instance, possesses a huge number of verbal roots which end in consonants (mainly from u-verbs which end in -Cu): mat- "wait", nobor- "climb, ascend", yom- "read", etc

All of these roots contain final clusters, such as hund "cut" (geminates are considered clusters). These roots have restricted forms, however: *hudn, for instance, doesn't occur. These final clusters are:

-Homorganic nasal+stop: hund "cut", eṇḍ "carry", tiŋk "smack, slap"

-Homorganic rhotic+(stop/nasal): irt wander aimlessly", halg "scream", toḷṇ "ring, strike, play a percussion instrument"

-Stop+Stop, with the restriction that retroflexes do not occur, and that the second stop must be a coronal (i.e /pt kt bd gd/): hapt "break", wakt "give"

-Semivowel+Consonant: pratt "reach in and grab", dagg "focus (on a task)"

It's that final one that explains verbs which have final geminates but initial clusters.

As said above, OK's resonants were a little special. They could enter final clusters in verb roots like the other sonorants could. The pronounciation of these consonatal resonants was unknown, but what was important was that they clearly kept their consonantal traits intact, as they did not merge with vowels. Instead, they behaved as any other consonant, assimilating into their adjacent consonants and geminating. Because of this, any CCVCC with a final geminate derives from OK CCV(w,j)C. Compare how OK praut "bite" and prawt "retrieve from reflexed in Kirroŋa:

praut > Kirr. prot "bite, chew"
prawt > Kirr. pratt "reach in and grab, rescue, save"

These verbs are sometimes called resonant cluster verbs to distinguish themselves from regular cluster verbs.

These also showcase some traits of OK phonemes. Of these cluster verbs, one can see a few patterns: cluster verbs with complex vowels are almost always one of two shapes:
(C)VCC: týpt "extract through cooking/burning", eṇḍ "carry"
CRVYC: drell "hypnotize, enchant, amaze", kropp "hack off, dismember, prune, clear out"

CRVCC complex verbs (like *trapt) are almost entirely non-existent. This is presumably because OK did not allow verbal roots to become too heavy, but semivowels were of a lower weight than sonorants and obstruents.

I could derive final palatals off of this; i.e OK *najṭ > Kirr. naṭc. I'm undecided on this. It would mean that jC and wC roots remain distinct, at least when C is a lingual stop.

A final note on geminates:

-Clusters can be geminated, such as in garabattru "usually begin to study".

-Consonants do not assimilate into geminates: they simply drop completely. Thus, "I was rescuing" (*na pratt-pan-a) is na prattani.
Nūdenku waga honji ma naku honyasi ne ika-ika ichamase!
female-appearance=despite boy-voice=PAT hold boy-youth=TOP very be.cute-3PL
Honyasi zō honyasi ma naidasu.
boy-youth=AGT boy-youth=PAT love.romantically-3S

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Re: Kirroŋa (Now Playing: Tweaks)

Post by Chagen » 22 Sep 2016 02:20

Epenthesis and Metathesis in Old Kirroŋa and Kirroŋa

Here is yet another thing I came up with recently and incorporated into the language. This derives from a problem I put off to the side for too long: what exactly happened when a suffix beginning with a cluster was added onto a word ending in a consonant? I decided to actually make some rules for this, and soon it snowballed to creating a special process for when any consonant-initial suffix was added to consonant-final word. The obvious thing that this would do would make c-stem nouns and adjectives have highly distinct endings when the suffix began with a consonant, and indeed, I think it will help me make some satisfying case suffixes. The second was that it made me do some more work OK and Kirroŋan phonology. Without further ado, here we go:

I've decided that I will write Old Kirroŋa with an asterisk, with non-attested/banned forms/syllables written with two asterisks. There's a little problem of confusing it for the underlying forms of Kirroŋa words, but OK forms are almost always 99% identical to Kirr. underlying forms anyway. In addition, there are no longer triphthongs--there's just syllables with resonant clusters and diphthongs like *twau.

Phonology Errata

These are just a few little things I added to Kirroŋa and its ancestor.

Long Vowels in Old Kirroŋa: I have not been constructing OK with long vowels right now. However, it has more than a few morphemes have Vh or VhC sequences in them. These would have already become long vowels in OK, and writing them as long vowels would change pretty much nothing. There's also the fact that /h/ is the only resonant which can appear in these positions--you don't see **taw or **nayt (unless they metathesized into into *twa and *nyat, which is indeed entirely possible); if they are functionally equivalent to long vowels, I might as well write them that way. However, Vh sequences would have preserved the /h/ before a vowel, so I will still write them as Vh, but VhC syllables will be written as long vowels with macrons (and I will use the symbol "L" for them in phonotactical descriptions, for "Long")

Final rhotic metathesis: This is one of the earliest examples of metathesis in OK and possibly the first. In OK, any final Vr sequence dropped the /r/ and lengthened the vowel (this does not happen in CrVC syllables though). In addition, final CrV metathesized to CVr, which then became CL as usual. I am debating if this should happen in complex syllables as well. One possible idea I have is that CrVY > CVrY, but not when the final V is already long.

This actually changes nothing about Kirroŋa right now, as careful analysis of my previous posts will show that no Kirroŋa word right now ends in an /r/. But it would allow me to create a new class of nouns, the Rhotic-stems: nouns that either end in a historical *rV or *Vr) In the Nominative, these would reflex as long vowels but would have different stems depending on the case.

This would create a lot of confusing new noun classes, though. There would be nine total: -ar, -ir, -ur, -er, -or, -ýr, -ra, -ri,-ru, -re, -ro, and -rý stems, and these stems would have quite confusing inflection. If I do go ahead with this, the vast majority will be remodeled into regular -C and -V stems. However, I like the various forms they would take. For instance, take the made-up patre "floof" and see its forms:

NOM: patari
GEN: patremi
M.OBL : patrayat

That's cool. I will probably keep these -rVY nouns (and -VYr nouns, for that matter, though they'd only have weird-looking NOM forms and I could just analogize that out), but the others will be turned into regular c-stems. This means there's just -re, -ro, -er, and -or nouns (the latter two would be pretty much just regular c-stems though).

With that said, now onto the main purpose of this post.

Metathesis and Epenthesis in Kirroŋa

The following rules help to explain some unusual discrepancies between certain suffixes in Kirroŋa nouns and verbs (but pretty much only nouns for now).

V-stem Epenthesis: V-stems are much simpler than consonant stems; there's only one real case of epenthesis in them, and this is OK change, not an ongoing morphophonological process. In OK, whenever a -VC suffix was added to a v-stem, an epenthetic vowel was added (usually /u/, but also /a/ around /r/) was added. This is why the M.OBL of v-stems is -atu (lakotu "the flower") but nearly everywhere else it's -at (idatat "the boy", kamayat "the fish", etc.)

C-stem Epenthesis: The real reason I made this post. Suffixes in Kirroŋa beginning with a consonant--that is, closed suffixes, undergo heavy alteration when added to consonant-final words--that is, c-stems (in verbs this has most been bowled over with simple geminate assimilation). What happens depends on the shape of the suffix in question; they can be split into the following groups:

-Long suffixes (CL, CLC, CRC; underlyingly, the L is a Vh sequence)
-Resonant suffixes (any suffix beginning with a Cw or Cy cluster
-Diphthong suffixes (suffixes with diphthongs that do NOT have initial clusters)
-Rhotic suffixes

Now, as for what happens, using the word ket "hair" and a bunch of made-up suffixes

CV: The CV and metathesize into VC (*ket-mi > ketim)

CVC: Nothing special happens; the first C simply assimilates into the root (*ket-nam > kettam). This only happens to syllables that are strictly CVC; a complex suffix such as -tot does not behave like this.

In addition, CL suffixes (that is, *CVh suffixes) behave differently: the C assimilates, but the new geminate then disappears (OK apparently did not like long vowels and geminates colliding). Thus these suffixes appear to be -L suffixes on c-stems (*ket-mih > *kettį > ketį), but show their true nature when attached to vowel stems (nadu-mih > nadumi; the shortening here is inexplicable)

Resonant suffixes: This is where things get a little funky. When attached to consonants, these suffixes append an epenthetic vowel inbetween them and the word; the strange part is that this vowel is taken from the suffix's resonant, which then disappears (if there are two resonants, the first is taken); e.g:

*ket-tya > ketita
*ket-tau > ketuta
*ket-tha > ketata

Diphthong suffixes: These are painfully easy. All you do is put an epenthetic /a/ in and leave the word alone. (*ket-rau > ketaro)

Rhotic suffixes: These act as described above: -CrV > CL; -CVr > CL. (*ket-ra > *ketar > ketą). However, complex rhotic syllables (-Cre, -Cro, -Crý) instead act like the diphthong suffixes (mainly because they ARE diphthong suffixes), placing an epenthetic /a/ before them, with the -Cr- sequence assimilating (*ket-tre > *ketatte.


Most of this is relevant for nouns. Kirroŋa has mostly generalized simple assimilation everywhere. The verbal suffixes which would follow these rules would have to be ones starting geminates...which none do. I might change a few though, but probably not.

These rules are most important for understanding why, say, the c-stem Semblative is -ita (kaŋita "as a man" but the v-stem and r-stem suffix is -tta (riṇotta "as the ground", tetta "as the night sky", etc.). The OK suffix was *-tya (which should have become **qa in the v-stems but seemingly they were analogically remodeled on basis of the c-stems).
Nūdenku waga honji ma naku honyasi ne ika-ika ichamase!
female-appearance=despite boy-voice=PAT hold boy-youth=TOP very be.cute-3PL
Honyasi zō honyasi ma naidasu.
boy-youth=AGT boy-youth=PAT love.romantically-3S

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