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Post by Omzinesý » 21 Feb 2018 16:11

I'm again reconstructing a proto-lang for Vtayn and Mhilva and am now adding Barqi(an), my newest project, to it.
The proto-lang is abbreviated PVMh

Vowels of the stressed syllable
i(:), u(:)
e, o
ɛ, ɔ (the real realization of those is unclear. They may well have been rising diphthongs, as well.)

Vowels of non-stressed syllables (some kind of front-back phonetic vowel harmony may well have existed)

p t k
b d g
m n
l r
v s

Structure of word

(Vtayn has plenty of unstressed prefixes the other two languages do not have traces of.)

Development of vowels:

1. Mhilva

Pre-Mhilva developed a three-vowel system with length contrast
e -> i, o -> u
ɛ, ɔ -> a: (this change is common with Barqian)

Between Modern Mhilva and Pre-Mhilva the stressed vowels assimilated in highness/lowness with the vowels of the preceding syllable.
a, a: -> ɨ, ɨ: if the following syllable had /ɨ/
i, i:, u, u: - > e, e:, o, o: if the following syllable had /a/
The final unstressed syllables elided before Modern Mhilva

So Modern Mhilva has:
i, i:, ɨ, ɨ:, u, u:
e, e:, o, o:
a, a:

2. Vtayn
The mid-high vowels diphthongize
e -> ie, o -> uo
The mid-low vowels become somewhat higher
ɛ, ɔ -> e, o

The final unstressed syllables disappear without traces.

Vtayn has a morpholocial phenomenon of diphthongization.
i -> ie, u -> uo
ie -> je, uo -> wo
e -> ai, o -> au
a -> ɑɨ
It is explained by some suffixes, a locative suffix especially, that changed stressing so that, while the beginning of the vowels sound or diphthong is stressed in the "basic situation", the end of the vowel is stressed when the suffix follows. Some of the changes must be analogical though.

3. Barqian
Barqian vowels changed the most.
ɛ:, ɔ: -> a: -> ɒ (this change is shared with Mhilva), some of the ɔ: however sporadically become au.
u is fronted to y
u -> y
Open stressed syllables are diphthongized if the following syllable has /ɨ/ or semivowels /j/ or /ʋ/.

Barqian is the only language that preserved the final vowels. ə however merged with a.

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Re: Proto-Vtayn-Mhilva-Barqi

Post by Omzinesý » 21 Feb 2018 16:35

Some words

PVMh | Vtayn | Mhilva | Barqi

*trɔnti | ʈɽont | dɨ:nd | ʃɒ̃ŋt 'boy'
*tɛnə | (v)ten | tʰa:n | tɒunɜ 'old'
*greli | griel | gil | ɢeili 'to feat, to have fun'
*kusa | ku(t)s | gos | kyisɛ 'fire'

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Re: Proto-Vtayn-Mhilva-Barqi

Post by Omzinesý » 21 Feb 2018 17:06


A characteristic of the family is derivational prefixes.
They were/are of the pattern CV- where V was one of the three unstressed vowels (a, ə, ɨ) and the vowel either the initial vowel reduplicated or one of the consonants (*s, *v, *l, *r, *n). Their original semantics of the consonants is very bleached in the modern languages.

The vowels of the prefixes the following meaning in Vtayn, which is again considered conservative.
*ə no special meaning
- derivation of an intransitive verb (anticausative)
- derivation of an actor noun
- derivation of an iterative verb (or antipassive)
- abstract nouns (-ness, -hood...)

- derivation of a transitive verb (causative)
- diminutive

1. Barqian
- Preserves the prefixes as derivational morphemes, which are sometimes lexicalized.
- Other prefixes are added to the group ¨
- Most of the old functions are blurred

2. Mhilva
- Prefixes with reduplication are lost. Stops create ejectives (#tɨta -> #tta -> #t'a)
- Other prefixes get word-initial stress and are realysed as part of the root.
- The vowels are spread and all the vowels can appear in old prefixes.

3. Vtayn
*ə is lost while the two other vowels are preserved. (vəten -> vten 'old respected woman')
The consonants of the prefixes are reanalyzed as parts of the roots.
ɨ and a are analysed as infixes. They can appear between old initial clusters as well. (tront 'boy', täront 'boyhood')

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Re: Proto-Vtayn-Mhilva-Barqi

Post by Omzinesý » 26 Feb 2018 13:21

Noun cases and alignment

PVMh had the following three noun cases

Absolutive/Direct - zero-marked (i.e. words ended in ɨ, ə, a)
Genitive(-Ergative) -ŋ
Dative -j

There was also a pronominal particle that had Nom-Acc inflection

It is a bit unclear which alignment PVMh had. Modern Vtayn and Mhilva have ergative alignments while Barqi has an accusative one. I suppose PVMh alignment is NOM-ACC but some ergative features appeared in subordinate clauses.

PVMh had two reflexive voices:
Reflexive (To V oneself) -m
Autobenefactive (to V for oneself) -n

1. Barqi
Nominative -zero marked (i.e. words ended in i, ɛ, or zero)
It derives from *Absolutive. It either has a vowel i or ɛ, or the vowel is elided if the stem ends in a geminate.

Accusative - zero marked (i.e. words ended in i, ɛ)
It derives from *Dative. The glide -j is elided but the elision of the last vowel does not happen.

Genitive -ŋ
Genitive is preserved from PVMh. It though nasalises the last vowel very heavily.
Genitive does not have ergative readings as in Vtayn.

Instrumental -l
Instrumental case is a new innovation and is created by agglutinating a postposition.

Barqi is a Nom-Acc lang, though the before mentioned cases only differ with half of words.
Bargi does however have two antipassive voices:
Antipassive with animate object -m
Antipassive with inanimate object -n

They derive from PVMh refelxive and autobenefactive respectively.
The Antipassives are used when there is no definite object. The indefinite undergoer can be marked by Instrumental.

2. Vtayn
PVMh case marking is well preserved in Vtayn non-specific declension.
ABS - zero marked
ERG -u <- Vŋ
Dat - i <- Vj

/ŋ/ has no traces of its genitive use in Vtayn. It's used as an ergative and an instrumental.

Specific declensions (in Singular and Plural) are formed by combining the noun having Abs-Erg aligment and the pronoun having Nom-Acc inflection. This gives Vtayn Tripartite morphological alignment.
[Will be again clarified later.]

Vtayn TAME inflection is also very innovative and is based on old participles. So it's understandable that it also gained an ergative alignment.

3. Mhilva

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