Zhaai

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Zhaai

Post by Shemtov » 05 Nov 2018 03:04

Zhaai [ʑa:i] is a language spoken in the Zha Islands, an archipelago of the southwest coast of Fuhe. It belongs to the Zha Family, which is distantly related to Momčalsumai.

Phonology:
/p b t d tʲ dʲ k/ <p b t d t' d' k>
/m n ɲ/ <m n nh>
/β s z ɬ ɬʲ ɕ ʑ h/ <w s z l l' sh zh h>
/r/ <r>
/ʋ/ <v>

/a i u/ <a i u>
/a: i: u:/ <aa ii uu>
/ai au/ <ai au>
/a:i a:u/ <aai aau>
/ai: au:/ <aii auu>

Phonotactics:
CV(C)

Nouns have three genders, which determines there plural marker: Human, Animal, and Inanimate:
Vaz "Father" Vazal "Fathers"
Shal' "sp. of Mustelid valuble for its fur" Shal'il' <Plural of id.>
Nhaii "Name" Nhaiiw "names"


If the noun is definite, a case marker is appended, coming after the plural marker:
Example: Vaz "Father"
Nominative: Vazaar
Accusative: Vazas
Dative: Vazau
Genitive: Vazaii
Locative: Vazanh
Prepositional: Vazash

The Locative can take prepositions for motion, while the prepositional is used for things like the instrumental, comatative, etc.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Re: Zhaai

Post by Shemtov » 05 Nov 2018 04:08

Verbs have two tenses: Non-Past and Past. These are formed by diferent roots. There are five classes of Verbs:
1. Those that have the vowels /i i: u u:/ in one of the syllables. /a/ is inserted in this syllable to make the past stem, to make a diphthong or triphthong. If the present stem has multiple such vowels, the last one with a short vowel gets the /a/.
Example: Haruz "eat" Past stem: Harauz
2. Those that reduplicate the first syllable.
Example: Winakan "drink" Past stem: Wiwinakan
3. Those that reduplicate the last syllable:
Example: D'aiwi "speak" past stem: D'aiwiwi
4. Those that take the prefix sa-
Example: Paul "Have sex" Past Stem: Sapaul

5. Those with complete suppletion:
Sakaw "Sail" Past stem: Kiwarat
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Re: Zhaai

Post by Shemtov » 05 Nov 2018 20:59

Verbs are templatic. Following the stem, is the aspect-mood marker. For now, we will introduce only the Perfect marker, the only aspect; the others are moods. It is -hu-. For now, until we indroduce the future, it is only used for the past.
Then comes the person markings:
1p sing:uu
1P plr: ainh
2P sing: aw
2P plr: at'
3p sing: ∅
3p plr: a

/h/ is used between two vowels.
Some verbs have a different set of personal endings in the past. This does not correlate with their way of forming the past stem:
1p sing:va
1P plr: auup
2P sing: pav
2P plr: put'
3p sing: ∅
3p plr: au

So example sentences:
uusra winakanuu
"I am drinking water"

uussra wiwinakanuu
"I drank water"

uussra wiwinakanhuhuu
"I have drunk water"

uussras wiwinakanhuhuu
"I have drunk the water"

Shal'il' tashatawas harauzau
"Shal'il' ate the bales of emmer"
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Re: Zhaai

Post by Shemtov » 09 Nov 2018 21:53

Verbs are negated by the preposition Nhaail:
uussras nhaail wiwinakanhuhuu
"I have not drunk the water"

The copula/existensial has the present stem Zhash, and the past stem Taaunak. It is unusual, as the present stem takes the alternate past endings (as does the past stem), and the past stem doesn't differentiate for person in the plural; Taaunakau means "We were; You all were; They were".
Shal'il' zhashau
"They are Shal'il'"

Zhashva
"It is I"

Shal'il' taaunakau
"They were Shal'il"

The subjunctive mood is formed by the suffix (h)ii.

Alone, it takes the existensial/copula to show its tense and person. The main verb almost always uses the present stem, the past stem of the aux marking the past:
uusra winakanii zhashva
"I will drink water"

in the past it means "If only"
uusra winakanii taaunakva
"If only I drank water"


With the past stem and without the aux it is used as a protasis for a conditional sentence:
Shal'il' tashatawas harauzii, uusra haruz zhashaaup
"If the Shal'il' ate the bales of emmer, we will eat water [that is, nothing]"

With the present stem and without the aux, it means "That" or "about"

D'aiwi uusra winakanii
"S/he spoke about drinking water"
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Re: Zhaai

Post by Shemtov » 12 Nov 2018 23:35

Adjectives take the plural of the noun class they modify:
T'araw naal'aw
"Narrow Straits"
They take case marking even if the noun is indefinite, except for locative and prepositional cases:
Nominative: T'aral
Accusative: T'arash
Dative: T'aru
Genitive: T'arizh

T'arish naal'
"Narrow strait [ACC]"

They take the regular noun-case endings if the noun is definite:
T'aras naal'as
"The narrow strait [acc]"
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Re: Zhaai

Post by Shemtov » 13 Nov 2018 22:41

Allophony:
Palatalized /t d/ become postalveolar affricates before /i i:/, while the plain alveolar stops become palatalized. Similarly, the alveopalatal fricatives become palatals, and the alveolar fricatives become alveopalatal. The same thing happens to said stops syllable finally, and <l'> becomes [lS]. Intervocalic /p/ becomes a fricative, and intervocalic /d/ becomes a flap. Syllable finally, /r/ becomes a flap, though in fast, colloquial speech it may be [d:] for /rd/. Between two voiceless sounds, short /i/ becomes a syllabic voiceless palatal fricative, and short /u/ becomes a labialized [x]
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Re: Zhaai

Post by Shemtov » 16 Nov 2018 02:45

The prepositions of the locative case:
For location at or on, the most common preposition is Wash:
Wash naal'anh taaunakva
"I was by the strait"

However, for locations that one can be by or in, this is only used for the former. The "in" preposition is Tauk:
Tauk naal'anh taaunakva
I was in the strait [fell overboard from a raft or ship or got swept while swimming]"

The prepostion for motion towards is zhaar:
Zhaar naal'anh sahaauluu
"I came toward the strait"

The preposition for motion away is iiw:
iiw naal'anh sahaauluu
"I came from the strait"
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Re: Zhaai

Post by Shemtov » 22 Nov 2018 05:26

The main uses of the prepositional case is the intrumental (<Wash>) and the comatative (<tauk>)
Shal'il'as tauk tashatawash tauk maavanh d'auhauruu, kain wash matash shashalaakva
"I saw the shal'il' with the bales of emmer in their mouths [lit. in the mouth], so I chased them with the stick.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Re: Zhaai

Post by Shemtov » 27 Nov 2018 07:30

Pronouns:
The language is heavily pro-drop for nominative pronouns, though these may be added for emphasis, in some contructions carrying the meaning "since it was X"
All pronouns are definite, and thus carry case.
Pronouns have a nominative form and one form that takes the other cases, treated like a regular noun, called the oblique stem.
1P sing:
Nominative : Aauzh
Oblique. : Ma

1P Plr:
Nominative : Nhav
Oblique. : Zhav

2p Sing:
Nominative : Aar
Oblique. : Da

2p plural:
Nominative : Wav
Oblique. : Bav

3P are left out, as I haven't worked the system for them.

So:
Das d'aiwiwiva
"I spoke to you"

Das d'aiwihuu
"I spoke about you"

or
Wash dash d'aiwihuu
"Id."

Aauzh uusra winakanuu
" I am drinking water"

THE PASSIVE VOICE:
The Passive is formed by the prefix t'ii added to the stem. For some verbs, it changes the meaning <Paul> "To have sex with" T'iipaul "To be raped" (There is a way to refer to active rape, but as the culture puts emphasis on the victim as a victim, this would be used with a nominalizer to make "rapist" in most cases)

Tashataw t'iiharuaz
"The bale of emmer was eaten"

If the passive takes a subject, it is the instrumental case, and placed after the verb, breaking the normal verb-final syntax. This can only occur with a definite subject:

Tashataw t'iiharuaz wash shal'il'ash
"The bale of emmer was eaten by Shal'il"

Maii zhiimaa t'iisapaul wash dash!
"My mother was raped by you!"
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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