Y²KS

A forum for all topics related to constructed languages
Post Reply
shimobaatar
darkness
darkness
Posts: 11431
Joined: 12 Jul 2013 22:09
Location: PA → IN

Y²KS

Post by shimobaatar » 04 Jan 2019 00:54

Last edited by shimobaatar on 04 Jan 2019 01:00, edited 1 time in total.

shimobaatar
darkness
darkness
Posts: 11431
Joined: 12 Jul 2013 22:09
Location: PA → IN

Re: Y²KS

Post by shimobaatar » 04 Jan 2019 00:54

Introduction: In-World

Classical Yaunite, or Y²KS, is the name given by modern linguists and classicists specializing in the Duria Archipelago to the language known natively as either yēs Yōnyēnd kēs Sīrwēn ("the Voice of our Islands"), among the scholarly elite, or Liššikījīn Sīrīn ("the Seaside Voice"), among everyday people. A member of the Yaunite, or Southern, branch of the Abil-Yaunite language family, Classical Y²KS was a Stage 4 language, spoken between 3000 and 2000 BP, during Wāddīn Binšēdbikīn fiš-Liššikwaman ("the First Great Golden Age by the Seaside"). It originated in the area around Īskuyyand ("the Pastures"), a southern coastal city on the island of Liššikuyyin ("the South, the Seaside").

Thanks to the influence exerted by Īskuyyand on neighboring cities and islands during its First Golden Age, Y²KS spread throughout the Archipelago, particularly the southern and eastern islands, where, after 2000 BP, the language split into several distinct varieties, known collectively as Sīrḥōbyand ("the Lesser Voices"). These varieties of "Neo-Yaunite" or "Vulgar Yaunite", so to speak, diversified over the next two thousand years into the majority of the modern Yaunite languages, the most widely spoken of which is the capital "dialect", Iskianjite (natively šue ískianji sírvi), with approximately 200,000 native speakers.

Classical Y²KS is still used as a language of education and, in some cases, administration, throughout the modern Duria Archipelago. The large body of literature, poetry, and scientific works written in Y²KS are still widely read. The written form of the language originally standardized by the scholars of Īskuyyand is subject to a number of prescriptive rules, most of which no longer apply to its spoken descendants, and some of which were never truly applicable even when the classical language itself was spoken.

Due to its highly isolated location, the Duria Archipelago had little to no contact with the outside world before approximately 1000 BP. Consequently, all of Classical Y²KS's vocabulary was ultimately derived from Proto-Abil-Yaunite, with most of it being inherited directly. There were also a significant amount of loanwords from Old Abil, a language belonging to the Northern branch of the same family, and a smaller number of borrowings from other Southern languages. However, the form of the language used by modern scholars and bureaucrats has unavoidably incorporated some loanwords from farther abroad.



Introduction: Behind the Scenes

Y²KS is the language I used for the CBB Conlang Relay X. Since the superscript 2 isn't easy to type, the name of the language might sometimes show up as Y2KS, but I can assure you it has nothing to do with this. I was originally planning to use one of my a posteriori Germanic languages for the relay, but I could tell from the moment I started translating the text into one of them that I wasn't going to be happy with the results. Not wanting to delay the relay any more than I already had, thanks to school and all that, I came up with a new a priori language on the fly. I applied a few sound changes to it and wound up with Y²KS. I ended up surprisingly satisfied with the results.

Over the course of the next few weeks following the relay, I worked backwards even more and laid the groundwork for a larger family leading up to the classical language I had originally envisioned. I now have some vague ideas for later descendants as well. My biggest sources of inspiration were Latin, Arabic, and Akkadian, with some influence from Austronesian and Uto-Aztecan languages thrown in. Although I have a lot of ideas for the family's protolanguage worked out, the language I'll be presenting here is meant to be spoken several thousand years after the breakup of the protolanguage. The a priori languages I've presented in the past have always been the protolanguages of their respective families, but, looking back, I think that made them less interesting, since they hadn't been given time to develop irregularities and such. Therefore, this time, I'll be focusing on a language spoken later on in history. If the protolanguage is Stage 1, then Y²KS is Stage 4.

Y²KS is also the language I've chosen to use for Lexember 2018. I've been thinking about making this thread since before the relay even concluded, and now that I'm finally putting it out there, hopefully it will help me solidify some of my ideas for the language. Everything I've presented elsewhere is liable to change, although not even the information in this thread will be instantly set in stone.

I've been writing posts for this thread for the past 2-3 weeks, since the beginning of my winter break, during some of my free time. I wanted to wait until I had at least a few posts on nominals written to start "publishing" things, but my break's over after this weekend, and I'd like to have at least something to put out there, so I've decided to formally start the thread now.

Y²KS and its relatives are native to an isolated ring-shaped archipelago with a fairly large, relatively shallow lagoon in the center. They are spoken on the conworld Hamyo, formerly Bwana, which is also home to Project Ypsilon, Project Jade, Project Steppe, etc. This is the first new idea I've had for that conworld in quite a long time. In fact, I thought it was pretty much dead. However, Y²KS has renewed my interested in Hamyo and the other language families spoken there, although it's no longer my only conworld, and I haven't changed my mind about no longer wanting to write anything set there.

I'll be attempting to write the main posts in this thread from the "in-world" point of view, so to speak, of an academic from Noten, one of the most influential nations on Hamyo. I'm not going to be "roleplaying" or answering questions "in-character", though. Some posts may also include footnotes providing a "behind the scenes" look at the language's development from my own point of view as a conlanger from the real world.

Any approximate dates in this thread will be given as a number of years BP, "before present", with "present" referring to the current year on Hamyo, roughly equivalent to the early 2000s CE on Earth. Therefore, for example, 3000 BP is roughly equivalent to 1000 BCE.

shimobaatar
darkness
darkness
Posts: 11431
Joined: 12 Jul 2013 22:09
Location: PA → IN

Re: Y²KS

Post by shimobaatar » 04 Jan 2019 00:55

Overview

Code: Select all

Proto-Abil-Yaunite
   Proto-Yaunite
      Old (Eastern) Yaunite
         Classical Yaunite (Y²KS)
Classical Y²KS's closest relative was the Tauwajite language (natively Taumagigiin Thīriin "the Voice of the Grove"), which has a few modern descendants of its own. Both were direct descendants of Old Yaunite, also known more specifically as Old Eastern Yaunite, and were native to the island of Liššikuyyin, situated in the southeast of the Duria Archipelago. Liššikuyyin is the second largest island in the archipelago, but the least mountainous, and the one with the fewest volcanoes. The interior of the island is somewhat heavily forested. It has a number of rivers, all of which empty out into the ocean along the island's southern coast. The delta of the largest river, Mubbiˤīn ("the Generous Serpent"), is close to the influential port city of Īskuyyand. The island has a great deal of relatively flat, fertile land, perfect for agriculture. The forests are an excellent source of wood, and the few mountainous regions the island has are rich in metals. It has a fairly temperate climate, and is situated around 40° N.

The Abil-Yaunite urheimat seems to have been situated on one of the medium-sized southwestern islands of the archipelago. The Yaunite branch spread eastward, while the Abil branch spread northward. Old Abil, along with its descendants spoken contemporarily with Y²KS, was native to the island of Dūlēkuyyin ("the North, the Lakeside"), the largest in the archipelago. Old Abil was the source of a large number of loanwords in Old Yaunite (and therefore in Y²KS and Tauwajite), and was the dominant language of the archipelago during Waˤiddīn Binšēdbikīn fij-Dūlēkwaman ("the First Great Golden Age by the Lakeside"), between approximately 4000 and 3000 BP.

The Duria Archipelago is among the most isolated places on the planet, and seems to have not had any contact with the rest of the world until the last millennium. As a consequence, the Abil-Yaunite languages have been, for most of their history, completely uninfluenced¹ by the rest of the world's languages. Based mostly on the family's reconstructed protolanguage, there have been some attempts to connect the family to either the Ypsilonic languages or members of the Jadic sprachbund, as both the Ypsilonic urheimat and the Jade subcontinent are situated further to the southeast of the archipelago in the same ocean.

Additionally, a few vocabulary items found in only one of the Abil-Yaunite family's two branches have been identified as potential loanwords from other families, notably Y²KS jēyi "jade" (< Old Yaunite *gāˀiyi "id." < Proto-Yaunite *gāˀiði "id.", cf. Ancient Western Jadic ɣǎʔ "jadeite, jade"). Due to the nearly complete lack of naturally-occurring jade in the northern and western islands of the Duria Archipelago, there appears to have been no word for jade in any Abil language until the material was introduced by craftspeople from Īskuyyand, and the Y²KS word was borrowed (see Classical Abil čeîyil, for example). The presence of a long vowel before a consonant other than a fricative in the Proto-Yaunite form is also very unusual². These factors have led some scholars to conclude that, at some point between 5000 and 4000 BP, speakers of Proto-Yaunite borrowed their word for "jade" from a Jadic langauge, perhaps after coming into contact with the crew of a merchant ship that had found itself incredibly off-track.

However, recently, an alternative etymology for Proto-Yaunite *gāˀiði "jade" has been proposed. According to this theory, the word represents an early borrowing from Proto-Abil *ɢā́ˀili "green", and is thus cognate with the inherited Proto-Yaunite *baiði "blue" (yielding Y²KS bayyi "id."), both from Proto-Abil-Yaunite *gʷā- "grue". This would explain the presence of a long vowel followed by a glottal stop in the Proto-Yaunite word. This explanation is considered much less far-fetched³ than a hypothetical Jadic borrowing, since there is no evidence in the archaeological record or in the oral history of the Duria Archipelago of premodern contact with any outside group. Overall, there remains no widely-accepted evidence for any proposed connection between the Abil-Yaunite languages and other families.

Classical Y²KS was syntactically nominative-accusative in alignment, although its case marking was ergative-absolutive. Nominals distinguished two cases (three in pronouns), two numbers, three states, and marked definiteness morphologically, while verbals⁴ inflected for two tenses, two moods, two subject persons, two object persons, two subject numbers, and two object numbers. The language was synthetic (almost entirely suffixing), with nominals being more "fusional", and verbals being more "agglutinative". There were multiple nominal declensions and verbal conjugations. Y²KS's unmarked word order was SO(X)V, and it was rather strongly head-final in all types of phrases. There were a number of sentence-initial particles, and prepositions were proclitics. The language made frequent use of derivational morphology and compounding, although almost all compounds were nominal-nominal, with a small subset being verbal-verbal, and virtually none being nominal-verbal or verbal-nominal. Y²KS had very few, if any, true adverbs.



¹This is an excuse I came up with to make things easier on myself. When making a language, I like to consider all of the languages around it as possible sources of influence. However, when a language comes into contact with genetically unrelated languages, I feel the need to develop multiple families just to work on a single language. I don't mind doing this, but it does slow down my process considerably, and because of the time constraints of the relay for which Y²KS was created, I couldn't afford to do that, so I came up with a scenario that would give me an excuse to allow myself to focus on just a single family.

²Proto-AY long vowels *ī *ū *ā shortened in Proto-Yaunite, but long vowels were reintroduced after nasal-fricative clusters simplified, losing their nasal elements and lengthening preceding vowels in the process.

³This is the "canonical" explanation, but given the kinds of things some real-life linguists have proposed, I think it's fun to imagine some of Hamyo's linguists coming up with comparably dubious hypotheses about the histories of their world's languages.

A post, or more likely several posts, on nominals should be ready relatively soon, but I'm not sure how satisfied I am with the language's verbs, so it may take more time before I'm able to describe them here.

shimobaatar
darkness
darkness
Posts: 11431
Joined: 12 Jul 2013 22:09
Location: PA → IN

Re: Y²KS

Post by shimobaatar » 04 Jan 2019 00:56

Phonology: Part 1

Naturally, as no one alive today has had the pleasure of conducting research with a native speaker of the classical language, and no one ever will, most of this section will be based on educated guesswork, so to speak. The language's phonology has been reconstructed based on the sound systems of Y²KS's modern descendants, with reference to the statements made by the scholars of Īskuyyand during its First Golden Age on their own speech and the speech of their contemporaries. Some brief notes on the pronunciation generally accepted by the modern academics and bureaucrats of the Duria Archipelago will also, of course, be included.

Phonemic Inventory: Consonants

Classical Y²KS is typically analyzed as having 22 phonemic consonants, three of which appear almost exclusively in loanwords from other Abil-Yaunite languages. These three sounds will be included in parentheses below. Additionally, the primary romanization¹ for each phoneme will be listed in the following chart.

/(p) b t d k (g) ʔ/ (p) b t d k (g) ˀ
/f s ʃ ħ h/ f s š ḥ h
/t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ č j
/m n/ m n
/j w ʕ/ y w ˤ
/r/ r
/(ɬ)/ (ś)
/l/l

/(p) b m/ were all bilabial. However, the exact pronunciation of /f/ is less certain. It seems to have been labiodental in the speech of Īskuyyand, but there is a great deal of evidence supporting the theory that [ɸ] was a far more common realization out in the countryside, especially to the west. [f] is the standard academic pronunciation in modern times. /(p)/ appears exclusively in loanwords, predominantly from the closely related Tauwajite language². For historical reasons, at least in native words, /m/ is mostly found word-initially, in the sequence /mm/, and following other consonants. It is rare intervocalically, and all nasals appearing before other consonants or word-finally are typically analyzed as /n/. /(p) f/ both voice to [b], but /b/ devoices to [f]. In the standard modern academic pronunciation, /(p)/ is not always distinguished from /b/.

/t d/ were prototypically dental, but /n r (ɬ) l/ were likely alveolar by default. The exact articulation of /s/ apparently varied more than any other coronal consonant, but it was almost certainly a sibilant. /ʃ t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ were all palato-alveolar sibilants. /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ were clearly not stops. The contrast between /ʃ/ and /s/ appears to have been quite strong. For historical reasons, some instances of /r/ act more like obstruents than sonorants, and devoice in certain environments. Instances of /r/ which act more like sonorants may sometimes alternate with /l/. /t s ʃ t͡ʃ/ voice to [d r~d d͡ʒ d͡ʒ], while /d r d͡ʒ/ devoice to [t~s s ʃ~t͡ʃ~k]. It is synchronically unpredictable which instances of /s/ will voice to [r] and which will voice to [d]. Similarly, it must simply be memorized which instances of /d/ devoice to [t] and which devoice to [s], as well as what the outcome of any given instance of /d͡ʒ/ will be in a devoicing environment. All of this has led some scholars to propose an analysis including /d₁ d₂ d͡ʒ₁ d͡ʒ₂ d͡ʒ₃ r₁ r₂/, but this is not standard, despite being arguably more accurate in terms of historical linguistics. Phonemic /(ɬ)/ appears exclusively in loanwords from Old Abil³, but sequences of /ls/ or /sl/ across morpheme boundaries in native words were sometimes confused for underlying instances of /(ɬ)/ by native writers. It is unknown if /(ɬ)/ underwent voicing or not. For modern academics and bureaucrats, /t d s n r (ɬ) l/ are all usually dental, although /(ɬ)/ is not always distinguished from /l/ or /s/. /d͡ʒ/ is typically realized as [ʒ] in the standard modern pronunciation.

/j/ was a palatal approximant, /k (g)/ were velar stops, and /w/ was a labialized velar approximant. /(g)/ appears exclusively in loanwords, mostly from Old Abil or Tauwajite⁴. /k/ voices to [d͡ʒ], and /(g)/ devoices to [k]. Unpredictably, some instances of /w/ alternate with [n] or [m], for historical reasons, but it is not standard to propose separate phonemes /w₁ w₂/.

/ʕ/ was pharyngeal, and although it may have been pronounced as a fricative in some cases, it patterned with the approximants /j w/, and is thus considered an approximant as well. Out of all of the language's phonemes, the pronunciation of /ħ/ is thought to have been the most varied. In different areas, and among different groups, there seem to have been a range of default pronunciations, including velar [x], uvular [χ], and pharyngeal [ħ]. The typical pronunciation in Īskuyyand is thought to have been [ħ], based on comparisons made between /ħ/ and /ʕ/ by contemporary writers. However, the standard pronunciation for modern academics is the voiceless velar fricative [x]. /ħ/ is thought to have been unspecified for voicing, although voiceless realizations were likely more common.

/h ʔ/ were almost certainly glottal, and were clearly distinct from the pharyngeal consonants. However, they were both incredibly limited in their distributions, at least in native words. /h/ appears almost exclusively word-initially before non-high vowels, and /ʔ/ appears almost exclusively word-finally. In loanwords, particularly from Tauwajite, they are slightly less restricted.

Examples:

/ˈpərjatiː/ pəryatī "type of pastry made with honey" : /biˈʕiː/ biˤī "snake"
/ˈteːniː/ tēnī "woman" : /ˈduːleːd͡ʒiː/ dūlējī "sailor"
/kiˈwajji/ kiwayyi "road" : /ˈgoːt͡ʃfilə/ gōčfilə "paradise"
/ˈʔajbiː/ ˀaybī "animal organ used for divination"
/firˈt͡ʃoːjji/ firčōyyi "candle"
/ˈsammeːjat/ sammēyat "rain"
/ʃuˈlajji/ šulayyi "man"
/ħaˈluntiː/ ḥaluntī "lightning"
/haˈbiː/ habī "nose"
/t͡ʃaˈdiː/ čadī "arm" : /ˈd͡ʒuːrjat/ jūryat "fire"
/ˈmeːkjat/ mēkyat "moon"
/naˈbiː/ nabī "person"
/juˈbiː/ yubī "house"
/ˈwiːsiːd͡ʒiː/ wīsījī "archer"
/ʕuˈtujji/ ˤutuyyi "wheel"
/raˈd͡ʒiː/ rajī "birth"
/ˈɬiːllə/ śīllə "throat"
/lawaˈʃiː/ lawašī "hand"

Phonemic Inventory: Vowels

Classical Y²KS is typically analyzed as having 9 phonemic vowels. There are six distinct vowel qualities, three of which distinguish length, two of which only appear long, and one of which exclusively appears short. All vowels appear in native words. Once again, the primary romanization for each phoneme will be listed below.

/i iː u uː/ i ī u ū
/eː ə oː/ ē ə ō
/a aː/ a ā

/i iː eː ə a aː/ were all unrounded, while /u uː oː/ were rounded. /i iː eː/ were front, /ə a aː/ were central, and /u uː oː/ were back. /i iː u uː/ were all high, /eː ə oː/ were likely between high-mid and mid, and /a aː/ were probably near-low or low. Most modern academics and bureaucrats pronounce /eː oː/ as short [e o], and although the length distinction is prescribed for the high and low vowels, many modern speakers merge /iː uː aː/ with /i u a/. Additionally, not all modern speakers distinguish /ə/ from /a/. When the language was spoken natively, the long vowels were pronounced roughly twice as long as the short vowels. There are no phonemic diphthongs, and diphthongs present in loanwords were reanalyzed as sequences of vowels and approximants. Long vowels are always analyzed as single phonemes.

Examples⁵:

/ˈibwiːsujji/ ibwīsuyyi "door" : /ˈiːsiː/ īsī "sheep"
/ˈurʃeːdiː/ uršēdī "day" : /ˈuːfajji/ ūfayyi "horse"
/ˈeːnħiː/ ēnḥī "eye"
/ˈədd͡ʒadiː/ əjjadī "animal feed"
/ˈoːniː/ ōnī "mouth"
/aˈdiː/ adī "liver" : /ˈaːʃʃiː/ āššī "sister"



¹Of course, the Latin alphabet does not exist in-world, but I'm using words like "romanized" as convenient shorthands for longer phrases like "transcribed using a script commonly employed by members of Hamyo's international community".

²Old Yaunite *p, including instances found in Old Abil loanwords, shifted to /f/ in Y²KS, via [ɸ], but remained /p/ in Tauwajite. Therefore, Tauwajite loanwords are the main source of Y²KS /(p)/, although some instances come from other contemporary Yaunite languages.

³The lateral fricatives and affricates of Proto-AY were lost in Proto-Yaunite, explaining why /(ɬ)/ in Y²KS is found only in loanwords from Old Abil, a non-Yaunite language.

Old Yaunite *g, including instances found in Old Abil loanwords, shifted to /d͡ʒ/ in Y²KS, via [ɟ], but remained /g/ in Tauwajite. However, /(g)/ can be found frequently in Y²KS loanwords from both Tauwajite and Old Abil. Instances of /(g)/ in Y²KS loanwords from Old Abil descend mostly from Old Abil q ř ŋ /q ʀ ŋ/.

Looking back, I probably should have tried to provide minimal pairs or near-minimal pairs as examples of the different consonant and vowel phonemes, and I might do that eventually, but it was easier to find examples of each phoneme word-initially. However, I did still have to create a few words specifically to have examples of phonemes that rarely appear initially, and a few examples are loanwords.

shimobaatar
darkness
darkness
Posts: 11431
Joined: 12 Jul 2013 22:09
Location: PA → IN

Re: Y²KS

Post by shimobaatar » 04 Jan 2019 00:57

Phonology: Part 2

Prosody

Classical Y²KS is thought to have had stress accent, with stressed syllables being pronounced more loudly and with more emphasis than unstressed vowels. It is thought that stressed syllables may have also been pronounced with a relatively higher pitch, although this theory seems to be primarily based on the reconstructed accent system of Proto-Abil-Yaunite. As mentioned above, long vowels likely lasted twice as long as short vowels, but it seems as though unstressed vowels were not notably shorter than their stressed counterparts. The standard modern form of the language, as used by scholars, is spoken with a stress accent. Stressed syllables are pronounced notably longer than unstressed ones, but vowel reduction in unstressed syllables is almost unheard of.

With the exceptions of clitics and some monosyllabic function words, all words in Classical Y²KS had a single syllable carrying stress. The placement of stress was entirely predictable based on syllable weight. Classical Y²KS distinguished four types of syllables in terms of weight. Please note that, here, a "closed" syllable is one that precedes either multiple consonants or a single consonant and a word boundary, while an "open" syllable is one that either directly precedes a word boundary or a single consonant followed by another vowel.
  • Light: (C)V (an open syllable with a short vowel)
  • Heavy: (C)Vː (an open syllable with a long vowel) or (C)VC (a closed syllable with a short vowel and a single coda consonant)
  • Superheavy 1: (C)VːC (a closed syllable with a long vowel and a single coda consonant) or (C)VCC (a closed syllable with a short vowel and two coda consonants)
  • Superheavy 2: (C)VːCC (a closed syllable with a long vowel and two coda consonants)
Superheavy 2¹ is by far the rarest of the four types.

The following rules, in this order, were used to determine the placement of primary stress on polysyllabic words in Classical Y²KS:
  • If there is a single superheavy 2 syllable, it receives stress.
  • If there are multiple superheavy 2 syllables, the leftmost is stressed.
  • If there is a single superheavy 1 syllable, it receives stress.
  • If there are multiple superheavy 1 syllables, the leftmost is stressed.
  • If there is a single heavy syllable, it receives stress.
  • If there are multiple heavy syllables, the leftmost is accented.
  • If all syllables are light, and the word is between two and five syllables long, the penultimate syllable is stressed.
  • If all syllables are light, and the word is six syllables or longer, the antepenultimate syllable is stressed.
These rules often led to the placement of stress differing from form to form within the inflectional paradigm of a single word. There does not appear to have been secondary stress in Classical Y²KS. At the very least, secondarily stressed syllables were not functionally much different from unstressed syllables. Stress was not phonemic.

Occasionally, certain short, medial syllables not carrying primary stress were contracted in writing, and presumably also in speech, especially if they had originally contained one of /i u ə/, were between two syllables with long vowels, and only if the resulting consonant cluster would consist of no more than two consonants. This was highly looked down upon by the highly educated elite, although some "contracted" words made it past the prescriptivist radar and into the standard written language. One notable example is the toponym Īskuyyand itself. The scholars studying there would likely have been horrified to learn that, according to their own rules, they should have been calling their city Īsikuyyand.

Additionally, it seems that these rules were still productive well into, and perhaps even after, the classical period. For example, the original name of the city mentioned above was four syllables long, and, from left to right, those syllables were heavy, light, heavy, and superheavy 1. Therefore, the word would have received final stress, on its heaviest syllable: [iːsikujˈjand]. However, after the contraction of the second syllable, the name had three syllables, which, from left to right, were superheavy 1, heavy, and superheavy 1. The rules outlined above must still have been productive at this point, because after the contraction, stress was reassigned to the leftmost superheavy 1 syllable, resulting in initial stress: [ˈiːskujjand].

Phonotactics

In this section, the phonotactics of morphemes and words will be discussed separately. However, there are some general statements that can be made that apply to both single morphemes and entire words.

Vowel-initial and vowel-final syllables are allowed, but sequences of two or more vowels are not allowed, and are either resolved through contraction or via the insertion of an approximant, based on diachronic factors. In native vocabulary, /ə/ is rarely found word-initially, in closed syllables, and adjacent to sonorants. Initial long vowels are also rare. As noted above, in native vocabulary, the glottals /h/ and /ʔ/ are almost guaranteed not to surface as [h] or [ʔ] unless in absolutely word-initial or word-final position, respectively. They are less restricted in loanwords, however. /m/ is rare intervocalically, and historical instances of /m/ before other consonants and word-finally were reanalyzed as /n/ by classical scholars. The sequence /mm/ is a notable exception. /(g)/ is rarely found before /i(ː) u(ː) ə/, and most commonly appears in the medial clusters /(gg) (ng) (rg)/. There are no phonemic geminate consonants, but sequences of two of the same consonant in a row are allowed, except for /hh ʔʔ/. Clusters of /Cji(ː) Cwu(ː) Cʕa(ː) Cʕeː Cʕoː/ are disallowed, and /VjC VwC VʕC/ sequences are quite rare, except for when the following consonant is a second approximant.

Syllable weight and "openness" were discussed above, under Prosody.

The shape of most single morphemes in Y²KS, not counting compounds or combinations of roots and suffixes that have traditionally been analyzed as single units, can be described as -(C)V(C)(C)(V)(C)(C)-. Clusters cannot consist of more than two consonants. Morpheme-initial clusters are nonexistent. Morpheme-medial clusters must be heterosyllabic. If a morpheme is word-final, morpheme-final clusters will be tautosyllabic, but otherwise, they must also be heterosyllabic. Morpheme-medial and morpheme-final clusters are limited to "geminate" consonants, /(np) nb nt nd nk (ng) nf nħ nt͡ʃ nd͡ʒ/, /(rg)/, and clusters of any two (central) approximants. Bisyllabic morphemes are less common than monosyllabic ones, and morphemes with two consonant clusters are extremely rare.

Within entire words, broadly speaking, the syllable structure of Y²KS can be described as (C)V(n)(C). Onset clusters are never allowed, and tautosyllabic clusters are only allowed word-finally. Word-final clusters are limited to /(np) nb nt nd nk (ng) nf nħ nt͡ʃ nd͡ʒ/. Medial clusters occurring across syllable and morpheme boundaries are less restricted, although clusters of more than two consonants are universally disallowed, and are either broken up by an epenthetic [ə] or resolved through the deletion of at least one consonant, based on the sounds involved and the diachronic histories of the colliding morphemes. At least phonetically, voiced obstruents are disallowed word-finally, except when part of a cluster with a sonorant. The sonorants /j w ʕ r/ are all rare word-finally, at least in native words.

A number of two-consonant clusters occur only when two separate morphemes meet. Many of these clusters must undergo certain changes in order for their surface realizations to be derived from their underlying phonemic forms. Regressive voicing assimilation and regressive sibilant harmony both operate within clusters. /ʔ/ fully assimilates to following consonants, and /h/ is deleted following other consonants. /j/, /w/, and /ʕ/ are deleted after other consonants when immediately preceding /i(ː)/, /u(ː)/, and /a(ː) eː oː/, respectively, and /l/ is deleted after /t d/. Oral stops /(p) b t d k (g)/ lenite to [f f s r ħ ħ] before nasals, and affricates lenite before sibilant fricatives. Clusters of two affricates are indistinguishable from [tt͡ʃ dd͡ʒ]. In many cases, historical clusters of, for example, underlying /ʃd km/ are difficult to distinguish from historical clusters of, for example, /d͡ʒd ħm/, because both pairs surface as [d͡ʒd ħm].

Due to the fact that, as mentioned above, many compounds and root-suffix combinations have come to be treated as single unites, it is often unclear how a cluster should be analyzed. For example, if a morpheme ending in /f/ is followed by a morpheme beginning with /d͡ʒ/, the resulting cluster will be pronounced on the surface as [bd͡ʒ]. However, if the combination of those two morphemes becomes lexicalized, and treated as a single, indivisible unit, should the cluster be analyzed as underlyingly /bd͡ʒ/, because of its occurrence within this single unit, or as underlyingly /fd͡ʒ/, because of the occurrence of [f] in other words where the first of the two morpheme is etymologically present?

Similar questions have arisen in regards to morphophonemic alterations. For example, if a root ends with [r] in some of its inflected forms, but ends with [s] in other forms, should the root's underlying final phoneme be thought of as /r/ or /s/? This question is complicated by the fact that, for example, other roots might end with [r] in all of their inflected forms.

It is possible that definitive, satisfactory answers to such questions cannot be found through synchronic analysis alone².

Allophony

In this section, the surface realizations of clusters formed across morpheme boundaries will largely be glossed over, due to their discussion above under Phonotactics. However, a few phenomena that fall under this category can be observed that have not already been touched upon. Perhaps the most notable example involves the clusters /sl ls/. It seems likely that, even in native words, these clusters surfaced as either [(ɬ)] or [(ɬɬ)] for many speakers, and "misspellings" of these clusters as instances of the loan phoneme /(ɬ)/ can be seen in some contemporary writings. These pronunciations and spellings were, of course, looked down upon by the elite scholars. Additionally, /n/ assimilated in place of articulation to following consonants, although spelling /n/ as, for example, /m/ before labial consonants was discouraged. /n/ was likely realized as velar or uvular before pharyngeal consonants. Bilabial consonants were pronounced as labiodental when adjacent to /f/, at least in Īskuyyand. When adjacent to or tautosyllabic with /t d/, /s/ was likely dental, but when adjacent to or tautosyllabic with a coronal sonorant, it was likely alveolar. Elsewhere, /s/ may have been dental by default, so to speak. It is unknown whether or not /ħ (ɬ)/ assimilated in voicing to adjacent voiced consonants.

Voiced obstruents with voiceless counterparts were devoiced word-finally, except when part of clusters with sonorants. /d͡ʒ/ was likely realized as [ʒ] post-vocalically. Between vowels, at least in the speech of Īskuyyand, it seems that voiceless stops were slightly voiced, and voiced stops were slightly fricated. It is unknown if similar processes applied to fricatives and affricates, at least during the classical period. /k (g) ħ/ may have been pronounced further front before /i(ː) j/ and possibly /eː/, further back before /a(ː) ʕ/, and with some degree of rounding before /u(ː) w/ and possibly /oː/. Central approximants were possibly pronounced closer to fricatives initially and when between vowels. Intervocalic /r/ may have been closer to an approximant for some less educated speakers. Stops seem to have been fully released word-finally, but perhaps not before other stops. /eː oː/ may have been mid in closed syllables, but high-mid elsewhere, and low /a aː/ may have been closer to near-low [æ æː] around labial, coronal, palatal, and glottal consonants.

In their analyses of the language, contemporary grammarians did not make use of anything comparable to the modern concept of allophones. If a particular sound could appear unconditioned, then every instance of that sound, no matter how seemingly obvious it may be to us that its occurrence is conditioned, was treated as being present on the most basic, underlying level. For example, if a morpheme ending with /b/ appeared word-finally in some word form, the result of the word-final devoicing, [f], would have been treated as /f/, despite /b/ [b] appearing in all other forms of the word. As mentioned above, the modern phonemic and phonetic analyses of Classical Y²KS tend to take the language's preclassical historical development into account in order to determine which sounds could be said to be present underlyingly in a given word or morpheme. However, some modern scholars have chosen to concern themselves primarily with the surface realizations, somewhat similarly to the classical grammarians.



¹I'm not incredibly satisfied with calling them "superheavy 1" and "superheavy 2", but I wasn't able to come up with anything better, so here we are.

²I often find that I have a difficult time determining how to synchronically analyze a language that I've derived diachronically.

shimobaatar
darkness
darkness
Posts: 11431
Joined: 12 Jul 2013 22:09
Location: PA → IN

Re: Y²KS

Post by shimobaatar » 04 Jan 2019 00:58

Orthography¹

Native Orthography and Romanization

The Yaunite abugida² was developed by the scholars of Īskuyyand near the beginning of the First Great Golden Age by the Seaside, and standardized later on during that same period. It was derived from the Old Abil abugida, itself derived from an older logographic writing system. While the classical standard abugida is still used to write Classical Y²KS to this day, most of the language's modern descendants, along with the other modern Yaunite languages, are unofficially written in scripts that originated as regional variants of the writing system used by the elite. Even the script commonly used for Iskianjite among the general population deviates slightly from the model exemplified by classical texts. In the north and west of the Duria Archipelago, the modern Abil languages are written in various scripts that might be described as sisters of the Classical Yaunite abugida, although most government bodies and educational institutions continue to promote the use of the Classical Y²KS script.

The classical abugida is unicameral. Word and sentence boundaries are explicitly marked through the use of punctuation, but no other punctuation marks are considered acceptable according to the standard. The writing system followed the phonemic analysis of the language proposed by traditional grammarians. Therefore, instances of devoiced /b/, [f], were written as if they were phonemically /f/, but instances of /d͡ʒ/ realized as [ʒ] were not written any differently from those realized as [d͡ʒ], because [ʒ] could not exist unconditioned, while [f] could. Stress is completely unmarked.

The standardized classical script has 22 main "plain consonant" symbols, which represent either consonants without following vowels, or sequences of a consonant followed by the "inherent vowel", schwa. Therefore, it is sometimes unclear whether /C/ or /Cə/ is intended, although words with truly ambiguous spellings are quite rare. All of these plain symbols were based on symbols from the Old Abil abugida, except for the <P(Ə)> character, which was a relatively late innovation based on the symbol for <F(Ə)>. There are three diacritics, representing /i u a/, that can be combined with these 22 basic symbols to write /Ci Cu Ca/ syllables. Syllables without onsets are written as if they were /ʔV/ syllables. /Ciː Cuː Caː/ syllables are written by doubling the appropriate short vowel diacritic. /Ceː/ syllables are written by combining the /a/ and /i/ diacritics, while /Coː/ syllables are written by combining the /a/ and /u/ diacritics. However, there are also a few symbols for /Ceː/ and /Coː/ syllables that are seemingly formed by adding the /i/ or /u/ diacritics, respectively, to shapes unrelated to the basic /C(ə)/ symbols for the same consonants. These exist alongside symbols formed by adding both /a/ and /i/ or both /a/ and /u/ diacritics to the "plain" symbol for a given consonant. For example, /reː/ could either be written as <RAI> or <ŘI>, with <R> and <Ř> representing different "plain consonants", one of which, <Ř>, is not among the main 22. This phenomenon is one of the last holdovers from an earlier version of the script which included a number of symbols all pronounced identically in Classical Y²KS, but which were used to reflect etymological distinctions in loanwords from Old Abil. Even these alternate /Ceː Coː/ symbols, which survived long enough to become part of the original standard orthography, largely fell out of use over time.

The orthography used here is a romanization designed to represent, as accurately as possible, the pronunciation of words in Classical Y²KS, not to accurately reflect standard spellings. Therefore, for example, the word /ˈsammeːjat/ "rain" will be transcribed as <sammēyat>, not as <SAMƏMAIYATƏ>.



¹There was originally meant to be a single post covering the language's phonology and orthography, but it wound up being pretty long, so I split it into three parts.

²I don't have the necessary skills to actually create a conscript, but I still wanted to included a description of how I imagine the writing system used for this language.

shimobaatar
darkness
darkness
Posts: 11431
Joined: 12 Jul 2013 22:09
Location: PA → IN

Re: Y²KS

Post by shimobaatar » 04 Jan 2019 00:58

Numerals

The Classical Y²KS numeric system is vigesimal/base-20, with a quinary sub-base (5)¹. The numerals 1-5, 10, 15, and 20 all have their own roots, and while the etymologies of 1-4 and 15 are unclear, 5, 10, and 20 seem to be related to Abil-Yaunite terms for "hand", "torso", and "body", respectively. The numerals 400 (20²) and 8000 (20³) also have their own roots, and terms for higher powers of twenty, most notably 160000 (20⁴), exist as borrowings from Old Abil. All other numerals are formed through combinations of these roots. For example, 6 is "five-one", 11 is "ten-one", 16 is "fifteen-one", 27 is "twenty-five-two", 38 is "twenty-fifteen-three", 40 is "two-twenty", and so on. Numerals have three main forms, termed "cardinal", "ordinal", and "multiplicative". These forms and their usages will be outlined in the following sections.

Please note that, while the digits used here will reflect decimal/base-10 notation, an approximation of vigesimal/base-20 notation will occasionally be given in parentheses below.

Cardinal Numerals

Cardinal numerals are simply used to specify amounts of nouns. They precede the nouns they modify, as well as any adjectives that may be present. They are not classified as either nominals or verbals. They do not agree with the nouns they modify in any way, and are indeclinable, with the exceptions of the higher powers of 20 loaned from Old Abil, which are declined as nominals, at least in formal speech and writing. However, during the classical period, nouns derived from numerals were coined by the scholars of Īskuyyand. These nouns, formed through the addition of the nominal suffix -ī, refer to the numerals as mathematical concepts or as written digits. Nouns preceded by the numeral 1 must be singular, while nouns preceded by any other numerals must be plural, except for nouns which are either pluralia tantum or singularia tantum and therefore lack either singular or plural forms. In the classical standard, all nouns modified by numerals of any kind must be marked as definite, but even the most pretentious of scholars seem to have had trouble following this rule at times. Finally, it should be noted that there is an irregularly declined adjective derived from the same root as the numeral 1 which is used to mean "some, a few".

waˤin - 1 (1)
yind - 2 (2)
aččin - 3 (3)
kin - 4 (4)
mund - 5 (5)
mudwaˤin - 6 (6)
muttind - 7 (7)
mudaččin - 8 (8)
mutkin - 9 (9)
jūn - 10 (A)
rumin - 15 (F)
sukōn - 20 (10)
fallanḥ - 400 (100)
šakīn - 8000 (1000)

Ordinal Numerals

As the name suggests, ordinal numerals are used to specify the relative orders of nouns within given contexts. As an extension of their basic usage, ordinal numbers can also be used to indicate the rank or importance of a noun, relative to other nouns of the same type. Ordinal numerals take the same positions as cardinal numerals in noun phrases, but are declined as typical adjectives, and agree with the nouns they modify in every way possible. As with cardinal numerals, the classical standard dictates that nouns following ordinal numerals must always be definite, but instances of this rule being broken can be found in works written by people from all levels of society.

waˤiddī - 1st (1st), primary, foremost
yissadī - 2nd (2nd), secondary, secondmost
aččəddī - 3rd (3rd), tertiary
kiddī - 4th (4th)
mussadī - 5th (5th)
mudwaˤiddī - 6th (6th)
muttissadī - 7th (7th)
mudaččəddī - 8th (8th)
mutkiddī - 9th (9th)
jūddī - 10th (Ath)
runtadī - 15th (Fth)
sukōddī - 20th (10th)
fallaḥsadī - 400th (100th)
šakīddī - 8000th (1000th)

Multiplicative Numerals

Multiplicative numerals are adjectives, and are used to describe nouns as appearing in groups of a certain number, or as consisting of a certain number of parts. They precede the nouns they modify, and any other adjectives that might be present in a given noun phrase. Multiplicative numerals agree with the nouns they modify in every way possible. Unlike cardinal and ordinal numerals, multiplicative numerals are allowed to be followed by morphologically definite or indefinite nouns in the classical standard.

waˤijdī - 1x (1x), single, simple
yiččidī - 2x (2x), double, paired, twofold, bipartite
aččəjdī - 3x (3x), triple, threefold, tripartite
kijdī - 4x (4x), quadruple, fourfold
muččidī - 5x (5x), quintuple, fivefold
mudwaˤijdī - 6x (6x), sextuple, sixfold
muttiččidī - 7x (7x), septuple, sevenfold
mudaččəjdī - 8x (8x), octuple, eightfold
mutkijdī - 9x (9x), nonuple, ninefold
jūjdī - 10x (Ax), decuple, tenfold
runčidī - 15x (Fx)
sukōjdī - 20x (10x), twentyfold
fallaḥčidī - 400x (100x)
šakījdī - 8000x (1000x)

Zero

While the concept of 0 as a number was not widely recognized or employed by scholars during Īskuyyand's First Golden Age, later mathematicians writing in Classical Y²KS after it had died out as a spoken language introduced a series of terms relating to "zero", based on the classical determiner jinayyi "no, none".

jinan - 0 (0)
jinaddī - 0th (0th)
jinajdī - 0x (0x)

A Comparison of the Numerals 1-10 Across the Abil-Yaunite Language Family

On the off chance that such a comparison may be of interest to some readers, the following section will include a brief look at the cardinal numbers from 1 through 10 in the various Abil-Yaunite languages² that have been mentioned thus far.

Proto-Abil-Yaunite
Spoiler:
*waˤi- (1)
*ˀid- (2)
*źalč- (3)
*ki- (4)
*muṭ- (5)
*ḳʷas- (6)
*ḳʷāṭ- (7)
*rinθ- (8)
*yum- (9)
*č̣ūḥ- (10)
Proto-Abil
Spoiler:
*vářīli (1)
*ŋídilīdu (2)
*lawšíliˀad (3)
*kîliˀad (4)
*muˀtíliˀad (5)
*qásiliˀad (6)
*qâˀtiliˀad (7)
*línθiliˀad (8)
*yuníliˀad (9)
*čûḥiliˀad (10)
Old Abil
Spoiler:
vářēlə (1)
ŋíðilīðə (2)
laušíliˀəð (3)
kîliˀəð (4)
muˀtíliˀəð (5)
qásiliˀəð (6)
qâˀtiliˀəð (7)
línθiliˀəð (8)
yuníliˀəð (9)
čûḥeliˀəð (10)
Classical Abil
Spoiler:
várēl (1)
hîlīs (2)
loxílis (3)
kîlis (4)
mutílis (5)
káhilis (6)
kâtilis (7)
línsilis (8)
yunílis (9)
šûxelis (10)
Proto-Yaunite
Spoiler:
*waˤiən (1)
*ˀidən (2)
*ðalčən (3)
*kiən (4)
*mudən (5)
*mudwaˤiən (6)
*mutˀidən (7)
*muʒalčən (8)
*mutkiən (9)
*ǯuḥən (10)
Old Yaunite
Spoiler:
*waˤin (1)
*ˀind (2)
*ˤaččn (3)
*kin (4)
*mund (5)
*mudwaˤin (6)
*mutˀind (7)
*muðaččn (8)
*mutkin (9)
*ǯuḥn (10)
Classical Yaunite (Y²KS)
Spoiler:
waˤin (1)
yind (2)
aččin (3)
kin (4)
mund (5)
mudwaˤin (6)
muttind (7)
mudaččin (8)
mutkin (9)
jūn (10)
Iskianjite
Spoiler:
vaizí (1)
jéni (2)
áčni (3)
kezí (4)
móni (5)
mózuizi (6)
mótni (7)
muáčni (8)
móskni (9)
júzi (10)
Tauwajite
Spoiler:
wāin (1)
ˀind (2)
ˀačn (3)
kin (4)
mund (5)
mudwāin (6)
muˀtind (7)
mudhačn (8)
mukkin (9)
juḥn (10)


¹This system is mostly based off of what I've read about the numeral systems of some Mesoamerican languages.

²Although the family has always used a base-20 system with a sub-base of 5, Proto-AY had unique roots for all of the numbers 1-10. Proto-Abil retained these roots, and treated them as nominals, while Proto-Yaunite replaced the roots for 6-9 with compounds of 5 and 1-4, and simply added the definite suffix to numerals, treating them as their own class of words.

User avatar
gestaltist
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1806
Joined: 11 Feb 2015 11:23

Re: Y²KS

Post by gestaltist » 04 Jan 2019 10:05

Oh wow, you're posting the whole grammar, aren't you. My own thread now feels so "smol" in comparison. Can't wait to dive into Y2KS but with that amount of info, it'll take a while to digest. :) Thanks for sharing.

User avatar
elemtilas
runic
runic
Posts: 3349
Joined: 22 Nov 2014 04:48

Re: Y²KS

Post by elemtilas » 04 Jan 2019 13:47

Indeed, thanks for posting this! There's a lot of meat on those bones.

I for one really appreciate that you've chosen an in-world presentation style. I think that lends not only an air of historicity, but also can be used to "show up" (or show off) any areas the local scholars are deficient in. In other words, you'll be able be able to depict lines of faulty theorising and in house bickering (like linguists never bicker!) and in world cultural biases within their studies while being able to contextualise for us from the dispassionate outsider perspective.

Kudos on what I've seen thus far! Very nicely presented!
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera

User avatar
DesEsseintes
cleardarkness
cleardarkness
Posts: 4687
Joined: 31 Mar 2013 12:16

Re: Y²KS

Post by DesEsseintes » 04 Jan 2019 15:53

I’m loving this.
shimobaatar wrote:
04 Jan 2019 00:54
Īskuyyand
ibwīsuyyi
ūfayyi
jinaddī
[<3] [:D]

Clio
sinic
sinic
Posts: 200
Joined: 27 Dec 2012 23:45

Re: Y²KS

Post by Clio » 05 Jan 2019 02:51

The history of scholarship about this language reminds me very much of that concerning real-life classical languages (Alexandrian and Byzantine scholars on Greek, Panini on Sanskrit, etc.), and I think it's an excellent facet of both your presentation and your conworlding. And although there are places where I think I could guess at the source of your inspiration (having long mid vowels from older diphthongs resembles Sanskrit), this doesn't feel derivative at all.

Since scholarship has addressed historical phonology pretty rigorously if imperfectly, I wonder when it was realized that the ancients actually spoke differently. (It took Italians until the time of Petrarch to realize that Classical Latin was not only a literary register. Many Greeks and Italians today will tell you that reconstructed pronunciations for Ancient Greek and Classical Latin are wrong because they "don't sound good.")

You mention at several places the "modern academic" pronunciation. Do bureaucrats strive to affect a standard, scientifically-justified accent, or do they speak more or less with their native accents and find it sufficient to share a written language with functionaries of other cities?

Whence were the punctuation marks derived?

Do I read correctly that verbs inflect for one of two subject or object persons? What are these persons? Speech-act-participant and non-speech-act-participant? Or me and not-me?

On one last note:
a Jadic langauge
I love that this board's fashion of naming nascent languages after minerals and gemstones has an in-universe presence.

I'm excited to see more!
Niûro nCora
Getic: longum Getico murmur in ore fuit

shimobaatar
darkness
darkness
Posts: 11431
Joined: 12 Jul 2013 22:09
Location: PA → IN

Re: Y²KS

Post by shimobaatar » 05 Jan 2019 05:57

gestaltist wrote:
04 Jan 2019 10:05
Oh wow, you're posting the whole grammar, aren't you. My own thread now feels so "smol" in comparison. Can't wait to dive into Y2KS but with that amount of info, it'll take a while to digest. :) Thanks for sharing.
Thank you! I'll admit I didn't realize how long the thread would be from the beginning until I actually posted everything I'd written, haha.

Since the purpose of this thread is to give me a place to document and solidify my ideas, I do plan on covering as many aspects of the language's grammar as I can here, yes.
elemtilas wrote:
04 Jan 2019 13:47
Indeed, thanks for posting this! There's a lot of meat on those bones.

I for one really appreciate that you've chosen an in-world presentation style. I think that lends not only an air of historicity, but also can be used to "show up" (or show off) any areas the local scholars are deficient in. In other words, you'll be able be able to depict lines of faulty theorising and in house bickering (like linguists never bicker!) and in world cultural biases within their studies while being able to contextualise for us from the dispassionate outsider perspective.

Kudos on what I've seen thus far! Very nicely presented!
Thank you! That's what I'm hoping to do.
DesEsseintes wrote:
04 Jan 2019 15:53
I’m loving this.
shimobaatar wrote:
04 Jan 2019 00:54
Īskuyyand
ibwīsuyyi
ūfayyi
jinaddī
[<3] [:D]
"the Pastures", "door", "horse", "0th"… exquisite taste! Thank you!

Clio wrote:
05 Jan 2019 02:51
The history of scholarship about this language reminds me very much of that concerning real-life classical languages (Alexandrian and Byzantine scholars on Greek, Panini on Sanskrit, etc.), and I think it's an excellent facet of both your presentation and your conworlding. And although there are places where I think I could guess at the source of your inspiration (having long mid vowels from older diphthongs resembles Sanskrit), this doesn't feel derivative at all.
Oh, good, that was definitely my intention! Thank you!

The changes from /aj aw/ to /eː oː/ were, much like the changes from /p g/ to /f d͡ʒ/, actually inspired by/stolen from Arabic, which I began studying this past semester, but there was at least one earlier change in the language's history inspired by something that happened in the development of, I believe, at least one of the Prakrits (/rC/ > /CC/).
Clio wrote:
05 Jan 2019 02:51
Since scholarship has addressed historical phonology pretty rigorously if imperfectly, I wonder when it was realized that the ancients actually spoke differently. (It took Italians until the time of Petrarch to realize that Classical Latin was not only a literary register. Many Greeks and Italians today will tell you that reconstructed pronunciations for Ancient Greek and Classical Latin are wrong because they "don't sound good.")

You mention at several places the "modern academic" pronunciation. Do bureaucrats strive to affect a standard, scientifically-justified accent, or do they speak more or less with their native accents and find it sufficient to share a written language with functionaries of other cities?
I imagine that post-classical scholars really started to acknowledge what native speakers had written about Y2KS before the archipelago had its first contact with the outside world, but still within the past millennium or so BP. However, the fact that the golden age writers they idolized pronounced things differently was conveniently ignored for the most part until the last century or two, roughly equivalent to the 1800s or 1900s CE. Although a fairly sizable faction of the Duria Archipelago's classicists still insist on taking a more "traditional" stance, the majority of modern scholars from the islands have been influenced greatly by their connection to the international academic world and the importance it places on aiming for historical accuracy. Therefore, while the in-world author of this thread's contents is meant to be an outsider to the islands, the research process would certainly have involved collaborating with colleagues from modern Iskuyyand or some other fairly large city on the archipelago.

In any case, the reconstructed pronunciation of Y2KS would definitely sound at least somewhat off to most modern ears. For additional background, the modern Duria Archipelago is a single nation, with Iskuyyand as its capital. By law, all government documents are technically supposed to be written in Classical Y2KS, and bureaucrats are supposed to issue statements and interact with citizens in Y2KS as well. However, due to the fact that most average people are not fluent in the classical language, many government offices will print copies of documents written in the local "dialects" their employees will speak in to ensure citizens understand them. This is especially true of low-level offices in regions of the country where the majority of the population speaks an Abil language. Similarly, anything meant to be broadcast nationally, either over the radio or on TV, is legally mandated to be in Y2KS. Again, though, in reality, most entertainment media is in Iskianjite, the "dialect" of the capital and largest city, where most TV shows, movies, and songs are made, and there are a number of regional channels that broadcast in other "dialects" and add subtitles to national television programs. It should be noted that all of this is technically made more complicated by the fact that none of the modern language varieties spoken on the islands technically have standardized spoken or written forms.

Anyway, the only setting in which Classical Y2KS is still consistently written and spoken is academia. Anyone pursuing a higher education must become fluent in the classical language, as scholars, regardless of their field, are expected to use it when publishing their findings, giving talks, or even conversing relatively casually with their peers. Despite being omnipresent in academia, however, the "modern" pronunciation of Y2KS theoretically meant to serve as the official spoken language of the nation, is not scientifically justified, at least from the point of view of internationally-influenced linguists. The most prestigious modern pronunciation is, essentially, Classical Y2KS read with the accent of a modern Iskianjite speaker, although regional variations exist, especially in areas which speak other "dialects" directly descended from the classical language. For example, despite linguists' insistence that j ḥ were likely [d͡ʒ ħ], the modern pronunciation generally favors [ʒ x] for those consonants. Several distinctions known to have been made in the classical language, such as that between /(p)/ and /b/, are actually prescribed for the modern standard, due to their different spellings, but are often somewhat difficult for modern speakers to maintain, given that many such distinctions were largely lost before the classical period even ended.

All of this can lead to linguists presenting their research on the actual classical pronunciation of the language while having to speak using the modern standard pronunciation due to the expectations of academia as a whole.

Some examples of how a few of the words given in the first phonology post might typically be pronounced in the modern standard by Iskianjite speakers (with their actual Iskianjite reflexes in parentheses):

/ˈpərjatiː/ > [ˈbaːʎati] ([baˈʎaːði])
/ˈduːleːd͡ʒiː/ > [ˈduːleʒi] ([ˈduːrʒi])
/ˈʔajbiː/ > [ˈeːvi] ([ˈjeːvi])
/ˈsammeːjat/ > [ˈsaːmeʝatə] ([ˈsaːmʒa])
/ħaˈluntiː/ > [xaˈluːndi] ([xaˈroːndi])
/ˈɬiːllə/ > [ˈsiːla] ([ˈsiːler])

Wow, sorry, that ended up much longer than I expected. I have a feeling that's going to be a recurring theme in this thread.
Clio wrote:
05 Jan 2019 02:51
Whence were the punctuation marks derived?
I know quite little about the history of punctuation marks, so this might be a boring answer, but I currently imagine the word boundary marker resembling an interpunct, and the sentence boundary marker resembling a colon, maybe with open circles instead of dots. I figure these shapes might have been chosen due to their simplicity and the fact that such small dots/circles don't make up any of the actual letterforms.
Clio wrote:
05 Jan 2019 02:51
Do I read correctly that verbs inflect for one of two subject or object persons? What are these persons? Speech-act-participant and non-speech-act-participant? Or me and not-me?
You did read correctly. At least as I currently imagine them, verb agreement markers differentiate between speech act/discourse participants and third person arguments.
Clio wrote:
05 Jan 2019 02:51
On one last note:
a Jadic langauge
I love that this board's fashion of naming nascent languages after minerals and gemstones has an in-universe presence.
Haha, I've always had a rather hard time coming up with names for languages, so, from approximately 2014-2016 in particular, I was really into "Project X" names. One of my oldest projects received the name Project Jade around this time, but after I decided to start forcing myself to actually think about what the speakers of my languages might call themselves, I decided to derive their ethnonym from their word for "jade", and to have the rest of the world name the area they're from after the mineral.

(As a side note, I might make a new thread on "The Project Formerly Known as Jade" somewhat soon-ish, since I've had some new ideas for it within the past few weeks, and I absolutely despise the version of the language that I presented here around 2014.)
Clio wrote:
05 Jan 2019 02:51
I'm excited to see more!
Thanks again!

Khemehekis
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2186
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 08:36
Location: California über alles

Re: Y²KS

Post by Khemehekis » 05 Jan 2019 08:16

shimobaatar wrote:
04 Jan 2019 00:54
Y²KS is the language I used for the CBB Conlang Relay X. Since the superscript 2 isn't easy to type, the name of the language might sometimes show up as Y2KS, but I can assure you it has nothing to do with this.
Wow, I was thinking for sure that you called your conlang Y2KS because it was made in the nineteenth year of the twenty-first century, S being the nineteenth letter of the alphabet.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 58,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

Birdlang
greek
greek
Posts: 689
Joined: 25 Dec 2014 20:17
Location: Virginia

Re: Y²KS

Post by Birdlang » 05 Jan 2019 14:25

This looks pretty cool. I like the aesthetic, very Greco-Semitic looking.
Ꭓꭓ Ʝʝ Ɬɬ Ɦɦ Ɡɡ Ɥɥ Ɫɫ Ɽɽ Ɑɑ Ɱɱ Ɐɐ Ɒɒ Ɓɓ Ɔɔ Ɖɖ Ɗɗ Əə Ɛɛ Ɠɠ Ɣɣ Ɯɯ Ɲɲ Ɵɵ Ʀʀ Ʃʃ Ʈʈ Ʊʊ Ʋʋ Ʒʒ Ꞵꞵ Ʉʉ Ʌʌ Ŋŋ Ɂɂ Ɪɪ Ææ Øø Ð𠌜 Ɜɜ Ǝɘ

User avatar
gestaltist
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1806
Joined: 11 Feb 2015 11:23

Re: Y²KS

Post by gestaltist » 05 Jan 2019 14:38

shimobaatar wrote:
04 Jan 2019 00:57
I often find that I have a difficult time determining how to synchronically analyze a language that I've derived diachronically.
I can relate. One of the reasons why I still haven't presented Nakarian here is that it's taking me months to apply analogy, levelling, and to understand the language synchronically.

Clio
sinic
sinic
Posts: 200
Joined: 27 Dec 2012 23:45

Re: Y²KS

Post by Clio » 05 Jan 2019 16:04

shimobaatar wrote:
05 Jan 2019 05:57
/ˈpərjatiː/ > [ˈbaːʎati] ([baˈʎaːði])
/ˈduːleːd͡ʒiː/ > [ˈduːleʒi] ([ˈduːrʒi])
/ˈʔajbiː/ > [ˈeːvi] ([ˈjeːvi])
/ˈsammeːjat/ > [ˈsaːmeʝatə] ([ˈsaːmʒa])
/ħaˈluntiː/ > [xaˈluːndi] ([xaˈroːndi])
/ˈɬiːllə/ > [ˈsiːla] ([ˈsiːler])

Wow, sorry, that ended up much longer than I expected. I have a feeling that's going to be a recurring theme in this thread.
Thank you for the entire answer. The examples are especially nice.
shimobaatar wrote:
05 Jan 2019 05:57
I know quite little about the history of punctuation marks, so this might be a boring answer, but I currently imagine the word boundary marker resembling an interpunct, and the sentence boundary marker resembling a colon, maybe with open circles instead of dots. I figure these shapes might have been chosen due to their simplicity and the fact that such small dots/circles don't make up any of the actual letterforms.
Sounds reasonable. Who invented the punctuation marks? Scribes in the First Golden Age? Or were they already present in the Old Abil abugida?
Niûro nCora
Getic: longum Getico murmur in ore fuit

User avatar
KaiTheHomoSapien
greek
greek
Posts: 620
Joined: 15 Feb 2016 06:10
Location: Northern California

Re: Y²KS

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 08 Jan 2019 04:19

Very cool [:D] I like the Sanskrit-like vowel system and the Akkadian influence. And I love ancient languages, so a fictional ancient language appeals especially to me. This is the kind of conlang I aspire to create some day.
Don't live to conlang; conlang to live.

My conlang: Image Lihmelinyan

User avatar
CarsonDaConlanger
sinic
sinic
Posts: 211
Joined: 02 Nov 2017 20:55

Re: Y²KS

Post by CarsonDaConlanger » 08 Jan 2019 15:39

shimobaatar wrote:
04 Jan 2019 00:57
...
  • Light: (C)V (an open syllable with a short vowel)
  • Heavy: (C)Vː (an open syllable with a long vowel) or (C)VC (a closed syllable with a short vowel and a single coda consonant)
  • Superheavy 1: (C)VːC (a closed syllable with a long vowel and a single coda consonant) or (C)VCC (a closed syllable with a short vowel and two coda consonants)
  • Superheavy 2: (C)VːCC (a closed syllable with a long vowel and two coda consonants)
...

¹I'm not incredibly satisfied with calling them "superheavy 1" and "superheavy 2", but I wasn't able to come up with anything better, so here we are.
I know this is a bit old but I have a suggestion.
Maybe you could call them light, medium, heavy, and superheavy. Or superlight, light, heavy, superheavy.

User avatar
WeepingElf
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 172
Joined: 23 Feb 2016 18:42
Location: Braunschweig, Germany
Contact:

Re: Y²KS

Post by WeepingElf » 08 Jan 2019 19:53

I don't know why I missed this until now, but all I can say right now is that it ROCKS!!! This looks like the beginnings of a great conlang. Keep it up!
... brought to you by the Weeping Elf

Post Reply