Zhér·dûn

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ixals
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Zhér·dûn

Post by ixals » 02 Feb 2019 14:11

Zhér·dûn

Most of the time I prefer to make my a posteriori conlangs as realistic as possible, which of course hinders the speed at which I can conlang. So to change things up a bit, I simply started working on Zhér·dûn, a conlang I give the realistic side of things a pass with. Zhér·dûn is its own independent branch of the Germanic language family, characterised by its analytic grammar and primarily by the fact that it is a tonal language.

1. Phonology, Historical Development, Numbers 1 to 10
2. Case & Gender, Personal Pronouns, Definite Nouns, Basic Syntax
3. Past & Future, Copula, Negation
4. Passive, Causative & Inchoative, Numbers 1 to 99
5. Seperable Verbs
6. ...
7. ...

Phonology

Zhér·dûn has 18 consonants of which all can be used as onsets. As a matter of fact, this is the only place where they are allowed as the language doesn't allow coda consonants. An empty onset is also allowed, which means that there are 19 possible ways to start a syllable in Zhér·dûn.

/p pʰ t tʰ k kʰ/ <b p d t g k>
/t͡s t͡sʰ t͡ʃ t͡ʃʰ/ <z c zh ch>
/ɸ θ s ʃ x/ <ph th s sh kh>
/n m l/ <n m l>

The vowel system of Zhér·dûn is a simple 5-vowel-system with diphthongs in the place of the two standard mid-vowels.

/a i u ɛi̯ ɔu̯/ <a i u e o>

However, there are three additional ways to pronounce each vowel: nasal, rhotic and nasal-rhotic. These change the pronunciation of most vowels a little bit.

/ã ẽ õ jã wã/ <an in un en on>
/aɚ eɚ oɚ jaɚ waɚ/ <ar ir ur er or>
/ãɚ̃ ẽə̃ õə̃ jãɚ̃ wãɚ̃/ <anr inr unr enr onr>

This creates 20 possible codas for Zhér·dûn which each can have one of the language's five tones.

/a˥ a˩˥ a˧ a˥˩ a˩/ <â á a à ǎ> or alternatively: <a1 a2 a3 a4 a5> (because the new CBB's font is trash)

Historical Development

Now onto a brief overview on the historical development of Zhér·dûn which is mostly defined by mergers, reductions and cluster simplification.

Proto Germanic to Proto-ZD
  • z > ∅ except in monosyllables
  • z > r
  • ɛː > aː
  • V > ∅ | _# short vowels only
  • iː eː uː oː eːː oːː > i a u a e o | #_
  • a e u ɔː eː uː > æ i y øː iː yː | _...[ij]
  • u > o | _...a
  • ɣ > g | #_
  • j > ʝ
  • iu > eu
  • Cj > Cː
  • w > v except after consonants
  • N > n | _# unstressed only
Proto-ZD to Old ZD
  • ɸ x θ s > h | _[rlnm]
  • k > h | _n
  • k g x t d > kʲ gʲ xʲ tʲ dʲ | _([rl])F
  • ai au iː uː yː > ei ou ei ou øy
  • eː oː øː > iː uː yː
  • hr hl hn hm > r̥ l̥ n̥ m̥
  • l r > ʎ ʀ | C_
  • l r > ɻ | V_
  • n > ∅ | _# unstressed only
  • æ > e
  • sk > ʃ
Old ZD to Early Modern ZD
  • ʎ > j
  • Cʀ > Cʰ
  • ʝ > ʒ
  • Vː > V
  • y øy eu > i ei ou
  • kʲ gʲ xʲ tʲ dʲ kj gj xj tj dj > t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ t͡s d͡z
  • kw gw xw tw dw > k g x t d
  • V > ∅ | _#
  • C[+fricative] > h | V_
  • C[+stop] > ʔ | V_
  • r r̥ > ð ʁ>ɣ
  • rhotacism + nasalisation
Early Modern ZD to Modern ZD
  • ɸ x θ s ʃ > V˩
  • v ɣ ð z ʒ > V˥
  • b d g d͡z d͡ʒ bʰ gʰ dʰ d͡zʰ d͡ʒʰ > V˩
  • p t k t͡s t͡ʃ pʰ tʰ kʰ t͡sʰ t͡ʃʰ > V˥
  • l n m > V˩
  • l̥ n̥ m̥ > V˥
  • V˩ + V˥ > V˧ for sp st spr str
  • Vh Vʔ Vhʔ > V˩ V˥ V˧
  • V˩ + V˧/V˥ > V˩˥
  • V˥ + V˧/V˩ > V˥˩
  • C[+voiced] > C[+voiceless]
  • l̥ n̥ m̥ > l n m
I believe those might not be all of the changes, but I think it shows practically everything that happened from Proto-Germanic to Zhér·dûn.

Numbers 1 to 10

Some quick vocabulary to end this post and to please Janko. I will show the historical development of these numbers as well, they can be found in the spoiler.

en3, de4, khi4, phor2, phi5, se2, se5, a3, ne5, ze4
/jã˧ tɛi̯˥˩ xi˥˩ ɸwaɚ˩˥ ɸẽ˩ sɛi̯˩˥ sɛi̯˩ a˧ nɛi̯˩ t͡sɛi̯˥˩/
Spoiler:
/ˈɑi̯.nɑz/ > /ˈai̯n/ > /ˈei̯n/ > /ˈẽĩ̯/ > /ˈjã˧/
/ˈtwɑi̯/ > /ˈtwai̯/ > /ˈtwei̯/ > /ˈtei̯/ > /ˈtɛi̯˥˩/
/ˈθri.jɔːz/ > /ˈθri.ja/ > /r̥i.ja/ > /ʁi/ > /xi˥˩/
/ˈɸeð.wɔːr/ > /ˈɸeu̯r/ > /ɸeu̯ɻ/ > /ɸouɚ/ > /ɸwaɚ˩˥/
/ˈɸimɸ/ > /ˈɸimɸ/ > /ˈɸimɸ/ > /ˈɸĩh/ > /ˈɸẽ˩/
/ˈsexs/ > /ˈsehs/ > /ˈseks/ > /ˈsehʔ/ > /sɛi̯˩˥/
/ˈse.βun/ > /ˈse.βan/ > /ˈse.βa/ > /ˈseh/ > /sɛi̯˩/
/ˈɑx.tɔːu̯/ > /ˈax.tu/ > /ˈax.tu/ > /ˈahʔ/ > /a˧/
/ˈne.wun/ > /ˈne.van/ > /ˈne.va/ > /ˈneh/ > /nɛi̯˩/
/ˈte.xun/ > /ˈte.xan/ > /ˈtʲe.xa/ > /ˈt͡seh/ > /t͡sɛi̯˥˩/


And a quick sentence I threw together:

É é è à a á.
/ɛi̯˩˥ ɛi̯˩˥ ɛi̯˥˩ a˥˩ a˧ a˩˥/
1SG eat ice of eight monkey

Not sure about the grammar yet so that sentence might change.
Last edited by ixals on 13 Feb 2019 19:41, edited 4 times in total.
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Zhér·dûn a tonal Germanic conlang

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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by WeepingElf » 02 Feb 2019 15:17

This is an interesting conlang - a Germanic language that resembles an East Asian language! There probably is no plausible place where such a language could be spoken "in the real world", but as an experiment, it is nice.
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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by Shemtov » 03 Feb 2019 02:28

WeepingElf wrote:
02 Feb 2019 15:17
This is an interesting conlang - a Germanic language that resembles an East Asian language! There probably is no plausible place where such a language could be spoken "in the real world", but as an experiment, it is nice.
Actually, if Ixals would make this North Germanic, we could say descendants of the Rus or Hadrada's Vikings pushed East to China, it could work.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by jimydog000 » 03 Feb 2019 05:33

Shemtov wrote:
03 Feb 2019 02:28
WeepingElf wrote:
02 Feb 2019 15:17
This is an interesting conlang - a Germanic language that resembles an East Asian language! There probably is no plausible place where such a language could be spoken "in the real world", but as an experiment, it is nice.
Actually, if Ixals would make this North Germanic, we could say descendants of the Rus or Hadrada's Vikings pushed East to China, it could work.
Implying that the Germanic sprachbund or otherwise germanic-dialect-continuum wouldn't allow it? *mumbles something about Swedish pitch accent*
Well okay.
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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by Shemtov » 03 Feb 2019 06:19

jimydog000 wrote:
03 Feb 2019 05:33
Shemtov wrote:
03 Feb 2019 02:28
WeepingElf wrote:
02 Feb 2019 15:17
This is an interesting conlang - a Germanic language that resembles an East Asian language! There probably is no plausible place where such a language could be spoken "in the real world", but as an experiment, it is nice.
Actually, if Ixals would make this North Germanic, we could say descendants of the Rus or Hadrada's Vikings pushed East to China, it could work.
Implying that the Germanic sprachbund or otherwise germanic-dialect-continuum wouldn't allow it? *mumbles something about Swedish pitch accent*
Well okay.
I was replying to WeepingElf's assertion to the contrary, without passing judgement on it, that is, showing how in their paradigm, it could still work. You should have replied to them, as my comment was clearly in reference to their paradigm.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by Creyeditor » 03 Feb 2019 15:00

@ixals

Could you explain the tonogenesis a bit more. I really enjoy reading about it and I have to admit that I don't fully understand that part of the sound changes section. Maybe a table with the syllables types in the proto languages that correspond to each of the tones now?
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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by ixals » 03 Feb 2019 19:00

Shemtov wrote:
03 Feb 2019 06:19
jimydog000 wrote:
03 Feb 2019 05:33
Shemtov wrote:
03 Feb 2019 02:28
WeepingElf wrote:
02 Feb 2019 15:17
This is an interesting conlang - a Germanic language that resembles an East Asian language! There probably is no plausible place where such a language could be spoken "in the real world", but as an experiment, it is nice.
Actually, if Ixals would make this North Germanic, we could say descendants of the Rus or Hadrada's Vikings pushed East to China, it could work.
Implying that the Germanic sprachbund or otherwise germanic-dialect-continuum wouldn't allow it? *mumbles something about Swedish pitch accent*
Well okay.
I was replying to WeepingElf's assertion to the contrary, without passing judgement on it, that is, showing how in their paradigm, it could still work. You should have replied to them, as my comment was clearly in reference to their paradigm.
For this lang to be North Germanic, I would have to change everything again though, and I wouldn't like to do that again [xD] But the idea with being pushed to the East is a good one. My idea was an isolated island somewhere in the North Sea, maybe a bit further away from the mainland than the Faroe Islands. At the beginning I had the idea to copy the Scandinavian pitch accent but that would've been to much work [:P]
Creyeditor wrote:
03 Feb 2019 15:00
Could you explain the tonogenesis a bit more. I really enjoy reading about it and I have to admit that I don't fully understand that part of the sound changes section. Maybe a table with the syllables types in the proto languages that correspond to each of the tones now?
Sure, I can see why that part would be hard to understand. I didn't really know how to do it without having to write too much [:P]

I'll start with the coda consonants because there are less exceptions. So basically all coda fricatives merge into /h/ and all coda stops merge into /ʔ/. Combinations of these two turn into /hʔ/. /at > aʔ/, /as > ah/, /asp > ahʔ/ and then /aks/ which also experiences metathesis (/aks > aʔh > ahʔ/). An empty coda stays empty - obviously. Then the glottal stop changes into high tone, /h/ into low tone and the combinations in a neutral tone.

/kat/ "cat" > /kaʔ/ > /ka˥/
/r̥os/ "horse" > /r̥oh/ > /r̥o˩/
/seks/ "six" > /sehʔ/ > /se˧/

The onsets are a bit more complicated because they change the vowel's tone depending on their voice. Voiceless fricatives create low tone while voiced ones create high tone. Voiceless stops and voiceless sonorants create high tone whereas their voiced counterparts create low tone. So practically:

/f θ s ʃ x b bʰ d dʰ dʲ dʲʰ g gʰ gʲ gʲʰ l m n/ > low tone
/v ð (z) ʒ (ɣ) p pʰ t tʰ tʲ tʲʰ k kʰ kʲ kʲʰ l̥ m̥ n̥ r̥/ > high tone
(/r/ changed to /ð/ before this and /z/ and /ɣ/ don't exist at the beginning on syllables)

Combinations of low tone creating consonants and high tone creating ones result in neutral tones. So practically /sp st sk/ create neutral tones and then get rid of the /s/. Empty onsets make vowels neutral tone as well - again: obviously.

And finally, these two created tones (the one from onsets and the one from coda consonants) merge into a single tone. To summarise it, if the two tones are the same, they just merge into a flat tone. If they are different, they are either rising and falling. If the onset's created tone is higher than the coda's, it turns into a falling tone, but if it is lower, a rising tone is the result.

onset + coda > final tone
V˩ + V˩ > V˩
V˩ + V˧ > V˩˥
V˩ + V˥ > V˩˥
V˧ + V˩ > V˥˩
V˧ + V˧ > V˧
V˧ + V˥ > V˩˥
V˥ + V˩ > V˥˩
V˥ + V˧ > V˥˩
V˥ + V˥ > V˥

The earlier three words as examples:

/kat/ "cat": The voiceless stop creates a high tone and the final stop creates a high tone as well. The final result is a high tone /ka˥/.
/r̥os/ "horse": The voiceless sonorant creates a high tone (before merging with /x/) and the final fricative creates a low tone instead. This results into a falling tone, so /xɔu̯˥˩/.
/seks/ "six": The voicess fricative creates a low tone this time and the combination of stop and fricative in the coda creates a neutral tone. Because the low tone is lower than the neutral tone, the result is /sɛi̯˩˥/ with a rising tone.

I hope this was detailed enough to understand. If you have any more questions, just ask [:D]
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Zhér·dûn a tonal Germanic conlang

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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by Creyeditor » 03 Feb 2019 19:59

Wow, thanks for the detailed replay. I really like the idea of clusters creating a neutral tone. I also like the idea of neutral low sequences becoming falling, etc. This looks a lot like dissimilation to me [:)]
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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by ixals » 04 Feb 2019 16:29

Creyeditor wrote:
03 Feb 2019 19:59
Wow, thanks for the detailed replay. I really like the idea of clusters creating a neutral tone. I also like the idea of neutral low sequences becoming falling, etc. This looks a lot like dissimilation to me [:)]
No problem [:D] Originally I had kept neutral-low sequences etc., so there were three rising/falling/flat tones each but I couldn't romanise it well enough, so I reduced it to just five [:P]


Changes

As I am working on Zhér·dûn as I write these posts, things will change because they don't work out as planned. I try to add everything that changed in a short list of all the changes in previous posts at the beginning of each new one.
  • de4 "ten" changes to ze4 because I missed that the consonant should palatalise before front vowels
  • Because of this, du4 "two" changes to de4, its expected outcome from *twai
  • I'll also use this to announce that I'll use the romanisation with numbers for tones for writing whereas pictures with tables will use the "correct" romanisation with diacritic
Case & Gender

Zhér·dûn has not fully lost its case system inherited from Proto-Germanic, but it shrinked dramatically. The dative and instrumental merged early on as in every other sister language and the genitive was replaced by a prepositional construction. Later, the accusative and dative also merged, leaving Zhér·dûn with a two-case-system of nominative vs. oblique. While the nominative is only used for subjects, the oblique is used for direct objects as well as after prepositions. These cases are not visible on nouns, but so far only on definitive articles and personal pronouns.

One thing that Zhér·dûn has retained better than some other Germanic languages is grammatical gender of nouns. All three of the Germanic genders are still used in Zhér·dûn, masculine, feminine and neuter. This distinction is not very obvious in most cases and is also only present - like case - in definite articles. More about these two concepts later.

Personal Pronouns

As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, personal pronouns are one of the things that have a case distinction. Zhér·dûn has three persons with singular and plural forms. The dual number died out in Zhér·dûn, however some of the modern pronouns are derived from the old dual pronouns. The following table gives a quick overview of all the pronouns in Zhér·dûn.

Image

As you can see, the third person pronouns are missing and the answer to that is quite simple: Independent third person pronouns do not exist and the definite articles are used to express he/she/it/etc. in all cases. The articles can be found in the next section.

There has been some stuff happening in Zhér·dûn concerning its pronouns. Shared with North-West Germanic is the analogical change from *jūz to *jīz for the second person plural due to the similar sounding *wīz. Then, the oblique plural pronouns are derived from the old Germanic dual pronouns *unk(iz) and *inkw(iz). The use of the dual for plural meaning happened to the first person first and only then the second person followed due to analogy.

Definite Nouns

Definite articles are derived from Proto-Germanic *sa, the same source of West Germanic's definite articles. Analogy also kicked in in Zhér·dûn and the /s/ was replaced by a dental fricative. The feminine singular also changed to match with the neuter and masculine article to avoid confusing as the feminine's singular und plural merged. Apart from those two changes, the sound changes resulted in this paradigm for the definite articles:

Image

This means that a noun's gender is only visible when used in the singular oblique and the nominative plural. Not knowing a noun's gender can result in some misunderstanding - especially with the language's large number of homophones -, but context helps clearing things up. Still, gender should still be learned. Here is one of the sentences that's changing its meaning depending on which articles are used:

Tho2 kho4 e2 ther2 do5.
/θɔu̯˩˥ xɔu̯˥˩ ɛi̯˩˥ θjaɚ˩˥ tɔu̯˩/
DEF.N.PL.NOM horse eat DEF.F.SG.OBL dove
"The horses eat the dove."

The2 kho4 e2 than2 do5.
/θɛi̯˩˥ xɔu̯˥˩ ɛi̯˩˥ θã˩˥ tɔu̯˩/
DEF.M.PL.NOM grape eat DEF.M.SG.OBL death
"The grapes eat the death."

Basic Syntax

Zhér·dûn's syntax is generally SVO as well as V2 most of the time just like the other Germanic languages or rather most of them. Because of the big grammatical changes that happened after the sound changes that rendered the language more analytical and tonal, this word order is less flexible than in German for example. On the other hand, it is not as rigid as other tonal languages like Chinese, as the two previously discussed features, pronouns and articles, allow for some flexibility in word order. Generally, what's wanted to be emphasised, can be put at the beginning of the sentence. Consider these sentences:

E2 cin2 de4.
/ɛi̯˩˥ t͡sʰẽ˩˥ tɛi̯˥˩/
1SG.NOM drink tea
"I drink tea."

As an uncountable mass noun, de4 is generally used without any articles at all. Indefinite plurals are also expressed by using no articles at all.

De4 cin2 e2.
/tɛi̯˥˩ t͡sʰẽ˩˥ ɛi̯˩˥/
tea drink 1SG.NOM
"I drink tea." ~ "Tea is what I drink."

Emphasis is on tea in this sentence. The emphasis here is possible, because e2 marks that it is me who is drinking the tea. For me to be the object, the oblique pronoun has to be used instead:

De4 cin2 me2.
/tɛi̯˥˩ t͡sʰẽ˩˥ mɛi̯˩˥/
tea drink 1SG.OBL
"Tea drinks me."

Me2 cin2 de4.
/mɛi̯˩˥ t͡sʰẽ˩˥ tɛi̯˥˩/
1SG.OBL drink tea
"Tea drinks me" ~ "It is me who the tea drinks."

Too very weird but still possible sentences. The same can be done for any noun that has a definite article that shows the role of noun in the sentence:

De4 cin2 than2 kho4.
/tɛi̯˥˩ t͡sʰẽ˩˥ θã˩˥ xɔu̯˥˩/
tea drink DEF.N.SG.OBL horse
"Tea drinks the horse."

De4 cin2 tha2 kho4.
/tɛi̯˥˩ t͡sʰẽ˩˥ θa˩˥ xɔu̯˥˩/
tea drink DEF.N.SG.NOM horse
"The horse drinks tea." ~ "Tea is what the horse drinks."

This flexibility cannot be done in cases where it is not possible to see which noun assumes which role.

Kho4 e2 do5.
/xɔu̯ ɛi̯ tɔu̯˩/
horse eat dove
"Horses eat doves."

In this case, the subject and the object cannot switch positions as Do5 e2 kho4 could only interpreted as the opposite: Doves eat horses.
Last edited by ixals on 06 Feb 2019 23:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Zhér·dûn a tonal Germanic conlang

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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by Creyeditor » 04 Feb 2019 20:07

Will there be a topic/focus marker for nouns? I am asking because:
  • most Germanic languages use intonation for this purpose. This is rather complicated in a tone language -- not impossible to do, but definitely advanced conlanging.
  • (almost) all natlangs have some way to indicate information structure.
  • tonal languages I know of either use word order (Mandarin) or other markers to convey these categories.
It would also be really cool to have a Tone Sandhi rule applying only in focus/topic position, similar to Bantu and/or West African languages. This could diachronically stem from the Intonation strategy that other Germanic natlangs use.
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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by ixals » 06 Feb 2019 23:13

Creyeditor wrote:
04 Feb 2019 20:07
Will there be a topic/focus marker for nouns? I am asking because:
most Germanic languages use intonation for this purpose. This is rather complicated in a tone language -- not impossible to do, but definitely advanced conlanging.
(almost) all natlangs have some way to indicate information structure.
tonal languages I know of either use word order (Mandarin) or other markers to convey these categories.
It would also be really cool to have a Tone Sandhi rule applying only in focus/topic position, similar to Bantu and/or West African languages. This could diachronically stem from the Intonation strategy that other Germanic natlangs use.
Hm, a good question! I didn't put any thought in that yet. I think it would be an interesting concept, but I'll have to see how one might add this in a Germanic language. Do you have anything on tone sandhi in West African languages? I'd like to into it a bit more [:D]


Past & Future

Today's post focuses on verbs. Verbal morphology is pretty simple in Zhér·dûn as it has lost pretty much all of its former inherited conjugation due to vowel reduction and deleted consonants. This leaves Zhér·dûn's verbs bar very few exception with just one form. Tense and the like are expressed by periphrastic construction. One of these is the past tense. The past tense is formed by the kha2 followed by the verb that is supposed to be in the past tense. What might be interesting is that kha2 is a merger from earlier /ˈxab/ have and /ˈxad/ had, both being cognate to English have. The usage of kha2 to mean have died out in Zhér·dûn though and is now expressed by e4, cognate to English owe/own/ought.

Phe4 kha2 e2 than2.
/ɸɛi̯˥˩ xa˩˥ ɛi̯˩˥ θã˩˥/
1PL.NOM PST eat DEF.N/M.SG.OBL
"We ate it."

The past tense encompasses everything that is expressed by English's past tenses. So the sentence could also mean "We have eaten it", "We had eaten it", "We were eating it", "We had been eating it", etc., unless further specified by adverbs for example.

The future tense is also expressed by an auxiliary verb in front of the main verb. This time it is shor2 which is cognate to other Germanic language's future marker, e.g. Swedish skola and English shall. Similar to the past, a difference between will and going to kinds of futures doesn't exist either.

She4 shor2 e4 a3 sur5.
/ʃɛi̯˥˩ ʃwaɚ˩˥ ɛi̯˥˩ a˧ soɚ˩/
2PL.NOM FUT have eight sword
"You will have eight swords."

Additionally, the future can be combined with the past auxiliary and vice-versa to express future in the past and past in the future. Compare these two sentences:

Tha2 kha2 shor2 bo2 in3 Khan2·bur5.
/θa˩˥ xa˩˥ ʃwaɚ˩˥ pɔu̯˩˥ ẽ˧ ˈxã˩˥.poɚ˩/
3SG.NOM PST FUT live in Hamburg
"He/she was going to live in Hamburg."

Tha2 shór kha2 bo2 in3 Khan2·bur5.
/θa˩˥ ʃwaɚ˩˥ xa˩˥ pɔu̯˩˥ ẽ˧ ˈxã˩˥.poɚ˩/
3SG.NOM FUT PST live in Hamburg
"He/she will have lived in Hamburg."

Copula

So far the only irregular verb in Zhér·dûn is the verb to be. This verb has two to three different forms depending on how one looks at it. The following, well, "table" shows the three forms of the language's copula:

Image

As can be seen, pha4 is a verb with distinct present and past tenses. The present tense is of course used to signify the present tense whereas the past form is used when a normal verb would use the auxiliary kha2. The infinitive is used in any other case, for example when used as a noun or in combination with other auxiliaries. One can of course find kha2 pha4 in certain construction. Colloquially, the construction kha2 pha4 standing alone exists to mark the past tense but its use is discouraged. Here, the pha4 is in its infinitive although it is not able to be distinguished with the past pha4.

The2 ir3 man2.
/θɛi̯ eɚ˧ mã˩˥/
3SG.PL COP.PRS man
"They are men."

Phe4 pha4 phe4.
/ɸɛi̯˥˩ ɸa˥˩ ɸɛi̯˥˩/
1PL.NOM COP.PST 1PL.NOM
"We were we."

Thu2 shor2 kha2 pha4 en3 a2.
/θu˩˥ ʃwaɚ˩˥ xa˩˥ ɸa˥˩ jã˧ a˩˥/
2SG.NOM FUT COP one monkey
"You will have been a monkey."

The second example sentence also shows that pha4 also does not use the oblique, but instead uses the nominative for both the subject and the object. The third sentence gives an example of when kha2 pha4 is allowed, but if we were to say Phe4 kha2 pha4 phe4 it would be wrong although it can be heard in lazy speech from time to time.

Negation

Negation is also pretty simple in Zhér·dûn. For now, I will only talk about the simple negation à la don't [verb]. Verbs are negated by the use of the adverb ne2. It is placed immediately after the first verb. That means that in case of auxiliaries, the negation is put after the auxiliary.

E2 e2 ne2 e2.
/ɛi̯˩˥ ɛi̯˩˥ nɛi̯˩˥ ɛi̯˩˥/
1SG.NOM eat NEG oak
"I don't eat oaks."

Thu2 kha2 ne2 than2 do5.
/θu˩˥ xa˩˥ nɛi̯˩˥ θa˩˥ tɔu̯/
2SG.NOM PST NEG see DEF.N.SG.OBL death
"You didn't see the death."

To negate any other part of the sentence, the negation particle is actually placed in front of what's to be negated. In most sentences with SVO order this cannot be seen pretty well but if we were to change the sentence order to stress the negated part, this can be seen better:

Ne2 e2 e2 e2.
/nɛi̯˩˥ ɛi̯˩˥ ɛi̯˩˥ ɛi̯˩˥/
NEG oak eat 1SG.NOM
"Oaks are what I don't eat." ~ "Not oaks is what I eat."

Ne2 in3 Khan2·bur5 bo2 e2.
/nɛi̯˩˥ ẽ˧ ˈxã˩˥.poɚ˩ pɔu̯˩˥ ɛi̯˩˥
NEG in Hamburg live 1SG.NOM
"In Hamburg is where I don't live." ~ "Not in Hamburg is where I live."
Native: :deu:
Learning: :gbr:, :chn:, :tur:, :fra:

Zhér·dûn a tonal Germanic conlang

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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by Creyeditor » 08 Feb 2019 18:21

Sorry for bothering you and jumping ahead, but today I was wondering how passives will be formed in Zhér·dûn. It seems to me that Germanic languages use a variety of auxiliary verbs/light verbs. German uses sein to be, werden to become, and bekommen to get. English uses at least to be and to get. Some North Germanic languages have a passive suffix on the other hand, IIRC.

This is also connected to my earlier question, because a passive can be used for information structural reasons, i.e. marking topic or focus.
ixals wrote:
06 Feb 2019 23:13
Do you have anything on tone sandhi in West African languages? I'd like to into it a bit more [:D]
Akan uses tone raising to mark a focussed constituent. The main ressource is behind a paywall. PM me, maybe I can get a copy somewhere.
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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by DV82LECM » 09 Feb 2019 20:29

Gotta say...this would be fun to learn. As far as my calculations are concerned, you have 1900 possible combinations. That DOES make me wary of the productive versatility of this language. How DO you work out compound words? Similar to the general analytic nature of Chinese and German, I assume. Can you, ultimately, provide examples of a few?

Oh, and why is "monkey" ONE syllable? Care to show the evolution of THAT one?

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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by Creyeditor » 09 Feb 2019 22:31

DV82LECM wrote:
09 Feb 2019 20:29
Oh, and why is "monkey" ONE syllable? Care to show the evolution of THAT one?
I would suspect it's cognate to English ape, but I would also be really happy to see the derivation.
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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by ixals » 09 Feb 2019 23:29

Creyeditor wrote:
08 Feb 2019 18:21
Sorry for bothering you and jumping ahead, but today I was wondering how passives will be formed in Zhér·dûn. It seems to me that Germanic languages use a variety of auxiliary verbs/light verbs. German uses sein to be, werden to become, and bekommen to get. English uses at least to be and to get. Some North Germanic languages have a passive suffix on the other hand, IIRC.
The joke's on you, I already planned to talk about the passive in this post before you even replied! Just scroll down and your questions will be answered [:P]
Creyeditor wrote:
08 Feb 2019 18:21
Akan uses tone raising to mark a focussed constituent. The main ressource is behind a paywall. PM me, maybe I can get a copy somewhere.
Hm, changes in tone would change the meaning of words in Zhér·dûn. (Und danke, aber die Mühe musst du dir dann nicht für mich machen [:D] )
DV82LECM wrote:
09 Feb 2019 20:29
Gotta say...this would be fun to learn. As far as my calculations are concerned, you have 1900 possible combinations. That DOES make me wary of the productive versatility of this language. How DO you work out compound words? Similar to the general analytic nature of Chinese and German, I assume. Can you, ultimately, provide examples of a few?
Thank you! Yes, there are indeed only 1900 possible syllables but in reality this number is even smaller because not every kind of syllable existed in Proto-Germanic and sound changes made some syllables be way more common than others. I already have four words that are ze4 (ten, time, toe, to divide) for example. But most of the distinction between homophones is due to context and in other cases compound words which indeed function the same way as in Chinese and German. Here are some examples:

na2·le5 = nightlife (night + life)
go1·bi2 = shop (buy + trade/shop)
dir2·chi2 = door handle (door + handle)
sur5·phi5 = swordfish (sword + fish)
Creyeditor wrote:
09 Feb 2019 22:31
DV82LECM wrote:
09 Feb 2019 20:29
Oh, and why is "monkey" ONE syllable? Care to show the evolution of THAT one?
I would suspect it's cognate to English ape, but I would also be really happy to see the derivation.
Yes, it's from the same source as ape. /ˈɑ.pɔːː/ > /ˈa.po/ > /ˈap/ > /aʔ/ > /a˩˥/ [:D]


Passive

This post is again about Zhér·dûn's verbs. Early on in the language's history, a way of forming the passive similar to the Scandinavian languages developed. In Zhér·dûn, the former reflexive pronoun *sek/*sik lost its original meaning over time and is now solely used for the passive voice. It did not develop in a suffix like in North Germanic languages, but is still its own word: se2. This particle (?) is added directly behind a verb. In negated sentences, the passive marker is put between the main verb and the negative particle.

Tha2 ber4 be2 se2.
/θa˩˥ pjaɚ˥˩ pɛi̯˩˥ sɛi̯˩˥/
DEF.F.SG.NOM pear bite PASS
"The pear is bitten."

La1 la4 se2 ne2.
/la˥ la˥˩ sɛi̯˩˥ nɛi̯˩˥/
snake hit PASS NEG
"Snakes are not hit."

In the case of infinitives however, the passive marker is put in front of the verb, so se2 la4 means to be hit. This is important for the use of the passive in combination with auxiliary verbs. See the following example:

La1 kha2 ne2 se2 la4.
/la˥ xa˩˥ nɛi̯˩˥ sɛi̯˩˥ la˥˩/
snake PST NEG PASS hit
"Snakes were not hit."

The positions of the negation and the passive particles are switched here because the passive has to be put in front of an infinitive whereas the negation belongs to the auxiliary verb kha2 and therefore has to follow it.

Causative & Inchoative

The causative and the inchoative are not ways to modify verbs further in Zhér·dûn. Instead, they can only be used in combination with an adjective and generally have the meaning of to make something X (causative) and to become X (inchoative). Their meaning is generally straightforward but in some cases, they developed special meanings. The inchoative is formed with the verb pher4 which stems from the Proto-Germanic word *werþaną. The causative is formed with the verb ma2, from *makōną and therefore cognate to English's to make.

Phe4 pher4 gu5.
/ɸɛi̯˥˩ ɸjaɚ˥˩ ku˩/
1PL.NOM INCH good
"We become good."

Thu2 she2·ma2 than2 e4.*
/θu˩˥ ˈʃɛi̯˩˥.ma˩˥ θã˩˥ ɛi̯˥˩/
2SG.NOM hot-CAUS DEF.N.SG.OBL ice
"You heat the ice."
(*this sentence structure will probably be talked about in the next post)

The second sentence shows one of causatives that developed their own general meaning, to make hot is understood to mean to heat. The causative also has the notable feature that it can also be turned passive:

Tha2 e4 ma2 se2 she2.
/θa˩˥ ɛi̯˥˩ ma˩˥ sɛi̯˩˥ ʃɛi̯˩˥/
DEF.N.SG.NOM ice CAUS PASS hot
"Ice is heated."

Numbers 1 to 99

And to end this post, just something quicker: numbers. I already presented the numbers from one to ten but I will list them here again in case they were forgotten.

en3, de4, khi4, phor2, phin5, se2, se5, a3, ne5, ze4
/jã˧ tɛi̯˥˩ xi˥˩ ɸwaɚ˩˥ ɸẽ˩ sɛi̯˩˥ sɛi̯˩ a˧ nɛi̯˩ t͡sɛi̯˥˩/
"one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten"

Zhér·dûn's way of counting for higher numbers is pretty similar to its Germanic sister languages. For the numbers from eleven to nineteen, the numbers are generally formed by adding ze4 after the number. Like other Germanic languages, the numbers for eleven and twelve are an exception and were inherited from *ainalif and *twalif.

er4, dar4, khi4·ze4, phor2·ze4, phin5·ze4, se2·ze4, se5·ze4, a3·ze4, ne5·ze4
/jaɚ˥˩ taɚ˥˩ ˈxi˥˩.t͡sɛi̯˥˩ ˈɸwaɚ˩˥.t͡sɛi̯˥˩ ˈɸẽ˩.t͡sɛi̯˥˩ ˈsɛi̯˩˥.t͡sɛi̯˥˩ ˈsɛi̯˩.t͡sɛi̯˥˩ ˈa˧.t͡sɛi̯˥˩ ˈnɛi̯˩.t͡sɛi̯˥˩/
"eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen"

To form groups of tens other than ten itself - speak thirty, fourty, etc. -, the ze4 is replaced with the suffix for groups of tens, zi4, which comes from Proto-Germanic *tigiwiz. Again, there is an exception to this and this is the number twenty.

den4·zi4, khi4·zi4, phor2·zi4, phin5·zi4, se2·zi4, se5·zi4, a3·zi4, ne5·zi4
/ˈtjã˥˩.t͡si˥˩ ˈxi˥˩.t͡si˥˩ ˈɸwaɚ˩˥.t͡si˥˩ ˈɸẽ˩.t͡si˥˩ ˈsɛi̯˩˥.t͡si˥˩ ˈsɛi̯˩.t͡si˥˩ ˈa˧.t͡si˥˩ ˈnɛi̯˩.t͡si˥˩/
"twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety"

For numbers like twenty-six, the formation is done like in German, Dutch, Danish and Old English (iirc), so it literally translates to six-and-twenty. There are no exceptions to this rule bar the ones from eleven to nineteen that were talked about earlier. Here are some examples with random numbers:

phin5·o2·se2·zi4, en3·o2·den4·zi4, a3·o2·ne5·zi4
/ˌɸẽ˩.ɔu̯˩˥ˈsɛi̯˩˥.t͡si˥˩ ˌjã˧.ɔu̯˩˥ˈtjã˥˩.t͡si˥˩ ˌa˧.ɔu̯˩˥ˈnɛi̯˩.t͡si˥˩/
five-and-sixty one-and-twenty eight-and-ninety
"sixty-five, twenty-one, ninety-eight"

As this is a mouthful, the o2 is commonly dropped here in colloquial speech, so one can hear phin5·se2·zi4 most of the time.
Native: :deu:
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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by ixals » 13 Feb 2019 19:38

Changes
  • In polysyllabic words and just like /n/, final /r/ is also deleted. That mean that words like *austraz "east" first change to austar and end up as just aust before the tonogenesis hits Zhér·dûn.
  • I also added the change of /sw/ > /zw/ to allow for syllables that start with /s/ and have a high or falling tone, which didn't exist before due to the missing /z/ in the phoneme inventory. The /w/ is either deleted or merges with the vowel.
Seperable Verbs

Zhér·dûn also possesses seperable verbs similarly to German, however the rules for when the verb is seperated and when it is not are a bit different. In Zhér·dûn, there are simple verbs like e2 "to eat" or gan2 "to go". But there are also seperable verbs made out of a simple verb and an added prefix - like in3·gan2 "to enter" for example - which can be seen either seperated or fused together.

Thu2 ga2 in3.
/θu˩˥ ka˩˥ ẽ˧/
2SG.NOM go in
"You go in." ~ "You enter."

Thu2 kha2 in3·gan2.
/θu˩˥ xa˩˥ ˈẽ˧.kã˩˥/
2SG.NOM PST in.go
"You went in." ~ "You entered."

So when the seperable verb is the "conjugated" verb in a sentence, it is seperated as can be seen in the first example. The second sentence requires the past because of the auxiliary verb kha2 and the past is always the prefixed form just like the infinitive. Also notice that there is a difference between ga2 and gan2, similar to the copula.

Image

A more unusual thing that Zhér·dûn does, is to use the fused form of a seperable verb whenever there is an object following the verb. That means that in general it is more common to find the fused form. If the following sentence hadn't been used with an object, it would have been only E2 la4 ni5 for example.

E2 ni5·la4 than2 zha5.
/ɛi̯˩˥ ˈni˩.la˥˩ θã˩˥ t͡ʃa˩/
1SG.NOM down.beat DEF.N.SG.OBL glass
"I beat down the glass."

Adverbs do not cause the seperable to be fused. So if a fused verb should follow the subjects immediately, it should be obvious that an object is coming directly after the verb and not an adverb of place, time, etc. Here is this post's very first sentence but with some additions:

Thu2 ga2 in3 than2 bu2·kho5.
/θu˩˥ ka˩˥ ẽ˧ θã˩˥ ˈpu˩˥.xɔu̯˩/
2SG.NOM go in DEF.N.SG.OBL library
"You go in the library." ~ "You walk around inside the library."

Thu2 ga2 in3 in3 than2 bu2·kho5.
/θu˩˥ ka˩˥ ẽ˧ ẽ˧ θã˩˥ ˈpu˩˥.xɔu̯˩/
2SG.NOM go in in DEF.N.SG.OBL library
"You go in in the library." ~ "You enter (something) inside the library."

Thu2 in3·ga2 in3 than2 bu2·kho5.
/θu˩˥ ˈẽ˧.ka˩˥ ẽ˧ θã˩˥ ˈpu˩˥.xɔu̯˩/
2SG.NOM in.go in DEF.N.SG.OBL library
"You go into the library." ~ "You enter the library."

The first sentence is just a simple verb gan2 with an added adverb of place following it. But if the speaker wants to say that they are going into the library, the seperable verb in3·gan2 "to enter" has to be used with the object (aka what the speaker wants to enter). As the object has to follow the verb, the verb has to be used in its combined form like in sentence number three, because otherwise the in3 than2 bu2·kho5 would be interpreted as an adverb as place as can be seen in the second example. This distinction is not made in the infinitive as the infinitive is always used in the fused form.

Thu2 kha2 in3·gan2 in3 than2 bu2·kho5.
/θu˩˥ xa˩˥ ˈẽ˧.kã˩˥ ẽ˧ θã˩˥ ˈpu˩˥.xɔu̯˩/
2SG.NOM PST in.go in DEF.N.SG.OBL library
"You entered the library." or: "You entered (something) inside the library."

When the sentence order is changed so that the subject does not stand in front of the verb, the subject has to follow it. In case of seperable verbs, the subject squeezes itself inbetween the verb and the "prefix" if it is a pronoun, but after it in any other case.

In3 than2 shu5·bi2 ga2 phe4 in3.
/ẽ˧ θã˩˥ ˈʃu˩.pi˩˥ ka˩˥ ɸɛi̯˥˩ ẽ˧/
in DEF.M.SG.OBL shoe.store go 1PL.NOM in
"The shoe store is what we enter."

Ther2 do5 la4 ni5 tha2 kho4.
/θjaɚ˩˥ tɔu̯ la˥˩ ni˩ θa˩˥ xɔu̯/
DEF.F.SG.OBL dove beat down DEF.N.SG.NOM horse
"The dove is what the horse beats down."
Native: :deu:
Learning: :gbr:, :chn:, :tur:, :fra:

Zhér·dûn a tonal Germanic conlang

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Re: Zhér·dûn

Post by Creyeditor » 14 Feb 2019 09:27

I enjoyed the post on seperable verbs. Maybe you could say that the separated form is kind of a present tense antipassive? It only occurs in the absence of an overt object in the present tense. Two related questions: Can adverbs come in between the parts of a separable verb? What is the passive form of separable verbs?
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