The Nomadic Language Family

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VaptuantaDoi
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The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 22 Dec 2019 02:57

The Nomadic Languages


This is a family I’ve been working on a little for several years now without getting anywhere. If I start a thread, I'll feel obliged to add stuff, so that's what I'm doing (also it's the 1,500th thread). To begin with, a preliminary family tree:

Code: Select all

                           Proto-Nomadic
                                |
              +–––––––––––––––––+–––––––––––––––––+
              |                                   |
         True Nomadic                       False Nomadic
              |                                   |
        +–––––+–––––+             +–––––––––+––––+–––––+––––––––+
        |           |             |         |          |        |
     Eastern     Central      Fisherman  Pig-farmer Settlers Bushman
     =A          =E           =H         =M-N       =P       =S
     =B          =F           =I         =O         =Q       =T
     =C          =G           =J                    =R
     =D                       =K
                              =L
Introductory
The “Nomadic” languages are spoken by around 30,000 people on an as-of-yet unnamed island. The climate is hot and dry, with very little rainfall. Only in coastal areas are there any trees; the island is fringed almost entirely by a belt of bushland. The trees are similar in appearance to eucalypts. Inland, there is dry invariable scrub with only small bushes less than two feet high. The land rises very slowly, except for one very steep-edged tabletop mountain about 4,000 feet high. There is one seasonal river flowing from this mountain to the sea, as well as dozens of dry creek-beds which fill only after the very rare rains. The one major city of 23,000 people is situated on the estuary of the river, while there are numerous small villages of 50 to 1000 people. The Settler Languages are the most populous, with about 22,000 native speakers overall. The next-most populous are the Pig-Farmer languages, with 6,000, then the Fisherman (3,000), then the Eastern True Nomadic (1,500), then Eastern True Nomadic (1,000), then Bushman (300). Many people are native speakers of several languages.

All the Nomadic languages are characterised as being tonal and having a very small phonemic inventory (mostly ranging between nine and a dozen phonemes). Nasals only occur phonemically in the Central True-Nomadic languages, arising from older voiced stops. Only seven of the twenty languages are spoken by nomads, but these were the first to be described. Proto-Nomadic is characterised by an inventory of four consonants (/*t *d *k *g/) and five vowels (/*i *u *e *o *a/) with length and tone. Proto-Nomadic was inspired by Proto-Lakes Plains, with a simpler phonemic inventory.



Phonology

Proto-Nomadic uses the following nine phonemes (one less than PLP).

Code: Select all

Consonants:
          | Coronal | Dorsal
––––––––––+–––––––––+–––––––
Voiceless |   /t/   |  /k/  
Voiced    |   /d/   |  /g/  
––––––––––+–––––––––+–––––––

Vowels:
       | Front | Central | Back
–––––––+–––––––+–––––––––+––––––
Clouse |  /i/  |         |  /u/
Mid    |  /e/  |         |  /o/
Open   |       |   /a/   |
/t/ almost certainly had the allophone [s​] before /i/
/d g/ were likely [ɾ ɣ] in many, if not all positions

Tones and length
Basically, there are two tones, high and low (written with an acute and plain). These were lexically distinctive. Vowels could also be doubled (/ii uu ee oo uu/) or formed into diphthongs (/ae̯ ao̯ ei̯ ou̯ oi̯/). Each element of a doubled vowel or diphthong could take either tone. This means that “two-mora” vowels could take one of four tones: low, rising, high or falling. These are written as if each vowel took a separate tone; thus /ae̯/ with rising tone is .


Syllable and word structure
The basic proto-Nomadic syllable structure was C(d)VC, where C is a consonant and V is a vowel, doubled vowel or diphthong. The second /d/ was almost certainly [ɾ]. This was the form of most reconstructed monosyllabic lexical roots (taking tone into account, there are 320 possibilities).

kúg “animal”
ddaák “to identify, understand”
gout “finger/toe”
tóit “to hit/slap”

Bisyllabic lexical roots were of two types. These were of the C(d)VC(d)V(C) structure or reduplicated monosyllables. There were theoretically exactly 800,000 possible two-syllable words; plenty enough. Reduplicated forms could either be derived from a monosyllabic root with a different meaning, or standalone, with either no corresponding monosyllable or an unrelated one.

taóktaók “grass”
kdigdút “a religious person, a priest”
tóittóit “to stab with a knife”
gákáa “large flat leaf”

Grammatical roots, of which there were many, are almost entirely CV, V or CdV in form (with thus 500 possibilities). They could carry tone, although there are few minimal pairs.

goo “same day marker”
á “1SG”
tdi “transitive postparticle”
guú “indefinite pronoun”


Sound changes of major branches
These haven’t been worked out at all. However, the main distinction between True and False Nomadic is the treatment of /g/. In True Nomadic, it was retained as *g~ŋ, while in False Nomadic it was lenided always to *h. The Eastern True Nomadic languages underwent a chain shift similar to Grimm’s Law, wherein */t k d g/ became *θ,*s *h *t,*r *k. The Central True Nomadic languages shifted */d g/ to *n *ŋ, thus gaining the only phonemic nasals on the island.
The Fisherman languages are characterised by debuccalising *k to *ʔ, and chain-shifting *s *h to *h *ɸ. Proto-Pig Farmer gained a voiced sibilant from *d before /i/, as well as an intervocalic allophone of *k, both phonemicised later. Proto-Settlers palatalised *t to *dʒ, changed *ɾ to *l and gained *ʔ. Finally, proto-Bushman gained ejective forms of *t *k, changed *d to an implosive *ɗ and shifted *ɾ to *ɠ.

Code: Select all

Proto-Nomadic        *t           *k       *d         *g
 -Proto-True Nomad   *t  *s       *k       *d *ɾ      *g
  -Proto-Eastern TN  *θ  *s       *h       *t *r      *k
  -Proto-Central TN  *t  *s       *k       *n *ɾ      *ŋ
 -Proto-False Nomad  *t  *s       *k       *d *ɾ      *h
  -Proto-Fisherman   *t  *h       *ʔ       *d *ɾ      *ɸ
  -Proto-Pig-farmer  *t  *s       *k *ɣ    *d *ɾ *z   *h
  -Proto-Settlers    *dʒ *s       *k       *d *l      *h *ʔ
  -Proto-Bushman     *t  *s *t’   *k *k’   *ɗ *ɠ      *h
I’ll probably change these later, add vowel changes, and define sound changes for specific languages. Who knows, I might even scrap the whole thing.

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VaptuantaDoi
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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 22 Dec 2019 07:24

Update to phonology
A few changes I’ve decided on:
- A few roots are also C(d)V, such as *gáo “water,” *gdi “louse,” *tdúú “shrubbery.”
– Bisyllabic words may also be of the form C[i/d]VC[i/d]V(C), e.g. *tiudáák “to close, to cover”
– The diphthong *eu̯ also occurs, but is very rare

Vubs

Verbs are conjugated in proto-Nomadic through a series of pre- and post-particles. These fall into four categories, all of which are non-compulsory in some cases.

1. Person is conjugated with pre-particles (somewhat different to actual pronouns, as they also occur with nominal subjects; no number distinction)

2. Tense is conveyed with the first set of postparticles (remote, past, present, future)

3. Aspect (based on days; continuous, same day, tomorrow, in two days time)

4. Mood? (two imperatives, one negative and one question marker, probably the wrong term)


Person
Proto-Nomadic had only three separate pronoun roots which will be discussed later on (1SG, 1PL, 2). The three person pre-particles did not correspond to these. They are first person, second person and indefinite. The first person particle is *á, the second person is *ó and the indefinite is *é.
Spoiler:
*á ddaák guú kdíi
1P identify DEM possible
“I can identify this.”

*ó gaoggaog kdeí kúk?
2P name INTER 2
“What do you call yourself/yourselves?”

*é kdíígak da goo kúg i tét.
3P bite PAST HOD animal ERG 1SG
“The animal bit me to-day.”
These are compulsory in transitive sentences when the subject is pronominal, as there are no ergative pronouns, except when the imperative or interrogative is used. If the object is a noun, then these particles were rarely used. Multiple person particles can be combined with a concatenative sense.
Spoiler:
*ó é tékdí goo dáéd-gi-uk-tét
2P INDEF attempt HOD kill-NOM-PREP-1SG
“You and he tried to kill me to-day!”

*ó ó ó ó tek tdaó gditkiá
2P 2P 2P 2P be TOMRW sacrificial.victim
“You, you, you and you are going to to-morrows’s sacrificial victims!”
Tense
Proto-Nomadic made use of four tenses. These were the three basic tenses (past, present and future), as well as a “remote” tense. This was most likely used as both a far past and far future. It may also have been used metaphorically as a conditional or hypothetical.

Present: unmarked or *ti.
Spoiler:
*kdíígak (ti) ddóó guk i gáó
bite (PRES) CONT person ERG water
“The man is drinking water.”

*á toóddo-tdi (ti) kúk
1P be.made.happy-TRANS (PRES) 2
“You are making me happy.”
Past: *da
Spoiler:
*é dék-tdi da ddóó kdugáék i duud
INDEF look-TRANS PAST CONT farmer ERG pig
“The farmer, he was watching the pigs.”

*kdák da gáó
fall PAST water
“It was raining.”
Future: *gi
Spoiler:
*á dáéd gi kúk
1P kill FUT 2
“I will kill you.”

*tiudáák gi kdei táág i tiik
close FUT IN.TWO.DAYS sun ERG eye
“There will be a solar eclipse the day after to-morrow.”
Remote: *gdéé
Spoiler:
*gook-tdi gdéé daad-uk-deegáék i daaddaad
work-TRANS REM land-PREP-spirit ERG land.REDUPL
“Daleehaa (spirit of the land) made the world (some time in the distant past).”

*tiudáák gdéé daaddaad
close REM land.REDUPL
“(One day, in the distant future) the world will come to an end.”

Aspect
The part of verbal morphology referred to as aspect in terms of proto-Nomadic is more like a grammaticalised day marking system. There were four aspects: continuous, hodiernal (same day/to-day), cratinal (following day/to-morrow) and perendinal (two days time/the day after to-morrow). These are glossed as CONT, HOD, TOMRW and 2DAY, as cratinal and perendinal are non-standard terminology (if anyone knows of the standard terminology, please tell). These are pretty self-explanatory; obviously cratinal and perendinal can’t be used with past tense or they would be nonsensical.

Continuous: *ddóó
(A bit of sound-symbolism here; a double consonant followed by a double vowel)
Spoiler:
*ó kdíígak ddóó gagáá gagáá
2P bite CONT loud loud
“You’re always eating really loudly.”

*á kétiaad ddóó, á tek diagók
1P to.fish CONT 1P be CONT fisherman
“I am always fishing because I am always a fisherman.”
Hodiernal: *goo
Spoiler:
*á dék-tdi gi goo guú
1P look-TRANS FUT HOD DEM
“I will look at him/her/it/that to-day.”

*á tiekéi-tdi da goo dá geg-uk-gdég
1P exit-TRANS PAST HOD NEG leg-PREP-mother
“I did not exit from the legs of my mother to-day.”
Cratinal: *tdaó
Spoiler:
*á kag tdaó kiaduu
1P go TOMRW house
“To-morrow, I will go to the/my house.”

*é gaót dduudddruud i guú: “é dáéd tdaó tét.”
INDEF say senile.old.man ERG DEM: “INDEF kill TOMRW 1SG”
“That senile old man, he said that he will die to-morrow.”
Perendinal: *kdei
Spoiler:
*ó giaddó-tdi kdei guú: á gatdek goo
2P realise-TRANS 2DAY DEM: 1P be.correct HOD
“In two days’ time, you will realise that I was correct to-day.”

*é gaót giegiok i guú: “tiekéi-tdi kdei geg-uk-gdég gdog góíg
INDEF say wise.old.man ERG DEM: “exit-TRANS 2DAY leg-PREP-mother PREP baby”
“The wise old man, he says that two days from now, that woman will give birth to a baby.”
Aspectual suffixes could only be combined when one element was the continuous.
Spoiler:
*á kdíígak da ddóó goo kdokáed
1P bite PAST CONT HOD fish
“I have been eating fish to-day.”
In some cases, a double continuous could occur, with an intensified continuous meaning.
Spoiler:
*é dagdag ddóó ddóó dduuddduud kígeit-uk-tét
INDEF rub CONT CONT senile.old.man face-PREP-1SG
“That senile old man, he is rubbing my face so much.”

*gook-tdi ddóó ddóó gig i kéúkiét
work-TRANS CONT CONT woman ERG cloth
“The women are continuously weaving cloth.”

Mood?
Proto-Nomadic made use of four distinct mood?s. These included two imperatives (likely with a semantic distinction which cannot be reconstructed), a negative and an interrogative or question marker. These are glossed as IMPER1, IMPER2, NEG and INTERR

The first imperative: geí
Spoiler:
*giddéit geí tdáát-uk-kígeit gdog tét
clean IMPER1 hair-PREP-face PREP 1SG
“Clean my beard and hair!”

*dék geí tiódó dduuddduud!
look IMPER1 nice senile.old.man
“Look, it’s that lovely senile old man!”
The second imperative: kíí
Spoiler:
*ó gde gdog kiaduu, tiudét kíí tét
2P be.at house choose TOMRW IMPER2 1SG
“When you’re at the ballot box, vote for me!”

*gdík kíí kúk
peel IMPER2 2
“Undress yourself!”
Interrogative: kdeí
Spoiler:
*gággág kdeí gig?
like INTER woman?
“Do you like women?”

*tiekéi goo kdeí ddektíí gdog táág?
exit HOD INTER boat PREP sun
“At what position of the sun does the boat exit to-day?”
“When does the boat leave to-day?”
Negative:
Spoiler:
*á kdíígak ddóó ddóó dá kdokáed
1P bite CONT CONT NEG fish
“I never eat fish / I don’t continuously eat fish.”

*tek dá gig goígit-uk-tét
be NEG woman boy-PREP-1SG
“My son is not a woman.”
These can be combined with up to two mood? particles, the two imperatives not being combined with each other, and the interrogative not combining with either imperative.
Spoiler:
*ó gatiég dá kdeí?
2P live NEG INTER
“Don’t you live? / Are you dead?”

*kdíígak ddóó kíí dá guú!
bite CONT IMPER NEG DEM
“Don’t eat that/it/him/her!”

The transitive suffix
All intransitive verbs can take the transitive suffix *-tdi. This is much more common than having an intransitive verb with an indirect object.
Spoiler:
*ó titííd-tdi guú
2P steal-TRANS INDEF
“You stole from him/her/it.”
(Rather than the grammatical *ó titííd gdog guú)

*é tiogí-tdi kúk
INDEF think-TRANS 2P
“He is thinking about you.”
In some cases it has a causative sense in addition.
Spoiler:
*tikig-tdi gdég i góíg
sleep-TRANS mother ERG baby
“The mother put the baby asleep.”

*gokééd-tdi táág i kdaed
be.yellow-TRANS sun ERG plant
“The sun is making the plants look yellow.”

*kitiúúg-tdi tééktéék i guú, é kitiúúg-tdi tééktéék
sneeze-TRANS fine.particles ERG DEM, INDEF sneeze-TRANS fine.particles
“The dust is making him sneeze, so he is sneezing out dust.”


That’s basically all that verbs do. There are no irregular verbs, and there is a verb “to be,” as seen in some of the examples, as well as many stative verbs (e.g. *gokééd above). To-morrow I will work on nouns (that is, *á gook-tdi goo gaoggaog).


An aside: an example of the “most-conjugated” verb possible:

*ó é gook gi ddóó ddóó goo kdeí geí kiaduu
2P INDEF work-TRANS FUT CONT CONT HOD INTER IMPER1 house
“Will you and he not work continuously on this house later to-day?”

(Edited by addition of spoilers so it isn't so big)

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VaptuantaDoi
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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 23 Dec 2019 02:26

Sound changes from Proto-Nomadic to Úkux

1. Proto-Nomadic to Proto-False Nomadic
Spoiler:
ti ki → s /_V
t → s /_i
t → ɾ /C_
d → ɾ /V_V, C_
t k → d g /_%
g → h
ee oo → ie uo
ae ao → ee oo
oi eu → øø yy
[k,h]V → Ø /#_[low tone]
V1[low]V1[high] → V1[rising]
V1[high]V1[low] → V1[falling]
V1[high]V1[high] → V1[high]
V1[low]V1[low] → V1[low]
h → d /_ɾ
hh → k
$[high]$[high] → $[high]$[low]
ɾɾ → dɾ
dd → d
$[low] → $[high] /$[low]_$[low]
This gives Proto-False Nomadic an inventory of:

Code: Select all

Consonants:
t    k
d
s         h
ɾ

Vowels:
i   y      u
 e  ø   o
      a

Tones:
high
low
rising
falling
2. Proto-False Nomadic to Proto-Settler
Spoiler:
t → dʒ
ɾ → l
dl dʒl → dɮ → dʒ
h → Ø /V_C
h → s /[i,e]_%
h → ʔ /[y,ø,a,u,o]_%
(dʒ?) h l → Ø /V_V
[rising] → [high]
e → je /[y,u,e,ø,o,a]_
i → je /[y,u,ø,o,a]_
ii → i
d → l /_#
V[high]ʔ → V[falling] /_#
l → Ø /lV_
V → Ø /s_CV
y ø → ɪ ɛ
uo ie → ʊo ɪe → ʊ ɪ
This gives Proto-Settler an inventory of:

Code: Select all

Consonants:
d    dʒ   k   ʔ
     s        h
     l

Vowels:
i         u
  ɪ     ʊ
 e       o
  ɛ  a

Tones:
high
low
falling

3. Proto-Settler to Úkux
Spoiler:
k → tʃ /_[i,ɪ,e,ɛ]
kl → tʃ
d → t
s → ʃ
ɛ a → a ɔ
ɪ ʊ → ə
h → Ø /#_
[falling tone] → [long mid tone]
CV[low]ʃ → Cʃ → ʃ /_#
l → h /_#
[Ø,i] → j /V_V
ei → i
This gives modern Úkux an inventory of:

Code: Select all

Consonants:
t    tʃ   k   ʔ
     dʒ
     ʃ        h
l    j

Vowels:
i        u
 e   ə   o
   a   ɔ

Tones:
short high
short low
long mid
 

Some examples:
Spoiler:
*dduuddduud → *dɾudɾud → *dʒuul→ /dʒujuh/ žujuh
*kitiúúg → *súh → *sû → /ʃū/ šuu
*tééktéék→ *tédɾeh → *dʒéjes → /dʒéʃ/ žéš
*guú → *hǔ → *hú → /ú/ ú
*gokééd → *kéd → *kél → /tʃéh/ čéh
*táág → *táh → *dʒâ → /dʒɔ̄/ žåå
*kdaed → *kɾed → *kle → /tʃe/ če
*tikig-tdi → *sikídɾi → *skí → /ʃtʃí/ ščí
*gdég → *dɾéh → *dʒés → /dʒéʃ/ žéš
*góíg → *hǿh → *hɛ̂ → /ā/ aa
*kiaduu → *saɾu → *sau → /ʃɔju/ šåju
*gook-tdi → *hohtɾi → *hodʒi → /odʒi/ oži
*ddóóddóó → *dɾuóɾuo → *dʒʊ́ʊ → /dʒə́jə/ žýjy
*kéúkiét → *kǿsed → *kɛ́sel → /tʃáʃeh/ čášeh
*guú-uk-guk → *hǔukuh → *húkuʔ → /úkuʔ/ úkux

éóh yjox “ščíči žyš žox”
/é-óh ə̀jòʔ “ʃtʃí-tʃì dʒə̀ʃ dʒòʔ”/
3SG-say priest “leave-near.fut baby mother”
“The priest says the baby will soon be born.”
Spoiler:

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DesEsseintes
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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by DesEsseintes » 23 Dec 2019 02:44

I’m enjoying this. I love the word forms in the proto. Looking forward to more! [:D]

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VaptuantaDoi
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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 23 Dec 2019 03:23

DesEsseintes wrote:
23 Dec 2019 02:44
I’m enjoying this. I love the word forms in the proto. Looking forward to more! [:D]
Thanks! Here is some more:

Úkux verbal morphology

I wanted to see how the verbal morphology could turn out, so I worked through the sound changes for Úkux.

Person
The PN person markers were reinterpreted as pronoun prefixes. A 1PL form was added to match the pronoun system. The prefexes are thus as follows:

1SG: ǻ-
1PL: í-
2S/P: ó-
3S/P: é-
Spoiler:
ǻ-žǻ kuu
1SG-see 2P
“I see you.”

í-žíh-žý šåyu
1PL-wash-PRES house
“We are cleaning the house.”

ó-teeži-hy žéh
2S/P-watch-PAST 1SG
“You were watching me.”

é-hǻkåå kuu
3S/P-like 2S/P
“He/she/it/they like you.”

Tense
None of the PN tenses have been retained in Úkux. Instead, the aspectual system has taken over the role. The PN continuous became the present, the hodiernal the past, the perendinal (two days) the near future and the cratinal the general or far future. These have become suffixes.

Present: unmarked or -žý
Past: -hy
Near future: -či
Far future: -žy
Spoiler:
číhax-žý kuu žočox
eat-PRES animal grass
“The animal is eating grass.”

čéšah-hy žoo
fish-PAST father
“(My) father fished/was fishing.”

é-téh-či žéh
3S/P-kill-NFUT 1SG
“I will be killed / will die soon.”

ščí-žy áhih aa kuu
exit-FFUT boy 1PL 2S/P
“Our son will be born in the far future / will not be born for a while.”
Mood
Úkux retains three of the PN moods as suffixes placed after the tense suffixes. These are the imperative (deriving from the second imperative), the interrogative and the negative. The negative could be combined with the others.

Imperative: -čí
Interrogative: -čý
Negative: -tá
Spoiler:
žíh-čí šåyu aa
wash-IMPER house 1PL
“Wash our house!”

žíšux ó-žeš-hy-čý is
finally 2S/P-be-PAST-INTER woman
“Were you a woman after all?”

ǻ-číhax-tá ux
1SG-eat-NEG person
“I don’t eat people.”

žá-tá-čí!
go-NEG-IMPER
“Don’t do that! (don’t go!)”

hǻkåå-tá-čý
like-NEG-INTER
“Don’t you like (it)?”
It's a bit confusing that of the seven suffixes, three are čV, but context.

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by Zekoslav » 23 Dec 2019 11:02

This is awesome! I like the aesthetics and the sound changes. Crazy on a first look but actually quite sensible. I'd never dare invent something like that (I'm probably constrained too much by the desire to remain realistic, which means depending on sound changes I know happened in languages I know...).
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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 23 Dec 2019 12:32

Zekoslav wrote:
23 Dec 2019 11:02
This is awesome! I like the aesthetics and the sound changes. Crazy on a first look but actually quite sensible. I'd never dare invent something like that (I'm probably constrained too much by the desire to remain realistic, which means depending on sound changes I know happened in languages I know...).
Thanks! I think the majority of the sound changes are attested in natlangs, but on the whole they had to be quite extensive to create the diversity I was hoping for. As for the original phonology, that's poetic license.

Justification for a few less obvious sound changes:
Proto-Nomadic to Proto-False Nomadic
-Voicing of /t k/ syllable-finally is weird, but it's sort of voicing assimilation
-Debuccalising /g/ would have an intermediate stage of velar fricatives (i.e. *g → *ɣ → *x → *h)
-"hh → k" is just a way of writing *gg → k instead of → *hh
-*hɾ → *dɾ would go more like *gd → *ɣɾ → *ɦɾ → *ð̞ɾ → *dɾ (another rule suggesting that the complete debuccalisation of *g was later than implied by the list)

Proto-False Nomadic to Proto-Settler
-Unconditional palatalising *t is apparently attested in Mekeo dialects, if I'm reading Alan Anthony Jones' grammar right; then the voicing just sort of happens
-h → s /[i,e]_% would go through *ç → *ʃ → *s.
-h → ʔ arose from a need to distinguish Vh sequences from long vowels, as the */h/ was often voiced (although of course that wouldn't be obvious from comparative method)
-y ø → ɪ ɛ is the one I'm least sure about, perhaps the front rounded vowels are centralised then mid-centralised then derounded and fronted.

Proto-Settler to Úkux
-kl → tʃ happened in some romlangs (kl → kʟ → cʎ → cç → tʃ)
-s → ʃ was due to the existance of alveolo-palatal sibilants /tʃ dʒ/
-For the rule [CV[low]ʃ → Cʃ → ʃ /_#], low vowels act as unstressed

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by Davush » 23 Dec 2019 13:56

This is great!

I've been interested in small phonologies recently, and I love how your sound changes from such a small phonology lead to what will be (presumably) very different daughter-langs. (Also it makes my recent 'minimalist' language seem not-so-minimal in comparison... [:D] )

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 23 Dec 2019 16:17

This has inspired me to create my sci-fan setting's Galactic language.
Alien conlangs (Font may be needed for Vai symbols)

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 23 Dec 2019 20:40

Davush wrote:
23 Dec 2019 13:56
This is great!

I've been interested in small phonologies recently, and I love how your sound changes from such a small phonology lead to what will be (presumably) very different daughter-langs. (Also it makes my recent 'minimalist' language seem not-so-minimal in comparison... [:D] )
Thank-you also. Your minimalist lang has much more phonological "depth" than this (and looks a lot more realistic), which would be hard to do with a *really* tiny phonology. I just wanted to go to and/or break the limits of plausibility with number of phonemes with PN.

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
23 Dec 2019 16:17
This has inspired me to create my sci-fan setting's Galactic language.
Cool! I'd be interested in seeing that.

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 23 Dec 2019 23:59

Numbers

Janko wants the numbers, so here they are in proto-Nomadic, proto-False Nomadic, proto-Settler and Úkux. I’ll add them for different branches as I work out more sound changes.

Proto-Nomadic used a base-four system based on an earlier base-two system. The numbers one to four are all etymologically transparent; 3 had two different forms in the daughters.

1: *kaág “hand”
2: *todét “all (hands)”
3: *dóik “new” and *ddátií “foot [work+tool suffix]”
4: *guk “person (i.e. two hands and two feet)”

The numbers from 5 to 7 are formed from concatenation of 4 with 1, 2 and 3

5: *guk-kaág “person and (another) hand”
6: *guk-todét “person and all the hands again”
7: *guk-dóik “person (and all the hands) and a new hand” or *guk-ddátií “person (and all the hands) and a foot”

Eight is formed from 2 rather than 4, showing the earlier base-2. 9, 10 and 11 are formed from 8.

8: *ddátií-uk-todét “all/two of a foot/three”
9: *ddátií-uk-todét-kaág
10: *ddátií-uk-todét-todét
11: *ddátií-uk-todét-dóik

Twelve is derived from 4, as it is not a power of 2.

12: *dóik-uk-guk “the person of a foot / the person of three”

Sixteen (42) is a separate root which means both 16 and “a great many.” 17-31 are formed as 16- other number.

16: *tdóúg “a great many”
17: *tdóúg-kaág “sixteen and one”
18: *tdóúg-todét “sixteen and two”
19: *tdóúg-dóik etc.
20: *tdóúg-guk
21: *tdóúg-guk-kaág
22: *tdóúg-guk-todét
23: *tdóúg-guk-dóik
24: *tdóúg-ddátií-uk-todét
25: *tdóúg-ddátií-uk-todét-kaág
26: *tdóúg-ddátií-uk-todét-todét
27: *tdóúg-ddátií-uk-todét-dóik
28: *tdóúg-dóik-uk-guk
29: *tdóúg-dóik-uk-guk-kaág
30: *tdóúg-dóik-uk-guk-todét
31: *tdóúg-dóik-uk-guk-dóik

Thirty-two and forty-eight were based on sixteen. Intermediate numbers were formed regularly.

32: *todét-uk-tdóúg “twice sixteen”
48: *dóik-uk-tdóúg “thrice sixteen”

Sixty-four was formed from base two (being 26)

64: *todét-uk-todét-uk-tdóúg “twice two many times”

The only higher number reconstructible is (probably) 1,024, although the value varies in different languages.

1,024: *gokióok



Proto-False Nomadic Numbers

PFN adopted a base-ten system, retaining the numbers one to four and eight from proto-Nomadic, but borrowing 5 to 7, 9 and 10.

1: *áh
2: *toɾéd
3: *dø̂
4: *huh
5: *dɾásǐɾéd
6: *dɾisi
7: *ky
8: *
9: *kuo
10: *hiéh

Proto-Settler Numbers

1: *â
2: *dʒojél
3: *dɛ̂
4: *huʔ
5: *dʒásɪ́l
6: *dʒi
7: *
8: *
9: *
10: *hɪ́s

Úkux Numbers

1: åå /ɔ̄/
2: žéh /dʒéh/
3: taa /tā/
4: ux /uʔ/
5: žášýh /dʒáʃə́h/
6: ži /dʒi/
7: čy /tʃə/
8: tee /tē/
9: ky /kə/
10: ýš /ə́ʃ/


(I’ll work out higher numbers later; they’ll be regular in PFN but slowly gain irregularities)

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by Creyeditor » 24 Dec 2019 02:20

I really enjoy this family and its Papuan style.
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[<3] Papuan languages, Morphophonology, Lexical Semantics [<3]

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 24 Dec 2019 02:37

Creyeditor wrote:
24 Dec 2019 02:20
I really enjoy this family and its Papuan style.
*kdakád kíí tét!
be.thanked IMPER 1SG

The Papuan feel is what I'm aiming for, I'm happy it shows.

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 25 Dec 2019 05:40

Proto-Central True Nomadic to an unnamed language vowel development

PCTN had a four-tone system almost identical to PN, with the length retained, but diphthongs merged to long vowels. If a word had two equal tones in a row, the second was changed (high → falling, rising → falling, low → high, falling → rising).

/ao̯/ → /ee oo/
/oi̯ eu̯ ae̯/ → /ee/
/ei̯/ → /ii/
/ou̯/ → /uu/

(leaving /á a aa áá áa aá/ etc., with a total of thirty tone and vowel combos)

The unnamed language X underwent a series of syllable collapses. The first was a series of umlauts, in which the high or rising toned vowel of the word was influenced by the other. They occurred in this order; multiple umlauts could affect one vowel.

i,e-umlaut
o u a → ɤ ɯ e

u,o-umlaut
i e a → y ø ɔ

a-umlaut
i y u → ɪ ø ʊᵝ

In addition, *a became a back vowel

a → ɑ

Coda obstruents (*t *k) merged to something radical (in the purely linguistic sense), then modified the previous vowel. However, if they occurred on the non-high/rising syllable, they had the effect on both syllables.

radical-checking
iʔ yʔ ɯʔ uʔ ɪʔ ʊᵝʔ eʔ øʔ ɤʔ oʔ ɔʔ æʔ ɑʔ → ɪ ø ʊᵝ o e ɤ æ ə ɐ ɔ ə ɐ

All of these have length distinction as well; there are thus fifteen vowel qualities. However, this is not all. The tones were also affected. Non-low/rising syllables also gave their tone to the higher tone. The combinations were resolved as follows (the modifying one on the right).

high + low → high-to-mid
high + falling → high-to-mid
rising + high → low-to-mid
rising + low → low-high-highmid
rising + falling → high-mid-high

The rising tone became the mid-to-high tone and the falling (only occurring in etymological monosyllables) became the high-to-low. In addition, some later affixes (all of which became low-tone before this stage) modified the root tone, the affixes themselves being lost afterwards as in Iau. The following changes took place (the tone on the right being that of the affix).

high + low → mid
mid + low → lowmid
high-to-mid + low → high-low-mid
high-to-low + low → high-to-low
mid-to-high + low → mid-high-lowmid
low-to-mid + low → high-low-mid
high-mid-high + low → highmid-to-low
low-high-highmid + low → mid-high-lowmid

These affixes also gave any length they had to the stressed vowel, resulting in some overlong vowels, which collapsed as follows.

iːː yːː ɯːː uːː → iː yː ɯː uː
ɪːː ʊːːᵝ → iː ʊːᵝ
eːː øːː ɤːː oːː → ɪː yː ʊːᵝ uː
əːː ɔːː → əː oː
æːː ɐːː ɑːː → æː ɐː ɔː

Collapse of bisyllables occurred as follows

Second syllable “strong”
C1VC2RV(C4) → C1RV(C4)
C1VC2C3V2(C4) → C3V2(C4)
C1VC2V(C4) → C1V(C4)
sVC1V(C2) → sC1V(C2)

Spoiler:
This results in this vowel inventory of fifteen or thirty vowels

iː i yː y ɯ ɯː u uː
ɪː ɪ ʊᵝ ʊːᵝ
eː e øː ø ɤ ɤː o oː
əː ə ɔ ɔː
æː æ ɐː ɐ ɑ ɑː

With these thirteen tones:

Level:
high /i55/
mid /i33/
mid-low /i22/
low /i11/

Two-part contour:
high-to-mid /i53/
high-to-low /i51/
highmid-to-low /i41/
mid-to-high /i35/
low-to-mid /i13/

Three-part contour:
high-low-mid /i513/
high-mid-high /i535/
mid-high-lowmid /i352/
low-high-highmid /i154/

X thus has 390 contrasting vowel forms! Although the three-part contour tones and a few two-part ones only occurring as a result of morphology.

Verb conjugation

Verbs conjugate for:
-Person/number (vowel mutations)
-Tense (post-particles)
-Mood (post-post particles)
-Evidentiality/aspect (tone mutations)
All verb roots are short and toneless.

Person
The PN personal person pre-particles were single vowels, which became in PCTN schwă (1SG), schwŭ (2S) and schwĭ (3S). (The schwos refer to the ultrashort unstressed vowels whcih are the basis for umlaut in X). Number was then associated with length; the pre-particles were likely doubled in late PN to represent multiple people; this regularly spread to the major vowel. The person/number conjugation is as follows:

Code: Select all

      SG             PL
1 [ă-umlaut]   [long ă-umlaut] 
2 [ŭ-umlaut]   [long ŭ-umlaut]
3 [ĭ-umlaut]   [long ĭ-umlaut]
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

Root  1SG    2SG   3SG  1PL   2PL   3PL
/i/   /ɪ/    /ɯ/   /i/  /ɪː/  /ɯː/  /iː/
/y/   /ø/    /u/   /y/  /øː/  /uː/  /yː/
/ɯ/   /ʊᵝ/   /u/   /ɯ/  /ʊːᵝ/  /uː/  /ɯː/
/u/   /ʊᵝ/   /u/   /ɯ/  /ʊːᵝ/  /uː/  /ɯː/
/ɪ/   /e/    /ʊᵝ/  /ɪ/  /eː/   /ʊːᵝ/ /ɪː/
/ʊᵝ/  /ʊᵝ/   /ʊᵝ/  /ɤ/   /ʊːᵝ/ /ʊːᵝ/  /ɤː/
/e/   /e/    /ø/   /e/  /eː/  /øː/  /eː/
/ø/   /æ/    /ø/   /ø/  /æː/  /øː/  /øː/
/ɤ/   /ə/    /o/   /ɤ/  /əː/   /oː/  /ɤː/
/o/   /ɤ/    /o/   /ɤ/  /ɤː/   /oː/  /ɤː/
/ə/   /ə/    /ə/   /ə/  /əː/  /əː/  /əː/
/ɔ/   /ɔ/    /ɔ/   /ə/  /ɔː/  /ɔː/  /əː/
/æ/   /æ/    /ä/   /æ  /æː/   /äː/  /æː/
/ä/   /ä/    /ä/   /e/  /äː/  /äː/  /eː/
/ɑ/   /ɑ/    /ɑ/   /e/  /ɑː/  /ɑː/  /eː/
Tense
Tense is shown through a set of post-particles. The distant past derives from the PN past, the near past from the PN present, the near future from the PN future and the far future from the PN remote. This arose through a distinction between the marked and unmarked present.

Distant past:
Near past: si
Present: (umarked)
Near future: ŋi
Far future: ŋkɾeː˥

Mood
Mood uses a series of post-particles which follow the tense post-particles. There are four moods.

Plain: (unmarked)
Negative: na˥
Emphatic: ki˥
Negative emphatic: ki˧
Interrogative: kɾe˧˥
Negative interrogative: kɾe˩˧

The emphatic is an imperative in the second person and occasionally the first person, but merely a semantically intensified form in other people.

Evidentiality and aspect
These are shown with tone mutations. Twelve tones are utilised; the level low-mid isn’t used. Each evidential has two forms; an imperfective (action viewed as a whole) and perfectives (action viewedn’t as a whole).

Level tones:
low: general imperfective
mid: general perfective
high: visual perfective

Two-part contours:
high-to-mid: imperfective visual
high-to-low: imperfective non-visual sensory
highmid-to-low: perfective inferential
mid-to-high: perfective hearsay
low-to-mid: imperfective inferential

Three-part contours:
high-low-mid: perfective non-visual sensory
high-mid-high: perfective quotative
low-high-highmid: imperfective quotative
mid-high-lowmid: imperfective hearsay

(tb completely h, I haven’t got the etymologies for any of these, but they’ll be easy enough to make later)

A full verb [/b]ŋkɾɪ[/b] “to prepare” (PN *gdík “peel”)
Would have 6x5x6x11 = 1,980 forms! I can just about fit all the forms for one evidential in one aspect on a single A4 page if I use size-5.5 font. One good thing however:

ŋkɾeː˥-ŋkɾeː˥-kɾe˧˥
prepare.1PL.VIS.PFV-FARFUT-NEG.EMPH
“I can see that we must not be preparing in the far future.”

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 26 Dec 2019 06:45

Some more sound changes

Proto-Settler to Óẹ, a sister language of Úkux (in the same branch, but if there was further subgrouping, it would be in a different sub-branch).

dʒ → Ø /_[i,u]
dʒV → Ø /j_V
dʒ → s /#_
dʒ → j /_
l → j /[u,o]_
l → w /[i,e]_
l → j /C_V
h → w /[a,o,i]_#
h → j /[e,u]_#
l h j → Ø /V_V
o → ɔ
ɪ ʊ → e o
ʔ → ː {i.e. doubling}
ii uu → i u
ee oo → ie uo
aa → ia
ɛɛ ɔɔ → iɛ uɔ
[high] → [55]
[low] → [33]
[falling] → [31]
k → s /_[i,e,ɛ] (including after /s/)
[i,e,o,ɛ,ɔ,a]u [i,e,o,ɛ,ɔ,a]i → ɔ ɛ
uj iw → wi ju
u33w i33j → w j /_V

Examples:
*dʒuul → /wi33/
*sû → /su31/
*dʒéjes → /si55es33/ síẹs
*hú → /hu55/
*kél → /sew55/ sẹ́uw
*dʒâ → /sa31/
*kle → /kje33/ kıjẹ
*skí → /ski55/ skí
*dʒés → /ses55/ sẹ́s
*hɛ̂ → /hɛ31/
*sau → /sɔ33/ so
*hodʒi → /hɛ33/ he
*dʒʊ́ʊ → /su5533/ súwo
*kɛ́sel → /sɛ55sew33/ sésẹuw
*húkuʔ → /hu55ku33/ húku
(PN *gaót-dée “speech” → PFN *ótɾie → PS) *ódʒɪ → /ɔ55e33/ óẹ

Óẹ thus has the following five or seven consonants, seven vowels and three tones.

Code: Select all

        Cor.  Pal.  Vel.  Glot.
Plos.   /d/         /k/
Fric.   /s/               /h/
Approx. /l/  (/j/) (/w/)

    F     C      B
H  /i/          /u/
HM  /e/         /o/
LM    /ɛ/     /ɔ/
L          /a/

high     /55/   /a˥/
mid      /33/   /a˧/
falling  /31/   /a˧˩/
/d k s h l j w/ are written d k s h l j~ıj~jı~ıjı w~uw~wu~uwu. (j after /i/, w after /u/, ıj uw after a vowel, jı wu before one, ıjı uwu between two)
/i u e o ɛ ɔ a/ are written ı u ẹ ọ e o a. (ı is used rather than i to represent the fact that there is no dot above it)
/55 33 31/ are written with the acute (í ú ẹ́ ọ́ é ó a), plain (ı u ẹ ọ e o a) and grave (ì ù ẹ̀ ọ̀ è ò à).

Spoiler:
hóıj heuwuo, “ssé-kıje jıẹs swuo.”
/hɔj553333 ssɛ55kjɛ33 jes33 swɔ33/
say priest “leave-near.fut child mother”
“The priest says the woman will give birth soon.”

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 28 Dec 2019 06:26

Proto-Pig-Farmer sound changes:

Proto-False-Nomadic to proto-Pig Farmer:
Spoiler:
di̯ → z
d → z /_i
k s → ɣ z /V_V
d → z /_#
h → ɣ /V_V
V[+low/+falling] → Ø /VC_#, V_, _V, #_CV, VC_ɾV, #C_ɾV, V[z,h]_CV
Ø → ɣ /#_[y,u,ø,o,a]
Ø → z /#_[i,e]
y ø → i e /_C(C)[y,u,ø,o,a]
hi hu → si ɣu
uo ie → ɣo ze~se
kɣ → ɣ
zz~zs sz~ss → s
Cɾz~Cɾs → Cɾ[echovowel]z
Proto-Pig-Farmer to Common Wátreṣe
Spoiler:
ɣ → j
k → ɕ /_[i,y,e]
d z → ɖ ʂ
ɖɾ → ɖɭ → ɭ
y ø u o → ʷi ʷe ʷu ʷa
tʷ ɖʷ kʷ → t̼ p p
sʷ ʂʷ ɕʷ hʷ → ɸ ɸ s̼ ɸ
jʷ ɭʷ → ɺ̼
ɾʷ → w
ʷ → w /#_
h → ː /_#
V[high]ː → V[falling]
"Wátreṣe" refers to a dialect chain spread across a large area of the river delta; Common Watreṣe describes the language around 500 years ago, before the pig-farmers had spread across the area. To one end of the chain (which I’m going to call the north for now) the linguolabials merge with the dentals and the palatals with the retroflexes. In the Central area, /ɖ/ has merged to /ɭ/ and the four sibilants /s̼ s ʂ ɕ/ are reduced to /f s h ɕ/. In the Central-South area, the linguolabials have become plain labials, while /ɖ/ is devoiced to /ʈ/ and /k/ is fronted to /ȶ/. In the far South, the linguolabials never formed as proto-Pig-Farmer *y *ø *o *u became non-labialising /i e a ɯ/ at an early stage. Coastal Watreṣe has retains the linguolabials, and has even more consonants, all palatals, formed from breaking of /i e/ to /ʲi ʲa/.

Example of dialect difference: Numbers

Code: Select all

   Orth.  Common   |  Central  North    SCentral Far Sth. Coastal
1  â      /â/      |  /â/      /â/      /âː/     /âː/     /â/
2  tréṣ   /tɾéʂ/   |  /tɾéh/   /tɾéʂ/   /tɾéʂ/   /tɾéʂ/   /tjaʂ/
3  pê     /pê/     |  /pê/     /pê/     /pêː/    /ɖêː/    /pjâ/
4  ẅu'    /ɺ̼uː/    |  /ɺ̼uw/    /ɾuː/    /βuː/    /jɯh/    /ɺ̼u/
5  lásréṣ /ɭásɾéʂ/ |  /ɭásɾéh/ /ɭásɾéʂ/ /ɭásɾeʂ/ /ɭásɾeʂ/ /lásjaʂ/
6  liṣ    /ɭiʂ/    |  /ɭih/    /ɭiʂ/    /ɭiːʂ/   /ɭiːʂ/   /jiʂ/
7  s̈i     /s̼i/     |  /fi/     /si/     /ɸiː/    /ɕiː/    /s̼i/
8  tê     /tê/     |  /tê/     /tê/     /têː/    /têː/    /câ/
9  ẅa     /ɺ̼a/     |  /ɺ̼a/     /ɾa/     /βaː/    /jaː/    /ɺ̼a/
10 sê     /sê/     |  /sê/     /sê/     /sêː/    /sêː/    /ɕâ/
Spoiler:
Central Wátreṣe

Code: Select all

s̼ ʂ → f h
ɖ → ɭ

     Bilab Lingu  Den   Ret   Pal   Vel
Plos  /p/   /t̼/   /t/               /k/
Liqu        /ɺ̼/   /ɾ/   /ɭ/   /j/   /w/
Fric  /f/         /s/         /ɕ/   /h/

   Fnt Ctr Bck
Hg /i/     /u/
Lw  /e/  /a/
Northern Wátreṣe

Code: Select all

t̼ ɺ̼ s̼ → t ɾ s
j ɕ → ɭ ʂ

     Bilab  Den   Ret   Vel
Plos  /p/   /t/   /ɖ/    /k/
Liqu        /ɾ/   /ɭ/   /w/
Fric        /s/   /ʂ/   /h/

   Fnt Ctr Bck
Hg /i/     /u/
Lw  /e/  /a/
South-Central Wátreṣe

Code: Select all

     Bilab  Den   Ret   Pal   Vel
Plos  /p/   /t/   /ʈ/   /ȶ/
Liqu  /β̞/   /ɾ/   /ɭ/   /j/   /w/
Fric  /ɸ/   /s/   /ʂ/   /ɕ/   /h/

   Fnt Ctr Bck
Hg /i/     /u/
Lw  /e/  /a/
Far South Wátreṣe

Code: Select all

      Den   Ret   Pal   Vel
Plos  /t/   /ɖ/         /k/
Liqu  /ɾ/   /ɭ/   /j/
Fric  /s/   /ʂ/   /ɕ/   /h/

   Fnt Ctr Bck
Hg /i/     /ɯ/
Lw  /e/  /a/
Coastal Wátreṣe

Code: Select all

te ɖe ke ti ɖi ki → ca ja ca ci ji ci
ɾe ɭe je → ja
ɾi ɭi ji → ji
se ʂe ɕe he → ɕa
si ʂi ɕi hi → ɕi

     Bilab Lingu  Den   Ret   Pal   Vel
Plos  /p/  /t̼/   /t/   /ɖ/   /c/   /k/
Liqu       /ɺ̼/   /ɾ/   /ɭ/   /j/   /w/
Fric       /s̼/   /s/   /ʂ/   /ɕ/   /h/

   Fnt Ctr Bck
Hg /i/     /u/
Lw     /a/

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by Creyeditor » 28 Dec 2019 18:45

Just wanted to mention that I am following this and I really enjoy the diachronic detail in this project.
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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 29 Dec 2019 22:27

Creyeditor wrote:
28 Dec 2019 18:45
Just wanted to mention that I am following this and I really enjoy the diachronic detail in this project.
Thanks! I'm making it all up as I go along, I'm glad it gives an illusion of detail/knowledge. [:D]
Last edited by VaptuantaDoi on 09 Jan 2020 21:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 30 Dec 2019 07:00

The disowned consonantal-root branch of the Nomadic Family

What would a language family be without at least one triconsonantal branch? Nothing! Therefore the Eastern Nomadic languages will be multiconsonantal (not always three consonants, and also some vowels.).

Well, my justification is that there’s already a language with extensive ablaut and tonal morphology, which isn’t too far from having consonantal roots. To begin with, I’ll just work out a few verbs and analogise the rest. This is the verb haka “come,” from PN *kag. Let’s start with person conjugation:

The dialect of Proto-True Nomadic which gave rise to proto-Eastern Nomadic conjugated the verb something like this:

1SG *á-kag
2SG *ó-kag
3SG *é-kag
1PLEX *áá-kag
1PLIN *áó-kag
2PL *óé-kag
3PL *éé-kag

As you can probably tell, they’re just made up of the person markers of proto-Nomadic prefixed to the verb, with concatenation like 1SG+2SG → 1PL inclusive etc. In early proto-Eastern Nomadic, the Grimm’s shift sort of thing happened, changing /t k/ to /θ h/ and /d g/ to /t k/. The verbal root - which had a low tone - lost the vowel. That gives something like this:

1SG *áhk
2SG *óhk
3SG *éhk
1PLEX *ááhk
1PLIN *áóhk
2PL *óéhk
3PL *ééhk

However, this proved too difficult to pronounce, so an echo vowel was added - one after the consonants with the single vowels and one between them for the double vowels, due to a dislike of closed syllables with long vowels.

1SG *áhka
2SG *óhko
3SG *éhke
1PLEX *ááhak
1PLIN *áóhok
2PL *óéhek
3PL *ééhek

The diphthongs and long vowels then evolved a little, with first short */o/ to */a/, then long or diphthong */oV/ shortening to */o/. Short */a/ (not including from */o/) became /ə/ in closed syllables, and long */a/ or */aV/ just shortened. Short */e/ centralised to /ə/, and long */ee/ or */eV/ raised to /e/.

1SG *ə́hka
2SG *áhka
3SG *ə́hkə
1PLEX *áhak
1PLIN *áhak
2PL *óhək
3PL *éhək

Now, due to the fact that the first three forms are all the same shape and so are the next four, speakers decided to drop initial central vowels (i.e. */ə a/). This added phonotactic complexity, so they inserted the vowel /i/ in between two consonants. The exclusive/inclusive distinction was lost in this class of verbs.

1SG hika
2SG hika
3SG hikə
1PL hak
2PL óhək
3PL éhək

This was good enough for the speakers, who then moved on to the tense suffixes. Due to my laziness, they got confused with all the different tenses and moved on to a much simpler past / non-past thing. Obviously, those forms above were the unmarked non-past. On to the past, which was in pre-Proto-Eastern Nomadic:

1SG *á-hak-ta
2SG *ó-hak-ta
3SG *é-hak-ta
1PLEX *áá-hak-ta
1PLIN *áó-hak-ta
2PL *óé-hak-ta
3PL *éé-hak-ta

These were all very long, so they dropped the third vowel of trisyllables. However, this looked tricky, so they added some lovable echo vowels in between two consonants

1SG *á-haka-t
2SG *ó-hoko-t
3SG *é-heke-t
1PLEX *áá-haka-t
1PLIN *áó-hoka-t
2PL *óé-heka-t
3PL *éé-heka-t

The same vowel changes occurred - this was disturbingly normal, so they dropped all initial central vowels again.

1SG *hakət
2SG *hakat
3SG *éheket
1PLEX *hakət
1PLIN *hakət
2PL *óhekət
3PL *éhekət

Then, something which wasn’t relevant in the present, some vowel harmony occurred between /e/ and /o/; sequences of eCeC and eCoC became oCC, and sequences of oCoC and oCeC became eCC.

1SG *hakət
2SG *hakat
3SG *óhket
1PLEX *hakət
1PLIN *hakət
2PL *éhkət
3PL *óhkət

The final /t/ was no longer needed, so it was banished (instead of adding a vowel).

1SG hakə
2SG haka
3SG óhke
1PL hakə
2PL éhkə
3PL óhkə

So that’s how all CVC verbs with a low tone evolved. A few other forms - which I won’t go through here - are:

non-finite: **kaag → haka
conditional non-past: *kag kdíi → həkaɾí
conditional past: *kag kdíi da → hakaɾí

1. Biconsonantal roots, type one - deriving from CVC verbs with a low tone or CVCV verbs with two low tones.

Code: Select all

non-finite CaCa 
      Non-past    Past
      sg   pl    sg   pl
1     CiCa CaC   CaCə CaCə
2     CiCa óCəC  CaCa éCCə
3     CiCə éCəC  óCCe óCCə
cond.  CəCarí     CaCarí
Examples:
haka “come, go,” < PN *kag.
θaha “be” < PN *tek.
tata “smell” < PN *dud.
kaha “build” < PN *gook “make”

That looks like a biliteral root to me! Anyway, I’ve done all the other verbs elsewhere so as not to make this post too massive, but here are the other types:

Spoiler:
2. Biconsonantal roots, type two - deriving from CVC verbs with a high tone or CVCV verbs with an initial high tone. (These also have an inherent vowel, which occurs in verb conjugation. It’s the same as either non-finite vowel)

Code: Select all

non-finite CVCV (with first vowel high and second low)
      Non-past     Past
      sg    pl     sg  pl
1     CVCV  CVCV   CVC CVC
2     áCVCa óCVCa  CVC óCCV
3     éCVCə éCVCə  CVC éCCV
cond.   CVCaha      CVCarí
Examples:
táta “soften” < PN *dáéd “kill”
tə́hə “see” < PN *dék
híhi “work” < PN *kiík “join”
θíθi “cook” < PN *tít

3. Triconsonantal roots, type one - deriving from all CRVC verbs or CVCVC verbs with initial low tone or two high tones (these also have an inherent vowel).

Code: Select all

non-finite CiCáC
      Non-past     Past
      sg    pl     sg    pl
1exc. CiCVC CaCəC  CCVCə CaCaCə
1inc.       CoCəC        CaCaCə
2     CiCVC éCCVC  CCVCə éCCVCə
3     CiCVC óCCVC  CCVCə éCCVCə
cond.  CiCVCahi     CeCCərí
Examples:
hiráh “fall” < PN *kdák
kisák “have (a condition)” < PN *gatiég “live”
sihát “break, dismantle” < PN *tiokad “snap”
sihák “sleep” < PN *tikig

3. Triconsonantal roots, type two - deriving from all other CV(C)CVC verbs and CV(C)CRV verbs.
(The inherent vowel is rare in these forms

Code: Select all

non-finite CVCəC
      Non-past      Past
      sg    pl      sg       pl
1exc. CaCəC CaCəC   CVCəCra  Cə́CCə
1inc.       CVCaC            CíCCə
2     CaCaC óCeCəC  óCéCaCra óCéCCə
3     Cə́CeC éCoCəC  CóCəCra  éCóCCə
cond.   CVCeCri        CVCeCir
Examples:
síhəɾ “welcome” < PN *tít-tdi “cook (transitive)”
híhəh “dislike” < PN *kíkok
θatəɾ “shout” < PN *taddék “throw a spear”
kákək “like” < PN *gággág

4. Quadriconsonantal roots - deriving from CRV(C)CVC verbs or CV(C)CRVC verbs (the first of two heterosyllabic consonants generally being lost) Many forms use the inherent vowel.

Code: Select all

non-finite CiCCVC
      Non-past         Past
      sg      pl       sg       pl
1exc. CəCVCCa áCCVCCa  CCVCəCra CaCCaCa
1inc.         áCCVCCo           CoCCaCa
2     CaCVCCa óCCVCCə  CCVCaCra óCəCCəCə
3     CəCVCCə  éCCVCCə CCVCəCCa éCəCCəCə
cond.    CCVCaCri         CCVCaCir
Examples:
hirkíh “eat” < PN *kdíígak “bite”
kikrə́h “drink alcohol” < PN *giogdék
kitréθ “clean sth.” < PN *giddéit
sihróθ “labour” < PN *tiukdóit “blow”

5. Quinticonsonantal roots - deriving from CRV(C)CRVC verbs

Code: Select all

non-finite CCVCəCəC
      Non-past          Past
      sg      pl        sg       pl
1exc. CCəCCVC CaCaCCVC  CCaCCVCə CəCCaCVC
1inc.         CoCoCCVC           CaCCaCVC
2     CCaCCVC óCCaCCVC  CCoCCVCa óCaCCaCVC
3     CCəCCVC éCCaCCVC  CCeCCVCə éCəCCeCVC
cond.    CCVCaCCVr         CCVCaCCVri
Examples
kríkərəh “skin an animal” < PN *gdík “peel” reduplicated
trúhərəθ “think” < PN *ddúkdat “consider”
hrahərəh “gossip” < PN *kdakdak “make the noise of a bird”

6. Irregular verbs
There are (currently) two (at least) irregular verbs. These derive from the proto-Nomadic roots *ddá “walk” and *gde “be at.” “Walk” derives some of its irregularity from reduplication, much like some branches of IE; “be at” derives it from the fact that the root was not used in its conjugation.

trá “walk, move, step”

Code: Select all

non-finite trá
      Non-past Past
      sg pl    sg      pl
1exc. tə tara  átərtrá tatarə
1inc.    tora          tatarə
2     ta et    trátrár trə́tə
3     tə otar  trə́trá  trə́tu
cond. tritə́ra    tetrər
(note that átərtrá would come from PN **áddáddáda.)

krə́ “be at, go to”

Code: Select all

non-finite krə́
      Non-past Past
      sg pl    sg pl
1exc. ka ak    ər ra
1inc.    tikə́     ro
2     ka ek    ar ór
3     ka uk    ər ə́r
cond.  krí     reri
Hopefully I’ll do something much less effort-requiring for nouns (it would probably be two forms) and adjectives (I haven’t even worked those out in proto-Nomadic properly) then list the sound changes (basically impossible with verbs). If I've got anything wrong, let me know.

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Re: The Nomadic Language Family

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 31 Dec 2019 05:27

Serial Verb Constructions

A serial verb construction (SVC) involves two (or more) verb roots concatenated with the meaning of a single event composed of sub-events represented by the individual verbs. In this case, the two verb roots together are taken as a whole for morphological purposes.

*ddá tigíí kag kíí guú!
walk get come IMPER DEM
“Fetch that! (i.e. walk over there, get it, come back)”

*gakék giddéit da goo gdakgdak tók-uk-tét
awaken wash PAST HOD brother father-PREP-1SG
“My father awoke (and) washed (himself) to-day.”

é gdík giddéit-tdi tít-tdi gdéé gig i kdokáed
INDEF peel clean-TRANS cook-TRANS REM woman ERG fish
“The women de-scale, clean and cook the fish.”

Generally the first element also comes first chronologically, as above, but may also be simultaneous.

*á tektek dék ddóó
1P sit look CONT
“I am sitting and looking.”
(*tektek is *tek “be” reduplicated)

*á giogdék kdák gi goo
1P drink.alcohol push FUT HOD
“To-day, I will be drink-driving.”

*dóídég tikig gdéé kdokáed diékók
swim sleep REM fish at.night
“Fish swim and sleep at night.”

They may also be intermittent but not coinciding.

*ó ddá kikdig ddóó gdukíít
INDEF walk rest CONT for.a.day
“He walked for a short while then rested for a short while for the whole day.”

*kag tiekéi gdéé ddóó gáo gdog káók
come exit REM CONT water PREP beach
“The tide comes in and goes out all the time.”

*digdig kag kóíd tiukdóit gútdak
go.side.to.side come tree blow always
“Trees always sway around, because (the wind) is always blowing.”



Nouns and Pronouns

Nouns are quite simple in proto-Nomadic. There are two cases, ergative and absolutive. The absolutive is unmarked and the ergative is marked with the post-particle *i.
Spoiler:
*tiokad goo ddáák i tikíík
snap HOD man ERG stick
“The man broke the window (to-day)”

*ddáddá-tdi goígit i dúk
run-TRANS boy ERG girl
“The boy chases the girl”
This meant that word order was not absolutely necessary, although it is doubtful that it was violated often from evidence in daughter languages. The verb-subject-object order was certainly the most common, as it is in almost all descendants.
Spoiler:
*kdíígak ddáák i kdokáed
bite man ERG fish

*kdíígak kdokáed ddáák i
bite fish man ERG

*ddáák i kdokáed kdíígak
man ERG fish bite
etc.

“The man ate the fish.”
However, the topic was most likely often fronted if particular emphasis was placed on it.

*gig i é dáéd guú
woman ERG INDEF kill INDEF

Possessive noun phrase
A possessive noun phrase could be constructed with the form *X-uk-Y, where Y is the possessor and X is the thing being possessed. This is used with pronouns and nouns.

*kiaduu-uk-tét
house-POS-1SG
“My house”


Pronouns
There are also emphatic forms of the person pronouns, used mostly for object forms. There are three roots; first singular, first plural and second numberless.

1SG: *tét
1PL: *gág
2S/P: *kúk

It’s obvious that these are in some way reduplications - although we don’t know what of. Maybe I’ll provide some etymologies later, once I’ve come up with the higher-level proto-language. Here are some examples of the pronouns used as objects:

*ó dáéd da goo tét
2 kill PAST HOD 1SG
“You have killed me!”

*gakék dá geí gág!
awaken NEG IMPER1 1PL
“Do not wake us!”

*á kdíígak gi tiik-uk-kúk
1SG bite FUT eye-PREP-2S/P
“I will bite your eye.”

They may also rarely be used as subjects of an intransitive sentence to emphasise the person marking on the verb or mark it as a topic.

*á tikig da tét!
1SG sleep PAST 1SG
“It was I who slept!”

*tiddéuk ó kiít kúk!
necessarily 2P join 2S/P
“You should join!”

*á gokééd
1P be.yellow 1PL
We are the ones who are being yellow.”

There was also an indefinite pronoun, *guú, which was unmarked for number, but often taken as a third person in descendants.

*ó kíkok gdéé guú
2P hate REM INDEF
“You would hate him/her/it/them/this/that/these/those.”

It was likely different in both usage and syntactically. It could also occur as the subject of a sentence and thus have an ergative form.

*gígdií dáéd guú i kúk
eagerly kill INDEF ERG 2P
“He wants to kill you.”

Several phrases existed consistion of *guú + *uk + NOUN, specifying a certain demonstrative:

*ddá kíí guú-uk-kiaduu
walk IMPER.2 INDEF-PREP-house
“Go somewhere”

*á gook-tdi da goo tiogí-dée gdog guú-uk-tek-dée
1P work-TRANS PAST HOD think-ABSTR PREP INDEF-PREP-be-ABSTR
“I have had a thought about something/that thing that happened.”

Nominalisers and Derivation

PN used many nominalisers and derivational morphology. In the vast majority of descendants, these stopped being productive.

Basic nominaliser with no specific modification in meaning, used on verbs: *-gi
Spoiler:
*kdíígak “bite” → *kdíígak-gi “jaws”
*gdík “peel” → *gdík-gi “food scraps”
*dagdag “rub” → *dagdag-gi “a massage”
*tikig “sleep” → *tikig-gi “a night”
*tiogí “think” → *tiogí-gi “brain”
Person or thing which habitually does a verb: *-kíí
Spoiler:
*kdíígak “bite” → *kdíígak-kíí “biting insect”
*kutdáok “soften” → *kutdáok-kíí “stomach”
*ddáddá “run” → *ddáddá-kíí “athlete”
*digdig “go from side to side” → *digdig-kíí “drunk person (i.e. person drunk at this moment)
*giogdék “drink alcohol” → *giogdék-kíí “drunkard”
Thing which has a verb done to it: *-teí
Spoiler:
*tiokad “snap” → *tiokad-teí “small sticks”
*kdíígak “bite” → *kdíígak-teí “tongue,” later “language”
*tigíí “get” → *tigíí-teí “an item which has been purchased, a gift”
*kdák “push” → *kdák-teí “vehicle”
*giddéit “wash” → *giddéit-teí “clothes”
*gokééd “be yellow” → *gokééd-teí “teeth” in one branch and “dawn sky” in the other
Abstract nouns: *-dée
Spoiler:
*kdíígak “bite” → *kdíígak-dée “consumption”
*gakék “awaken” → *gakék-dée “awakening”
*gággág “like” → *gággág-dée “love (n.)”
*tít “cook” → *tít-dée “cookery”
*kiít “join” → *kiít-dee “marriage”
Tool used for doing verb: *-tií
Spoiler:
*kikdig “rest” → *kikdig-tií “bed”
*tiukdóit “blow” → *tiukdóit-tií “straw”
*titííd “steal” → *titííd-tií “lockpick”
*giogdék “drink alcohol” → *giogdék-tií “glass”
*dék “look” → *dék-tií “eyelids” (i.e. they can be used to squint so you can see better)
Place where verb is done: *-duu
Spoiler:
*ddá “walk” → *ddá-duu “outside”
*gakék “awaken” → *gakék-duu “temple”
*kdíígak “bite” → *kdíígak-duu “mouth”
*kdíígak-ddóó “bite CONT” → *kdíígak-ddóó-duu “dining room”
*gatiég “live” → *gatiég-duu “realm of the living”
Diminuitives:
1. *-gék or *-gégek
Spoiler:
*kiaduu “house” → *kiaduugék “hut”
*gig “woman” → *giggégek “wife”
*kóíd “tree” → *kóídgégek “small bush”
2. *-(k)iíke (often a smaller part of a large object or collective noun)
Spoiler:
*taóktaók “grass” → *taóktaókiíke “blade of grass”
*kiaduu “house” → *kiaduukiíke “door”
*tikíík “stick” → *tikííkiíke “bud”
3. *-kitég (referring to the young of an animal or a metaphorical extension of this)
Spoiler:
*kdokáed “fish” → *kdokáekkitég “any small marine animal”
*ddáák “man” → *ddáákkitég “issue (i.e. children of a specific man)”
*táág “sun” → *táágkitég “star”
4. *-(k)etíí (referring to a child’s version of an object)
Spoiler:
*kiaduu “house” → *kiaduuketíí “child’s toy depicting a house”
*kúg “animal” → *kúgetíí “model animal”
*gook-duu “place of work” → *gook-duu-ketíí “school”
5. *-ddid (referring to a section within something)
Spoiler:
*kaóg “head” → *kaógddid “brain”
*tikíík “stick” → *tikííkddid “pith”
*góutiek “bone” → *góutiekddid “bone marrow (likely with a figurative sense also)”

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