PDA

View Full Version : Con-languages


Faolmor
07-02-2008, 08:59 PM
Hi - hope this is the right place to try out this thread.

Following on from the Fantasy Terms thread http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=107551 , I thought it might be fun to have a thread where those of us who have created languages for our stories could post phrases for others to read/learn/have fun with.

To start the balling rolling, here's how you greet someone formally in Bleddish (one of the languages in my book):

Nak heen bi Mata ce Phel Mahouin. Io logoto tubu n che ankiat.

(Essentially: Greetings in the name of Phel Mahouin (their god). I am honoured to meet you.)

Looking forward to reading some more!

maxmordon
07-02-2008, 09:04 PM
Posted this a while ago:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93429

Liosse de Velishaf
07-02-2008, 09:13 PM
Hi - hope this is the right place to try out this thread.

Following on from the Fantasy Terms thread http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=107551 , I thought it might be fun to have a thread where those of us who have created languages for our stories could post phrases for others to read/learn/have fun with.

To start the balling rolling, here's how you greet someone formally in Bleddish (one of the languages in my book):

Nak heen bi Mata ce Phel Mahouin. Io logoto tubu ‘n che ankiat.

(Essentially: Greetings in the name of Phel Mahouin (their god). I am honoured to meet you.)

Looking forward to reading some more!

There seems to be a suspicious one-to-one word correspondence here... is this a cipher or just a coincidence? Also, are we following English phonology rules?


Max-a very interesting thread. It would be fascinating to see how a people with no lips or tongue could speak, although the phonetics would be extremely complicated in the sense that you'd practically need a new system of transcription.


Anyway, I'll try to round up some phrases from my conlangs.

maxmordon
07-02-2008, 09:25 PM
That's why is mostly based on different pronouncitations of vowels along with several consonants who can be pronounce it without neither of them, and I has said, the structure is a bit similar to Japanese (or so someone has pointed out)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-02-2008, 10:15 PM
That's why is mostly based on different pronouncitations of vowels along with several consonants who can be pronounce it without neither of them, and I has said, the structure is a bit similar to Japanese (or so someone has pointed out)


Okay. Do you mean syllable structure, though, or phonologically?

maxmordon
07-02-2008, 10:18 PM
the grammar structure. How are the sentences are made and the wide use of prefix and suffix

Liosse de Velishaf
07-02-2008, 10:24 PM
the grammar structure. How are the sentences are made and the wide use of prefix and suffix

Okay, what about particles?

maxmordon
07-02-2008, 10:46 PM
Not sure, I don't know much about Japanese. It was just a comment one of my friends made

Liosse de Velishaf
07-02-2008, 10:55 PM
Not sure, I don't know much about Japanese. It was just a comment one of my friends made


Phooey...

maxmordon
07-02-2008, 11:03 PM
I don't want to read too much of a language neither, being affraid I may take too much of such language (you already saw, for example, there is no one-to-one correspondance with neither English or Spanish)

Shweta
07-03-2008, 02:39 AM
Nak heen bi Mata ce Phel Mahouin. Io logoto tubu n che ankiat.


I had the same trouble with this Liosse mentioned.

In addition, though, I think this would very quickly become:

Nakeen Matce Phelmin. Gotunchankiat.
Or something like that.

Consider "Goodbye" -- God be with you.
Or dutch als'tublieft -- als het u blieft.

Common phrases get smooshed. A lot. Greetings especially.

Faolmor
07-03-2008, 09:13 AM
I had the same trouble with this Liosse mentioned.

In addition, though, I think this would very quickly become:

Nakeen Matce Phelmin. Gotunchankiat.
Or something like that.

Consider "Goodbye" -- God be with you.
Or dutch als'tublieft -- als het u blieft.

Common phrases get smooshed. A lot. Greetings especially.

Sorry - I gave the English translation. Not the literal, word for word - it is not a word-for-word substitution. I'm a linguist, so have a relatively firm idea of what I'm doing!

Interesting link to the other posts, though, Maxmordon. Thanks for that :)

Shweta
07-03-2008, 11:48 AM
Sorry - I gave the English translation. Not the literal, word for word - it is not a word-for-word substitution. I'm a linguist, so have a relatively firm idea of what I'm doing!

Cool! Can we get the word translations too so we can see structure? I'll dig up some of my conlang too, once I have time and brain to :)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-03-2008, 08:52 PM
Sorry - I gave the English translation. Not the literal, word for word - it is not a word-for-word substitution. I'm a linguist, so have a relatively firm idea of what I'm doing!

Interesting link to the other posts, though, Maxmordon. Thanks for that :)


So just a coincidence...

I'd love to see the literal, though.

SPMiller
07-04-2008, 04:16 AM
I'm scared to post examples of any of my conlangs. They'll get shredded by this crowd, no doubt!

Liosse de Velishaf
07-04-2008, 04:20 AM
I'm scared to post examples of any of my conlangs. They'll get shredded by this crowd, no doubt!


But that's half the fun! Just go on and post 'em up.

Shweta
07-04-2008, 04:38 AM
It's only friendly shredding! We offer complimentary sticky tape.

Ardellis
07-04-2008, 05:07 AM
Oooh! Conlangs!

I love seeing languages other people have made.

Here's a sample of my more developed language, Tfan
(hope the diacritics come through OK):

flin ya a mn etrin urmobun
Literal translation: "Owns the mother of-you wisdom."
Colloquial translation: "Your mother is wise."

Shweta
07-04-2008, 05:10 AM
I wonder whether mother-of-you would get lexicalized as one thing?

Ardellis
07-04-2008, 05:18 AM
Eventually, probably. Especially considering how important mothers are in the culture, which is matrilinial. I'm still putting the basics of the grammar and vocab together. Then I want to push through a few sound changes and other mutations.

Alon
07-04-2008, 05:21 AM
Only in very vulgar settings. In Hebrew, the standard way of saying "mother of you"/"your mom" is "ima shel-cha" (ch pronounced like in German "Bach"). It gets contracted to "ima sh'cha," but its use corresponds mostly to "yo' mama" in English.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-04-2008, 06:01 AM
My best chance of saying something that would make sense would be if I used Itlani, the conlang of Tsiasuk-Pron. But he came on rather strong about his copyright when he sent me the materials.

Give me an hour or two, and I could try something simple in my Sa'nakkan...


Or really butcher a line of my Ilvarii. The literal translation would have to include some detailed glosses and explanations of terms.

Tburger
07-04-2008, 06:39 AM
I'm scared to post examples of any of my conlangs. They'll get shredded by this crowd, no doubt!


I'm with SPM. This is why I use universal translators in all my stories. :D

Shweta
07-04-2008, 08:56 AM
Only in very vulgar settings. In Hebrew, the standard way of saying "mother of you"/"your mom" is "ima shel-cha" (ch pronounced like in German "Bach"). It gets contracted to "ima sh'cha," but its use corresponds mostly to "yo' mama" in English.

Hebrew isn't really comparable to natural languages that have been in constant common use for centuries, though, since it's largely reconstructed/revived. I'm thinking of half a dozen languages at least where I know common phrases that get squished a lot in a few centuries.

And yes, that "informality" often starts off marking a low register. But that changes over a few generations.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-04-2008, 09:22 AM
I'm with SPM. This is why I use universal translators in all my stories. :D


Doesn't everyone?


Do you have a conlang?

Alon
07-04-2008, 09:25 AM
Hebrew phrases have gotten contracted, including in certain contexts "your mother" (and "your father"). For example, the preposition "et," which is used before definite direct objects, tends to fuse with the definite article "ha" to form "ta."

Gray Rose
07-04-2008, 10:03 AM
Hebrew isn't really comparable to natural languages that have been in constant common use for centuries, though, since it's largely reconstructed/revived. I'm thinking of half a dozen languages at least where I know common phrases that get squished a lot in a few centuries.


I'm afraid I think this argument doesn't quite hold, since the contractions in Mod. Heb. certainly were not introduced by Ben-Yehuda, but rather occurred from non-contracted (reconstructed) words and phrases through the same processes as everywhere else (i.e. weakening and possible reduction of pretonal and post-tonal syllables, sandhi, etc). In this respect Hebrew is quite natural, much as the Academy for the Hebrew language opposes such "innovations."

True, one can claim the processes in Russian or say Irish are more impressive because said languages had more time and longer words to begin with, which might or might not matter, depending how one counts impressive.

cheers-
Rose,
who has fever and might or might not be coherent.

Faolmor
07-04-2008, 10:11 AM
Friendly shredding = constructive criticism :)


Okay, so here's the explanation of my phrase. (just been through 10 hours of chemo so please excuse any rambling, typos or stuff that doesn't make sense in any language lol...)

Nakheen bi Mata ce Phel Mahouin. Io logoto tubu n che ankiat.

Firstly, Bleddish is an oral language with no written form (difficult, when you have to put it on the page in a book). Obviously, if it was written down in my world, it wouldn't be in English, or with Roman lettering...so this is as close to an approximation as I can provide.

Thus, spelling is largely based on English phonetics...and good old-fashioned aesthetics. I do have a system for the phonetics, so spelling follows a definite pattern. I won't go into the details here - unless you want me to?

The Bledrun are a wolf people - so the basis of their language revolves around "wolfish" concepts. The grammatical stucture of the language is taken from several languages, including Gaelic and Auslan (Australian Sign Language). Importance is usually stressed on the action - being that wolves exist with little sense of being, and more a sense of doing. Of course, once you add human self-awareness, you get a combination of wolfish concept and human egocentricity in the language.

In addition, Bleddish has had extensive integration with Borian (which is the "English" of my world). Hence there exists two grammatical paths - one, which would be considered colloquial (informal - closer to the "real" Bleddish), and the formal (structurally similar to Borian).

It is a fairly primitive, tribal language, with multiple dialectual shifts (which have occurred due to tyranny of distance). The base is Phel'torna (fell torro-nah) - which is original tribe.

Nakheen is derived from two base words - kanak (family/pack/group) and hinu (music, song, praise - meaning is contextual...I could break it down further by saying hi - wind, and nu - howl...wind-howl). Pronunciation is nakh-heen (with a slight guttural "ch" as in Scottish "loch"). So nakheen - group howl/family [welcoming] song (as in what wolves do when pack members return).

Bi - (bih) translates in this sentence as "with permission of" or "in the presence of" Not quite sure (in my present mental state) how else to describe this. Apologies.

Mata - (mah-tah) anything ata in Bleddish pertains specifically to blood...and by blood, I mean the physical sense of self. The best translation I can give for mata is "name." But it encompasses more than just a name. It basically means "belongs to the blood/self of."

Ce - (seh) a possessive; follows mata and precedes the Subject - in this case Phel Mahouin, the god.

Phel Mahouin - (fell mach-ooeen - slight "ch" sound - although this is dialectual and not pronounced in some instances). Their highest god. Phel is derived from faol - Irish for wolf. (Bleddish from blaidd - Welsh for wolf.) Mahouin...ma as mentioned about from mata and houin is one word for forest. (Taken from the Bleddish concept of heaven.)

Io - (yoh) I

logoto - (lo'-gaw-to') magnifies a singular - you could, I guess, use it to say many, lots of, very - but these are Anglicised concepts and since I speak English, I have no choice but to offer these as similes to try to describe what is not English.

tubu - (too-boo - the "t" in Bleddish is soft, almost like a "d" or "th" - closest equivalent is Gaelic "d") pertains to sense of pride/honour, specifically personal

'n che - (n'keh) - two discrete words, but in this instance mean belonging to you/giving to you...even, because of you

ankiat - (uhn-kee-uht) - from the base word ankiatu; again at pertaining to blood/self...so, bringing together of blood/self.

The above being a formal greeting, structuring follows (mostly) the Borian grammar.

The 2nd sentence is (in this instance) the Phel'torna "bent" - the same sentence can be (formally) said:

'N che ankiat, io logoto tubu.

Also,

Io 'n che ankiat, logoto tubu so.

If they were greeting friends, family etc, there are a whole range of colloquial one or two-word greetings.


Sorry...I hope all that made sense. Apologies if not.

Faolmor
07-04-2008, 10:27 AM
Sorry...after all that, I never gave a literal translation!

Nakheen bi Mata ce Phel Mahouin. Io logoto tubu ‘n che ankiat.

[Family song/group howl] [in the presence of] [the blood belonging to (the self of)] Phel Mahouin. I [more than one of/amplified] [honour - belonging to me] [bringing to you] [togethering of blood/selves].

maxmordon
07-04-2008, 10:45 AM
Faolmor, I am doing the same thing, my language is a transliteration of how would be pronounced with our alphabet

Faolmor
07-04-2008, 10:48 AM
Faolmor, I am doing the same thing, my language is a transliteration of how would be pronounced with our alphabet

It's hard, isn't it? The only way around it (in my case) would be to write the entire book in Borian, with Borian lettering.

Possibly, this would make it hard to publish LOL

Shweta
07-04-2008, 10:55 AM
True, one can claim the processes in Russian or say Irish are more impressive because said languages had more time and longer words to begin with, which might or might not matter, depending how one counts impressive.
Um, actually that's all I was claiming.

Mostly I was saying this: the fact that it's limited in Hebrew might just be a factor of time, and there might be many other instances in Hebrew in a hundred years. Certainly in any natural language I've looked at that's had a modern speech community for more than a couple generations, there's a lot of shortening and reinterpretation of common constructions.

That'sall.

maxmordon
07-04-2008, 10:58 AM
It's hard, isn't it? The only way around it (in my case) would be to write the entire book in Borian, with Borian lettering.

Possibly, this would make it hard to publish LOL

Not if your name is John Ronald Ruel... anyway. Want to give more examples but sadly, I left my annotations at my mother's

Alon
07-04-2008, 10:59 AM
I hope the chemo was successful...

Your sentence seems very well thought out. But to be honest, I don't think single sentences are that hard to produce. It's the repeated elements that require you to have consistent syntax and morphology. At one point, I hashed out parts of a national anthem in a conlang in a few minutes, which required surprisingly little tweaking once I went through the work of creating the language's details. Even now, six years into creating said language, I sometimes default to literal translation from English or use simpler vocabulary when I need a new sentence.

Faolmor
07-04-2008, 11:04 AM
I have written several short stories in Bleddish, just to try to get my head around that very issue. It's fun...but it does help point out that language is both vital and dependent upon multiple users in order to truly develop. It's very hard work to flesh out four thousand years of lingual shifting on your own!

Still, fun though...

ETA: Further to this, while on holidays a while ago with my cousin (a beta-reader, so she had a basic background in the language anyway), we then went two days attempting to speak only Bleddish. We were initially trying for a week, but it was very difficult, as she was literally like a tourist with a phrase-book in hand all day. It helped the language develop in ways I hadn't previously considered, simply because language is something that must be practiced to evolve.

The downside was the tendency to fall back upon what you know works, as an English-speaker. My cousin had very limited knowledge of any other language besides English - which, in an ironic way, did help...if only that it gave me a clearer vision of what I didn't want to do.

What I also found surprising was how hard I found it to understand the language I created. Not so much because it was confusing, but because I was so used to seeing it on the page and hearing it in my head, that hearing it come from someone else was...frankly, shocking. Even commons words and phrases sounded different.

Anyway, an interesting exercise.

maxmordon
07-04-2008, 11:31 AM
I haven't written short stories yet but have done some epigrams and adages and examples trying to prove it a bit. Here is something I sent to someone and could find it to post here:

Goku okuch shornga. Oku kokuch shoegga. Koku gokuch shouka. Atchoku shochi garo

Translation:

The Youth Wants to be Adult. The Adult can be Old. The Old desires the Youth. Everyone will die

Faolmor
07-04-2008, 11:36 AM
I haven't written short stories yet but have done some epigrams and adages and examples trying to prove it a bit. Here is something I sent to someone and could find it to post here:

Goku okuch shornga. Oku kokuch shoegga. Koku gokuch shouka. Atchoku shochi garo

Translation:

The Youth Wants to be Adult. The Adult can be Old. The Old desires the Youth. Everyone will die

Very fun to read aloud! It has a natural inflection that feels realistic - though I must admit to stumbling over a few of the k's and ch's. Obviously not a problem for a native-speaker.

Bartholomew
07-04-2008, 12:58 PM
O! O! I wasted a LOT of time making up a language for my very first novel.

Orun. - "Good Morning/Afternoon/Night." (Depends on context, always in greeting, but distinct from Iban, which is Hello.)

Tar felish ik tarib? - Roughly, "How are you?"

Keklit orun. - "I am well."

Teklit orun. - "I am unwell."

Making languages is an outstanding way to never, ever get any writing done. :)

Bartholomew
07-04-2008, 01:02 PM
And yes, that "informality" often starts off marking a low register. But that changes over a few generations.

That doesn't stop the bodies controlling the "official" language from being doofish. How long have we been using "Ain't?" Since, what, the 16th century? It only made it into the dictionary a few years ago.

Alon
07-04-2008, 01:14 PM
Making languages is an outstanding way to never, ever get any writing done.

Word.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-04-2008, 08:54 PM
Making languages is an outstanding way to never, ever get any writing done. :)

You didn't think people conlanged for fun, did you? It's all about the excuse not to write.

Faolmar- very fascinating to see the literal translation. Out of curiosity, how possible would it be for a human(is thatwho speaks borian?) to use that langauge. Are the Bledd's speech organs more similar to a human than an actual wolves?

Faolmor
07-04-2008, 10:38 PM
You didn't think people conlanged for fun, did you? It's all about the excuse not to write.

Faolmar- very fascinating to see the literal translation. Out of curiosity, how possible would it be for a human(is thatwho speaks borian?) to use that langauge. Are the Bledd's speech organs more similar to a human than an actual wolves?

Sorry...not quite sure what you're saying. The Bledrun are human. I was perhaps not clear; when I said they are a wolf people...I was (unwittingly) giving a translation of the word Bledrun lol...sorry. I didn't even realise that I did it.

What I mean is that they are humans who worship wolves.

There are several races inhabiting one particular continent (of four main continents on my world). The Bledrun are a nomadic people with lands across almost all of the countries within that continent. Boria is one of the countries. Borian (Bauri) exists as the lingua franca of my world, like English (arguably) exists here.

Hope this explains :)

SPMiller
07-04-2008, 11:15 PM
Actually, conlanging is a great way to distract me from writing, which is why I try to do as little of it as possible. I'm also trying to keep away from this thread, but for some reason I'm still clicking on it.

If only conlangs paid the bills...

maxmordon
07-04-2008, 11:21 PM
Very fun to read aloud! It has a natural inflection that feels realistic - though I must admit to stumbling over a few of the k's and ch's. Obviously not a problem for a native-speaker.

Thanks, I appreciate you say that, wasn't sure if looked or sounded realistic.

The people who speak it are the Ooku, that in their language means "The people from here" or, more metaphorically "Our people" or "Us" and live in Oonko "Our land" "This land"

Liosse de Velishaf
07-04-2008, 11:44 PM
Sorry...not quite sure what you're saying. The Bledrun are human. I was perhaps not clear; when I said they are a wolf people...I was (unwittingly) giving a translation of the word Bledrun lol...sorry. I didn't even realise that I did it.

What I mean is that they are humans who worship wolves.

There are several races inhabiting one particular continent (of four main continents on my world). The Bledrun are a nomadic people with lands across almost all of the countries within that continent. Boria is one of the countries. Borian (Bauri) exists as the lingua franca of my world, like English (arguably) exists here.

Hope this explains :)


Yes... quite well, thank you. As a note, you seem familiar, or at least your conlang does... Are you on any conlang boards?

Faolmor
07-05-2008, 12:25 AM
Yes... quite well, thank you. As a note, you seem familiar, or at least your conlang does... Are you on any conlang boards?

Nope...I didn't even know they existed :)

maxmordon
07-05-2008, 01:21 AM
Heh. Me neither, thanks for the tip

Alon
07-05-2008, 02:41 AM
They exist. There's a whole site, www.zompist.com, dedicated to world-building, which has boards where people discuss conlanging. At one point, the members organized into two teams, each of which invented an ancestral language and several daughter languages and presented the daughter languages to the other team; each team then had to attempt a historical reconstruction of the other's ancestral language.

maxmordon
07-05-2008, 03:12 AM
I have seen Zompist before, quite useful!

Alon
07-05-2008, 03:16 AM
Almost everything I know about world creation I learned from Zompist (or from his mistakes).

Faolmor
07-05-2008, 10:20 AM
They exist. There's a whole site, www.zompist.com (http://www.zompist.com), dedicated to world-building, which has boards where people discuss conlanging. At one point, the members organized into two teams, each of which invented an ancestral language and several daughter languages and presented the daughter languages to the other team; each team then had to attempt a historical reconstruction of the other's ancestral language.

omg lol! I spend enough time procrastinating on this website - zompist sounds way too addictive for a nerd like me LOL

Actually, until a few days ago, I never even really thought that there would be other people like me who go so far into trying to breathe life into their world. I only learned the words "con-world" and "con-language" when I read the thread on fantasy terms!

It's very cool, though. I'm loving it.

Keep posting up those examples, everyone :) I will post a few more over the weekend.

ETA: I couldn't help myself. I clicked on the link. Across the top of the zompist page was a link that said, "A grammar of Xurnese." One of the languages in my books is called Xarnese. Dagnabbit.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-05-2008, 10:41 AM
Another site is www.conlanger.com, and there's plenty more as well. I prefer the Zompist bboard at www.spinnoff.com/zbb (http://www.spinnoff.com/zbb).

Suprisingly, they aren't really addictive, mainly because they are fairly slow, and have a wide range of topics.


As a note: someone ought to start a thread titled "Con-world" so the languages don't get all the attention.

SPMiller
07-06-2008, 03:15 AM
Aw hell. I'll share a neat resource with y'all.

The Universals Archive (http://typo.uni-konstanz.de/archive/intro/index.php)

You can spend hours browsing these things. Or, at least, I did...

Ardellis
07-06-2008, 04:53 PM
I'm personally addicted to the Conlang mailing list that's run out of the servers at Brown University:

http://listserv.brown.edu/archives/cgi-bin/wa?A0=conlang

Lots of very creative people there doing interesting things, from professional linguists to rank beginners. They've taught me pretty much everything I know.

maxmordon
07-09-2008, 02:39 AM
Well, Faolmor, you have inspired me to attempt to write a tale on my language.

So far I have:

Garku eggia. Garku ogao eggia. Garku oeggio ruonko shornga jko iaoku igi

Garku eggia, orumonko ojiriji eggia


That would be translated as:

The soldier walks. He travels. The soldier wants to go the camping site since his people aren't near.

The soldier walks, he crosses the fields

TPCSWR
07-09-2008, 04:48 AM
Quite the poet you are maxmordon. Wonder what response you'd get if you posted the original in Poetry Critique?

Faolmor
07-09-2008, 10:03 AM
Well, Faolmor, you have inspired me to attempt to write a tale on my language.

So far I have:

Garku eggia. Garku ogao eggia. Garku oeggio ruonko shornga jko iaoku igi

Garku eggia, orumonko ojiriji eggia


That would be translated as:

The soldier walks. He travels. The soldier wants to go the camping site since his people aren't near.

The soldier walks, he crosses the fields

I have so much fun reading your stuff aloud, Max! It's a very cool language - feels so realistic. Are you able to give the literal translation of the above phrase, please?

I meant to post up some more examples of Bleddish and completely forgot. I'll do it when I get home from work :)

Faolmor
07-10-2008, 03:59 PM
As promised...and sorry it took me so long!

Here are some general "greeting-type" phrases for Bleddish (Phel'torna):



Sesunu nakheen See you soon (Lit. future [soon] welcome I will welcome you soon)

Sedamu nakheen See you later (Lit. future [distant] welcome I will welcome you in future)

Maskehri nagu Farewell (Lit. Health-joy take [with you])

Maskehri che ikiut? How are you? (Lit. Health-joy [to] you belongs?)

Sosiyun nakheen Good morning (Lit. Sun-first group howl)

Sosidamu nakheen Good afternoon (Lit. Sun-long group howl)

Sosidioko nakheen Good evening (Lit. Sun-last group howl)

Sosisejeb nakheen Good night (Lit. Sun-rest group howl)

Maskehri n i ikiut I am well. (Lit. Health-joy to me belongs)

Maskehri logoton i ikiut I am really/very well.

Maskvehu n i ikiut I am unwell (Lit. Health-sorrow to me belongs)

maxmordon
07-11-2008, 01:16 AM
I have so much fun reading your stuff aloud, Max! It's a very cool language - feels so realistic. Are you able to give the literal translation of the above phrase, please?

I meant to post up some more examples of Bleddish and completely forgot. I'll do it when I get home from work :)

I forgot to mention that J's are pronounced like H's since I am using Spanish pronounciation for the letters.

The word meaning soldier literary means death-person, while Okugaro means dead or corpse


Garku eggia. Garku ogao eggia.

Killerperson walks. Killerperson big walks

Garku oeggio ruonko shornga jko iaoku igi

Killerperson go to-fireplace (he) desires, motive his-people there [are]not

Garku eggia, orumonko ojiriji eggia

Killerperson walks, groundplace up-and-down walks

maxmordon
07-11-2008, 01:39 AM
As promised...and sorry it took me so long!

Here are some general "greeting-type" phrases for Bleddish (Phel'torna):



Sesunu nakheen See you soon (Lit. future [soon] welcome I will welcome you soon)

Sedamu nakheen See you later (Lit. future [distant] welcome I will welcome you in future)

Maskehri nagu Farewell (Lit. Health-joy take [with you])

Maskehri che ikiut? How are you? (Lit. Health-joy [to] you belongs?)

Sosiyun nakheen Good morning (Lit. Sun-first group howl)

Sosidamu nakheen Good afternoon (Lit. Sun-long group howl)

Sosidioko nakheen Good evening (Lit. Sun-last group howl)

Sosisejeb nakheen Good night (Lit. Sun-rest group howl)

Maskehri n i ikiut I am well. (Lit. Health-joy to me belongs)

Maskehri logoton i ikiut I am really/very well.

Maskvehu n i ikiut I am unwell (Lit. Health-sorrow to me belongs)

Quite interesting, though a bit complicated. You can really notice the influence of wolves on their people

Anonymous_Shalott
12-13-2010, 03:32 AM
Hey, I'm new to this forum and was just wandering around in it when I came across this post. Thought I'd throw Ikiri to the wolves.

Ikiri is a language I'm still in the process of making. It's spoken by a more highly evolved form of human some 10,000 years after a post-apocalyptic event changed the face of the planet. And, actually, it's really only spoken by the (tentatively named) Kassidy Clan. I'll just use an introduction that is the most likely to be used by my main character, Pekijuni (Little Bird).

Hi! My name is Little Bird! I am 8 years old and am an Ovis Herder!
Tor! Ri kan Pekijuni! Ri kan xiadun pernoki kan Ovis kentor!


Pronounciations:
Tor is just tor with a rolled r
In Ri, you roll the r
Kan is pronounced with a long a
In Pekijuni, the j is soft, almost barely there, as in Juno or Jewish but softer.
In Xiadun, the X is pronounced like a soft J.
Pernoki is per as in pear, no as in the spanish word No, and ki as in the chinese energy form.
Ovis is like the scientific word for sheep, Ovis aries
Kentor is pronounced like Ken-tor with the r being rolled. Emphasis on tor.


The word emphasis is rather musical, similar to Japanese.



Literal Translation:
Hi! I [being, to be] Little Bird! I [being, to be] three and two seasons [being, to be] Ovis Keeper!

Anonymous_Shalott
12-13-2010, 03:35 AM
Oh, and just to say, Pekijuni's Mikio would scold her for saying Tor instead of Umarimari (Which has no translation, period. It's just a formal way of saying Greetings, but does not mean greetings. The word for greetings is Nikitori, but is informal and so would not be used in this case.)

Liosse de Velishaf
12-13-2010, 04:43 AM
There's not a lot of your language to throw to us wolves. Now, if you have a phonology, syllable structure, sample lexicon, and possibly some basic grammar material, I'm sure there are people who would be happy to give it a go.

Anonymous_Shalott
12-13-2010, 06:08 AM
See what you can do with what I have written down so far on Ikiri.

Iriki – Spoken by the Kassidy Clan


Vowels


A=Ah-Ay
E=Eh-E
I=Ih-Ie
O=Oh-O
U=Oo


Stress


Stress is irregular. Indicated by orthographical symbols placed over vowels. However, stress shall always be the second to last vowel in the word.


Tone


Words are spoken in an HLH, LHL, HLL, or LHLL. Example; Mikio (Mother) is pronounced LHL, with mi in a low tone, ki in a higher tone, and o in a low tone. Kikio (Father) is pronounced HLL.


Constraints


Double consonants cannot occur in Ikiri. Words will always follow the patterns of v-c-v-c, v-v-c, or c-v-v. So a word like Bnoka, meaning bread in Ibeno, could not possibly be a word in Ikiri. One; a b next to an n does not follow the patters and two; b does not exist in Ikiri. Though the languages are similar, they are also vastly different. Like Puerto Rican Spanish and Spain Spanish. I could get the gist of what a Spaniard is saying to me, but I would not be able to accurately translate his words into English and there would be some words that I have never come across before.



ALPHABET


Orthography


C is always pronounced hard while J is continually soft. G, W, Y, B, Q, L, and H do not exist in Ikiri.


Letters


A E I O U M C D F K N S R P J T V X Z


X makes a k, ch, or sh sound depending on the word.


Word Meanings


Ikirian words do not have literal single word translations. For example, Mikiri. It means mother, but the literal translation would be 'woman who birthed me'. Kikiri would be 'man who raised me', as opposed to Kitiza, 'man who made me'.


GRAMMER


Ikiri is an isolation language that skips many words used in the English language. For example; the phrase 'I ate'. In Ikiri, the word for 'to eat' is piki. To say 'I'm eating' would be 'Ri piki'. I [to eat]. 'I have eaten' or 'I ate' would be 'Ri piki ta'. I [to eat] [in the positive]. I will eat or I haven't eaten yet is 'Ri piki to' I [to eat] [in the negative].


Ikiri words have three genders; humans, animals, and objects. To indicate male, female, and it, an additional syllable is added to the sentence. For example; if one were to say 'She ate already' with she being a human female, it would be 'Mita piki ta'. If the she were an animal, then the word would become 'Mina'. If the gender were uncertain, the prefix would become Zita or Zina. Male form; Kita. When speaking of an object, the suffix is fa. For example; Sunflower is sitting on a rock out in the meadow. “Zurika vin kifa perki turipa Mikirina.” [Sunflower] [to sit, sits, sitting] [male object] [rock, stone] [outside] [meadow]. In essence; female = Mi, male = Ki, it = Zi. Ta = human, Na = animal, and Fa =object.


The noun, itself, is never engendered, but rather has an adjective describing its gender coming before it in the sentence. Words are also never really tensed, but have a word afterward that describes the time. In explanation, the Kassidy Clan does not think about the past or future to any extant. They live rather like their animals; in the here and now. So sentences like “I'm going to be a hunter when I grow up” don't exist. You either are or aren't a hunter. There is child (deno), student (sitiri), and hunter (rekuro). So “I am becoming a hunter” is actually “I am a student of a hunter” “Ri sitiri rekuro” I [student] [hunter].


With the language being simple, so are the sentences of questions. To say “Did you loose an Ovis?” is to say “Ovis perono xi?” Ovis absent [query]. Did you eat is Kitau pika ta xi; [indicates a male listener] [to eat] [in the affirmative] [query]. However, the pronunciation of 'xi' is different depending on who the question is being addressed to. In Kitau pika ta xi, it's pronounced as 'chi'. In Mitau pika ta xi, it's pronounced 'shi'. If the query is about an animal, then the 'xi' is pronounced 'ki'. For example, Perono Ovis nokiko xi? (Where is the missing Ovis?)


NUMBERS


0 - Non
1 - Un
2 - Dun
3 - Xia (Chia)

4 - Kunu
5 - Xet (Tset)

6 - Kor
7 - Per
8 - Nox
9 - Nit
10 – Tor


numbers more then 10 are pronounced by placing two numbers together. 23 would be Dunxia. 11 is Unun. 12 Undun. And so on and so forth.


ARTICLES


There are no articles in Ikiri. They simply don't exist.



WORD ORDER


(defining word) subject, verb, object (clinch)


In the purest form, Ikiri does not have conjunctions. Of course, neither does English, but nobody speaks English in its purest form, not even the English. Slang intervenes. Damn kids.

Hope this is what you were talking about when you asked for more. Sample lexicon; still working on that.

Liosse de Velishaf
12-13-2010, 06:39 AM
What is the history behind the letter x representing three phones? Are the velar stop, the palatal affricate, and the palatal fricative all allophones of one phoneme?

I don't know what "soft c" means. Are we talking "c" as in "ceiling"? Why not just use "s"? How can "c" not exist, if you have just given it a value?

What is "soft j"? "j" as in "john"?

It's extremely unlikely that you would have /p/, /t/, /k/, and /d/, but not /g/ or /b/. The first three are unvoiced, while the second three are voiced. If there is a voicing distinction between /t/ and /d/, then there should be a distinction between the others.


I don't understand what values you are using for vowels. Is "i" the high front unrounded vowel? is "u" the high back rounded vowel?




For your stress, you first say it is irregular, and then claim it is penultimate. But it seems unlikely that you would have stress at all in a tonal language. Do your speakers modulate pitch more strongly on stressed syllables?


Your syllable structure rules are wrong. You can't have two vowels in the same syllable/mora. Also, a "double consonant", also known as a geminate consonant, is a long consonant, when you pause at the place of articulation before releasing. "bn" is not a double consonant, it is a consonant cluster.



On the meanings, your language is not isolating, as it displays clear synthetic features, such as in your example of "mother". I would define it as inflecting or agglutinating, depending on how fine I wanted to cut the continuum.


You do not have three genders, but rather three levels of animacy.

There appear to be no words describing time, but only states of being and classifications.


I'm a bit confused about your numbers. Are you saying that there is an implied ones, ten, hundreds, etc place? Nothing wrong if you are, I am just trying to understand.


I'm not sure what you mean about English having no conjunctions. English has several conjunctions.


I'm curious about the lack of a case system... Is there a reason? While it might be possible to rely on syntax and context, it is a bit odd.

Anonymous_Shalott
12-13-2010, 07:41 AM
You really tore into it like a wolf, didn't you?

I've always thought of X as representing three phones. Not sure why, that's just the way it works in my head.

Soft c as in ceiling, yes. And I noticed that I put c in my list of unexisting letters after I posted it. I have gone back and edited it.

And yes, soft j as in john...or juno or jewish.

And how unlikely is it to have p, t, k, and d but not g or b? If you think about it, language is just a collection of sounds put together in what we, as sentient beings, have determined to be words. That's like saying how can paper have any monetary value. It doesn't, we simply say that it does. As for distinction between t and d. T is pronounced as Teh and D is pronounced as Duh. Explain to me what you mean by others.

On i and u, yes.

Irregular and penultimatum: Did I do that? My bad. Remember, I am not a linguist. I do this as a hobby and frequently make mistakes. As for the tone and emphasis, yes there is extra emphasis on words using orthographical symbols. For example, in Spanish (which I don't speak very well, mind you, just grew up around it) some words do not have orthographics when spelled, but still have emphasis put on certain vowels, but the language does use the symbols; such as Jos vs mujer. In mujer, emphasis is placed on the -jer portion of the word, but there's no in that word.

Why can't I have two vowels in the same syllable? Not being pert, I'm just asking. I can understand that not being possible in the English or Spanish languages, but this is Ikiri. (On that note, my rules aren't wrong cause they're my rules, dammit. That's how the playground works!...okay, I'm done being an @$$) When I said double consonant, I meant consonant cluster. (Again, I'm not a linguist. Never went to school for it. This is a hobby.) Either way, they don't exist in Ikiri.

On the isolating thing, thank you for correcting me. Not isolating. Going over it again, I would go with agglutinating(?).

I'll fix the animacy thing in my document. And there are no words describing time because the Kassidy Clan...well, they have a concept of time. I mean, they know that the Anteleer herd will head south in the Season of Snow. They just don't pay any attention to time. It has no hold over them. The only reason Little Bird knows she is 32 seasons old is because she counted them. (Please note; Little Bird is...special in her own little way.) Anyway, there is no concept of time in Ikiri.

Yes on your numbers implications. The way it works is that its rather similar to the old style of counting only...simpler? Like the way counting used to be done was, for example, "I have 10 and 9 years to me." Or I am 19 years old. In Ikiri, it would be translated as I have 1 9 years to me." With one and nine being spoken as separate numbers.

English in its purest form when spoken in my head does not have conjunctions. My head could be wrong. I dunno. When people speak English in its purest form in my head, they say every single word in the sentence. Like, instead of saying I don't have time for this, they say I do not have time for this. No conjunctions. In my head. But my head is a strange place where meteors the size of Texas don't completely demolish a planet (not possible) and where vowels CAN be in the same syllable side by side.

Lack of a case system is because people are lazy. See, the way the language evolved was that, after the meteor strike, there were only a couple hundred thousand people left world wide and not everyone spoke the same language. The different words and dialects started to mesh into something that everyone could speak and understand. (With the rest of the world in ruin and the American Midwest surviving purely on chance, guess where everyone was moving.) Then that language, rather like English is already doing, started to distort and erode until it no longer resembled any of the old languages. (Think you can hold an intelligent conversation in English with someone who spoke the language several hundred years ago? There's a 10,000 year difference in my story.)

So, that language, call Ibinikiri, had all the case system and the Inflections and all the wonderful bits and pieces of our languages today, but it began to wither and die because people are lazy and started skipping letters, then words. I know that this is possible because I am already doing it. And most words I don't even say right. But, then again, I don't speak English. I speak American. There's a difference.

Now, I don't speak Vulcan but I don't think they have a case system, either. Their reasoning is because they are purely logical and there is no logical reason for a case system if you're smart (or logical) enough to follow along. Ikiri has no case system (neither does Ibini, for that matter), but it's because humans are lazy. Now, the laziness has been bred out, but the language stayed the same.

They do rely on syntax and context, but they've been speaking it their whole lives so they're used to that. The Kassidy Clan is a very observant people. Even though I invented it (or am in the process of inventing it), I will probably never be able to speak Ikiri fluently because I'm nowhere near as observant as even Little Bird, and she is eight and has the attention span of a sick flea. (Makes you wonder what her Kikio was thinking when he put her in charge of the Ovis. Then again, she does have three Canus). Then again, J.R.R. Tolkien never claimed to be fluent in Elvish, either.

Liosse de Velishaf
12-13-2010, 08:16 AM
And how unlikely is it to have p, t, k, and d but not g or b? If you think about it, language is just a collection of sounds put together in what we, as sentient beings, have determined to be words. That's like saying how can paper have any monetary value. It doesn't, we simply say that it does. As for distinction between t and d. T is pronounced as Teh and D is pronounced as Duh. Explain to me what you mean by others.

Systems of communication evolve in order to pass along the most possible information with the most efficient use of resources. The phonemes(percieved sounds) in a language are divided into groups by the distinctions to which the native speaker pays attention. In general, if there is a distinction between two phones(sounds), that distinction will exist for all similar phones. p, t, and k are in the category of phones called "stops". All three sounds happen to be voiceless--the vocal cords do no vibrate when these sounds are made. d is also a stop. But it is voiced, meaning that the vocal cords do vibrate when the sound is made. [t] and [d] are exactly the same phone except that [t] is voiceless, and [d] is voiced. The distinction between these two phones is called "voicing", for obvious reasons. If there is a voicing distinction between one pair of stops, there is almost always a voicing distinction between all pairs of stops. If you have [t] and [d], you will have [p] and [b], and also [k] and [g].

As a note, "q" is not a sound, it it a letter. In English, it generally represents [k] or [k_w].

Irregular and penultimatum: Did I do that? My bad. Remember, I am not a linguist. I do this as a hobby and frequently make mistakes. As for the tone and emphasis, yes there is extra emphasis on words using orthographical symbols. For example, in Spanish (which I don't speak very well, mind you, just grew up around it) some words do not have orthographics when spelled, but still have emphasis put on certain vowels, but the language does use the symbols; such as Jos vs mujer. In mujer, emphasis is placed on the -jer portion of the word, but there's no in that word.[quote]

You're not understanding me. Orthographical symbols have to do with writing. They have nothing to do with spoken language, and whether stress in the spoken language is always marked with some accent or not in the writing is completely irrelevant. Your post shows that Ikiri is a tonal language. That means that stress on syllables is either absent or not a major factor in the meaning of the words. That doesn't mean you can't have "stress", but it will show up in the intensity of frequency modulation(how much higher or lower the pitch of the vowel is than the previous and next syllable vowels).

[quote]Why can't I have two vowels in the same syllable? Not being pert, I'm just asking. I can understand that not being possible in the English or Spanish languages, but this is Ikiri. (On that note, my rules aren't wrong cause they're my rules, dammit. That's how the playground works!...okay, I'm done being an @$$)

A syllable by definition can only have one vowel in it. That vowel is called the "nucleus" of the syllable. A syllable may have any number of consonants in it, depending on the rules of that particular language.

English can have many consonants before and after the vowel:
v, cv, cvc, vc, ccvc, cvcc, etc

But Hawai'ian can only have the syllable structures v and cv.

You'll notice that none of these syllables have "vv" in them, because two vowels by definition require two syllables(or morae).

On the isolating thing, thank you for correcting me. Not isolating. Going over it again, I would go with agglutinating(?).

You should be fine using agglutinating.


English in its purest form when spoken in my head does not have conjunctions. My head could be wrong. I dunno. When people speak English in its purest form in my head, they say every single word in the sentence. Like, instead of saying I don't have time for this, they say I do not have time for this. No conjunctions. In my head. But my head is a strange place where meteors the size of Texas don't completely demolish a planet (not possible) and where vowels CAN be in the same syllable side by side.

Ah, the word you want is "contraction". "Can't" is a contraction of "can not". A "conjuction" is a word like "and", which joins together two words, or phrases, or clauses, or sentences.

And no, you still cannot have two vowels in one syllable. ;)

Lack of a case system is because people are lazy. See, the way the language evolved was that, after the meteor strike, there were only a couple hundred thousand people left world wide and not everyone spoke the same language. The different words and dialects started to mesh into something that everyone could speak and understand. (With the rest of the world in ruin and the American Midwest surviving purely on chance, guess where everyone was moving.) Then that language, rather like English is already doing, started to distort and erode until it no longer resembled any of the old languages. (Think you can hold an intelligent conversation in English with someone who spoke the language several hundred years ago? There's a 10,000 year difference in my story.)

So, that language, call Ibinikiri, had all the case system and the Inflections and all the wonderful bits and pieces of our languages today, but it began to wither and die because people are lazy and started skipping letters, then words. I know that this is possible because I am already doing it. And most words I don't even say right. But, then again, I don't speak English. I speak American. There's a difference.

Now, I don't speak Vulcan but I don't think they have a case system, either. Their reasoning is because they are purely logical and there is no logical reason for a case system if you're smart (or logical) enough to follow along. Ikiri has no case system (neither does Ibini, for that matter), but it's because humans are lazy. Now, the laziness has been bred out, but the language stayed the same.

They do rely on syntax and context, but they've been speaking it their whole lives so they're used to that. The Kassidy Clan is a very observant people. Even though I invented it (or am in the process of inventing it), I will probably never be able to speak Ikiri fluently because I'm nowhere near as observant as even Little Bird, and she is eight and has the attention span of a sick flea. (Makes you wonder what her Kikio was thinking when he put her in charge of the Ovis. Then again, she does have three Canus). Then again, J.R.R. Tolkien never claimed to be fluent in Elvish, either.

What you are describing is a "pidgin", a very simple language in which two languages have merged to allow for communication between people with different native or learned languages. However, over time, a pidgin will develop into a "creole", as children grow up speaking it as their native language. There is no reall connection between that and your lack of a case system, however.

Languages do not "distort" and "erode". They evolve. The reason an English speaker today could not communicate with someone ten thousand years ago is because no one spoke English ten thousand years ago. English is a relatively young language, which evolved from Anglo-Frisian starting from around 1800 years ago. But languages ten thousand years ago still had a way in which to express case. English expresses it through prepositions, such as "of" and "for". We used to have a case system that used inflections, but that survives only in our pronouns.

I feel obliged to tell you that Vulcan does have a case system, which uses prefixes to express the meanings we use prepositions for.

There is an enormous diversity to human language, and as I said before, it might be possible to express the nuances of case with just syntax and context. In a pidgin, this would be very possible. However, after 10,000 years, the language would no longer be a pidgin, and it's incarnation as a creole would be long forgotten.

Anonymous_Shalott
12-13-2010, 09:22 AM
Systems of communication evolve in order to pass along the most possible information with the most efficient use of resources. The phonemes(percieved sounds) in a language are divided into groups by the distinctions to which the native speaker pays attention. In general, if there is a distinction between two phones(sounds), that distinction will exist for all similar phones. p, t, and k are in the category of phones called "stops". All three sounds happen to be voiceless--the vocal cords do no vibrate when these sounds are made. d is also a stop. But it is voiced, meaning that the vocal cords do vibrate when the sound is made. [t] and [d] are exactly the same phone except that [t] is voiceless, and [d] is voiced. The distinction between these two phones is called "voicing", for obvious reasons. If there is a voicing distinction between one pair of stops, there is almost always a voicing distinction between all pairs of stops. If you have [t] and [d], you will have [p] and [b], and also [k] and [g].

Okay, I understand that (I think). Personally, I think Ikiri is a very efficient way to pass on information. Just the important stuff, no bits of fluff. I get where you're coming from with the voiced and unvoiced sounds, however as is such I still don't find a g or b sound being necessary...I think. This is my first invented language, so I dunno.

You're not understanding me. Orthographical symbols have to do with writing. They have nothing to do with spoken language, and whether stress in the spoken language is always marked with some accent or not in the writing is completely irrelevant. Your post shows that Ikiri is a tonal language. That means that stress on syllables is either absent or not a major factor in the meaning of the words. That doesn't mean you can't have "stress", but it will show up in the intensity of frequency modulation(how much higher or lower the pitch of the vowel is than the previous and next syllable vowels).

Okay, my bad. I just put spoken and written together in my head. It's a strange place up there, what can I say. But what I said still goes, I suppose. There is extra emphasis on some syllables then there are on others.



A syllable by definition can only have one vowel in it. That vowel is called the "nucleus" of the syllable. A syllable may have any number of consonants in it, depending on the rules of that particular language.

English can have many consonants before and after the vowel:
v, cv, cvc, vc, ccvc, cvcc, etc

But Hawai'ian can only have the syllable structures v and cv.

You'll notice that none of these syllables have "vv" in them, because two vowels by definition require two syllables(or morae).

I feel obligated to point out that in 10,000 years, the rules may have changed just a smidge. But I do make a correction. Vowels can be side by side, but in different syllables of the word. Like in Kiikri (a bird of prey in the new version of Earth where my story takes place. It's also the onomatopoeia used for the sound it makes).

Ah, the word you want is "contraction". "Can't" is a contraction of "can not". A "conjuction" is a word like "and", which joins together two words, or phrases, or clauses, or sentences.

And no, you still cannot have two vowels in one syllable. ;)

Yes, contraction. And you know what I think of your 'two vowels rule'? *blows a raspberry* That's what I think! :D



What you are describing is a "pidgin", a very simple language in which two languages have merged to allow for communication between people with different native or learned languages. However, over time, a pidgin will develop into a "creole", as children grow up speaking it as their native language. There is no reall connection between that and your lack of a case system, however.

I never knew that. You have taught me something (several somethings, actually) new.

Languages do not "distort" and "erode". They evolve. The reason an English speaker today could not communicate with someone ten thousand years ago is because no one spoke English ten thousand years ago. English is a relatively young language, which evolved from Anglo-Frisian starting from around 1800 years ago. But languages ten thousand years ago still had a way in which to express case. English expresses it through prepositions, such as "of" and "for". We used to have a case system that used inflections, but that survives only in our pronouns.

Okay, first of all, I said you could not hold an intelligent conversation with an English speaking person from several CENTURIES ago. Not 10,000 years.

I feel obliged to tell you that Vulcan does have a case system, which uses prefixes to express the meanings we use prepositions for.

There is an enormous diversity to human language, and as I said before, it might be possible to express the nuances of case with just syntax and context. In a pidgin, this would be very possible. However, after 10,000 years, the language would no longer be a pidgin, and it's incarnation as a creole would be long forgotten.

I don't speak Vulcan so I didn't know. I learned something new!

Ikiri has only been spoken for 1200 years. I don't know what was spoken before Ikiri because I don't have the patience to make up an entire series of languages explaining the evolution of one of only three or four languages that I will be using. But, it was a pidgin of Ibini that became a Creole and is now a language that the Kassidy Clan has not bothered to change. They don't need no stinkin' contractions. They are very, very smart. There is no IQ system in their time and they may all be tree hugging hippies, but I think the lowest IQ in the bunch is Little Birds brother, Fat Duck. And he has an IQ of 185. Little Bird calls him Stupid Duck, but only when their Mikio and Kikio are not nearby.

And if you think I'm making all this shxt up as I go along...then you would be right about everything except the characters. It's a new language and I'm tweaking it as I go along. I just happen to be tweaking it along the lines of your constructive (and helpful) criticism. Check it, you are helping me make up a language! ...in a round about fashion, but still.

(And shxt (pronounced sh-k-ss-t) is a curse word in Ibini. If I need to translate that for you, then you don't need to know what it means. I'm 19, of course I'm gonna make up the curse words first! But Ikiri does not have curse words because they were deemed to be useless and stupid...the Ovis of the spoken language. The Kassidy Clan are a peaceful people. The Kassidy Clan, not Little Bird. Little Bird is one mean little girl.)

Any comments on my corrections and revisions? Anything I did that was just plain silly? (Other then the intentional silliness, that is.)

Liosse de Velishaf
12-13-2010, 09:57 AM
Heh, sorry about the 10,000 years thing. You get this little box to type in, and you have to scroll down to see old posts. My mistake. :)

It's not that a b or g sound would be necessary, it's that if you have a distinction between t and d, there will always be a distinction between the other two sets. The brain isn't organized in individual phones, it does that sort of stuff by features applied to similar sets of sounds. For example, even though you could make an unvoiced /r/ sound(english r, not the trill), you don't realize it, because englich does not have a voicing distinction for liquids(a class of sound which includes r and l and the "rolled" r of the Romance languages such as Spanish and Italian). Same goes for nasals, like m, n, and "ng". However, p,t, and k are all stops, and so if there is a voicing distincrion for one of them, there is going to be a voicing distinction for all.


As far as the vowel thing, it's not a "rule" that you can't have two vowels in one syllable. A syllable is generally considered the smallest intelligible piece of language, that is, the smallest piece of sound that can be assigned a meaning--and the definition of a "syllable" is that it must contain one, and only one, vowel. It's not a rule of language, it's a rule of the way we describe language. Any piece of language that contains more than one vowel can be either a morpheme or a word, but not a syllable. (A morpheme is made up of syllables, and a word is made up of morphemes.)

As far as the extra emphasis, in a tonal language, you may have a smaller change in pitch between two syllables, but there is no tonal language which has both a fully developed tonal system and a fully-developed stress system. It just doesn't work.

Strictly speaking, Modern English is a separate "daughter" language of the language spoken several centuries ago. They are not the same language. Although that part was just me ranting against the use of words like "erode" and "degrade" to describe language evolution.

The important point was that having no way to suggest case at all simply leaves too much ambiguity in a language. Let's use the words "Michael", "cat", and "house". "Michael cat house", with no prepositions, could mean, "Michael's house for cats", "michael's cat in the house", "the house of a species of cat called the "Michael cat", etc. It's not really matter of attention span or observational skill. Every functioning, living language, has some way to mark the relationship between arguments of a sentence, whether that be location, possession, movement towards or from, etc.

As far as the Vulcan, you stated in your post that Vulcan does not have a case system, and then gave a reason for why. This gives the very clear impression that you know something about Vulcan. ;)

For the record, it is impossible for everyone to have an IQ of 185 or higher, because IQ is a comparative measure of intelligence. It's based on a bell curve, meaning that there are very few people with high IQ scores, and few people with low ones, but many people with average ones. In general, the highest possible IQ score is 200 on the Stanford-Binet IQ test. Most people nowadays use the WISC test for kids, though, which allows for much lower top scores, with 160 being the highest possible score. The WISC test is normed on 4000 people randomly selected from the US population.

Either way, language change is not a conciously controllable process. Language drift happens. Over 1200 years, it would happen a lot. Even if there was no previous way to mark case, work-arounds and improvizations would come up, eventually simplified by your same "erosion" process into a system of case-marking where it's predecessor could not be reliably reconstructed.

Anonymous_Shalott
12-13-2010, 10:24 AM
It's not that a b or g sound would be necessary, it's that if you have a distinction between t and d, there will always be a distinction between the other two sets. The brain isn't organized in individual phones, it does that sort of stuff by features applied to similar sets of sounds. For example, even though you could make an unvoiced /r/ sound(english r, not the trill), you don't realize it, because englich does not have a voicing distinction for liquids(a class of sound which includes r and l and the "rolled" r of the Romance languages such as Spanish and Italian). Same goes for nasals, like m, n, and "ng". However, p,t, and k are all stops, and so if there is a voicing distincrion for one of them, there is going to be a voicing distinction for all.

I suppose this would be true. So, if Ikiri does not have a be, then it cannot have a d. Makes sense. Goodbye D.

As far as the extra emphasis, in a tonal language, you may have a smaller change in pitch between two syllables, but there is no tonal language which has both a fully developed tonal system and a fully-developed stress system. It just doesn't work.

Never said the systems were fully developed as that's, as you say, unworkable. The language, when spoken by a native speaker, has a musical quality to it. But in some words, there's a little extra emphasis. Does that make sense?

The important point was that having no way to suggest case at all simply leaves too much ambiguity in a language. Let's use the words "Michael", "cat", and "house". "Michael cat house", with no prepositions, could mean, "Michael's house for cats", "michael's cat in the house", "the house of a species of cat called the "Michael cat", etc. It's not really matter of attention span or observational skill. Every functioning, living language, has some way to mark the relationship between arguments of a sentence, whether that be location, possession, movement towards or from, etc.

I suppose that would be a problem if you haven't spoken the language from birth. But when I look at Chinese poetry (the literal translation, not the dubbed version), I get all sorts of confused because it doesn't have relationship markers. Just nouns, with verbs and adjectives thrown in here and there. (Note; I don't speak or read Chinese. I could be wrong. I probably am.) But, clearly, the author of the poetry had no problem understanding what he was putting down. And neither did the people who read his work. Ikiri is similar to that. If you haven't spoken the language from birth or with any sort of fluency, then you have no clue what anyone is saying unless you really concentrate and pay attention to the way the words are said.

For the record, it is impossible for everyone to have an IQ of 185 or higher, because IQ is a comparative measure of intelligence. It's based on a bell curve, meaning that there are very few people with high IQ scores, and few people with low ones, but many people with average ones.

The IQ thing was a rough estimate. Fat Duck is very smart, smarter then you or I, but he's not very smart when compared to the rest of his family. I don't know what they would actually get if they took an IQ test, but I know that they are crazy smart.

Either way, language change is not a conciously controllable process. Language drift happens. Over 1200 years, it would happen a lot. Even if there was no previous way to mark case, work-arounds and improvizations would come up, eventually simplified by your same "erosion" process into a system of case-marking where it's predecessor could not be reliably reconstructed.

Yeah, I suppose its changed some. Like new words coming in to replace old ones or to discribe new things that weren't around before. Like an Anteleer with four-pronged antlers instead of three. Or a Wild Cat that wasn't a Vikima. But, in 1200 years of time, the change hasn't been significant. Think of kids today who speak old fashionly. As the Kassidy Clan isn't very large (the most its had at one time was 200 people), and occasionally there would be word change or slang terms that would interject into the language. But people would leave and join up all the time. The people who left would take whatever idioms they spoke with them and, as no other clan speaks Ikiri eventually forget the idioms, and the people who joined would have to learn the language from the ground up in the old fashioned way. That, combined with random upcroppings of old fashioned children, preserved the language in as close to its original state as possible.

Liosse de Velishaf
12-13-2010, 10:46 AM
Chinese has a very well developed system of particles to mark case. it also has a very large system of classifiers, much like counter words in Japanese, but more extensive. it is certainly not just nouns, verbs, and adjectives. It is even more strongly isolating than English, so these are all their own words.

Any human language is learnable by a non-native speaker with the right instruction. I have conlangs that don't even have verbs in them, but I could still teach an English speaker these languages.


In 1200 years, any language will change significantly. In fact, before we had systems of writing to hold in place an accepted "standard", they changed even faster. Just think about how fast slang changes in ten years, or a few months. It's no longer hip to use "tight" or "sweet" to mean "cool"; in fact using "hip" can date you even more. These are mostly cosmetic changes, but remember what you argued about how an "English" speaker of even just a few centuries ago could not understand much of what a modern speaker would say. It's only been 400 years since Shakespeare, and we already have major problems reading what he wrote. Without a mass media, or even mediocre literacy rates as your world probably has, language drift would be much faster.

Anonymous_Shalott
12-13-2010, 11:18 AM
Like I said, I don't know Chinese. I was just going off of what poetry I've read. (Then again, that poetry was from the Tang Dynasty)

I never said you couldn't teach an English speaker Ikiri. Just that they could never be fluent in it.

And, actually, it's still cool to say sweet. As a matter of fact, I still say radical.

To correct you on a point, I never said that my world was largely illiterate. In fact, the percentage of people who can read in my world is larger then the percent of people who can read now in the United States alone. (Given that there is a smaller number of people, but still) You are considered a failure as a parent if your children can't read or write. More accurately, you are called an Ovista, a human Ovis.

As I am not an Ovista, I get where you're coming from. Yeah, I suppose there would be asthetic changes. Even with a Clan that generally gets no larger then around 80 people. Although, with them being so isolated from the rest of the world (The Kassidy Clan's territory covers pretty much, um, Nebraska to Louisiana), combined with their small size, wouldn't there be even less of a chance of language drift?

Paladin
12-13-2010, 11:18 AM
This is a really interesting discussion. I am in no way a linguist, and when I came up with languages (before knowing I was supposed to call them con-languages), I pretty much always came up with them in the context of what I'd be using them for.

For example, I made a language that I ended up using in a long-running RPG with friends. My friends weren't linguists or bilingual, but I wanted them to eventually be able to either speak the language or recognize key words here and there. My goal when making the language was to make something drop-dead simple, something whose lexicon could fit on the back of a credit card. (When the players' characters learned the language, I'd actually give them a card with the words on it.)

(I also had an easy out, because the language was designed around concepts, not around physical objects. I went into it with no intention of making a language that you could use to write an instruction manual for your PVR.)

The sentences all went subject object (modifier) verb concept

a e ri chal

Would be "I you relate love", or I love you. With modifiers and stacking of multiple concepts (I you relate physical-distance-love, I you relate nonphysical closeness love), you could eventually get fairly specific, but it would be really unwieldy to ever try to use it for practical task-based speech.

Not exactly a language that would ever get poetry, but by the end of the campaign, one player could hold a short conversation, and almost everyone could recognize important words.

More recently, I made a language for a novel. It was meant to be the language the ancients used, and again, my goal was never to have characters talking to each other in that language. I just wanted to have a consistent source from which I could pull words so that the creatures in my magical fantasy world won't have a Latin basis. I also wanted the language to also be easily readable and pronounceable for English-speaking readers, so everything can pretty much be pronounced the way an average American reader would pronounce it.

My sentence structure was Modifier Direct Object Verb'subject Indirect Object.

Iry alti kajair'is

Iry: Modifier: Future -- at start of sentence, puts entire sentence in future tense

Alti: Al, for "he, she, or it", ti for "make plural" -- together, makes "they/them"

Kajair: Ka, modifier for negative, jair for "create" -- together, makes "destroy"

'is: subject suffix meaning "I, singular"

So that's a long-winded way of saying, "I will destroy them."

For my own sanity, the language is very structured, certainly to an unreasonable and unrealistic extent. I started with a CVC or CVVC word for each major verb, and then said that if you slapped "es" after the first C, you would turn it from a verb into a related noun.

So byn means "live", and besyn means "person" (and with the ka modifier, kabyn means "die" and kabesyn means "dead person", which in this world is more likely to mean an undead than someone who has simply died).

Again, I'm not setting this up as a full language, because I know it isn't. Half the time I realize that I want to say something I don't have a phrase for yet, so I have to hop back in and add something somewhere -- and it's again based on concepts and ideas rather than specifics, because I'm trying primarily to write a book, not make a full language, and if I can just go "Hey, great, jesair means 'tool', and eso is a modifier meaning 'large' that can be inverted by putting a k between the end of the first vowel sound and the start of the first consonant sound, so the ancients would call this thing an esko-jesair, for 'little tool'," then I just do that instead of figuring out a new word for "hammer".

Liosse de Velishaf
12-13-2010, 07:47 PM
Like I said, I don't know Chinese. I was just going off of what poetry I've read. (Then again, that poetry was from the Tang Dynasty)

Google is your friend. So is wikipedia. ;)

I never said you couldn't teach an English speaker Ikiri. Just that they could never be fluent in it.

Again, any human language can be taught to fluency. No matter how odd or different your language is, if a human can pronounce the phones, they can learn to speak the language.

And, actually, it's still cool to say sweet. As a matter of fact, I still say radical.

Some words last longer than others. "Cool" is still cool, and "sweet", while not as common, is still used. "Tight", not so much.

To correct you on a point, I never said that my world was largely illiterate. In fact, the percentage of people who can read in my world is larger then the percent of people who can read now in the United States alone. (Given that there is a smaller number of people, but still) You are considered a failure as a parent if your children can't read or write. More accurately, you are called an Ovista, a human Ovis.

As I am not an Ovista, I get where you're coming from. Yeah, I suppose there would be asthetic changes. Even with a Clan that generally gets no larger then around 80 people. Although, with them being so isolated from the rest of the world (The Kassidy Clan's territory covers pretty much, um, Nebraska to Louisiana), combined with their small size, wouldn't there be even less of a chance of language drift?

I find this possible but unlikely. After a meteor strike that killed off the vast majority of the world's population, there are more important things to preserve than literacy. As a clan with 80 people in it, and a rather large territory, I am assuming they are somewhat nomadic. If not, then they are still farmers, whose primary goal is going to be growing enough food to survive. There's not a great deal of time or purpose for literacy in such a small group, and with the amount of people left, that meteor must have caused a lot of damage. Since they would not be capable of making mass-produced books on their own, I wonder where they would get many.


If I am wrong on any of my assumptions, please correct me.

Liosse de Velishaf
12-13-2010, 07:50 PM
Paladin, interesting. I can't say much more with only the samples you have given.

Anonymous_Shalott
12-14-2010, 02:25 AM
Well, when you considered the amount of evolution my people have gone through (though, admittedly, not much. Just enough to survive in a hostile environment; claws, fangs, colour palette to match the environment, and a slightly different shaped tongue and hard and soft palette as their faces are elongated much like a wolfs), they aren't technically human anymore. I just don't know what to call them. But, alright, I will admit that a human could be taught to fluency. But I did go back to read what I wrote in that particular post and have noticed that I never said all humans couldn't be taught to fluency, just me. But it's still a difficult language to learn and follow along with unless you've been speaking it for a long, long time.

It is unlikely that the world would seek to preserve literacy when there are more important things to worry about, however there were certain people amongst the survivors who thought literacy was important enough to preserve. (Think librarians, teachers, writers) And the Kassidy Clan is nomadic. Nobody farms in this new version of Earth (as far as the Kassidy Clan knows) because nobody knows how to farm on a planet that is half ice, a quarter desert, and a quarter African Serengeti. When the meteor hit, it knocked the tectonic plates several miles south and the entire planet two inches closer to the sun. The axis was also altered so the planets spin is 24.8 rather then 23.5. (These are random guesses by me. I am not an astrologer, so I have no clue what these alterations might actually do to the planet.) No one knew how to farm in this new environment and since there were fruits on the trees and the plants were already evolving to accommodate the knew weather, they simply became hunters and gatherers. I sure somewhere on the planet, someones figured out how to farm, but not the Kassidy Clan.

As for the mass produced books, no. There are no 'books'. There are scrolls written on Tauren and Anteleer hide, but no books. No one wants to cut down the trees that provide their sustenance to try to create a product no one knows how to make anymore. No, people write on scrolls. When what books they had left started to rot and fall apart, they copied all the supposedly important stuff on scrolls. Then the scrolls were put on shelves and forgotten about. And they were written in English, not Ibinikiri, which didn't fully develop into a spoken and written language until some generations after the fact when all the copying people had died and the locations of those scrolls (call them the Lost Scrolls) had been forgotten.

And your assumption that literacy is unimportant in the Kassidy Clan is incorrect. Occasionally, the trader clans pass through their territory. Trader clans have scrolls with them. On these scrolls are written the events of the larger world at hand. In the past, the Kassidy Clan had lost a member, Sunflower. She had chased an Ovis too far north and her Canus had perished in a rockslide that she was, thankfully, thrown free of. She didn't know her way home and so went north instead of south. She wound up in what was once South Dakota, which is a pile of ice. She was saved by the Ice Rock Clan and returned home. The Kassidy Clan and The Ice Rock Clan still keep tabs on each other. And Sunflower wrote down her experience and gave it to the trader clan they do most of their business with, The Golden Step Clan. They copied her work multiple times and sell it to clans who are nomadic, like the Kassidy Clan, so they can learn from Sunflowers mistake.

Liosse de Velishaf
12-14-2010, 03:08 AM
There's really no particular reason for nomads to have written records of wider world events. I would be very much surprised if they did not develop a strong oral tradition, which could easily preserve Sunflower's error in a lovely folk tale, but since you have maintained that only those in the Kassidy clan (between 80 and 200 people) speak their language, I don't really see why written scrolls from the Trader Clans would be written in Ikiri, and there would be very little market for translations into the enormous number of languages that would be spoken in the area. As an example, there were well over 300 languages spoken in Just the United States pre-Contact.


I'm not sure what you mean by "The planet's spin". Earth rotates once in a little under 24 hours. The sidereal day is approximately 23 hours and 56 minutes. I also don't really see the relevance of astrology here... (Or did you mean astronomy?) Anyway, something large enough to affect the Earth in the manner you describe would be more likely an asteroid than a meteor. It is possible that an asteroid strike created an ice-age, if the trees are giving fruit, I find it highly unlikely that Midwest farmers would be unable to grow crops.

I find it unlikelt that the continental plates were "knocked south", even by a few miles, but that would certainly not make it impossible to grow crops.


As far as the evolution of your race, I'm curious as to whether there was some sort of mutagen released by the asteroid? Otherwise, the changes you describe seem highly unlikely, and would make it extremely hard to have any sort of written word along the lines you describe. The language itself would also differ vastly in terms of the phones your beings would be able to produce.

Anonymous_Shalott
12-14-2010, 05:43 AM
The scrolls are not written in Ikiri, they're written in Ibini, the language that's the English of the time. And they have an oral tradition, however members of Trader clans are notorious for writing things down...and for being petty thieves. So having been told about Sunflower, they thought that it would make a good story to pass on to other clans who could learn from it. The Traders are thieves and always look for ways to come out on top, but they have good hearts. On top of all that, some members of the Kassidy Clan keep written records of their lives, as many of todays nomads do. (And there are modern day nomads.) So that, in the future, they can look back on their lives and reminisce about times past.

When I said planets spin, I meant the axis on which the planet rotates. It's a 23.5 degree axis today. 24.8 in this future time.

An immense earthquake, such as the one caused by the meteor, could shift the continental plates to such a degree. No, it does not make it impossible to grow crops, but with ashes and crap falling from the sky, the amount of time and effort it would take to grow crops would be wasteful when compared the amount of food it would produce against the amount of people needing to be fed. A couple hundred thousand, while less then the 7.6 billion (event takes place several centuries after our time) who used to live, is still a lot of mouths. And they were all finding ways to move to the American Midwest. A bad idea, when you consider that the Marauders followed them and started killing them all like fish in a bucket. (Marauders equal the people who killed other people to get ahead. The 'survival of the fittest' types.) So, anyway, farming was abandoned for the much more favorable hunting and gathering types of food collection. The Fruit Leaf Tree develops several centuries after the fact, during a time of starvation when everyone had lost hope of survival. (It's an odd tree, a combination of an Aspen and a palm tree whose actual leaves are fruit for the first 50 years of its life.) As I am not any sort of scientist, I'm not going to explain the evolution of this tree. It simply exists.

And as for the evolution, I suppose there could have been some sort of microscopic life on the asteroid/meteor/giant hunk of rock that hit the planet. However, it fell into the ocean, creating a giant fissure in the planet that stretches north to south across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, and destroying all Oceanic life except for, you know, sharks, certain types of fish, and that little shell like thing that swims backwards and has a face like The Great Cthulhu. The more sturdy creatures. It mutated those sea creatures. The Kassidy Clan and it's ancestors don't eat fish. They eat Anteleer, Ovis, Tauren, and Vikimi if they can catch it, all of which evolved naturally. The Clans who live by the Ocean, however, do eat those fish. They are not the same as the Kassidy Clan.

How would their evolution be unlikely? In a hostile environment with no way to defend itself, the human body would naturally start to evolve into a better, faster, smarter creature since most humans of today don't actually know how to make a decent weapon. Even less the humans of a few centuries into our future, since the planet is in a state of peace (finally). The Marauders I mentioned were criminals with the sort of mindset most people on the planet don't have, even today. And we're talking about 10,000 years of history. Even today, humans are not done evolving and we never will be. As it is, scientists say that in a few millenia, we might not have our pinkie toe.

The Kassidy Clan can make new sorts of sounds, like bird calls and big cat roars and can even howl like their Canus. However, they only make those sounds during the hunt, when putting children to bed, or in a state of mourning. Why only during those times? Because I am the God of their world and I said so. Plus, there are Clans who live by the Ocean and evolved for that specific environment who can't make those sounds. Ibini, Ikiri, and several other languages use only the sounds that all the People can make, not just one or two breeds of the species.

Rachel Udin
12-14-2010, 08:37 AM
I have to agree with Liosse--any language can be learned, if your population is still human. If your population is not human, then it *could* be possible to have a language out of human hearing range making it impossible for a human to learn it. But if it's invented by humans, then another human can speak it. There is no such thing as one Homo sapiens sapiens being superior to another in terms of intellect--it's just how one applies the intellect that makes the difference. (There is argument though that having the language gene makes your voice drop octaves... they tested it in mice.)

And IQ is relative. If I gave you an IQ test on sweet potatoes, how to grow the Trobriand Islanders style, I doubt you could pass. What a culture or society considers as intelligence is relative to that culture's idea of adulthood, maturity and what one needs to cope in the adult world.

Classic example given to me: My professor who is Japanese- American, emphasis on American, for his Ethnic studies class was given out of the blue a quiz about African American history. This was a demonstration of an IQ test in reverse or the SAT tests. About everyone failed the test because it was on African American History. This was a demonstration that the dominant narrative is that of the White American and if you don't know it, you are not functional. So to have an IQ test in the first place, you really need a culture to measure it up to.

But with con languages, I'm better with separating the usages and such than the technical details. My training is more in the social direction rather than the specific detailed direction. Building cultures is definitely my thing.

And no language is more complex or less complex than another or takes more or less intelligence to learn. About all of them have hitches and joys to them. (Me, who knows English, French, Korean, and Japanese says so. Though, I'm working lightly on Mandarin.)

So if you want to argue usages, I can help more in that direction. My background is more like Cultural Linguistics. (It deals with more of the imperfections in the language and social uses rather than the dominant narrative and perfections found in writing.)

On a side note, the more languages I learn, the more I find IPA limiting... is there a better system? Or am I just stuck trying to explain the finite differences between the Korean b and the American b?

Liosse de Velishaf
12-14-2010, 08:43 AM
What is the difference between English and Korean /b/?

Rachel Udin
12-14-2010, 09:04 AM
I'll kick in my anthropology (1/2 of a degree) here and correct a few facts. If you want references, I think I can cough them.

The scrolls are not written in Ikiri, they're written in Ibini, the language that's the English of the time. And they have an oral tradition, however members of Trader clans are notorious for writing things down...and for being petty thieves.
I had to read this part twice. Partly because traders *aren't* ones to write things down besides accounting for numbers and what was sold. Merchant classes often followed upper classes, but not all merchant classes were literate. You have to account for the fact that merchants mainly spoke pidgin to people.

I think the Language Instinct might be good for this section. (though some parts are controversial, the parts on pidgin and creole are pretty concise.)


So having been told about Sunflower, they thought that it would make a good story to pass on to other clans who could learn from it. The Traders are thieves and always look for ways to come out on top, but they have good hearts. On top of all that, some members of the Kassidy Clan keep written records of their lives, as many of todays nomads do. (And there are modern day nomads.) So that, in the future, they can look back on their lives and reminisce about times past.

Not all nomad tribes have a written language. Unless I read that wrong. I'm not sure where you are justifying that a nomadic culture would need a written language--in fact if you look at many forager groups, they did not develop a written language. Written language mainly came with the advent of agricultural and horticultural societies. The first written language being Egyptian. (And no, it was not Cuneiform, because the record has been updated.) It's very, very cumbersome for a peoples that moves around a lot to carry around scrolls, so only basic accounting is usually done in writing.

Cuneiform *was* pretty much invented for such accounting, but remember that they weren't Nomads at that point and they did need detailed records to build a larger Empire.


When I said planets spin, I meant the axis on which the planet rotates. It's a 23.5 degree axis today. 24.8 in this future time.

An immense earthquake, such as the one caused by the meteor, could shift the continental plates to such a degree. No, it does not make it impossible to grow crops, but with ashes and crap falling from the sky, the amount of time and effort it would take to grow crops would be wasteful when compared the amount of food it would produce against the amount of people needing to be fed. A couple hundred thousand, while less then the 7.6 billion (event takes place several centuries after our time) who used to live, is still a lot of mouths. And they were all finding ways to move to the American Midwest. A bad idea, when you consider that the Marauders followed them and started killing them all like fish in a bucket. (Marauders equal the people who killed other people to get ahead. The 'survival of the fittest' types.) So, anyway, farming was abandoned for the much more favorable hunting and gathering types of food collection. The Fruit Leaf Tree develops several centuries after the fact, during a time of starvation when everyone had lost hope of survival. (It's an odd tree, a combination of an Aspen and a palm tree whose actual leaves are fruit for the first 50 years of its life.) As I am not any sort of scientist, I'm not going to explain the evolution of this tree. It simply exists.

And as for the evolution, I suppose there could have been some sort of microscopic life on the asteroid/meteor/giant hunk of rock that hit the planet. However, it fell into the ocean, creating a giant fissure in the planet that stretches north to south across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, and destroying all Oceanic life except for, you know, sharks, certain types of fish, and that little shell like thing that swims backwards and has a face like The Great Cthulhu. The more sturdy creatures. It mutated those sea creatures. The Kassidy Clan and it's ancestors don't eat fish. They eat Anteleer, Ovis, Tauren, and Vikimi if they can catch it, all of which evolved naturally. The Clans who live by the Ocean, however, do eat those fish. They are not the same as the Kassidy Clan.

How would their evolution be unlikely? In a hostile environment with no way to defend itself, the human body would naturally start to evolve into a better, faster, smarter creature since most humans of today don't actually know how to make a decent weapon. Even less the humans of a few centuries into our future, since the planet is in a state of peace (finally). The Marauders I mentioned were criminals with the sort of mindset most people on the planet don't have, even today. And we're talking about 10,000 years of history. Even today, humans are not done evolving and we never will be. As it is, scientists say that in a few millenia, we might not have our pinkie toe.

The Kassidy Clan can make new sorts of sounds, like bird calls and big cat roars and can even howl like their Canus. However, they only make those sounds during the hunt, when putting children to bed, or in a state of mourning. Why only during those times? Because I am the God of their world and I said so. Plus, there are Clans who live by the Ocean and evolved for that specific environment who can't make those sounds. Ibini, Ikiri, and several other languages use only the sounds that all the People can make, not just one or two breeds of the species.

Human evolution even after separated by a few thousand years has it that Native Americans did not evolve differently from Europeans. Is the climate of the Americas, Greenland, Iceland, China, Korea, Japan and Africa largely different? Yes, it is. However, these populations on a largely different climate still can interbreed and are considered one species.

For evolution to work, you need to remember the Darwin-Wallace theory, with emphasis more on Wallace than Darwin. (Wallace did more on regionalisms than like Darwin, who was more focused on the why evolution happens at all).

You need to make it so that humans cannot breed anymore for the population to be a different species. In the case of Homo sapiens sapiens, the reason we evolved was because our population was under extreme pressure. Our species is actually made from only about what is estimated at about 1,000-a few thousand individuals.

In order to survive, we adapted larger intelligence. This intelligence led us to be able to widely adapt to a large number of environments.

In order for speciation to occur, you need something like a selector out of the population to push the species in a specific direction. I would argue that for this to occur, you really need to get rid of the intelligence factor, or have the tribes of humans (which for safety reasons should be about 500 to a group, even if spread out over a large area.) be self-selecting.

Currently there is no need to develop our intelligence further, and I can't see how environmental changes, even radical ones would push us in that direction even more. Our cranial capacities, despite the large Ice Age, have pretty much stayed the same for a long, long period of time.

You'd seriously need some selectors, artificial or natural for your evolution scheme to work.

Personally, I think that if you cut electricity, rendered civilization helpless, that the selectors would be towards physical strength and ability for basic survival, which I'm guessing that about 70% (being generous) can't do for itself. Instinct and intuition would be more important than developing intellect. Because who has time to read books when you are wondering if you can get food today at all?

And remember, in a bit of humor I'm stealing from my Archaeology/Physical Anthropology Professor, humans like to try to breed with *everything.* *cough*

Rachel Udin
12-14-2010, 09:19 AM
What is the difference between English and Korean /b/?
I find that the Korean b is slightly less plosive than the English and blends very much with the "p" sound. This might be because the /b/ and the /p/ sounds in Korean are marked off with the same glyph.

ㅂ would be the Korean notation. Generally linguists try to say that it is a "b" at the beginning and a "p" at the end (as in (밥, meaning rice, pronounce roughly bap), but it doesn't quite match up with the English equivalents in any dialect of English I've heard. It kind of blends the sounds and it's true it leans in one direction or the other, but it doesn't quite hit dead center like English does. (The wikipedia pages lie on this account).

I find this true with trying to explain the /k/ v. /g/ sounds and the /r/ and /l/ sounds too.

The /l/ sound in Korean kind of sound a little dirtier than the clean l sound of english due to the placing of the tongue. It's not like the Japanese /r/-/l/ sound... because the tongue is just a little forward of the placement in Japanese.

Also the place where the sounds come out in Korean v. English for the same notations tend to be different. For instance the frictive /k/ in Korean tends to be back of the throat, but a lot of English speakers think that it's coming from only the front or middle. IPA doesn't seem to quite have a notation for that.

I'm also sensitive to where sounds come from vertically in the mouth too.

But then, I tend to be stronger on the *listening* portion of language rather than the grammar. My only virtue with foriegn languages seems to be nailing the accents. I've learned a few regional accents of Korean too and can distinguish them and characterize them pretty well by sound characteristics, rather than lexical characteristics alone.

My other virtue is learning usages pretty quickly, but then I'm better with contextual type of languages rather than the definitive ones. (A little slower than the listening, but I think I'm faster than the average here, too.)

If my vocabulary and grammar were half as good, I'd be fluent pretty quickly.

Anonymous_Shalott
12-14-2010, 10:08 AM
I find I'm spending more time explaining the evolution of my not-humans.

Rachel:
All the not-humans on my planet are the same species the same way a Chihuahua and Great Dane are the same species. The difference is the way they adapted to their specific environment. For example, the Ice Rock Clan have thick fur all over their bodies, unlike the Kassidy Clan (I have got to change that name) who are bare skinned to cope with the heat of the Serengeti. And both of them are unlike the clans on the shore, who developed scales, gills, and webbing between their fingers and toes to live in the ocean (courtesy of the mutagen in the asteroid). They're different BREEDS, not different species. I'm pretty sure I said that, but my apologies if I wasn't clear.

Basic survival was the main thing when humans started to evolve, but the animals evolved as well. Tauren are 8 feet tall and 12 feet long. Ovis and Canus are 6 feet tall and 5 feet long. Vikima are six feet at the shoulder, eight feet from nose to hind legs, and have a ten foot long tail. All are exceedingly dangerous when pissed off. What modern day human could keep up with these kinds of creatures. Even if the human had evolved to be stronger, without claws or fangs, they still might not be able to hold against a cat the size Vikima. Not to mention that the Vikima is the best of all cats, big and small. So, to me, the evolution makes sense in such a hostile environment with such extreme changes from one area to the next.

As for the Traders, they don't speak a pidgin language, they speak Ibini, which is the English equivalent of this world and most people, or at least the tribal leaders and story tellers, speak Ibini. And with there only being one trader clan for every few territories (The Golden Step Clan has four territories that they service to in addition to going to an annual gathering of traders in what was once New York City) they tend to have large caravans, most of the carts fill with food and goods to survive getting across the vast spaces between Clans through all kinds of weather and environments with outposts every so often to trade beasts of burden. A Tauren can't survive in South Dakota, but a Wooly Tauren can. So if they have all these carts and plenty of beasts of burden, why not have an extra cart for scrolls. And there actually aren't enough scrolls to fill the cart since it's more of a library to check things out then a bookstore to buy scrolls from.

In addition, with the Anteleer doing an annual migration from north to south, what makes you think there aren't outposts along the route in case of emergencies where extra supplies are kept, such as food and water and maybe the occasional blank scroll?

Anonymous_Shalott
12-14-2010, 10:11 AM
Lemme be more clear on the kinds of animals which live in my post apocalyptic Earth.

Exerpt from an Untitled story:

The Tauren is simply the evolved version of the cow. It's hide is thick and armour like and it's tongue is rough, to cope with the new plants that are much more difficult to eat then the old plants. It has two large, curved horns on its face and a large, spiked neck plate. Resembling the bastard love child of a Mnage Troi between a Cow, a Rhinoceros, and a Styracosaurus, it is an immense beast measuring ten feet at the shoulder and 12 feet from it's soft nose to its short, rope-like tail. An intelligent beast, it lives its life out in service; pulling carts and wagons filled with supplies or carrying a single rider upon it's broad back. It lives much like the horses of old, much loved by its keepers for its strength, durability, stamina, and generosity. Fed Whipgrass as its standard diet and given its favorite treat of Fruit Leaves, which it seldom gets to eat in the wild due to the Fruit Leaf Tree being so tall, it is a loyal beast. Upon its death, which occurs around 35 years after its birth, the beast continues to be useful. It's thick skin is used in cart coverings, being much sturdier then Whipgrass, and it's bones are carved into weapons for defense against the Marauders. It's meat is cut up and preserved using salt water, collected when the caravan moves past the sea. The beasts skulls are usually kept, out of reverence for the creature. It's entrails are either cooked and eaten, considered a delicacy, or used as bait to catch Vikimas.
The Ovis is, to put it simply, a sheep. But a strange sheep. It is much larger, being six feet tall and five feet long. It's fur is not curly, but rather falls in a shaggy mop that covered the creature from the crown of its head to it's short little tail. It walks on cloven hooves and it's short, round little face is usually dropped to the ground, since the creature is constantly feeding. It lives for exactly five years, then simply falls over dead, for apparently no other reason then that its heart has ceased to function. Occasionally, an Ovis will live past its fifth birthday, but this is simply put down to the fact that it is too stupid to realize that its dead. An altogether stupid animal, it requires strict supervision by an Ovis Herder, usually a human who is too old to just play all day, but too young to hunt. Because of the Ovis' stupidity, it tends to simply walk off cliffs. So, an Ovis Herder is usually accompanied by Canus.
The Canus is a dog-like creature that is larger then it's ancestors at 6 feet tall and 5 feet long, is covered in thick, brown-green fur, and has a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. Ovis Herders usually have three Canus; two to keep the herd together and one for riding purposes, since a Tauren is much too slow for herding. Where Taurens move at about 20 miles per hour, Canus can run at 50 miles per hour for 10-20 miles, or it can sprint at nearly 100 miles per hour for short distances. Ovis Herders usually keep them at the sedate pace of 25 miles per hour; slow enough to keep with the caravan, but fast enough to keep the Ovis in check and to fend off Vikimas.
The Vikima is a fearsome beast. Another Mnage Troi bastard love child, it is similar to a combination of a Panther, a Lynx, and a Tiger. Six feet at the shoulder, eight feet from nose to hind legs, and a ten foot long tail, it has a brown pelt with green stripes and a lean, muscled body built to sprint for short distances. Tufts on the ends of it's pointed ears assist its whiskers in estimating distances and also help catch sounds being carried on the winds. Despite the refined evolution of its ancestors, a Vikima as almost no sense of smell. Ovis and Anteleer smell like grass, so they blend in perfectly with their environment when it comes to scent and a Vikima can't take down a Tauren. The Vikima evolved without sense of smell being any sort of priority. It relies on its keen eyesight and can see for miles. An ambush predator, it has been deemed impossible to domesticate or even simply tame a Vikima. They are simply born mean. So, if it appears that a Vikima is stalking a caravan, as they sometimes do, a hunting party of 20 humans and 30 Canus are sent to dispatch of the beast.
Anteleer are a hybrid of an antelope and a deer. Cloven hoofed with long, slender legs and a lean, quick body, it is a beautiful, intelligent creature with a tan pelt with dark brown, horizontal stripes. It's antler are spiral and grow in a single base for three inches, then branch off in three directions; forward, backward, and up. They travel in herds and are lightening fast. They also taste delicious when fried up and served with Fruit Leaves. Family Caravans follow a herd, unlike Merchant Caravans, which follow a set path. Hunting groups are sent out, daily, to take down an Anteleer or three, usually in groups of 3 humans and 6 Canus.
A Kiikri is a large bird of prey about the size of a Pterodactyl. Resembling the Thunder Bird of legend, it has a 20 foot wing span and a body about 10 feet long. Immense feet the size of a snow plow scoop are extremely dexterous and tipped with wicked sharp talons. The Kiikri is a Taurens natural predator. It's feathers are a soft shade of blue on it's belly, the underside of it's wings, and its throat, enabling it to blend in with the sky. The feathers along the top of its head, back, and wings and its tail, however, are a mottled brown. It's large eyes, the size of a dinner plate, are a hideous shade of brown. The Kassidy Clan has found no way to tame this creature.

Liosse de Velishaf
12-14-2010, 10:23 AM
I find I'm spending more time explaining the evolution of my not-humans.

Rachel:
All the not-humans on my planet are the same species the same way a Chihuahua and Great Dane are the same species. The difference is the way they adapted to their specific environment. For example, the Ice Rock Clan have thick fur all over their bodies, unlike the Kassidy Clan (I have got to change that name) who are bare skinned to cope with the heat of the Serengeti. And both of them are unlike the clans on the shore, who developed scales, gills, and webbing between their fingers and toes to live in the ocean (courtesy of the mutagen in the asteroid). They're different BREEDS, not different species. I'm pretty sure I said that, but my apologies if I wasn't clear.

Basic survival was the main thing when humans started to evolve, but the animals evolved as well. Tauren are 8 feet tall and 12 feet long. Ovis and Canus are 6 feet tall and 5 feet long. Vikima are six feet at the shoulder, eight feet from nose to hind legs, and have a ten foot long tail. All are exceedingly dangerous when pissed off. What modern day human could keep up with these kinds of creatures. Even if the human had evolved to be stronger, without claws or fangs, they still might not be able to hold against a cat the size Vikima. Not to mention that the Vikima is the best of all cats, big and small. So, to me, the evolution makes sense in such a hostile environment with such extreme changes from one area to the next.

As for the Traders, they don't speak a pidgin language, they speak Ibini, which is the English equivalent of this world and most people, or at least the tribal leaders and story tellers, speak Ibini. And with there only being one trader clan for every few territories (The Golden Step Clan has four territories that they service to in addition to going to an annual gathering of traders in what was once New York City) they tend to have large caravans, most of the carts fill with food and goods to survive getting across the vast spaces between Clans through all kinds of weather and environments with outposts every so often to trade beasts of burden. A Tauren can't survive in South Dakota, but a Wooly Tauren can. So if they have all these carts and plenty of beasts of burden, why not have an extra cart for scrolls. And there actually aren't enough scrolls to fill the cart since it's more of a library to check things out then a bookstore to buy scrolls from.

In addition, with the Anteleer doing an annual migration from north to south, what makes you think there aren't outposts along the route in case of emergencies where extra supplies are kept, such as food and water and maybe the occasional blank scroll?


I'm willing to buy different lengths of fur, but it is simply not possible for you to have one species where some breeds have scales, and some do not. There is no way that in 10,000 years, your human stock are going to develop gills and scales. There is absolutely no selector I can think of that would achieve this, even if you did have a mutagen, and these scaled things would not under any circumstances be able to interbreed with the other groups.

Anonymous_Shalott
12-14-2010, 10:48 AM
Jesus, ya'll are really into tearing up my world. When I said I wanted to throw my language to the wolves, I didn't mean that literally. And I didn't think my world was going to go with it.

So you buy the fur, but not the scales? They are mutants. There is no selector for the babies that are born with their legs fused into a tail. It's a genetic mutation. One that those particular tribes decided to expand upon, however unconsciously, because being able to breath underwater makes it easier to catch fish. Having fur underwater is unweildy, but scales work good. And the webbed hands and feet? That actually happens naturally, TODAY. Think an asteroid the size of Texas was only going to have one mutagen? There were quite a few.

And as far as I know, none of the shore clans have ever even tried bred with one of the furry types, because they have no attraction to them. One, they have fur which the scaly types find disgusting, and two, furries can't breath underwater, so they aren't able to catch nearly as many fish as a scaly MALE. The females are better as fishing then males because they're faster and more agile, so why would one even think to mate with a furry if they find fur disgusting and can catch more fish then their male counterparts. And male scalies think anything with fur is beneath them, regardless of how pretty the female underneath the pelt. (They're pretty, but they are up-pi-ty.)

Liosse de Velishaf
12-14-2010, 11:16 AM
Heh. Just 'cause we throw around fancy terms and act like we know what we're talking about doesn't mean you have to listen to us. But! Educated rule-bending is always better than uneducated rule-bending.

Maybe I'll post some stuff from one of my conlangs ans you can turn the tables on me. ;)

Anonymous_Shalott
12-14-2010, 11:30 AM
You can but I wouldn't know what to do with it. I'm getting an Associates in Criminal Justice, not Linguistics. Maybe I'll go for that as soon as I'm done studying to be an FBI Agent, but in the mean time, I'd have no clue. I'm better at learning languages then making or critiquing them.

However, you could let me throw some logic at your world. Mister "There is absolutely no selector that I can think of that would achieve this."

Liosse de Velishaf
12-14-2010, 09:20 PM
You can but I wouldn't know what to do with it. I'm getting an Associates in Criminal Justice, not Linguistics. Maybe I'll go for that as soon as I'm done studying to be an FBI Agent, but in the mean time, I'd have no clue. I'm better at learning languages then making or critiquing them.

However, you could let me throw some logic at your world. Mister "There is absolutely no selector that I can think of that would achieve this."

Heh, my worlds are already very logical, and haven't the handicap of being Earth. ;)

Rachel Udin
12-15-2010, 05:51 AM
You can but I wouldn't know what to do with it. I'm getting an Associates in Criminal Justice, not Linguistics. Maybe I'll go for that as soon as I'm done studying to be an FBI Agent, but in the mean time, I'd have no clue. I'm better at learning languages then making or critiquing them.

However, you could let me throw some logic at your world. Mister "There is absolutely no selector that I can think of that would achieve this."

Might be more efficient to go for Forensic Anthropology. That way you'd need the Cultural Anthro and Linguistic Anthro, but you'd suppliment your existing degree. Plus the registered ones make decent money. =P Not to making the tearing into personal. D=

I like educated world building, but given not many are into learning this stuff, I won't hold it against ya. Besides, I'm pretty sure my con language also sucks. ('cause I created it pre-cultural anthropology classes.)

If you feel the need for dirty revenge, then ask. I'm game.

Anonymous_Shalott
12-15-2010, 06:01 AM
Nah, no dirty revenge for me. I'm not so into tearing up peoples self-confidence, especially since people seem to take joy in tearing up my own. Besides, my world isn't really Earth anymore. Including the mutagens on the original asteroid, many more such rocks have hit the planet (though none quite as immense). So there were quite a few mutagens introduced into the environments where they landed. I haven't decided what kinds, yet, though, or whether I'm going to introduce a new, sentient species. And if I am, then where they came from.

yoghurtelf
12-15-2010, 06:49 AM
I worked on heaps of different languages for my epic fantasy, but I'm not a linguist so none of them are based on anything logical and/or linguistically correct/believable. :P

But here is a fun phrase from one of my languages:

"embale vu'na onido benca-mia"

Essentially, kiss your arse goodbye ;)

and this is something you'd say to somebody you think is a TOTAL loser, if you wanted to be extremely rude:

"vu teshavo meiame"
There's heaps more where those came from of course. I even devised a language "exam" people could take for this language. LOL.

The Package
12-27-2010, 11:08 AM
Gonna throw my newly created conlang here :D It hasn't been deeply constructed like many here since its use will be scarce.

*Unfortunately I wasn't willing to make tenses, so the language is lacking in that catagory.

It's called Nohl (like mole). It is the language spoken by the people of Falhurst(Fȧlhst). The north-most kingdom in my world. It is very Scandinavian sounding :P

Now there are several unique-(I use this word lightly) characters in use. Each one used to help the reader understand the pronunciation. They are all vowels: (Some of these characters are glitchy... so pay no attention to its font size or that random underline... xS)

Aa - without an accent makes a long vowel "Eh!" sound.
Ȧ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C8%A6)ȧ- one single dot makes a short vowel sound "Ah!".
- with two dots it makes an "ar" sound (Like a pirate :D)
Ee - long vowel "ee" sound.
Ėė - short vowel sound.
- two dots makes an "er" sound (Like "Erm... I don't know" and also "air")
Oo - long vowel "Oh" sound.
- two dots makes an "oo" sound (Like Scooby-Doo)

"val" and "vel" are added as suffixes to nouns.
"tr" and "fr" are added for verbs.

"g'" is added to the beginning of words to quickly convey an emergency.


So without further adieu some examples:

"Jh stilhtr wė mȧtr." (Yar/still-ter/weh/mah-ter)
"He travels by night."

Wkarr hjolrn lmė jh (Woo-car/yoh-learn/larr-meh/yehr)
Direct translation: "Wolves hunt with kin."
"wolves hunt in packs."

Nȧvgr lhė pȧkr pasl. (Nahv-ger/leh/pah-ker/pah-sul)
"Bring the ox food."

"G'wkarr!"
Direct Translation: "Emergency! Wolf!"
English Translation: "Look out a wolf!" or just "Wolf!"

Now let's try a conversation, or at least a greeting:

"Ȧ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C8%A6)mbryn, Frȧlkr," said Taljhorr. "Tarr roltl snn?"
"Hello, Fralkr," said Taljhorr. "How are you?"
Pronounced: (Am-burn/Frahl-kerr//tar/roll-till/sern)

"Skȧ b iljhȧ, Taljhorr. Tarr roltl snn?"
"I am well, Taljhorr. How are you?"
(Skah/bar/eel-yah/Tail-your)

Anne Lyle
12-27-2010, 02:18 PM
Nah, no dirty revenge for me. I'm not so into tearing up peoples self-confidence, especially since people seem to take joy in tearing up my own.

If you're writing fantasy, really it doesn't matter if your human races aren't logically evolved. If you're trying to write SF, it does - because readers will rip your world apart just as fearsomely as this, assuming you can get it published as SF in the first place.

I may post some of my own conlangs and conworlding later, but I'm supposed to be getting ready to visit the family today. Also I have a novel to revise. *sigh*

Laters...

Anne Lyle
12-27-2010, 02:21 PM
*Unfortunately I wasn't willing to make tenses, so the language is lacking in that catagory.


Not all languages have grammatical tenses, but they do need some way to express time. E.g. "I do it yesterday" (past) vs "I do it tomorrow" (future).

The Package
12-28-2010, 11:31 AM
I didn't feel as though this deserved its own thread, and it has to do with conlangs, so... here I go.

In my current WIP I have a species of creatures known as "Ill Kin" in english, however when writing dialogue I decided to create a Nohl word for it, but I'm having some second thoughts on my choice and would like some input.

I chose "Wjh" (Woo-yehr) as the Nohl word for "Ill Kin", but I don't know if that sounds ferocious enough. "W" comes from the Nohl word for "wolf"(wkarr) and "jh" from the word for "kin" so essentially "wolf kin".

If you came across the word "Wjh" would you take the creatures seriously given the word is sort of funny to pronounce?

Ardellis
12-28-2010, 04:31 PM
If you came across the word "Wjh" would you take the creatures seriously given the word is sort of funny to pronounce?

There's nothing inherently serious or non-serious in the word itself, IMHO. It would depend on the context in which it's introduced. First impressions. Do we first see the name in a scene where one of the Wjh is portrayed as fierce or intimidating? Is it used by someone who is obviously respectful, possibly even frightened of them? Or do we already know them as the Ill Kin, in which case our previous impression will likely attach itself to the word.

PrincessofPersia
12-28-2010, 05:00 PM
You can but I wouldn't know what to do with it. I'm getting an Associates in Criminal Justice, not Linguistics. Maybe I'll go for that as soon as I'm done studying to be an FBI Agent, but in the mean time, I'd have no clue. I'm better at learning languages then making or critiquing them.

However, you could let me throw some logic at your world. Mister "There is absolutely no selector that I can think of that would achieve this."

I'm not sure how you're "studying" to be an FBI agent (and I assume you mean Special Agent, as most people do when they use that phrase), considering their minimum education requirement is a BA or a BS plus several years of work experience if you go the Diversified Entry Route. However, that is the path of most resistance usually. It is much easier to go through with a degree in a foreign language.