The Alurhsa Word for Constructed: Creativity in both scripts and languages
Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Location: up for debate
|Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:46 pm Post subject: Ualaxx
|This is a language I started in January of this year, since my American politics class was rather boring at the time. It's spoken by a dying-out race of creatures who have a telepathic ability that actually renders the spoken language almost useless unless speaking with non-Alaceg (literally "we-(the)people").
SOV order, additionally with 2nd subject/topic-time-place order (if necessary).
a i o u uu e ə n m g c h hh x xxx l s ss r rr
a i o u y: ɛ ə n/ŋ m q t h ħ ç x: l s sz ɾ rr
Between vowels [n] becomes [ŋ] and [c] becomes [t]. [o] often isn't as rounded as [o] but not as unrounded as [ɤ].
All sounds with the exception of [ɾ] can be doubled - in the case of [u:] it is written as "uuu" and [y:] as "uuuu." [h:] is written "hhh," [s:] as "sss."
There are 11 cases for first singular and 11 for first plural, and the same cases for the form which applies to everything else - he/she/it/them/you/nouns in general.
Cases: First person - sing/plural
Nominative (NOM) - a/ala
Accusative (ACC) - xa/xal
Dative (DAT) - li/lli
Allative (ALL) - əxa/əlxe
Ablative (ABL) - ox/lox
Locative (LOC) - gaax/glaax
Instrumental/accompaniment (INST) - ua/ual
Adjectival (ADJ) - ooa/ooal
Vocative (VOC) - ac/ac
Conjunctive (CON) - acuu/lacuu
Conjunctive-contrastive (CC) - arri/larri
The accusative can actually be used in accusation when applied to the whole phrase or sentence, and in the case of needing it for its other purpose it could be repeated.
e.g. "you're a fool!!" - ACC-gen.sing.-be-AOR-fool-ACC - nee-soon-aa-gäänä-nee! - Note, this doesn't have a repeated ACC because here there are simply two topics, "you" and "fool" with the connective copula
The allative case applies not only to direction of objects toward a noun but also affects verbs – the condition of the verb approaches the speaker’s place in time or space and can take the allative (for example, the weather - "it's become cloudy" literally translates to ALL-sing.-DP-gather-cloud-NOM-pl. - the clouds have gathered to me - əxa-əə-miuuun-muu-neel).
The instrumental can mean "by" or "with" and also serves as "with" in the sense of joining, suiting, or otherwise being part of something else - "go with me," "he looks good in a suit" sort of thing.
I use the term "adjectival" for what would be the genitive case because I feel "genitive" restricts the full meaning of this case (although it could just be a misunderstanding of it on my part). In Ualaxx this case is not only possessive, but also describes relations or content of an action.
The vocative is used when a sentence is in the imperative, or if one just really wants to get someone's attention and tacks this on that person's name.
Finally, the first conjunctive case is used to mean "and/that/also." I went and came back. The one that fell down. The conjunctive-contrastive serves the purpose of meaning "but/however/though/whether/if...then" all in one fell swoop.
Cases: general (third) person - sing/plural
NOM - ee/eela
ACC - nee/neel
DAT - noo/nool
ALL - əna, ənle
ABL - on/lon
LOC - neeg/neelg
INST - ua/lua
ADJ - uee/luee
VOC - ec/ec
CON - ecuu/lecuu
CC - errii/lerrii
This general case standing alone represents all pronouns other than "I" and "we" but also is attached to regular nouns as suffixes. For example, you would be "ee" and (the)man would be "uuuhee" for the nominative case.
Verbs have a "dictionary" form which ends in -n and to which all verbal affixes are attached. The -n form actually means nothing as a verb except for its function as an affix base.
The Alaceg are a very old race, and as such have developed a rather expansive system of expressing various tenses. Those involving the future or possibility are attached as suffixes, and those dealing with the past are prefixes.
The infinitive and near-future (suffixes):
INF - (e)nam - this has an optional vowel in the case that the infintive is not plain; for example - "to be made to do" contains both the causative and the passive, and while English has two infinitives Ualaxx will sum it up in one at the end of the word. - x(o)-m(o)-ohon-enam
Present - Aorist (AOR) -aa - I use "aorist" for lack of a better term; the Alaceg sense of the present actually extends briefly into the past and also a little into the future, and at the same time applies to everything that is, was, and ever will be as if they currently are and have the potential to continue being.
Present (aorist) continuant (PC) -(a)caa - this is the equivalent of "-ing." See INF about the optional vowel.
Crastinal (CRA) -iil - This marks things that will occur within the next three days.
Future (FUT) -əss - A very general term for anything beyond what is contained in the crastinal
Future continuant (FC) -əcəə - "will be...-ing" - This can be combined with the crastinal for an early occasion or left alone for one at any point in the future.
Future perfect (FP) -(i)mii - "will have..." - This generally holds a positive connotation
Long future (LF) -(e)xxxo - The long future is extremely dubitative and unlikely and yet it's vaguely possible that the action in this tense may happen. This is the tense one would use when talking about the end of the world.
Dubitative/delibarative (DUB) -ərr - This suggests "might" and gives off a lack of potential occurrence, as in "he might go with us (but he's a lazy bum and since we know that we can assume he won't)" - ual-həən-ərr
Hypothetical (HYP) -hoo - You can use this for potential and ability (as in "can," or "could" - in this case you can combine it with DUB) and also to throw a statement into an abstract state for consideration
The past, imperative, and interrogative (prefixes):
Aorist past (AP) h-
This can be translated into English as "just..." though really this can be represented with just the aorist tense. AP suggests an action just out of the jurisdiction of the plain aorist but not so far back it falls into the next tense
Past (P) g-
This is "-ed," the definitely done action, but one that's recent enough to be remembered and thought about.
Past Continuant (PAC) c-
"Was...-ing" - relates a repeated or continual action in about the same time space taken up by P
Deep past (DP) əə-
This translates to "have..." (have done, have seen) - by itself this prefix suggests that the action has affected the speaker either positively or negatively (for example, "I have slept" - əəan - also relates the meaning that because of sleeping the speaker is refreshed)
Long past (LP) ss-
This often falls before the plain past prefix and translates to "had..." - the situation or case of an action performed exists but does not happen in the present because it's already taken place. This can apply to fairly recent actions which no longer apply to the present - if a person quit smoking a week ago he or she could use the long past to show that smoking has been cut out and has no relation to the present. If the person quit and started up again, though, likely he/she would use just plain past.
Conditional (COND) ru-
This is "would..." and implies failure to perform an action in the present - "I would have come (but, I forgot and ended up sleeping in)" would be in this tense - arusoon (a-ru-soon: NOM-sing.COND-come)
Causative (CAUS) x-
Goes before other prefixes including the passive
Passive (PASS) m-
Goes before other prefixes except the causative
Volitive (VOL) aig-
This marks desires and requests; want/let/hope (hope often is combined with the dubitative). Requests can be made gentle by attaching the conjunctive-contrastive noun suffix meaning "I'd like this, but... (would you please?)" or they can be made demanding or firm by attaching the imperative.
The imperative and interrogative (suffixes):
Imperative (IMP) - aca/ece - singular and plural - Often in imperative sentences nouns will be put in the vocative for extra emphasis.
Interrogative (INT) -mm (in this case, the dictionary -n is dropped) - This is used not only in plain, direct questions but also in embedded questions; "I forget if they're coming or not" - eela-soon-əss-mm-a-muuuoon-aa (NOM-gen.pl.-come-FUT-INT-NOM-first.sing.-forget-AOR)
Negatives are shown with the prefixation of "hh," which is considered to be a heavy sound and usually words containing it have negative meanings.
The verbal prefixes consisting of or ending in a consonant take the vowel of the verb they precede - for example 'sleep' (an) would take the plain past g- as ga- and become "ga-an," and the [a] then is absorbed to make "gan." This seems pointless, but if the affix were to be used in combination with another it would need this vowel - "(I) just slept (recently, but still a while ago) - hagan. h(a)-g(a)-an - Note the first [a] is retained because [h] and [q] are not a smoothly-flowing consonant cluster.
Ualaxx has three tones, none of which have contrastive meanings when applied to a single word.
Low (v) - signifies displeasure or regret - when used with a verb it specifically represents an action which was done a long time ago, which was a repeated action for a while but no longer is done, and which the speaker feels displeasure at having done
High (j) - signifies surprise, or lets the listener know that the speaker is relating new information or something good
Falling (w) - often pairs with the interrogative and imperative, or adds a sense of gravity or seriousness to a statement
Ualaxx is spoken slowly and follows a rhythm of HLHL, so when the falling tone applies it usually keeps with the tune, sending it lower and lower from its original, level state.
Stand-alone nouns have no rhyme or reason to their formation and just are, but for those nouns which have a related verb (for example, "journey" from "to journey") the final -n of the verb is removed and -rr is put in its place. Some words retain this -n because it is a soft sound and enhances the meaning of the word - for example, "to kiss" is "ssəən" and the verb does not change for the noun.
Adjectives fall after the nouns and can take the instrumental affix to make them adverbs. Ualaxx has no numbers, and the only quantitative words are "a small amount" - əixxx - and "a larger amount" - noisss, which can refer to anything from 1 to infinity. These are the only descriptions which fall before nouns, usually in combination with the adjectival affix on the following noun (a small amount of...)
The Alaceg make use of the creaky voice (which they call the "raw" voice) to mark words with negative meanings or associations. The word for "man" - uuuh - is distinguished from "pain" only by the creaky voice, which I mark with umlauts - üüüh. Creaky voice can apply to liquids and nasals as well as vowels.
An example of a word containing both creaky voice and the heavy sound "hh" is "violation" - äähhäxxärr. This combination tells the listener that the word is very negative and something which should invoke negative feelings about it.
It is possible to sing Ualaxx, wherein the melodic level (somewhere around middle E) is the base for regular speech, the high and low tones fall a third above and below the melodic level, and creaky voice is sung on the octave above the melodic level.
Here is the first verse of something I found called "The Asphodel Blessing Song." Honestly I have no idea what it is or means because I just look for random poetry and literature to translate for vocab expansion. I'm not sure if I have all of my cases and tenses right, but here it is! Also, I separated all parts of the phrases with hyphens to match up with the gloss. Vowels inserted for melodic purposes are in parentheses.
May the earth welcome your footsteps,
May the wind sing your tale,
May fire dance from your fingertips,
May the ocean speed your sail.
May your courage never fail you,
May your words be blessed with grace;
May the spirit of inspiration light your way.
Last edited by achemel on Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
Joined: 08 Jun 2007
Location: Over yonder
|Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:48 am Post subject: Re: Ualaxx
|achemel wrote: |
|It is possible to sing Ualaxx, wherein the melodic level (somewhere around middle E) is the base for regular speech, the high and low tones fall a third above and below the melodic level, and creaky voice is sung on the octave above the melodic level. |
Hath this race of creatures perfect pitch?
Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Location: up for debate
|Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:23 pm Post subject:
|Well, no, but they get pretty close. E is the preferred level for "conversational" song, and song for the purpose of singing will follow the same pattern but can apply to other notes as well. So, one could start on E and make a melody moving up or down the scale, wherein the rules applying to tones and such would then fall on the new notes - like, a third above/below A or F# and the octaves above those. Also, some groups of Alaceg sing in an ornamental manner much like in Indian ragas. And, of course, not everyone sings. Though I think it would be fun to try it, if I ever learn this language well enough.
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