Ada

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Ada
Boku da ada
Pronunciation /ˈbokʉ da ˈada/
Created by
Setting
Region Great Plains of Ada
Language family
Yotan languages
  • Western-Yotan
    • Adic
      • Ada
Early forms:
Old Ada
  • Ada
Writing system Latin, Adan syllabary
ISO 639-3


Ada (natively "boku ki ada," IPA: /ˈbokʉ ki ˈada/) is the name of a constructed language, spoken in the region known as the Great Plains of Ada in my conworld. The project is an attempt to create something that will be able to contrast with my main project, Proto Halisian and its daughter languages.

The language is constructed to be fairly analytical, with some degree of fusion. Its alignment will be ergative-absolutive, in contrast to Proto-Halian's nominative-accusative alignment. The phonology is fairly simple, consisting of a minimal consonant inventory and an average vowel inventory.

Background

Ada is spoken by roughly a million people in the grasslands and plains of Ada. It is descended from Old Ada, which is attested 954 years ago. This was the first text written in the Old Adan syllabary, and it detailed a law on trade. In modern Ada, this sentence reads:


dakur nama asu yi soe da rava o hoko
[ˈdakʏr ˈnamə ˈasʏ jɪ ˈsoɛ də ˈraʋə ɔ ˈhokɔ]
trade be.allowed NEG INST.ANIM skin GEN wolf ERG man
A man may not trade with wolf skin, because the wolf is holy.

(1.1)



Phonology

Consonants

Ada has an inventory of 13 consonants, displayed in the table below along with their romanization. Historically, /p/ became /f/ in all instances, leaving a voicing gap in the plosives.

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m /m/ n /n/1
Plosive b /b/2 t d /t d/2 k g /k g/2
Fricative f /f/ s /s/3 h /h/4
Approximant v /ʋ/5 j /j/5
Trill r /r/
  1. The nasal /n/ is realized as [ŋ] when preceding /k/ or /g/, and as [ɱ] when preceding /f/ or /ʋ/. Along with /r/, this sound is also devoiced when preceding a voiceless consonant, as in darti [ˈdar̥tɪ].
  2. The voiced plosives /b/, /d/ and /g/ lenite to [ʋ], [ð̞] and [ɰ] intervocalically.
  3. The sibilant fricative /s/ is realized as [ʃ] when preceding [i].
  4. The glottal fricative is usually dropped-word initially in the eastern dialects. When preceding /i/ it is realized as [ç].
  5. The sounds listed as /j/ and /ʋ/ often vary between being fricatives and approximants. Fricatives are generally more common in careful speech than relaxed, everyday conversation.

Vowels

The standard dialect distinguished between five vowels. All of them are reduced to [ɪ ʏ ɛ ɔ ə] in unstressed positions. In stressed positions, /o/ may be realized as [ʊ] rather than [o]. Along with the monophthongal phonemes, there are also four distinct diphthongs /ai/, /oi/, /ei/ and /ʉi/ (generally realized with the second segment reduced to [ɪ]. These diphthongs will be written using <ı> to distinguish them from instances of vowel hiatus.

Front Central Back
Close i /i/ u /ʉ/
Mid e /e/ o /o/
Low a /a/

Stress

Stress in Ada is highly regular, except in the case of lonewords. Normally stress falls on the penultimate syllable of a root, but when it comes to a loneword, the stress always falls on the same syllable as the source language. In this case, stress is marked using an acute accent.

Phonotactics

Ada has a very basic syllable structure, generally prefering syllables of the CV type. The maximum structure is CVR, where R stands for /n/ or /r/. Vowel hiatus is allowed in all instances, except for one diphthong following another, or two vowels being exactly the same.

Orthography

Morphology

Nouns

Grammatical markers

Nominal inflection is limited to the case markers, which agrees with the head noun's gender (animate or inanimate), but only in the singular. It also has plural and paucal forms, with plurality of inanimate nouns being optional. The only other morphological process as far as the nouns are concerned is the reduplication of the the roots stressed syllable: yikaryikaryi. The words used to demonstrate this below are hoko (man) and anbi (chair).

Animate Inanimate Paucal Plural
Erg o hoku ki anbi dara hoku/anbi hokuho/anbian
Abs hoku anbi seri hoku/anbi hokuho/anbian
Gen da hoku ro anbi da seri hoku/anbi da hokuho/anbian
Inst yi hoku na anbi bahe hoku/anbi hokuho/anbian

Syntax