Hlou

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Hlou
Ntzog Schlaub
Pronunciation /ⁿz̪o̤˧ ɬəʊ˥/
Created by Praimhín, IlL
Setting Verse:Tricin
Region Bjeheond
Language family
Writing system Hlou abugida
ISO 639-3

Hlou (English: /(h)loʊ/ loh; natively: Ntzog Schlaub /ⁿtsʰo̤˧ ɬəu˥/; Windermere: brits Ław) is a Bjeheondian tonal language, inspired by Hmong and German. It is the largest of the Hlou-Shum languages.

Hlou liberally uses Easter eggs.

Background

Diachronics

Hlou merged Proto-Hlou-Shum ai au with ei ou into ei au /əɨ əʊ/. Even i u in some open syllables turned into ei au.

Glottal stop finals (-h in Schngellstein's spelling) come from Proto-Hlou-Shum final stops.

> äu; *ãʔ > oh

*ẽ > ä; *ẽj > ei; *ẽʔ > äh

Phonology

Standard

Vowels

Hlou has 6 basic vowel qualities, but also has a number of diphthongs and nasal vowels.

a e i ie o u ä ö = /a e i ɨ o u ã~ɛ̃ õ/

ah eh ih oh uh äh öh = /aʔ eʔ .../ [only occurs with -Ø, -n tones]

ei au äu = /əi əu əũ/

Consonants

Standard Hlou has about 65 initials.

Hlou initials
Labial Lamino-
dental
Apico-
alveolar
Post-
alveolar
Retroflex Velar Labio-
velar
Glottal
plain lateral plain lateral plain lateral plain lateral
Nasal voiceless schm schn
voiced m m ml n n nl nr ɳ
Plosive tenuis b p bl d t dl dr ʈ drl ʈˡ g k gl ʔ
aspirated p pl pˡʰ t tl tˡʰ tr ʈʰ trl ʈˡʰ k kl kˡʰ
prenasalized mb ᵐb mbl ᵐbˡ nd ⁿd ndr ᶯɖ ng ᵑɡ ngl ᵑɡˡ
mp ᵐpʰ mpl ᵐpˡʰ nt ⁿtʰ ntl ⁿtˡʰ ntr ᶯʈʰ nk ᵑkʰ nkl ᵑkˡʰ
Affricate tenuis dz ts̪ ds ts̺ dx
aspirated pf tz ts̪ʰ ts ts̺ʰ tx tʃʰ
prenasalized ndz ⁿdz̪ nds ⁿdz̺ ndx ⁿdʒ
mpf ᵐpɸ ntz ⁿts̪ʰ nts ⁿts̺ʰ ntx ⁿtʃʰ
Continuant voiceless f f fl z s schl ɬ x ʃ schr ʂ sch ɧ~x schw ʍ h h
voiced v v l l j ʒ r ʐ~ɻ w w

Tone

Hlou has 7 tones, indicated by final letters in Schngellstein's orthography.

Orthography Tone Example
mid level / high checked (33~32) lau /ləu˧/ 'to plant'
-n low level / low checked (21~11) laun /ləu˨˩/ 'to smile'
-b high level / high falling (55~53) Laub /ləu˥˧/ 'leaf'
-d dipping / low falling (313~31) Laud /ləu˧˩˧/ 'shoe'
-g breathy mid level (33 + breathy) laug /lə̤u˧/ 'to knit'
-s rising (24) laus /ləu˨˦/ 'to receive'
broken rising (3ˀ5) Lauß /ləu˧ˀ˥/ 'wrinkle'

Approximate tone frequencies (among non-entering tone syllables): b > s ~ 0 > n > ß ~ g > d

Tone split from breathy voice < voiced stops

Bän Ntli dialect

The Bän Ntli /pã˨˩ ⁿtɬʰi˧/ dialect is a non-standard dialect of Hlou.

Vowels

a e i o u ä ë ö = /a ɛ i ɔ u ã ɛ̃ ɔ̃/

ah eh ih oh uh äh ëh öh = /aʔ eʔ .../ [only occurs with -Ø, -n tones]

ei ëi au äu = /əi ə̃i əu əũ/

Consonants

Bän Ntli initials
Labial Lamino-
dental
Apico-
alveolar
Post-
alveolar
Palatal Retroflex Velar Labio-
velar
Glottal
plain lateral plain lateral plain lateral
Nasal voiceless schm schn schnr ɳ̊
voiced m m ml n n nl nr ɳ
Plosive tenuis b p bl d t dl dr ʈ g k gl ʔ
aspirated p pl pˡʰ t tl cˡʰ tr ʈʰ k kl kˡʰ
prenasalized mb ᵐb mbl ᵐbˡ nd ⁿd ndl ᶮɟˡ ndr ᶯɖ ng ᵑɡ ngl ᵑɡˡ
mp ᵐpʰ mpl ᵐpˡʰ nt ⁿtʰ ntl ᶮcˡʰ ntr ᶯʈʰ nk ᵑkʰ nkl ᵑkˡʰ
Affricate tenuis bv pv dz ts̪ ds ts̺ dx
aspirated pf pf tz ts̪ʰ ts ts̺ʰ tx tʃʰ
prenasalized mbv ᵐbv ndz ⁿdz̪ nds ⁿdz̺ ndx ⁿdʒ
mpf ᵐpf ntz ⁿts̪ʰ nts ⁿts̺ʰ ntx ⁿtʃʰ
Continuant voiceless f f z s schl ɬ x ʃ schj ç schr ʂ sch ɧ
ch x
schw ʍ h h
voiced v v l l j j r ʐ~ɻ w w

Tone

Tones are the same as in standard Hlou, except that the d and g tones are merged into g.

Orthography

Traditional logography

Abugida

Schngellstein's alphabet

The key feature of Schngellstein's orthography (used in this article) is using final consonant letters for tones, making words easier to learn by using photographic memory.

Hrảm Hlóu (Schräd Schlaub)

This transliteration was created by Praimhín as an alternative to the German-inspired orthography.

Initials

Labial Lamino-
dental
Apico-
alveolar
Post-
alveolar
Retroflex Velar Labio-
velar
Glottal
plain lateral plain lateral plain lateral plain lateral
Nasal voiceless hm hn
voiced m m ml n n nl nr ɳ
Plosive tenuis b p bl d t dl dr ʈ drl ʈˡ g k gl ʔ
aspirated p pl pˡʰ t tl tˡʰ tr ʈʰ trl ʈˡʰ c cl kˡʰ
prenasalized nb ᵐb nbl ᵐbˡ nd ⁿd ndr ᶯɖ ng ᵑɡ ngl ᵑɡˡ
np ᵐpʰ npl ᵐpˡʰ nt ⁿtʰ ntl ⁿtˡʰ ntr ᶯʈʰ nc ᵑkʰ ncl ᵑkˡʰ
Affricate tenuis ds ts̪ ts̺ dx
aspirated φ ts ts̪ʰ ts̺ʰ tx tʃʰ
prenasalized nds ⁿdz̪ ndσ ⁿdz̺ ndx ⁿdʒ
ᵐpɸ nts ⁿts̪ʰ ntσ ⁿts̺ʰ ntx ⁿtʃʰ
Continuant voiceless f f fl s σ hl ɬ x ʃ hr ʂ sw ɧ hw ʍ h h
voiced v v l l j ʒ r ʐ~ɻ w w

Vowels

a e i o u ei ou /a e i o u əi əu/

am om oum /ã~ɛ̃ õ ə̃u/

ac ec ic oc uc anc onc /aʔ eʔ iʔ oʔ uʔ/

Tones

Orthography Tone Example
a mid level / mid checked (33~32) lou /ləu˧/ 'to plant'
à low level / low checked (21~11) lòu /ləu˨˩/ 'to smile'
á high level / high falling (53~55) lóu /ləu˥˩/ 'spring (season)'
dipping / low falling (313~31) lỏu /ləu˧˩˧/ 'shoe'
ah breathy mid level (33 + breathy) louh /lə̤u˧/ 'to knit'
ä rising (24) löu /ləu˨˦/ 'to receive'
ã broken rising (3ˀ5) lõu /ləu˧ˀ˥/ 'wrinkle'

Grammar

Hlou is analytic and SVO, and is head-initial:

Die Wug mpes Nän sein.
/tɨ˧ wṳ˧ ᵐpʰe˨˦ nɛ̃˨˩ s̺əi˨˩/
INDEF bird_species drink water PROG
A wug is drinking water.
Xan flog Dsied bis Tu Mäb.
/ʃa˨˩ flo̤˧ ts̺ɨ˧˩ pi˨˦ tʰu˧mɛ̃˥˩/
1SG have home in Tumhan
I live in Tumhan.
Dahn dsaub weg zu Mpfein an zu Schnos.
/taʔ˩ ts̺əu˦˥ we̤˧ s̪u˧ ᵐpɸəi˨˩ a˩ s̪u˧ n̥o˨˥/
1PL speak about VN love and VN hate
We speak about love and hate.
Dahn mpfein so, ab dahn nkeiß Mbob so sein.
1PL love 3SG.A CONJ 1PL receive face 3SG.A PRES.PROG
We love him so we are welcoming him.

Pronouns

Personal

Person Singular Dual Plural
1 xan bluß dahn
2 zied jen schlag
3 so (animate)
ja (inanimate)
nleib zug
2, 3 (respectful) Sie
Impersonal es

Hlou has no passive voice; the impersonal es is used instead. For example, Es nlaß Ngu hin. (IMPERS fire_ceramic brick PST) means 'A brick was baked.' or 'Bricks were baked.'

Demonstrative

Correlatives
What This That Any
Pronominal nab naus nein, nin nan
Place drab draus drein, drin dran
Manner/Extent rab raus rein, rin ran

Hlou is wh-in-situ:

  • Naus dzah nab? = What is this?
  • Ndob naus dzah nab? = Who is this?

Prepositions

  • bis = in, at
  • dan = without, except
  • in = of
  • je = from
  • nun = for
  • ob = vocative
  • weg = about
  • wi = away from
  • be = to
  • schon = ago

Auxiliaries

  • hab = causative
  • bleib = deliberately
  • vein = accidentally
Xan bleib schäd Nduß hin.
I deliberately dropped the glass.
Xan vein schäd Nduß hin.
I accidentally dropped the glass.

Particles

  • sein = present progressive
    • Present progressive can also be formed by reduplicating the verb
  • hin = past
  • bei = future
  • aus = cohortative
  • es = question
  • eh = tag question
  • da = exclamatory
  • eh = negative
  • doh = prohibitive
  • los = inchoative
  • man = emphatic
  • wein = (literary) alas!
    • wein xan = woe is me

Conjunctions

  • an = and
  • schaub = or (Finnish tai)
  • schweis = or (Finnish vai)
  • leid = but
  • von = relative clause
  • tun = complement clause
  • daß = if
  • ab = then, so, therefore
  • schluß = so that, in order to

Nouns

ein = definite article

wie = specific article

die = indefinite article

Words may be pluralized by reduplication: Ndob Ndob = people. Only animates are pluralized consistently.

Polysyllabic words have a null plural:

Schniß, ob Blieb-Blas!
fly VOC butterfly
Fly, butterflies!

Verbs and adjectives

Adverbs can be formed from verbs via reduplication.

ntsien = slow; ntsien ntsien 'slowly'

Classifiers

Hlou does not use classifiers, unlike other languages in the region.

Numerals

1-10: die, beid, lähn, schred, kaß, traun, heid, ntzob, glaub, weiß

100: trleh

1000: schöd

Numerals come before nouns:

So ploß beid weiß Sen.
3SG.AN son two ten year_of_age
He is 20 years old.

"The more... the more..."

X X SUBJ1, Y Y SUBJ2
"The more SUBJ X's, the more SUBJ2 Y's."
Xan eh zaun Wiß j'ein zu Treig Treig. Lös lös xan, wäud wäud xan läß.
1SG NEG receive understanding from DEF INF happen happen. run run 1SG, become become 1SG fat.
I don't understand what's going on. The more I run, the fatter I get.

"Schm-reduplication"

Hloh uses a form of schm-reduplication, which works just like schm-reduplication in English, except that the schm-reduplicant is repeated.

"Leid xan dzah heb die Nöb da!" = but I COP just a noob EXCL

"Nöb schmöb schmöb, zied mbuh ngäs man!" = noob schmoob schmoob you can make_it EMPH

Fossilized morphology

  • PHS s-
    • Schlähn 'tribe' < lähn 'three'
    • Schlaub 'year' < Laub 'leaf'
    • Schwiß 'plain' < biß 'flat'
  • PHS (reflected by tone change)
    • -g > -d: Lied 'art song' < lieg 'to tell a lie; (obsolete) to express'

Vocabulary

Hlou vocabulary is mostly native. Many words can't be related to words in other Hlou-Shum languages, however.

Four-character phrases

Hlou, like Chinese, has "4-character phrases".

  • Ntzuh Vöhn Schraus Ndob 'the best laid schemes of mice and men aft gang agley' (lit. schemes of mouse and plans of man)
  • Ndleiß Beig Gluhn Schnoh 'opulent luxury' (lit. pure gold, gem, carmine, spice)

Poetry

[Under construction. The poems are gibberish and are meant to illustrate the rhyme scheme.]

Rhyme

rime is the same + tone "harmony"

Virelai

The virelai (Hlou: ???) is a traditional Hlou poetic form.

Example [the poem is gibberish]:

Mpfein schwie ein Ntzäh an Tsub,
Leid wen Bläuß dran, maß Schlub von trlin.
Väd mleib weg die Gleiß Schmin,
Raus ein Pfeg nun schraß Xin taub tlub.

Daß zu Mläus ein Zeig Pfaß,
blein Eib zu Mböd bis Dlaß,
klaub wie raug Mlob weis schraß zied Glub.

Daß zu Ves ein Drläub flein,
Weg ndso ein Ndxäuß schred nrein,
Pfed zag tzau die Vaub dlein raus Schmub.

Daß zu Vein Nkaub ein Nlag,
An zu Nlöb pfeib je Schmag ven Waud,
schniß, ob Dlau! dran flän Schaud,
klöh xan haud wie Trob, haud nun Tsub.

Mpfein schwie ein Ntzäh an Tsub,
Leid wen Bläuß dran, maß Schlub von trlin.
Väd mleib weg die Gleiß Schmin,
Raus ein Pfeg nun schraß Xin taub tlub.

Burns stanza

A variant of the Burns stanza is another traditional Hlou meter.

Tlan hei Drlah Mbaus,
Schles Wig tieß nraus,
xob ndzäu beis schraus
jed Vug –
Ngiß tsahn mpfe Jaus
schieb Wug!

Sample text

Tower of Babel

Bis Ndreib nin ein Xab dzeb flog die Ntzog an die zu Wes meib hin.
LOC time that DEF world whole have INDEF language CONJ INDEF VN speak common PAST
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.
Leid [bis Glied] zu Ndxub in ein Ndob Ndob be Schnähn zug raug die Schwiß bis Xi-Na an [nlub man] drein hin.
but [as] VN move GEN DEF human human PREP east 3PL find INDEF plain PREP Shinar CONJ [settle] there PAST
As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
An ein Ndob Ndob tlau be veß, "Ob bus Ngu an nlaß zug [schlög schlög] aus."
CONJ DEF human human say PREP one_another, VOC make brick CONJ fire_ceramic 3PL [throughly] COHORT
They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly."
Zug [raug Mlob] Ngu [bis rohn] Pfaub an Schräh [bis rohn] [Kis Mbeh] hin.
3PL use brick instead_of stone and tar instead_of mortar PAST
They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.
An zug tlau, "Ob ntsaus die Mbih nun dahn an bis ja die Nkloh von Schmauß [raug man] Ntse aus.
and 3PL say, VOC build INDEF city for 1PL and in it a tower REL top reach DEF sky COHORT
And they said: "Come, let's build a city for ourselves and a tower in it, whose top would reach the sky.
Rein dahn xau Ntrob nun dahn aus. Schaub dzas es hab mpeib dahn [dsei dsei] bis ein Xab dzeb bei."
that_way 1SG grow name for 1SG COHORT. or else IMPERS cause scatter 1PL all_over LOC DEF world whole FUT.
That way we will make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the whole world."
Leid ein Schwed ba mpfau hin, schluß bleb ein Mbih an ein Nkloh von ein Ndob-Ndob ntsaus sein.
but DEF god come down PST, PURP see DEF city and DEF tower REL DEF human human build PROG
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.
Ein Schwed tlau, "Daß die Lad wes Ntzog meib tei dlä nin, ab dxah nan zug schlab txoh hau eh dan Tzuß bei.
DEF god say, if one people speak language common have start do this, then thing whatever they plan accomplish NEG without possibility FUT
The Lord said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.
"Ob nros mpfau an hab schmeiß ndäu ein Ntzog zug aus, schluß zug drlin eh tub veß bei."
VOC go down and cause confuse hit DEF language 3PL COHORT, in_order_that 3PL hear not understand each_other FUT
"Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
An ein Schwed mpeib zug je drein [dsei dsei] bis ein Xab dzeb, an zug vus ntsaus ein Mbih hin.
and DEF god scatter 3PL from there all_over LOC DEF world whole, and 3PL stop build DEF city PST
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
An nun nein ja flog Ntrob Mba-Mbä — dsäus drein ein Schwed hab schmeiß ndäu ein Ntzog in ein Xab dzeb hin.
and for that 3SG.I have name Babel — reason DEF god cause confuse hit DEF language of DEF world whole PST
That is why it was called Babel — because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world.
Je drein ein Schwed hab mpeib zug [dsei dsei] bis ein Xab dzeb hin.
from there DEF god cause scatter 3PL all_over LOC DEF world whole PST
From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.