Kiwi

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Kiwi
Taʻ rī kiwinikaʻ
Pronunciation /tǎʔ rɪː kɪˌwɪɲɪˈkáʔ/
Created by
Setting
Spoken natively in Easter Island
Region Pacific ocean
Native speakers ⅜  (2013)
Language family
Rana languages
Early forms:
Proto-Rana
  • Kiwi
Writing system Latin, Devanagari
ISO 639-3 qki

Kiwi (natively known as taʻ rī kiwinikaʻ, IPA: /tǎʔ rɪː kɪˌwɪɲɪˈkáʔ/) refers to the constructed language supposedly spoken on Easter Island, constructed by Waahlis. The language was devised as an effort to screw with the minds of marine biologists, as well as a hypothetical language for Pagurus prideaux.

The Kiwi language is constructed to be agglutinative, for a change, yet retains the simple phonotactics of Polynesian languages. The phonology is simple by Europan standards, as is the orthography. Morphology and grammar show clear influences from Ojibwe, Navajo and to a certain degree, Spanish. The most interesting bits of information on the language is that is has a very weak word-final stress, lacks adjectives and adverbs, and that is a hyper intelligent shade of blue.

Background

Starting date: August 11th 2013. The 223rd day of the year. Would you know.


Phonology

Consonants

Kiwi has 12 consonants, some of which show great allophony. It is unusual in that it has no proper fricatives; only the pseudo-fricative /h/.

Consonants
Labial Alveolar Dorsal Glottal
Nasal m /m/ n /n/ ng /ɲ ~ ŋ ~ ɴ/ 1
Plosive p /p/ t /t/ k /c ~ k ~ q/ 2 ʻ /ʔ/
Fricative h /h/
Approximant w /w ~ v/ 3 l /l/ y /j/
Tap r /ɾ/
  1. The dorsal nasal is pronounced palatalised if they precede near-front from mid to high vowels, and uvularised if preceding back vowels.
  2. The dorsal plosive is pronounced palatalised if they precede near-front from mid to high vowels, and uvularised if preceding back vowels.
  3. The labial fricative /v/ and the labiovelar approximant /w/ are in free variation.

Consonant allophony

The Kiwi dorsal nasals and plosives assimilate to the following vowel in the syllable. The near-front mid to high vowels /e̞ː/ and /ɪ/ thus act palatalising. Likewise, the back and near-back vowels uvularise the consonants.

kiwi'
/kɪˈwɪ́ʔ/ → /cɪˈwɪ́ʔ/
kiwi'
common_language.c8.PA

common language
The language's namesake. So damn cute. Known as kikiwī in the Kiwi language.
kulā'
/kuˈlàːʔ/ → /quˈlàːʔ/
kulā'
darkness.c8.PA

darkness
ngunē'e
/ŋune̞ːʔɛ/ → /ɴune̞ːʔɛ/
ngunē'e
dagger.c5.PA

dagger

Vowels

The language distinguishes 7 different vowel qualities, 3 of which display differences in length.

Vowels
Front Near-front Central Near-back Back
Close u /u/ · ū /uː/
Near-close i /ɪ/, [ʏ] · ī /ɪː/
Close-mid
Mid ē /e̞ː/ o /o̞/ · ō /o̞ː/
Open-mid e /ɛ/
Near-open ā /æː/
Open a /a/ [ɒ]

Vowel allophony

Short, unrounded vowels in the Kiwi language get labialised, or rounded, when they follow a labial consonant.

kiwi'
/kɪˈwɪ́ʔ/ → [cɪˈwʏ́ʔ]
kiwi'
common_language.c8.PA

common language
bahasa
/pahaˈsa/ → [pɒhaˈsa]
bahasa
foreign_language.c8.PA

foreign language
ma'
/jaːˈmǎʔ/ → [jaːˈmɒ̌ʔ]
yāma'
canoe.c4.PA

canoe

Suprasegmentals

Kiwi has a sophisticated system of tones, as well as stress. Only final syllables may get tone, and all final syllables but those with a glottal stop coda, get a medium, default tone.

There are four tones in the language, medium, rising and falling, low, and high tone. The last three tones only occur when a vowel precedes a word-final glottal stop, all others get a medium tone.

To be continued.

Phonotactics

Kiwi phonotactics follow the same pattern as most Polynesian languages. Kiwi syllables may contain one consonant in the onset, or there is no onset. Syllables with no onset contrast with syllables beginning with the glottal stop: /ɑˈlaː/ ('hi') contrasts with /ʔɑˈlaː/ ('to be whole'). Codas and consonant clusters are normally prohibited in the phonotactics Austronesian languages, but Kiwi allows a final glottal stop as a syllable coda. It is elided if the following syllable has an onset.

The syllable has a minimum of one vowel. A one-vowel syllable has any one of the short or long vowels. Any vowel clusters form diaereses.

The structure of the Kiwi syllable can be represented as being (C)V(C), where the round brackets around C and second C mean that a syllable-initial or syllable-final consonant is optional.

Orthography

Grammar and morphology

Nouns

Classes and adjectivisation

There are 9 inherent noun classes, c, in the Kiwi language. These do to some extent govern obviation, and agreement with adjectives. They are mainly dependent upon size and edibility.

Every class has an adjectivising prefix, ADZ, which creates adverbs and adjectives from nouns and verbs.

Class Adjectivising prefix Members
I ki- edible but holy animates; humans, domestic animals
II mahā- big animate edibles; big animals
III mē- small edibles; plants, fish
IV we- big inedibles; objects
V wīʻa- small inedibles
VI tāʻi- big shapeless inedibles; ocean, cloud
VII etē- shapeless inedibles; water, mud, rope
VIII yi-/hi- abstractions, concepts, as well as titles
IX tāne- bodyparts, extremities

Since the classes are relatively defined, it is not morphologically marked which class a noun belongs to. The prefixes are instead fixed on nouns to derive adjectives and adverbs. And epenthic glottal stop, <ʻ> is added if two vowels collide.

The class prefixes are also used to congruate the possessor with a possesse, where the possessor get the class prefix of possessed object, as well as the genitive case.

Word order is most often irrelevant, since Kiwi is more or less non-configurational. See Syntax for further information.

rānaʻ
/raːˈnáʔ/
rānaʻ
beauty.c8.PA

beauty
Moai statues on Easter Island, called moʻai in Kiwi, as well as a few wild horses. Horses are called tototō, by the way.
wōri kirānaʻ
/woːˈrɪ́ cɪraːˈnáʔ/
wōri ki-rānaʻ
girl.c1.PA ADZ.c1-beauty.c8.PA

beautiful girl
yiwōri rānaʻ
/jɪwoːˈrɪ́ raːˈnáʔ/
yi-wōri rānaʻ
ADZ.c8-girl.c1.PA beauty.c8.PA

girly beauty

Pluralisation works as usual, and adjectivized nouns are simply pluralised before the class prefix is attached. See Plural for further information.

ʻūluna tāʻikulāʻ
/ʔuːluˈnɑ taːʔɪquˈlaːʔ/
ʻūluna tāʻi-kulāʻ
ocean.c6.PA ADZ.c6-darkness.c8.PA

dark ocean
ʻuhūluna tāʻikekulāʻ
/ʔuhuːluˈna taːʔɪkɛquˈlàːʔ/
ʻu~hūluna tāʻi-ke~kulāʻ
PL~ocean.c6 ADZ.c6-PL~darkness.c8

dark oceans

Number

The language has two numbers, the paucal and the plural. This means that there is no singular grammatical number.

Paucal

The paucal denotes singular entity nouns, as well as a few nouns, or a small group. It is equivalent to the English singular, but less defined. The paucal is the lemma form of the nouns, and thus implicitly unmarked.

ʻūluna
/ʔuːluˈna/
ʻūluna
ocean.c6.PA

ocean, sea
kaukaʻi
/qauqaˈʔɪ́/
kaukaʻi
song_bird.c1.PA

song bird
taʻuka
/taʔuˈqa/
taʻuka
rain_cloud.c6.PA

rain cloud
kuʻe
/quˈʔɛ́/
kuʻe
fish.c3.PA

fish
Plural

The plural number in Kiwi is used with a big number of objects, or many of them. It is basically similar to the English plural, except smaller groups of objects class as paucal. Pluralisation of nouns is rather straightforward; plurals are formed through initial partial reduplication. The reduplication is phonologically governed.


Initial syllable V ʔV CV: Ca Cu Ce Ci Co
Reduplicated VʔV ʔVhV CVCV: CiCa CeCu CiCe CeCi CuCo CuCō


ʻuhūluna
/ʔuhuːluˈna/
ʻu~ʻūluna
PL~ocean.c6

oceans, seas
kikaukaʻi
/cɪqauqaˈʔɪ́/
ki~kaukaʻi
PL~song_bird.c1

song bird
titaʻuka
/tɪtaʔuˈqa/
ti~taʻuka
PL~rain_cloud.c6.

rain clouds
kekuʻe
/cɛquˈʔɛ́/
kuʻe
fish.c3.pa

fish

Pronouns

Personal pronouns

There are only subjective personal pronouns in the Kiwi language, and they are not used in the same contexts as in English. They are independent, thus not agglutinable. All persons do not exist for all classes of personal pronouns, and many classes have been put together. Please note that the Kiwi language is pro-drop; that is, using pronouns is not obligatory.

Personal pronouns
Person → 0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Number → Paucal Plural Paucal Plural Paucal Plural Paucal Plural
Class ↓ Nominative
I waka anā aʻanā ei oukā uʻoukā lalā
II+III keʻ - - māo mamāo ngai ningai lēna lelēana
IV+V kai - - - - wakō wiwakō rōa rurōa
VI+VII tai - - - - taʻēa titaʻēa rita rita
VIII toā yeō yiyeō wahē wiwahē kāʻa kakāʻa yēna yeyēna
IX wana - - - - āta aʻāta āna aʻāna

The zeroth person and indefiniteness

The so-called zeroth person (0) in the Kiwi language, is a catch-all indefinite pronoun. It is used to convey the following meanings:

  • someone, anyone, all
  • one, a/an
  • you, they, one (generic) The usage makes it equivalent to man in German, Swedish, et al., French on as well as ei in Finnish. To be continued.


ʻAhumakaʻī ne!
/ʔahumaˈqaʔɪ: nɛ/
ʻahu-makaʻī ne
0>4sg-to_eat.NFUT NEG

You don't eat that!
ʻAhukiwēʻa.
/ʔahucɪˈwe̞ːʔa/
ʻahu-kiwēʻa
0>4sg-to_know.NFUT

One/everybody knows that.
ʻUngurāma wa;
/ʔuŋuˈɾæːma wa/
ʻungu-rāma wa
2sg>0-to_regret.NFUT Q

Do you regret anything?

The fourth person and obviation

The fourth person (4) in the Kiwi language is a third person obviative pronoun that distinguishes a non-salient third person referent from a more salient, proximate or pertinent, third person referent in a given discourse context.


There are a few basic rules for the Kiwi fourth person:

  • Where animacy is involved, animate noun phrases tend to be proximate, while inanimate noun phrases tend to be obviative.
  • Possessors are obligatorily proximate and possessees are thus obligatory obviative.
  • Proximate/Obviative assignments are preserved throughout clauses and are also often constant over longer discourse segments.
  • If there is no need for a proximate/obviate distinction in the clause, the pronouns get proximal and distal functions.
  • A proximate subject is always animate.


Taʻahukakiʻ wa;
/taʔahuqaˈcɪ́ wa/
taʻahu-kakiʻ-∅ wa
3sg>4sg-to_dislike-NFUT Q

Didn't he like him/it?
Weʻakiwēʻa, kukiwēʻa.
/wɛʔacɪwe̞ːˈʔa qucɪwe̞ːˈʔa/
weʻa-kiwēʻa-∅ ku-kiwēʻa-∅
1sg>3sg-to_know-NFUT 1sg>4sg-to_know-NFUT

I know this, I know that.
Taʻahumiraʻ manitanēʻ.
/taʔahumɪráʔ maɲɪtaně̞ːʔ/
taʻahu-miraʻ-∅ mani-tanēʻ-∅
3sg>4sg-to_see-NFUT 4sg>4sg-to_do-NFUT

She saw him do that.

Verbs

Tense

The Kiwi language does mark grammatical tense morphologically. However, the system is binary one; non-future (nfut) versus future (fut). To specify whether something occurs in the present or in the past, you make use of adverbs, or more commonly, adverbial noun phrases.

Person

Unipersonal agreement

There is no unipersonal agreement in the Kiwi language; an intransitive verb, one that does not take an object, dos not conjugate according to the subject. Instead you use the personal pronouns or noun phrase in question.

Anā miʻā.
/ˈanaː ˈmɪʔaː/
anā miʻā
1pc.NOM to_see.NFUT

I see.
ʻUmāni yē.
/ʔuˈmaːɲɪ ˈje̞ː/
ʻumāni yē
to_watch_out.NFUT 2pl.NOM

Do watch out, guys.
Bipersonal agreement

The bipersonal prefixes agree with both the subject and the object simultaneously. They have the following transivity direction: subject>object

Bipersonal prefixes
Object→
Subject↓
paucal
0 1 2 3 4
paucal 0 - ʻe- hai- hane- ʻahu-
1 naʻa- - ki- weʻa- ku-
2 nuku- ngi- - ke'a- ʻungu-
3 tina- ne- tu- - ta'ahu-
4 maʻe- ʻano- mi- namaʻī- mani-


we’akima’orī
/wɛʔacɪmaʔɔˈrɪː/
we’a-ki-ma’orī
1>3-SG-to_kill

I kill him.
we’akimani’orī
/wɛʔacɪmanɪʔɔˈrɪː/
we’a-ki-ma<ni>’orī
1>3-SG-to_kill<FUT>

I will kill him.
kiwe’akimani’orī
/cɪwɛʔacɪmaʔɔˈrɪː/
ki-we’a-ki-ma<ni>’orī
1SG>3SG-to_kill<FUT>

I will kill him.
kiwe’amani’orī
/cɪwɛʔamaʔɔˈrɪː/
ki-we’a-ma<ni>’orī
SG-1>3-to_kill<FUT>

I will kill them.
kiwe’anomani’orī
/cɪwɛʔanɔmaʔɔˈrɪː/
ki-we’a-no-ma<ni>’orī
SG-1>3-PL-to_kill<FUT>

I will kill them.
nuwe’amani’orī
/nuwɛʔamaʔɔˈrɪː/
nu-we’a-ma<ni>’orī
PL-1>3-to_kill<FUT>

We will kill him.

Morphology

Syntax