|Taʻ rī kiwinikaʻ|
|Pronunciation||/tǎʔ rɪː kɪˌwɪɲɪˈkáʔ/|
|Spoken natively in||Easter Island|
|Native speakers||⅜ (2013)|
|Writing system||Latin, Devanagari|
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.
- 1 Background
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Orthography
- 4 Grammar and morphology
- 5 Morphology
- 6 Syntax
Starting date: August 11th 2013. The 223rd day of the year. Would you know.
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/.
|Nasal||m /m/||n /n/||ng /ɲ ~ ŋ ~ ɴ/ 1|
|Plosive||p /p/||t /t/||k /c ~ k ~ q/ 2||ʻ /ʔ/|
|Approximant||w /w ~ v/ 3||l /l/||y /j/|
- The dorsal nasal is pronounced palatalised if they precede near-front from mid to high vowels, and uvularised if preceding back vowels.
- The dorsal plosive is pronounced palatalised if they precede near-front from mid to high vowels, and uvularised if preceding back vowels.
- The labial fricative /v/ and the labiovelar approximant /w/ are in free variation.
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.
/kɪˈwɪ́ʔ/ → /cɪˈwɪ́ʔ/
/kuˈlàːʔ/ → /quˈlàːʔ/
/ŋune̞ːʔɛ/ → /ɴune̞ːʔɛ/
The language distinguishes 7 different vowel qualities, 3 of which display differences in length.
|Close||u /u/ · ū /uː/|
|Near-close||i /ɪ/, [ʏ] · ī /ɪː/|
|Mid||ē /e̞ː/||o /o̞/ · ō /o̞ː/|
/kɪˈwɪ́ʔ/ → [cɪˈwʏ́ʔ]
/pahaˈsa/ → [pɒhaˈsa]
/jaːˈmǎʔ/ → [jaːˈmɒ̌ʔ]
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.
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.
Grammar and morphology
Classes and adjectivisation
Every class has an adjectivising prefix, ADZ, which creates adverbs and adjectives from nouns and verbs.
|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|
|VI||tāʻi-||big shapeless inedibles; ocean, cloud|
|VII||etē-||shapeless inedibles; water, mud, rope|
|VIII||yi-/hi-||abstractions, concepts, as well as titles|
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.
- wōri kirānaʻ
- yiwōri rānaʻ
Pluralisation works as usual, and adjectivized nouns are simply pluralised before the class prefix is attached. See Plural for further information.
- ʻūluna tāʻikulāʻ
- ʻuhūluna tāʻikekulāʻ
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.
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.
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.
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!
You don't eat that!
One/everybody knows that.
- ʻUngurāma wa;
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;
Didn't he like him/it?
- Weʻakiwēʻa, kukiwēʻa.
I know this, I know that.
- Taʻahumiraʻ manitanēʻ.
She saw him do that.
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.
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.
- ʻUmāni yē.
Do watch out, guys.
The bipersonal prefixes agree with both the subject and the object simultaneously. They have the following transivity direction: subject>object
I kill him.
I will kill him.
I will kill him.
I will kill them.
I will kill them.
We will kill him.