Lesson:Metin/1: Sounds and declarative sentences

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The sounds of Metin

Metin is famous among foreign learners for being the language "which knots the tongue and breaks the jaw." This reputation is not entirely undeserved, allthough the language does not confound learners with nonpulmonic consonants, it contains both retroflex, lateral, and palatal sounds, requiring much tongue acrobatics.

The consonants

k, g, j, and m are the same as their english counterparts, nothing new here. (Allthough g is always pronounced as in "game", never as in "gem". The k is always aspirated as in "key", never unaspirated like in "sky".

y is always pronounced as in "yes"

w is pronounced with narrowed lips, sometimes sounding like  a v.

l is always pronounced as in "lake", never as in "cold" even at the end of words.

r is pronounced with the tip of the tongue tapping the top of the mouth.

s and z sound for the most part like english s and z, but occasionaly the s will be prounounced like the th in "think", and z the th in "the".

sy and zy sound like the sounds in "shop" and "treasure" respectively. 

S and Z sound similar to sh and zh, but they are pronounced with the tongue tapping the top of the mouth, like with r.

t and d are pronounced like in english , but with the tongue-tip touching the teeth rather than the alveolar ridge. Like k, t is always aspirated.

T and D are pronounced with the tongue touching the roof of the mouth, like in S, Z, and r. These sounds are considered to be retroflex. T is always aspirated, like t and k.

c is pronounced like the english ch in "cheese".

f is pronounced similar to the English f, but with narrowed lips, and no teeth, like if one wanted to blow out a candle.

q is an uvular fricative, like the french r. It sounds like a gargle.

h is always pronounced as in "hat" even if it is at the end of a word, like in "sisuh"

x is pronounced like the spanish j, like the h sound but raspier.

gh, jh, Dh, dh, bh, zh, źh, and Zh are all aspirated sounds. There is no equivalent in English. To pronounce gh, say g and h at the same time, like in "foghorn." bh is b and h at the same time, like in "cabhood" zh is z and h at the same time, etc

ł is pronounced as in navajo or welsh. It sounds sort of like saying h and l at the same time.

s', z', ś', , t', c', j', d', dh', jh', zh', n', y' and zyh' are lateral sounds. To pronounce lateral s', place the tip of the tongue at the base of the bottom teeth, and the middle of the tongue against the front teeth, then attempt to make an s sound. t', d', and dh' are pronounced in the same manner, only this time, completely block the airflow with your tongue to make a popping sound. sy' is peonounced like s', except the tongue is also raised in the middle, to make a y sound simultaneously. c', j', y', and their derivations are pronounced in the same manner. If your mouth is forced farther open than is comfortable trying to make these sounds, you're doing it right. 

Vowels

i is pronouced as in "see"

a is pronouced as in "lot"

u is pronounced as in "food"

e is pronounced as in "let"

o is prnounced as in "road"

ë is pronounced as in "but"

ï is pronounced like the korean "ue",  sort of like the english "look."

æ is pronounced like the english "cat".

A is pronounced like english "caught" ( at least for some people).

Vowels with an apostrophe are pronounced like they have a y' after them. aa' could just as easily be written aay'.

Vowels written double are pronounced for twice as long  "uu" takes twice as log to say as "u"

There are no dipthongs, every vowel in a sequence is pronounced clearly

Declarative sentences

Declarative sentences are by far the simplest element of Metin syntax. They are used to state that one noun is another, as in English "That is a fish."      To translate such a sentence into Metin, first add "Dhaa", then the two nouns which are the same.

Examples:

Dhaa sime sita

DEC  person this

This is a person

Dhaa sh'amiił miji

DEC house wood

The house is wooden

Demonstratives

Demonstratives are words like "this" or "that" in English. In Metin, the demonstratives follow the word.

sime ta: this person

sime Za: that person

sime te: that person by you

ta means "this", and is used to point out objects right at hand, within a few feet.

Za means "that", and is used to point out things that though visible, are not nearby. It is also used to refer to the place you are standing in, e.g., sy'aDZao Za: this city (the one we are in), sy'amiil Za: this house (where we are talking).

te means "by you", and is used to point out things next to the person you are talking to. Dhaa sitxen sitxa te would mean "txen is that man right by you."

Notice that in declarative sentences, demonstratives must agree with what they describe. siZa, sita, site, are used for nouns starting with "si", which are usually people.

Dhaa siZa sibhii': that is Bhii'.

fïZa, fïta, fïte are used for nouns in "fï", usually small inanimate objects.

fïZa: that (thing)

Dhaa fïZa fïgoon: that is a table.

sy'aZa, sy'ata, sy'ate are used for nouns starting with sy'a, usually places.

Dhaa sy'ate sy'amiił: that(by you) is a house.

miZa, mita, mite are used for "mi"nouns.

Dhaa mita miji: this is water.



Practice

sime: person    sit'is: child  sitxa: man, boy     sibhi: woman, girl sisuh: friend, fellow sifen: his/ her sister sitlen: his/her brother (e.g. sitlen suarbhii': bhii's brother)

sitxen: a name        sibhii': a name sy'en suałtxen: Txen's  sy'en suarbhii': Bhii's

sy'amiił: house, dwelling sy'aDZao: city sy'aqum: garden, park

fïy'oa: table fïji: branch, stick fïgoon: chair, bench 

miji: wood 

ta, sita, fïta, mita: this (at hand) Za, siZa, fïZa, miZa: that (nearby) te, site... :That by you

Translation practice

1.That (siZa) is a woman

2. That woman is Bhii'

3. This (sy'aZa) is a house

4.That man (by you) is Txen 

5. This chair is wooden

I.) Dhaa sime te sitxa

II.) Dhaa fïy'oa miji

III.) Dhaa miZa miji

IV.) Dhaa sh'ate sh'amiił

V.) Dhaa sh'aZa sh'aDZao

Negative declarative

To negate a declaritive, that is to say that something is not something else, replace "dhaa" with "mimi"

mimi fïZa fïy'oa

NEG that table

that is not a table.

mimi sime sisuh

NEG person friend

The person is not a friend.

Translate

1.) This person is not a child.

2.) The friend is not Txen.

3.) The table is not wooden 

4.) That child is not Bhii's sister (sifen  suarbhii'l)

5.) This house (where we stand) is not Txen's (suootxen)

I.) mimi sy'amiil Za sy'en suarbhii'

II.) mimi fïte fïji

III.) mimi sit'is sibhi

IV.) mimi siZa sitxen

IV.) mimi sh'amiił miji

Answers

1.) Dhaa siZa sibhi 2.) Dhaa sibhi Za sibhii' 3.) Dhaa sy'aZa sy'amiił 4.) Dhaa site sitxen 5.) Dhaa fïgoon miji

I.) That person (by you) is a man. II.) The table is wooden. III.) That is wood IV.) That (by you) is a house. V.) This (where we stand) is a city

1.) mimi sime te sit'is 2.) mimi sisuh sitxen 3.) mimi fïy'oa miji 4.) mimi sit'is Za sifen suarbhii'  5.) mimi sy'amiił Za sy'en suałtxen I.) This house is not Bhii's. II.) That (by you) is not a branch. III.) The child is not a girl. IV.) That is not Txen V.) The house is not wooden.

Final notes

Sometimes in declarative sentences the Dhaa is ommitted, and left to context, so frequently (particularily in informal conversations), you will here sentences like "fïy'oa miji" (the table is wooden) instead of "Dhaa fïy'oa miji".