User:Ceige/Ceigean Afroasiatic

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CJ-Afroasiatic (jokingly)
𐤔𐤌𐤉𐤕 / ⵙⵎⵉⵜ / (ta)Šimiyata
Pronunciation [simijata]
Created by
Setting
Region Africa
Native speakers -  (Yonks ago)
Language family
Afroasiatic
  • CJ-Afroasiatic (jokingly)
Early forms:
Early Proto-Afroasiatic
  • CJ-Afroasiatic (jokingly)
Writing system Latin, Phoenician, Hieroglyphics, Tifinagh. Only Latin recommended.
ISO 639-3

This is my attempt at making a conlanger-oriented pseudo-reconstruction of "some stage" of Proto-Afroasiatic. By "Conlanger-oriented" I mean it incorporates a few extra bits that may not have actually existed or been widespread or common in the Proto-Afroasiatic stage, but I kept them in because I thought they look fun - mimation/nunation is a good example.

Phonology

Consonants

Consonants Labial Dento-Alveolar Velar Post-Velar Glottal
Plain Laminal Apical Lateral
Stop/Affr.'s Voiced b d ᵈź (ź) ᵈz (z) g
Unvoiced p t ᵗś (ć) ᵗs (c) k ʔ
Emphatic t’ ᵗś’ (ć’) ᵗs’ (c’) ᵗɬ' (ƛ’) k’ (q) ʕ
Fricatives Unvoiced f š (s) ɬ (ɬ~ƛ) χ ħ h
Voiced ɣ
Sonorants w r y l
Nasals m n

Note the lack of standard IPA conventions.

The laminal series represents what ends up as (in the case of /ᵈź/) /ð/ in Semitic, /d/ in Egyptian, /z/ in Berber and Cushitic, and /dʒ/ in Chadic. In contrast, the apical series represents what ends up as (in the case of /dz/) /z/ in Semitic, Egyptian, Berber and Cushitic and /dz/ in Chadic.

The laminal and apical series of affricates act like stops in terms of distribution, and some daughter languages yield affricates from emphatics (Chadic is unreliable in that it yields dental affricates across the board, and merges /š/ with /ɬ/, implying that it simply merged non-laminal fricatives with affricates).

The exact nature of emphatics is fairly unimportant - daughter languages either eliminated them (leaving traces of their presence sometimes in vowel quality) or use pharyngealisation or ejectives. The important point is that they involve disrupted airflow from behind where the consonants are being made in the mouth/vocal tract area.

Vowels

Phonotactics (refer to Grammar)

The feminine marker -(a)ta may end up as -ta, or where case erosion takes place, -at or even -a.

Grammar

Ceigean Afroasiatic
Šémiya
Progress: 35%
Type
Fusional
Alignment
Marked Nominative
Head direction
Initial Mixed Final
Primary word order
Verb-subject-object
Tonal
No
Declensions
Yes
Conjugations
Yes
Genders
2
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect

Nouns

Gender

The base gender system is unmarked for male and marked for female.

Gender Suffix
Male Ø
Female -t-

This gender marker is normally suffixed onto the end of a noun, and is, depending on the speaker, joined with an epinthetic vowel (thus, -t- > -at-). However, the gender marker can appear in other places due to derivational processes.

Case

There are two main noun cases in CJ-Afroasiatic. Only one is effectively marked, and that is the nominative. There is also a debatable adjectivo-genitive marker, but this is a bit more versatile than a case marker, and can apparently be used for implying plurality. They are normally suffixed after gender, but like the gender marker, derivational processes can change this.

Case Suffix
Absolutive -(a)-
Nominative -u-
(Genitive) -i-

State and Definitivity

In addition to gender and case, state is also used to clarify the syntactic and semantic role of a noun and contributes to the overall form of it. The construct is used like in Semitic languages, to indicate that the noun is part of a greater phrase. It essentially involves the phonological erosion of any important final vowels that aren't part of the noun root - e.g., case.

In necessary cases we can assume an epinthetic vowel -ə resulting from these reductions.

In addition, there is the Mimation/Nunation, which is essentially chucking a nasal consonant onto the end of the case ending (and thus making this contrasted with the construct state). This seems to serve an emphatic role of emphasising a complete or unbound (whatever that is) phrase.

Plurality

There appears to be no stable system of making plurals. Egyptian appears to use -w and -wt for its external plural markers. Semitic appears to use vowel lengthening instead. Internal (vowel-grade) plural marking seems to orient around making the noun look different in whatever easy way is possible, at least in some cases.

Berber nouns appear comparitively neat when it comes to vowel alterations however, and the -n- marker appears to have some parallels (at a glance) in Arabic. Since we're doing this for conlanging, and not proper reconstruction purposes, let's just assume that -n- was used in some plural formation, alongside appropriate vowel shifts. Another thing worthy of note: feminine -t- appears to be dropped in some plural constructions (both broken and affixed).

In the following tables, e/ə = a short vowel. ə in many cases may become /u/, /i/ or /a/ (conditions not known yet). External plural marker seem to possess some concatenating abilities. Depending on the source language, I'll use é and è to indicate if it tends to /i/ or /u/ respectively. In both the Berber and Arabic derived parts, there appears to be a tendency for u/a > u, but i > i, when vowel reductions occur in some cases, but other times this doesn't happen.

Plural Type Formation Alternative
External #1 ROOT- > ROOT-ən- a-ROOT- > é-ROOT-ən-
External #2 ROOT- > ROOT-aw-
External #3 ROOT- > ROOT-v: (-ū, -ā) ROOT- > ROOT-ī
Broken External #1 a-CəCəC- > é-CəCC-an a-CəC- > é-CaC-ən-
Broken External #2 éCvC- > aCC-aw- éCvC- > aCC-aw-ən
Broken #1 CvCC- > CèCaC- CiCC- > CéCaC-

The broken plurals of Arabic appear to stem from multiple systems, while the broken plurals of Berber (largely adopted above) appear to be mostly prosodic in nature. It is possible the chaos in Arabic is caused by biradical roots. Regardless, avoiding infixing, here are some possibly applicable broken plurals:

Plural Type Formation Alternative
Broken External #1 CvCC > ʔa-CCāC CvCv:C > ʔa-CCéCa
Broken #1 CvCv:C > CèCèC
Broken #2 CvC(v)C(a) > CəCa(:)C

Overall, some tendencies emerge: 1. The heavier the final syllable is in a root, the more likely it is to redistribute the vowels towards the front or even them out across the entire root. 2. Roots with a vowel in the first syllable but not the second will be more likely to have the first syllable reduced and the second given an /a/ 3. Suffixes then contract adjacent syllables as phontactics allow. Thus, CəCa:C > ʔa-CCāC, and (a-)CəCəC > (é-)CəCC-an. 4. Suffixes can also act as if part of the root when dealing with vowel assignment

Thus, bringing this affair to close of sorts, plurals may probably resemble the following:

Singular Form Plural Form Plural with -n Plural with -w Plural with -v: Plural with v-
CvC ??? CəCan CəCaw CəCā a-CaC
CvCC CəCaC CəCaCən CvCCaw CvCCā v-CCaC
CCvC CvCvC CvCCan CvCCaw CvC(v)Cā v-CCvC

Nominal Prefixes

In addition to all the above, and working in with gender, case and number, there are the nominal prefixes. These are rather optional, being representative mostly of Berber. They change according to case and number. They appear to be innovated from pronouns formed by gender and case markers.

Gender Absolutive Nominative (Plural)
Male (a-) w/u- y/i-
Female ta- tə- ti-/tə-

The reason for the female prefix being reduced could be either an underlying tu- and ti- that has lost its vowel quality due to a heavier syllable later on in the word (such as the noun's own case marker), or because the marker predates case innovation (or was established during a lull in case marking?).

Noun Summary

Case Gender
Male Female
Prefix Suffix Prefix Suffix
Absolutive
Base (a-) -a (ta-) -ta
Mim/Nun -am -tam
Nominative
Base (wə/u-) -u (tə-) -tu
Mim/Nun -um -tum
Oblique
Base (yə/i-) -i (ti/tə-) -ti
Mim/Nun -im -tim
Reduced (ə-) -(ə) (tə-) -t(ə)

Adjectives

Pronouns

Verbs

Syntax

Adverbs

Prepositions

Particles