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Inspiration and Inception
Yumodanese (/jumodani:z/) was, originally, designed to be a "perfect" language; that is, a language with completely regularized grammar, syntax designed to make the meaning of the sentence as clear as possible, and phonology that is easy to use by anybody attempting to learn the language. It was an attempt to create a potential auxiliary language as simple as possible to learn by anybody. It eventually transformed into a fictional language set in what is now present-day Yamato City in Okinawa, Japan as it borrowed more and more from East Asian languages. Yumodanese existed and was spoken by the Yumodane tribe around 4000 years ago.
The language takes pieces from three natural languages: Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. Korean Hangul had the biggest impact on designing the Yumodanese script, Japanese having the biggest impact on grammar, and all three languages have a part in the creation of vocabulary. It is an agglutinative, moraic language that has simple phonotactics, pure vowels, and word stress. Word order is, in general, Subject-object-verb, but the only real rule is that a verb or a copula must be at the end of a sentence. Verbs are conjugated for tense, aspect, mood, and voice, but not for person or number.
Yumodanese is an East Asian language that existed about 4000 years ago. The Yumodane tribe lived on the island of Okinawa, in what is now present day Yamato City in Japan. The tribe was highly advanced compared to the Japanese, Korean, and Chinese around them, having a writing system around the same time that Chinese Hanzi first came into existence.
The tribe were practitioners of magic, having created the alphabet as originally magical symbols that later turned into their writing system, much like runes.
Researcher Julia Wiegand, a university graduate student in Tokyo, accidentally discovered the language while working on her Ph.d thesis, which hypothesized that a language may once have existed that links together Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. Her findings indicated that the Yumodanese were capable of time travel, which explained why the four languages share similarities with one another. When Julia traveled to a recently discovered ruins, she inadvertently found one of their time portals - and wound up back in the time period when the Yumodanese first existed, learning their language and their customs.
Julia's trip observed trading between the Chinese and Yumodanese, hence the borrowing of Chinese words for more complex concepts. Many words entered the Japanese language from Yumodanese exchanges with the nearby natives, introducing some Chinese words into the language. A few words have been borrowed from Korean, but the importation of Chinese words occurred directly from the Chinese as opposed to the Yumodanese. Additionally, consonant and vowel shifts occurred as a result of exposure to the Yumodanese tribes.
Yumodanese consonants are very much the same as Japanese consonants. The major difference is the lack of a nasal [ŋ] as an allophone to [g] as well as [β] as an allophone to [b], which occurs in Japanese in between syllables. There is also no nasal [ɴ], and is replaced in Yumodanese by /ne/.
Palatalization and Affrication
- [s] becomes [ɕ] before [i] and [j].
- [z] becomes [dʑ] before [i] and [j].
- [t] becomes [tɕ] before [i], and [ts] before [u].
- [h] becomes [ɸ] before [u].
|Plosive||p b||t d||k g|
|Fricative||(ɸ)||s (ɕ) z (dʑ)||h|
Mora vs. Syllable
In Yumodanese, there is no distinction between short and long vowels. However, every word has a distinct number of syllables. This is a feature known in Japanese as mora. For example, there is a difference between saying mo /mo/ (I, me, myself) and mou /mou/ (imperative mood marker) in which mou takes two morae to pronounce as the vowels are distinct.
Regardless of which vowels occur next to each other, the number of morae remains the same as diphthongs are not permitted. For example, the phrase mo-ra a-i zo-e-ma-ru takes eight morae rather than six (e.g. mo-ra ai zoe-ma-ru). This means that the vowels are all pure vowels.
|Mid||e̞ (e)||o̞ (o)|
The major rule of Yumodanese with respect to phonotactics is that mora with consonants at the end are not permitted. Each mora consists of an optional initial consonant, optional palatal /j/, and a required vowel. Palatal /j/ can occur before any vowel except /i/.
|V||/o/||a-i V + V "love"|
|jV||/jo/||yo-i jV + V"good"|
|CV||/ko/||ma-o-ko CV + V + CV 'kitten'|
|CjV||/cha/||cha-ja-ne-ru1 CjV + CjV + CV + CV 'to find'|
1 "cha" is written as the consonant "t" followed by "y" and "a", and "ja" is the voiced equivalent. In Japanese this looks like ちゃ-じゃ-ね-る, for comparison.
Yumodanese is written with four different scripts: Yumodanese script (original / official), Korean Hangeul, Japanese Kana, and romanised script (used for research purposes). Comparing Yumodanese script to Korean Hangeul, created around 1500 CE, suggests that Hangeul's creation may have been inspired by the Yumodanese script.
(Note: the full Yumodanese alphabet plus a chart for comparison to the other scripts will soon be added.)
Syllable stress in Yumodanese follows a few basic patterns as listed below. These are the standard patterns as spoken by the Yumodanese themselves, but the preferred stress patterns of the speaker would be understood.
Nouns and Pronouns
Nouns and pronouns have stress at the penultimate syllable, unless a word is monosyllabic or bisyllabic, in which case it is on the first syllable. Particles following nouns are always destressed. For example, the sentence ku-nyo-ra yu-mo-da-ne-i-ne e-ma-ru has stress as follows: 'ku-nyo-ra yu-mo-da-ne-'i-ne 'e-ma-ru.
Adjectives preceding nouns effectively bind to the nouns, thus the entire adjective is destressed and the penultimate syllable of the modified noun remains the stressed syllable.
Adjectives acting as predicates have the same stress as verbs, i.e. on the first syllable of the adjective.
Verb have stress on the first syllable. If the negative prefix "bu-" is present, the syllable stress falls on the second syllable (the first syllable of the unconjugated verb). For example, bu-e-ma-ru to not exist would have stress on 'e' just as e-ma-ru to exist would have stress on 'e'.
Nouns are not declined in anyway. Instead, case is marked using post-positions, also known as particles.
Yumodanese does not have articles. There are, however, demonstrative pronouns that are used to indicate the relation of a noun to the speaker and the listener.
|Mo (I, me)||Moni (we)|
|Ta (you)||Tani (you all)|
|Kunyo (her), Kume (him), Sa (it)||Kuni (them, neutral)|
Adjectives in Yumodanese take four forms: affirmative, negative, affirmative past, and negative past. The plain affirmative form (the dictionary form) ends in -i. When modifying a noun, the adjective conjugates with the verb prefixes and suffixes.
- Past: -ida (compare with verbal -ta)
- Negative: prefix bu-
- Negative past: bu-*-ida
Example: apai (painful), apaida (was painful), buapai (is not painful), buapaida (was painful)
When the adjective is being used as a predicate, it conjugates into a copular form by turning it into an adverb and adding the verb emaru (to exist). To form an adverb, simply add -su to the end.
Example: Sone-ra minesu emaru (The sun is bright - lit. sun as-for brightly exists).
The adverbial form is used with adjectives in a variety of other constructions as well. Expressions in English such as "difficult to...", "easy to...", "to be too...", and "to be good at" are all formed in Yumodanese by constructing an adjective and attaching the verb being modified.
Example: x-hate yoisu zoru (To be good at x).
Topic Marker -ra
To mark nouns as the topic of the sentence, attach -ra to the end of the noun. The topic of the sentence is analogous to the nominative case of other languages.
Example: Mo-ra Amerika-ine emaru (I am American).
Subject Marker -ki
The subject of a sentence is marked with -ki. This is used in designating subordinate clauses, or in the use of passive voice and verbs with indirect objects.
Example: Sone-ra minesu chaoru kara me-ki apasu emaru (Because the sun is bright, my eyes hurt - lit. Sun as-for brightly exceeds because, eyes subject painfully exist).
Direct Object Marker -so
Direct objects are indicated by attaching -so to the end of the noun. This is equivalent to the accusative case.
Example: Mo-ra kueji-so kueru (I am eating food).
Cause Marker -kara
To indicate a reason for something occurring or being a reason, add -kara after the final verb of the clause.
Example: Bukueta-kara jizone-su buemaru (Because I didn't eat, I can't concentrate - lit. Didn't eat-because, concentrate-way doesn't exist).
Mood is marked separately from verbs by attaching sentence final particles after the verb. Other concepts, such as intent or feelings, can be expressed using these markers.
The imperative mood is marked by adding 'mou' to the end of the sentence.
Example: Kaijoru mou! Let me go! (Lit. present 'to release' + imperative)
Inviting others to do something or politely commanding someone is done by adding 'saa' to the end of a sentence.
Example: Yumodane-kuni-ne ikeru saa. Let's go to Yumodane. (Lit. yumodane-country-at + present 'to go' + volutional)
Verbs in Yumodanese end in -ru (/ɾu/). This is both the infinitive and the present tense.
To form the past tense, drop the verb-final -ru and add -ta.
Example: kueru (to eat) -> kueta (I/he/she/you/etc. ate)
To indicate ability (or lack of ability), transform the verb into an adverb by replacing the -ru suffix with -su (as with adjectives), and add emaru to indicate positive ability, and buemaru to indicate negative ability. (This literally means to have or not have a way to do something).
Example: Kotowasu buemaru (I can't deny (that)).