Friday, December 12, 2008

Hidden consonant stems

I was just realizing while lying in bed this morning that, since /t/ disappeared word-finally, there's bound to be a whole class of nouns that appear vowel-final (and might even end with /-e/ or /-o/ which otherwise don't exist in the absolutive because of the final raising rule) but decline differently in some cases than the genuine vowel stems. For example:

Stems in -t, Singular

A perhet-Ø > perhe
E perhet-nës > perhennes > perhes* (?)
G perhet-v > (perhetu)
I perhet-hën > perheten > perhen* (?)
S perhet-še > perheitsi > perheis
P perhet-da > perhetta
V perhet-t > perhe

* We really need to decide about that paradigmatic leveling issue ASAP.

Stems in -t, Plural

There's a big question here as to what happens to the /-t-/. Followed as it is by /i/, it ought to become an /s/ in every case; but it's also not inconceivable that it could have dropped out, leaving a bunch of vowels to resolve themselves into something pronounceable. Part of this is going to involve figuring out the chronology of the changes.

A perhet-i-Ø > perhesi > perhie (?)
E perhet-i-nis > perhesis > perhies (?)
G perhet-i-u > (perhesiu > perheju (?))
I perhet-i-hin > perhesin > perhien (?)
S perhet-i-še > perhesis > perhies/perheis (?)
P perhet-i-da > perhesia > perheja (?)
V perhet-i-t > perhesi > perhie (?)

I'm interested to see what happens when other vowels precede the /-t/. For example, from original rahat, velit, huonot, olut we'd have:

raha, rahas, rahan, rahais, rahatta, raha; rahai, rahais, rahain, rahaja, rahai
veli, velis, velin, velis, velitta, veli; velī, velīs, velīn, velija, velī
huono, huonos, huonon, huonois, huonotta, huono; huonoi, huonois, huonoin, huonoja, huonoi
olu, olus, olun, oluis, olutta, olu; olui, oluis, oluin, oluja, olui.

So, then, the cases in which we see a departure from vowel-final stems with the same ultimate vowel would be absolutive singular (-et and -ot stems), similative, partitive singular, ergative and instrumental plural (all except -ut stems), partitive plural (-et stems) and vocative plural (all except -it stems).

I have this feeling that maybe the -s- only rather recently dropped out, recently enough for those forms to be used in the modern language to evoke an old-fashioned or very formal feel.

Next question: What about verbs? Should they also exist with all possible vocalic stems? And what happens with /-t/ stems?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Declension of -i and -u stems

I've been realizing for some time that Seadi as originally designed has an artificially small number of declension classes. Back in 2005 I figured out consonant-stem nominals, and I knew that I was going to have to open up -i and -u eventually; apparently "eventually" meant about three years later, and here's my first draft as of this morning's BART ride.

Stems in -i, Singular

A turr-i-Ø > turri
E turr-i-nis > turris
G turr-i-v > (turriu)
I turr-i-hin > turrin
S turr-i-še > turrie
P turr-i-da > turria
V turr-i-t > turri

Stems in -i, Plural

A turr-i-i-Ø > turrī
E turr-i-i-nis > turrīs/turries?
G turr-i-i-v > (turriju)
I turr-i-i-hin > turrīn/turrien?
S turr-i-i-še > turrīs
P turr-i-i-da > turrija
V turr-i-i-t > turrī

Stems in -u, Singular

A karh-u-Ø > karhu
E karh-u-nus > karhus
G karh-u-v > (karhū)
I karh-u-hun > karhun
S karh-u-še > karhui
P karh-u-da > karhua
V karh-u-t > karhu

Stems in -u, Plural

A karh-u-i-Ø > karhui
E karh-u-i-nis > karhūs/karhīs
G karh-u-i-v > (karhuju)
I karh-u-i-hin > karhūn/karhīn
S karh-u-i-še > karhuis
P karh-u-i-da > karhuja
V karh-u-i-t > karhū

Now for the interesting part: I need to decide how paradigmatic leveling is going to affect not only these paradigms, but nominal inflection in general. Given that Seadi is inflectional and not agglutinative, there really ought to be a lot less consistency in the declensional endings.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What in god's name is going on with my phonology?

Can we finally motivate our diphthongs? We're doing short-vowel "breaking" à la Sámi:

a > ea as in ase > easi, kata > keata, but katu > katu, harma > harma
i > ie always, but serme > sermi

Something about blocking in polymoraic syllables?

o > uo as in coro > cuoru
o > oa as in koli > koali

We need to figure out the context rules, and also whether /i/ and /u/ change. i > ai, u > au, maybe?

So one isogloss thing between dialects could be whether/when these things happen. How about E/W/Capitol all do it (but ever so slightly differently), but N doesn't?

SO, how do we motivate long diphthongs? Do we have palatalized consonant phonemes in modern Seadi? We've been paying too much attention to orthography instead of phonology.

Is it possible that the short/long vowel distinction is being neutralized in southern dialects of Seadi in favor of quality differences? If /e/ never appears stressed in open syllables, but /ē/ does, it's a prime opportunity to lose the length feature since it's no longer contrastive.

But Jesus, this is going to mean a ****load of paradigmatic leveling with both verbs and nouns.