Tl'acho
Anthologica Universe Atlas / Academia / Department of Creativity / Tl'acho

? kodé man of few words
posts: 105
, Deacon, this fucking hole we call LA
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Well, it's been freaking YEARS since I've posted anything on a conlang I've worked on, so here goes. Tl'acho is a vaguely North American language, with bits taken from Penutian, Algonquian, Muskogean, and others. I've been working on a grammatical sketch forever, but I think it might be more interesting and perhaps clearer if I introduced Tl'acho through examples. So, here goes (NB: I'll probably fuck up the glossing tags at first. Bear with!):

/d-3.Sg.O(e)nitl=sleepane/near.visual
[de.nee.tla.ne]
"S/he is sleeping (I see it)"

Morphosyntax:
- 'sleep' /(e)nitl/ is a stative root, so it takes a single, O-marked agreement (in this case 3rd singular /d-/). Tl'acho is Split-S (but with some degree of fluidity), and distinguishes O-marking (stative subjects, active objects) prefixes from A-marking (active subjects) suffixes.
- the 'near.visual' /ane/ is a tense/evidentiality suffix (i.e., a suffix that marks both tense and evidentiality), which is obligatory on verbs. The "near" tense can be recent past, recent future, or present; with a stative root, the default reading is present imperfective. "visual" evidentiality contrasts with "auditory", "other senses" and "reported" evidentiality for near tense.

Morphophonology: /d-(e)nitl=ane/ -> [de.nee.tla.ne]
- The parenthesized (e) vowel in /(e)nitl/ only appears when needed to satisfy disyllabic minimality on the Stem. Since the only other Stem morpheme is /d-/, the (e) vowel appears.
- Tl'acho parses the Stem into iambic feet, and always lengthens stressed vowels in open syllables. Lengthened /i/ gets regularly lowered to [e:]

/d-3.Sg.O(e)nitl-sleepha=causativeno-2.Sg.Aet/near.reported
[dineetlaano'te]
"You put her/him to bed (so you said)"

Morphosyntax:
- The causative /ha=/ adds an A-marked argument to the stative root 'sleep' /(e)nitl/. A-marking suffixes (here, the 2nd singular /-no-/) are outside the Stem.
- The causative also makes the Stem telic, so that the "near" tense is a recent past perfective.

Morphophonology: /d-(e)nitl-ha=no-et/ -> [dineetlaano'te]
- Because the causative suffix /-ha=/ is within the Stem, the (e) vowel of the root does not surface. Instead, the front vowel [ i ] is inserted to break up the illegal /d-n/ cluster.
- The /tl-h/ cluster is also illegal, but is resolved by coalescence, not vowel epenthesis. A coalesced /h/ typically aspirates an obstruent, but /tl/ is already aspirated.
- The /o-e/ hiatus is fixed with glottal stop epenthesis (/no-et/ -> [no'et])
- This word is in isolation, so it counts as a phrase. Obstruents are illegal in phrase-final position, so a vowel is epenthesized after /t/. Because /t/ is alveolar, the epenthetic vowel is [e] (/-et/ -> [ete])
- These two changes create the environment for syncope of the underlying /e/ vowel: /no-et/ -> [no'ete] -> [no'te].

Here's where it gets even interestinger!
/wón-bedd-3.Sg.O(e)nitl-sleepha=causativela-potentialn,non.pastgi1.Sg.As/near.direct
wúúnineetlaalangise
"I might be sleeping in my bed soon (I know this)" OR "I might put someone in my bed soon"

Morphosyntax:
- The incorporated object /wón/ 'bed' messes with the syntax and creates an ambiguity here. The bed in this case is definite (interpreted as "my bed" because of the 1st singular subject), so it requires O-marking agreement. In order to express the subject of 'sleep', the causative /ha=/ is needed to add an another argument. This causative may be here only to allow A-marking agreement, and be semantically vacuous; this is the "I might be sleeping in my bed" reading." Alternatively, the causative may be "real", and the causee is left out due to syntactic reasons (only two arguments can be marked).
- The combination of the potential (aspect/mood), the non.past (mood/tense), and the near.direct (tense/evidentiality) give the meaning "might do something soon". The non.past plus near tense plus telic Stem gives the recent future reading "will do soon", while the potential gives the existential modal (here with an epistemic reading). Direct evidentiality is used when an event is neither reported nor directly sensed through vision or hearing, in this case since it's a plan in the speaker's head.

Morphophonology: /wón-d-(e)nitl-ha=la-n,gi-s/ ->  wúúnineetlaalangise
- The acute accent in /wón/ is high tone. Since /wón/ is a prefix, the tone is fixed in position, and surfaces on the stressed vowel of the foot that the tonal vowel is in (here, it's the same vowel /o/).
- The /n-d/ cluster coalesces to [n], and also nasalizes the preceding vowel to [ u ] (the sole nasal vowel in Tl'acho).
- The relative position of the suffixes /n/ 'non.past' and /gi/ '1.Sg.A' is determined by sonority and phonotactics. With a different selection of mood/tense and A-agreement suffixes, you could get the opposite order.

Ok, enjoy this. I will hopefully post more in the coming days ... weeks ... months.
? masako la capitan
posts: 205
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? hwhatting posts: 79
, Sophomore message
Interesting. I especially like the detailed explanations. Are you  continuing this?
? kodé man of few words
posts: 105
, Deacon, this fucking hole we call LA
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in a word: YES. caveat: my dissertation needs to be finished in one month. so maybe in just over a month?
? kodé man of few words
posts: 105
, Deacon, this fucking hole we call LA
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NEW WORD: [gich'aatse] "hello"
? hwhatting posts: 79
, Sophomore message
I know you don't have time, but words are more fun with glosses or etymologies. ;-)
? kodé man of few words
posts: 105
, Deacon, this fucking hole we call LA
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i made this one up on the spot for a tv interview. therefore no gloss or etymology... yet. i'll back-form one, i promise!
? hwhatting posts: 79
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quoting kodé, Deacon, this fucking hole we call LA:
for a tv interview

Tell us more!

? kodé man of few words
posts: 105
, Deacon, this fucking hole we call LA
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well ... so i made an appearance on Jeopardy! (the famed US game show with the erstwhile mustachioed canadian host) last week, and alex trebek asked about my hobby of language creation, so i told him about tl'acho, and made up the word [gich'aatse]. the episode airs june 16th, though i think it's only aired in the US and maybe Canada.
? hwhatting posts: 79
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Great! Did you win anything? (I've heard about the show, but never watched the original version. In my experience, game shows tend to be copied or franchised with local hosts and candidates, but not to be aired with the original hosts and candidates outside their home markets. There seems to be a German version, I think I came across it once or twice when channel-hopping)
? kodé man of few words
posts: 105
, Deacon, this fucking hole we call LA
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i can't disclose any winnings, but i *can* say i had a whole bunch of fun! i think you're right about game shows outside of home markets, so you'll have to wait for a pirated version. not that i'm providing one, since i don't want to jeopardize any winnings, if there be any
? hwhatting posts: 79
, Sophomore message
jeopardize any winnings
But that would be very fitting. ;-)
? masako la capitan
posts: 205
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When does it air?
? kodé man of few words
posts: 105
, Deacon, this fucking hole we call LA
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june 16th, on your local ABC affiliate, almost certainly at 7 pm.
? masako la capitan
posts: 205
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I've put it on my calendar. I expect to be dazzled.