man of few words
posts: 109 ,
Deacon, this fucking hole we call LA message
Here's a couple more examples. Despite the intriguingly named "ram-ship", I really haven't done anything interesting on the conworlding side. But hopefully that'll change, soon enough...
"I built a ram-ship"
- /kalh/ "ram-ship" is an incorporated object; with /kalh/, the verb root /dzo/ "make" takes on the more specific meaning "build". With different objects, /dzo/ could mean "cook", "sew", or something else; its root meaning is something along the lines of "make a physical artifact". Incorporating a noun with /dzo/ is the default means of talking about making something; there are more specific roots for some processes of making, like /ch'aang/ for "build a reed-house" (see, I'm getting to the conworlding!).
- the post-Stem suffixes are pretty boring in this example: "past" + "1st.Sg.Agent" + "near tense/direct evidential" = "I did it (relatively recently)". I'm not sure when one could use 1st person subject marking without a direct evidential; maybe being under a spell or a god's influence, or doing something in a dream, or while intoxicated from /shvxwe/, a fermented barley drink?
- the cluster /lh-dz/ simplifies to [ts] with compensatory lengthening of the previous vowel. This is basically what happens when a coronal fricative meets another coronal fricative or affricate: the second fricative is preserved with its place of articulation but the glottal state (voicing, aspiration or ejectivization) of the first fricative. The first fricative deletes but the weight of the syllable is preserved through vowel lengthening. Typically, the second fricative is affricativized (if it's not already an affricate).
- the rule of phrase-final vowel insertion after an obstruent feeds syncope of the preceding vowel /i/. Thus, /e-gi-s/ -> [egise] -> [egse].
- the tone of the post-Stem suffix /e^/ "past" gets realized on the last stressed vowel of the Stem, here [óó].
/kalh-ram-ship(o)gongw=saile^,pastgi-1Sg.Ata^ remote.directw-1Sg.P(o)gongw-sailk=adversative.reflexiveo^l-terminativee^-pastta^/remote.direct [kalhgóóngwektá wogúúgóltá]
"I sailed a ram ship but it crashed (it happened long ago)"
- this is an example of a paratactic construction, where two fully inflected verbs are placed one after another without any subordination. The reading here is that the first verb (really a clause, but there's no other (overt) words) happens first, and the second verb second. The sequential reading is pretty much the only one available here, since both verbs have identical tense marking. I'll have to see what happens when, say, the first verb has future or near tense marking, but the second verb has a more past reading.
- the verb root /(o)gongw/ is an activity, but with the adversative reflexive /-k/ suffix, the subject of the verb gets demoted from agent to patient. This means any previous theme argument must now be marked obliquely; in this case, no theme incorporation is possible in the second verb (cf. the first verb).
- the terminative suffix /-o^l/ indicates that the action stopped, though there is no necessary completion implicature. The combination of the terminative and the adversative reflexive yields an "it ended badly" reading, which with the root "sail" implies a crash.
- this example is a fun illustration of the changes that happen to underlying forms: /(o)gongw/ is realized as [góóngw] in the first verb but [ogúú] in the second verb. In the first verb, there are no problematic consonant clusters, so the root only undergoes vowel lengthening to form a stress foot; because the Stem is already disyllabic, the optional vowel (o) does not surface. In the second verb, the Stem is not disyllabic without the /(o)/ vowel surfacing, so it does. The end of the root gets badly mangled: the coda /ngw/ gets dropped, but nasalizes and lengthens the preceding vowel and voices the following obstruent, so /ongw-k/ -> [uug] (in X-Sampa this would be /ON_wk/ -> [V~:g]).
- the example also shows what happens when you get multiple post-Stem suffixes with tone. The first tone is always attracted to the nearest foot, which is the Stem-final vowel. Any following tones stay on their suffixes, like /ta^/ -> [tá]; however, syncope of the vowel /e^/ of the "past" suffix forces its tone onto the nearest preceding vowel. By the way, every successive high tone is downstepped, so the three tones in [wogúúgóltá] go from highest to less high to somewhat low.