Made a Conlang

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Made a Conlang

Postby pat457 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:23 am

I'm wondering if this is the correct thread for this, but I'd just like to introduce a language I made up a little while back (or to be more precise, I'm making up right now). Unfortunately, it doesn't have a name as yet. :-|

It's an inflected, VSO (verb-subject-object) language. At first I was going for something similar (sound-wise) to Dravidian languages like Tamil or Telugu, but during the process I became more influenced by the structure of Indo-European languages (particularly Hittite with a little bit of Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit). And I'm pretty sure I was also subconsciously influenced by Tagalog and Japanese. As of now, the language has two genders (animate and inanimate - told you Hittite was an influence), six cases (nominative, accusative, dative - really a mix of dative, locative and genitive - ablative, and instrumental) and three verbal tenses (present, imperfect and perfect). Within my imaginary setting, but this language is supposed to be used by the inhabitants of a country town in the mountains and its environs.

A little sample text:

Muttunáte Héruná-lu Miyawaríli, má gimmá ya-mamékkála.
Nuyyá-lu tatanáse radáka, tomatadé ne pinilá.
Wáré Miyawaríli wará mamá, wa umatesé-lu radaka ke pinilé.
Miyalé Hérúna miyalá mamá, nuyyá-lu saha umatesé radaka pinilé.
Nuyyá-lu saha sutasé Miyawaríli minnúli, iyi mamékkála ya-Héruná.


The Sun and the North Wind were debating who is the [one] more stronger/greater [of them].
And at once came a traveler who was wrapped by a cloak.
The North Wind blows strongly (lit. ‘blows a great blowing’), but the traveler did not take off his cloak.
The Sun shines brightly (lit. ‘shines a great shining’), and therefore as a result the traveler took off the cloak.
And so therefore the North Wind admitted (lit. 'declared a word') that the Sun is more stronger/greater.

(Partial glossary; will fill in later)

Muttunáte = Imperfect active indicative (3rd person plural) of muttuní 'to fight, to contend, to quarrel, to strive against, to struggle, to dispute, to argue, to debate, to disagree'
Hérúna = the Sun
-lu = (and, also, (when used in the negative) but, however, on the contrary)
Miyawaríli = the North Wind, from miyal- 'white, north, left' + waríli (wind, air, breath)
má gimmá = ((interrogative) what, who, (interrogative, in genitive) whose, (in instrumental) with who, with what (relative) which, who, that) + kímmá (who is)
ya- (definite article, although actual usage is more haphazard than English 'the'; it isn't really required, but is generally used, say, for emphasis - 'X as opposed to Y')
Nuyyá-lu = 'and at once', 'and then', 'and so'; núyya 'immediately, suddenly, then, at once, straight, simply' + lu
tatanáse = Perfect active indicative (3rd person singular) of tadání 'to come, to approach, to draw near'
radáka = 'traveler'
tomatadé = Imperfect passive indicative (3rd p. sing.) of umádí 'to cover, to wrap, to clothe, to conceal, to hide'
ne = ni '(with accusative) by, through, by means of, on account of, for the sake of, during, around; (with ablative) about, concerning, because of, by reason of, owing to; (with dative) around, for, in order to'
pinilá = cloak


(About the acute accents: for some reason, correct stress has become quite key in this language.)

There's also a writing system - the mechanics of which is inspired by Baybayin.

Image

As you can see, the script (the 'old' orthography), while simple enough, had a number of weaknesses: it could never distinguish between i and e and u and o (a weakness Baybayin also had), and between voiceless (p, t, k, [s]) and voiced (b, d, g, [z]) consonants. Plus, double consonants (like yy in núyya or kk in yakkána 'spear, lance') can never be rendered. Oh, and it also doesn't have accents telling you where to place stress, which probably isn't a problem if you're a speaker, but can give you quite a hard time if you're not.

The newer orthography solves much of the problems of the older one by adding more diacritics and forming conjunct consonants (much of which aren't even always used):

Image

That leaves the third variation, which adds lines at the bottom to tell the reader where to place stress in words:

Image

So all in all, you have at least three possible orthographies: the 'old' one (which in my setting isn't used anymore anyways - only old people and the educated can read them), the 'new' one (which is the one used commonly), and the 'scholarly' one (not so much used except by people who need to know where the stress should be).
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby Isildilmë » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:13 am

very interesting ! :D
Concerning the Official Tengwar Transcription Thread - VI
To all the newbees, Welcome to TORC !
Before posting anything on this thread, READ THE INTRODUCTION. For now, I didn't have the time to update the intro, so I let you read the intro of thread #IV here.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the threads or by email (isildilme@hotmail.com - write "Tengwar" somewhere in the subject in case you fall in my junkmail, because if I don't know, I wont open the message !). Note that I don't accept transcription requests by email, you have to post them here !

You can address yourself to me in French, Spanish or English as you wish.


Special message : I have now two precious sons. They are my priorities, and an additional explanation for the delays in my answers. I WILL answer you... but you might have to wait. Thank you for your comprehension.
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby Arlaug » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:07 am

Amazing job alltogether, a heck of a challenge.
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby pat457 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:48 pm

Arlaug wrote:Amazing job alltogether, a heck of a challenge.


Making this conlang really made me realize just how complicated languages could be. I actually now respect Tolkien more because he had managed to make, not just one, but multiple conlangs. :)
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby pat457 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:15 pm

Tweaked the sample text a bit - I turned some of the unstressed s into stressed z:

Muttunáte Héruná-lu Miyawaríli, má gimmá ya-mamékkála.
Nuyya-lu tatanáse radáka, tomatadé ne pinilá.
Wáré Miyawaríli wará mamá, wa umatezé-lu radáka ke pinilé.
Miyalé Hérúna miyalá mamá, nuyya-lu saha umatezé radáka pinilé.
Nuyya-lu saha sutazé Miyawaríli minnúli, iyi mamékkála ya-Héruná.


A few more sample texts:

Taré y'-ayáka hirána. (The girl eats/is eating (present) the apple.)
Táradé y'-ayáka hirána. (The girl was eating (imperfect) an/the apple.)
Tárazé y'-ayáka hirána. (The girl ate (perfect) an/the apple.)

Tarí hirána. (I eat/am eating an/the apple.)
Táradí hirána. (I was eating an/the apple.)
Tárazí hirána. (I ate an/the apple.)
Tárazí sayerugála hirána. (I ate an/the apple yesterday/one time.)
Tarí ayerugála hirána. (I will eat an apple tomorrow/next time.)

Tará (ya-)hirána. (You (sing.) eat/are eating an/the apple. / Eat an/the apple!)
Tará dá hirána. (You eat/are eating an/the apple.)
Táradá hirána. (You were eating an/the apple.)
Tárazá hirána. (You ate an/the apple.)

Taráni hirána. (We are eating an/the apple.)
Taráti hiranán. (We were eating (the) apples.)
Tarási hiranan. (We ate (the) apples.)

Rá sattásané ya-bású. (I/You/He goes to school by bus.)
Rá Zímé sattásané ya-bású. (Jim goes to school by bus.)
Rází sattásané ya-bású. (I went (perfect) to school by bus.)
Rá ayerugála sattásané ya-bású. (I will go to school by bus tomorrow.)
Rá sattásané (I/You/He goes to school / Go to school!)
(I go/He goes/You go / Go!)

Isináka y'-Apaná y'-Araká-lu ya-Waríl'-lu sírála 'mmín. (In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.)

Ya-Hábíti (The Hobbit)
Rayála ya-Kaniríné (The Lord of the Rings)
Sílimáríliyúna (The Silmarillion)
Muyaráka ya-Kaníré (The Fellowship (lit. 'Brothers'/Brotherhood') of the Ring)
Dúká Sittára (The Two Towers)
Tadúkanáha ya-Siráya (The Return of the King)
Lahunadála (Middle Earth; lahuna 'yellow, middle, center' + dala 'earth, land, soil, dust, mud, clay, world')
Bílebá Meyánné (Bágés) (Bilbo Baggins; cf. meyáni 'bag, sack')
Hurúdú Meyánné (Bágés) / Satáyú Meyánné (Frodo Baggins; cf. satá 'learning', 'wisdom')
Meyátazána (Bag End; lit. 'bag house')
Rurátenné (Underhill; rur- 'down', 'below' + dénna 'hill')
Samuwású Kamúzé / Kassátú Hayakamézé (Samwise Gamgee; ka(m)- 'half', 'part' + satá 'learning', 'wisdom'; hayáka 'any many-legged creature, animal, beast, game')

Nédazé haríka. (He was walking quick(ly).)
Nédazé neda haríka. (He was walking a fast walk. (= He was walking quickly.))

P.S. Astute folks might have noticed that I made a mistake in the second script example. (Oops.) The order should be:

A I/(E) U/(O) Pa/(Ba) Ta/(Da) Ma Na La Ra Ka/(Ga) Sa/(Za) Ha Ya Wa

The writing system actually has a cursive (the 'vulgar', i.e. the common) form. It mainly follows the newer orthography but there's really no consensus on how to write double consonants (like yy). You can notice four possibilities below.

Image

A little test sentence:

Kadí ya-Éru, ya-gá kaní, ya-Aridé Ilúbattára isinadé. Saharazé-lu ugáya ya-Ayinurán, ya-Sirán, ya-aragán ké ya-tikaré: káte-lu ke-yána peyá kelán kazáne.

Eru was, the one who is, the one named in Arda Ilúvatar. And he made first the Ainur, the holy ones, the children of his thought, and they were with him before all was.
Last edited by pat457 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby pat457 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:26 am

(Kan') Ayé pelákanidáré imé nahunaráne. 'My sky-chariot is full of snake-fishes.' :P

(Kan') Ayé hubárikirápité imé nahunaráne
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby Arlaug » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:30 am

pat457 wrote:
Arlaug wrote:Amazing job alltogether, a heck of a challenge.


Making this conlang really made me realize just how complicated languages could be. I actually now respect Tolkien more because he had managed to make, not just one, but multiple conlangs. :)

Indeed. Not only are you free to compose the phonetich and morphologic logic of your language, but put it in a scripted system of signs. :) And Professor did it more than once.
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby Xandarien » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:53 am

May I ask if this intended for usage in a novel or similar? :)
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby pat457 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:18 am

Arlaug wrote:Indeed. Not only are you free to compose the phonetich and morphologic logic of your language, but put it in a scripted system of signs. :) And Professor did it more than once.


Exactly. To be precise, this is really my third attempt at conlanging. I came up with the first two while I was imagining this island subcontinent on the Atlantic Ocean (like Britain really, only more Continental). The first (the one I focused on) was really just an imaginary Romance language modelled on Spanish and Galician-Portuguese. (The fun part there was I made up 'dialects' - there was even one which is basically a mishmash of a Romance language with a Celtic one.)* The other was 'original' but I never got beyond making up a few words. This is really the first time I made up a conlang from scratch and managed to develop beyond a few words.

* The conceit being that there were waves of migrations/invasions in the subcontinent, just like in Europe: the Celts, the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Germanic tribes (specificially, the Suebi and the Visigoths - while IRL the Suebi were defeated by the Visigoths and their territory incorporated into the Visigothic kingdom, I had the scenario where the Suebi made said subcontinent their last stronghold), and finally the Umayyads(although unlike Spain they never managed to take over the subcontinent).

Xandarien wrote:May I ask if this intended for usage in a novel or similar? :)


Not as such - for now at least. (It ain't gonna be a novel, that's likely. I don't have writing skills whatsoever. :D) Well, I was trying to develop this 'fantasy' scenario and I just wanted to hear for myself how the people would speak.

I put 'fantasy' in quotes here because while it's a world different from ours, it isn't really pure fantasy because all the gods, heroes, and monsters of legend have either become extinct or have withdrawn themselves from mortal sight, surviving only in the stories and the legends of the people. In other words, it's a fantasy world with the fantasy almost completely faded away into myth. (If we're compare it to Middle-Earth, my own world's probably well into the Fourth Age.) So it's not a swords and magic-type of world - well, maybe swords are still involved - but more like a gritty pastiche of ancient cultures full of dirt and disease and real-life problems. :wink:
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby pat457 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:00 am

Tried a little dialectal form. Same sample text:

Múnnát' Énná-lo Méwarile, má kim ya-mamégál.
Nuyo-lo tannáse rarák, tommaré ne bénilá.
Wáré Méwarile warám'má, ó umatijé-lo rarák ke bénilé.
Miyal' Énná miyalám'má, nuyo-lo sah' omatijé rarák ya-bénilé.
Nuyo-lo sas'tajé Méwarile minúl, é mamégál' ya-Énná.


Muttunáte Héruná-lu Miyawaríli, má gímmá ya-mamékkála.
Nuyya-lu tatanáse radáka, tomatadé ne pinilá.
Wáré Miyawaríli wará mamá, wa umatezé-lu radáka ke pinilé.
Miyalé Hérúna miyalá mamá, nuyya-lu saha umatezé radáka pinilé.
Nuyya-lu saha sutazé Miyawaríli minnúli, iyi mamékkála ya-Héruná.


Lahunadála (Middle Earth; lahuna 'yellow, middle, center' + dala 'earth, land, soil, dust, mud, clay, world')


Have you noticed 'Middle Earth' could also be potentially read as 'Yellow Mud'? :shock:

BTW, this isn't going to be used within my setting, but if we're gonna transliterate some real-life (and real-life fiction) names and modern concepts :D:

Yisú Herusudú / Yisú ya-Massé (Jesus Christ)
Muzé (Moses)
Pudá (Buddha)
Muhámadú (Muhammad)
Zuruzí Wásittú (George Washington)
Zanú Runnálu Rewé Tulukké (John Ronald Reuel Tolkien)
Kerísi(ppá) Tulukké (Christopher Tolkien)
Kanidálu (Gandalf)
Kahákka (Kúllumu) (Gollum)
Herí Pattá (Harry Potter)
Telebisi (Television)
Radi (Radio)
Káputéri (Computer)
Turakki (Truck)
Irepili (Airplane; cf. akámani 'iron bird')
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby Minardil » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:27 pm

pat457 wrote:(Kan') Ayé pelákanidáré imé nahunaráne. 'My sky-chariot is full of snake-fishes.' :P

(Kan') Ayé hubárikirápité imé nahunaráne


Nice, but I'm not "fondling" anything, not even if you say "Please".
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby pat457 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:26 am

Minardil wrote:
pat457 wrote:(Kan') Ayé pelákanidáré imé nahunaráne. 'My sky-chariot is full of snake-fishes.' :P

(Kan') Ayé hubárikirápité imé nahunaráne


Nice, but I'm not "fondling" anything, not even if you say "Please".


This record is scratched, therefore I shall not buy it. :p
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Re: Made a Conlang

Postby Cillendor » Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:12 am

This is brilliant! So do you actually know all those languages you referenced?

My friend is writing a novel, and she asked if I could help her with the language. I only know English, Sindarin, a little Spanish, a minute bit of Chinese, and… that's pretty much it. How do you go about creating a conlang? Do you start with the grammar or the phonology? What are some key cultural aspects to focus on when determining what their important words and ideas would be?
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