The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

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The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Thu 03 Oct 2013, 17:20

I am going to start posting what I've got so far concerning my toylang Nınuıntı. It's still a work-in-progress but I think I have enough going on to merit a little thread.

Nınuıntı is spoken by the Nınuıtuıc, a race of tribal islanders that inhabit the southernmost stretch of the Sōkoa archipelago/empire. Apart from that, I still know relatively little about them.

Phonology

Phoneme inventory

/h k t p ŋ n m r l/ <h c t p g n m r l>
/a i* u/ <a ı u>

*this phoneme is represented by /ı/ below, in line with Nınuıntı orthography. It just makes things easier.

Syllable structure is (C1)V(C2) where C2 can only be a nasal or /l/ word-medially and any consonant save /h ŋ r/ word-finally.

Permissible clusters:
nasal + stop at same PoA
lateral + stop

Sequences of vowels are unrestricted and resolved as follows:
/aa/ > [aː]
/ıı/ > [iː] and optionally [jiː] word-initially
/uu/ > [uː] and optionally [wuː] word-initially
/aı/ > [e]
/au/ > [o]
/uı/ > [we], /uıı/ > [wiː]
/ıu/ > [jo], /ıuu/ > [juː]
/ua/ > [wa]
/ıa/ > [ja]
/uau/ -> [wo]*, [uwo]**
/ıaı/ -> [je]*, [ije]**
*word-initially
**not word-initially

Longer strings of vowels are possible, provided at least every third vowel is ı or u resolved as a glide, e.g.

aıua [ewa], aaıuu [aːjuː], aaıuua [aːjowa], etc.

Allophony:
  • Stops are unvoiced word-initially. They may be lightly aspirated.
  • Stops are generally voiced in all medial positions, be it intervocalically or after a nasal.
  • Stops are unreleased word-finally.
  • /k/ is palatalised to [c] [ɟ] before /ı/.
  • /t/ is palatalised to [t͡s d͡z] before /ı/.
  • /h/ is palatalised to [ç] before /ı/.
  • /n/ is palatalised to /ɲ/ before /ıa ıı ıu/ and optionally before single /ı/
  • /r/ is [r~ɾ] word-initially and [ɾ] between vowels. /r/ shifts to /l/ before /ıa/ /ıu/ (and so pronounced [ʎ]).
  • /l/ is [l] before a stop, /u/ and word-finally. It is [ʎ] before /ı/. It never occurs before /a/.
  • Short vowels are optionally realised as [ɐ ɪ ʊ], whereas long vowels are always pronounced [aː iː uː]. I've sort of gotten into the habit of transcribing Nınuıntı short vowels using [ɐ ɪ ʊ], and I'll keep on doing so here.
I haven't yet decided whether to go all the way and have all consonants palatalise and labialise before /ı u/ respectively. For now, I'll leave it as is.

Pitch Accent

I'm thinking of devising a Japanesey pitch-accent system, but haven't figured it out yet. In the meantime, let all words be lightly accented on the last syllable with a slight rise in pitch.

Sample Vocabulary

aaıuna [aːjonɐ] v imp if only
cınıunııt [cɪɲoɲiːt̚] adj small
garantıtaı [ŋɐɾɐnd͡zɪde] n idleness, laziness
huıcu [hwegʊ] n bird
ıtıupaı [ɪd͡zobe] n carelessness
naılıtılıc [neʎɪd͡zɪʎɪk̚] n sea turtle
Nınuıntı [nɪnwend͡zɪ] n the Nınuıntı language
tacaıuııut [tɐgewejot̚] n piglet

0 gımııl
1 aac
2 ual, uanu
3 pun
4 paı
5 hıcı
6 huı
7 ıuta
8 tuıca
9 cunun
10 tuc


Hopefully, I'll get the next post up later on or tomorrow.

All comments/criticism/suggestions welcome, as always!
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by Click » Thu 03 Oct 2013, 17:31

So far, so good. [:)]
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Thu 03 Oct 2013, 20:59

Brief Grammar Overview

Nınuıntı is predominantly a head-initial VSO language. Nouns are lightly inflected for gender/animacy and number. Verbs are quite heavily conjugated for person, gender, number, voice, and aspect, amongst other things. Prepositions are used to clarify the semantic relationships between arguments.

Nominal Morphology

As mentioned above, nouns in Nınuıntı are inflected for gender and number. There is no definiteness marking on the noun.

Gender and Animacy

Nouns in Nınuıntı are classified into three gender/animacy categories:

Masculine/Animate: the default group for humans, animals, celestial bodies, deities, natural forces that are considered semi-sentient, etc. Many nouns of this group end in -c or -cı.

Feminine/Animate: only used for female humans, deities and higher animals. Some typical endings for nouns of this group are -t, -uut and -ını.

Inanimate: used for all inanimate objects, including plants and some other lower organisms. Many inanimate nouns end in -c, -l, -uıl, or -u.

As can be seen, the gender of Nınuıntı nouns may not be immediately discernible from the form of the word, but gender is almost always closely tied to the natural gender or animacy of the noun, and is therefore usually predictable. The main exceptions would be the few feminine nouns denoting natural forces, such as ınuıtını moon and hunulıuut thunderstorm.

Number

Nouns in Nınuıntı are inflected for three numbers; singular, dual and plural.

The dual is formed with the suffix -ual regardless of gender.

The plural is rather more tricky, and its formation depends on the gender of the noun as well as its form. Some common plural patterns will be outlined here.
  • Masculine animates and some feminine animates ending in a vowel form the plural with the suffix -rın, e.g.

    naunuıcı → naunuıcırın wolf/wolves
    aıruı → aıruırın woman/women
  • Masculine animates ending in a -c form the plural with the infix-suffix ı-ın, e.g.

    cımauc [cɪmok̚] → cımauıcın [cɪmɐweɟɪn] friend/friends
    Nınuıtuıc → Nınuıtuııcın Nınuıtuıc person/people
  • Masculine animates and some feminine animates ending in -t (including all diminutives in -ıut) form the plural with the infix-suffix l-ın, e.g.

    hunuııt → hunuııltın whale/whales
    aacıuıut → aacıuıultın puppy/puppies
    nınıt → nınıltın girl/girls
  • The vast majority of inanimate nouns form the plural with the suffix -a, but note that words ending in -l change this to -ra, e.g.

    mılımuıl → mılımuıra language/languages
    naucuru → naucurua trip/trips
  • However, some neuter nouns display "broken" plurals, e.g.

    tuum → tuıuma day/days
This is a bit incomplete, but will have to do for now.
Last edited by DesEsseintes on Wed 23 Oct 2013, 13:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Fri 04 Oct 2013, 08:57

Predicate Nominals of the type 'A is B'

Nınuıntı does not normally use a copula in the present tense. A sentence of the type 'A is B' can be expressed in several ways.

One is to use simple juxtaposition. With indefinite subjects in sentences of the type 'A dog is a mammal', simple juxtaposition can be used, or alternatively, the neutral demonstrative pronoun nıınıl is used (regardless of the actual gender of the subject, cf. Russian это) resumptively after the subject.

Aacıc (nıınıl) urulpuıcı.
A dog is a mammal.

However, with definite subjects, some kind of determiner on A is normally required, such as the demonstrative adjective nıın.

Nıın naınuıc nacaruıc.
That/The man is a warrior.

There is a third very common way, which brings us to a very important point: Nınuıntı personal endings.

Sentence-Initial 'Aı' and personal endings

Nınuıntı has no stand-alone pronouns but rather relies on two sets of personal endings on nouns and verbs to refer to arguments endophorically (? correct term?).

Here I will introduce the first, and more common, set of personal endings.

Code: Select all

1s     -ua
2s     -ına
3sm    -at
3sf    -uıt
3sn    -(u)t
1p     -ıgın
2p     -ıtını
3pm    -ancı
3pf    -uncı
3pn    -ata
This first set of personal endings has two main functions:
1. Possession - Attached to a noun, these endings indicate possession. E.g. rurul cat
rurulua my cat
rurulına your cat
rurulat his cat
ruruluıt her cat
rurulut its cat
...and so on
2. Object - Attached to a verb, these endings can express the direct object of a verb, and in some instances, the logical subject.

That is precisely what happens when these endings are combined with sentence-initial . is a particle or verb that takes the logical subject of the sentence as its object and topicalises it. It adds a mild emphasis. It is the most common way to form sentences of the type "I/you/he/she am/is/are...". Note that those endings that start in drop the first vowel when combined with aı- (aıı is not a permitted sequence in Nınuıntı).
Edit: A little table to clarify the different aı-combos:

Code: Select all

1s     aıua   [ewɐ]
2s     aına   [enɐ]
3sm    aıat   [ɐjɐt̚]
3sf    aıuıt  [ewet̚]
3sn    aıt    [et̚]
1p     aıgın  [eŋɪn]
2p     aıtını [ed͡zɪnɪ]
3pm    aıancı [ɐjɐɲɟɪ]
3pf    aıuncı [ɐjoɲɟɪ]
3pn    aıata  [ɐjɐdɐ]
Some examples:
Aıua aluıcına. I am your father.
Aına cımaucat. You are his friend.
Aıuıt lıuutuıt. She is her daughter.
Aıuncı aıruırınancı. They (f.) are their (m.) wives.

can also be used with normal nouns

Aı nıın aacıc aacıcıtını. This (really) is your (pl.) dog.

I think the next post will be on the negative and past sentence-initial particles, unless I've missed something. Is there anything else I should cover first?
Last edited by DesEsseintes on Sat 05 Oct 2013, 06:47, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by Znex » Fri 04 Oct 2013, 09:47

Click wrote:So far, so good. [:)]
You're only saying that because they're using those tittle-less i's all the way through. [xD]

On topic though, you've got a really detailed and realistic language there. Good work, and keep up on it!
:eng: : [tick] | :grc: :wls: : [:|] | :chn: :isr: : [:S] | :nor: :deu: :rom: :ind: :con: : [:x]
Conlangs: Pofp'ash, Ikwawese, Old Quelgic, Nisukil Pʰakwi, Apsiska
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Fri 04 Oct 2013, 11:22

@ Znex

There wıll come a tıme when tıttles (or jots) wıll fınally be gotten rıd of and the world wıll be a better place for ıt. Whıch remınds me, I have to go fınd a j wıthout the dot. [B)]

Jokıng asıde, thanks. [:D] I was actually worrıed the language mıght look a bıt too artıfıcıal...
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Fri 04 Oct 2013, 12:16

The Negative Copula

To say that "A is not B", Nınuıntı employs the sentence-initial gıım [ŋiːm]. It behaves in a more-or-less identical manner to .

Gıım nıın naınuıc nacaruıc.
That man is not a warrior.

Gıımua aacıc.
I am not a dog. (these things warrant mentioning from time to time...)

Gıımıtını mılcırın!
You (pl.) are not children!

The negative in gıım is often coupled with the preposition hıntı beyond, over to express only, nothing but.... In fact, it is the most common way to do so, as Nınuıntı does not really have a direct equivalent of the adverb only.

Gıımat hıntı punuc.
He's only a boy.

Gıım Nınuıntı hıntı mılımuıl tatanıunııt.
Nınuıntı is only a simple little language. (tatanıunııt adj* simple)
*I haven't posted anything on adjectives yet, but this sentence was in the Conlang Conversation Thread a while back, and I thought I'd reuse it.

The Past Copula

As we will see in a later post, Nınuıntı verbs are not really conjugated for tense. There is, however, a past copula cu(u) that can be used to specify that states, ongoing actions, etc. are to be confined to the past. For now, we will only look at its use with predicate nominals.

cu(u) is "conjugated" as follows. (cu- before endings in u, otherwise cuu-)

Code: Select all

1s     cuua    [kʊwːɐ]
2s     cuuına  [kʊwenɐ]
3sm    cuuat   [kʊwɐt̚]
3sf    cuuıt   [kʊwet̚]
3sn    cuut    [kuːt̚]
1p     cuuıgın [kʊweŋɪn]
2p     cuuıtını[kʊwed͡zɪnɪ]
3pm    cuuancı [kʊwɐnɟɪ]
3pf    cuuncı  [kuːnɟɪ]
3pn    cuuata  [kʊwɐdɐ]
Before a nominal logical subject, it is cuu.

Cuua nacaruıc.
I was/used to be a warrior.

Cuuancı punuıcın.
They (m.) used to be boys.

Cuu aıruırın nınıltın.
Women were once girls.
Edit: Corrected an erroneous sentence and added one more example.
I included phonetic notation for the conjugation of cu(u)- above as it occurred to me that the phonetic implications of all those colliding vowel phonemes might not be immediately obvious. Should I be providing more phonetic notation? As for interlinear glosses, I haven't used them so far, as the sample sentences are still all relatively straightforward, or at least seem so to me, but I could be mistaken.

That's it for now.
Last edited by DesEsseintes on Sat 26 Oct 2013, 13:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by Click » Fri 04 Oct 2013, 13:26

Znex wrote:
Click wrote:So far, so good. [:)]
You're only saying that because they're using those tittle-less i's all the way through. [xD]
LIAR!
DesEsseintes wrote:Whıch remınds me, I have to go fınd a j wıthout the dot. [B)]
Here you are.
  • ȷ
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Fri 04 Oct 2013, 13:51

Click wrote:
  • ȷ
Awesomeness! Isn't it ADORABLE!! [<3]

*blushes slightly after disproportionate outburst of delight and returns to work on a Note titled "Cbb Nınuıntı thread 5"*
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by Click » Fri 04 Oct 2013, 14:34

DesEsseintes wrote:
Click wrote:
  • ȷ
Awesomeness! Isn't it ADORABLE!! [<3]
Tsk tsk. This is adorable.
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Fri 04 Oct 2013, 18:12

Adjectives

Adjectives in Nınuıntı are pretty straightforward. They behave more or less like nouns, and their declension is much simpler. Simply add -ın for animate plurals and -a for inanimates. Attributive adjectives follow their nouns. Predicative adjectives behave the same as nominals.

Many adjectives end in -ııt or -at, but there are numerous exceptions. Here are some examples:

cınııt/cınıunııt* small
pıamı pretty
pılıt blue
tatanııt/tatanıunııt* simple
uıırat important
*the longer forms are diminutives, to be explained in a post soon

Aın huıcu pılıt.
This bird is blue.

Gıımıgın uııratın.
We are not important.

Cuua pıamı.
I was beautiful.

Aı rurulıultın ruruılın cınıunııtın.
Kittens are small cats.

Prepositions

Prepositions play a very important role in Nınuıntı, especially as nouns are not marked for case. Here, I will first introduce some useful prepositions.

tıı - in and naul - on are frequently used sentence-initially to form sentences meaning "there is/are...in/on x"

Tıı tahua uanu rurulual.
in house two cat-DU
There are two cats in the house.

Naul hanuntaıua aacıc.
on bed-1s dog
There is a dog on my bed.

ıa - this is the Nınuıntı equivalent of English 'to', and can be used in an allative as well as a dative sense.

Tıı cuıcua aıhııtı ıaat.
in hand-1s dagger to-3sm
In my hand there's a dagger for him.

Nıınıl pıtıt ıa Hıucauua.
this.one-N boat to Sōkoa
This is the boat to Sōkoa.

ıa can form compound prepositions with tıı and naul to form ıatıı into and ıanaul onto.

Nıınıl paıt ıatıı cahaım.
this.one-N way to-in cave
This is the way into the cave.

More to come!
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Sat 05 Oct 2013, 09:46

Demonstratives

So far, Nınuıntı possesses three different demonstratives, namely aın, nıın and tu. When used adjectivally, they precede the noun they qualify (this is unusual) and do not inflect for gender or number.

aın
aın is the "point-at" demonstrative. Nınuıntı does not distinguish proximal, medial and distal, so anything within pointing range can be qualified with an aın.

Tana! Aın lıuut pıamı nana!
see.IMP DEM girl pretty very
Look! That girl is really pretty!

Aın rurulıut ıaına.
DEM kitten to-2s
This kitten is for you.

Whether to translate aın as this/that, この/あの or whatever depends entirely on context, but the pronoun is only used to refer to things and people actually visible, and (this is important) being brought to the interlocutor's attention for the first time in the present discourse.

aın can be used with prepositional phrases to further specify the location of things/people being indicated. up can be used to mean next to, by

aın lıuut upua this girl next to me
aın naılıtılıc upuıt that sea turtle next to her
etc.

nıın
nıın is a resumptive demonstrative. It refers to an argument already pointed out, mentioned or otherwise assumed to be known in the present discourse. It may or may not be physically present. It is roughly equivalent to English "this/that...we talked about". At times, it comes close to being a definite article. Put more simply, it means "this/that" when you are not actually pointing at it.

Gıım nıın punuc tıı Hıucauua nıntıum.
COP.NEG DEM boy in Sōkoa today
That boy is not in Sōkoa now.

Cuu nıın anal uluııt nana!
COP.PST DEM fish tasty very
That fish was delicious.

tu
tu is used to bring back a previous topic to replace aın or nıın. It can often be translated as "the other..". It is also used with a numeral or adjective to "rotate" topics, like English "the ... one"

Aın punuc cınıunııt, lıı tu punuc haımınııt.
DEM boy small but DEM boy tall
This boy is small, but the other boy was tall.

Tu punuc cınııt tıı tahua, lıı tu punuc haımınııt tıı punaman.
DEM boy small ın house but DEM boy tall ın garden
The small boy is inside the house, but the tall boy is in the garden.

In the first example, the use of tu tells us that the second boy is not present.


aın vs. aı
Perceptive readers may have noticed the similarity between the demonstrative aın and sentence-initial . This is no coincidence, the two words are indeed related and cannot be used together.

Compare:

A. Aın lıuut pıamı. That girl is beautiful.
B. Aı nıın lıuut pıamı. That/The girl is indeed beautiful.

In A, attention is being brought to the girl (she's being "pointed at") and she is qualified as beautiful. In the second sentence, the is bringing attention to the whole statement - "That girl (we've been talking about) is indeed beautiful"
Last edited by DesEsseintes on Sun 06 Oct 2013, 17:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Sun 06 Oct 2013, 14:18

Demonstrative Pronouns

The demonstratives introduced in my last thread can be pronominalised and used independently to mean 'this one', etc.

They decline according to gender and number as follows

Code: Select all

      --AIN--               --NIIN--
      sing.   plur.         sing.   plur.
masc. aınaı   aınaırın      nıınaı  nıınaırın
fem.  aınuı   aınuırın      nıınuı  nıınuırın
neut. aınıl   aınıra        nıınıl  nıınıra

Code: Select all

      --TU--                  
      sing.   plur.        
masc. tuı     tuırın
fem.  tuluı   tuluırın 
neut. tul     tura       
We actually met nıınıl when discussing predicate nominals in post 2.

Aınıl pıamı, lıı gıım tul.
DEM-n beautiful but NEG.COP DEM-n
This one is beautiful, but the other one isn't.

Nıınuı aıruı utu ruıpaı, naa gıımut?
DEM-f woman become.PTCP danger Q NEG.COP-3sn
That one (of which we speak) is a dangerous woman, isn't she?

Aınaırın nıınaırınua.
DEM-m-p DEM-m-p-1s
Those are my kids.

This last example illustrates the strange habit the Nınuıtuıc have of calling their children nıınaırınua those ones of mine

The numeral aac one has forms that follow the same pattern as aın.

Code: Select all

      --AAC--     
      sing.   plur.       
masc. aacaı   aacaırın
fem.  aacuı   aacuırın
neut. aacıl   aacıra
I will not go into details of their usage here, but one of the uses of these pronouns is mentioned below in the section on possessive constructions.

Forming Questions

Now that we're familiar with sentence-initials, this one is easy. The word to form questions is naa. It comes before gıım, cuu or a conjugated verb, but shifts to naı before a personal ending.

Some examples:

Naa aın naınuıc aluıcına?
Q DEM man father-2s
Is that man your father?

Naıua cuııt ıa nıın hacutaı?
Q-1s good to DEM NMLZ.work
Am I right for the job?

Naıuncı punııtın?
Q-3pf young
Are they (f.) young?

Naa gıımına aacaı tıluıcırın?
Q NEG.COP-2s one-m guard-pl
Aren't you one of the watchmen?

Naa cuut ralıat taupaul?
Q PST.COP-3sn hot yesterday
Was it hot yesterday?

The Possessive Construction

Possession in Nınuıntı can be expressed with simple juxtaposition, with possessed preceding possessor (Nınuıntı is generally head-initial).

rurul punuc the boy's cat
tırıc Nınuıtuııcın the king of the Nınuıtuıc

Note constructions with aacaı etc. meaning one of

Aın lıuut aacuı lıuıtın hııc Haculpaııut.
DEM girl one-f girl<p> from Haculpaııut
That girl is one of the girls from Haculpaııut.

The preposition ın can also be used, just like English of or French/Spanish de. This is preferred if the possessor is preceded by a demonstrative, and when potential ambiguity might arise.

rurul ın aın aıruı this woman's cat (pointing at the woman)
tahua ın tu nacaruııcın the house of the other warriors.

Aıua aacaı cımauıcın ın Hıucauuatuııcın.
COP-1s one-m friend-p of Sōkoan-p
I am one of the friends of the Sōkoans. (The friends of the Sōkoans here refers to a specific group.)
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Sun 06 Oct 2013, 18:06

The Negative Noun 'Gımı'

You may have noticed that when I covered the negative and past copulae, I gave no indication of how to negate the past copula. That is actually because you can't. Or rather, to do so you have to cheat.

Now that we have covered possessive constructions, I can introduce the 'negative noun' gımı. gımı is used before another noun to denote the 'not-ness' of that noun.

gımı aacıc a non-dog, sth. other than a dog

This can be used in an -sentence to make a somewhat emphatic statement.

Aıua gımı aacıc!
I ain't no dog!

(Compare the purely factual gıımua aacıc from post 4)

It can also be used with gıım as a double negative:

Gıımıgın gımı nacaruııcın!
We aren't non-warriors!

Here the implication is that the speakers are not mere civilians, e.g. in response to a perceived insult.

Evidently, gımı can be used with the past copula cuu, as well:

Cuut gımı ralıat*!
It was not hot/anything but hot!
*remember that adjectives can often be treated as nominals in Nınuıntı

However, as tense marking is not obligatory in Nınuıntı, this would only be used when making a somewhat strong statement. Otherwise, a gıım-sentence will do fine even when referring to the past.

There are other strategies, but I'm not going to go into those now. Instead I'll just post this.
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Mon 07 Oct 2013, 05:09

This post is going to be on diminutives, a very pervasive feature of Nınuıntı.

Diminutives of Nouns

Nouns form their diminutives with the suffix -ıut.

rurul catrurulıut kitten
anal fishanalıut small fish

Nouns in -uc or two vowels + c simply drop the c before the diminutive suffix, while nouns in -ac and -ıc turn the c into u.

mınuc manmınuıut small man, weakling (usually without reference to actual stature)
hıanıac the Sunhıanıaıultın sparks, fireworks
aacıc dogaacıuıut puppy
tuhıanac [tʊçɐnɐk̚] horsetuhıanauıut [tʊçɐnojot̚] foal

Final -c is not elided in monosyllables and some inanimate nouns.

rauc headraucıut end (of a long object with two ends)

Nouns in a single vowel + t infix an l before it and then tack on the ending.

nınıt little girlnınıltıut a very thin little girl

Not all nouns can form diminutives, e.g. lıuut maiden, young woman has no diminutive.

As can be seen from the examples above, the diminutive can express a variety of meaning, including diminutive size/stature, offspring, affection, derision, etc. In some cases, completely new words are derived in this way.

Diminutives of Adjectives

The diminutive forms of adjectives are obtained by infixing -Cıu before the last consonant C of the root (i.e. before any ending such as -ııt, -at or )

haımınııt tallhaımınıunııt quite tall, tallish
cınııt smallcınıunııt small
uıırat importantuıılıurat interesting
pıamı beautifulpıamıumı cute, pretty, nice

For adjectives of gradable quality such as naucııt big, haımınııt tall and mupuııt heavy, the diminutive expresses a somewhat limited possession of that characteristic, i.e. naucıucııt quite big, etc. It is natural, for example, to use the diminutives to refer to oneself.

Aıua haımınıunııt. I'm rather tall.

However, something quite different happens with their opposites cınııt/cınıunııt small, pınııt/pınıunııt short and lıtırat/lıtılıurat light, the diminutive of which is the commonly used form when the adjective is unqualified. However, if the adjective is modified by an adverb of degree such as nana, the basic form has to be used. The basic form is also used for emphasis and/or contrast.

punuıut cınıunııt a small boy
punuc cınııt nana a very small boy

In other instances, the meaning of the diminutive may be quite different from the original, as happens with uıırat and uıılıurat in the examples above.

Diminutives of 'Gıım' and 'Gımı'

Even the negative copula gıım and its nominal counterpart gımı have diminutive forms.

The diminutive of gıım is gıımıum. It expresses 'not very/not really'.

Gıımıumut ralıat nıntıum.
It's not really hot today.

Gıımıumua ıa Hıucauua.
I seldom (go) to Sōkoa.

The diminutive of gımı is gımııut [ŋɪmɪjːot̚]. It means not much of a:

Nıınıl gımııut mıunu.
This isn't much of a tree.
Last edited by DesEsseintes on Mon 14 Oct 2013, 16:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by Click » Mon 07 Oct 2013, 20:22

I especially like your demonstrative system. It's nice, little and quite original as far as I know.
DesEsseintes wrote:Forming Questions

Now that we're familiar with sentence-initials, this one is easy. The word to form questions is naa. It comes before gıım, cuu or a conjugated verb, but shifts to naı before a personal ending.
How does Nınuıntı deal with questions such as Was it your sister who pissed in my coffee? and Was it a house that he burned down? These are basically polar (yes-no) questions which ask whether a participant is involved in what's happening.
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Tue 08 Oct 2013, 03:31

Click wrote:I especially like your demonstrative system. It's nice, little and quite original as far as I know.
Thanks. [:)] I also think it's one of the nicer features presented so far. The system, although not found in this exact form in any language I'm aware of, was inspired by a natlang. Can you guess which one?
Click wrote:How does Nınuıntı deal with questions such as Was it your sister who pissed in my coffee? and Was it a house that he burned down? These are basically polar (yes-no) questions which ask whether a participant is involved in what's happening.
Verbs are coming soon (Manata!). For now, if I tell you that the difference lies in naa vs. naı, can you guess? I'm not trying to be facetious or evasive; it's just that I think you're clever and might enjoy thinking up stuff. [;)]
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by Click » Tue 08 Oct 2013, 11:29

DesEsseintes wrote:
Click wrote:I especially like your demonstrative system. It's nice, little and quite original as far as I know.
Thanks. [:)] I also think it's one of the nicer features presented so far. The system, although not found in this exact form in any language I'm aware of, was inspired by a natlang. Can you guess which one?
I can't. Tell me.
How does Nınuıntı deal with questions such as Was it your sister who pissed in my coffee? and Was it a house that he burned down? These are basically polar (yes-no) questions which ask whether a participant is involved in what's happening.
Verbs are coming soon (Manata!). For now, if I tell you that the difference lies in naa vs. naı, can you guess?
Heh, lemme guess. I'm pretty sure that such questions use naı.
I'm not trying to be facetious or evasive; it's just that I think you're clever and might enjoy thinking up stuff. [;)]
I'm clever indeed. [:)]
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Tue 08 Oct 2013, 12:47

Click wrote:I can't. Tell me.
Icelandic: sá, þessi, hinn [;)]

It's not the same, and it doesn't have that neat aın/nıın distinction, but the three-way split without proximal, medial, blablablal inspired. I was just aching not to do yet another one of those.
Click wrote:Heh, lemme guess. I'm pretty sure that such questions use naı.
They do indeed. Just tack a naı with appropriate ending in front of a verb (with subject AND object agreement - yes, there will be resumption here) and voilà/viola!
Click wrote:I'm clever indeed. [:)]
A biscuit?
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Re: The Esseintial Nınuıntı Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Tue 08 Oct 2013, 13:12

I know I promised to deliver some verbs, but there's still some stuff to clear up beforehand.

More Prepositions

up

We already encountered the preposition up when discussing demonstratives. It has several meanings:

1. up can express physical proximity and can be translated as by, next to and sometimes as with in English. However, it is mostly used for proximity to people and upright, standing objects such as trees, houses, hills, banners, etc.

Up ıruıc tahua acamı.
by mountain house new
A new house stands by the mountainside.

Cuu aacıcat upat.
PST dog-3sm by-3sm
His dog was next to him/with him.

2. up can be used to mean "at X's place" like French chez. In this sense, it is also used as a respectful form to refer to another person and/or his/her family and possessions.

Upancı paı mılcırın.
by-3sm four child-pl
They have four children

Naa upına cuııt cuııt?
Q by-2s good good
Are you and your family well?

3. up can also be used to express possibility. This will be covered when I post stuff on modality, but here's a sneak peek:

Naa upına pataıtı ıa Hınacı naınua?
Q by-2s go-2s.SUBJ to Hınacı with-1s
Can you come with me to Hınacı?

ıa and its compounds

We have also come across this one before, along with two of its compounds ıatıı and ıanaul. Here are others:

ıagup is a composite of ıa and gup, an old-fashioned variant of up. It is used to indicate direction towards a person without any dative sense.

Haıaa ıagupıgın!
EXCL to-by-1p
Hey, come over to us!

ıacuıc (sometimes pronounced ıaguıc [jɐɲwek̚] or even ıauuıc [jɐwːek̚]) - a composite of ıa and cuıc hand is used to express that an object is intended as a gift.

Nıınıra ıacuıcına.
DEM-n-p to-hand-2s
These (things) are for you.

Aın tampara ıacuıc tırıcıgın.
DEM jewel-p to-hand king-1p
These jewels are for our King.

Simple ıa can also be used this way, but compare this example from before:

Tıı cuıcua aıhııtı ıaat.
In my hand there's a dagger for him.

As this dagger is probably anything but a gift, we could not use ıacuıc here, unless it were to clarify that the dagger was indeed a gift and not meant to be plunged into the poor recipient's belly.

naın - guu - ca

naın is the comitative with, i.e. it expresses accompaniment. There is some overlap here with up, but naın generally expresses more active accompaniment, such as travel, keeping someone company, etc.

Aaıunaına upua naınua!
OPT-2s by-1s with-1s
If only you were here with me! (line from a popular Nınuıntı folk song)

guu is the instrumental with. It introduces the tool or method used, language spoken in, etc. It is not, however, used for modes of transport.

nıılıcuıtaı guu Nınuıntı
conversation in Nınuıntı

ca is the ornative (correct term?) with. It can denote alienable and inalienable possession, but is especially common with the latter.

rurul ca hıpı ınumııt a cat with a long tail
naınuıc ca tıalıaru a man with money, a rich man

Note that in the first example, there is an alternative construction without ca, also very common:

rurul ınumııt hıpıat a cat with a long tail

Another example:

aıruı nanııt garantıtaıuıt a woman of great laziness, a very lazy woman

But I digress...

Longer Vowel Sequences

Just a quick note: in long vowel sequences where ıı and uu occur before or between other vowels, the resulting glide is geminated.

Some examples:

/aııa/ [ejːɐ]
/auua/ [owːɐ]
/ıuua/ [jowːɐ]
/ıuuı/ [jowːe]
/uııa/ [wejːɐ]
/uııu/ [wejːo]

cupuııuua [kʊbwejːowːɐ] my palm tree
Hıucauua [çogowːɐ] n the Sōkoa Empire

This is a fairly recent development in Nınuıntı and is not compulsory. Nevertheless, it is already extremely prevalent among the speakers of Hınacı-dialect, the prestige dialect of the Nınuıtuıc.

Fricativisation to [ʝ β] occurs in affected speech patterns, especially amongst younger speakers in Hınacı.
Last edited by DesEsseintes on Sat 26 Oct 2013, 13:53, edited 1 time in total.
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