Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Reduplication

I plan on handling most of the morphology by means of different types of reduplication.

First we have full reduplication: When used with nouns it indicates a sort of plurality or paucality. But either form can be used with any number with differences in accuracy. For example knz is the word for drop (of water). On its own it is transnumeral:

knz
drop
"(a) drop" or "(some) drops"

Used with a numeral it is a specific number of drops:

knz hmj
drop one
"one drop"

knz kxqj
drop seven
"seven drops"

Reduplicated and on its own it is plural:

knzknz
drop-PL
"(many) drops" (althoug in fact lexicalized to "rain")

But when the reduplicated form is used with a numeral it means about [this many] or at least [this many].

knzknz hmj
drop-PL one
"some drops" or "few drops"

knzknz gnjf
drop-PL twelve
"a dozen drops"

More reduplication after the jump...

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Numbers

‘Mhmmz used to have a duodecimal number system (base-12), but now they have changed over to a decimal system (base-10, like ours). This is by influence from some other language, that I have yet to come up with. There are still traces of the old duodecimal system: 11, 12 and some multiples of 12 have retained their old names.

Here are the numbers:
1 hmj
2 xnz
3 qz
4 ‘ml
5 kvn
6 fmj
7 kxqj
8 gmz
9 hnl
10 km
11 ‘mz
12 gnjf

These are the basic numbers, and also what they used in their duodecimal system, but from 13 it becomes decimal:

13 km-qz
14 km-‘ml
15 km-kvn
...and so on.

The tens are marked with a suffixed -k:

20 xnzk
30 qzk
40 ‘mlk
...and so forth.

Exceptions and bigger numbers after the jump...

Why?

Why invent such a language?
I was inspired by the words spelled uhuh and uh-uh and mean 'yes' and 'no' respectively. So I thought how would a language made up of solely nasal sounds be? And ‘Mhmmz is my answer to that question.

Why would people speak such a language?
I imagine it spoken by a sect, that wants to rid themselves of all opinion. They gave up speaking, because that way they avoid anyone quoting them for having an opinion. Some of the extremists even sew their mouths shut, leaving only enough room for a straw of bamboo, through which they could eat mashed foods.

But they couldn't keep it up, so eventually they started communicating in this language. Although if you asked them, they would deny that it is language (I'm going to make ‘Mhmmz mean 'non-language'). (And, yes, denying that what they speak is language, is opinion: I didn't say that they didn't have opinion, that's just their ideal, but most of them can't live up to it)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

IPA phonetic inventory

I am working on the grammar, and have found out I want to use a few different kinds of reduplication for inflexion. I am also writing a document with all the information on the language and some backstory of it.

Meanwhile, here's the phonology with extended IPA notation. It may not be accurate, and it may be more confusing than helpful, but I felt I had to put it in IPA.

Consonants:

Nareal Velopharyngeal Glottal

Unvoiced Voiced Unvoiced Voiced Unvoiced
Stop
-
-
k [pm]
[m͡ʔ]
Fricative
f [m͋]
v [m̬͋]
x [ʩ̊]
g [ʩ]
h [m͡h] or [m̥]
Affricate
kf [pmm͋]
kv [bmm̬͋]
kx [pm͡ʩ̊]
kg [bm͡ʩ]
-

Vowels:

Labial (Labial-)Palatal (Labial-)Uvular
Short
m [m̩]
n [m͡ɲ̩]
q [m͡ɴ̩]
Long
mm [m̩ː]
nn [m͡ɲ̩ː]
qq [m͡ɴ̩ː]