Mavod

I invented this some time in the late 90s with the intent of extending it more as I had time. I didn't have time. I'll leave it here for historical insterest. It was supposed to acquire a sophisticated musical vocabulary.

0. Background
1. Phonology and Morphophonemics
2. Nouns
3. Pronouns and Correlatives
4. Verbs
5. The particle ve
6. Lexical Derivation
7. Syntax and examples
8. A beginning vocabulary.
9. Numerals

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0. Introduction 

        This is yet another one of my crazy languages.  Normally I try
to make my languages as learnable, regular and concise as possible.
This is not one of those languages.  This particular offering has been
influenced by Finnish---and related Finno-Ugric languages---Latin,
Turkish, Esperanto, Chinese and LAadan.

1. Phonology & Morphophonemics


p       b       f       v       m
t       d       th      dh      n       l
c       g       ch      gh                      h
s               sh              r

        u       a       i
            o       e
            au      ai
            oi      ei


- The vowels are pronounced as in Italian for the most part.
- Accent is word initial, as in Finnish.
- Unaccented [a] is pronounced either as usual, or, since I am
  lazy, like a schwa.
- [e] is pronounced like the 'e' in 'then', not 'they.'
- [u]+V is pronounced like a /w/.
- [i]+V is pronounced like a /j/. (That's a 'y' in English.)
- A word may end or begin in any V or C.
- {n l m s r} + C are the only C clusters allowed.
- Any C may be doubled.
- C clusters are broken with [a].
- V clusters are broken with [h].
- [gh] (a voiced velar fricative) is used only to add the idea 
  of unpleasantness (moral or otherwise) to a word.  It is usually 
  employed by infixing it into a word, usually using [o] as the
  euphonic vowel.  (This notion courtesy of Navajo, via LAadan.)

2. Nouns

        All nouns end in -C, -e or -a.  Personal pronouns and
correlatives may also take nominal inflexions.

Base form:              -
Accusative:             -n
Source:                 -el
Goal:                   -i (see note * below)
Locative:               -ti
Instrumental            -lei
Genitive:               -nna
Partitive:              -nno
Benefactive:            -pe
Similative:             -em

(* note: in nouns that end in [-a] or [-e] there is NO intervening
    [h].  So arpa->arpai, not arpahi.)

        If the noun taking these endings is capable of will, the
following suffixes may follow the relational suffixes to represent
state of will of the noun about being in that relation:

        willing:                  -da
        unwilling:                -doch
        unwilling and unpleasant: -dogh

So, if a musician, vala, had something done "for her", the word
would be valape.  If she were the unwilling recipient the form
would be valapedogh.  

3. Pronouns and Correlatives

        singular        plural
1.       ma              mar, mat(incl)
2.       ta              tar
3.       ca              car

        All the above forms may take the following prefixes, which
represent the attitude of the speaker toward the referent of
the pronoun.  (This idea is clearly from LAadan.)

honor:                   o-
philia, friendship:      e-
eros, sexual attraction: i-
agape, compassion:       a-
amor, romantic love:     ai-
dislike:                 gho-

        Correlatives are formed much like Esperanto's.

proximal:       cu-              place:   -ath
distal:         ti-              time:    -sat
any, some:      -                manner:  -an
question:       lal-             degree:  -ain
relative, resumptive:  l-        amount:  -ham
                                 animate: -et
                                inanimate:-en
Examples:
here            cuath
there           tiath
when?           lalasat
whenever        sat
who?            lalet
which           len

The relative/resumptive form is used much like the relative in Latin.
That is, it is often used in place of a 3rd person pronoun when the
referent has already been specified.  So:

Do you see that man over there?         Vaniorulla ta tiath ve varan?
Yes, I see (him).                       A, vaniorul.
I gave him a cat.
        Nathul         shai ma     miatan  leti        se
        Give-STATEMENT PAST I-SUBJ cat-OBJ which-GOAL SPEAKER'S-EXPERIENCE.

4. Verbs

        Verbs are all marked by the suffix [-u].  (Passive -iu, middle
in -eiu.)  They may take various speech-act or syntactic suffixes.
There are particle forms, too, which are used in nominal sentences, or
for poetic effect.


Speach act morphemes:

                suffix          particle
statement       -l             le
question        -lla           la
wish            -llo           lo
hypothetical    -llei          lei
request         -llen          len
demand          -llet          al, let

Syntactic morphemes:

if (real)       -ra            ara
if (unreal)     -rai           arai
when,as soon as -ratte         aratte
because         -rel           arel
in order to     -ri            ari
that (generic)  -re            are, re
whether         -rra           arra

More complex syntactic relationships are following a bare verb form
(i.e., suffix -u) with the particle re preceded by a
"preposition" or adverb.  For example, vanior - to see, 
cian - before:
        Before I see you:       vanioru cian re ma tan.

        Tense is indicated by tense particles, which immediately
follow or precede the verb attached to.  These may also be prefixed to
verb-derived nouns.  Their use is quite optional once a temporal
context has been set.

present:        sha
present(NOW!):  shasa
past:           shai
far past:       shasi
future:         sheva
far future:     shesa

Habitual or continuous action may be indicated by the suffix
-to, which may be used alone.  Experience (As in "I have
bungie-jumped" or "Have you ever eaten platapus?") is represented by
the suffix -chen, which also may be used independently of the
tense particles.

        Another set of particles whose use is rather optional is the
evidence morphemes.  These represent the attitude of the speaker to
the validity or the source of the information contatined in the
statement.  Their use gets a bit messy subordinate clauses, and are
often omitted there unless deemed absolutely necessary.

speaker's perception:           se
report of a trusted other:      so
report of an untrusted other:   seio
report, neutral belief:         sio
deliberately neutral:           sua
intuition:                      sia
dream; other vague perception:  sei
obvious to all:                 siu


5. The particle ve

        Despite the presence of the a genitive case most instances of
possession are indicated by the noun-modifying particle ve.
So, while it is possible to represent the phrase "my cat" as miat 
manna it is much more common to say ma ve miat.  This is
also the mechanism for qualifying a noun, since there are no
adjectives in Mavod.  So: (vanioru-to see; dunu-to be black)

        The/a cat is black:     Dunul miat se.
        the/a black cat:        dunu(l) ve miat
        I see a cat:            Vaniorul ma miatan se.
        the cat I see:          vaniorul ma  ve miat
        the cat seeing me:      vaniorul man ve miat

6. Lexical Derivation.

        This language has a particularly rich set of derivational
affixes, a la Esperanto, but much more extensive.  The following is a
preliminary list of the more usual sort of derivational suffixes.  A
more extensive list can be found in the vocabulary section.  ('X'
represents the word being derived from.)

diminutive:             -it-
augmentive:             -om-
ironic, pejorative:     -eint-
presumed:               -iem-

one who:                -a
place where:            -vac-
time of:                -dan-
material for:           -erral-
tool for:               -esat-
that which is Xed:      -e

causative:              -ub-
become:                 -unn-
disposition:            -amb-
non-, false:            -ef-
not                     -fa-

to begin:               -iep-
to continue to, keep on:-aip-
repeatedly:             -ob-
suddenly:               -eip-
finish:                 -aim-
complete (intent):      -iem-
stop, cease:            -iam-

to perceive via X:      -ior-
to X with intent:       -ov-

7. Syntax and Examples

        Now, some examples of derivation mixed in with syntax and
morphology, more or less in the order presented above. But first, a
few general points:

  - Word order is generally VSO, though it may change for emphasis.  
    The order will often change to SVO in complex sentences to prevent
    two verbs from sitting right next to each other.
  - Subordinate clauses prefer to follow the main clause, as does the
    antecedent of a conditional.

eye:                          van
to see:                       vanior (really vanioru)
to look (at):                 vaniorov (vaniorovu)
I see.                        vaniorul ma.
Do I see?                     vaniorulla ma?
Do you see him/her/it?        vaniorulla ta can?
Did you see her right now?    vaniorulla shasa ta can?
cat:                          miat
a little cat: (not kitten)    miatit
a pathetic excuse for catness miateinat
        N.B. Some dervation forms end in C-clusters.  The
             above formula (insert -a-) is used to prevent an
             (illegal) final cluster in the base form.  The 
             accusative of miateinat is miateintan.
He saw a cat.                 vaniorul shai ca miatan.
She has seen a cat.           vaniorul shaichen ca miatan so. 
        or                    vaniorul chen ca miatan so.
Are you studying?             vothulla shasa ta?
to complete studying          vothiem[u]
Are you done studying?        vothiemulla ta?
to suddenly rain              caianeip[u]
It's raining!                 caianeipul siu!
We'll go when he gets here.   
    ithul        sheva  mar, ol-iemu-ratte      ca cuathi.
    go-STATEMENT FUTURE we,  come-COMPLETE-WHEN he here-GOAL.


9. Numerals

0       lam                      37      tichen thac
1       nes                      51      ashaten nes
2       dal                      100     fesh
3       tich                     1000    gahet
4       gais         
5       ashat
6       dach
7       thac
8       soib
9       beis
10      oien (-en)
20      dalen
30      tichen

        1995    nes-gahet beis-fesh beisen ashat



Last updated: Mon Aug 28 13:45:32 2000