Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tinkering, Aesthetics, and Carving Up Time.

I will have to do a significant re-write of the documentation for Teliya Nevashi in the near future. There are many sweeping changes coming along.

I am making some changes to the whole phono-mess. I am going to collapse my two r's (rh /R/ and r /4/) into one, which will be /r/ or /4/, and x /x/ will disappear into h /h/. Both changes affect the word xirhos ("how many"), which will become hiros. I do think that's an improvement. Part of me will miss rh and x though. Having those in addition to r and h was just asking for trouble from the start, and that was not an accident.

I also don't see the point in actually writing in the glottal stop when the most common place it occurs is between two identical (consecutive) vowels, and it always occurs in that case. There are a few other places I've put it, but it really wouldn't be missed from those places.

As described in the previous entry, I am making changes to the way nouns work, and I am scrapping the entire set of personal pronouns for new ones. (I will probably keep de for 2nd person, but the rest are history.)

All of the examples will have to be rewritten for these changes. That alone could take a while. It will give me a chance to get a feel for how the changes work out in practice. There's quite a lot of work to be done, and that's not counting things not written anywhere that need to be documented. All of this tinkering is good for my mental health, though, since it keeps me from worrying about other things going on in my life.


I have something to confess about the aesthetics of my conlangs: sometimes I make things ugly on purpose. And I don't mean, "This is an ugly concept, so it should have an ugly word." I mean that I quite often create things that aren't necessarily pretty to me because they are ugly in an interesting way or because a certain amount of ugliness makes a language feel more well-rounded to me. Otherwise, every word ends up sounding like "fishery" or "lilacs", words that I particularly like in English. For every "lilac fishery", there has to be a "salt water" (which sounds ugly to me, especially in my native dialect).


Teliya Nevashi has two verb tenses: Past and Non-Past. The non-past covers present and future, but it also covers the very recent past. If something happened an hour ago, that's still non-past. If it happened last week but *feels* like it just happened, that's non-past too. This recent past bleeding into the present that's bleeding into the near future reflects how I carve up time in my own mind, and tends to be a thread running through my various conlangs, even when they have more tenses. What's "present" is a little fuzzy for me.


Anonymous said...

a thought...perhaps /R 4/ and /x h/ are regional pronounciations or individual variation?

Mia said...

That's probably exactly what I will do. One set for mainland Nevashi speakers and the other for islanders.

A word final |h| might be /x/. I will have to think about that some more.

Anonymous said...

meant to add this before: that way, you don't have to replace anything in the grammar or elsewhere...just open with a note to the reader, about how your sources included speakers of /x/ and of /h/, though they're the same.

all the best good fortune in this conlang.

Mia said...

Well, the biggest changes in the grammar are... grammatical... So those are going to require reworking all the examples anyway.