Notes on a Vaporware Conlang II: A Phoneme Inventory and Some Thoughts on Grammatical Features

OK, the bug has mildly bitten me. Here are some further notes:

Phonemic inventory


m n nʲ 〈m n ň〉
p t tʲ k 〈p t ť k 〉
b d dʲ ɡ 〈b d ď g〉
s ʃ x 〈s š h〉
z ʒ 〈z ž〉
r 〈r〉
w l j 〈w l ľ〉


i iː u uː 〈i ī u ū〉
e eː o oː 〈e ē o ō〉
a aː 〈a ā〉

Feature ideas

  • Split is based on [±volition]: [+volition] S/A, P; [-volition] S/P, A
  • Different definite articles and/or pronouns for S/A and S/P?
  • Maybe the same for all S, but differing object A and P depending on Ergative or Accusative?
  • Wackernagel position affects definite articles (N Art, but Adj Art N) and maybe modal verbs (S-Mod-O-V – yes, I’m looking at you, German!)
  • Wackernagel position also for possessive pronouns: stressed/unstressed forms here as well
  • no distinction between A series of pronouns and possessive pronouns (I = my)
  • maybe only direct vs. oblique case marking (if that works with split-A); otherwise small system with case markers from adpositions like Romance (SOV correllates with postpositions, however)
  • definite article from “this” and “that”
  • proclitic definite article full form; enclitic definite article unstressed form
  • left-branching preferred, i.e. modifier-head order: Adj Noun and Possessor Noun
  • The definite article may serve as a subordinator for chains of Poss-N (goes counter to the above rule of wackernageling the definite article, though! Either irregularity, or use a different morpheme …)
    • John car of ‘John’s car’
    • car I ‘my car’
    • John car of the motor of ‘of the motor of John’s car’
    • car I the motor of ‘of my car’s motor’
  • inanimate nouns can’t serve as A
  • non-S can’t be relativized: need for passives and applicatives
  • most common verbs (e.g. be/sit, go, get, put) have suppletive or irregular forms, e.g. for past or plural
  • have = be with/on?

Maybe it could look a bit like this:

[gloss]Srāt -m boď na marh ūt šaňt.