LotM - Jun 16: Silvish
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A little late, but still great!
This public article was written by Admin Sheep on 13 Jun 2016, 04:12.
[comments] sellotm jun 16lotm
This month's Language of the Month is none other than @Dormouse559's Silvish. Late congratulations!
Silvish's phonology is like a nice bowl of IPA soup. There aren't so many letters that you can't taste the broth, but there aren't so few letters that broth is all you get. Silvish has a full set of nasals /m n ɲ ŋ/, your standard plosives and fricatives, and a voiced/unvoiced distinction. It's also in no danger of dying of dehydration. That is to say, it also has plenty of liquids /ɾ r l ʎ/.
When it comes to vowels, Silvish has 8 oral vowels, 3 nasal vowels, and 2 semivowels. Dipthongs can be made from almost any vowel/semivowel pair save for /ue̯/, /uo̯/, or /ie̯/. Here's hoping you weren't a fan of those.
Silvish's orthography is incredibly naturalistic. And by that I mean complicated, but in a good way. There are only 21 letters: Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv and Zz, but between digraphs, diacritics, and spelling rules, the full phonology can be expressed. It reminds me of French; I don't actually understand it, but it sure looks good.
Silvish's nouns have two genders, two numbers, two cases, and belong to two declensions. As gender is only somewhat tied to declension, every noun really only has 4 forms: SGSingular (number)
one countable entity.NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument, SGSingular (number)
one countable entity.OBLOblique (argument)
indirect or demoted object, PLPlural (number)
more than one/few.NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument, and PLPlural (number)
more than one/few.OBLOblique (argument)
indirect or demoted object. As someone who has seen some very large declension tables in my time, Silvish is a breath of fresh air. It's not all that simple, of course, bringing me to:
Silvish pronouns come in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd persons; singular and plural; male and female (in the 3rd person); and nominative, accusative, dative, locative, ablative, reflexive, and disjunctive. There's a lot of them. There's even a set of gender neutral, number neutral pronouns to increase the count.
Verbs, oh verbs, I am reminded of Latin and my head is starting to hurt. Silvish has three conjugations, each with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd persons; four moods; an active and passive voice; tenses, aspects, and compound tense/aspects; and three non-finite forms. The resulting tables are mighty fine, but also mighty hard for me to learn. I don't know how you romlangers do it.
[top]More on Silvish
According to @Dormouse559, most of the Silvish articles here on CWS are out-of-date. They're working on updating them, but for the time being, look no further than the CBB!
[top]A Note on LotM
Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Silvish that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Hate my guts and want to tell me? Feel free to shoot us (either @phi2dao or @argyle) a PM with your thoughts, suggestions, and hate mail. Also feel free to drop by the LotM clan if you have other feedback, want to join in the voting process, or nominate a language!