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LotM - Jan 21: Awatese
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Happy New Year all ye conlangers! What better language to welcome 2021 than @anonymous123’s Awatese!
This public article was written by Admin Sheep, and last updated on 15 Jan 2021, 17:37.

[comments] [history] Menu 1. Phonology 2. Grammar 3. Background 4. More on Awatese 5. A Note on Awatese January 2021 brings with it  Awatese by @anonymous123, a stunning a priori Ngerupic language with polysynthesis, redOOplication, and a gorgeous script.

[top]Phonology

Awatese features a medium-sized consonant inventory, 24 phonemes. Awatese consonants are /m n ŋ p b t d k g s z h l ɬ j w r ɾ/. There is no consonant gemination. Plosives have a voicing distinction, but the voiced plosives are relatively uncommon due to how Awatese evolved. There is a relatively large amount of liquids for a language with an overall moderately small inventory, but there were arguably more in Mañi, the earliest attested ancestor of Awatese. From Mañi to Proto-Awato-Mänean, /ɽ ɭ/ became /ɻ ɾ/, after which /ɻ/ > /r/ in Awatese. Additionally, the alveolar lateral affricate /t͡ɬ/ shifted to /ɬ/, which is the best phoneme and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong.

Awatese features 6 vowels, /a e i o u ɐ/, a fairly average inventory size. There is no contrastive vowel length, tone, pitch, or stress in modern Awatese, although earlier medieval Awatese had fixed stress that originally derived from Mañi low tone vowels. After Proto-Awato-Mänean split c. 800-900 CE, /a/ became /æ/, which still persists in Awatese's closest neighbor and sister language, Mänean, but which became /ɐ/ in Awatese.

Onto some allophony! In the dialect of the far northern provinces, the voiced plosives /p b t d k g/ are often realized as [ɸ β t͡s d͡z x ɣ] intervocalically. This, coupled with Awatese's commonly CVCV phonotactics, occasionally makes this dialect difficult for others to understand.

All vowels have nasalized variants [ã ẽ ĩ õ ũ ɐ̃], which occur before word-final nasals. In the standard dialect of the capital, the nasal consonant at the end is usually elided, but other dialects do not usually elide the nasal, and the farther south Ngigu dialect of Awatese does not nasalize vowels at all. The central vowel /ɐ/ is realized in various ways depending on location, such as [ə~ɨ~ä~ʌ̈].

[top]Grammar

Awatese is a VSO, generally split-ergative, polysynthetic language. The only clearly identifiable parts of speech in Awatese are nouns, verbs, and adjectives (adverbs are usually derived using the suffix -na).

Nouns in Awatese aren’t very inflected, but they are marked for possession, and can become definite with the use of a separate definite article. Additionally, there are three noun classes:
Animate: this includes humans, animals, and abstract nouns, among others.

Semianimate: this covers body parts, fruit, plants/trees, and other miscellaneous items.

Inanimate: this class covers inanimate objects, settlements such as villages or cities (but not countries; those are considered animate), and anything not included in the previous two classes.

Plurality is not morphologically marked, but nouns can be reduplicated for collectivity; e.g. nangu "shadow," nangunangu "the shadows.” Adjectives, like nouns, are not really inflected, but can be reduplicated for intensity/emphasis, which is often used sarcastically in slang.

Verbs in Awatese are… welp. They seem to have been created for the sole purpose to make my writing this article a fucking task. Okay, are you ready? The verb construction as a whole is marked for subject/agent, object/patient, pluractionality, directionals, distributive, evidentiality, tense, aspect, mood, negation, conditional, and hortative (which is variously analyzed as an imperative or subjunctive depending on context), and can take a conjunction and a relativizer/complementizer as well. Phew. But wait… additionally, up to four other verbs can be incorporated and subordinated by the main verb, after which they often roughly resemble aspectual or modal morphemes.

The verb conjugation slots are as follows. It is extremely rare that all of these occur on one verb.
1 - conjunction
2 - relativizer/complementizer
3 - evidentiality
4 - polypersonal agreement
5 - directional
6 - verb root(~pluractionality(~distributive))
7 - subordinated verb(s)
8 - continuous aspect
9 - tense
10 - negative
11 - habitual
12 - conditional (hortative can take this slot as well)

Reduplication applies to verbs as well, denoting pluractionality, a common feature in the Awato-Mänean languages; for both transitive and intransitive verbs, it pluralizes the subject. The root verb can also be reduplicated twice to distinguish distributive (as opposed to just once for pluractionality), e.g.:
tupąkąt "he/she/they/it is leaving"
tupąkpąkąt "they are leaving"
tupąkpąkpąkąt "they each are leaving"

tukuřapąt "he/she/they it is holding it/them"
tukuřapřapąt "they are holding it/them"
tukuřapřapřapąt "they each are holding it/them"

This reduplication is how you get Awatese’s famous Infinite Verbs™. If you want to see a fucking BEAST of word, racking up 83 letters, check out this article!

Here is a fully glossed Awatese sentence:

tujeŋaráp ru ahána ļuŋ a nátá
Tuyengarąp ru ahąna łung a nątą.
[tujeŋaɾɐp ɾu ahɐna ɬũ a nɐtɐ]
G9Gender 9 (gender/class).SUBSubject (argument)-G7Gender 7 (gender/class).OBJObject (argument)-wash.PREPresent woman cassava river DEFDefinite
"the"
in-G9Gender 9 (gender/class)
"A woman washes cassava in the river"

Before we wrap up this section, I just want to share with you the Awatese native script, less commonly used today but still taught in schools to bolster Awatese nationalism. Look at this beauty:
Muřąřunmą hą rą nuwąp!

To find out more about this great scribd, check out this article!

[top]Background

Awatese is spoken by about 22.6 million people in the CWSP country of Awating, a tropical country in northern Akulanen. Awatese language use is very vigorous, perhaps at the expense of other languages spoken in Awating. The two largest minority languages of Awating are Bilemã (a Termic language spoken by an ethnoreligious group in central Awating called the Ygwyn) and Ngigu (an Uemaua spoken by the Ngigu, a large ethnic minority in far southern coastal Awating). Both of these are Ngerupic, but they are very distant within the family from Awatese and are seen by most as strange or backward languages. Additionally, the prevailing attitude on foreign and immigrant languages is that if you move to Awating, you must learn Awatese and embrace Awatese culture. The result of all of this is the gradual decline of minority languages in Awating, but there has been recent progress in protecting Awating's linguistic diversity.

[top]More on Awatese

That wraps up our tour of Awatese! There's loads more to read, so check out the LexiBuild sets, articles, phrasebook and translations!

[top]A Note on Awatese

Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Awatese that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Feel free to shoot me (@litrobotix) a PM with your questions, comments, and/or concerns. 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!
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on 15/01/21 17:370litrobotixfixed vools
on 15/01/21 03:53+17litrobotixforgot order
on 15/01/21 03:52+3litrobotixfix tag
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