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LotM - Jul 20: Ancient-Mawic
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This public article was written by Admin Sheep, and last updated on 13 Jul 2020, 21:35.

[comments] [history] Menu 1. Phonology and orthography 2. Grammar 3. More on Ancient-Mawic 4. A Note on Ancient-Mawic A hearty congratulations to @Aarnut for July 2020's LotM winner,  Ancient-Mawic!

[top]Phonology and orthography

Ancient-Mawic has some fun phonological features, including contrastive labialization, vowel length, and vowel nasalization. Let's dive in!

Some alveolars and postalveolars (/t, ʃ, t͡ʃ/, namely) are contrastively labialized, as are both velar stops (/k, g/). Some stops are also contrastively aspirated (/t, q/). The one rhotic /r/ backs considerably in contact with /q/, becoming [ʁ]. Lots of non-symmetry in this consonant system.

The vowels are similarly... well, there's plenty of them, and a few gaps where it looks like sound change has ruined a previously symmetrical system. Ancient-Mawic distinguishes five levels of vowel height, along with front and back vowels. Back vowels are always rounded, but front vowels (at least close and close-mid) can be rounded and unrounded. /i u o a/ all exist in short, long, and nasal qualities. /y ø/ only appear as short or long, while /ɛ/ only appears as short or nasalized. /ə/ is strictly short and has no other qualities, while /e:/ is the only vowel quality that exists only as a long vowel. Ancient-Mawic also has a very strong system of vowel harmony, whose complexities can be read here.

Ancient-Mawic is written in an alphabetic script, which can be read about here. The script includes several ligatures, as well as a ton of logographs.


Ancient-Mawic has a gorgeous article about its grammar, but we will just take a surface level view here.

Word order is primarily SOV, but can shift to VSO or OSV to pull focus to other portions of the sentence. Nouns can be singular, dual, or plural, and inflected with case and possessive prefixes and suffixes, such as:

1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.POSSPossessive (case)
owns, has
-king-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location

to my kings

A fun feature is the mixture of nominative-accusative and ergative-absolutive marking, wherein sentences can shifted to ergative-absolutive to show that the act conveyed was accidental, as opposed to being intentional.

Ancient-Mawic, being agglutinating, has a complex verbal system with 5 'slots' of suffixes, as well as a prefix for the subject. Mood, tense, aspect, and evidentiality are all encoded on the verb with a variety of vowel-harmonizing suffixes. Interestingly, with all this detail and complexity, Ancient-Mawic only has two tenses: past and non-past. The future is indicated with evidentials or adverbs expressing time.

[top]More on Ancient-Mawic

That wraps up our tour of Ancient-Mawic! There's loads more to read, so check out the LexiBuild sets, articles, its lang family, and translations!

[top]A Note on Ancient-Mawic

Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Ancient-Mawic that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Feel free to shoot me (@argyle) 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 13/07/20 21:35+5argyletypo
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