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LotM - Jun 19: Middle Kwang
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June marks our second Ngerupic language of the month, dendana's fabulous Middle Kwang! Spoken in Qonklaks, a country in Sahar, Middle Kwang takes the Southeast Asian aesthetic that Ngerupic always had and dials it up to 11. Read on all about it!
This public article was written by Admin Sheep on 5 Jun 2019, 03:26.

[comments] Menu 1. Phonology 2. Morphology and syntax 3. More on Middle Kwang 4. A Note on Middle Kwang June marks our second Ngerupic language of the month, dendana's fabulous  Middle Kwang! Spoken in Qonklaks, a country in Sahar, Middle Kwang takes our earlier winner,  Wa Ñi, in a much more analytic direction and also adds register tone! It's the Southeast Asian aesthetic that Ngerupic always had, dialed up to 11. Read on all about it!

[top]Phonology

Middle Kwang has a very different phonology than its distant ancestor. There are 3 stop series, voiced, tenuis, and aspirated, combined with 5 locations for stops and affricates: bilabial, alveolar, alveolar affricate, alveolopalatal affricate, and velar. The voiced alveolar affricate is realized as /z/ instead of /dz/, but otherwise every combination of these stop series and locations is attested. In addition, there is a glottal stop, written as <q>. There are also two separate series for most sonorants, voiced and unvoiced. This applies to the four nasals, the alveolar lateral, and the labiovelar. The alveolar rhotic approximant /ɹ/ <r> and the palatal glide /j/ <j> have no voiceless counterparts. Rounding out the consonant inventory are the fricatives, /s ɕ h/. Most of these consonants may only appear in the onset of a syllable.

Middle Kwang's vowel inventory is fairly large, with 8 distinct vowel qualities. In addition to the five cardinal vowels /a e i o u/, there are 3 more vowel qualities, /ə ɛ ɔ/ <y aj aw>. However, the true complexity of Middle Kwang's vowels comes from its tone system. This is a register tone system, where different tone contours obligatorily co-occur with specific phonations and lengths. The four registers are as follows:
  • high tone, mid length, modal voice, written <a>
  • low rising tone, long, modal voice, written <à>
  • mid tone, mid length, creaky voice, written <ã>
  • low tone, short, checked (ends in glottal stop), written <aq>


In addition to the glottal stop, syllables may also end with the velar nasal, or with either of the voiced glides /j w/.

[top]Morphology and syntax

Middle Kwang almost entirely does away with the noun class system of its ancient predecessor,  Wa Ñi. Instead, it expands the Wa Ñi classifier system. Even the 3rd person pronouns, including the pronouns for genders 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9, have become demonstrative particles, which require classifiers to stand on their own as NPs. The first and second person pronouns, meanwhile, have blossomed into a complex set indicating relative differences in status, with separate sets for informal, respectful informal, and formal.

Syntax in Middle Kwang tends head initial but is inconsistent. The basic word order in the clause is SVO, but the topic can be fronted to first position and followed by a particle indicating topic and TAM. Other particles, including those indicating negation, imperative-hortatives, and other particles indicating mood, appear at the end of the sentence. This results in the three main word orders S P V O X T, O P S V X T, and X P S V O T, where P is a topic particle and T is a clause-final particle.

Word order in the Middle Kwang noun phrase is mixed. Multisyllabic adjectives, relative clauses, and possessive phrases follow the noun, whereas demonstratives, quantifiers, and monosyllabic adjectives precede it.

There's much more to say about Middle Kwang, but to learn more, you'll just have to read the articles! Thanks for joining us on our tour of Middle Kwang!

[top]More on Middle Kwang

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

[top]A Note on Middle Kwang

Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Middle Kwang that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Feel free to shoot us (protondonor, Hastrica) 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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