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This public article was written by Eowyn Hiraeth, and last updated on 16 Apr 2017, 12:28.
9. Word classes
10. Word order
The language is based upon one tone : the high one (pitch accent). The ogonek on a consonant indicates that the following vowel get such a tone. "mato" = /'mato/ , "m̨ato" = /máto/.
If the tonal vowel is the last sound of the word, the tone disappears and it is stressed instead : "ok̨aov̨u" = /okáˑoˈf:u/
The pitch accent is not on every word, but a word can have several. It never has a grammatical value (although it can - rarely - be the only difference between two homonyms). If a tone is taking place where the stress should hit, the tone replaces the stress ; but otherwise, a word can have both tone and stress.
The stress always hits the first syllable starting with a consonant, unless :
- the word is monosyllabic : then it is stressed anyway ;
- the last syllable of the word (without coda) contains one of the following letters : k̨, m̨, n̨, s̨, t̨, v̨, ɀ ; in which case it is an oxytone and the prosodic consonant is lengthened.
Stress may have a grammatical value.
Mayessan prosody has another important feature : the prosodic softening /↘/ (not included in Mayessa IPA). It exists in two situations :
- within a multiphtong that contains a tone (the other vowels are softer) : "ok̨a" = /oˈk:a/ ; "ok̨aov̨uhn" = /ˈoká↘ofújn/ ;
- in a syllable following a long vowel : "fariilen̨a" = /faj:↘lɛˈn:a/.
In this last situation, the very next syllable will basically be secondarily stressed, resulting in a very musical word.
An exception to this last rule is when the word begins with a long vowel. In that case, softening is stronger than stress (that disappears) : "blow" = ööva - /œ:↘ʋa/.
Here is an image summary of it all (the IPA is out of date).
And here is another way to put it. Don't be scared.