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LotM - Nov 17: Adenish
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Happy November! This month we're getting agglutinative with Adenish, a language spoken by aliens with a mixed Greek and Coptic orthography and a really huge lexicon.
This public article was written by Admin Sheep on 2 Nov 2017, 16:44.

[comments] Menu 1. Phonology 2. Orthography 3. Morphology and Syntax 4. Lexicon 5. More on Adenish 6. A Note on LotM November's language of the month is Castillerian's  Adenish, also known as Ώμε Αδενε, a highly agglutinative language spoken by aliens of the planet Sekterr, with a striking orthography and a rich lexicon inspired by Arabic, Spanish, and Hebrew.

[top]Phonology

Adenish loves fricatives. There are 8 contrastive places of articulation, from labiodental to glottal, with 4 of them having voiced and voiceless counterparts. Added to that are two affricates, /t͡s/ and /t͡ʃ/. Adenish also loves sonorants, from nasals to liquids. Nasals are distinguished at 3 places of articulation—bilabial, alveolar, and palatal—with the velar nasal being an allophone of the alveolar nasal before a velar stop. There are 3 oral approximants, /l ɹ j/. Additionally, the bilabial and alveolar nasals, as well as the liquids /l ɹ/, may be syllabic. Compared to that, the stop inventory, a simple /p b t d k g/, is positively sedate. One cluster, /ks/, has a special glyph, owing to the Greek origins of the alphabet.

Adenish has almost as many vowels as it does consonants, if you include long vowels and diphthongs. The basic vowel qualities which may be short or long are /i e ɑ ɤ o u/. There are two other vowels, /ɪ ʊ/, which are always short and are written as digraphs. Rounding up the short monophthongs are three reduced vowels, /e̞ ə o̞/. But that's not all, because Adenish has a lot of diphthongs. All of its diphthongs are closing, ending in /u/, /ɪ/, or /i/, with the exception of the slightly opening diphthong /uɪ/. Two vowel qualities which are only present in diphthongs are /œ/ (in /œɪ/) and /a/ (in /aɪ/). That about rounds it up for Adenish vowels, and we're ready to start writing in Adenish!

[top]Orthography

One of the most striking aspects of Adenish is its orthography, based on the Greek and Coptic alphabets. Technically, this is the Earth Adenish orthography, known in Adenish as Αϥδεζα Ϩεληνκειμηα, as opposed to its original Niaukel alphabet used on the planet Sekterr.

There are six basic vowel graphemes, and one vowel digraph <ωυ> /ʊ/. Additionally, each vowel grapheme has an accented form. In bisyllabic words, this indicates length, and in words of three or more syllables, it denotes irregular stress. In total, this provides 14 different vowel symbols. The values of these symbols will be familiar to those who can read Greek, although notably <υ> has its original value of /u/ rather than denoting a front rounded vowel. Since there are 20 different vowel phonemes, after accounting for length, some vowel symbols denote different phonemes in different contexts. For instance, <ε> may denote any of the three vowels /e~e̞~ə/, depending on which syllable the vowel is in and whether it is stressed. Last in our tour of vowel graphemes is <ι>, which usually represents the glides /j/ or /ɪ̯/ but may also represent /ɪ/.

Consonant graphemes are also mostly familiar from the Greek alphabet, and mostly have a one-to-one relationship with the phonemes they represent. In addition to the familiar <β>, <γ>, <δ>, et cetera, there are some consonant symbols which are derived solely from Coptic. These include <ϣ> /ʃ/, <ϥ> /v~f/, and <ϧ> /ħ/. Last of all is <ϟ>, derived from the archaic Greek qoppa, a phonetically null letter in Adenish which separates the definite prefix from its attached noun, as well as separating conjunctions or personal titles.

You can read more about the Adenish script in this article.

[top]Morphology and Syntax

If you hadn't figured it out yet from the huge phonology and elaborate lexicon, Adenish has a pretty maximalist aesthetic. This carries over to the morphology. Starting with the nouns, we have 3 genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter), and an amazing inventory of 18 cases. The core grammatical cases are nominative, accusative, and dative. Verbs relating to physical action take an accusative object, whereas verbs relating to emotional state take a dative object. The other cases mostly form prepositional and adverbial meanings, with six spatial cases, 2 adverbial cases (essive and translative), and a handful of others, including genitive, partitive, and vocative. Thankfully for Adenish learners, the majority of these case suffixes do not alter based on gender; only the accusative, genitive, and dative cases do. Nouns also may take a prefixed definite article, written εμϟ. You can read more about the cases in this handy article.

Adenish nouns are complex enough, but the verb system promises to be even more so. Verbs agree with the subject and conjugate for three tenses (past, present, and future), and two basic moods (indicative and subjunctive). Subject agreement is affected not just by person and number, but also by gender (for 2nd person formal and 3rd person forms) and animacy (for 3rd person). Although Adenish nouns only mark singular and plural, the verb agreement, like the pronouns, has a separate dual form. Agreement suffixes are only mildly fused, with most of them comprising a separate person and number suffix. The verb conjugation classes, of which there are 2, are determined by the stem vowel. There are also ten imperative forms: positive/negative, formal/informal, singular/plural, and 1st person plural imperatives. If Adenish verbs weren't already complex enough, there are also 11 other affixes, covering polarity, aspect, mood, voice, and non-finite forms. These affixes can be combined with each other, leading to arbitrarily complex verb forms. You can view all the base verb forms, as well as the 11 special affixes, in this document.

Most of the heavy lifting of Adenish grammar is done by the impressive morphology. Word order is primarily SVO, with numerals, determiners, and genitives following the noun, subordinate clauses following the subordinating conjunction, and degree words preceding the adjectives. That about wraps it up for Adenish grammar!

[top]Lexicon

As our last step on this tour, there are some things worth noting about the Adenish lexicon. First, it's very, very big. Adenish has over 2800 words in total. Second, a number of the words are inspired by natlangs, such ash Καιεϥ "to fall", from Spanish caer(se), Δαμα "blood", from Arabic دم [dam], or Μεισα "table", from Spanish mesa. Third, taking a tour through the Adenish lexibuild sets will show a rich register of technical vocabulary, from guitar parts to advanced space and planetary science.

[top]More on Adenish

If you want more, check out its articles, grammar tables, or translations. Make sure to listen to the audio recorded translations too!

[top]A Note on LotM

Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Adenish that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Feel free to shoot us (phi2dao, argyle, protondonor, or Avlönskt) 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!
Comments (1)
[link] [quote] 03-Nov-17 16:49
Conlanger
CWS Conlanger
 Castillerian
There are only TWO genders: masculine and feminine; μϟ is used for words beginning with a vowel, while εμϟ and αμϟ are used for words beginning with a consonant. For example, ώμε (language) and βανε (finger) are both masculine, but their definite articles are different:
μϟώμε and εμϟβανε.

Sorry if I didn't make that clear.
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