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LotM - Nov 20: Kaimen Kēling
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A hearty congratulations to protondonor for Kaimen Kēling! Whether you want a Germanic aesthetic or the proto feel, this altlang has it all!
This public article was written by Admin Sheep on 11 Nov 2020, 08:09.

[comments] Menu 1. Phonology 2. Grammar 3. More on Kaimen Kēling 4. A Note on Kaimen Kēling We’re nearing the end of what has been a wild year, and what better to take us back to the good old days (or in this case 4,000 years ago) than  Kaimen Kēling, a fascinating hypothetical a posteriori that shapes the grammatical glory that is Proto-Uralic into the epic look of Proto-Germanic.

[top]Phonology

Kaimen Kēling has a five-vowel system with qualities /i u e̞ o̞ a/, in which all vowels except /a/ come with a long variant. In addition to these monophthongs, there are four diphthongs: /ei/, /ai/, /eu/, and /au/. In an interesting twist contrary to what you might expect from a close relative of Finnish, there is no sign of vowel harmony anywhere in Kaimen Kēling.

Phonemically speaking, Kaimen Kēling's consonant inventory is fairly small and simple, with 16 consonants including a very Germanic-esque fricative series /f θ s x/. Simple, of course, doesn't mean boring, and there's certainly some interesting allophony to be seen here. For instance, non-sibilant fricatives /f/, /θ/, /x/ have voiced allophones [v], [ð], [ɣ] between vowels, with /s/ also appearing as voiced [z] word-finally after a vowel, and (more curiously) Vn combinations become nasalised vowels only before fricatives.

Primary stress falls on the initial syllable in Kaimen Kēling, with secondary stress falling on the third syllable in words with 3 or more syllables. Acoustically, stress is characterized by higher pitch and volume with slightly tense voice, and does not significantly affect vowel length.

[top]Grammar

Kaimen Kēling features a well-documented grammar, so let’s explore! Kaimen Kēling has a lot of cases, 7 to be exact, including ABLAblative (case)
away from
, ALLAllative (case)
'to, onto'
, and LOCLocative (case)
'in, on, at' etc
typical of a Uralic language. There is no gender in Kaimen Kēling. The shape of these case endings depend on whether the noun ends in a vowel or not. Most of the case plurals are marked with the infix -i-, but the nominative is special, having a -t- infix for vowels stems and a -þ suffix for consonant stems. Here is a nominal declension just to please your eyes:

n. c-stem kūr "barrel"
NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
GENGenitive (case)
possessive
DATDative (case)
indirect object; recipient, beneficiary, location
ABLAblative (case)
away from
ALLAllative (case)
'to, onto'
LOCLocative (case)
'in, on, at' etc
SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
kūrkūrmkūrnkūrnakūrakkūraskkūrþa
PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
kūrþkūrimkūrinkūrinekūrikkūriskkūriþa


To complete the Uralic feel nouns also have possessive pronoun suffixes which come after the number/case ending. Something that distinguishes Kaimen Kēling from its fellow Uralic languages is that it has developed a definite article from a third person pronoun in Proto-Uralic. This definite article declines for number, but not case. It cannot appear before nouns with possessive pronouns suffixes or nouns in certain cases.

Let’s move on to adjectives! Interestingly, In Kaimen Kēling predicative adjectives (i.e. “big” in “the house is big”) agree with the noun in number, taking the same affix, but attributive adjectives (i.e. “big” in “the big house”) do not. Adjectives take a suffix to indicate the comparative and a particle to mark the superlative. Kaimen Kēling has some fascinating but complicated syntactic structures that are used for these comparisons and superlatives.

The main inflectional categories of verbs are tense (past, non-past), number (singular, dual, plural), person (first, second, third), and mood (indicative/subjunctive), but Kaimen Kēling verbs also conjugate to two participles and imperatives across two persons. Like with nouns, verb conjugation is fairly regular, though there is some phonological variation, including the reduction of the diphthong ai in inflected forms unless it precedes a nasal. Negation is achieved with a negative verb which is conjugated regularly and requires the subordinate verb to be in the infinitive in the nonpast and to be a past participle in the past. Kaimen Kēling has two copulas, one of which is existential (i.e. “there is”). To say “I have X” in Kaimen Kēling you use the construction “My X to me is.”

Kaimen Kēling is a generally head-final, SOV language. Adjectives, numbers, and demonstratives come before the nouns they modify, possessors precede possessed nouns, and the language uses postpositions rather than prepositions.

In general relative clauses are conveyed through the use of participles:

Se guskam wihel ūra jurtei wōles
DEFDefinite
"the"
basket-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
carry-PTCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
.NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
man-NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
friend-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
COPCopula
used to link the subject of a sentence with a predicate
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee

The man who carries the basket is my friend (lit. “The basket-carrying man is my friend”)

Sidenote - Kaimen Kēling can also be written in runes, which is very cool:

ᛊᚲᛟᚦᚨ ᛗᛖᚾ ᛗᛖᚲᛖᛞᚨᛊ
Skōþa men mēkedas
skōþa-NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
make-PASTPast tense (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee

Skōþa made me

[top]More on Kaimen Kēling

That wraps up our tour of Kaimen Kēling! There's loads more to read, so check out the LexiBuild sets, grammar tables, articles, namebase, grammar test, and translations!

[top]A Note on Kaimen Kēling

Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Kaimen Kēling that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Feel free to shoot me (@litrobotix, @total pleb) 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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