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LotM - Aug 18: Tsienic
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Congratulations to August's language of the month, Pink Treasure's <lang>KIG</lang>! Tsienic is an a priori language of the Calutian family spoken in the Republic of Tsien. Read on to learn about its unique tense-based word order, complex verb morphology, and oodles of vowels!
This public article was written by Admin Sheep on 4 Aug 2018, 02:17.

[comments] Menu 1. Phonology and Orthography 2. Morphology and syntax 3. More on Tsienic 4. A Note on Tsienic Congratulations to August's language of the month, @Pink_Treasure's  Tsienic! Tsienic is an a priori language of the Calutian family spoken in the Republic of Tsien. Read on to learn about its unique tense-based word order and oodles of vowels!

[top]Phonology and Orthography

Tsienic has a neat and mostly symmetric consonant inventory, with 18 consonants in total. Stops come in voiced and voiceless series at 3 places of articulation, bilabial, alveolar, and velar. Nasals also occur at the bilabial and alveolar places, but there is no velar nasal. Fricatives come in 4 different places, but there is only one voiced fricative /v/, and four voiceless fricatives /f s ʃ h/. Rounding out our obstruent inventory is the single affricate /ts/. Finally, we have two liquids, /l ɹ/, and two glides /j w/. Other than the Esperanto-inspired <ŝ> for /ʃ/ and the Americanist-inspired <c> for /ts/, the romanizations of the consonants match their IPA symbols.

The vowel inventory of Tsienic is much more complex, with 11 vowels. These include the basic /i e o u/, the front rounded counterparts /y ø/, and the back unrounded /ɤ/. The front rounded vowels are indicated by umlauts, and /ɤ/ is written <õ>. All of these vowels are close-mid or high. Nearly all the mid and low vowels are central: /ə ɜ ɐ/ <ê â a>, with /æ/ <ä> the only non-central low vowel.

In addition to its cool phonology, Tsienic has a cool conscript, with a feel somewhere between Thai and Armenian. The script is alphabetic, with 22 distinct glyphs. One of its neat features is that the same diacritics used in the romanization are used in the conscript as well.

[top]Morphology and syntax

Now that we've covered phonology, it's time to move on to Tsienic's morphology and syntax!

The Tsienic noun does not inflect for case, except for the possessive/genitive form. Nouns can take singular or plural number, with plural marked by the suffix -id. Nouns also have an adjectival form, formed by the suffix -ar, and a form ending in -u that links certain nouns to the head of a compound noun, such as picture book. Pronouns also mark possessive, and they also have a reflexive form. Unlike nouns, they mark accusative/objective case with the prefix t-. Tsienic adjectives also do not mark case, nor do they mark number. However, they do have a load of cool affixes marking degree, ranging from the comparative -on, up to the extremitive äe-, down to the moderative di- and negative -äc.

The Tsienic verb makes the nouns and adjectives seem simple. It marks a whopping seven different tenses. The present is unmarked, and the other tense prefixes are formed combinatorially from the morphemes di- (future) and ö(r)- (past), combined either with no morpheme for simple past or future, or with a following morpheme -l-, or -d- indicating remote or near. A load of different mood prefixes can also precede the tense prefix, including sär for capability, coi for wanting, and vo for conditional. The first suffix after the verb indicates agreement with the subject, and none of the subjects are unmarked. Unless the subject is being emphasized, pronominal subjects are dropped. A further suffix äs can mark passive, which is the only voice marked directly on the verb. After the agreement and voice affixes, the suffix enö marks the negative, and the unique suffix enit indicates an action performed forcefully or violently.

That almost wraps up our overview of Tsienic morphosyntax, but before we go we have one more cool feature to point out. While in most clauses Tsienic follows an SVO word order, if the verb is in either the distant future or distant past tense, the word order inverts to SOV.

[top]More on Tsienic

That's it for our month's tour of Tsienic! If you want more, check out Tsienic's LexiBuild sets, grammar tables, phrasebook, and translations!

[top]A Note on Tsienic

Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Tsienic 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 (2)
[link] [quote] 04-Aug-18 21:31
Calligraphy
Even when without meaning, text can be art.
 Pink Treasure
Btw if anyone's interested,
Tsienic does have a second script that kinda works like hangul. This is not noted in this article due to me being hesitant about the script and if it would fit. It was incorporated into the lang before all the nominations things and now I've decided to reintroduce it.
Here's the link:
https://conworkshop.com/view_article.php?ns=60e8aa747cc77c996eda3b5a9d791461

Also thanks to everyone :)
[link] [quote] 04-Aug-18 20:47
ƤCWS Planet
A clan for the participants of the CWS Planet project!
 astrangemann
T'was I who nominated this language, thank you for really looking into it and giving my dear friend great praise! It's really an honor to him dearly, and I really appreciate that you decided to give this language a shoutout.
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