LotM - Jan 15: Laefêvëši
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Happy New Year! Laefêvëši (affectionately known as Laef) is our first LotM of 2015. Dive in!
This public article was written by Admin Sheep, and last updated on 24 Jun 2015, 01:14.
[comments] qlflotm jan 15lotm
Ah, Laefêvëši. Laefêvëši is a beautifully documented, a priori, and highly inflected language, featuring a total of 38 cases. It also boasts a hefty phonemic inventory with 65 phonemes distinguished. Laefêvëši also holds a sizable vocabulary, with currently just over 3000 words. Allons-y, shall we?
Laefêvëši is a monster in terms of phonology. Its vowels are delightfully symmetrical, with 10 pairs of monophthongs of long and short vowels, with all the usual staples (/e i o u a/) plus some front-rounded friends (/ø y/) and some others (/ɛ ɔ ə/). There are three diphthongs (/ei̯ ui̯ au̯/). Every one of these monophthongs and diphthongs have their own grapheme, as well - yes, the orthography is just as hefty!
Consonants consist of much, much more. Every stop comes in a short and geminated variety, and consonants span 9 different points of articulation. Much like the vowels, the consonants are written very phonemically, with digraphs only when necessary,
38 cases. 38. That's a lot of freaking cases. All of them can be categorized in one of two ways; grouping, in which there are the 6 main cases, 24 subcases, and 8 additional cases; or the hierarchy, which breaks all 38 into 6 groups.
The grouping is pretty interesting as it addresses a bit of Laefêvëši's history. The 24 subcases each can be related to the 6 main cases in that they can be replaced with prepositions; this is to say that a preposition + case has been reanalyzed as a whole new case, the birth of the 24 subcases. For the sake of documentation, here are all 38 cases broken into the hierarchy scheme:
a) nominative cases: equative (vocative, amarative and miristive)
b) genitive cases: terminative, egressive, elative, delative, abessive, essive; partitive and negative partitive (nepartitive)
c) dative cases: lative, orientative
d) accusative cases: illative, benefactive, sublative, allative, ablative, prosecutive, prolative; semblative and translative
e) locative cases: superessive, inessive, adessive, perlative, apudessive, postessive, temporal
f) instrumental cases: instrumental - comitative (instcomitative), antessive
Laefêvëši nouns fall into one of two classes which then control how the noun will decline. Within these classes are all sorts of little mutations, assimilatory processes, and fun quirks. They add a beautiful naturalness to the language without just adding some irregularities here and there.
Laefêvëši's numeric system is, like many other parts of the language, wonderfully developed and inherently complex. Numbers come in the usual ordinal and cardinal varieties, but also in multiplicative (twofold, threefold, fourfold, etc), collective (for nouns that exist inherently in multiples; pairs of pants, piece of news, pair of eyes, etc), differential (used for contrasting different types of things from others), and on top of all of that, fractions and special adverbial forms for all numbers.
Numbers also decline for cases, and interestingly, have special suffixing forms in case the speaker just wants to tack the number onto the noun.
[top]A Smidge More
Ashucky has written a gorgeous reference grammar on Laefêvëši, please click here to reach it and learn more! Be sure to check out Laefêvëši's summary page for more details, as well.
[top]A Note on LotM
Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Laefêvëši that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Hate my guts and want to tell me? Feel free to shoot me (argylegasm) a PM with your thoughts, suggestions, and hate mail. 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!