A little while ago, David reminisced about the days when we would
exchange grammatical sketchlets and comment on each other's work. I
also think back fondly to those times as well. However, the thought of
working through a whole sketch -- no matter how concise -- seems a bit
daunting, especially with RL time demands. So when T sent along his
"fact of the day", I thought, "Here we go! This is what we need; a
short, nifty grammatical point that won't take a long time to work
through." So in an effort to encourage this kind of post, I thought
I'd send along some comments.

On Tue, 19 Sep 2000, H. S. Teoh wrote:

> Random fact of the day about my conlang... ;-)
> Physical verb, Ke'kh /k<h>Ex/ (Kirsh), "to harm", "to injure", "to hurt".
> Incidental forms: "to (unintentionally) hurt or injure"
>         Inceptive:      Ke'kh           /k<h>Ex/
>         Progressive:    k3Ki'kh         /kV"k<h>ix/
>         Perfective:     Kuu'kh          /k<h>u:x/
> Deliberative forms: "to deliberately hurt or injure"
>         Inceptive:      uKe'kh          /uk<h>Ex/
>         Progressive:    kuKi'kh         /kuk<h>ix/
>         Perfective:     Ku-u'kh         /k<h>u?ux/
> Consequential forms: "to be caused to hurt or injure"
>         Inceptive:      aKe'kh          /ak<h>Ex/
>         Progressive:    kaKi'kh         /kak<h>ix/
>         Perfective:     Kau'kh          /k<h>a?ux/

The categorization of 'incidental', 'deliberative', and
'consequential' reminds me of the Salish feature of 'control', which
encodes precisely the same kind of information. I've usually seen it
as a basic two-way distinction, but there are reports of more finely
articulated "control-space". Very nice! I also am a big fan of non-
concatenative morphology a la Arabic/Hebrew, etc.

A question about the transliteration. Do you also have voiced stops?
If not, perhaps the transcription system could use those symbols for
the plain voiceless stops; that way you could use the voiceless stop
symbols for aspirates. Thus the Incidental Progressive <k3Ki'kh>
becomes <g3ki'kh>. Or not. I've always felt it to be somehow inelegant
to have to rely on capitalization for phonetic quality distinctions,
but that's my personal preference.

> Points of interest:
> 1) Kuu'kh and Ku-u'kh differ only in the fact that the former has the long
>    vowel u, while the latter has u split into two short vowels. The
>    glottal stop is the only thing that differentiates between "to injure
>    unintentionally" and "to injure deliberately"!

This might also be creaky voice, or glottalization of the vowel rather
than the splitting of a long vowel by a glottal stop. This is another
cool feature.

> 2) The sound of the word in each of its forms conveys its meaning (well,
>    at least to me!) Especially if you pronounce K as the ejective /k'/
>    instead of (merely) the aspirate /k<h>/, which is also a valid
>    pronunciation of K. :-P

Interesting. Aspiration and glottalization involve opposing laryngeal
gestures: for aspiration the vocal folds are spread, while for
glottalization they are held together while the larynx is raised. Yet
both gestures can encode the same phonological distinction.

> 3) The accent marks (') indicate syllables of high pitch.

So stress is realized primarily by high pitch? Or are stressed
syllables louder than unstressed syllables as well?

> 4) Example sentences:
>    i)   bii'l3n0 Kuu'kh              mangu'
>         boy(org) injures(incid,perf) horse(rcp)
>         "The boy (probably unintentionally) injures the horse."

Ah. So there are voiced stops. Okay. Ignore the transcription
suggestion above then.

>    ii)  bii'l3n0 Ku-u'kh             mangu'
>         boy(org) injures(delib,perf) horse(rcp)
>         "The boy deliberately injures the horse."
>    iii) bii'l3n0 Kau'kh               mangu'
>         boy(org) injures(conseq,perf) horse(rcp)
>         "The boy injures the horse (because he was asked to or made to)."

This is very nice stuff! I hope to see more "facts de jour" posted
here; I'll try to find a nice little tidbit about Tepa that hasn't
been mentioned before. Or maybe I'll make something up. :-)


Dirk Elzinga
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