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On Friday, October 26, 2001, at 05:02 , Henrik Theiling wrote:

(Christophe, a question for you or other native French speakers is buried
under "yna," below...)

> Yoon Ha Lee <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>> cevan [tSevan]: "happiness" (the most general form)
>>    related substantives:
>>    icevan [itSevan]: "joy, happiness"
>>    ycevan [i"tSevan]: "hope"
>>    acevan [atSevan]: "contentment, fulfillment"
>> ferun [pferun]: "search"
>>    related substantives
>>    iferun [ipferun]: "invention, creation"
>>    yferun [i"pferun]: "search, quest"
>>    aferun [apferun]: "finding, discovery"
> Nice!  Is the mechanism of prefixing i-, y- and a- totally regular?
> If so, what are the functions of these affixes?
Yes--well, not totally regular, but pretty darn close.  I came up with an
irregularity in the pronoun system:

na [na]: "pronoun"
   related substantives:
   nia [nia]: 1st person
   yna [i"na]: impersonal or uncertain pronoun
   na [na]: personal or certain pronoun

This is related in idea to the personal vs. impersonal distinction in
Czevraqis, though Czevraqis is nicer and only makes that distinction in
the 3rd person; it has perfectly normal 1st and 2nd person pronouns (other
than some irregular case forms).  Tasratal gloms the 2nd and 3rd persons
together.  Examples:

- could be used as "who?"
- to address someone you're not familiar with (but not quite as obviously
   rude as "hey, you over there...")
- to refer to "peripheral" objects or events that come up in the course of
- to refer to people who aren't present (mostly equivalent to 3rd person,
   if you're giving generic directions, say in a cookbook or something, it
   be translated as a 2nd person--I think of this as similar to the French
   of the infinitive-as-imperative, if I remember correctly--Christophe?)

na (the non-generic form):
- to address someone you know
- often to address people who are present
- to refer to people who aren't present but who are the focus of
   or about whom the speaker feels/thinks strongly
- to give directions to specific people

I know, it's horrendously fuzzy, but in a lot of ways this is a fuzzy
sorta language.

Okay, to answer your question at last:
Substantives have a "generic" form, e.g. <ferun> [pferun] or <cevan>
[tSevan].  You might consider it the superset of the specific forms.

The three specific forms are derived by adding a prefix:

i(l) ([i] before a consonant, [il] before a vowel): demand/discovery form
y(l) ([i"] before a consonant, [i"l] before a vowel):
uncertain/speculative form
a(l) ([a] before a consonant, [al] before a vowel): status quo/state form

Again, horrendously fuzzy.  I use the symbols
to guide the semantics.  Hence, for <ferun> it becomes
! invent, create
? search, quest
. find, discovery

(I haven't been consistent in keeping the English definitions all nouns,
but since you can verb-ize these nouns using the causative particles, I
figure it's no big deal.)

> I'm still on my quest for particles in Tyl-Sjok for forming nice
> derivations of stems I already have.
:-)  I'm sure it will be quite a fruitful and interesting quest!  Tasratal
being pretty new, I think it has a total of less than 10 existing
substantives (content as opposed to function words, I guess).  Let us know
what you come up with, ja?