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Strange new developments have happened on my new toylang. I didn't
intend to do very much with it, it seems to be taking on a life of its
own, and it may not remain a toylang for very long! Anyway, here's the
latest update:

1) Orthography cleanup: I've cleaned up the orthography to be a little
more sensible. Underlying this is the recognition, based on new data,
that certain sounds are actually different realizations of the same
underlying phonemes, depending on context. Anyway, the following is a
summary:

CONSONANTS:

Stops:
pj	[pj]
b	[b]
t	[T] before another stop, [t] otherwise
d	[d]
k	[x] before another stop, [k] otherwise
g	[g]

Nasals:
m	[m]
n	[n]
ŋ	[N]

Fricatives:
f	[f]
v	[v], also seems to have [A] coloring on following vowel
s	[s]
sh	[S]
x	[x], seems to velarize preceding vowel.

Liquids:
l	[K] before a stop, [l] otherwise
r	[r]

Affricates:
pf	[pf]
tz	[ts]
ts	[tsʰ]

VOWELS:

/i/	[i], [I]
/u/	[u], [U]
/e/	[E] following /x/, /t/, /k/, and after /ts)ʰ/; elsewhere [e] if
	stressed, [@] if unstressed.
/a/	[A] before /x/, else [a] if stressed, [V] if unstressed.
/o/	[O] after /v/ or before /r/, else [o]
/u/	[U] before /N/ or when unstressed, else [u]

Based on the above rules, the orthography has been greatly simplified
and made more consistent. So for example, what I previously spelt as
*_aehrlu_ is now _ehrlu_, and what I previously spelt as *_daugsht_ is
now spelt _dahsht_.

I'm still unsure about treating /l/ and /r/ separately, as the current
corpus only attests /rl/. But I'll leave them separate for now until
I've reason to decide otherwise.


2) Fricativisation rules: The astute reader may have noticed above that
/t/, /k/, and /l/ fricativise before another stop. This may turn out to
be a universal rule that stops fricativise the preceding consonant (if
we consider /rl/ as unitary). The current corpus just hasn't attested
other combinations of stops yet, so only /t/, /k/, /l/ are currently
known to be affected by this rule.

Due to this phenomenon, the consonant cluster [Tt] is written as <tt>,
and is attested in the word _apfattek_ ['apfVTtEk] "your mouth", from
_apfat_ "mouth" + -tek "your".


3) All of the above aren't *that* interesting... as I mentioned, some
strange new grammar has been uncovered:

Previously, I've described -mi as a verbalising suffix, such that given
a noun like _apfat_ "mouth", _apfatmi_ ['apfaTmI] means "to eat". When a
pronominal possessive suffix is inserted, e.g.:

	apfat + -en + -mi -> *apfatenmi -> apfatemi

then the result is verb-like; _apfatemi_ means "I eat".  The object of
the verb thus formed is then indicated with the -u suffix, for example:

	apfatemi         gorlu
	['apfVt@mI       gOrlU]
	apfat-en-mi      gorl-u
	mouth-1SG.POSS-V food-PAT
	I eat food.

However, new data has shown that this analysis is inadequate.  The
meaning of the -mi suffix seems to be not as simple as first thought:

	gorltekmi         gruŋgen        apfatteku
	['gOrKtExmI       'grUNg@n       'apfVTtEkU]
	gorl-tek-mi       gruŋ-en        apfat-tek-u
	food-2SG.POSS-??? hands-1SG.POSS mouth-2SG.POSS-PAT
	I feed you your food.

I glossed -mi as ???, because it's not clear what it means here. This
sentence seems to defy the previous analysis that -mi is a verbalizer;
here it seems to marking the object of the sentence instead. We also
have the noun _gruŋgen_ "my hands" in unmarked form, when one would
expect it to have the -mi verbalizer.

I found this very confusing, so I asked my alien informant for help, and
he gave me another example sentence:

	gorlmi   gruŋgen        apfatteku
	gorl-mi  gruŋ-en        apfat-tek-u
	food-??? hands-1SG.POSS mouth-2SG.POSS-PAT
	I feed you food.

Based on this new data, I'm now re-analysing -mi as an *instrumental*
suffix, such that the above two examples actually mean "food-INSTR
I-feed to-you", that is, "I feed you *with food*". What about the
original sentences where -mi appears to be a verbalizer, then? Well, it
appears as though those examples were instances where the subject of the
sentence coincided with the possessor of the instrumental NP, and so
they got elided.  IOW, the sentence:

	tzapjakemi           voluŋdu
	tzapjak-en-mi        voluŋ-du
	*feet-1SG.POSS-INSTR spaceship-DAT
	I walk to the spaceship.

is actually an abbreviation of:

	tzapjakemi           bufen             voluŋdu
	tzapjak-en-mi        bufen-0           voluŋ-du
	*feet-1SG.POSS-INSTR body-1SG.POSS-NOM spaceship-DAT
	I walk to the spaceship.

by eliding the subject _bufen_ "I", because it is coreferential with the
possessor in _tzapjakemi_ "*my* feet".  (_bufen_ is idiomatic for "I",
because apparently there are no standalone pronouns, so the periphrasis
"my body" is used instead of "I".)

That is, what it really means is "with-my-feet I to-the-spaceship", but
since "with-my-feet" already implies "I", we can elide the "I", thus
obtaining "with-my-feet to-the-spaceship".

Previously, I said that verbs appear to be formed by verbalising a noun
+ possessive, but couldn't say what happens when the subject and the
possessor are not coreferential. Well, with the above new analysis, we
can now understand how this is done:

Coreferential:
	voluŋgemi                aiherltu
	voluŋ-en-mi              aiherl-tu
	spaceship-1SG.POSS-INSTR distant_skies-DAT
	I fly *my* spaceship to the distant skies.

Non-coreferential:
	voluŋtekmi               gruŋgen            aiherltu
	voluŋ-tek-mi             gruŋ-en-0          aiherl-tu
	spaceship-2SG.POSS-INSTR hands-1SG.POSS-NOM distant_skies-DAT
	I fly *your* spaceship to the distant skies.

The coreferential case can be seen as _voluŋgemi gruŋgen aiherltu_ with
_gruŋgen_ elided because it is coreferential with the possessor in
_voluŋgemi_.

Of course, not everything is fully explained yet. For example, why is
_gruŋ_ "hands" used in the subject _gruŋgen_, where one would expect the
usual periphrasis for "I", _bufen_ "my body"? It seems as though the
noun used for the bare pronoun periphrasis is chosen based on other
considerations, such as the fact that I use my hands to fly the
spaceship, rather than my body in general.

In any case, this "toylang" is turning out to be quite non-trivial, with
very interesting grammatical features indeed.


--T