Conscripts – Grammatical Syllabary Characters? I have rediscovered and recopied my syllabary chart of Modern Siye. It is a thing of beauty. Now Siye is agglutinative, and some of the verb suffixes are identical save for position. This homophony was not part of the original plan, but it is conspicuous, particular the sequences <na-na> (directional suffix-positive perfective realis) and <nu-nu> (directional suffix-negative perfective realis). Although the spoken language would suffer from haplology in such circumstances, perhaps the written language need not. The PAM (polarity-aspect-mood) suffix [na] is the result of [ne-a] collapsing under vowel dominance, and the PAM suffix [nu] is the result [ne-a-u] collapsing under dominance. Given that the original syllabary characters distinguished homographs by adding reduced characters (here I borrow the term ‘rasm’ from Arabic) the “majuscule” characters, and part of the current syllabary still shows this system, it seemed reasonable to compose new syllabary characters where necessary in the same manner. Although the directional suffix <na> and the PAM suffix <na> would be pronounced identically, the directional suffix /na/ would maintain the original syllabary character <na>, while the PAM suffix /na/ would develop a new syllabary character <na2> containing a subscript <a> modifying the original <ne>. This differentiation would enable faster comprehension of Siye writing, since there are no spaces, although most characters differentiate between initial and medial syllables. The Guild of Scholars, of course, would regulate the process of authorization. Other possibilities: addition of the reduced character could graphically differentiate between homophones. /li/ ‘cook (imperfective transitive)’ and /li/ ‘die’ (imperfective intransitive) would be written <li(yo)> and <li(ke)>. The aspect, mood, and (occasionally) polarity are sufficiently entwined with various, occasionally homophonous, suffixes that it seems useful. (Technically, one can keep this all straight without such characters, but what’s the point of conlanging and conworlding if you can’t increase the depth?). Notes of the origin of the personal pronominal adjective ‘ye’ Pre-Vowel Dominance Contraction (PVDC), the genitive suffix had two allophones, [-ne] and [-e] (from [-ŋe]). The pronouns had the alternate forms /lene/ or /lee/, /pene/ or /pe/, /ine/ or /ie/, /ene/ or /e/, and /mune/ or /mue/. After VDC, the new forms /le/, /pe/, /e/, and /mu/ were phonetically identical to their nominative counterparts. These homophones soon disappeared in favor of the forms ending in /-ne/. PVDC /ie/, however, had become VDC /ye/ and therefore contrasted with /ine/, but upon the loss of its pronominal counterparts, it no longer had a system within which to fit. /ye/, then became an adjective in the same category as /sile/ ‘urban’ from /silie/ ‘of the city’, and analogous to the adjective /me/ ‘this, that’. /ye/ initially was a third person animate pronominal adjective, but within a century had become generalized to all third persons. By the second century, /ye/ had become a reflexive pronoun for all persons. Origin of Names? The Simayamka, as many cultures, uses common nouns as personal names. In Standard Siye, common nouns are ergative-absolutive, while proper names and titles are nominative-accusative. The writing system is a syllabary in which initial and medial (non-initial) syllables are different characters (except for <s> and <w> series, which don’t). Initial syllables are indicated in the Romanization by capitalization of the first letter. If someone had the name of Fish, very manly, the nominative form was <U-ku> [‘u.xu], identical to the absolutive form of ‘fish’, the accusative form of Fish was <U-ku-a> [‘u.xu.a], and the adjectival form was <U-ku-e> [‘u.xu.e] ‘piscine, of Uku’. In a similar way, his brother Bird <Tu-pi> [‘tsu.ɕi] is <Tu-pi-a> [‘tsu. ɕi.a] in the accusative form and <Tu-pi-e> [‘tsu. ɕi.e] in the adjectival form. Post-VDC, the forms of Fish and fish are homophonous, but the character <ku> [xu] is modified in the latter two with a ‘rasm’ or skeleton form of <a> and <e> to form <ku2> and <ku3>. The forms of bird and Bird are now become <Tu-pi> [‘tsu. ɕi], <Tu-pi2> [‘tsu. ɕa], and <Tu-pi3> [‘tsu. ɕe]. The last two forms were later forcibly corrected to Standard Siye pronunciation [‘tsu.sa] and [‘tsu.se]. Fish’s name is now distinguished only graphically from the common noun, while Bird has divergent pronunciation of the nominative and accusative forms of his personal name. The third brother Osprey, <Nu-ya> [‘nu.ja], may or may not use <ja2> as the second character of his name. Since personal names ending in the vowels <u>, <o>, and <a> no longer differentiate phonetically between the nominative and accusative, the ‘rasm’ <a> became graphically useful as the marker of the proper name. Soon names whose nominative forms ended in the vowels <e> and <i> and therefore suffered VDC in the accusative forms used the accusative forms as the primary form. So <Tu-pi2> [‘tsu.sa] is now more common than <Tu-pi> [‘tsu.ɕi]. Comments? Criticism? ANADEW?