| Yewedu |
|Period||c. 1 YP|
|Spoken in||west Tuysáfa|
|Classification|| Wendoth languages |
|Basic word order||VSO|
Yewedu [jəwə'd̪u] (roughly "Du speech") is a descendant of Wendoth spoken in western Tuysáfa in the first centuries YP. The speakers of Yewedu, who call themselves the Du, are agriculturalists possessing an early bronze-age level of technology and are active in overland trade between the southern and northern coasts of the continent.
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Morphology
- 3 Texts
- 4 See Also
Yewedu distinguishes 41 consonants and 4 vowel qualities.
|Aspirated stop||ph /pʰ/||th /t̪ʰ/||ṭh /ʈʰ/||kh /kʰ/|
|Voiceless stop||p /p/||t /t̪/||ṭ /ʈ/||k /k/||' /ʔ/|
|Voiced stop||b /b/||d /d̪/||ḍ /ɖ/||g /g/|
|Aspirated affricate||ch /t̪s̪ʰ/||ṭṣh /ʈʂʰ/||čh /tʃʰ/|
|Voiceless affricate||c /t̪s̪/||ṭṣ /ʈʂ/||č /tʃ/|
|Voiced affricate||j /d̪z̪/||ḍẓ /ɖʐ/||ǰ /dʒ/|
|Aspirated fricative||fh /fʰ/||sh /s̪ʰ/||ṣh /ʂʰ/||šh /ʃʰ/||x /xʰ/|
|Voiceless fricative||f /f/||s /s̪/||ṣ /ʂ/||š /ʃ/|
|Voiced fricative||v /v/||z /z̪/||ẓ /ʐ/||ž /ʒ/||h /ɦ/|
|Nasal||m /m/||n /n/||ň /ɲ/|
|Approximant||l /l̪/||ṛ /ɻ/||y /j/||w /w/|
|Close||i /i/||u /u/|
Each vowel also has contrasting long and short forms; long vowels are marked with a macron (ā).
Syllables in Yewedu distinguish two registers, termed tense and lax. Tense syllables are distinguished by clear or slightly glottalized phonation on the vowel and a relatively high tone, while lax syllables are distinguished by breathy phonation on the vowel and a relatively low tone. Lax syllables are marked with a grave accent on the vowel (à), which becomes a circumflex in syllables with long vowels (â). Tense syllables are unmarked.
Yewedu has a dynamic accent which uniformly falls on the final syllable of a word.
Sound Changes from Wendoth
Yewedu nouns decline only for case, of which there are eight in total, and fall into four broad declension types, which are purely phonological in nature and have no semantic significance.
Yewedu case marking and the functions of each case may be summarized as follows:
- The nominative case in unmarked, and is used to indicate the subject of a clause
- the accusative case is marked with the suffix -u, and is used to indicate the direct object of most transitive verbs, as well as the point of origin for verbs of motion, having absorbed an earlier ablative case
- The genitive case is marked with the suffix -e, and is used to indicate the possessor of another noun
- The dative case is marked by suffixing a historically determined long vowel, and is used to indicate the indirect objects of ditransitive verbs, as well as the direct objects of some monotransitive verbs
- The locative case is marked with the suffix -ut, and is used to indicate the location at which a verb takes place or the destination of a verb of motion
- The instrumental case is marked with the suffix -sà, and is used to indicate the means by which the action of a verb is accomplished
- The comitative case is marked with the suffix -š, and is used to indicate a person or thing that accompanies the subject of a verb in performing the action of the verb
- The benefactive case is marked with the suffix -ke, ans is used to indicate a noun for the sake of which the action of the verb was performed
Type I nouns
Type I nouns always end in -u, -e, -ì, or -ù in the nominative. An epenthetic -'- is inserted before the accusative, genitive, and locative case suffixes, and the stem vowel is simply lengthened in the dative. If the stem vowel is tense, it will invariably appear as -e- before any suffix containing a vowel, save for the instrumental suffix, before which it will become lax. If the stem vowel is lax, it becomes tense before any case suffix ending in a tense vowel.
|Stem||šù 'man'||du 'face'|
Type II nouns
Type II nouns always end in a tense vowel or -à in the nominative. Note that no stem in Yewedu may end in -i. The stem vowel is always dropped before a suffix beginning in a vowel; the suffix vowel will be long if the stem ends in -u, short if it ends in -e or -à, and may be long or short if it ends in -a. The dative suffix will be -ā if the stem ends in -u, -û if it ends in -e, and may be either of those or -ē if it ends in -a or -à. Tense stem vowels be come breathy before the instrumental suffix, and usually appear as -a- or -e- before the benefactive suffix, though in some cases they are elided, resulting in irregular forms.
|Stem||ce 'blood'||fehà 'clan'|
Type III nouns
Type three nouns always end in a consonant in the nominative. The dative suffix may be -ā, -ē, or -û, and an epenthetic -u-, -a-, or -e- is inserted before the comitative suffix. The instrumental and benefactive case forms are irregular.
|Stem||chep 'hip'||wex 'moon'|
Type IV nouns
Type IV nouns always end in a vowel in the nominative, but a historically-determined voiced consonant is inserted before any suffixes are applied. Nouns of this type are otherwise declined in the same manner as type III nouns, but may display additional irregularities.
|Stem||Du(l) 'the Du people'||hē(z) 'fog, mist'|
Yewedu personal pronouns inflect for case and person. Number is marked as well, but the accusative, genitive, and locative plural pronouns are identical to the corresponding singulars. In addition to first and second person pronouns, there is a reflexive pronoun that is not inflected for number. There are no third person pronouns; when necessary, demonstratives may be used to refer to third person participants.
Note that the nominative and accusative pronouns are very rarely used, as their role is adequately fulfilled by participant reference markers on the verb.
|1st person singular||be||ḍà||ḍe||bû||ḍàt||besà||beš||beke|
|1st person plural||ku||ḍà||ḍe||kā||ḍàt||česà||čuš||keke|
|2nd person singular||ṣe||mù||me||ṣû||mùt||ṣesà||ṣeš||ṣeke|
|2nd person plural||nì||mù||me||nû||mùt||nìsà||nìš||nike|
All Yewedu verbs are classified as either transitive or intransitive, and as either dynamic or stative. Dynamic verbs are inflected for tense (non-past vs. past), aspect (episodic vs. generic), mood (indicative vs. subjunctive), and participant reference. Stative verbs are always treated as generic, and are only inflected for tense and mood.
Each Yewedu verb has two distinct stems used to mark tense. The non-past stem is always used as the citation form of a verb, while the past stem is usually formed by mutation of the stem-final vowel, although other alternations occur as well.
The generic aspect is marked with the suffix -s, which immediately follows the verb stem. When an additional suffix follows that begins with a consonant, an epenthetic -a- inserted following the generic suffix.
The subjunctive mood is marked with the suffix -k. When an additional suffix follows, the subjunctive mood is marked with the suffix -h-, though irregular mutations may occur due to historical processes. When an additional suffix follows that begins with a consonant, an epenthetic -a- inserted as with the generic suffix.
When the subject or direct object of a verb is a first or second person participant, their person and number are indicated with a prefix (in the case of the subject) or suffix (in the case of the direct object) on the verb.
|1st person singular||v-||-ẓà|
|1st person plural||ṣev-||-ùḍà|
|2nd person singular||ṣ-||-mù|
|2nd person plural||n-||-ùmù|
Third person participant reference marking is considerably more complex. Each Yewedu noun belongs to one of eight classes, based roughly on its semantic characteristics, and each class is represented by a different prefix and suffix. The classes may be summarized as follows:
- (I) Male humans and animals, as well as humans and many animals of mixed or indeterminate sex
- (II) Female humans and animals, as well as some animals of mixed or indeterminate sex
- (III) Plants and other things that grow and change shape, as well as most foodstuffs
- (IV) Tools, i.e. inanimate things used by animates
- (V) Liquids and gases, i.e. things that fill space
- (VI) Other inanimate things, i.e. things that simply stay there
- (VII) Buildings, surfaces and settlements, i.e. things that you can walk on or live in
- (VIII) Abstractions, i.e. things that are generated by the mind, or identified as a meaningful pattern by the mind; includes emotions and thoughts, as well as social structures like families, and things like cracks and holes
Some nouns, such as those referring to body parts, celestial objects, geographical features, and weather phenomena, are distributed across multiple noun classes in a more or less unpredictable fashion. For instance, the noun meaning "jaw," la, belongs to class VI, while the word for "heart," tù, belongs to class IV, and the word for "penis," že, to class III.
Each noun class is associated with a prefix and a suffix. Participant reference prefixes are used to indicate the class of the subject of a verb, while the suffixes are used to indicate the class of the object. When no participant reference suffix is provided for a transitive verb, the meaning is interpreted as reflexive, with the object of the verb being the same as the subject.
|III||plants and food||h-||-x|
|VII||that which is walked on||t-||-la|
|VIII||that which is felt or imagined||ẓeh-||-ẓax|
Although the basic markers are essentially agglutinative, individual verbs exhibit varying degrees of fusion, as well as other irregular alternations.
Determiners encompass a closed category of words which are used to modify nouns, encompassing adjective-like words as well as demonstratives, quantifiers, numerals, and the interrogative marker d-. These are grouped together as they all follow the same inflection patterns and syntactic restrictions.
Determiners are an unusual class of root in that they may (and frequently do) consist of a single consonant before being inflected. They are marked to agree with the class of the noun they modify, using a set of suffixes slightly different from those used with verbs. In general, the first form of the suffix is used with determiners that have single-consonant roots, while the second is used with determiner roots consisting of one or more syllables:
The North Wind and the Sun
The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger, when a traveler came along wrapped in a warm cloak. They agreed that the one who first succeeded in making the traveler take his cloak off should be considered stronger than the other. Then the North Wind blew as hard as he could, but the more he blew the more closely did the traveler fold his cloak around him; and at last the North Wind gave up the attempt. Then the Sun shined out warmly, and immediately the traveler took off his cloak. And so the North Wind was obliged to confess that the Sun was the stronger of the two.
Pāyas Tū Pêpû Ḍē pēṛuk; theṭh ẓehičhē nepesâ ẓeheshečak? Xû pala zešenù paṭṣašû bethu šûžežup. Pûyas ṭēḍāsâ: “jânup pākep bu pûdèšû bethu zešenù, theṭh ẓehičhē jânepesâ ẓeheshečak cîḍax.” Xû pēgē Tū Pêpû gēḍax pēḍesâ, šî pēgē ẓeheseč ṭa, pate zešenù bethēsâ yēḍax pēḍesâ. Tā Tū Pêpû pûbek, pečhaẓax ẓehēǰeẓax cà’u. Xû Ḍē pîžaṭ; pûbî žāsâ, tā pēdèšû zešenù bethu. Tā theṭh ẓehičhē Žasâ ẓeheshečak, Tū Pêpû pîcîẓax pečhaẓax.