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Thralni

The nephilim language

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Quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:
By the way, does that display on most people's computers? I had to download a particular font to get Unicode Linear B to show up on my computer.
? ? ? and also ? is all that shows for me.

But I haven't got an extensive font collection on this computer...

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Three things and a question:

 

1) I don't see any of the sings. it is just a blank spot, like this: .

 

2) I don't care how most language-names are formed. I'll think of my own when I have enough words, so I can partly bas the languages name on these words. particularly their sounds.

 

3) For now Nephilian will stay. By the way, maybe "Nephilian" sounds incorrect in English, in Dutch it sounds good. And also, what about italian? isn't that a language? And also, Who says the adjective of Nphil is really Nephil? maybe in English it is, but most probably not in Nephilian.

 

and the question: Kelandon, how did you call the Slith language, as you seem to know better how to name a language?

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Quote:
Originally written by Thralni, Nephil translators & co.:
1) I don't see any of the sings. it is just a blank spot, like this: .
I'm not surprised.

Thuryl, do you perchance have OS 10.4?

Quote:
2) I don't care how most language-names are formed. I'll think of my own when I have enough words, so I can partly bas the languages name on these words. particularly their sounds.
You're thinking of this in the wrong way. When have English-speakers ever cared what native speakers of a language called their language? Germans certainly don't call their language "German" or anything resembling that; we get our term for them from Latin, not German. For that matter, even when we do take our name for a language directly from that language (as for French), we feel free to drop letters or modify sounds as necessary to get a more English-sounding word.

It doesn't matter what nephils call their language. It matters what humans call their language, which ought to work by English language-naming conventions.

Quote:
3) For now Nephilian will stay. By the way, maybe "Nephilian" sounds incorrect in English, in Dutch it sounds good.
You're writing the scenario in English, I hope.

Quote:
And also, what about italian? isn't that a language?
The reason for Italian being "Italian" is that countries with the Latinate suffix -ia, which in this case has been shortened to -y in the actual country designation but was originally -ia, simply take an -n suffix to get their adjective. Notice: Italy, Italian; Russia, Russian; India, Indian. But one wouldn't start with, say, Finland, and then make the adjective "Finlandian."

"Nephilian" makes it sound as though they come from Nephilia, which is highly inadvisable as a country designation, as it sounds like a fondness for saying "No." :p

Quote:
And also, Who says the adjective of Nphil is really Nephil? maybe in English it is, but most probably not in Nephilian.
Again, not relevant.

Quote:
and the question: Kelandon, how did you call the Slith language, as you seem to know better how to name a language?
I've been calling it "the slith language." When I'm speaking about each epoch, I say, "Classical Slith," "Modern Slith," or "Barbaric Slith."

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Quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:
Thuryl, do you perchance have OS 10.4?
Nope. 10.3.9.

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Nephilian does not sound right for the name of Nephil speak as it sounds like a Latin based language. I don't know, I just don't see the Nephil language of having Latin roots. It has too much European flow.

 

Perhaps you should invent a word for the preposition 'of' that sounds Nephil like and make that in some order. A suggestion could be Nephirar where the -rar suffix means of. The literal translation would be 'of Nephilim'. That's what I've been using in Chill Factor at least, my scenario that centers around Nephilim.

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You know, Stareye, that is not such a bad idea. I already made that suffic, sorry, postposition, so that would be a possibility, although I'm not sure evrybody can pronounce it.

 

Of the Nephilim = Nephil - merh - as

 

In which - merh - is the first suffix, making the word plural, and - as is the postpostion, making Nephil genitive.

 

For pronounciation: ph is f, h is g and s is like sh in shop.

 

Again, I'm afraid m ost people wouldn't want to or even take the trouble to pronounce it correctly. nephilian will stay for now until I find something that is pronouncable and seems logical. You can expect that it wouldn't be "Nephil." If one wants, call it Nephil language, I don't really care actually.

 

kelandon, I don't quite understand the relation between "Nephilia" and the fondness of saying "no." Could you explain that again please?

 

And yes, the scenario is in english, with Nephilian texts in Nephil cities and temples (Actually Senarti temples and cities, but as they are overgrown nephilim...).

 

stareye: That scenario, care to tell me what it is about in broad lines, so I know for sure that the scenario I'm planning at the moment won't cover the same things? You can send me a PM.

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Quote:
Originally written by Thralni, Nephil translators & co.:
For pronounciation: ph is f, h is g and s is like sh in shop.
Eh? Why? Why not simply write letters with their most natural equivalents? Well, unless the language differentiates between two kinds of "g" sounds and doesn't have an "s" sound at all.

Quote:
kelandon, I don't quite understand the relation between "Nephilia" and the fondness of saying "no." Could you explain that again please?
It was a bad joke. The suffix "-philia" (from the Greek) is often used in English for a love of something, and "ne" is one of the two Latin words for "no." I was just pointing out that "Nephilia" is probably not a good word.

Also it kind of sounds like another word that is probably not good to bring to mind.

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Quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:
Quote:
Originally written by Thralni, Nephil translators & co.:
For pronounciation: ph is f, h is g and s is like sh in shop.
Eh? Why? Why not simply write letters with their most natural equivalents?
There is also a normal f, but that one is used to make a hissing sound. So it is actually a long f. then I also needed a normal f, and made a ph of it. I was wondering if ph is also a normal f in English? otherwise I mispronounce nephil, and that would be a little stupid, don't you think?\

The "h" is a "g," mainly because it is like that in Semitic languages (if that is how you spell it). Same goes for s.

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Quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

"Nephilian" makes it sound as though they come from Nephilia, which is highly inadvisable as a country designation, as it sounds like a fondness for saying "No." :p
Well, as long as it doesn't sound like a fondness for Nephilim... :p

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It's not so bad if it's just a fondness, but when it's a fondness... :p

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I can proudly say that I'm a bibliophile without getting strange looks in polite company.

 

—Alorael, who likes books in a good, wholesome way that gives TM no grounds for commenting in italics.

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Yeah, Alorael, but the difference is that a book isn't living. Append that suffix to an animate root and see what happens, you zoophile.

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Corpses are, by definition, not living. Necrophiles are nonetheless generally not open about their preferences.

 

—Alorael, who concedes that he can't think of any living prefixes that play nicely with -philia.

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Sars Harvi, Thralni.

Fellow developers of language have come to input their meager knolwedge.

Depending upon where you are with the development of the "Nephilian" language, you may want to consider the following:

What does the word "Nephil" mean? Is it simply a tranliteration (or an attempted transliteration, in light or your previous posts) into the common tongue, or a word in the common tongue used to describe this particular race? If it is a transliteration, why would they call themselves nephilim; what does it mean in their language, and what significance would it have in their culture?

As has been observed by many in this string, language does not develop in a vaccum: it is influenced by the experiences of those who use it. Take for example, the modern usage of "gay", or Hamlet's exclamation of "get thee to a nunnery!" Different periods of time and regional colloquialisms will influence the evolution of a language. Changes may or may not occur.

Consider the evolution of usage from "ducky" in the 1920s to the modern "cool".

We speak, of course, from a communicative standpoint, not technical.

Our greatest advice is that you keep the civilization of the Old Tongue in mind as you write the Old Tongue.

Dor tefu Nosk (may the Three Factors (Fate, Fortune, and Time) be with you), Thralni.

-Lord Grimm, speaking for himself and the Silent Assassin

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Quote:
Originally written by Dikiyoba:
If you're hydrophobic, you may be a lipid.
You may also be rabid.

In other news, "nephilim" may in fact be a term taken from an archaic word for something, as our term "German" descends from the Latin word for the cultural group, or likewise the term "Apache" descends from, er, French, I believe. I think our name for the Dutch comes from a corruption of what they call themselves, and if I guess correrctly, so does our term for the Russians and Poles. Indeed, the term "Indian" as applied to Native Americans shows that a word can be recycled to apply to an entirely different set of people than it originally did.

The word "nephilim" — since it does not have a standard English plural — must be a foreign word of some kind, but whether it is a nephil word taken into the human tongue or a human word from another language (or an archaic dialect — or even an old term being re-used) is up for grabs.

I personally am inclined to think that it is a human word from an archaic dialect, but that's just because the features seen in the word do not seem to match any phonetic system that we can deduce from nephil names. (This has the advantage, too, of more nearly matching the real etymology of the word.)

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Nephillim doesn't match the preferred speech patterns of nephilim. Too many vowels, no F's, R's, or H's. The only M is at the end, and only in the plural form. Really, it's more likely that some confused Hebrew speaker blundered into Ermarian and caused years of linguistic nightmare.

 

—Alorael, who tried to figure out the etymology of Dutch. It seems to be an Anglicized version of a word with the same root as Deutsch, but despite a root meaning "people" and originally applying often to German people, German became the word of choice for Deutschland and Dutch got applied to the Netherlands. Then the Amish of Pennsylvania, who called themselves Deutsch, were mistaken for Dutch. Nephilim probably figure into that somewhere.

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I don't know know where your word of Dutch comes from, but it certainly sounds like "Deutsch." However, as all these languages actually came from "Diets" (pronounced Deets) and indeed, as Alorael said, meaning "people", it may also have come from there. By the way, Deutsch came directly from the name "Diets."

 

Nephilim has two of the letters Nephilim are inclined to use. The "F" and the "M", only is the "F" transformed into "PH." (Although I don't know of Americans pronounce PH as F). To me, Nephilim could be a ancient word of their tongue, albeit pronounced differently. The Avernites may have heard their speech and, when translating, just spoke it out as they heard it: "Nephilim." I guess the same as with the Slitherikai. I don't think that the word "Nephilim" on it's own could tell me a lot more then I know already about the language. Actually, it tells me less then any Nephil name I came across.

 

I heard somebody saying about the Nephilim not being able to say long words? Who the hell said that!? Ever heard my vat meow? he could have meowed for about 8 seconds non-stop, with such an intensity, such a loudness, that the whole family could go crazy. Now don't start telling me about the Nephilim, being descended from cats, that they can't say long words.

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By the way, Deutsch came directly from the name "Diets."
Could you give me a link to where this comes from?

From what I know the root is gothic 'biuda' (engl: thiuda) and its adjective 'biutisc', meaning 'the people' and 'of the people'. The first letter is not a 'b', I don't have the correct equivalent on my keybord. The latinised version 'theotisc' was used in the middle ages to separate 'latin', the language of the clergy and the educated from 'theotisc', the language(s) of the people.

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No, i can't. It comes from my teacher Dutch. Giving a link to hi would be a hell of a job, and I don't think he would like it.

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The nephilian grammar is online!

 

Before you start to shout at me for doing a worthless job, take your time to go through all the explanations. Endings and postpositions and suffixes can be changed. I myself am contemplating on doing that. It is the basic structure of the language which I'm pround of.

 

It is here: Nephilian grammar and vocabulary guide

 

This is a quote from a book about Dutch and Diets and Deutsch:

 

Quote:
The Dutch word "Duits" (deutsch) is an equivalent to the Flämish "Diets." Its origin is the word theudisk, albeit from a long chain of all small modifications (These are the ones ef mentioned in her post). In a attempt to seperate themselves from the Romans, the teutons living there called their language "Theodisk." This name soon was the name of the language spoken in the whole of the teuton empire. the Englsh took on the name "Dutch," as a name for the people that belonged to the countries were Diets was spoken, who were closed to them.
Yeutons and the teuton empire is a name I looked up, but I'm not sure if they are the right words. There does't seem to be a word in English for "het Frankische rijk," or "her germaanse rijk." (Note that that was Dutch).

 

So far my findings about Diets and the origin of Dutch.

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In a attempt to seperate themselves from the Romans, the teutons living there called their language "Theodisk." This name soon was the name of the language spoken in the whole of the teuton empire.
I'm being a nitpick now.

The Teutons never had an empire, nor did they live alongside Romans. They were a tribe from Jutland (some historians say Skandinavia), that in the 2. centaury B.C. migrated south to the Danube valley together with their neighbours, the Cimbri. Upon encountering Romans in the valley they went on into Gaul where they attacked the Roman Empire. Initially victorious, they were desastrously defeated 102 B.C. They did not survive as a tribe, as their women killed the children and committed mass suicide when they were asked to surrender.

The Romans named them Teutoni, a derivation from Proto-Germanic 'Theudanos' = 'they of the tribe', 'they of the people'. Greatly admiring the women's heroism, many roman legends and tales were spun around this people.

But: they were just one of dozens of germanic tribes, each with their own language and culture.

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I thought I said I didn't know if I had used the correct words when describing the teutons with their empire, because It was actually something else I meant, but didn't find the right word. I had to trabslate it from Dutch, and that didn't work out with the names of the Tribes. Note that we are talking about ± 800 A.D.

 

It is clear what I wanted to say, no?

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You talk about Charlemagne then. But your quote is giving the impression that a common language existed at that time, which all germanic and frankic tribes were able to understand and use. That's not so. There were the Old Lower Germanic dialects, variations of which were spoken by the people in the north, and the Old High Germanic dialects (Frankish among them) which were spoken in the middle and southern parts of what was to become Charlemagne's empire. Neighbouring tribes were usually able to understand each other, but if you moved farther away..

 

'Theodisc' is not one particular language; the expression simply refers to the use of each and every germanic dialect as opposed to the church's Latin.

 

It was Martin Luther, who (when translating the bible) created a language from a conglomerate of those dialects that were most often used and best understood. But in the early days his translation was always accompanied by dictionaries that explained and translated words that people in that particular region of the land would not understand.

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A quick check reveals that "Teuton" was a Medieval Latin term for all Germans, although it should most properly apply to the older tribe.

 

The OED explains that "Dutch" comes from a very old German word for "people," which originally covered both the Germans and the Dutch, and when the modern Dutch became distinct from the Germans, English speakers used "Dutch" for the nearer of the two groups and made up a new term for the farther.

 

I neglected to mention another way in which a people can get a name: extension from the proper term for only a small group of them. We call the Greeks "Greek," for instance, because of the Latin word graecus for them, but that Latin word was in turn derived from the Greek word graicos. The Greek word could only properly be applied to residents of a particular city, Graia, in southern Italy, the first Greeks with whom the Romans came into contact, but the Romans extended it to all Greek people.

 

EDIT: Oh, duh. I should've got it immediately when you said that you were talking about 800 and later, and you set "het Frankische rijk." The word for "Frankische" in English is "Frankish."

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Quote:
Originally written by Thralni, Nephil translators & co.:
The nephilian grammar is online!

Before you start to shout at me for doing a worthless job, take your time to go through all the explanations. Endings and postpositions and suffixes can be changed. I myself am contemplating on doing that. It is the basic structure of the language which I'm pround of.
Very nice, Thralni.
I like the use of cases.
And I especially like the separation of animate and inanimate
I am a bit confused about a few things (no, I'm not shouting):
  • Do you intend for the case system to encompass the entire grammatical structure for nouns, or are you going to be introducing other grammatical structures, such as prepositions?
  • You mention "Nephilian's" parallels to Greek and Latin cases. Both classical languages have an accusative case, specifically denoting the direct object. The closest you have to that is the terminative; and if I understand it correctly, it only works with transitive verbs. Is there something that I'm missing?
  • How do you get an inanimate nephil? or can you?

Dikiyoba, call it more of a hobbyist's interest. I myself am a student of communication, and find such things interesting. My counterpart at Lenar Labs simply thinks that creating a form of spoken and written communication is fun. Of course, his only research into the construction of language was on Tolkien Elvish… laugh
-Lord Grimm

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1) remember that it is still under construction. However, I'm fairly certain no prepostions will be introduced. the nouns are the only part of the grammar of which I'm certain I wouldn't change it.

 

2) When I said that, I actually meant the dative, genitive and ablative-instrumental cases, being like they are in latin. Accustive is actually split up into two seperate cases:

 

terminitive: indicating the motion towards something;

Absolutive: functions as accustive with an instransitive verb.

 

The transitive verb indeed only works with transitive verb, as only a transitive verb can have an object. if you have more questions about that, feel free to ask.

 

3) You can't. Did I mess up somewhere with the explanations?

 

I'm so pleased with the ineterest in the language! If only the website would work like I want... Oh well. that you guys still didn't start shouting is very pleasing and satisfying to know. laugh

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I heard somebody saying about the Nephilim not being able to say long words? Who the hell said that!? Ever heard my vat [cat] meow? he could have meowed for about 8 seconds non-stop, with such an intensity, such a loudness, that the whole family could go crazy. Now don't start telling me about the Nephilim, being descended from cats, that they can't say long words.
No, Dikiyoba hasn't, though Dikiyoba's cat is part Siamese. The meows don't last long but each meow is loud and repeated until the cat is gratified. Spoiled brat of a cat! Dikiyoba liked it better when she was a kitten and could chirp. Dikiyoba wonders if young nephil have that ability...

Edit: Added a sentence.

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Well, I read the part on nouns, and I've noticed a few errors.

 

A "posposition" is like a preposition, except that it comes after its object. Unless your case ending are actually separate words, they're just case endings, not pospositions. Conversely, if it does have postpositions, those aren't cases — they're postpositional phrases that function in the place of case endings (which is what English mostly uses).

 

The genitive has other uses than possession. "A glass of milk" is the classic example of the "of" use of the genitive that doesn't involve possession at all.

 

The dative ought not be summarized as "somebody receiving something," because this sounds far too much like the grammatical description of the active-voice direct object (the receiver of the action of the verb). The dative is normally used for the indirect object ("to" or "for," not just "for": "I gave the book to the librarian").

 

You say, "Genitive, dative, terminative and vocative are cases that appear in Latin and Greek," but as mentioned above, Latin and Greek do not have a "terminative" case.

 

Latin has six cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, ablative), and Greek five (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative), not five and four. And that's assuming that you don't count the impoverished locative.

 

If you've set this up as an ergative-absolutive language (ew...), then you should make absolutely clear: the ergative case is the subject of a transitive verb (one that takes a direct object); the absolutive case is the object of a transitive verb or the subject of an intransitive verb. This is going to be weird to a lot of people, so it is worth being precise.

 

A case that expresses "direction towards" is an "allative" case. The "terminative" case is more specifically at the very end of something. Also, "direction towards" has nothing to do a grammatical object; the allative concept was often expressed by the accusative case in Latin and Greek, but it's not an object precisely.

 

Your "ablative-instrumental" right now sounds a lot like a pure ablative. Nowhere have you expressed an "instrumental" function. Also, the statement, "The ablative instrumental is used when something or somebody did or does something," is extremely vague; I think you're trying to say that it is used to signify the agent in a passive sentence.

 

AAAAAAAAGH! The comparative word is "than," not "then"!!

 

Your bit on the "equative" doesn't really make sense, but if you're modifying a verb, it's not a case.

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okay, now let me see. First and foremost, and I'll keep repeating this: the pages are under construction and probably still full of things that are not clear and the like. I'm attempting to make it all clarer, so everybody will understand that an ergative-language is far simpler then an indo-European language.

 

Now for your critisisme:

 

1) the postpostions may well be a mistake I made when translating the Dutch to English. What do you think is best to call it? Will "suffix" be better?

 

2) yes that's right, but such a form won't be in genitive in nephilian. It would be in another case, depending on the word it belongs to. if the word it belongs to is in absolutive, it would be in absolutive. If in ergative, it would be in ergative. A glass of water denotes the amount of water. therefor, water belongs to the glass. It's the same with all these things: A pound of meat, a heap of chickens, and one can go on with that. However, that you mentioned, did make me aware of the fact forgot to include a case: the instrumentative (if that's the right name in English). However, i saw I forgot to put it in the list. Yes, I know, that was very stupid. the instrumentative case has about the same, together with another few, meaning like the comitative: "with." In this case, however, "with"

is not as in "together with," but as "with" used as an instrument. So: the man is battred with the club.

 

3) changed it. I hope this is clearer now.

 

4) I know. i don't really understand why I wrote that, but it is fixed now. A reason I might hace said that, is explained in the "website modifications" thread.

 

5) I didn't count the vocative for some reason.

 

6)

Quote:
If you've set this up as an ergative-absolutive language (ew...)
Is there something wrong with that? Also, I thought I had made it clear enough.

 

7) What is your point? I only copied that part from a book, written by a gret Sumerologist, so wht exactly is it you want to say?

 

8) I wasn't very clear, indeed. I shall fix that.

 

9) A common mistake. fixed it.

 

10) Already got the idea of changing that about a week ago. I will, don't worry.

 

At the moment I'm altering the "nouns" page to reflect all this. I ask everybody who has questions to wait until the mistakes are fixed, and look at the new page. Chances are your question is answered.

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An ergative-absolutive language is just as complicated as a nominative-accusative language. It just defaults to object, rather than subject.

 

1. "Suffix" is much better.

 

2. Your language doesn't have a genitive case, then. It has a possessive case. English has a possessive case for pronouns that is not a genitive case.

 

6. No, you didn't make it clear enough. Your table that lists the functions of these cases says of the absolutive, "Only the stem without postposition." That's a description of the form, not of the usage.

 

And I personally find the ergative-absolutive concept a little aesthetically displeasing, but there's nothing wrong with it per se.

 

7. Do you actually read Sumerian? If not, it's probably a bad idea to use a case that you don't understand. And by the way, Sumerian was an isolate, not a Semitic language. And Hurrian was a Hurro-Urartian language, not a Semitic one.

 

Anyway, your case looks an awful lot like an allative case. I have no real experience with terminative cases, so I can't say for sure that it's not a terminative case. In fact, the most ambiguously-worded part of the description is the part that might make it actually a terminative case. When you say, "The terminative is used to make the object in the sentence clearer," do you mean the goal, not the object?

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1) Changed it

 

2) Yes, that to, but it is a genitive case. It looked it up in all the books I have about Sumerian, hurrian, and even Assyrian, and in almost all books they say the genitive only expresses ownership (that would actually be a better way to describe, don't you think?). We are talking here about different languages. latin is somwehat different, and may have uses for certain cases Hurrian or Sumerian might not have.

 

6) I'll change that

 

7) Again I lost you. About which case are you talking now? if it is the ergative you are talking about, I now exactly what it oes and what it's used for.

 

8) Of my god. did I really describe the terminitive case like that? Oh my god... I'll change that immediatly.

 

What's exactly "disspleasing" about an ergative language? I'm just trying to understand this. I find it much more logical how it is all constructed, and the way verbs and the like are conjugated. What is it you don't like? Do you have an actual reason, or is it just because you study latin and Greek?

 

And I asked my father about three hours ago, again how one calls these languages. it's indeed an "ergative language" or an "isolate language."

 

I think I'll have to go over the whole description of all of the cases and replace strangely described parts.

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Thanks for pointing me to this thread, Kelandon. Replying first to the website thread :

 

No, Thralni, I am not an Assyriologist. smile I spent a year studying the field (mostly Akkadian, and mostly the Old Babylonian lect) at U of Chicago before switching to structural linguistics. (The phonemic attrition caused by weak verbs rivals anything in Greek and was starting to drive me crazy.) (After all that, I am now a social worker.)

 

The example sentences are definitely useful. Examples are *never* a bad thing.

 

Hurrian is not a Semitic language. It is part of the tiny Hurro-Urartian language family.

 

Now this thread:

 

Language family (Semitic, Indo-European, etc.) is NOT the same kind of descriptor as "ergative-absolutive" or "nominative-accusative" -- those describe two basic types of interaction between case system and semantic role assignment. "Isolate" goes in the language family category however, as it describes languages that are not part of a language family.

 

Unlike Kel, I like ergative languages. Actually, I'd love to see a language that distinguished all three roles morphologically (intrans subject, trans subject and trans object) as I appreciate the kind of clarity that forces on you. Too much unneeded clarity for a natural language I suppose, as such systems are extremely rare.

 

However, ergative languages aren't any more "logical" and I don't see any significant difference in how verbs are conjugated.

 

"I only copied that part from a book, written by a gret Sumerologist, so wht exactly is it you want to say?"

 

Sumerian is a really, really, really, really, really, really bad language to use as a model of ANYTHING if you don't know a lot about it. It's an isolate, it's agglutinative, and in general it's just one of the most unusual languages there is.

 

Getting rid of the center alignment made the nouns page much easier to read. Thank you! Some of the sections are clearer now, but I think I would still be really confused if I didn't have a background in linguistics.

 

On the use of the genitive: I can't speak for Sumerian or Hurrian, but the Akkadian (= Assyrian) genitive is definitely used for more than just ownership. In Akkadian the only case options for nouns are nominative, accusitive, and genitive, plus the status constructus form which is used in conjunctive with the genitive. The latter two are used for everything except subjects and objects. So the genitive is quite versatile.

 

Absolutive: check the grammar on your first sentence there. Your second sentence is misleading -- without looking at the example it's impossible to tell you mean "with the appropriate gender ending." Also, you probably mean "These two take the same case," not "these two are the same." They are definitely not the same.

 

In the Ergative section, your use of "often" is confusing. "Often" means "frequently." It sounds like you may want to say "always" or "almost always." If you really mean often, then you are providing really patchy information about one of the most critical elements of sentence construction!

 

Also, the way you say "transitive verb or two-participant verb" makes it sound like they are two different things. The "two-participant verb" part is also misleading, since there are three-participant verbs (and in some languages, even more) and if you do not allow prepositions, it seems to me they are a necessity.

 

I could go on... when you are using a language, it's okay to make mistakes and to be imprecise, because people can usually figure things out from the context of what you say. That's a basic part of how we process language. However, when you are describing a new language, it is VITAL to be extremely PRECISE. I know very well how hard it is to do that in a language that is not native to you. That doesn't make it any less necessary, though.

 

--slartucker

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It's late, so I'm not going to do anything anymore. I just wanted to say two things:

 

1) I use Hurrian more as a modle then Sumerian;

 

2) I added a tiny Nephilian dictionary.

 

the rest of the critisisme I will handle tomorrow, if you don't mind (actually, also if you do mind, I won't do it today).

 

Have a good night.

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2. Emphatically NO. A genitive case is a case that substitutes for an "of" phrase in English, both "the book of Bob" (Bob's book — possessive) and "a glass of milk" (partitive). A case that can only express possession is not called a genitive case; it's called a possessive case.

 

7. I was talking (if you refer back to the #7 from your previous post) about the terminative case. I'm just saying that it sounds a lot like an allative case, and after reading your description, I'm almost sure that you're describing an allative case, not a terminative case.

 

As I mentioned before, there's nothing at all wrong with an ergative-absolutive language. I just don't like them. :p I guess I just haven't studied any.

 

That covers most of my initial criticism (spelt thus) about the nouns page. On to pronunciation!

 

I highly recommend using actual languages or linguistic terms to describe sounds that don't exist in English. I'm guessing that the FH is some sort of velar fricative (KH in Classical Slith), but I'm not really sure. And the TH explanation really doesn't help at all.

 

I really have no idea what you mean for the RH sound. It just doesn't make sense.

 

And I honestly think that your RA description is a little ambiguous. You say it's a uvular trill, but then does the uvular trill include the A vowel?

 

Why is H sometimes pronounced like G? Is this some sort of wacky historical spelling? When is it pronounced this way?

 

Now, some missing things. First, you say that all the remaining sounds are pronounced as in the Latin alphabet. (Why call out M specifically, then, if it's just pronounced normally?) Bear in mind that in Latin, unlike English, the stops were mostly not aspirated — you can hear the difference between a Spanish word-initial T (as in "tener") and an English word-initial T (as in "team") if you listen very closely. So are nephil stops aspirated?

 

Likewise, does that mean that the nephil language has all the sounds that Latin did? Does that include somewhat Greek sounds, like Z? It might be worth writing them all out.

 

How does stress work in the nephil language? With long and short vowels, I'm assuming that stress can't be as heavy as in English — perhaps on par with Spanish? Or something? Does the stress get put in any particular positions, or can it go anywhere in the word? If the latter, nephilim perhaps ought to mark the stressed syllable, as the modern Greeks do, rather than simply omitting it, as the Russians and English do.

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You know, when i started with this language, I mainly worried about the verbs and nouns, but didn't bother that much with the pronounciation. besides, as I'm not a linguist (I don't even really know how to spell it correctly...) so I didn't exactly know what all these things as "nasal" and the like meant. Howvere, I asked my father for information, and he gave me a booklet of 20 pages, all about phonetics. I'm going to plunge into it and make it all more clear.

 

2) Sigh. bear in mind that it is still under construction. It all depends on sentences. I'm going to make sentences, and see if it all fits. If I see I need something that I can't do as yet, I will broaden it all to make it possible. For now everything will stay as it is.

 

7) I'll check back in the books I have here next to me.

 

The ergative-laguages: If you haven't studied them, how can you say you don't like them? Look, as you probably already noticed, Iim going on with this until I get an answer. What you say now is that you have almost no experience with ergative-lanuages. the conclusion is smple then: Then how can you like/dislike it? I'm under the assumption now, that you don't like as it is a rival of indo-Europian languages. Am I right? Sorry if I'm a nuisance.

 

My explanation for not using linguistic terms is above. I'm working on that now.

 

About TH and RH, I contemplating on getting them out altogether. it doens't look like a cat will ever use them anyway.

 

RA, well, that is a problem for me how I should make that clear. Unless a uvular trill is someting else then I think it is, a uvular trill is about the same sound as when you gargle? if so, widen your mouth, as to get a "A" sound while making the gargling sound. that should be about it.

 

H is not sometimes, but always pronounced like G. Why I did this has two reasons:

 

- I don't see a cat making such a sound (partly the reason I'm going to remove the TH and RH);

 

- This may also have been because of my experience with semitic languages, wehre usually an H is pronounced as a G.

 

Wow, aspirated? wait for me to get my dictionary. i have no idea what all these English terms are in Dutch. the M thing probably as it was a favorite letter of the nrphlilim. I wanted to make that really clear, but in hindsight it looks ia bit useless.

 

Stress... wait again for the dictionary.

 

You're right. I should all write it down somewhere. It's likely that will be ready only on friday, as I have a lot of exams to learn for.

 

No, don't take me wrong, I do appreciate the interest. I only wish you would be more clearer about your dislike of ergative-languages.

 

EDIT: I was thinking, after all the critisisme, what do you actually think about the language? All I heard now from you i how stupid, badly explained and the like some things are. So, what do you think?

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Think of it as beta testing your web page: I'm not telling you how stupid any of this is. I'm telling you the parts that are factually wrong or poorly explained.

 

I don't like ergative-absolutive languages because I don't like them. I learned the concept a long time ago, which is how I can say that I don't like them. Why does it matter? I just don't like the idea of a language that defaults to object rather than subject.

 

Oh, and making H pronounced as G seems rather stupid if you have a perfectly functional G to work with. I can't track down any evidence of Semitic languages actually doing this, but if they do, they surely must do it for reasons that almost certainly do not exist in your language. Bear in mind that any language of the Ancient Middle East was written in a different alphabet originally, whereas your language is written in the Latin alphabet to begin with.

 

I keep referring you to the Wikipedia pages on linguistic terms (which are more comprehensive than just about anything not specifically written to be a comprehensive guide to this sort of stuff). You keep not looking at those pages. I don't have tons of linguistic terms memorized either. I cross-checked them with Wikipedia's IPA and case-listing pages. Just look there: it's explained as simply and comprehensively as you could need for these purposes. You don't have to read dozens of books.

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Yes, I do see it like that, but I asked what you

really think of it, apart from saying just what I could improve. I want your opinion, your advice, whatever. I want to know what you generally think of the language (at least the part that is finished).

 

In the middle east they pronounce the H as a G. I have been in Isreal enough times to know that. I could ask you the same, actually: if the do use the latin alphabet to make it clear for foreiners what is written on a certain sign, then why use an H and not a G? I should ask that my father.

 

I'm contenplating on making a nephil script. If I'm making a language, then i should do it right. A cat won't have the Latin alphabet for obvious reasons. How it will look like is still unknown for me, but I'll see what I will do. First I'll need time before even starting thinking of it.

 

The thing with th ergative-laguage: I'm obsessed by these things. I always tend to ask on and on until I know why it is like that. it can be irritating, as you just noticed. Sorry if I were too irritating.

 

yes, the Wiki is very handy and interesting, but if I have a Dutch booklet I can look in in which it is as simply explained as on the wiki, I

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"In the middle east they pronounce the H as a G. I have been in Isreal enough times to know that."

 

I don't know what you're talking about here either, as far as Semitic languages go (and I -have- studied them). As for "the middle east" -- you're making a ridiculously broad claim above ("in the middle east" does not equal "in Israel")!

 

Here's the thing -- H and G are really, really, REALLY different sounds. (I assume you are talking about a hard G like in "game" (the stop).) Try making them one after the other and pay attention to what your vocal chords feel like, where you are putting your tongue, put your hand in front of your mouth and see if the air coming out feels different... they have very little in common!

 

"I want your opinion, your advice, whatever. I want to know what you generally think of the language (at least the part that is finished)."

 

I think it's great that you are working on the language, and there are a number of ideas you've had that I think are very fitting and cool (the animate vs. inanimate gendering, for example). However, in general, I think you are reaching WAY TOO FAR. You have given yourself a very ambitious project, and you are reaching for complications that you don't totally understand.

 

How can you expect yourself to come up with a complete pronounciation system when you haven't learned about phonetics? It's silly. And with nouns and verbs, you implement things that you read about in other languages and that seem cool to you, without understanding all of the implications of those things. The result is a pile of cases and grammatical rules that are hard for anyone else to understand, and which are occasionally contradictory.

 

My suggestions would be:

1) KEEP IT SIMPLE. Take small steps. Add 1 or 2 things to the language at a time. You will always be able to add more later. Start with a very basic set of cases, tenses, and so on. In the first version of your grammar, aim to be able to make a simple sentence like "She hit the shaman." You can worry about more complicated stuff later.

2) USE WHAT YOU KNOW. Take ideas from languages you speak, not from Sumerian or Hurrian.

3) NO PRONOUNCIATION. Assume that the language is pronounced 100% phonetically, that is, each letter is always pronounced the same way, and there are no digraphs (like "TH"). This way you can completely ignore phonology (and you have plenty to learn and to do without having to deal with phonemes). You can always do it later if you want.

 

I like a lot of what you've done. I like that you are trying to give the language a Nephilim "feel." You're just walking into a big puddle of chaos, that's all.

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You know what it is with nephil phonology? I just don't see a Nephil make sounds that come from the back of the throat, or any sound that sounds harsh (like a standard English G). I'll take isreal as an example. In isreal, there doesn't really exist such a hard Ebglish G. However, to keep it simple, they use an H to symbolize that sound. It's a soft G, like you have in Limburg, one of the provinces of Holland (although now you still don't know what I;m taling about). the H I'm talking about is not a stop, but more as a velar H would sound. I hope this is a better explanation.

 

I have been busy studying fonetics for about a day or two, making all kinds of sounds to undertsand it. I could stop it all and use the standard latin alphabet, but I find this much to interesting to stop doing it. I will make it, even if I will need a month to understand it. I will do it. This is one of those projects I will finish, somehow.

 

My main problem is more that I find it hard to explain things in English, while i can explain them in Dutch. This results in am explanation which is far to unclear for native English speakers. i think that is more the problem at the moment then that I really don't know what certain cases and grammatical structures are.

 

1) This is what I'm doing, espacially with the verb. However, I was a bit fast with phonetics, as I just didn't give it much attention

2) I could do that, only I don't want the nephilim to have an equally dull language as Dutch. I want to have something more then latin, with all these conjugations. i want it to be simple, so everybody can understand it. My father told me about Hurrian: "Most students can easily translate a text after about nine weeks of taking courses." We are talking here about the more difficult texts, and not "Aenaes Trojanus est" stuff.

3) talked about this above. Things like TH are unnecessary. I have no clue of why I put it in anyway. However, sound slike RA will stay, possible a sound RE will also be put in.

 

What I understand from you, is that you like what I have done, but find it chaotic at times. This chaoticness is probably caused as I somtimes (as I already said three times) don't know how to explain it.

 

EDIT: Kelandon, I looked at your pronunciation page of the Slith language, and saw that you have exactly the same sounds as I want to put in, and partially already have: re, as in German Recht. the RA is exactly the same, only it would be as in German Racht.

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There is a 'g' sound in Hebrew. It's called a gimmel with a hard 'g'. There's also an 'h' sound and a 'kh' sound, but no 'j' sound.

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No harsh back of throat sounds? What, they can't cough up hairballs? smile

 

'My father told me about Hurrian: "Most students can easily translate a text after about nine weeks of taking courses." We are talking here about the more difficult texts, and not "Aenaes Trojanus est" stuff.'

 

Presumably your father is also talking about graduate students, all of whom (1) are pretty intelligent, and (2) have had previous training in languages. And I am a little skeptical that it is the more difficult texts -- the more difficult texts for any ancient near eastern language are going to involve ambiguities related to lect, these are the sorts of things that professors spend days analyzing and write papers ardently defending one interpretation or the other. Also, *nobody* is going to spend many hours per day for nine weeks learning to translate Nephilian, so I'm not sure how the comparison is useful...

 

Perhaps it would be good to take one step back. I have a question. What do YOU want to get out of the language? If you want other spidwebbers to use or enjoy it, you have to be able to communicate it PRECISELY, as I commented earlier. As you observe, it is harder for you to explain things in English. So, what do you propose to do about that?

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I don't know what students he exactly was talking about. I'll ask him.

 

What I would want in the end is two things:

 

1) To have the feeling of a job well done and to have added something of value for the community.

 

2) The main reason I'm making this language, is for a future scenario I'm going to make. If people, while playing that scenario, want to translat all the texts, that option is there. if not, I'm going to put a translation of the texts with the readme file.

 

I think the only way of getting over the English problem, is to continue with what I;m doing (learning about the grammar and phonetics), and then start explaining it as precise as I can. Then I can find somebody to read it and see what he/she thinks of it. I wouldn't know how else to get over this problem, unless I copy kelndon's work, which i don't want to do. That is incredibly cheap.

 

EDIT: kelandon, I asked this before, but I don't know if you saw it, so I'll ask it a second time: Could you please alter the description of the link of your page to my page, in such a way that it would say that one ca find the "Nephilian grammar and vocabulary guide" there? Thanks. The URL is http://www.angelfire.com/ns2/thralni0/grammar.html

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