Zo tlade tikolmila (the Tikolmian language)

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Zo tlade tikolmila (the Tikolmian language)

Postby Tikolm » Sat 16 Jun 2012 2:02 am

Myawel uq-mi, os zo pisa tuqsiōl-it fod xobok tasza. Ro zo tikolmil dlicā fod-mi.
[greeting.pl all-to, and the rabbit fall.neg.ease-of you.pl.obj neg.ever find.juss. I the forest.language show.1sgfut youpl.obj-to.]
Greetings to all, and may the rabbit of fall-disease (epilepsy :roll:) never find you. I will show Tikolmian to you.

Before we begin, you should know something. Don't expect anything great, deep or really, really well-thought-out, because Tikolmian is almost entirely based on English and French. The vocabulary might seem a priori, but that's because I've run the English and French (mostly English) words through an encoding. Every consonant becomes another consonant, every vowel becomes another vowel. And of course, the words have to undergo mutations and whatnot to make them pronounceable if they aren't already. The grammar, syntax, etc. default to English and French-like forms except for the SOV word order and hyphenated postpositions. There used to be case suffixes on both nouns and pronouns, nominative, accusative/dative and genitive, but only the pronouns have retained the acc./dat. suffix. That's an example. My point is, I'm not open to criticism of the form "this is an English cipher" or "why did XYZ change?" or "but how did you derive XYZ?" because I know it's a lot like English and there usually aren't any answers to the aforementioned questions. That's all okay in my book. :P So feel free to say whatever you want, but just remember that there are some things I already know.
Also, there are two dialects of Tikolmian. Why only two, you ask. Well, "Standard" Tikolmian is spoken on the relatively small island of Tikolmia (literally "forest-country"), and North-American Tikolmian is spoken in the United States, primarily in the small, backwards town known as Sylvara. Only two because when you've got a small island, there isn't too much room to get isolated from each other. We'll be looking at Standard Tikolmian in this post.

All that said, I'm going to start with a phonology, because that way you can get a better feel for the language. The spelling is mostly phonetic.
a [a]
b [b]
c [k]
d [d]
dl [K\]
e [e, E] (1)
f [f]
g [g]
i [i]
k [k]
l [l]
m [m]
n [n]
o [o, O] (2)
p [p]
q [k, kw] (3)
r [4]
s [s]
sz [s, z] (4)
t [t]
tl [K]
u [u]
v [v]
w [u, w] (5)
x [S]
y [i, j] (6)
z [z]

1. [E] in closed syllables; [e] in open ones.
2. [O] in closed syllables; [o] in open ones.
3. [kw] in front of a vowel other than u or w; [k] elsewhere.
4. [z] in front of a vowel; [s] elsewhere.
5. [w] in front of a vowel; [u] elsewhere.
6. [j] in front of a vowel; [i] elsewhere.

The reason why I have c, k and q represent pretty much the same thing is that historically (read: it never happened in real life) c used to be [c] and q used to be [q]. The distinction has been lost.

Next installment: the pitifully incomplete number system! :D And don't tell me you hate seeing phonologies first, because you didn't. :P
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Re: Zo tlade tikolmila (the Tikolmian language)

Postby Tikolm » Sat 16 Jun 2012 3:12 am

Here are the numbers (serxokel in Tikolmian):
0 - goki/si (si = neg. particle)
1 - iso
2 - mik
3 - zekō
4 - tiek
5 - tab
6 - lad
7 - lobok
8 - ayw
9 - sas
a (10) - mos
10 (11) - isoma
11 (12) - isoma iso
20 (22) - mikma
30 (33) - zekōma
...and etc. up to 100 (121) which we don't have a special term for right now, so that's just "iso goki goki" or "iso si si" for now. You may have noticed by now that we use base 11, and you may be wondering why. There isn't any answer other than I don't like base 10 and avoid it when conlanging (with the exception of Conilan, because it's based on French). I tend to pick weird numbers greater than 10 for my bases. Tikolmian used to use base 3, but I decided that was too hard to write because, for example, a simple-looking 4-digit number like "2010" in base 10 becomes "2202110" in base 3. No thanks. It's a nice simple "1568" in base 11.
More on my conhistory tomorrow.
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Re: Zo tlade tikolmila (the Tikolmian language)

Postby Tikolm » Sat 16 Jun 2012 3:26 pm

Let's see here. Tikolmian is apparently a mish-mosh of an Indo-European language, possibly one related to Erian, and a cat language of the Quadratic family. There has been some controversy over whether Tikolmian should be classified as Indo-European or Quadratic, but we won't get into that here. Quadratic languages are typically topic-prominent and tend to have a lot of rather obscure cases, but Tikolmian doesn't reflect either of these properties. No conclusion has been arrived at as to why this came about.
The human, Indo-European language that may have given rise to Tikolmian was spoken on the island of Cryptia. After the disputed and poorly known Flora-Aryllyn split, Cryptia became, in effect, two different countries, each with its own customs. It was at this time that the official flag was changed to an image of a dog and cat fighting. It is sometimes said that there is a snake in the background cheering the fighters on, but this is only speculative as no written record of said flag has survived to this day.
Circa 8000 BCE, Cryptia started to sink into the water. The Cryptians, even divided, all knew they would have to leave, and set off for another land in either boats or rafts. No one knows which. However, the two vessels became separated for an unknown reason, and traveled in two different directions. One landed on the island now known as Tikolmia, and the other one is lost to our knowledge. There have been rumors that the occupants of the second vessel used flying cats to travel to another planet, but this has not been confirmed.
Things had gotten very complicated by the time the future Tikolmians had found a home, and for this reason they constructed a set of rules to live by known today as the Unspoken Rules. No one knows exactly how they go because there is a tradition of not speaking them out loud if not necessary, so I can't list them here. But I can tell you that these rules are very idealized and Tikolmia is a very idealized country and something of a utopia. It's probably not what you're thinking of. Nobody's in charge, there aren't any houses, you don't grow food or anything so you have to just find it, every family has a cat but the cat just goes wherever. It's pretty implausible, I know, but that's okay with me because I tend to make up implausible but nice-sounding ideals. I also know that Tikolmia would probably never work right in real life and it's not any use to attempt to create a society that remotely resembles it.
Anyway, that's the history bit. I'll make a webpage on this someday that's a lot more detailed, so for now I'll let it go at this somewhat vague outline. There is one more thing, though, that probably begs an explanation, which is the greeting >zo pisa tuqsiōl-it fod/sod xobok tasza<, or loosely, "may you never have epilepsy". That's traditional. Why, you ask. The short answer is because I'm weird. The long answer? Well, that will be in the next post.
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Re: Zo tlade tikolmila (the Tikolmian language)

Postby Tikolm » Sat 16 Jun 2012 7:18 pm

Please note: I'm only giving the "official" explanations. The entire back story would take too long to write and it would give away stuff in my books, so I'm not going to put it in here. You're going to have to be happy with half-explanations until I have a website and publish my books.
In the Tikolmian pseudo-religion, mythology, or whatever you want to call it, epilepsy is some aort of divine punishment for something or other. Nobody can remember what "something or other" is, but the Tikolmians seem to believe that following the Rules will prevent them from having epilepsy. This seems to be true, but no evidence has been found to support the idea.
I know, that didn't explain much of anything. The greeting I mentioned in the last post appears to mean roughly "be good" or "stay well", but neither of these meanings is exactly what seems to be intended. Tikolmian greetings are the subject of much speculation and few conclusions.
Enough of that, now. Let's get to the fun stuff. I'm about to give you an explanation of the grammar, syntax and such things. Don't read it if you don't like English-based grammars.
Word order for regular sentences is SOV, unless there's an indirect object in which case the placement of the verb and objects is totally arbitrary. If an object is really long, part or all of it goes after the verb just to make things clear. This looseness is thought to come from the Quadratic family.
Second person imperatives are typically SOV, but the subject isn't required and you can also use SVO or VSO. Third person imperatives require a subject and are always SOV. Regular questions are VSO, and questions for which you are sure of the answer are SOV.
Tikolmian has seven (or eight) tenses and an infinitive, and most verbs are regular, including xōs (to be). Don't tell me that's wrong, because in Quechua all the verbs are regular. That's my excuse. :P The tenses: present, simple past, future, past imperfect, future imperfect, past anterior, and conditional. I know, some of those are moods, aspects or whatever else, but I'm calling them all tenses for the sake of simplicity. And of course, there's the imperative mood, which also isn't included in the eight "tenses". These tenses are all mostly conjugated except for the imperative and infinitive, but not to the extent that you can leave out the subject. Below is the verb xōs with the seven tenses.
(xōs)Present|Past|Future|Imperfect|Fut. imp.|Past ant.|Conditional
1s xō xōz xā xoyo xoya xoyoz xoyaz
2s xō xōz xās xoyos xoyas xoyoz xoyaz
3s xōt xōst xāt xoyot xoyat xoyost xoyast
1p xolo xoloz xola xolio xolia xolioz xoliaz
2p xolos xoloz xolas xolios xolias xolioz xoliaz
3p xolot xolost xolat xoliot xoliat xoliost xoliast
That's not the best diagram, but you get the idea. Xōs isn't totally regular, I guess, becausr the -a first person singular future ending assimilates to the stem vowel, but all verb stems that end in a vowel are like that. The ones that don't do that lengthen the vowel of the ending to -ā. That's all to distinguish from the imperative ending, which is also -a. You may notice that we use the infix -i- to indicate imperfect aspect. That's taken straight out of French, but the official explanation is that it comes from the verb zios, to do. Don't ask me why or how I thought that one up.
The "a" in the future-type suffixes is descended from the auxiliary verb caqos, meaning "will". I got rid of caqos because I don't like too many auxiliaries floating around.
That's all for now. Next post will cover pronouns. I think.
Last edited by Tikolm on Sat 16 Jun 2012 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zo tlade tikolmila (the Tikolmian language)

Postby Tikolm » Sat 16 Jun 2012 8:05 pm

Okay, pronouns!
Tikolmian pronouns are extremely regular. I know this. I also know that they probably shouldn't be, but that's just too bad for all you hyper-natural conlang lovers because our pronouns are the way they are and there's no changing that now.
1s nominative: ro (I)
1s accusative: rod (me)
2s nom.: so (thou)
2s acc.: sod (thee) (please tell me if I have it backwards)
3s nom. masc.: wo (he)
3s acc. masc.: wod (him)
3s nom. fem.: lo (she)
3s acc. fem.: lod (her)
3s nom. neut.: tlo (it, but can refer to living things of unknown sex also)
3s acc. neut.: tlod (no equivalent in English)
1p nom.: co (we)
1p acc.: cod (us)
2p nom.: fo (you)
2p acc.: fod (no equivalent)
3p nom.: go (they)
3p acc.: god (them)

Yes, I put the masculine 3s pronoun first. That's the standard order, it's not sexist. Tikolmian culture actually is equally balanced between the sexes, and it's more matriarchal if anything. Just thought I'd get that out of the way.
You'll notice that >tlo< "it" is also used where English has the politically correct but ungrammatical usage of "they/them". I did this because the English way of referring to living things of unknown sex seems pretty stupid and unwieldy to me. In Tikolmian, you know exactly what to say if you don't know someone's sex, and it's both politically and grammatically correct. In English, you can use "he/him" or "she/her" and be sexist, "he/she" or whatever and be awkward, or "they/them" and be ungrammatical.
The interrogative pronoun cwi/cwid is the only pronoun that doesn't end in o. I left it that way because it seems right. As you might expect, though, all the interrogative words begin with cw:
cwi/cwid = who/whom
cwum = what (myaw is more commonly used as the interjection)
cwayp = which (if that can be used, use "that", not "which")
cwos = when
cwōk = where
cwa = why
cwosy = whence
cwazok = whither
Some more locative-type words:
zal = this (proximal)
zum = that (distal)
sic = now (proximal)
zos = then (distal)
wōk = here (proximal)
zōk = there (distal)
wosy = hence (proximal)
zosy = thence (distal)
wazok = hither (proximal)
zazok = thither (distal)

As you can see, I wasn't very imaginative when I came up with the locative and interrogative whatnot. I thought a bunch of English equivalents would be enough, and I was right. :P And no, there isn't any particular reason I put "proximal" and "distal" by all the proximal and distal words.
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Re: Zo tlade tikolmila (the Tikolmian language)

Postby Tikolm » Sun 17 Jun 2012 6:57 pm

This post will be an attempt to tell you everything I didn't say in the earlier posts.
Adjective suffix, for deriving an adjective: -a
Adverb suffix: -qa
Comparative: -ok
Superlative: -olm
No, we don't have negative comparatives, superlatives, etc. I didn't think of that at the time.

Gerund or noun suffix (ing): -e (Note: this is NOT equivalent to the progressive or present imperfect ending in English which is also -ing. Tikolmian has no progressive tense.)
"Doer" suffix (er): -ok
Passive infix: -(e)d- (attached to the verb stem; when the tense suffix begins with -l- a -dl- cluster results and is pronounced as [K\])
Passive prefix (very rare to nonexistent): vo-

I've also decided that the "hundred" suffix is -sīx (from -sisi). So:
iso = 1
mik = 2
zekō = 3
tiek = 4
tab = 5
lad = 6
lobok = 7
ayw = 8
sas = 9
mos = 10
isoma = 11
mikma = 22
zekōma = 33
tiekma = 44
tabma = 55
ladma = 66
lobokma = 77
aywma = 88
sasma = 99
mosma = 110
isosīx = 121
miksīx = 242
zekōsīx = 363
tieksīx = 484
tabsīx = 605
ladsīx = 726
loboksīx = 847
aywsīx = 968
sasīx (<*sassīx) = 1089
mosīx (<*mossīx) = 1210
isosīx isomayo (one hundred ten times) = 1331

So there you have it. My second most complete number system. :D Let's see how you'd write 473 (this is in base 11):
tieksīx lobokma-zekō, tiek-lobokma-zekō or simply tiek-lobok-zekō
And 4321 (again, base 11):
isosīx tiekmayo zekōsīx mikma-iso
Five-digit numbers are called "hundred hundred times". Beyond that, you just say the digits. And if you're having a lot of trouble getting the message across or you can't remember any endings, you just spell out the digits. So 9,8765,4321 (base 11) could be either >sas-ayw-lobok-lad-tab-tiek-zekō-mik-iso< or >sas-ayw-lobok-lad isosīx tabsīx-tiekmayo zekōsīx mikma-iso<.

And, of course, there's syllable structure. I haven't quite gotten it straightened out, but here's a rough idea:
(s, x, z)(S)(S, L)V(V, y, w)(C)(S)
"S" means stop and "L" means liquid, or whatever you call it. In other words, you can't have, say, *srtoinl or *xptyagr, but you could have xtrept or sfws. Actually, I set that up wrong. If you haven't got the (s, x), then (S) changes to (S, F), "F" meaning fricative, but having a fricative excludes the stop from the next consonant slot. I don't know how to set out a syllable structure so that you can't have *sfti, *fti or *sfli but you can have fli. Does anyone have an idea?
Edit: Oh, and you can have y, wV and y, wVy, w but not y, wVV(y, w).
My main problem is that I don't know how to write the exclusion of one possibility by another.

Edit, again: I wasn't specific enough. If you have s or x filling the (s, x, z) slot, both (S, F) and (S, L) (if (S, L) is a stop) have to be unvoiced. If (s, x, z) is filled with z, then the next two slots have to be voiced. You also can't have two stops in a row that are in the same place of articulation or don't have the same voicing. That last rule, incidentally, forbids geminated consonants.
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Re: Zo tlade tikolmila (the Tikolmian language)

Postby Tikolm » Mon 18 Jun 2012 3:27 am

I forgot stress. :!:
No particular pattern of stress has been found in Tikolmian. Verb tense/aspect endings tend to be stressed, but multi-syllable verb stems and infixes can override this. In multi-syllable words, stress often avoids the first and last syllables, but there are exceptions to this such as >xususu< ["Sususu], meaning "banana". Some speakers may also decide to stress the words in a different place from usual, complicating efforts to determine a set pattern. (Incidentally, the common pronunciation of >xususuol< "banana's" is [Su"susuOl], in keeping with the avoidance of first and last syllables.) There is also only one primary stressed syllable in a word, to the best of our knowledge.
Words can be stressed to reflect emphasis as in English, as the fixed word order prevents one from putting whatever you want to emphasize first. Rumor has it that the Quadratic languages do not stress words because the free word order renders this unnecessary.
Two more things, and then we've covered everything but the word derivation, vocabulary and script. As we have seen, Tikolmian nouns originally had three cases: nominative, accusative/dative and genitive. But the acc./dat. ending has been lost (at least by me) and we need word order to show that it's there. The genitive ending is -ol.
There may have been genders once, but they went down the drain too because I forgot they were supposed to be there and couldn't decide how they went.
There's also a tense I forgot -- the future anterior (will have been). It goes like so (demonstrating with xōs):
1s: xāz
2s: xāz
3s: xāst
1p: xolaz
2p: xolaz
3p: xolast
It's like the future tense, but the syllable coda is identical to that of the past tense. As with the future, the -a- assimilates to the vowel in the verb stem, even though *xoaz isn't a tense that could conflict with xāz.
I think that about covers it. Myaw mikyo, and until next time!
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Re: Zo tlade tikolmila (the Tikolmian language)

Postby Tikolm » Tue 19 Jun 2012 2:10 am

One extra thing I forgot in earlier posts: the macron is used to indicate a long vowel. It can be replaced with any other diacritic, but the macron is the standard transliteration. Also, quotes are ><. You may have figured this out, but it can't hurt to spell it out for you.

Now, on to what I was going to write. I've been figuring out how you do math in Tikolmian, and I haven't gotten on to algebra, analytic geometry or trigonometry yet but I do have some basic math terms. (If you aren't good at math or aren't that into it, you may want to skip what follows.)
In English, French and probably most other languages, mathematical and algebraic expressions and equations are in passive voice (3 divided by 7). Tikolmian, however, uses the active voice (7 dividing 3). The result of this is that the operation you want to carry out comes before the object of the operation (or whatever you call it) and fractions are written "upside down" from the point of view of an English speaker. So, for example, 2/3 would be written as 3/2. 4 times 5, however, is >tab rusōs tiek< (literally, 5 to multiply 4) or >tiek tabyo< (four five-times). The verb rusōs, to multiply, is derived from the word for many (rusa). The verb lexamos, to divide, is also to split. (Makes sense, doesn't it?) You'll probably notice that I won't be discussing division too much for a while. That's because I haven't quite worked out all the nuances of it. I know you can also use >ibok< much as we use "over" to indicate a fraction, but that's about it. More on division later.
The decimal point is written as a | in both Tikolmian script and the transliteration, but because the script is written top to bottom instead of side to side it uses something that looks more like _ . The name for that is >qas< (line). For example: 45.67 is >tiekma-tab qas lad lobok<. "Equals" is >xōt< ("is") or an x with a macron for short. If you want to say that something has a repeating pattern, you say the repeating pattern, then say >oboktik< "forever" or, if you're writing, >ō< for short.
That's all for now.
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Re: Zo tlade tikolmila (the Tikolmian language)

Postby Tikolm » Tue 19 Jun 2012 3:32 pm

You think this thread is boring? All right, I'm going to bring out the translation of the first article of the UDHR. Then we'll see what's boring. :P

Uq texkozel tekō os lur xukedlot tek os qomel caz. Go likme os cazpsice wubolot os dluqlot zios iso izok-micuks xkizoksol caz.
[all human.pl free and same bear.pass.3plpres fur and allow.ger.pl with. they sort.ger and with.know.ger have.3plpres and should.3plpres do.inf one other-to.dir brother.quality with.]

Next post: Tower of Babel. But before that I have to go fix my science review. Bye!
Edit: A little clarification might be in order. >Texkoz<, "human", was originally >teksikoz<, thought to be a contraction of the phrase >*koz tek-caz si< or "mammal without fur". >Koz<, in turn, derives from the word for "red", >koz<, referring to the fact that mammals have red blood. (Plants are >vekōsel<, "greens", and I haven't worked out insects yet.) "Fur" (>tek<) is used for "dignity" because cats' fur is very important to them and they consider themselves undignified if they're missing a lot of it.
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Re: Zo tlade tikolmila (the Tikolmian language)

Postby Tikolm » Wed 20 Jun 2012 1:41 am

Takrielel, skūz zal si lōdot. Cwa? Ro zo tikolmil dlicoz uq-mi, xem si wōk tlalost obos at ro rusa zasel tlōz. Ro si loago.
Fooey, this thread isn't being looked at. [idiomatic for not showing interest] Why? I showed everyone Tikolmian, but nobody said anything here even though I posted a lot of stuff. I don't understand.

Oh well, I'll post the tower of Babel while I'm waiting.

1. Os zo ūks cwiq iso tlade zo tlel lur caz wubost.
2. Os cwos go zo ōlm-tekir pirlost, go qus zo qusz Xinar-as taszlost, os go zōk qablost.
3. Os tlalost go iso izok-mi >Pira, rupa xkaypel os god taka coq< Os go xkayp lemis-tik os neqar rikmuk-tik wuboloz.
4. Os tlalost go >Pira, rupa rusaxid os teksimekō cwiol mix zo lepa-mi kōywat, os rupa cod-tik sur, qolm co lyumokdlō zo ūks cwiq-ibok<
5. Os zo pōk pirost zics zo rusaxid os zo teksimekō lōs, zum zo sipsicel texkozelol ruplost.
6. Os tlōst zo pōk >Lōa, zo qabokel iso xolot os go iso tlade wubolot, os go zal zios xovatlot. Sic sizas god-tekir pōedat zum go zios cusmelot<
7. >Pira, zics via, os zōk tlade gōl rada, li zum go iso izok si loagos<
8. Li zo pōk god lyumokot zōsy zo ūks cwiq-ibok, os go lemixloz zo rusaxid rupos.
9. Zōsy sur tlōl Babel xōt, tik zo pōk zo tlade zo cwiq uks-it radost, os zōsy zo pōk god lyumokot zo ūks cwiq-ibok.

Zum wuks loagos xōst rod-tik.
That was hard for me to understand.
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