Llyffws (Leafoosish)

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Llyffws (Leafoosish)

Postby Tikolm » Fri 29 Jun 2012 2:15 am

Bonsyr a d-tus, e mhiaw-miaw. (Hi, everyone. :))
I'm open to most forms of (constructive) criticism, so feel free to say what you want. In particular, I would love to know if you think Leafoosish is too close to French or if it doesn't look very Celtic. (It's supposed to look Celtic.) Things I don't need to hear: romlangs are irritating; your language doesn't have enough depth/interestingness/whatever; you should use languages other than English and French as your starting points; you shouldn't be making an Irish/Welsh/Celtic/whatever based language because of XYZ; you need a conculture because that's, like, so vital to something-or-other.
(Sorry about that. :P)
So anyway, Leafoosish (or Llyffws if you like that better) is, in the currently accepted version of events, a somewhat Welsh and/or Irish and/or something-else influenced dialect of French spoken by cats in the obscure and relatively unknown country of Leafoosh (Llyffw). No one has ever been able to locate Leafoosh on a map or in real life, so we will have to rely on rumor, hearsay and the like when a Leafoosish cat is not available to inform us.
I'll start with the phonology, because I always do. The transcription's in X-SAMPA.
a [a]
b [b]
c [k]
ch [x]
d [d]
dh/dd [D]
e [e, E, @] ([e] in open syllables, [E] in closed ones, @ in final position)
f [v]
ff [f]
g [g, Z]
gh [g]
i [i]
l [l]
ll [K]
m [m]
mh [w]
n [n]
o [o]
p [p]
r [4, r, R\] (different dialects)
s [s, S] ([s] before a, o, u, w; [S] before e, i, y)
t [t]
u [u]
w [w, u] ([w] before vowels; [u] elsewhere]
y [j, I, i] ([j] before vowels; [I] elsewhere; [i] replaces [I] in some dialects)
accent égu over a vowel = long vowel
Plurals are formed using the tay-tea-tie rule. You probably don't know what that means because I just made it up yesterday; it's my little term for the main vowel shifts in English. Here's how it works: a => e => i => ai. Now I know that doesn't cover all the vowels, but what you do with the rest of them is you put a circumflex on. Examples:
ymen (human) => ŷmin (humans)
egal (equal, adjective) => ighell (equal, used w/plural nouns) (Note: this is an irregular plural. The l => ll shift in Leafoosish corresponds to the l => u shift in French.)
conell (rabbit) => cônill (rabbits)
seat (cat) => sét (cats)
(No, I haven't yet figured out how you pronounce circumflexed vowels.)
You'll notice that the tay-tea-tie/circumflex rule affects every vowel in the word. This is supposed to be based on Welsh, but it doesn't really matter whether it is. Note, also, that the <e> in "seat" is silent in the singular but not in the plural.
Yes, and then there's the issue of consonant mutations. Unfortunately, I could never quite decide how to do them, so they go something like this (they only occur after final vowels, I think):
conell (rabbit) = le/la g-conell (the rabbit)
dw (two) => li ddw/li dhw* (the two)
lefre (hare) => le/la llefre (the hare)
fint (twenty) => le/la fhint** (the twenty)
ffw (fire) => le/la fw (the fire)
(*I haven't decided on whether to spell /D/ <dd> or <dh>, but I'm leaning toward dd. **I don't have a clue how one would pronounce this and am open to suggestions.)
In other words: Unvoiced consonants become voiced (eclipsis, I think); voiced consonants get an h after them; l becomes ll; and I don't know what ll becomes. If you think this is a terrible system or if you have suggestions, feel free to tell me how you think it should go.
Native: English
Fluent: français
Basic: Cymraeg
Really basic: Español, lingua latīna
Conlangs (current): tikolmil, llyffws, Arliks, dilir
(Website is at http://risteq.net/ if you ever want to visit. It's supposed to be in 4 languages.)
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Re: Llyffws (Leafoosish)

Postby linguoboy » Fri 29 Jun 2012 4:12 am

Tikolm wrote:Plurals are formed using the tay-tea-tie rule. You probably don't know what that means because I just made it up yesterday; it's my little term for the main vowel shifts in English. Here's how it works: a => e => i => ai.

Whether by accident or design, this is fairly close to actual Welsh pluralisation formed on the basis of i-mutation. The main difference is that ai derives from a rather than i (as i is immune to the effect of another i).

For instance:

dafad "sheep" > defaid "sheep [pl.]"
carreg "stone" > cerrig "stones"

The only example of [iː] > [ai] is the word "house", pl. tai.

Tikolm wrote:Yes, and then there's the issue of consonant mutations. Unfortunately, I could never quite decide how to do them, so they go something like this (they only occur after final vowels, I think):
conell (rabbit) = le/la g-conell (the rabbit)
dw (two) => li ddw/li dhw* (the two)
lefre (hare) => le/la llefre (the hare)
fint (twenty) => le/la fhint** (the twenty)
ffw (fire) => le/la fw (the fire)
(*I haven't decided on whether to spell /D/ <dd> or <dh>, but I'm leaning toward dd. **I don't have a clue how one would pronounce this and am open to suggestions.)

In Irish, fh is silent. E.g. fhéile "feast [gen.] (e.g. Lá Fhéile Eoin "Feast Day of [Saint] John" = Midsummer's Day) is ['ˈeːlʲɪ]. Seems that would work here as well.

As for l > ll, in Welsh, you see the opposite, e.g. llys "court" > Uchel Lys "High Court".

Tikolm wrote:In other words: Unvoiced consonants become voiced (eclipsis, I think); voiced consonants get an h after them; l becomes ll; and I don't know what ll becomes. If you think this is a terrible system or if you have suggestions, feel free to tell me how you think it should go.

"Eclipsis", which is only present in Irish, is actually a mixed system: unvoiced consonants become voiced but voiced consonants become nasalised. Welsh has a distinct nasal mutation.

Both Welsh and Irish have spirantisation which turns stops into fricatives. This is the equivalent of your "adding h" rule. In Irish, this mutation is called "lenition" or séimhiú; in Welsh, this is split between the so-called "soft mutation" (treiglad meddal), which turns unvoiced stops voiced and voiced stops into voiced fricatives, and the "aspirate mutation" (treiglad llaes), which turns unvoiced stops into unvoiced fricatives.

You can see examples of all these mutations after possessive pronouns, e.g.:

WELSH

fy nhŷ "my house", fy muwch "my cow", fy llyfr "my book" (nasal)
ei dŷ "his house", ei fuwch "his cow", ei lyfr "his book" ("soft")
ei thŷ "her house", ei buwch, ei llyfr "her book" (aspirate)
eu tŷ "their house", eu buwch, eu llyfr "their book" (no change)


IRISH

a thigh* "his house", a bhó "his cow", a leabhar "his book" (lenition)
a tigh "her house", a bó "her cow", a leabhar "her book" (no change)
a dtigh "their house", a mbó "their cow", a leabhar "their book" (eclipsis)

*th was anciently pronounced [θ], now [h]

So you see most of the same changes in both Welsh and Irish, they just distributed differently. The mutations of Cornish and Breton are similar to Welsh, but even more complex.
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Re: Llyffws (Leafoosish)

Postby Tikolm » Mon 09 Jul 2012 3:09 am

Hi all, I'm back! :)

Regarding pluralization, I think I'll stick with my little system for now but I may decide that I would rather copy Welsh exactly. It's something I've been thinking about.
I just worked out the mutation system, and I may yet incorporate linguoboy's suggestions into it but for now, here is what it looks like:
(. = no change)
1st state ~ 2nd state (soft)
p ~ b
t ~ d
c ~ g
ff ~ f
th ~ dd
ch ~ .
b ~ f
d ~ dd
g ~ .
f ~ .
dd ~ .
s ~ s [z, Z]
m ~ f
n ~ .
l ~ .
ll ~ ll [K\]
Mutations occur after any word that ends in a vowel (within the same clause only). Genders have been lost because cats don't understand the way they're usually assigned, so nobody uses mutations to indicate gender.
I am, as always, open to suggestions. As is commonly accepted in the present day and age, the Leafoosish do not use the spirant mutation for voiceless stops because they find it offensive-sounding. (Because they're cats, and, well, you know. ;)) For some reason, they still love their double l's, but that's another story. Just to be clear, this is not the result of some mangling of French and Welsh, either; the Welsh and Irish cats in question didn't use spirant mutations even before they started trying to speak French. If you don't agree, please let me know.
(In fact, I'm actually proud of myself for constructing a language with any consonant mutations at all! :P)
Native: English
Fluent: français
Basic: Cymraeg
Really basic: Español, lingua latīna
Conlangs (current): tikolmil, llyffws, Arliks, dilir
(Website is at http://risteq.net/ if you ever want to visit. It's supposed to be in 4 languages.)
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Re: Llyffws (Leafoosish)

Postby Tikolm » Tue 10 Jul 2012 10:01 pm

I feel like I should say something here, just so nobody thinks the thread's dead. (Linguoboy uq skūzeled paqot zum wo is tlōt.) So, I'll present you with the new number system, phonology, UDHR and other stuff if I can find it anywhere.
Numbers, 1-10 (more if you ask):
yn = 1
dw = 2
trei = 3
catra = 4
senc = 5
sis = 6
sep = 7
wit = 8
nwff = 9
dis = 10
Phonology:
a [a]
b [b]
c [k]
ch [x]
d [d]
dd [D]
e [e, E, @] ([@] in final position or, in most cases, when unstressed)
f [v]
ff [f]
g [g]
h [h]
i [i]
l [l]
ll [K, K\]
m [m]
n [n]
o [o, O]
p [p]
r [4, r]
s [s, S, z, Z]
t [t]
th [T]
u [u]
w [w, u]
y [i, I, j]
If you don't understand the multiple realizations of some phonemes, please, please look upthread instead of just asking me. The explanations are all there.
UDHR, 1st article:
Nesan tus li stir ymin lybri e igell an dinyte e ddrí. Son aill dwidd con reson e gonsean e ddeifan asir li yn anfer li ewtir dan yn espri dde fraternite.

All refeir.
Native: English
Fluent: français
Basic: Cymraeg
Really basic: Español, lingua latīna
Conlangs (current): tikolmil, llyffws, Arliks, dilir
(Website is at http://risteq.net/ if you ever want to visit. It's supposed to be in 4 languages.)
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Re: Llyffws (Leafoosish)

Postby Tikolm » Fri 13 Jul 2012 8:56 pm

I have more stuff now, so I'm going to try to post it.
If you want to say someone isn't making sense, you say a-dy dde llywyll (you have nonsense). Note: ty (thee) is always used when you're speaking to just one person because Leafoosish doesn't have much in the way of polite forms. Llywyll, "nonsense", is a priori (I made it up) and the only way I can explain it is that the Leafoosish seem to regard Welsh as being a lot of nonsense and they made up the word "llywyll" to sound Welsh. I don't really like that story, but it's all I've got.
There's also an idiom, which I may end up getting rid of: "e'se bly fasil de ddir egyll ce dde se sumeter", or alternatively, "e'se bly fasil de ddir montan ce dde an ffransir yn". They both translate roughly as "easier said than done", but one means "it's easier to say needle than to submit" (origin unclear) and the second means "it's easier to say mountain than to cross one" (lifted from Welsh). I'm not sure which one is more commonly used, but they're both inspired by the Welsh "haws dweud mynydd na mynd drosto" (easier to say mountain than to go across it).
I've been working on a poem lately, and it should have another verse soon at which point I will post it here. I'm also fairly close to translating the Tower of Babel.
Edit: I've already mentioned that the pre-French Influx cats didn't speak "proper" Welsh. Their dialect, or whatever you call it, is known as "the cats' Welsh" or "cymraeg y gathod". (Google Translate doesn't agree -- it thinks it should be "y 'cathod Cymru" -- but at least to me that reads as "the cats' Wales". I don't know Welsh, so I'm sure I've mangled it here.)
Native: English
Fluent: français
Basic: Cymraeg
Really basic: Español, lingua latīna
Conlangs (current): tikolmil, llyffws, Arliks, dilir
(Website is at http://risteq.net/ if you ever want to visit. It's supposed to be in 4 languages.)
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Re: Llyffws (Leafoosish)

Postby linguoboy » Fri 13 Jul 2012 9:32 pm

Tikolm wrote:Edit: I've already mentioned that the pre-French Influx cats didn't speak "proper" Welsh. Their dialect, or whatever you call it, is known as "the cats' Welsh" or "cymraeg y gathod". (Google Translate doesn't agree -- it thinks it should be "y 'cathod Cymru" -- but at least to me that reads as "the cats' Wales". I don't know Welsh, so I'm sure I've mangled it here.)

Y cathod Cymru would be "the cats of Wales". Cymraeg y cathod is "the Welsh of the cats" or "the cats' Welsh". (In Welsh, possession is shown by putting the possessor after the thing possessed.)

So is a-[someone] dde [something] the usual ways of saying "Someone has something" or is it a more specialised construction than that?
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Re: Llyffws (Leafoosish)

Postby Tikolm » Fri 13 Jul 2012 9:48 pm

linguoboy wrote:Y cathod Cymru would be "the cats of Wales". Cymraeg y cathod is "the Welsh of the cats" or "the cats' Welsh". (In Welsh, possession is shown by putting the possessor after the thing possessed.)

Yes, that was another issue with Google Translate that I forgot to mention -- it not only used "Wales" for "Welsh", it had it in the wrong order. (I guess I just assumed Google Translate "knew" that the possessor came first, silly me.) Thank you for the correct form.
So is a-[someone] dde [something] the usual ways of saying "Someone has something" or is it a more specialised construction than that?

The former. I could have used a different construction, but it seems plausible enough to do it as in French. The preposition, actually, is de [də], but because it follows ty, which ends in a vowel, it mutates to dde [ðə].
Native: English
Fluent: français
Basic: Cymraeg
Really basic: Español, lingua latīna
Conlangs (current): tikolmil, llyffws, Arliks, dilir
(Website is at http://risteq.net/ if you ever want to visit. It's supposed to be in 4 languages.)
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Re: Llyffws (Leafoosish)

Postby linguoboy » Fri 13 Jul 2012 10:01 pm

Tikolm wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Y cathod Cymru would be "the cats of Wales". Cymraeg y cathod is "the Welsh of the cats" or "the cats' Welsh". (In Welsh, possession is shown by putting the possessor after the thing possessed.)

Yes, that was another issue with Google Translate that I forgot to mention -- it not only used "Wales" for "Welsh", it had it in the wrong order. (I guess I just assumed Google Translate "knew" that the possessor came first, silly me.)

IME, the more obscure the language, the worse a job Google Translate does. It's decent for, say, German > English. But its Welsh <> English is a mess. You wouldn't think there'd be a simpler phrase to translate than "I love you" ("Dw i'n dy garu"), but even this it gets wrong ("I love").

Tikolm wrote:
So is a-[someone] dde [something] the usual ways of saying "Someone has something" or is it a more specialised construction than that?

The former. I could have used a different construction, but it seems plausible enough to do it as in French.

As in French? French has a verb of possession, avoir. Moreover, the usual way of telling someone they're not making sense is to say that they are "saying foolish things" (dire des bêtises).
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Re: Llyffws (Leafoosish)

Postby Tikolm » Fri 13 Jul 2012 11:59 pm

linguoboy wrote:As in French? French has a verb of possession, avoir. Moreover, the usual way of telling someone they're not making sense is to say that they are "saying foolish things" (dire des bêtises).

I suppose I wasn't clear enough. Leafoosish has essentially the same verb, afeir, and the second and third person present form is a, as in a-dy "you have", "have you" (where dy is simply the soft-mutated form of ty, "thee"). The preposition de is not always used either.
And in fact, a-dy dde llywyll is based on the phrase tu n'as pas de sens "you don't have/make sense", which (I think) is also a valid construction.
Native: English
Fluent: français
Basic: Cymraeg
Really basic: Español, lingua latīna
Conlangs (current): tikolmil, llyffws, Arliks, dilir
(Website is at http://risteq.net/ if you ever want to visit. It's supposed to be in 4 languages.)
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Re: Llyffws (Leafoosish)

Postby linguoboy » Sat 14 Jul 2012 3:08 am

Tikolm wrote:And in fact, a-dy dde llywyll is based on the phrase tu n'as pas de sens "you don't have/make sense", which (I think) is also a valid construction.

I've never heard it used that way. I've heard "Ça n'a pas de sens" and "Tu n'as pas de sens de l'humour/critique/de l'orientation/etc." but not "Tu n'as pas de sens" by itself.
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