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The Rikweb Forum • View topic - Ákat - as constructed by logoscript

Ákat - as constructed by logoscript

Detailing various aspects and suchlike of the languages spoken on Kalieda

Ákat - as constructed by logoscript

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:32

To give this thread a purpose, I'll try to show how - and why - the Ákat sentence ...

Image
àkifdavihxà!bat àfittinoicux
Image
(the horse carries a heavy load)

... ends up looking like this in the logoscript:

Image

Firstly, some practical details about the logoscript

- the script is a recent development in the history of the language, which is itself is a 'reconstructed' language: the Nakap philosophers believed that the original language had been corrupted by time and wickedness, and sought to rediscover the original as part of their philosophical discourse (leading to a sort of 'warped' linguistics).

- because of the artificial nature of the language, in particular the 'recovery' of core concepts and the uncovering of regularised grammatical and derivational rules, the development of the logoscript was made a lot easier. It is important to remember that the logoscript is tied more closely to the philosophical underpinnings of the language than it is to phonology, syntax or grammar.

- the language is normally written in the commonscript (see example above). The logoscript is used for more artistic purposes. Books printed in the logoscript tend to be philosophical in nature. Among the wider public, the logoscript has found a home in signwriting, letterheads, posh invitations and announcements, etc.

- the script is generally painted with a reasonably fine, flattish brush, or written on paper using a broad-nibbed pen (reflected in the glyphology of the example above). Children tend to learn the script alongside the teaching of the commonscript, though emphasis is given to the commonscript with logoscript activities being the more 'fun' part of the curriculum.

- the script has been used for other Telik languages, particularly those used in the cities of southwestern Ewlah. These languages were the base material for the Nakap philosophers' development of Ákat, making the transfer of the logographs a little easier.

- the man who came up with the first set of glyphs claimed he found them written on a cave wall high in the Arakush mountains, thus making them a good candidate for developing the script. While even his close associates considered the man to be a bit unhinged, and his story doubtful (he was not an avid mountaineer), people liked the proposal of developing a logoscript to help them investigate and explain the language. This happened around 350-400 orbits ago.

Where is the script used?

Here's a map. Note that the features and names have been rendered in the Gevey language, though the names of the key cities we are interested in are a reasonable approximation (to the Gevey speaker's ear/eye) of how the locals would pronounce the names:

Image

Questions are very welcome. For my next post, I'll talk about core concepts and their relationship to simple nouns and verbs.
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Core concept glyphs

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:33

Core concepts are the bricks around which the Ákat language is built. They are not words, nor even roots; they are concepts - in the Nakap philosophical sense - from which object (and action) words are derived.

What is important, in the context of this thread, is that each core concept has its own logograph.

Actually, it might be worth debating how logographic the logographic script is. Personally, I think of it as a form of syllabic script, where the constituent glyphs each stands for a limited range of phonemes. But because of the clear pictorial look'n'feel of the core concept glyphs, I think I can get away with calling it a 'logographic' script on the artistic - though probably not technical - level.

Anyway, back to the core concepts. All Ákat core concepts have a strict CVC structure, where C=ptkqfsxc and V=ieayou; some irregularities occur - the final C can also be a glottal stop, and the numerical core concepts have 'hn' in the initial position (which has annoyed some of the more pedantic Nakap philosophers over the ages, but there's not much they can do about it given that the glottal stop is found in some important words, like personal pronoun equivalents).

Our sample sentence contains four core concept glyphs, easily identified (remember that the core concept is not the word):

Image

Image - speed - dealing with all aspects of velocity and speed, including fast, quick, slow; also horses

Image - hand - all things to do with hands; also deals with giving and taking, presenting and receiving

Image - surfeit - The concepts of overloading, taking more than required, filling things with other things

Image - weight - all things to do with weight and gravity

Note how general these core concepts seem. While some can be fairly specific, others are very wide-ranging. They can also seem to cover unrelated concepts: the 'weight' glyph looks like a camel not because camels are considered to be especially heavy animals, but rather because in several of the Telik languages (from which Ákat was developed) the words for 'camel' and 'heavy' were near-homonyms to each other.

To make core concepts useful, they need to be turned into nouns - which I'll cover in the next posting.
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Noun classes

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:37

Before we move onto noun cases, to the current list of core concepts and their glyphs. If there's any glyphs which people find particularly ugly or meaningless, then let me know - it won't take too much work to try and improve|update them.

Noun classes

Simple nouns are formed by attaching a noun class prefix to a core concept. Ákat has five noun classes, based primarily on philosophical rather than phonological grounds.

The noun class is demonstrated in the logoscript by means of a subglyph placed directly under the core concept glyph. There's also a surglyph that's particular to nouns:

Image - The object surglyph is placed above the head noun's core concept glyph, and is used in both the agentive and patientive noun cases (the oblique case has a set of different surglyphs)

Image - the first noun class is the people class, also known as the WA class as the class prefix in the singular is á. This class is used mainly for those objects most directly related to people.

Image - the next class is the nature class (or JA class, à). As expected, most animals and some plants can be found in this class.

Image - the made things class (TA class) is used for many things that are built or constructed, where some form of human intervention has taken place.

Image - the fourth class is the thought things class (or NA class). Here we find objects associated mainly with the mind and imagination.

Image - finally we have the dangerous things class (SA class). This is a rag-bag collection of things which in some way or another are considered to be potentially dangerous to the individual or the wider society.

The key thing to remember about Ákat noun classes is that they are not an empirical (or for that matter a logical) division of the world, but rather a mix of philosophical and historical groupings. This is often most clearly shown in the JA class words, where the links between a JA noun and its sibling WA, TA, NA and SA nouns simply makes no sense until you realise that the association is based on cultural associations - particularly myths and stories which employ different animals as anthropormorphic metaphors for particular human (and even non-human) traits.

Let's have a look at an example. The third core concept in our sentence is fit, which I previously translated as surfeit. In fact, the noun used in the sentence is àfit, a JA class noun which can be translated as hoard, load or pack. Here are the other simple nouns which are derived from this core concept:

Image - ýfit obesity, fatness

Image - àfit hoard, load, pack

Image - tyhnfit stuffing material

Image - nafit rich person

Image - syhnfit bursting, explosion.

You will have probably spotted that three of the above five examples are using noun class subglyphs which are slightly different from the surglyphs I listed near the top of this post. There's a good reason for this: the subglyphs also show a noun's number as well as its case. The number 'accents' are entirely regular; you can always tell a noun's class by looking at the left hand end of the subglyph.

If people have understood the above, then this little exercise should be simple: have a look at the example sentence and try to work out the class of the other three 'words' (one of them is a verb, not a noun, but it is derived from a noun and carries that noun's class in its subglyph) ...

Image

hint:
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Noun number

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:40

I've never been a great fan of simple dualities in my conlanging. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that Ákat distinguishes five numbers: singular, paucal, plural, nullar and undetermined.

Number is demonstrated in the language through modifications of the noun prefix. Similarly, the logoscript uses a system of 'diacritics' to to show number on the noun's subglyph. These are:

Image - singular (á or wa) - for count nouns this indicates one object; for mass nouns, a (relatively) small amount of the object

Image - paucal (é or we) - for count nouns this (usually) indicates between two and five objects; for mass nouns, a (relatively) large amount of the object

Image - plural (ó or wo) - for count nouns this (usually) indicates more than five objects; for mass nouns, a very large measure of the object

Image - nullar (ú or wu) - for count nouns this means no (zero) objects; for mass nouns, it can mean a lack of that particular object, or a minimum amount of it (depending on the noun)

Image - undetermined (ý or wy) - used by both count and mass nouns for describing the objects in general or abstract terms when they count or measure of them is irrelevant.

Let's have a look at what this means for the nouns in our example sentence:

àkif (trans: horse) - this is a count noun in the JA class, in this instance used as a singular noun. The paucal form is èikif (some horses, a team of horses); the plural is òikif (many horses, a herd of horses); the nullar is ùkif (no horses); and the undetermined form is ỳkif (horse[s]).

àfit (trans: pack) - this is again a count noun in the JA class, used as a singular noun. The paucal form is èifit; the plural is òifit; the nullar is ùfit; and the undetermined form is ỳfit.

noicux - this is a mass noun in the NA class, in this instance used as a plural noun. If you check out the word "nycux" in the online lexicon (count nouns are always listed under their singular form; mass nouns under their undefined form), you'll find the following definition: general weight, lightness and heaviness; nacux='the light one', noicux='the heavy one'; when used comparatively (with 'fi') nucux=lightest, nacux=lighter, neicux=heavier, noicux=heaviest - so in this case the word can be translated as "heavy".

Numbers

To round off this post, I might as well include the logographs for the number system. Ákat uses a base-8 counting system, including a sign for zero, which means the magnitude of any number sign is dependent on its position in the number:

Image - hnis - 0 .......... Image - hnip - 1 .......... Image - hnit - 2

Image - hnif - 3 .......... Image - hnix - 4 .......... Image - hnik - 5

Image - hnil - 6 .......... Image - hnim - 7

There's also a set of numerical core concept glyphs based on the above glyphs which are used in complex nouns and the like. We'll look at how the logoscript (and the language) deal with numbers in a later post.
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Derivations

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:41

Ákat has a limited number of core concepts - around four hundred or so. While assigning each of those core concepts to a noun case can increase the word count fivefold (indeed, more than fivefold given the way mass nouns can be used to cover opposing concepts such as short|tall, light|heavy, etc), that's still little more than 2,000 object words in the lexicon. Hence the need for derivations.

Ákat forms new words by combining a simple noun with core concepts in various ways to form a new noun. Now, if this was a tutorial about learning the language, we could avoid the subject of derivations just by learning and using the resultant word without having to worry about how it was derived.

However, this is a tutorial about the Ákat logoscript, which was developed by philosophers interested in showing the origins of words in a highly graphical manner. Which means we need to have a little knowledge about derivation.

Sorry.

Now, each core concept can have a number of derivational models associated with it. Most have one or two such models, a few have none, a few have quite a few. Much of the early work of the Nakap philosophers was trying to identify and classify the various models, and then adapt and codify the models into the new language. The success of their endeavour can be questioned - they ended up with 18 different models, some with irregularities. The results of the work, however, were significant as it led to the development of a large number of "rescued" or "pure" words to replace existing words and phrases in the base language(s).

Enough of this explanation lark; let's look at some examples:

Image napix - art, an artistic endeavour

Image napixkíf - a sketch, a drawing

Image tyhnfos - beer

Image tyhnfosêkìf - the Telik equivalent of aqua vitae

The core concept kif (speed, and horses) has two derivational models associated with it.

>>> The first of these follows the first derivational model (known as 'front marking') and is used in the sense of speedy or fast. Combined with the word napix - art - it results in the word napixkíf - a sketch or a drawing.

>>> The second follows a different derivational model (model 7, also known as 'back marking with vowel insertion'). It is used in the sense of deliberate slowness. Combined with the word tyhnfos - beer - it results in the nasty looking word tyhnfosêkìf - which can be translated as 'alcohol', most usually a fairly tasteless spirit distilled from rice or barley.

For us, the key point to note here is the subglyphs under the horsey's head - these are derevation markers. Each model has its own subglyph (currently I've devised 12 glyphs):

Image - model 1 - front marking

Image - model 2 - back marking

Image - model 3 - open marking

Image - model 4 - host reduplication

Image - model 5 - vowel insertion

Image - model 6 - front marking with vowel insertion

Image - model 7 - back marking with vowel insertion

Image - model 8 - nasal insertion

Image - model 9 - non-sillibant replacement

Image - model 10 - sillibant replacement

Image - model 11 - general irregular

Image - model 12 - numerical irregular

The other key point is that the object surglyph (the hat) now extends over two core concepts, not one. This will hold true for any surglyph placed over a derived word.

On a general point, this is one of those cases where the logoscript has little to do with the phonology or even the morphology of the language. Rather, it tracks the philosophical roots of words and the language - an important consideration for philosophers, but not that interesting to the wider society who make use of the script.
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Modifiers

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:43

So far in this tutorial, we've been looking at the (boring but necessary) basics of how simple nouns are created from core concepts, and how to derive more complex nouns from simple words by adding a second core concept to them.

Now let's do something more interesting: let's modify one noun using another noun.

In many languages, this is where we start talking about adjectives and adverbs. Ákat lacks both of these word groups; instead, nouns have to take up the slack.

(In fact, Ákat lacks a number of features that other languages posess - a copula, for instance; demonstrative pronouns; arguably, it even lacks personal pronouns. Not to worry, though: it's this sort of thing that makes the language interesting - for me at least).

Let's have a look again at our example sentence:

Image

The thing we're interested in here is that last column in the word - the one that looks like a camel. We know from the subglyph that it is being used as an object in the word (it's a NA class plural object), not a derivation. However, the surglyph is not the expected hat of the object surglyph - meaning this is not the head noun in this phrase. Instead, the core concept sports a rather nifty modifier surglyph - in this case the surglyph that represents the modifier ti which can roughly be translated as who is or that is.

So from what we know already, we can translate each of the the example sentence's columns as:

1. singular HORSE
2. some sort of action that seems to be associated with hands
3. something wierd, a mixed up column that Rik seems to be avoiding
4. singular LOAD or PACK
5. THAT IS HEAVY (plural WEIGHT)

In theory, any noun can modify any other noun using a closed class of twelve modifier particles that are placed between the head noun and the modifying noun. In practice, a large number of nouns are most usually found modifying other nouns and rarely occur as a head noun in their own right - a sort of pseudo-modifier-subclass of nouns.

Each of the twelve modifying particles has its own surglyph - here they are:

Image or Image ki - named, labelled

Image or Image ti - who is, that is

Image or Image si - related to

Image or Image xi - at, of

Image or Image mi - with, using

Image or Image ni - for, on behalf of

Image or Image e - and

Image or Image o - or

Image or Image fi - for, quantitative

Image or Image ci - like, as

Image or Image hriw|hrij|thr|hrin|shr - of

Image or Image liw|lij|tl|lin|sl - modifies

Note that these modifier surglyphs come in two forms - long and short: the long forms go over derived nouns while the short ones go over simple nouns.

It's a good idea for the student to memorise the basic picture shown in each modifier glyph. Why? Because they're going to turn up again in the sets of surglyphs used with oblique nouns and with actions - though their meanings will change, of course.
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Copulas and genetives

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:44

The truth of the matter is that Ákat does posess a copula - several of them, in fact. But in grammatical terms these copulas are considered to be part of the closed class of object modifiers. Let's consider some example phrases:

1. The red fruit - àxofslyslinypet
Image
Image

The li modifier is commonly used to indicate that the head noun has the physical qualities of the modifying noun (nypet translates as 'redness' rather than 'red').

2. The fruit is red - àxofslystinypet
Image
Image

Against this, the ti modifier is used to assign the physical qualities of the modifying noun to the head noun.

3. Peter's fruit - àxofslysnisatexan
Image
Image

The ni modifier is used to indicate that the head noun is temporarily being posessed by the modifying noun.

4. Peter's dog - àcusxisatexan
Image
Image

Similarly, the xi modifier tells us that the modifying noun has posession of the head noun, though in this case the posession is routine, expected, more permanent.

5. Peter's hand - áfixshratexan
Image
Image

The hr- modifier, on the other hand (heh), is used to demonstrate an inalienable posession eg body parts - this is not the only use of this modifier, so Ákat speakers have to rely on context to decide if inalienable posession is the intended meaning of the phrase.

Are you wondering what the tall, thin logoglyph at the end of examples 3-5 is? This is the AN glyph. In Ákat, a person's name is formed by adding the suffix -an to the end of a word or phrase. The liteal translation of satexan is rock-name, which is also the original meaning of 'Peter'.

Counting

6. One dog - àcusehnip
Image
Image

7. Ten dogs - òicusehnapit
Image
Image

When it comes to assigning a number to an object, the e modifier (not fi - Ákat has it's own wierd 'logic') is used to attach the number to the noun. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the number glyphs have core concept equivalents and there would be no particular problem in using those glyphs - with the e surglyph - to show the number. But the custom is to use the full-height numbers and to not worry about the modifier - it is 'understood' to be there.
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Personal nouns

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:46

Image

Meet ke! - a very special core concept. It can be translated as 'being-ness', and is mainly to do with identity and inheritance; old news. Its key use is to form personal pronouns - though using such a grammatical term could be misleading as the simple words formed from it are regular, common-garden-variety nouns rather than a closed class of specialised words.

Here's a list of often-encountered Ákat first person 'pronouns':

Image nake! - selfhood, I

Image neike! - we two

Image noike! - we all

Image nuke! - not I/us

As can be seen, the first person is considered to be part of the NA thought things class of nouns. Why? Because in the Nakap philosophy, you ARE your thoughts. Person number is demonstrated in an entirely regular manner on the noun, and there is even a form of the word that can be used to define everyone except me (using the nullar number).

The other persons use the other noun classes - I'll only show the singular forms here:

Image áke! - otherhood, you

Image àke! - personhood, he, she

Image take! - thinghood, it

Image sake! - dangerhood, he, she, it

Names, labels, assignments

Image
Image
What is your name?

Names and labels are assigned to people and things using the ki modifying particle. I would answer this question by saying

Image
Image

The same system is used to assign a personal noun (sorry, I can't keep calling them pronouns) to a particular person (or thing); it is usual in more formal registers of speech to assign (and reassign) people to personal nouns as the conversation progresses, as an aid to clarity. Most commonly used are the JA personal nouns, followed by SA and then TA - it's even possible for someone to assign a WA personal noun to a person not present and not being directly addressed. Note that a sort of animacy hierarchy operates in the decision about which person gets which personal noun: immediate family > immediate friend > extended family > friend > colleague/acquaintance > stranger > living thing > dead thing > inanimate thing.

Image
Image
John is first-he and Peter is second-he

If things get complicated during the conversation, it's easy to ask for a clarification:

Image
Image
who is first-he?

In case you're wondering, that initial squiggle is the CU particle - you can ask lots of questions just by sticking it at the start of a phrase.
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More modifier particles ...

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:47

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Location and existentiality

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:49

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Verbs, and verb aspect

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:51

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More on verb aspect

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:52

In the following examples ýguz ('eat', derived from the WA class noun ákus 'meal') is the verb:

perfective: águznabat àxofslys - I'm eating an apple
repetitive: éguznabat ỳxofslys - I usually eat apples (eg for lunch)
continuous: óguznabat àxofslys - I'm still eating an apple
inceptive-s: úaguznabat àxofslys - I'm just about to eat an apple
inceptive-r: úoguznabat ỳxofslys - I've started eating apples
cessive: úguznabat ỳxofslys - I don't eat apples anymore
resumptive: úeguznaat àxofslysninake! - I'll just finish eating my apple
indefinite: ýguznabat ỳxofslys - I eat apples
negative: úyguznabat ỳxofslys - I don't eat apples

If you look at the vowels, you'll see there's some sort of logic operating in the multi-vowel combinations:

- u -> absence/cessation of action

- a -> single action
- e -> repetitive action
- o -> continuous action

- ua -> no action to single action
- ue -> no action to repetitive action
- uo -> no action to continuous action action

- y -> indefinite
- uy -> negative (but still indefinite)

Because each verb is derived from a specific noun - which has a noun case - the verb inherits the originating noun's case; each aspect particle needs to take this inherited case into account, which is why each aspect particle has five different forms.

While the perfective, repetitive, continuous, cessive and indefinite aspects make use of the noun case subglyphs (singular, paucal, plural, nullar and undetermined respectively), the other four verb aspects use subglyphs unique to them - note that the inherited case of the verb is also shown in the subglyph:

inceptive-s:
úaguznabat àxofslys
Image
Image
I'm just about to eat an apple

inceptive-r:
úoguznabat ỳxofslys
Image
Image
I've started eating apples

resumptive:
úeguznaat àxofslysninake!
Image
Image
I'll just finish eating my apple

negative:
úyguznabat ỳxofslys
Image
Image
I don't eat apples

(the new subglyphs are shown at the bottom of the first column of each example)
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Verb structure

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 16:54

There's nothing to be scared about when it comes to forming and using Ákat verbs. Seriously, don't be panicked by what I'm about to show you; just remember that the following verb template is used by all verbs, and that all Ákat verbs are entirely regular.

This is the verb template ...

C - g - M - G - v - V - a - D - p - E

where:
C = verb tense + clause conjunction prefix
g = agentive noun's class prefix
M = verb's modality particle
G = agentive noun's root
v = verb's class and aspect particle (which we've already covered)
V = verb's root (also covered already)
a = agent marker particle
D = patientive determiner particle
p = patient marker particle
E = evidentiality marker suffix

Not all of these particles need to be included with every verb - the C, M, D and E particles only get included in the verb when they're required.

The verb (vV) and the agent (a) and patient (p) determiners ARE required to make a grammatically correct verb - the verb must be marked both for its agent and patient, even when such objects are absent from the clause.

There's one other thing to note about Ákat verbs. They like to incorporate the clause's agent noun(s) within themselves. Agentive case nouns (ie the subject) are incorporated into the verb; patientive case (ie direct object) and oblique (dative) nouns follow the verb (mostly).

To get back to the logoscript, most verb particles have their own logoglyphs - as we've already seen with the v verb class+aspect particle. Remember that third column in our example sentence? The one without any core concept glyph? In fact, that column is made up of four separate verb particle glyphs, which are (going from the top to the bottom):

a - agent marker particle
D - patientive determiner particle
p - patient marker particle
E - evidentiality marker suffix

Like I said: nothing to worry about at all ...
Rik
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verb particles

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 17:05

We were looking at that mysterious middle column in our example sentence, yes?

Image

As I said earlier, every verb will come with a column like this one - it's where many of the verbal particles get packed into the script.

The column has four components:

a - agent marker particle
D - patientive determiner particle
p - patient marker particle
E - evidentiality marker suffix

The agent and patient markers inflect the verb to indicate the persons of the agent and patient nouns. Where these are the first and second persons (I/you/we etc) these marker particles are all that is needed. When it gets to third person (he/she/it etc) things get a little more dicey, but let's not worry about that for the moment.

Luckily for us, the Ákat logographic script uses the same glyphs for both the agent and patient markers. Here's a chart showing the most common of them ...

Image

... including the glyphs used in our example sentence - see if you can spot them!

One last comment about the 'absent' particles: an Ákat phrase does not necessarily need either an agent or a patient, but the verb still needs to be marked - in such cases the 'absent' particles are inserted into the verb structure, and the equivalent glyphs are added to the logographic verb.
Rik
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The patient determiner

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 17:07

Between the agent (on top) and patient (below) markers in our logoscript example, you'll see some seemingly random strokes - three vertical lines over a horizontal line:

Image

These are the marks of the patient determiner; please, do not be afraid of it!

In the Ákat language, a verb will often include a particle known as the patient determiner. The purpose of this particle is to supply information about the patient object which the object is not able to provide itself; it is, in some ways, analagous to the use of articles and demonstrative pronouns in English. However, the usage is not identical.

(One of the things I need to address in the development of the language is how to handle demonstratives, having already decided that they can only be applied to patient objects, not agent or oblique objects - which should be fun, yes?)

Anyway, for our purposes all we need to worry about is the fact that Ákat has a closed set of eleven patient determiner particles plus the absence of a particle in this position - they come in two sets of six: one set is used if the verb has incorporated an agent noun, the other set is used when there is no incorporation.

Agent incorporated

Image - -!b- - indefinite (a)

Image - -!- - definite (the)

Image - -!d- - demonstrative (this, close to speaker)

Image - -!g- - demonstrative (that, close to listener)

Image - -!hq- - demonstrative (that, distant from both)

Image - -!dhx- - reflexive

Agent not incorporated

Image - -b- - indefinite (a)

Image - -ø- - definite (the)

Image - -d- - demonstrative (this, close to speaker)

Image - -g- - demonstrative (that, close to listener)

Image - -hq- - demonstrative (that, distant from both)

Image - -dhx- - reflexive

Hopefully that all made sense ...
Rik
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Evidentiality

Postby Rik on 04 Dec 2008, 17:08

Well, we're almost finished with the decoding of the example sentence; there's just one little glyph left, the one at the bottom of the middle column which looks a little bit like rolling hills:

Image

What is it? It is the evidentiality marker suffix and - you'll be glad to hear - it's dead simple to understand.

The Ákat language has two evidentiality markers; these suffixes are added to the end of the verb to show whether the speaker (or writer) believes their utterance is the truth or just hearsay.

However, the logographic script requires that every verb includes an evidentiality marker, meaning that there are three glyphs - two for the declarative and speculative suffixes, and one (the default) which is used when no suffix is used:

Image -oks for the declarative marker

Image -eqs for the speculative marker

Image -ø- for the default (no suffix present)

So ... now you have all the information required to decode (and understand) the example sentence.
Rik
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