Ejectives, ejectives everywhere!

Yet another language! I’m glad to introduce you to… Naupali.

Naupali is an a priori conlang and has two interesting features: its phonology and its grammar. What’s special about Naupali’s phonology? Well, that it is quite complex and that it has clicks and an unusually high amount of ejectives, including the ejective fricatives which are only used in a handful languages.

Naupali’s phoneme inventory is large: it consists of 58 consonants and 8 vowels plus diphthongs, vowel length, nasal vowels and some consonant clusters. Some Naupali words can be quite challenging to pronounce. The conlang’s native name, for example, is Qenëwp’äylë /ʔenɤwˈpʼajlɤ/ which, while not being so difficult to pronounce, is a bit too complicated to handle (that’s why I shorten it to Naupali). However, Naupali is much more restrictive than English as far as consonantal clusters are concerned.

This is the complete Naupali phoneme inventory (as well as an orthography key):

Naupali is a highly agglutinative and synthetic language. It’s native name (Qenëwp’äylë) literally means the language our nation speaks (where our nation would stand for fictional Naupali speakers). This is how that word was made:

  • The root p’al means to speak, verbal communication.
  • All roots have two stems, a nominal stem and a verbal stem (just as Lisnäit roots do).  The nominal stem of p’al is p’äl.
  • Some nouns are marked for what is known as specificationP’äyl is marked for “manner-specification“, thus we know that the noun refers to a “way of speaking”.
  • Nouns are also marked for what is known as configuration which determines whether the noun refers to individual objects, composite objects, etc. The composite configuration in combination with manner specification refers to ‘the way of making various instances of something’ (verbal communication in this case).
  • There is also what is known as nature which specifies whether the noun   abstract or not. Abstract-composite is marked by the suffix : Language = P’äylë. In addition to this categories, this noun may also be inflected for case.
  • N is the Naupali root for exclusive we. Pronouns are marked for configuration, nature and case. (abstract-composite) stands for something as “we as an abstract group” and may be idiomatically interpreted as “our folk/nation/collective“.
  • A final w (or –v) marks what is loosely known as ablative case, which indicates source or cause. Nëw in combination with p’äylë (Nëw-p’äylë) means “The language spoken by our nation”.
  • Inanimate proper nouns (such as the name of a language) are prefixed with qe-: Qenëwp’äylë.

Some example sentences:

Qenëwp’äylëy p’ale haw.
/ʔe.nɤwˈpʼaj.lɤɪ̯ ˈpʼɒ.le xɒʊ̯/
Qenëwp’äylë-y  p’al-e  ha-w
I am speaking (in) Naupali.
INST = Instrumental case
IMPF = Imperfective aspect
PRES = Present tense
EXP = Experienced (evidential)
ABL = Ablative

Ńëhart’e üþivläw mee maats’ükän.
/ŋɤˈxaɹ.tʼe yˈθiʋ.law meː maːˈt͡sʼykã/
ńë-hart’-e  ü-þivlä-w  me-ː  maa-ts’ükä-n
FIGURATIVE-illuminate.IMPF.PRES.EXP one-star-ABL we.INCL-PAT our-meeting-LOC
(Figurative) A star shines upon us while we are meeting.
we.INCL = Inclusive we
PAT = Patient/Experiencer case
LOC = Locative case

Majee mii xt qekhönüv.
/ˈmɒːɟeː miː ǀ ʔeˈkʰønyʋ/
maje-ː  mi-ː  xt  qekhönü-w
People-PAT all_of_us-PAT and Earth-ABL
We are humans and we are from Earth.
The verb to-be is implied.

This is all so-far. See you!


Posted on 2012/01/27, in English, Naupali (en). Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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