Mantis

From Conlangs
Revision as of 17:57, 24 December 2014 by Geckat (Talk | contribs) (Definiteness)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

!!- The "Mantis" and history thereof, the names of "Urggghtnag" and "KazaaakplethKilik", and FTL: Faster Than Light are properties of Subset Games. -!!


The Mantis are an insectoid alien race from a distant part of the galaxy. Known for their violence and disregard for individual lives, the Mantis regard themselves, entirely correctly, as the scourge of the universe, and are a terrifying foe whether hunting individual ships or entire planets. The Mantis attack on Earth remains a popular horror story for human children, and the Mantis themselves continue their glory-driven assault on all races of the galaxy.

The Mantis language is grating and nearly unpronounceable to the human ear more accustomed to English, although a handful of scholars and diplomats have managed it. It is highly agglutinating and combining, but is most phonologically interesting in its levels of distinctive length, consonant inventory, and nuclear fricatives.

Phonology

Consonants

Bilabial Labio-Dental Dental Alveolar Post-Alveolar Velar
Plosive Voiceless p ‹p› t ‹t› k ‹k›
Voiced b ‹b› d ‹d› g ‹g›
Nasal m ‹m› n ‹n› ŋ ‹ng›
Fricative Voiceless f ‹f› θ ‹th› s ‹s› ʃ ‹sh› x ‹kh›
Voiced v ‹v› ð ‹dh› z ‹z› ʒ ‹zh› ɣ ‹gh›
Approximant r ‹r›
Lateral l ‹l›
Click ǀ ‹T› ! ‹K›
  • Click consonants are written with capital letters. This can sometimes be confusing when writing Mantis names that may begin with a click or else with a plosive corresponding to the lowercase letter.

Vowels

Front Back
Close i u
Mid e
Open a

Phonotactics

  • Open syllables may not be word-final.
  • All consonants may be geminate across syllable boundaries.
  • All fricatives have the potential to be nuclear.
  • Vowels have three levels of phonemic length, ie zhiKik "you yell" - zhiiKik "you negotiate" - zhiiiKik "you run electricity through (something)"

Grammar

Nominal Morphology

Nouns are inflected for case (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, adessive, locative, ablative), number (singular, plural) definiteness, and possession, according to class (males [1], females [2], animals/other races [3-4], tools/ships [5-6], inanimate objects [7-8], groups [9-10], abstractions [11]) through suffixation.

form prefix STEM case plural definiteness

Number

Plural
Class 1 st
Class 2 th
Class 3 im
Class 4 iim
Class 5 ing
Class 6 ing
Class 7 z
Class 8 z
Class 9 e
Class 10
Class 11

Case

Nominative Accusative Genitive Dative Adessive Locative Ablative
Class 1 T she aa odh uu aff ozh
Class 2 ra im ee odh uu aff osh
Class 3 on igh ii iT uu aff zzh
Class 4 arg ov ii iT uu aff zzh
Class 5 on igh ii iT uu aff zzh
Class 6 arg ov ii iT uu aff zzh
Class 7 on igh ii iT uu aff zzh
Class 8 arg ov ii iT uu aff zzh
Class 9 on igh urr iT uu aff zzh
Class 10 arg ov urr iT uu aff zzh
Class 11 ix ab ii sT uu aff ziz

Definiteness

Definite
Class 1 en/zn
Class 2 a/z
Class 3 (n)ag
Class 4 et/zt
Class 5 (n)ag
Class 6 et/zt
Class 7 (n)ag
Class 8 et/rt
Class 9 (n)ag
Class 10 et/zt
Class 11 (a)m

Pronouns

Nominative Accusative Genitive Dative Adessive Locative Ablative
1s
1p
2s
2p
3s
3p

Verbal Morphology

Verbs are inflected for person, tense (past, future), voice (passive) and mood (interrogative, conditional, imperative)

form prefix STEM voice tense mood person

Voice

The passive voice is noted with the suffix -sth

Tense

Past ~aap
Future ~il

Mood

Conditional ~fth
Imperative ~zT
  • A third interrogative mood is formed with the particle zin immediately following the verb.

Person

1s ~er
1p ~erT
2s ~ik
2p ~iz
3s ~bem
3p ~briK

Syntax

Regular word order is SVO, but is flexible. Compounds are head-final.

Lexicon

Numbers

Base-6

Arabic Cardinal Ordinal
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
36
37
216
253

Open Class

English Mantis
Electrocute, Power (v) zhiiiK
Glory [11] kazaaak
Great (AUG n prefix) urg
Negotiate (v) zhiiK
Resonate (v) plethK
Thorax [9] gght
Yell (v) zhiK

Examples

Urggghtnag
"The Great Thorax"

KazaaakplethKilik
"You Will Resonate In Glory"