Sehali language

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Sehali (Sehali: Séẖäli) /sjeħaɫi/ is a language spoken by reptilian people of the same name. Nomadic, the Sehali are known variously as raiders, traders, and slavers, although make their home mostly in the Niuxleb Plains, controlling major tradeways between the Copper Mountains and the Great East Plateau. Their articulators differ to some extent from humans, but not so greatly that their languages are unintelligible or unlearnable to one another.

Alphabet

Sehali uses a cursive abjad, written from top to bottom, right to left. Vowel diacritics are optional, while secondary articulation diacritics (to the left of the main character) are mandatory when present.

New Sehali Alphabet.png

Phonology

Sehali phonology revolves heavily around the alternation between palatalized, velarized, and pharyngealized consonants. The default articulation is presumed to be velar.

Consonants

Grapheme Palatalized Velarized Pharyngealized
B /bj/ /bγ/ /bʕ/
D /dj/ /dγ/ /dʕ/
DZ /dzj/ /dzγ/ /dzʕ/
/dʑ/
F j/ γ/ ʕ/
G /gj/ /g/
Ġ j/ /ɣ/
/ʡ/
H /h/
/ħ/*
J /ʕ/
K /kj/ /k/
L /lj/ /ɫ/ /lʕ/
M /mj/ /mγ/ /mʕ/
N /ɲ/ /n/ /ŋ/
P /pj/ /pγ/ /pʕ/
Q /qj/ /q/ /qʕ/
R /rj/ /rγ/ /rʕ/
S /sj/ /sγ/ /sʕ/
Š /ɕ/
T /tj/ /tγ/ /tʕ/
TS /tsj/ /tsγ/ /tsʕ/
/tɕ/
W j/ γ/ ʕ/
X /xj/ /x/
j/ /χ/ ʕ/
Y /j/
Z /zj/ /zγ/ /zʕ/
Ž /ʑ/
' /ʔ/
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Epiglottal Glottal
Plosive Voiceless Palatalized pj tj kj qj ʔ
Velarized pγ tγ k q
Pharyngealized pʕ tʕ qʕ
Voiced Palatalized bj dj gj
Velarized bγ dγ g
Pharyngealized bʕ dʕ ʡ
Fricative Voiceless Palatalized ɸj sj ɕ xj χj h
Velarized ɸγ sγ x χ
Pharyngealized ɸʕ sʕ χʕ ħ*
Voiced Palatalized βj zj ʑ ɣj
Velarized βγ zγ ɣ
Pharyngealized βʕ zʕ ʕ
Affricate Voiceless Palatalized tsj
Velarized tsγ
Pharyngealized tsʕ
Voiced Palatalized dzj
Velarized dzγ
Pharyngealized dzʕ
Nasal Palatalized mj ɲ
Velarized mγ n
Pharyngealized mʕ ŋ
Trill Palatalized rj
Velarized rγ
Pharyngealized rʕ
Approximant Palatalized lj j
Velarized ɫ
Pharyngealized lʕ
  • [ħ] is an allophone of /hʕ/.

Vowels

Front Back
High i u
Mid e
Low a

Sehali marks secondary articulation of consonants upon vowels. When Latinized, a diacritic above the vowel indicates that the consonant preceding that vowel is pronounced with the indicated secondary articulation. A diacritic below the vowel indicates that the consonant following that vowel is pronounced with the indicated secondary articulation.

  • Palatalization: tá , ̗at
  • Pharyngealization: tä, ̤at

Phonotactics

(C)V(C)

It is important to note that some consonants (DŽ, G̱, H̲, J, Š, TŠ, Y, Ž) can only be in certain environments (palatal, velar, pharyngeal). These remain phonemic (apart from H̲) and still require diacritics.

H̲ represents an allophone of pharyngealized H, but is represented by a separate character in both Latin and Sehali orthography.

The final (third) consonant in a verb root must be velarized.

Grammar

Primarily VSO and head-initial.

  • Adjectives follow nouns.
  • Determiners and deixis precede nouns.
  • Genitive nouns succeed nouns and may include deixis in the phrase.
  • Interrogative denoted by sentence-initial particle qi and subjunctive mood.

Number

  • Duel suffix: at
  • Plural suffix: is

Case

  • Genitive case prefix: a̤l

Possession Suffixes

1s na
1p
2s ti
2p
3s wa
3d ma
3p mi

Definiteness and Deixis

Preposed particles:

  • Indefinite: in
  • Proximal: dís
  • Mesioproximal: dí̗š
  • Mesiodistal: där
  • Distal: dar

Verbs

Verbs are defined by roots. They are inflected by tense (past, present, future) and mood (indicative, subjunctive, imperative), and have many derivations.

  • Adjectival suffix: zi
  • ˈˈˈPassive suffix: w(u)

Indicative Paradigm

Past Present Future
1 (base) wadma (lived) wadam (live) wadám (will live)
2 (nominal) wadm (life)
3 (causative) mawadma (gave birth) mawdam (give birth) mawädám (will give birth)
4 (dative) ziwadma (gave rise to) ziwdam (give rise to) ziwadám (will give rise to)
5 (reflexive) a̤dwadma (remembered) a̤dwadam (remember) a̤dwadám (will remember)
6 (reciprocal) umwadmu (non-existent) umwadmu (non-existent) umwadámi (non-existent)
7 (cessative) axwadmäl (died) axwadamlï (die) axwadámlï (will die)
8 (terminative) uxwadmas (killed) axwadamsi (kill) axwadámsi (will kill)

Subjunctive Paradigm

Past Present Future
1 (base) anufla (burned) anufal (burn) anufál (will burn)
3 (causative) a̤bnufla (made X burn) a̤bnufal (make X burn) a̤bnufál (will make X burn)
4 (dative) aznufla (set fire to) aznufal (set fire to) aznufál (will set fire to)
5 (reflexive) a'nufla (non-existent) a'nufalaẖ (non-existent) a'nufaliẖ (non-existent)
6 (reciprocal) awanufla̤ (non-existent) awanufala̤ẖ (non-existent) awanufáli̤ẖ (non-existent)
7 (cessative) ax̣anuflal (burnt out) ax̣anufali (burn out) ax̣anufáli (will burn out)
8 (terminative) ux̣anuflas (extinguish) ux̣anufalsi (extinguish) ux̣anufálsi (will extinguish)

The imperative is formed using the future-tense indicative with the suffix in-. An emphatic, often used with the imperative, exists as a reduplication of the final vowel in a suffix.

Adjectives

  • Adjectives are inflected as causative verbs in the causative.

Lexicon

Pronouns

1s han
1p na̤nis
2s tin
2p nanit
3s.an ẖü
3d.an ẖüma
3p.an ẖüm
3s.in saw
3d.in sami
3p.in sam

Pronoun genitives are formed with a simple suffix: 'i

Pronominal Agglutinations

If both subject and object are pronouns, they are often agglutinated into a single word, omitting a word-final vowel in the subject if present. The verb sin is cliticized as s- before a pronoun.

Numbers

Base-8.

0 na̤ẖ
1 alá
2 ba
3 ta
4 ẖä
5 xa
6 ra
7 za
8 lám
16 ešir
24 tašir
32 ẖäšir
64 yémhi
93 yémhik bašir ta

Prepositions and Particles

abaft istär
abeam ismi̗d
aboard ṳn
about run
above tu̗p
across usidžá
afore isbṳl
after arfit
against g̱ästir
along si̗d
amid sandit
aport ilif
around rud
astarboard iri̤ẖ
atop buwa
before ẖïn
behind fur
below laġ
beside asdi
between yínum
beyond pasit
despite buwin
down dun
except bud
following ifta
for wir
from fun
in i
including wiḡïn
inside inút
into ín
like sum
near nara
next ifa
of u
off fur
on pu
onto til
opposite mirul
out ut
outside udpṳl
over iwar
past biyún
since dan
than mil
through dúral
to a
toward a'i
under unal
underneath unalpṳl
unlike esum
until tis
up ap
upon appu
via wid
with mad
without umad
negative (part clit) e
potential dzï

Open Class

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fj-AQQnk_R1mG7-qFpU_AXwnH9QqRVsau1wvRvjVWgQ/edit?usp=sharing

Examples

Hávamál 93-95

93.

No man should ever ridicule
another’s love.
The lure of a beautiful woman often snares
the wise while leaving the fool.

94.
A man should not heap abuse
on another for something
that happens to many men.
Powerful love makes fools of heroes and sages.

95.
Only your own mind knows what is dearest
to your heart. You must counsel yourself.
There is no worse illness for a sage
than losing love for himself.

Yémhik lámalá

Amakärá̤j séhäli e
Šáramiġ a̤lséhäli semi.
Naġis e̤jtï betta̤r in a̤lséhäli ṳjlaw
ží̗lyí ik umpardu ẖü bisṳn.

Yémhik lámba
Ehasi mëntu in séhäli
a séhäli semi, wir annit
ag̱äryu a tsel séhälis.
Yúrix̣ šáramiġ ḡärṳẖ bisṳnis u ží̗lyís ik ḡärṳẖis.

Yémhik lámta
Wetar bä̤r yárta̤n a̤lanti xam lífnittsam
a yárta̤n a̤lanti. Yá'umpartṳẖ!
Esi ẖüritsmiġ lísmä wir in ží̗lyí
mil aḡutab ẖü wir a'ẖü.

New Sehali.png

Font and Keyboard Layout

Sehali (font and layout)