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| Classical Wisconsin |
|Head direction||Head final|
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Classical Wisconsin (natively: Mascodudûstiquamovem MASCAVA("solid")+DUDUS("milk")+TIQUAM("head")+MOVEM("speech")3sg, of obscure meaning was the classical speech of the Wisconsin Empire, which at its greatest extent in the first century CE extended through most of the northern shores of the Great Lakes through Quebec and into New England.
Classification and DialectsEdit
Classical Wisconsin is an Algonquian trade language. The bulk of the lexicon is Ojibwe, but the language draws on Cree, Natick, and other Algonquian languages of the northeastern Americas.
|Close||[iː ɪ]||[ʊ uː]|
|Mid||[eː ɛ]||ə||[ɔ oː]|
There are two diphthongs, /ai/, written ae, and /aʊ/. written au.
The phonology of Classical Wisconsin is fairly simple and sonorous. It generally continues to map well into the source Algonquian languages. But there have been a number of significant changes.
A chain shift has altered the realization of a number of fricative sounds inherited by the language. Originally, voiced sounds were distinguished from voiceless sounds by strong aspiration and pre-aspiration in addition to voicing. Some of the voiceless aspirated sounds become consonant clusters in Classical Wisconsin.
- ʃ > s
- ʰs > st*
- ʧ > ts*
- ʒ > r
- ʤ > tr*
- ʔ > h or 0
*The outcome of these changes can be altered by rules that require distance between consonant clusters.
Other sound changes include:
- Between vowels, b > f
- Word-final -n > -m; -in > -em; -on > -um
Classical Wisconsin often preserves proto-Central Algonquian *l where Ojibwe has n. Classical Wisconsin also frequently shows voiceless stops where Ojibwe has voiced stops.
The inherited vowels from Proto-Algonquian were short a e i o and long ā ē ī ō. This set is expanded to a full set of both short and long a e i o u in Classical Wisconsin. First, ō > u. Then, all vowels became subject to shortening or lengthening by virtue of the language's one-two prosodic rules, in which vowels in stressed syllables were potentially lengthened and vowels in unstressed syllables were nearly always reduced.
Live phonological processesEdit
The following combinations are the permitted consonant clusters in Classical Wisconsin. When the cluster appears different in writing, this is noted in parentheses:
- bl, br, cl, cn, cr, cs (x), ct, cv (qu), dr, dv, fv, gl, gn, gr, gs, gv (gu), lc, ld, lf, lm, ls, lt, lv. mb, mp, mv, nc, nd, ns, nt, nv, pl, pr, ps, pt, pv, rb, rc, rd, rg, rm, rn, rp, rs, rt, rv, sb, sc, scl, scr, scv (squ) sl, sm, sn, sp, st, str, sv, tc, tl, tr, ts.
Clusters that are otherwise not allowed are simplified; the non-plosive element is often dropped, or the entire cluster is devoiced. Generally, only one consonant cluster can appear in a syllable; a syllable is not permitted to both start and end with an otherwise permitted cluster. Groups with the semivowel v are an exception to this rule.
Consonants appearing word finally are routinely devoiced unless protected by a nasal. The following consonants and clusters can appear word-finally:
- c, f, h, l, m, p, r, s, t, nd, ns, nt, st. Only invariant words may end in -n,
The groups -im and -om change to -em and -um. -Om may appear in the group -vom.
The stressed syllables of Classical Wisconsin are quite regular and follow metrical principles. Generally speaking, stressed and unstressed syllables alternate, giving each word either an iambic (common) or trochaic (rare) rhythm. For example, the native name of the language follows this pattern:
x / || x / || x / || x /
Masco || dudûs || tiquam || ovem
mas.ko: dʊ.dus tɪ.kʷam ɔ.wɛm
Bowel length is impacted by these prosodic patterns. Vowels that find themselves in a stressed position are subjected to lengthening, especially if that is also an open syllable. Long vowels in a weak position are invariably shortened.
When in a weakened position:
- originally short a is unchanged
- originally short e becomes i
- originally short i is unchanged
- originally short o becomes u
- originally short u is unchanged.
The diphthong ae becomes e when shortened by weak position. The diphthong au typically becomes o in any combining position.
Combining rules and internal sandhiEdit
Vowel on vowelEdit
- a + a > â if strong, a if weak.
- a + e, i > ae /aɪ/ if strong, e if weak
- a + o, u > au /aʊ/ if strong, o if weak
- au often > o in combinations regardless of syllable strength
- e + a, o, u > ia, io, iu.
- e + e, i > ê if strong, e if weak
- i + a, o, u > ia, io, iu.
- i + e, i > î if strong, i if weak
- o + a, e, i > va, ve, vi
- o + o, u > ô if strong, u if weak
- u + a, e, i > va, ve, vi
- o + o, u > û if strong, u if weak
Vowel and consonantEdit
- Vb + V > VfV
- c, t + i > ci, ti - both /ʦɪ/
- coV, cuV > quV unless the V is u.
- co, cu + u > cû if strong, cu if weak
Consonant on consonantEdit
- c, g + s, z > x
- m, n + f > mb
- m, n + c, d, g, t > nC
- m, when word final, may become n when suffixes are added
The groups **-VNVN-, where V is one identical vowel and N is one identical nasal n, m or ng, are not allowed. If strings like this arise out of the morphology the nasals are dissimulated. If the group is word final, the closing nasal must be m. In other cases, if the first nasal is from a root the second will be changed to m or n, whichever is absent from the root syllable. The syllable never changes to ng.
|A a||[a] ~ [ə]||Â â||[a:]|
|B b||[b]||C c||[k] ~ [ʦ]|
|D d||[d]||E e||[ɛ]|
|Ê ê||[e:]||F f||[f]|
|G g||[g]||H h||[ɦ]|
|I i||[ɪ] ~ [ɨ]; [j]||Î î||[i:]|
|L l||[l]||M m||[m]|
|N n||[n], [ŋ]||O o||[ɔ] ~ [ʌ]|
|Ô ô||[o:]||P p||[p]|
|R r||[r] ~ [ɾ]||S s||[s]|
|T t||[t] ~ [ʦ]||U u||[u]|
|Û û||[u:]||V v||[w]|
|X x||[ks]||Z z||[z]|
Basic grammatical categoriesEdit
Classical Wisconsin words inflect in a number of grammatical categories. Both nouns and verbs inflect for gender, number, and person.
Classical Wisconsin has two genders: animate and inanimate. Genders are semantic and largely natural rather than grammatical.
- People, animals, large trees, rivers, astronomical features like the sun and moon, vehicles, and just about anything that moves on its own initiative or power are animate.
- All other words are inanimate.
Some nouns may switch genders or be ambiguous as to gender. Often, there is a change in meaning. For example, mitiqua can be either animate or inanimate. The animate version means "tree" and has the plural mitiquac; the inanimate version means "wood, timber, lumber" and has the plural mitiqual.
All Classical Wisconsin nouns are obligately marked for singular or plural.
"Sir Not Appearing In This Film."
Person is a more expansive category in Classical Wisconsin than it is in Indo-European languages.
The first person plural contains exclusive and inclusive forms. The inclusive forms typically combine first and second person forms.
The third person, both singular and plural, contains two forms, an "proximate" form for the narrator or point of view character, and an "obviate" form for other third person characters, or unspecified persons. The proximate and obviate forms are obligatory, and answer the same purpose as do nominative and accusative forms in other language; they are used to specify who acts and who is acted on.
Hierarchy of personsEdit
Transitive verbs may take arguments that specify two persons. When they do, there is a hierarchy that indicates a presumptive order as to who does what to whom; this is the hierarchy of persons. The hierarchy goes:
- 2 > 1 > 3.prox > 3.obv
This hierarchy takes the place of nominative and accusative marking. In the absence of specific marking, if the arguments of a verb "hit" specify "you" and "me", the hierarchy makes the unmarked form mean "you hit me". To specify "I hit you", a suffix (usuall -ar) is added to indicate that the order presumed by the hierarchy is not being followed.
|Demonstrative|| Nearest |
SOMEBODY, SOMETHING, SOME KIND OF
All nouns in Classical Wisconsin are marked as being singular or plural. Plural nouns are identified by gender as well as number; the plural suffix for animate nouns is -c (-ac after consonants) and the plural suffix for inanimate nouns is -l (-al after consonants).
The inflexions for possessive nouns resemble those for verbs.
Animate: vos "father"Edit
|First person singular|| nivos|
|my father|| nivosac|
|Second person singular|| civos|
|your father|| civosac|
|Third person proximate|| ovos|
|his/her father|| ovosac|
|Third person obviate|| vosem|
|his/her, somebody's father|| vosenac|
|his/her, somebody's fathers|
|First person plural, exclusive|| nivosalau|
|our father|| nivosalauc|
|First person plural, inclusive|| civosalau|
|our father|| civosalauc|
|Second person plural|| civosio|
|your father|| civosioc|
|Third person plural|| ovosio|
|their father|| ovosioc|
Inanimate: maxem "shoe"Edit
|First person singular|| nimaxem|
|my shoe|| nimaxemal|
|Second person singular|| cimaxem|
|your shoes|| cimaxemal|
|Third person proximate|| omaxem|
|his/her shoe|| omaxemal|
|Third person obviate|| maxemem|
|his/her, somebody's shoe|| maxememal|
|his/her, somebody's shoes|
|First person plural, exclusive|| nimaxemalo|
|our shoe|| nimaxemalol|
|First person plural, inclusive|| cimaxemalo|
|our shoe|| cimaxemalol|
|Second person plural|| cimaxemio|
|your shoes|| cimaxemial|
|Third person plural|| omaxemio|
|their shoe|| omaxemial|
There are several things to note about these paradigms that are generally true throughout the inflectional system of Classical Wisconsin. The main inflections consist of reduced pronouns prefixed to the nouns, and suffixes that complete the specification of person and of number, both of the possessor and the underlying noun.
The personal prefixes do not occur in every form; in subordinated forms they are entirely absent, for example. When they occur, they take the forms:
- 1p. ni-, nir- before vowels;
- 2p. ci-, cir- before vowels; note also that this prefix is used for the inclusive first person;
- 3p. o-, or- before unstressed vowels, v- before initially stressed vowels.
The obviate third person form does not take a pronominal prefix, but takes a suffix marking the noun as obviate. The obviate form serves both for singular and plural third persons.
Because the other possessed forms take prefixes but the obviate does not, casting the noun into the obviate form alters the rhythm (CW givôn, "heartbeat") of the word, and changes the stressed syllables. This is a regular phonological process. The differences between a one syllable root (vos) and a two syllable root (maxem) change the realization of some of the string of suffixes; here, they regularly change -lau- to lo-. All of these processes will reappear throughout the inflections of Classical Wisconsin.
Nouns possessing other nouns appear in apposition: nivos taeanac Ip.FATHER.sg 3p.obv.HORSE.pl "my father's horses."
The locative suffix is -ni, after consonants -eni
- nipi "water" > nipini "by, on, in the water"
- ciric "sky" > ciriceni "by, on, in the sky"; civosalau ciriceni /ʦɪ.'wo.sə.laʊ ʦɪ.'ri.kɛ.ni/ "Our Father in heaven"
The dative suffix is -tae, -dae or -itae if none of those will produce a valid combination. Only animate nouns take this construction.
- ileni "man" > ilenitae "to, for, on behalf of the man"
- binestem "bird" > binestendae "to, for, on behalf of the bird"
- namens "fish" > namensitae "to, for, on behalf of the fish"
Other Classical Wisconsin noun inflections are less complicated. There are diminutives formed by the suffix -ns (-ens after a consonant:
- maqua "bear" > maquans "little bear"
- cinefic "snake" > cineficens "little snake"
- ileni "man" > ilenins "little man"
The pejorative suffix is -is:
- cetic "knee" > ceticis "good-for-nothing knee"; niceticisac "my good for nothing knees".
- ileni > ilenis "good for nothing men"
The basic structure of a Classical Wisconson verb contains the following parts:
- PERSONAL PREFIX. Not present in all tenses or constructions. Usually 0 in the third person.
- TENSE MARKER. 0 in the present tense.
- MODAL PREFIXES. Optional. May be more than one.
- ROOT. May be compound, in which case it may incorporate an object.
- Certain MODAL SUFFIXES go here.
- ARGUMENT. Specifies the person acting, and the person acted upon.
Verbs fall into four conjugations, defined not by the phonetic shape of the root, but by the arguments they can take:
- Intransitive verbs with animate subjects (VIA)
- Intransitive verbs with inanimate subjects (VII)
- Transitive verbs with animate objects (VTA)
- Transitive verbs with inanimate objects (VTI)
The lemma, or citation form, of a Classical Wisconsin verb is the third person proximate singular present. This form typically has no personal prefix and the simplest arguments. Generally speaking the animate verbs have more complex forms than the inanimate verbs, and the transitive verbs have more complex forms than the intransitive ones.
In addition to these four conjugations, verbs exhibit four moods:
- An indicative mood, that appears in main clauses;
- A subordinate mood, appearing in subordinate clauses;
- A negative mood, for negation; and
- An imperative mood, for commands.
First conjugation: animate intransitive verbsEdit
These verbs can serve as an introduction to the entire system. Like possessed nouns, first and second persons are noted by a pronominal prefix. The number and obviate status of the subject are shown by a personal ending.
nifa, "he/she sleeps"Edit
|nifa, "he/she sleeps"|
|"he/she sleeps, somebody sleeps"|
|"we (excl) sleep"|
|"we (incl) sleep"|
Second conjugation: intransitive inanimate verbsEdit
These exist only in the third person. This conjugation contains many words relating to colors, weather (gimivant "it.OBV is raining"), time (cirefavant "it.OBV is morning") and similar words. Most of them do not apply to main actors or narrative focus, so the obviate form tends to be frequently encountered.
orausco, "it is yellow"Edit
|orausco, "it is yellow"|
|"it is yellow"|
|"it/something is yellow"|
|"they are yellow"|
Third conjugation: inanimate transitive verbsEdit
These are similar to the animate intransitive verbs, and mark the subject by the personal prefixes and endings. They take additional arguments that specify whether the inanimate direct object is obviate or proximate. Third person forms also take a prefix in these verbs, which is o-, or v- if the stem begins with a vowel. The obviate ending is -o and the proximate ending is -am. Since subjects as well as objects can be both proximate or obviate, the third person forms only have the forms for the opposite mode.
onodamo, "he/she brings it" (root: nodam)Edit
|nodam, "he/she brings it"|
|"I bring it (obv/prox)"|
|"you bring it"|
|3p.sing.prox||onodamo||"he/she brings it/something" (obv)|
|3p.sing.obv|| onodamantam||"he/she/somebody brings it (prox)"|
|"we (excl) bring it"|
|"we (incl) bring it"|
|"you bring it"|
|"they bring it"|