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Mulanuqa

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Overview

SettingEdit

A priori conlang of unknown origins. Its native name is Mulanuqa, but as the "q" is virtually unpronouncable for an English speaker, I'll refer to it as Mulanian in this text. The page is named "Mulanuqa" to distinguish it from another conlang named "Mulanian".

It's grammar and structure has been discribed by linguists as combining traits of Semitic, Scandinavian, Basque and Uralic languages. Still it does not really resemble any of them. Most of the vocabulary is unique to Mulanian, though some loanwords from English, German, Scandinavian and other European languages do exist. Had it been a "real" language, it would most certainly have been categorized as an isolate.

Mulanian is based on an earlier conlang known as Melanaq, which in turn was derived from Muëra. Duëna was a sister language of Muëra, but almost nothing of it is preserved. I'm not even sure if it really existed. I often think of these four languages as the Muëra-Melana language family, although Muëra-Melanaq-Mulanian can be seen as phases of development of the same language.

General infoEdit

Mulanian is a VSO-language. Word order is relatively free, but subject nearly always follows the verb. I believe it to be a split-ergative active language of the fluid-S subtype (if the Wikipedia is to be trusted). Word formation has much in common with the Semitic languages with interchangable vowels. A group of words with related meanings will share a common word stem. Time is separated from the verb in a separate word. Questions are formed by using an article followed by the particle "au", except from yes/no questions which are formed by modifying the time word with a "j-" prefix. There is no agreement between word classes and no redundancy. Verbs are not marked according to number, gender or person. Nouns are marked for number, but adjectives are completely unmarked. Negatives like "not a house" or "not walk" are formed by making the last vowel long. One could argue that there are noun genders, but not in the way one usually imagines genders. They are merely categories: ordinary nouns, species names, bodyparts, personal names, alien words. There are slight variations in how they are flexed, especially in the dual. The case markers, however, never vary.

The Mulanian language is very different from any natural language in that it is too systematic. Yet it's very human friendly and pleasant to work with. Unlike the purely "logical" or minimalistic languages, Mulanian has a large lexicon. The language is the conlang version of an isolate and does not aspire to be like a natural language. Yet it should be excellent for human communication. It has an extensive grammar, but so regular that anyone should be able to learn it with ease. It does not require the tedious memorization of genders or countless verb forms. The inventory of phonemes is large (Muëra was even worse), and some of the sounds rather exotic. All of them are found in the Germanic languages, however.

Phonetics and orthographyEdit

Mul. IPA Example Mul. IPA Example Mul. IPA Example
a /a/ Martin k /k/ cat s /s/ send
aa /æ/ man kh /ʔ/ Cockney: butter sh /ʃ/ shock
aai /æɪ̯/ Norwegian: sei l /l/ Norwegian: lese t /t/ tomato
ai /ɑɪ̯/ sky lh /ɫ/ Linda th /θ/ thing
ao /aʊ̯/ German: auto m /m/ Martin u /ʉ/ sue
au /øʉ/̯ English (posh): so n /n/ Nathaniel uu /ø/ burn
b /b/ banana ng /ŋ/ thing uui /øʏ̯/ Norwegian: Øyvind
c /ç/ German: ich o /ɔ/ fog ui /ʉ̫ʏ̯/ Norw.: hui og hast
ch /ɧ/ Swedish: stjärna oo /u/ German: blumen v /v/ Valerie
d /d/ Daniel ooi /uʏ̯/ Spanish: muy w /w/ Wendy
dh /ð/ therefore oi /ɔʏ̯/ boy x /ks/ Texas
e /e/ ten p /p/ Peter xh /kʃ/ action
ei /eɪ̯/ say q /ɽ/ Norwegian: blad y /y/ Norwegian: dyr
f /f/ Figaro r /ɾ/ Spanish: rio z /z/ zap
g /ɡ/ Megan rh /ɻ/ Mandarin: ren zh /ʒ/ treasure
gh /ɣ/ Portugese: agora rhd /ɖ/ Am.Engl.: bird jh /dʒ/ Jack
i /i/ mint rhn /ɳ/ Am.Engl.: barn h /h/ honey
j /j/ yes rht /ʈ/ Am.Engl.: heart ' /ʔ/ Hawaiian: 'ele'ele

Long vowels and diphtongs have an accent mark. F.ex. "á" is a long "a", and "aaí" is a long "aai".

Basic GrammarEdit

NounsEdit

Mulanian has definite and indefinite forms of the noun. Definite form is usually marked by the ending -n, but sometimes by a posessive marker (see table below).

Number Indefinite Definite Posessive
Singular naka (a house) nakan (the house) nakash (her house)
Dual nakaia (two houses) nakaian (the two houses) nakaiang (my two houses)
Plural nakai (houses) nakain (the houses) nakail (his houses)
General nakeia (houses in general) nakeian (those houses in general) nakeiat (your houses in general)

The underlined a is the case marker, so all these examples are in the nominative.

CasesEdit

Case Marker Example English
Nominative -a- surina person
Accusative -e- naken the house
Genitive -uu- nuluun the city's
Locative -o- nakot in your house
Locative 2* -eo- nakeot in your house somewhere
Instrumental -oo- ailamqoo by using a hammer
Comitative -ea- taleat with your mother (cooperation)
Causal -ae- talaet because of your mother
Themative -aoo- kepaoo about a book/involving a book
Exclusative* -uo- tuvu'uon if it hadn't been for the dog
Genusative?* -u- naka skalu house made of snow/igloo
Instrumental-comitative?* -aa- mela daqaa a valley with a river
Dative-benefactive -ua- atua for you/to your advantage
Source-case* -ue- jetueng according to my father
Lative -oa- nuloan to the city
Ablative -oe- nuloen away from the city

* I do not know the correct names of these cases.

The use of the nominative and accusative differs somewhat from what's normal in European languages. In a sentence with no object, the subject is in the accusative if not in control of the action. Otherwise the subject is in the nominative as would be expected. See also the verb section.

Example:

karki itlen (the man coughed involuntarily) - See it as if the man was a victim of coughing.

karki itlan (the man coughed on purpose)

VerbsEdit

All verbs have the marker -i- as the last vowel. There is absolutely no agreement with subject or object.

Verb form Prefix Example English
Normal - kraki to die
Perfect ao- aokraki to have died
Antiperfect aai- aaikraki to be about to die
Progressive a- akraki is in the process of dying (long)
Irrealis u- ukraki could have died
Passive au- aukraki to be killed
Active i- ikraki to make someone die

Example 1:

Adä uaukrakil. - He could have been killed.

Adän 1999 akraki eshe. - Back in 1999 she was dying (it was a long process).

Example 2:

Adän atiti nurang. - At the time my son was walking.

Adän ukarki nurang. - At the time my son suddenly coughed (on purpose). The perfect and antiperfect can be combined with passive or active to give four additional forms, but the perfect passive aoau- prefix is simplified to aoao- in speech, and usually also in writing. Perfect active has aoi- as prefix. The passive verbs always have their subjects in the accusative case, while the active verbs have them in the nominative. Normal verbs are variable (see cases). Prefix u- is used to indicate suddenness, and be combined with any of the other forms.


Past, present and future tense is not included in the verb itself, but in an associated time word. A verb corresponding to the English "to be" does not exist.

To beEdit

Does not exist. Here are examples of how sentences are constructed without "to be".

I am a man. My house is yellow. That is irrelevant. Your house is destroyed. The building is a library.
Anga itla. Nakang moony. Aga kraí. Alä aotshezi naket. Engaban kepaka.
I(nom) man(nom) house.mine yellow that irrelevant now destroyed(perf) house(acc).your building(nom, def) library(nom)

PronounsEdit

Pronouns do exist independently, but much more often they are "glued" to a verb or a noun.

Singular Dual Plural
ng (I, me) ngn (the two of us, not you) ngr (me and mine, not you)
t (you) tn (the two of you) tr (you)
th (you, polite)* thn (the two of you, polite)* thr (you, polite)
- nt (you and me) -
l (he) ln (the two guys) lr (the guys)
sh (she) shn (the two women/girls) shr (the women)
k (person, gender irrelevant)** kn (the two persons)** kr (the persons)**
g (it, referring to a statement) gn (it and it) gr (these statements)
v (it, animal) vn (the two animals) vr (the animals)
n (it, object or plant) nj (the two objects/plants) nr (the objects/plants)
- - ts (all)
m (our people)/mt (your people) mn (our two peoples) mr (the peoples)
f (we, including you) - fr (we and ours)

Usage with verbs: taming (I speak), tupishn (the two girls run), qaikhig (it surprises)

Usage alone: engne (the two of us), atoa (to you, movement), oogaoo (about that)

* The singular and dual polite forms are rarely used anymore, and it can be seen as unfriendly or even hostile if they are used. The plural form, however, is often used as an equivalent of "ladys and gentlemen".

** If you speak about persons who are not your relatives and not your friends, and you want to indicate that you have respect for them, you would use the k-pronoun (gender irrelevant). If the persons are present, you would use he and she as in English.

If a pronoun ends in a consonant cluster, a schwa is often inserted between the consonants. Schwas are not phonetic and are ignored in writing.

ArticlesEdit

There are four different articles. They are all flexed according to case. Examples are given in the nominative (-a).

ha - Used for names of countries, cities and other places with proper names. Also for names of species (rather formal). Examples: heo Taliana = in Italy ; ha tuvu = a dog

Often replaced by a case ending in speech. Examples: Taliana'eo = in Italy ; tuvu'a = a dog


sa - Used for nationality or other group connection. Examples: sa Taliana = an Italian ; seain Taliana = in cooperation with the Italians
la - Used for given names and family names. Examples: luu Susan = Susan's ; lo Adrian = at Adrian's
na - Used for any word considered alien to the Mulanian language, but also to speak about elements of the language itself. Examples: bing ne iPod = I have an iPod ; taving nen -aoo renaoolo = I like the -aoo in the themative case

Time wordsEdit

One of the most exotic features in Mulanian is the time word. Instead of having time built into the verb itself, it is in a separate word. There is a vast number of possible time words and these are only a few of them.

Past Present Future English
adä alä amä past/present/future (exact time is not specified or is not known)
adän alän amän past/present/future (exact time is known)
ladän lalän lamän at the same time in the past/present/future
madän malän mamän after a certain point in the past/present/future
mjadän mjalän mjamän immediately after a certain point in the past/present/future
andadä andalä andamä from time to time in past/present/future
astadä astalä astamä may have happened/may be happening/may happen

Others include arä (always), asä (never) and atnä (duration: for ...).

Adjectives and adverbs Edit

Adjectives as they are known in English are not distinguished from adverbs. They are found as two different types: short and long. The short ones are monosyllabic and end in a long vowel. These are often involved in the construction of compound words. The long ones are usually connected to corresponding nouns or verbs.

naka shý = a big house     naka chady = a white house

chada = white color        chada vý = nice white color
Adjective Negative superlative Negative comparative Positive Comparative Superlative
sheny (red) shenys (least red) shenyl (less red) sheny (red) shenyr (more red) shenyn (most red)
shený (not red) shenýs (not least red) shenýl (not less red) shený (not red) shenýr (not more red) shenýn (not most red)
mý (small) mýs (least small) mýl (less small) mý (small) mýr (smaller) mýn (smallest)
mykhý (not small) mykhýs (not least small) mykhýl (not less small) mykhý (not small) mykhýr (not smaller) mykhýn (not smallest)


Adjectives formed from nounsEdit

A special class of adjectives are derived from nouns and expresses lack of or abundance of something.

Examples:

skalar bada = snow-rich winter

skalas bada = snow-poor winter

vatser tuvu'e = hairy dog

NumbersEdit

Mulanian numbers are based on the ten digits and are completely systematic.

Digit Mulanian English Mulanian English Mulanian
0 ne - níe - -
1 tshe/she thousand/kilo- tshíe milli- tshíu
2 te million/mega- tíe micro- tíu
3 pe billion/giga- píe nano- píu
4 se trillion/tera- síe pico- síu
5 ke quadrillion/peta- kíe femto- kíu
6 le quintillion/exa- líe atto- líu
7 ve sextillion/zetta- víe zepto- víu
8 ce yotta- cíe yocto- cíu
9 re - ríe - ríu

Decimals can also be expressed with "dra" meaning "point".

Ordinal numbers are created by adding the suffix -n.

Examples of usage:

6 = le

10 = shene

15 = sheke

100 = shenene

158 = shekece

1024 = she tshíe netese

007 = neneve

0.07 = vene tshíu / ne dra neve

0.012664 = shete tshíu lelese tíu / ne dra neshete lelese

1,000,000 = she tíe

2,400,000 = te tíe senene tshíe

2nd = ten

24th = tesen

1024th = she tshíe netesen

millionth = she tíen

Note: numbers are often associated with the words of the same word stem. Example: shavena (mountain) has the stem sh-v-n and is associated with the number 170. Shavena is sometimes used to express 170, just as kepa (book) can be used to express the number 53 and so on.

DictionaryEdit

doory = west

druru = pigeon

dwandina = marble

gwaga = crater

ji = to see

kary = east

Lawanë = May

maidu = sheep

mecy = purple

mela = valley

nula = city

oo = and

qahiku = squirrel

qawonda = peace

reidu = dolphin

shý = big/large

surina = human

swanda = tower

tadna = wine

tifana = wool

tupi = to run

There are approximately 8000 entries in the Mulanian dictionary.

Example textEdit

Ha maidun oo rurun Edit

Adän waleo ji tifanas maidu’a he rurui. Rapi da juge ghó, maqi da nolve shý, oo luvi da shytle shúï. Ji ha maidun hoa ruruin he njau: ”Qanoomauqing joo jing bookie sue ruru’uai.” Ti ha ruruin: ”Maidu’ua qanoomauqingr moon ji ege: maui surina thaqa tifanoo maidu’uu ancua gqanje vedy, ijoo tifanes maidu’en.” Sadän njau aothami ha maidun ege vau tupin fugoa.

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