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Po-Ben-Vwwn

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Po-Ben-Vwwn
'
Type
Alignment
Head direction
Head-Final
Tonal
Yes
Declensions
Yes
Conjugations
Yes
Genders
Yes
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect



General informationEdit

Po-Ben-Vwwn, literally, "the songs", is a musical language first used by European monastic orders in the 12th century.

PhonologyEdit

Po-Ben-Vwwn is a sung language, replacing the phonemes of a traditional language with a system of tones. A message in Po-Ben-Vwwn is communicated entirely through the melody produced by arranging these tones in a certain order, and doesn't rely on phonetics at all. Because of this, the same message could be communicated by singing, whistling, or playing a musical instrument.

There are three fundamental tones in Po-Ben-Vwwn. The first (represented here by the symbol _ ) maintains the pitch of the previously sung note; the second (represented by /) raises the pitch by a half-step; and the third (\) lowers it by a half-step. Each group of three tones together serves the same function in Po-Ben-Vwwn as one phoneme in a traditional spoken language. Thus, there are twenty-seven possible "phonemes". For ease of notation, I will represent each of these units using a letter of the Roman alphabet from here forward:

Correspondences to the Roman AlphabetEdit

First two tones: _ _ _ / _ \ / _ / / / \ \ _ \ / \ \
Third tone:
_ a c g d k u h w n
/ b v i q j r y x p
\ f e z o l ' s t m

Following this system, the word "\\//_\__/_/\\\__//\/_\/_\\_" ("the songs") is transliterated as "Po-Ben-Vwwn".

PhonotacticsEdit

There are three types of "phonetic" unit in Po-Ben-Vwwn. Those where the third tone is the same pitch as the final tone of the previous cluster are known as "neutral" phonemes. Those with a final tone of a higher pitch than in the previous cluster are known as "ascending" phonemes, and those with a lower pitch are called "descending" phonemes. Out of the twenty-seven phonetic units, seven are neutral, seven are ascending, and seven are descending.

Neutral (Vowels) a e i o u y w
Ascending Consonants b c d j k l q r v x
Descending Consonants f g h m n p s t z '

Each of the neutral clusters has been represented by a vowel (with the exception of "w", but alas, there are only so many vowels in the Roman alphabet), because they are the most integral components of any syllable in Po-Ben-Vwwn. As with vowels in a traditional spoken language, all syllables formed in Po-Ben-Vwwn will contain neutral phonemes.

"Consonant" clusters are allowed in the root of a word, but never between consonants of the same type (ascending/descending). Thus, the ascending phonemes can only be paired with descending phonemes, and vice versa. For example, the cluster "qf" is allowed, but "qr" would not be.

Finally, no more than two consonants may be placed together without a vowel to separate them. The cluster "fbg" would not be acceptable, but "fbag" would.

However, consonant cluster rules do not apply to the suffixes appended to a word. If the addition of a suffix forms a consonant cluster that would otherwise be illegal (as in the case of "ajmvwn", the vocative form of "house"), it remains unaltered.

GrammarEdit

Gender Cases Numbers Tenses Persons Moods Voices Aspects
Verb No No No Yes No Yes No No
Nouns Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
Adjectives Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
Numbers No No No No No No No No
Participles No No No No No No No No
Adverb No No No Yes No Yes No No
Pronouns Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
Adpositions No No No No No No No No
Article No No No No No No No No
Particle No No No No No No No No


Distinguishing WordsEdit

The length of the last note in a word is doubled to mark the end of one word and the beginning of the next.

At the beginning of a speech (when there is no previous note to determine the relative pitch of the first note in a word), a speaker should produce one long, steady note, to establish the starting pitch for the listener. This avoids ambiguity between words like "po" ("the") and "ro" ("two")

Defining NounsEdit

There is no indefinite article in Po-Ben-Vwwn. The definite article, "po", is attached as a prefix to defined nouns.

Gender, Number, Case: Nouns and PronounsEdit

There are four genders in Po-Ben-Vwwn": human, animal, plant, and inanimate. Nouns decline by gender, plurality, person, and case. There are six cases: vocative, nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, and ablative. The pronouns for each of these cases are as follows:

Vocative Human Animal Plant Inanimate
1st Person Singular rys
1st Person Plural ryys
2nd Person Singular ky' ki' ka' kw'
2nd Person Plural kyy' kii' kaa' kww'
3rd Person Singular vyn vin van vwn
3rd Person Plural vyyn viin vaan vwwn
Nominative Human Animal Plant Inanimate
1st Person Singular res
1st Person Plural rees
2nd Person Singular ke' ki' ko' ku'
2nd Person Plural kee' kii' koo' kuu'
3rd Person Singular ven vin von vun
3rd Person Plural veen viin voon vuun
Accusative Human Animal Plant Inanimate
1st Person Singular ser
1st Person Plural seer
2nd Person Singular 'ek 'ik 'ok 'uk
2nd Person Plural 'eek 'iik 'ook 'uuk
3rd Person Singular nev niv nov nuv
3rd Person Plural neev niiv noov nuuv
Dative Human Animal Plant Inanimate
1st Person Singular syr
1st Person Plural syyr
2nd Person Singular 'yk 'ik 'ak 'wk
2nd Person Plural 'yyk 'iik 'aak 'wwk
3rd Person Singular nyv niv nav nwv
3rd Person Plural nyyv niiv naav nwwv
Genitive Human Animal Plant Inanimate
1st Person Singular esr
1st Person Plural eesr
2nd Person Singular e'k i'k o'k u'k
2nd Person Plural ee'k ii'k oo'k uu'k
3rd Person Singular env inv onv unv
3rd Person Plural eenv iinv oonv uunv
Ablative Human Animal Plant Inanimate
1st Person Singular ers
1st Person Plural eers
2nd Person Singular ek' ik' ok' uk'
2nd Person Plural eek' iik' ook' uuk'
3rd Person Singular evn ivn ovn uvn
3rd Person Plural eevn iivn oovn uuvn

Each of these pronouns may be used as an independent word, but they may also be attached as suffixes to mark the case of nouns (with the exception of the genitive and ablative cases; see below). For example, the sentence "I like it" would be written as "res nuv qut". To say "I like the house", attach the pronoun for "it" in the inanimate accusative form as a suffix to "ajm" (house); the sentence becomes "res po-ajm-nuv qut". To pluralize, use the pronoun for "them" instead: "res po-ajm-nuuv qut". Every noun must have an attached suffix.

Note: the genitive and ablative cases may NOT be attached to a noun as suffixes. They are always used as separate words. The sentence "I like my house" would be written as "res ajm-nuv esr qut", literally "I like a house [that is] mine".

AdjectivesEdit

Adjectives follow the nouns they describe, and must agree with their gender, number, case, and definiteness. Thus, "the thin woman" in the nominative translates as "po-mar'-ven po-eopl-ven".

The verb "to be" does not exist in the present tense in Po-Ben-Vwnn. Because of this, there is a potential ambiguity in distinguishing between the phrases "the thin woman" and "the woman is thin". With the latter, the adjective adopts the accusative case, becoming the object of the implied action "to be". "The woman [is] thin" becomes "po-mar'-ven po-eopl-nev".

VerbsEdit

Verbs exist in a root form and are not conjugated in the present tense. The past and future tenses are marked by the verb prefixes "ca" and "jy", respectively. "res qut" in the present tense ("I like") becomes "res ca-qut" in the past tense, and "res jy-qut" in the future tense.

Past Tense Future Tense
ca jy

The imperative, inquisitive, and subjunctive moods are expressed with verbal suffixes.

Imperative Inquisitive Subjunctive
ukh arz wb

Because verbs do not conjugate for person, a subject pronoun is necessary even in the imperative. The command "come" for a single human would be written as "ke' gogv-ukh", "you come" with an imperative mood marker.

To write a compound sentence like "I want you to come", conjugate the first part as normal. The second half needs a subject pronoun in the nominative case, as normal, but the verb "to come" takes the subjunctive mood. Thus, the complete sentence is written as "res qxo ke' gogv-bw".

The verb "to be" does not exist in the present tense indicative. In the past or future tenses, or in a mood other than the indicative, the verb prefixes and suffixes may be used as independent words in place of the verb. Thus, "po-mar'-ven po-eopl-nev" ("the woman is thin") becomes "po-mar'-ven po-eopl-nev ca" ("the woman was thin"). To ask a question ("Is the woman thin?"), use the inquisitive marker: "po-mar'-ven po-eopl-nev arz".

To combine the past or future tense with a non-indicative mood, place the verb prefix and suffix together as a single word: "po-mar'-ven po-eopl-nev caarz" ("Was the woman thin?").

VocabularyEdit


No. English Po-Ben-Vwwn
1Irys
2you (singular)ky'
3hevyn
4weryys
5you (plural)kyy'
6theyvyyn
7thishov
8thathu
9herepja
10theretja
11whoContionary_Wiki
12whatContionary_Wiki
13whereContionary_Wiki
14whenContionary_Wiki
15howContionary_Wiki
16notContionary_Wiki
17allContionary_Wiki
18manyContionary_Wiki
19someContionary_Wiki
20fewContionary_Wiki
21otherContionary_Wiki
22onega
23tworo
24threeys
25fourto
26fivepu
27bigContionary_Wiki
28longContionary_Wiki
29wideContionary_Wiki
30thickContionary_Wiki
31heavyContionary_Wiki
32smallContionary_Wiki
33shortContionary_Wiki
34narrowContionary_Wiki
35thineopl
36womanmar'
37man (adult male)Contionary_Wiki
38man (human being)Contionary_Wiki
39childContionary_Wiki
40wifeContionary_Wiki
41husbandContionary_Wiki
42motherContionary_Wiki
43fatherContionary_Wiki
44animalContionary_Wiki
45fishContionary_Wiki
46birdContionary_Wiki
47dogContionary_Wiki
48louseContionary_Wiki
49snakeContionary_Wiki
50wormContionary_Wiki
51treeContionary_Wiki
52forestContionary_Wiki
53stickContionary_Wiki
54fruitContionary_Wiki
55seedContionary_Wiki
56leafContionary_Wiki
57rootContionary_Wiki
58barkContionary_Wiki
59flowerContionary_Wiki
60grassContionary_Wiki
61ropeContionary_Wiki
62skinContionary_Wiki
63meatContionary_Wiki
64bloodContionary_Wiki
65boneContionary_Wiki
66fatContionary_Wiki
67eggContionary_Wiki
68hornContionary_Wiki
69tailContionary_Wiki
70featherContionary_Wiki
71hairContionary_Wiki
72headContionary_Wiki
73earContionary_Wiki
74eyeContionary_Wiki
75noseContionary_Wiki
76mouthContionary_Wiki
77toothContionary_Wiki
78tongueContionary_Wiki
79fingernailContionary_Wiki
80footContionary_Wiki
81legContionary_Wiki
82kneeContionary_Wiki
83handContionary_Wiki
84wingContionary_Wiki
85bellyContionary_Wiki
86gutsContionary_Wiki
87neckContionary_Wiki
88backContionary_Wiki
89breastContionary_Wiki
90heartContionary_Wiki
91liverContionary_Wiki
92drinkContionary_Wiki
93eatContionary_Wiki
94biteContionary_Wiki
95suckContionary_Wiki
96spitContionary_Wiki
97vomitContionary_Wiki
98blowContionary_Wiki
99breatheContionary_Wiki
100laughContionary_Wiki
101seeContionary_Wiki
102hearContionary_Wiki
103knowContionary_Wiki
104thinkContionary_Wiki
105smellContionary_Wiki
106fearContionary_Wiki
107sleepContionary_Wiki
108liveContionary_Wiki
109dieContionary_Wiki
110killContionary_Wiki
111fightContionary_Wiki
112huntContionary_Wiki
113hitContionary_Wiki
114cutContionary_Wiki
115splitContionary_Wiki
116stabContionary_Wiki
117scratchContionary_Wiki
118digContionary_Wiki
119swimContionary_Wiki
120flyContionary_Wiki
121walkContionary_Wiki
122comegogv
123lieContionary_Wiki
124sitContionary_Wiki
125standContionary_Wiki
126turnContionary_Wiki
127fallContionary_Wiki
128giveContionary_Wiki
129holdContionary_Wiki
130squeezeContionary_Wiki
131rubContionary_Wiki
132washContionary_Wiki
133wipeContionary_Wiki
134pullContionary_Wiki
135pushContionary_Wiki
136throwContionary_Wiki
137tieContionary_Wiki
138sewContionary_Wiki
139countContionary_Wiki
140sayContionary_Wiki
141singContionary_Wiki
142playContionary_Wiki
143floatContionary_Wiki
144flowContionary_Wiki
145freezeContionary_Wiki
146swellContionary_Wiki
147sunContionary_Wiki
148moonContionary_Wiki
149starContionary_Wiki
150waterContionary_Wiki
151rainContionary_Wiki
152riverContionary_Wiki
153lakeContionary_Wiki
154seaContionary_Wiki
155saltContionary_Wiki
156stoneContionary_Wiki
157sandContionary_Wiki
158dustContionary_Wiki
159earthContionary_Wiki
160cloudContionary_Wiki
161fogContionary_Wiki
162skyContionary_Wiki
163windContionary_Wiki
164snowContionary_Wiki
165iceContionary_Wiki
166smokeContionary_Wiki
167fireContionary_Wiki
168ashContionary_Wiki
169burnContionary_Wiki
170roadContionary_Wiki
171mountainContionary_Wiki
172redContionary_Wiki
173greenContionary_Wiki
174yellowContionary_Wiki
175whiteContionary_Wiki
176blackContionary_Wiki
177nightContionary_Wiki
178dayContionary_Wiki
179yearContionary_Wiki
180warmContionary_Wiki
181coldContionary_Wiki
182fullContionary_Wiki
183newContionary_Wiki
184oldContionary_Wiki
185goodContionary_Wiki
186badContionary_Wiki
187rottenContionary_Wiki
188dirtyContionary_Wiki
189straightContionary_Wiki
190roundContionary_Wiki
191sharpContionary_Wiki
192dullContionary_Wiki
193smoothContionary_Wiki
194wetContionary_Wiki
195dryContionary_Wiki
196correctContionary_Wiki
197nearContionary_Wiki
198farContionary_Wiki
199rightContionary_Wiki
200leftContionary_Wiki
201atContionary_Wiki
202inContionary_Wiki
203withContionary_Wiki
204andContionary_Wiki
205ifContionary_Wiki
206becauseContionary_Wiki
207nameContionary_Wiki


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