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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
11who
12what
13where
14when
15how
16not
17all
18many
19some
20few
21other
22onega
23tworo
24threeys
25fourto
26fivepu
27big
28long
29wide
30thick
31heavy
32small
33short
34narrow
35thineopl
36womanmar'
37man (adult male)
38man (human being)
39child
40wife
41husband
42mother
43father
44animal
45fish
46bird
47dog
48louse
49snake
50worm
51tree
52forest
53stick
54fruit
55seed
56leaf
57root
58bark
59flower
60grass
61rope
62skin
63meat
64blood
65bone
66fat
67egg
68horn
69tail
70feather
71hair
72head
73ear
74eye
75nose
76mouth
77tooth
78tongue
79fingernail
80foot
81leg
82knee
83hand
84wing
85belly
86guts
87neck
88back
89breast
90heart
91liver
92drink
93eat
94bite
95suck
96spit
97vomit
98blow
99breathe
100laugh
101see
102hear
103know
104think
105smell
106fear
107sleep
108live
109die
110kill
111fight
112hunt
113hit
114cut
115split
116stab
117scratch
118dig
119swim
120fly
121walk
122comegogv
123lie
124sit
125stand
126turn
127fall
128give
129hold
130squeeze
131rub
132wash
133wipe
134pull
135push
136throw
137tie
138sew
139count
140say
141sing
142play
143float
144flow
145freeze
146swell
147sun
148moon
149star
150water
151rain
152river
153lake
154sea
155salt
156stone
157sand
158dust
159earth
160cloud
161fog
162sky
163wind
164snow
165ice
166smoke
167fire
168ash
169burn
170road
171mountain
172red
173green
174yellow
175white
176black
177night
178day
179year
180warm
181cold
182full
183new
184old
185good
186bad
187rotten
188dirty
189straight
190round
191sharp
192dull
193smooth
194wet
195dry
196correct
197near
198far
199right
200left
201at
202in
203with
204and
205if
206because
207name


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