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Semberek

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Semberek
sɛmberɛk
Type
Polysynthetic
Alignment
Split
Head direction
Mixed
Tonal
No
Declensions
Yes
Conjugations
Yes
Genders
no
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect



General informationEdit

Semberek is a small family of languages spoken in the Aegic desert on the planet Halonia by escaped human slaves. It spits into two subgroups, North and South. The two most populous dialects are Sembare (~5,000 speakers), a Southern language, and Hrilin (~12,000), from the North. These are descended from a form known as Old Semberek (OS), which originated about 600 years ago; divergence into North and South languages occurred about 200 years ago.

This article will deal with comparisons between the forms (using Sembare and Hrilin as bases) and the historical links between them. A seperate article for Sembare dialect will be added soon.

In this article, forms with * are exclusive to Old Semberek, forms in bold are Sembare-only, and forms in italics are Hrilin-only. Forms with no marking whatsoever are found in all dialects/ stages.

Semberek has a relatively small phonemic inventory, with 13-17 consonants and 5-10 vowels (depending on dialect). OS and Sembare do not feature phonemic voicing, although Hrilin has acquired it; overall the language might sound something like Arabic to English speakers.

Comparative & Historic PhonologyEdit

ConsonantsEdit

Old SemberekEdit

Bilabial Labio-dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Velar Uvular
Nasal m n
Plosive t k q
Fricative f s š
Approximant y [j]
Trill r
Lateral app. l
  • There is no labiovelar glide [u] but it occurs naturally to link many vowel clusters.

Sembare DialectEdit

Bilabial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive t [t̪] k q h [ʔ]
Fricative f s š x [ɦ]
Affricate ƾ [ts] j [dž]
Approximant y [j]
Trill r
Lateral app. l
  • The sound denoted by 'x' in Sembare is more accurately thought of as the pharyngealization of the following vowel; e.g. axa = [aa̰], not [aɦa]. However it is more econmical to type it axa or [aɦa] - and many non-native speakers approximate the pharyngealized vowels by inserting an uvular, glottal or pharyngeal fricative before or after the appropriate vowel.

Hrilin DialectEdit

Bilabial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Velar Uvular
Nasal m n
Plosive b p d t k q
Fricative f þ [θ] s š x
Approximant y [j] w
Trill r
Lateral app. l
  • voicing has become a distinctive feature in the bilabial and alveolar stops, allowing /b/ and /d/
    • voice onset is very early, aspiration is only occasionally present in the voiceless stops

Synchronic changesEdit

The changes from OS to Sembare and Hrilin can be only partially summarized with the tables of phonemes; other sounds were redistributed, with splits and mergers; and other sounds have new allophones that were not present in OS.

Many of the allophonic changes described in Sembare have similar parrelels in Hrilin that operate at a phonemic level; the key difference is that in Sembare, most sounds merely assimilate or dissimilate, whereas in Hrilin, cluster reduction occurs. For example, OS [nb] clusters go to [np] in Sembare, but simply [p] in Hrilin.

  • Sembare
    • /t/ is a result of fronting
    • /ts/ from
      • initial *[kj] or *[ki]
      •  *[tχ]
      •  *[ts]
    • // from *[nš] and *[tš]
    • /*χ/ goes to
      • /ʔ/ in most contexts
      • /ɦ/ where intervocalic
      • Ø word-finally
    • allophonic changes
      • s → θ/ _š
      • b → p/ _#, _n
      • t → ʔ/ _l
      • VV → VV̰ 
      • V: → VV̰
  • Hrilin
    • /p/
      • word-final */b/
      •  *[nb] or *[mb]
    • /d/
      • word-initial */t/
      •  *[tl]
      • before /b/
    • /θ/ from *[fs] and *[sš]
    • /*χ/ goes to:
      • /x/ in most contexts
      • /w/ from intervocalic /*χ/
      • merges with /q/ before tense back vowels word-initially
      • merges with /k/ before other vowels word-initially

VowelsEdit

Front tense Front lax Back lax Back tense
High i i [ɪ] u [ʊ] u
Mid e e [ɛ] o [ʌ] o
Low a [æ] a [ɑ]

Vowels have not changed at the phonemic level, for the mostpart, since OS; with the exception of Hrilin, where a longh/short distinction has been gained as well as tense/lax.

The tense/lax distinction itself is mostly predictable, but not enough so to merit its treatment as a system of allophones. Nevertheless, Semberek only writes with five vowels.

AlphabetEdit

Tumblr m0sehbAt8h1r903cpo1 r1 1280

Semberek Alphabet version 3

Semberek is written in a cursive, top-down left-right abugida. Interestingly, the direction of the consonants is unimportant; any sound can be written 'backwards,' according to which letter preceeds it (the direction of the first letter in the word is up to writer preference). An English counterpart to this system would not merely be to write letters upside-down, but also to have them hanging under the baseline.

The romanized script is visible in the phonemic inventory charts above.

PhonotacticsEdit

Semberek allows syllabic nasals, hiatus, and consonant clusters.

Stress is trochaic, with right-to-left assignment, iterativity, and left-headedness. Heavy syllables include coda nasals (long vowels in Hrilin), as well as coda /l/ and /r/.

GrammarEdit

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

 Semberek is a polysynthetic language family with a rich case system and free word order (with the exception that adjectives should be adjacent to what they're describing). Its distinctive features inclde its high frequency of infixes and other stem-changing processes, and its three grammatical numbers (singular, plural, and aggregate).

NumberEdit

In Old Semberek, plural was marked with -yu and aggregate with -uχu, both of which were suffixes. The system is still similar in Hrilin, with the simplication of -yu to -i or -u depending on context and the expected sound change of -uχu to -uwu in the aggregate. In Sembare, these suffixes were generally incorporated into the stem, forming base mutations instead.

The aggregate number is used to refer to collective, non-count nouns, as well as groups; OS lusan 'horse,' plural lusanyu, could have its aggregate form lusanoχo translated as 'herd of horses.' There is no direct translation into English. It is not forced to agree with either singular or plural, since the rest of the language inflects with allowance for these forms.

In verbs, number is not marked on the pronoun itself, but the verb stem.

VocabularyEdit


No. English Semberek Sembare Hrilii
1I-abe-be-be
2you (singular)-efe-fe-fe
3he-ena-na-na
4we-še-še-þe
5you (plural)-aχfi-hfi-exfi
6they-qne-hne-aqne
7thiskiškiškiš
8thatqašaqašqaš
9herenituntuntu
10thereiχtahtaxþa
11whoeχeheewe
12whataχahaawa
13whereitohitoito
14whenχelohelokelo
15howlɑšlašlaš
16notχtorhtorxtor
17allfislbunfilbunfispuu
18many-kul-kul-kul
19some-qi-qi-qi
20few-qi-qi-qi
21otherContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
22onekunkunkuu
23twonisinisinisi
24threeχurbahurbaqurba
25fourkqasekhasekase
26fivebesbesbes
27bigχuχitahuxitaquwita
28longusšurhusšuruþšur
29widebaturbbaturbbaturp
30thicklonbaslonbaslopas
31heavytasuntasundasuu
32smalllyihyiluyi
33shortnusnusnus
34narrowtχististxis
35thinkimikimikimi
36womanpemiχkanespemihkenpeixkee
37man (adult male)peboχkanuspebohkunpeoxkuu
38man (human being)biyisosbiyisobiyiso
39childanšehajeanše
40wifetomikilestomikiledoikel
41husbandtobokilustobokiludoukul
42mothersamituessamitesaite
43fathersabotuussabotusautu
44animalofhofof
45fishχtisohtisoxtiso
46birdasantehasanteasante
47dogtelfakuirodelfa
48louselitniseliniseliþnise
49snakeksuksuχksuksušukšu
50wormyurtyurtyurt
51treearetomharetomaretow
52forestaretuχuhareteyearetuwu
53stickbiqbiqbiq
54fruitbrimisbrimisbrimis
55seedmisatkmisakmisaþk
56leafyišaqefyišaqefyišaqef
57rootlušlušluš
58barkfiyibe na aretomfyinharfibanareþ
59floweremyutahemyutaemyuta
60grasstyusimtsusimsusii
61roperukrukruk
62skinfiyibefyibafiba
63meatfatrinfatrinfatrii
64bloodsensensee
65bonebusurkbusurkbusurk
66fatkrakrakura
67eggyubenyubenyubee
68horntortordor
69taillasšalasšalaþša
70featherbχifišelbifišelpifišel
71hairyatuχuyatiyiyatuwu
72headbursešbursešburseš
73earχorhorqor
74eyebirbirbir
75nosebalbalbal
76mouthmifbemifbemifpe
77toothtyinšanatsjanasinšana
78tonguelatalatalata
79fingernailtχististxis
80footamburuhmburupuru
81legfenšatfejatfenšaþ
82kneeklasatklasatklasaþ
83handfæχlafæʔlafæxla
84wingnašelflešelnašel
85bellybukbukbuk
86gutssburaklosburaklospuraklo
87necklitemalitemalitema
88backqašteqašteqašte
89breastlumlumluw
90heartbulχubulhubulxu
91livernšuenejuenenšuene
92drinktrisiktrisiktrisik
93eatyaseryaserlumuš
94bitekyinšanatsjanacinšana
95sucktlilomtlilomtlilow
96spitnikyunitsunicu
97vomitburarbenburarbenburarbee
98blowšaχalšaxalšawal
99breathefelfelfel
100laughtaχaχktahaxakdaxawak
101seebirbirbir
102hearχorhorqor
103knowmiskomiskomisko
104thinkχubulhubulqubul
105smellbalbalbal
106fearalšohaljoalšo
107sleepkububkububkubup
108livesiasiasia
109diekuχkuxukuw
110killtunšatujatudunšatu
111fightbinšakombijakombinšakow
112hunttχɪlsitɪlsitxɪlsi
113hitkatarχkatarkatar
114cuttšilsumjilsumcilsuw
115splitnisibarnisibarnisibar
116stabnasonnasonnasoo
117scratchkyinšimtsjimcinšiw
118digtusbattusbatduspaþ
119swimlulmalulmalulma
120flyflešelflešelflešel
121walktenšattejatdenšaþ
122comefirentafirentafirenta
123lieqntaχrehntahreaqnaxre
124sitlelatlelatlelaþ
125standnasnasnas
126turnlurislurisluris
127fallkuluskuluskulus
128givemesraχatmesraxatmesrawaþ
129holdtlimaskentlimaskentlimaskee
130squeezeskibitiskibitsskibis
131rubContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
132washContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
133wipeContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
134pullContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
135pushContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
136throwContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
137tieContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
138sewContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
139countContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
140sayContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
141singContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
142playContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
143floatContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
144flowContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
145freezeContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
146swellContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
147sunχæloχinoxufilofilo
148moonχutrashutrasqutras
149starχæloʔæloqɑlo
150wateryasaryassinoyoyasar
151rainχælosχʔæloqɑlos
152riveralesenhalesenalesee
153lakeyasinyassinyasii
154seanašleyanašleyaqutumos
155saltkχyankyankxyan
156stonebosχebabosebabosxeba
157sandištalhištalištal
158dusttusumtusumdusuw
159earthnurakenurakenurake
160cloudklisklisklis
161fogambetihambetiaapeti
162skyχalhalxal
163windobishobisobis
164snownšomajomanšoma
165icetšilkomjilkomtšilkow
166smokenukimnukimnukiw
167fireafanahafanaafana
168ashContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
169burnafanahafanaafana
170roadbalesabalesabalesa
171mountainkumorskumorskumors
172redχuntisanhuntsanqunsaa
173greenlalislalislalis
174yellowkχyiskyiskxyis
175whitekutomkutomkutom
176blacknenenenenɛnɛ
177nighttelatšetatsjetelatše
178daymebasinmatmebaa
179yearkaχuyukaxuyukawuyu
180warmqurequrequre
181coldtlamotlamotlamo
182fullContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
183newContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
184oldContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
185goodContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
186badContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
187rottenContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
188dirtyContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
189straightContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
190roundContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
191sharpContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
192dullContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
193smoothContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
194wetContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
195dryContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
196correctContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
197nearContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
198farContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
199rightContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
200lefttoχotoʔotowo
201atContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
202inContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
203withContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
204andContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
205ifContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
206becauseContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki
207nameContionary_WikiContionary_WikiContionary_Wiki


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