Introducing Complexity

One aspect of Shabkiuza that bothered me was its regularity. In particular, the verbal system was far too regular, with only one verb with any irregularity, and that only in one form. Clearly that's not realistic, even with a language academy to maintain order.

Originally, all words had stress of the first syllable, no matter what the morphology. So gamma- became gammat, gammanat, gammanatet, etc. For the most part, this is still the case, although the last example has secondary stress on the penult. I started running into problems with my gerand form, which uses -kko as the ending.

Since consonant length is phonemic, I got forms like gammakko, which two double consonants in a row. It dragged down the pronunciation, and it just didn't sound right. And so, I took an unusual step. I shifted the stress for that one form to the penult, and removed the consonant doubling. Gammakko became gamakko.

Suddenly, other simplifications became necessary. The verb kirpda changes, not to kirpdakko, but to kirdakko. The verb sabvo becomes savokko. As a general rule, the first consonant in a complex sequence is deleted in the gerund.

And there is another consequence. Nouns derived from verbs, like "completion" from "to complete," are often formed by removing the final -ko of the gerund. We then have savok with final, rather than initial stress.

From one change, an entire class of exceptions to a general rule is created. And what's more, it's a change that serves the naturalness, and the ease of pronunciation, of the language. As I move forward, I will look for other opportunities to turn an infelicitous sound sequence into an opportunity to impose natural-seeming language change.

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