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Sources of Inspiration

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Noting exists in isolation; a language least of all. Here are some of the real-world languages that inspired parts of Shabkiuza.

  • Phrasal verbs: These were my starting place. I became interested in the idea that English has hundreds of verbs consisting of a verb and a particle (preposition or adverb) that formed a unit; for example, "to look up (something)" or "switch on (something)." In Latin, however, the same thing was accomplished through the use of a prefix. For example, the Latin postpōnere, to postpone, meant literally "to put after." Thus, I conceived of a language in which both positions were possible, as a verbal prefix and as an adposition.
  • Cases: Since nouns are invariant, there is not a true case system in Shabkiuza. As far as agreement goes, there are really only two, a nominative and an objective. Just because it's an analytic language, however, doesn't mean that I couldn't explore the meanings associated with case systems, to find fun meanings to give to my particles. I particularly looked at Estonian for inspiration as to the types of cases I could use. I love the translative and terminative cases in particular.
  • Modifiers: My idea that all adjective modification of nouns is done through relative clauses is really not such a crazy idea. I started from Hebrew, in which the definite article "ha" is repeated on both the noun and the adjective modifying it it form a noun phrase. (hasefer hachadash, "the new book") Without the secord ha, it the meaning changes. (hasefer chadash, "The book is new.") Since nouns are not marked for definiteness in Shabkiuza, I used the nominative case marker le. (hha leforgo legaja, "the green fruit"; hha leforgo gaja, "The fruit is green.")
  • Pronouns: The requirement that all independent clauses begin with a pronoun is inspired by French. In that language, constructions like "My father and I, we are going to the park." I believe (though correct me if I'm wrong) that the constraint in a prosodic one rather than a grammatical one. I decided that it might be fun to make it a grammatical constraint, along the lines of the V2 constraint in German, or the second position clitics in Ancient Greek. I have a first position pronoun constraint.

And there we have the unusual features of Shabkiuza, traced back to the languages that inspired them. Please be aware that Shabkiuza is an artistic language, not an attempt to create an IAL or mimic natural human language. Any critique that it does not obey language universals will be met with a hearty shrug.

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