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General Linguistics => Linguist's Lounge => Outside of the box => Topic started by: K2 on December 06, 2019, 06:24:17 PM

Title: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on December 06, 2019, 06:24:17 PM
Hello Everyone;

Right off, I feel it is important that I disclose that I have zero linguistic experience or education. In fairness, I doubt that I could ever contribute anything of value to the membership here through my participation. At this stage I'm visiting to learn, unable to intelligently assist anyone regarding the forum's subject matter.

That said... I'm a novice writer, currently developing a series of dystopian sci-fi novels. Within that series (near future United States), the climate has collapsed, the government has fallen and been remade under an oppressive regime, and now with the population of the nation compressed into a tiny area, the people are considering rebellion.

Due to numerous detailed reasons, 63% of the population has developed their own pidgin language. The current vocabulary stands at roughly 600 words. I'm extremely pleased with the minimal language, rules for speaking, spelling, rules for writing, and have even developed an alphabet. I'm very satisfied with all that... What I'm not, is the basic rough 300 word introduction.

Though I've researched the subject of linguistics, pidgins, dialects, and so on, with my limited education and no linguistic experience, in the introduction I am WAY over my head to present the language (shared in an appendix) to the reader intelligently. To reduce the text, I'm using words which are well beyond my knowledge base, knowing that a single word can explain vast amounts of information. I've tried to confirm what I've written, yet I've reached my limit and have no one else to check this.

If you feel so inclined to take the time, I would appreciate it if you could read over the brief introduction below and chew on it a bit. The words beyond my skill-set will no doubt reveal themselves, and any suggestions you might care to make would be welcome.

Thank you for your time,

K2



A3. CASE Pastoral Pidgin Language and Primary Dialects
P-say – Peoples’ Language, Pastoral Pidgin
Sowfee-say – South Philadelphia (exclusive) Pastoral Dialect
CASE – Consolidated America Sanctuary East
RCFG – Restored Constitution Federal Government

Introduction: Pastoral Pidgin, colloquially ‘P-say,’ is a multicultural, slang originating, evolving, and growing pidgin language, based on American English as the common lexifier. All ‘regional-specific CASE P-say dialects,’ derive from efforts to retain and integrate pre-Gathering regional or cultural slang into P-say. Neither Pastoral Pidgin nor any of the regional CASE dialects make up a complete language vocabulary set.

The speaker’s native language remains the primary language for all users. Pastoral Pidgin and the varied slang dialects are spoken only if-or-when the speaker sees fit. Code-switching is typical, random, and inconsistent among P-say users; although, it is in decline as the P-say language refines and grows. Within a single sentence, speakers may combine their native language, English (often elision modified), Pidgin English, P-say, and regional CASE dialects. Context, gesture, and personalized inflection are critical in conveying the implied meaning.

P-say and subsequently Sowfee-say, each originated in South Philadelphia’s, Sector-14. Once P-say took hold, pre-Gathering Philadelphia residents residing in Sector-14 began integrating Philadelphian slang into P-say to differentiate themselves from other residents, developing Sowfee-say. Other regional pastoral dialects followed suit.

Regional CASE P-say dialects include: Sowfee-say (South Philadelphia); V-tahk (New Venice (New York City)); Jeabe’ (New Jersey influenced areas); Bawlmar (Baltimore region); C-tahk/C-say/Chop/Carney (Homestead Capital/Circus (District of Columbia surrounding)); Smugs – various cultural or regional pre-Gathering dialects and slang still in use where a P-say direct replacement exists.

Regional-specific P-say dialects are all post-P-say variants. However, regional P-say dialect use is fading; gradually absorbed or replaced by universally accepted P-say as its vocabulary grows, the original population diminishes and dilutes through overwhelming diversity.

P-say and its varied regional-specific dialects became firmly entrenched in pastoral areas by G4. As pastoral residents’ exclusive use of English alloys with Pastoral Pidgin, their English vocabulary has rapidly declined, unfortunately assisting the RCFG’s ‘Policy of Erasure’ efforts.


Thank you again for considering my request!
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: Daniel on December 07, 2019, 02:49:10 AM
Hello and welcome. This is a relevant and appropriate topic for the forum, not to worry!

For an outsider to the field, it looks like you've done a good job with background research, and overall you're heading in a reasonable direction.

Some specific thoughts responding to your post (before I get to the description itself):

1. If you have not already, you should check out the TV series 'The 100', which is about a similar scenario, also including an English-based pidgin of the future. To see what you like, what you don't like, etc. (Another relevant comparison I'm sure you're aware of is Newspeak from 1984, which developed in a particular way that isn't like most natural pidgins, but again could be relevant for comparison.)

2. You should also consider existing work in this area by language creators like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_J._Peterson -- I've met him at a conference, and he has some great insight into what makes human language both language and human. He emphasized in particular that something important is to have some irregularity (rather than just mechanical grammar) to make it feel natural. (That would of course apply in a specific way to a pidgin: some inconsistency across users perhaps although probably still limited means of expression.) Check out his book from a few years ago for a useful perspective. (There are some other books on the topic too of course, and also various conlanging forums online if you want that perspective too.)
One way that he suggests designing a language is to start at an earlier stage and then "evolve" it via sound changes, etc., while also introducing irregularity. Tolkien did some similar things for his languages (built up elaborate language families, in fact) for some very impressive world-building. But in this case specifically, you might try to trace the development of the pidgin over time starting with current English, to see how it would change, rather than just starting with the end result. If done well, this would remove any inconsistencies or artificiality in the first version and add some naturalness. (Though in this case, it's just based on English, not a fictional language, so you don't need to start by inventing English, just tracing the development to the future.)

3. Without knowing anything about this scenario, I'd ask whether this is a pidgin or a creole. Do children speak it natively? If so, it would technically be called a creole, after a few generations. That's the definition: a pidgin is a language with no native speakers and limited means of expression, while a creole is what develops as a full language following that. Pidgins are marked by not having a word for everything, and also having limited/basic grammar, just enough to get by. Also you mentioned that this will be used in writing, and that's somewhat rare: typically pidgins are used in contact situations rather than existing as standards with conventional spelling, etc. (Part of that is probably attached to the colonial past of most real-world pidgins, though.) Note that pidgins also typically reflect a gap in language transmission, either used when speakers of different languages meet (e.g. Russenorsk as a blended and simplified Russian-Norwegian trade language) or when a new population isn't given sufficient time/exposure/practice to learn a language (e.g. slaves in the Caribbean). In sci-fi you also might imagine some event like radiation from nuclear fallout making everyone forget some of English, but that would be extreme.

--

Alright, so now for your 'introduction'-- but let me ask an important question: is this text meant for one of the chapters in your book, for the average reader who does not have a technical background? Do you want to use specialized vocabulary linguists would, or just describe this in an intuitive way?

Overall what you have written seems coherent and clear, without any obvious errors in terminology, so I don't have many suggestions.

A few details or bits of phrasing stood out:

1. Why are you using English spelling for these words? Often an "eye-dialect" (phonetic spelling) can give a particular impression to the reader, and it would also make sense that if these speakers are re-creating a reduced form of English they wouldn't know or use the almost random spelling of English today. You could change this just a bit (I see you did some words, but you should do all consistently, or perhaps you could stylistically mix in normal and phonetic spelling inconsistently for effect to show continued blending and contact).

2. I'm still not sure why this pidgin came about. See my earlier comment on that topic. Which languages are mixing? Why would English speakers lose English and speak this instead? If the plots explains all of that, that's fine of course.
By the way, current research suggests that small, isolated communities without intense contact with other languages tends to result in more complex grammar, while extensive contact often results in simplification. The exact meaning of 'complexity' is unclear, including how it relates to pidgin/creole grammar, but roughly the intuitive sense seems to fit according to researchers like Trudgill and McWhorter who have made such claims.
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it is in decline as the P-say language refines and grows
3. Your use of "refine" here hints at a bias that almost every non-linguist has, which is assuming that some languages are more primitive and some are more developed than others. I'm just saying to watch out for that assumption. (If linguists could agree on a motto it might be something like "there are no primitive languages", or at least that's an important perspective in how we describe languages today. Note that this was not always the case historically when Latin and Greek were assumed "best", followed by vernacular European languages, and then the various "primitive" languages elsewhere, which really reflected instead the ignorance of Europeans, ironically. "Primitive" is now considered a 'bad word' in linguistics, but more generally we tend to avoid words or analyses that would imply value judgments: linguists are descriptivists, not prescriptivists.)
On the other hand, almost to contradict myself, this is a complicated situation. People (speakers) do often have value judgments about "proper" ways to speak (but that's entirely arbitrary, just like "proper" ways to dress, no real logical "right" way, just the way people with social prestige speak), and even more specifically with a pidgin, it is a limited grammatical system (whereas a creole is not). And people do talk about more "developed" languages in reference to things like having translations available (for books, for software, or similarly for keyboards to type the language), or for having vocabulary to express and keep up with technical innovations, etc. But again, don't think that some languages are inferior to others. They're just different, and used differently. My suggestion here is just to be careful about using any descriptive words that imply value, unless of course that is your intent (e.g., from the antagonist's perspective!).
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English (often elision modified)
4. Linguists sometimes refer to this as "telegraphic" speech, which actually happens to be a transparent term that most readers can probably understand without explanation. This involves things like omitting articles (the, a) in order to literally save money per letter for sending a telegram. Now it's common in newspaper headlines, etc. And stylistically it's somewhat similar to pidgins.
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on December 07, 2019, 10:44:57 AM
Hi Daniel;

Thank you for the extensive and detailed response. So I don't miss a point, I'll respond by section. First, let me give you a bit of insight into my own language 'dysfunction.'

Without going into the whys, for the first 10 years of my life I rarely spoke (and I've never had any formal education, and was American born). From 11-24 I lived round the globe where people conversed with me in their own form of Pidgin English, slang from their language, and those languages were countless. To that end, for much of my life I spoke my own brand of pidgin... and still do in times of stress. It was not until my early 30's I learned to read, write, and began to converse in English. So, I have an anecdotal grasp of building a language, and bridging language barriers with pidgin.

1A. I have never seen that series (The 100). Though it looks awesome and I'll definitely look into it. What I did find was a clip of the language in use. Right off I can say, it is MUCH more advanced--has been used longer and evolved--than my own. I noted hints of Portuguese, Patios, elided English and Pidgin English. But, from its compressed and smooth verbalization, that hints to me (as a layman), that it has been in use much-much longer than my P-say.

1B. Newspeak actually has some direct relevance regarding the very last line in my text.
As pastoral residents’ exclusive use of English alloys with Pastoral Pidgin, their English vocabulary has rapidly declined, unfortunately assisting the RCFG’s ‘Policy of Erasure’ efforts.
In my story, the government determines that it must wipe as much memory of the past and drive for the future from pastoral residents. As they have, many previous words simply have no relevance so are forgotten. But, they still need to express amplitudes, volume and so on. They do that via new universally applied adjectives and adverbs (like in Newspeak).

2. Thanks for that tip, I'll look into all of their work in more detail. That said, just like 1A above, their languages are (or likely more seem) much more advanced being true languages vs. my pidgin.

3A. At this stage it is definitely a pidgin... although, children are beginning to learn it as a first language (to their detriment, the language still so limited), it has a way to go before growing into a creole.  That said, I have rules in place for its use when spoken, and as I mentioned, extensive rules in place for spelling, writing it, even a logical alphabet. So, it is getting there (toward a creole), yet is not there yet.

3B. In brief to not waste your time... In the introductory novel (of 4 spanning 4 subsequent years), people in pastoral areas have spoken P-say for ONLY 'four years.' Hence the push-back by previous residents with their own slang dialects.

In my story, 417-million have gathered in a very small area at the government's insistence. At that point, the government began segregating groups based on various factors. Do they have children, race and language. People in pastoral areas (263-million), do not have children (for the most part). In S. Philly where the pidgin began, people who were not Caucasian and who did not speak an Am. Eng. dialect were all crammed in together. So, though most speak some amount of English, it's like the tower of Babel. Naturally, even for native English speakers, slang begins to dominate... to that end, finding words which could be enunciated by all speakers, discounting words and sounds which could not, P-say began to grow like all pidgins.

So, we're very early into this language, most people have a minimal grasp of English, yet the people have chosen their own slang based pidgin over forcing English on their neighbors. Finally, the actual developers of P-say, P-bit (alphabet), and the resistance, use the new language to combat RCFG Policy of Erasure efforts, pull the people together as a group, merge the races and cultures to work as one... IOW, they choose to diverge from English (like kids and slang), to define their identity and resist.

P-say is influenced by English, Am.Eng. Dialects, Spanish, Portuguese, Caribbean Patios, West.Hem. Creoles, Thai, etc.. Basically, every language you might find in America at any one time, all compressed into a minuscule area. Finding common aspects and adopting those universally speak-able by the majority (pronunciations and such).

_________________________________________________________

The introduction will be contained in an appendix section. Appendices in the first novel will be: Introduction to Pastoral Languages (and very-basic/introductory use by English readers), a P-say Glossary, a Sowfee-say Glossary, Translations by Chapter.

In the second novel's appendix, Sowfee-say will be eliminated, detailed rules for speaking P-say will be added, and rules for spelling in P-say will be added. (ex.: long vowels like 'case' are written with two adjacent vowels, 'caas.' More true, hard-c's are now represented by K, so 'kaas').

In the third novel, a new appendix section detailing the alphabet and it's use and reasons will be presented.

Throughout the series, discussions as to the language, it's origins, alphabet and so on, are extremely informal to keep the 'story a story.' That said, the languages are used by the appropriate characters... but, as allowed and reflecting the early stage, code-switching intermingling English (often elided) is used as dialogue WITH restraint (to not overwhelm the reader).

Ex.:
“Look, be quiet, okay? And if it’s help you’re offering, I don’t need any help,” Kae whispered back. “I just need to find somewhere to sleep, where I won’t be bothered—by anyone. What in the hell is that you’re speaking anyway? Speak English.”

“Po, yawut Meircan? Un ats P-say wha' pes. Welp, P-say Sowfilly style, Sowfee-say. As mi say, mi from ‘ere, mi ahways bint ‘ere. Mae’ say G-tahk fo' Meircan.”

Tr.: (question), you mean American (English)? And that's (the) Peoples' Language what else. Well, (the) Peoples' Language South Philadelphia style, Sowfee-say. As I said, I've always been here. We say G-tahk (government language) for American (the English language)."

So, in the story it reads like you or I might encounter it real life. All the detailed explanation, like the introduction, is there in the appendix IF someone wishes to look into it further.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Specific critique:

1. I'm not sure what you mean by "using an English spelling for these words?" Could you point to where please?

What is presented here, is an 'appendix introduction.' In the story, and in the glossary, best-approximation English speaker pronunciations are used... In the next novel, just in the appendix, P-say spellings will be added along side those English pronunciations. Otherwise, I fear it would overwhelm the reader demanding they learn P-say rules (which means, they'll stop reading)... P-say is phonetically written and simplified (I don't want to bore you with my basic rules, but if you would like for me to present them, I'd be pleased to).

2. (See above, previously covered). Beyond that, the government has worked to reduce the intelligence, memory, and motivation of these residents. The dialects are an attempt by individual groups to retain their previous group identity/individuality... As to English loss, many people did not speak English as their first language when they came there. Others, used their own pidgins, creoles, patios, whatever. Pastoral Pidgin bridges those divides... yet, as they begin speaking it primarily (having no strong English influences), they focus on it gradually losing touch with the English they did know, especially finer points... The situation, however, makes memory difficult. So, they focus on the now and lose what they once worked at daily.

3. I understand your point. That said, P-say at this stage is just a 4-year old developing language being influenced by 263-million people. So, it is growing and refining. Refining as in 'firming up' vocabulary, usage, grammar, phrasing. Naturally, that helps me. It allows me to intermix English to help the reader understand, and lends a tremendous degree of flexibility in P-say's use.  IOW, Bob does not have to say the exact same phrase the same way as Mary. Over time, that flexibility will reduce--refine--and ultimately become a creole.

4. Although that is NOT what I meant (elision modified), your suggestion of telegraphic speech should probably be added... although, I think that aspect would be better placed in the initial reading rules section. As an example of 'what I meant by elision modified,' typically > typ'cly > tipclee (when written in P-say).

That said, telegraphic speech as you suggest IS USED by the residents to varied degrees. So, I definitely need to add that aspect.

EDIT: With that in mind, after some investigation prompted by your suggestion, I'm curious if there are degree standards regarding telegraphic speech? IOW, a toddler might say, "give," representing Stage 1. Stage 2 might be, "give me candy," as voiced by a young child. Stage 4 (obviously I'm making these up), might be related to pidgin languages where complete vocabularies are unavailable.

If there are levels of distinction regarding telegraphic speech, I'd like to apply the correct one. It is definitely a condition that I show in the dialogue. Yet, I'd like to explain it correctly in the appendix.

_______________________________________

Since you have not mentioned them, please let me know if I used the introduction contained terms correctly (I'm pretty sure I have correctly used 'pidgin, dialect, and slang':

lexifier: (core/common language)
code-switching: (using English, patios, pidgin all in the same sentence)
elision modified/elided: (excluding vowels or consonants, sometimes larger portions when a word is spoken or written... typically above a good example)
vocabulary set: my way of saying... the users MUST use English or their own language, to supplement P-say's word deficiencies at this stage.

Elsewhere (in my rules not shown here), I also touch on 'reduplication, word-compounding, consonant reduction, vowel simplification, etc..' I WILL be adding your suggestion regarding 'telegraphic speech.'

Where I KNOW I'm having trouble is the application of the word 'phonic.' That phrasing I'll need to work on to ensure I apply the word correctly.


THANK YOU so very much for your time and help. If you have any other insights you'd care to suggest, they would be appreciated.  Also, if you feel the 'formal appendix introduction' is too difficult to read (or perhaps reads like telegraphic speech itself), please let me know.

Thank you again!

K2



P.S.: Just for fun, here is that replacement alphabet I developed.  You'll note that in actuality, there are only 3-symbols, rotated in three positions, with three positions for the accent mark. That reduces the number of print blocks required to 9 (perhaps even three if the accent mark is separate). So, as they begin mass producing documents for distribution, it will be easier to produce the equipment.

P-bit is written from top-to-bottom. At the page end, you shift right, then down again (point being, it keeps your hand away from messy inks/paint/etc..). Each word is ended with a dot. ALL punctuation uses the same accent mark. Sentences are ended with a line. Paragraphs, 2-lines.

(https://wrist.xxx/forums/media/pbit-jpg.1920/full)
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: panini on December 07, 2019, 10:51:57 AM
IMO good science fiction remembers the science part, and posits things that are scientifically realistic. I think the prior question that you should consider is whether this is a realistic scenario, or alternatively what would be realistic. Pidgin languages arise when populations come in contact and have no language in common. We have a common language in the US – English. My dialect is different from Daniel's or that of folks in Maine or Alabama, but we can understand each other. I can even understand people from Australia, South Africa and London (I admit that understanding people from Newcastle is hard).

In order to change the language situation in the US, you need a longer period and lack of linguistic contact. Obviously, no interwebs or television; trade is basically village to village; illiteracy is pandemic. Even so, that kind of describes medieval Scandinavia, so you also need time, not just "near future". A lot of sci-fi invented language is based on the opposite premise, namely massive contact and blending / code-switching, but that seems to be contrary to the plot of the novel.

My suggestion is to start by fleshing out the presumed social history that resulted in some language change. Think in terms of millenia, to get sufficient divergence in English dialects to the point that pidginization is a plausible outcome. Or mix in large populations of non-English speakers (e.g. all of the Chinese speakers move to Fargo, all of the Spanish speakers move to Memphis – and then contact happens). If you want dialects of this language (creolization and then further segregation and isolation), you need more time.
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: Daniel on December 07, 2019, 08:05:52 PM
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I lived round the globe where people conversed with me in their own form of Pidgin English
Technically this wouldn't be considered a "pidgin" but just some kind of interlanguage (English spoken by English learners of various levels). There's also "foreigner talk" for the reverse where English speakers try to "simplify" (in sometimes helpful, other times not helpful ways) how they speak so foreigners can understand. How and why we do this is interesting, and does relate to how pidgins eventually come about. You mentioned earlier code-switching vs. pidgins, and that's the same difference: code-switching (etc.) is spontaneous and part of usage, while pidgins (and creoles) start to become conventionalized systems rather than actively mixed with the standard form.
(By the way, the term "slang" is a personal pet peeve of mine, because on a technical level all it would refer to is "jargon" or specialized vocabulary, but also brings along with it a value judgment of the usage being inherently wrong in some sense. "Technical jargon" is use by professionals, whereas "slang" is used by people who are "uneducated", "unprofessional", etc. So I personally prefer to avoid that term, although of course it's in common usage by people even to describe how they speak themselves.)

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So, it is getting there (toward a creole), yet is not there yet.
Exactly how and when this transition occurs is actually a controversial topic in current research. The simple assumption that pidgins "become" creoles when children learn them isn't always directly supported by historical evidence due to a lack of historical record. So some researchers have questioned the simple dichotomy and suggested other models. Regardless, there are also some current examples of pidgins transitioning to creoles, which are being researched in that context as well. Some prominent examples include Tok Pisin and Nigerian Pidgin English, which today are probably better considered creoles, despite their names. That's pretty clear for Tok Pisin (Verhaar wrote a grammar of it in 1995 with this in mind, using corpus data to look at actual usage, showing conventionalization and change), and Nigerian Pidgin (or Creole!) is a more complicated case according to the research I've read about it because it exists in a wide continuum, as a pidgin for some speakers, as a creole for others, and also in constant contact with (standard-like, non-creole) Nigerian English, all three mixing together in usage and communication between speakers.

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As an example of 'what I meant by elision modified,' typically > typ'cly > tipclee (when written in P-say).
Oh, I see. Hm, the technical terminology here won't help too much for describing this to non-linguists. "Ellipsis" describes the omission of something, although especially for words (e.g. in answering a question), rather than for sounds. The term "elision" can also be used for the loss of a sound, as well as (at least in historical research on sound change) the term "loss" as well. But that's not particularly transparent to a non-linguist. The other relevant phenomenon here would technically be called cliticization, where a clitic is a morpheme somewhere between an affix and independent word, with mixed properties. In this case, it's phonologically dependent (pronounced with another word), but syntactically independent (functions like a separate part of the grammar). An example from English is the common combination of pronouns plus tense-marking auxiliaries like "I'll" or "I'm", etc., or auxiliaries with negation like "can't", etc. The eventual result of this is compounding and even development of additional morphology. (In the far future of your pidgin, by the way, the language structure could look quite different, with a lot more morphology due to these changes: but that's probably a thousand years or more away. Generally speaking current creoles around the world haven't reached that point yet but probably will in a couple thousand years. This is called the 'morphological cycle' if you want to look it up, going from isolating>agglutinative>fusional and then repeating, over many thousands of years. But that's a tangent because it's not relevant to the context of your book, except the part where this 'repeats' above, in that fusional languages (like English) lose some of that morphology and shift to isolating languages with very little or no morphology like most pidgins/creoles.)
Anyway, the terms that will be familiar to readers are "contractions" (more technically, when we use an apostrophe to indicate missing content due to cliticization) or just "compounding", which isn't as narrow in meaning but also fits.
Another possibility would be "abbreviations" (and various more specific technical terms for subtypes) but I'm not sure that quite fits. Current youth speech includes some of this with truncations like "delish" for delicious, etc.

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EDIT: With that in mind, after some investigation prompted by your suggestion, I'm curious if there are degree standards regarding telegraphic speech? IOW, a toddler might say, "give," representing Stage 1. Stage 2 might be, "give me candy," as voiced by a young child. Stage 4 (obviously I'm making these up), might be related to pidgin languages where complete vocabularies are unavailable.
Well, "telegraphic speech" just refers to, e.g., newspaper headlines. Typically formal usage that deviates from standard full grammar, and often in writing, although it might be used in speech too (e.g. foreigner talk? sports announcing?).
But what you wrote there reminds me of something else regarding first language acquisition in children: different stages, beginning with the one-word stage ("cookie!"), followed by the two-word stage ("give cookie!", "me cookie!"), and then more productive use of larger sentences structures toward adult usage. (For even more abstract background, this also seems intuitively to correspond to the architecture of grammar and the human language faculty in the sense that some animals do have "words" mirroring the one-word stage, while only a few animals seem to have reached the 'two-word' stage including apes trained with signed language but also a few naturally occurring examples, and then in general animals don't seem to have reached the more extensive level of 'infinite recursion' found in human language, so, for now, that level of grammar appears uniquely human from what we can tell, although a few cases might begin to border on it. There's some very interesting research on prairie dogs for example, but now I'm on a tangent. See the short video here if you'd like though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1kXCh496U0)

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If there are levels of distinction regarding telegraphic speech, I'd like to apply the correct one. It is definitely a condition that I show in the dialogue. Yet, I'd like to explain it correctly in the appendix.
No, there aren't specific levels in terms of how to label things. It's just a general phenomenon.

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Since you have not mentioned them, please let me know if I used the introduction contained terms correctly...
Overall, yes, it seems fine. (Again it's important for terms like "slang" to consider whether this is an objective description, in which case I would avoid that word, or a subjective description from the perspective of speakers who think of their own speech as non-standard-- a complicated sociolinguistic issue, but certainly one that exists.)
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patios
typo: should be patois. This term is used most often with Jamaican creole English, as a name for it (just like "Creole" can often, ambiguously, refer to a specific language in some location, like Louisiana). I wouldn't think of it as a distinct phenomenon, just another term like "creole" or "pidgin". I see online looking the word up now that it might also just refer to any non-standard vernacular usage (e.g. a local dialect). So that's fine if you want, I guess, but it's so non-specific I don't see it as additionally helpful here.

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reduplication, word-compounding, consonant reduction, vowel simplification
Reduplication is when the same word (or part of a word) is used twice in a row for grammaticalization, especially for meanings like plurals, augmentatives ('big X'), diminuatives ('small X'), intensives ('very X'), etc. We hardly ever use this in standard English, except interestingly for color terms as in "red red" (for a deep, strong shade of red).
"Vowel simplification" seems intuitively fine, although the technical term is most often "vowel reduction", where stressed vowels are pronounced most distinctly, and in unstressed positions they are pronounced in "lax" (=relaxed, unstressed) variants, even to the point of all being reduced to schwa and eventually loss of the segment altogether.

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Where I KNOW I'm having trouble is the application of the word 'phonic.' That phrasing I'll need to work on to ensure I apply the word correctly.
Post an example if you want. That term is really used more as a sort of branding of English-spelling teaching methods rather than anything more technical than that. We use the terms "phonology/phonological" to refer to the grammar (combinatorial properties and interaction) of sounds and "phonetics/phonetic" to refer to the physical pronunciation (articulation, acoustics, etc.) of sounds. (That is, phonology is a sub-field of linguistics proper, studying the grammar of human languages as systems, while phonetics has sometimes been considered a branch of physics, although today it's commonly researched in linguistics departments because of its obvious importance to linguists.)

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Also, if you feel the 'formal appendix introduction' is too difficult to read (or perhaps reads like telegraphic speech itself), please let me know.
I think it seemed fine and not even too technical, but I'm not the best test for that: try it on a non-linguist test audience to see what they think.

--

Panini's suggestions are crucial as well. Again I'll mention Peterson's book from my reply above, The Art of Language Invention where he discusses exactly these issues of realism, including some anecdotes about why he thinks this is important having watched and been disappointed by earlier attempts at 'alien language'.
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on December 07, 2019, 08:54:51 PM
Thanks for the response panini;

All great points that I hope in the story line I have overcome. That's a big part of what I did when I wrote this. I asked myself, "how do I want the world to be?" Then I sought out circumstances to make that happen. In this case, climate moving past a tipping point, a corrupt government ruled by a mad man, that mad man trying to convince the people we're under threat, causing a total infrastructure collapse, false threats of invasion, and the government's refusal to help anyone outside of a tiny area... and so on (it's long and involved, little things that add up).

Though I realize this is a VERY compressed time-frame and you folks here are working with limited information, I briefly touched on some of those issues in my reply to Daniel.  To recap what I mentioned there using bullet-points and expanding on it:

* 417-million are forced by circumstance into a tiny area... With only 326m in the U.S., the balance came from Canada, the Caribbean, ultimately a portion of the Mexican and Central American population, and 'Super-Corp' employees recalled from other nations. Naturally, that includes every language you might find in those regions (with people in the U.S. on visas and so on as well).

* Once there, the government performs a sort or 'cull.' In S. Philly (for example) where the pidgin began, people who were not Caucasian and who did not speak an Am. Eng. dialect were all crammed in together. A few residents remained.  So, though most speak some amount of English, it's like the tower of Babel. Naturally, even for native English speakers, slang begins to dominate.

* In these 'pastoral areas,' 263 million are crammed into 1,134 mi2 = 231,667 /mi2 population density. Much of those areas are unusable, so using S. Philly as an example and considering sea rise, it's now 1-million in 1.3 sq.mi..

* In pastoral areas, there are no utilities, nothing electrical works, there is no radio, etc.. And, the people are trapped behind walls meant to keep them segregated.

* So, we have a lot of different cultures and languages forced in together. On top of that, the government has a system of crushing oppression using starvation, constant threat of violence (from them and other residents), lack of water, supplied narcotics, excessively loud 24/7 PA propaganda (for the first two years) and so on, to wear the people down. The point being to get them to focus every moment on fear and survival. The goal to get them to forget the past, and even cease planning for the future.

So, with that minimal bit and a lot of other factors, we have densely packed groups that realize they must get along to survive (contrary to the governments goal). Language is one of the limiting factors... and since people pick up slang in such situations easily enough, often making a game of it (having little else to do), what works better?

Forcing non or rudimentary English speakers to learn or improve upon their English skills (as the English speakers begin to forget)... or, where everyone picks up new slang words that evolve to ease pronunciation for all, and as new words are added the language grows?

Think back to when you were a teen or even now. How many slang terms did/do you use? If we're introduced to rubber shoes as 'bumpers,' or a specific type of clothing as 'skins,' or the sole food product as 'gese,' what do you call them?


I feel very comfortable with all of the scenarios.  Even the language issue that I've supplied sufficient reason to have it come to pass.  My big trouble is, however... Does the introduction to the language read correctly?

Thanks for your input! Any feedback you could give on the introduction itself would be very helpful.

K2




Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on December 07, 2019, 08:57:00 PM
Daniel, thanks for the followup response... I have to head out for a bit. I'll try to read it all over when I get back later tonight.

Thanks again!

K2
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: Daniel on December 07, 2019, 09:23:40 PM
Responding to the post above about sociolinguistic context and development, just as a general rule you should assume that contact = mixing, change, pidginization, simplification, etc., and isolation = maintanence, perhaps complexification. What you've described seems to involve both components. In the end, it's your story, so as long as that fits what you're trying to describe, you should be fine.

Quote
My big trouble is, however... Does the introduction to the language read correctly?
Yes, generally it seems fine. One suggestion I could add is to include more examples. This is especially helpful for non-linguists to get a feeling for the language, but even for linguists often the most important part of any description. Sometimes languages are illustrated with a short section of the Bible or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights-- as a sort of allusion to that, could you quote a section of some similar political document from your world? ("The resistance has spread word of their efforts through the following document....??")
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on December 07, 2019, 11:39:41 PM
Thanks again Daniel and Panini for your help;

Daniel, getting back to your followup post, I appreciate your input on my own language development.

Regarding the word "slang," I'm somewhat at odds as to 'what if not?' Reviewing the terms jargon, argot, cant, slang and even dialect (which I believe (don't know) is more advanced and expansive), I'm brought right back to slang, however, not meant in a derisive way.  As an example, in Philadelphia a number of words used are not found elsewhere. "Jawn" the classic example, others simply different words applied to a common thing, sometimes elided, others not. Wit = with, plug = fire hydrant, MAC an ATM or Automatic Teller Machine.

In my regional dialects, I've included versions of all the 'jargon/slang' I could find, and then altered it to fit P-say rules while retaining the original sound (somewhat). That part is easy... P-say, the base language, not so much.

In my experience (not educated knowledge), two people can speak different languages, referring to the same object while discussing the same action and for the most part, figure out what the other person means well enough that an answer or end goal (perhaps a sale) can be reached. Before we reach a point of what is considered a pidgin language, a misunderstood word or a simplified word might work as a substitute for each party. 

Ex.: Tire tread sandals are common in many poorer regions. They're loose and 'smack' your feet and the ground, but the word 'slap' is easy for most to say and there's the beginning. Two people agree on the word (as they try to find something each understands) and soon it's repeated (one might know exactly what they're saying, the other assumes that's how that speaker says it... "yeah-yeah, slaps") it gets repeated, used with other people to save the discussion, and pretty soon they're known as "slaps," not, tire tread sandals.

That's how I tried to work this. So, I considered 'slang' not formal words from one language or the other everyone else was forced to learn... Except when it was 'catchy.'

First step, I checked which sounds were difficult for various languages... mostly by reviewing swaths of the vocabulary looking for missing sounds or sound combinations.  For P-say, I considered what would be common or slang terms for say an object from numerous languages. Not the formal word but what typically most people would call it. I then considered what sounds were difficult (or not used) for the languages, then picked the word which had the most overlap. Subjectively, I then considered what sounded 'catchy' realizing a HUGE part of this language had to be that English speakers would not use their typical word and accept this new word... then altered it to be spoken even easier.

So, that's why I 'assumed' the language was based on slang.  However, I'm open to using a better word. The question is, which?

Cliticization... That's going to take me some time to research just to understand a lot of what you said in that passage.  ;D In fact, as I research the sites/books/etc. you suggested, many of the terms (which all mean much more than a simple word, each describing volumes of information), lose me quickly. That relates directly to your mention of elisions and how the average reader might become lost.

Examples are a fine idea, and are given in later discussion of the language, yet in the case of the introduction (though I'm limiting the amount of terms), some say a lot with a single word. Elisions I first described as "shortened, fractured or broken," which I felt was a fair description. But, it added its own bit of confusion as to what way. I agree with you as to speaking above the average reader, but at some point to reduce pages to a few paragraphs, I need to use a few, minimal, specific words, and let them look it up.

Past that it's getting late and I'm losing my concentration.  I'll get back to address the balance tomorrow.

If you'd care to suggest a better term than 'slang,' jargon perhaps... please do.

Thanks again!

K2

Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: Daniel on December 08, 2019, 12:05:53 AM
"Slang" is a complicated issue, and I should explain that I probably dislike the word more than the average linguist. The issue is that it seems to be a sort of self-deprecation, as well as judgment from outsiders. You might hear people say "I don't speak proper English, just slang." or "That's just a slang word." And those attitudes are problematic. It's sort of an internalized sense of being wrong. Languages vary, but no version is better than another, and no version is wrong. The complication is that in a given society, there may be standards, and compared to those standards some other forms are non-standard and therefore understood to be wrong or slang. But that's embedded within a biased system. In short, slang is jargon without prestige, and jargon is slang with prestige. Thus slang is inherently a stigmatized variety (or it would be called something else). That seems like the wrong way to look at it, to me.
In the end, many people do think of what they say as slang. (But I ask my students to question why when I'm teaching about these topics.)
So if it fits your book, that's fine. I was just giving some context. And I don't have another word in mind that would be so intuitive for readers. In fact, from what you've hinted about the plot of your book, it might actually succeed in demonstrating the value of "slang" because it's used by the good guys, right? (That's one aspect of my objection to the term in general: it seems to me that no one would typically say "that's good slang" or "slang is good", because it doesn't have positive connotations. So if "slang" is inherently negative, I don't see it as a useful word for describing language rather than judging it.)

Quote
Cliticization... That's going to take me some time to research just to understand a lot of what you said in that passage.  ;D In fact, as I research the sites/books/etc. you suggested, many of the terms (which all mean much more than a simple word, each describing volumes of information), lose me quickly.
Yes, that's a dense paragraph with some additional ideas packed in there. If something stands out as relevant and you want me to address it specifically just let me know.

Quote
That relates directly to your mention of elisions and how the average reader might become lost.
Right, so that's your job, to make the readers understand. Linguists won't fault you for writing in a way that works for your audience (but throwing in some technical vocabulary and other details would be nice, as you're already doing).

--
(By the way, just a technical note about using the forum, I've noticed that replies in this thread are for some reason often getting caught by our spam filter. It's there to prevent massive amounts of spam showing up, which is helpful, but sometimes certain topics result in 'false positives' so messages might be delayed appearing. But we'll approve them when we see them.)
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on December 08, 2019, 09:11:04 AM
Thanks again Daniel;

I think at this point I'm going to let consideration of the word 'slang' stew in my head a bit.  Perhaps a new way of phrasing it will come to me.  Regarding the level of linguistic education to understand the terms I'm using, the value of saying a lot with a single word, or having it be understood easily by all, as I reread that introduction, I actually I think might have given people clues (to all things except elisions, which could be improved).

Lexifier I say, 'based on American English as the common lexifier.' Code-switching, 'Within a single sentence, speakers may combine their native language, English (often elision modified), Pidgin English, P-say, and regional CASE dialects.' And so on. So, though I don't want to speak above anyone (especially since I'm talking above my own education), I also don't want to speak 'below everyone.'


Getting back to your response I didn't finish, 'reduplication, etc., etc.,' you do bring up a point worth mentioning. (btw, reduplication and many other things ARE part of the language. Ex.: boda = please, boda-boda = begging please).

You said: "Vowel simplification" seems intuitively fine, although the technical term is most often "vowel reduction", where stressed vowels are pronounced most distinctly, and in unstressed positions they are pronounced in "lax" (=relaxed, unstressed) variants, even to the point of all being reduced to schwa and eventually loss of the segment altogether.

You mention the word 'schwa,' another I looked up, and if I understand it correctly, you may have touched on the primary vowel type or sound of my language (albeit, I did not use that word, most linguistic terms well beyond me). 

In my language (and this ONLY applies to writing my language in P-bit... in the manuscript, I write words using American English 'best guess' spellings), I mention how consonant use is simplified (perhaps it is phonetically?):
** Consonant use is simplified: F replaces GH and PH (cough=couf, phone=fone); K replaces a hard-C (cat=kat) and CK (back=bak); S replaces a soft-C (nice=nise); Z randomly replaces S and is enunciated as Z.
** Identical double consonants are not used unless each is enunciated (rattid=rat-tid), or is a compound word with identical end-start letters. Integrated English words are similarly elided to reflect that practice.
** H is only used after a ‘P-say soft vowel’ for added emphasis and is enunciated when spoken.
** Y is only used as a consonant and will only follow a vowel or a consonant as the start of a subsequent compound word.
** etc.

Regrading vowels/vowel sounds, however, I mention there are only three types used... One of those types is by a vast margin used in most words (perhaps 60-70%). Though I called it a 'soft vowel,' unconcerned with linguistic accuracy, I'm guessing it is your 'schwa' sound.  IOW, a,e,i,o,u, sound like; ah, eh, ih, oh (no longer a 'long vowel' for consistancy), uh. Considering that, at times P-say spellings differ from the expected English spelling (Eng-Eng pronun-Pbit spell):
Don't you - Donya (don-yah) - Danya (dahn-yah).
Come out of hiding - Naroach (nah-roach) - Naroch (nah-rohch)
Lady - Walocha (wah-loh-chah)

Is that a problem? The way your text read (to me), is that the schwa was almost a second thought, perhaps disposable, where in contrast it makes up the bulk of my vocabulary's vowel pronunciation.

Thank you so much for your generous indulgence. I'm sure it's difficult discussing a topic so close to your heart with someone so vastly uneducated on the subject (and why I tried limiting my request to just the introduction).

Thank you again, sincerely and deeply,

K2



Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: Daniel on December 08, 2019, 09:46:47 AM
Overall that sounds fine.

One specific point:
Quote
Is that a problem? The way your text read (to me), is that the schwa was almost a second thought, perhaps disposable, where in contrast it makes up the bulk of my vocabulary's vowel pronunciation.
That's fine. Schwas are basically neutral vowels. But from the spellings you gave, it seems there are other vowels too (which is also normal).
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on December 08, 2019, 11:38:57 PM
Daniel & Panini;

You two have left me with a lot of information to mull over and learn, to help me with my project.

Thank you both so much!

Once I get everything sorted out in an acceptable fashion regarding the introduction, guidelines and rules, I'll be sure to post that portion of the appendix to wrap things up here.  If there is anything I can answer for you, or if you feel I misunderstood what you posted, please let me know here.  I'll check back often.

Thank you both again,

K2
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on December 09, 2019, 08:24:29 AM
I do have one further question regarding the discussion of 'schwa' above. Have I used the term correctly in this instance:

** Identical double consonants are not used unless each is enunciated (rattid=rat-tid), or is a compound word with identical end-start letters. Integrated English words are similarly elided to reflect that practice. Where there is a determining vowel or schwa, it is often also eliminated (typically = typic’ly = tipclee).

Thanks again,

K2
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: Daniel on December 09, 2019, 08:29:37 AM
Quote
Identical double consonants are not used unless each is enunciated (rattid=rat-tid), or is a compound word with identical end-start letters.
Isn't this already true for English? Are you trying to differentiate your spelling? (Note that there is a big difference in doubled consonants in spelling vs. pronunciation: in spelling they mostly serve to indicate that the preceding vowel is short, which is an odd consequence of the history of English spelling.)
Quote
Integrated English words are similarly elided to reflect that practice.
Technically "elided" here would seem to refer to the whole word (=omitted), rather than, e.g. 'parts of the words are elided'. "The words undergo elision" is another way to phrase that, but not necessarily transparent for the reader. Something simpler like "some sounds are lost in the middle of words" would be fine of course.
Quote
Where there is a determining vowel or schwa, it is often also eliminated (typically = typic’ly = tipclee)
What's a "determining vowel" specifically? Why not just say that all unstressed vowels are eliminated? Is that correct?
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on December 09, 2019, 09:56:36 AM
Isn't this already true for English? Are you trying to differentiate your spelling? (Note that there is a big difference in doubled consonants in spelling vs. pronunciation: in spelling they mostly serve to indicate that the preceding vowel is short, which is an odd consequence of the history of English spelling.)

No and yes, hehe... I'm not 'trying' to differentiate my spelling, my goal here is to...

Here I must explain a little (what I'm trying to do). To aid everyone within the story to become fluent and literate in this new language, no matter their original language or level of education, words are pronounced and spelled as similarly as possible. Perhaps I'm using the term wrong, but might it be 'phonetically?' (using P-say spelling conventions).

English is not straight forward in that regard (like most other languages). It works, yet takes time to learn... The pastoral residents of CASE have not read or written anything in close to a decade (all the books/literature is gone, bluntly, eaten, burned or used to wipe their backside). The government has done all they can to continually dumb down the masses. They do not hear English except from those around them that speak it... and as discussed, as slang and intermingling of languages increases, proper English decreases. In the story, it's critical that the people find a common language to communicate, and that the written word is understood.

____________________

You continue with the point I suppose to some degree... "there is a big difference...in spelling vs. pronunciation." If a letter is not pronounced, generating a distinct sound, it is eliminated (in the P-say spelling). As an obvious example; 'e' at the end of the word makes the preceding vowel a long-vowel. In P-say, that designating 'e' is removed, and all long vowels are doubled (like the word 'seen') So, case = caas, same = saam, these = thees (though th is not used in P-say).

Back to identical double consonants, in P-say, if it is not pronounced, it is not written. So;
...in spelling they mostly serve to indicate that the preceding vowel is short, which is an odd consequence of the history of English spelling.
In P-say, the 'indicating consonant (double)' is eliminated. Typically = typicaly. Further, if the unstressed (short) vowel is not typically pronounced in lax/casual conversation, it would also be eliminated. Typically > typicaly > typicly... once into P-say pronunciation spellings: Tipiclee > may/may-not be further elided > tipclee.

Technically "elided" here would seem to refer to the whole word (=omitted), rather than, e.g. 'parts of the words are elided'. "The words undergo elision" is another way to phrase that, but not necessarily transparent for the reader. Something simpler like "some sounds are lost in the middle of words" would be fine of course.

Noted. I see what you're saying about my phrasing.
Perhaps something summed up as 'words are spelled as they are pronounced,' might work?

Since we're using it: spelled > speled > speld... Though speakers may/may-not use standard tense suffixes in conversation/orally (ed, er, ing, ly), when written, the word "spel (spe'l)" would likely be used, tense determined by context.

Why not just say that all unstressed vowels are eliminated? Is that correct?

That is more to the point, although at this point, I need to review my current vocabulary and determine if that is consistent in all cases, or, if it should be randomly applied (unstressed vowels I'm sensing is a 'gray range.' Meaning, just because it is unstressed, does not determine whether it is pronounced or not... though I don't state that as a fact, I'm still learning).

Thanks again!

K2
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: Daniel on December 10, 2019, 12:58:31 AM
Isn't this already true for English? Are you trying to differentiate your spelling? (Note that there is a big difference in doubled consonants in spelling vs. pronunciation: in spelling they mostly serve to indicate that the preceding vowel is short, which is an odd consequence of the history of English spelling.)

No and yes, hehe... I'm not 'trying' to differentiate my spelling, my goal here is to...
To clarify, I meant that it seemed like you were describing/highlighting differences, but that your description also sounded similar to current English spelling, so I was suggesting clarification.
Quote
Here I must explain a little (what I'm trying to do). To aid everyone within the story to become fluent and literate in this new language, no matter their original language or level of education, words are pronounced and spelled as similarly as possible. Perhaps I'm using the term wrong, but might it be 'phonetically?' (using P-say spelling conventions).
Right, that makes sense. You could say the spelling system has 'lost irregular spellings' and been simplified. The key word from an analytical perspective would be regular (consistent) spelling, rather than lots of exceptions.
The phrase 'spelled phonetically' is widely used but somewhat misleading. Spelling is inherently arbitrary, so there's no inherent logical way to represent sounds as symbols. But English spelling is one more step removed: it's irregular/inconsistent. Generally a "phonetic" orthography is understood to be one that lacks ambiguity either for how to spell a word, or how to pronounce a spelling. The simplest scenario is a one-to-one mapping from sounds (phonemes) to letters. Few languages actually reach that level of simplicity. One example that comes close is Swahili, except for a few digraphs like "ch", but it's entirely consistent without any exceptions at all. It's easy to spell and easy to read. I can read Swahili out loud without any idea what I'm saying but still pronouncing everything correctly (or close enough with my learner's accent). Spanish and some other European languages are also close to this, but do have some minimal ambiguity like "b" vs. "v" or "ll" vs. "y" (and "z" vs. "c" in Latin America), as well as the silent letter "h". At the extreme of irregularity is English and a few other languages.
Now another problem with the assumption of "phonetic" spelling is that you're still basing the general principles on the English system. As a linguist, I'm trained to use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to represent sounds (it's an ideal one-to-one mapping system, for all of the speech sounds of the world, obviously with many more than 26 letters!), and that seems like the obvious default to me now. It's essentially an expanded version of Latin (or general European) spelling, which differs from English especially in the vowels: e.g. the vowels of the alphabet "A E I O U" are pronounced in Spanish as "ah, eh, ee, oh, ooh". So in that sense, you're probably still using English principles for your spelling (rather than some abstract "phonetic" variant), and in fact you probably need to do that in order to not entirely lose your readers. (English speakers, in contrast to basically everyone else in the world, have the odd notion that "e" is pronounced "ee" instead of "eh"! -- only the few of us who end up studying linguistics find out just how weird this way of thinking is from a comparative perspective: the historical explanation is complicated, but goes back to a major pronunciation shift just before Shakespeare's time, called the Great Vowel Shift-- English vowels used to be 'normal' but then shifted a lot). Anyway, that's a long tangent, but gives some context to why this is a slightly complicated issue. Regardless, you should be able to explain it intuitively to your readers by talking about regularity/consistency. And, yes, if you want "phonetic" spelling since your readers will understand it that way even though it's a bit of a myth. Mostly you're just doing away with all of the quirks that make English spelling unique.

Quote
You continue with the point I suppose to some degree... "there is a big difference...in spelling vs. pronunciation." If a letter is not pronounced, generating a distinct sound, it is eliminated (in the P-say spelling). As an obvious example; 'e' at the end of the word makes the preceding vowel a long-vowel. In P-say, that designating 'e' is removed, and all long vowels are doubled (like the word 'seen') So, case = caas, same = saam, these = thees (though th is not used in P-say).
There's a complicated technical issue here, relating to the Great Vowel Shift that I mentioned in a tangent above. English does not have a true long/short distinction in vowels. We say that, but the situation is much messier than in other languages. In languages like Arabic or Finnish or even Italian, long vowels are just pronounced... longer. Some languages represented these as doubled vowels in the spelling, because that makes sense. English used to do this to some degree as well. Again, that makes sense. But that was before the Great Vowel Shift, which actually specifically only affected the long vowels. At that time, they were just longer. But now, they're different sounds (as well as longer). In other words, "bet" is pronounced today roughly like it would have been before the Great Vowel Shift. But "beet" is now pronounced like "biit" would have been pronounced before. Instead, "beet" would have originally been pronounced more like "bait" today. (If you know any other European languages, you'll have an intuitive sense of this mapping.)
So you're welcome to take some creative license as the author of the book and call these "long" and "short" vowels as we think of them in English today (we're just retaining that idea from before, even though they're now very different sounds!). But it doesn't seem that plausible to me that in the future English spelling would represent "long" vowels with these same symbols but doubled, because there's no sound-based correspondence between the single-vowel and double-vowel pronunciations then. In short, you'd be inheriting a weird quirk of English into a 'simplified' system where that wouldn't necessarily be intuitive. It's entirely possible some English speakers would be attached to the idea of "e" making an "eeee" sound and actually might suggest this, but at the very least it's not just simple doubling length and doubling spelling. Again, though, you might need to do this in order to avoid confusing your readers! This is tricky.

Quote
Technically "elided" here would seem to refer to the whole word (=omitted), rather than, e.g. 'parts of the words are elided'. "The words undergo elision" is another way to phrase that, but not necessarily transparent for the reader. Something simpler like "some sounds are lost in the middle of words" would be fine of course.

Noted. I see what you're saying about my phrasing.
Perhaps something summed up as 'words are spelled as they are pronounced,' might work?
Yes, that's the simplest way to convey the idea to your readers. (Again the same issue as above for "phonetic" spelling applies, but it would be clear what you mean regardless.)
Quote
Why not just say that all unstressed vowels are eliminated? Is that correct?

That is more to the point, although at this point, I need to review my current vocabulary and determine if that is consistent in all cases, or, if it should be randomly applied (unstressed vowels I'm sensing is a 'gray range.' Meaning, just because it is unstressed, does not determine whether it is pronounced or not... though I don't state that as a fact, I'm still learning).
Yes, there is a range of variation. Vowel reduction is on a continuum from the stressed, "long" sounds, to the "lax" "short" sounds, to schwa, and then to loss of the vowel. (Note that sometimes we also add vowels, via a process known as 'epenthesis', thus epenthetic vowels, when words get hard to pronounce because of complex consonant clusters, so don't go too far with the "simplification" or it might become unnatural, at least to English ears. Some other languages out there like Berber languages or Georgian can have much more complex consonant clusters than English, practically to the point where some words don't seem to have vowels at all, or at least many syllables, but that isn't the effect you're going for I don't think.)


In the end, one of the most important points I can emphasize for you is that it was a major discovery in the study of historical linguistics (i.e. how languages change) that sound change is regular. When a particular sound changes in some way in one word, then it also should change the same way in another word. This is how we can work out how languages are related. For example, you'll find a correspondence between "p" in Latin (etc.) and "f" in German (etc.), so that for example English "fish" and Spanish "pes" are related. (Lots more can be learned by looking up Grimm's Law if you'd like, and by the way, yes, that Grimm, one of the brothers who wrote the fairy tales too.) That's all fairly technical, but the point is that sounds don't often shift randomly. The rules can be very specific, such as changing a sound one way at the beginning of a syllable and another way at the end, or even adding in whether it's a stressed syllable, and so forth, or what the neighboring sounds are. But in the end, these changes apply consistently. So when in doubt, try to apply the changes consistently across words.

However, there is a distinction to be made in the scenario you describe: abrupt change via complex mixing, rather than typical slow sound change transmitted all via uninterrupted generations of native speakers. So some inconsistency could fit in well with your story. There's also a trick you can use as the author, which is that you can spell words in a way that may seem more intuitive for the reader, even if that's inconsistent across words or even sentences/speakers/writers, all in the name of showing some inconsistency in usage/spelling, but then also as a bonus allowing for easier comprehension. What I mean then is that you could maintain some relatively transparent relationship with current English, never allowing any sentences in the book to be too hard to understand, even if in principle they should vary more than that. On the other hand, you've said the spelling should be clear and standard to allow for consistent communication. So it's up to you, but you have some options. (In principle, this could even be a plot point, with some more anarchist spellers leading an orthographic rebellion to express their identity. Something we haven't really gotten into in this discussion yet is the central role that language and especially variation play in presenting one's identity: this is a main reason why teenagers speak like their peers and why that way isn't the same as how adults speak. In intense political situations similar factors would apply, as well as the counter-force of some speakers trying to sound 'standard' or blend in so that the government (etc.) doesn't notice them. Do they want to stand out? Remain unnoticed? It can become a plot point if you want.)
Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on December 10, 2019, 08:31:16 AM
Daniel, thank you for taking the time it must require to answer each of my inconsequential points (it is a fictional story after all) in such detail. Just as I already have your previous posts, and will do again, I'll be reading over this last post numerous times hoping to glean all I can from it.

I believe it is important to remember, and why I made it the lead point in my introduction, that P-say uses American English as the lexifier. That allows me to use English words and with a bit of simplification, integrate those words to even complete thoughts as a word into the language. I'm not trying to generate some vastly different or new language. I'm simply trying to present my 'best guess' as to how American English might change to accommodate many different language speakers' limitations.

Perhaps the most encouraging response I've had to it was through my alpha-readers as they read over the original story. Some stated they wanted easy access translations, others didn't preferring to work to understand it. All, however, laughed about "how I made them stupider." Stupider in that after a short while, they all began to understand what was being said in P-say and Sowfee-say passages.

In those passages of dialogue, there is a LOT of 'telegraphic speech, code-switching, and elided English words.' However, since the characters all speak English to some degree, conversational English clause/sentence phrasing 'order' is retained. Why change it? It wouldn't be true to the origins of the language. The only significant difference being... all question sentences begin with the word 'po.' Po, ya' yacha wut mi say'n?

In any case, your point regarding vowel naming conventions is exactly why in my appendix I've changed what particular vowel types are called. I don't want someone to apply preconceived notions as to how vowel/consonant sounds, orders, etc., should be applied. I aid that by using American English best guess pronunciations in the manuscript spellings (IOW, I want a reader to infer how the word sounds easily). Only later (if they wish) they can see how that translates into a P-say spelling... naturally, already having a direct example in the glossary:
Pessy – Pesee – pretty

As you might imagine, I'll be taking what I have learned here from you and apply it in a simplified fashion (mostly for myself) to the introduction, rules and ultimately the vocabulary. Fortunately, I do have a hedge for any subsequent criticism from readers to experts... This is a language just beginning its growth and evolution. It is expected to change, firm up, and formalize. Fortunately, that comes well after my 'Liberty Stumbled' series timeline is over. ;)

Thank you again for your help! Once I've brought this appendix up to its beta-stage, I'll post it in this thread so you can see if I learned what you taught.

K2





Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on May 23, 2020, 11:05:45 AM
Hi again all; after all your generous help, here is what I've come up with. It's rather involved, and I'm still working out the appendices chapter regarding P-bit, the pastoral alphabet, but due to your help this feels very good to me. Thanks again for your help (this is rather lengthy and involved, so you might wish to simply bypass the balance...glossary of words and definitions moved to a second post to fit the 20k word limit).

K2



A3. CASE Pastoral Pidgin Language and Primary Dialects
P-say : Peoples’ Language, Pastoral Pidgin
Sowfee-say : South Philadelphia (exclusive) Pastoral Dialect
CASE : Consolidated America Sanctuary East
RCFG : Restored Constitution Federal Government

Introduction: Pastoral Pidgin, colloquially ‘P-say,’ is a multicultural slang originating, evolving, and growing pidgin language, based on American English as the common lexifier. All ‘regional-specific CASE P-say dialects,’ derive from efforts to retain pre-Gathering regional or cultural slang and integrate it into P-say. Neither Pastoral Pidgin nor any of the regional CASE dialects make up a complete language vocabulary set.

The speaker’s native language remains the primary language for all users. Pastoral Pidgin and the varied slang dialects are spoken only if-or-when the speaker sees fit. Code-switching and telegraphic speech is typical—though inconsistent—among P-say users; but is in decline as the P-say language refines and grows. Within a single sentence, speakers may combine their native language, English (often elision modified), Pidgin English, P-say, and regional CASE dialects. Context, gesture, and personalized inflection are critical in conveying the implied meaning.

P-say and subsequently Sowfee-say, each originated in South Philadelphia’s, Sector-14. Once P-say took hold, pre-Gathering Philadelphia residents—residing in Sector-14—began integrating Philadelphian slang into P-say, to differentiate themselves from other residents, developing Sowfee-say. Other regional pastoral dialects followed suit.

Regional CASE P-say dialects include: Sowfee-say (South Philadelphia); V-tahk (New Venice (New York City)); Jeabe’ (New Jersey influenced areas); Bawlmar (Baltimore region); C-tahk/C-say/Chop/Carney (Homestead Capital (District of Columbia surrounding)); Smugs (various cultural or regional pre-Gathering dialects and slang still in use where a P-say direct replacement exists).

Regional-specific P-say dialects are all post-P-say variants. However, regional P-say dialect use is fading; gradually absorbed or replaced by universally accepted P-say as its vocabulary grows, the original population diminishes and dilutes through overwhelming diversity.

P-say and its varied regional-specific dialects became firmly entrenched in pastoral areas by G4. As pastoral residents’ exclusive use of English alloys with Pastoral Pidgin, their English vocabulary has rapidly declined, assisting the RCFG’s ‘Policy of Erasure’ efforts.


A3A. CASE Pastoral Pidgin to English Glossary (Introductory-G8)
P-say/Peep-say/Peep-speak/Pahksay : Peoples’ Language, Pastoral Pidgin

Notes (Reading Novel Dialogue/Speaking):
1. Shown P-say words are English spelling approximations (ESA) to aid pronunciation.
2. Shown dialogue punctuation follows English grammar rules (exceptions: see notes 6-8).
3. Context determines the specific word in translation.
4. English suffix modifiers (ESM) may be applied by the speaker and are used in the same manner (typically, ESM use is limited to novice P-say speakers).
4A. English suffix modifiers are discouraged when speaking P-say. Word compounding is preferred, with the modifying whole or partial word preceding the word modified. E.g.: bob = big, jumba = bigger, jumbob = biggest; up = height, bitty-up = low, bob-up = high; matya = mad, bitty-matya = little mad/upset.
5. An ‘s’ following a word (in ESA) makes the word plural or possessive in the same manner as English.
6. An apostrophe (when not used at the end of a word following a vowel) may denote a contraction or elision, soft-hyphen, phonic aid, or to differentiate one word from another (see’d = saw, not seed).
7. An apostrophe at the end of a word following a single vowel, softens the vowel (a’ = ah, e’ = eh, i’ = ih, o’ = oh (not oo/ew), u’ = uh) though is assumed, so rarely used except as noted.
8. The word ender of -ae’- is pronounced as a softened version of ‘ay’ or ‘ey.’ Hae’ = hey, not hay.
9. Compound words are used often and freely constructed by the speaker.
10. Numbers and numerals are verbalized the same as in English, or may be stated one digit at a time, or compounded. Ex.: three hundred seventy-nine = ko’jumba-ta’bob-to’; 3-7-9 = ko’-ta’-to’; 379 = ko’ta’to’.
11. Integrated non-P-say English words are often elided, typically using an apostrophe as a phonic aid or break point (elision).
12. Whole singular word or partial compound word exact reduplications are freely constructed as hyphenated compound words to denote emotional intensity. Context determines the implied meaning. E.g.: boda = please, boda-boda = begging please. Motya = mad, mot-motya = furious.
13. Telegraphic Speech (elimination of conjunctions and articles) is common and acceptable. Eg.: give me some food = feed mi bitty gese > give food = feed gese.


A3A. CASE Pastoral Pidgin to English Glossary (Advanced-G9)
P-say/Peep-say/Peep-speak/Pahksay : Peoples’ Language, Pastoral Pidgin

Notes (P-say Spelling and Punctuation, not used in Novel):
1. Pastoral residents write P-say only with P-bit. (see appendix: Liberty Stumbled-G10; A3B).
2. Regional-specific CASE P-say dialects are never written. When writing, a dialect user will always use P-say vocabulary replacements, rephrasing wording where required.
3. Capital and lowercase letter forms are not used in P-bit.
4. Words are compounded freely and may be written open, closed, or hyphenated at the writer’s discretion. Eg.: bab = big, bada = thank you, bab-bada = big thank you (thank you very much).
5. Whole or partial word exact reduplications are freely constructed as hyphenated compound words to denote emotional intensity. Context determines the implied meaning. The modifying reduplication will always precede the base word.  E.g.: boda = please, boda-boda = begging please; Matya = mad, mat-matya = furious.
6. Suffix modifiers are limited and discouraged when writing P-say (exceptions: see rules C4 and C5). Hyphenated word compounding is preferred, with the modifying whole or partial word preceding the word modified. E.g.: bab = big, jumba = bigger, jumbab = biggest; up = height, bitee-up = low, bab-up = high.
7. Apostrophes are only used as a vowel type designator (VTD) (exception: see rule-8). In most writing, VTDs are not used, the word pronunciation known. However, VTD use is never discouraged as long as it is applied consistently throughout a written work.
8. When writing any language other than P-say in P-bit, that language’s spelling and grammar conventions are used (exceptions: see rule-9, only P-bit punctuation marks are used).
9. Code switching (using more than one language in a sentence) is permissible. Rule-8 is applied to only the non-P-say words. Sentence punctuation and grammar will abide by P-bit rules.

C1. Consonant use is simplified: C is only used preceding an H to generate the CH sound (change, witch), or as an initialism referring to CASE or Case City (C, CC); F replaces GH and PH (cough = couf, phone = fone); J replaces (D)GE (fudge = fudj); K replaces a hard-C and CK (cat = kat, back = bak); S replaces a soft-C (nice = nise); Z randomly replaces S when placed at the beginning or within a word and is enunciated as Z.
C2. H is only used after a ‘P-say soft-vowel’ for added emphasis, extending or drawing out the soft-vowel sound when spoken.
C3. Y is only used as a consonant and will only follow a vowel or a consonant as the start of a trailing compounded word.
C4. S placed at the end of (after) a whole word makes the word plural.
C5. Z placed at the end of (after) a whole word makes the word possessive.
C6. Identical double consonants are not used unless each is enunciated (rattid = rat-tid), or is a compound word (with identical end-start letters, respectively), or is a plural S, or possessive Z following a word ending in those letters. Integrated English words are elided to reflect that practice. Where there is a determining vowel it is often also eliminated (typically = typic’ly = tipclee).

Vowels: There are three vowel types in P-say: soft, hard, and special. Unlike English, all P-say spellings utilize direct vowels, vowel combinations, or vowel and consonant combinations to generate the desired phonic sound.
V1. Y is not used as a vowel.
V2. Soft vowels are the most common and expressed as: a, e, i, o, u. English pronunciation equivalents to P-say soft vowel sounds are: ah, eh, ih, oh, uh, respectively.
V2A. When written—whether contained within a word (flanked by consonants) or at its ends—soft vowels should always be assumed unless designated otherwise.
V2B. Numbers, sensory words, and certain short primary words with a soft vowel at their end use a trailing apostrophe to differentiate them from English pronunciations.
V3. Hard vowels are the same as English ‘long vowels,’ and are always expressed by adjacent identical vowels: aa, ee, ii, (oo-excluded), uu. The English long vowel sound of oo, is replaced by uu. An ‘e’ at the end of a word does not make the preceding vowel a long vowel as in English.
V4. Special vowels are carryover sounds from English and other languages and include three types: simple, associated vowel determining, and associated consonant determining. They are formally designated by an apostrophe preceding, separating, or following the vowel(s). In many cases—just as in English—the following letter determines the sound.
** Special vowels may be added when needed as the language grows.
V4A. Special-Simple: ‘a (cat, past, slap, rally).
V4B. Special-Vowel Determining (word ending): ae’ (hae’ = hey, softer than ay (aa)); ea’ (via, chia); ua’ (gargantua, noctua).
V4C. Special-Vowel Determining (word containing): ee’a (triage, media); o’u (mouth, pout); u’a (squab, squat).
V4D. Special-Consonant Determining: a’g (bag, rag); a’ng (hang, bang); ai’r (fair, hair); a’l (fall, maul); a’r (car, star); a’w (drawn, law); e’r (enter, over); ei’r (heir, their, softer than ai’r); i’ng/nk (sing, ink); o’r (north, storm); o’w (how, scowl); u’l (bull, wool).

Punctuation: is simplified whether using English or P-bit alphabets to accommodate the contrasting horizontal vs. vertical style of writing, respectively. P-say punctuation is as follows (exceptions: see spelling and punctuation rules 7-9).
P1. P-say punctuation marks are: an interpunct/middle-dot ( · or • ); an apostrophe ( ‘ ); a hyphen ( - ); an underscore ( _ ); row/column shifts (horizontal/vertical writing styles). No other punctuation is used.
P2. An interpucnt or middle-dot ( · or • ) is placed at the end of each whole word (in place of a space). Exceptions: interpuncts are not used: between closed compound words; or between a word and any other punctuation including VTDs and sentence ending underscores.
P3. Apostrophes are only used as a vowel type designator (VTD), or as noted in spelling and punctuation rule-8.
P4. Hyphens are only used within reduplications or hyphenated compound words.
P5. Underscores replace periods. They are only placed at the end of a sentence.
P6. Sentences are written until the column (P-bit) or row (English Alphabet) fills the available space, ending with a whole word, then shifts to the next column/row respectively.
P7. New paragraphs begin the next column/row regardless of how few words the previous column/row contains.
P8. Commas, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks, nor any other punctuation mark is used when writing P-say. Exceptions: see spelling and punctuation rule-8 for accent marks and apostrophes where a word from any other language is used. It is expected that non-P-say users will use forms of punctuation, style, and grammar they are accustomed to—and though incorrect—should not be corrected.


A3A. CASE Pastoral Pidgin to English Glossary (Expert-G10)
P-say/Peep-say/Peep-speak/Pahksay : Peoples’ Language, Pastoral Pidgin
Notes (Writing P-say with P-bit, not used in Novel):


Title: Re: A Fictional Language Introduction...
Post by: K2 on May 23, 2020, 11:09:33 AM
(Sowfee-say dialect removed due to character count limit)

English Spelling Pronunciation : Formal P-say Spelling : Translation/Definition

Ot’ : At’ : 0
Ka’ : 1
Ke’ : 2
Ko’ : 3
Sa’ : 4
Se’ : 5
So’ : 6
Ta’ : 7
Te’ : 8
To’ : 9
Numeral+ bob : 10s
Numeral+ jumba : 100s
Numeral+ jumbob : 1,000s
Ba’ : sight, visible light, see
Be’ : hearing, sound, heard
Bi’ : touch, felt, feel
Bo’ : smell, scent, sniff
Bu’ : taste, eat, drink
-----------------
Agin : again
Am : ‘Am : is, are, aren’t
An : ‘An : and, also see ‘un’
Anaka’ : ‘Anaka’ : anyone
Anating : ‘Anati’ng anything
Azkan : ‘Azk‘an : asking
At : ‘At : it, also see ‘et’
Ats : ‘Atz : it is, it’s
Awroun : ‘Awro’un : around
Bada : thank you, thanks
Baha : laughing, teasing, taunting
Bai : Bii : good, light (color or weight)
Baiya : Biiya happy, contented
Bang : Ba’ng : shoot
Banger : Ba’nge’r : gun
Bees : Beez : bullets
Beech : bitch
Beroach : Beroch : command to ‘hide and be quiet’
Bida : an apology, sorry
Bint : been
Bitty : Bitee : little, few, small, slightly
Bittyup : Bitee-up : low
Bittyyacha : Biteeyacha : somewhat/vaguely understand
Blessin : Blesin : rain (when falling, when static see tormwada)
Bob : Bab : big, a lot, large, really (adds emphasis)
Bobknob : Babna’wb : big penis/cock
Bobup : Bab-up : high
Bobya’ : Babya’ : absolutely, without question
Bobyacha : Babyacha : absolutely understand/straight/clear
Boda : please
Boda-boda : begging-please
Boomer : Buume’r : bomb, grenade, mine
Boot : Buut : rear, bottom, backside, ass (anatomical or location)
Bote : Bot : both, all
Bout : Bo’ut : about
Bozo : the Mad Clown
Breeda : fertile zone resident
Brut : brought
Bumpers : rubber shoes worn by fertile zone residents
C : CASE, applied as a generic prefix to anything Case City related
CC/CeeCee : CC : CASE City
CG/Case-G/Fed-Gov/G/Feddy-G : Restored Constitution Federal Government officer/worker
Chach : female professional sex worker - prostitute
Chachia : Chachea’ : young female professional sex worker - prostitute
Chacho : Chacho : older female professional sex worker - prostitute
Charoach : Charoch : command to hide and be quiet
Charot : Charat : you’re dead, threat to kill
Choka : generic soft term for female genitalia, pussy, cunnie
Choka Kings : Pussy Kings, W-7-B/C gang, translates as “studs/skilled lovers”
Chop : Chap : cut off, remove from
Chote : Chot : (severe insult) diseased wore out cum-ditch that everyone uses just for sex
Chuse : Chuus : vaginal secretions
Chutes : Shuuts : wall ‘gates,’ always stated as plural
Circus : Se’rkus: Homestead Capital, formerly Washington, D.C.
Coom : Kuum : come
Cram : Kr‘am : sexual intercourse -or- fuck, damn, shit, bastard, etc. (general purpose expletive)
Crammer : Kr‘ame’r : fucker
Cramya : Kr‘amya : fuck you
Cuz : Kuz : because
Da : the, a, an
Dat : D‘at : that, also see ‘what’
Dance : D‘ans : use recreational drugs
Dancin’ : D‘ansin : intoxicated/high on recreational drugs,
Dano : don’t know
Dawg : Da’wg : government supplied fertile area food product resembling a hot dog
Dawgese : Da’wgees : government supplied fertile area food product resembling a cheese stick
Dimmy : Dimee : idiot, stupid
Donya : Danya : don’t you, don’t
Dreama : Dreema : drug dealer
Dumpster : salvage truck: re-purposed garbage trucks used for body collection
Dumpy-G : Dumpee-G : government planter
Dy : Dii : day (typically added as a suffix)
Eas : Ees : east
En : in
‘Ere : here
Et : it, also see ‘at’
Evaka’ : everyone
Evating : everything
Facin’ : Faasin : lying, telling a false tale
Fa’eva/eva : forever
Fallen Star : post-Gathering, United States (inclusive term for North America, the nation, government, and ‘all people’ that called it home)
Fancy : F‘ansee : fancy, nice, high quality, expensive
Feed : give, pay
Flat : Fl‘at : sure, firm, positive
Flippin’ : Flipin : have sex for money or food, prostitution
Flop : Flap : home, established place a person lives, also see ‘squat’
Fly : Flii : show
Fo : for
G’s : government, applied as a prefix or suffix to anything government related
G-skins : government supplied poly-paper coveralls in pastel yellow, pink, green or blue
G-tahk : G-tak : English language, also see ‘meircan’
G-time : G-tiim : government-time, year (associated without relevance)
Gambly : G‘amblee : fun, just playing
Gese : Gees : government supplied pastoral area nutrition block
Gese-box : Gees-bax : ATM-like, nutritional block dispensing station, credit band activated
Gimme : Gimee give me
Git : get
Go : ago, past
Gonna : Gunu : going to
Grinder : Griind‘er : addict
Grip : a common gesture of ‘gripping one’s chest, solar plexus, stomach or gut,’ due to a number of ailments caused by malnutrition, digestive issues, and heart failure.
Grip-rot : Griprat : alteration of ‘death grip,’ a position common to people that spontaneously expire, typically due to heart failure caused by malnutrition.
Gumpy : Gumpee : government gleaner
Gumpy-haular : Gumpee-ha’la’r : government stock truck
Gut : anus/anal/ass
Gutcram : Gutkr‘am : anal sex
Gutshot : Gutshat : administering drugs rectally
Gutya : bullshit
Haf : H‘af : have, has, got
Haular : Ha’la’r : enclosed government food delivery truck
Hep : help
Hoot : Huut : breast
Hooha : Huuha : large breast
Im : gender neutral he, him, her, she, more common than ‘Ma or Wa’
Imwut : he/she means (gender neutral)
Imswut : they mean
Is : am, are
Jaggle : J‘agu’l : command to move
Jes : just
Jesta : just-to
Jumba : larger, bigger, harder, more, etc.
Jumbob : Jumbab : largest, biggest, hardest, most, etc.
Knob : Na’wb : penis/cock
Knob-grinder : Na’wb-griinde’r : penis/cock addict, slut
Knobwa : Na’wbwa : extremely masculine female, dick-girl (figurative vs. obsolete slang for TG male to female)
Knockin’ : Nahkin : male masturbation
Ko’ta’to’ : 3-7-9, Reaper-379
Leef : leave, left
Ma : he, him
Macha : man
Machia : Machea’ : young man
Machach : male professional sex worker - prostitute
Machacha : young male professional sex worker - prostitute
Macho : older man
Machacho : older male professional sex worker - prostitute
Machote : Machot : (insult, male) old diseased pervert molester
Machuse : Machuus : semen, male ejaculate
Mae’ : we, us
Mahdfahnt : mud front, line of a storm
Malocha : gentleman
Mapip : boy, child
Marot : Marat : murderer
Mas : together, with, bound (deal, pact)
Mash : M‘ash : wreck, destroy, badly hurt
Mashar M‘asha’r : heavily armed and armored government vehicle
Matail : Mataal : male slave
Mawa : masculine female
Mawut: he means
Meircan : Mei’rkan : American - person, nation, North American Continent, English language
Member : Membe’r : remember
Mi : I, my, I’m
Miwut : I mean
Moo : Muu : move
Mot : Mat : bad, dark, heavy
Motya : Matya : angry, mad
Musabe : Musubee : must be
Mussal : Musa’l : force, make
Na’ : no
Nacare : Nakai’r : ‘do not care’
Naht : night (typically added as a suffix)
Nah’tin : nothing
Nak : N‘ak : skills, abilities, gift (aptitude)
Naka’ : no one
Namo : request to wait, stay, be still
Namoo : Namuu : order to not move, stay still
Naroach : Naroch : command to come out of hiding
Nasay : Nasaa : stop talking, don’t speak, shut-up (context and vigor determines meaning)
Nating : Nati’ng : nothing
Neva : never
Nilite : Niiliit : (night-light) the increased nighttime brightness caused by: skyglow (light pollution), diffused lunar back lighting of the thin translucent overcast, enhanced airglow, extended twilight and false sunrise/set, extended sun pillars, noctilucent clouds, etc.
Nono : stern warning
Nort : N‘ort : north
Nub : clitoris
Ova : over
Olee : only
P : peoples’, colloquially ‘peeps,’ prefix applied to anything pastoral area related
P-bit : peoples’ alphabet (pastoral)
P-say : peoples’ language (pastoral)
Pack : P‘ak : gang, group, brother/sisterhood
Pas : like, similar, same
Paste : Paast : government supplied productive area food product resembling meat paste in a tube
Path : P‘ath : direction, route, course
Pax : P‘ax : a firm deal, pact or treaty, an unbreakable promise
Peace : Pees : Pastoral citizen imposed mandatory truce during rain. Also see ‘truce.’
Peep : pastoral zone resident
Pes : or, maybe, if, but
Pessy : Pesee : pretty
Pip : child, any minor (under 18)
Pip-snaga : Pip-sna’ga : person who steals, buys or sells minors
Pip-snaga-G : Pip-sna’ga-G : government planter
Pip-squat : Pip-squ’at : resident designated neighborhoods, citizen enforced ‘no adult activity’ areas, only for families with children
Po’ : Precursor to a question (Po’, where is Tom?), or is used as ‘why, what, who, where, which, etc.’ (Po’ is Tom?)
Pop : Pap : orgasm, cum, ejaculate
Pos : Pas : possibly, perhaps, rhetorical question (rare)
Poyea : Poy‘a : ‘yes?’ Question seeking confirmation
Poyacha : ‘do you understand?’ Question seeking confirmation
Pushar : Pusha’r : government armored vehicle (typically with an audible warning)
Rabble : R‘abu’l : trouble-makers
Rally : R‘alee : let’s go
Rally-up : R‘alee-up : hurry
Randy : R‘andee : horny
Rat : R‘at : variable general expletive (will always be a prefix when compounded)
Rattid : R‘attid shit (good humored, as in an exaggerated ‘sheeet’)
Ratya : R‘atya : fuck off
Reepa : government reaper
Raspect : Raspekt : humble respect, submission, humility, admiration
Rit : digital dollar, credit
Rit-strap : Rit-str‘ap : black credit-band worn on wrist
Roach : Roch : command to cover up, don’t move and hide where you are
Romp : Ramp : sexual activity, having sex
Rot : Rat : dead, die, kill
Rotfall : Ratfal : dead-fall, warning that a building is collapsing
Rotim : Ratim : killed him/her
Rotims : Ratims : killed them (plural)
Rotya : Ratya : kill you
Rua’ka : Rokka-Kae, hero, societal savior, ‘the one’
Rumble : Rumbu’l : trouble, fight, riot
Safe : Saaf : save(d), rescue(d)
Say : Saa : language, said, say, speak, talk, tell, told, also see ‘tahk’
Scrape : Skraap : scar
Scratchin’ : Skr‘achin : brand, body carving
Scribble : Skribu’l : tattoo
Seeakow : See’ak‘ow : adjectives applied simultaneously: defender, protector, liberator, wrath of the people, hand of justice—tenacious, unyielding, ferocious, uncompromising, etc.
See’d : Seed : see/saw casually spoken
Seedy : Seedee : pronunciation of ‘city’
Sessy : Sesee : sexy
Shakin’ : Shaakin : scared, afraid
Shot : Shat : dose of drugs
Skins : clothes
Slap-footin : Sl‘ap-futin : running
Slap ya’ foot : Sl‘ap yafut : command to run
Slappin’ : Sl‘apin : female masturbation
Slaps : Sl‘aps : tire tread sandals, common footwear worn by pastoral citizens
Slash : Sl‘ash : cunt, twat, snatch, gash (vulgar)
Slacho : Sl‘acho : old vagina
Slashia : Sl‘ashea’ : tight young wet vagina
Slasho : Sl‘asho : older slashy, old ‘queen’
Slashote : Sl‘ashot : (insult) loose old dry vagina
Slashtail : Sl‘ashtaal : sex slave
Slashy : Sl‘ashee : third-gender/sexed, lady-boy, sissy-boy, sometimes a professional sex worker
Slick : Slik : new, fresh, clean
Slickup : Slikup : wash, to-clean
Slide : Sliid : aphrodisiac drug
Slob : Slab : sucking/slurping on something, washing it in your mouth
Slobbin : Slabin : sucking on something
Slobknob : Slabna’wb : fellatio, oral sex performed on a male
Slouch : Slo’uch : opiate like narcotic
Sluff : Sluf : sleep
Slufasho : Slufusho : dream
Slurp : Sle’rp : cunnilingus, oral sex performed on a female
Smash : Sm‘ash : rape
Smashcram : Sm‘ashkr‘am : rape
Smashote : Sm‘ashot rapist
Smoker : Smoke’r very attractive woman or man
Smudge : Smudj : non-permanent mark, (paint, chalk, ink, etc.)
Smuver : Smuve’r : any mouth+nose covering (breathing), surgical style face mask included with each government supplied coverall
Snag : Sna’g : steal, take without permission
Snaga : Sna’ga : thief
Snooter : Snuute’r : nasal inhaler for drugs
Snoots : Snuuts : inhaling drugs nasally
Soft : Saft : calm, gently, quietly
Sosa : slow
Soso : easy, take it easy, relax
Sout : So’ut : south
Sposed : Sposd : supposed
Spy : Spii : look, see
Squat : Squ’at : primary general-area/location a person lives or controls, turf, territory, also see ‘flop’
Steam : Steem : enhanced amphetamine, speed
Steel : bladed weapon
Sum : some
Sumhey : Sumhae’ : somehow
Sumpin : something
Sumting : Sumti’ng : something
Sweatin’ : Swetin : nervous, concerned, uneasy, edgy
Sweegese : Sweegees : government supplied productive area food product resembling white gese blocks with enhanced sweetening
Syco : Siiko : hallucinogens
Ta : Tu : to
Tahk : language, said, say, speak, talk, tell, told, also see ‘say’
Tail : Taal : slave
Tail-draga :Taaldra’gu pimp, sex slave owner
Tail-snaga : Taalsna’gu procurer, slaver
Thumpa : Thumpu : gang soldier or guard
Thumpa-G : Thumpu-G : government soldier or guard
Tink : Ti’nk : think
Tooke : Tuuk : little penis
Tookie-tooke : Tuukee-tuuk : tiny penis
Torm : To’rm : storm
Tormba’ : To’rmba’ : storm-light, lightning
Tormbe’ : To’rmbe’ : storm-sound, thunder
Tormbi’ : To’rmbi’ : storm-feel, wind
Tormfahnt : To’rmfant : storm-front, leading edge of a storm
Tormahd : To’rmad : storm-mud, mud front of a storm
Tormwada : To’rmwada : storm-water, rain water, when static (when falling, see blessin)
Tote : Tot : bag, pack, parcel
Truce : Truus : Pastoral citizen imposed mandatory truce when it is raining. Also see “peace.”
Twistie : Twistee : a lie
Uh : of
Uhlong : Ulang : along
Un : and, too
Up : in, on, vertical motion, or elevation (git-up = stand, bitee-up = low)
Up-mi : in my, on my
Up-ya’ : in your, on your
Utter : Ute’r : other
Vulcha : Vu’lcha : government salvage worker
Wa : her, she
Wa-ah : whoa, denotes surprise or concern
Wacha : woman
Wachia : Wachea’ : young woman
Wacho : older woman
Wacram : Wakr‘am : oh fuck, denotes negative surprise or concern
Wada : water
Walocha : lady
Wanna : Wanu : want
Wanta : Wantu : want-to
Wapip : girl, child
Watail : Wataal : female slave
Wa-uh : uh-oh, denotes realization of a problem
Wawut : she means
Waya : oh yeah
Wes : west
What : Wat : that, also see ‘dat’
Wid : with
Wohcram : Wokr‘am : holy fuck, denotes positive surprise or concern
Woo-Bar : Wuuba’r : mutual masturbation sex bar/club
Wut : what (softened)
Ya’ : you, yours
Yaba’ : you see/look, asking if someone sees something, or telling them to look
Yabe’ : you hear/listen, asking if someone hears something, or telling them to listen
Yabi’ : you feel/touch, asking if someone feels something, or telling them to touch
Yabo’ : you smell, asking if someone smells something, or telling them to sniff
Yabu’ : you taste/eat/drink, asking if someone tastes something, or telling them to taste/eat/drink
Yacha : understand
Yaha : hey! Greeting to get someone’s attention
Yam : Y‘am : you are/you’re
Yama : Yamu : yeah man, yah-mon
Yamoo : Yamuu : you move, order for someone to go (or go in a direction)
Yasay : Yasaa : you speak, telling someone to talk or stating ‘you said’
Yawut : you mean?
Yeah : Y‘a : yes
Yowlee : Yo’wlee : homestead/productive zone residents
Yum : fresh meat
Yum-chukar : Yum-chuka’r : government food truck with spreaders
Zombee : Zambee : a person who practices cannibalism


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