I just killed syllabics :Þ

So I take some of that back.  I've just killed off syllabics altogether, so you can ignore the bit about them being their own letter à la icelandic and all that.

C[+sonorant,+syllabic] → C[-syllabic]a

Syllabic sonorant consonants become non-syllabic and are followed by -a.

swistr → swistra (sister)
rign → rigna (rain)

It also has some interesting implications for verbs:

dūn, stēn, gīn - no syllabics here.  But:

wisan > wisn > wisna
waírþan > werðn > werðna

Here's also a nifty twist for Class 1 weak verbs:

wiljan > wilin

Some new words and rules

I've been playing around with some new words, and by extension, new rules.  I added a rule to "Mora Loss" (which is really just a sort of catch-all bucket for about 30 other rules) to include long vowels:

V [+long]→[-long]/_______## (i.e. a long vowel becomes short at the end of a word or word segment.)

I also added an early rule which may be somewhat superfluous, as I think this already happened in Gothic, but not in the orthography:

b,d→v,ð/V_______V (i.e. intervocalic stops, not including g, become continutant.) 

I think g did this in Gothic as well, but I'm imagining something a little more interesting for g as time goes on...

I also added a bunch of new words, which are in the lexicon, mostly for the purpose of examples in the rules:

dōr n.st.n. door.
dūn v.t. to do.
fūts n.st.m. foot.
gangan v.i. to go. Also gīn.
gēts n.st.f. goat.
gīn v.i. to go. Short form of gangan.
gum n.w.m. man.  
haus n.st.n. house.
hōhs adj. high.
ja itj. yes, yea(h). 
kwīns n.st.f. woman.
lōmyna n.st.n. lightning.
man n.w.m. man, person (not gender-specific).
nī itj.  no, not.
standan v.i. to stand.  Also stēn.
stēn v.i. to stand.  Short form of standan.
þȳþs n.st.m. person.
werðan v.i. to become, to turn into.
wilen v.t. to want.
wisan v.i. to be.

I've also decided that syllabic sonorants can just sit there and be syllabic sonorants, icelandic style (e.g. sivn - "seven", unsr - "our").


Some More Thoughts on Rhotacism

I think i've been getting tripped up by other germanic languages when thinking about rhotacism.  In particular, I've been wondering how it would apply to the masculine singular nominative ending, and the fact is that by the time of gothic this ending has already become -s, and as such, rhotacism just can't apply to it.

I would still like to see some sort of rhotacism take place in gytc, but i don't want to see z and r turn into a single letter.  I think what i would like is a sort of runic-style "ʀ" with an indefinite pronunciation until i can come up with something more concrete, so for now i think it's safe to just use the ʒ character, and just wait to decide whether it should be pronounced [r], [ʒ], or, heck, maybe even [ɮ].  (I like ɮ.  It's fun to say.)

So we can put down as a solid rule that z > ʒ, but that this has no effect on s from a former z, and we'll decide what it sounds like later on.  I would also put this in a chronology where this change occurs after the rule in which voiced consonant clusters become unvoiced (e.g. razda > rasta > rast, not razda > raʒda > ract or rart).

I'm going to start a lexicon and rule page for gytc at http://ling.everywitchway.net/germanic/east/gothic/gutish to keep track of these sorts of changes as they occur.

Stay tuned!


Articles, Numerals, Pronouns

(from handwritten notes, transcribed)

Definite Article

sa → sə
sō → sə
þata → þat(ə)
þana → þan/þən
þō → þə
þamma → þam
þizai → (do we have rhotacism or not?) → þizə, þiʒə, þerə?


áins → ēns
twái → twē
þreis → þrīs(/z/r/ʒ?)
fidwōr → fidər? fidur? fidrə
fimf → fim
saíhs → sēs (seks?)
sibun → sivən
ahtáu → ahtō, ahtə
niun → nȳn
taíhun → tēn
áinlif → ēnlif
twalif → twalif
þrijataíhun → þrītēn, fidratēn, fimtēn, sēstēn, sivəntēn, ahtətēn, nȳntēn

þrīxtigə [x = s, z, ʒ, r, or whatever it turns out to be when we decide what we want to do about rhotacism]


ik - mīns - mik - mis
þu - þīns - þik* - þis* (*not þus, &c.)
īx - īns - īm - īn
sī - īxas - īxa - sī
it - its - īm - it

wīt - unks - unks - unk
jūt - junks - junks - junk

wīx - uns - unsə - unsər
jūx - ixwī - ixwə - ixwər

Thoughts on Rules

(from handwritten notes, transcribed)


intervocalic obstruents split. (that means g too, Mr. Voyles!)

mora loss, mora loss, mora loss... unstressed short vowels, etc.

u/w umlaut à la north germanic? front vowels round?

ddj → ʤ
ggw → ngw? ngv?

(sk → ʃ/[V,+front, +high (i.e. i(:),e(:))]____)
(e.g. gutiska → gytiʃə → gyʧa rast)

voiced consonant clusters → unvoiced (e.g. razda → rast)

rhotacism? z → r
partial rhotacism? z → ʒ - have to figure out this rule before much progress can be made.

vowel lengthening/h-assimilation
Vh → V̄Ø, e.g. sehs (6) → sēs, taíhun (10) → tēn
[does it make sense to have some sort of "unless followed by s" rule like in other gmc languages, e.g. 6 → sehs or seks? Or possibly an earlier hs→ks rule?]

Phonemic Inventory (Gothic → Gytc)

(from handwritten notes, transcribed)

Long Vowels

ei (ī) → ai/ī
e (ē) → ī (?)
ai (ɛ̄) → ē
a (ā) → ā (→ ǣ) [i/j umlaut?]
au (ɔ̄) → ō (→œ̄)
o (ō) → ū (?) (→ ȳ)
u (ū) → au/ū (→æy?) [a little old norsey]


iu → ȳ
ái → ē
áu → ō

Short Vowels

i → i
aí (ɛ) → e
a → a (→ æ)
aú (ɔ) → o (→ œ)
u → u (→ y)

ə (from mora loss)


b → b
ƀ → v (intervocalic)
f → f
p → p

d → d
đ → ð (intervocalic)
þ → þ
t → t

g → g
ɡ → γ (intervocalic)
h → h (initial), x (otherwise)
k → k

s → s
z → z? r? ʒ? [rhotacism? do we even want to go there?]

l → l (syllabic=əl) [separate letters for syllabics à la Northeadish?]
m → m (syllabic=əm)
n → n (syllabic=ən)
r → r (syllabic=ər)

gg (ŋg) → ng (gg for nostalgia’s sake?)
gk (ŋk) → nk (gk?)
gq (ŋkw) → nq (gq?)

q → kw? q? [keep the labiovelar letters and add a new letter for gw?  or break them down to C+w?]
ƕ → hw? ƕ?
gw → new letter?

w → w, v [do we want any sort of w → v changes?  what environment?]
j → j

ʒ, c (=ʃ) (from palatalism or affrication)
(I'd love to be able to convincingly work in ɮ somewhere, but i dunno if that's possible...)

The Experiment Begins

I'm going to try a bit of an experiment here. 

I've been working on coming up with a sort of "Modern Gothic" constructed language, which at the moment I'm calling Gytc [gyʧ] (gutisk > i/j umlaut > gytisk > palatalization > gytic [c=ʃ] > mora loss [unstressed short vowel deletion] > gytc)

So far, all I have about Gytc is a set of random handwritten notes.  I'm going to plug them in here and then add to the blog as more rules or developments take place, so we will be able to see the entire "history" of the birth of a constructed language.  I did something similar about ten years ago with the creation of Malt§έgj, a lovely little a priori language i haven't worked on in far too many years. [Note to self: get Malt§έgj on the website at some point, too.]