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 Xen'vi Language?

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adracman42
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PostSubject: Xen'vi Language?   Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:04 pm

If no one is yet to begin production on a Xen'vi language, I'd be eager to contribute.
I've a considerable knowledge of grammar and phonetics, and have assembled a few basic languages before, albiet none with a fully-fledged vocabulary.
One issue I predict with the construction of the language is conforming it to already-decided Xen'vi names for the various life forms of Novusvita, or, in an ideal world, vise-versa.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:20 pm

Well, we do need to.

I think we're going to have to simply consider most of the current organism names just random, like Cat or Tiger, which to my knowledge don't stand for anything.

But it's probably a good idea to start incorporating language into names.

And welcome newcomer.
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adracman42
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:35 pm

Are we to assume that the different tribes have different languages? If so, which tribes' language are the native names on each species' bio (regardless as to wether or not we keep them) from. I'm placing my bets on the Iga here, but it could very well be any of the others.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:16 pm

It would probably be good to choose a standard language for the book, one that is used in language form.

Probably a language that is used by the Valiero'Vi or one of the other nations commonly speaking to the Humans.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:54 pm

And we need to remember that there are six voices going at once, so it's going to be slightly... different.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:20 pm

If we assume that each mouth/breathing whole is identical, a "word" could be formed by six seperate sounds produced in unison. There would be countless combinations, and a string of these could easily produce domething comparable to our concept of a sentence. Does anyone know which, if any, of the tribes developed written language, cause it'd be really hard to construct a language if there is no "official" way to write it down?
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:53 pm

Hmmm, this is a bit of a gray zone since it's such a complicated topic.

I suppose it's probably either the Iga'Vi or Jay'Vi. They're the most advanced though I also get the impression that the Oijaha'Vi were once relatively advanced and powerful till their forced exodus into the northern mountains.

And we know that all the major nations (Jay'Vi, Iga'Vi, Aari'Vi, Valiero'Vi and perhaps the Svia'Vi) have written language.

The Svia'Vi I get the impression of are a generally variant people with many tribes living in the shadow of a number of powerful city states. Meso-America is my reference point here though Dudeman/Temporal may say otherwise.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:45 am

Here I've thrown together a basic rendition of the Xen'vi vocal passages, which, for simplicity's sake, we will assume are identical.
http://img840.imageshack.us/i/vivocalpassage.png/
In humans, there are countless locations in the mouth that we can produce sounds, typically by contricting air flow with the tongue (as we can see on wikipedia here).
For the Xen'vi, I've identified five basic locations in the "vocal/exhaling tract" (or whatever you want to call it). Not all of these produce sound comparable to those of humans, and I've chosen names based more on location then on sound (which will probably ultimately be nigh-on-impossible to produce). Note that there are two tongues, which I felt was a necessity in order to conserve space vertically along the body. Two tongues mean that multiple sounds can be articulated in one "breathing hole" at the same time. Yes, I know that the tongues aren't long enough in the picture to reach the positions indicated by teh numbers perfectly, but this is of course a not-perfectly-accurate representation, reflecting on my mediocre GIMP skills. Also note that these are a simplification of all the sounds pronouncable by the Xen'vi, and that this does not necessarily reflect the phenome inventory of any particular Xen'vi Language. I assigned each sound an English letter, with capitals and lowercase representing two entirely differents sounds, à la Klingon.

Labials : The flap accompanying each hole is placed up against the main part of the skin to restrict air flow.
M : The labial approximant, this sounds sort of lie "w" in English, except withouit moving the tongue from a basic position.
p : Pretty much exactly like it is in English. The voiceless labial plosive.
b : Ditto. The voiced labial plosive.
f : Sorta like its counterpart in English, except its "lip" against skin instead of lip against teeth. The voiceless labial fricative.
v : See above. The voiced labial fricative.

Palatal : The interior long portion of the first tongue is placed up against that little bump in the first chamber.
y : Pretty much "y" in English, when used as a consonant. The palatal approximant.
c : Sorta like "k" in English. The voiceless palatal plosive.
C : Sorta like "g." The voiced palatal plosive.
Y : Comparable to "ch" in Scottish or German. The voiceless palatal fricative.
X : See above but more vibrate-y. The voiced palatal fricative.

Coronal : A small portion of the second tongue near the tip is placed up against the tip of that drop-off-type-thing at the entrance to the second chamber.
r : Like the traditional American "r." The coronal approximant.
t : Like in English. I think you get the pattern by now.
d : Ditto.
s : Ditto.
z : Ditto.
l : English. The coronal lateral approximant.

Retroflex : The body of the tongue is curled to that the tip touches the vertical wall of that crevice-type-thing.
R : Like in English, except the tongue is curled back so as to touch the close side of that bump on the roof of the mouth. The retroflex approximant.
T : See above. The retroflex voiceless plosive.
D : Ditto.
S : Ditto.
Z : Ditto.

Velar: The back of the tongue is placed against the bump before the final drop-off (which should probably be bigger).
W : Like in English, except you don't round yout lips.This plus M equals the English w. The velar approximant.
k : English.
g : More of the same.
x : Scottish and German ch.
h : Like above but vibrate-y (voiced).

Vowels : These are produced by the manipulation of the first tongue in the first chamber, without touching any of the walls. Keep in mind that these designations have very approximant values, and one letter here may very well represent two sounds from a Xen'vi's point of view.
i : Like English "ee" or long i in latin.
e : Somewhere between English "eh" and long e in latin.
o : Like the first half of "o" in English, without the diphthong, and generally a little lower in the mouth.
u : Like "oo" in English.
a : Like "ah" in English. Keep in mind that this is a legit central vowel, like in English, and not a fron vowel like in Spanish or most other Romance languages.

I've decided that the three breathing orifices on the right (from the listener's perspective) are reserved for identifying words, while those on the left are reserved for inflection. With such a dynamic "stereo" system such as this, it is considered extremely rude to speak to someone when you're not facing them. For compound words (the assumed origin of "Xen'vi" the words and the tribe names) the two (or more) portion can be treated seperately, pronounced one after another, with identical inflection. This means that "vi" is some sort of basic word for people. In root form (no inflection), I'd represent it as:

:v
|y
:i

That's a "v" from the top slit, a "y" from the center (sorta a place holder), and an "i" from the bottom one. Simple right? Now let's try "xen." An issue here is that Xen'vi biology does not allow for nasals (English m, n, and ng). Thus, I was forced to improvise on the n.

:X
|e
:yr

The "yr" simply means that a y is pronounced by the first tongue and an r by the second, simultaneously, in the same orifice. One thing that I'm not taking into account in my orthographic representation is inflection, but I'll assign that later.

Vocabulary:

:v
|y
:i

noun
Means something to the effect of people. Typically reserved for non-humans.

:X
|e
:yr

adj, interjection
Something like "the one and only." Often use as an honorific, typically applied to incumbent politicians (be them elected or otherwise).

I think that I'll update this post from now on.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:16 am

Highly impressive work, adracman, and welcome to LiA! Smile



The basic writing method of the Xen'vi is already in existence, save for the symbols.

There is a basic dialect shared by all clans, though there are slight differences with each clan, thus there are about nine dialects.

Same with the writing system, which has spread to each clan.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:46 am

I don't even know what he posted but I'm assuming it's pretty smart.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:09 pm

@ TemporalV01D I'd be eager to see what you've come up with, as I don't feel as if I've used the whole six-voices thing to its fullest.
@ LichenDragon Thank you. One of those tl;dr things, I suppose.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:21 pm

I read the paragraphs but after the first assigning of letters....

I have pretty much no experience in this field stuff, I understand (maybe) the way you've set the system up. I'll read over it in more depth later.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:14 am

Rough MS Paint pic of Xen'vi voice chambers (2/3 actual size):



A: Exhalation windpipe.
B: Voice box (note: I made an error. There is only one voice box for each chamber, not three).
C: Ring valve for general pitch control.
Oh no!! The voice chamber itself.
E: Cartilage/bone plate extending from one side of the chamber to the other (note: the chamber is less than an inch wide).
F: Tongue-like flaps. There are six of these per chamber, two around each voice opening. Each is able to completely close the gap it occupies.
G: The voice tubes.
H: The voice valves. There are three per chamber, six in total. Each can contract or expand (or close completely) inward and outward to form the final pitch of the sound.


Adrac, you can now use that 2D image and divide it up into different sound-forming sections and do your thing from there. Smile


Last edited by TemporalV01D on Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:41 am

Neat! Mind if I sculpt the cartilage-y plate to offer a little more precise use of the tongue's? I design seems a lot morealien than mine. I like it.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:41 am

Thanks. And yes you can.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:32 pm

I think I get what you're saying with the above essay on fictional extraterrestrial communication patterns, but I always was thinking of that as six voices speaking different things at once, thus allowing a much quicker and more complex form of communication.

Such as:

Human: I ate lunch yesterday. It was quite delicious.
Xen'vi:
I. ......It
ate. ...was.
lunch. quite.
yes. ...del.
ter. ....ish.
day. ...us.

Sort of get it? Not really?
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:17 pm

I don't think that would be how they'd talk. It would be too confusing for the Xen'vi, I think.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:19 am

Actually, the speak more like so:

Voice 1 and 2: Sounds for a subject/subjects.
Voice 3 and 4: Sounds for verb, adjective etc. assosiated with the subject/subjects.
Voice 5 and 6: Individual's emotion/feeling towards subject.

When speaking English, a Xen'vi individual only uses the first (back) pair.


This is sorta what Geekus' sentance would be like:

Voice 1 and 2: I. Lunch. Yesterday.
Voice 3 and 4: Ate. Was. Quite delicious.
Voice 5 and 6: *Joy*


Last edited by TemporalV01D on Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:51 pm

So both subjects and objects (or all noun forms) are produced by the top pair? You didn't exactly make that clear.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:39 pm

Sounds like what he's trying to say.
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:35 am

Well, it would be more like this:

I ate lunch yesterday. It was quite delicious.

Would be said as:

I ate lunch (that was) delicious (the) day (that has) past.

As in:

[I (pair 1) ate (pair 2)] [lunch (p1) delicious (p2)] [day (p1) past (p2)]. *Joy*

Where [] is said as one word, with p1's sounds being the noun, object or subject and p2's being a verd, adjective, etc. which describes something about the noun/object/subject. Then ** would be a vowel-only series of "background noises" which gives the speaker's emotion towards the subject in a semi-worded form.

The actual emotions of the speaker at the time is given by the tone of voice.


So let me fix that other thing of mine:

Voice 1 and 2: I. Lunch. Day.
Voice 3 and 4: Ate. Delicious. Past.
Voice 5 and 6: *Joy*
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:10 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:43 pm

Thank you!! That will come in so handy when we start with the dictionary! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:45 pm

Yes, it has a little translator thing where you can translate from one language to one of the languages on the list. I've found it handy before too...
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PostSubject: Re: Xen'vi Language?   Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:03 pm

Awesome.
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