LotM - Nov 16: Jeddu
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Merryvember and congratulations to dendana and their Jeddu: our latest LotM!
This public article was written by Admin Sheep, and last updated on 31 Oct 2016, 10:00.
[comments] jdulotm nov 16lotm
November has come and I hope you all had a jolly Jedduween! This month features @dendana and their conlang Jeddu as the winning LotM, so my most sincere congratulations to them! Just looking at the summary page I don't even know where I should start to do it justice. Jeddu is a wonderful a posteriori conlang pictured to be spoken in our world's Ethiopia. It developed from Proto-Bantu and further from Proto-Niger-Congo, though its classification within the family may not be so clear with influences from surrounding languages, such as Amharic. The sound changes from Proto-Bantu are, notwithstanding, available here! Now, without further ado, let's take a more in-depth look.
Excluding allophones, consonants cover a total of 8 PoAs and 7 MoAs, all the while maintaining that compelling, African vibe. Despite that, there are a few ejectives sprinkled throughout to spice it up a little, and let's not forget the labialisation of velars seen in some loanwords. As for vowels, again excluding allophony they are arranged neatly, almost equally, into 3 levels of frontness: 2 back vowels/o u/, 2 central vowels/ə ɨ/ and 3 front vowels/a e i/.
The allophony, hitherto excluded, is quite extensive, affecting both consonant and vowel quality depending on the environment of certain phonemes or simply as free variation. What's more, in terms of phonotactics Jeddu has a syllable structure of (C)V, which may be extended with another consonant in the coda in certain loanwords. As for other suprasegmental features, a two-tone system – or pitch-accent in a way – is also embedded into the language. Gemination is also intertwined, in that it can affect stress and the placement of the high tone. You can read more about it on the language page.
Impressively, Jeddu has "three orthographies: a technical linguistic transcription system that is morphophonemic, a nontechnical romanization, and most excitingly, a variant of the Ge'ez syllabary (which is beautiful, may I add), also used to write Amharic, Tigrinya, and others." As also stated on the page, only the latter two can be seen here on CWS. Despite neither reflecting the aforementioned suprasegmental features, tone and gemination can be and are marked in the dictionary if you want to take a look for yourself. You may also want to refer to the dictionary notes.
[top]Morphology & Syntax
To start with nouns, they can be classified into a stunning 18 genders and a long history of sound change has led to a very synthetic morphology. Nouns are inflected as so:
(gender) - possessive - augment - gender - root - conjunction
As for verbs, well, to quote the summary page it's highly synthetic and you can read about it in more detail than I could ever give in the article. To sum up though, here's a preview of the inflectional hierarchy:
subject.relative - (root) - subject.gender.tense - negative - object.gender - indirect.object.gender - root - focus/applicative - mood/aspect - (subject.gender) - negative - conjunction
To finalise, let's cover the brief note on syntax in the same article. Jeddu is SOV, dominantly head-final and pro-drop which just about sums it up!
[top]More on Jeddu
Dost thou thirst for more? Fear not, my little lingomancer! Although I've linked just about every article available at the time of writing, there's still the historical grammar to explore! Additionally, there are the typology, grammar tables and dictionary in which to indulge yourself.
[top]A Note on LotM
Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Jeddu that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Hate my guts and want to tell me? Feel free to shoot us (phi2dao, argyle or Avlönskt) a PM with your thoughts, suggestions, and hate mail. Also feel free to drop by the LotM clan if you have other feedback, want to join in the voting process, or nominate a language!