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LotM - Oct 14: Nuim
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Happy October! Our post-equinox LotM is none other than phi2dao's Nuim.
This public article was written by Admin Sheep, and last updated on 24 Jun 2015, 02:13.

[comments] Menu
1. Nuim
2. Evidentials
3. Emotives
4. Numbers
5. Phonology
6. A Note on LOTM

[top]Nuim

Nuim is an example of what I believe aesthetics should be: minimalism in some aspects and jam-packed in others. Nuim is the brainchild of phi2dao, and is a shimmering (lolz, it's spoken by merfolk... get it? shimmering? scales? it's 11pm and I'm sleep-deprived, bite me) example of evidentials in action.

[top]Evidentials

As I hinted, evidentials are a big deal in Nuim, but fall into the minimalism that I mentioned earlier An evidential is required for any indicative sentence (notice I said indicative, other moods are indicated with other particles that cannot coexist with the evidentials), and as all evidentials do, indicate how the speaker knows the knowledge. Nuim, gratefully, only has four: re, visual sensory; yer, nonvisual sensory; ha, inferential; and wil, reportative.

These four little buggers turn multi-word phrases in English into short Nuim utterances, and personally seem very handy when it comes to gossip and covering your rearend from assumptions.

[top]Emotives

Here is an area that Nuim is jam-packed: emotives. Emotives are particles that are required for utterances. While I am tempted to explain them as moods, that would conflate with grammatical mood. phi2dao describes them as particles that "convey the speaker's feelings about what they are saying". Basically, you tack an emotive onto your phrase to express your opinion on the matter.

The full list of emotives is quite lengthy, and can be found here. Some of my favorites include emotives for trust (pan), disapproval (ke), and my personal favorite, contempt (yis). I do wonder how basic declarative sentences are emotive-ized, though - such as news reports, where opinion should be moot? Though maybe the merrow just look at things differently. Gotta love inter-species differences.

[top]Numbers

I feel a little bad - the number system is gorgeous but I lack the brain to properly express it. Nuim features an octal system, aka base-8. Read about it here. I think it's cool enough that it deserved its own subsection in the article.

[top]Phonology

And here we're back to the minimalism I love so much - Nuim's phonology. It's warm. It's inviting. It just seems to roll off the tongue in a Sindarin-esque manner, or at least like French without having to clear your throat for every <r> you encounter. The inventory is not all that large, and most voiced sounds are just allophones of the unvoiced counterparts (though they're quite usefully distinguished in orthography). Even the vowels are nice - a grand total of five, and oddly enough, missing my least favorite of the usual five vowels. (I hate /e/. I don't know why. But I do.)

[top]A Note on LOTM

Got suggestions for how the next LOTM should be written? See something in Nuim that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Hate my guts and want to tell me? Feel free to shoot me (argylegasm) or Brandon 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!
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