LotM - Sep 15: Mbamigi
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September comes around again, with Izaak's language Mbamigi in close pursuit!
This public article was written by Admin Sheep, and last updated on 1 Dec 2015, 04:01.
[comments] mbalotm sep 15lotm
Congratulations to Izaak and his language Mbamigi, our September 2015 winner. Mbamigi is an isolating a priori artlang spoken is Sahar's Mbamigi Islands.
[top]A Word from Our Winner
#1 lang in world
Mbamigi has a pleasantly small phonology, with only 12 phonemes. It has the full set of common nasals /m/, /n/, and /ŋ/ as well as the full set of common stops /p/, /t/, and /k/. As one might guess from the language's name, each of these stops comes in normal and prenasalized varieties. Mbamigi also has /z/ and /l/, but no /s/.
Mbamigi has a similarly sized vowel inventory: /i/, /e/, /a/, /o/, and /u/, both short and long. To mix things up a bit, [a] and [ʕ] are allophones, as are [i] and [j] and [u] and [w]. There are 8 dipthongs spread across the short vowel inventory, including lovely numbers like /ou/ and /ao/.
Mbamigi has a wonderful writing system that is something like a hybrid of Devangari and Arabic, but tilted 90 degrees and with more straight lines. Be sure to open Mbamigi's language page ( Mbamigi) and check it out for yourself.
[top]Nouns & Verbs
Mbamigi's nouns and verbs do not inflect for anything; it's all handled with particles. Don't you just love isolating languages? Nouns can take case and role postpositions and verbs tense-aspect postpositions. I'm going to assume that any moods Mbamigi might have are also handled with postpositions. Nice and simple.
But not too simple. Mbamigi's tense-aspect postpositions are fusional; each postposition covering one tense-aspect combination. And with 5 tenses and 7 aspects, that's 35 unique postpositions to learn. And these postpositions cover tenses from distant past to distant future and aspects including perfective, imperfective, habitual, inceptive, and prospective.
Mbamigi's pronouns are polypersonal. Each indicates the person of the subject and the person of the object: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th. Number is marked by another postposition. Like Mbamigi's tense-aspect postpositions, it's pronouns are fusional. Each pronoun covers one subject-object combination. That's 16 whole pronouns. And you'd better learn them, since they double as agreement markers and are required parts of the Mbamigi sentence.
[top]More on Mbamigi
Want more of a mbagood time? Check out its namebase, grammar tables, or translations.
[top]A Note on LotM
Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Mbamigi that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Hate my guts and want to tell me? Feel free to shoot me (phi2dao) or me (argyle 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!