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LotM - Jun 23: Nesyanian
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LotM returns with a vengeance, highlighting the elegance of Nesyanian!
This public article was written by [Deactivated User] on 2 Jun 2023, 16:19.

[comments] Menu 1. EYI 2. Phonology 3. Script 4. Grammar 5. Further reading 6. A Note on LOTM Why yes, we're back, finally! Thank you all for the patience demonstrated during LotM's prolonged absence.

The first LotM of 2023 is afoot as @Siblaime's  Nesyanian, a wonderfully fleshed-out language with a pretty conscript to boot.


Nesyanian scratches an itch for me in its syntax - it is extremely head-initial. VSO word order (a personal favorite), adjectives and adverbs follow whatever they modify, and possessors follow the possessees. Verbs are particularly fun; they are capable of encoding so much in them permitting stacking of tenses, moods, intensifiers and multiple objects. Nouns are no less complex; ten cases and three numbers, plus "a bunch of other affixed modifiers". Overall it tends towards agglutination... strongly.

What I particularly love is that Nesyanian was clearly crafted through diachronics to produce doublets and other little quirks that make it feel so dang natural. For example, Old Nesyanian featured derivation through contrastive stress, which then developed into contemporary Nesyanian as phonologically different words, e.g. indė and enda ("to do" and "action", respectively). These little touches make for a language that screams "I'm real!" even through it's clearly not.

[top]Phonology

Nesyanian's inventory is large but familiar, with a nice six-vowel system (the cardinals and a fun phonemic /ə/), and plenty of consonants, including the somewhat uncommon ejectives. There are also a bunch of diphthongs, many of which are found in my native dialect of English. I always found that English-like diphthongs are shunned by conlangers since they're too familiar, but @Siblaime peppers them throughout the grammar and lexicon in ways that leave the language pronounceable but still feeling foreign. Nesyanian is also blessed with some phonotactics (yet another level of detail by its author; no stone left unturned), and despite its rich number of phonemes, actually has a restrictive syllable structure, capping at CwVC, CɾVC or CxVC for maximum complexity.

Ejectives are also found in Nesyanian (for the sake of breaking too much Standard-Average-Europeanness, per its author), though their distribution is limited to syllable onsets (but not part of a cluster) or medials.

[top]Script

I could sit here and reinvent the wheel, but instead check out this nice article on the Zetaha script that is used for Nesyanian and several other languages.

[top]Grammar

There is a fantastic article on Nesyanian grammar, which has been admittedly used as the main source of information here. Nesyanian nouns appear to not have any real class divisions or gender distinctions (though countable and non-countable nouns are distinguished), but are instead declined in three numbers (singular, dual, and plural) and ten different cases. Nominal derivation is also achieved through a number of different suffixes.

Verbs, as mentioned, permit all sorts of affixes for mood, voice, polarity, and objects. The verbal template consists of various slots around the stem; the following table (lovingly copied from the Nesyanian grammatical article) illustrates this template:

prefix IVprefix IIIprefix IIprefix I0suffix Isuffix II
function
negation
tense marker
mood marker
intensity marker
verb root
subject marker
object marker

Tenses are simple, expressing past, present, and future, while there are several moods, including indicative, optative, conditional, and an unmarked imperative.

[top]Further reading

Feeling inspired and want to read more? Check out other information on Nesyanian:


[top]A Note on LOTM

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