Qaméo is a personal language I created with the idea of conveying as much information as one could want to convey, without having a phonemic inventory with too many phonemes. There are many ways to say a sentence and it is up to the speaker to say however much he or she is willing to say. For example, you could say: "John didn't go to the store yesterday, like I had asked him to, which makes me very upset." or you can just say "John didn't go to the store like I had asked." It is preferable to me to always state your opinion on something when speaking in Qaméo. For example: "Let's go [assertive]!" is better than "Let's go!" because it's too context-sensitive. I'd imagine if there were speakers of Qaméo they would be very confused by our languages, or perhaps just speak like the Elcor from Mass Effect. Languages such as Japanese where you can completely omit key parts of a sentence because the other person can gather what you are saying from context would probably be heavily-infuriating for Qama or whatever they would be called (probably not Qama, that sounds a bit odd to me).
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
This is a personal language, so don't get in a tizzy when I get a bit jokey in here. I can also go full-on David Attenborough too if I feel like it. After all, once I'm done with it this conlang will be wonderful alright.
This will contain both reasons why I picked different things and also explanations of them because the terms I use may not be 100% correct.
I mostly picked these consonants because they sound cool to me and I don't think they get enough love, so don't blame me for the chart looking weird. Well, actually, you probably should blame me. It would be weird to go down the street yelling at strangers about a random conlang you read about online this one time.
|Plosive||t d||c ɟ||q||(ʔ)|
|Fricative||t̪θ||ts dz||ɬ||tʂ dʐ||cç ɟʝ||qχ|
|Affricate||f v||θ||s z||ʂ ʐ||ç||x|
Fun fact: my retroflex fricatives were originally palatal but they looked disgusting being nestled in with those non-sibilants so I moved them over one column. I considered replacing /x/ with /h/ so that I could remove the velar column but then you wouldn't sound like you are trying to swallow your own tongue 75% of the time. I did remove the pharyngeal fricative though. I also considered replacing /r/ with /ɻ/ or /ɹ/ because he looks very lonely in his own trill row, but I decided against it because I want my language to have at least some sort of aesthetics (I don't like the sound very much, no).
When /g/ comes after a nasal it becomes /ɠ/. Yeah, it's that kind of language. This pronunciation is optional, but I like it. I also considered adding ejectives or clicks momentarily, but I decided against it. I'm not really that kind of conlanger.
I was originally going to go for a 3 vowel system, but I decided against it because I really love vowels. At the same time, I also think it goes against Qaméo's aesthetic. Neverthelss, I still have /ɛ/ and /ə/ as allophones of /e/ and /ä/ so at least I have some variation.
I miss my /ø/ :(
So I added diphthongs!
I'll probably pronounce <u> + [vowel] as /w/ + [vowel] and <i> + [vowel] as /j/ when speaking fast but try to pronounce them all separately except these:
<ai> > /aj/ (can also be written as <aj>)
<au> > /aw/ (can also be written as <aw>)
<oe> > /ø/ I got my /ø/ back! :)
<oi> > /oj/ (can also be written as <oj>)
<ui> > /ɥi/ (it's hard for me not to pronounce it this way)
I was going to make <ue> into /y/ but I decided against it, because then I'd just want to put umlauts on ü and ö. I don't want to put my children through that horrible fashion trend. They deserve better.
(C)²V(V)(C)² and no geminates because I cannot consistently pronounce them correctly. I'll allow any consonant/vowel to go anywhere in theory but if it's too hard for me to pronounce, I probably won't make it a word. Except <h>. He has to be in his own corner. Bad boy. Also vowels merge into each other unless they're diphthongs because /beɛ/ sounds dumb to me.
The dot is supposed to represent frictivisation (which is probably not a word). It also makes a streamlined single-diacritic system. Except acute diacritics, which I use to denote stress when it may be vague. I used <y> in the digraphs because
y not I couldn't find a phoneme to represent it instead. I mean, I could use <j> for /dʐ/ instead, but then it would be less uniform. <c> + dot = /tʂ/ but <d> + dot = NOTHING. I don't like it, even if it looks terrible. I might sometimes write <ḍ> as <dż> instead because it looks less ugly or if I am referencing older documents pertaining to Qaméo (as in older than a week ago from 1 July 2018).
If you can't write
for some reason you weirdo, you can write anything with a dot above/below it with an <h> beside it instead, since <h> can't appear after another consonant.
Example: <qh> for /qχ/.
Hey, it's better than the Klingon romanisation at least. I mean, if you really want to make anybody who reads your sentences' eyes bleed, you can go ahead and write <Q> for /qχ/ you bloody psychopath, you.
You might be wondering where /t̪θ/ is, or maybe just wondering why the hell I picked that phone at all, but I just write it as <tṭ> usually. I mean, you could go with <ty> but it's kind-of misleading in my opinion. I would probably read it as some form of /tɕ/ or something.
I realise that you could also use <ḥ> for <hy>, <ġ> for <gy> and <ḳ> for <ky> but I've already typed 75% of this article with the y-system, so I don't know if I will fully switch it over or not.
|Letter||Մ մ||Ն ն||նյ||Տ տ||Դ դ||Կ կ||Գ գ||Ք ք||Ծ ծ||Ձ ձ|
|Letter||Ճճ||Ջջ||Ֆ ֆ||Վ վ||Թ թ||Չ չ||
|գչ||Հ հ||Խ խ|
|Letter||Ս ս||Զ զ||Շ շ||Ժ ժ||Ռ ռ||Լ լ||Ղ ղ||Յ յ||Ւ ւ||Ա ա|
|Letter||Ե ե||Ի ի||Ո ո|
Why the Armenian alphabet? I don't know. I think it just kind-of looks cool honestly. Added majuscule and minuscule characters because I don't have an Armenian keyboard and you probably don't either.
There are 3 or
4 5 genders in Qaméo, depending on how you view the world. The gender of a noun may or may not line up with the meaning of its gender, as genders are mostly for .
1st Gender - "Masculine/Animate" Edit
This classification is for "things which are perceived to be active, as opposed to be inactive", or things that are currently alive. This classification can also be used to dehumanise a person, implicating that they are an "animal" or a "monster". This should only be used if you want to really emphasise that somebody did something you perceive to be inhuman, as opposed to the more colloquial usage where people say "he's a maniac" when they actually mean "he's kind-of eccentric".
Note: The terminology "Masculine/Animate" does not apply to male humans, even if they are both masculine and animate.
2nd Gender - "Feminine/Inanimate" Edit
This classification is for "things which are perceived to be inactive, as opposed to active", or things which are neither alive nor dead. Even though it may not seem so, trees are actually alive so they take the 1st gender, but, no matter how much you love your imaginary girlfriend, most people will refer to her as 2nd gender as opposed to 3rd gender. Sorry!
Note: The terminology "Feminine/Inanimate" does not apply to female humans. That's just mean :)
3rd Gender - "People" Edit
This classification is for things which either are people or we want to prescribe personhood to. My mother would use these pronouns when referring to her dog, but I would use the 1st gender instead, because dogs aren't people.
4th Gender - "Things that were once Animate but are no longer" Edit
I like this gender because it can act as a softener by implying that someone is dead, as opposed to outright saying it, but not as vague as a statement such as "he was a great friend". It can also be insulting in two ways: when applied to Animate nouns, it implies that they are lame, or it can be used to offend people who are very much alive, which is kind-of funny to me. Reminds me of those clickbait posts that x-Celebrity has died when they are very much alive. The same thing can be done by just using Gender 1 as well, so this gender is not 100% necessary. It just seems too blunt to me to address an Type 1 noun with a 2nd-class pronoun.
And finally a table for all of that:
I considered adding a 5th gender for "concepts or ideas only found within the mind", but I ran out of vowels. I guess you could go for -oi- and -ue- if you want, though. Hm. I kind-of like that actually... Yeah, screw it.
5th Gender - "Concepts or ideas (only found within the mind)" Edit
Remember my example with your imaginary girlfriend? Yeah... This gender can also be used to insult people in other ways, such as telling communists "your idea will never work" in as few words as possible doi komiroi [the communists]. Don't take me as one-sidedly political, tell the fascists what you think of sa esa due imue! [their "idea"] There we go. Saved myself there. What other purpose would this have except for insulting people... Maybe some sort of conspiracy theory, or use in psychology... Hm. How about this also refer to concepts in general, such as "love", "peace" and "humour". Kind-of cynical, though, as if it implies peace is only within the mind and that war and violence is inevitable. Not like it's wrong or anything, though.
The "i" and "x" refer to inclusive and exclusive versions of the pronoun respectively. I find the idea neat and very useful in 65% of all uses of "we" or "you".
You can mix gender up to, just in case you want to remind someone what gender they are or something I guess. You would just change the final vowel of the word to reflect their gender. In this way, I guess you could refer to yourself as an idea if you really wanted to with <pue>. Even if you are announcing breaking up your band, I don't think this will go over too well.
There are a couple more than there are in English:
- ṣio – indicates something which is close to the speaker but is distant from the listener (proximal) "this"
- żiu – indicates something which is close to the listener but is far away from the speaker (distal) "that"
- ċe – indicates something which is close to both the listener and the speaker (medial) "this here"
- ḍie – indicates something which is far away from both speaker and listener (lateral) "that over there"
Of course they decline with gender too.
You can also add qualities onto the demonstratives and other nouns (though they are different).
- -ḷ – denotes that you find something "good"
- -r – denotes that you find something "bad"
- -n- – basically means "lots of".
- -q̇- – basically means "some of" or "a piece of". Can also be added to nouns as a quasi-partitive case.
- Ḍineḷ takoi vuṣa! "Look at all of those tacos over there! [Happy]"
- Ḍiner takoi vuṣa! "Look at all of those tacos over there! [Angry]"
I don't know why you'd be angry at seeing a lot of tacos. Maybe they killed your father or something.
For nouns and verbs:
(-)k- – shows "detest" or "disgust". If the word starts with a vowel, the k is placed after it. If it starts with a consonant, the k is placed before the consonant. Example: ate → akte, ṣate → kṣate. If the word starts with a k, place it after the following consonant/vowel. kate → kakte.
(-)ċu- – shows "amiability" or "trust". It acts like the negative modifier (-)k-
rj- – shows "regret" for a past time or action
em- – shows "curiousity"
vem- – shows "awe" or "wonder"
reduplication of the first syllable – denotes "worrying", "light fear" or "suspiciousness", as if one was stuttering lightly. You can do this multiple times to increase the degree of whatever emotion you are trying to convey. Example: qóteg (monster) → qoqóteg (scary monster) → qoqoqóteg (very scary monster). igyom (motive) → igyigyom (I am suspicious of your motives) → igyigyigyom (this is extremely suspicious).
reduplication of the final syllable – emphasises plurality without needing the plural indicator. qoteg (a monster) → qotegteg ([the] monsters) or qoteger (monsters). The only real difference is in the subtleties. It's not like the definite marker -n/-rn which literally would mean "the monster", it's more specifying a specific type of monster as opposed to referring to a monster that was already spoken of. For example, if you were talking about a specific monster under your bed, you would use the definite marker, while if you were just saying "the monsters" and are implying the ones that are under your bed or in your closet (especially if they are in the same one) reduplication would be emphasising the s in monsters as in "oh no there's more than one of them!" without needing to add on the definite marker (as if you were trying to avoid directly invoking them). Though, you can do that too: qotegtegen would be akin to something like "THE MONSTERS", as in you are talking to somebody who doesn't really get why you are scared to sleep in your bed at night.
There are 12.5 grammatical cases in Qaméo. Some cases are marked with particles which follow the noun, some with affixes (prefixes or suffixes). Particles were removed from the table to conserve space.
- Ergative – marks the agent of a transitive verb
- Absolutive – marks the subject of an intransitive verb and the patient of a transitive verb
- Genitive – marks possession or association "my cat", "pear tree". Particle.
- Dative – marks the indirect object of a sentence
- Locative – marks a location (in, on, at)
- Ablative – marks movement away from a location
- Lative – marks movement towards a location
- Instrumental – indicates that the affixed noun was used on the patient of the sentence
- Causal – indicates that the affixed noun caused the verb to occur
- Benefactive – shows that the affixed noun benefits from either the verb or the topic, or at least that's what the speaker thinks. Part: "quo"
- Sociative – "together with". Particle.
- Vocative – used when addressing someone directly. Usually paired with the honourific o- which just shows respect to someone/something
The 1/2 case, as mentioned in the demonstratives section is "-q̇-" which can be used to mean "a piece of" or "some of" like in the sentence, "Can I have some cake?"
The plural is marked with a -[vowel]r, so a word like ekóma would be ekómajr in the vocative plural, while ekok would be ekókorja. The phrase "I did it so you didn't have to" would be pa quo kióq̇ol la (1s-ABS BEN DO-P12s AOR). If you're curious, "I was sleeping" is pa mwímq̇al la (1s-ABS SLEEP-P11s PERF). The phrase "I hit her and I regretted it" is pahya se rjamaru (I-ERG 2s-ABS [regret]-HIT.3s.ANTPST), though pahya se rjamaru la is also acceptable. Well, I mean neither are acceptable, I just mean grammatically acceptable. Linguistics doesn't govern morality.
There are 11 tenses which are considered a gradient between "Past" to "Future". In practice, there is a present tense, it's just not thought of as a separate tense. Tenses, in general, are used to describe events whose circumstances do not need to be specified. If you need to or feel like adding in more details, moods and aspects can replace entire tenses. Or combined for maximum control.
But wait! You do have a present tense! In fact, you have two of them! They're only labelled as "present" in English, for your convenience. If a native Qaméo speaker (I would feel bad for them) were to think about it, they would say "there is no 'present tense', but it can be conveyed through aspect or tense".
- Anterior past – Things which occurred >1 year ago
- Discontinuous past – Things which happened at some point in the past and may or may not be still occurring
- Past – Things which occurred >1 week or so ago
- Recent past – Things which occurred <1 week ago
- Present 1 – Something which is currently occurring because of a past choice or event
- Present 2 – Something which is currently occurring because of an upcoming future event
- Near Future – Something which will occur in <1 week
- Future – Something which will occur in >1 week or so
- Distant Future – Something which occurs >1 year in the future
- Predictive – Used to denote some sort of prediction or prophecy
Things don't seem too bad, right?
There are either 6 or 19 aspects depending on how you want to view things. I prefer to view them as "19 individual aspects in 6 categories", but if you want to view them as "6 aspects with different forms"...I don't blame you.
- Pluperfect – "I had walked (to the store)"
- Perfect – "I have walked (a lot)"
- Future perfect – "I will have walked (500 miles)"
*Acts as a particle
Well, uh... There's only one aspect here, really. The aorist aspect, or perfective (I prefer aorist so I don't confuse it with the perfect) basically just refers to "any actions which as viewed as a whole", so it can be used in either the past, present or the future. It sounds a bit awkward to me to be used in the present, but sentences like "I killed him" or "I will kill him" both are good enough. Not that I support killing or anything.
- Experiential – Denotes that you have "experienced" the topic of the sentence. "I went to school (for many years)"
- Habitual – "(When I was young) I would go to school (but I don't anymore)"
- Frequentative – "I would walk to work on Fridays (and I still do)"
- Statative – "I walk to work (no implication)"
- Progressive – "I am (currently) walking to work"
- Continuative – "I am still walking to work"
- Delimitative – "I walked to the door and knocked"
- Defective – "I almost fell!"
- Intentional – "I fell on purpose!"
- Past inchoative – "I started to run"
- Present inchoative – "I am starting to run"
- Cessative – "I stopped running"
- Prospective – "I will be running (soon)", "He will arrive"
- Episodic – a mostly literary aspect that describes events in a narrative such as "the bird flew". Does not require but is compatible with Evidentiality (I'll.
- Gnomic – describes general truths such as "the sky is blue". Not compatible with Evidentiality, as it describes something which is self-evidently without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt true.
- Non-Gnomic – describes something which is not apart of a narrative or a general truth. Requires Evidentiality.
IT'S NOT OVER YET
Thankfully, there are only 8 moods.
- Indicative – neutral or observational statement "Humans eat food."
- Conditional – "I could eat (if I had some food)"
- Opative – indicates desire "I hope I can get something to eat"
- Imperative – used for commands "Eat!"
- Potential – "I could eat (but I may not)"
- Hypothetical – used for 'what-ifs' "If you didn't eat my sandwich, I could have eaten it."
- Interrogative – used to ask a question "Do you like eating rice?"
- Volitive – "I want to eat some rice"
That's it for moods... Except for evidentiality! Tricked ya.
|Type I||Type II||Type III||Type IV||Type V||Type VI||Type VII|
- Sensory – something which you have personally experienced
- Knowledge – something which you believe to be common sense/general knowledge (not the same as a Gnomic statement, which IS true)
- Told – something which you were told by somebody who experienced the thing
- Read – something which you were told by somebody who did not experience the thing
- Inferred – something which you inferred but still have doubts
- Hearsay – something which is rumoured
- Assumed – something which you assume on little-to-no evidence
I really like this system. It could make religious debates quite heated where atheists would describe faith as a T5 form of Evidentiality, while religious people would say it's T1.
Qaméo is very strongly head-final but has a relatively loose word order (SOV default).
May add some examples here at some point. I generate the lexicon from random languages (off the top of my head, I remember words from Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Ukrainian, Armenian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Swahili and Thai). There is no rhyme or reason to any of this, it's mostly due to laziness on my behalf, but I think it adds to the "charming" kitchen-sinkiness of Qaméo.
"Eels don't make for good formal clothing!" – (pa) k-ṣate m.u.r-hyo m-kio-to-qaq-Ø [I-ABS [NEGATIVE]-FORMAL_CLOTHING EEL.PL-ERG [ANGER]-NEG-DO-3s-E1-NGNO]. Kṣáte murhyo mkiótoqaq! /ˈkʂätɛ mur.ço mkiˈo.to.qäq/
"I think that eels don't make for good formal clothing" – (pa) k-ṣate m.u.r-hyo kio.to.qaq mu-qa-qat-(t)or-nṣ [I-ABS [NEGATIVE]-FORMAL_CLOTHING EEL.PL-ERG DO-3s-E1 [CONCERN]-[WORRY]-THINK-1s.CONT-NGNO]. Kṣáte murhyo kiótoqaq muqaqátoarnṣ. /ˈkʂätɛ mur.ço kiˈo.to.qäq mu.ˈqä.qä.ˌtornʂ/
The difference between the two is that the first one is a lot more angry and definite; something you would say if you were offended at the idea of wearing eelskin clothing. The latter is a much more polite pleading "please don't wear eels...". It shows both concern with the idea is being presented in the first place and worry that something very bad could go wrong.