Xunumi Wudu

This is how I conlang:

I have an idea. I get excited. I come up with a vague grammar sketch. I translate a story of some sort into the language, borrowing the vocabulary from somewhere (Kēlen). I revise the grammar. I revise the vocabulary into something less borrowed. If I am mostly happy, I translate another story. Revise. Revise. Revise the earlier stories. Decide I hate it all and throw it out. Then, several weeks later, I think, but what if I did.... Grammar sketch. Story. Vocabulary. Pick bits and pieces of the discarded project out of the trash. Revise, revise, revise. Another story. Bah! Throw it all out. Etc.

So, welcome to the third iteration of the latest language project. It started with Sodna-leni/Sodemadu (2012-2016), then Tessese/Tesseseya (2016), and now Xunumi Wudu.

As I mentioned in the previous language documents, the Australian languages have been a major source of inspiration. When I read about Ngan’gityemerri in Dixon & Aikhenvald’s Changing Valency, I thought, “Yes! Like that!” See, Sodemadu had a closed class of 8-12 verbs, depending on how you wanted to count them. 8-12 is a bit limiting, which is how Tessese(ya) with its open class of verbs was born, though I made Kēlen work with only 4 verb-like particles. Ngan’gityemerri has a closed class of 31 conjugatable verbs and an open class of non-conjugating verbs that need to be combined with one of the 31 conjugatable verbs. The conjugatable verbs refer to stance, body parts, and motion, which is kind of where Sodemadu started.

Xunumi Wudu has 38 verbs, period. No open class of non-conjugatable verbs, but the 38 can combine with each other, with body parts, with classifiers and generic nouns, and with adjectives to create an open class of complex verb phrases. The rest of the grammar is only slightly modified from Tesseseya.

Enjoy! No doubt I will throw it all out again in six months or so and try something else.

Xunumi Wudu currently consists of 312 words and 100 sentences in 6 texts.

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