I know created languages aren't largely considered art, but this seems the best section for this until an admin says otherwise.
Neboveiza is a conlang intended for characters returned to infancy, be it mental or physical, so that they can talk to each other, but not adults. Naturally, it's only heard by adults and probably only used in scenes in an adult's perspective, but if you don't want to use fake language for your regressed characters, or just want to lay some easter eggs, you can use this language.
The name Neboveiza is derived from the Greek "Nepo" and "Phagia." Literally, "baby talk." Then changed to fit with the language's phonology. It's not complete, I have a bunch of other grammemes to hash out before it's usable, but this is what I've come up with today.
If you want to use this language, feel free to ask for any translation requests or advice. It will help me build the dictionary, and I'll be happy to translate your sentences here or in PM.
I haven't worked out the romanization sytem yet, so for now all the examples are written in IPA.
Neboveiza consonants, are by default voiced, however voicing is not phonemic. In other words "baba" "bapa" and "paba" are all acceptible ways of saying "papa." Here, I'll write all consonants voiced, except for "h." These are just the default phonemes. The language will largely depend on your character's abilities.
ð̼ <th> linguo-labial fricative
β <v> bi-labial fricative
b <b> bi-labial stop
m <m> bi-labial nasal
z <z> alveolar fricative
d <d> alveolar stop
n <n> alveolar nasal
j <y> palatal approximant
h <h> glottal fricative
g <g> velar stop
w <w> labial velar approximant
For sounds not found in English, the /ð̼/ sound is done like an English "th" but with the tongue against your upper lip instead of behind/beneath your teeth. This is because some babies won't have their teeth yet. Likewise, /β/ is like a /v/ sound with both lips, rather than your teeth on your upper lip. Other than that, all the other sounds are as they are in English. For those who don't know, the IPA letter /j/ corresponds with the English <y>.
Here is the vowel inventory, in IPA, grapheme, and an example as found in English, with no consideration to accents and dialects.
/æ/ <ae> Bat
/a/ <a> Bot
/ə/ <u> But. (A better example is comma.)
/i/ <i> Beat
/e/ <ei> Bait
/ɛ/ <e> Bet
/u/ <oo> Boot
/o/ <o> Boat
Syllables are maximally CCVC, with the coda only occuring as word-final. All other syllables are open.
Since this is for written stories, I won't focus much on intonation. Also, as infants and infantilzied characters might not have the same degree of emotional responsibility as adults, they're prone to be more expressive, which can make proper intonation difficult.
As a speaker begins to acquire natural language, they may take on speech patterns of their parents. Children in Swedish speaking environments may assign arbitrary tones to stressed syllables. In mandarin speaking environments, they may assign multiple tones to every syllable. Closing in on age two, most babies will start assigning arbitrary voicing and devoicing to consonants rather than the default free alternations.
As you may have guessed, Neiboveiza doesn't have a writing system. For romanization, look for the arrow brackets in the phonetics section above.
Every noun takes two particles, one to indicate number, and the other to indicate case. Numbers: singular, paucal, plural. Nouns in the paucal indicate a number the speaker can count from seeing. For instance, if you were to look up at the stars, stars would likely be in the plural. If you looked at a piece of paper with three dots drawn on it, you would use the paucal form of "dot." If your character is a year old or younger, three dots on a paper may very well look as uncountable as the stars look to you, therefore "dot" would be paucal for you, but plural for your character.
Case kind of trips up English speakers, but it's a lot simpler than learning a new word order. Neboveiza doesn't even have declension, case is just denoted by a particle added to the noun. Simple and clean.
Important: All nouns and pronouns come with the "-awez" ending, the singular and nominative particles. Drop these before adding any particles to the stem.
Nominative: Indicates the agent of the action in a sentence. However, Neboveza's subjective case is usually joined with this case in other languages.
Subjective: This case is used for the topic of the sentence, which may or may not be performing an action. Almost all subjects described with "being" verbs are in the subjective. More on this later.
Accusative: Used for direct objects of the sentence, or the object receiving the action. This also applies to indirect objects that do not fall into either the benefactive or allative cases. I don't know if there are any, but it's important to decide on this before I get to translating.
genetive: Used for an originating noun to describe the following noun. Doubles as the posessive form.
Instrumental: Exactly what it says on the tin. Used for nouns that are required to perform the action of a sentence.
Benefactive: The noun benefiting (or suffering) from the action of the sentence. Also describes a purpose of the sentence.
Lative: The destination, or direction, the action of a sentence moves towards. Not restricted to sentences about motion.
Ablative: The originating place of the sentence. Not exclusively about motion
Locative: The location the action takes place at. Also refers to temporal nouns. (Morning, evening, Night, breakfast, etc)
Remember this formula: Noun+number+case
singular: /aw/ /w/ may be lost when followed by a rounded vowel in the case partcle.
Personal pronouns all take a particle for number and case. The four basic pronouns are first person, second, and the two third persons are either animate (jægagez), or inanimate (zomæð̼ez). They do not carry gender.
A note on number. First persons in the paucal refers to "we" but not the listener. "Us, but not you." Plural includes the listener. The rule on countability applies to the other three pronouns' number.
/Ikiawez/, "Thing," doubles as the interogative noun, for both time and place.
Nebawez, "Person" acts as the interogative for a person "who". When used as an interogative, it usually occurs as the final word of a sentence. To express other interrogatives found in English, refer to the case chart for ikiawez and nebawez. Note, all of these examples are in the singular
Okay, tabs don't work in this. Sorry, so the order is case, english, thing, and person.
Case Eng "thing" "person"
Nom "Who?" Ikiawez Nebawez
Sub "Who is?" Ikiawɛð̼i Nebawɛð̼i
Acc "Whom?" Ikiawehæ Nebawehæ
Gen "Whose?" Ikiawun Nebawun
Inst "With what?" Ikiawom Nebawom
Ben "Why?" Ikiaweg Nebaweg
All "To where? until when?" Ikiawəð̼u Nebawəð̼u
Abl "From where? since when?" Ikiawub Nebawub
Loc "Where/When?" Ikiawæð̼ Nebawæð̼
Neboveiza does not have demonstrative pronouns. Likewise, there's a number of ways to go about demonstration. "This" and "that" can be used by holding up or pointing, when refering to a person or object that is present. When talking about an object not in view, saying "we" in the locative can illustrate the object is "here" or "in our presence," and then negating the same thing to say "not here."
Verbs each take a suffix for tense and mood. They do not agree with person or number. Repeating the tense endings turn the present and past tenses into "imperfective" and "distant past," respectively. Important: Imperfective is not used as often as in English, and it doubles as the recent future tense.
Indicative mood indicates something that actually happens. "A baby cries." Subjunctive indicates something that may happen. "A baby may cry." Conditional: "If a baby cries." Optative: "A baby should cry" and imperative. "A baby must cry." Imperatives are also used as commands. "Cry!"
Verbs in the future tense usually take the subjunctive. Known exceptions are perceived inevitabilities, or immediately intended actions ("I go[pre-ind] eat[pre-ind] breakfast")
Distant Past: ɛjɛj
Tenses and aspects that don't have they're own ending will be added here.
things to add:
Adjectives usually follow their topics, but they may precede. In the case of nouns, adjectives take the case particles of their nouns, but not for number. When describing a verb, they take the mood ending, but not the tense.
Adjectives can also be the argument of a sentence, and likewise take a case particle, though not a number particle.
No particles are taken when used to describe a verb, adverbs ALWAYS precede their verbs.
Pre- and Postpositions:
Adpositions agree take the same case particle as their topics. By default they follow their topics, but since they function just like adjectives, they will be moved before their topic if only for clarity. Adpositions all demand particular cases to take different meanings. In the case of "on" in the allative, would translate into "onto," but in the ablative it could mean "off of," or more literally, "from on top of." Moving prepositions out of the locative can take on very different meanings (we'll see what happens.)
Word order is Verb-Subject-Object. Verbs are right-stemming.
English: "I go play patty-cake"
Neboveiza: "play go I patty-cake"
VSO, GN, (P)NP, NA, AV
The adjectives "more" or "less" will mark the compared object, and the compared will take the appropriate case for the action. Likewise, the following sentence in English could translate to one of two sentences.
English: "Cats eat more mice than dogs"
Neboveiza: "Eat cats(nom) more mice(acc) dogs(nom)" "cats eat more mice than dogs do"
Neboveiza: "Eat cats(nom) more mice(acc) dogs(acc)" "cats eat more mice than they eat dogs"
Nouns enter the lexicon under a certain noun class, sometimes several classes for related words. Not clear how these are reified yet. Just decided to try a class system out. Classes are historical, and only affect word-creation, and require no concord with any gramemes.
Possible classes to add:
-objects babies and grown-ups agree are edible (crackers, cookies, pudding)
-objects grown-ups think are edible (vegatables)
-objects babies don't consider edible, but still taste good
-objects babies consider edible (everything else)
-objects you can carry in your mouth (pacifiers, plushes, socks)
-objects you can carry in your hand
-objects that make scary sounds (toilets, stereos, sleep apnea)
-objects that cause physical pain
-objects that smell bad
-objects that are alarmingly uncolourful
-objects grown-ups use for inexplicable reasons
-objects grown-ups think are not a baby's property (phones, the fridge, grown-ups, everything)
-objects that are soft to the touch
-objects that are cushy
-objects that are cool (not pain class)
-objects that are warm (not pain class)
-clothing or objects you generally wear
-locative objects (house, yard, room, times)
-bright objects (light bulb, the sun)
-everything else (usually left to loan words)
Misc semantic notes:
"to have" is expressed in several ways, with less emphasis on ownership than natlangs. The verbs for "to carry" are used for an object currently on your person, with one word exclusive to objects you carry in your hand, and another for objects you carry in your clothing, such as a pocket or in your diaper. "To mouth" is used to describe carrying an object in your mouth. As for objects you don't or are not currently carrying, the past tense of "to see" is used. I saw a flashlight in the nursery. Stationary objects tend to "be" in their locations. "I have a crib in my nursery" > "A crib is in my nursery." Objects you habitually use are more likely described with "to use." "I have a potty chair" > "I use a potty chair (in the bathroom)"
Things to add: