Monday, May 11, 2009

Do Re Mi

Epistle XVII: The Pefhírokh, the Musical Pitch Accent

My Princess,
I hope that you are well. If for any reason whatsoever you desire for me to come home, I shall abandon the fleet at once. Our Fathers are more than capable of waging this war without me. Mine own contributions are paltry enough that our ēoreds will not miss me were I to be gone for a short while. If you are tired, I shall return home to carry you and care for you every hour of the day. If my Mother and Aunt are whelved by the task of running the plantation, I shall return and do all of the work for them. If the crannog must be repaired, I can come along with ten thousand technicians to repair our hut. If you need additional protection I am ready to send a fleet ten million warriors strong to protect you, and I shall be at the head. I relayed these thoughts to Fhermáta before she left, and she kept telling me that none of this would be necessary. However, if you send the word, I shall do everything to serve you. Your Father keeps calling me his Heir and Son and Crown Prince, but what is the use of being the Saiqíren if I cannot protect the one I love?
My Princess,
When first we met in the Khwònojhe, the Forbidden Gardens, you marvelled at the music that I produced with voice and harpstring, and even as you promised to teach me to speak you asked me to teach you of music. This even, as the fleet is arising and traveling towards deeper fractals that swarm about the void, I thought that I could explain a little about music as best I can. Many times you have mentioned the pefhírokh, the musical pitch accent of language and spoken of its relationship to music without words. Perhaps I can reveal a little the song that links accent to language.
One is reminded of this famed old poem that Grandfather Pátifhar made me memorize when I was very small:

Soun ys noght but eyr ybroken.
Ond every speche Þæt ys spoken,
Lowd ør pryvee, foul ør fair,
Inna his substaunce ys but ær.

I have gotten Great-Uncle Táto to help me write this so he can correct some of the errors I’m making with the writing. For a long time Babel’s pefhírokh pitch accent was misunderstood by the wise. Language has both an accent and a twuîlwa tone, language is inherently not just of a flowing-sing-song quality, but it is always something chanted or intoned or sung. In the Khniîxhwa glyphs that we are using vowels marked by the lwáyája, by the acute accent, Í, É, Á, Ó, Ú are pronounced with a rising accent and musical tone, and the vowel is slightly longer. Stressed diphthongs are pronounced with a lwoêrng qaifheîyai, the circumflex accent, a rising-falling musical tone, Aê, Aî, Aô, Aû, Eî, Eû, Iê, Iî, Oâ, Oê, Oî, and Uî, and unstressed short syllables which are not marked with an acute and are not part of a diphthong partake of the qtoârs jùfhufheng, the grave accent, or the falling musical tone, Ì, È, À, Ò, Ù. In terms of phonetics the rising tone is about a third higher than the axhnànanan, or the level accent, and the level accent is about a third higher than the falling tone. The circumflex and jùfhufheng grave accent have rules for regular distribution. Every participle has a tone, and even the axhnànanan level accent is considered a tone even though it’s in the very middle. To mine ears pitch is softened a little before the liquid consonants R, L, M, N, Khr, Khl, Khm, Khn, but this may not be audible unto all.
The acute accent, that is, the rising musical tone, does not change its position when affixes are added to it, but the grave and circumflex do. This is a regular musical process of language, and although I know how to reproduce it in writing, appearantly only I and Ixhúja are the only ones who did not learn how to sing it. If one considers these names:

Pátifhar, Akhlísa, Éfhelìnye, Puîyus

One can see, my Princess, that the first two names have rising pitch, the third name as a rising pitch and a falling pitch, and the last as a diphthong that rises and falls. When one adds one of the the construct case suffixes to the names, the rising pitch in the first two names remains the same. In the third name the rising pitch is the same, but the falling pitch o'er I is moved. In the last name the diphthong is no longer in the correct position to receive the circumflex. Therefore one hears the following forms:

Pátifhàrejikh, Akhlísàyejikh, Éfhelinyèyejikh, Puiyùsejikh.

The third to last syllable, or the antipenult as Great-Uncle Táto tells me, must receive rising, rising-falling, or falling accent. So Pátifhar becomes Pátifhàrejikh, and Akhlísa becomes Akhlísàyejikh, and Éfhelìnye becomes Éfhelinyèyejikh, and Puîyus becomes Puiyùsejikh.

Certain affixes always take the acute or the circumflex no matter what the structure of the participle may be. These include the Vocatives:

Aî, Xá, Taê, Xaô, Tóngai, Lwór, Xhnéyemai, Ányar, Khmaê, Khmaîtlho, Xhmaitlhújo, Aînoi, Pétsi, Qlása, Jheîsa, Xhór, Óxhai, Xhér, Éxhai, Ájhoqha, Jónga, Túngai, Taôngai, Jhwóna, Fhtána, Ár, Tár.

Affixes for questions, the irrealis mood, and emphatic suffixes:

Ájhei, khréxhye, áxeus, khrúje, áxeus khyi, étyai, khrúju, jhúxe, khyáxe, axúng, ajókh

Some interjections:

Khaôqha, khnáni, kheinanináni, khoyótokho, pát, pátifhar, pyárs, qáyoakh, túreil, xhwókh

Is this right?

You’re doing fine, Crown Prince. Let me help you write some of these glyphs.

My beloved Princess, the predicate Ól has an acute accent but never takes the circumflex or grave acents:

Ólakh, ólalei, ól, ólana, ólaxhro, ólaxhra, ólajheis, ólajheqhe, ólano, ólamo, ólaxhei, ólu, ólaja …

If ólemern were a participle, one would find ólàxhro for ólaxhro and ólàxhra for *ólaxhra._

The following tòngqe personal pronouns always have an acute accent, but no personal pronoun takes the circumflex or the grave accent:

Pó, ó poa, pú, tó, tú, kó, kú, ó, ú, khnón, pón.

Great Uncle Táto wants me to ask you whether some dialects pronounce Þe jin series of familiar personal pronouns either as enclitiξ ør with a falling tone.

Relitive pronouns never take rising or rising-falling or falling music tone. They are always level, at least for Khniîxhwa, our type of speech:

Pus, tus, kus, keis, koas, kes, xhyus, xhyeis, xhyoas, xhyes …

Great-Uncle Táto wants me to ask you whether some dialacts give their relative pronouns the falling accent, perhaps even on the fhtoîsyoi diphtong ei. He asks me because I have noticed differences in the sounds which others perhaps do not notice. To mean the relative pronouns sometimes sound like pùs, tùs, kùs, keìs, koàs, kès, xhyùs, xhyeìs, xhyoàs, ond xhyès. Perhaps other dialects just consider relative pronouns to be enclitics, and so they do not receive rising or rising-falling and falling accent in the writing systems.

When participles are conjugated for the Deferntial and Honorific mode, the original lwájáya acute accent of the participle is kept. However, no farther circumflex or grave accents are added:

Respectfulwise, I eam Pátifhar.
Respectfulwise, thou art Pátifhar.
Respectfulwise, hee yzzz Pátifhar.
Pátifharoxhakh pú.
I honor myself by being Pátifhar.
Pátifharoxhalei pú.
I honor thee by being Pátifhar.
Pátifharoxhate pú.
I honor him ør hir by being Pátifhar.

Great Uncle Táto is going to write a few lines about maths, since mathematics is fairly alien unto me.

My treasure, my cosset, my joy, my charge Éfhelìnye,
Numbers in base eleven scientific notation can only take the acute accent, the rising musical tone, and it always falls upon the penultimate syllable. Certain mathematical expressions have an acute accent but do not take any grave or qaifheîyai circumflex accent. They are the following:

Eyi plus; +; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Xhnoe plus; +; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Emi minus; ·; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Ewi multiplied by, times; *; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Lyó division; divided by; ¸ ; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Ale open parenthesis; ( ; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Uli closed parenthesis; ); used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Ól equals; = ; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Khnól doth not equal; ¹ ; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Sqír is leß than; <; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Sqúr is greater than; >; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Tsixhli greater than ør equal to; ≥; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun
Jhyopi tho who are leß than ør equal to; ≤; used in Base Eleven scientifick notacioun

I shall ask the Crown Prince to write out the rest of this letter so that he can practice hearing the accent as I speak the words aloud unto him.

My Princess,
Great-Uncle Táto tells me that in some dialects there are probably certain common ad-verbial phrases that always take a falling musical tone. In Khniîxhwa there are nine locative prhases beginning with the prefix qir wherein the prefix itself takes the falling accent and becomes qìr. They are the Qìr Adverbs and are as follows:

Þe Qìr Adverbs
Qìr é, at a time, once, at some tyme
Qìr ké, later
Qìr koâ, yonder
Qìr xhmé, with intent
Qìr pé, now, in Þe present
Qìr poâ, here
Qìr xhré, in Þe past, then
Qìr xhré xhré, in Þe far past, præterpluperfect
Qìr té, then, next
Qìr toâ, there

To mine ears sometimes the accent sounds different, so perhaps in some dialects they are pronounced as: qìr kè, qìr koà, ør qìr koá, qìr xhmè, qìr pè, qìr poà, ør qìr poà, qìr xhrè, qìr xhrè xhrè, qìr tè, and qìr toà, ør qìr toá.

When I listen to the music of language I notice that tòngqe personal pronouns and twòsu relative pronouns do not receive the grave or qaifheîyai circumflex accent, but only participles do. The distribution of the falling and rising-falling music tones is completely regular, it is just a rhythm which one does not even have to memorize for it is part of the beating of our hearts. The accented syllable for each participle must receive a rising, rising-falling, or a falling tone, but not a level tone. If the accented syllable is already a rising tone, then there is no change at all. if it is a single vowel, then it receives the grave, the falling tone. If it is a diphthong it receives the circumflex, the rising-falling tone. There only exceptions are when one forms a question without a question fhtótet affix such –ájhei and + khréxhye or an unmarked irrealis. The rules for accent are regular. The last syllable, which Great-Uncle calls the ultimate, receives the accent only in a mono-syllable. The second to last syllable, the penult, receives an accent when the vowel is a rising tone, or followed by two consonants, or a diphthong.

Crown Prince, don’t forget that Ts, Ng, Tlh, &c represent a single consonant even if they are written with two or more glyphs in a writing system.

Otherwise the third to last syllable, the antepenult is accent.
Hence, all monosyllable participles with a single tnònthang vowel are naturally rising tone since the acute accent doesn’t change. If it is a diphthong, it will receive a circumflex.

Púr, words
Qé, persons
Qiêl, hills
Eîl, the Sun

However, when one inflects a word by adding affixes, the circumflex or grave moves as the accent moves, but the acute never moves:

Púràxhmikh, of words
Púràxhmikhing, of a word
Tsènaqé, one person
Tsenaqéyájhei?, does the one person …?
Qiêlutakh, untowards the hills
Qielùtakhing, untowards the hill

Akhlísa, Akhlísa
Fhàproka, cities
Jaê, those who see
Koaselónge, those who love
Talqantànthe, cruisers
Qírenat, the Emperor
Akhlísàyejikh, of Akhlísa
Fhaprokayùlkha, of cities
Tsènajae, one who sees
Koaselóngèjikh, of those who love
Talqantanthèyutakh, untowards the cruisers
Qírenàtejikh, of the Emperor

Musical tone is only added unto those affixes were are directed affixed unto the participles. When the affixes are prefixed before the participle and there is a space between them, such as prepositions of the Qir series, or when they are separated eft or following a Y or X such as a number of the-Ing series, they do not receive a change in tone.

Jaê, those who see
Qir jaê, near those who see
Tsena xhlir jaê, by means of one who sees
Jaê xhroe, of those who see
Jaê khmo, away from those who see
Jaê khmo yaxhwa, away indeed from those who see
Jaê khmo xing axhwa, away indeed from one who sees

My Princess, the more I think about it and train mine ears to hear the forms of sound, the more I believe that pitch patterns vary from dialect to dialect. I think that in some khlùli dialects that the rising accent must move. In some dialects both the semantically non-restrictive sùkhpet participles and the personal pronounces receive the rising accent on the penultimate or the only vowel that they have, uniless it is a diphthong, wherein case, my Princess, they take the rising-falling tone. Other dialects must have complicated rules for accented unbound participles. In some dialects the last word in every sentence must always receive the rising-accent, although there is an exception for unmarked vocatives and irrealis which can be thunk of as one-word jhùfhra sentences. I know I have heard qìr poá for qìr poâ, but even in such tounges have I heard Puîyos for Puiyos.

The normal scientific mis-method for forming questions, the irrealis mood, and the vocative case is to use certain khmàlon affixes, and musical tone reacts to the affixes by following the rules above. Consider the following, my Princess:

Khnierájhei’ Éfhelìnye xhroe Puîyus? Does Puîyus kiss Éfhelìnye? A question.
Khaûkhnier Éfhelìnye xhroe! Kiss, thou, Éfhelìnye! Irrealis mood.
Taê’ Éfhelìne! Xá Puîye! Oh Éfhelìnye! Oh Puey! Vocative case.

It is possible to form questions, the irrealis mood, and the vocative case just by changing the musical pitch of the last participle. In therms of tone, however, if the last word in the xhméja sentence is a participle, and the last vowel is neither rising nor a diphthong, that is, if it is of level tone, than it receives a lwájaya acute accent to form a question and a grave for the irrealis mood and vocative case. If the last vowel is a mono-syllable ora diphthong it just takes the circumflex. Great Uncle is asking me to write that this forming of questions, the irrealis mood, and the vocative case without full inflexions is considered the use of sùnta of abrupt forms, and are only considered proper for emergencies, or when addressing plantimals and children, especially children of low caste. It’s still important to know how it’s used, though, he tells me, and that when I’m grown up I may use it all the time when addressing slaves.

Here are examples of sùnta abrupt forms for questions:

Khniêr? Does someone kiss someone?
Khniêr Éfhelìnye xhroe Puiyús? Does Puîyus kiss Éfhelìnye?
Khniêr Éfhelìnye xhroe’ Eîl? Does the Sun kiss Éfhelìnye?
Í? Does someone go somewhere?

Here are examples of sùnta abrupt forms for the irrealis mood:

Khniêr! May someone kiss someone!
Khniêr Éfhelìnye xhroe! Kiss Éfhelìnye!
Khniêr Éfhelinyèyejikh! Kiss Éfhelìnye!
Í! Someone go somewhere!

Í? and Í! are completely phonetically identical, but the former is written with the jóng question point and the letter with the jáng explanation mark.

Finally here are examples of sùnta abrupt forms for the vocative case!

Éfhelinyè! Puiyùs!
Éfhelìnye! Puîyus!

Princess, I shall try and write down some musical notation beneath some sentences which Great-Uncle Táto is helping me to compose. I hope this ends making sense:

Khríxhmer khnujóloi xhroe poâ xhmoe qìr xhmé xhmir Fhóngo Puîyus póning.
Puîyus himself intends to bring thise very jewels to Þe Æons who are his friends.

Khréjhar ur khrúju Puîyus xhroe qoe kó xhlir soîrxhla koxhaxhrejor qìr xhmé taê tó.
Thou shalt make him kill Puîyus with his pnives.

Kongai xhrir poâ xhmoe iyoâkhwet ujeni pú.
I eam alwey willing to go away from even Þis honored place.

One is not entirely sure how Great-Uncle Táto is inventing such sentences. I am not entirely sure I like being made the object of the second sentence and being killed with a knife. I rather liked the examples I created above about kissing you. Alas that old scholars should be creating examples for our grammar books.

Princess, I would like to end this discussion on the pitch accent of music by giving examples of the time expressions mentioned above and writing next to them what the musical notes are actually doing:

Í pú
Rising Rising
We go
Í qìr pé pú
Rising Falling Rising Rising
We now go
Í qìr xhré pú
Rising Falling Rising Rising
Wee wended
Í qìr xhmé pú
Rising Falling Rising Rising
We intend to go
Íyoâqet pú
Rising Rise-fall Level Rising
We are going
Íyoâqet qìr pè pú
Rising Rise-fall Level Falling Falling Rising
We are now going
Íyoâqet qìr xhré pú
Rising Rise-fall Falling Rising Rising
We were going
Íyoâqet qìr xhmé pú
Rising Rise-fall Level Falling Rising Rising
We intend to be going
Íyoâxhwet pú
Rising Rise-fall Level Rising
We alwey go
Íyoâxhwet qìr pé pú
Rising Rise-fall Level Falling Rising Rising
We now alwey go
Íyoâxhwet qìr xhré pú
Rising Rise-fall Level Falling Rising Rising
We alwey wended
Íyoâxhet qìr xhmé pú
Rising Rise-fall Level Falling Rising Rising
We alwey intend to go

Great-Uncle Táto tells me that it is improper for a grammar book to be using example sentences about kissing someone, especially a Princess. He tells me that a grammar book should use examples of the sort, One kicks a ball, or One slays the soldier, or One disembowels one’s enemy, good solid sentences with predicates and objects and subjects. He also wishes for me to add that punctuation itself contributes to the musical quality of language. The júng symbol if Khniîxhwa is essentially a marker of a level tone, for it is used for all declarative sentences, for dashes and full stops and parenthetical statements. The jáng is used for the falling tone, for the vocative case, interjections, and the irrealis mood. And the jóng is used for the rising tone, for questions in the comment mood.
I miss you very much, Éfhelìnye. I hope these humble lines of mine, with Great-Uncle Táto’s help, will bring some joy to your day. I look froward to reading the next letter from you, and I shall give your love to the Acolytes and Pirates and my Father, and pray to be returned unto you. Just send the word, and I shall leave if you are in trouble.

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