hus (verbal form, nominal form huzri)
- to float (on liquid, not air)
|The etymology of this word comes from an invisible proto-language. If you're confident you know the etymology, feel free to add it, but reader beware should the etymology be added by someone other than the creator of the language!|
hus (nominative first person singular, plural goak)
- I; first person singular personal pronoun, nominative case
|1st person||2nd person||3rd person||1st person||2nd person||3rd person|
Creation and Usage Notes
|This language is a prime example of what can happen if you don't do enough test translations. At the time I was developing Noalath, I had two main projects. I was developing Kinuk'aaz for what would turn out to be the last season of Defiance, and then this one for the upcoming show The Shannara Chronicles. I wanted to try out initial consonant mutation, and so I tried two different implementations, one in each language. It worked out great in Kinuk'aaz; not so much with Noalath.
The issues were twofold. First, my decision to use y-mutation with the objective case proved to be short-sighted. Outside the nominative, the objective enjoyed the most use, and the results of the y-mutation basically turned the whole language to [ʃ]. It's awful to pronounce, and silly to hear. I should have switched it with the genitive, which is associated with n-mutation. This is something I likely would have figured out had I had more time to work with the language before translations were required, but there was little lead time, and I had other work to do.
The second issue has to do with these pronouns. This has to be the worst set of personal pronouns I have ever devised. There were some cute theories in there, but the actual set is a mess—typified by this one. The fact that hus is the nominative and us is the genitive should have given me pause—not because it's unlikely on its own, but because this language is VSO. The subject pronouns are an absolute disaster. It takes far too much effort to say all of them, and they occur in a tonic position that all but demands that they be phonologically reduced. If you follow the intonational phrasing and the way it works, the position of the subject pronouns is essentially a deemphatic position. And look at them! Every single one has a coda consonant; all but two of them begin with consonants that should be phonologically reduced, but, miraculously, are not. The phonological shape of these pronouns, in fact, makes it seems like they should be getting special emphasis to rescue their unwieldy shape. But they don't.
In pronouncing the language, I did end up reducing these a bit, but most of the time I just tried to awkwardly pronounce the whole stupid thing—or to translate the sentence in such a way that the subject pronoun ended up somewhere else. Even so, there's not much that can be done to change what amounts to a systematic flaw in the construction of the language. It's a shame, because there's a lot that works really well in this language, and a lot I love about it. If I had it to do over, I'd swap those two mutations and turn those subject pronouns into agreement suffixes on the verb—maybe use the vocative pronouns as emphatic subject pronouns where required. That might rescue it.
-David J. Peterson 03:18, 24 January 2020 (PST)