Tydotsuy out-of-universe notes

Early history

The first time I mentioned the language Tydotsuy was in "The Chocolate Rain", which mentioned Lake Wihowi /ˈwɪ.o.ˌwɪ/ or /ˈwi.o.ˌwi/ and the name of the language, Dhidoxy /ˌdɪd.ˈɑk.su/. I intended Wihowi to sound watery, in particular with the wi syllable sounding to me like a drop of water hitting a pool of water. Dhidoxy is a shortening of dihydrogen oxide. The y pronounced like a u is inspired by the Greek upsilon, which is transliterated as u in the names of Greek letters but y elsewhere. In later stories, and when I started to create this language, I mistakenly remembered having a u pronounced like a y (/i/) there instead.

Original phonology: /h j w m n nw~nʷ p pʰ t tʰ tw~tʷ l lʷ s ɾ i ɛ~ɪ y ɔ~u a ə iː eː~ɪː yː oː~uː aː ei eu oi ai au/. The free variation between /ɔ/ and /u/ was to justify having ‹u› pronounced /y/ (and therefore Anglicized as /i/). At the time I'd read something about conlanging, possibly the Language Construction Kit, which said something about adding or removing series of sounds; I believe that's why I removed velars. I decided that for a writing system I wanted a variation of a syllabary, except instead of each symbol representing a consonant-vowel pair, each symbol would represent a vowel-consonant pair; I believe I was trying to simplify the writing system when I decided to disallow nasals from the syllable coda.

Around that time, I also came up with some ideas for the grammar. Some significant aspects of the grammar:

At that point, I lost interest in the language, came back to it briefly later and gave it a phonology more similar to the current one (but with /s/ as the only fricative), and even later came back to it again and started working on it for real. I added more fricatives to make the language sound more water-like. I added fricative harmony because some early words I generated were difficult to pronounce. I considered having voiceless vowels (but only two of them, one rounded and one unrounded), but I decided instead to have syllable-final /h/, and I didn't want to have both. I added an underspecified stop inspired by Japanese's underspecified nasal. Also, it turned out that neither of the original words supposedly from this language were actually allowed by the phonology.

Major removed/changed things

Word order

Some things that used to be true about word order:

Grammatical number

Grammatical number used to be marked on both the article and on the noun. Inanimate nouns had prefixes marking the singular form (plural unmarked), which were based on the noun's classifier. I removed this because I felt it was making some sentences and phonological words too long.

Old articles:

Definite de= thee= ne= see=
Indefinite a= al= ha= hal=

Old prefixes (vowels in parentheses are omitted when the prefix is attached to a word beginning with a vowel):

Ordinary classifiers
i–Small objects (e.g., grains, drops)
li–lifThin, string-like objects
bw(i)–bwilhFlat objects
m(i)–miiOther shapes
shw(e)–shwelhWhole plants
f(e)–fuuClouds, abstract concepts
hwei–hweiAnimals, people
leh–luhwyyFood (serving)
Plural classifiers
laf–lofHerds, groups of people
Other classifiers
se–si·elPlaces, times
teh–tuhInstances of an action
fnif–fnifLeft item in a pair
thii–thiiRight item in a pair

Version history

  1. #2014-06-02: first published version, 258 words
  2. #2014-06-14: +46 words (304), various changes, including adding a section on numbers
  3. #2014-06-18: +17 words (321)
  4. #2014-06-21: +43 words (364)
  5. #2014-06-29: +1 word (365)
  6. #2014-07-11: +20 words (385), started the alphabet, added conditional mood
  7. #2014-07-14: +1 word (386)
  8. #2014-07-20: +12 words (398)
  9. #2014-08-20: +11 words (409), changed the first-person pronoun
  10. #2014-08-30: +19 words (428)
  11. #2014-09-02: +31 words (459), color terms
  12. #2014-09-16: +17 words (476)
  13. #2014-09-24: +2 words (478)
  14. #2014-10-11: +5 words (483), added careful writing, started "The Invention of Color"
  15. #2014-11-04: +4 words (487), written numbers
  16. #2014-11-24: +14 words (501), dates and times
  17. #2014-12-24: +5 words (506)
  18. #2015-01-06: +16 words (522)
  19. #2015-01-25: +2 words (524)
  20. #2015-02-16: +2 words (526), simplify grammatical number and articles
  21. #2015-05-17: various minor changes that mostly don't affect the actual language itself
    • new word: wjuu "mermaid"
    • added a section describing how questions work
    • added stats
    • added summaries for each revision on this page
    • various minor fixes and formatting changes

TODO: fix accent marks in examples, use the =se->s= rule in example pronunciations [waiting to see if I want to keep these features as they are]