Chromatic Adjectival Case | Pimzarblan | 3 | Conlinguistics

A unique anterior that I conceptualized on my own that is evident in Pimzarblan is the chromatic case. As evidenced by the name, it is used to describe an anterior that modifies a noun into an adjective specifically to describe the same color(s) as the noun.

Adjectives In Pimzarblan

This language does not use adjectives abundantly, rather it tends to use relative words to describe something, but that is another installment. In the case of describing a color of something, it always makes use of the chromatic case.

Colors in real-world tend to be tricky, since some color words derive from one word to describe completely different colors–at least to the modern eye. In the case of the English word blue, it is derived from the same Proto-Germanic root “bhlew,” which is also used to describe the colors “yellow, blond, grey,” in other languages.

In the case of the Proto-Germanic word ghreh, meaning “to grow (a plant),” it has been linked to the English words green and grey. Maybe in the case of someone’s eye colors which tend to be green-grey it might explain the similarity, but other than that, there is still a large difference between these two colors.

In the case of the Proto-Germanic word ghreh meaning “to grow a plant,” or, if we want to be more poetic, “growing of plants,” perhaps we could learn from this evolution from solid nounal form to the abstract color form.

In the case of the Pimzarblan word for “green,” it would become sazulbo, deriving from the word saza meaning “grass,” and adding the chromatic anterior. Of course, this has its faults, since at first glance, it would assume that the noun being used to describe a potential noun as “grass-colored” always remains in its same state, which is not the case with grass, since it either turns brown or is cut down. Remember the Proto-Germanic word “ghreh,” which specifically describes the “growing of plants,” it specifically makes use of the plants in their growing state. In their growing state, they turn green; ergo, they inspired the word that would become green.

It would be the case that the word sazulbo, if being used to refer to the color green, would need to make use for particular verbs that pertain to the growing and thriving of grass in order to turn green.

If you were to talk to a Pimzarblan surveyor about a green house and tell him:

Rid sazulboronzo edsahagweinlg rim urmzgunzo.

[demo.subj.sing. [grass].chro.[house].inan.erga. demo.obj.sing. [to rest].habit.past.verbal. [hill].inan.abso.locat.]

This grass-colored house rests on that hill.

He would probably look at you with a confused look and tell you through a translator “Is it the color of living grass or dead grass?”

Is it green or brown?

A better declarative statement would be:

Rid sazulboronzo ngivorlzagweilng edsahatz rim urmzgunzo.

[demo.subj.sing. [grass].chro.[house].inan.erga. [to thrive].habit.past.verbal. [to rest].subjun. demo.obj.sing. [hill].inan.abso.locat.]

This green house thrives in order to rest on that hill.

The Mandarin Chinese characters tend to have this type of system, because it makes use of radicals in order to convey an almost mnemonic meaning in the mind of the speaker. Sometimes those radicals convey a particular meaning, in other cases they convey a particular sound.

In the case of 黑 (hēi), the word for “black,” the character is originally derived from the Chinese character 大 (dà), meaning “man.” It included extra marks up and down the character in order to represent the black smears upon the face that would either represent war-paint or as a penal tattoo.

Of course, Pimzarblan does not make use of a logographic script, but the point remains that Mandarin Chinese also makes use of physical form in order to describe an abstract color. While the Germanic languages made use of growing plants to describe the color green, the Mandarin Chinese speakers make use of face tattoos to describe the color black. In the case of Pimzarblan, it makes use of the chromatic case and a modifying verb–a chromatic auxiliary verb for lack of a better word.

Complicated Forms

This also brings us to the physical nouns with complicated colors. An example being a cloud. Clouds tend to have varying colors, such as white, grey, and blue-grey. Used without a modifying verb, it can be used to describe all of these colors. A mountain not only may have clouds surrounding the peaks (depending on how high they are), but they may also be described as being cloud-colored themselves, or ninqu’lbo.

When describing a creature like a chameleon that can change its skin to any background, it would be called a wongulbonjaquer–or “land-colored lizard.” It would make sense that in order to blend in with the color of the land, the land itself must become the color.

Any Different From “Like” Or “As”

If we look at the English word like, it derives itself from the Proto-Germanic word meaning “equal, similar.” Indeed, English adjectives tend to make use of +ly, which is related to like. So, why not use like to describe a noun’s color?

The problem with that is that it describes the likeness of the noun, rather than the noun’s essence itself. While in English, the word like may be used in both cases, it is important to note that not all derivational anteriors are lexicalized the same. In English, it is very easy to conceptualize a sentence like “The mountain is blue-grey like a cloud.” However, in Pimzarblan, there really is no need to fill that requirement, since the chromatic anterior and a modifying verb are all that is needed to describe a noun’s color. Of course, there is a word for “like,” which is naru, however it is used to describe any other essence of the noun, such as movement and form.

As far as I have established +ulbo will have to be derived from the Proto-Pimzarblian word meaning “smear, smudge.”

Sources

  • Bybee, Joan et al. “The Evolution of Grammar: Tense, Aspect, and Modality in the Languages of the World.” The University of Chicago Press. 1994.
  • McNaughton, William and Li Ying. “Reading & Writing Chinese: A Comprehensive Guide to the Chinese Writing System.” Revised Edition. Tuttle Language Library. 1999.
  • Wiktionary.
    • Blue
    • Green
    • Grey
    • Like
    • Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/galīkaz
    • Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/gʰreh₁

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