• Language: Njaama
  • Created: 2002
  • Alternate names:
  • Language code:
  • Language family: personal language
  • Script:

A constructed language by David J. Peterson.

A click language, Njaama also has a pitch-accent system, and makes liberal use of adjuncts. Also, in the Njaama script, I've come up with a method for marking tone that I think is rather unique. There are four possible tone patterns: H, L, HL and LH. So what I did was make four symbols that correspond to each of the above, and I prepose each word with one of those symbols, depending on its tonal pattern. For words of multiple syllables and either a HL or LH tone pattern, I made a character to insert before the syllable where the tone changes.

Language sources: I drew from Hausa, Middle Egyptian, Tok Pisin, a former language of mine (Mbasa), and Pulaar, the language Baaba Maal sings in. The name of the language is named after one of my favorite songs by him, "Jamma Jenngii" ("Night Is Falling").

Initially, this was going to be an infixing language. I abandoned that, though, as it didn't fit. It did, however, remain a pitch-accent language, allowing no contour tones, and no more than one level-switch per word. One of the main features is an adjunct to specify subject and object NP's. The word order is SVO, but the verb can have nothing but pronouns on either side of it. As such, to specify the S and O arguments, one has to drag them out to the front and prepose them with particles, so that what the language looks like an SOV language with preposed case marking, whereas it remains an SVO language with no case marking.