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The language uses a unique script, but the standard Latinization gives a close idea to how the language is pronounced:
|r||ɾ||fast r sound|
There are three punctuation marks: one (·), two (:), or three (∴) dots. One dot is similar to a hyphen, and separates compound words. Two dots separate clauses, like a comma. Three dots marks the end of a sentence.
Nouns have grammatical agency, almost always reflected by their first vowel sound. A noun can be considered inanimate (a), living (o), or sentient (i). Often, these are what you would expect. Human words – man, woman, girl, child, etc. are sentient. Living objects include living and moving things – animals, plants, the wind, waves, and lightning. Other objects are inanimate. Most abstract nouns are inanimate by default, but are often given sentience as a sort of anthropomorphism. Fate, Will, Love, etc. are often transformed in this way. Items used metonymously as an extension of a sentient being may also be given agency. In “The White House issued a new policy,” House would be written as sentient, changing the vowel sound to i
Besides agency, sentient and living nouns have a grammatical gender masculine or feminine. For people and animals, this gender is as expected. Anthropomorphised abstract nouns are invariably feminine. For living items with no physical sex, the gender is also typically feminine, but many are masculine. The gender of a noun is only expressed by which third-person pronoun is used to refer to he, she, or it.
In sentences, nouns are declined by case using a suffix as follows:
|they (are)||(a) leaderless people|
|he||(is a) man||who||walks|
|Nominative case||no suffix|
|Accusative case||-n or -un for words that end in n.|
|Gentive case||-s or -us for words that end in s.|
Plurals are formed with the suffix -d
The suffix -ran is often the product of another noun: lib “writer”, labran “book”
Noun phrases are not as complicated as in English. Most nouns only take one or two adjectives. These are formed with a compound, separated with a middle dot. Relative clauses are marked with the word te (similar to the English that, which, or who to mark a relative clause). te should be declined in the case of the noun it modifies. Its forms are te/ten/tema/tes.
|we (not you)||fid||fidn||fidma||fids|
Nouns are often refered to using pronouns. Some are the same as English – I, he, and she. However, the language distinguishes between you-singular and you-plural (y’all), as well as between we-inclusive (“you and us”) and we-exclusive (“us but not you”). Third person singular pronouns are split by gender, but “it” is only used for nouns with no grammatical agency – some physically genderless, but grammatically living items, such as plants, are assigned grammatical gender.
Note the regularity – these are declined and pluralized identically to nouns.
There is one demonstrative pronoun, and it can be used much like in English, either as adjectives or as nouns.
When used as a noun, this must be declined.
Verbs are not conjugated by the subject, but they may take suffixes to modify their meaning.
Many nouns can be “verbed” by the prefix e-. darzh “story”, edarzh “to say”
Multiple prepositional suffixes are usually applied by repeating the verb with a different suffix at the end of the phrase.
The verb “to be” is the zero length verb – a lack of verb indicates the verb “to be”. The objects must be declined in the correct cases – nominative for the object, accusative for the thing it is. The empty verb can take suffixes.
Imperatives are formed by repeating the verb at the end of the independent clause, apl un apl - “you should eat”
Added to a verb without a middle dot. These change the meaning or tense of a verb. Several of these can be added to a single verb, where it makes sense. The order is typically as shown from top to bottom. (pogo, not *gopo)
|vo||subjunctive. also use the imperative for wishes|
|b||intransitive transformation - edarzh “tell someone something”, edarzhb “talk aloud.” Can also be used to reverse the sense of some verbs – the subject and object are interchanged.|
These suffixes also modify the meaning of a verb. Their order is free, possibly changing the meaning. (etozl-ne-kon “can dishonor”, etozl-kon-ne “cannot honor”)
|-ne||doesn’t do the thing|
|-kon||to be able to. i.e. lim = meet lim-kon = can meet|
Transitive suffixes take words or phrases, and are similar to prepositional or adverbial phrases. In general, they don’t change the meaning of the verb, but clarify it. The objects of the phrases are declined into the specified cases. In the case of -ba, either case may be used, changing the meaning.
|-te-<word>||use the word as an adverb|
|-sho <phrase>||(dative) in phrase|
|-ba <phrase>||(dative) behind phrase, (accusative) back toward phrase|
|-ka <phrase>||(dative) in front of phrase|
|-kaba <phrase>||(dative) around phrase|
|-djil <phrase>||(dative) only after phrase|
|-djal <phrase>||(dative) before phrase|
|-fi <phrase>||(dative) with (by use of) phrase|
|-ir <phrase>||(dative) in order to phrase|
|-it <phrase>||(dative) because, because of phrase|
|-zika <phrase>||(dative) while, during phrase|
|I||eat while||(it happens that)||she||talks|
Note that te has been declined in dative case.
Where is makes sense, these suffixes and associated phrase can be separated from the verb and brought to the front of the clause, but this is a poetic form, not commonly used. More often, a new clause with the verb and suffix is added.
As in English, sentences are generally Subject Verb Object. However, the cases allow the order to be changed without changing the meaning of the sentence. This may be to draw attention to the object: The man was bitten by the dog vs. the dog bit the man. It may also make the sentence clearer. In the example below, the subject is a relative clause. It is often clearer to put a relative clause at the end of the sentence.
“That the man ate well gladdened him”
|he||was gladdened by||(the) man||ate kingly|
To form larger numbers, simply concatenate the numbers. For teens, using ten instead of one is prefered. Not *ul-mir, but imo-mir. They are grouped in fours. The first group can stand alone, and larger numbers are separated by tani (10,000), then mani (100,000,000)
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