Oct19A –  A Constructed Language

Oct19A Basic Morphosyntax

Legend: Definitions, Terms, <Text>, [IPA], -Tags-, and "Glosses".


Person and Number Terminology

The K/L pronominal system semantics used here is as follows:


Indexes, possibly as many as 10, are used instead of 3rd person pronominals. Each index must be assigned to the referent of a construct before it can be referenced, thus there are index assignments and index references.

Root Classes

A root may be transient or (relatively) persistent and univalent, labile, or bivalent. The same applies to derived stems. A univalent stem can't take an argument inflection. A labile stem can optionally take an argument inflection. A bivalent stem must take an argument inflection except when it's used as an auxiliary.

Some labile and bivalent roots and stems may be invertible. Main roots are normally persistent and univalent while subordinate roots are normally transient and/or non-univalent. A transient root or stem is either static or dynamic.

The following table lists glosses of some roots in each class. THose marked with an asterisk (*) are invertible.

Root Class Examples
Persistent Static Dynamic
Univalent "fish", "house" "old", "large"
Labile "mother"*, "paw" "in"*, "own"* "eat", "run"
Bivalent "see", "want" "require"


There are both monosyllabic and polysllabic morphemes. The former are used for basic roots, particles, and affixes while the latter are used for expanded roots, literals, and numbers.

Literals are quoted strings of any length beginning and ending with the quote syllable. This and the numeric syllables are shown in the following table:

Literal Delimiters
Syllable Tag Description
zi " begin and end literal string (quote)

Numeric Strings

A numeric string consists of an optional negative sign, an integer part, and an optional signed exponent part, in that order. The integer part is a sequence of 1 or more base 20 digit symbols. An exponent part is a sequence of 1 or more base 20 digit symbols preceded by a positive or negative exponent glyph.

All the numeric modifiers are shown in the following table:

Numeric Modifiers
Syllable Tag Description
positive integer
sa - negative integer
ke X+ positive exponent
do X- negative exponent

Numeric Example
Glyphs Syllables Value
nekketek 3,200,000

Roots and Compounds

There are 1 syllable basic roots, 2 syllable extra roots, and 3 syllable super roots, each with final and non-final versions. The basic roots have 2 syllable duplicate forms, of which only the non-final versions are actually used.

A compound root consists of a sequence of at least 1 non-final version followed by a final version.

The following table shows the formats for each version of each root type; ranges of onset (C) and rhyme (R) values are given numerically while single values are given orthographically.

Root Formats
Syllables Number Description
C[00-03] 80 function syllables
C[04-07] 80 (reserved for expansion)
C[08-19] 240 basic roots
mu C[08-19] 240 (duplicate basic roots)
mu C[00-07] 160 extra roots
[01-19]u CR 7600 extra roots
mau C[08-19] 240 non-final basic roots
mau C[00-07] 160 non-final extra roots
[01-19]au CR 7600 non-final extra roots
Cai CR CR 3,200,000 super roots
Coi CR CR 3,200,000 non-final super roots

Derivation and Inflection

Except for negation, derivation and inflection apply only to subordinate roots. A stem is a root, possibly with derivational suffixes added. A form is a stem, possibly with inflectional suffixes added.

Derivational Suffixes

The possible derivations include state change marking along with potential, inevitable, and habitual markers; these appear as suffixes following the root in that order. The state change markers apply to static roots producing dynamic stems. The other derivations apply to dynamic stems.

Derivational Suffixes
Suffix Tag Description Slot
-fi -In entry-to-state state change
-no -Ex exit-from-state
-pa -Via passage-through-state
-we -Hab habitual other
-ko -NP potential
-ja -NN inevitable
-be -PP passive potential

Inflectional Suffixes

The possible inflections include grammatical voice, argument expression, and polarity, marked by suffixes in that order. The possible grammatical voices and polarity values are shown in the following table:

Inflectional Suffixes
Suffix Tag Description Slot
direct-antipassive grammatical voice
-le -Inv inverse-passive
-xi -Rfx reflexive
positive polarity
-qo -Neg negative

The possible kinds of argument expressions are null, index, personal, and content question.

These are shown in the following pronominal syllables table:

Pronominal Syllables
Word Tag Description Group
ca Q content question content question
ki K K person personal
lo L L person
me M M person
se X0 (arbitrary) index
po X1
di X2
na X3
xe X4
jo X5
'i X6
ka X7
he X8
fo X9

The associated persons suffix may be appended to K, L, or M as part of the personal argument expression.

Associated Persons
Suffix Tag Description
-xa A associated persons

Component Sequences

The components include domains, main roots, subordinate forms, and index assignments. The domain, main root, and any number of subordinate roots appear, in that order. The factors determining the omission of the domain or the main root are given later. An index assignment may be inserted after any root, and there can be multiple indexes assigned in a sequence.

Index Assignment

An index assignment consists of an index syllable to which the assignment syllable is suffixed. This suffix may also be used with the L person syllable (in statements) or K person syllable (in questions) as a vocative marker. The referent of the index becomes that of the preceding part of the sequence.

Index Assignment
Suffix Tag Description
-za -Asg assign index


A domain consists of a pronominal slot and a determining slot. The pronominal slot contains 1 of the pronominal syllables shown in the earlier table. The determining slot contains either a determiner or the genitive syllable, shown in the following table:

Determiner Slot
Word Tag Description Slot
ji Prox proximal demonstrative Determiner
go Medi medial demonstrative
da Dist distal demonstrative
'e Ana anaphoric
de Def other definite
'o NR non-referential
to Gen Genitive Genitive

The anaphoric determiner is used to reintroduce a previously mentioned entity whose index has lapsed while the definite determiner is used for any other definite referent, e.g. "the sun".

Either or both domain slots can be null, with restrictions:

Demonstratives may be combined with pronominals:

The following table summarizes which pronominal + determiner combinations are valid and for each valid combination whether the main root is required, optional, or omitted.

Domain Combinations
Null Proximal Medi/Dist Other Genitive
Null required required required required -
Personal omitted required - - required
Index omitted - required - required
Question optional - - - required

Literals and Numbers

The main root may be replaced by a literal; in this case, no domain appears but the sequence is definite instead of indefinite.

A root or sequence may be modified by a numeric specifying the cardinality of a set of processes.

Unification and Evidentials

A sentence represents an instance of a (sub-)process. It may be a single sequence or a unification of sequences, in which case multiple sequences are separated by the unify enclitic. A sentence is terminated by an enclitic evidential which is omitted under certain circumstances. The following table shows the evidentials:

Word Tag Description
mo Vis direct visual
lo OS direct other sensory
re Ins detected by instruments
so Rep reported by participant or observer?
pi Ded deduced
qa Hyp hypothetical
te U unify clauses

The circumstances for evidential omission include questions and evidential-marked blocks.

Questions, Blocks, and Temporal Relations

There are 2 types of questions: polar and content. Content questions are indicated by the presence of the question pronominal Q. Both types of questions must be preceded by the question particle.

A block is a group of sentences delimited by the begin block and end block particles. An evidential may be applied to the whole block by placing it immediately after one of the block delimiters.

Some Particles
Word Tag Description
ci Que question particle
si Imp imperative
ya BB begin block
wi EB end block

Temporal Relations

The temporal relationship of 2 adjacent sentences may be clarified by placing a temporal conjunction between them.

Temporal Relations
Word Tag Description
pe Seq conjunction, sequential
xo Sim conjunction, simultaneous
qe Dis disjunction, exclusive
bo Ior disjunction, inclusive
fa Aor next when previous
ti Dur next while previous


An auxiliary sentence ends with an auxiliary form. The following sentence or block acts as the complement of the auxiliary.

page started: 2016.Oct.22 Sat
current date: 2016.Nov.02 Wed
content and form originated by qiihoskeh

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