Apr21 –  A Constructed Language

Apr21 Morphology

Stem Changes

Lenition of a morpheme-initial consonant may occur when the preceding morpheme in the word ends in a vowel. It always occurs when that vowel is originally short and is possible with diphthongs and originally long vowels. It will be necessary to indicate which prefixes cause lenition or not.

Some roots (originally *CVCV) change their stems from CVC(V) to CCV when adding prefixes ending in short vowels; this is called the contracted form. E.g. qot "ask" becomes niqta when progressive.

When a suffix beginning with a vowel is added to a stem ending in a vowel, a single vowel is often formed. See Vowel Origins .


Agreement and Grammatical Voice

Nouns are marked for agreement like verbs. Bivalent agreement affixes are A-V(-P); the alignment is accusative. The reflexive voice is marked by the reflexive -Rfx suffix and the inverse voice, which relativizes the patient or recipient, is marked by the inverse suffix -Inv (-i). The theme is relativized using syntax.

Person and Number

The following table shows the person and number combinations marked along with the corresponding affixes and pronouns. Note that 3rd person pronouns and suffixes distinguish gender; the same holds for unspecified persons and the additional pronouns.

Person and Number
Tag Prefix Suffix Pronoun Description
1S ci-? -m 1st person singular
1XP cis-? -mis misa 1st person exclusive plural
1NP os- -ros rosa 1st person inclusive plural
2S o- -r ru 2nd person singular
2P i- -ri royu? 2nd person plural
3SA 0- -u du 3rd person singular animate
3SI -k dok 3rd person singular inanimate
3PA da- -ve dove 3rd person plural animate
3PI -gan dogan 3rd person plural inanimate
UA tæ-? -0 unspecified animate
UI tæk unspecified inanimate

cizkor. ci-zko-r
"I see you." 1S-see-2S

Conjugations and Stems

There are 3 conjugations; both use the mostly the same endings, the difference being in the stems. The 1st conjugation uses the same stem for all forms with only minor variations while the 2nd conjugation has several stems derived by lenition and vowel deletion. The 3rd conjugation is mostly like the 1st conjugation. These are (for sample roots):

   1st  2nd  3rd
Root:  doxti  qota  lipo-  tasi-  zigo
A.  doxti  qoda-  libo-  tasi-  ziho-
B.  doxti  qoda-  libo-  tasi-  ze-
C.  doxti  qod-  lib-  tas-  ze-
D.  doxti  qot  lip  tas  ze-
E. -doxti -qta -lbo -ssi -ze
F. -doxt -qt -lp -s[si] ? -ze

Stem E, the contracted stem, is used whenever the root follows a prefix ending in an originally short vowel. Stem F is the variant of E which is used with the 0 ending. Stems A, B, C, and D are used when no such prefix appears, and are selected by the ending.

Suffix Combinations

The animate suffixes (denoting recipient or donor) combine with the inanimate suffixes (denoting theme), as shown in the following table; bivalent verbs use only the -UI column (plus -UA-3SI and -UA-3PI) and univalent verbs use only the -UA-UI entry. The upper case letters before the dash represent the conjugation stems.

Suffix Combinations
Tag + UI + 3SI + 3PI Notes
1S B-m D-mik D-migan  
1XP D-mis D-misak D-miskan
1NP C-ros C-rosak C-roskan  
2S B-r C-rok C-rogan
2P C-ri C-rík C-rígan
3SA A-u B-væk A-ugan -u combines with stem-final short vowel
3PA B-ve B-vek B-vegan  
UA D-0 B-k D-gan -kan for 2nd conjugation
Rfx B-s D-sak B-skan  

oqtamik. o-qta-mi-k
"You asked me that." 2S-ask-1S-3SI

Inverse stems (-Inv, -i) are based on stems A and E. They act like 1st conjugation verbs with respect to endings, which are limited to 3rd person, except that the 3SA ending is 0.

Inverse Suffix Combinations
Tag + UI + 3SI + 3PI Notes
3SA A-i A-ik A-igan -i combines with stem-final short vowel
3PA A-ive A-ivek A-ivegan

Additional Pronouns

The personal pronouns are given in Person and Number ; some additional pronouns are:

Additional Pronouns
Base Animate Inanimate
Sing. Plur. Sing. Plur.
Dem- lau lave lak lagan
CQ- qu - qok -
Uni- - nube nukan

Personal Conjunctions

The personal suffixes were originally enclitic pronouns, which could also be used after conjunctions introducing dependent clauses. As a result, those conjunctions now have personal forms used in coreferential clauses.

Personal Conjunctions
Base Usage Animate Inanimate
Sing. Plur. Sing. Plur.
pa temporal pau pave pak pagan
ar ??? aru arve ark argan
te ??? tihu teve tek tegan
??? liyu líve lík lígan
sol ??? solu solbe solk solkan
nis ??? nisu nisbe nisk niskan

Imperative Mood

The imperative mood prefix is s-, which precedes the 2S, 2P, or 1NP personal prefix.

Aspect and Polarity

Aspect and polarity are marked by prefixes, with polarity appearing first.

Positive polarity is unmarked while negative polarity is marked by the prefix ne- (Neg-). There's also an affirmative prefix su- (Aff-). No consonant lenition or contraction occurs after either ne- or su-.

cinezogove. ci-ne-zogo-ve
"I don't see them." 1S-Neg-see -3PA

The aspect prefixes are shown in the following table. The contracted form of the root is used where possible; otherwise, the prefix vowel is subject to deletion.

Prefix Tag Description Root
0- Sta- stative static
0- Aor- aoristic dynamic
ni- Prg- progressive dynamic
ko- Ret- retrospective either
fa- Pro- prospective either

cisfaqtau. cis-fa-qta-u
"We're going to ask him." 1XP-Pro-ask-3SA

There's no habitual aspect; instead, there's a pluractional prefix ra (Plu) that can be used with any aspect; it follows the aspect prefix. The contracted form of the root is used where possible; otherwise, the prefix vowel is subject to deletion.

oraqtak. o-ra-qta-k
"You often ask that." 2S-Plu-ask-3SI

Adjective and Number Inflections

The term adjective is used here to refer to the subclass of static verbs that can be used as the scale of comparison. Quantity can be adjectival as well as qualities. The inflections that are applied only to adjectives are the superlative (Sup-), the comparative (Cmp-), and the equative (Equ-) prefixes.

The ordinal prefix (Ord-) derives ordinal numbers from cardinal numbers.


Derivation is head-modifier.

The inchoative prefix pæ- makes a static verb dynamic. The contracted form of the root is used where possible; otherwise, the prefix vowel is subject to deletion.

Some derived nouns (especially participant nominals) form their plurals by modifying the head rather than prefixing da-. The following prefixes take the contracted root form where possible; otherwise, lenition occurs.

Participant Nominal Prefixes
Derivation Gender Singular Plural
Agent Animate æ- sa-
Patient Animate bo- bi-
Inanimate ki- kin-
Product Inanimate ?- ?n-
Instrument Inanimate ?- ?n-
Location Inanimate ?- ?n-

page started: 2013.Apr.22 Mon
current date: 2013.Apr.28 Sun
content and form originated by qiihoskeh

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