Feb07 –  A Constructed Language

Feb07 Morphology

Inflectional Morphology

Morphosyntactical Categories

The main categories are verbs, nouns, pronouns, and particles, with pronouns similar to nouns.


Nouns are inflected for number and case. The numbers are singular (S) and plural (P). The cases are absolutive (Abs), ergative (Erg), dative (Dat), genitive (Gen), instrumental (Ins), locative (Loc), ablative (Abl), and vocative (Voc). The first 4 are core cases and the rest oblique.

The dative is also used as an allative, the instrumental is also used as a perlative, and the locative is also used as a comitative.

A given noun has either animate (Ani) or inanimate (Ina) gender. Agreement in gender and number also occurs with pronouns. Most noun modifiers agree with the noun in number and case and many also agree in gender. However, only the head word (usually a noun) takes oblique case endings; its modifiers take the absolutive forms.

sorgu duagil "to the big dog" dative
sorgo duagile "with the big dog" locative
sorgole "with the big one" locative

Possibly allative modifiers take absolutive forms, not dative ones???

Nouns have at least 2 declensions, based on the stem: there are C-stems and V-stems. Note that not all nouns whose citation form ends in a vowel has a V-stem; some of them are actually t-stems and others ending in o drop that to become C-stems.

Noun Declensions
Case C-Stems V-Stems
Singular Plural Singular Plural
-Abs -(o) -e -0 -k
-Erg -a -er -r -ka
-Dat -u -el -l -ku
-Gen -i -eš -ki
-Ins -ha -eha -ha -kha
-Loc -le -ele -le -kle
-Abl -po -epo -po -kpo
-Voc -o -e[n] -?? -k[en]


Personal Pronouns

The personal pronouns distinguished are:

1S 1st person singular 1P 1st person exclusive plural
NP 1st person inclusive plural
2S 2nd person singular 2P 2nd person plural
3AS 3rd animate singular 3AP 3rd animate plural
3IS 3rd inanimate singular 3IP 3rd inanimate plural

They have proclitic, emphatic, and case-marked forms; the only cases that occur are the dative, genitive, instrumental, locative, and ablative.

Tag Proclitic Emphatic Case Stems
CC Stem CV Stem
1S se- so- sena se-
1P si-? sina si?-
NP ti-? tina ti?-
2S ru- ro- runa ru-
2P ri-? rina ri?-
3AS na- no- mana na-
3AP ne- maina ne?-
3IS ta- to- mata ta-
3IP te- maita te?-

Additional Pronouns

Additional pronouns include:


Verb forms are divided into finite and participial. Finite verbs are inflected for aspect, tense and mood, and person and number of the subject. Participles are inflected for aspect and voice and for gender, number, and case agreement.

For both finite and participial, aspect is marked by a prefix when it differs from the basic aspect of the verb's action type. For dynamic verbs, the basic aspect is perfective while for static verbs it's imperfective. The aspects are perfective (Prf), imperfective (Ipf), and habitual (Hab).

Tag CC Stems CV Stems
Prf de- de-
Ipf šu- šu-
Hab an- an-

Finite Verbs

There are 6 tense and mood combinations: imperative (Imp), present (Prs) and past (Pst) indicative, present (Ctf.Prs) and past (Ctf.Pst) contrafactual, and future (Fut), with the future also used as a subjunctive. Perfective verbs lack the present, while imperfective and habitual verbs lack the imperative.

The 8 person and number combinations are:

1S 1st person singular 1P 1st person exclusive plural
NP 1st person inclusive plural
2S 2nd person singular 2P 2nd person plural
3S 2nd person singular 3P 2nd person plural
U indefinite subject


The voices are direct (subject "acts on" object) and inverse (object "acts on" subject). Inverse voice forms distinguish gender while direct voice forms don't. Participles are further divided into attributive and secondary forms. Attributive forms take suffixes for number and case agreement, while secondary forms don't.

Currently, the secondary forms are identical to the absolutive singular attributive forms; this may change.

The imperfective secondary forms are used as depictives and the perfective secondary forms are used as resultatives and infinitives.

Grades and Stems

Each verb stem is based on 1 of the 2 root grades (although for most verbs, the grades have become identical). The 1st grade is the basis for the future forms, the inverse participles, and the absolutive singular of certain direct participles. The 2nd grade is the basis for all other forms.

Verb Grades and Stems
Usage Grade Suffix Ending
direct participial 1st/2nd 0 (noun)
animate inverse participial 1st no (noun)
inanimate inverse participial 1st to (noun)
future/subjunctive 1st 0 A
imperative 2nd 0 C
present singular 2nd u B
present plural 2nd o B
past 2nd i B
present contrafactual 2nd a A
past contrafactual 2nd ahe A

The direct participle forms of most monosyllabic V-final verbs have 1st grade except for the dative and ergative singular. The direct participle forms of other verbs have 2nd grade in all forms.

Personal Endings

There are 3 sets of endings: one for the future and contrafactual forms (A), one for the past and present forms (B), and one for the imperative forms (C).

Tag A Forms B Forms C Forms
-1S -so -s -os
-1P -sen -si -osi
-NP -tin -ti -oti
-2S -ro -r -o
-2P -run -ri -en
-3S -mo -n -on
-3P -man -me -ome
-U -xo -x -ox

The -2S and -2P forms of ending C mark the true imperative and the -NP forms mark the hortative; the remaining forms mark the jussive.

Irregular Verbs

Those verbs that distinguish 2 grades may be considered irregular with respect to stem formation. The copula has a 3rd stem is used with the personal endings -so and -sen.


Adverbs of manner are formed from adjectival verbs by appending -lo to the 1st ? grade.

zaba ges^in zifilo. "The man ate rapidly."

page started: 2013.Feb.12 Tue
current date: 2013.Feb.19 Tue
content and form originated by qiihoskeh

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