Jul05 –  A Constructed Language

Jul05 Syntax


The order of phrase components is:

Determiner   QuantityWord   Modifiers   Noun

All but the noun are optional. The modifiers include participials, genitive phrases, partitive phrases, and relative clauses.

The determiners are:

Word Tag Description
0 0 non-specific indefinite
ži Spc specific indefinite
ku, 'u Def definite article
žini Prox demonstrative, proximal
kuni Medi demonstrative, medial
tani Dist demonstrative, distal
buni CQ content question
?? Uni universal quantifier
?? Exi existential quantifier
?? Nul nullar quantifier

The form 'u appears before k or g; otherwise, ku appears.

Genitive phrases may also act as determiners and so can ordinal numbers and superlatives.

The quantity words are primarily the cardinal and fractional numbers. They're preempted by the universal, existential, and nullar quantifiers.


A clause always ends with the verb. The order of the other components varies, but tends to have the subject first. Participials, secondary predicates, and infinitives are similar except that they lack expressed subjects.

Pronoun Omission

The 1SNom pronoun saiš is normally omitted in statements and the 2SNom pronoun doiš is normally omitted in questions. Exceptions involve clause combinations which would otherwise be construed as coreferential. The pronoun niš appears for 1XPNom in statements and for 2PNom in questions under the same circumstances that the singular pronouns are omitted. Commands lacking expressed subjects implicitly have 2nd person subjects of either number.

Case Usage

Identity and Definition Clauses

These consist of a subject phrase (Nom or Abs) followed by a complement phrase (also Nom or Abs). If the complement is indefinite, the clause is one of definition; otherwise, it's an identity clause.

Aspect, Tense, and Mood Usage

Coreferential Verbs

Attributives, infinitives, and secondary predicates lack post-final tense marking, so the aspect suffixes represent time relative to the context:

Aor relative present
Sta relative present
Prg relative present
Prf relative past
Pro relative future

Imperative and Subjunctive Moods

Although historically one mood with or without post-final suffix, there are 2 distinct uses: an imperative-hortative-jussive one in main clauses and a subjunctive-optative one in subordinate clauses.

A main clause imperative is either a command (2nd person), an exhortation (1st person inclusive plural), or an indirect command (all others). All of these take effect in the future, the time depending on the aspect:

Aor immediate future
Prg definite future
Prf definite future
Pro definite future
Hab multiple futures

A nominalized subordinate clause or subjunctive represents an imagined or hypothetical situation.

Taamiš Žaaniš dakai meruči.
"Tom wants John to run."

Indicative Mood

The aspect and tense combinations are as follows:

Form Aspect Description Tense
-či Sta present stative AT
-enči Prg present progressive
-'imuči Hab present habitual
-ukči Prf present perfect or indefinite past
-asči Pro present prospective or indefinite future
-to Aor definite past or future DT
Sta past or future stative
-ento Prg past or future progressive
-'imuto Hab past or future habitual
-ukto Prf past or future perfect
-asto Pro past or future prospective
-so Aor relative present aoristic RT
Sta relative present stative
-enuso Prg relative present progressive
-'imuso Hab relative present habitual
-ukso Prf relative past
-asso Pro relative future
-'imbo Hab present habitual QT
-ukubo Prf any past
-asubo Pro any future

Definite time (DT) verbs must be used in contexts where either past or future time has already been established, typically with Prf + AT or Pro + AT.

Temporal Adjunct Clauses

Relative time (RT) verbs are used in temporal adjunct clauses specifying the temporal relation between the adjunct situation and the host situation.

Aor adjunct time during host time
Sta host time during adjunct time
Prg host time during adjunct time
Hab ???
Prf host time after adjunct time
Pro host time before adjunct time


Polar questions are constructed by placing the polar question particle ben (PQ) after the main clause verb. Content questions have several forms:

'u gyomiš bunči? "Where's the cat?"
'u gyomi kaukči ben? "Have you seen the cat?"
'u gyomi beš kaukči? "Who has seen the cat?"
'u gyomi kaukubo? "When did you see the cat?"
'u gyomi bucu kauto? "Where did you see the cat?"

page started: 2013.Jul.09 Tue
current date: 2013.Jul.10 Wed
content and form originated by qiihoskeh

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