Sep08 –  A Constructed Language

Sep08 Temporal Syntax and Lexicon

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

Temporal Lexicon

This temporal scheme was adapted from that of Aug28.

Temporal Units

The names and relative values of the temporal units are shown in the following table:

Temporal Units
# Base Unit Unit Name Description
~0.6 second per - basic temporal unit
100 - - "minute"
64 - - "hour"
20 - - "day"
~10 - - "week"
10 - - "season"
4 - - "year"
100 - - "century"

Temporal Phase Names

The names of specific "hours of the daytime" and "hours of the night" are derived from the digits 0 through 9 by appending -?? and -??, respectively.

The terms for "days of the week" are constructed from the digits + "day". The terms for "weeks of the season" are constructed from the digits + "week". There's an extra day in the last season 4 out of 5 years.

The names of the seasons are shown in the following table:

# Word Name
0 - "spring"
2 - "summer"
4 - "autumn"
6 - "winter"

The temporal units within each "hour" and the "years of the century" are identified using ordinal numbers plus the name of the temporal unit.

Other Temporal Words

The following table lists some other temporal words:

Other Temporal Words
Gloss Word Tag Description Group
daytime - temporal phase names
night -
after - Aft matrix situation follows object situation temporal postpositions
before - Bef matrix situation precedes object situation

Temporal Syntax

The time doesn't need to be specified for every clause and sentence; it's assumed that the time remains the same if not specified in some manner. The time is initially implicitly present.

Time When

A basic time when phrase consists of a temporal determiner with or without a following temporal phase name. This is what's used instead of tense. By default, a single occasion is referred to, unless the temporal determiner is universal (Uni-) or the verb form is habitual or a number of occasions phrase appears.

A time displacement phrase is constructed as follows:

Time Displacement Phrase Structure
# Name Description
1 Determiner
2 Phase Name
3 Temporal Direction after or before
4 Ordinal Number displacement, omitted if "1"
5 Temporal Noun unit name or phase name

Single Occasion Phrases

A single occasion phrase uses a temporal determiner other than D0 or Uni. No quantity word appears. Either a time unit noun or time phase noun is used. If the determiner is D1, the tense is present (implicitly); otherwise, the tense is past =Pst or future =Fut. The tense word Prs "now" is a special case.

Sample Single Occasion Phrases
Phrase Relation Det. Quant. Noun Tense Gloss
siz zekoh - D1 - day - "today"
- - D1 - day#2 - "this Tuesday*"
eki/eka - D3 - - =Pst/=Fut "then"
ek takoh[i/a] - D3 - night =Pst/=Fut "that night"
cati/cata - Q - - =Pst/=Fut "when?"
- - Q - hour =Pst/=Fut "what hour?"
- - Ind - week =Pst/=Fut "some week"

Multiple Occasion Phrases

A multiple occasion phrase uses a temporal determiner other than D0 or D1; the determiner may also be null (non-specific). A quantity word (other than "0" or "1") appears denoting the number of occasions (unless the determiner is Uni). The noun is either a time unit, a time phase, "occasion" Occ, or "iteration" Itr. The tense may be past =Pst, future =Fut, or present (implicitly).

Sample Multiple Occasion Phrases
Relation Determiner Quantity Noun Tense Gloss
- D3 4 night =Pst/=Fut "on those 4 nights"
- Ind 5 year =Pst/=Fut "in 5 different years"
- Uni - day#2 - "every Tuesday*" (present)
- Uni - day#2 =Pst/=Fut "every Tuesday*" (non-present)
- - 2 occasion =Pst/=Fut "on 2 occasions"

Time Displacement Phrases

The determiner of a time displacement phrase is D0. A time unit noun is used. The quantity word denotes the number of units displaced in time ("0" isn't used). If no quantity word appears, the quantity is 1. The tense may be absolute past =Pst, absolute future =Fut, or a relative time expression.

Sample Time Displacement Phrases
Phrase Relation Det. Quant. Noun Tense Gloss
os takohi - D0 - night =Pst last night
os keto zekoha - D0 2 day =Fut "the day after tomorrow"

Relative Time Expressions

A relative time expression begins with either "before" or "after". This is followed by a single occasion phrase.

Sample Relative Time Expressions
Relation Determiner Quantity Noun Tense Gloss
after D1 - day#2 - " from this Tuesday*"
before D3 - year =Pst/=Fut " before that year"


Composite Temporal Phrases

In a composite temporal phrase, the component phrase with the larger unit appears before one with the smaller unit and its noun takes the genitive case.


The enclitic contrafactual particle =Ctf follows any tense particle or time-when adverbial. It's used for contrary-to-fact conditions and conclusions and also for the complements of wishes.

page started: 2018.Sep.20 Thu
current date: 2018.Sep.20 Thu
content and form originated by qiihoskeh

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