The Sep10 Constructed Language

Sep10 Syntax


3rd Person Pronouns

The 3rd person pronouns agree with their antecedents in gender. For each gender, there's a topical pronoun and a most recent one. The latter coreferences the most recent phrase of the same gender (including another instance of itself). The former is harder to define, but always coreferences an earlier phrase of the same gender.

Usage of the Aspects

The durative aspect represents either a current state or a single action in progress. It can also be taken as a relative present tense. In a main clause, if not overridden by a temporal adverb or adjunct clause, it's effectively an absolute present tense.

The retrospective aspect represents a prior situation, whose resulting state may or may not be current (i.e. perfect or aoristic). It can be interpreted as a relative or absolute past.

The prospective aspect represents a subsequent situation. It can be interpreted as a relative or absolute future.

The habitual aspect represents a series of actions in progress at the current time, which is effectively an absolute present tense in a main clause, if not overridden by a temporal adverb or adjunct clause.

Verb forms lacking aspect (see Final Verb Suffixes) are interpreted as either aoristic (imperative or hypothetical) or durative (secondary predicates).

Usage of the Cases

The partitive case represents the whole from which a part is selected (see Partitives, Ordinals, and Superlatives).

The genitive case represents the possessor or some other adnominal relation.

The vocative case identifies the addressee(s).

The oblique case is an instrumental case when applied to an inanimate phrase and marks either a recipient, an animate patient, or an animate location, depending on the verb.

The absolutive case is used for all other phrases. This includes donors and agents (when animate) and themes, inanimate patients, and inanimate locations; univalent subjects and the phrases in identity, definition, and existence clauses are also absolutive.


A phrase is either a noun phrase or a pronoun. In general, the order of constituents in a basic noun phrase is:

(Determiner)  (QuantityWord)  (Attributive)*  (RelativeClause)*  Noun

The QuantityWord is either a cardinal number or some other word specifying quantity, such as "many". An Attributive is a non-finite construction with participle as the verb.

A genitive case phrase may replace the determiner.


For definite phrases, no determiner is used. The distal demonstrative is used for entities not present.

Determiner Tag Description
Prox proximal demonstrative
doi Medi medial demonstrative
lai Dist distal demonstrative
CQ content question
ka NR non-referential
er Exi existential quantifier
san Uni universal quantifier
kwí Sat satisfactive

Partitives, Ordinals, and Superlatives

PartitivePhrase  (QuantityWordGenericNoun
PartitivePhrase  (QuantityWordOrdinal#  GenericNoun
PartitivePhrase  (QuantityWordSuperlative  GenericNoun


There are 2 general types of clauses: verb clauses and noun clauses. Noun clauses are used for statements and questions of identity, definition, and existence while verb clauses are used for everything else.

Noun-headed Clauses

An identity clause consists of 2 phrases, neither of which is non-referential. A definition clause consists of a referential phrase (the subject) and a non-referential phrase (the predicate). An existence clause consists of a single phrase.

Phrase  Phrase

Verb-headed Clauses

At minimum, a verb clause consists of a verb. In general, the order of constituents is:

(Adjunct)*  (Argument)*  Verb

The verb is either a hypothetical form, an imperative form, or an indicative form. Adverbs and non-finite constructions may appear among the arguments.

Complement Clauses

An argument may be a complement clause, either a hypothetical clause or an indicative or imperative clause terminated by the conjunction de (Cpl). Such an argument appears before any other argument and before any non-finite construction.

kaffesan gura-de fí tenéba.
"I saw that all the coffee had been drunk."

Temporal Adjunct Clauses

A temporal adjunct clause is a clause which specifies the time relative to which the matrix clause occurs, according to the aspect of the adjunct clause verb. The clause is terminated by the conjunction ji (Tmp).

fí nuxhento-ji fí fia kaffe guraþme.
"Before I go to sleep, I drink my coffee."

I'm not sure if habitual temporal adjunct clauses or durative matrix clauses can occur.

Relative Clauses

A relative clause is terminated by the conjunction ha (Rel) and contains an instance of the relative (head-referencing) pronoun RPA or RPI as an argument or as a component of an argument. The relative pronoun appears as early as possible in the relative clause. It can't precede an embedded complement clause, but may appear within one.

Non-finite Constructions

A non-finite construction has the following structure:


Here, the verb is either an attributive form, a depictive form, or a resultative form. A univalent verb can't have an argument. The argument, if one appears, takes the least-marked case (absolutive for nouns). The role of the argument is complementary to that of the coreferenced argument or head noun: if the verb is active, the argument is a patient (recipient if animate and theme if inanimate) while if the verb is passive, the argument is an agent or donor (animate) or instrument (inanimate).

Modal and Aspectual Auxiliaries

Kinds of Auxiliaries

There are 4 kinds of auxiliaries. The 1st kind are the epistemic and evidential particles. The 2nd kind are verbs of perception or information; these are transitive verbs whose objects are complement clauses (terminated by Cpl). The 3rd kind are transitive modal (deontic and volitive) verbs whose objects are hypothetical clauses. The 4th kind are the aspectual and potential modal verbs that immediately follow the stems of the content verbs.

Auxiliary Particles

A main level clause with no auxiliary particle is may be taken as having an indirect evidential (hearsay) unless the person of evidential authority is a participant.

Auxiliary Particles
Word Tag Description
EN Epistemic Necessity (must)
EP Epistemic Possibility (may)
SN Social Necessity (should, supposed to)
Wit Direct Evidential (witnessed)

Perception and Information

Perception clauses are directly evidential when the content verb has durative aspect and indirectly evidential otherwise.

Deontic and Volitive Modals

Deontic and Volitive Modals
Word Tag Description
DN Deontic Necessity (must)
DP Deontic Possibility (may)
VN Volitive Necessity (want to)
VP Volitive Possibility (accept)

Aspectuals and Potential Modals

Aspectuals and Potential Modals
Word Tag Description
NN Natural Necessity (inevitable)
NP Natural Possibility (can, able to)
(begin) process phase
(pause) process phase
(resume) process phase
(finish) process phase
Sem Semelfactive
Con Continuative

Other Syntax


Content questions contain an instance of some content question word, such as the content question determiner (CQ).

Polar questions are terminated by the polar question particle (PQ). When embedded, the conjunction de (Cpl) follows the polar question particle.

page started: 2014.Sep.13 Sat
current date: 2014.Sep.21 Sun
content and form originated by qiihoskeh

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