Toilan –  A Constructed Language

Toilan Morphology



Toilan has a strictly concatenative morphology, with both prefixes and suffixes added to the roots. One peculiarity is that roots rarely occur without any affixes or clitics. A related peculiarity is that medial consonant clusters never cross morpheme boundaries, so that some roots begin with clusters.

Reference-Type Prefixes

Almost every content word begins with a reference-type prefix. For nouns, it acts as a case-marker. For verbs, it marks the syntactical part-of-speech, determines whether or not the form is coreferential (and possibly the role of the coreferenced argument), and provides some tense and aspect information.

Polarity Prefixes

When a polarity prefix appears, it immediately follows the reference-type prefix. The polarity prefixes are the logical negation prefix |kka-| (Neg-) and the polar question prefix |ppe-| (Int-).

Noun and Pronoun Morphology

Case Prefixes

The cases are agentive, patientive, genitive (= possessive), and partitive, with definite dictinguished from indefinite and with genitive making a further distinction.

Case Prefixes
  Agentive Patientive Genitive Partitive
Definite e- Agt- se- PDef- pe- Gen- ti- Par-
Specific esse- ASpc- lo- PInd- pesse- GSpc- @
Other Indefinite @ pol(o)- GInd-

Number and Pronouns

The noun number suffixes have been included with the pronouns below:

Personal Pronouns
Person Normal Limited
Sing. Plur. Assoc. Sing. Plur. Assoc.
1 ne @ nea nen @ nean
Inc te teki tea ten tekin tean
2 mo moki moa mon mokin moan
3 ka ki @ kan kin @
Rfx si sia sin sian
-# - -ki @ -n -kin @

The limited noun and pronoun forms are called that because the predication is limited to their referents.

Some pronouns have both enclitic and case-marked independent forms while other have only the independent forms.

Verb Morphology

Initial Verb Prefixes

The syntactical parts-of-speech are primary, adjunct, complement, and attributive. Attributive forms are always coreferential, while primary forms never are; adjunct and complement forms can be either. The attributive forms distinguish the role of the coreferenced head noun; it can be the agentive argument, the patientive argument, or have some other use.

The tense and aspect information provided is one of the following:

  1. relative present (or contrafactual)
  2. absolute present (or contrafactual)
  3. definite past (or future)

Adjunct forms are always (1), while attributive forms can be (1) or (2), complement forms can be (1) or (3), and primary forms can be (2) or (3).

Verb-Type Prefixes (+ Irrealis)
Syntactical Characteristic Relative Absolute Definite
Prs. Ctf. Tag Prs. Fut. Tag Past Ctf. Tag
Primary   @ na- ana- PF- i- ai- PC-
Attributive Active o- oa- ActV- @ @
Passive so- soa- PasV-
Possessive po- poa- PosV-
Partitive to- toa- ParV-
Conjunct Non-coreferent ke- kea- Adj- @ @
Coreferent ko- koa- Dep-
Complement Non-coreferent le- lea- Cpl- li- lana- Sub- li- lai- Sub-
Coreferent me- mea- Rsl- mi- mana- Inf- mi- mai- Inf-

Verb-Type Prefixes
Syntactical Characteristic Relative Absolute
Tag Prs. Ctf. Tag Fut. Prs. Past Ctf.
Primary   @   ana- na- i- ai-
Fut- Prs- Pst- Ctf-
Attributive Active ActV- o- oa- @
Passive PasV- so- soa-
Possessive PosV- po- poa-
Partitive ParV- to- toa-
Conjunct Non-coreferent Adj- ke- kea- @
Coreferent Dep- ko- koa-
Complement Non-coreferent Cpl- le- lea- Sub- lana- li- lai-
Coreferent Rsl- me- mea- Inf- mana- mi- mai-

The presence of the irrealis prefix |a-| (Irr-) distinguishes future from past and contrafactual from present. It immediately follows any relative-tense verb-type prefix but precedes |na-|, and combines with any definite tense prefix; see the table above. It isn't used with the imperative mood prefixes.

Aspect Prefixes

When they appear, the retrospective aspect prefix |pe-| (Ret-) and the prospective aspect prefix |sa-| (Pro-) follow any other prefixes. A verb form with no marked aspect is said to have basic aspect.

Imperative Mood

The imperative mood prefixes replace the initial verb prefixes, making the verb primary and designating the person and number of the agent, as well as specifying the mood. There are no associative or limited forms. Note that personal agreement occurs nowhere else!

Imperative Mood Prefixes
Tag Sing. Plur. Person
Imp- ma- maki- 2nd person
Hor- ta- taki- Inclusive

Evidential and Epistemic Suffixes

Evidential and Epistemic Suffixes
Suffix Tag Name Type
-nti -Wit Witness direct evidential
-lpo -Hrs Hearsay indirect

Derivational Morphology

Noun Incorporation

The incorporated noun, without case prefix or number suffix, is appended to the incorporating verb. The incorporated noun is non-referential and usually the verb's patient, except that a noun incorporated by a passive attributive is usually its agent.

Compound Nouns

In a lexicalized combination of a noun and modifying attributive verb, the verb is appended to the noun without any type or irrealis prefix (the negative prefix and the aspect prefixes are theoretically possible). The noun's number suffix, if any, follows the verb.

Regular Derivations

The ordinal numbers are nouns derived from the corresponding cardinal numbers using the prefix |sti-| (Ord-).

The superlative forms of adjectives (static verbs to which comparison can apply) are nouns derived using the prefix |o-| (Sup-). There are also positive nouns derived from adjectives using the prefix |po-| (Nom-) for specific entities and the prefix |pa-| (Knd-) for kinds of entities.

Lexical Derivations

The inchoative and terminative derivations apply to most adjectives and other static verbs. The inchoative derivation (-Inch) produces a dynamic verb denoting entry to the state while the terminative derivation (-Term) produces one denoting exit from the state. The latter is formed by replacing the final vowel of the static verb with |oa|; the former replaces the final vowel with |eo|, except that an |i| becomes |io|.

Cardinal Numbers

There are root words for the ones (1 through 9), 10, and 100; other numbers are formed by composition. In general, the component order is addend-base-factor and smaller to larger. The remaining tens (20 through 90) are formed by placing the corresponding ones' roots after ski (10). for the remaining numbers through 90, the ones root is placed before the tens root. Powers of 100 are formed by placing the corresponding ones' roots after lata (100), which begins a new phonological word. However, powers greater than latalko are rarely used. The factors for 2 through 99 may then be placed after lata or one of its derivations.

sonoskinto-latampiskilko-latantoska = 54321.

page started: 2010.Jul.16 Fri
current date: 2011.Jun.27 Mon
content and form originated by qiihoskeh

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