OVS –  A Constructed Language

OVS Morphology

The root of an inflected word provides its most basic meaning; note that roots can be polysemic or even homophonic.

The classifier is what determines whether the inflected word acts lexically as a noun or a verb. If it acts as a noun, the classifier is called a noun-class and it also determines the gender and number of the noun and whether or not it needs a possessor prefix. If it acts as a verb, the classifier is called an verb-type and it determines whether the verb is basically static, dynamic, or in-between (the action-type), what its aspect is, and what its argument structure is.

Where it appears, the personal prefix specifies the possessor of a possessed noun or the 2nd argument of a bivalent verb (there can be two such prefixes if the verb is trivalent). It never appears on non-possessed nouns or on univalent verbs.

The agreement suffix determines the syntactical part-of-speech: a finite verb, a secondary verb, a noun or noun modifier, an adverb, or maybe something else.


Noun Incorporation

A plural or mass noun may be incorporated by the verb; if so, the incorporated noun is immediately prefixed. The valence is determined by the verb-type, as usual and if bi- or tri-valent, agreement prefixes may precede the noun part.


Compound Nouns


Personal Pronominals

Personal Pronominal Bases
Singular Plural
Base Tag Description Base Tag Description
i 1S 1st person Singular ini 1XP 1st person Exclusive Plural
çi 1ND 1st person Inclusive Dual çini 1NP 1st person Inclusive Plural
go 2S 2nd person Singular gono 2P 2nd person Plural
ca- Rflx- Reflexive cana- Rcpr- Reciprocal

Imperative Pronouns
Singular Plural
Base Tag Description Base Tag Description
fini Imp.N 1st person Inclusive Dual fini Imp.N 1st person Inclusive Plural
fi Imp.S 2nd person Singular fino Imp.P 2nd person Plural

The demonstratives are mostly related to the personal pronouns. The form çìmee is a dialectal addition or replacement for ìmee.

Demonstrative Stems
Base Tag Name Description
(ç)ìmee Prx Proximal nearest place speaker is now
gòmee Med Medial nearest place addressee is now
xàmee Dst Distal nearest place some 3rd person is now
wàa Rem Remote not near any participants

Tense and Modality

The tense and mood suffixes can appear only on finite or adjectival forms.

The tense suffixes -Prs, denoting absolute present, and -Pst, denoting definite past, are placed after the verb-type and before any agreement suffixes. These are used only when needed and -Prs is never used with the aoristic aspect.

The definite future tense suffix -Fut and the modal suffixes are placed after the agreement suffixes and don't co-occur with the present or past suffixes. However, the contrafactual mood suffix -Ctf, which is identical to the definite past tense suffix, is placed immediately before a future or modal suffix when it appears.

Tense, Mood, and Evidential Suffixes
Suffix Tag Name Description Group
      Present relative tense
- -Prs Present absolute
-h -Pst Past definite time
  - -Fut Future definite time, "will"
-h -Ctf Contrafactual (used only with future or modal)
- -Cap Capability potential, "can" modality
- -Nec Necessity potential, "must"
- -Prm Permission deontic, "may"
- -Req Requirement deontic, "shall"
- -Est Estimative epistemic, "may" evidential
- -Ded Deductive epistemic, "must"
- -Hrs Hearsay indirect
-ne -Wit Witness direct (from nee)

Argument Structure Changes

Basic Argument Structure
Type V Tag Valence Subject Group Passive - Object
A i -A mono- agentive dynamic - -
B e -B patientive dynamic
C i -C patientive static
D a -D bi- agentive dynamic B A
E a -E patientive static Pas + C C
F o -F patientive static Pas + C C
dynamic Pas + B B
G u -G tri- agentive dynamic Pas + D D

Valence-Decreasing Operations

When an object references the same entity as the subject, the reflexive agreement prefix is used. Other valence-decreasing operations work by substituting the corresponding lower valence verb-type, except that the passive for types E, F, and G must use the passive suffix (-Pas).

Valence-Increasing Operations

The causative (-Cau) adds a causer argument to the verb; if the original subject is agentive, it becomes a patientive causee. Only the following applications are possible:

Other Changes

The autocausative (-Auc) has the general effect of the reflexive of a causative.

page started: 2010.Jun.22 Tue
current date: 2010.Jun.27 Sun
content and form originated by qiihoskeh

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