Dec04 –  A Constructed Language

Dec04 Morphology

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


The major lexical classes are verbs, which are conjugated, nouns and pronouns, which are declined, and particles, which are not inflected. The verbs include adjectives and relational words along with more typical verbs. The nouns include certain kinds of adverbs as well as the kinds of nouns used as arguments. The particles include the other adverbs, the determiners, and the conjunctions.

Each noun has either animate gender or inanimate gender implicitly.


The person distinctions, common to verbs and nouns, are shown in the following table:

Person Distinctions
Tag Description Type
1 1st person singular Local
2 2nd person singular
Inc Inclusive person dual
3 3rd person or any plural Non-local
Rfx Reflexive

The conjunct person is 1st person in statements and 2nd person in questions while the disjunct person is 2nd person in statements and 1st person in questions.


Verbs are classified according to argument structure class. The argument structure classes are transitive, ditransitive, experiential, actional, relational, and descriptive.

Verbs forms are either finite or non-finite, the difference being that non-finite forms lack subject person marking while subject person is required for finite forms. The various markers are arranged in affix slots:

  1. * Location/Companion Person
  2. * Quantity (Polarity and Pluractionality)
  3. * Object Person
  4. Root
  5. * Derivational
  6. Gender and Transitivity
  7. * Tense
  8. * Subject Person


The stem consists of the Root, the derivational suffix (if any) and the Gender and Transitivity infix. The Root consists of 2 or 3 consonants with the derivational suffix providing an additional consonant. The Gender and Transitivity infix is a vowel appearing before the derivational (if any) or the final consonant of the Root. The vowel <o> appears within the stem where needed.

Gender & Transitivity Infixes
Vowel Tag Object Subject
<a> <A> - Animate Patient
<i> <I> - Inanimate Patient
<u> <TA> Animate Patient Animate Agent
<e> <TI> Inanimate Patient Animate Agent

Person and Evidentiality

In addition to marking person (and gender in the 3rd person location slot), evidentiality is fused with the subject marking, with the categories shown under the Subject heading. The tag element .L refers to the disjunct person since the point of view of an evidential is that of the conjunct person.

Person Affixes
Location Object Subject
Imperative Other Witnessed Deduced Dubitative
nay- 1L- ni- 1- - -s -1 -smo -Wit.L -mmo -EN.L -'mo -EP.L
ba- 2L- bu- 2- -šo -Imp -n -2
xa- IncL- xu- Inc- -ro -Hor -x -Inc - - -
ka- 3A- ko- 3- - -k -3 -sko -Wit.3 -nko -EN.3 -'ko -EP.3
ki- 3I-
se- Rfx- se- Rfx- - - - - -

Note that a reflexive location has limited use.


Tense Suffixes
Non-finite Finite Name
Suffix Tag Suffix Tag
- - Imperative
-o -Prs Present
-te -Pst -te -Pst Past
-ma -Fut -ma -Fut Future

Verb Quantity

The verb quantity may represent pluractionality, among other things (see the usage chapter), as well as polarity.

Verb Quantity Prefixes
Prefix Tag Description
wa- Neg- Negative Polarity
simple occurrence
su- NQ- Neutral Quantity
bi- SQ- Small Quantity
de- LQ- Large Quantity
ču- QQ- Quantity Question
ža- Sat- Satisfactive

Argument Structure Classes

The following table shows which arguments are possible and their semantic roles, along with the possible genders. An animate A Role argument is marked on the verb (as subject) only if the verb is transitive. An inanimate A Role argument is never marked on the verb. A P Role argument is marked as either transitive object or intransitive subject. An L Role argument is marked as location/companion (except when incorporated).

Argument Structures
Class Examples A Role P Role L Role
Anim Inan Anim Inan Anim Inan
R Relational in *Agent/Cause *Instrument Locatee Location
S Descriptive hot *Agent/Cause *Instrument Descriptee *Location
T Transitive break, see Agent *Instrument Patient *Location
D Ditransitive give, ride Donor *Instrument Recipient Theme *Location
A Actional run Actor *Instrument - Route *Location
E Experiential angry Stimulus Experiencer - *Location


Here, the Root is a single consonant (h) and Gender is a suffix. The imperative subject persons are not possible; otherwise, the subject persons are the same as for regular verbs.

  1. Root
  2. Gender
  3. * Subject Person

Gender Suffixes
Vowel Tag Subject
-a -A Animate
-i -I Inanimate


All nouns are formed as follows:

  1. * Possessor Person
  2. Stem
  3. * Quantity
  4. * Number and Case

Verbal and deverbal nouns have the following stem structure, where Root and derivational are the same as for verbs:

  1. Root
  2. * Derivational
  3. Gender and Role

There are also nouns consisting of or derived from noun roots.

Possessor Person

Possessor Person Prefixes
Prefix Tag Description
ni- 1- 1st person singular
bu- 2- 2nd person singular
xu- Inc- Inclusive person dual
ko- 3- 3rd person or any plural
se- Rfx- Reflexive


Noun quantity suffixes are appended to a stem matching the accusative singular form. Quantity components take singular endings. Cardinal numbers belong here.

Noun Quantity Suffixes
Suffix Tag Description
-bi -SQ Small Quantity
-de -LQ Large Quantity
-ču -QQ Quantity Question
-ža -Sat Satisfactive

Number and Case

Case is combined with referentiality and number. Tag components in parentheses are omitted in interlinears.

Number Tags
Tag Description
(S) Singular count noun, mass noun, or quantity
P Plural
NR Non-referential

An asterisk (*) signifies that a final i becomes y and a final u becomes w.

Number & Case Suffixes
Singular Plural Non-referential Case Name
-u -aš *-aš -ru -iš -ku Nom Nominative
-o -a *-a -r -i -k (Acc) Accusative
-ot -to -t -at *-at -rto -it -kto Loc Locative-comitative
-on -mo -n -an *-an -rmo -in -kmo Ins Instrumental
-ox -xo *-ox -x -or *-or -ra -os -s Gen Genitive


Pronoun Stems

The local and reflexive pronoun stems consist of the object or possessor person prefixes plus l. They're inflected for quantity, number, and case like nouns, except that there are no non-referential forms.

3rd person pronoun forms are constructed using the stem ka for animate agreement and ki for inanimate agreement. Except for the anaphoric pronouns (3A and 3I), a determiner is prefixed to the stem. They're inflected for quantity, number, and case like nouns, except that there are no non-referential forms.

The correlative pronoun stems are ga (animate CorA) and gi (inanimate CorI). They take singular endings.

Participant Nouns

Participant nouns are derived from verb stems using the formulas 'VCCV, CVCCV, and CCVCCV, depending on the number of consonants in the stem.

Participant Noun Infixes
Infix Tag Description
<-> <-> -

Scalar Derivations

Superlatives are nouns derived from scalar verb roots, using the formulas CC<V>d and CoCC<V>d, where <V> is the same as the copular gender.

Adverbs of manner are also derived from scalar verb roots, in the same way as participant nouns.

Aspectual Derivations

Verbs may be divided into 3 action types: there are state, event, and process verbs. Descriptive, experiential, and relational roots become state verbs; roots of other classes become either event verbs or process verbs. Derivation often changes the verb's action type.

If a verb denotes a process composed of multiple steps, the semelfactive (-p -Sem) derives an event verb denoting a single step.

The inchoative suffix -h -Inch and the terminative suffix -w -Term may derive event verbs from process and non-relational state verbs.

Locational Verbs

A locational verb incorporates a determiner, precluding any location/companion marking. At present, only the relational verb root tk "at" and its derivations are known to incorporate determiners.

The derivations include the allative (-y -All), making the location a destination, the ablative ( -Abl), making the location an origin, and the perlative (-r -Per), making the location a place on the route. These derivations may be extended to any relational verb root, with the allative indicating entry to the state and the ablative indicating exit from the state.

page started: 2017.Dec.09 Sat
current date: 2017.Dec.12 Tue
content and form originated by qiihoskeh

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