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|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Acarmar (Acämä, /'atsɑ˞mɑ˞/) is an unusual language spoken on the planet of Acämoï, a previously uninhabited planet colonized by humans in the year 2500. As the lingua franca of the planet, its importance is similar to English.The origins of Acämä are unknown, although it seems to originate from a group of lost travelers stranded on a then-undiscovered island, each of whom spoke different languages. The planet's was colonized and settled in an effort to preserve the culture of the 20th and 21st centuries, thus it is similar to the civilized world today.
Acämä is unusual because of contrasting rhotic vowels, stem change, complex aspect, and the use of two different plurals.
Acämova (Acämä speakers) love how foreigners try to twist their toungues so hard to try, quite unsuccessfully, to pronounce the retroflex consonants and the rhotic vowels. There are many ethnic groups who complain about such a hard language becoming the lingua franca; once again, it's similar to what is going on here on Earth at the present.
(Despite being a language isolate, there are an unusual number of Slavic borrowings in some of the most basic words; just something to keep an eye out for!)
|plosive||p b||t d||ʈ ɖ||k ɡ|
/ʋ/ is <v>. /ts/ is <c>. Retroflex consonants are written as the alveolar equivalent + <r>, even ɻ: <lr>.
Acarmar vowels form rhotic/non rhotic pairs. The rhotic form is written with two dots over, so /ɑ˞/ is <ä>. Thus, the native spelling for Acarmar is Acämä (The English name is Acarmar to aid pronunciation).
The alphabet is abcdefgijklmnoprstuv.
<r> is used to form the retroflex consonants. Two dots over: <ë> is used to symbolize R-colored, acute <é> is used for stress (excluding 1st syllable, which is most common), and double acute <e̋> is used for stressed rhotic vowels.
Structure is (C)C(a)V(a)C. (a) are approximants, in this case glides. All non-retroflex non-approximant consonants are allowed as the final; however, the initial and the verb are closely intertwined. The following table shows the possiblilities.
|Rhotic vowel||Non rhotic vowel|
"Sometimes" is only allowed when there is a non-rhotic vowel preceeding the non-retroflex consonant. example: Acämä (IPA:/ 'atsɑ˞mɑ˞/) Legal combinations include /da/, /te/, /ʈʂu˞/. Illegal syllables are /ɖa/, /te˞/, /ʈʂu˞ɳ/.
At the beginning of a word, /s/ may be combined with any non-retroflex consonant.
Word order is mainly SVO. Other nouns using postpositions may be placed anywhere in the clause as long as they do not cut between another noun and its adjective, a verb and its adverb, or a noun and its postposition. Word order may be changed by explicitly marking the subject with the postposition "ti".
The main issue with nouns in Acämä is an unusual 3-way number system: Acämä distinguishes "One cat" from "Cats are cute" from "Cats are in my backyard"; that is, singluar from collective plural from finite plural. Acämä declines its nouns using a stem change in the last syllable. the rule is simple, although difficult to apply in real life: To make a noun plural, take the last vowel and raise it: /a/ would become /ɛ/, /ɛ/ would become /ɪ/. /ɪ/ or /u/ cannot be the last vowel in the singular. Then, collective plural uses the rhotic form, and finite plural uses the plain form. Examples:
There is one irregularity: if changing the non-rhotic to a rhotic creates an illegal syllable, as in latmët, then instead of the rhotic vowel, the collective would use the plain vowel plus ï, in a diphthong. Thus, latmeït.
Noun definiteness is expressed using a postfix: Definite nouns add "vu". so cat is äme; The cat is ämevu.
Noun case is expressed using postpositions: Here is a list (remember they come AFTER the noun):
Interesting things to notice: compare "trö" to English "to", and "de" to the Chinese "de." Purely coincidental.
You can explicitly mark a noun as nominative using the postposition ti, although it is only used when word order is changed from the usual SVO.
Adjectives follow the same rule in declining for number. They must come directly preceding the noun, with no words in between (besides possibly more adjectives). They do not have the definite postfix.
Postfixes to use can indicate the superlative:
Verbs conjugate for aspect only. There are two different infinitive types, each with different aspect conjugations. One uses postfixes, one is stem change.
|infinitive||spat||to sleep||lositat||to gain/to get|
|progressive||spa||is sleeping||losat||is gaining|
|perfect||spi||has slept||losut||has gained|
|perfect progressive||spalra||has been sleeping||losrït||has been gaining|
|stative||spia||(no equiv.)||loset||(no equiv.)|
|habitual||spuï||habitually sleep||losrët||habitually gain|
All monosyllabic verbs use the endings; all verbs with two or more syllables use the stem change. Note that the infinitive ending -at/-et drops no matter what, and that alveolar consonants turn into retroflex consonants when followed bt a rhotic vowel. Note that the vowel in the stem for the infinitive does not matter.
There is no tense distinction in Acämä. Instead, adverbs are used.
Negative verbs have "oma", equivalent of "no" or "not", immediately preceding it.
The imperative requires that the word "should", "nekat," be used with the infinitive. so "Sleep!" would be "Nak spat!"
Gerunds are the same as the infinitive. The perfect participle (the only participle) is formed by taking the perfect and adding -n or -en, depending on the last syllable.
Adverbs describe verbs. They do not inflect, and must directly proceed the verb. Adverbs are used to convey tense in Acämä. All adverbs end in -mi or -ma.
|you (singular)||lja||you (finite)||lje|
|reflexive pronoun||so||we (collective)||sjë|
|reflexive (finite)||su||you (collective)||ljë|
|reflexive (collective)||sü||they (collective)||djë|
|to be||at||to have||mijat|
|to get/gain||lositat||to use||emat|
|to look||vat||to know||umet|
|to think||srëmat||to work (job)||gomat|
|to work (function)||jedat||to go||jat|
|to say||mat||to make||lenat|
|to take||brat||to come||omat|
|to ask||septat||to feel||citet|