IPA for Aelatha
The morphology of Aelatha is said to be fusional. Most constructions are made of bound morphemes (affixes) that must attach to a root morpheme known in Aelatha as the noun infinitive. Very few of these root morphemes can work alone, most notably are nouns in one of the possessed cases. Most roots and affixes undergo changes according to sandhi when strung together, making long compounds that are often difficult to segment or allow for multiple homonyms and homophones. Although irregularities exist, Aelatha's morphology is highly regular.
In the roots of words and within many affixes, words change the sound of their vowels in order to agree with Aelatha's vowel harmony based off the word's gender. Vowel harmony is loosely derived from the vowel's backness, with "masculine" vowels being more central, "feminine" vowels being more often front or back vowels and "neutral" vowels filling the entire spectrum. Vowels began to follow less this pattern in Middle Aelatha.
The three vowels [á, é, í] are collectively called agraþ. These agraþ are dictionary forms that are never found in written language but show which vowels must change to meet Aelatha's gender-based vowel harmony. Each vowel has three possible declensions that represent the neuter, masculine and feminine genders respectively.
- Á declension: a, o, u
- É declension: e, ë, äe
- Í declension: i, äi, y
Compare the word Aebrípattás declined in all three genders:
- Masc: Aebräipattos
- Fem: Aebrypattus
- Neu: Aebripattas
All words have an inherent gender though the gender is not necessarily logical to the noun in question. By example, the word "chair" having no logical gender belongs to the feminine gender and falls under the feminine pattern, while the words "girl" and "boy" would follow the feminine and masculine declensions respectively. However, some nouns can decline for multiple genders and change in meaning.
From its dictionary form, the word "arté" (é declension) becomes artë (rooster), artäe (hen) or arte (chicken, the general animal).
Still, some words that appear to be able to switch genders cannot, the opposing word having a separate root all its own. "Anderho" (teenage boy) cannot become "anderhu" to mean teenage girl. The word for girl is "aþerhu". The words for elderly man and elderly woman not only have different roots, but different honorifics and noun class; "abëtirord" (elderly man) vs. "arrycessuth" (elderly woman).
A clitic is part of a word that has meaning in itself, but can't work alone as its own word, such as un-, dis-, re- or -logy. Aelatha makes use of clitics quite frequently, compounding words for deeper meaning, grammatical effect and honorific value.
Honorific clitics Edit
- Main: Honorifics
Honorifics are found in many words in Aelatha. They form as mesoclitics between the morpheme (noun infinitive) and the enclitic (noun class). They can also act as enclitics when the noun class is dropped. Honorifics are bound morphemes that attach directly to the end of a lexeme, preceding any other morpheme and can never stand alone. Unlike other morphemes, there are many honorifics that have irregular morphological patterns.
Verbs in Aelatha Edit
Verbs in Aelatha act as proclitics to the tempus, the noun that provides a tense for the verb. The verb never attaches to the tempus to form a compound as honorifics do with nouns, though they always precede directly the tempus they depend on. This is due to the structure of the verb phrase, having verb and tempus depend on each other to act as the pragmatic action of a phrase but existing semantically a double genitive compound made of nouns in the vocative cases.
Sandhi at the headEdit
In linguistics, an allomorph is a variant form of a morpheme. The concept occurs when a unit of meaning can vary in sound without changing meaning. In Aelatha, allomorphy occurs often when a word receives the proclitic polite a, with other honorific mesoclitics, with the proclitics that mark noun case or between any words that are put together to form a compound word.
When receiving a prefix, roots that begin with a consonant followed by [e] or [i] often drop the vowel. They keep the vowel if dropping it would contradict the language’s phonological constraints.
If the root or prefix start with a vowel, they morph with the polite a prefix.
- Polite a + a > ae
- Polite a + e > ane
- Polite a + i > ai
Sandhi at the tailEdit
Many, but not all morphemes and honorific clitics have two separate morphological forms. With morphemes, the first appears when no enclitics are attached (uninflected). The second occurs when enclitics are attached to the morpheme (combining).
With honorific clitics, the first is used when the honorific is used as an enclitic (uninflected), and the second which is used as a mesoclitic (combining).
The final syllable of a root or affix makes morphological changes for all letters.
- If the final syllable ends in [c], [e] or [v], that letter is dropped.
- If the final syllable ends in [j], [m], [n] or [r], the preceding [a], [e] or [i] is dropped.
- If the final syllable ends in [d] or [t], the preceding [e] or [i] is dropped
- If the final syllable ends in [ch], [j], [þ] or [ð], the preceding [a] is dropped.
- If the final syllable ends in [g], [l] or [s], that consonant is doubled and geminated
- If the final syllable ends in [a], [á], [b], [é], [f], [i], [í], [p] or [x], the syllable stays the same, although [á], [é] and [í] will still need to inflect for vowel harmony.
Irregular patterns Edit
Some more common roots don't follow regular sandhi patterns. For example, "aec" (unconditional love) becomes "aj-" (before vowels) and never "ae-". Aec also has a second form "aé-" which is used to combine with consonants. Many honorifics also follow patterns from Middle Aelatha that are now considered obsolete. The honorific infix "íxév" still drops the syllable "év" while in modern Aelatha, only the v would be dropped.
Euphonic n Edit
Between morphemes ending in a vowel and morphemes starting with the same vowel, a euphonic n is inserted.