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Hello and thank you for visiting my language page. Please also see my other language called Nauhi. This language I'm creating is called Ceraomi (pronounced /Kerao̯mi/), and it is supposed to be spoken by the fictional Ceraomi elves who inhabit a large forest in Northeast Siberia. Ceraomi is an isolating language with SVO word order. It has a root vocabulary of about 2000 words. There are a large number of words corresponding to things found in nature and particularly in forests, whereas there are a comparatively small number of words corresponding to man-made things. Apart from a small number of borrowed words from Chukchi and Russian, Ceraomi has had very little influence from any other language. It is also a language isolate, unrelated to any other language.
Ceraomi has a phonemic inventory of 5 vowels and 12 consonants shown in the tables below. Sounds in brackets are allophonic.
Diphthongs: Opening: /ea/, /oe/, /oə/, /oa/; Closing: /ei/, /eo/, /əi/, /əo/, /ai/, /ae/, /ao/, /oi/.
Ceraomi has a five-vowel system consisting of the vowels /i/, /e/, /ə/, /a/ and /o/. The vowel /o/ is pronounced about three quarters of the way in height between a low vowel and a high vowel, significantly higher than the vowels /e/ and /ə/ which are pronounced half way in height between a low and a high vowel. Vowel quality is the only contrastive feature in the vowel system (features such as length and nasality are not phonemically contrastive). The consonant system is fairly small with 12 consonants. A large amount of allophonic variance is found within the consonant system, however. The voiceless consonants /p/, /t/, /k/, /s/, /ç/, /x/ and /h/ become voiced to [b], [d], [g], [z], [ʝ], [ɣ] and [ɦ] respectively when occurring between two vowels within a word, and /l/ becomes a flap [ɾ] in this environment. /w/ is realized as a fricative [β] between two the same vowels. /n/ assimilates to [ŋ] before /k/.
Ceraomi words are subject to a number of strict phonotactic constraints. All words start in one of the following eight consonants: /p/, /t/, /k/, /s/, /ç/, /x/, /h/, /l/. All non-monosyllabic words end in a vowel. Monosyllabic words may end in a vowel or diphthong. Diphthongs occur fairly frequently but are limited to stressed syllables. Clusters of two adjacent vowels pronounced separately are not permitted. Consonant clusters also occur fairly frequently but are limited to a length of two consonants and are mostly found word-medially.
Stress in Ceraomi words is fairly weak and also is not phonemic. Stress is always predictable and falls on the penultimate syllable when the word has more than one syllable.
There are about 2000 root morphemes in Ceraomi. Due to this fairly small root vocabulary size, Ceraomi relies heavily on the joining of root morphemes to form compound structures. When forming compounds, root morphemes are placed side by side and maintain their original form, rather than being agglutinated into a single longer word. Ceraomi morphology is discussed in more depth in the grammar section of this page (please see below). Root morphemes never exceed three syllables in length. The following word structures are found for Ceraomi root morphemes (C = consonant, V = vowel, D = diphthong): Monosyllabic: CV, CD; Disyllabic: CVC(C)V, CDC(C)V; Trisyllabic: CVCVC(C)V, CVCDC(C)V.
Ceraomi remained without any written form until the late 20th century. Since then it has been written using the Latin script. The alphabet consists of the following 20 letters: a b bh c ch e ë f h i l m n o r s sh t w y. The alphabet is entirely transparent and so it can be learnt quickly and easily. The table below shows each letter of the alphabet and its associated pronunciation(s). As can be seen, some of the letters have two pronunciations. For all these letters other than 'n', the second pronunciation listed in the table occurs when the letter is present between two vowels within a word, and the first pronunciation occurs elsewhere. For the letter 'n', the second pronunciation is found when preceding the letter 'k' and the first is present elsewhere.
|Pronunciation(s)||/a/||/p, b/||/β/||/k, g/||/x, ɣ/||/e/||/ə/||/h, ɦ/||/i/||/l/||/m/||/n, ŋ/||/o/||/ɾ/||/s, z/||/ç, ʝ/||/t, d/||/w/||/j/|
Ceraomi is a nominative-accusative language with a strict Subject-Verb-Object word order. The indirect object, however, precedes the verb. Ceraomi is postpositional and predominantly left-branching, with modifiers preceding the parts of speech they modify in most environments. The morphology of Ceraomi is strongly isolating, with very few cases of agglutinativity. To help compensate for this lack of agglutinativity, Ceraomi relies heavily on the use of postpositions. In fact, every noun or pronoun that occurs is followed by an obligatory postposition that indicates its grammatical case. The same words can function either as nouns or as verbs in Ceraomi, and the case-marking postpositions following nouns are important in distinguishing the noun forms from the corresponding verb forms. There are eight parts of speech present in Ceraomi; the noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, postposition, conjunction and interjection.
Nouns is Ceraomi are not marked by any definite or indefinite articles. Neither is there any noun gender in Ceraomi. As mentioned above, nouns are followed by postpositions indicating their grammatical case. The nominative and accusative cases each have two different postpositions depending upon whether the noun is animate or inanimate. The animate category does not only include humans and animals, but also living things that are not capable of thought, such as plants, trees and flowers. There are a total of 46 different grammatical cases that are conveyed by postpositions in Ceraomi. The following is a complete list of these:
Adessive (e.g. near/at/by the building); apudessive (e.g. next to the building); inessive (e.g. inside the building); intrative (between the buildings); pertingent (touching the building); subessive (under the building); superessive I (on the building); superessive II (over the building); ablative (away from the building); initiative (beginning from the building); lative (to the building); terminative (as far as the building); perlative (through/along the road); prolative (via/ by way of the building); antessive (before the game); temporal (at eight o clock (only used for describing time)); accusative animate; accusative inanimate; instructive (by means of the building); instrumental (with/using the building); nominative animate; nominative inanimate; ablative (concerning the building); aversive I (avoiding the building); aversive II (fearful of the building); benefactive I (for the benefit of the building); benefactive II (for/intended for the building); causal (because of the building); comitative (with the building); dative (for the building); distributive (per / for each building); genitive (of the building); possessive (belonging to the building); ornative (endowed/equipped with a building); partitive (three (of the) buildings); comparative (similar to the building); equative (comparable with the building); essive ((temporary state of being) as the building); excessive ((transition from a state) from being a child (is not a child any more)); identical (being the building); orientative (turned toward the building); revertive (backwards to/against the building); translative ((change from one form to another) turning into an adult); multiplicative ((number of times) six times); vocative ((used to address someone) O father!); disjunctive ((used in isolation or other special situations) What is it? A building).
Ceraomi contains 1st, 2nd and 3rd person personal pronouns. Personal pronouns in Ceraomi are not affected by gender or by formality. Similarly to nouns, however, they are marked as either animate or inanimate when occurring in either the nominative or accusative case. This also applies to non-personal pronouns. Pronouns in Ceraomi are marked for grammatical case with the same set of postpositions that are used for nouns. In addition to the postpositions that mark grammatical case, postpositions indicating intensity, reflexivity, reciprocity and expletivity can mark personal pronouns. These precede the postpositions indicating grammatical case when present in the same word. The table below shows the personal pronouns of Ceraomi:
|First person||ca||ca hë|
|Second person||to||to hë|
|Third person||ti||ti hë|
As can be seen in the table, Ceraomi uses the postposition 'hë' (/hə/) to indicate plurality. This postposition is used in every instance of plurality for nouns and pronouns. When a plural personal or non-personal pronoun occurring in the nominative or accusative case refers to a mixture of animate and inanimate nouns, the animate form of the postpositional case marker is always used.
Ceraomi only contains one demonstrative pronoun that corresponds to the both the word ‘this’ and the word ‘that’ in English. There are two relative pronouns corresponding to the English words ‘who/which/that’ and ‘whose’. There are also two interrogative pronouns corresponding to the words ‘who’ and ‘what’ respectively in the following English sentences: 1) Who is in the garden?; 2) What is his name?. Ceraomi contains 19 different indefinite pronouns that are equivalent to the following English words: any; anybody/anyone; anything; each; either; enough; everyone/everybody; everything; little/few; more; most; much/many; one/you; other; plenty; somebody/someone; something; such; whatever. Negative indefinite pronouns are indicated by a postposition that means ‘opposite of’ (e.g. ‘anybody’ + [opposite] = ‘nobody’, ‘more’ + [opposite] = less, ‘either’ + [opposite] = neither).
Ceraomi has root morphemes for the primary colours red, blue and yellow, and for the secondary colours green, orange and purple. It also has root morphemes for black, grey, white and brown. Other colours can be formed by placing two or more root colour words side by side.
Verbs in Ceraomi are marked by postpositions for tense, aspect, modality, mirativity and voice. The same postpositions are used to represent both tense and aspect. There are three tenses (past, present, future) and three aspects (perfective, habitual, continuous) expressed through these postpositions. The table below shows the postpositions used to represent each aspect occurring in each tense:
Specific postpositions are used to indicate the following moods in Ceraomi: imperative; conditional; subjunctive; optative; potential; cohortative. The infinitive form of a verb is formed by the addition of the postposition 'cai' (/kai/). The postposition 'shehi' (/çeɦi/) expresses mirativity. The sentence below makes use of mirativity:
To si loni caha cansi sami chirëba laocë howa lo shehi.
You [subj.] - very good - play [pres. habit.] - football game [obj.] - [mir.]
You play soccer very well!
Ceraomi has both an active and a passive voice. The passive voice is indicated by a postpositional marker following the verb.
Adjectives in Ceraomi can take either the attributive, absolute, predicative or nominal form. The comparative degree for adjectives is formed by adding before the adjective the word 'sota' (/soda/) meaning 'more', and the superlative degree is formed by adding before the adjective the word 'sabi' (/sabi/) meaning 'most'. Attributive adjectives in Nauhi tend to occur in the following order: quantity; color; size; quality; shape; age; opinion; purpose. Other orders are permissible also. Adjectives and other modifiers are not marked for restrictiveness.