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Classical Saretic is highly artificial language, created mainly for liturgical purposes on the basis of Old Colloquial Saretic about thousand years ago after long discussions of grammarians and theologians, who carefully purged all the "undignified" or inaccurate forms. Although the highest form of language is very difficult to understand for Modern Colloquial Saretic speakers, the clergy prefers to use Classical Saretic even in the colloquial discourse, as a mark of their priestly dignity.
The language has a rather unusual structure. All grammatical categories of the sentence, tense and the numbers of both subject and object, are incorporated in one word, called morphosyntactical marker (called 'face of the sentence', in fact a paradigmatized time adverbs of Old Colloquial Saretic). In the rest of the sentence, OSV syntax is used. Cases are reatined (-ëth with possessive meaning, -i with locative meaning), attributes follow the word.
Its phonology uses, except for g, only unvoiced consonants, some of them rather rare, including nasal fricatives (in more conservative pronunciation). It is generally not a tonal language, but tones can occur in conservative pronunciation.
Conlang should evoke a dark, mystical atmosphere of cruel, abominable cult. Some features are inspired by Tai-Kadai languages, others by Sanskrit (nonsensical discussions of grammarians).
Classical Saretic has 19 consonant phonemes and six vocal phonemes.
Stress falls on the first syllable of the word, monosyllabic words are proclitic and do not have separate stress (tahn nëtaph cähi thnrhäthnähthëth > 'tahn nëtaph 'cähi 'thnrhäthnähthëth). Stress is very weak and should not be exaggerated, it is considered extremely disgusting. Some grammarians prefer to not stress at all. Sentences should be as monotonous as possible. Slow, careful pronunciation is considered to be more dignified.
In Classical language, nasal fricative was required in pronunciation: [f̃, s̃, θ̃, ʂ̃, x̃]. Nowadays, separate pronunciation of fricative with correspondent nasal is more used, as described in the table. This pronunciation is often considered undesirable or even irreverent in the more conservative circles.
Similarly, in more conservative circles [q] is used instead of [g], the latter, however, is not attested in classical sources and is probably a hypercorrection, based on the fact that all the other consonants are unvoiced. (Voiced consonants were common in Old Colloquial Saretic, but were purged during the reform as undignified.)
All vowels are to be pronounced unvoiced. The phoneme <e> is preferred in modern speech, however, more conservative circles prefere to pronounce it like <ɜ> with falling tone. The correctness of such pronunciation is a matter of discussions.
The <ɯ> phoneme does not appear anywhere except for the morphosyntactical word.
In this article, IPA is used to represent Saretic texts.
If it is necessary to write Saretic in Latin alphabet, these letters are used:
[n, t, s, r, l, g] = <n, t, s, r, l, g>
[k, f, θ, ʂ, x, ʀ, ɮ] = <c, ph, th, sh, h, rh, ls>
[fɱ, θn̥, sn,ʂɳ̊, xn] = <phn, thn, sn, shn, hn>
[a, æ, e, ɜ, i, ɯ] = <a, ä, e, ë, i, u>
Morphosyntactical word θɯθ, for example, would be written thuth in Saretic Latin.
Among Sarets, use of Latin alphabet is considered to be extremely decadent and irreverent, sometimes even blasphemic. However, many non-Sarets living in Saret environment use it for private purposes, finding classical script to difficult.
Possible combinations are: CVCV, CVCVC, CCVCVCC, CVCCVC. All common words have two syllabes, monosyllabic word is used only as a morphosyntstical word. However, consonantic cluster must contain <r, ʀ, l, ɮ>.
Every sentence begins with the morphosyntactical word, which describes all the morphosyntactical categories of the sentence. The word is called face of the sentence by grammarians.
First element describes the grammatical number of the subject. If the subject is in the singular, it is <t>, if in the dual, it is <θ>, if in the plural, it is <n>.
In the earliest texts, the sequence is reversed: the second element describes the subject, whereas the first element the object (so that, for example, nɯx would not mean plural subject and singular object, but plural object and singular subject). This form is thought to be more natural and elegant by some grammarians, classical form being the newer development.
Sedond element describes the grammatical number of the object. If it is in the singular or dual, it is <ɯ>, if it is in the plural, it is <a>. If the sentence has no object, it is counted as plural.
Third element describes the tense. Four tenses are used in Classical Saretic: past, marked with <x>, future, marked with <g>. Element <ʂ> is used for general truths, always valid, <θ> is used for present.
There are following possibilities:
tɯx - I ate two apples (singular subject, singular object, past)
tax - I ate more than two apples (singular subject, plural object, past)
θɯx - We two ate two apples (dual subject, singular object, past)
θax - We two ate more than two apples (dual subject, plural object, past)
nɯx - We, many, ate two apples (plural subject, singular object, past)
nax - We, many, ate more than two apples. (dual object, singular subject, past)
tɯg - I will eat two apples (singular subject, singular object, future)
tag - I will eat more than two apples (singular subject, plural object, future)
θɯg - We two will eat two apples (dual subject, singular object, future)
θag - We two will eat more than two apples (dual subject, plural object, future)
nɯg - We, many, will eat two apples (plural subject, singular object, future)
nag - We, many, will eat more than two apples. (dual object, singular subject, future)
tɯʂ - I regularly eat two apples (singular subject, singular object, general)
taʂ - I regularly eat more than two apples (singular subject, plural object, general)
θɯʂ - We two regularly eat two apples (dual subject, singular object, general)
θaʂ - We two regularly eat more than two apples (dual subject, plural object, general)
nɯʂ - We, many, regularly eat two apples (plural subject, singular object, general)
naʂ - We, many, regularly eat more than two apples. (dual object, singular subject, general)
tɯθ - I am eating two apples (singular subject, singular object, right now)
taθ - I am eating more than two apples (singular subject, plural object, right now)
θɯθ - We two are eating two apples (dual subject, singular object, right now)
θaθ - We two are eating more than two apples (dual subject, plural object, right now)
nɯθ - We, many, are eating two apples (plural subject, singular object, right now)
naθ - We, many, are eating more than two apples. (dual object, singular subject, right now)
In the subjunctive mood, which can be used as an imperative or as a conditional, the last consonant is nasalised. <G> changes into <x> in this case, merging past with future.
If several consequent sentences would have a same morphosyntactical word, it does not need to be repeated always, but it should be repeated at least in every third sentence (one sentence with a morphosyntactical word, two sentences without). However, such omitting, even if justifiable, is considered very awkward, except in poetry.
Saretic personal pronouns of the first and second person have two variants used according to the social precedence of the speakers.
When a Saret male talks to a person superior, he uses word θaʀeg (originally meaning "a slave", but not used as a noun in Classical Saretic), referring to himself, and word tasne (lord, master) referring to the other one. This form is called "humble" form in Saret grammars.
When a Saret male talks to a person inferior, he uses the same word, tasne, referring to himself, and the word θaʀeg referring to the other one. This form is called proud.
In the third person, word taxa is used in both variants. Talking about gods or highest clergy, pronouns are never used and their names or appropriate titles must be repeated always. When Classical Saretic is used colloquially, titles or names are preferred instead of tasne.
|Humble form||Proud form|
|"he, she, it, they"||taxa||taxa|
(Some grammarians think that when two non-Saret males talk to each other, the use of "proud" pronouns can be justifiable when one of them has considerably high position in Saret society, the other being a notable enemy of Sarets and a leper at the same time, but only enmity or only leprosy would not give him such a privilege.)
The situation where two male Saret speakers are equal is rather theoretical in highly structured Saret society. Classical grammars leave this question undecided, assuming that such a situation can never happen. Some modern grammarians usually think that if both are healthy Saret males, both should use proud form (because humble form would be used by women, lepers or non-Sarets). Other authors think that they should use their names instead of pronouns, but it is considered to be too respectful by some. Another authors propose several special neologistic pronouns for such situation, none of them has been ever used in natural speech.
The pronouns have no number, because it is already expressed with the morphosyntactical marcer.
Our Father Edit
Text and commentary Edit
1. taʂn nɮæθɜg θnʀæθnæxθɜθ saʂɳ̊æs θaʀegɜθ θn̥isæ
always one thing may do many things - name - of the father - of (us) servants - bless
"Always blessed be a name of the Father heavenly of us, servants."
2. taxn kæxi nɜtaf θnʀæθnæxɜθ
in future one thing may do many things - come - kingdom - of the father
"In future, come Kingdom of the father."
3. taʂn fnlæʂærn θnʀæθnæxɜθ tafɜ saʂɳ̊æsi θɜʂnaniaʂxi
always one thing may do many things - fulfill (be fulfilled) - will - of the father
"Always be fulfilled will of the Father, in heaven and in earth."
4. tɯθn xnɜfax θaʀegɜθ θnʀæθnæx naɮa θaʀegi θnæʂnæ
right now one thing may do one thing - bread - of us servants - Father - give - in us, among us ("usly") - daily
"Now, may Father give our bread in us daily."
5. taθn tinat θaʀegɜθ θnʀæθnæx ʂɳ̊anæ
right now one thing may do many thing - debts - of us servants - Father - forgive
"Now, may Father forgive debts of us, servants."
6. naθn næni tinat tinatfiɜθ θaʀegɜθ θaʀeg ʂɳ̊anæ
right now many things may do many things - because - debts - of debtors - of us - we, servants - forgive
"For now we, servants, forgive the debts of our debtors."
7. taxn θɮɜθɜʀk θaʀegɜθ θnʀæθnæx sɜxæ
in future one thing may do many things - temptations - of us - Father - hinder
"Then, may Father hinder our temptations."
8. tɯxn gæxna θaʀegɜθ θnʀæθnæx kræʂag
in future one thing may do one thing - evil - of us - Father - destroy
"Then, may father destroy our evil."
More conservative pronunciation Edit
[taʂ̃ nɮæθɜq θ̃ʀæθ̃æxθɜθ saʂ̃æs θaʀɜ̂qɜθ θ̃isæ
tax̃ kæxi nɜtaf θ̃ʀæθ̃æxɜθ
taʂ̃ f̃læʂærn θ̃ʀæθ̃æxɜθ tafɜ saʂ̃æsi θɜʂ̃aniaʂxi
tɯθ̃ x̃fax θaʀɜ̂qɜθ θ̃ʀæθ̃æx naɮa θaʀɜ̂qi θ̃æʂ̃æ
taθ̃ tinat θaʀɜ̂qɜθ θ̃ʀæθ̃æx ʂ̃anæ
naθ̃ næni tinat tinatfiɜθ θaʀɜ̂qɜθ θaʀɜ̂q ʂ̃anæ
tax̃ θɮɜθɜʀk θaʀɜ̂qɜθ θ̃ʀæθ̃æx sɜxæ
tɯx̃ qæx̃a θaʀɜ̂qɜθ θ̃ʀæθ̃æx kræʂaq]
Latin script version
Tashn thnisä nlsäthëg thnrhäthnähthëth sashnäs thärhegëth,
tahn nëtaph cähi thnrhäthnähthëth,
tashn tafë phnläshärn thnrhäthnähthëth sashnäsi theshnaniashhi,
tuthn hnëphah tharhegeth thnrhäthnäh nalsa tharhegi thnäshnä,
tathn tinat tharhegëth thnrhäthnäh shnanä,
nathn näni tinat tinatfiëth tharhegeth tharheg shnanä,
tahn thlsëthërhc tharegeth thnrhäthnäh sëhä,
tuhn gähna tharegeth thnrhäthnäh cräshag.
/Note: This translation is created only as an example. For Sarets, whose religion is very strict and cruel, our Christian prayer would be an uttermost blasphemy. They would never call God Merciful Father, rather Unmerciful Tyrant, they would not ask for forgiveness, but for the strictest punishment of all the sins./