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|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Edebro ([ɛdɛˈbro̞], lit. "clear tongue," and sometimes spelled Ede Bro in English) is the national and official language of Gxambfan, a nation located on the southwestern corner of Kadsrasan, the northeastern continent of the planet Aysling.
Classification and DialectsEdit
Edebro is a well-known language isolate, although research is ongoing regarding possible affiliations with other languages. Despite the lack of confirmed relatives, however, Edebro does have some dialectal variation of its own. A slightly modified version of the dialect of Arsingxara, the capital of Gxambfan, is taken as the standard form of the language; this standard is the form reflected in this article unless otherwise noted.
Edebro has a fairly average-sized consonant inventory, with 19 total consonant phonemes. Its inventory is fairly standard in its contents as well, with the notable features being its series of palatalized coronals, and the phonemes which are realized in most dialects (including the standard) as affricates, of which /p͡ɸ/ and /k͡x/ are unusual.
|Plosive||p pʰ||t tʰ tʲ tʲʰ||k kʰ|
The most salient of consonantal allophony in Edebro is the typical intervocalic voicing of non-aspirated obstruents, including affricates; this voicing also applies in clusters with voiced consonants (i.e. sonorants). Furthermore, the liquid /rʲ/ may be realized as [j] in consonant clusters in the standard dialect, while in some non-standard dialects it may be realized as such in all positions, leaving [rʲ] and [j] to be in free variation in such dialects.
In the actual dialect of Arsingxara, the bilabial and velar affricates are reduced to fricatives, however this is a shift unreflected in the standard form of the language.
Even more average than Edebro's consonants are its vowels, which form the common five vowel system.
Despite the fairly small inventory, Edebro vowels do not exhibit significant allophony. The mid vowels do lower, however, to [ɛ] and [ɔ] before phonetically voiced consonants (so this includes voiceless stops which have been intervocalically voiced). Additionally, non-low vowels in word-initial position receive epenthetic glides when the preceding word also ends in a vowel.
While the dialect of Arsingxara, and the standard form, lack diphthongs, some dialects retain diphthongs from older forms of the language. Such diphthongs include /ai/, /au/, /ei/, /ou/, /ia/ and /ua/; these have been monophthongized to /e/, /o/, /i/, /u/, /a/, and /a/, respectively, in the varieties that lack them.
Edebro's syllables may consist of a maximum of CCVC. Syllable onsets may consist of any lone consonant or a cluster of a plosive or nasal with a liquid. A nucleus, of course, may be any vowel. Syllable codas in Edebro may only be a sibilant fricative or sonorant.
Stress in Edebro is contrastive, and plays a key role in distinguishing nouns from verbs. Nouns are typically marked with word-final stress, while verbs are usually marked with penultimate stress.
Stress may optionally be indicated with an acute on the stressed vowel; this is typically done in dictionaries, but otherwise omitted from writing. Digraphs, besides those involving <j>, ought to have both elements capitalized when capitalized, but this is often neglected.
Edebro nouns are morphologically quite simple. They do not inflect for case or definiteness, although they do decline according to number. While singular nouns remain unmarked, plural nouns are marked through reduplication, of the first CV pair in consonant-initial nouns, and of the first VC pair in vowel-initial nouns. An example of both is demonstrated in the following table:
Nouns also do not have gender, although they do have an inherent animacy level. This animacy level is not marked explicitly on the noun itself, but will be relevant later for verbal conjugation.
In Edebro, all clauses (with one exception, which will be covered later) require two parts to express the function of a verb: a lexical verb and an auxiliary verb.
While the lexical verb, which carries the semantic content of the action or state being described, does not inflect for any grammatical information itself, the auxiliary verb inflects for categories of transitivity, inversivity, voice, tense, and mood. The forms of auxiliary verb appear in the chart below.
Lexical verbs may be either active or stative. While stative verbs will typically take the copular auxiliary, active verbs may take the intransitive, direct or inverse, and some active verbs, such as verbs of movement, may also take the copular auxiliary.
As Edebro is a direct-inverse language, the auxiliary verb makes a distinction in inversivity in transitive clauses. The direct form of the auxiliary verb is used in clauses in which the more animate noun is taking the role of the agent, while the inverse form is used when the less animate noun is the agent. Therefore, a sentence like sjúrjo anjásj tjo mas translates to "a man saw a dog," while the same sentence but replacing mas with mare results in a translation as "a dog saw a man."
- The auxiliary verb always appears at the end of the sentence, with the exception of cases in which the antipassive particle follows it.
- The lexical verb is typically found at the beginning of a sentence, though this isn't required.
- Noun arguments can be arranged any way in the sentence.