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Karsaal

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Karsaal
Karsaar'h
Type Polysynthetic
Alignment Nominative-accusative
Head direction Head-final
Tonal No
Declensions Yes
Conjugations Yes
Genders Two (Animated and Inanimate)
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect
Meta-information
Progress 88%
Statistics
Nouns 92%
Verbs 95%
Adjectives 85%
Syntax 98%
Words  ? of 1500
Creator Mattia Tosin

Karsaal language (correctly transliterated Karsaarh or better Karsaar'h, language of the people of Kar) is spoken exclusively in Haakhiir and Hmiir, although in this last country it is more often used a kind of dialect called Hmiir'm Karsaal, Karsaal of Hmiir. Actually the language is originally spoken only in the territory of Vahajk’tka, corresponding to the region of the city of Jharii.

Classification and DialectsEdit

There are quite a lot dialects of Karsaal since there is a multitude of peoples that speak it. That's especially because it is recognized as lingua franca in all the territories inhabited by the Kars, a typology of humanoid beasts who, because of their peculiar physiognomy, can pronounce unique sounds and can not articulate others. Karsaal is a language set up among Halkars, humanoid cats living in the desert of Vahajk’tka, but sounds which are easy to be pronounced are not so simple for others, such as for humans, elves or other races. The most spoken dialect is what is called Hmiir'm Karsaal, or Karsal of Hmiir, which is very similar to the original Karsaal but is grammatically simpler but it is more difficult to be understood and spoken.

Karsaal belongs to the Karji languages, which are mainly spoken in the center-southern lands of Kahaymah, especially in Hakhiir. It is classified as a Southern language and since it comes from the Gajarn language it is part of the Southern-Gajarn languages, distinguished from the Western-Gajarn languages.

PhonologyEdit

These are the sounds used only in the original Karsaal language. Addicted letters and other variations are not included.

ConsonantsEdit

Bilabial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
Nasal /m̥/ /m/ /ɱ/ /n̥/ /n/ /ɴ̥/ /ɴ/
Plosive /t/ /d/ /k/ /kʼ/ /g/ /q/ /qʼ/ /ɢ/ /ʔ/
Fricative /v/ /θ/ /s/ /z/ /ʃ/ /ʒ/ /ʂ/ /ʐ/ /ʑ/ /x/ /ħ/
Affricate /b̪͡v/ /t̪͡θ/ /t͡s/ /d͡z/ /kx/ /qχ/
Approximant /ɹ/ /h/
Trill /r/ /ɽ͡r/
Flap or tap /ⱳ/ /ɾ/

VowelsEdit

Front Central Near-back Back
Close /i/ /y/ /ɨ/
Near-close /ʊ/
Close-mid /e/
Mid /e̞/ /o̞/
Open-mid /ɛ/ /ɔ/
Near-open /ɐ/
Open /a/ /ɐ̞/

Writing SystemEdit

Karsaal's writing system is a syllabary made of 92 syllabograms.

The symbols were designed to be reproducible using a claw. That's because according to a legend, the gods of Halkars, which are similar to their creatures, wanted the mortals to be able to write down their thoughts and words. So the gods decided to invent symbols using their claws and show them to the people of Halkars. For each symbol they saw, they articulated a sound or stayed silent, so the gods invented at last 85 symbols and gave them to their creatures.

These 85 symbols are all found in Karsaal, but the remaining seven were added in early times by the elves (the people of Efathli, conquered by the Halkars at the end of the First Era) to be able to write the letters F, L, P, U, Ū, W and X, which are not present in the original syllabary.

The original syllabary is composed of 17 basic symbols, called tzakōna (from tza, "symbol", and kōna, "beginning"). These are joined to other sounds (nakazjir), which can change the pronunciation of a basic symbol and consequently its look.

Basic letter (tzakōna) Sound Added sounds (nakazjir)
A Sound E Sound H Sound I Sound J Sound K Sound O Sound R Sound V Sound Y Sound Z Sound
A /a/, /ɐ̞/ or /ɐ/ Ā /aː/ AH /ah/ or /ax/ AI /ai/ or /aɨ/ AJ /aʒ/ or /aʐ/ AK /ak/ or /aq/ AR /ar/ or /aɾ/ AY /ay/ or /aʊ/ AZ /az/ or /ad͡z/
D /d/
E /e/, /ɛ/ or /e̞/ EH /e̞h/ or /e̞x/ EJ /e̞ʒ/ or /e̞ʐ/ EK /e̞k/ or /e̞q/
G /g/ or /ɢ/ GA /ga/ GO /go̞/
H /h/, /ħ/ or /x/ HA /ha/
I /i/ or /ɨ/ Ī /iː/ IJ /iʒ/ or /iʐ/ IK /ik/ or /iq/ IR /ir/ or /iɾ/ IZ /iz/ or /id͡z/
J /ʒ/ or /ʐ/ JA /ʒa/ JE /ʒe̞/ JH /ʑ/ JK /ʒk/ or /ʒq/ JY /ʒy/
K /k/ or /q/ KA /ka/ KH /kx/ or /qχ/ KI /ki/ or /kɨ/ KK /kʼ/ or /qʼ/
M /m/ or /ɱ/ ME /me̞/ MO /mo̞/ MR /mr/ or /mɾ/
N /n/ or /ɴ/ NA /na/ NI /ni/ or /nɨ/ NK /nk/ or /nq/ NZ /nz/ or /nd͡z/
O /o̞/, /ɔ/ or /ʊ/ OH /o̞h/ or /o̞x/ OK /o̞k/ or /o̞q/ Ō /o̞ː/
R /r/ or /ɾ/ RA /ra/ RH /ɹ/ RJ /rʒ/ or /rʐ/ RO /ro̞/ RR /ɽ͡r/
S /s/ SA /sa/ SH /ʃ/ or /ʂ/ SI /si/ or /sɨ/ SK /sk/ or /sq/ SZ /sː/ or /sz/
T /t/ TA /ta/ TE /te̞/ TH /θ/ or /t̪͡θ/ TK /tk/ or /tq/ TZ /t͡s/
V /v/ or /b̪͡v/ VA /va/ VO /vo̞/ VV /ⱳ/ or /b̪͡vv/
Y /y/ YA /ya/ YI /yi/ or /yɨ/ YK /yk/ or /yq/ YR /yr/ or /yɾ/ YZ /yz/ or /yd͡z/
Z /z/ or /d͡z/ ZA /za/ ZE /ze̞/ ZI /zi/ or /zɨ/ ZJ /zʒ/ or /zʐ/ ZK /zk/ or /zq/ ZZ /d͡z/ or /t͡s/
  • These sounds are an approximation: some speakers use slightly different sounds.
  • Sometimes some letters are pronounced in different ways, according to the others symbols in the word. For example, the word akka, "piece", which is made of two symbols in Karsaal language (AK and KA), should be pronounced [akːa] or [aqːa], but when there are two "k" sounds together, even if they belong to different letters, they are both pronounced like the symbol KK, which means it is pronounced [akʼa] or [aqʼa]. The same happens when there are nearby sounds (and not symbols) like "j" and "h" (vaj'hara [vaʐaɾa], "beautiful bird"), "k" and "h" (akhazi [akxazi], written AK-HA-ZI, "first name") and "r" and "h" (karsaar'h [karsaːɹ], Karsaal).


There are two more marks in Karsaal's writing system, transliterated with " ' " (apostrophe) and " - " (hyphen), which are put between a word and another (NOTE: these ones are not always used).

  • Apostrophe (tzaraje, from tza, "symbol", and raje, "composition"): in Karsaal, it is written by replicating the "tzakōna" of the following word's first letter and putting it in a high position. Most of the times, it indicates a composition of nouns (saaj'ktar is made of "freedom" and "war"), a negation (th'zgo, "I don't know") or sometimes a union between subject and predicate (jak'teka, "I come") or an abbreviation. It is also used in some declensions.
  • Hyphen (tzajhā, from tza, "symbol", and jhā, "connection"): in Karsaal, it is written like the "apostrophe", but in low position. Most of the times, it indicates a relation between name and adjective, verb and adverb or subject and noun phrase (jak-ka-ni, "I am free") or a conjunction. It is also used in some declensions.

GrammarEdit

Gender and NumberEdit

In Karsaal language there are two genders: animated and inanimate. Actually, gender is important only for pronouns. It is quite simple to tell them apart: if the noun refers to a living creature (even a plant) it is animated, whereas the rest is inanimate. But according to Kar culture, some things that we would consider inanimate are actually animated: celestial bodies, rivers, lakes, seas and volcanos are considered animated things. That is because Kars believe they contain spirits that are able to move them, like living creatures.

There are four numbers in Karsaal: singular, dual, paucal and plural. In a sentence, the noun is inflected according to the number, but all the other parts of speech don't change (excepting pronouns). In fact, nouns and pronouns are the only parts that change in number.

Ending Suffix Example With adjective Translation
Singular Consonant ending [zero] kamrosh vatko-kamrosh (essential) skill
Vowel ending [zero] hasa razk-hasa (difficult) obstacle
Dual Consonant ending -k kamrok vatko-kamrok two (essential) skills
Vowel ending -ina hasina razk-hasina two (difficult) obstacles
Paucal Consonant ending -kta kamrokta vatko-kamrokta a few (essential) skills
Vowel ending -iro hasiro razk-hasiro a few (difficult) obstacles
Plural Consonant ending -rizk kamrorizk vatko-kamrorizk (essential) skills
Vowel ending -ita hasita razk-hasita (difficult) obstacles
  • Karsaal speakers consider the last sound to tell apart consonant-ending and vowel-ending words. It means that when there is a "tzakōna" without any "nakazjir" at the end of the word, it always falls, whereas when there is a "nakazjir" at the end there are two possibilities: if it is a vowel (A, E, I, O, Y) the only thing that is removed is the "nakazjir", but if it is a consonant the whole symbol (both "tzakōna" and "nakazjir") falls down. There is an exeption when the "tzakōna" is a vocalic sound: in this case, the "nakazjir" is the last one that is removed (whether or not it is a vocalic or consonantic sound).

CasesEdit

In Karsaal, cases are made of regular particles put at the end of the noun (or pronoun). They are tied to the noun by using three different tipes of connections: the tzaraje, the tzajhā or simply by putting it at the end. It never inflects the noun, so the symbols used to write the word are always separated by the termination.

Particle Case Exmaples
[zero] Nominative ehro (they)

tka (sun)

'me Genitive voyrosh'me (of the lord)

jak'me (my)

-ne Accusative (including allative, perlative and prolative) aza-ne (through the bridge)

ajd-ne (for the money)

Ablative Jharī (from Jharii)

taknik (by the wind)

tazjar Locative rahatazjar (at home)

tkarātazjar (in summer)

'ke Lative (concept of generic motion or passing time) ak-karsh'ke (for a month)

rhaka'ke (around the room)

itzor Dative nokitzor (to you)

Odraitzor (for Odra, a goddess)

vojar Instrumental nayznvojar (by force)

hajkvojar (of sand)

adze Comitative (including manner) kerhgaadze (with elegance)

vysharanadze (with the mister)

Personal PronounsEdit

Pronouns in Karsaal language act like nouns. That means they do not have any flection and they have the same suffixes of nouns. What is different is that pronouns change according to the number in a different way (and they do not preserve the same root).

Singular Dual Paucal Plural
Animated 1st jak niga hana ni
2nd nok tzarga azij tzar
3rd tzek ehroga rhīakta ehro
Inanimate 1st dega jōrha de
2nd rhatzega thjy rhatze
3rd zje ziga ō zi
  • Note that the paucal number is made of the plural of the pronoun plus ga (e.g.: ni, "we"; niga, "we two").

VerbsEdit

Verbs in Karsaal are conjugated according to mood, tense and person, but not to number. There are two different conjugations, identified by the final vowel in infinitive form (no matter if it is a tzakōna or a nakazjir, a basic letter or an added letter) which can be only a or o. In fact, all the verbs in Karsaal language end with these two vowels.

Infinitive / ImperativeEdit

Infinitive and imperative moods are considered the same, but translation changes according to the context.

1st conjugation [-a] 2nd conjugation [-o]
Suffix Example Translation Suffix Example Translation
[zero] tanka to change / change! [zero] zgo to know / know!

IndicativeEdit

Indicative mood is made of three tenses: present, past and future. It is the only one mood where the time is expressed (with others, the time of action must be deduced by the context). Present tense is used for actions in progress now or for habits. Past tense includes all the actions of the past, and the same for future.

Tense Person 1st conjugation [-a] 2nd conjugation [-o]
Suffix Example Translation Suffix Example Translation
Present 1st [zero] tanka I/we change [zero] zgo I/we know
2nd -no tankano you change -na zgona you know
3rd -vo tankavo he/she/it/they change -va zgova he/she/it/they know
Past 1st -te tankate I/we changed -te zgote I/we knew
2nd -ti tankati you changed -ti zgoti you knew
3rd -ta tankata he/she/it/they changed -to zgoto he/she/it/they knew
Future 1st -mo tankamo I/we will change -ma zgoma I/we will know
2nd -so tankaso you will change -sa zgosa you will know
3rd -de tankade he/she/it/they will change -de zgode he/she/it/they will change

ConditionalEdit

It is mostly used in subordinate sentences (when talking about conditional periods). When found in a main sentence it has a meaning similar to the imperative mood, but more polite.

Person 1st conjugation [-a] 2nd conjugation [-o]
Suffix Example Translation Suffix Example Translation
1st -gatk tankagatk I/we would change -gatk zgogatk I/we would know
2nd -gotk tankagotk you would change -gotk zgogotk you would know
3rd -gan tankagan he/she/it/they would change -gan zgogan he/she/it/they would know

PassiveEdit

Passive mood corresponds to the passive voice of verbs, but as there is only one tense, translation must be deduced according to the context.

Person 1st conjugation [-a] 2nd conjugation [-o]
Suffix Example Translation Suffix Example Translation
1st -nogash tankanogash I/we (be) changed -nagash zgonagash I/we (be) known
2nd -nigash tankanigash you (be) changed -nigash zgonigash you (be) known
3rd -nigosh tankanigosh he/she/it/they (be) changed -nigosh zgonigosh he/she/it/they (be) known

PotentialEdit

Potential mood is used to describe possible actions that the subject is (not) able to do.

Person 1st conjugation [-a] 2nd conjugation [-o]
Suffix Example Translation Suffix Example Translation
1st -ktō tankaktō I/we can change -ktō zgoktō I/we can know
2nd -ktī tanktaktī you can change -ktī zgoktī you can know
3rd -ktā tanktaktā he/she/it/they can change -ktā zgoktā he/she/it/they can know

CausativeEdit

Causative mood indicates that a subject causes someone or something else to do or be something or causes a change. In a causative sentence, the "object" is expressed in dative case.

Person 1st conjugation [-a] 2nd conjugation [-o]
Suffix Example Translation Suffix Example Translation
1st -voj tankavoj I/we let (...) change -vaj zgovaj I/we let (...) know
2nd -vok tankavok you let (...) change -vak zgovak you let (...) know
3rd -voz tankavoz he/she/it/they let(s) (...) change -vaz zgovaz he/she/it/they let(s) (...) know

InterrogativeEdit

Interrogative mood is used to make questions. Interrogative sentences do not change the normal position of words in a phrase.

Person 1st conjugation [-a] 2nd conjugation [-o]
Suffix Example Translation Suffix Example Translation
1st -roz tankaroz do I/we change? -raz zgoraz do I/we know?
2nd -roze tankaroze do you change? -raze zgoraze do you know?
3rd -roza tankaroza do(es) he/she/it/they change? -raza zgoraza do(es) he/she/it/they know?
  • Negative sentences are made of the verb and th' put at the end (e.g.: th'zgo, "I don't know; nokitzor th'tekavoj, "I don't let you come").

SyntaxEdit

The basic structure of a sentence in Karsaal language is SOV. In a normal sentence, the subject can be only preceded by an adverb, while the object can not be followed by anything but the verb. All the other complements are put between the subject and the object without a clear order.

Noun phraseEdit

With the verb ka (to be), the sentence has a different structure: in this situation, there is a subject (sometimes omitted) followed and bound to the verb by the "hyphen" and a noun or adjective after the verb (and bound to it). All the other complements are put before the construct. For example:

  • Jak-ka-ni or Ka-ni (the subject is omitted): jak is the subject (I), ka is the verb (to be), followed by the adjective ni (free). Translated: I am free.
  • Jak'me zje-th'kaktā-raha: it can't be my house (lit.: my[jak'me] it[zje] not[th' ] can be[kaktā] house[raha]).

The verb ka has three different meanings: "to be", "to exist, to be in a place", and "to be made of". When it has these two last meanings, it does not follow the rules of the noun phrase, but it is not different from another verb.

LexiconEdit

Honorific suffixesEdit

In Karsaal language, there are some honorific suffixes that are put after a name (or a pronoun when it refers to a person) and are bound to it by the "apostrophe". They are used to underline the respect or the relationship towards a person.

Positive suffixes
Suffix Example Meaning
voyro Tejhar'voyro (king Tejhar) The most formal and respectful suffix, directed only to those who are leaders of a nation, a community or an important guild. Everyone who has a role of owner or ruler is allowed to be named voyro.
vona nok'vona (you, highly polite form) Very high-leveled polite suffix, used with important people (like aristocratics) that the interlocutor has never met before or is not allowed to call him/her with a lower suffix.
vysharan Narheki'vysharan (lady Naleki) High-leveled polite suffix, used with strangers who come from an upper-middle class.
sharan Tzarka'sharan (mister Tzarka) Polite suffix, used with strangers who come from the same class of the interlocutor or with elder people.
nisa Najaki'nisa Polite suffix, used with younger people or people who come from a lower-middle class.
raktar rahazij'raktar (servant, in a polite form) Polite suffix, used with people from the lower class or slaves.
tzeg Jona'tzeg Suffix used among close friends and close relatives (it is used with relatives only if the interlocutor does not come from a upper class).
Negative suffixes
Suffix Example Meaning
rodzor ejāka'rodzor (foolish friend) Suffix used among almost all the people, especially among friends. It is a slight insult that is not completely offensive, as it can be used when joking.
athkag jak'athkag (like an insult pointed towards one's self) Suffix that expresses a slight insult that is not very offensive but is serious. It is often pointed towards one's self, for example when failing.
iraj nok'iraj (you bastard) Quite offensive suffix that expresses a serious insult.
tzog Jona'tzog Very offensive and disrespectful suffix that expresses the hate of the interlocutor towards a person.
vatkgoza rjakame'vatkgoza (traitor [who is worthy of death]) Extremely offensive suffix that indicates the interlocutor's will of killing a person (not necessarily physically; from the verb vatka, "to kill").

Example textEdit

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 1Edit

Zkara-kahamesita saaj'vakaroadze nakhar'sajaki'me rhāgavo. Nazjīka'razzyk'me ehro-kavo-jathō namezjakirizkitzor-ta zavajagoshāadze navirogan.

  • Translation: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
  • Interlinear gloss: Every-human(PL) freedom'equality(COMIT) dignity'right(GEN) be.born(IND.PRES.3). Reason'coscience(GEN) they(PRON.ANIM.3PL)-be(IND.PRES.3)-endowed community(PL-DAT)-and brotherhood.spirit(COM) behave(COND.3).

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 2Edit

Zkara-kahamesita, nakizārizk zkara-kideharizkvojar th'kagan, kazjā'mekara'novyrh'saarh'takame'megokha'tharikkō'ajd'naszarhī'me, dak-navvartazjar kavo zkara-sajaki'saarizk-ne zakinagan. Nakizārizk nathzi tarhaki'nojagame'nisagozakh-naszarhīvojar deharka'hak'me tzek'tekavo th'nokarhonigosh.

  • Translation: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs.
  • Interlinear gloss: Every-human(PL), distinction(PL) all-way(PL-INSTR) (NEG)be(COND.3), race'colour'sex'language'religion'opinion'origin'property'condition(GEN), this-declaration(LOC) be(IND.PRES.3) all-right'freedom(PL-ACC) respect(COND.3). Distinction(PL) furthermore political'jurisdictional'international-condition(INSTR) country'land(GEN) one(PRON.ANIM.3SG)'come(IND.PRES.3) (NEG)make(PASS.3).

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