|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Classification and DialectsEdit
Kughralga has a moderate but sometimes unusual phoneme inventory. It is relatively consonant-heavy with distinguishing circa thirty consonants, but only four vowel phonemes.
Kughralga has a moderately big consonant inventory containinɡ some rather unusual sounds like the lateral affricates [t͡ɬ] and [d͡ɮ] or the voiced uvular plosive [ɢ].
|Flap or tap||
[ŋ] and [ɴ] are allophones of [n] in front of velar ([k], [ɡ], [x] and [ɣ]) or uvular ([q], [ɢ], [χ] and [ʁ]) consonants.
Kughralga has just four vowel quantities. It lacks the mid-front [e] and the mid-back [o] often found in European languages.
[ɛ] and [ɔ] are allophones of [i] and [u] in front of uvular consonants.
Voiceless prefixes or suffixes become voiced when they
The grammar of Kughrulga is quite complex, with heavy use of prefixes and suffixes. Although mostly strongly agglutinating, it also has some undeniable polysynthetic traits. Basic word order is SOV, although variations are not unusual with the most common being OSV, SVO and OVS. Kughralga is an ergative-absolutive language.
Affixiation can lead to very long sentence-like words, e.g.:
Tsqvaghdzɡraxhzrash. - We would not have circled you (if...) [t͡sqvaɣd͡zɡraʁzraʃ]
ts-q-va-ɡh-dz-ɡraxh-zra-sh - 1ex.sg.erg-perf-neg-2.sg.abs-indirect-circle-make-pl
The most important part of Kughralga grammar - and by means the most complex - is the verb. Furthermore, Kughralga knows no adjectives; like a lot of languages, it uses intransitive verbs instead.
The Kughralga noun shows - compared to the verb - just little and very regular inflection. Kughralga uses two cases (absolutive and ergative) several number suffixes (some of them are rather derivational suffixes) and possession circumfixes (alienability and inalienability is distinguished).
|possession prefix||STEM||alienability suffix||number suffix||ergative marker|
Number & Case Edit
Kughralga exhibits a very simple two-case-system with an unmarked absolutive and an ergative which is indicated by the suffix -t. The absolutive, the basic form of every noun, is used for the subject of an intransitive verb, the direct object of a transitive verb, and indirect objects in general. The ergative case is solely used to indicate the subject of a transitive verb.
The generic plural suffix is -ash or -sh if the noun ends on a vowel. This suffix is used to indicate undefined generic plurality. With numerals, another suffix, the partitive suffix -va is used. The numerals then behave like normal nouns and can also be inflected. Additionally, the verb agrees now with the numeral instead of the noun. All numerals have a fixed grammatical number. Most of the quantifiers and a lot of numerals are always singular, whereas some numerals (those ending with -sh) take plural agreeement.
I am seeing a reindeer. > Mixh dzbaitlak. [mɛʁ dzbajtɬak]
- mixh-ø dz-ba-i-tlak > reindeer-abs 1.sg.erg-cont-3.sg.abs-see
I am seeing reindeers. > Mixhash dzbaintlak. [mɛʁaʃ dzbajntɬak]
- mixh-ash-ø dz-ba-in-tlak > reindeer-pl-ø 1.sg.erg-cont-3.pl.abs-see
I am seeing a lot of reindeers. > Khul mixhva dzbaitlak. [xul mɛʁva dzbajtɬak]
- khul-ø mixh-va dz-ba-i-tlak > lots.of-abs reindeer-part 1.sg.erg-cont-3.sg.abs-see
I am seeing three reindeers. > Sqesh mixhva dzbaintlak. [sqəʃ mɛʁva dzbajntɬak]
- sqe-sh-ø mixh-va dz-ba-in-tlak > three-pl-abs reindeer-part 1.sg.erg-cont-3.pl.abs-see
A lot of hunters are looking for reindeers. > Khult jirtva mixhash baincurt. [xult dʒirtva mɛʁaʃ bajntʃurt]
- khul-t jirt-va mixh-ash-ø ba-in-ts-shur-t > lots.of-erg hunter-part reindeer-pl-abs cont-3.pl.abs-indirect-search-3.sg.erg
Possession is indicated by prefixes indicating the possessing person and suffixes indicating alienability and agrees with the number of the possessed noun.
The unpossessed form of inalienable nouns does either indicate that the possessor is unknown and unspecified (somebody’s ...) or change the lexical meaning of the noun.
Genitive construction Edit
The genitive phrase of Kughralga ressembles the Mayan or Hungarian way to express the genitive: While the possessing noun remains unmarked, the possessed noun takes one of the third person possession prefixes (depending on the number of the possessing noun).
kuleq ujirtnash > the huntsmen of the chief [kuləq udʒirtaʃ]
- kuleq u-jirt-n-ash > chief 3.sg.poss-huntsman-poss-pl
quqhash unxudnash > the huts of the villages [qɔχaʃ ɔɴɢudnaʃ]
- quqh-ash un-xud-n-ash > village-pl 3.pl.poss-hut-poss-pl
Kughralga uses postpositions rather than prepositions. The noun remains in the unmarked absolutive. They are linked to the noun via a possessive suffix. They often have the same or a similar root of body parts, comparable to the Mayan languages.
Some examples of postpositions:
|u-tler||in, at, by|
|u-shqhar||inside (shqhar-kek = stomach)|
|u-ner||at the top (nar = head)|
|u-zxi||behind, after (zxi-kek = back)|
|u-dlubu||in front of, before (dlubu-kek = breast)|
|u-kek||at the bottom (kuk-kek = foot)|
The verb is by far the most complex part of Kughralga morphology. It is inflected for person (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and number (singular and plural) of both subject and object, tense (present, past, future) and aspect (imperfective, perfective, continuous), mood (indicative, subjunctive, optative, narrative, imperative, permittive) and voice (active, passive, reflexive).
|relative/interrogative||erg. agreement||tense/aspect||negation||abs. agreement||VERB STEM||mood||plurality||diathesis|
Ergative and absolutive agreement Edit
|1st ex||dz-||dz-, -(e)sh|
|1st in||k(e)-, -(e)sh|
|3rd||ø-, -t||ø-, -(e)sh-t|
-(e)sh is the plurality marker of the verb. The third person suffix -t is placed in the diathesis slot.
The relative prefix is used when an interrogative or relative marker is prefixed.
Tense/Aspect (and Negation) Edit
Tense and aspect are expressed through one single morpheme which stands between the ergative and the absolutive marker.
As we can see, different moods acquire different tense markers. Additionally, not all tenses and aspect can be distinguished in all moods. Most negative forms are simply made by the negative affix -va; however, most tense/aspect markers undergo vocalic changes and the present continuous negative prefix is irregular.
Kughralga has an indicative, a subjunctive, an optative (most often used to express wishes or like a polite imperative) and an imperative. All moods - except the imperative - are marked by suffixes in the mood slot.
|indicative||-||to express actions really happening or happened|
|to express actions that could eventually happen|
|to epress wishes, emotions, opinions
polite imperative (directed towards a person of a higher class)
|commands, requests (often regarded as impolite in formal speech)|
The imperative follows a different pattern than the other mooods, e.g. it lacks a first person singular.