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|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
In the year 1066, at the time of the Norman Conquest, one family decided to flee Britain. This family was made up of a man and woman who had been high in the English society along with their three young children, and the man knew how to read and write. Because of this, they took the few books they owned with them: a copy of the Bible in Latin and a book in Old English which included The Fight at Finnsburh, The Wife's Lament, The Husband's Message, and The Dream of the Rood. The family set out in a small boat to travel across the ocean to some uncharted land where they could live in peace, and eventually landed on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They found that this island had all that they needed: space to build a house and plant fields with the seeds they had brought with them, edible plants, sheep and goats, and plenty of space to expand. There were other inhabitants, but they lived in a small village on the opposite side of the island and did not mind the newcomers. The family lived in peace for many years, and when their four children (one of whom had been born on the island) were twelve, fifteen, seventeen, and twenty years old, the mother and father died.
It was at this time, as well, that another family of political refugees found the island, this time from what would later become Portugal. War had reached the home of this family, and they hoped to find a place in which to raise their children in peace. Thus, they left with their children in a boat, hoping to land in some inhabitable place. The four children of the original set of refugees greeted the newcomers warmly, and invited them to build a home near their own. The family accepted the offer, and they began to have a community. The new family was composed of a mother and father, both around thirty-five years old, and their three children, one of whom was eight years old and the other two of whom were thirteen. Their mother, surprisingly, was pregnant at that time with one more child. When that child was born, the mother died in child birth and the English refugees offered to help raise the child.
The children in the new family set out after a while to explore the rest of the island, and met some members of the native community which inhabited the other side of the island. They soon learned that many of the elders in that community had been wiped out by the same disease which had killed the parents of their new friends, and those who were left would welcome joining forces between the two communities. Indeed, since they had already been a very small community, made up of just three families, there were only eight of them left who were over the age of twelve--the age at which they came of age. These eight followed the twins back to their home and met the two families that lived there, and decided to move their community across the island to join the others.
The mix of these three families, British, Portugese, and Pandori, was the beginning of the Lemari people. Their elders and parents had all died--for the last remaining parent in the Portugese family died soon thereafter--and it was up to the young people and few children who remained to rebuild their lives. They worked together, and as they worked their languages mixed and created a fourth language, mixing English, Portugese, and Pandori. Their language, which they called Lemari like themselves, was named from their word for peace or alliance against the outside forces that threatened to drive them to extinction. They used the texts which the British immigrants had brought with them and their writing system to form the basis of their own writing and their own stories. Their mythology came as a mix of these texts and the stories of the Pandori, since the Portugese children were not old enough to have learned much of their native mythology. The structure of the language was largely influenced by the structure of the Pandori language, since it had the largest number of speakers in the original group, although it also incorporated elements of Portugese and English language structures. Portugese and Latin had an equal amount of influence in vocabulary and morphology to that of the other languages.
It has now been nearly two hundred years since the founding of this community, and they have become strong once more. Some people have followed in the wandering and sea-faring traditions of their ancestors and left to explore new lands, but most have stayed in their island, since it is a large island and has many resources available. They live in villages made up of a few families each, scattered through the island, and grow corn, wheat, and beans in their fields. They also keep flocks of sheep, gather the local edible plants, and hunt animals native to their land. Each village has its elder, and the elders from the different villages meet often to discuss issues of governance, land use, and any other disagreements which have arisen. Occasionally they must have an arbiter, and in these situations the elder from the original community settles their disagreements.
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The Lemari alphabet is based in large part on the Latin alphabet, although it includes a few letter forms unique unto itself.
Inflectional Morphology Edit
Nouns are inflected on the basis of case, number, and gender. Because Lemari began as a creole and the Pandori people did not initially understand the nominative-accusative case system--their own case system had been ergative-abolutive--the Lemari case system has only three cases: nominative, accusative, and genitive. All other functions which would have been marked by case are marked by prepositions. Number in Lemari can be singular, dual, or plural. This is because the Pandori people had a dual number and the others learned to understand it. Gender in Lemari can be masculine, feminine, or neuter. At first glance, this reflects the system which was brought in from English, but it is much more natural than the grammatical gender of Old English. As in Portugese, masculine and feminine nouns are animate, and masculine is used for gender-neutral as well. Neuter was inherited from Pandori is used for inanimate nouns, and has two categories: tangible and intangible.
Feminine nouns end in u, masculine nouns end in o or a, intangible neuter nouns end in i, and tangible neuter nouns end in e or y. These vowels are always preceded by an r if the noun is singular, a d if the noun is dual, and a v if the noun is plural. Case is marked by prefixes: ne- marks for nominative, nu- marks for accusative, and ni- marks for genitive.
Adjectives have the same gender, number, and case marking system as nouns. In addition, they have -gy- before the final number and gender morphemes to indicate their adjectival status. Comparatives are formed by adding -ra- as the penultimate syllable to signify more and -se- as the penultimate syllable to signify most.
Verbs are inflected on the basis of tense, mood, person, and number. Possible tenses are far past, past, present, future, far future, and always. Possible moods are indicative, imperative, and infinitive. Subjunctive was slightly too difficult for the Pandori people to understand, and is indicated by the use of helping verbs. Person can be first, second, or third, and number is singular, dual, or plural.
Verbs mark for mood with the initial consonant of the final syllable: l is indicative, r is imperative, and s is infinitive. The vowel contained in the final syllable indicates tense: a is far past, e is past, i is present, o is future, u is far future, and y is always. Person is marked in the initial consonant of the first syllable: m is first person, b is second person, and p is third person. Number is indicated by the vowel of the first syllable: u is singular, i is dual, and e is plural.
Adverbs, since they can modify either nouns or verbs, can be inflected in the same way as either nouns or verbs. They also contain -fy- as the penultimate syllable.
Other Parts of Speech Edit
Numbers are treated like nouns or adjectives, depending on the time. Pronouns are treated like nouns. Participles, adpositions, and particles are not inflected. Articles are inflected in the same way as adjectives.
Summary of Inflectional Morphemes Edit
- Nouns (and adjectives, numbers, pronouns, articles, and adverbs)
- singular feminine: -ru
- singular masculine: -ro or -ra
- singular tangible neuter: -re or -ry
- singular intangible neuter: -ri
- dual replaces the preceding r with d
- plural replaces the preceding r with v
- nominative: ne-
- accusative: nu-
- genitive: ni-
- Adjectives (and numbers, articles, and adverbs)
- -gy- before number and gender
- more: -ra- after -gy- and before number and gender
- most: -se- in the same place as -ra-
- Verbs (and adverbs)
- indicative far past: -la
- indicative past: -le
- indicative present: -li
- indicative future: -lo
- indicative far future: -lu
- indicative always: -ly
- imperative replaces the preceding l with r
- infinitive: -sy
- first person singular: mu-
- first person dual: mi-
- first person plural: me-
- second person replaces the preceding m with b
- third person replaces the preceding b with p
- -fy- before tense and mood or number and gender
Derivational Morphology Edit
Words are compounded by putting their root morphemes together. (e.g. sature=sa+tu+r+e (English: village=gathering+person+singular+tangible neuter))
Words can change category by simply using the inflectional morphology appropriate to that class. (e.g. turo-->tufyro (English: person-->person-like(adv)))
Derivational morphemes go after inflectional prefixes and before inflectional suffixes. Incidentally, the largest amount of originally English and Latin morphemes are in the derivational morphology.
The syntactic structure of Lemari is VSO, although since all nouns are marked for case they can theoretically be positioned in any order. The head of a phrase comes at the end, not the beginning. This is because that was the Pandori syntactic structure, and since words were being inflected in a nominative-accusative way the others (who, even combined, were fewer than the Pandori speakers at the beginning of the Lemari language) were more able to adapt to a new system than their monolingual friends.
Noun phrases consists of: (determiner)+(adjectives)+noun
Verb phrases consist of: (prepositional phrase)+(adverbs)+verb
Lemari: a. The name of the people and their language. b. Alliance against outside threats, whether they be human or otherwise. c. Peace.
Sature: Each individual small village.
Gira: An elder.
Gigira: the chief elder
Sare: A gathering of people.
Sagire: A meeting of the elders.
Turo: A person.
Ganisy: To form or found
General Life Edit
The villages were founded many years ago.--> Peganila nesatuve. (Literal translation: 3rdperson-plural-found-indicative-past(far) NOM-village-plural-inanimate(tangible))