Abbreviations used in this guideEdit
NP: noun phrase
VP: verb phrase
1: 1st person singular
2: 2nd person informal
2H: 2nd person honorific
0: 0 person
3': 3rd person topical
3^: 3rd person retrogressive
1E: first person exclusive
1I: first person inculsive
Do: direct object
Io: indirect object
Uas: unabsolutive (typically not marked in morpheme glosses)
Rea: realis (unmarked by default on verbs)
Co: Continuous (always marked by both verb stem and prefixes but only the prefix marking is shown in glosses)
Mo: Momentous (always marked by both verb stem and prefixes but only the prefix marking is shown in glosses)
R: relative (ta means nearby-1R, as in relative to the first person, te means nearby-2R, as in relative to the second person
xor: exclusive or
ior: inclusive or
M: inanimate object
ChT: change topic
The noun phraseEdit
All noun phrase heads must either be case-marked or in the absolutive. Unmarked nouns cannot head a phrase.
Examples of absolutive and unabsolutive noun formsEdit
Nouns can form the unabsolutive in several ways. Some completely lose their absolutive prefix, some keep a reduced form of this prefix, and a small class of nouns, like yúus, loses their pitch accent in the unabsolutive. The vowels shown in parentheses are epenthetic vowels which tend to dissapear when the preceding word ends with a vowel or nasal and the following consonant in the root of the noun is dissimilar from the first consonant of the unabsolutive word's prefix. The unmarked, or naked absolutive is used for nominative, accusative, and copular noun phrases. An absolutive noun phrase can also be marked with 3 other cases, Ablative, Dative, and Locative.
Both absolutive and unabsolutive nouns can bear posessive suffixes. These suffixes distinguish alienable and inalienable posession.
|1st person singular||oh||u|
|1st person exlusive||in||un|
|1st person inclusive||ił||uł|
|3rd person obviative||é||éh|
|3rd person proximative||en||eh|
yúutsu: my eye (inalienable)
yúutsájáh: your eye
yúutseh: Her ' eye
'įhta įhhuskayiz?': Whose shirt is this?
tsisuhitsih?: Whose friend (are you)?
yúutsaa: an eye, eyes( in general. Eyes must be posessed, so the suffix -aa is obligatory. Nouns which require inalienable suffixes are marched as such in the dictionary
Some nouns can take on both the alienable and inalienable suffixes, using the alienable suffixes implies a sense of detachibility or self-containedness
yúutsoh: my 'camera yúutsu: my eye
jxįl: a recorder jxįlaa: an ear
chagułé: his covering, something he is wearing chagułéh: his, its skin, a coat (of paint)
When a noun is posessed by another noun phrase, it is marked either with the alienable suffix -e or the inalienable suffix -i. The posessing noun phrase is placed in the absolutive.
yúutsi tsuoobhii: The woman's eye
yúutse tsuoobhii: The woman's camera
The usage of the relative suffixes -unmu and -unmuh is fairly complicated and is discussed in the relative clause section.
(bhaa) As-NP As-NP
(bhaa) tsimee z̨a tsimetin
As.Ts-person that-1R As.Ts-Metin
That person is Metin.
bhaa is added to emphaisze that the first NP is the second noun phrase in exclusion to several other alternatives; eg; That person is Metin, (not Ishnna or some other ethnicity). bhaa is usually used to correct people, and can sound somewhat rude.
d̨haa transforms a statement into a question. It is placed before the NP in question, which is moved to the front of the sentence. d̨haa questions are often responded to with bhaa answers with identical word orders
d̨haa tsimee z̨a tsimetin?
Inq As.Ts-person that-1R As.Ts-metin
Is that person Metin? (One of the people the asker is referring to is Metin but the asker is uncertain which)
d̨haa tsimetin tsimee z̨a
Inq As.Ts-Metin As-person that-1R
Is that person Metin? (The person being referred to is of ambiguous ethnicity)
Negative copular sentencesEdit
Míinmi negates a copular sentence.
Míinmi tsimee z̨a tsimetin
Neg As.Ts-person that-1R As.Ts-Metin
That person isn't metin
Mínbha and mínd̨ha are the negatives of bhaa and d̨haa respectively
mínbha tsimetin tsimee z̨a
Neg As.Ts-Metin As.Ts-person that-1R
That person isn't Metin. (corrective tone)
mínd̨ha tsimetin tsimee z̨a?
Neg-Inq As.Ts-Metin As.Ts-person that-1R
Isn't that person Metin?
Evidentials in Copular SentencesEdit
The full from of the evidential (ienmi, uonmo, etc...) is placed at the beginning of the sentence.
uǫtlo tsitxen tsijueng
hearsay As.Ts-Txen As.Ts-scientist
Txen is a scientist (so-I-hear).
The long form of the evidential prefix (ien-, uon- etc.) may also be prefixed to bha.
uǫlbha tsitxen tsijueng
hearsay-Corrective As.Ts-Txen As.Ts-scientist
I hear Txen is a scientist. (not whatever you thought he was)
Simple locative sentencesEdit
preposition--Lo NP--As locative object NP
oon tsuarme z̨a sxudhááy ghe
above Lo.Ts-person that As.Sx-staircase that.Inv-2R
The staircase is above that guy. (the staircase can't be seen from where the adressee is)
prepositional Prn--As locative object NP
sxutxienme sxuoomíxtl'an muyo
As-forum-P Al-Míxtl'an under.you
Under you is the forum of Mixtlan.
When the prepositional NP is first, the location of the object. It is the word order exculsively used when answering "where" questions. When the locative object NP is first, the identity of the noun is emphasized. This word order is typically used to point out interesting or important objects
Ellipted locative sentencesEdit
The object of a locative sentence may be ellipted.
It's behind you.
It's in the water.
Locative sentences with multiple prepositional NP'sEdit
The prepositional NP's are listed in sequence from general to specific.
bhuay yerrao bhiminz sxuarmunz pli sxuaɬtoó isin qoo
inside Lo-town near Lo.Ts-Munz through Lo.Ts-garden As-path white
The white path is in the city, going through the garden near Munz's place.
Adjectives go after the noun they describe exclusively
mta mkxįyaon ǫ́hwaaf
As-thing-this-1R As-towel fluffy
Here's a fluffy towel.
The adjectives percieved as the most "essential" go closest to the noun, in approximately this order. The word for and, "xi", comes after the "true" essential adjectives, before numbers and demonstratives
class/substance>shape>surface features> color> beauty >age> size >xi> number > demonstrative>posessor
bhaa bhábhanw xi góos xi!
Cop shiny and smooth and
It's both shiny and smooth!
Adjectives can be preceded by the long forms of evidential prefixes.
tsimee ta áazsuh.
As.Ts-person at.hand-1R seems-friend
She seems friendly
hécxǫ ooji oozáu ienfánma.
3'.Pr.Tr-drink As.water Al.M-cup looks-shiny
He's drinking water from a shiny-looking cup.
Adjectives that take argumentsEdit
Adjectives that take arguments are used in constructions like "A city rich in culture" or "A dress vibrant in color". All argument taking adjectives are prefixed with yen'- 'and demand an oblique noun phrase follow immediately after. This construction is very productive and used far more extensively than its English counterpart
sxugį́taang yenmíír unwji
As.Sx-land St-abundant Al-water
a land with abundant water
sxutl'an yenmíír uęęme tsoiu
As.Sx-city abundant Al.Pl.Ts-people rare
A city full of uncommon people
tsitxá yenjáie chontsíx
As-man beautiful Al-hair
A man with beautiful hair
Continuative verbs can behave just like adjectives in certain cases. The verb must have no non-pronoun arguments or any adverbial phrases associated with it. The verb will have the 0 subject prefix, with the dummy h/hį prefix which precedes continuative verbs with 0 subject and no disjunct prefixes ommitted.
Examples with intransitive verbsEdit
tsimnah tas hétl'úę́g oadáánmiye
3'.Pr-dine As.Ts-father be.happy As.Pl.Ts-family-0P-with
The happy father has lunch with his family
łigaa ɮí sxeuttl'an tiin z̨a
1E.Pr-stick.out in Lo.Ts-city crowded this-1R
We stand out in this crowded city.
Transitive verbs in these constructions take indefinite objects, giving a different meaning than their intransitive counterpart
tas: happy | etas: "makes something happy", joy-bringing
tsimee tas: A happy person | tsimee etas: A person who brings joy to those around them
tsimee tsííl: Lost person | tsimee etsííl: Forgetful person
ooji móíg: Swirling water | tsibhii emóíg: A woman twiddling with something
When the topic is the subject, direct object, or indirect object of multiple clauses in direct sequence.Edit
In this situation, each of the successive clauses is strung together with the verb always in initial position. The verb of the first clause will agree with the topic using a 3' personal prefix, the other verbs will agree with the topic with a 0 personal prefix. As always, the topic of such a sentence will be placed at the very front.
tsiyáang liiépxú tsijué txaápxen
As.Ts-youth 3'.Tr.Pr-see 3'.Itr.Pr-enter
The youth who sees Jué is coming in
Noun phrase conjunctionEdit
An unabsolutive noun phrase can be appended to an existing noun phrase with the suffixes -mi (and), -lúz (exclusive or or), and -dį (inclusive or). This method can only be used when the conjoined unabsolutive phrases lack adjectives and or other descriptors. These are the very last suffixes that can occur on a noun, after posessive suffixes.
oawa tsiwio sįnmomi.
people As-mother-1P father-1P-and
Here are my mother and father.
(Do you want) some food and/or something to drink?
lac'uincaayns k'úa sxuimixtl'an sxkíélúz.
drive-1I.Po-fly today DA-mixt'an kíé-xor
We can fly to Mixtl'an or Kíé today (but not both).
Two absolutive noun phrases can be joined by the conjunctives já (and), lújá (exclusive or), and dujá (inclusive or). This method is used when multiple noun phrases have adjectives or other descriptors.
hétunɮ mciar lúí já įhzáu chuot eetlág.
3.M-Tr-place As.M-plate blue and As.M-cup green Lo.M-table
He's placing blue plates and green cups on the table.
yint'oąítuyns tewįtie sxuiręę́je tsuooduia dujá sxuiręę́je tsuoowio
3'Do-2S-place.irrealis this-by.you-few LO-bedroom-P AL-Duia ior LO-bedroom-P AL-mother-1P
You can put those in Duia's room or mom's room.
When the same noun heads multiple NPs linked by já, lújá, or dujá, the noun does not need to be repeated in every já phrase. Thus, the above sentence can be shortened to
yint'oąítuyns tewįtie sxuiręę́je tsuooduia dujá tsuoowio
You can put those in Duia's room or mom's (room).
Multiple simple adjectives can be simply stated in sequence.The adjectives percieved as the most "essential" go closest to the noun, in approximately this order.
class/substance>shape>surface features> color> beauty >age> size >xi> number > demonstrative>posessor
The conjunction xi will come after the "true" essential adjectives and before numbers, demonstratives, and posessors.
inmáabhai tsuiya įhhuskaye gít'iyaon ty'uy xi tsįtxen janzja.
Seen-again-Itr-0-C-wear this.person ABS-shirt-his wrinkle-2D red xi Txen that.same-1R.
I see her wearing Txen's same wrinkled red shirt again.
The conjunction 'iiz' links together multiple complex adjectival phrases, and is obligatory when a noun phrase is modified more than one possessor or complex adjectival phrase. It acts as a sort of logical and.
jįmií timinz sxeutmixtl'an iiz jáie
As-apartment near-R Lo.Ts-Mixtl'an and beautiful
Beautiful apartments that are near Mixtl'an
This conjunction can be compounded with lúz (xor) and dį (ior) to form iilúz and iidį respectively.
bhaang jįmií timinz sxeutmixtl'an iilúz jáie, chį miínmang jįmií timinz sxeutmixtl'an iiz jáie
There.are As-apartment near-R Lo.Sx-Mixtl'an xor beautiful, but There.aren't As-apartment near-R Lo.Ts-Mixtl'an and beautiful
There are not beautiful apartments near Mixtl'an. (There are apartments near mixtl'an or beautiful, but there aren't apartments near mixtl'an and beautiful).
Expressing temporal relationships between verbsEdit
The prefix dí is used to identify the verbal action which came before. The exact meaning of dí varies based on the aspect of both the previus and following actions. dí implies that the previous action caused the next action. tl'ú does not make this implication.
dí affixed to a momentous verbEdit
lidíépxú tsitiys tsid̨úken hįtsun
dí-3os-sees As.Ts-student As.Ts-teacher 0-nervous
The student sees his teacher and is nervous
Nouns which preform or undergo a verbal action periodically are expressed by prefixing a fully conjugated continuous verb with an absolutive prefix such as tsi, eey, m-, we-, or cha-, depending on whether the noun in question is human, servile/inhuman, a tool, a machine, or a mass respectively.
la-0-caayn: To pilot it
A pilot (human)
A pilot (servile)
S/he who pilots, S/he is a pilot
I who pilot, I am a pilot
We who pilot, we are pilots.
Habitual nouns phrases with argumentsEdit
Habitual nouns can take the arguments that the verbs they are derived from can. The structure of a habitual nouns phrase is thus:
Habitual nouns- arguments -freeform absolutive that agrees with the habitual noun.
tsimee ta tsilaáncaayn oaxúéfiish cxinmaaz tsii kpagiíndjhac jyahóé tsoiu xi jhęú xi
As.Ts-person this As.Ts-3's-pilot As.pl.Ts-gamesman-ChT Dat.Pl.Sx-wilderness part As.Ts.F Prp-Ben-3's-search As.pl.Yy-creature rare and strange and
This person flies gamesmen out into the wilderness so that they might search for rare and unusual creatures for them (their clients).
tsilaáncaayn oaxúéfiish cxinmaaz tsii
a As.Ts-3os-pilot As.Pl.Ts-gamesman-ChT Da.Pl.Sx-wilderness As.Ts.F
S/he who flies gamesmen out into the wilderness
Purpose clauses contain an irrealis verb prefixed with kpa-
Topic introduction and changeEdit
A topic is the NP about which a portion of discourse is about. 3' personal prefixes always refer to the role of the topic in a sentence. The simplest way to introduce and or change a topic is to place the topical NP at the very beginning of the sentence. When a new topic is introduced by placing it initially in the sentence, such as Oawions (the higher ups) in the 3rd line, the 3' personal prefixes will be referring to the role of the higher ups rather than that of the old topic tsisuhoh tsiMaang (my friend Maang). The old topic (my friend Maang) will then be referred to using the 3^ personal prefixes.
tsisuhoh tsiMaang hémǫǫ sxeutLuu. giínthaa koiwions. tsidíchįpxú tǫ́nk'í tsii, wos díipleh, chįtee.
As.Ts-friend-1p As.Ts-Maang 3's.Pr-dwell Lo.Sx-Luu. Ben-3's.Pr-work As.Pl.Ts-higher.ups. As.Ts-because-3'do-0s.Pr-see every-day As.Ts.F, and.V because-3's.Pr-does.as.a.good.citizen.does, 3'do.0s.Pr-reward.
My friend Maang lives in the city of Luu. There she works for some higher ups. Because they see her every day, and because she is diligent and resepctful, they reward her.
inkx'odíijaíe meité, kx'ojxochęhjooj sxeuttsiyé jxaa fiǫǫhtas, inmęndífiaamíír mtsiyé iyyątsiyémi dįįn
SeeE-so-because-0s.Pr-beautiful home-3'p, so-with-3'do-1s.Pr-hang.out Lo.Sx-place-3'p very-1s.Pr-happy SeeE-because-very-0s.Pr-abundant As.M-thing-3'p Uas.Yy-servile-3'p-and interesting various.
So her home is very beautiful, and I have a lot of fun hanging out there, as she has a great variety of interesting things and serviles.
imingoqimoózii euzhín. oawions ázkx'ointeéndés sxutsiyen tsiyenmi iyyątsiyenmi. ioshdímiswéé, eshplehmisziinzx.
HearE-despite-subversive-3's-say in.private. As.Pl.Ts-higher.ups InfE-so-3^io-3's.Mo.Dtr-punish.Ire As.Ts-place-3^p Uas.M-thing-3^p-and Uas.Yy-servile-3^p-and. HopE-3^s.Pr-reasonable.Ire, HopE-in.line-3^s.Pr-say.Ire.Inc
But I hear her say many subversive things in private. So I worry the higher ups will punish her, and take away her things and serviles. I hope she is reasonable, and starts talking about more in line things.
Changing the topic with the suffix -iishEdit
This is an alternative to introducing a new topic by placing it in the initial position in a sentence. Notice how the 3' personal prefix refers to the first topic, tsid̨ukoh (my boss) in the first sentence, but after the -iish suffixed noun oameyiish is introduced the 3' personal prefix refers to the oameyiish tsoiu (strange people) in the following verb.
tsid̨ukoh uǫlépxú oameyiish tsoiu k'íǫx. gidiíxuij héłens sxeuttien.
As.Ts-boss-1p HeaR-3's.Pr.Tr-see As.Pl.Ts-people-ChT strange yesterday. 3's.Pr-wander 3's.Pr-high Lo.Sx-forum.
My boss told me she saw some strange people yesterday. They (the strange people) were wandering about high in the forum.