|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Old Vrnallian is the parent language of modern Vrnallian, spoken on the four islands constituting the United Insular States of Vrnallia around 500-900al at the earliest. However, the earliest written evidence of the language dates back only to 1217al. The language is commonly believed to be an isolate, primarily because it is very heavily inflecting and has tripartite alignment.
|Plosive||p b||t d||k g||ʔ|
|Fricative||f v||s z||ɕ ʑ||ɦ|
|Affricate||ts dz||tɕ dʑ|
|Flap or tap||ɾ|
The glottal stop occured as an allophone of word-final /p t k/.
The schwa occured as the reduced (unstressed) form of the lax vowels: /ɨ a/.
Stress landed on the second-to-final syllable. If the last syllable of a word was open, and the last two had lax vowels, then stress moved to the third-to-last syllable: tárzik 'to charge at,' ǯúkʼaly 'O Gael!' As it is regular, stress is not shown orthographically.
|Plosive||p b||t d||k g||*|
|Fricative||f v||s z||š ž||h|
|Affricate||c ʒ||č ǯ|
|Flap or tap||r|
First (Masculine) Declension (čore = man)
Second (Feminine) Declension (seŋu = woman)
Nouns had gender of either masculine and feminine type. This consistently corresponded to the declension of the noun and was important when using both verbs and adjectives.
These could replace an entire genitive argument and, like pronouns, also had a neuter form. For emphasis, a genitive argument could be used in conjunction with enclitics but then the neuter form cannot be used. That was otherwise completely semantic. These followed case inflections.
The core, or stem, held the meaning of the verb e.g. from tarzik the core tarz- means 'charge at.' The citation form is the simple infinitve of core + -ik. This could be combined with other morphemes e.g. tarzaoik 'to be charged at,' tarzifečik 'to have charged at.'
Polypersonal agreement morphemes follow:
As the above table shows, the tripartite system was dropped in the third person and an ergative agreement system used in its stead. In the 2nd person ergative, -N- refers to a nasal homogenous with the following consonant with an underlying /m/. Vowel sequences between the above were broken up with /j/, e.g. k'enapijaš 'we mock him' (k'enik = to mock).
Voices in Old Vrnallian were active, passive and antipassive:
In the passive voice, the ergative argument was dropped and the accusative argument promoted to intransitive. Any agentive nouns took the causal case. The antipassive caused the accusative to be dropped and the ergative to be promoted to intransitive, with any patient nouns taking the dative case.
Lastly, the negating morpheme was -oʒal. Between all illegal clusters a 'helping vowel' /i/ would appear. Notably, with a cluster of -Ckna- the vowel always appeared as -Cikna- and never *-Ckina.
With many morphemes used some verbs could be very formidable, for example:
tarzyŋkejapkudaodarmafečoʒal. It was not necessary for us to have been charged at on your behalf.
Participles were formed with suffix -at' and gerunds with -loŋe.
The neuter pronouns were used in a completely semantic manner. Used in conjunction with verbal agreement, agreement morphemes were used in accordance with the gender of the referent.
Adjectives and AdverbsEdit
Adjectives declined like nouns, agreeing in both gender (declension) and case, but optionally number.They preceded the head noun. Adverbs were derived from nouns with the masculine spatial suffix -alar, excepting 'free' adverbs. They preceded the verb:
kohuše čore. The happy man.
kohušigi čorigi. Near to the happy man.
kohušu seŋu. The happy woman.
kohušalar k'enapijaš. We mock him happily.
As a tripartite language, Old Vrnallia distinguished the subject of an intransitive sentence from that of a transitive one, and then from the object of a transitive sentence. The subject of an intransitive sentence (including 'be' sentences) took the intransitive case marker, and verbs took intransitive morphemes also:
(seke) likefeč. I went. (lik = to go)
c'u daluke dasku. That is my house.
The subject of a transitive sentence took the ergative case; the direct object took the accusative:
(sekun) dalur č'ačijocikna. I will buy a house.
Any indirect objects took the dative case:
zinur vetyšu hemijoculofeč. I gave the money to her. (hemik = to give)
Possession was shown with the genitive case marked on the possessor:
dalu vetaks. His/her house.
The vocative was used for direct adress. In informal situations the accusative could be used:
oksnaly! O friend (formal)!
oksner! O (specifically male) friend (informal)!
The inessive was used for designating location inside:
dasitke. Inside my house.
The illative for motion into:
dasazukke. Into my house.
The elative for motion out from:
dasušike. Out of my house.
The adessive for position on top of:
mylečezaʒ. On Mlekiezej.
And the ablative for motion away from:
dasyčumke (note: [dəsəˈtɕuŋke]). Away from my house.
The spatial case shows presence in the general area of:
dasalarke. Around my house.
This should not be confused with the proximate, showing nearness to:
dasigike. Near to my house.
The distant case shows, predictably, distance from:
dasozoke. Far from my house.
The instructive case shows the means of completing an action:
dasur zinaŋ č'ačijocfeč. I bought the house with (lit. by means of) money.
Finally, the causal case marks the reason for an action:
vetamei č'ačijocfeč. I bought it because of him (he asked, etc.).
Old Vrnallian was pro-drop, so pronouns were optional and primarily used for emphasis. The syntactical order was SOV due to the head-final nature of the language. However, for topicalisation this could be altered, aided by the high amount of inflection:
čorun moharerke k'enihijaš. The man is mocking my farm.
moharerke čorun k'enihijaš. It is my farm that the man is mocking.
k'enihijaš moharerke čorun. Mocking my farm is what the man is doing.
Any indirect objects would normally follow the accusative (SOIV (I = indirect object)):
čorun moharerke seŋyšu k'enihijašulo. the man is mocking my farm on the woman's behalf.
Existentials simply used the verb 'to be' (dasik), often with a preposition like c'alar 'there:'
čore daske c'alar. There is a man (lit. a man is there).
Questions were formed with the interrogative mood of a verb (-siǯ-), a direct tranormation from statement to question:
k'enimber. You are mocking me.
k'enimbersiǯ? Are you mocking me?
Verbs could be negated using the negating suffix -oʒal:
k'enijepseoʒal. I am not mocking you.
Relative clauses tended to not be used, with a relative clause being given a separate (non-pro-drop) clause:
čorer tarzijašfeč; vete k'enijepseyž. I charged at the man who had mocked you.
In rare cases, a participle could be used:
k'enepseyžat' čorer tarzijašfeč. I charged at the man who had mocked you (lit. the having-mocked-you man).
Sentential arguments used the connective particle san between clauses. Usually the initial clause required that the antipassive voice be used:
giskeuc'e san k'enimber. I know that you are mocking me.
Conditional statements used rak 'if' with the subjunctive and conditional form of verbs:
rak zinur t'ijupsuzen dalur č'ačijupsukulikna. If I had money I would buy a house.
Gloss: if money-acc have-1sm>3sf-subj house-acc buy-1sm>3sf-cond-fut
However, deductions tended to use the inferential mood rather than conditional:
rak c'e yne mylečeze dasašzen, c'e dyvrieske dasašoŋ. If that island is Mlekiezej, that one is Dvrieska.
Gloss: if that-int.m island.int mlekiezej-int be-3sm.int-subj that-int.m dvrieske-int be-3sm.int-infer
(Also note that dasašzen = /dasaɕˑzen/)
Causative were formed with the verbal prefix b-. Uniquely, the helping vowel here matched that of the vowel in the following syllable. Transitive verbs placed the former accusative into the dative:
lapur itijoc. I learn the word.
> lapyšu bitijoculo. I make her learn (to) the word, i.e. I teach her the word.
Old Vrnallian had a few ways of forming conjunctions. One conjunction was a 'unifying' conjunction, useable with all parts of speech (pals). The other conjunctions were suffixes and useable only to connect certain parts of speech: -ǯe for nouns, -me for verbs and -ve for adjuncts:
mabrapu gelapeǯe. Cats and dogs.
OR mabrapu pals gelape. Cats and dogs.
fehkefeč ʒukeuc'efečme. I came and I saw. (fehik = to come)
rapse kohuševe. Free and happy.
In later texts we see some innovations in the usage of suffixing conjunctions to tell things apart as:
rapsape kohušapeve čorape. The men both free and happy. (using the adjunct conjunction)
rapsape kohušapeǯe čorape. The free men and happy men. (using the noun conjunction)