Lûr Bû Bâi is a tonal language with three tones and each word is mono-syllabic, like Mandarin Chinese. The different between Lûr Bû Bâi and Mandarin lies within the sounds of the language as well as the grammar and syntax.
Lûr Bû Bâi has two kinds of consonant, initial and final. All consonants can be initial but only a few may be final.
|Short High Tone||í||á||ú|
|Short Mid Tone||i||a||u|
|Short Low Tone||ì||à||ù|
|Long High Tone||íi||áa||úu|
|Long Mid Tone||ii||aa||uu|
|Long Low Tone||ìi||àa||ùu|
|Long High Rising Tone||íí||áá||úú|
|Long Mid Rising Tone||ií||aá||uú|
|Long Low Rising Tone||ìí||àá||ùú|
|Long High Falling Tone||íì||áà||úù|
|Long Mid Falling Tone||iì||aà||uù|
|Long Low Falling Tone||ìì||àà||ùù|
Each diphthong will have one of the nine tones possessed by the long vowels.
The vowels are also prone to allophony after certain initial consonants. After the ejectives, u and i will lower to o and e respectively while a moved futher back in the mouth becoming almost glottal. Aspirated voiced plosives affect i and u in the same way, but not a. Nasal i is commonly a nasal e and nasal a is commonly nasal o. After ejectives nasal a is usually nasal ɔ with u being nasal o.
As mentioned above, the final a word may take depends upon the vowel in the nucleus:
|Short Vowel||Long Vowel||Diphthong|
As you can see, the more vowels in the nucleus, the fewer choices available in ending a syllable.
Examples of SyllablesEdit
The basic syllable structure is(C)(C)V(V)(C) with the more complex rules described above
Single vowel - a
Single nasal vowel - íñ
Long vowel - ìí
Long nasal vowel - uúñ
Diphthong - aì
Nasal diphthong - ìúñ
Short vowel - ang
Long vowel - uúr
Single vowel - pa
Single nasal vowel - níñ
Long vowel - khìí
Long nasal vowel - buúñ
Diphthong - bhaì
Nasal diphthong - gìúñ
Short vowel - pan
Long vowel - tuúr
The total number of vocalic syllables is 120, vocalic initial consonant final syllables number only 252 with consonant initial vowel final syllables numbering at a staggering 2640. The number of consonant initial consonant final syllables numbers even higher 5268 with the grand total of available syllables being 8280.
A lot of the grammatical information within a sentence is contained within word order, clitics and particles. For example, case is marked through word order and postpositional clitics and tense and aspect are marked through verbal clitics. They are considered clitics as they are essentially usually initially, if not completely, toneless, and instead take the tone of the word it follows. So a clitic marking the past tense following a low, or a mid-falling tone and also a low-falling tone, will have a low tone.
Nouns are not explicitly marked for case, as in Latin, but instead are marked using word order and clitics. The subject will come first in a basic sentence with the verb coming straight after, then the direct object and finally the indirect object, all of which are marked purely with word order.
The genitive is marked by use of a possessive clitic attached to the noun which is the possessor, which follows the possessed noun. The clitic marking this is "bû" /bu_/. This is also used to form possessive pronouns.
When followed by a number, a noun will not be marked for plurality. In fact, unless context cannot shine any light upon the number of the noun, the plural marker will not be used at all. It is only used when introducing a new noun which must be known to be plural. The plural marker is "señ". This will precede any postpositions, so the genitive plural will be "sîñ -bu" /sẽbu ~ sembu/. The word "ours" will be "ghatsîñbu" /ghat˧sẽ˧bu˧ ~ ghat˧sem˧bu˧ / meaning "I=PL=GEN"
Other Case FuntionsEdit
This category is made of postpositions only, of which there are five.
- This postposition marks a lack of the noun, e.g. houseless, without the house, etc.
- This shows a likeness to the noun, e.g. like a house.
- This shows sameness, even being as, the noun, e.g. same as the house, as the house, etc.
- This shows an orientation away from the noun, i.e. facing away from it.
- This shows an orientation to the noun, i.e. facing towards it/
The last four can also be used with the motion clitics to form futher meaning while the final two can also be used with a verb to inidcate whether the action was witnessed or unwitnessed.
Motion and PositionEdit
Other "cases", as they are described in inflecting languages, are marked by either clitics or postpositions. For example, motion, such as "around" is marked by clitics while position, such as "outside", is marked by a stand alone word. Combinations of the two will form meanings of motion in relation to a position in relation to the noun, such as "into".
The motion clitics mark movement from, towards, across/through and around and are , , , and resepectively. Others mark upward movement, downward movement, movement left, right as well as back and forth and up and down movement and are , , , , , and . These usually do not occur with the other clitics, but it is not illegal to do so.
The postpositions of location show position inside the noun, on the surface of it, outside it, above it, underneath it, between two nouns, contact with the noun and attachment to it and are , , , , , , , and respectively. These postpositions can also be used together, forming compound postpostions, e.g. - "on the top of", - "touching the sides of", - "attached to the bottom", etc. As mentioned, these can be used in combination with the clitics so = + would mean "into it" and = + would mean "off of the top of it". If two postpositions and two clitics ar used then the second clitic is attached to the end of the postpositional compound, e.g. "into it through the top" would be = += with the first clitic marking direction towards it being associated with the first postposition and the second pospostion being associated with the attached clitic.
The Personal PronounsEdit
With number and case marked by clitics you may expect there to be only three pronouns. However, there are several more than this depending on how polite or informal the pronoun is and whether it is inclusive or exclusive.
1st Person Singular - ghat /gʱat˧/
1st Person Plural Inclusive (1st person and 2nd person) - nùíñ /nuẽ˩˧/
1st Person Plural Exclusive (1st person and 3rd person) - tíí /tii˥˥/
1st Person Plural All-Inclusive (1st, 2nd and 3rd) - lûr /lur_/
2nd Person Informal - dhâú /dʱau_˦/
2nd Person Formal - sîa /sia_˧/
2nd Person Honorific - tîà /tia_˨/
3rd Person Informal - hàìñ /haẽ˨˩/
3rd Person Formal - t'ùí /t'ui˩˧/
nùíñ, tíí and lûr are inherently plural so there is no need for them to ever be followed by "siñ" although it is common for a poetic form "lûrsiñ" to commonly refer to "nation" or "we people".
Aspect and TenseEdit
The verb is marked for tense and aspect bt not for person, number, mood, voice, etc. There are four aspects and two tenses marked by clitics in a totol of seven clitics (the present tense not being explicitly marked).
mîi - This marks the present tense imperfect. It is used with dynamic verbs to mark continuity
thûr - This marks the past tense imperfect.
ngâu - Present tense continuous. Like mîi it marks continuity but is used with stative verbs instead.
khâl - Past tense continuous.
îm - Simple past tense. This marks the simple past tense of a verb.
ûì - Present perfective. This shows that the action was completed but it is also a habitual action.
lâár - Past perfective. This shows that the action was completed and there is a chance it may never happen again and also that it was not a habitual action.
Mood and VoiceEdit
Mood and voice are not marked on the verb itself so they must be marked elsewhere using either particles or word order. The passive voice, for example, requires a rearranging of the sentence as well as the use of a clitic. The object and subject remain in the same places and the former object takes the clitic "hûá" essentially meaning "by".
Using this contruction, the passive voice does not exist for intransitive verbs so a sentence like "I was loved by her" is acceptable but "I was loved" with using "hûá" only. The passive voice of intransitive verbs or verbs with no patient (as in "I was given a book") is instead marked by a stand alone particle directly after the noun which is "húà". So "I VERB" will be "ghat VERB", "I love him" will be "ghat VERB hàìñ", "I am VERBed by him" would be "ghat VERB hàìñ-hûá" while "I was VERBed" would be "ghat VERB húà".