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Prûltu was spoken 3700 years ago by those who migrated north from the Great River. Prûltu means "northern", which is thus a logical name for the language.
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
One of the languages of a fictious universe. Not related to any real-life language, however its creation was and is somewhat influenced by at least a dozen languages, most notably Russian, English, Japanese and Arabic.
Classification and DialectsEdit
The variation of Prûltu described here is that of standard Prûltu from about 3700 years ago, or ca. 3000 years BFB (Before the Foundation of Bholtikai). A minority at the time also spoke a divergent Northwestern dialect. This dialect had several distinguishing features, such as a larger number of cases, an additional trilled consonant jr (syllabic r), and the hyperhonorific prefix sr-.
Prûltu evolved into the Northern family of languages, which includes the Bholtaziri language — the official language of the Triunite Empire that currently rules a third of the planet.
As for the classification of Prûltu, it belonged to the "d-languages", that is, languages descended from Qormdur, where the adjective suffix began with d (-tu comes from -dur), while in r-languages the suffix had become contracted to -r and n-languages preserved the ancestral n-sound in -tsen. The d-languages were originally spoken in the mountains west of the Great River. All these three language groups originate from the Third Migration, where they split off from the planet's original language.
|Nasal||n [n̪]||nr [r̃]
|Plosive||t [t̪]7||t [ʔ]7|
|Fricative||p [ɸ]||s [s̪]
|s [s̺]5||h [χ]|
|Approximant||w [ʋ]||j [j]|
|Trill||pr [ʙ]||þr [θr]||r [r]
|hr [ʜ]||tr [ʢ]|
|Flap or tap||l [ɾ]6|
|Lateral flap||l [ɺ]6|
|High||û [ʉ:]||u [u̟]3
|u [u]1û [ɯ:]1|
|High-mid||ê [e]1||o [o]4|
|Mid||ê [ə]||o [o̞]1|
|Low-mid||e [ɛ]2||o [ɔ]|
1 stressed allophones (if a letter lacks such an allophone, it is pronounced equally regardless of stress)
2 do not occur in native roots (occur in affixes and borrowed words)
3 allophone of [u] when followed by a vowel
4 allophone of stressed [o̞] after [r]. [r] in this case becomes labialised [rw].
5 word-final allophone of [s̪]
6. in free variation, similar to Japanese /r/.
7. in free variation
One of the five base vowels of Prûltu is a diphtong: ô is pronounced [ɒw] normally or [ɒu̯] when stressed. The verbal simulfixes ending in -j are pronounced as vowels followed by the consonant [j], with the exception of ej, which is pronounced as the diphtong [ei̯]. Also, stressed óh is diphtongised by some speakers as [ʌɘ].
The only doubled consonant that occcurs within native roots in prûltu is is /l/. In addition, all non-rhotic consonants and r can be doubled either across morpheme boundaries or in borrowed words.
The epinthetic consonant /w/ is not an independent phoneme. It is added automatically after every two vowels in what would otherwise be clusters with more than two vowels in a row, as well as after otherwise word-final /o/. Thus, neither three vowel sounds in a row nor a word-final o are possible in prûltu.
Clusters of more than two consonants are possible, but do not occur very often. A rhotic consonant may be next to a non-rhotic one, or two non-rhotics in a row; however, Prûltu does not allow for two or more consecutive rhotic consonants.
The predominant syllable structures are V, CV, CVC and CVCC; although others also occur.
The system used in Prûltu is mostly alphabetic. In addition, logograms are used for certain affixes. In verbs, diacritics are placed above the verbal simulfix - the first vowel - and the verb is written as the noun or adjective it is derived from rather than the actual phonetical spelling. The letters are runic in appearance and typically written in a condensed, intertwining style somewhat similar to the Cyrillic vyaz'. The direction of reading/writing is right to left, similar to Arabic. Words are separated by lines, which may be vertical | or diagonal / or \ based purely on the writer's choice. In addition, if a phrase does not contain a word in the dative-absolutive case, two such lines are written between the verb and object. Complete phrases are bound by the symbol .◊ 1 esarhp ◊ 2 esarhp ◊ :os ekil sedis htob no ◊
Individual consonants are represented by fourteen letters organised in seven pairs, with one consonant in each pair being trilled and the other not. Exceptions are the epinthetic consonant w [ʋ], which is not reflected in writing, and the consonant j [j], which does not occur in roots. J is therefore only written logographically as part of several affixes, or is indicated as part of the infinitive verbal simulfix. Below is a simplified transliteration, followed by IPA and the Prûltu symbol in a slightly distorted keyboard form.
t [t̪~ʔ] ౽ — tr [ʢ] ౾
s [s̪~s̺] < — sr [r̥] «
þ [θ] + — þr [θr] ×
p [ɸ] T — pr [ʙ] ʅ
n [n̪~n̥] = — nr [r̃] ʍ
l [ɺ~ɾ] ட — r [r] ᎘
h [χ] ⴳ — hr [ʜ] ⴴ
The base vowels are represented by five letters (the first allophone in each case corresponds to the unstressed vowel, and the second to the stressed vowel). The vowels of the dative-absolutive case ending -ô and accusative case ending -ê are not recorded in writing, but rather inferred by word order. The base vowels can be seen below with transcription, IPA and symbol for each.
u [ʊ~u] Δ
û [ʉ:~ɯ:] ٢
o [ɔ~o̞] ѵ
ô [ɒw~ɒu̯] ]•
ê [ə~e] •
The descriptor suffix (aka genitive ending) -tu is indicated by a small horizontal dash on the descriptor side of the word boundary, so that:
The tense infix symbols ∴-e, ∵ -o,ᆢ -je and : -jo are placed above the second vowel (after which the infix is pronounced in speech).
For explanation of verbal simulfixes and use of corresponding diacritics, see Grammar:Puuneþ section below.
All other affixes are either written phonetically, or logographically prior to the first letter to the word (this depends on the specific affix, so the logographic affixes have to be memorised; the number of common logograms is relatively low) . If there is more than one word-initial logogram in a word, these are ordered in the order that they occur in the word. Note that these logograms are ALWAYS written before alphabetic letters, regardless of where they occur in the word. For example (remember, right to left reading direction):
Spells out /tor-eþ/ (meaning cleanliness, purity or innocence) with the -eth suffix (a "nounifying" suffix similar to English -ness), despite occuring at the end of the word, being represented by the word-initial logogram ⱡ, followed by three alphabetic letters representing -tor- (clean, pure, innocent), with both being enclosed by the punctuation mark . ◊
The most common word-initial logograms, in addition to ⱡ, are the suffixes -os ∇, -oj ᛎ, and -s ⵆ, as well as the prefixes s- ꗺ and o- п.
Parts of speech in Prûltu are not the same as in English, therefore a few Prûltu terms will be used to explain the concept. The words "descriptor" and "described" are used above when discussing the suffix -tu. This is because these are the two of the three fundamental parts of speech in Prûltu. The "described" can also be called the "base", it is a broad category including nouns, verbs and pronouns. This is because the verb-noun boundary in Prûltu is created through inflection with simulfixes and thus nouns and verbs are treated as forms of one lexical class. The Prûltu term for the base is puuneþ, lit. "glow", because light may appear either as a fixed entity or a moving process. These base words are expanded upon by the adjective-adverb category, the husrûn, lit. description. Finally, the sentence is held together by various clitics, affixes, transition words and conjunctions. These are called tejsrûlprêeþ, or "that which creates order". Below is a description of the various types of words and their different patterns of inflection.
As mentioned above, this category refers to noun-verbs. By extension, it also refers to some pronouns and to pronominal numbers.
Any puuneþ, including pronouns and numerals, can be declined / conjugated by the following paradigm: noun - inchoative verb - generic or imperfective verb - terminative or perfective verb. This is done with a simulfix following the first root vowel of the noun in question. Verbs without any other inflection are in the present-past tense (no grammatical distinction is made between past and present tense). For example, þrôn (speech, language) - þroun (to start speaking, to have started speaking) - þroujn (to speak, to be speaking, etc.) - þrouhn (to have spoken, to stop speaking, etc.).
The specific form of the simulfixes and the root vowel depend not only on verbal aspect but also on the root vowel in question (as given in the original noun form), as shown below.
nominal - inchoative - verbal - terminative
u - ú - uj - uh
û - uu - új - úh
ô - ou - ouj - ouh
o - ó - oj - oh
ê - e - ej -eh
These simulfixes are reflected in writing with a dicritic corresponding to the verbal aspect above the nominal-form vowel. The diacritic for the inchoative is ╰ ; for the generic verbal it is ╸ ; for the terminative it is ╯. The vowel itself is written the same across the four declensions; the only difference in writing is the diacritic (or lack thereof). However, due to unicode limitations, in keyboard form as used here the vowels and diacritics take on various forms based on character availability.
Δ - ἡ - δ - ἠ
ﭑ - ح - ۓ - ٢
]• - כֿ - •ڑ• - Յ•
ѵ - ὑ - ῡ - ὐ
• - ὁ - ō - ơ
For example, the abovementioned four forms of þrôn are written in Prûltu as follows:
The infixes ∴ -e, ∵ -o,ᆢ -je and : -jo , placed on the second vowel (or on the first where only one is present) of a verb, are used to change tense and mood. In particular, -e and -o mark the future tense, with the former indicating the potential mood and the latter the dubitative mood. The suffixes -je and -jo represent action which takes place both in the past/ present and in the future; they also represent the potential and dubitative moods respectively.
The potential mood expresses that an event is probable. When a verb in the potential is reduplicated, it expresses certainty rather than probability of the verb, and can be used for the imperative mood. The dubitative mood expresses doubt, and is thus the opposite of the potential mood; it can also be used to express the subjunctive and interrogative moods.
For example: þrouejn (will probably be speaking) - þrouojn (may or may not speak in the future) - þroujojn (has been speaking and probably will be speaking) - þroujejn (is speaking and may or may not be speaking in the future) - þrouejn þrouejn (will certainly speak; either as imperative or as a statement of fact); þrouehn (will probably speak) - þrouohn (may or may not speak in the future) - þroujehn (is speaking and probably willl finish speaking) - þroujohn (is speaking and may or may not finish speaking in the future) ; þrouen þrouen (will certainly start speaking); as well as other combinations.
The North Wind and the Sun translated to Prûltu:
Prûltu Shênrê Spor rujêos nûê oêhrut prúntþrôns. Trópê sojlhoêwô ôtlêuwêtu prûltooj. Snû prujntoj nuô oêhrut hronojê ejhru sojlhoê hróons nut ôtê. Pþêuþruê oêhrut henrê Shênrêô Prûltu. Ohejnrê srûþoên sojlhoê hrónojs ôtê nut. Prûltu Shênrê nþþêhst urunojtu. Þrûêtor prûltojtu puun Sporô. Sojlhoê lejuêwoj uruntu ôtê nut. Trópês Prûltu Shênrêô hronojê êhruojtu prúntoj Sporô oêhrut.