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Senzengish
Sensohnger
Type
Agglutinative
Alignment
Ergative
Head direction
left
Tonal
No
Declensions
Yes
Conjugations
Yes
Genders
No
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect



General InformationEdit

Senzengish (natively Daylos Esensohnger or Sensohnger /sénsəŋ̊əɾ̥/) is a language spoken by the conquering people of a gigantic religious empire on the moon Chesnon. The intelligent species native to the moon are also called Chesnon in English.

PhonologyEdit

ConsonantsEdit

bilabial alveolar palatal velar
nasal m̥ m n̥ n (ŋ̊) ŋ
stop p b b̤ t d d̤ k g g̤
fricative s (z) x
approximant l̥ l j w w̤
flap ɾ̥ ɾ
  • /ŋ̊/ is not a separate phoneme in all but the carefullest of speech.
  • A preceding consonant (except for /s/ and /ɾ/) causes /j/ to match in manner of articulation and to be coarticulated with it. ex. Hratjék /ɾ̥ɐtjék/ [ɾ̥ɐdˈɟek] "Rachek province"
  • Syllable-initial /s/ matches the voicing of a preceding consonant. ex. Sensohnger /sénsəŋ̊əɾ̥/ [ˈseˑnzŋ̩ŋɹ̩ɾ̥]

VowelsEdit

Front Central Back
High i ɪ̈ u
Mid e ə o
Low ɐ ɑ
  • The central vowels are so-called reduced vowels. They can only appear in unstressed syllables and "full" vowels tend not to appear in unstressed syllables except in compound words (such as numbers like dàswunáolu /dɑswɪ̈nɑ́əlɪ̈/ "seven dozen") and in some affixes (such as kò-, the abessive case marker, in kòsiwhélma /kosɪ̈wʰélmɐ/).
  • The correspondance between full and reduced vowel is not always clear and depends on the speaker or dialect.
  • The reduced vowels merge into [m̩] before /m/ and /m̥/, [n̩] before /n/ and /n̥/, [ŋ̩] before /ŋ/ and /ŋ̊/, [l̩] before /l/ and /l̥/, [ɪ] before /j/, [ʊ] before /w/ and /wʰ/, and [ɹ̩] before /ɾ/ and /ɾ̥/. ex. ambher /ɑ́mbʰəɾ̥/ [ˈʔɑˑm̤b̤ɹ̩ɾ̥] "cold"

PhonotacticsEdit

(C)V(m, n, ŋ, p, bʰ, t, dʰ, k, gʰ, s, l, j, w, ɾ)

  • Syllable-final consonants match a following consonant in voicing. ex. rasgho [ˈɾɑˑz̤g̤ə] "the ground" vs. paldin [ˈpɑˑldn̩n̥] "a house"
  • Word-final consonants are voiceless except for semivowels. ex. moar /móɐɾ̥/ "the idiot"
  • Syllable-final breathy-voiced consonants introduce breathy-voice on the preceding vowel or vowel cluster. ex. duwégh /dɪ̈wégʰ/ [dʊˈwe̤ˑg̤] "the emperor"
  • An epenthetic glottal stop is appended onto the beginning of a full vowel if the full vowel begins a word or is directly after a vowel. ex. Ungwadh /úŋwɐdʰ/ [ˈʔuˑŋgwɐ̤d̤] "(a name)", kòajsin /koɑ́jsɪ̈n̥/ [koˈʔɑˑjzn̩n̥] "spineless"
  • An epenthetic homorganic voiced stop is inserted between a nasal and approximants or flaps. ex. Henras /xénɾɐs/ [ˈxeˑndɾɐs] "(a name)"

StressEdit

Stress is typically placed on the first syllable of the root, but it occasionally occurs elsewhere. Stressed vowels are longer than unstressed vowels.

OrthographyEdit

RomanizationEdit

  • The following consonants are written identically to their IPA symbols: m, n, p, b, t, d, k, g, s, l, j, and w.
  • /ŋ/ is written ng, /x/ is written h, and /ɾ/ is written r.
  • Voiceless nasals, approximant, and flap are written with a preceding h: hm, hn, hng, hl, and hr. In the syllable coda, they are written as voiced, without the h.
  • Murmured consonants are represented by a following h: bh, dh, gh, and wh.
  • In the syllable coda, the non-murmured stops are written according to etymology, despite the fact that they neutralize in that position.
  • Full vowels are a, e, i, o, and u. Reduced vowels /ɪ̈/, /ə/, and /ɐ/ are written i or u, e or o, and a respectively.
  • Stress is marked on polysyllabic words with an acute accent if it is not on the first syllable of the root and unstressed full vowels are marked with a grave accent.

NounsEdit

Nouns decline according to case and definiteness. Case is shown by prefixes and definiteness is shown by irregular suffixes or consonant change.

CaseEdit

case prefix example meaning
Absolutive 0- paldin a house
Ergative e(h)-1 epaldin a house
Instrumental ung-2 umpaldin using a house
Genitive è(r)-1,3 èpaldin of/from a house, a house's
Adessive raw- rawpaldin at/on a house
Allative il- ilpaldin onto a house
Inessive ba- bapaldin in a house
Illative ilu(w)-1 ilupaldin into a house
Intrative-Comitative sen-2 sempaldin between/among/with a house
Abessive kò- kòpaldin without a house, homeless
Adverbial-Temporal ghaj- ghajpaldin as a house, at a house's time
Equative hno- hnopaldin like a house
  1. The ergative, genitive, and illative prefixes lose their final consonant before another consonant.
  2. The instrumental and intrative-comitative prefixes final nasals merge in place of articulation with a following consonant.
  3. The genitive and abessive prefixes are the only ones with full vowels.

DefinitenessEdit

Indefiniteness is signified by -(s)in, and definiteness is signified by -o/a, -r/s, -adh, or no suffix at all. The definite is the dictionary form.

def ndef Example
-a -in palda paldin "house"
-o rasgho rasghin "ground"
-adh jukadh jukin "meeting"
-C1 lisal lisalin "time"
-r sin moar moasin "idiot"
-s daylos daylosin "language"
  1. Any coda nasal, stop, or approximant.

PronounsEdit

Personal pronouns Edit

sg du pl
1 ra perá bhot
2 ing peíng hraon
3 at peát daj

Demonstrative pronouns Edit

proximal hmaruj
distal bidbuj

Relative pronouns Edit

met

DeterminersEdit

Articles, demonstratives, quantifiers, possessives, numerals decline according to number (sg, du, pl) and appear after the noun.

Demonstrative determinersEdit

sg du pl
proximal hmas hmaros hmaru
distal bid bidbos bidbu

QuantifiersEdit

PossessivesEdit

sg du pl
1s re ros ru
1d peré perós perú
1p bhot bhotos bhotu
2s ing ingos ingu
2d peíng peíngos peíngu
2p hrae hraos hrau
3s áe áos áu
3d peát peátos peátu
3p daj dajos daju

ex. Palda peát uhláhijga lor. "Those two's house is beautiful."

NumeralsEdit

No. 12+No. No.*12
0 rewbi naol rewbi
1 pe pena naol
2 pos daswos naolos
3 sir sirna sìrnáolu
4 daw jobhos dàwnáolu
5 ghime ghimena ghìmnáolu
6 insi insina ìnsináolu
7 daswu daswuna dàswunáolu
8 jobh jobhna jòbhnáolu
9 belól belólna belòlnáolu
10 wili wilina wìlnáolu
11 gulép gulépna gulèpnáolu
12 naol naolos nàolnáolu

AdjectivesEdit

Undeclined, prefix a /ɐ/ for the adjacent adjective (written separate), between noun and determiner.

VerbsEdit

Verbs are conjugated according to aspect, voice, tense, and polarity.

Affix orderEdit

aspect-stem-voice-tense-polarity

Aspect Stem Voice Tense Polarity
ot- arew -or- -um -sebh
Otareworumsebh. "It was not said"

At nasemrin a ten lorumsebh met bajukadh otareworumsebh. "It wasn't said at the meeting that he wasn't a good leader."

Aspect Edit

Verbs typically have an inherent verbal aspect of either perfective or imperfective. There are several prefixes to turn verbs perfective (ot-) or imperfective (pi-, de-), some of which have distinct derivational meaning. For example, perfective rek- signifies the end of events (rekhidh "stop eating"), and imperfective so- signifies the beginning of actions (sohidh "be starting to eat").

Voice Edit

There are many grammatical voices in Senzengish.

  • Active: no suffix
  • Passive: suffix -or- (hidhor "be eaten")
  • Middle: the middle voice is principally used to indicate reciprocality and reflexivity. The suffix is -une- (rasghune "knock each other down").
  • Causative: the causative affix is -wha-, which can be a prefix or suffix (so "feed" can be translated as hidhwha or whahidh) always adjacent to the stem. It can be combined with the passive and middle voices.

Applicatives Edit

Any verb can take these voice suffixes, promoting an oblique argument to the absolutive case, and demoting the original absolutive to the ergative case.

Applicative suffix
Instrumental -ung /ɪ̈ŋ/
Genitive -rè /ɾe/
Locative -ba /bɐ/
Lative -iluw /ɪ̈lɪ̈w/
Intrative-Comitative -sen /sən/
Abessive -kò /ko/
Adverbial-Temporal -ghaj /g̤ɐj/
Equative -hno /n̥ə/
  • Ehat moasin dehidhhno. "He eats like an idiot."
  • Era lisal bid wesghajum, ngetjupsih. "I left at that time, disgusted."

Tense Edit

Past -(u)m, Future -(i)s

NegationEdit

Verbs are negated with an invariant suffix -sebh which goes after any other suffix.

Examples Edit

Regular verbs Edit

hidh "eat" (perf), dehidh "be eating" (imperf)

active passive middle
present pos hidh hidhor hidhune
neg hidhsebh hidhorsebh hidhunesebh
past pos hidhum hidhorum hidhunem
neg hidhumsebh hidhorumsebh hidhunemsebh
future pos hidhis hidhoris hidhunes
neg hidhissebh hidhorissebh hidhunessebh

arew "speak" (imperf), otarew "say" (perf)

active passive middle
present pos arew arewor arewune
neg arewsebh areworsebh arewunesebh
past pos arewum areworum arewunem
neg arewumsebh areworumsebh arewunemsebh
future pos arewis areworis arewunes
neg arewissebh areworissebh arewunessebh

Irregular verbs Edit

Lor "be" is irregular in that it has no active forms. The passive forms behave as active. It is also irregular in that the usually reduced vowels of passive, middle, and vowel-initial applicative voice suffixes are stressed, so they become full vowels. Consonant-initial applicative voice suffixes are preceded by a stressed e, ex. Era dhenso bid lerè. "I am from that place."

active/passive middle
present pos lor lune
neg lorsebh lunesebh
past pos lorum lunem
neg lorumsebh lunemsebh
future pos loris lunes
neg lorissebh lunessebh

Wes "go" (perf) is irregular due to its multiple roots. In the present active, all applicatives, and causative (only when the causative affix is placed after the root) the root is wes-. In the passive and middle voices the root is we-. In the past active and future active the root is waj-. The verb's imperfective counterpart piden is regular.

active passive middle
present pos wes weor weune
neg wessebh weorsebh weunesebh
past pos wajum weorum weunem
neg wajumsebh weorumsebh weunemsebh
future pos wajis weoris weunes
neg wajissebh weorissebh weunessebh

Syntax Edit

Overall word order Edit

Subject-Object-Obliques-Verb-Abverbs

Noun phrases Edit

Noun-Adjectives-Determiner

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