|Type||Fusional (tending towards Isolating)|
|Head direction||Mixed (mostly Initial)|
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Thurnain [θuɾ.'n̪aɲ] is one of the language-descendants of Classical Teluran. It is partly artificial, created by simplifying an original dialect spoken by the Thurdas for the purpose of being a lingua franca in the region. While there are fewer than sixteen thousand native speakers, the language is still traditionally used as the language of diplomacy and trade in the wider Thurdain region.
Phonology and OrtographyEdit
The phonological system of Thurnain consists of 7 vowels, 2 of which merge with others in most speakers, and 28 consonants, 7 of which merge with others in some speakers. There is little to no allophony, except for the alteration between velars and palatals depending on whether a consonant is before a front or a back vowel, a phonological alteration that is represented in writing despite being predictable.
The vowels of Thurnain are:
The vowels i and y merge into i in most speakers, and so do e and ɜ into e or ɛ, which of the two varies from speaker to speaker. All the vowels are differentiated in writing, as well as in speech in most formal contexts.
The consonants of Thurnain are:
|Obstruent||p, b||t, d||(c, ɟ)||k, g|
|Flat Fricative||f, v||θ, ð||(ç, j)||x, ɣ|
|Sybillant||s, z||ʃ, ʒ||ʂ, ʐ|
|Sonorant||r, l, ɾ||ʎ||ɻ|
Palatal obstruents and flat fricatives are actually alophones of velars in front of front vowels excluding a, but are differentiated in writing. x and ɣ merge with k and g respectively for some speakers whose native language does not contain these sound. The same is true of θ and ð with t and d or s and z respectively. In some speakers ɻ merges with ʐ into either one of the two sounds, and in some ʂ and ʐ merge with ʃ and ʒ respectively, but the two mergers are mutually exclusive, as both mergers would render most speech incomprihensible due to how common the five sounds are.
All dentals are pronounced strongly on the teeth, and not on the alveolar ridge, as in English. The retroflex consonants are pronounced with a slight rounding of the lips and the dental consonants excluding nasals and obstruents with a slight tensing of the lips. Both f and v are pronounced bilabially in front of rounded vowels, though this does not happen in all speakers and in careful speech. The two coronal rhotics, r and ɾ, are differentiated, except by type, by the fact that the r rhotic opens the following vowel slightly if in an open syllable, and the previous if at the end of a closed one. The r rhotic lasts approximatelly four taps. All nasals and sonorants can be syllabic, though ʎ, ɻ and ɲ never are in native words.
The accent is dynamic and predictable. It is on the last syllable of the word if it is closed and on the penultimate if the ultimate is open. If the final syllable consists of a syllabic sonorant or nasal, it is considered closed.
The Thurnain syllable has the following structure: (C)(C)(C)(C)V/R((R)C)(C), where V denotes a vowel, R a sonorant or nasal and C a consonant. While such complex structures are allowed, very few words contain long strings of consonants, though some do (e.g. ghlrraissht ([ɣlraʃʂ(s)t], hatred) and chrrmhrh ([xrm̩ɻ] sensless babble, mumbling, gossip). Series of nonhomorganic sibilants are extremely common, as well as fricative-consonant-sonorant clusters, particularly word initially
The ortography used here is similar to that of English, as the actual Thurnain script is far less descriptive and often draws on Classical Teluran for the written form, rather than the spoken version of Thurnain. Therefore, the spoken and written language differ significantlly both in grammar and in vocabulary. All vowels are written as they are in IPA, aside from ɜ and e which are written e and é respectively. The following table is filled with representations of all Thurnain consonants in the transcribed version used here.
|Obstruent||p, b||t, d||c(i), g(i)||c, g|
|Flat Fricative||f, v||th, dh||ch(i), gh(i)||ch, gh|
|Sybillant||s, z||s(i), z(i)||sh, zh|
|Sonorant||rr, l, r||l(i)||rh|
The (i) symbol indicated that the i is placed after the adjacent symbol when the sound is syllable initial (e.g. niaul [ɲawl]), and before when it is syllable final (e.g. chain [xaɲ]). To avoid confusion, when an i comes before a letter it could modify, but does not and is read, it is written as í (e.g. chaín [xajn]). Syllabic sonorants and nasals are written with an h (e.g. mh [m̩]).
Generally, the neutral word order for Thurnain is VSO, but there are three exsceptions, namely the verb ialmun (to be) which comes between the two elements being joined, or, if only one element is stated, after (e.g. Valthu'n. - I am a student., Meil la valthi. - My sister is a student.) and gramun (to eat) and luémun (to love), for which the neutral word order is OVS, the result of frequent topicalisation of the object in the ancestor language of Teluran and the frequent use of the verbs.
Verbs are followed by all adverbs and adverbial phrases, except by pronouns denoting place of the action, time of the action or the duration of the action, which precede them.
Verbs are separated into three classes depending on which conjugation paradigm they follow: First conjugation, Second conjugation and Irregular verbs. The formation of both synthetic tenses and nonfinite forms is different for each group. There are altogether 12 irregular verbs (fully irregular) and an additional 20 that have some exceptions in the way they conjugate, but are for the most part predictable. All unpredictable paradigms are listed in full on the Thurnain/IrregularVerbs page.
Verb tenses, mood, aspect etc. are mostly expressed through periphrastic constructions, with verbs having only two conjugation paradigms which are expressed synthetically: present continuous and present narrative. Present simple, thus named because it functions similarly to the present simple tense in English, describes a regular or unchanging current state of affairs. Present narrative is a wide, losely temporally grounded form which is used to describe past, present or future events without regard for duration, when other factors are clear from the context, similar to the narrative use of present simple in English ("So, I walk into a bar and I see this guy.").
Present simple is formed by adding present simple endings to the verb stem. Person and number are indicated, as well as gender in third person and second person singular. The gender marked on verbs in third person indicates grammatical gender, whereas on the second person singular it indicates natural gender, therefore mismatched words (e.g. caíldh: trader, m, both when refering to a man and a woman) will be followed by a verb in their grammatical gender (e.g. an gcaíldh roagh: the trader sells, m-m, even when refering to a woman) and in the second person with their natural gender (e.g. i chaíldh, roín: oh trader, you sell, m-f, when refering to a woman). The neutral gender is feminine and is used in questions or when the gender is unclear.
The tense paradigm is demonstrated with the verb charmun, meaning to strike.
Some few verbs take the ending i or í or, less commonly, u where in this paradigm there is no suffix. This is unpredictable and is indicated in the dictionnary with those verbs. There are also some verbs which drop a part of their stem in the dictionnary form (the gerund/supine form) which is visible in their present simple forms (e.g. camur: to know, p.s.IIIsgm: caidhga: he knows). This too is unpredictable and indicated in the dictionnary. There are also several important irregular verbs, the most important being the verb ialmun meaning to be.
The letters in brackets are omitted when adjecent to a vowel. The omission is indicated by an apostrophe (e.g. valthu'n: I'm a student). If two nouns are joined, the verb agrees in gender with the noun that precedes it.
Present narrative is far more complicated and less consistent. There are, broadly speaking, nine types of verbs, each forming their present narrative slightly different. However, generally speaking primary or secondary present narrative suffixes are added to the verb and some vowel alteration or supletive stem change takes place between the third person and the rest of the paradigm and the dual and the rest of the paradigm. Also, irregular verbs make their present narrative entirely unpredictably, but, as there are only a dozen and they are the most commonly used, this is not uncommon. Further problems are caused by the fact that the purpose and use od Present narrative is not well defined and most speakers find it confusing without an auciliary verb, so even in those rare instances where it is to be used, a grammatically redundant auxiliary (usually from another periphrastic tense) is added. Present narrative has for the most part gone out of use and can only be found in fixed expressions (e.g. be lan mua [bɜ lan mwa] lit. you are wanted here meaning come in or welcome, with bea, Present narrative II person plural of ialmun).