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Zi Zâra

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General InformationEdit

Zâra is a language that employs a trigger system.

Alphabet and PronunciationEdit

VowelsEdit

Letter Pronunciation
o [o:]
a [a]
u [u]
i [i]
e [e]

A vowel gets stretched by marking it with a ^-sign.

Silent VowelsEdit

Many words in Zâra include silent vowels, that are not spoken under certain conditions.

Usually, i is silent if it is the last sound of a word.

Silent vowels are only pronounced when a group 2 consonant follows

or when it avoids two identical consonants to follow one another.

Group 1
o
a
u
i
e
z
m
n
Group 2
t
r
d
p
c
k
s

Silent vowels are indicated by brackets like so k(i), the i being silent.

ConsonantsEdit

Letter Pronunciation
m [m]
t [t]
z [ʒ]
r [r] (like in spanish)
n [n]
d [d]
p [p]
c [dʒ]
k [k]
s [s]

If a consonant is doubled, it is pronounced like in Italian or Japanese.

Phonological constraintsEdit

Zâra basically allows syllables formed by a consonant, (atleast) a vowel (or multiple vowels), and [n] or [m] which means a syllable has the form (C)V(V)(n)/(m).

The group 1 consonant z can be inserted (almost) everywhere.

So a syllable can actually look like this: (z)(C)(z)V(z)/(n)/(m)(z).

This is not too common, though.

Also note that 3 consonants may never follow one another.

(all letters in brackets are optional)

StressEdit

Stress in Zâra is (with few exceptions) completely regular.

Every root word and unmodified conjugated verb (See Verb Conjugation) has penultimate stress.

Every sentence has stress on the stressed syllable of the conjugated verb and on the stressed syllable of the word in the trigger position.

Example:

In the sentence "Cinko tak o-dagajro n si." the stress is located as follows (bold):

  • Cinko tak o-dagajro n si.

GrammarEdit

General Sentence OrderEdit

The general sentence order is VSO.

Verbal AffixesEdit

This is a somewhat unique concept that is not found in too many languages.

Instead of having cases for the accusative and dative (and some other cases) verbal affixes are used.

These are prefixes that indicate what kind of target the verb they modifiy has and in what way the verb is aimed at the target.

The target itself stands after the copula.

There are 6 verbal affixes.

Verbal Affix Prefix
Patientative o
Benefactive za
Agentative
"... becomes ..."
Instructive
Causal

For examples see the Examples Section.

CasesEdit

Zâra (currently) uses 8 cases.

Case Suffix
Genitive ma
Ablative _e
Locative co
Lative ci
Temporal
Causal
Semblative
Objective do
Instrumental

They can also be found under Affixes and Adpositions together with all the other particles.

All case markers are suffixes.

For examples see the Examples Section.

NounsEdit

NumberEdit

Nouns do not change in either form singular or plural.

Number is expressed with the help of articles.

A noun in its normal form can stand for both singular and plural.

ArticlesEdit

Singular Plural
Indefinitive - na
Definitive z(i) na z(i)

Articles precede the noun.

For examples see the Examples Section.

Universal ObjectEdit

The word da is used whenever there is no other object (or subject) in the sentence.

It can also be used in relative sentences.

For examples see the Examples.

Symbol is: UO

AdjectivesEdit

Adjectives succeed the word they are modifying.

The respective adjective gets the ADJ-Suffix ja (see Affixes and Adpositions).

Example:

  • A red house
zira  iruja  
house red ADJ

Adjectives can be modified by tense prefixes.

See Tenses.

VerbsEdit

Verbs always end in either a or o.

ConjugationEdit

Conjugation is extemely simple because every grammatical person is treated the same.

A verb is either conjugated or in its infinitive form.

To conjugate a verb add j to the root, then add the subject pronoun.

The resulting cluster is called the unmodified conjugated verb(UCV).

Example:

  • I eat. (eat = mo; I = ro)
  1. add j
  2. add ro

Result: mojro


If the subject is not a personal pronoun, further changes have to be made.

The above process still applies, but the subject has to be added as well.

Example:

  • Mother eats. (eat = mo; mother = mia; 3.PS = da)
  1. add j
  2. add da
  3. add mia

Result: mojda mia

For more examples see the Examples Section.

CopulaEdit

Zâra uses a copula which is the word (u)n(i) (note the silent vowels).

Like every other verb it never changes no matter which position it is in.

Symbol is: COP

TenseEdit

There are 3 tenses:

  • Past
  • Non-past
  • Explicit Future

Each tense uses a different particle.

PastEdit

Symbol is: PAST

The past tense particle is tak(i).

It is treated like a preposition in that it precedes whatever it shall change to past tense.

In Zâra every word class can be affected by tense particles.

Note that the copula must remain unchanged though.

For examples see the Examples Section.

Non-PastEdit

For the non-past tense no changes have to be made.

Non-past is the default tense.

Unless there is no other tense particle in the sentence, tense is non-past.

The non-past is used for both the present tense and the future tense.

Which of them is meant must be clear from the context.

Explicit FutureEdit

Symbol is: FUT

The explicit future tense particle is càzak(i).

The explicit future tense is only used when the use of the non-past would be ambiguous.

Obviously, it changes anything it precedes to future tense.

For examples see the Examples Section.

NegationEdit

In Zâra negation is done by using a special verb that meants "to not".

This negative verb can be conjugated like any other verb and it can even be the only verb in the sentence.

The negative verb is ta.

This verb comes after the root word.

For examples see the Examples Section.

Ta can also mean "no".

Reflexive VerbsEdit

In general their are no verbs that are either direct or indirect, but usually a verb can assume either role.

Every verb can be used as a direct verb or reflexive verb by just using the appropriate verbal affix.

For examples see the Examples Section.

Indirect ObjectEdit

Usually an indirect object is marked by do.

There are exceptions, though, like the verb to give.

Exception verbs are marked with a * in the vocabulary list.

For explanations see the Exceptions Section.

MovementEdit

Zâra distinguishes between still and moving.

These to types can refer to any word class.

Usually, unless the word itself has something to do with movement, a word is considered still.

Type Prefix
Still
Moving du

For examples see the Examples Section.

MoodEdit

Mood is expressed using verbs.

Every mood verb is a root verb meaning it is always the last of multiple verbs.

There is a total of (currently) 5 moods.

Mood Verb
Voluntative kizka
Potential
Objective
Necessitative
Cohortative

For examples see the Examples Section.

Asking QuestionsEdit

The question particle is ko.

Symbol is: INT

It can be used in different ways.

Basically, if it precedes a noun, it asks for a specification as in "what(kind of) book".

The same goes for using it in front of case particles, though it is more versatile in such a position.

Examples:

What book
ko koipa

ko  koipa
INT book
Where
Ko co

ko  co
INT LOC

For more examples see the Examples Section.

Questions as SentencesEdit

Turning a statement into a question is as simple as adding [...] to the end of a sentence.

Symbol is: QUE

For examples see the Examples Section.

Yes and NoEdit

Yes = ?

No = ta

PronounsEdit

Personal PronounsEdit

Note: Zâra is a pro-drop language.

Person Singular Plural
1. ro naro
2. si nasi
3. da na

Demonstrative PronounsEdit

Indefinite Definite
Singular
Plural

Relative PronounsEdit

There are two relative pronouns.

One is for inanimate things, the other for animate/living things.

Animate Inanimate
t(i) m(i)

For examples see the Examples Section.

Relative ClausesEdit

Relative clauses work like adjectives.

The only difference is that they consist of multiple words instead of just one.

To ensure comprehension an additional particle is used in addition to the adjective marker ja.

That additional particle is either t(i) or m(i) respectively as explained in the above table.

The formula looks as follows:

NOUN - relative particle - relative clause - adjective marker

i.e.:

NOUN t(i)/m(i) CLAUSE ja

For examples see the Examples Section.

CountingEdit

Number
1 zada kp
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Number
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Number
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Number
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000

(The arabic numbers are also used for written text in Zâra script.)

For examples see the Examples Section.

InversionEdit

Inversion is what makes Zâra extremely flexible in terms of word order.

Many adverbs have their origin in inversion.

Inversion utilizes a special particle jaj.

Symbol is: INV

[...]

What jaj does is that it allows certain parts of a sentence to be moved to another place.

[...]

For more examples see the Examples Section.

ExceptionsEdit

The verb <to give>Edit

Unlike other indirect verbs, this verb is treated like a direct verb.

See the sentence

Karaz o-dagajro n si .

which means "I give you the book ".

Karaz ("Book") would usually be the direct object, while si ("you") would be the indirect object.

This verb is different.

Book is used as the attribute of the verb to give .

At the same time the indirect object becomes the direct object.

The verb <to become>Edit

Cazakipa

Affixes and AdpositionsEdit

Affix or Adposition Use Position Symbol Category
o Patientative Prefix PT Verbal Affix
na Following word becomes plural Preposition PLU Modifier
j Equivalent to the English by agent Preposition BY Case
co Location Suffix LOC Case
ja Adjective Suffix ADJ Conjunction
ma Genitive Suffix GEN Case
je And-Conjunction, Sociative Suffix AND Conjunction
tje Or-Conjunction Suffix OR Conjunction
za Benefactive Prefix BEN Verbal Affix
Instrumental Suffix INST Case
Necessitative Root Verb NEC Mood
Probabilitative, Potential Root Verb POT Mood
Conditional Suffix CON
Objective Root Verb OBJ Mood
Voluntative Root Verb VOL Mood
tak(i) Past Tense Preposition PAST Tense
cazak(i) Explicit Future Tense Preposition FUT Tense
Direction Suffix DIR Case
Ablative Suffix ABL Case
(j)an Suffix
"... is turned into" Prefix Verbal affix
Agentive Prefix AGT Verbal Affix
Still Prefix STL Movement modifier
Moving Prefix MOV Movement modifier
pa Turns word into verb Suffix VRB Modifier

For examples for each of these see the Examples Section.

ExamplesEdit

Sentences without objectEdit
I eat.
O-mojro n da.

o-mojro     n   da
PT eat 1.PS COP UO
오먜로ㄴ카.
Sentences with both subject and objectEdit
I eat a bread.
O-mojro n kida.

o-mojro     n   kida
PT eat 1.PS COP bread
Indirect ObjectEdit
I gave you an apple.
Cinko tak o-dagajro n si.

cinko tak  o-dagajro    n   si.
apple PAST PT give 1.PS COP 2.PS
A = BEdit
Trees are important.
Târa n poitu.

târa      n   poitu
important COP tree
I love children.  
Mza n karu.  
mza      n   karu  
loveable COP child
Past TenseEdit
The house was red.
Tak iru n zi zira.

tak  iru n   zi  zira
PAST red COP ART house
Explicit Future TenseEdit
I will go.
Cazaki zojro.

cazaki zojro
FUT    go 1.PS
LocationEdit
You are in a house.
Ziraco n si.

ziraco    n   si
house LOC COP 2.PS
I will see you at the tree.  
Cazak o-kitajro poituco n si. 
 
Cazak o-kitajro   poituco   n   si  
FUT   PT see 1.PS tree LOC  COP 2.PS
DirectionEdit
I went to the tree.
Taki zojro ni z poituci.

taki zojro   ni  z   poituci
PAST go 1.PS COP ART tree DIR
PosessionEdit
I am in my house.
Te ziraco ni ro.

te  ziraco    ni  ro
POS house LOC COP 1.PS
I do not want to give you your book.
Daga kizka o-tajro sido n si karazma.

Daga kizka o-tajro     sido     n   si   karazma
give want  PT not 1.PS 2.PS IND COP 2.PS book GEN
Relative ClauseEdit
I eat the bread that fell down.
O-mojro n z kida mi cirenaz paira ja.

o-mojro     n   z   kida  mi  cirenaz  paira ja
PT eat 1.PS COP ART bread REL down DIR fall  ADJ
The mother who lives in the house will destroy the tree.
Cazak o-kuratajda mia ti zi zira piu ja n zi poitu.

cazak o-kuratajda   mia    ti  zi  zira  piu  ja  n   zi  poitu
FUT   PT destroy UO mother REL ART house live ART COP ART tree
Pronoun-droppingEdit
I eat a bread.
O-moj kida.

o-moj  kida
PT eat bread
Verb NegationEdit
I will not give you the apple.
Zi cinko daga cazak o-tajro n si.

zi  cinko daga cazak o-tajro     n   si
ART apple give FUT   PT not 1.PS COP 2.PS
Adjective NegationEdit
The apple is not red.
Iru ta n zi cinko.

iru ta  n   zi  cinko
red not COP ART apple
Noun NegationEdit
This is not a house.
Zi da taj n zira.

zi   da taj n   zira
this UO not COP house
BenefactiveEdit
I bought bread in a shop for you.
Kida tak za-nucajro mikaco n si.

kida  tak  za-nucajro   mikaco   n   si
bread PAST BEN buy 1.PS shop LOC COP 2.PS
Mood ExamplesEdit
I want to leave.
Zudo kizkajro.

zudo  kizkajro
leave want  1.PS
I want to leave this place.
Zudo o-kizkajro n zi soi.

zudo  o-kizkajro   n   zi  soi
leave PT want 1.PS COP ART place
I don't want to leave this place.
Zudo kizka o-tajro n zi soi.

zudo  kizka o-tajro     n   zi  soi
leave want  PT not 1.PS COP ART place
I didn't want to leave this place.
Zudo kizka tak o-tajro n zi soi.

zudo  kizka tak  o-tajro     n   zi  soi
leave want  PAST PT not 1.PS COP ART place
QuestionsEdit
Are you at home?
Te ziraco n si ku.

te  ziraco    n   si   ku
POS house LOC COP 2.PS QUE
Inversion ExamplesEdit
Random ExamplesEdit
Someone who lives in distractions becomes foreign to himself.
Dati kirio motez'je ja n pizam' .

-
-

Useful Sentences and FormulationsEdit

Hello!
.



Goodbye.
.



How are you?
.



When shall we meet?
.

VocabularyEdit

Verbs
English Zâra
eat mo
walk zo
give* daga
destroy kurata
buy nuca
leave zudo
not ta
do pa
Nouns
English Zâra
tree poitu
bread kida
mother mia
child kâru
house zîra
apple cinko
book karaz
place soi
pzoraj honesty
Adjectives
English Zâra
red iru
loveable mza
kai
ziti
Other
English Zâra

WritingEdit

Zâra employs a syllabic writing system in which each syllable is arranged in a square.

The squares run from left to right.

LettersEdit

Group 1 (Initial)
k ZaraK
d ZaraD
t ZaraT
m ZaraM
n ZaraN
z ZaraZ
r ZaraR
p ZaraP
c ZaraC
s ZaraS
Group 2 (Medial)
a ZaraA
o ZaraO
i ZaraI
u ZaraU
e ZaraE
z Z2
Group 3 (Final)
k ZaraK
m ZaraM
n ZaraN
z ZaraZ
p ZaraP
s ZaraS

PlacementEdit

Placement


Example:

Mzankaru

Mza n karu.


Example TextEdit

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.

And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.

And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and
bitumen for mortar. 
 
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for
ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”
 
The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. 
 
And the Lord said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they
will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 
 
Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
 
So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.

Therefore it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord
scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.


--Seladwa 13:20, 24 July 2009 (UTC) Siah Seladwa

This is a work in progress.

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