Vtayn

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Post by Omzinesý » 20 Oct 2013 17:11

Vtain language

As usual, comments are welcome!

Vtain speakers live in villages in savannah or grass desert. Their main livelihood is herding goat-like animals and horticulture in a small scale. The villages are positioned on oases where gardens can flourish. On the same oases, there also live tree cats that people have somehow symbiotic relationship with.

The etymology of the name Vtain means ‘like a chief’ (chief being vten). It is the “standard” variety of the languages that village chiefs speak in political negotiations. Common people normally just call their language something like our language, and “us” much depends on the context and “our language” can well mean a dialect.

Some typological features:
- Aspirated plosives are not phonemic but interpreted clusters of a plosive and /h/.
- Morphology is both processes (fusional) and clear morphemes (agglutinative).
- Infixes are used.
- Word order is very free and even clause boundaries can be opaque.
- Tripartite alignment
- Language marks morphologically specificity instead of definiteness.


Phonology

This is not the only possible way of describing Vtain phonology. Some sounds that I handle as phonemes might be described as allophones and some sounds that I describe as allophones. The description is not going to be optimal but comprehensible.


Vowels

Ftain has the basic five vowel system of monophtongs
a, e, i, o, u

and six diphthongs
je, wo
ie̯, uo̯
ai, au

Furthermore, there are two reduced vowels that only appear in unstressed initial syllables, and can often be analysed as infixes. ï <ï>, ɐ <ä> They could be analysed as allophones of some vowels but that would be an arbitrary decision.


Consonants

1. p, t̪, t͡s <c>, ʈ <rt>, k
2. b, d̪, d͡z <z>, ɖ <rd>, g
3. m, n̪, ɳ <rn>
4. v, z <s>, ɮ <l>
5. h
6. ɦ <x>
7. l, ɭ <rl>
8. j, w


Phonotaxis

Possible onsets:
- any consonant
- a consonant from the group 4 (assimilates in voiclessness) and a consonant from the groups 1, 2 or 3
- a consonant from the groups 1 or 2 (assimilates in voiclessness) and a consonant from the group 5 .i.e. /h/
- a consonant from the groups 1 or 2 and a consonant from the group 7
- a consonant from the group 4 (assimilates in voiclessness) and a consonant from the groups 1, 2 or 3 and consonant from the group 5
- a consonant from the group 4 (assimilates in voiclessness) and a consonant from the groups 1, 2 or 3 from the group 7
- Phonologically all monophthongs but /a/ can begin a word but phonologically they always take a glide before them. /i/, /e/ -> [je] / #_ and /u/, /o/ -> [wo] / #_

(4)(1,2)(5,7)V

Any consonant can appear in syllabic coda position. Consonants from the group 4 cannot appear in word coda. All obstuents are devoiced word-initially.
All allowed consonant clusters in coda position are 3 or 7 and 1 or 2.
Coda can of course be zero as well.


Devoicing mutation

All coda consonants have voiced and voiceless pair. In some morpho-phonological processes the voiced consonants are devoiced. This is not the same as the phonemic devoicing of word-initial obstruents.

Voiced – devoiced
b – p
d̪ - t̪
ɖ - ʈ
g – k
m – mp
n̪ – n̪t
ɳ - ɳʈ
ɦ - h
l – lt
ɭ - ɭʈ

/kon̪d̪+u/ [kon̪d̪u] ‘(any) boy ERGATIVE’
/kon̪t̪+o/ [kon̪t̪o] ‘a/the (specific) boy ERGATIVE’
The non-specific ergative is just the suffix /-u/ while the specific ergative is /-o/ and the devoicing mutation of the last consonants of the stem.
Last edited by Omzinesý on 26 Jun 2015 18:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vtain (case system)

Post by Omzinesý » 03 Dec 2013 13:28

Vtain has a tripartite syntactic alignment. That is all intransitive subject, the only argument in a intransitive clause (S), transitive subject (A) and transitive object (O), have their own noun cases. S=the intransitive, A=the ergative, O=the accusative. The fourth noun case in Vtain is the dative.

Pre-Vtain was a split ergative language. Nouns exploited the absolutive-ergative system and pronoun the nominative-accusative system. Neither number or specificity was morphologically marked.

The case paradigm in Pre-Vtain. (The word mil means 'little girl'.)
ABS: mil
ERG: mil-u
DAT: mil-i

There was a demonstrative pronoun t.
NOM: at
ACC: t-ai
DAT: t-o

The demonstrative did also have a uninflected plural form ati.


Construction /noun + DEM/ developed to a specific inflection.
Specificity is not the same as definiteness. You can, for example, ask "I am looking for a secretary." and mean that you have a secretary you have lost (specific) or you have no secretary and want a new one, i.e. ANY secretary (non-specific).

Because nouns had ABD and ERG, and demonstratives had NOM and ACC, the new construction got all the ERGATIVE, the ACCUSATIVE, and the INTRANSITIVE CASE.

Case paradigm of mil in Modern Vtain.

Code: Select all

               non-spec.        spec.sg.                           spec.pl.
ACC:       mil                  milte < mil+tai                mile < mil+ai < mil+ati
INTR:      mil                  mila <mil+at                   milti < mil+ati
ERG:       milu                 milo <milu+at                  miltu < milu+ati (probably just analogically)
DAT:       mili                 milto <mili+to                 milta < miliʔati < mili+ati 
The non-specific paradigm is still the original noun paradigm and it doesn't specify the intransitive and accusative.
The paradigm is incomplete in that it doesn't differentiate non-specific singular and plural.


The t-element in the inflection is not always t but it has assimilated to the POA of the preceding consonant. It is just a voiceless plosive. This assimilation created sc. consonant graduation of the language.

The corresponding paradigm of word camba 'shaman'. Word-initial voiced obstruents are devoiced. It is an phonetic process. The "underlying form" of the nonspecific absolutive is still /camb/.

Code: Select all

               non-spec.        spec.sg.                       spec.pl.
ACC:       camp                 campe                          cambe
INTR:      camp                 camba                          campi
ERG:       cambu                cambo                          campu
DAT:       cambi                campo                          campa

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Re: Vtain ("other cases")

Post by Omzinesý » 04 Dec 2013 05:41

The other ”cases”


Adjectival cases

Besides the four real cases, Vtain has two adjectival cases that have both case-like and adjective-like features. They are called the genitive and the comitative. Genitive marker is l and comitative marker is l. They are double case marking:

Stem(consonant graduation of the real case) – adjectival case marker – real case marker

The adjectival cases can only be used as attributes of nouns. They agree the case of their head, but they preserve their own specificity and number. Because the case marker of non-specific accusative and intransitive is zero, the l and r can also appear word-finally and construct a syllable.

Examples:
1. Milto kähindro
mil-SGo kähin-d-r
girl-sg.spec.dat happiness-ø-COM
Lit: ‘girl with happiness’
‘happy girl’

2. Lpoηe hampe
lpoη-e ham-SGe
house-pl.SPEC.ACC you-sg.SPEC.ACC
‘your (sg.) houses ACC.’

In 2. both words are in the accusative but only ‘house’ is in plural.


In a genitive phrase, the possessed is the head.

3. Vtoxa rindla
vtox-a rin-d-l-a
dog-sg.SPEC.INTR. man-ø-GEN-sg.SPEC.INTR
‘ man’s dog ’

In a comitative phrase, the possessor is the head.

4. Rina vtoxla
rin-a vtoh-l-a
man- sg.SPEC.INTR dog-COM- sg.SPEC.INTR
‘ a man with a dog’ / ‘ a man having a dog ‘

In the case of very abstract words, the decision of comitative or genitive is quite arbitrary. ‘A girls of happiness’ and ‘a girl with happiness’ are more or less the same.

Word order is very free in Vtain and the head can either precede or follow its head. The phrase can even be discontinuous. The case agreement does, however, identify them as one phrase.


Local adverb

All nouns can be made local adverbs by ablaut. If the word is very abstract the local adverb can still express manner. Kähin ‘happine’ -> kähien ‘in happiness’ / ‘happily’
Local adverbs do not have number or specificity inflection. If you want to specify them, you have to use adpositions. Local adverbs can actually be used as adpositions like aboard or aloft in English. Their complement is in the dative case.

Lpauη lko
house.ADV me.sg.SPEC.DAT.
‘in my house’

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Re: Vtain

Post by Omzinesý » 04 Dec 2013 20:24

Vtain has three parts of speech: nominals (includes nouns, pronouns and nouns in the two adjectival cases), verbs and adverbs.

The issue of the genitive and the comitative is a bit complicated. They are always derived from other parts of speech, mostly nominals but some adverbs can also get those case endings. They words in those cases have their own specificity-number inflection (noun-like) but they agree the case of their head (adjective-like). So they are somewhere between a part of speech of adjectives and noun cases.


The word Vtain is an adverb in the language.

You can say:

Lka vtain phongi.
'I speak in Vtain.'

But you cannot say 'I speak Vtain' because Vtain is not a noun that could be an object.
But Vtain is one of the adverbs from which one can derive an adjective(?).

You can say:
Skembi vtaindli kramp.
skemb-i vtain-d-l-i kramb
variety*-SPEC.DAT in.vtain-ø-GEN-SPEC.DAT difficulty
Lit: 'The Vtainian language has difficulty.'
'Vtain is hard.'

*I glossed skemba 'variety'. It means a language or dialect.

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Re: Vtain - Verbs

Post by Omzinesý » 04 Dec 2013 21:07

Verbs


TAM (tense-aspect-mood) is expressed by vocal suffixes.

Present i
Irrealis u
Past imperfective (imperfect) a
Past perfective (aorist) o
Imperative* ø

* Imperative has no ending. Because obstruents are devoiced word-finally, imperative often loses intensive stems (see below).
Future can be expressed with the present tense or by irrealis, depending on apparentness.



Cat-honorafic

Vtain has a specific clitic or suffix or particle that is added to verbs, when speaking about cats or anything to do with them. Cats are considered holy and that’s why mentioning them demands a specific marker.

The cat honorafic is –yi.

It is added after the tense markers. Because i cannot be followed by y, it changes to e.

Lko hama dhini.
lgSG-o ham-a dhin-i
I-SPEC.DAT you-SPEC.INTR see-PRS
‘I see you.’

Lko lkida dhineyi.
lgSG-o lkid-a dhin-i-yi
I-SPEC.DAT treecat-SPEC.INTR see-PRS-cat_hon
‘I see a treecat.’


Intensive stem
The weak grade of the last consonant is sc. basic stem of the verb. By changing the last consonant to the strong grade, one can form sc. intensive stem.

Intensive has several meanings and the exact meaning must be learned with every verb. I got the idea of the intensive stem from Arabic wasn II. The intensive stem increases transitivity (semantic or syntactic) of the basic stem.

Uses of the intensive:

To transitivize/causativize verbs.

Thiema pkado.
thiem-a pkad-o
door-SPEC.INTR open-AOR
‘The door opened.’

Lgo thiempe pkato.
lg-o thiem-SGe pkadSG-o
I-SPEC.ERG door-SPEC.ACC open.INTENS-AOR
‘I opened the door.’


To express that something is made more consciously.

Lgo skumpe hardi.
lg-o skumSG-e hard-i
I- SPEC.ERG issue- SPEC.ACC think-PRS
‘I am thinking about the issue.’

Lgo skumpe harti.
lg-o skumSG-e hardSG-i
I- SPEC.ERG issue- SPEC.ACC think.intens-PRS
‘I am pondering the issue.’

Sometimes the intransitive changes both syntactic transitivity and consciousness.

Lko hama dhini.
lgSG-o ham-a dhin-i
I-SPEC.DAT you-SPEC.INTR see-PRS
Lit: ‘You are visible to me.’
‘I see you.’

Lgo hampe dhinti.
lg-o ham-a dhin-i
I-SPEC.ERG you-SPEC.ACC see.INTENS-PRS
‘I am looking at you.’


Comparative is also expressed verbally in Vtain with the intensive stem.

Lga pähodi konto.
lg-a p<ä>hod-i kond-SGo
sg1-SPEC.INTR <VERB>tallness-PRS boy-SPEC.DAT
'I am as tall as the boy.'

Lga pähoti konto.
lg-a p<ä>hod-SG-i kond-SGo
sg1-SPEC.INTR <VERB>tallness-INTENS-PRS boy-SPEC.DAT
'I am taller than the boy.'


Voices still coming!

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Re: Vtain

Post by Omzinesý » 04 Dec 2013 21:21

The messages seem to be full of mistakes. Please find them.
And other comments are welcome, too.

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Re: Vtain - Verbs

Post by Omzinesý » 08 Dec 2013 13:39

Omzinesý wrote:Verbs

Cat-honorafic

Vtain has a specific clitic or suffix or particle that is added to verbs, when speaking about cats or anything to do with them. Cats are considered holy and that’s why mentioning them demands a specific marker.

The cat honorafic is –yi.

It is added after the tense markers. Because i cannot be followed by y, it changes to e.

Lko hama dhini.
lgSG-o ham-a dhin-i
I-SPEC.DAT you-SPEC.INTR see-PRS
‘I see you.’

Lko lkida dhineyi.
lgSG-o lkid-a dhin-i-yi
I-SPEC.DAT treecat-SPEC.INTR see-PRS-cat_hon
‘I see a treecat.’
I have made a terrible mistake.
cannot appear AFTER /j/. It can appear before it.
So the cat-honorific will be -je instead of -ji, and the present tense marker doesn't have to change.

The renewed version:
Omzinesý wrote:Verbs

Cat-honorafic

Vtain has a specific clitic or suffix or particle that is added to verbs, when speaking about cats or anything to do with them. Cats are considered holy and that’s why mentioning them demands a specific marker.

The cat honorafic is –je.

It is added after the tense markers.

Lko hama dhini.
lgSG-o ham-a dhin-i
I-SPEC.DAT you-SPEC.INTR see-PRS
‘I see you.’

Lko lkida dhinije.
lgSG-o lkid-a dhin-i-je
I-SPEC.DAT treecat-SPEC.INTR see-PRS-cat_hon
‘I see a treecat.’

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Re: Vtain

Post by Omzinesý » 16 Dec 2013 16:11

I'll add an extra vowel: ɨ. The orthography haven't used <y> before.

The vowel inventory will be quite Slavonic: i, ɨ, u, e, o, a, but Vtain doesn't have palatalization.
Diphthong /aɨ/ is pronounced [ɑɨ] while /ai/ is pronounced [æi].



Voices maybe come at the next message!

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Re: Vtain Voices

Post by Omzinesý » 29 Dec 2013 18:32

Voices (morphology)

Vtain has five syntactic voices: active, passive, antipassive and circumstantial. The function of all the secondary voices is to emphasize one complement of the verb, by putting it in the intransitive subject position.
Passive makes the (transitive) direct object a new (intransitive) subject.
Antipassive makes the (transitive) agent a new (intransitive) subject.
Circumstantial makes the dative argument the new (intransitive) subject.

The passive is marked by the suffix –üh

Phoko – killed (it)
Phogüho – was killed

The circumstantial has marker – ïm

Trimo – bought
Trimïmo – was bought (for)

The antipassive is marked by infix –l– that that is positioned before the stressed vowel. If the verb doesn’t have an unstressed first syllable, the vowel ï is added.

Pkodo – hit (it)
Pïklodo – hit (to it)

If there is /l/ or /ɭ/ before the stressed vowel, only -ï- is added. If there is /r/ before the stressed vowel, an epenthetic /ɖ/ is added between /l/ and /r/.

Reflexives are formed by using both antipassive maker and passive or circumstantial marker.

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Re: Vtain (derivational morphology)

Post by Omzinesý » 02 Jan 2014 14:17

Derivational morphology



Infixes

Word roots are one or one and half syllable long.
For example, the name of the language is of the root v-ten ‘to lead, outstanding’. A reduced vowel <ä> or <ï> can be placed between the two first consonants in order to derive new words, e.g. phod ‘length’ -> pähodi ‘is long, grows up’
These infixes can derive either verbs or nouns. When they derive verbs, -ä- normally makes the verb intransitive and -ï- transitive.
- If the verb begins with only one consonant, the consonant if reduplicated, e.g. rina ‘man, male person’ -> rärina ‘manhood, being like a (stereotypical) man’
- If the root begins with one /ts/ <c>, the reduplicated consonant is /z/ <s>, however, e.g. coxa ‘sun’ -> säcoxa ‘weather, being sunny or not’
- If the root begins with an underlying consonant, some sandhi phenomena appear.
ä + /i/, /e/ [je] -> ai
ä + /u/, /o/ [wo] -> au
ï + /i/, /e/ [je] -> we
ï + /u/, /o/ [wo] -> jo


Ablaut

Ablaut derives adverbs from nouns. The process is very productive and (local) adverbs could be considered a noun case in Vtain. It is also used to derive some verbs. These verbs are often derived from the corresponding (local) adverbs semantically, as well.

Lpon ‘house, building’ -> lpaun ‘in a/the house/building’ -> lpauni ‘is indoors’

Vten ‘village chief’ -> vtain ‘like a village chief, in standard language (Vtain), -> vtaini ‘speaks like a village chief, speaks in Vtain’

Because imperatives have no ending the (local) adverb and the imperative of the ablaut verb are identical.


Suffixes
Vtain probably has some derivational suffixes, besides voice markers, but I haven’t created them yet.


Consonant gradation

The use of the intensive stem of verbs is already discussed with verbs. For nouns, consonant gradation is part of case morphology.

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Re: Vtain

Post by Omzinesý » 04 Jan 2014 19:07

On meanings of the grammatical voices

The irrealis TAM’s of the intransitivizing voices express potentiality.

Especially the anti-passive has often a habitual meaning. The verb lkepi, for example, means ‘to sell (things)’, but its anti-passive form läklepi means something like ‘to be a merchant, to sell things as your profession’. The irrealis form of the intransitivizing voices (anti-passive, passive and circumstantial) bear a potential meaning, e.g. läklepu ‘is a capable merchant’ ANTIPASS, lkepüxu ‘is sellable’.

And of course, the voices have discourse functions to define topics and focuses and references of the zero anaphora.

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Re: Vtain

Post by k1234567890y » 06 Jan 2014 11:19

good ideas, keep working.

do you consider to write more introduction to the society and culture of the Vtain speakers? or even stories of the Vtain speakers?
...

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Re: Vtain

Post by Omzinesý » 06 Jan 2014 16:27

k1234567890y wrote:good ideas, keep working.

do you consider to write more introduction to the society and culture of the Vtain speakers? or even stories of the Vtain speakers?
I thought to combine Vtain with the Rkuom culture. I must, maybe, rename the culture because it isn't suitable for Vtain phonology anymore. viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2387&p=103428#p103428

But I haven't done much for the culture long time.

What do you mean by stories of the Vtain speakers?

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Re: Vtain

Post by k1234567890y » 06 Jan 2014 16:31

Omzinesý wrote:
I thought to combine Vtain with the Rkuom culture. I must, maybe, rename the culture because it isn't suitable for Vtain phonology anymore. viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2387&p=103428#p103428

But I haven't done much for the culture long time.
maybe the name difference is due to dialect differences of the Vtain language.
Omzinesý wrote: What do you mean by stories of the Vtain speakers?
maybe some stories told by the Vtain speakers, or in-fiction histories of the people of Vtain speakers.
...

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Re: Vtain (core syntax)

Post by Omzinesý » 14 Jan 2014 19:58

Vtain core syntax

Vtain could be called non-configurational in the strong sense; phrases of different clauses within a sentence can, and sometimes must, be messed.

The basic word order is however: SOV. The arguments (subject, direct object, and indirect object) cannot follow the subject. – Yes, yesterday they could but after this they cannot. The more topic-like argument precedes the more focus-like ones, so SOV is more frequent than OSV. Non-restrictive attributes (in the genitive or comitative), which are not arguments of course, can be placed after the verb (and all the other phases of the clause). As seen in the morphology section, the genitive and comitative agree with their head in case, so the dependence is still clear.

Lgo vtohe pkuco rjembr.
lg-o vtox-SGe pkuc-o riem-r-ø
he-SPEC.ERG dog-SPEC.ACC kill-AOR age-COM-NSPEC.ACC
‘He killed an old dog.’ (the age not being focused)

Combining clauses
Vtain doesn’t have conjunctions. There are some adverbs like ‘simultaneously’ or ‘thereafter’, but they are always optional and not idiomatic in most contexts. They are only used when extra specification is needed. Juxtaposition and slightly different intonations are used instead. (I have not enough experience with phonetics to define what the intonations would be.) I use the mark ‘;’ in Vtain if two coordinate clauses are contrastive (‘but’, ‘although’ ‘in spite’). Syntactically, the coordinate clauses must share a common argument. Two clauses without a common argument cannot be combined.

The shared argument is never repeated in both the clauses, but replaced with the zero-anaphora, i.e. left out of the second clause. The co-referential argument can, of course, only appear in one noun case. If both the clauses have the shared argument in the same case, the situation is, of course, easy.

Both in the intransitive case (S role).
Tayda pärau rsemo
mother.intr arrive.AOR leave.AOR
‘Mother came [and then] [she] left.’

Both in the ergative case (A role).
Rimo vtohe pkuco; rtamo lkite.
man.erg dog.acc kill.aor save.aor treecat.acc
‘The man killed a dog but [he] saved a treecat.’

Both in the accusative case (O role).
Vteno lkite pkuco canbo tïrando.
chief.erg treecat.acc kill.aor shaman.erg bury.aor
‘The chief killed a treecat and the shaman buried [the treecat].’



If the first clause is intransitive and the second one is not, the co-referential argument appears in the intransitive case. Its role in the second clause can be inferred by means of the other arguments and their markings that are explicitly visible. Clausal frames are very strict in Vtain. If the verb, or better said the clausal construction, demands an argument and it doesn’t appear explicitly, it is inferred to be a zero-anaphora.

The co-referential argument in the intransitive case (S role) in the first clause, but in the ergative (A role) in the second one
Ηayηa pärai taite harzo.
father.intr arrive.aor mother.acc meet.aor
‘Father arrived and [he] met mother.’

The co-referential argument in the intransitive case (S role) in the first clause, but in the accusative case (O role) in the second one
Ηayηa pärai taido harzo.
father.intr arrive.aor mother.erg meet.aor
‘Father arrived and mother met [him].’


If the first clause is transitive and the second intransitive, the co-referential argument appears in the intransitive case, but it’s positioned in the first (transitive) clause.

‘Mother met father and left.’
Tayda ηayηke harzo rsemo
mother.intr father.acc meet.aor leave.aor

‘Mother met father and [father] left.’
Tayte ηayηa harzo rsemo
mother.erg father.intr meet.aor leave.aor


If there are two transitive clauses and the co-referential arguments are not in the same case/role, one of the clauses (normally the second one) must be made intransitive by a syntactic transformation, i.e. the passive or anti-passive. The co-referential argument is still in the intransitive.

Rimo skarda trepi ltalti pkucüho.
man.erg tree.intr fell.aor girl.dat* kill.antipass.aor
‘A man felled a tree which (when falling) killed a girl.’

*Dative marking a non-core argument.

The same concerns di-transitive clauses. If one of the clauses is intransitive, the coreferential argument is in the intransitive case. If none is, one must be made intransitive by passivizing, anti-passivizing, or circumstantializing it. The (surface) intransitive argument is always positioned in the first clause.

Taydo kehänti sïpirdo ηayηa lkumpa vïcuho.
mother.erg cookie.pl.intr bake.aor father.erg* child.pl.dat give.pass.aor
‘Mother baked the cookies and father gave them to children.’
More literally: ‘Mother baked cookies and they were given to the children by father.’

*Ergative is not a subject case in a passive clause but a by-agent. It should actually be analyzed as the instrumental that is homophonic.

Summa summarum
- Any two co-referential arguments can be coordinated if they are in the same role/case in both clauses.
- If one of the clauses is intransitive, the co-referential argument appears in the intransitive case but is positioned in the first clause.
- If none of the clauses is intransitive and the co-referential arguments are not in the same role/case, one of the clauses must be transformed intransitive with the passive, anti-passive, or circumstantial.

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Omzinesý
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Re: Vtain

Post by Omzinesý » 28 Jan 2014 14:14

I have a morphological problem.

I would like to make the infinitive zero-marked, because the zero marking is only used for the impertive and they can well be homophoneous.

But: there is a phonetic rule that devoices all word-final stops.
Verbs like:
'lag-i' and 'lak-i' would have identical infinitives 'lak'. With imperatives it is no problem because they are always agentive and the difference between the consonant grades is normallay that of agentivity.

But how would the infinitives be distinguished?

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Re: Vtain

Post by MrKrov » 29 Jan 2014 02:38

But they don't have to be.

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Re: Vtain

Post by Omzinesý » 29 Jan 2014 11:41

MrKrov wrote:But they don't have to be.
For syntax, it is really necessary to differentiate them.

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Re: Vtain (Diminutive)

Post by Omzinesý » 27 Jul 2014 21:38

Diminutive has various meanings:
Diminutives of nouns referring to persons can express dearness or belittling of the referent, depending on the context and the referent.
Some diminutives have idiosyncratic meanings.
Diminutives of nouns referring to abstract concepts and materials (uncountable) mean a little amount of X. The meaning ONLY a little of X is also possible.
Adjectives formed from diminutives mean the opposite of the basic adjective.
One with little length = a short one

The diminutive is formed with the infix -ï- and ablaut. If the noun already has the infix -ä-, diminutive cannot be formed.

Lponga ‘a house’
Lïpaunga ‘a little house’

phod ‘length’ -> phodl ‘long’
pïhaud ‘humble length’ -> pïhaudl ‘short’

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Re: Vtain - Something about motion verbs

Post by Omzinesý » 08 Jun 2015 20:25

Something about motion verbs (may be incoherent with the earlier messages)

The goal is marked as an object of the motion verb and the verb is made transitive. Motion verbs are transitivized be devoicing the last consonant of the stem. If the goal is not expressed the verb is intransitive.

ckodi 'swims (around)' INTRANS
ckoti mnume 'swims to the coast' TRANS


Deixis can also be marked.

cïkodi 'swims here'
cäkodi 'swims away'
cäkoti mnume 'swims away to the coast'
cïkoti mnume 'swims here to the coast'


Verb semantics marks the device of moving. Specification of the goal cannot be marked in the verb, but the object.

Sko ckoti plede. 'I am swimming under it' lit. 'I swim-to it's bottom.'
Sko ckoti plede hopi. 'I am swimming under a stone.' lit. 'I swim-to the bottom of a stone.'


If there is no goal argument but a place, the verb is intransitive. While plede is an object in the accusative case, plait is a preposition.
Sko ckodi plait hopi. 'I am swimming under the stone. (i.e. I am under the stone.)'

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