Ussaria

A forum for all topics related to constructed languages
Post Reply
Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 24 Dec 2016 01:52

Ussaria is a conlang which I've been building for a few months or so, and in all likelihood it's the conlang of mine which has been running for the longest. I think this success is mostly because Ussaria was made not through top down edicts about grammar but rather by translating short sentences, which has been very successful and would recommend to any scrapper unsatisfied with their inability to commit.

Ussaria is set in a conworld of mine, in a large empire which dominates a small continent centered on the north pole, early on in the Industrial Revolution. Part of why I'm posting Ussaria now is because Ussaria's conworld is actually modeled on an edgy conworld I invented as a one-off in Middle School, in which an evil Santa enslaved elves. This has evolved into the Empire Ussaret, which lacks Santa or Elves but has certain features in common. I'll probably put some stuff on Ussaret and it's world either here or on the conworld subforum.

In any case, here's the language. A side effect of the approach I took in making Ussaria is that the phonology is rather underdeveloped; I have a good idea of the phoneme inventory but not exactly of allophony, etc (The orthography is nearly identical to English in consonants and generic Spanish for vowels). Anyway, since the phonology's less fleshed out, I'm heading straight into morphosyntax, and more specifically into nouns.

Ussaria nouns are marked for case and number. First I'll discuss case and then I'll put number on another post, so this doesn't get too unwieldy.

The Nominative is the unmarked case. It’s used for most subjects of transitive and intransitive sentences.

Nini-0 tiakti-ak tet.
same.gender.sibling-NOM 3p.SG-ACC tell
“The sibling told him.”

Nini-0 tomba.
same.gender.sibling-NOM fall
“The sibling fell.”

The Accusative is marked with the suffix -(a)k, with the buffer a appearing after consonants. It marks direct objects of transitive sentences.

Nini-0 rksholu-k waky.
paternal.aunt-NOM screen-ACC collapse
“The aunt collapsed the screen.”

It also marks indirect objects of ditransitive sentences, meaning that there is no differentiation between the two kinds of objects. This means that -(a)k can appear more than once in a sentence:

Senator-0 rkarkwash-ak pra-k war.
senator-NOM prostitute-ACC money-ACC give
“The senator gave money to the prostitute.”

There is a very small group of nouns which do not take overt accusative case marking, including wek “woman/3p.SG.FEM,” laika “older sibling of the opposite gender” and lul “ocean.”

Tiakti-0 lul-0 sardu.
3p.SG.MASC-NOM ocean-ACC cook.
“He cooked the ocean.”

Genitives in Ussaria are marked with -sh and are used to indicate possession.

Che-sh laika-0 bombur ini.
1p.SG.-GEN older.different.gender.sibling-NOM fat be
“My sibling is fat.”

After stops and affricates the genitive becomes -esh.

Hasarkek-esh u-uu.
torture-GEN PL-howl
“Torture’s howls.”

For a quite a few nouns ending in an alveolar, -de[/i] or -te, the genitive becomes -che or -cha and supplants the original final syllable.

Gwan-che uu
whistle-GEN howl
“The whistle’s howl.”

AwteAw-cha
uncle→ uncle-GEN

YobdeYob-cha
sun→ sun-GEN

Aside from its use as a possessive marker, the genitive’s also sometimes used to mark subjects, a feature which I'll discuss later.

The Comitative, in the form of the suffix -ia is used to mark accompaniment.

Che-0 senator-ia pluloni.
1p.SG senator-COM travel
“I traveled with the senator.”

It’s also used as a conjunction.

Torta Yawe-ia u-ruty ewy.
Torta Yawe-COM PL-magazine stack
“Torta and Yawe stacked the magazines.”

This is for nouns and noun phrases only; -ia is never used to link verbs or clauses above the level of the noun phrase.

The Instrumental indicates a noun used for the achievement of an action. It’s marked with the suffix -su.

Yawe-0 Tortu-k lepku-su byamisy.
Yawe-NOM Tortu-ACC sword-INSTR kill
“Yawe killed Tortu with a sword.”

It’s also used to reintroduce agents in the passive voice, like English "by".

Tortu-0 Yawe-su byamisy-li.
Tortu-NOM Yawe-INSTR kill-PASS
“Tortu was killed by Yawe.”

It's also used with animate nouns to indicate unwilling duplicity.

Isse-0 k'ezht-ak che-su sawal.
2p.PAUC-NOM puzzle-ACC 1p.SG-INSTR decode
"You decoded the puzzle using me." (implies the speaker didn't want for the addressee to solve the puzzle, or didn't understand what was going on.)

Compare with the comitative:

Isse-0 k'ezht-ak chia sawal
2p.PAUC-NOM puzzle-ACC 1p.SG.COM decode
"You and I solved the puzzle together."

The Vocative is used when addressing someone. It’s marked by the suffix -ho.

Laika-ho!
older.different.gender.sibling-VOC
“O Sibling!”
Last edited by Solarius on 03 Jan 2017 18:30, edited 2 times in total.
Check out Ussaria!

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 24 Dec 2016 02:09

Number is the other main feature of Ussaria nouns.

The plural is used to indicate that there is more than one of something. It’s marked with the prefixes un- and u-. The alternation between these two allomorphs is conditioned semantically; un- is used with humans as well as a few other highly animate nouns (such as lightning, anthropomorphic/highly intellligent/culturally salient animals, gods) while u- is used for everything else.

un-senjex
PL-polar.bear
“polar bears”

u-sanny
PL-table
“tables”

Both allomorphs induce in some nouns the loss of /a/, fairly randomly. This comes from a historical change, when schwa became /a/ when stressed and was deleted elsewhere. Because of this, the /a/ can be lost from anywhere, so long as only one /a/ is lost.

kadarun-kdar
child→ PL-child

iptau-ipt
cup→ PL-cup

Historically Ussaria had a paucal, marking that there were relatively less of something. However, it increasingly fell out of the language, and is now only marked on a tiny number of nouns. Like the plural, there’s an alternation conditioned on human/non-human, in this case between eys- and e-. Also as with the plural, the paucal causes the loss of historical schwas in the first syllable.

Eys-kdar
PAUC-child
“a few children”

E-muu
PAUC-cow
“a few cattle”

There are many more fossilized forms which have spun off as regular lexical items, such as eyswek "harem" or elepku "battalion". These too can take regular pluralization, e.g. uneyswek, uelepku.

U-lty imesi?
PL-question there.is
"Questions?"
Last edited by Solarius on 03 Jan 2017 18:32, edited 2 times in total.
Check out Ussaria!

User avatar
All4Ɇn
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1789
Joined: 01 Mar 2014 07:19

Re: Ussaria

Post by All4Ɇn » 27 Dec 2016 02:16

Solarius wrote: E-muu
PAUC-cow
“a few cattle”
I see what you did there [;)]

Really liking how everything looks so far! Hope to see more. Are you planning on going into the phonology soon?

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 28 Dec 2016 07:35

All4Ɇn wrote:
Solarius wrote: E-muu
PAUC-cow
“a few cattle”
I see what you did there [;)]

Really liking how everything looks so far! Hope to see more. Are you planning on going into the phonology soon?
Thanks! I've been working a lot on lexicon recently, and I think I might do some little "semantic profiles" while I work on them

Here's what I have on phonology. It isn't very well developed, and maybe a bit too European, but what the heck.

Stops: /p b t d ʈʂ ɖʐ k ʔ/<p b t d ch j k '>
Fricatives: /s z ʂ x h/<s z sh x h>
Nasals: /m n ŋ/<m n g>
Trill: /r/<r>
Approximates: /l ɭ~ʐ j w/<l zh y w>

Digraphs like <zh> are separated from /z+h/ sequences by the use of the hyphen for the latter, which I don't like but I can't think of anything better.

I'm not sure if I'll make /f/ a phoneme or not. If it is, I'll have it pattern with /j w/.

The syllable structure is a little odd. Basically it's (C)(C)(C)V(C)(C) but there are a few oddities.
-/r l ɭ j w/ can all be syllabic consonants, although /j w/ can only be syllabic word initially or word finally.
-/j w/ when they occur word finally surface as palatalization and labialization, respectively, on the last consonant of the word. Thus waky "to put together, to fold" is bisyllabic phonemically but monosyllabic phonetically.
-There's something of a sonority hierarchy. It follows the ordering that the manners of articulation are listed above in, with the additional possibility of combining two in the same class. Thus /pt/, /nm/, and /wj/ are legal. /ŋ/ patterns like a stop sometimes and a nasal other times, a difference which can be seen in some morphophonological alternations. This is because it comes historically from a merger of */ŋ/ and */g/.
-Gemination is allowed.
-Diphthongs aren't. Hiatus is though, and is abundant.

No allophony as of yet.
Last edited by Solarius on 02 Jan 2017 16:48, edited 1 time in total.
Check out Ussaria!

Sevly
rupestrian
rupestrian
Posts: 2
Joined: 18 Jan 2012 21:39

Re: Ussaria

Post by Sevly » 28 Dec 2016 08:29

Liking this quite a bit, particularly the little touches of morphoallophony and other hints of complex and subtle interactions. Looking forward to seeing more!

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 29 Dec 2016 01:24

Sevly wrote:Liking this quite a bit, particularly the little touches of morphoallophony and other hints of complex and subtle interactions. Looking forward to seeing more!
Thank you!

I figured I'd do a bit of a vignette on demonstratives; they're fairly simple on their own but since they do double-duty as both pronouns and copulas I figure it'd be good to lay the groundwork now.

There are three adnominal demonstratives: ko, kon, and sik. They're proximal, medial, and distal, respectively. They're uninflected; they don't agree.

The pronominal forms take the suffix -byal; thus kobyal, kombyal, sibbyal. These take case marking; number marking applies as well, somewhat irregularly: ugobyal, ugombyal, uzibbyal.
Last edited by Solarius on 03 Jan 2017 18:35, edited 1 time in total.
Check out Ussaria!

User avatar
Frislander
runic
runic
Posts: 3119
Joined: 14 May 2016 17:47
Location: The North

Re: Ussaria

Post by Frislander » 30 Dec 2016 18:48

Solarius wrote:Here's what I have on phonology. It isn't very well developed, and maybe a bit too European, but what the heck.

Stops: /p b t d ʈʂ ɖʐ k ʔ/<p b t d ch j k>
Fricatives: /s z ʂ x h/<s z sh x h>
Nasals: /m n ŋ/<m n g>
Trill: /r/<r>
Approximates: /l ɭ~ʐ j w/<l zh y w>
We had a little dicussion on the ZBB about this and we pretty much came to the conclusion that retroflexes appear when there is (at least historically) either a palatal or postalveolar series already present, though what's happening in Scandinavia may just prove us wrong, and Teiwa has an interesting inventory.

Still a nice inventory, though, and the retroflexes do certainly make it look less European.

What's the vowels like?

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 30 Dec 2016 21:58

Frislander wrote:
Solarius wrote:Here's what I have on phonology. It isn't very well developed, and maybe a bit too European, but what the heck.

Stops: /p b t d ʈʂ ɖʐ k ʔ/<p b t d ch j k>
Fricatives: /s z ʂ x h/<s z sh x h>
Nasals: /m n ŋ/<m n g>
Trill: /r/<r>
Approximates: /l ɭ~ʐ j w/<l zh y w>
We had a little dicussion on the ZBB about this and we pretty much came to the conclusion that retroflexes appear when there is (at least historically) either a palatal or postalveolar series already present, though what's happening in Scandinavia may just prove us wrong, and Teiwa has an interesting inventory.

Still a nice inventory, though, and the retroflexes do certainly make it look less European.

What's the vowels like?
Hehe, I warned y'all the phonology was incomplete [xP] . The vowel are bland /i e a o u/, though more often than not (i.e. before or after coronals and /j/) /u/ fronts to [y].

I didn't know the bit about the palatal series. That being said, the development of the retroflexes in Ussaria is because of outside influence; retroflexes are an areal feature in the language's urheimat and it developed them from postalveolars and loanwords and the like.
Check out Ussaria!

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 30 Dec 2016 23:14

Copulas in Ussaria are a bit complicated.

First, the verb imesi is used for existentials, possession, and location.

Kweykkeywag imesi.
brush.stack exist
"There's a brush pile."

Kweykkeywag che-k tyer imesi.
brush.stack 1p.SG-ACC BEN exist
"I have a brush pile. (Lit. "The brush stack exists to me.")

Kweykkeywag ish-ak u imesi
brush.stack road-ACC LOC exist
"The brush pile is on the road."

imesi has a suppletive negative eleri.

Yik che-k tyer eleri.
book 1p.SG-ACC BEN not.exist
"I don't have a book."

Both imesi and eleri are somewhat defective; they can't take marking for the passive/perfect or reflexive, and imesi can't take the negative. However, both can take the usual marking for the reciprocal to indicate that the subject is by itself, alone in some fashion.

Kadar ng-imesi.
child REC-exist
"There exists a child by themself."

This is somewhat outdated but still in use. The use of the reciprocal with eleri is more complex, and there are two different uses. The first simply says that there are no children alone, while the second, using the negative of eleri implyies that no children at all are alone.

Kadar ng-eleri
child REC-not.exist
"There isn't a child by themself."

Kadar ng-eleri-i
child REC-not.exist-NEG
"There isn't a single child alone."


Predicate nominals and adjectives take a bewildering variety of copulas. The two main ones are ko and ini. Ini is a full-on verb and can take the inflection of any other verb. Ko is a non-verbal element and takes no inflection, though if one wishes to negate it that can be done with the particle i, which follows it. Generally, ini is used for states which are temporary, while the demonstrative ko is used for states that are permanent--the distinction is generally analogous to the Spanish estar/ser split.

Yik oguh ini.
book scandalous be
"The book is scandalous."

Klol gisret ko.
man short be
"The man is short."

Much of these distinctions, however are idiomatic. Ko is used for age, for instance.

Tiakti kpichay-mush-ak ko.
3p.SG first-N-ACC be
"He's one." (Lit. He's a first")

Sometimes the use of ko instead of ini can imply direct experience/knowledge, which often co-occurs with greater certainty. In the first sentence, it is implied that the addressee is always satisfied, due to the speaker's direct experience or firmly grounded inference, while no such implication exists in the second.

Ende hekich ko.
2p.SG satisfied be
"You're satisfied."

Ende hekich ini.
2p.SG satisfied be
"You're satisfied."

Basically in the ko/ini distinction there's a whole wobbly mood/evidential mess.

It's possible to replace ko with kon to make a disjunctive in longer phrases.

Agguhey klol-ak ko. Agguhey-sh u-mot purch ko un-klol-sh u-mot diky kon .
emperor man-ACC be. king-GEN PL-word true be PL-man-GEN PL-word unreliable
"The Emperor is a man. The Emperor's words are true but man's words are are faulty."

Sometimes even sik can come into play, though this is a little formal/poetic.

Agguhey-sh u-mot purch ko un-klol-sh u-mot diky kon agguhey papklolg-ak sik.
emperor-GEN PL-word true be PL-man-GEN PL-word unreliable DISJ.be emperor wise.man-ACC DISJ.be
"The Emperor's words are true, but man's words are are faulty, but the king is a wise man."

In common language, people would mostly use ko instead of sik.

The use of kon in this way is useful enough that it can also occur as a disjunctive particle even when no copula is needed. Since kon is not a verbal copula, the verb behaves as normal.

Yawe muu-k byamisy, agguhey kobyal-k byamisy-i kon.
Yawe cow-ACC kill emperor 3p.SG-ACC kill-NEG but
"Yawe killed the cow, but the emperor didn't kill it."

It's also increasing common to use ko like English too, so as to emphasize that the same thing happened in the two clauses.

Yawe muu-k byamisy, agguhey kobyal-k byamisy-i ko.
Yawe cow-ACC kill emperor 3p.SG-ACC kill-NEG too
"Yawe killed the cow, and the emperor killed it too."
Last edited by Solarius on 03 Jan 2017 18:41, edited 1 time in total.
Check out Ussaria!

Khunjund
rupestrian
rupestrian
Posts: 20
Joined: 06 Feb 2015 03:02

Re: Ussaria

Post by Khunjund » 02 Jan 2017 12:55

Regarding the /z+h/-type sequences, the issue could be resolved by using diaritics, such as <ć ś ź> for /tʂ ʂ ʐ/. A less dramatic change might be to seperate such sequences with an apostrophe rather than a hyphen, according to your preferences in aesthetics.
Fluent: :ca-qc: :eng: | Learning: :deu: :jpn: | Interested: :ara: :kor: :rus: :lat: :grc: :pol: :fr-br: :irl: etc.

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 02 Jan 2017 16:47

Khunjund wrote:Regarding the /z+h/-type sequences, the issue could be resolved by using diaritics, such as <ć ś ź> for /tʂ ʂ ʐ/. A less dramatic change might be to seperate such sequences with an apostrophe rather than a hyphen, according to your preferences in aesthetics.
Frankly I don't really want to use diacritics; I like the digraphs and I have a bunch of translations and dictionary entries using them. It was already a big enough chore to revise them a few weeks back when I reworked the verbs.

The apostrophe is already used to represent the glottal stop. So if I used the apostrophe the word /kes.ʔho/ would be indistinguishable from /ke.sho/.
Check out Ussaria!

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 03 Jan 2017 19:27

One of my goals in creating Ussaria was to have a relatively simple verbal system, instead relying moreso on pronouns, adverbs, quirky subject, and postpositions to fill in what is not present. But Ussaria's verbal system wanted to grow, and so now it's in a good medium where most verbs have very little to no inflection but are capable of taking quite a bit of it.

The first inflection which I wish to discuss are voice adjusting operations: the passive, the reflexive, and the reciprocal.

The passive is marked with the suffixes -li and -lli, the former in the first conjugation, the latter in the second. The passive also puts the subject in the nominative case.

U-chmot tete-li.
PL-word say-PASS
"Words were said."

Muu sardu-lli.
cow cook-PASS
"The cow was cooked."

Because both indirect and direct objects are treated the same, one can make either one the focused item in passive constructions. The other one is included in the accusative.

Yawe yik-ak ogzhamush-ak war. → Ogzhamush yik-ak wa-lli.
Yawe book-ACC actor-ACC give → actor book-ACC give-PASS
"Yawe gave the book to the actor." → "The actor was given the book."

As discussed in the case section, the original subject can be reintroduced in the instrumental case.

Ogzhamush yik-ak Yawe-su wa-lli.
actor book-ACC Yawe-INSTR give-PASS

You may have noticed that the passive of war isn't *war-li, but is wa-lli. This is because of a morphophonological alternation. When a verb ends in a consonant or a consonant cluster, the consonants are lost. In the first conjugation, the passive suffix becomes -lli. As a result, the two conjugations are indistinguishable in the passive when the root ends in a consonant.

shortsho-lli
make→make-PASS

byamisybyami-lli
kill→kill-PASS


The reciprocal is marked with the prefixes ngi- and ngli-, in the first and second conjugations, respectively.

Ugobyal ngli-byamisy.
3p.PL.PROX REC-kill
"They killed each other."

Yawe Tort-ia ngi-tete.
Yawe Tortu-COM REC-talk
"Yawe and Tortu talked to each other."

The reflexive is distinct from the reciprocal. It take the same prefixes that a reciprocal would but also takes the passive suffix.

Ugobyal ngli-byami-lli.
3p.PL.PROX REFL-kill-REFL
"They killed themselves."

Yawe Tort-ia ngi-tete-li.
Yawe Tortu-COM REFL-talk-REFL
"Yawe and Tortu talked to themselves."

Because the passive voice marker is used for reflexives, it's not available for use in constructions like the English "They were seen by each other." Instead, the participants are marked with the accusative case, unless another case is present.

Ugobyal-ak ngli-byamisy.
3p.PL.PROX-ACC REC-kill
"They were killed by each other."

Yawe-k Tort-ia ngi-tete.
Yawe-ACC Tortu-COM REC-talk
"Yawe and Tortu were talked to by each other."
Check out Ussaria!

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 04 Jan 2017 01:26

Negation in Ussaria is marked with the suffix -i in both conjugations, which occurs immediately after the root. It negates the entire truth of the proposition. Speakers can also negate other elements with the particle i, and this is often can co-occur with the verbal suffix -i in the form of double negation

Che-sh awte metub-ak i alkey-i.
1p.SG-GEN paternal.uncle letter-ACC write-NEG
"My uncle didn't write a letter.'' (Lit. "My uncle didn't write no letter.")

In the second conjugation, there is a special negative passive form -ni. No such form exists in the first conjugation.

1st conjugation:
Metub (i) alkey-i-li.
letter NEG write-NEG-PASS
"The letter wasn't written."

Endesh awte (i) byami-ni
2p.GEN paternal.uncle NEG kill-NEG.PASS
"Your paternal uncle wasn't killed."
Check out Ussaria!

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 04 Jan 2017 05:13

Seven Kill Stele.

Orhan wa klolwek tyer chyolla-nun u-chap-chap-ak war.
sky HON humanity BENEF help-N PL-thing-many-ACC give
"Heaven gives many things to help humanity."

Klolwek-esh orhan-ak wardal-nun u-chap-su eleri.
humanity-GEN sky-ACC give.back-N PL-thing-INSTR lack
"Humanity has no thing with which to give to the sky."

Byami. Byami. Byami. Byami. Byami. Byami. Byami.
kill-IMP kill-IMP kill-IMP kill-IMP kill-IMP kill-IMP kill-IMP
"Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill."

A few notes:
1. Byamisy has an irregular imperative; Imperatives in Ussaria are usually just marked with the bare stem.
2. Relative clauses are made by gapping and precede the noun.
3. Klolwek is a coordinating compound. If it were endocentric, the form in the second sentence would be *klolosh.
Check out Ussaria!

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 07 Jan 2017 20:20

So now onto the next part of the verbal complex: the optative. There are actually two optatives, which occur in the same slot in the verbal complex. The first, which is marked with -le in both conjugations is the present optative. It indicates that speakers desire for some state of affairs in current.

Ende senjex-ak ushame-le.
2p.SG polar.bear-ACC drink-OPT.PRS
"I want you to smoke the polar bear (hide)."

This even applies to things which happened in the past. This is because the present optative indicates that the wish is still current, not that the desired state of affairs is current. When used in the past, it implies that the desired state of affairs wasn't fulfilled or that the speaker doesn't know if the desired thing did occur.

Gargunas ende senjex-ak ushame-le.
yesterday 2p.SG polar.bear-ACC drink-OPT.PRS
"I want you to have smoked the polar bear yesterday."

By contrast, the past optative indicated that the speaker at some point in the past wanted a certain state of affairs. It very often implies that this desire is no longer current. In the first conjugation it is marked with the suffix -la, while in the second conjugation it takes the suffix -lo.

Ende senjex-ak ushame-la.
2p.SG polar.bear drink-OPT.PST
"I wanted you to smoke the polar bear."

Laika che-k tyer imesi-lo.
different.gender.sibling 1p.SG-ACC BENEF exist-OPT.PST
"I wanted to have a sibling."

When both suffixes are followed by the auxiliaries, they change: the present optative becomes -loy- and the past optative becomes -oy-, regardless of conjugation. Auxiliaries will be discussed soon.

Ende senjex-ak ushame-loy ini.
2p.SG polar.bear-ACC drink-OPT.PRS PROG
"I want for you to be smoking the polar bear."

Ende senjex-ak ushame-oy ini.
2p.SG polar.bear-ACC drink-OPT.PST PROG
"I wanted for you to be smoking the polar bear."

So that wraps up the inflectional morphology of verbs! Here's the inflectional affix order for clarification:
[Reciprocal]root[Negative][Passive][Optative]
Check out Ussaria!

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 10 Jan 2017 16:27

Back to nouns, or rather pronouns. Ussaria pronouns are not a closed class, and in many ways they work like nouns.

che is the primary first-person singular pronoun. It has pretty regular inflection:
Spoiler:
Nominative: che
Accusative: chek
Genitive: chesh
Instrumental: chesu
Comitative: chia
Vocative: cheho
The third person pronoun kobyal is sometimes used as a respectful 1st person. In Ussar society, informality is often considered more appropriate even in formal situations; as the Ussars pride themselves on being egalitarian (which is more notional than real, but whatever). As a result, kobyal is fading out of use, and is mainly used in by commoners to refer to nobility, servants to refer to their masters, and slaves to refer to free people. Some factory owners also require their lowest-level employees to refer to them this way.

ende is the primary 2nd person singular pronoun. It's often replaced with titles when the addressee outranks the speaker, and it's considered good form to call someone by their title if they call you by a title. In writing, it's considered bad style to use anything other than ende to refer to someone though. ende's declension is somewhat irregular:
Spoiler:
Nominative: ende
Accusative endek
Genitive encha
Instrumental endesu
Comitative enjoa
Vocative ex
There's also the 2nd person pronoun, neutral for number isse, which is used by children to parents and by younger siblings to older ones. It's also used by managers to call their employees and nobles to refer to serfs. It's also less commonly used whenever the addressee outranks the speaker but there's also a good bit of intimacy--the use by nobles and managers is seen as lightly self-deprecating. Prescriptivists don't like the latter two uses as they see it as anti-egalitarian, and consequently it's fading out of use anywhere except for the family unit. Isse is irregular too:
Spoiler:
Nominative: isse
Accusative isdek
Genitive eycha
Instrumental issesu
Comitative ijjoa
Vocative ix
Third person pronouns are where it gets real. wek and tiakti are the two most common 3rd person pronouns; they're both singular, animate, and used in more formal or polite contexts. wek is feminine and homophones with wek "woman," whereas tiakti is masculine and clearly related to tiktik "gentleman" [1]. wek is irregular:
Spoiler:
Nominative wek
Accusative wek
Genitive osh
Instrumental weksu
Comitative wekia
Vocative oho
But tiakti is perfectly regular, and declines like a regular noun.

Animate referents in less formal contexts and inanimate referents use the pronouns kobyal, kombyal, and sibbyal. kobyal is the proximate 3rd person singular and kombyal is the obviate 3rd person singular. sibbyal is too, but it marks a generic indefinite pronoun like English's use of "one" or "you." All three decline like regular nouns.

The first person plural is encha--yes, it is synonymous with the second singular dual. It's rather irregular:
Spoiler:
Nominative: encha
Accusative encha-k
Genitive enche
Instrumental enchasu
Comitative enjia
Vocative enchu
The second person plural is jwan. jwan's declension is suppletive too:
Spoiler:
Nominative: jwan
Accusative junka
Genitive juncha
Instrumental jwan-su
Comitative jwaya
Vocative jo
The third person plurals are clearly derived from the singulars, plus the prefix un-. The forms are unwek, untiakti, ugobyal, ugombyal, unsibbyal, uziwa, and they all decline like their singular forms.
Check out Ussaria!

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 11 Jan 2017 18:40

Auxiliary Verb constructions are an important part of the Ussaria verbal system. They consist of two parts: a lexical verb and an auxiliary verb, occurring in that order. As is the norm in most languages, the negative and passive suffixes and the reciprocal prefix are marked on the auxiliary in all cases.

Che chesh wek sardunun ini kon!
1p.SG.NOM 1p.SG.GEN wife-ACC cook-N PROG MIR
"I am cooking my wife!"

Chesh wek chesu sardunun ini kon!
1p.SG.GEN wife-ACC 1p.SG-INSTR cook-N PROG MIR
"My wife is being cooked by me!"

Che chesh wek sardunun inii.
1p.SG.NOM 1p.SG.GEN wife-ACC cook-N PROG-NEG
"I'm not cooking my wife."

The optative markers are marked on the lexical verb, however. This is because of their origin as auxiliary verbs themselves, who were worn down and normalized in the language's system. (The use of -nun to mark lexical verbs postdates the optatives). As discussed above, they take special forms when followed by an auxiliary. The lexical verb also doesn't take -nun.

Ende Guneyak u neloy ini
2p.SG.NOM Guney-ACC LOC go-PRS.OPT PROG
"I hope you will go to Guney (Island)."

The reciprocal prefix is unique in that it's marked on both the lexical and auxiliary verb.

Isse nglibyamisy ngiini.
2p.NOM REC-kill REC-PROG
"You all killed each other."

I'll discuss more when it comes to the specific auxiliaries in a post on the TAM system.
Check out Ussaria!

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 12 Jan 2017 19:47

I decided to do a little update on the phonology, since I've made a few changes.

Firstly, I've decided to make the retroflex consonants postalveolar. This is partly because of Frislander's point, but also because I realized that I made the consonants retroflex only to be less European. But frankly the phonology is pretty European anyway. And since Ussaria is overall part of an effort I've been making to focus more on Syntax and Morphology, I guess it's ok.

Anyway, so here's the revised phonemic inventory. I copy pasted some stuff that still pertains.

/p b t d tʃ dʒ k ʔ/<p b t d ch j k '>
/s z ʃ ʒ x ɣ h/<s z sh zh x kh h>
/m n ŋ/<m n g>
/r/<r>
/l j w/<l j w>

Note that a few of the values of the letters have changed. A few phonemes are also used in loanwords by educated speakers:

/g q ʁ/<g/k kzh xk>

Less educated speakers usually pronounce these as [ŋ kʒ xk].

The syllable structure is a little odd. Basically it's (C)(C)(C)V(C)(C) but there are a few oddities.
-/r l j w/ can all be syllabic consonants, although /j w/ can only be syllabic word initially or word finally.
-/j w/ when they occur word finally surface as palatalization and labialization, respectively, on the last consonant of the word. Thus waky "to put together, to fold" is bisyllabic phonemically but monosyllabic phonetically.
-There's something of a sonority hierarchy. It follows the ordering that the manners of articulation are listed above in, with the additional possibility of combining two in the same class. Thus /pt/, /nm/, and /wj/ are legal. /ŋ/ patterns like a stop sometimes and a nasal other times, a difference which can be seen in some morphophonological alternations. This is because it comes historically from a merger of */ŋ/ and */g/.
-Gemination is allowed.
-Diphthongs aren't. Hiatus is though, and is abundant.

There are some allophones now.
-The stops /p b t d k/ become [pɸ bβ ts dz kx] in unstressed syllables between vowels.
-/r/ is [r] word initially and in stressed syllables, [ɾ] elsewhere
-Sequences of /pʔ tʔ kʔ sʔ/ become [ɓ t' k' s']

Stress is lexical and unmarked in the orthography.
Check out Ussaria!

Solarius
roman
roman
Posts: 1193
Joined: 30 Aug 2010 00:23

Re: Ussaria

Post by Solarius » 30 Jan 2017 06:44

Adjectives (or more accurately attributives, since adverbs are not separated out) are a separate word class from nouns and verbs. Mostly.

There are a few adjective-y things which are used as stative verbs: the color terms and the verb gisr, "to be short, to be small."

Igona gisr.
cricket small
"The cricket is small."

These (and other verbs) can be made in adjectives with the suffix -et.

Adjectives are not allowed without nouns; the dummy noun chap "thing, one" is used instead. The adjective always follows chap.

Che chap gisret ermu weknun.
1p.SG one short INCH marry.a.woman-N
"I married the short one."

Sometimes xue "somebody" is used instead of chap when referring to people.

Adjectives otherwise can occur as predicates or as attributives. Predicate adjectives, as discussed earlier, can take either ko or ini. However, predicate adjectives are dispreferred; attributives+imesi or dummy nouns are much more common. Adjectives can either precede or follow their head noun; the former puts the adjective in focus but the latter is more common. Notably both can be used, where a word like "very" would be used in English.

Hekich wek hekich
satisfied woman satisfied
"The very happy woman."
Check out Ussaria!

Post Reply