|Vasa Ahāmatya Manān Etjelletyandaljān|
[ˈva.sa a.haːˈmat.ja ˈma.na:n ɛˌtjɛl.lɛt.janˈda.lja:n]
|Spoken in:||Mana Etjelletyandalja|
|Total Speakers:||~ 10,000,000|
|Basic word order:||Subject-Object-Verb|
|Inspirations:||Sanskrit, Finnish, Russian, Latin, English, Quenya, Ancient Greek, Classical Persian|
|Link to full documentation:||*forthcoming*|
Vasa Ahāmatya Manān Etjelletyandaljān is an a priori artistic constructed language in development by Daniel Quigley, providing the framework for which the author’s creative works and worldbuilding are guided. Vasa Ahāmatya Manān Etjelletyandaljān or just Ahāmatya is the standardized, formal, and literary register of language of Mana Etjelletyandalja, in contrast to the variable dialects collectively referred to as Vasa Vrjāmatya Manān Etjelletyandaljān or just Vrjāmatya.
Ahāmatya is a relatively conservative language. Loan words have found their way into Vrjāmatya, but are mostly deliberately avoided in Ahāmatya. If one were to use a non-native word, then one would do so either indirectly via some periphrastic construction, or by simply employing the nearest approximation available in the language.
Ahāmatya is typologically a synthetic, fusional language. Nouns and modifiers are inflected for number and case. Other modifiers, such as adverbs, are not inflected in the same way, though similarities may be found in certain contexts. Nouns exhibit a class distinction, of which may be determined either by the phonology or the morphology. Verbs are inflected for aspect, time, valency, and mood. Some particles are inflected for number and case. Ahāmatya is a Nominative-Accusative aligned language, and has relatively free word order because of its case-marking, though word order tends towards S-O-V.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Morphology
- 4 Nouns
- 5 Verbs
- 6 Modifiers
- 7 Particles
- 8 Derivational Morphology
- 9 Syntax
- 10 Example texts
- 11 Other resources
The people of Mana Etjelletyandalja are rather homogeneous in language, culture, and identity, though there exists a gradient of such things in a north-south direction, running along the length of the land. Ahāmatya is the formal language, used in official capacities and as the literary language. The spoken languages of Mana Etjelletyandalja are collectively referred to as Vrjāmatya.
Ahāmatya and Vrjāmatya are related, both having descended from a parent language, often referred to as Vasa Ururya Manān Etjelletyandaljān. This is a little misleading, however, in that Vasa Ururya Manān Etjelletyandaljān was actually a loose collection of highly related dialects, which over time enveloped Mana Etjelletyandalja, displacing the various native languages and dialects. There is little differentiation between Ahāmatya and Vasa Ururya Manān Etjelletyandaljān. Most speakers of Vrjāmatya do not readily distinguish the one from the other, and consider them to be a continuous entity.
The perfective participle ahāmatya is a compound consisting of aha- “together deliberately, bring together with intent, an indication of a union of things thought as one” and amatya “made, built”. The former is a prefix that may be appended to verbs or nouns, and the latter is the perfective participle of the verb mat- “do, make, form”. Therefore, the meaning may be interpreted as “well prepared, refined, put together”. Since participle forms may act either as nominals or as modifiers, it is common to see ahāmatya stand alone, in which case it is thought of as a nominal, with the implication of “(that which is) well prepared, refined, put together”, where the items in parentheses are understood.
The full form, Vasa Ahāmatya Manān Etjelletyandaljān is built from vasa “language, speech”, manān is the genitive form of mana "land". Etjelletyandaljān is a more difficult word to analyze. It is composed of etjellet- which is the perfective form of the transitive verb tjellet-, itself derived from the noun tjelle “sky, heaven”. tjellet-, then, has the meaning “to sky someone, to adore someone or something, to put someone or something on high”. etjelletya, then, is the participle form “(that which is) adored, put on high”. The -nda- element is the augmentive, and the -lja- is a morpheme used to convert nouns into adjectives. Mana Etjelletyandalja is the full, poetic name for the land, meaning “the most adored or most favored land”. The final -n, with the lengthened vowel, is the genitive case marker. Besides being a poetic form, the notion of putting something or someone up on high, with connotations of putting them to the sky, works in a literal sense and refers to the magnificent mountains that dominate the skies and run the length of the land. These mountains are an important cultural and historical agent.
Taken altogether, Vasa Ahāmatya Manān Etjelletyandaljān translates to “the refined language of the most revered land”.
The driving goal of Ahāmatya is to provide a framework for the author’s creative works and worldbuilding. To that end, Ahāmatya ought to be a naturalistic constructed language, and ought to be pleasant to look at and to hear (admittedly, this is wholly subjective, and others may disagree with to the extent to which this was fulfilled).
Development, Inspiration, Forthcoming
The history of Ahāmatya as a constructed language is traceable to its earliest incarnations some ten or so years, the oldest, unchanged words being ive "bird", mana "land", and tura "strong". Since the development of the language has been a continuous evolution, with starts and stops, it is difficult to put an exact timeline of evolution. It is an on-going process, and will likely remain so.
Because much of the creative works and worldbuilding for which Ahāmatya guides concern themselves with cultural contact, exchange, and conflict, the two dominant languages of the world, Ahāmatya and Eḥeiθymme, are deliberately designed to be dissimilar, with regards to the make-up and feel of the language. The inspirations of the language include, but are not limited to, Sanskrit, Finnish, Russian, Latin, English, Quenya, Ancient Greek, and Classical Persian. While some overlap exists in the inspirations for Ahāmatya and Eḥeiθymme, any overt similarities are deliberately avoided.
A more in-depth and detailed documentation is forthcoming, which includes in-universe terminology for grammatical categories and descriptions. The author hopes to someday have the creative works published.
Ahāmatya has five major places of articulation and six manners of articulation. Furthermore, there exists a distinction between palatalized consonants and non-palatalized consonants, and in the context of labial nasals and stops, aspirated consonants and non-aspirated consonants. Ahāmatya, then, has thirty-three consonants in total, seven of which exist as allophones. Consonants in parentheses are allophones of their unvoiced counterparts.
|Nasal||m = [m]||mh = [mh]||n = [n]||nj = [nj]||ŋ = [ŋ]||ŋj = [ŋj]|
|Stop||unvoiced||p = [p]||ph = [ph]||t = [t]||tj = [tj]||k = [k]||kj = [kj]|
|voiced||(b) = [b]||(bh) = [bh]||(d) = [d]||(dj) = [dj]||(g) = [g]||(gj) = [gj]|
|Fricative||unvoiced||f = [f]||s = [s]||sj = [sj]||x = [x]||h = [h]||hj = [hj]|
|voiced||v = [v]||vj = [vj]||(ɣ) = [ɣ]|
|Trill||r = [r]||rj = [rj]|
|Semi-Vowel||w = [w]||y = [j]|
|Liquid||l = [l]||lj = [lj]|
Vowels and Diphthongs
Ahāmatya has four short vowels and four long vowels, a distinction manifested as the long vowels' sound being held twice as long as short vowels' sound.
The short vowels are following: i, e, a, u. The long vowels are following: ī, ē, ā, ū. Note that, when spoken, there is some variation in the actual pronunciation of /ɛ:/, and may be more accurately pronounced as [e:].
Ahāmatya has six diphthongs, all of which have length equivalent to long vowels. The diphthongs are the following: ei, ai, ui, iu, eu, au.
Prosody and Stress
There are as many syllables in an Ahāmatya word as there are separate vowels and diphthongs. Additionally, a cliticized [m, n, v, l, s] may carry its own syllable weight.
Stress is predictable, and manifests as primary and secondary stress. Secondary stress is placed upon the first syllable of a word, provided that that syllable is not a prefix, clitic, a reduplicated element, or augment. In that case, the secondary stress finds where the first syllable of the word is that is not one of those items, i.e., the root, and then provides the stress at that location. Primary stress falls upon the penultimate syllable.
Syllable structure generally follows two explicit rules, which themselves are detailed on various levels.
1. A consonant before a vowel, or a consonant cluster at the beginning of a word, forms the syllable onset.
tjelle [ˈtjɛl.lɛ] CVC.CV "sky" tala [ˈta.la] CV.CV "high" ive [ˈi.vɛ] V.CV "bird"
vrjāmatya [vrja:ˈmat.ja] CCVV.CVC.CV "original, natural" mrja [ˈmrja] CCV "spirit"
epprja [ɛpˈprja] VC.CCV "in front of a cat" phelarya [phɛlˈar.ja] CVC.VC.CV "beside the friend"
v-mrja [ˈvmrja] CCCV "in the spirit" v-mrja [vˈmrja] C.CCV "in the spirit" s-vlja [ˈsvlja] CCCV "as the wolf" s-vlja [sˈvlja] C.CCV "as the wolf"
2. Consonant clusters tend to be broken word internally.
tjelle [ˈtjɛl.lɛ] CVC.CV "sky" anna [ˈan.na] VC.CV "beneficial" emmatta [ˌɛmˈmat.ta] VC.CVC.CV "dear flower"
mandrya [ˈman.drja] CVC.CCV "power"
atamrjamma [a.taˈmrjam.ma] V.CV.CCVC.CV "in the company of a (dear) spirit" epprja [ɛpˈprja] VC.CCV "in front of a cat" yavendra [ˌjaˈvɛn.dra] VC.CCV "and of vowels"
Finally, of note, is that there exist two diphthongs that, if they were to exist in a non-stressed syllable, they will then collapse into a long vowel (or short vowel, in the context of plurality, see below). Which diphthong collapses into which vowel is shown here:
Ahāmatya nouns can be declined into six cases, three numbers, and four classes.
Ahāmatya nouns exhibit a kind of noun class system. Nouns have four classes: Class I nouns, called "a-theme" nouns; Class II nouns, called "e-theme" nouns; Class III nouns, called "u-theme" nouns; Class IV nouns, called "other" nouns. "a-theme", "e-theme", and "u-theme" are so-named because the vowels "a", "e", and "u" that appear as the final sound in their respective nouns in the singular root. "other" is so-named as a catch-all for words that are not "a-theme", "e-theme", or "u-theme". The phonological environment determines whether a noun is Class I or Class II, and is readily predictable. Class III nouns tend to be derived. Class IV nouns are almost always derived, and feature variable endings.
The thematic vowel in the ultimate syllable is determined by the vowel in the penultimate syllable and the consonants in the coda of that syllable and/or the onset of the ultimate syllable. Barring a few exceptions, this is a predictable machination. The consonants at the boundary of the penultimate and the ultimate vowel can be divided into four categories: continuative short, continuative long, terminative short, and terminative long.
The penultimate vowel, followed by one of the above mentioned boundary consonants, will determine the ultimate vowel, and thus, its class. This is illustrated in the table below. Vowels listed along the leftmost column are penultimate vowels. If one of these is followed by one of the four consonant boundary types, then the ultimate vowel, i.e., the theme vowel, is given.
Number in Ahāmatya nouns is represented by the noun root existing as a singular stem, a comprehensive plural stem, or a paucal plural stem. These are appended to by the case marker.
The singular is the unmarked form of the noun.
The comprehensive plural is marked by -i. If the stem ends in a diphthong which would collapse into a long vowel in non-stressed syllables, then it does so, but into a short vowel. The comprehensive plural has an intrinsic meaning of "all of that about which I am speaking in this context".
The paucal plural is marked by -u. The paucal plural has an intrinsic meaning of "some or a few of that about which I am speaking in this context".
There are six cases in Ahāmatya. Many cases are also used as objects of the preposition, most of which are predictable.
The nominative case indicates the subject of a transitive and intransitive verb, the predicate (this is variably marked also by an additional morpheme), and the object of some prepositions The nominative case is marked by -n, and has an allomorph in -r, which manifests in the usual way.
In the instance of a predicate-like construction of the form X is Y, the X and Y are marked by the nominative, but X has an additional affix -avjas after the nominative marking. This may be understood as an additional nominative case in full as -navjas or -ravjas.
The nominative case indicates a number of objects of the preposition, usually in some relationship independent of motion or physical location.
The accusative1 case is one of two accusative cases in Ahāmatya, and indicates the object of an imperfective aspect verb, and the object of some prepositions. The accusative1 case is marked by -i. This may cause additional vowel sound change in the usual way where applicable.
The accusative1 case indicates objects of the preposition involving motion with respect to some region.
The accusative2 case is one of two accusative cases in Ahāmatya, and indicates the object of a perfect aspect verb, and the object of some prepositions. The accusative2 case is marked by -ir. This may cause additional vowel sound change in the usual way where applicable.
The accusative2 case indicates objects of the preposition involving motion or location with respect to some boundary of a region.
The dative case indicates the indirect object of a verb, and the object of some prepositions. The dative case is marked by -a.
The dative case indicates objects of the preposition involving motion or location with respect to the surrounding of some boundary of a region.
The genitive case indicates ownership irrespective of time, origin of/from a location, partitive, topic of/about, some predicativity, composition or substance, and the object of some prepositions. The genitive case is marked similarly to the nominative case, with the exception of lengthening the final vowel before the -n or -r.
When describing that something is composed of a substance, the Genitive is used in concert with the suffix -uda.
The genitive case indicates objects of the preposition involving relationships between nouns.
The vocative case indicates that which is directly addressed. A noun in the vocative case is the citation form of the word in a reference. The vocative case is unmarked, or, to be more precise, is marked with -∅.
Class I, Class II, and Class III nouns have a fairly regular and predictable declination.
Prepositions in Ahāmatya are enclitics with respect to nouns, of which are their objects of the preposition. Such enclitics are syntactic words, but are dependent entirely on their host word and the host word's case.
Verbs in Ahāmatya are inflected for aspect, time, mood, voice, and person. Aspect and time combine to yield eight tenses. Verbs may be derived from nouns and adjectives into either transitive or intransitive verbs.
The general template of a verb in Ahāmatya is the following:
Note that, although presented here concatenatively, components of tense may be nonconcatenative.
Ahāmatya distinguishes between two aspects: the Imperfective aspect indicates a continuous action, and is unmarked, or marked by -∅-; the Perfect aspect indicates a completed action prior to some event in context, and is marked by augmenting the root vowel of the verb.
Time is distinguished between Past time, marked by -n- indicating actions in the past, and Non-Past time, marked by -t-, indicating actions not in the past. Within Non-Past time are present and future times, where the future is identical to the present with the addition of an explicit prefix le-, itself a cliticized form of an independent word. Aspect and time combine to yield tense. Additionally, there exists a Gnomic, or "timeless", time, which is used in concert with aspect to indicate general truths or aphorisms independent of a contextual time. Verbs in the gnomic are marked by lengthening the root vowel.
Ahāmatya has two distinctly marked moods:
In both the indicative and subjunctive moods for the gnomic tenses, the final -a is replaced with -i.
Ahāmatya has two voices:
Verbs in Ahāmatya are inflected for three grammatical persons. The forms of the person marking are dependent on the aspect and transitivity of the verb, the rules governing sound change notwithstanding. Person conjugation for the gnomic tenses are unique, and are thus presented separately.
Imperfective and Imperative Endings
The person endings for imperfective transitive and intransitive verbs take the following form:
The imperative is not a true mood in Ahāmatya, as it is only an extension of person marking, and only exists for imperfective non-past verbs. Such person endings take the following form:
The person endings for perfect transitive and intransitive verbs take the following form:
The person endings for gnomic verbs take the following form:
Middle Voice Endings
To account for reflexivity, Ahāmatya has a kind of "middle voice" extant as person endings, which have the the following forms:
Derivations From Verbs
Derivations To Verbs