Aporese

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Aporese is the official and most widely spoken language of the country of Apore. A member of the Möqqic branch of the Iropo-Antilonian language family, it is distantly related to Bearlandic, though after millennia of separation, there are only a limited number of cognates which generally look so different that most lexical resemblances are either chance or the result of borrowing. Just to give you an idea: Aporese såp "hole" is cognate to Bearlandic haus "house" (<PIA *sagʷs "cave"), lat "sun" is cognate to zoll "sun" (<PIA *zĺds) and pedi "do" is cognate to "do" (<PIA *póid-). However non-coincidental similarities exist as well, such as dzöysi ~ zʉs "sister" and lepi "go" ~ lop "walk".

Phonology

Consonants

Labial Dental Lateral Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n ň /ɲ/ (ng /ŋ/)
Stop p b t d k g q
Affricate c /ts/ dz č /tʃ/ (dž /dʒ/)
Fricative f v s z tl /ɬ/ š ž /ʃ ʒ/ ǧ /ɣ/ h
Approximant r l j

In native words, /ŋ/ only occurs allophonically before other velar consonants. In loanwords it can also appear in other positions, making it marginally phonemic. Some speakers merge it with /n/.

The phonemic status of /dʒ/ is currently unclear.

Due to a historic sound change, /s/ becomes /ʃ/ before stops. This rule is still productive, as evidenced by recent loanwords. However, it is not always reflected in writing.

Vowels

Aporese has nine monophthongs:

Front unrounded Front rounded Back
High i ü /y/ u
Mid-high e ö /ø/ o
Mid-low å /ɔ/
Low ä /æ/ a /ɑ/

Possible diphthongs include /ɑi æi ei ie øy yø ɑu ou oi uo/. For the most part, they are written the same as the vowels they are composed of, with the exception of /øy/, which is written as <öy> rather than <öü>.

Verbs

There are two main classes of verbs: one whose citation form (third person singular present indicative) ends in -ip, and one whose citation form ends in -i. Verbs are conjugated for two tenses (present and past), two finite moods (indicative and subjunctive), and have both present and past infinitives and participles. In addition, there exist a few periphrastic verb forms as well.

Ip-conjugation: qöysip "vomit" Present Past Subjunctive
1sg qöys-pan qöys-pin qöys-pin-an
2sg qöys-pis qöys-pis qöys-pin-is
3sg qöys-ip qöys-pit qöys-pin
1pl qöys-piň qöys-pitiň qöys-pin-iň
2pl qöys-piš qöys-pitiš qöys-pin-iš
3pl qöys-par qöys-pir qöys-pin-ar
Infinitive qöys-pad qöys-pit
Participle qöys-pinu qöys-pitu


I-conjugation: cadi "know" Present Past Subjunctive
1sg cad-an cad-in cad-in-an
2sg cad-is cad-is cad-in-is
3sg cad-i cad-at cad-in
1pl cad-iňi cad-atiň cad-in-iň
2pl cad-iši cad-atiš cad-in-iš
3pl cad-ar cad-ir cad-in-ar
Infinitive cad-in cad-it
Participle cad-nu cad-itu


Irregular: je "be" Present Past Subjunctive
1sg jan šin šinan
2sg jis šis šinis
3sg je šit šin
1pl jiň šiňi šiniň
2pl jiš šiši šiniš
3pl jasar, je šar šinar
Infinitive jes šit
Participle janu šitu

In the third person plural, jasar is normally only used when no explicit subject is specified. If there is a subject, je is usually preferred.

Jasar baikiš.
be.PRES.3PL young-PL.MASC
They are young.
Künčir je baikiš.
boy-PL be.PRES.3SG young-PL.MASC
The boys are young.

The future tense is made periphrastically with the verb jivi + infinitive.

Jivan žitin makid.
FUT-1SG eat-PRES.INF chicken-GEN
I'm going to eat chicken.

Progressive tenses are made with je + present participle.

Jäk jan aispinu Aporid aisuna.
1SG.NOM be.PRES.1SG speak-PRES.PRTC Apore-GEN language-ACC
I'm speaking Aporese.

Passives are also made with je + participle, though in this case the past participle is used in the past tense and optionally also in the present tense. Especially in more formal situations, the potentially ambiguous construction using a present participle is preferred.

Šöys je žitinu žerme.
salmon be.PRES.3SG eat-PRES.PRTC bear-INSTR
The salmon is eaten by a bear.

Nouns

Nouns have two genders, two numbers and six cases. Their inflection is mostly agglutinative, with clearly separate number and case morphemes, though some cases have different endings in the singular than in the plural.

There are several ways to form the plural. As a general rule, masculine nouns have plurals in -š and feminine nouns have plurals in -r, though there are exceptions to this, such as the masculine noun künči "boy, son", whose plural is künčir. In addition, some nouns have a plural in -n, and ňet "human being" has a suppletive plural qöyke, which takes singular case endings.

"bear" "woman" "language" "human being"
Singular Nominative žer fräči aisu ňet
Genitive žerid fräčid aisud ňetid
Dative žeran fräčin aisun ňetan
Accusative žerna fräčina aisuna ňetna
Locative žeriž fräčiž aisuž ňetiž
Instrumental žerme fräčime aisume ňetme
Plural Nominative žeriš fräčir aisun qöyke
Genitive žeršid fräčirid aisunid qöykid
Dative žeršež fräčirež aisunež qöykan
Accusative žeršas fräčiras aisunas qöykena
Locative žeršiž fräčiriž aisuniž qöykeniž
Instrumental žeršan fräčiran aisunan qöykeme

Adjectives

Adjectives precede their heads. They do not agree in case, gender or number when used attributively, though they do agree in gender and number when used predicatively.

Masculine Feminine
Singular rousa rousi
Plural rousaš rousar
rousa blaisi
red blood
red blood
Blaisi je rousi.
blood be.PRES.3SG red-FEM.SG
Blood is red.

Pronouns

Person 1st 2nd 3rd masculine 3rd feminine
Singular Nominative jäk žäk sämi ši
Genitive mid gid sämid šid
Dative minan ginan sämin šinan
Accusative mäk gäk sämin šina
Locative miquriž giquriž sämiž šiquriž
Instrumental miqume giqume sämime šiqume
Plural Nominative bie fie sånu
Genitive bid fid sånud
Dative binan finan sånun
Accusative bos fos sånus
Locative biquriž fiquriž sånuž
Instrumental biqume fiqume sånume

Interrogative pronouns do not have separate singular and plural forms. They are inflected as follows:

"who" "what"
Nominative bi bas
Genitive bad
Dative binan banan
Accusative bina bana
Locative baže
Instrumental bame

The demonstrative pronouns are šeda (proximal), jarda (distal) and da (unspecified). They are inflected as regular nouns with plurals ending in -n.

Numbers

  1. šuma
  2. cäži
  3. caštra
  4. fie
  5. jäči
  6. čaipa
  7. bup
  8. ňep
  9. töyň

The numbers 11-19 are formed by prefixing töy- to the units: töybå "11".

The word for "twenty" is plata, the other tens are formed by suffixing -ta: cäžita "thirty", caštrata "forty", etc. "Hundred" is surža.

Other numbers are expressed as tens - ja - units: caštrata ja šuma "42". In rapid speech, the conjunction ja may be left out, and the suffix -ta may be dropped from all other tens than plata: cäži čaipa "37", plata fie "25".

The first two ordinals are keri and jarig. Other ordinals are formed by suffixing -(a)l: cäžil "third", bupal "eighth". Ordinal forms of compound numbers add -(a)l to the last part, except if this is or šuma, in which case keri and jarig are used: fieta ja čaipal "57th", bupta ja jarig "82nd".

Syntax

Word order

The word order is relatively free, though it is usually SVO or sometimes SOV. Modifiers usually precede their heads, with the notable exception of possessive pronouns following them. Adverbs do not have a fixed position and may be placed anywhere.

Žäk ňauma jis dzaknu žärina mid.
2SG.NOM again be.PRES.2SG drink-PRES.PRTC beer-ACC 1SG-GEN
You're drinking my beer again.

Conjunctions

Relative clauses

Relative clauses contain a participle and are placed before the noun they modify, just like most other modifiers.

Jarže tlepnu at je papat mid.
there sleep-PRES.PRTC man be.PRES.3SG father 1SG-GEN
The man who's sleeping over there is my father.

Note that the head is only marked for case according to its function in the main clause. Its function in the relative clause is often not explicitly expressed and has to be inferred from the context. Compare the following two sentences, noting the different case marking on the word böraq:

Jäǧpin jarda böraqiž.
be.born-PST.1SG that village-LOC
I was born in that village.
Jivan lepin jäk jäǧpitu böraqan.
FUT-1SG go-PRES.INF 1SG.NOM be.born-PST.PRTC village-DAT
I'm going to the village where I was born.

Which participle to use depends on whether the event described in the relative clause happened before, during or after the event described in the main clause.

Accusative with infinitive

Indirect statements, i.e. sentences with a clause depending on a verb meaning something like for example "say", "think" or "know", are expressed using an accusative with infinitive construction. In this construction, the subject of the clause is put in the accusative case and followed by an infinitive verb.

Tamat kičena žüötpit ǧietana.
say-PST.3SG king-ACC kill-PST.INF goat-ACC
He said the king had killed a goat.

As in relative clauses, tense marking in accusative with infinitive constructions is relative to the tense in the main clause.

Locative absolute

A locative absolute is a construction which indicates a time, a circumstance or a condition. It consists of a noun in the locative case followed by a participle.

Miquriž aispinu žäk bal tleisinis.
1SG-LOC speak-PRES.PRTC 2SG.NOM PT be.silent-SUBJ-2SG
When I talk you are silent.