Dhannuá

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Dhannuá (dhannuá bhlóar [ˈdʱannuaː ˈbʱloːar] or dhannuá aurónar [ˈdʱannuaː ˈauroːnar]), also known as Aurónian is a Lúsanic language, itself a branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in the archipelago of Aurónar. It is a continuation of Middle Dhannuá, the official language used by courts during the Second Kingdom, which in turn descends from the insular Dānaiza dialect of Old Dhannuá, spoken during the Sawelis Empire.

Dhannuá
Dhannuá Aurónar
Pronunciation [ˈdʱannuaː ˈauroːnar]
Created by
Setting
Spoken natively in The Island States of Aurónar
Region Eurasia
Native speakers 32 thousand  (2011)
Language family
Indo-European
Early forms:
Old Dhannuá (Insular)
  • Middle Dhannuá
    • Dhannuá
Writing system Latin (Dhannuá alphabet)
Official status
Official language in The Island States of Aurónar
Regulated by Cósseneir Dhannuáor Aurónár (Council of The Language of Aurónar)
ISO 639-3 qdh

Background

Dhannuá was conceived in my mind when I decided to mess around with Indo-European lexical and grammatical root stock. It is my first attempt at creating a modern Indo-European conlang and it shows, in many aspects!

Dhannuá (and its immediate relatives) belong to the centum grouping of IE languages, that is, they have merged the palatal and the plain plosive series.

Phonology

Dhannúa has 22-24 distinctive consonants.

Consonants

Bilabial Labiode. Dental Alveol. Postalve. Velar Glottal
Nasals m n
Plosives p pʰ b bʱ t tʰ d dʱ k kʰ g gʱ
Fricatives [f] [v] s z ʃ h
Trills r
Glides Approxim. w
Lateral Appr. l

The pronunciation of /f/ and its voiced counterpart /v/ is considered a dialectal variation on /pʰ/ and /bʱ/. Although they occur in a few standard words as borrowings from these dialects they are often not considered to belong in Dhannuá proper.

Vowels

Front Near-front Central Near-back Back
Close
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
i
u
(ɪ)
(ɪ̈)
(e)


a
(ɑ)
Near‑close
Close‑mid
Mid
Open‑mid
Near‑open
Open

Grammar

Dhannúa, or as it has been more recently called Aurónian, has preserved an Indo-European synthetic-inflectional structure in both its nouns and in its verbs.

Pronouns, nouns, adjectives, and certain numerals decline (for case, number and often gender), while verbs conjugate for person and tense. The majority of nouns can be regularly inflected for six cases, a scarce few for a seventh, and adjectives generally agree with their headwords.

As the grammar seems to be undergoing quite a marked change in the common vernacular, certain word forms may be exceedingly rare to encounter in spoken form. Gender agreement for adjectives appears to be simplifying to a simple animate-inanimate category.

Morphology

Noun

Aurónian has six noun cases – nominative, genitive, accusative, dative, essive, comitative - of which the first four are inherited from Indo-European. The remaining two, the essive and comitative are innovations common to the Finio-Dhannic languages. Certain words appear to preserve a seventh case - the instrumental - but it is extremely rare to encounter this form in modern literature. There are two numbers - singular and plural - although certain words are only encountered in one of these. Grammatical gender appears to be in process of disappearing from the language, Dhannuá originally having had three - masculine, feminine, neuter - but now tendencies to merge the first two in adjectives and referents are becoming increasingly prevalent in certain forms of the spoken language, while morphologically the neuter has in many cases merged with the feminine, giving many "feminine" nouns for historical neuters, e.g. áranna 'a question'.

Nominative

As Dhannuá is a nominative-accusative language, the nominative (nom) is used for the argument of intransitive verbs (subject) and for the agent in transitive verbs.

In an intransitive sentence:

Reidhadh aicuir riaros úiru.
The red man rides quickly.”

In a transitive sentence:

Reidhadh supermarcetann úennan úiru.
The man rides the woman to the supermarket.”
Accusative

The accusative (acc) is used for the object of a transitive verb and also in certain expressions of time. Finally, it is also used to indicate the goal of verbs of motion.

Marked on the object of a transitive verb:

Dhúmadh abhlonn so.
“He is smoking an apple.”

In a fix time expression:

Ísdh nósann so!
Tonight it is!”

As the goal of a verb of motion:

Reidhadh supermarcetann úennan úiru.
“The man rides the woman to the supermarket.”
Genitive

The genitive (gen) is used to indicate a relationship of sorts between nouns, for possession, after most prepositions, and yet again in certain time expressions.

Indicating a relationship:

Ísdh sa dhannuá Súalannu!
 “That is the language of Swedes

Indicating possession:

Ísdh sa penna sar úennor.
“That's the woman's pen.”

After a preposition:

Bhúirann bhuanna palann í Sinaror.
“They found a plain in Shinar.”

In a time expression:

Bhúi bhresso scolann ía Iathassiár.
“I walked to school last Thursday.”

Verb

The Aurónian verb is conjugated for person, number, mood, and tense. In the prescribed standard, the verb is no longer inflected for moods beyond the imperative. All other moods are instead formed by using specific postverbal particles. There are few fully irregular verbs, but many minor irregularities resulting from a conflux of analogical levelling, sound changes, and prior prescriptivism.

One major dialectal difference in Aurónian is found in the construction of tenses (didhánna úánnár). There is a multitude of ways to form both the future and the past tense, depending on whether or not one is using the synthetic form of the verb.

Present tense

The present tense is formed simply for all regular thematic verbs by adding the relevant person suffixes.

person suffix
I -ann
thou -as
he -adh
we -an,-am
you -adh
they -annad
Past tense

There are several past tenses which differ in their aspect state.

Past I

The first past tense is used for events that occurred in the past without a specified end. It is formed morphologically by affixing -ir- to the naked consonantal stem and then the appropriate person endings.

person suffix
I -ira
thou -ira
he -iradh
we -irim, -irin
you -iradh
they -irann


If the verb stem ends in a vowel, it is lengthened before adding -r-.

person sessedh “to sit”
I sesséra
thou sesséra
he sesséradh
we sessérim, sessérin
you sesséridh
they sessérann
Future tense

There are two main strategies for the formation of the future tense: future I ('synthetic') and future II ('bhúi-construction').

Future I

The basis of this tense is formed morphologically by affixing -s- (or -r- in some cases) to the naked stem and then the appropriate person endings. This future form is able to occupy the first position of a sentence and thus word-order-wise it behaves just the same as a fully inflected present tense verb.

The relevant person suffixes for this future are

person suffix
I -ann
thou -is, -ir[1]
he -idh
we -im
you -idh
they -annad
  1. ^ a b If the future stem has a 'weak s' then it will shift to -r- with the ending -is,while if it is a 'strong s' then it will remain -s- while the ending becomes -ir

Future II

This tense is on the other hand formed by combining the future tense of ísan with the verbal noun.

the verb ísan in the future tense
I bhúirinn
thou bhúiris
he bhúiridh
we bhúirim
you bhúiridh
they bhúirinn

The inflected form is itself prone to reduction to bhúi in speech, whereupon the use of pronouns becomes obligatory,

Bhúi lúcadh tódh sa vs. bhúiridh lúcadh tódh "She's going to light it"

Syntax

Aurónian Dhannuá syntax is markedly different from Indo-European syntax, especially in its typologically rare VOS word order

Default word order

  1. Negation1
  2. Verb
  3. Various postverbal particles2
  4. Auxiliary verb part3
  5. Manner descriptor
  6. Indirect object
  7. Direct object
  8. Location descriptor
  9. Time descriptor
  10. Subject

Notes

  • 1. Usually, if the verb begins with a vowel, the negation ne is procliticised onto the verb, e.g. anúidannad an tódh? 'Don't they know that?' and loses stress.
  • 2. e.g. ca 'and, also', an 'question particle'.
  • 3. e.g. past tense participle, future II participle, etc.

The bare building block needed for an intransitive sentence is the verb with the subject as an optional component. Sentences with a transitive verb require a direct object.

In actual speech, word order may vary slightly, a bit freer than say English, as words are inflected for case and verbs may be marked for person thus permitting such variations such as verb-subject-object.

Example sentence

Ne ísdh ca rédhan cun úaughod sann so nu. "And he isn't driving by car to her now"

Questions

Questions follow a slightly different word order from the default, depending on several factors (such as polarity, tense, particle) which makes them one of the more complex parts of the grammar.

In simple questions replace the direct object with the relevant wh-word.

Ísdh úid? "What is that?"
Náscas úid? "What do you doubt?"

For emphasis, it is possible to front the wh-word.

Úid ísdh? "What is that?"
Úíd náscas? "What is it that you doubt?"

In yes/no questions, the usual word order applies in the present tense.

Ísdh an sád penna? "Is that her pen?"
Ísdh. "It is."
Anísdh. "It is not."

In the past tense, the position of the question element is variable. At the fundamental level it has to do with whether one is using the full (bhúir-) or the reduced form (bhúi) of ísan to form the past tense. This has some consequences for the negation and the postverbal particles.

(Ne) bhúirann an dhann sod tódh? "Did I (not) give it to him?"
An bhúi (ne) dhann sod tódh ía? "Did I (not) give it to him?"

The pattern can be described formally as

Q V1 neg V2 particle, e.g. An bhúi ne ússo ca méd tódh so "And he didn't tell me?"