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|Native speakers||1,946,000,000 (4140)|
East Mandabudi (areal)
Modern Standard Dundulanyä
Official language in
|Confederation of the United Dundulanyä Republics|
Dundulanyä [dundulɐnjɛ], natively known as dundulanyä ḫamfafa [dundulɐnjɛ ħɐmɸɐɸɐ], is the most spoken language on the planet Eventoa (Dun.: Lelḫajāṃrya). It is the official language of the Confederation of the United Dundulanyä Republics, which makes it the main lingua franca across the two southern hemisphere continents, Lusaṃrīte - where it originated - and Jūhma.
Dundulanyä itself has a long history, being first attested about 2400 years before the present in the areas of Central Lusaṃrīte, where the Dundulanyä civilization first developed; through successive empires and religious proselytism, people and language spread across many areas of the continent - most notably Dundulanyä-ifying the north shore of the Inland Seas by the end of Classical Lusaṃrītene Antiquity. As the dominant civilization of Lusaṃrīte, the Dundulanyä spread their language to become the main lingua franca of trade and culture in most of the continent and in eastern Jūhma; the massive demographical changes brought by the epidemics that were the result of increased contact with the civilizations of the northern hemisphere effectively enabled the Dundulanyä culture to spread in areas where formerly other civilizations were dominant. By the modern and contemporary eras, a more standardized version of classical Dundulanyä remained the lingua franca among multiple peoples across Lusaṃrīte and Jūhma, and the situation remained more or less the same after the collapse of the Fifth Dundulanyä Empire and through the Three Leagues Period.
Today, Dundulanyä is the official language of the Confederation of the United Dundulanyä Republics (laḫlurayäh dundulanyäɂi lilēṣkorukṣartē śūsmurdibēṣarān), the multicultural political entity that is dominant throughout Lusaṃrīte and Jūhma; the standard language is a heavily standardized version of the classical language, with many of the less regular forms having fallen out of use after one millennium of being essentially a L2 for the totality of its speakers; high style language and creative usage, however, still uses forms that have fallen out of use in the everyday language. Dundulanyä, along with any of the regional languages of the Confederation, is the main language for its 1,9 billion inhabitants, a number to which should be added a substantial amount of foreign users in virtually all other countries in Lusaṃrīte and Jūhma.
Both the language and the setting are still under construction: see the External history section on this page for more.
The relationship of Dundulanyä to other languages is poorly understood, given the limited attestations of neighboring languages contemporary to archaic Dundulanyä. It is classified as an East Mandabudi language, an areal grouping that includes Dundulanyä and some ancient - and scarcely attested - languages of that area based on some criteria that have been found, such as active-stative alignment, a Dundulanyä-like possessive system, a duodecimal number system, and heavily inflected nouns, that are not found in the most thoroughly attested languages of that era, the neighboring West Mandabudi and Dailishi languages.
Dundulanyä has a moderately large, but asymmetrical, vowel inventory with six short and four long vowels, along with three diphthongs and two consonants (short and long versions of the same one) that can fill the syllable nucleus.
|Close||i iː||u uː|
|Syllabic consonants||ʀ̩ ʀ̩ː|
The consonant inventory is more complex, with a pattern of “soft” and “hard” consonants traditionally recognized by classical Dundulanyä grammarians, not on a phonetic basis but starting from their relationship inside Dundulanyä morphology. In most cases, the difference is based on aspiration.
Dundulanyä has, among many points of articulations, a series of linguolabial consonants, which are common in its geographical area (in most of northern and central Lūsaṃrīte) but are otherwise extremely rare on Eventoa.
- /ŋ/ is phonemic only in the name of the corresponding letter and, through saṃdhi, in simplifications of /N/ + velar stop clusters.
- The /pʰ/ phoneme is mostly a invention of Dundulanyä grammarians to preserve symmetry in stops; it has a separate letter in the script, but as a phoneme it is only found in the name of the letter itself and in a few words of onomatopoeic origin; the vast majority of contemporary speakers merge it with /ɸ~f/.
- /ɖ/ and /ɖʱ/ are generally represented by the stop realizations, however, in the contemporary spoken language, except when adjacent to another consonant they are most commonly realized as any of [ɽ(ʱ) ɭ(ʱ) ɻ(ʱ)] depending on the geographical origin of the speaker, realizations which are influenced by the historical development of Classical Dundulanyä /ɖ ɖʱ/ in the modern vernaculars.
With the partial exception of /ħ/ and /ʀ/, words may only end in soft consonants and/or clusters of an approximant followed by a single soft stop or fricative.
Dundulanyä is characterized by a complex system of vowel alternations that was inherited from its proto-language. There are, depending on definition, either nine or twelve ablaut patterns, which Dundulanyä verbal roots may belong to, in addition to those that do not undergo ablaut. The overwhelming majority of Dundulanyä verbal roots are monosyllabic, and the few bi- or polysyllabic ones are all non-ablauting.
- a/zero root: bhaṭuṣa (bhaṭ-uṣ-) "expansion": ABS bhaṭuṣa, ERG bhaṭuṣis, DAT abḍhoṣak, LOC abḍhoṣā, LOC.PL abḍhauṣēn
- e/i root: dehuṣa (deh-uṣ-) "usage": ABS dehuṣa, ERG dehuṣis, DAT dihoṣak, LOC dihoṣā, LOC.PL dihauṣēn
- a/zero root, synchronically irregular: hāṅka (haf-n-ka- < *śǝ́f-ṇ-ko-) "socket": ABS hāṅka, ERG hāṅkis, DAT iṣfaṅkak, LOC iṣfaṅkā, LOC.PL iṣfāṅkēn
A substantial part of nouns in Dundulanyä is derived from verbal roots, and these may have ablaut patterns throughout their declension as in the examples above, or the derivational suffix may require the root to be in a certain ablaut grade (which is then a fixed stem throughout the declension). However, as a general rule, the majority of nouns relating to flora, fauna, and many elements of the natural world are not formed from verbal roots and do not show ablaut.
Dundulanyä roots belong to one out of ten classes (nine ablaut classes or non-ablauting):
|Class||Zero grade||Middle grade||Higher grade|
ī (CV- roots)
ū (CV- roots
The majority of roots belongs to either the 0 class, or to classes II to IV. Other classes are much rarer, with VI and especially IX being the least common overall. Many class I roots have a sonorant such as l, m or n (rarely other nasals), continuing formations parallel to class IV in reconstructed Pre-Dundulanyä.
Some class VII and VIII roots may have consonant changes caused by saṃdhi; furthermore, there are a few irregular class II and III roots which have a long vowel in the zero grade form even if they are not of CV shape; see e.g. lobh- "to write" with the long zero grade lūbh-. Class III roots with the -vo- sequence in the middle grade (citation form) reduce it to -ū- in any case in the zero grade, as in tvorg- "to fear" with the zero grade tūrg-.
(TBA: introduction, declension)
The consensus among linguists is that Dundulanyä does not have grammatical gender or noun classes; however, it should be noted that natural gender is shown on some nouns referring to humans, and furthermore there are some verbs that have a complementary distribution - most notably the existential "to be" - where one verb can only be used for inanimate subjects and another only for animate ones; in a few cases, the animate "class" is also split between humans and non-humans. None of this, however, is reflected in morphology.
Dundulanyä declensions are primarily categorized by whether they refer to nouns that undergo ablaut or not; secondarily, they are categorized by their stem type.
Ablauting declensions are all unproductive (although some of the derivational suffixes that form ablauting nouns are still productive) and include the following ones:
- Root nouns
- -e declension
- -a declension
- Zero-ending nouns with vowel suffixes (-u, -i, -ṛ).
Except for root nouns, ablauting nouns are formed by a root and a suffix, and ablaut alternates between them. Many such suffixes are derivational and productive, but some are no longer productive and limited to a small number of terms (such as -in- forming certain male kinship terms). In a few cases, the suffix may actually be an infix, such as the (non-productive) one in the word lorbhe "stele", ultimately from the root lobh- "to write" (cf. direct singular lorbhe but locative singular lūrabhē, dative plural lūrābhumi).
Non-ablauting declensions are the following ones:
- -e declension (first consonant stem declension)
- Zero-ending nouns with stems ending in liquids (-l or -r), nasals (-m or -n) or the glottal stop (-h) (second consonant stem declension). Nouns belonging to this declension have a prop vowel -a- in their citation form; nouns with other vowels belong to the first consonant stem declension (and end in -e in their citation form), cf. second declension glūḫam (glūḫ-(a)m-) vs. first declension kämbune "berry" (kämbun-). This is because liquids and nasals could be syllabic in Dundulanyä's ancestor language, but among them only r/ṛ remains as a consonant/vowel pair in Dundulanyä itself.
- Nouns with vowel-final stems.
- The extremely common -a declension is a particular case, as it behaves in some forms like a consonant stem declension, and like a vowel stem in others. Both for ablauting and non-ablauting declensions, -a and -e declensions most likely marked some kind of noun class distinction in the proto-language, which has been lost in the evolution of what became Dundulanyä.
Dundulanyä nouns have a further, non-case form, which is called the bound form by native grammarians. For nouns whose stems end in vowels, it is usually identical to the direct case; for other nouns, it is usually the endingless stem (with some exceptions). It is used when the noun is the predicate of a copular verb; when the noun is the possessor (a form syntactically reminescent of the Afroasiatic construct state); to mark the argument governed by a positional verb; and when governed by many adpositions.
In the name of the language, dundulanyä ḫamfafa, for example, dundulanyä is a bound form that however has the same form as the direct, due to the noun having a stem ending in a vowel. Some more examples of bound forms:
- imut naviṣyaɂe "the teacher's book", imut being the bound form of imute "teacher", and naviṣya "book" being marked with the 3SG possessive ɂe.
- nūrei dvārmaɂe "the child's room", nūrei being the bound form of nūrya "child".
- tätebu ū līv "my home is a flat", where līv, bound form of līve "apartment", is part of a copular structure.
- līv yudaya "3SG stands in the flat", where the positional verb yu-de- "to stand inside" requires its argument līve to be in the bound form līv.
- tūrgib surē "without fear", where the postposition surē "without" forces the noun tūrgibe to assume its bound form tūrgib.
The first and second ablauting declensions have the same ablaut patterns, but slightly different endings; the first ablauting declension has the same endings as the (non-ablauting) first consonant stem declension, while the second the same endings as non-ablauting -a nouns (with the exception of locative singular and the singular and plural bound forms).
Root ablaut nouns have the same ablaut pattern as -i, -u, -ṛ nouns, but the endings are directly added to the root, triggering the appropriate saṃdhi changes.
Ablauting nouns ending in -i, -u, -ṛ are mainly distinguished by having different ablaut patterns from other ablauting nouns. -ṛ nouns are extremely rare, and only three such nouns figure among the general usage vocabulary: khaikṛ (II) "goose", gāṃsṛ "passage, ford" (I, with the synchronically irregular zero grade gas-), and mētṛ (V) "vessel, pot, cooking pot".
- Morphemically mṛj-ai-yäh, with regular saṃdhi.
- The form in -ṛt is from Classical Dundulanyä and is preferred in formal usage, especially in writing; the form in -aṭ, taken from the corresponding non-ablauting paradigm, is however more commonly used.
The following declensions - -i, -u, -o, -e, -ä have their final vowel as part of the stem, and it is regularly kept throughout the declension. -e stems are therefore different from the consonant stems (which end in -e in their citation form), but are a very small number of nouns, mainly proper nouns (as are, furthermore, nearly all -o stems).
Dundulanyä nouns generally do not end in long vowels; the few exceptions that do (generally of onomatopoeic or baby talk origin) are treated as irregular nouns. The most common nouns ending in long vowels are certainly amamū "mother" and atabū (or batū) "father", which (due to regular saṃdhi) have ūv before vocalic endings (e.g. ergative plural amamūvām), but an irregular direct plural in -ūv-i, i.e. amamūvi, atabūvi, batūvi.
The -ṛ declension diverges from those ending in other vowels in various forms, such as the direct singular, where nouns end in -ar instead of the simple vowel -ṛ:
Dundulanyä verbs are quite complex and generally formed in an agglutinative manner - even if there are fusional elements for what concerns tense, aspect, and subject agreement. The language has an Austronesian-type morphosyntactic alignment, and the argument the verb agrees with is controlled by a particular morpheme inside the verb complex.
The morpheme order of Dundulanyä verbs is the following; elements in bold are required, even if some of them may be zero morphemes:
|Positional prefix||Incorporated verbal root||Stem||Trigger/voice||Evidential marker||Personal agreement||Dative agreement|
|Incorporated nominal root|
Verbs have four stems: present, past, perfect and frequentative; the latter two are always distinct, while non-ablauting roots have the same stems for the present and the past. These stems are used with different sets of personal agreement endings; different combinations of stems and endings are used to form a variety of tense-aspect combinations.
A few irregular verbs have suppletive stems, and a smaller number of verbs is defective, lacking one or more stems.
Some verb roots may be used with either a verbal or a nominal incorporated root which comes right before the stem in the verb complex. Incorporated verb roots are always in zero-grade ablaut, while incorporated nominal roots are actually a closed class of prefixes etymologically related to certain nouns that broadly identify the object (usually the patient) of the verb.
Incorporated verb roots form root+root complexes where the incorporated root adds a dimension of meaning to the main one, such as with the root jūpūn- "to work in a hurry" from pūn- "to work" with the incorporated root jo- "to hurry", or nililobh- "to write down through brainstorming" from lobh- "to write" with nily- "to think".
Incorporated nominal roots include for example morphemes such as tan- for a long object (cf. taṇḍa "stick, cane") resulting in forms such as taṃlobh- "to affix; carve (on a stick, a post)", or ghar- for "wood" with forms such as ghahreiś- "to debark" (reiś- "to peel") or gharṇevy- "to carve wood" (nevy- "to shape").
The prefix yau- fills the incorporated nominal root slot, however it denotes repetition and patient plurality and is always used together with the agentive trigger, as shown in forms such as yaukṛsēne "I waited for all of them".
The following ones are the personal agreement endings for Dundulanyä verbs.
The forms with vowel in the present are used after a consonant; the 3SG form is therefore a zero-marker in many common forms such as after the agent trigger (cf. meśa "3SG is seen" and meśū "3SG sees").
Dundulanyä has a duodecimal numeral system.
Dundulanyä is a conlang project that I “officially” started in early December 2021 (coincidentally around the fifth anniversary since I started Chlouvānem), although it and its goals are, to a large extent, the conflation of multiple projects that I sporadically worked on for most of 2021:
- A long process of “refinement” of Chlouvānem – that happened offline, so it was never reflected in any edit on the wiki pages here – by eliminating or changing some quirks that had formed over time and that had brought me to a standstill in working on that conlang by late 2020. Ideas for the refinement started from nominal morphology but then they eventually snowballed to the point it was impossible to implement them without basically starting the conlang anew;
- A radical reboot of Tameï that was meant to give it an a priori language family in a slightly changed conworld setting (although still on an alternative Earth); this was the language I originally created the glottonym Dundulanyä for;
- Various unnamed sketchlangs, mostly attempts at Hurro-Urartian diachronic conlanging, that were the results of a general interest in Ancient Near Eastern languages as a side-effect of my work on Lifashian (my “conlang of choice” for most of 2021).
Dundulanyä is meant to be the first conlang for a sort of reboot of Calémere – Eventoa – as, much like in Chlouvānem itself, there had come to be quite a few things in and about Calémere that I wasn’t that sure of keeping, but changing them would have meant to change so many things about the conworld that depended on them. Eventoa, as of now (March 28, 2022) is a WIP conworld about which I'm still adding and discarding ideas nearly every time I work on it, so there’s little to be written about it – but it eventually will incorporate a few elements of Calémere. Dundulanyä will play a role in Eventoa vaguely similar to the one Chlouvānem had in Calémere, although unlike earlier conworld reboots I have decided not to trash everything away (hence why I chose a different name for Eventoa), keeping eight years’ worth of documentation about Calémere and five years’ worth about Chlouvānem intact.
Compared to Chlouvānem, Dundulanyä is going to tone down somewhat the Sanskrit and particularly the Lithuanian and Japanese influences, while being more influenced by PIE itself, Hurrian, Urartian, Elamite, Anatolian languages, and the Semitic and Turkic languages as a whole.
- Literally "Dundulanyä our-language", with a 1PL possessive; the stylistic variant dundulanyä ḫamfarān (lit. "Dundulanyä their-language") is sometimes found in neutral contexts.
- In colloquial Dundulanyä, such nouns are often declined like -a nouns, given that their declensions are similar, the main difference being vowel lengthening in most forms.
- The dual and plural of given names are used to mark a group of two (dual) or more (plural) people contextually identified by some kind of relationship to the person the name refers to; e.g. "X and friends; X and family; X and partner...".