Eḥeiθymmen Amran

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Eḥeiθymmen Arjad Eḥðeirymmē Amran
[ɛˈçej.θym.mɛn ˈar.jad ɛçˈðej.rym.mɛː ˈam.ran]
Creator: Daniel Quigley
Spoken in: Amran
World: Leaves Stories
Total Speakers: ~ 18,000,000
Basic word order: Strict V2
Morphological Type: Fusional
Morphosyntactic Alignment: Split Ergative-Absolutive
Inspirations: Arabic, German, Finnish, Welsh, Basque, English, Menominee
Status: In Progress
Link to full documentation: *forthcoming*

Eḥeiθymmen Arjad Eḥðeirymmē Amran 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. Eḥeiθymmen Arjad Eḥðeirymmē Amran, or Eḥeiθymmen Amran or Eḥeiθymme, is the dominant language of the people of Amran.

Eḥeiθymme is characterized by significant word-internal sound-change, a "root-and-pattern" morphology, and strict word order. Eḥeiθymme readily accepts words of non-native origin, but tends to force said loans into its morphological paradigm.

Eḥeiθymme is typologically a fusional language. Nouns, modifiers, and verbs are typically formed via a root-and-pattern triconsonantal root system, and movement between the three is highly fluid. Nouns are not inflected for number and case; these details are encoded in the definiteness marked by an article. Other modifiers, such as adverbs, are not inflected in the same way, though similarities may be found in certain contexts. Verbs entirely depend upon their construction with a positive or a negative copula, and most tenses are formed via periphrasis. Some particles are inflected for person. Eḥeiθymme is a Split Ergative-Absolutive aligned language, in which nouns tend to obey ergative-absolutive alignment rules, and person marking on the verb tends to obey nominative-accusative alignment rules. Eḥeiθymme has strict V2 word order despite the presence of extensive case marking.

Introduction

Setting

Eḥeiθymmen Arjad Eḥðeirymmē Amran is the lingua franca of Amran. The people of Amran are exceptionally diverse in language, culture, and identity. At the time of the Leaves stories, Amran is in its twilight years and is a ghost of its former self. Amran's vast landscape follows from a temperate biome to a taiga biome, dominated by thick forests, abundant snowfall in many regions, and mountainous regions further inland. Much of the population is concentrated along the coastal regions, while inland is mostly uninhabited by humans.

Etymology

Eḥeiθymme is a word built from nominal form of the root ∅-J-T indicating "language, speaking, articulated speech", rendered as ait, which morphs to eiθ, the ah- prefix, which morphs to eḥ-, formulates proper nouns out of common nouns, and the suffix -umma, which morphs to -ymme, which is the augmentive suffix. In genitive constructions involving a proper noun fulfilling the genitive role, the possessed noun is in the construct state, sometimes unrealized morphologically, but in this case, it is indicated by -n. Arjad is from the positive copula R-J-D, Eḥðeirymmē is built from the nominal form of D-J-R indicating "earth, land", rendered as dair, which morphs to ðeir, the ah- prefix, which morphs to eḥ-, formulates proper nouns out of common nouns, and the suffix -umma, which morphs to -ymmē in the absolutive case, and amran is the imperfective verbal form from the root M-R-N indicating "goodness, pleasantness, well-being". All morphing in sounds are accounted for in the section on sound change.

Taken altogether, Eḥeiθymmen Arjad Eḥðeirymmē Amran translates to “the principle language of Amran”, or, "the principal language of the good land".

Goals

The driving goal of Eḥeiθymme is to provide a framework for the author’s creative works and worldbuilding. To that end, Eḥeiθymme 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 Eḥeiθymme as a constructed language is relatively recent, and stems from the author's desire to construct a language with a Semitic style, and from the author's investigations into tense, mood, and aspect systems of world languages during his undergraduate career in linguistics. The earliest dedicated work on the language originated with the name of an individual, Iḥliθ, whose meaning is yet elusive, and the now-defunct word for a ruler, aryad, which has since come to be the positive copula.

Because much of the creative works and worldbuilding for which Eḥeiθymme 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, Arabic, German, Finnish, Welsh, Basque, English, Menominee. 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.

Phonology

Consonants

Eḥeiθymme has five major places of articulation and six manners of articulation, and yields twenty-three consonants in total.

Consonant Inventory of Eḥeiθymme
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m = [m] n = [n]
Stop unvoiced p = [p] t = [t] k = [k]
voiced b = [b] d = [d] g = [g]
Fricative sibilant unvoiced s = [s] ʃ = [ʃ]
voiced ʒ = [ʒ]
non-sibilant unvoiced f = [f] θ = [θ] = [ç] x = [x] h = [h]
voiced v = [v] ð = [ð] ɣ = [ɣ]
Semi-vowel w = [w] y = [j]
Lateral l = [l]
Rhotic r = [r]

Vowels and Diphthongs

Eḥeiθymme has five short vowels and five long vowels, a distinction manifested as the long vowels' sound being held twice as long as short vowels' sound.

The short vowels are the following: i, e, a, y, u. The long vowels are the following: ī, ē, ā, ȳ, ū. Note that, when spoken, there is some variation in the actual pronunciation of /ɛ:/, and may be more accurately pronounced as [e:].

Eḥeiθymme has three diphthongs, all of which have length equivalent to long vowels. The diphthongs are the following: ei, ey, au.

Vowel and Diphthong Inventory of Eḥeiθymme
Front Back
unrounded rounded
Close i = [i]
ī = [i:]
y = [y]
ȳ = [y:]
u = [u]
ū = [u:]
Mid e = [ɛ] ~ [e]
ē = [ɛ:] ~ [e:]
Open a = [a]
ā = [a:]
Diphthongs ei = [ej], ey = [eɥ], au = [aw]

Prosody and Stress

Syllables are determined by vowel-sounds and diphthong-sounds. There is one vowel or diphthong per syllable. A syllable will tend to be closed, and tend not to contain a consonant in the onset if it can be avoided.

The determination of stress is understood within the bounds of the ultimate to antepenultimate syllable.

1. If the word at most contains:

  • three syllables, then the first syllable is stressed.
  • two syllables, then the first syllable is stressed.
  • one syllable, then that syllable is stressed.

2. If the word contains:

  • more than three syllables, then the antepenultimate syllable is stressed.
  • a diphthong or a long vowel in the ultimate, penultimate, or antepenultimate syllable, then that syllable is stressed.

Sound Change

There exists three general rules of sound change in Eḥeiθymme, one of which involves the mutation of consonants, one of which involves a harmonization of the vowels in a word, and one that turns consonants into vowels.

1. The consonant moves to a fricative counterpart in the environment that it follows a front vowel or a voiceless palatal fricative.

  • t → θ
  • d → ð
  • p → f
  • b → v
  • k → x
  • g → ɣ
  • h → ḥ = ç
  • s → h

2. If a close, front, unrounded vowel exists anywhere in the word, then the close, back vowel becomes the close, front, rounded vowel, and the open, back vowel becomes the mid, front, unrounded vowel.

  • u → y / ...i...
  • a → e / ...i...

3. A semi-vowel becomes its vowel counterpart in the environment that it preceeds immediately a non-semi-vowel consonant.

  • j → i / _C
  • w → u / _C

Morphology

Eḥeiθymme is characterized by a nonconcatenative morphology, or "root-and-pattern" morphology. Words are constructed from an abstract consonantal root structure according to any of several templates. The roots of words tend to be made of two or three consonants, called radicals, though roots of one or four are not unheard of. Words not of an Eḥeiθymme origin are made to follow Eḥeiθymme's morphology, and so can exhibit an atypical number of consonant roots. Additionally, Eḥeiθymme is not without discrete morphemes in the form of affixes in addition to the characteristic nonconcatenative morphology.

Eḥeiθymme Inflectional and Derivational Morphology Structure
Root μv1v2v3vμ
Constituent Parts μ v 1 v 2 v 3 v μ
morphemic prefix vowel(s) or diphthong initial radical vowel(s) or diphthong medial radical vowel(s) or diphthong final radical vowel(s) or diphthong morphemic suffix

Verbs

Verbs in Eḥeiθymme are predominantly aspectual, and show no overt morphological distinction to reflect time. Tenses are constructed typically by periphrasis. Mood is constructed via periphrasis for moods that are not indicative, subjunctive, or imperative, with one of several modal verbs. Voice is distinguished morphologically in unison with periphrasis. Person is marked directly on the verb by distinct morphemes.

On the verb itself, the following may be marked:

  • Two aspects (perfective, imperfective)
  • Three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter)
  • Four persons (first, second, third, indeterminate)
  • Agent/subject and patient
  • Three numbers (singular, plural, paucal)
  • Three moods (indicative, subjunctive, imperative)

Critical to the construction of the verb and verb phrase is the copula, of which there exists both a positive copula ∅-J-D and a negative copula ∅-M-N . Additionally, there exists an infinitive form of the verb that is used with modals.

Since verbs are constructed regularly via predictable combinatorics, it is useful to make a generalized template with which to consult. α and β are assumed to have been inflected for agent/subject and/or object person marking.

  • α is a verb in the perfective aspect construction
  • β is a verb in the imperfective aspect construction
  • V is the full verb
  • subscript "copula" means that that verb is the copula
  • superscript "+" or "-" means that that verb is either the positive or the negative form (of the copula)
  • subscript "modal" means that that verb is a modal verb
  • subscript "infinitive" means that that verb is in the infinitive form of the verb

Tense

Tense is constructed combinatorially with the copula, with an explicitly defined aspectual distinction.

Eḥeiθymme distinguishes between three aspects: the Perfective aspect indicates an action completed, or an action as a whole; the Imperfective aspect indicates a continuous action; the Perfect aspect indicates a completed action prior to some event in context. Only the Perfective and the Imperfective have unique morphological templates; the Perfective aspect is formed via periphrasis.

The overt forms of the various aspects are dependent on the consonant make-up of the root. Such roots typically exhibit two or three consonants. Roots whose consonants are phonologically stable are roots whose consonants are not lateral (L-roots), rhotic (R-roots), fricative (S-roots), or semi-vowel (J-roots and W-roots), and are the so-called CCC-roots. Phonologically unstable roots exhibit minor irregularities in their construction, of which depend on the location of the unstable consonant(s) in the root: initial, medial, final. Roots consisting of two consonants, called ∅CC-roots, have variable manifestations and typically form via leveling, realized as the 2 consonant being doubled and acting as the 1 consonant.

Morpho-phonological phenomena and historical processes notwithstanding, the general structure of aspect is the following:

  • The Perfective Aspect: -1e23i
  • The Imperfective Aspect: -12a3
Aspect Construction in Eḥeiθymme (Indicative Mood Shown Here)
Perfective Imperfective
∅CC-roots -e23i -(2)2a3
Phonologically Stable CCC-roots -1e23i -12a3
-1u2a31
Phonologically Unstable L-roots L-initial -Le23i -L2a3
-i2e32
L-medial -1eL3i
-1ei3i3
-1La3
L-final -1e2Li -12aL
R-roots R-initial -Re23i -R2a3
R-medial -1ē3i -1Ra3
R-final -1e2Ri -12ā
S-roots S-initial -Se23i -S2a3
S-medial -1eS3i -1Sa3
-S1a34
S-final -1e2Si -12aS
J-roots J-initial -Je23i -i2e3
J-medial -1ei3i -1Ja3
J-final -1e2ī -12aJ
W-roots W-initial -We23i -u2a3
W-medial -1ey3i -1Wa3
W-final -1e2yi -12aW
1 If 1 and 2 are stops
2 If 2 is a stop
3 If 3 is a stop
4 If 1 is a stop

Eḥeiθymme distinguishes two times: the Past time indicates actions in the past; the Non-Past time indicates actions not in the past, and in some contexts covers both the present and the future. Aspect and time combine to yield tense.

  • The Perfective Past Tense indicates a simple completed action in the past. It is the composition of perfective aspect and past time.
  • The Imperfective Past Tense indicates an ongoing or incomplete action in the past time. It is the composition of imperfective aspect and past time.
  • The Imperfective Non-Past Tense indicates an ongoing action in the non-past time. It is the composition of imperfective aspect and non-past time. Additionally, this tense may also be used to refer to the equivalent of a future time, depending on the context.
  • The Perfect Past Tense indicates an action which was completed prior to another completed action. It is the composition of perfect aspect and past time.
  • The Perfect Non-Past Tense indicates an action which was completed prior to another action. It is the composition of perfect aspect and non-past time.
Positive and Negative Verb Construction without Modals in Eḥeiθymme
Positive Non-Past Time Past Time Negative Non-Past Time Past Time
Perfective Aspect α Perfective Aspect ad-α
Imperfective Aspect β
β+copula + β
α+copula + β Imperfective Aspect β-copula + β α-copula + β
Perfect Aspect β+copula + α α+copula + α Perfect Aspect β-copula + α α-copula + α

Mood

Eḥeiθymmen has three distinctly marked moods: the Indicative mood indicates factual statements, inquiry of simple questions, and the statement of beliefs; the Subjunctive mood indicates imaginary or hypothetical actions, conveys opinions or emotions, or conveys requests; the Imperative mood indicates a directed command.

Verb Construction in Eḥeiθymme for Morphological Mood
Indicative Subjunctive Imperative
Perfective Imperfective Perfective Imperfective
∅CC-roots -e23i -(2)2a3 -au23u -(2)a23e
Phonologically Stable CCC-roots -1e23i -12a3-
-1u2a3
-1au23u -1a23e
Phonologically Unstable L-roots L-initial -Le23i -L2a3
-i2e3
-Lau23u -La23e
L-medial -1eL3i
-1ei3i
-1La3 -1auL3u
-1ewi3y
-1aL3e
-1ei3e
L-final -1e2Li -12aL -1au2Lu -1a2Le
R-roots R-initial -Re23i -R2a3 -Rau23u -Ra23e
R-medial -1ē3i -1Ra3 -1ā3u -1ā3e
R-final -1e2Ri -12ā -1au2Ru -1a2Re
S-roots S-initial -Se23i -S2a3 -Sau23u -Sa23e
S-medial -1eS3i -1Sa3-
-S1a3
-1auS3u -1aS3e
S-final -1e2Si -12aS -1au2Su -1a2Se
J-roots J-initial -Je23i -i2e3 -Jau23u -Ja23e
J-medial -1ei3i -1Ja3 -1ewi3y -1ei3e
J-final -1e2ī -12aJ -1au2Ju -1a2Je
W-roots W-initial -We23i -u2a3 -wau23u -Wa23e
W-medial -1ey3i -1Wa3 -13u -1au3e
W-final -1e2yi -12aW -1au2ū -1a2We

Eḥeiθymmen may also form verb constructions via periphrasis with modal verbs. There are numerous such modal verbs expressing variable meanings, shades of meanings, and overlapping of meanings. These may also be in the indicative, subjunctive, or imperative.

Positive and Negative Verb Construction with Modals in Eḥeiθymme
Positive Non-Past Time Past Time Negative Non-Past Time Past Time
Perfective Aspect αmodal + Vinfinitive Perfective Aspect ad-αmodal + Vinfinitive
Imperfective Aspect βmodal + Vinfinitive
β+copula + βmodal + Vinfinitive
α+copula + βmodal + Vinfinitive Imperfective Aspect β-copula + βmodal + Vinfinitive α-copula + βmodal + Vinfinitive
Perfect Aspect β+copula + αmodal + Vinfinitive α+copula + αmodal + Vinfinitive Perfect Aspect β-copula + αmodal + Vinfinitive α-copula + αmodal + Vinfinitive

Voice

Voice in Eḥeiθymme is constructed entirely morphosyntactically, and depends on the relationship between a transitive or intransitive verb with nouns in the ergative case and nouns in the absolutive case.

When constructing these voices, the copula always remains in the second position. Any modal, other inflected verb, or infinitive remains at the end. For sentences not in need of a copula construction, such as the Perfective Past tense or the Imperfective Non-past tense, then the position otherwise held by the copula is instead held by the inflected verb, and is no longer at the end of the sentence. Similarly, in those tenses are being constructed with the modal plus the infinitive, then the modal is placed in the second position, and the infinitive is at the end.

Eḥeiθymme has three distinct voice constructions:

1. Active voice indicates that the subject of the sentence performs the action of a transitive or an intransitive verb, or causes the happening denoted by the verb.

  • Nergative + Vtransitive + Nabsolutive
  • Nergative + Vcopula + Nabsolutive + Vtransitive
  • Nergative + Vcopula + Nabsolutive + Vmodal + Vinfinitive
  • Nergative + Vmodal + Nabsolutive + Vinfinitive
  • ∅ + Vintransitive + Nabsolutive
  • ∅ + Vcopula + Nabsolutive + Vintransitive
  • ∅ + Vcopula + Nabsolutive + Vmodal + Vinfinitive
  • ∅ + Vmodal + Nabsolutive + Vinfinitive

2. Anti-passive voice takes the transitive verb and make it "less transitive" (read, more intransitive) by retaining that verb but putting the ergative noun into an absolutive or oblique construct, and thus conveys prominence of the agent and what they did, while the patient is left not as important (and thus demoted to oblique).

  • Nabsolutive + Vtransitive + Noblique
  • Nabsolutive + Vcopula + Noblique + Vtransitive
  • Nabsolutive + Vcopula + Noblique + Vmodal + Vinfinitive
  • Nabsolutive + Vmodal + Noblique + Vinfinitive

3. Anti-active voice takes the intransitive verb and make it "less intransitive" (read, more transitive) by taking a null space object (the oblique or absolutive) and realizing it with an actual argument, and thus conveys prominence to an object. Admittedly, there are very few instances of the anti-active voice.

  • ∅ + Vintransitive + Nergative
  • ∅ + Vcopula + Nergative + Vintransitive
  • ∅ + Vcopula + Nergative + Vmodal+ Vinfinitive
  • ∅ + Vmodal + Nergative + Vinfinitive

In the active voice, the verb may be either transitive or intransitive. In the anti-passive voice, the verb must be transitive. In the anti-active voice, the verb must be intransitive. Finally, note that transitivity is entirely semantic; there is no overt marking to indicate if a verb is transitive or intransitive.

Infinitive

The infinitive form of the verb in Eḥeiθymme is used in the construction of verb tenses when the use of a modal is employed. The infinitive may be used as a verbal noun if made definite.

Morpho-phonological phenomena and historical processes notwithstanding, the general structure of the infinitive is the following:

  • The Infinitive: 1a12e3
Infinitival Construction in Eḥeiθymme
Infinitive
∅CC-roots (2)a(2)2e3
Phonologically Stable CCC-roots 1a12e3
Phonologically Unstable L-roots L-initial LaL2e3
Lei2e3
L-medial LaL1e3
Lei1e3
L-final 1a12eL
R-roots R-initial Rā2e3
R-medial 1a1Re3
R-final 1a12ā
S-roots S-initial SaS2e3
S-medial 1a1Se3
S-final 1a12eS
J-roots J-initial Jei2e3
J-medial 1a1Je3
J-final 1a12eJ
W-roots W-initial 1au2e3
W-medial 1a1We3
W-final 1a12eW

Conjugation

Grammatical person as agent/subject as well as object and number are designated via affixation. Mood is designated via change of vowel in the stem as well as affixation in the case of the imperative. The following table shows the paradigm of the positive copula, R-J-D, with no marking made for the object.

Paradigm of the Positive Copula, R-J-D, with Agent/Subject Marking Only
Mood Person α-form β-form Person α-form β-form Person α-form β-form
Indicative Singular Plural Paucal
1st ele-reiði ale-rjad 1st Inclusive dhye-reiði dhua-rjad 1st Inclusive
Exclusive Exclusive
2nd Masculine ive-reiði ive-rjeð 2nd Masculine 2nd Masculine
Feminine me-reiði me-rjad Feminine Feminine
3rd Masculine 3rd Masculine 3rd Masculine
Feminine Feminine Feminine
Neuter ē-reiði ā-rjad Neuter Neuter
4th ente-reiði anta-rjad 4th ente-reiði anta-rjad 4th ente-reiði anta-rjad
Subjunctive Singular Plural Paucal
1st ele-rewiðy 1st Inclusive dhye-rewiðy 1st Inclusive
Exclusive Exclusive
2nd Masculine ive-rewiðy 2nd Masculine 2nd Masculine
Feminine me-rauðu Feminine Feminine
3rd Masculine 3rd Masculine 3rd Masculine
Feminine Feminine Feminine
Neuter ē-rewiðy Neuter Neuter
4th ente-rewiðy 4th ente-rewiðy 4th ente-rewiðy
Imperative Singular Plural Paucal
1st 1st Inclusive dhye-reiðe 1st Inclusive
Exclusive Exclusive
2nd Masculine ive-reiðe 2nd Masculine 2nd Masculine
Feminine me-reiðe Feminine Feminine
3rd Masculine 3rd Masculine 3rd Masculine
Feminine Feminine Feminine
Neuter Neuter Neuter
4th ente-reiðe 4th ente-reiðe 4th ente-reiðe

Nouns

Nouns in Eḥeiθymme are not inflected for grammatical gender, number, or case. Neither the noun nor the adjective differentiate gender, in contrast to the obligatorily marked gender of the pronouns. An exception to this is when the noun is explicitly gendered, to reflect specifically gendered subjects. This distinction is wholly semantic. Number and case are entirely encoded in the definite article. Nouns are inflected for state.

  • The structure of a Basic Noun is: -1v23-, where -v- may be any vowel, but is usually -a- or -u-.

Definiteness

Eḥeiθymme has various definite and indefinite articles controlling the number and case of the modified noun. Proper nouns are definite by definition, and so do not require the definite article. Case for proper nouns is realized variously, by context or by adpositions.

  • The Singular Definite Article is: la-
  • The Plural Definite Article is: -
  • The Paucal Definite Article is: -
  • The Singular Indefinite Article is: a-
  • The Plural Indefinite Article is: -
  • The Paucal Indefinite Article is: -

Case

State

Absolute State

Construct State

Modifiers

Adjectives

Adverbs

Particles

  • α participle: i1e23i
  • β participle: i12e3 or i12i3

Syntax

Constituent order

Noun phrase

Verb phrase

Sentence phrase

Dependent clauses

Example texts

Other resources