Elasian

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Elasian
Élazyato meret
Pronunciation /ehlaht͡sjato̞ ˈmeret/
Created by
Setting
Spoken natively in Sovereign Republic of Élás
Region Central Asia
Native speakers 21 457  (2012)
Language family
Early forms:
Proto-Elasian
  • Elasian
Dialects
Standard Elasian
Writing system Latin
ISO 639-3 qeh


Meret sá, [ˈmɛrɛt s̺ɑh], or Élászyato meret, [e̞hlɑht͡sjato̞ ˈmɛrɛt], also known as Elasian is the ancestral language of the Élászyat people, who inhabit the dale of Élászalyadá, a valley in northeastern Central Asia.

Phonology

Syllable structure

C(J)V(H)(C2)
where J = /j/, H = /h/, and C2 is a valid coda consonant or consonant cluster.

Older stages of the language seem to permit (C)V(C)?, traces of which can be found in some words, the names of the letters being a prime example.

Vowels

The Elasian vowel system is relatively uncomplicated, with only five distinct vowels. There are no diphthongs.

Front Back
Close i u
Mid
Open-mid (ɛ)
Open a (ɑ)

The vowels /e/ and /a/ can assume [ɛ] and [ɑ] respectively during certain circumstances.

Consonants

Consonants (Allophones included)
Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasals m [m] n [n] (ŋ)2
Plosives voiceless p [p] t [t] k [k]
voiced b [b] d [d] g [g]
Affricates voiceless sz [t͡s] (ʃ)
voiced z [d͡z]
Fricatives voiceless (ɸ)3 (θ)3 s [s̺] (x) ´ [h]
voiced (β)3 (ð)3 (ɣ)3
Trills r [r~ɾ]
Flaps (ɾ)5
Approximant y [j]
Lateral approximant l [l] (ʎ)

Phonotactics

Orthography

The traditional sorting order for the Latin alphabet is derived from the order of the native script Élászyato ládarat, or simply Ládarat. The traditional names for the letters are also from the Ládarat: a or alpa, o, u, e, i, ép, ét, ék, éb, éd, ág, mi, ni, lamád, ró, yá, ás, áz, ász, (éx). Since the grapheme x is unique to the Latin script and the most recent addition it appears last.

Written in Ládarat : élászyato ládarat ars (The signs of the Elasiat are) a o, u, e, i, p, t, k, b, d, g, m, n, l, r, y, s, z, sz.

The acute accent is used to indicate that a vowel is followed by /h/, a feature inherited from the native script which uses a similar diacritic. Since /h/ may only occur as a coda there is no native need for a separate grapheme for it. This posits a minor problem if one seeks to accurately capture an onset /h/. While originally dropping the h, Elasian has started retaining it in certain English loanwords. Thus, the language council recommends the utilisation of the grave accent ` for writing foreign words with an initial H and discourages the usage of the letter H. Thus, the German name Hans would be properly written as Àns.

Latin IPA Words
´ [h] á, tá, Élász
a [a] alpa, ars
[ɑ] kulak
p [p] p, ép
[ɸ] pasz
t [t] lyat, ét
[θ] ter
k [k] arak, ék
[x] kul
b [b] éb
[β] bátar
d [d] merad, éd
[ð] deret
g [g] múrag, ág
[ɣ] ger
m [m] mi, meret
n [n] ni, názar
l [l] lamád, terelesz
r [r] ró, báret
y [j] yá, syó
s [s̺] ás, sá
z [d͡z] áz, zerelesz
sz [t͡s] ász, szárad
x [ks] éx, arax

Morphology

Nouns

Nouns are inflected for five cases - nominative (nom), accusative (acc), genitive (gen), dative (dat) and the instrumental (ins). In addition to this, they are inflected for grammatical number. All of this is carried out by suffixes to the stem of the word; this is a predominantly agglutinative process, markers are tacked on after each other. A mild hint of fusion can be detected in certain suffixes — the genitive plural -un — appears to be related to both the genitive -o and the pluralisation marker -en.

Case

Elasian
noun inflections
case singular plural
Nominative -t/-k/-Ø -en
Accusative -s -sen
Genitive -o -un
Dative -áen
Instrumental -em -emen

The nominative case (nom) is used for the subject in both transitive and intransitive sentences. Additionally, it is used as the citation form for nouns.

Kályaz
A dance.

The accusative case (acc) is used to signal the direct object of a sentence.

Turáz gers kéaltász
turáz ger-s ke<´a>l-tá-sz
girl[nom sg] story-acc read<ipfv>-pst-3sg
"A girl was reading a story."

The genitive case (gen) is used to express relationships between nouns, it is marked on the possessor, similarly to English; in Elasian inalienable possession is expressed using a specific set of words and not by the genitive case.

Élászyat-o meret
Elasiat-gen language
"The Elasian language"

The dative case (dat) is used to signal the indirect object of a sentence. It is also used for situations in which an action benefits or damages a party.

Kulak turázá gers téantász
Kulak turáz-á ger-s te<´a>n-tá-sz
family girl-dat story-acc give[ipfv]-pst-3sg
"The family was telling the girl a story"

The instrumental case (ins) is used to indicate the means by which an action is carried out. It is additionally used to indicate companionship.

Gedem turázá kéazotalyasz
ged-em turáz-á ke<´a>z-ota-lya-sz
phone-ins girl-dat talk<ipfv>-dub-fut-3sg
"It is doubtful that he is going to talk to the girl by phone."


Number

Singular

The singular is the unmarked form of the noun, it signifies that there is, quite literally only one of said noun.

Ger téantánuszal
Ger te<´a>n-tá-nu-sz-al
story[nom sg] give<ipfv>[ind]-pst-pas-3sg-pas
"A story was being told."
Plural

The plural indicates several instances of the noun. It is regularly formed by adding -en to the case-inflected word, with one exception: the genitive, in which case they seemingly fuse to -un.

Kályazen Turázun
Kályaz-en Turáz-un
dance[nom]-pl maiden-gen.pl
"The dances of the maidens (a spring festival)"


Verbs

Verbs are quite morphologically complex in Elasian, inflecting for many categories for which English uses phrasal or constructions with an auxiliary verb. Most verbs can be inflected for six different moods, five aspects, four tenses, polarity (affirmative and negative), and two voices (active and mediopassive).

Petak menézarólyanuszal
“It is possible that the little bird is not going to be eaten.”

Derivational morphology

The Elasian language features a very robust derivational system enabling the transformation of nouns to verbs and back again (shifting syntactic category), the diminution of nouns, verbs and adverbs are all possible and likewise so with augmentation.

Diminutives

Diminutives are handled for animate words with the suffix ak. For naturally inanimate nouns this becomes ek.

E.g.

word diminutive gloss
pet petak bird > little bird
ger gerek story > saying, proverb
kul kulak tribe > family
pasz paszek stone > pebble

Augmentatives

Augmentatives are very common in Elasian and are primarily formed using a suffix. This suffix varies depending on whether the noun is considered animate (-ár) or inanimate (-ór). Cf. pasz (stone), paszek (pebble), and paszór (boulder) with turáz (girl), turázak (little girl), turázár (big girl).

Collective nouns

Elasian features ways to form a collective noun. This is used extensively for concepts such as groups of events, groups of animal and such. These collective nouns may in turn be interpreted as singulars and given regular plurals of their own, often this is accompanied by a shift in meaning.

A commonly given example is the word ter ('a moment') from which the Elasian word for day - teret - is derived. The word can be broken down into ter and the inanimate collectivising morpheme -et, thus with the meaning of 'a group of moments', and by extension 'a day'.

Syntax

Word order

The default unmarked word order in Elasian is subject-object-verb as in I apples eat. The alternate word order OSV is permitted when seeking to emphasise the object; an inversion of subject and object occurs, e.g. truth I speak.

Generally speaking, qualifiers precede the noun they modify. This does not go for class IV verbs to which a large semantic space of description goes; they correspond partially to what we would term adjectives, in truth they're more akin to stative verbs and are treated as such and thus go after the noun they modify.

petaken mirigeni

"(the) little birds red.are"

Conlanger's notes: The primary impetus for the creation of this language came to me whilst doing something completely unrelated; suddenly, I had a flash of insight and from that moment onwards I knew that I would express the diminutive by the suffix ak! Unfortunately, I realised relatively quickly that I had no language available on which to tack it on. So, I started with a new one. What originally was termed the language of the little birds (the word for bird was the first coined, the diminutive the second) has now developed slightly more into the language of the Élászyat, an independent nation.