Harākti

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Harākti
𒀀𒇉𒁴 Harākti
Pronunciation [xaˈɾaːkti]
Created by
Setting
Region Eurasia
Native speakers -  (2013)
Language family
Early forms:
Old Harākti (?)
  • Harākti
Writing system Latin
ISO 639-3 qhk

Harākti (natively written as 𒀀𒇉𒁴 (ÍD-tí) or 𒄩𒊏𒀀𒀝𒋾 (ha-ra-a-ak-ti), transliterated as harākti, IPA: [xaˈɾaːkti]) is an Indo-European language. It is part of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European languages, although it differs extensivly from the rest of the Anatolian languages, which is the reason for some speculation regarding its place within the Indo-European family. The strongest argument placed forward in favour of Harākti being an Anatolian language is the fact that, like Hittite, it is a language that reflected some of the laryngeal sounds as consonants. Its verbal system likewise resembles that of Hittite, and the general symplicity of the declensional and conjugational systems is again a characteristic shared with the Anatolian languages.


Background

External history

Harākti is my second attempt at trying to create an a posteriori conlang based on Proto-Indo-European. Initially intended to be a modification of my first such attempt, called Thaṣṙivṙal, but it became an entirely new language. As a result, Thaṣṙivṙal was rendered obsolete and essentially dead. Harākti is more constructive and follows both phonetic and grammar rules a bit more precisely. The language area was shifted too. Thaṣṙivṙal was supposed to be spoken south-east of the Alps along the east coast of the Adriatic sea, but Harākti was moved south to Anatolia, being close to Hittite and Akkadian. Thaṣṙivṙal was also started as part of an online project set in an alternate Europe where the current main IE language families were replaced by conlangs, and they were later supposed to develop into separate languages. Thaṣṙivṙal was therefore at a stage of a proto-language, akin to Lain, but it never progessed into separate languages. My intention with Harākti is similar: being a sort of a proto-language it will, hopefully, split into several dialects that will become separate languages. Needless to say, Harākti is also set to distant past, around at least 1500 BCE, so it cannot be used in modern contexts.

Internal history

Phonology

The phonology of Harākti is a direct result of phonological changes or sound shifts from Proto-Indo-European. The majority of the changes are regular and can be tracked down to Proto-Indo-European and they have frequent cognates in modern Indo-European languages. In general, the phonology of the language is fairly simple, resembling the Hittite phonology system in terms of consonants and the Latin phonology system in terms of vowels.

Consonants

Harākti has a simple system of consonants - a total of 16 (or 18) consonants.

Harākti consonants
Bilabial Labio-dental Alveolar Palatal Velar
plain labialised
Nasal m n
Plosive p b t d k g kʷ gʷ
Fricative [f] s x ɣ
Approximant ʋ (j) (w)
Affricate t͡s
Flap or tap ɾ
Lateral app. l

Note:

  • the consonants /j/ and /w/ are usually analyzed as non-vocalic vowels /i̯/ and /u̯/.
  • the labio-dental approximant /ʋ/ has [f] as an allophone in certain environments (when followed by a voiceless consonant only, it does not occur elsewhere)

Vowels

Harākti has a simple system of the basic 5 (cardinal) vowels. However, they can be either short or long, which brings the total number of vowels to 10.

Front Central Back
short long short long short long
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Open a

Note:

  • the near-mid short vowels [e o] may be lowered to mid [e̞ o̞] or open-mid vowels [ɛ ɔ] when in unstressed possitions.

Progressive pronunciation

The progressive pronunciation refers to the most widespread dialectal or colloquial pronunciation of vowels. It is characterised by diphthongisation of unstressed long vowels. Stressed long vowels remain the same.

Phonotactics

Stress

Harāki does not have a fixed stress but it is movable. Words are very often stressed on the first syllable. If the word has a -nt- cluster, the stress falls on the syllable preceding the cluster. This applies when conjugating or declining as well. For example, the verb "to be" is usually stressed on the first syllable but the 3rd person plural forms are stressed on the second syllable: ésmi > asánti.

Stress is usually unmarked in normal writing but it can be indicated to avoid confusion or to explicitly show it. On short vowels it is marked by placing an acute above the letter (á, é, í, ó, ú), on long vowels it can either be an acute above the macron (ā́, ḗ, ī́, ṓ, ū́) or a circumflex above the letter (â, ê, î, ô, û). The latter is often preferred due to coding issues.

Phonetic changes

The following two tables sum up (most of) the regular changes from Proto-Indo-European to Harākti.


Orthography

The letter-to-sound ratio is virtually 1:1, with the exception of two digraphs - see below:

Letter A B D E G GH H I K L M N O P R S T TS U V
Sound a b d e g ɣ x i k l m n o p ɾ s t t͡s u ʋ
Letter Ā Ē GU Ī KU Ō Ū
Sound
Letter I U
Sound

Harākti cuneiform

Harākti cuneiform is a version of the cuneiform script used to write Harākti. It has been adopted from the Hittite and Akkadian cuneiform systems, and as such it is essentially a syllabary. Or rather, the script consisnts of mainly syllabograms, mixed with a few Akkadograms and sumerograms that were widely used in other languages.

The syllabograms come in three types: CV, VC and CVC. The first two types are the most common while the CVC type is rarely used. Long vowels are written with an additional vowel sign. Since the language allows for consonant clusters of more than just two consonants, some vowels are therefore only written but not pronounced.

Note: in order for the cuneiform signs to display correctly, a font that supports them needs to be installed: Free Idg Serif[1] or Akkadian[2].



Special syllabograms:

  • 𒀁 - ā, instead of 𒀀𒀀 (a-a)
  • 𒂍 - ē, instead of 𒂊𒂊 (e-e)
  • 𒐊 - ī, instead of 𒄿𒄿 (i-i)
  • 𒁴 - , in language names only, remains even when declined

Sumerograms and akkadograms

Grammar

The grammar of Harākti is essentially a reflex of Proto-Indo-European grammar. It's an inflectional language with well developed declentional and conjugational patters. Especially the verbal morphology is closer to Hittite verbal morphology than to Latin or Sanskrit. Unlike Hittite, however, Harākti has three genders, even though the declensions often overlap. The main declensions can mostly be traced to PIE declensions.

Nouns

Nouns belong to one of the three genders: masculine, feminine or neuter. Apart from that, mouns are inflected for three numbers: singular, dual and plural; as well as for eight cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, allative, ablative, and locative. The three genders also correspond to three main declenions, but there are several other minor delcensions, and many nouns of different genders are declined the same - the declension is decided based on the gender of a noun and the final sound(s).

First declension

The first declension is typically considered a masculine declension but many feminine nouns belong to this declension as well. The common endings are constonants and vowels -e and -a.

Second declension

The second declension is traditionally seen a feminine declension but some masculine nouns belong to this declension as well. The common endings are -ti, -e and -i.

Third declension

The third declension is typically considered a neuter declension. The third declension is used almost exclusively by neuter nouns, only a few masculine and feminine nouns belong to this declension. The common endings are vowels , -o and -u.

Fourth declension

The fourth declension consists of nouns that end in -ah, regardless of the gender (however, the majority of nouns are feminine). There is a variant of this declension for nouns ending in -āh.


Fifth declension

The fifth declension is rather limited and it consits of words that end in -ēr (or -ōr). The nouns can be either masculine or feminine - and they are mostly nouns denoting family members. There is a subtype of this declension for nouns ending in -ēn, which is pretty much the same as the main declension, but with a n instead of the r.


Sixth declension

The sixth declension is used for masculine and feminine nouns ending in -u.

Seventh declension

The seventh declension is used by noun that end in -ar. However, not every such noun belongs to this declension - only a handful of nouns belong to the seventh declension.

Eighth declension

The eighth declension is often called the irregular declension. Only a few nouns belong to this declension. They mostly follow the same pattern but usually each noun is specific. The typical ending is -Vr/vV or -VVr.

Stem modification

Stem modifications are quite common and they occur in every declension. There are several types of stem modification, and they usually apply to the rest of the paradigm. Some of the changes have already been covered in the above declensions and those are not included in the list below.

An overview of such modifications is as follows:

  • loss of the syllable-final vowel
name: lemanlemnō
head: kaputkaptī
  • addition of -r and vowel shortening:
ear: hēuheurō
hand: gerī
  • addition of -r, vowel loss and vowel shortening:
metal: hāiehairō
  • addition of -s and vowel shortening:
louse: lēuleusī
  • addition of -h- and vowel shortening:
nose: nāsnahsī
  • reduction of a diphthong:
dog: kuōnkūnī

Pronouns

Personal pronouns

Harākti pronouns for first and second persons do not distinguish between genders, only third person pronouns do, and even that only in the nominative. The latter are also thought to have been either borrowed or heavily influenced by Hittite third person pronouns.

Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns come in two types: adjectival pronouns and clitic pronouns.

Clitic forms
Adjectival forms

Adjectival possessive pronouns are declined like adjectives.

Adjectives

Most adjectives can be recognised by their ending; they usually end in -it or -id, and sometimes -ig. The vowel -i is a fleeting vowel and is lost when declining (except in accusative singular masculine). Adjectives agree with the headword in number, case and gender. The declensions are fixed and they mainy correspond to the main three nominal declensions.

Comparison

Comparison of adjectives is commonly formed by suffixing or prefixing, but it is also possible to form it by adverbs, similar to English. There are four degrees: positive (the normal form of the adjectives), comparative, superlative and elative (corresponds to English too).

The suffixes are:

  • comparative: -entsi (→ -ents-/-ent-)
  • superlative: -enter (→ -enter-/-entr-)

The prefix is:

  • elative: per-

The origin of the suffixes is unknown. They do not correspond to Late PIE suffixes, which can be found in most modern IE languages, and Middle PIE did not form the degrees by suffixing, as evident from the Anatolian branch. Since Harākti is an Anatolian language (or it has evolved in close proximity to Anatolian languages), it is speculated that the suffixes could be related to Hittite ergative suffixes -anza (singular) and -anteš (plural).

The elative prefix, on the other hand, is clearly from PIE *per- (corresponds to Latin pre-, Slavic pre-, etc.).

Verbs

Verbs in Harākti are, as expected, inflected, or conjugated, for three persons (1st, 2nd and 3rd) and three numbers (singular, dual and plural), tenses, aspects, voices and moods. The verb has to agree with the subject in person and number.

Tense

Harākti has three tenses in total: present, preterite and future. The present and preterite are inherited from Proto-Indo-European, while the future is derived from the present by means of suffixing an -s to the present forms. The present forms end in -i, which is dropped in the preterite. Some other changes may also occur in the preterite forms. The present and preterite forms usually come in two varieties: athematic, which are added directly to the stem, and thematic, which are preceded by a vowel between the stem and the suffix. The proper distinction from Proto-Indo-European has, however, been lost and many verbs use a combination of both.

There are also two periphrastic tenses, commonly called present perfect and past perfect (or pluperfect). They appear to have been borrowed from Hittite, as evident by their formation. Both tenses are formed with an auxiliary verb and a past participle. There are two auxiliary verbs: harkā (to have) and esī (to be). The first verb, harkā, is borrowed directly from Hittite as it otherwise does not occur in Harākti. There is a difference in their use: harkā is used with transitive verbs and esī with intransitive verbs. The participle following harkā is uninflected and it occurs in the neuter form, while the participle following esī is inflected for gender and number. The tenses are formed as expected: present perfect with the auxiliary in the present tense plus the participle; and past perfect with the auxiliary in the preterite tense plus the participle. Theoretically, a future perfect could also be formed but such a tense does not occur in the language, even though it would be understood. The system bears stricking resemblence with similar formations in Romance languages but it predates them by centuries - Harākti and Hittite are also the only two languages of the Anatolian branch that have such a formation and Hittite seems to have developed it on its own (and as mentioned, later borrowed to Harākti).

Aspect

Verbs are usually either perfective or imperfective by default. Often when changing the aspect, the verbal stem also changes, either by adding a suffix (sometimes prefix) to the stem or by ablauting of the stem. The latter is usually unpredictable, but the number of suffixes/prefixes is limited. However, the perfective or imperfective aspects are only applied to verb in their basic form. The imperfective covers two aspects: progressive-iterative, which is formed by suffixing -re, and durative-habitual, which is formed by adding -sk-. Adding the progressive-iterative suffix to imperfective verbs creates interative verbs. The durative-habitual aspect is mainly used with the preterite tense in the meaning of used to [do something]. The perfective aspect is most commonly formed by reduplication of the verbal root. That involves prefixing the reduplicated root to the stem and often also ablauting of the stem. It is also possible to add the progressive-iterative suffix to a verb that has been turned perfective (originally an imperfective verb), and the resulting verb is usually iterative.

The causative aspect (although it is not a true aspect but is usually counted as such) is formed by adding -nen to the stem. The suffix is then often changed to -ne, -nu or -neu when conjugated. The causative is a very productive way of forming new verbs from other verbs, for example the causative of vēdī ('to see') is vēdnenī which means 'to realise'.

Voice

Harākti has three voices: active, mediopassive, and passive. The first two, active and mediopassive, are inherited from Proto-Indo-European. The forms of mediopassive are very similar to those in Hittite mediopassive (as well as the active ones). The passive, on the other hand, is an innovation, although its forms are very similar to the mediopassive forms. The passive is thought to have formed by applying the preterite 3rd person plural suffix -er to the rest of the paradigm.

The active voice is used by verbs that denote some sort of action, which is most verbs. The mediopassive and passive voices are a bit different. The mediopassive is used by some stative verbs by default. However, when an action verb is used in the mediopassive, the meaning is usually reflexive, or passive when used in the 3rd person. Stative verbs can be used in the active voice as well, but the use is restricted - stative verbs (that are mediopassive by default) in the active voice then convey some sort of action involved and are used in combination with adverb of direction, as in to sit down. The passive corresponds to the passive forms in other languages, but not every verb has a passive form - especially stative imperfective verbs. Also, the passive is usually not used when the corresponding translation would be to be (adjective), as one might expect, but such verbs are mediopassive. An example of such a verb is tērsehī ('to be thirsty').

Mood

There are several moods in Harākti: indicative, imperative, conditional, optative and reputative (sometimes called optative-conditional or even subjunctive but reputative is preferred to avoid confusion). The indicative and imperative moods are inherited directly from Proto-Indo-European; the other moods are a later development within the language itself. However, unlike the PIE imperative, in Harākti there are forms for all three persons (and numbers, of course). In the 1st person the meaning is usually something along the lines of let me or let's. The 3rd person forms are usually used when reporting imperative (a use that overlaps with 3rd person optative). The conditional is used in conditional sentences where it is used both in the conditional clause (the if-clause) and the main clause. It is also often used in other environments and it often overlaps with the subjunctive in English. The optative variously corresponds to English let, may, shall or should, or the subjunctive in certain contexts. The third mood, reputative, is used to convey the meaning of to be supposed to or should in certain contexts.

Since Proto-Indo-European has not yet evolved the traditional suffixes for subjunctive and optative by the time of the language split (Middle PIE), the language lacks inflectionally formed moods other than the indicative and imperative. The language has, however, either independently or under the influence of surrounding languages, developed its own system. The conditional, optative and reputative are formed periphrastically by combining a particle and the indicative. The conditional is formed with the particle mān, which appears to have been borrowed from Hittite mān (meaning 'if'), the optative is formed with an ablauted version of the same particle: mēn, and the reputative is formed with the particle kān. The origin of the latter is unknown but it has been suggested that it originated from the Hittite clitic -kan.

Conjugation

Main article: Harākti conjugation


Other tenses, aspects and moods:

  • future: -s (added to the present forms)
  • progressive-iterative: -re-
  • habitual-durative: -sk-
  • causative: -nen- (→ -ne-/-nu-/-neu-)
  • conditional: mān (plus normally conjugated verb)
  • optative: mēn (plus normally conjugated verb)
  • reputative: kān (plus normally conjugated verb)

Impersonal forms:

  • present active gerund: -(a)uantsi (indeclinable)
  • past active gerund: -vese/-uese (indeclinable)
  • present active participle: -(a)man (declined as adjectives)
  • past active participle verbal: -(a)nt- (forming tenses)
  • past active participle adjectival: -(a)mantsi (declined as adjectives)
  • past passive participle: -it/-id (declined as adjectives)
  • infinitives: -ā/-ī (active), -hī (mediopassive), -rī (passive)
  • supine: -(a)uan
  • verbal noun: -atar/-(e)shar (7th declension)

Syntax

Harākti is a SVO language and in that respect it is different from Hittite or Latin (which are both SOV languages). The language shows its typical word order even in the earliest texts and it appears it became SVO soon after it branched off from Proto-Indo-European. However, due to its morphology, the word order is very free.

Adjectives usually precede the noun. Harākti is also a pro-drop language, so personal pronouns are often omitted.

Texts

Internal texts:

  • Hansu Hansuen or the King of Kings text, part of Harāktian mythology.


External texts: