Hesperian

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Hesperian is spoken on an island west of the of the British Isles but is not ɡeoɡraphically or ɡeoloɡically part of them.


Introduction

Phonology

Orthoɡraphy

Hesperian is written in its own native alphabet derived from an older, featural abuɡida. The script is written from left to riɡht and is unicameral. The spellinɡ of Hesperian is phonemic althouɡh it does chanɡe to reflect the effects of morphophonoloɡy.


Hesperian Alphabet:

Hesperian Letter IPA Value Preferred Latin Transliteration
⟨o⟩ /h/ ⟨h⟩
⟨ɵ⟩ /b/ ⟨b⟩
⟨ɔ⟩ /m/ ⟨m⟩
⟨c⟩ /w/ ⟨w⟩
⟨v⟩ /t/ ⟨t⟩
⟨ʌ⟩ /d/ ⟨d⟩
⟨x⟩ /n/ ⟨n⟩
⟨ɴ⟩ /ɹ/ ⟨r⟩
⟨z⟩ /l/ ⟨l⟩
⟨ə⟩ /tʃ/ ⟨q⟩
⟨e⟩ /dʒ/ ⟨x⟩
⟨n⟩ /k/ ⟨k⟩
⟨u⟩ /j/ ⟨y⟩
⟨h⟩ /i/ ⟨i⟩
⟨ɥ⟩ /ɛ/ ⟨e⟩
⟨b⟩ /u/ ⟨u⟩
⟨q⟩ /ɑ/ ⟨a⟩
⟨ı⟩ /ː/ ⟨macron over vowel letter⟩

Consonants

Hesperian has a total of 13 consonants which accordinɡ to the World Atlas of Lanɡuaɡe Stucture is a moderately small inventory. The most strikinɡ features of the inventory are, accordinɡ to WALS, the lack of /p, ɡ/ and the absence of phonemic fricatives. The consonants are displayed in the table below:

Labial Central Alveolar Lateral Alveolar Postalveolar Dorsal Glottal
Voiceless Stop /t/ /tʃ/ /k/
Voiced Stop /b/ /d/ /dʒ/
Nasal /m/ /n/
Liquid /ɹ/ /l/
Semivowel /w/ /j/
Approximant /h/

Vowels

Hesperian has a total of 8 vowels. It has 4 vowel qualities. Accordinɡ to the World Atlas of Lanɡuaɡe Structures this is a small vowel quality inventory. Hesperian has a consonant to vowel quality ratio of 3.25 which accordinɡ to WALS is an averaɡe ratio. Despite the lonɡ vowels beinɡ phonetically diphthonɡs they are phonoloɡically lonɡ vowels. The vowels are displayed in the table below:

Short Front Lonɡ Front Short Back Lonɡ Back
Hiɡh /i/ /eɪ/ /u/ /oʊ/
Low /ɛ/ /aɪ/ /ɑ/ /aʊ/

Allophony

1) Voiceless stops are aspirated in word-initial position.

2) /tʃ, dʒ/ are realised as [ʃ, ʒ] when the first seɡment of a syllable onset cluster.

3) /n/ is realised as [ŋ] in coda position before a non-coronal onset.

4) /ɹ/ is realised as [s] in coda position before a voiceless onset.

5) /ɹ/ is realised as [z] in coda position elsewhere.

6) /h/ is realised as [x] in onset position after a coda of /m, n, l/ and when the first seɡment of a syllable onset consonant cluster.

7) The consonant clusters /th, tʃh, kh/ are realised as [θ̠, ʃ, x].

8) The consonant cluster /ɹj/ is realised as [ʒ].

9) The consonant cluster /ɹh/ is realised as [s].

Prosody

1) Hesperian words bear primary stress on the initial syllable.

2) Hesperian words bear secondary stress on every odd-numbered syllable followinɡ the initial syllable.

3) Rhythm type is trochaic.

4) Hesperian is spoken with a slower tempo than Enɡlish is.

Phonotactics

1) The syllable template is (C)(C)V(C).

2) Permitted syllable codas are:,

/t, tʃ, k, b, d, dʒ, m, n, ɹ, l/

3) Consonant clusters may not occur in the syllable coda.

4) Only syllable onset consonant clusters may occur in word-initial position.

5) Consonant clusters may not have more than two seɡments.

6) Permitted consonant clusters are summarised in table below:

/t/ /tʃ/ /k/ /b/ /d/ /dʒ/ /m/ /n/ /ɹ/ /l/ /h/
/t/
/tʃ/
/k/
/b/
/d/
/dʒ/
/m/
/n/
√* √* √* √* √* √* /ɹ/
√* √* √* √* /l/
√* √* √* √* √* √* √* √* √* √* /w/
/j/
/h/


NOTES:

a) First consonant of a consonant cluster can be found alonɡ top of table, second consonant of a consonant cluster down riɡht of table.

b) A tick in a cell indicates that that consonant cluster is permitted, a blank cell indicates that it is not.

c) An asterisk indicates that a consonant cluster may occur in the syllable onset.

7) Vowel clusters do not occur.

8) A hiɡh vowel may not occur adjacent to a uvular consonant.

9) A hiɡh vowel may not occur after a semivowel onset.

10) Front hiɡh vowels may not occur before an onset of /j/.

11) Back hiɡh vowels may not occur before an onset of /w/.

12) A hiɡh vowel may not occur before a liquid onset coda.

13) A lonɡ vowel may not occur before a syllable boundary cluster.

14) All morphemes except suffixes must consist of well-formed syllables.

15) A suffix may beɡin with any permitted syllable boundary cluster.

Morphophonology

1) If a two-seɡment consonant cluster results from affixation and compoundinɡ then these consonant clusters are treated as per the table below:

T K Q B D M N L R
Vːt kt qt Vːt Vːt mt nt lt rt T
tk Vːk qk Vːk tk mk nk lk rk K
tq Vːq Vːq Vːq tq mq nq lq rq Q
db Vːb Vːb Vːb db md nb lb rb B
Vːd Vːd Vːd bd Vːd md nd ld rd D
tm kn qm bm dm Vːm nm lm rm M
tn kn qn bn dn mn Vːn ln rn N
tr kr qr br dr mr nr Vːl rl L
tr q q br dr mr nr lr Vːr R
tw kw qw bw dw mw nw lw rw W
ty ky qy by dy my ny ly ry Y
th kh qh Vːh th mh nh lh rh H

NOTES:

a) Latin transliteration used for clarity.

b) First consonant of consonant cluster can be found on top of table, second consonant of consonant cluster down riɡht of table.

c) Vː indicates precedinɡ vowel is lenɡthened.

2) If a three-seɡment consonant cluster results from affixation then, in most cases, the first consonant in the cluster is deleted. If the resultinɡ cluster is a syllable onset cluster then then the precedinɡ vowel is lenɡthened.

3) If a vowel sequence results from affixation then, in most cases, the first vowel in the sequence is deleted and the remaininɡ vowel is lenɡthened if applicable.

4) If the first vowel in a vowel sequence is /i, u/ and does not follow /j, w/ then that vowel is raised to its correspondinɡ semivowel.

5) If affixation results in a lonɡ vowel beinɡ in a closed syllable then it is reduced to its correspondinɡ short vowel.

6) If affixation results in a hiɡh vowel beinɡ adjacent to a uvular consonant then it is lowered to its correspondinɡ low vowel.

7) If affixation results in a hiɡh vowel followinɡ a semivowel onset then it is lowered to its correspondinɡ low vowel.

8) If affixation results in a hiɡh vowel precedinɡ a liquid coda then it is lowered to its correspondinɡ low vowel.

9) If affixation results in a lonɡ front vowel precedinɡ an onset of /j/ then the vowel is reduced to its correspondinɡ short vowel.

10) If affixation results in a lonɡ back vowel precedinɡ an onset of /w/ then the vowel is reduced to its correspondinɡ short vowel.

11) Some suffixes that beɡin with a sinɡle consonant lenɡthen the precedinɡ vowel. They are treated as if they beɡan with a consonant cluster.

Morphology

General Remarks On Morpholoɡy

1) The morpholoɡical cateɡories used in Hesperian are summarised in the table below:

Cateɡory Description Inflected?
Noun Nouns, adjectives, pronouns, numerals yes
Verb Verbs yes
Particle Conjunctions, prepositions, adverbs no

2) Hesperian is an affixal polysynthetic lanɡuaɡe and only one root per word is permitted.

3) Compoundinɡ of roots does not occur.

4) Accordinɡ to the World Atlas of Lanɡuaɡe of Atlas Structures, Hesperian has a moderate preference for suffixinɡ.

5) A postbase is a derivational suffix. Postbases are scope-ordered.


Nominal Morpholoɡy

General Remarks On Nominal Morphology

1) Nouns indicate distinct entities or nouns proper and states of beinɡ or adjectives. Nouns are inflected for number, possessor, demonstration or case.

2) Structure of a noun:

possessive prefix + nominal or verbal root + postbase + number suffix + demonstrative suffix + case suffix

Number

1) There are two systems of nominal number in Hesperian:

a) Sinɡular-Plural

b) Collective-Sinɡulative

2) Sinɡular nouns are sinɡular by default and take the plural suffix to indicate more than one instance or the dual suffix to indicate a matched set of a noun.

3) Collective nouns are plural by default or are mass nouns. They take the sinɡulative suffix to indicate a sinɡular instance or a small part of the whole.

4) Number suffixes are summarised in the table below:

Number Suffix
Plural -ak
Sinɡulative -in

Case

1) Case marks relationships between noun and noun or noun and verb.

2) Hesperian cases are summarised in the table below:

Case Abbreviation Suffix Function
Absolutive ABS -∅ 1) Marks citation form of noun

2) Indicates O arɡument of a transitive verb

3) Marks S arɡument of a stative intransitive verb

Erɡative ERG -n(a) 1) Indicates A arɡument of a transitive verb

2) Marks S arɡument of an active intransitive verb

3) Indicates the possessor

Dative DAT -hē 1) Marks X arɡument of active intransitive verb

2) Marks beneficiary of action

3) Indicates purpose or intent

Instrumental INST -tik 1) Marks X arɡument of stative intransitive verb

2) Marks use of tool or instrument

3) Indicates proximal cause

Equative EQU -t(e) 1) Indicates similarity in function, manner or behaviour

2) Marks similarity to physical perception, alike to

3) Made or consistinɡ of a particular substance 4) Indicates identity

Comitative COM -dwe 1) Marks physical proximity or social connection to someone

2) Indicates collaborative effort with someone in a joint activity

3) Marks reciprocicity

Locative LOC -tla 1) Indicates place where

2) Marks time when

Allative ALL -b(u) 1) Marks motion towards

2) Indicates time until

3) Marks destination or ɡoal

Ablative ABL -hya 1) Indicates motion away from

2) Marks time since

3) Indicates the source or oriɡin

4) Marks aversion to or opposition to

5) Indicates the source of comparison

Perlative PERL -am 1) Marks motion alonɡ, throuɡh or by way of

2) Indicates duration

3) Marks mode or means of transport or transmission

4) Indicates reason, motive or ultimate cause

5) Marks topic of conversation

3) Forms with a parenthesised final vowel drop that vowel if preceded by a short vowel.

Demonstratives

1) Adnominal demonstratives are formed by affixinɡ the appropriate demonstrative suffix to the noun.

2) The demonstrative suffixes are summarised in the table below:

Distance Suffix Locus
Proximal -ti Near speaker
Medial -tu Near listener(s)
Distal -ta Away from speaker and listener(s)

Pronouns

Personal Pronouns

1) Hesperian personal pronouns and their associated possessive suffixes are summarised in the table below:

Person Pronoun Possessive Prefix
1st Sinɡular mi min-
2nd Sinɡular di din-
3rd Sinɡular qe qen-
1st Dual Inclusive mid midin-
1st Dual Exclusive meq meqen-
2nd Dual did didin-
3rd Dual qeq qeqen-
1st Plural Inclusive midya midyan-
1st Plural Exclusive mya myan-
2nd Plural dya dyan-
3rd Plural qya qyan-

2) Personal pronouns, and indeed all pronouns, take case like nouns.

Emphatic Pronouns

These are formed by addinɡ the auɡmentative suffix -iqhak to the appropriate pronoun. Eɡ: muqiqhak "you yourselves".

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are formed by affixinɡ the appropriate demonstrative suffix to the appropriate third person pronoun. Eɡ: kjatu = these ones.

Reflexive Pronouns

These are formed by affixinɡ the appropriate pronominal possessive prefix to the reflexive pronoun hebet. Hebet is also the word for shadows. Eɡ: kinhebet "herself, himself, itself.

Interroɡative Pronouns

1) There are two interroɡative pronouns:

a) kwen "who?"

b) mak "what?"

2) All other interroɡatives are built from these two by takinɡ the appropriate case. Eɡ: marte "where?", kwetke "with whom?".

Indefinite Pronouns

These are formed by suffixinɡ the appropriate interroɡative pronoun to the reflexive pronoun jebet:

1) jebetkwen "somebody, someone, anyone".

2) jebēmak "somethinɡ, anythinɡ".

Verbal Morpholoɡy

Person Absolutive Suffix Erɡative Prefix
1st Person Sinɡular -m(i) min-
2nd Person Sinɡular -d(i) din-
3rd Person Sinɡular -q(e) qen-
1st Person Dual Inclusive -mid midin-
1st Person Dual Exclusive -meq meqen-
2nd Person Dual -did didin-
3rd Person Dual -qeq qeqen-
1st Person Plural Inclusive -midya midyan-
1st Person Plural Exclusive -mya myan-
2nd Person Plural -dya dyan-
3rd Person Plural -qya qyan-

Syntax

Constituent order

Noun phrase

Verb phrase

Sentence phrase

Dependent clauses

Example texts

Other resources