Knašta

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Knashta
Knašta (Latin) Кнашта (Cyrillic)
Pronunciation ['knæʃta]
Created by
Setting
Region Corstekistan
Native speakers Unknown  (no date)
Language family
Indo-Korinthic
  • Knashtic
    • Knashta
Writing system Latin script, Cyrillic script
ISO 639-3 qtz


Background

Knašta is a language I created to serve as the national language of the fictional Republic of Corstekistan, a democratic republic situated in North America. It borrows most of its vocabulary from English and French, and its phonology and orthography are based on (but not entirely like) Korstek, my first constructed language.


Phonology

Consonants

Bilabial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive p b t d k g
Fricative f v θ ð z s ʃ ʒ ç ʝ h
Retroflex ʐ ʂ
Approximant w ɹ j
Trill ʙ* r
Lateral app. l

* This trill consonant is only found in some dialects, and is represented by the letter ŗ. However, in most dialects, including the Flaxilþrand Dialect, it represents the sound [pr].

Vowels

Front Central Back
Close i ɨ* u
Near-Close ɪ
Close-Mid e ø o
Open-mid ɛ ɛ̃ ʌ ɔ***
Near-open æ**
Open a ɑ ɑ̃

* This vowel sound only occurs according to the Tsí Rule, as well as at the end of some words that end in í.
** This vowel sound is an allophone of a.
*** This vowel sound is an allophone of o.

Phonotactics

Orthography

There are currently two accepted orthographies for Knašta: Latin and Cyrillic.

Latin

The Knašta Latins is semi-phonetic. Each letter only represents one sound, but some letters represent the same sound.

Table of The Knašta Alphabet
Letter IPA Sound Value Name
Aa a a
Ææ e éí
Āā e é makron
Bb b
Cc s sét
Čč čé
Dd d
Ďď dj ďa
Ðð ð
Ee ɛ e
Éé e é
Ęę ɚ ę
Ff f ef
Gg g
Ǵǵ ʝ ǵé
Hh h haš
Ii ɪ i
Íí i*** í
Jj j
DŽ ǰ ǰé
Kk k ka
Ll l el
Mm m em
Nn n en
Ňň ɲ ňa
Oo o o
Óó ɒ ó
Øø ay̯ ø
Pp p
Qq ç
Rr r ro
Řř ɹ řo
Ŗŗ pr, ʙ* ŗo
Ss s
Šš ʃ šé
Tt t
Ťť tj ťa
Þþ θ þorna
Uu ʌ u
Ůů u ů
Vv v
Ww w
Xx** ks xí [ksi]
Yy y
Ýý i ýgreka
Zz z zed
Žž ʒ žed
Digraphs

All dipthongs except for [ɔɪ] are represented by one letter. The letter combination oj represents [ɔɪ].

The sounds [ɟ͡ʝ] and [c͡ç] are represented by the digraphs and tq respectively

The sound [ʝ], normally represented by ǵ, can also be represented by lj.

Retroflex Consonants

The two retroflex consonants [ʂ] and [ʐ] are allophones of [s] and [z] after [r], [ɾ], and [ɹ]. For example, the word okorsa (of course), is pronounced [okoɾʂa].

The appearance of retroflex consonants elsewhere indicates a word that has been borrowed from Mandarin. The digraph rs is used to represent [ʂ], and rz is used for [ʐ]. If a vowel appears before rs or rz and the r is to be silent (indicating that the rs or rz is used to indicate only a retroflex consonant), the vowel must have a grave accent placed over it.

Examples

ỳrzen (爱人) [aɪ̯ʐɛn] - lover - the grave accent is necessary to prevent the incorrect pronunciation [aɪ̯ɾʐɛn]
rsan (山) [ʂan] - mountain
gwòrsangfa (国上法) [gʷoʂaŋfa] - constitution

The Grave Accent

The grave accent (`) is used to ensure that vowels are pronounced separately.
Example: aktůèlt (current) [aktu.ɛlt]

*Sound depends on the dialect. See Knašta/Prevalence of the Bilabial Trill for more information.
**X is always pronounced [ks], never [z].
***Í also represents other sounds. See Knašta/Third I for more information.


Cyrillic

The Knašta Cyrillic alphabet is completely phonetic. It also features many Iotified letters. However, these letters do not palatalize the previous consonant like in Russian.


A list of Knašta Cyrillic letters in handwriting, with their Latin equivalents below. The letters are in the same order left to right as the list above.
Table of The Knašta Cyrillic Alphabet
Letter IPA Sound Value Name (In Knašta Latin) Non-Knaštic Romanization**
Аа a a a
Бб b b
Вв v v
Гг g g
Ґґ ʝ ǵé otatůrna gh
Дд d d
Ее e é ay
Ѐѐ je yay
Ёё jo jo yo
Жж ʒ žé zh
Зз z z
Ҙҙ ð ðé dh
Ѕѕ ç q
Ии ɪ i i
Йй j y
Її ji yi
Ѵѵ aɪ̯ yžatsí ai
Кк k ka k
Ѯѯ ks x
Лл l el l
Мм m em m
Нн n en n
Њњ ɲ en jérí ny
Оо o o o
Өө ɑ ó oh
ОЬоь œ œ oe
Ӫӫ yoh
Пп p p
Рр r ro r
РЬрь ɹ řo rh
Ғғ ʙ* ŗo pr
Сс s s
Ҫҫ θ þé th
Тт t t
Уу u ů uu
Ўў ʌ u u
Ұұ w w
АУау ay̯ ø au
Фф f ef f
Хх h haš h
Цц t͡s tsé ts
Чч t͡ʃ čé ch
Џџ d͡ʒ ǰé dzh
Шш ʃ ša sh
Ыы i jérí ii
Ӹӹ ji jii
Ээ ɛ e e
Ӭӭ je ye
Юю ju yuu
Яя ja ja ya
Ѣѣ ɛ̃ î ih
Ѧѧ ɑ̃ ê eh



*Sound depends on the dialect. See Knašta/Prevalence of the Bilabial Trill for more info.
**Normally, when romanizing Knašta Cyrillic, you would use Knašta Latin. However, If the target audience is not one that speaks Knašta, it is better to use the Non-Knaštic romanization.

Unlike in Russian, it is important to differentiate between е and ё. Ё can never be replaced with е.

Ť and Ď

The letters ť and ď have no counterparts in Knašta Cyrillic. Instead, they are represented by a combination of т for ť or д for ď and a iotified letter (for example the word pysťo (country) in Knašta Latin is пѵстё in Knašta Cyrillic).

Morphological Aspects

While the Knašta orthography strives to be phonetic, it also strives to ensure the regularity of grammar in written language. This means that there are some differences between the written language and the spoken pronunciation with some grammatical affixes.

Double Ka

If there is a double ka, like in parlenskakatsí (I speak), then only one ka is pronounced, and the previous consonant is geminated. For example, parlenskakatsí is pronounced [paɾlɛnsːkats].

Plural Suffix -Sin

If the plural suffix -sin occurs after a polysyllabic word ending in s and a vowel, then the s is geminated and the vowel becomes silent. For example, the word klasa (class), ends in an s and the vowel a. Its plural form is written klasasin, but is pronounced [klasːɪn].

Grammar

Morphology

Knašta is an agglutinative language. Word meanings can be changed by adding an array of different prefixes and suffixes, and word compounding between all classes of words (noun, verb, etc.) is allowed.

Nouns

Nouns in Knašta have no gender, and are all made plural by adding the suffix sin.

Nouns are inflected for three cases, nominative, genitive, and locative. The nominative form of the word is unchanged while the genitive form of the word contains the ins suffix, as seen in the below example. The locative case is formed by adding 'o', or 'ẁ' (pronounced /w/) if the word begins with a vowel (always lowercase) to the beginning of the word, except for the words travekatsjon (work, job), and mazak (house). The locative form of these two words is a sé travekatsjon and a sé mazak, respectively.


Inflection of Ňos (Person)
Nominative Genitive Locative
Singular ňos ňos-ins oňos
person person's at, to person
Plural ňossin ňossin-ins oňossin
people people's at, to people


Inflection of Adoratsjon (Love)
Nominative Genitive Locative
Singular adoratsjon adoratsjon-ins ẁadoratsjon
love love's at, in, to love
Plural adoratsjonsin adoratsjonsin-ins ẁadoratsjonsin
loves of loves at, in, to loves
Locative Case

The locative case is sometimes referred to as the locative-allative case, because it many expressions it can be used to express motion toward:

Gróþkatsa-link oTsyna
go-1PL-PRE-PROG LOC-China (We are going to China)

Doneknés lot ẁíl
give-2SG 3SG LOC-3SG (Give it to him)

However, where both a static location and motion are given in the same phrase, the locative case is only used for the static location, with the word el being used to describe the motion:

Gróþkatsa-link el Beijing oTsyna
go-1PL-PRE-PROG to Beijing LOC-China (We are going to Beijing in China)

Pronouns

There are three persons in Knašta.

1st singular 2nd singular 3rd singular 1st plural 2nd singular 3rd singular
Nominative Joj Vošní Íl (he), Èl (she), Lot (it) Nærsk Vošnísin Lotsen
Genitive Jo-ins Vošní-ins Íl-ins, Èl-ins, Lot-ins Nærsk-ins Vošnísin-ins Lotsen-ins
Objective Jo Vošní Íl, Èl, Lot Nærsk Vošnísin Lotsen
Locative oJo oVošní ẁÍl, ẁÈl, oLot oNærsk oVošnísin oLotsen

Note that only the first person singular pronoun has an irregular objective, locative and genitive form.

Verbs

Almost all Knašta verbs are regular. There are only five irregular verbs in the entire language: kanel (can), potečřé (might), avbendí (need), můsťen (must), and ǰinxa (be, exist).

Regular Knašta verbs are grouped into two classes based on how they are conjugated, -va and -nés verbs. Which group any particular verb is in must be memorized, as it cannot be determined from the verb itself alone. The majority of regular Knašta verbs are -nés verbs.

Type I and II Irregular Verbs

Type I irregular verbs have an irregular conjugated form. The only Type I irregular verb is ǰinxa (to be). Type II irregular verbs do not change their form when conjugated. Type II irregular verbs are often helping verbs. The list of Type II irregular verbs are: kanel, potečřé, avbendí, and můsťen.

-va verbs

-va verbs add the suffix va to the verb with both second person forms. See the example below.

Present Tense Conjugation of Het (To Stop)

1st singular 2nd singular 3rd singular 1st plural 2nd plural 3rd plural
Joj het Vošní hetva Íl, Èl, Lot het Nærsk het Vošnísin hetva Lotsen het
-nés verbs

-nés verbs add the suffix nés to the verb with both second person forms. See the example below.

Present Tense Conjugation of Aďeska (To Help)

1st singular 2nd singular 3rd singular 1st plural 2nd plural 3rd plural
Joj aďeska Vošní aďeskanés Íl, Èl, Lot aďeska Nærsk aďeska Vošnísin aďeskanés Lotsen aďeska
Verb Tense

Tense is changed through the addition of one or multiple prefixes and suffixes. See the table below.

Affix Meaning Example Example Translation
sen- past Joj sen-parlenska ẁíl. I talked to him.
són- perfect Joj són-parlenska ẁíl. I have talked to him.
til- future Joj til-parlenska ẁíl. I will talk to him.
-link present progressive Joj parlenska-link ẁíl. I am talking to him.

As stated above, these can be combined, as in the sentence Joj sen-parlenska-link ẁíl, which means I was talking to him.


Implied Agent Form

All Knašta verbs have what is known as an implied agent form. This form allows for the verb to be used without its corresponding pronoun.

Implied Agent Form For -Nés Verbs
1st Singular 2nd Singular Lot 1st Plural 2nd Plural 3rd Plural
-katsí  -nés Verb Infinitive -katsa -nétsa -kalí
Implied Agent Form For -Va Verbs
1st Singular 2nd Singular Lot 1st Plural 2nd Plural 3rd Plural
-katsí  -va Verb Infinitive -katsa -vatsa -kalí
Implied Agent Form For Type II Irregular Verbs
1st Singular 2nd Singular Lot 1st Plural 2nd Plural 3rd Plural
None  None Verb Infinitive None None None

Notice the use of lot instead of 3rd Singular. The implied agent form can only be used in the 3rd person singular if the agent (person or thing preforming the action) is lot (it).

Some regular verbs have irregular implied agent form stems, such as the verb explíka (to explain).

Implied Agent Form of explíka
1st singular 2nd singular Lot 1st plural 2nd plural 3rd plural
explíkatsí explínés explíka explíkatsa explínétsa explíkalí

When using the implied agent form in a phrase not in passive mood, the pronoun is omitted. For example, one can say Gróþkatsí-link el sé magazatí instead of Joj gróþ-link el sé magazatí, both of which mean "I am going to the store." Notice that it is called implied agent, not implied subject.

The implied agent is also used in creating the passive mood, and also in topic-prominent sentences (see below in Syntax). One can have a sentence like Joj sen-plaskakalí al kala (literally: I PAST-place-3PL a call, I was called by them).

When in a verb phrase and used as a helping verb, the Type II irregular verb is not considered to be in the implied agent form, rather, it is applied to the verb being helped. For example, Kanel fétsakatsí lot means "I can do it", not "It can I do."

Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives come after the nouns they modify, and are invariable (they do not conjugate at all).

There are some words which are adverbs by default, such as matka (already). Any adjective can be turned into an adverb by adding the suffix -las, including the hyphen.

Examples

Vrémenskí (real)
Vrémenskí-las (really)

Vít (fast, quick)
Vít-las (fast, quickly)

All adjectives, except for colors and numbers, have what are known as opposite forms. These are formed simply by placing (no, not) before the adjective. If the adjective begins, the becomes a ň', according to Knašta:Elision. While many adjectives have opposites other than this form, some don't.

Examples
Adjective Opposite Form Other Antonymic Adjectives
ota (high) ň'ota (down) None


Adjective Opposite Form Other Antonymic Adjectives
facílja (easy) nífacílja (hard) důra (hard)

Syntax

Knašta has a default SVO (subject-verb-object) word order. However, in certain clauses as discussed below VSO (verb-subject-object) word order is used. Yes or no questions are marked with the final particle 或不 (ů ní), which literally means "or not".

Examples of Basic Sentence Order

我 爱 你.
I love you (I love you)

会tweska汝 我.
will-kill.you me (You will kill me)

Ameska你 我 或不?
love.you me or.not (Do you love me?)


Kwy 得 做你 那?
why must do.you that (Why do you have to do that?)

Questions

Interrogative pronouns come first:

Kwo ǰis íl-ins jóm?
what be his name (What is his name?)

Kwéę kanel trůvinskakatsí drast?
where can find.I this (Where can I find this?)

Kes vālencanés?
which want.you (Which do you want?)

Kwomo marša?
how walk/function.it (How does it work?)

The use of kwomo (how) is often restricted to relative clauses, as there is another way to ask how using a compound with the word paþa (way):

Kwo + ǰis sé paþa + gerund + object genitive + subject genitive


The object or subject forms follow the normal rules for the genitive case, and may sometimes come before the paþa compound, thereby causing the deletion of (the).

Essentially this is the equivalent of asking "What is X's way of Y?":

Kwo sen-ǰis lot-ins paþaàrívítkatsjon?
what past-be its way.of.happening (How did it happen?)

Kwo ǰis on-ins paþakréjetsatsjon jazišna-ins?
what be one's way.of.creation language.of (How does one create a language?)

Kwo sen-ǰis vošní-ins paþafétsatsjon drast-ins?
what past-be your way.of.doing that.of (How did you do that?)


Kwo sen-ǰis sé paþaàrívítkatsjon révolůtsíàtsjon-ins?
what past-be the way.of.happening revolution.of (How did the revolution happen?)

You can also substitute the object genitive for an expression that involves por (for):

Kwo sen-ǰis vošní-ins paþafétsatsjon por drast?
what past-be your way.of.doing for that (How did you do that?)

Kwo sen-ǰis sé paþakréjetsatsjon por komnizní?
what past-be the way.of.creation for communism (How was communism created?)


VSO Word Order

The VSO word order is used in declarative sentences in two cases: if the time or location is specified at the beginning, or after certain conjunctions and prepositions. In many cases, the use of the implied agent form renders this moot, however.

明日 会去 我的 moða 在magazatí.
tomorrow will go my mother to the store. (Tomorrow my mother will go to the store)

离2008 了了是 Obama 这leďeska 区汇的.
from 2008 has been Obama the president of the United States (Obama has been the president of the United States since 2008)

他 不能 去 因 了îtérdítsí 他的 moða 他的 去呢.
he can't go because banned his mother his going (He can't go because he mother forbid him to go)

了要我 去, 可 了îdérdítsí 我的 foða 它.
I wanted to go but banned my father it (I wanted to go, but my father forbid it)

Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives always come after the nouns they modify:

Sé otosa roda
the car red (the red car)

Adverbs typically come after' the verb they modify, and in many cases the end of the sentence:

Můsťen fétsanés drast vrémenskí-las?
must do.you that really (Do you really have to do that?)

Íl sen-žweska bots-las drastniqt
he past-play well tonight (He played well tonight)

DŽis oplaska matka
be.it locative.place already (It's already in place)

Íl til-fétsa lot žamítsa.
he will-do it never. (He'll never do it)

However, the adverb žůsta (just), typically precedes the verb, and can also be placed between the tense marker and verb:

Íl sen-žůsta gróþ
he past-just go (He just went)

Žůsta sen-fétsakatsí lot
just past-do.I it (I just did it)

Relative Clauses

Relatives clauses involving drast (this, that), and kí (who) always use the SVO word order:

Sé ňos kí ǰis dos aržentsísin
the man who is of monies (The man who is rich)

Ní ǰis kelkžozak drast marša bots-las
not be.it some.thing that works well (It's not something that works well)

However, if the clause involves any interrogative pronoun (besides kí), it may also use VSO word order, although the use of the implied agent renders this moot in many cases:

Drast ǰis kwý adorakatsí èl
that be why love.I she (That's why I love her)

Drast ǰis kwo můsťen fétsa íl
that be what must do he (That's what he has to do)

Drast ǰis kw'íl můsťen fétsa
that be what'he must do (That's what he has to do)

Topic-Prominent Sentences

If you want to emphasize a particular part of your sentence (often the object in the traditional subject-prominent word order), you can use the topic-prominent, or topic-comment word order, which allows you to place this first in the sentence.

All nouns and pronouns used as topics must be marked with the topic marker suffix -wa (borrowed from the Japanese topic marker は wa). The only exception is the first person singular pronoun joj, whose topical form is jo-wa (not joj-wa). After the topic comes the verb, and then the agent (which can be omitted if you use the implied agent form described above).

Examples

Jo-wa adoranés?
1SG-TOPIC love.2SG (You love me? - the use of a topic-prominent sentence here indicates the speaker is surprised that they are loved)

Ňan-ský-sin-wa adorakatsí.
meow-AGENT-PL-TOPIC love.1SG (I love cats. - the use of a topic prominent sentence here indicates the speaker really loves cats)

Jo-wa détatsí sé ňos-êseňatsí-ský-sin.
1SG-TOPIC hate the person-teach-AGENTIVE-PL (The teachers hate me. - the use of a topic prominent sentence here indicates the person is emphasizing that the teachers hate them especially)

Language Sample

The North Wind and the Sun

Sé Sůflatsjon Norð és sé Sol sen-kómpfa-link onas kí sen-ǰis sé plosa fortsa, kwen al ňosvwažatsí-ský sen-parvjensta sen-rapta orok šoda. Sen-vjenstakalí ẁakoàtsjon drast sé oní premjeska kí sen-sůxé omůsťenatsjon ňosvwažatsí-ský-ins el ofprensta íl-ins rok devrinska ǰis sen-konsídéra plosa forsta drast sé otré. Den sé Sůflatsjon Norð sen-sůfla koma důra-las kom'íl sen-kanel, mas sé plosa drast íl sen-sůfla sé plosa drast sé ňosvwažatsí-ský sen-plíà sé rok rønd íl; és otempesťa sé Sůflatsjon Norð sen-otadonek. Den sé Sol sen-glínatsí šoda-las, és momentsí-las sé ňosvwažatsí-ský sen-ofprensta íl-ins rok. Ðuzo sé Sůflatsjon Norð sen-ǰis sen-můsťen el konfetsek drast sé Sol sen-ǰis sé plosa fortsa dwo-ins.

This is a translation of the short fable w:The North Wind and the Sun.