|The creator of this language has moved on from this language. No further editing, other than marginal corrections, will occur in the foreseeable future. Watch out for inconsistencies and enjoy the page.|
|Pronunciation||[ɴ̆acɕ͡eˈʝam]; [ˈc͡ɕʰɴ̆ei̯daʝimeː ˈɦeːnna]|
|Region||Southern third of the continent of Isungatsuaq, on the planet of Calémere|
|Native speakers||1,450,000,000 (4E 133)|
Standard Laceyiam (Laltīmāhei hėnna)
Classical Laceyiam (Chløyęe Laceyiam)
|Writing system||Chlegdarimė jīmaṃlīne|
|Official language in||Laltīmāhia, Mǎng Tì pọk, Brono|
|Regulated by||Inquisitorial Office of the Language (hėnni havtnamila)|
Laceyiam, or Chlegdarimė hėnna ("language of the Chlegdarims"), or, in its modern standard version, Laltīmāhei hėnna ("language of Laltīmāhia") is the most spoken language on the planet of Calémere (Lac.: Lillańjānna). It is the official language of Laltīmāhia, the liturgical language of the Yūnialtia, and a lingua franca in many areas of the continent of Isungatsuaq (Lac.: Kaissmūhai). Despite the fact that local vernaculars in most of Laltīmāhia are in fact daughter languages of Laceyiam or Laceyiam-based creoles, Laceyiam is a fully living language as every Chlegdarim is bilingual in it and in the local vernacular, and in fact in the last half century Laceyiam itself has been replacing some vernaculars as internal migrations have become more and more common. About 1,4 billion people on the planet define themselves as native Laceyiam speakers, more than for any other Calémerian language.
Terminological note: hereafter I'll use Laceyiami as an adjective for things related to the language, Chlegdarim for things related to the Chlegdarim people, Laltīmāhei for things related to the nation of Laltīmāhia and Yūnialtei for things related to the Yūnialtia, the religion of the Chlegdarims. (Still, keep in mind these definitions often overlap)
NOTE that Laceyiam is not being worked on anymore, as Chlouvānem is its new version.
- 1 External history
- 2 Classification
- 3 Vernaculars, pronunciations, and dialects
- 4 History
- 5 Phonology
- 6 Morphology
- 6.1 Nouns - Dayandairai
- 6.1.1 The first declension (-a, -ā, -au, -ia, -iā, -ie, -iė)
- 6.1.2 The second declension (-e, -ė, -y, -ȳ, -u, -ū)
- 6.1.3 The third declension (-i)
- 6.1.4 The fourth declension (ablauting nouns)
- 6.1.5 The fifth declension (nasals)
- 6.1.6 The sixth declension (consonant-stem nouns)
- 6.1.7 The seventh declension (-h)
- 6.1.8 The eighth declension (-ai)
- 6.2 Verbs - Smārjāmai
- 6.2.1 Conjugations
- 6.2.2 Indicative present and imperative
- 6.2.3 Indicative past perfective
- 6.2.4 Indicative past imperfective
- 6.2.5 Indicative future and pluperfect tenses
- 6.2.6 Voice
- 6.2.7 The hypothetical mood
- 6.2.8 The optative and propositive moods
- 6.2.9 The desiderative mood
- 6.2.10 The necessitative mood
- 6.2.11 The potential mood
- 6.2.12 The permissive mood
- 6.2.13 The subjunctive mood
- 6.2.14 Secondary moods: evidentiality
- 6.2.15 The consequential secondary moods
- 6.2.16 The interrogative secondary mood
- 6.2.17 Impersonal verbs
- 6.2.18 Irregular verbs
- 6.2.19 The verb "to be" (haiske)
- 6.2.20 Preverbal modifiers
- 6.2.21 Analytic forms
- 6.2.22 Adjectives and adverbs
- 6.3 Pronouns - Pārivāyārai
- 6.4 Numerals
- 6.5 Particles
- 6.1 Nouns - Dayandairai
- 7 Syntax
- 8 Vocabulary
- 9 Texts
Laceyiam is an a priori language I (lili21) started creating - in this current version - in January 2016, but actually it is the latest version of the conlang for my main conculture. I started sketching conlangs back when I was 9 or 10 but only started interesting myself into linguistics seven years later - in 2014 - and since then I started doing more "serious" conlangs (the earlier ones were more like relexes of my native language, Italian). Ideally, Laceyiam is the refined version of all of these languages, but except for a few recurring words (like maila (water) or hulyn (woman)) it is only comparable to those languages I have been creating since July 2015 - in fact, the nearest previous version, which I began in October 2015, was already called Laceyiam.
Anyway, while being a priori, there are definitely many noticeable influences from natlangs. Sanskrit, Lithuanian, and Icelandic are the most obvious ones, and also Danish, PIE (and, more as a consequence of all of these, also Latin and Ancient Greek), Old Tupi, and Japanese all had a moderate influence. However, I tried to do something that while having much in common with all of these languages, is also strikingly different (the Austronesian morphosyntactic alignment, morphological expression of evidentiality and more broadly the particular emphasis on moods probably being the most noticeable things). Moreover, I tried to create a language very different from Italian while keeping many - not so apparent - similarities.
Laceyiam is mainly thought for my conworld, but more than any other conlang of mine it is quite on the border between an art- and a heartlang.
Laceyiam is a member of the Cis-Tahianshima language family (Lac.: Yaivnemiði hėnnai), which originates from an ancestral people whose homeland was located on some island groups east of the island of Tahianshima (Lac.: Tāhiańśīma), the second-largest on Calémere (roughly comparable in size, geographical characteristics, and location to New Guinea).
Laceyiam is the closest language to Proto-Cis-Tahianshima (PCT; in Lac.: Indayaivnemiði hėnna), but that's likely because the first attestation of Laceyiam dates to 2000 years before the second-oldest attested Cis-Tahianshima language (Tarueb on the other side of the planet); in fact that's a longer time frame than the 1100 to 1300 years that, according to most Calémerian linguists, divide late common PCT from the earliest attestations of Laceyiam.
As Laceyiam evolved while the Chlegdarims migrated east and then southeast from their original Cis-Tahianshima homeland, they had contacts with lots of other peoples with whom they also mixed to some extent. This, in addition to the loss of contact with the other speakers of Proto-Cis-Tahianshima dialects (that in fact went through a phase called "Late Eastern PCT", marked by some sound changes shared by all Cis-Tahianshima languages except Laceyiam), resulted in a series of huge changes in morphology and especially vocabulary that set Laceyiam apart from most other Cis-Tahianshima languages. Taruebic and Pakpatic languages underwent a similar history through a later migration from the Cis-Tahianshima homeland in the opposite direction; the other two Cis-Tahianshima branches, Mid-Oceanic and Upper Oceanic have had less outside interactions as they only spread across islands in the Great Ocean (Lac.: Nemiðārṭya).
Vernaculars, pronunciations, and dialects
Being a classical language first spoken some millenniums ago, Laceyiam today does not have true “dialects”. As said before, the most informal form of Laceyiam is usually a local vernacular, daughter language of Laceyiam, but in usual terminology they are not truly distinguished: the term Chlegdarimė hėnna, often used to refer to Laceyiam, may be used for any language spoken by Chlegdarims, thereby including the vernaculars. All vernaculars are usually known as Chlegdarimė hlūðė hėnnai (singular: — hlūði hėnna), literally “local Chlegdarim language(s)”, and people colloquially call their vernacular speech with the name of their village, city, or region, as opposed to the Laltīmāhei hėnna - the common language of all of Laltīmāhia, that is standard Laceyiam. The diglossia between them often has blurry borders, as two people speaking may keep code-switching depending on the topic, a common example being in schools: teachers and professors teach their lessons in Laceyiam, but they usually speak in vernacular language of any other topic even with the students.
While Laceyiam does not have local dialects, there are speech varieties; Laceyiam terminology just calls them ńäytharaṃsai (singular: ńäytharam), “pronunciations”, but differences are also lexical and, in some cases, even grammatical; the written form is based on Classical Laceyiam (Chløyęe Laceyiam), but no modern pronunciation follows it. Standard Laceyiam - the Laltīmāhei hėnna - is based on a typical Southeastern pronunciation, formally the one of Kailamārśikha, capital of Laltīmāhia, around year 60 of the Fourth Era; today the pronunciation of Kailamārśikha has diverged somewhat and the closest “natural” pronunciation to Standard Laceyiam is the one of Līlta, in the South, the third largest city in the country.
The main pronunciation differences are the “digraphs” <hv hj hr hl> and the high vowels <i ī y ȳ>; these were /ɦv ʑ ɦʀ ɦɴ̆ i iː y yː/ in Classical Laceyiam; to make some examples, Standard Laceyiam has respectively /f ɕ ʁ ʕ̯ ʲi ʲiː i iː/ while the Northern Plains pronunciation (the one with the most speakers) has /kf ʃ ʁ ɴ̆ i iː y yː/. Some other differences include:
- the merger of Classical and Standard /ʂ ɕ/ (and usually also Classical /ʑ/ which often merged into /ɕ/ like in the Standard) into a single /ʃ/ - this happens for example in the Northern Plains, but also throughout most of the North and some lone areas like Kahimithan diocese in the Southwest;
- the pronunciation of /ʀ/, which often has up to four allophones depending on context, all geographically varying - for example word-initial /ʀ/ may be one of [ʝ ʀ r ɾ ɻ] depending on the area;
- the pronunciation of various vowels, like for example /aː/ as [ɔː] in the Central Plains pronunciation or /eː/ as [ɛə̯] in most of the Western Deserts.
Speaking strictly of Laceyiam dialects, there has been, historically, an unattested dialect called murta dialect (murta ga viṣandaira), contrasting with Classical Laceyiam which, in these contexts, is called marta dialect (marta ga viṣandaira). The murta dialect is attested through some doublets in Laceyiam where one word has been derived apparently irregularly from Proto-Cis-Tahianshima: the most famous one is the one that gives the name to these dialects, marta/murta, both meaning “city” - “marta” is by far the most common term in Laceyiam, but “murta” is widely used in toponyms: this word is an evolution from PCT *kʷʰə₁rta (closed area), where *ə₁ became /a/ in the marta dialect (later Archaic and then Classical Laceyiam, probably *ə₁ > *o > a) but /u/ in the murta dialect; PCT *ə₂ likewise became marta /e/ but murta /i/. Some notable other differences include:
- PCT *ā₁ > marta /au̯/ but murta /aː/;
- PCT palatovelars, velars and labiovelars all merged into /k kʰ g gʱ/ in the murta dialect; the marta dialect regularly reflects palatovelars as /c͡ɕ c͡ɕʰ ɟ͡ʑ ɟ͡ʑʱ/, velars as /k kʰ ɦ gʱ/ and has various reflexes for labiovelars, most commonly /ɦv m g m/;
- PCT *sk > marta /sk/ but murta /ʂ/;
- PCT word-final *jə is usually lost in marta (but leaves i-umlaut on a preceding vowel if possible) but becomes /e/ in murta;
- PCT word-initial prevocalic *s remains /s/ in murta, while marta has many possible reflexes depending on the following vowel (probably *s > *tsʲ > various), compare e.g. PCT *sā₁skjə (bird) > regular marta täyska (bird; through intermediate *täysk) and murta-word sāṣe (flying creature).
The history of Laceyiam is tightly linked with the one of the Chlegdarim people and it is usually divided in the following periods:
- Proto-Cis-Tahianshima (PCT for short);
- Pre-Classical or Archaic Laceyiam (with the first attestation);
- Classical Laceyiam;
- Post-classical developments.
The oldest stage we can be sure of is Proto-Cis-Tahianshima, or Indayaivnemiði hėnna, the latest common ancestor of all Cis-Tahianshima languages. It was most probably spoken 4000 to 3600 years ago in some island groups east of Tahianshima (Lac.: Tāhiańśīma, the second-largest island on the planet), in the middle of the Greater Ocean (Nemiðārṭya). Note that the term Cis-Tahianshima has a Western Calémerian origin, and it means “on this side” of Tahianshima for Western people (Evandorians); from a Chlegdarim perspective it’s the other side — anyway, Laceyiam and its descendants are the only Cis-Tahianshima languages spoken west of the island. The Laceyiam term for Cis-Tahianshima is Yaivnemiði, meaning “of the whole Nemið ocean”.Note also that no Cis-Tahianshima language is native of the island of Tahianshima itself, even though today the island’s lingua franca is Laceyiam and the local vernacular is a Laceyiam-based creole.
Through reconstructed vocabulary we can also hypothesize which kind of society the Proto-Cis-Tahianshima people had. They were primitive but due to their insular location were skilled navigators; their atolline and insular habitat is confirmed by the huge number of words relating to it, like *tuŋa₁ (atoll), *ħō₁nə (lagoon), *ta₂fā (islet), three terms distinguishing different depths of lagoon water (*dotepō₁kə, *ve₁mpeg, *na₂gnos); they also had the word *ja₁ŋwī for large boats (probably used for travelling through different islands) and *na₂sət for smaller ones; *ŋotirō₁ is a wave (and possibly also “solar ray”), *kurū₂m (guano), and no word at all for “mountain” or “hill”. They had rudimentary weapons like the *gʷūm₂poxim (harpoon) and the *ko₁ɣmja₁(s) (knife). They lived in villages called *ɟō₂n-bʱeg with leaders called *ɟun-bʱi-spā₁r. Military leaders were called *šimvā₂tə (reconstructible from Mid-Oceanic languages and Laceyiam) or *spār-dū₂s (from the other branches), and also extremely important were *šjā₂mejə, guardians of boats - this latter root even became the verb “to save” in Pakpatic and Taruebic languages and the standard honorific yāmei in Laceyiam. The primitiveness of their society is stressed by the fact that they didn’t wear any clothes - there is no reconstructible word for any type of clothes, and also some oceanic islanders didn’t use clothes by the time - 200 years ago - they first had contact with Western civilizations. Still there are three reconstructible body ornament words (none of these survived into Laceyiam, though): *dū₁stes (necklace — only in Mid- and Upper Oceanic), *pōnā₁bə (branch or stick inserted into an ear), and *fode₁g (penis sheath). This latter object probably was a status symbol, as Pakpatic and Taruebic languages reflect it as “family leader”.
Proto-Cis-Tahianshima speakers moved mostly eastwards, colonizing (or conquering) most of the islands in the Ocean east of Tahianshima, and northwards up to the island-continent of Écáreton, and these dialects later split into four different branches:
- the Mid-Oceanic languages are spoken on most of the islands of the Great Ocean, mostly spread longitudinally for two thirds of the way from Tahianshima to the Western continents of Védren and Evandor on the east side of the ocean;
- the Upper Oceanic languages are spoken in those island groups north of the Middle Oceanic languages, and also in the southern part of Écáreton;
- the Taruebic and the Pakpatic languages’ speakers migrated east and eventually reached first northwestern Védren - where the Pakpatic languages are now spoken - and southwestern Evandor, current homeland of the Taruebic languages.
The fifth dialectal group of PCT was spoken by those speakers who moved westwards, eventually reaching Tahianshima itself: these are the ancestors of the Chlegdarim people and their PCT dialect was the earliest stage of what today is Laceyiam (in a Western perspective, this stage may be called Proto-Dryadic or Proto-Imuniguronian, Imúnigúrona being the common Western name for Laltīmāhia).
Laceyiam had (like also Taruebic and Pakpatic on the other side of the world) peculiar developments that set it apart from most other Cis-Tahianshima languages, but given the different geographical area its developments were pretty much unique. Laceyiam is also often closer to PCT in its consonants than any other known sister language, but that’s easily explainable because of its early attestation: the first written examples of Laceyiam date to roughly 3000 years ago, about seven centuries after it supposedly split from other fellow PCT dialects; in comparison, the second oldest attested Cis-Tahianshima language, Old Tarueb, was only attested about 1000 years ago; other Taruebic languages were only clearly attested in the last 500 years and other branches in the last 150.
The Laceyiam split from PCT happened earlier than for all other branches, as all other branches underwent a late-PCT reworking of the pitch accent system, adding another (but in most cases allophonic) tonal distinction and losing the phoneme *ə. This stage is usually known as Late Eastern PCT; PCT as reconstructable from all languages, including Laceyiam, has only a two-tone pitch accent system, written as *V₁ (low-mid tone) and *V₂ (high tone); the lack of a subscript number means that vowel is unstressed. No Cis-Tahianshima language keeps this tone system today, but most of them reflects the different accents with different vowel qualities. Laceyiam is particularly helpful in reconstructing it, not just because it didn’t undergo the Late Eastern PCT pitch accent system reworking, but also because most pitch-accented vowels have different reflexes (except for high vowels). For example, PCT had six [a]-phonemes: *a₁ *a₂ *a *ā₁ *ā₂ *ā. Laceyiam reflects them as such: *a₁, *a > a — *a₂ > ai — *ā₁ > au — *ā₂, *ā > ā.
Laceyiam, anyway, extensively modified its vowel system through regressive umlaut and assimilation of *j and *w glides, and also the loss of *ə created lots of consonant clusters and consonant-final words, which were all later simplified in some way. Another notable change is the loss of the various [o]-phonemes into another, mostly into /a/ — even though much later a new /ɔ/ phoneme arose even in PCT-derived roots, from various contraction of earlier segments like *ow, *o₁w, and *ō₂w, as well from a few remaining schwas. Syncope and the loss of phonemic stress led to different derivations of a same PCT root being often obscured in Laceyiam.
As for consonants, Laceyiam is the only Cis-Tahianshima language (excluding its own descendants) that kept the four-way contrast in stops (unvoiced and voiced, plain and aspirate) and four out of five PCT points of articulation: labials, dentals, palatals and velars were kept, but labiovelars merged into different phonemes depending on nearby vowels. However Laceyiam gained a new fifth point of articulation for stops, the retroflex one, mostly from sequences of a dental consonant plus *r. Laceyiam is also the only language in its family that reflects directly the PCT phoneme *ħ, whose realization is still unclear but was most probably [ħ], [ʜ], or [ʕ]: in the vast majority of cases, PCT *ħ corresponds to Laceyiam 〈l〉, the peculiar nasal (post-)uvular flap /ɴ̆/. This latter phoneme, the most common consonant in Laceyiam, is a reflex of four PCT phonemes: *ħ, *l, *ŋ, and *ŋʷ, as well as other sources like *r word-initially and in dissimilation, or changes like *kr *kʰr > kl. The common cluster /c͡ɕʰɴ̆/ 〈chl〉, as in the word Chlegdarim, arose both from *cr, *cʰr and also from various simplifications after schwa syncope. The three common PCT phonemes *x, *ɣ, and *h were most often deleted but left their trace in the breathy-voiced phonation of the preceding vowel.
Prehistoric language contact
Perhaps more important than phonological changes in the differentiation of (Pre-)Laceyiam from PCT is the extensive language contact it underwent after the migrations began and these speakers lost contact with fellow speakers of other PCT dialects. As said before, these latter dialects soon underwent other changes before linguistic unity broke apart, but these changes didn’t spread to Pre-Laceyiam speakers. On the other hand, their language was heavily influenced by Proto-Mǎng Tì (PMNg for short; Lac.: Indamälti hėnna), spoken by people of present-day Mǎng Tì pọk, a country on the eastern third of the island of Tahianshima (as a side note, Laceyiam is extremely important in the reconstruction of Proto-Mǎng Tì phonology). Lots of PMNg roots entered Laceyiam, not only in order to fill lexical gaps but also replacing meanings of inherited PCT roots that either went lost or changed meaning. PMNg borrowings are thus found even in daily vocabulary, for example weather conditions like duṃda (fog), basic concepts like daya (thing), geographical features like memai (river delta), and even body parts like piāh (elbow). Among body parts that only partially replaced the inherited term, the Laceyiam word for “mouth”, dehān, is a PMNg borrowing, while the inherited PCT term, hairū, came to mean “jaw” (semantic shifts like this one are very common in PCT-descended Laceyiam roots).
PMNg reconstructions and Laceyiam often have 1:1 matches, but these loans help date PCT to Laceyiam sound changes. For example [ɣ] was clearly not a Laceyiam phoneme anymore, as PMNg *ɣ is consistently reflected as Laceyiam /g/ (while PCT *ɣ became /ɦ/ word-initially, breathy-voiced phonation in codas, and /g/ plus breathy-voiced phonation of a preceding vowel when intervocalic). On the other hand, Laceyiam still had phonemic [o], as PMNg *o shows the same development of PCT *o₂/*o. PMNg loans caused the introduction of a new phoneme - the glottal stop - and added many occurrences of voiced aspirated stops (from PMNg implosives) and retroflex consonants (from PMNg *Cr clusters).
During this prehistoric period, the original Proto-Cis-Tahianshima morphology was also radically changed. PCT was moderately agglutinative but used lots of particles and analytic forms; a few different apparently synonymous particles are also reconstructed, but it was definitely much more analytic than Laceyiam is. Laceyiam, in fact, fused together many inherited morphemes and created that way most fusional noun declensions and synthetic verb tenses (for example the future is PCT infinitive + *i₁š- (to take); most tenses are actually verb endings attached to various PCT participles).
PCT also relied a lot on ablaut variations: inflectional ablaut was already somewhat uncommon (but regular) in PCT, but derivational ablaut was extremely common. Laceyiam keeps ablaut much more than all other Cis-Tahianshima languages, but even there in verbs it’s mostly a relic, while ablauting nouns (which also used different endings) were dumped into the fourth declension, and Laceyiam even added some mostly by analogy. Anyway the combination of different evolutions like the *o > a merger, extensive vowel syncope, umlaut that often added even more vowel alternations, the increasing use of the simpler suffixing-only inflections, and, most importantly, the loss of phonemic and movable stress, led to the loss of ablaut as a productive inflectional and derivational system.
Proto-Mǎng Tì itself had a notable influence on the grammar of Laceyiam: the origin of the exterior and interior verb forms. This feature wasn’t borrowed directly, but made from inherited PCT elements as a kind of “calque” of some PMNg structures, particularly the pairing of static or “uncontrolled” meanings with the reflexive voice. Laceyiam interior endings are in fact derived by the “normal” exterior verb endings with added *nəs, a clitic form of PCT *nō₁ns, a reflexive pronoun.
The arrival on Isungatsuaq
Despite probable intermixing and this extensive contact with the Mǎng Tì-s, the Chlegdarims didn’t remain long on or near Tahianshima island and soon moved westwards into the large archipelago in the southern part of the Sea of Tahianshima (Tāhiańśīmi jāri); this area (roughly cut in half by the Equator) takes about three quarters of the sea between Tahianshima and the continent of Isungatsuaq (to the extent that, while geologically this archipelago and Tahianshima itself already lie on the Oceanic plate, nowadays they are geographically often considered an extension of Isungatsuaq). The Chlegdarims’ last stop before the continent was most possibly Luldakimū island on the 4th parallel south, the southwesternmost main island and largest of the archipelago, and also the nearest to the continent. From there, they probably reached the islands on the continental ridge off today’s Leitāvaja before settling on the Sāńjāyaṇa peninsula - the southernmost tip of Isungatsuaq - and the cay chain south of it.
The Chlegdarims quickly spread across southern Leitāvaja, making contact with a new habitat, mostly made of rainforests and swamps (even more than on Tahianshima) and other civilizations: first of all the so-called Nanaklāri peoples, whose languages have never been directly attested. Their name derives from Nanaklāra, a borough in Kailamārśikha (Laltīmāhia's capital city and the largest city on the planet) whose name is a toponym linked to a "Nanaklāri" origin. Old Yomadhvāyi isn't usually set apart from Nanaklāri languages, but unlike "proper Nanaklāri" it is attested in sparse inscriptions and texts both in Laceyiam and Dzams-bltyod; it was however spoken further west (in present-day Yomadhvāya) but was another major source language for many loans into Laceyiam, including a huge number of proper personal names. Apropos personal names, the fact almost no common Laceyiam given name is PCT-derived and a good majority is of either Old Yomadhvāyi or Nanaklāri origin, most anthropologist think that the Chlegdarims absorbed Nanaklāri and Old Yomadhvāyi cultures easily by intermarriage so that ethnic identity “borders” between them became blurred and vanished. The other main influence was Ancient Lelīmuyāńi, the language of Lelīmuyāńa (a historical distinct region, today in northern and northeastern Leitāvaja and extreme southern Lanturlīṭa dioceses), which at the time was the most advanced civilization of the area. Ancient Lelīmuyāńi already had written texts, and in fact the first attestation of the Chlegdarims’ presence is found in an Ancient Lelīmuyāńi text, probably aimed at travelling merchants, which talks about “people of the west” living in the “forested low coastal areas”, which call themselves Cuḷeketazhi (approximation of Chlegdarim) in the language we (the Ancient Lelīmuyāńi people) call “laccaiyam”. The word Laceyiam is in fact an Ancient Lelīmuyāńi borrowing, meaning “voice (iyam) of the sunset (lacca)”, where “sunset” means “west”.
Despite the prehistory of Laceyiam and its descendance from Proto-Cis-Tahianshima being now certified and accepted scientifically, Laceyiam’s date and place of birth are considered respectively the time of the Chlegdarims’ arrival on Isungatsuaq and southern Leitāvaja. This area is in fact the homeland of Chlegdarim civilization, and it is only here that Chlegdarim culture and traditions shaped themselves - including language. The most obvious and most important trace of this in Laceyiam is the huge number of words that entered the Chlegdarims’ daily life: obviously they had the need to describe the nature they found themselves in, a jungle- and swamp-centric environment, most features of which were completely unknown in their previous, sea-based habitat. In fact, most words for equatorial plants, animals, and geographical features are of either Nanaklāri, Old Yomadhvāyi, or Ancient Lelīmuyāńi origin (e.g. jaja “igarapé”, māra “mango”, kāmbava “water lily”, ėmīla “tiger”, kėmbe “toucan”, naʔikė “flooded clearwater forest”, heita “durian”, kalńi “sound of a tree branch falling into water”); only few of them have Proto-Mǎng Tì origin (e.g. kami “rose”, dalakām “bamboo”, humba “spice”, tiuʔa “palm”), and only those most related to coastal areas are inherited from PCT (e.g. tėti “island”, jhāva “reef”). Also borrowed are lots of wordsrelated to activities and products (e.g. mānska “glass”) and, most importantly, cultural (e.g. buldhām, the typical Chlegdarim burial and the relative ceremony; talengim, ritual tattoo) and religious terms, most of which have probable Nanaklāri origins. In fact, the Leitāvaji society of the First Era was extremely multicultural, and Nanaklāri languages in the west and Ancient Lelīmuyāńi in the east (the latter being the only written language) were the lingua francas; Laceyiam became more important and ultimately drove the others to extinction mainly for two reasons: the cultural intermixing mentioned before and also because Lėliðaṇīṭa, the Great Prophet of the Yūnialtia, was a Chlegdarim and her language began to be considered holier; the amount of Nanaklāri instead of Ancient Lelīmuyāńi words in Yūnialtei terminology points to her native village, and the areas of her first teachings, being located west of the Kaicedhīma mountains.
Laceyiam up until this point in time is normally defined as Pre-classical Laceyiam: its limit is the late First Era, around the lifetime of Lėliðaṇīṭa, with Nanaklāri and a few Old Yomadhvāyi loans being already established, but without substantial Ancient Lelīmuyāńi influence; in the earliest Laceyiam texts (Archaic Laceyiam) we can for example already find the root numbers of Nanaklāri origins (tulūʔa “six” and jaibha “fifteen”) but the number system itself is still hexadecimal (the Classical decimal one was borrowed from Ancient Lelīmuyāńi). Anyway, except for the hexadecimal numeral system, Laceyiam had grammatically already reached its classical and present state.
From Classical Laceyiam to the present day
Classical Age is a vague term in Chlegdarim history, but it embraces the period between the last century of the First Era and the first third of the Second Era. There are four important historical milestones:
- Laceyiam, under Ancient Lelīmuyāńi influence, begins to be a written language;
- The Chlegdarim Inquisition (Høgyṃhjøðaṃlīne), supreme body of the Yūnialtia, is founded;
- The Conquests begin: driven by religious zeal and economical needs, the Chlegdarims begin to conquer neighboring civilizations;
- In the late Classical Age, regional spoken varieties begin to evolve as new vernaculars.
Laceyiam, during the Classical Age, begins to become exactly how it is today. Ancient Lelīmuyāńi loans begin to enter the language en masse, including the new decimal numeral system (which is however formed by a mix of inherited hexadecimal roots and decimal Ancient Lelīmuyāńi and Nanaklāri ones); Ancient Lelīmuyāńi roots remain still today a huge source of learned vocabulary. Classical Age explorations and conquests enriched Laceyiam with knowledge of new habitats, new languages, and related words: in two millenniums, the Chlegdarims unified under a single culture and religion (and politically from the beginning of the Fourth Era, 133 years ago) a huge territory extending for about 40 degrees of latitude and 90 degrees of longitude, about a third of the continent of Isungatsuaq. Attested languages such as Dzams-bltyod, Ancient Varṣāthi, and Ancient Vgorrādńi provided words related to administration, astronomy, politics, warfare, and architecture; unattested languages from the Southwest were also a rich source of words on nature and geography.
In the late Classical Age Laceyiam begins to be a standardized language, in the form that has been Yūnialtei peoples of Chlegdarim culture’s lingua franca ever since, also because of the gradual development of newer vernaculars in the regions of most ancient Chlegdarim hold. Since then the language has mostly only gained new vocabulary - both for geographical and scientific discoveries -, with the only few grammatical “innovations” in certain areas (like the Northern use of infinitive + “to want” instead of the desiderative mood) being actually “contaminations” by vernaculars or adstrata.
Standard Laceyiam has a slightly above average consonant inventory with, in the most common analysis, 36 phonemes. The consonant analysis followed here does not follow the exact points of articulation, but is the traditional analysis done by native grammarians, grouping consonant phonemes in mostly regular groups. The Laceyiam word for consonant, hīmbeyālia, is a compound of hīmba "colour" and yālia "sound".
|Voiceless plosives||p pʰ||t̪ t̪ʰ||ʈ ʈʰ||c͡ɕ c͡ɕʰ||k kʰ||ʔ|
|Voiced plosives||b bʱ||d̪ d̪ʱ||ɖ ɖʱ||ɟ͡ʑ ɟ͡ʑʱ||g gʱ|
Some analyses differ slightly from the one above: nasal flaps, approximants and semivowels are all grouped as approximants (mūgyālieniai). These analyses focus more on the actual behaviour of consonants in different environments rather than on their actual articulation.
Please note that, to avoid cluttering transcriptions, /t̪ t̪ʰd̪ d̪ʱ ð̞/ will be transcribed simply as /t tʰ d dʱ ð/.
Important notes about consonant phonemes:
- /N/, written <ṃ>, is realized as an uvular nasal before laryngeal consonants or as a nasalization of the preceding vowel before other consonants (especially /d dʱ/). Note that <ṃ> may also appear representing a different nasal phoneme (usually /m/) in other morphologically conditioned environments. /n/ is realized [ŋ] before velar consonants and is written <n> except for the root cāṃkra- (to end, to finish, to border).
- /θ ð/ only contrast intervocalically, after nasals, and before /ʀ ɴ̆/; otherwise they're in complementary distribution, with /θ/ word-initially and adjacent to voiceless consonants and /ð/ anywhere else.
Laceyiam has a large vowel inventory consisting of 17 monophthongs and 9 diphthongs, for a total of 26 vowel phonemes. The word for vowel, camiyālia, is a compound of cami "great(er), important, supreme" and yālia "sound", reflecting how a vowel is the obligatory part of a syllable nucleus in Laceyiam.
|High||ʲi ʲiː i iː i̤||u uː ṳ|
|High-mid||e eː ø|
|Diphthongs||ai̯ ei̯ æi̯ øʏ̯ a̤i̯ ɛ̤i̯||au̯ ui̯ a̤u̯|
Standard Laceyiam has, for most vowels, a three-way distinction between oral short, oral long, and breathy-voiced: this applies to the [a], [e], [i], and [u] vowels. The other vowels do not have this distinction due to their historical development.
Please note that, for sake of simplicity, /ɛ̤ ɑ̤/ will be transcribed as /e̤ a̤/.
Notes about vowel phonemes:
- The distinction between palatalizing and non-palatalizing [i] sounds is peculiar of Standard Laceyiam and all Southern pronunciations. It is a result of the unrounding of Classical Laceyiam /y yː/, that made phonemic the then-allophonic palatalization of consonants before original /i iː/ (but not /i̤/). Most modern pronunciations actually keep the distinction between /y yː/ and /i iː/ (with or without allophonic palatalization). In Standard Laceyiam and all pronunciations with unrounding, however, retroflex and palatal consonants aren't distinguished anymore before Classical /y yː/ or /i iː/, as they didn't have allophonic palatalization.
- There is an additional diphthong /ɔu̯/ which is not considered phonemic due to it appearing only in Chlou, the (borrowed) name of the 14th largest city of Laltīmāhia, and derived/compounded words.
Laceyiam grammar is heavily inflected, with many different inflecting categories for nouns, verbs, and pronouns. The other two traditional parts of speech, particles and numerals, are not considered inflected. An analysis of parts of speech following English terms is possible, but for sake of clarity it's better to treat adjectives and adverbs as particular verbs and adpositions and conjunctions as particles.
Nouns - Dayandairai
Nouns, or dayandairai (sing. dayandaira), are one of the two main open classes in Laceyiam. They are declined for two numbers - singular (paṃlinað) and plural (paṃdaniøgur) and eleven cases:
- Direct (klīṣādemin): core case used for the main argument of a verb (the one the verb agrees with); in addition, many particles require direct case nouns. Direct singular is the citation form of all nouns.
- Ergative (tairdemin): core case used for the agent of a verb in patientive, benefactive, antibenefactive, or locative voice.
- Accusative (mėniādemin): core case used for the patient of a verb in agentive, benefactive, antibenefactive, or locative voice.
- Genitive (jėmiādemin): case used for possessor arguments.
- Translative (kūbilṭādemin): case used for the entrance in a state.
- Exessive (tėssbilṭādemin): case used for the provenience from a state.
- Essive (haisādemin): case used for the permanence in a state.
- Dative (mayėṃdemin): more accurately defined as Dative-Lative case, it is used for indirect objects (e.g. "I give X to Y"; dative use) and for the destination of motion verbs (lative use).
- Ablative (paraniādemin): used mostly for movement away from something, but also for various special word- or particle-specific uses.
- Locative (laṇyādemin): used for locations (in any voice except locative) and punctual time.
Some nouns also have an additional vocative form, which is however not considered a case by itself, only a special form of the direct.
Nominal morphology is fusional, but there are some regular patterns that reflect the mostly agglutinative nature of Proto-Cis-Tahianshima noun morphology. There are eight declensions (paiktairathādai), each of them having a particular citation form ending, plus a few irregular nouns. Some declensions include regular sub-patterns for certain nouns in some forms.
All nouns also have inherent natural gender, but the Laceyiami gender system does not have morphological marking and is in fact more like a honorific system.
The first declension (-a, -ā, -au, -ia, -iā, -ie, -iė)
The first declension (lahīlam paiktairathāda) of Laceyiami nouns includes nouns ending in -a, -ā, -au, -ia, -iā, -ie, and -iė. This is the most common and the most regular declension - some other forms in other declensions have actually been modified by analogy with first declension forms.
Note that if the last vowel is long, it stays long everywhere as long as quality is the same (but ā > ai nevertheless, as diphthongs do not distinguish length); breathy-voiced phonation is likewise kept (if possible), thus nouns ending in a breathy-voiced vowel have the same form for instrumental and ablative singular.
The first declension has the following sub-patterns:
- Nouns ending in -au change this into -āva before any ending beginning with a vowel, so for example hīmuyau "husband of father's sister" has dir.pl. hīmuyāvai, erg.sg. hīmuyauss, acc.sg. hīmuyāvau ... transl.sg. hīmuyaunam, and so on. Chlou, the only word with /ɔu̯/, may informally follow this pattern (alternating between -ou and either -ova or -āva), but the official recommendation is to use compounds such as Chlou ga marta "Chlou city" or Chlou-lila "Chlou person" in order to decline it or derive forms.
- Nouns ending in -ia, -iā, -ie, or -iė all have accusative singular in -vau (e.g. nahia "mountain" > nahiavau) genitive singular in -ei (nahia > nahei), exessive singular in -ena (nahia > nahiena), ablative singular in -vų (nahia > nahiavų), locative singular in -ye (nahia > nahiaye); ergative plural in -lss (nahia > nahialss), genitive plural in -riė (nahia > nahiariė), and locative plural in -rilym (nahia > nahiarilym).
- Nouns ending in the "tool" suffix -īvā (but not its synonym -inā) shorten the final vowel when declined, except for the ergative singular (e.g. atmādhevā (airplane) > dat.sg. atmādhevað, erg.sg. atmādhevāss).
- Nouns in -īvā and -inā all have exessive singular in -aina instead of -ena (atmādhevā > atmādhevaina).
heilenu "wind" is an irregular noun which, for the most part, follows the first declension, alternating between heilenu- stem and umlauted høylen- stem, the latter used in singular accusative, genitive, exessive (shortened to høylenna), essive, and locative, and in every plural form except dative, ablative, and locative. Non-umlauted forms have /u/ replacing any /a/ in the "normal" first declension pattern, becoming breathy-voiced in ablative plural. Ablative singular is heilenų with a single, breathy-voiced /ṳ/; locative plural is heilenuilym, with the /ui̯/ diphthong.
The second declension (-e, -ė, -y, -ȳ, -u, -ū)
The second declension (daniende paiktairathāda) includes nouns ending with any of -e, -ė, -y, -ȳ, -u, or -ū, of course excluding those in -ie and -iė which are of the first declension.
As in the first declension, all final vowels remain long as long as quality is the same, with the exception of genitive case in both singular and plural. The sub-patterns of the second declension are:
- Nouns ending with the -līne collective derivational suffix have genitive singular -līni as if they were of the first declension instead of expected *-līneyi.
- Nouns ending in -y and -ȳ have genitive singular in -yvi (e.g. tammy "train" > tammyvi), exessive singular in -yvena (> tammyvena); direct plural in -r (tammy > tammyr), ergative plural in -ylss (> tammylss), genitive plural in -yvė (> tammyvė), dative plural in -yvoh (> tammyvoh) ablative plural in -įnie (> tammįnie), and locative plural in -īlym (> tammīlym).
- Nouns ending in -iū (uncommon, but most notably jeniū "flower") have dative singular in -ūyena (jeniū > jeniūyena) ablative singular in -ųu (> jeniųu) and various extended plural stems: direct in -ūyai (> jeniūyai), ergative -ūyilss (> jeniūyilss), accusative -ūyiau (> jeniūyiau), translative -ūyinam (> jeniūyinam), and locative in -ūlym (> jeniūlym). In addition to these, they also keep the long vowel in genitive singular and plural (e.g. > jeniūyi, jeniūyė).
The third declension (-i)
The third declension (chīkende paiktairathāda) includes nouns ending in -i; they are however divided in two different sub-declensions depending on whether they take i-umlaut or not. Nouns taking i-umlaut have their root vowel in either a, ā, (both a1 or a2 types) u, or ū; umlaut is present in every form except direct, ergative, translative, exessive, and dative singular and dative, ablative and locative plural.
The fourth declension (ablauting nouns)
The fourth declension (tarveṇḍe paiktairathāda) is the least regular and the least common of all. It includes nouns which are a relic of the ablauting nouns, already somewhat archaic and unproductive in Proto-Cis-Tahianshima. Some linguists, however, argue that ablauting and non-ablauting nouns originally had a gender distinction on the basis that Laceyiam has some ablauting nouns which are words for animals native to Isungatsuaq - and thus unknown in PCT times - like kīva (a kind of capybara), linda (giant river otter), or gunta (marsh deer). These nouns are often either common words (like niyū "mother" or tyt "father") or compounds with lila "person". Some of these also have irregularities (including niyū and lila, probably the two most common nouns of this declension) or some cases with more possible forms. Nouns with /j/-stems are the most complicated in the whole Laceyiam language due to extensive umlaut on top of ablauting vowels.
These words generally all have two syllables, where the first one's vowel is the ablauting one and the latter one is an open syllable which ends in -a; /j/-stems are generally trisyllabic, ending in -eya; there are however some polysyllabic words, which either ablaut the first vowel (e.g. kimeda (a type of panther)) or the penultimate (e.g. havtnamila (office/ministry of the Inquisition)).
There are four non-umlauted vowel patterns, which reflect different pitch accents of the original Proto-Cis-Tahianshima word:
|Type||"Singular" stem||"Short non-tonic" stem||"Short tonic" stem||"Long" stem||"Strong" stem|
|4.1||u (< *u₁)||a||o||ė||au|
|4.2||u (< *u₂)||a||/j/u||ā||au|
|4.3||i (< *i₁)||e||e||ei||ai|
|4.4||i (< *i₂)||e||ei||ie||ai|
The five different stems are used with this distribution:
- The Singular stem is used in every singular form except genitive;
- The Short non-tonic stem is used in direct, essive, and ablative plural;
- The Short tonic stem is used in ergative and dative plural;
- The Long stem is used in the genitive singular and in accusative, translative, and exessive plural;
- The Strong stem is used in genitive and locative plural.
|muða (puddle) (4.1)||Singular||Plural||klut (father) (4.2)||Singular||Plural|
|lila (person) (4.3)||Singular||Plural||miyū, mih- (mother) (4.4)||Singular||Plural|
- 4.3 nouns have ablative singular with -ų and the singular stem, like aʔīma (a freshwater crustacean of the flooded rainforest in Southern Laltīmāhia) > aʔīmų; accusative plural with ei-au (> aʔeimau), and dative plural e-ið (> aʔemið). The regular ablative singular lilų and the plural accusative leilau are however attested as variant forms of the declension of lila in some literary texts, particularly those composed until the 1st century of the Third Era in modern-day Yomadhvāya diocese.
- lila has a peculiar, but predictable, behaviour in ergative singular and plural, that is the lack of any vowel between the l and the ss, and -iū in the essive plural. This happens for every fourth- and seventh-declension noun ending in -l or -la.
- miyū has an irregular direct case for both numbers, otherwise it's regular but with the stem mih- (alternations between -h and a breathy-voiced vowel are all regular). Genitive męi is the only other irregular form, by simplification of earlier (attested in the early Classical Age) mięi. A regular 4.4 noun, dlīsa "rift, breaking point, limit, abrupt end, edge of a cliff" has direct plural dleśiė and genitive singular dlieśi (with a regular s > ś before i saṃdhi change).
As mentioned before, /j/-stem nouns are the most complex regular nouns in Laceyiam due to having both ablaut and umlaut variations. Their complexity is however relative due to the fact there are only eleven such root nouns (most of them ending in unstressed -eya), here divided based on their pattern:
- 4.1 - ńūńeya “storm”; jūleya “fruit”; luleya “basket”; tumiya (a fruiting palm common on Tāhiańśīma, the eastern islands, and southwestern Isungatsuaq); bhūveya (a crown made of flowers, leaves, and twigs, ritually worn in some important ceremonies).
- 4.2 - buneya “female’s older sister”; yūnia “nature, God, divinity; the manifestation of everything according to Yūnialtei worldview”; ḍumbiya “reflection of sunlight in water”; mūhiya “hair” (singular with plural sense, its own plural refers to hair of more people, or “body hair” generically); kulteya "the sound of feet walking in water".
- Irregular umlaut / 4.3 ablaut - mitū “(human) body” (stem mituy-).
|ńūńeya (storm) (4.1)||Singular||Plural||buneya (f/ older sister) (4.2)||Singular||Plural|
|mitū, mituy- (body) (4.3/irr)||Singular||Plural|
We can thus describe that 4.1 /j/-stem nouns have umlaut in translative, exessive, essive, and locative singular, and direct, genitive, and ablative plural; as for 4.2 /j/-stem nouns, they have umlaut in genitive, translative, exessive, essive, and locative singular, and in direct, genitive, translative, exessive, and ablative plural.
The fifth declension (nasals)
The fifth declension (gūṇeṇḍe paiktairathāda) includes all nasal nouns (those ending in -n or -m). The majority of them have a single stem, and follow this pattern:
There are two differences between nouns ending in -m and those in -n: the first one is saṃdhi, that is, -n nouns have -nnam in the translative singular (e.g. mėngerten "morning" > mėngertennam). The other difference is that -n nouns have ergative plural in -alss (> mėngertenalss)
A common subpattern of the fifth declension is the one including two-stem nouns: these all have a -s between the -m and the ending in all forms except ergative plural and direct, ergative, and translative singular.
Most of these nouns are formed with the derivational suffix -ram (-lam in some nouns due to dissimilation), often referring to "the process of doing X"; the -s is a relic from the original PCT form in *-roms. Many nouns, though, have been added to this declension only by analogy: some of the most common ones are saṃhāram "boy", bheiram "nest", koram "autumn/fall" and yāram "land (especially in many toponyms)".
The noun sūgnulum "blind", while etymologically a two-stem one (< PCT *tsu₁ɣ-ŋʷoħūm-s "without eye(s)"), is often declined with the main paradigm.
The sixth declension (consonant-stem nouns)
The sixth declension (tulūʔende paiktairathāda) is a common one including basically all consonant-stem nouns, that is, one of those ending in non-nasal consonants except -h. Possible endings are -tand -ṭ, and there are also only five nouns (and their compounds) ending in -l: līṭhal "seafoam", khāngertėl (a typical Chlegdarim tandoori oven), nūrtāl "lake", ladragyal "inn, restaurant", and kambāl "thousand" (khial "finger, small branch" also does, but its stem is kheld-). This is also one of the two declensions with a distinct vocative singular form, made by adding -e to the direct singular.
|(Vocative)||bhārmate !||bhārmatai !|
Note that l-stems have -lss instead of *-lass in ergative singular (e.g. nūrtāl "lake" > nūrtālss) and plural accusative in -larau (> nūrtālarau).
A particularly important variant of the sixth declension is the one of -nt stems — all recognizable by their ending in -ānat in the citation form. This is first of all a common derivational suffix, meaning "something derived from X" or "generated from X" — with this latter meaning it has come to be the main suffix used for the formation of matronymics, which are a mandatory part of the name of any Chlegdarim.
These nouns have an alternation between an -ānat, an -antā, and a -ān ending:
|kømbānat (berry, fruit)||Singular||Plural|
|(Vocative)||kømbāne !||kømbantai !|
Note that words where the ā in -ānat is part of the root do not shorten it — e.g. śamibānat (poisonous berry of the śamibāra tree) → dir.pl. śamibāntai, erg.sg. śamibāntāss, erg.pl. śamibāntālss, ...
There is a subset of sixth declension nouns which do not fit into the above pattern because they have two different stems, one for the direct singular (and vocative) and one (the oblique stem) for all other forms. These nouns are relics of PCT nouns with hysterokinetic stress:
- khial "finger; small tree branch", oblique stem kheld-
- lān "shoulder", oblique ṇod-
- loṭa "arm", oblique luṭ(a)-
- miu "leg", oblique may- (before vowels) / ma- (before consonants)
- naih "boat", oblique naṣṭ-
- tið "neck", oblique śv-
- tirva "punch", oblique ṣruv-
śvað "thread, path, theme, idea, direction" is an irregular noun mostly following the sixth declension. It has a contracted stem śvað found in singular direct (with vocative śvaþe), accusative, genitive, exessive, essive, and dative (śvaþið), and ablative plural. All other forms use an extended stem śvatoð, but genitive plural is the synchronically irregular śvateðė , and likewise dative plural is the irregular śvatuyoh.
Finally, there are a few nouns ending in -k; these are all Calémerian toponyms borrowed from Kalurilut, like Inūkutlāk "Ceria", Inūlulīk "Nivaren", Itanāk "Nordúlik", Inūkṣvāk "Evandor", or Ittukavik "Gathuráni" - these are all declined following the t-stem rules (with plural accusative in -krau). Also, some non-assimilated toponyms for cities, rivers, or other features outside Laltīmāhia may end in -k, but they are usually not declined, instead adpositional constructions like [name] ga marta "city of [name]" is used, with (here) marta being the declined word.
The seventh declension (-h)
The seventh declension (mojende paiktairathāda) includes nouns ending in -h. Word-final -h is a result of many sound changes, but mostly from PCT *s, so either -s, or /hj/ (the intervocalic reflex of PCT *s) alternate in most forms. Like the sixth declension, seventh-declension nouns have a distinct vocative singular form.
|ńältah ((male's) sister)||Singular||Plural|
|(Vocative)||ńältahie !||ńältahiai !|
Note that the noun lilėmaiṭah, the most important concept in the Yūnialtei religion (and, due to this, in the whole Chlegdarim worldview), is an irregular, singular-only noun and declines as seventh declension in direct, genitive, essive and locative cases, and as a first declension noun (with stem lilėmaiṭą-) elsewhere; it also lacks a vocative form.
The eighth declension (-ai)
The eighth declension (teitende paiktairathāda) includes those nouns ending in -ai; they come from various sources but only a minority of them is inherited from PCT: most are Nanaklāri or Ancient Lelīmuyāńi borrowings.
|nanai (rainforest, jungle)||Singular||Plural|
Verbs - Smārjāmai
The Laceyiami verb (smārjām or täyrāṇama, pl. smārjāmai or täyrāṇamai) is the most inflected part of speech; its most basic forms are fusional, but many more specific formations are more agglutinative due to their origin from old Proto-Cis-Tahianshima particles or participles.
The first and most important division we can find in Laceyiami verbs is the distinction between exterior (bhėmabessa) and interior (niėmabessa) verbs. This may at first seem a voice system, but it must be distinguished from the true voices in Laceyiam conjugation. The difference between them is mostly lexical: native grammarians distinguish exterior verbs as describing "activities or states that involve interactions with outside the self", and interior verbs as affecting principally the self. Exterior verbs are those we could most easily compare to active verbs in English, while interior verbs are a somewhat "catch-all" category including many distinct meanings, most notably middle-voice, reflexive and reciprocal ones but also all adjectival verbs as well as peculiar and somewhat independent meanings for some verbs. As many verbs can be conjugated both as exterior and as interior; they often have differences in meaning - e.g. gṇyauke means “to give birth” as exterior and “to be born” as interior.
Laceyiam verbs also conjugate for five voices, each one putting one of five different core elements as the direct-case argument, usually for means of topicalization or definiteness; they reflect the Austronesian-type morphosyntactical alignment of Laceyiam. The five voices are, for exterior verbs:
- patient-trigger or patientive (unmarked);
- agent-trigger or agentive;
- benefactive-trigger or simply benefactive;
- antibenefactive-trigger or simply antibenefactive;
- locative-trigger or simply locative.
Interior verbs only have four voices, as they do not have an agentive voice; the patientive, unmarked voice, is here called common voice. There is also an instrumental form, but it is independent of voice despite having much in common with them.
Laceyiami verbs also conjugate for five different tense-aspect combinations, representing two different aspects (perfective and imperfective) and three tenses proper (past, present, future). The imperfective tenses are the present, the imperfect, and the future; the perfective tenses are the past and the pluperfect. Tenses are the “basic unit” verbs conjugate in: all tenses conjugate for six persons (1st-2nd-3rd in singular and plural).
However, the most complex part of Laceyiami verbs is the mood. Laceyiam is particularly mood-heavy and its concept of mood is quite broad, conjugating verbs in what are called primary moods and secondary moods; a single verb form may have a single primary mood but up to two secondary moods.
The ten primary moods are:
- indicative - the realis mood;
- imperative - used for giving orders or commands;
- desiderative - used to express a desire or will (e.g. I want to X);
- necessitative - used to express need or obligation (e.g. I have to X);
- potential - used to express the ability to do something (e.g. I can [= am able to] X)
- permissive - used to express the permission to do something (e.g. I can [= I’m allowed to] X)
- optative - used to express wishes or hopes;
- propositive - used to express proposals (e.g. let’s X; why don’t you X);
- hypothetical - used to express things that may happen or might have happened;
- subjunctive - used to express general advices (jussive use), purpose (supine use), and also syntactically conditioned by some particles.
The eight secondary moods are:
- five of them express evidentiality, namely: certainty (also energetic mood), deduction, dream, specifically invented situation, and hearsay (also inferential mood);
- interrogative, used for questions;
- two consequential moods: one expressing cause (e.g. “because X”), the other opposition (e.g. “although X”).
Laceyiami verbs also has a non-finite form (the -ke form, called infinitive hereafter) and a small number of preverbal modifiers that add a particular meaning to the verb (the most common is sų-, used to negate verbs).
Finally, Laceyiam has a large number of attributive and adverbial participles, with forms for most voices and tenses and a distinction into modal adverbs, homofocal gerundives and heterofocal gerundives.
Verbs, in Laceyiam, are divided in four conjugations. They are easily distinguished by their infinitive ending, which is the citation form of the verb. The main difference between them is the thematic vowel added to the stem.
- The first conjugation uses /a/ as the thematic vowel and includes infinitives ending in -ake or -aike; this latter class is identified as 1ai and has a different behaviour in the past tense. This is probably the most common conjugation, also because that's the one most denominal suffixes use.
- The second conjugation uses /e/ as the thematic vowel, and its infinitives end in -eke.
- The third conjugation uses /i/ (Classical /y/) as the thematic vowel, and its infinitives end in -yke.
- The fourth conjugation has no thematic vowel and as such it includes two categories of verbs: those with consonant-final roots, which have an infinitive ending in a consonant plus -ke (or, rarely, because of saṃdhi, -ge), and those with vowel-final roots, whose infinitive end in a vowel plus -ke. Note that there are some verbs - like nake "to think" - where a final /a e i/ is part of the root and not a thematic vowel, and may be mistaken at first for verbs belonging to other conjugations. A few fourth conjugation verbs also have allomorphic roots depending on whether the added ending begins with a vowel or with a consonant, like gṇyauke "to give birth/to be born" (root gṇyāv-/gṇyau-).
Apart from these four conjugations, there are some completely irregular verbs (e.g. haiske "to be", milke "to take") and also six regular sub-patterns in some tenses, three of which are independent from the four regular conjugation patterns (that is, those verbs may be of any of them in the other tenses). They are all relics of independent aspect formations from PCT:
- -ah verbs, which add -ah or -ą to the root while forming their present tense - most notably lilke "to live".
- -st- verbs, which add -st in the present tense - the most common is męlyke "to give".
- -ėyi- verbs, which add -ėyi- (stressed) to the root in the present - like hūrtake "to shake, tremble, vibrate".
- -au-/-ei- verbs, counted as first conjugation (with infinitives in -auke), have an -au- stem-ending suffix in the present which becomes -ei- in the past - they are relics of a regular PCT derivation forming dynamic verbs. Examples are meinauke "to watch" or blinauke "to remember".
- -āti-/-it- verbs are all counted as fourth conjugation (infinitives in -ātike) and have an -āti- stem-ending suffix in the present which becomes -it- in the past - like yihātike "to understand".
- -ėra- verbs are first conjugation verbs, which are extremely common as -ėra- is the main verb-forming denominal suffix in Laceyiam. They use slightly different endings from other verbs of the same conjugations - compare for example keipavið "you go" and paiktāṃliėryð "you climb a tree".
Bulṭāṇama (pl. bulṭāṇamai, meaning "with mutation") is a class of thirty base verbs which have a vowel mutation in their present stem. These are actually the relics of the Proto-Cis-Tahianshima ablaut system, particularly the middle-grade presents and the high-grade presents.
In a Laceyiam perspective, they are divided in middle bulṭāṇamai, where the modified vowel is a monophthong, and strong bulṭāṇamai, where the modified vowel is a diphthong (note that i → ei verbs count as strong in this classification, but were actually middle-grade in PCT). The twenty-three middle bulṭāṇamai have these changes:
- i → e: liśvake (to wipe), priśvake (to erase, to turn off, to shut down), hįlsake (to make a sound), ṭilbake (to carry (multidirectional)), limbake (to refresh, to quench thirst, to nourish), mįldake (to hope, to wish (interior only)), mįṃke (to catch — also an -ėyi- verb), minge (to hear — the root is mind-), dinge (to pour — root dig-), skilgake (to cross rough terrain), and giske (to take away, to seize, to capture, to kidnap).
- u → i: murjake (to keep inside, to contain), bulṭake (to change, to modify), ṣurgake (to feel indifference for something you barely know because you haven't thought about it enough (interior only)), kurṣṭake (to rot, to make rot), bųlake (to plow), nurgake (to itch), and nurbake (to shake).
- u → y: pultake (to lean), kulke (to talk, to chat), ḍurke (to crumble, to collapse), kusake (to peck), and prudhake (to tear apart).
The seven strong bulṭāṇamai are:
- i → ai: kirake (to love), lįnake (to stay, to remain), and bringe (to hinder, to obstruct — root brind-).
- i → ei: only pirake (to swallow).
- u → au: gurvyake (to sleep), bhuvake (to care for someone), and spunake (to poison).
These verbs conjugate regularly except for this vowel change in the present indicative stem only, for example leśvar (it is wept) and liśvat (it was wept), or kairu (I am loved) and kiram (I was loved) — note the regular saṃdhi change in ṣurgake: śirgāmiss (pres. 1sg) vs ṣurgamin (past 1sg). Naturally, all derivations that keep the stem unchanged conjugate likewise, e.g. māyaṃlįnake (to promise) → māyaṃlęnar (it is promised), māyaṃlįnat (it was promised).
Indicative present and imperative
The indicative present and the imperative use, for most verbs, the same stem. In the indicative present, apart from the four regular patterns, -ah-, -st-, -ėyi-, and -ėra- verbs are distinguished. The following table is the conjugation for regular verbs in the indicative present, exterior, patient-trigger voice:
|pūnake (to work)||hväldeke (to choose)||läðlyke (to help)||ūtiraṃke (to write)||lilke (to live)||męlyke (to give)||humbėrake (to spice)||hūrtake (to shake)|
The only different pattern applies to the first person singular in the first and fourth conjugation: roots which end in -l, -m, -v, -c, -ch, or, for fourth conjugation verbs, in a vowel, use -iu; all others use just -u (notice both forms in pūn-u and ūtiram-iu). A particular trait of speakers from some parts of Eastern Laltīmāhia, including rural Nėniyūkat diocese (but not the urban area of Nanūhimarta), is the pronunciation of the first person singular of -ėyi- verbs as [ˈeːjiju], which is sometimes reflected in writing (c.f. hūrtėyiu > hūrtėyiyu), especially in novels or comics, in order to stress a rural Eastern origin of certain characters. -ėyiyu was however sometimes found in early Classical Age texts.
The following table is the conjugation of patient-trigger exterior imperatives (-st- and -ėyi- verbs are not distinguished here):
|pūnake (to work)||hväldeke (to choose)||läðlyke (to help)||ūtiraṃke (to write)||lilke (to live)||humbėrake (to spice)|
First person singular imperatives (which derive from PCT subjunctive endings) describe a strong obligation. Second person singular imperatives in the four regular patterns actually have a zero-ending (as in pūn); the final vowel is always the thematic one of the conjugation and appears following these rules:
- The root ends in any consonant cluster except -ss, -ṃss, or -lss.
- The root ends in any single consonant except for nasals, unaspirated voiceless stops (but -c and -ʔ do require a vowel), -s, -ð, -h, -r, or -l.
- Fourth conjugation verbs almost always use -i as the added vowel, but -u after labial consonants, sibilants, -ʔ, and -r.
The forms for interior verbs distinguish the same stem types. Note that "to be" is omitted in the translation for verbs that are translated into English by adjectives in order to save space; [rf/rc] means that the English verb translated is reflexive or reciprocal:
|khārake (new)||läyveke (small)||mālkyke (tall, high)||bhāṇḍatke (to hide [rf/rc])||lälekke (to believe in oneself)||primęlyke (to return)||huʔake (to have hiccough)|
Note that the 1st and 2nd person plural forms of bhāṇḍatke are morphemically bhāṇḍat-śię and bhāṇḍat-kię, regularly modified by saṃdhi. As for meanings, primęlyke (a prefixed derivation from męlyke "to give"), means "to return" as interior but "to give back" as exterior. -ėra- verbs are not included to save space, as the only difference from regular first conjugation verbs is the short vowel (-amiss instead of -āmiss; compare khārāmiss "I am new" and śeimėramiss "I am poor").
In colloquial speech, the -ąu ending may be substituted by the lone thematic vowel in the first three conjugations, so, for example, it's fairly common to hear forms like tami khāra instead of tami khārąu for "it is new".
Interior imperative forms have even less variation between the various conjugations than the exterior forms:
|khārake (new)||läyveke (small)||mālkyke (tall, high)||bhāṇḍatke (to hide [rf/rc])||lälekke (to believe in oneself)||śeimėrake (poor)|
The first person plural form in fourth conjugation verbs has the insertion of a vowel in order to prevent consonant clusters; the vowel is -i in most cases, except after sibilants, labial stops, and dental stops, where it is -u (like in bhāṇḍat-u-rṭhį).
Indicative past perfective
The indicative past perfective (simply called past) is regularly formed with a different set of terminations from the present. There are distinct forms for the four conjugation, but with the distinction between "regular" 1st conjugation verbs in -a and those in -ai. The following table is the conjugation for regular verbs in the indicative past, exterior, patient-trigger voice:
|pūnake (to work)||kaitmaike (to study)||hväldeke (to choose)||läðlyke (to help)||ūtiraṃke (to write)|
The rules for the epenthetic vowel in the fourth conjugation are the same used in the interior imperative, but -m takes epenthetic u instead of i.
The indicative interior patient-trigger past is easily derived from the exterior forms:
|khārake (new)||cāṃkraike (to end (intr), limit, border)||läyveke (small)||mālkyke (tall, high)||bhāṇḍatke (to hide [rf/rc])|
Note the regular saṃdhi change bhāṇḍat-ðin > bhāṇḍaþin.
Indicative past imperfective
The indicative past imperfective (or simply the imperfect) uses yet another termination set. Here, -ėra- verbs are somewhat different from the other first conjugation ones. This table shows regular verbs in the indicative imperfect, exterior, patient-trigger voice:
|pūnake (to work)||kaitmaike (to study)||hväldeke (to choose)||läðlyke (to help)||ūtiraṃke (to write)||humbėrake (to spice)|
In all fourth conjugation forms, the -ū is part of the ending, with regular saṃdhi: after any ending root vowel that is not -u, -ū, or -i, a -v- is inserted; -i ū- form -iū-, while -u ū- and -ū ū- form -ū-.
The indicative interior patient-trigger imperfect is as follows:
|khārake (new)||cāṃkraike (to end (intr), limit, border)||läyveke (small)||mālkyke (tall, high)||bhāṇḍatke (to hide [rf/rc])||śėimėrake (poor)|
Indicative future and pluperfect tenses
The indicative future is an imperfective-aspect tense and it is completely regular in all conjugations, with only a small difference between first, second, and all other conjugations. All conjugations take the infinitive (-ke form) without the final -e (so stem + -k), but first and second conjugations (except for -aike, -auke and -ātike infinitives) do not have that -k. Then, regular endings are added. The following table shows the indicative future, exterior, patient-trigger voice, with first, second and third conjugation (fourth conjugation, -aike, -auke, and -ātike verbs all conjugate like the third):
|pūnake (to work)||hväldeke (to choose)||läðlyke (to help)|
The same pattern is used for the interior forms:
|khārake (new)||läyveke (small)||mālkyke (tall, high)|
The pluperfect tense is formed in the same way but it is even simpler, as all conjugations keep that final -k before the endings. In this table for indicative patient-trigger pluperfect, pūnake shows the exterior forms and khārake the interior ones:
|pūnake (to work)||khārake (new)|
Laceyiam has five voices, marked by affixes added, in unprefixed verbs, at the end of the verb. As the patient-trigger voice (common voice in interior verbs) is unmarked, the four voice markers are:
- -śe for agent-trigger voice (in exterior verbs only);
- -käh for benefactive-trigger voice;
- -tur for antibenefactive-trigger voice;
- -kūn for locative-trigger voice.
Examples of voice marking are lehar (he/she/it is eaten) — leharśe (he/she/it eats) — leharkäh (something is eaten for him/her/it) — lehartur (something is eaten against him/her/it) — leharkūn (something is eaten in him/her/it).
In prefixed verbs (including modifiers like sų- for negation), voice marking is a bit different as the voice marker is inserted between the prefix and the stem, thus forms like trāṃlehar (he/she/it is repetitively eaten) → trāńśelehar (he/she/it repetitively eats). Saṃdhi is applied if needed, e.g. I put together is tacehälgdiu (morphemically tat-śe-hälgdiu, verb tadhälgdike). The verb naikścīmake (to organize), with a dummy fossilized prefix nai-, only uses the voice marker in front outside of patient-trigger voice, thus naikścīmiu (I am [being] organized) → śekścīmiu (I organize).
The hypothetical mood
The hypothetical mood is used mainly in if constructions (e.g. pūnatiam "if I work") and has special endings. Unlike the indicative, it only conjugates for aspect (imperfective vs. perfective) and not for tense. The perfective is regularly formed from the imperfective with -auś- between the stem and the ending.
Only the four basic conjugations are distinguished, each one keeping their thematic vowel in every imperfective form and lacking it in perfective forms. Fourth conjugation verbs whose root does not end in a vowel, or a single nasal, -r, or -l, add an epenthetic -a- in the imperfective; vowel-ending roots add -y- in the perfective.
The following table includes pūnake (exterior verb) and khārake (interior verb) in hypothetical mood, both aspects.
|pūnake (to work) (impf.)||(perf.)||khārake (new) (impf.)||(perf.)|
The optative and propositive moods
The optative and propositive moods are formed by the same stem, just like the imperative and the indicative present. Like the hypothetical mood, the optative does only conjugate for aspect and not for tense.
The imperfective optative stem, also used for the propositive mood, is formed by adding -lęa- /ɴ̆eɦa/ to the stem, but it undergoes different kinds of saṃdhi:
- After any vowel, -ss, and the single consonants -p, -ph, -ch, -kh, -d, -j, -g, -dh, -gh, -ṣ, -ś, -v, -þ, -ð, -r, -l, or any nasal, the optative suffix is simply -lęa- (note that nasals become -ṃ before -l);
- -t, -th, -k, and -ʔ all become -kh before -lęa-;
- -ṭ, -ṭh, and -c become -ch;
- -ḍ, -ḍh, and -jh become -j;
- -s becomes -ś;
- -h becomes -g and -l- is not added;
- After -b and -bh, -r- is used instead of -l-.
- After any cluster, except -ss (and -lss and -ṃss), -l- is not added.
The perfective optative stem follows the same rules as the perfective hypothetical one, as it is formed by stem + -auś- + -lęa-.
The following table includes pūnake (exterior) and khārake (interior) in all aspects of the optative mood and in the propositive mood:
|pūnake (to work) (impf.)||(perf.)||(prop.)||khārake (new) (impf.)||(perf.)||(prop.)|
The desiderative mood
The desiderative mood, unlike the optative and hypothetical ones, conjugates for all tenses and aspects, in the same way as the indicative. The main difference is that it uses a special stem, which is formed with reduplication of the root plus -s (except for -ėra- verbs). The resulting stem conjugates as any fourth conjugation verb.
Reduplication adds the first consonant of the verb (except prefixes) and its first vowel (always oral short). There are however some special rules followed in reduplicating:
- Aspirated stops are always reduplicated as unaspirated;
- g- is always reduplicated as h-, except for a few irregular verbs;
- h- is reduplicated as k- (also in hv-, hr-, hl-, hj-);
- k- as ś-;
- Initial clusters which begin with s-, ṣ-, ś-, or v- use the first consonant which is not one of them (śv- reduplicates as ś-);
- Roots beginning with vowels are regular, reduplicating the otherwise allophonic initial ʔ.
- Prefixes are added before the reduplicated root.
Final added -s has some special saṃdhi rules, too (in addition to the usual ones):
- -d-s and -dh-s both become -ts;
- After voiced stops, -s becomes -r and aspirated stops lose aspiration. -j-s and -jh-s both become -jl;
- -ś-s becomes -kṣ;
- -l-s becomes -lʲ when prevocalic and -lss when preconsonantal.
Examples of desiderative mood stems are:
- prādheke "to cut", root prādh- > pa-prādh-s > paprāts-
- lehake "to eat", root leh- > le-leh-s > lelęs-
- gṇyauke "to give birth/to be born", root gṇyāv- > ga-gṇyāv-s > hagṇyaus-
- ūtiraṃke "to write", root ūtiram- > u-ūtiram-s > uʔūtiraṃs-
- dīdaike "to know (someone)", root dīd- > di-dīd-s > didīts-
- paigdīdaike "to get used to", root paik-dīd- > paik-di-dīd-s > paigdidīts-
The main irregular desiderative stems are haiske "to be" > kęmbr-; milke "to take" > mumlėk-; and lilke "to live" > lailkṣ-.
-ėra- verbs do not reduplicate, but substitute -ėra- with -āyirṣa- instead (e.g. paijysėra- "to teach" > paijysāyirṣa- "to want to teach"). Note that for these verbs the synthetic desiderative is increasingly less common, being replaced by either infinitive + dauðike "to want" (Northern & Northwestern Laltīmāhia, Western and Central-Western Plains, Lāmiejāya delta area) or subjunctive + dauðike (most of the rest of Laltīmāhia). Note that in Northern Laltīmāhia the infinitive + dauðike construction is actually more common than the synthetic desiderative mood.
The necessitative mood
The necessitative mood is formed and conjugates much like the desiderative mood. Like it, its stem has initial reduplication and adds the -iṃśu- suffix, which conjugates as a fourth conjugation verb.
Reduplication is exactly like in the desiderative mood; the suffix undergoes the following saṃdhi rules:
- -a-i > -e- ; -ā-i > -ai
- -u-i, -ū-i, -y-i, -ȳ-i > -ui
- -e-i, -ė-i, -i-i, -ī-i > -ī
- -ä-i, -ø-i > -äy, -øy
- -o-i > -oʔi
- Final -s becomes -ś because of -i;
- Roots ending in breathy-voiced vowels add -h instead of -s and the vowel becomes oral.
Examples: prādheke > paprādhiṃśu-; paigdīdaike > paigdidīdiṃśu-; nake "to think" > naneṃśu-.
-ėra- verbs do not reduplicate, but -ėra- becomes -ėreṃśu- like for all other verbs.
The potential mood
The potential mood conjugates in all tenses and aspects too, but, unlike the necessitative and the desiderative ones, does not have initial reduplication. It is formed by adding -(e)nā- to the root and behaves as a fourth conjugation verb, adding an epenthetic -n before vocalic endings. Note that -r-nā- (like e.g. in all -ėra- verbs) becomes -rṇā- due to saṃdhi.
Examples: prādheke > prādhnā- ; gṇyauke > gṇyaunā- ; sėtrake "to ask" > sėtrenā-.
A special case of saṃdhi occurs in roots which end in a single -g or -k: this consonant becomes -gh and the -n in the suffix becomes retroflex, e.g. lälekke "to believe", root lälek- > läleghṇā- ; śńėgake "to say", root śńėg- > śńėghṇā-.
The permissive mood
The permissive mood also conjugates in all tenses and aspects and is formed by adding -eiðu- before consonantal endings and -eidv- before vocalic ones.
Examples: pūnake > pūneiðu- > present indicative pūneidvu "I am allowed to work", pūneidvið, pūneiður...
Bisyllabic roots which have as their second syllable an unstressed vowel between two consonants that may form an allowed cluster (thus sonorant-vowel-stop/fricative) lose this vowel while adding the suffix, e.g. lälekke > lälkeiðu-.
The subjunctive mood
The subjunctive (or oblique) mood conjugates in all tenses and aspects and is formed with initial reduplication (following the same rules of the necessitative and desiderative moods) and a suffix -āsmi- (-yāsmi- after vowels, but -ā-āsmi- and -a-āsmi- contract to just -āsmi-).
Examples: prādheke > paprādhāsmi- ; pūnake > pupūnāsmi- ; gṇyauke > gṇyāvāsmi-.
Just like the permissive mood, subjunctive stems have unstressed vowel syncope too, e.g. lälekke > lälälkāsmi-. -ėra- verbs do not have reduplication and just add -āsmi- (e.g. humbėrake > humbėrāsmi-).
Secondary moods: evidentiality
The five secondary moods expressing evidentiality are all formed by taking a particular mood's stem, adding -(h)į to it and then another ending which conjugates like an indicative mood verb. The only exception is the subjunctive mood, which adds these features to the root alone and then adds the -āsmi- suffix (without reduplication).
The five evidential secondary moods are:
- Certainty evidential: -(h)į + nėn(u)- ; e.g. pūnake "to work": indicative present pūnįnėnu, pūnįnėmvið, pūnįnėnur... past pūnįnėnum, pūnįnėnuð, pūnįnėnut..., imperfect pūnįnėnumisu..., optative present pūṃlęahįnėnu..., desiderative present pupūṃsįnėnu..., but subjunctive present pūnįnėnāsmiu;
- Deductive evidential: -(h)į + niau-/niāv- ; e.g. pūnake > pūnįniāvu / pūnįniaum / pūnįniaumisu / pupūṃsįniāvu / pūnįniāvāsmiu;
- Dream situation evidential: -(h)į + bu(v)- ; e.g. pūnake > pūnįbuvu / pūnįbum / pūnįbumisu / pupūṃsįbuvu / pūnįbuvāsmiu;
- Invented situation evidential: -(h)į + kȳ(n)-, which conjugates as a -st verb in the present ; e.g. pūnake > pūnįkȳściu / pūnįkȳm / pūnįkȳmisu / pupūṃsįkȳnu / pūnįkȳnāsmiu;
- Inferential evidential: -(h)į + läm(e)- ; e.g. pūnake > pūnįlämu / pūnįlämem / pūnįlämemisu / pupūṃsįlämu / pūnįlämāsmiu.
The consequential secondary moods
The two consequential secondary moods can actually be tertiary moods, as they can be added to evidential secondary moods too.
The consequential mood of cause is formed by adding -ę + pian(e)- to the verb stem. For example pūnu → pūnępianu (given that I work, ...); pupūṃśvið → pupūṃsępiamvið (given that you want to work, ...), or pūnįlämet → pūnįlämępianet (given that, apparently, (s)he worked, ...).
The consequential mood of opposition is similarly formed by adding -ę + gām(u)- to the verb stem. For example pūnu → pūnęgāmu (even if I work, ...); pupūṃśvið → pupūṃsęgāmvið (even if you want to work, ...), or pūnįlämet → pūnįlämęgāmut (even if, apparently, (s)he worked, ...).
The interrogative secondary mood
The interrogative mood is formed in a different way compared to the other secondary moods. It adds -ę to the verb stem, then all personal endings, then (in unprefixed verbs) those marking voice, and finally -thā at the very end. For example: pūnęrthā? (does (s)he work?), lehęyātthā? (are they being eaten?), lehęyācethā? (do they eat?).
Note that -við-thā in the second person singular present ending contracts to -vindhā, thus forms like pūnęvindhā? (do you work?).
In Laceyiam there are five verbs that are impersonal — they are only conjugated in the third person singular interior and are only used in patient-trigger voice. They are:
- gaiśuke (to get/be bored)
- hältake (to be moved, touched)
- mavṣake (to feel compassion, pity)
- nāvtake (to repent, to feel remorse, to be sorry for)
- prābake (to be disgusted)
These verbs all have their cause in exessive case and the affected being in dative case, e.g. "I'm sorry for my mistake" is dønėrṇėndra lilįse nāvtąu, with dønėrṇė (mistake) in exessive case and lili (I) in the dative.
While Laceyiami verbs are mostly regular, there are thirteen irregular verbs which have different stems between the present and past, with the imperfect stem being one of them. Note that bulṭāṇama verbs are not considered irregular.
|Infinitive||Present stem||Past stem||Imperfect stem|
|hjøgeke (to need)||hjøg-e-||hjāji-||hjāji-|
|hvuipake (to point at)||hvuip-a-||taśiṃśȳv-a-||hvuip-a-|
|khabeke (to use)||khab-e-||tāvyv-e-||khab-e-|
|maldiake (to feel)||maldʲ-a-||tāṃlyd-e-||maldʲ-a-|
|milke (to take)||milėk-/milk-||milk-||milk-|
|peithake (to go (multidirectional))||peith-a-||thiātn-a-||peith-a-|
|śńėgake (to say)||śńėg-a-||śńėg-a-||tyh-a-|
|välieke (to answer)||välʲ-e-||tøylʲ-e-||välʲ-e-|
|vīṇyake (to tighten, to fasten)||vīṇʲ-a-||tøvṇʲ-a-||vīṇʲ-a-|
|yeihake (to read)||yeih-a-||tāśeh-a-*||yeih-a-|
|þørðe (to go (monodirectional))||þørð-||tvyāð-||þørð-|
milke, in the present, uses milk- in the irregular first person milkū and milėk- anywhere else. The past of yeihake can nowadays also be formed regularly, with e.g. yeihat (it was read) instead of tāśehar.
The past forms of hvuipake, khabeke, maldiake, peithake, välieke, vīṇyake, yeihake, and þørðe use the present endings and not the past ones — similarly, the imperfect of śńėgake uses the past endings instead of the imperfect ones.
The verb "to be" (haiske)
The verb "to be" in Laceyiam is haiske, and it is highly irregular because of ablaut and suppletion. Most of its forms derive from PCT *gə₂js- or some of its derivations, but the future tense is from *ba₁ɣməp- (to become). This table includes all of its indicative mood forms, plus the imperative:
Note that the imperfect and pluperfect are actually regularly formed with the normal terminations and the stems hes- and jalʲ- respectively. In spoken Laceyiam, the past forms (høysu, hės...) are increasingly often used in place of the imperfect ones (hesāla, hesālað...).
haiske is usually defined as an exterior-only verb, but actually there is a single interior 3rd person singular form which is used in the existential construction. This form always needs the pronoun tami and an accusative argument. The forms are tami jąu (present), tami hiṣąu (past), tami hesālten (imperfect), tami bąmbstąu (future), and tami jaliauśian (pluperfect). An example construction is tami ėmīlau jąu "there is a tiger", with ėmīla "tiger" in the accusative case. Note that neither the verb nor the pronoun vary for number, thus "there are tigers" is tami ėmīlarau jąu.
The verb tadhaiske (to treat someone, to behave with someone) is a compound of haiske, but it can be conjugated in two different ways:
- as a compound verb, with tad- plus all forms of haiske, thus indicative present tańjū, tańjīð, tańjar..., indicative past tadhøysu, tadhės, tadhėt... and so on.
- as a regular verb, with root tad-hais-, and thus with indicative present tadhaisu, tadhaiśvið, tadhaisur..., indicative past tadhaisum, tadhaisuð, tadhaisut.... Anyway, even in this case, in other voices the conjugation of haiske is the one commonly used, like agent-trigger voice, indicative present tajejū, tajejīð, tajejar... (morphemically tad-śe-jū...), benefactive-trigger tatkäjū, tatkäjīð, tatkäjar... (tad-käh-jū...) and so on.
Adjectives and adverbs
Pronouns - Pārivāyārai
Laceyiami pronouns (pārivāyārai, sg. pārivāyara) are a closed class divided into two broad categories: personal pronouns (tairpārivāyārai) and correlatives (śńėmpārivāyārai). Unlike English, Laceyiami pronouns can take attributives arguments, thus phrases like *the young me or *the cleaning he are possible (these examples being respectively laṣṭhyęe lili and baltiėniaśe no).
Laceyiam has fourteen personal pronouns (tairpārivāyārai): three persons and two numbers — second person pronouns have two genders each (higher and lower animate), while third person ones have all four genders.
Note that the genitive forms of pronouns are also used as possessive adjectives, as Laceyiam does not have a separate form for them.
First person pronouns — lili, chlė
|lili (I)||chlė (we)|
Second person pronouns — laha, helān ; no, vinān.
|Higher animate||laha (you (sg))||helān (you (pl))|
|Lower animate||no (you (sg))||vinān (you (pl))|
Third person pronouns — tami, aṣė ; kai, kilė ; pāt, paśān ; dāt, dadān. Note that tami is also used as a generic dummy pronoun in many cases, like questions or even just emphasis.
|Higher animate||tami (she (it, he))||aṣė (they)|
|Lower animate||kai (he (she, it))||kilė (they)|
|Plant animate||pāt (it (he, she))||paśān (they)|
|Inanimate||dāt (it (he, she))||dadān (they)|
There are also the two additional personal pronouns lārit (reflexive — forms in italic in the table are rarely used) and dänit (both).
|lārit (-self)||dänit (both)|
Word formation, word origins and etymological classification
The vocabulary of Laceyiam is continuously growing with the need to coin new words for anything new that gets discovered on Calémere. New words are today mostly formed by compounding - which is a very common way of forming words, especially nouns - by either Laceyiami roots or Ancient Lelīmuyāńi ones (counting as the latter those who have not already been borrowed into Laceyiam). Other active word-formation processes include word derivation through bound morphemes and, although dwarfed in use by the other two processes, acronyms.
As there's barely anything left to discover geographically on Calémere, borrowings into Laceyiam are nowadays rare, and they're mostly used in order to describe cultural aspects from other lands, or sports and activities that gain followers in Laltīmāhia - though note that the Chlegdarim society's relative isolation and its own role as a leading cultural nation, at least for the Eastern Bloc of Calémere, makes this a not-so-common concept. Anyway (as also explained throughout the History section), historically Laceyiam has borrowed many words and roots, that enriched the vocabulary from the original Proto-Cis-Tahianshima stock of words. The general classification of Laceyiami roots classifies them as such:
- Level 0 - words that can be traced all the way back to Proto-Cis-Tahianshima, and as such have full or partial cognates in at least one other Cis-Tahianshima language. PCT was probably spoken as late as 3600 years ago, three full centuries before the start of the First Era (3281 years ago) of the Chlegdarim calendar (which was however adopted from the Ancient Lelīmuyāńi civilization). Level 0 roots amount to about 32-33% of Laceyiami vocabulary.
- Level P (this classification follows the Chlegdarim alphabetical order) - these are pre-classical words from a number of origins: Proto-Mǎng Tì and Old Yomadhvāyi are the only languages that can be identified as sources for at least some words; they also include all other words from the Nanaklāri substrate, and, most probably, other unattested languages from Tāhiańśīma and the Eastern Islands, as well as possible PCT words that can't be reconstructed as such due to lack of cognates in other languages. Timing for these borrowings is from the end of the common PCT era (about 3600 years ago) up to the late First Era (which ended in 1E 1109, that is 2172 years ago). We lack dates for where the Chlegdarims exactly where during most of these period - Ancient Lelīmuyāńi texts which first mention the Chlegdarims in southern Leitāvaja are dated around 1E 850. Level P roots form a substantial part of the Laceyiam vocabulary - some estimates consider them as being as much as 26% of the vocabulary.
- Level PH1 - Classical Age words borrowed from Ancient Lelīmuyāńi, in particular those borrowed from the late First Era until the mid-Second Era (around 4E 600), the commonly accepted date for the extinction of the Ancient Lelīmuyāńi language - around that time, the areas of modern central and southern Leitāvaja, as well as most of Yomadhvāya and parts of the lower Tāllahāria basin, were already developing the first daughter languages of Laceyiam itself. Level PH1 roots amount between 12% and 14% of Laceyiami vocabulary - possibly the highest percentage from a single language except PCT.
- Level PH2 - Classical Age words not from Ancient Lelīmuyāńi: these relate to the earliest expansions of the Chlegdarim realms after the foundation of the Inquisition, all the way through the Tālliyāia jungle. Three source languages are attested: Dzams-bltyod, Ancient Varṣāthi, and Ancient Vgorrādńi (though a few linguists consider words from this last language to belong either to level B or BH). Many other languages of the jungle are not attested directly but left traces in local vernaculars, some of whose words then have found their way into Standard Laceyiam. Level PH2 words date from the late First Era (almost exclusively Dzams-bltyod) or early Second Era until the mid-Second Era, and constitute about 4% of the vocabulary.
- Level B - words from the first major westward expansion, into the rainforest of Southwestern Laltīmāhia and the mountains and deserts north of it. Starting from here, the vast majority of borrowed words are either natural features (plants, geography, animals) or specific to the cultures of conquered places. Level B dates from the first century of the Second Era to around 2E 800-900 (Chlegdarims probably bordered Dabuke populations, north of the deserts, starting from around that date), and it amounts to about 2% or 3% of words.
- Level BH - words borrowed during the second - and the largest - Inquisitorial expansion, the one in the Lāmiejāya-Lāmber plain (simply the Plains). As for level B words, they are mostly culturally specific, but Payt'umpaftl, a language once spoken in the northern part of the plain, was spoken by a somewhat cultured civilization and gave Laceyiam some words about chemistry, alchemy, and mathematics. The Ancient Vgorrādńi borrowings are considered by some linguists to belong to this level, as they were reached later than other level PH2 cultures, and as their civilization was geographically in the Plains - in the uppermost reaches of the Lāmber river, around the northern border of the Tālliyāia rainforest; however this is a minority view, as the Plains Expansion is considered to have begun only around 2E 450-500 (the founding of the city of Cami in modern-day Hūmiębhāraya, for a long time the main Chlegdarim city in the Plains area, even though not geographically in the Plain itself - is traditionally considered to have taken place in 2E 511), when the Chlegdarims had already met the Ancient Vgorrādńi civilization; level BH includes borrowings until the late Second Era (which finished in 2E 1137). Words from level BH amount to about 8% of the total vocabulary.
- Level M - from the various expansions of the Chlegdarims into the Dabuke lands in the Northwest, the southern areas of the modern-day North (Hūnakøyda and Kaiśiluð), in the Mūneilāhe endorheic basin, and in Tāhiańśīma, which took place starting from about 2E 1000 until about 3E 300-400 (note that the Dabuke peoples took at least three more centuries to assimilate into the Chlegdarim culture). Level M amounts to about 5% of Laceyiami words, excluding chiefly local words (mainly of Dabuke origin) used by people from Northwestern Laltīmāhia.
- Level V1 - from the expansion into the North (the Ancient Naumilā-Maidikairi civilization) and contacts with the cultural spaces of Brono, Skyrdagor, and the Kalurilut, dating from around 3E 200 until about 3E 700-750. These words constitute about 4% of the vocabulary.
- Level V2 - words taken from explorations and colonizations all around the planet, starting from mid-Third Era until around 3E 850 (the Third Era finished in 3E 902). Many words were taken on the spot, but some were also borrowed through Kalurilut - most notably the names used today for many Western nations, which are descriptive names in the Kalurilut language. For example the Laceyiami word for Ceria is Inūkutlāk, from Kalurilut inuukutalaaq "Empire of the West"; in Kalurilut itself these names are obsolete, mostly replaced by phonetic borrowings, like iSiir in the case of Ceria. Despite their huge geographical spread, level V2 words only amount to about 2% of the total vocabulary.
- Level T - made of borrowings, mostly from Western languages, of the Fourth Era, that is those borrowed at the current time (the current year is 4E 133). They also include words borrowed from the indigenous languages of the Skūlgatnir islands and the so-called Limits of Védren, now-Chlegdarim islands whose colonization only started less than two centuries ago, in 3E 878. Level T amounts to less than 1% of words.
Influence on other languages
Laceyiam has, due to the Chlegdarims' influence on culture, religion, and politics, had a large influence on other languages. The ones that had the most influence are probably Kambøʔu - a Mid-Oceanic language spoken in the Kambøʔu islands, a chain off the northern end of Tāhiańśīma, which is a diocese of Laltīmāhia - or the dialect of Bazá spoken in Gūtambāśi diocese as, being both spoken in parts of Laltīmāhia, are in a state of diglossia with Laceyiam itself like other vernaculars of Laltīmāhia do. Mǎng Tì, spoken in Mǎng Tì pọk, an extremely sparsely populated country on the eastern third of Tāhiańśīma, is also influenced by Laceyiam as they are both official languages in the country (actually, despite being de jure independent, Mǎng Tì pọk is sometimes considered in the West as a puppet state of Laltīmāhia). These are, however, all languages with a limited number of speakers, or minority languages.
Among major languages, those that definitely had the largest Laceyiami influence are Kalurilut and both standardized dialects of Brono-Fathanic (Bronic and Fathanic), which are the languages of peoples that are of overwhelming Yūnialtei religious majority and thus have close relationships with Laltīmāhia (Brono also shares with Laltīmāhia about 1300 km of border along the 33rd parallel north); many languages of the Dabuke family and other local languages of Western Isungatsuaq all have been influenced by Laceyiam, though, due to Western colonization, either Cerian or Nordulic is the lingua franca in those areas. Skyrdagor in Northwestern Isungatsuaq also had some Laceyiam influence, though not very extensive; anyway as Skyrdagor countries are politically aligned with the Eastern Bloc they share modern international terminology mostly with Laceyiam (and languages such as Kalurilut and Brono-Fathanic) rather than with Evandorian languages such as Cerian, Nivarese, or Nordulic. Western languages have mostly borrowed from Laceyiam during the contact between those cultures in the (Western) early Modern Age, when Westerners discovered lots of features from the tropical and equatorial areas of Calémere - almost all located inside the Laceyiam-speaking world. Today, however, there is reciprocal cultural knowledge and, consequently, language contact between them, as shown by the level T of Laceyiami etymology as in the classification above.
International words of Laceyiam origin include lunai (> e.g. Cerian nunái, Skyrdagor nunaj, Spocian ngounàï) "tea", (irūḍa)ṭūyam (> Cer. túian, Skyr. irudtrujam, Spoc. touin) "internet", or lalāruṇa (> Cer. nonáruna, Skyr. nanarun, Spoc. ngengaroun) (a large ground lizard of Southern Isungatsuaq, used as a mount by the Chlegdarims (unlike the larger dāhiða, or ground dragon)).
Family - Leliėmita
Laceyiam has a particular kinship terminology system. Starting from the immediate relatives, the Ego's parents - maihāyana, pl. maihāyanai (literally "having a daughter", but the term is nowadays used even if they don't have daughters) - are the miyū (mother) and the tyt (father). The word for "daughter" is maiha and the one for "son" is paljāram. Siblings - collectively called dėdum, pl. dėdumai - have different terms depending on three factors: not just their own gender, but also the one of the person they're being referred to as siblings, and, if they're of the same gender, relative age. Thus, from a female's perspective, her older sister will be a buneya, her younger sister will be a ḍalieh, and her brother will be a yaupam no matter his age. Similarly, from a male's perspective, his older brother will be a prauḍhām; his younger brother a vāyeṣa and his sister a ńältah.
It should be however noted that these terms may have some broader meanings. In the case a female has both a younger and an older sister, she may refer to both of them as "my sisters" using liliā ńältahiai; similarly a male with both a younger and an older brother would use liliā yaupamai for "my brothers". Also, the terms dependent on relative age may be used for the self if they're the oldest or the youngest in a family, as in a female referring to herself as the buneya, implying she's the oldest among her siblings (or, actually, just among the sisters - there's no way to disambiguate these meanings without further clues), or as the ḍalieh if she's the youngest one - a male would do the exact same thing referring to himself as either the prauḍhām or the vāyeṣa.
Uncles, aunts, and cousins are where Laceyiam terminology becomes unique. Uncles, so brothers of either parent, are all called ølkran; the wife of an ølkran is an ølikė and their children, no matter their gender, are dītvar (pl. dītvarai). As for females, an aunt who is the sister of the father is a hīmaya; her husband will be called hīmuyau, and their children will all be called īlaram (pl. īlaraṃsai). An aunt who is the mother's sister, however, is a hailāti, her husband is a hailātimun and their children are called by the Ego with the terms for siblings but prefixed with nėma- following the same logic used for siblings. From a female's perspective all of her cousins, children of any of her mother's sisters, will thus be collectively called nėmadėdum; a female nėma-cousin older than her will be her nėmabuneya; one younger than her a nėmaḍalieh, and any male nėma-cousin a nėmayaupam; from a male's perspective any male nėma-cousin older than him will be his nėmaprauḍhām, one younger than him a nėmavāyeṣa and any female nėma-cousin will be his nėmańältah.
The Camīdhemānat (that [which comes] from the great voice) is the most important epic of Chlegdarim literature, and the longest text ever written in the Laceyiam language. It is a collection of folk mythological tales — most of them probably originally of Nanaklāri peoples, but some of pure Chlegdarim (pre-arrival on Isungatsuaq) origin — collected and written down in Classical Laceyiam during the Second Era. Even if surely not the "purest" source on how was the multicultural society of pre-Yūnialtei Leitāvaja (as many passages seem to be Inquisitorial comments or edits), there is no other text detailing so many aspects of how the Nanaklāris lived and merged with the Chlegdarims, including the religious pantheon whose importance fell with the Yūnialtia.
The language used in the Camīdhemānat is also peculiar, as it is mostly Classical Laceyiam, but including lots of Nanaklāri terms; as for the themes and histories, they are peculiar for telling of a long gone age where the world was, however, much more technologically advanced: there are references to "metal people" called bhūvātam (the term entered colloquial Laceyiam two millennia later as the word for "robot, droid") powered by a mysterious and powerful energy (the ṭäyńeha) visible to the naked eye, controlled in a giant metal machine inside a mountain and protected by "energy brains"; some of these "metal people" - the jāmāvyaṭa - were even built in such a way that they were actually "metal birds" (or aircrafts) fighting in the sky.
Almost no place mentioned in the Camīdhemānat is real, even though all of the histories happen either in the jungle (those later identified as Nanaklāri stories) or on islands (those identified as Chlegdarim stories). The only real place that can be almost surely identified is mount Jaṃsstīren (the highest mountain of southern Isungatsuaq, almost on the border between Yomadhvāya and Leitāvaja dioceses), as it is the only mountain in the forest which is so tall it has snow on its peak. Obviously, in the text the modern name (which is from the Dzams-bltyod language) is not used, but it is called in many different ways like "white peak/head" (pāṇḍęe klīṣa), "sky rock" (ilėnibausa), "rock/mountain of the ṭäyńeha" (ṭäyńehi bausa/nahia) or with undeciphered Nanaklāri names (ńämbąndaum, teyappaum, hayāńama, and käläʔikūm). Some placenames found in the text were however later given to places later discovered by the Chlegdarims — most notably the Lāmiejāya river, but also Paṃdelūna island and the land of Nėniyūkāt.
The following text is the very beginning of the epic — the first two stanzas provide a background (which is later expanded in order to connect and introduce many tales): a child — symbolically referred to with the very first word of the text as dømachumeitėniah, meaning "who is eager to know" — is with her maternal aunt in the family's lalārunkita (the stable for lalāruṇai, the giant lizards used as mounts by the Chlegdarims) and "sacredly" asks her about the "soul of existence" (lelinatmā, also a recurrent term in the Yūnialtia). Her aunt then starts to tell her about the "long gone days and people".
dømachumeitėniah samin nanā
hīmayau tamiā iha chlairamyn
lelinatmā cā mei nisėtrace ।।
indā lalāruṇeha muirytin
høyśiyet keljā sama hīmayass
gaṇḍhūvyah avyāṣai leliė ta pa ।।
That child eager to know
To her aunt, sacredly,
asks about the true soul of existence.
And in that moment the lalāruṇa cries
So the aunt quickly starts to tell
about the long flown times and people.)
Schleicher's fable (mailė yaṣakui ta)
yaṣakui cā : ńulkęe cūllau mäheśeniaśe lass : jūdhęe vīlyamarau prikṣeluktheniah lass ta : kehiaryna ńeirau luktheniaśe lass ta jāvsku udvīs mailėss meitithė ।।
"yaṣakurśepālveniah ńeirau meitamanāh [liliā] läka lilįse kṣāṇąu" tīta mailė yaṣakurið śńėgace ।।
"mailė niūką : ńeirāss : ga vaiṣāyass iha : lārit nali mailjāvskandra īlāmięe jūlė paiktairanäss tami jihā dähin jāvsku udvīs mailė jar : tum meitamanāh iha läkai chlęśā kṣāṇadhį" tīta yaṣakui śńėgithėśe ।।
tum tėnakaitā hiyanað mailė ṣārvatālgat ।।