Muna

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Introduction

Phonology

Consonants

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive p t c k
Fricative Unvoiced f θ s ç x
Voiced v ð ʝ ɣ
Approximant j ɥ w
Lateral Approx. l
Tap op flap ɾ

Vowels

Front Back
Unrounded Rounded Rounded
Close i y u
Mid e ø o
Open a ɒ

Vowel Harmony

Muna has vowel harmony, which restricts the presence of vowels within a word to those belonging to the same group, defined by the first vowel in a stem. There are three groups: Front (front unrounded vowels), Neutral (front rounded vowels) and Back (back rounded vowels). Neutral vowels are transparent to the process, being allowed in any word. A word that begins with a neutral vowel or diphthong will default to back harmony.

Phonotactics

Syllable structure

C1 (C2) (S1) V1 (S2) (C3) (C4)

Onset

C
  • Any consonant
CC
  • /p t k f θ x v ð ɣ/ followed by /ɾ l/

Nucleus

  • Any vowel or diphthong
    • Diphthongs starting /j ɥ/ cannot follow velars
    • Rising diphthongs cannot follow palatals

Coda

C
  • Any of /m n ɲ ŋ f s x ɾ l/
    • Nasals can only precede homorganic consonants
CC
  • /ɾ l/ followed by any stop or fricative
    • Only word finally or before simple onsets

Orthography

Writing system

Romanization

Transcription

The transcription scheme only changes a few IPA characters to their most easily recognizable Latin equivalent, <ä> may use pretty much any diacritic to make the typing of Muna easy and more accessible, in extreme cases the digraph <ao> may be used since there are no diphthongs in Muna which may make the reading ambiguous.

The characters that have changed are in bold:

Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar
Plosive Fortis p t k
Lenis b d g
Nasal n
Fricative f s h
Approximant j w
Lateral Approximant l
Tap or Flap r


Front Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a ä / ao

Transliteration

Nouns

Noun structure

Noun phrase

Number

Cases

Agentive
The agentive case marks the agent of a ditransitive verb and the active subject of an intransitive verb
Patientive
The unmarked patientive case signals the patient of a ditransitive verb and the inactive subject of an intransitive verb.
Dative
The dative is used to mark the indirect object of a verb, the causee of a causative construction or the benefactive in an oblique argument.
Genitive
The genitive case marks various types of relationships between nouns. Declensing a noun with the genitive will indicate one of the following:
  • Relation: marks a noun as directly related to another in some way
  • Possesion: marks a noun as possessing another noun
  • Composition: marks a noun as the contents or composition of another noun
  • Description: marks a noun as a characteristic of another
Instrumental
The instrumental case marks a helper, an uninvolved companion, an instrument, a means of or a way of carrying out the action.

Types of nouns

Proper

Common

Noun derivation

Diminutives

Augmentatives

Compounding

Denominalization

Determiners

Articles

Demonstratives

Quantifiers

Numerals

Verbs

Verb structure

Compared to the rest of the language, verbs have very little inflectional morphology, only conjugating for tense and causativity

Adverb Applicative
particle
Auxiliary Verb Negation
particle
Auxiliary stem Aspect suffix Causative Prefix Verb Stem Tense suffix

Tense

Muna has a simple three-tense system in which the verb can be conjugated for past, present or future. However, these tense suffixes have to agree in number to the subject (or topic, if there's no subject present) of the sentence.

Past Present Future
Singular
Plural

Aspect

Aspect is marked by using the singular tense suffixes in the auxiliary verb (called aspect suffixes in that position). While they are called aspects, two forms are actually a mix of tense and aspect, the retrospective (or perfect) and the prospective.

Perfective (pfv)
Unmarked
The perfective describes an action as a whole without internal composition, it is also used to describe punctual events and the completions of events.
Retrospective (rtsp)
Marked as the past singular
The retrospective describes past actions focusing on the present consequences to the reference time.
Imperfective (ipfv)
Marked as the present singular
The imperfective describes actions that are ongoing, habitual or iterative.
Prospective (prsp)
Marked as the future singular
The prospective focuses on the future consequences of a presently ongoing action.

Mood

Mood can be expressed by the use of one of three auxiliary verbs or through the use of serial verb constructions. Otherwise, it defaults to either indicative or imperative.

Subjunctive/Volitive (sbjv / vol)
This auxiliary is used to describe events that are desired to happen or have happened. In non-future constructions it expresses the subjunctive mood, while in future constructions it expresses the volitive mood.
Directive/Commissive/Prohibitive (dir / com / proh)
This auxiliary expresses orders, requests and obligations. In positive constructions in past tense it expresses expectations, while in non-past tenses it expresses obligations, requests and orders. In negative constructions it can be used to express prohibitions in the future tense. If used in with a first person subject it can also be used to express promises.
Conditional/Potential (cond / pot)
This auxiliary is used to express what may have been or be. It is the core for most conditional constructions in Muna.

Polarity

Verbs can be negated, or their polarity inverted, by adding a negation particle (n) after them

Direction/location

Non-lexical verb direction/location can be expressed through the use of a limited set of adpositions as applicative particles, while these particles can elevate the oblique to the object of a clause, argument dropping often makes this process implicit.

Only intransitive verbs may be marked with the applicative particle, other verbs have to express direction and location through the use of prepositional phrases.

To
Expresses movement towards or into something, it is equivalent to the english prepositions to, into, onto and towards
From
Expresses movement away from something, it is equivalent to english from, off, out of, and away from
Via
Expresses movement along or using something, it's equivalents are through, across, along and by means of
At
Expresses movement within or in the vicinity of something, it is equivalent to inside, around, past, near and next to.

Causativity

Causativity is marked by the causative (caus) verb prefix, this makes the causant the subject of the verb, and the causee the indirect object.

Types of verbs

Lexical verbs

Auxiliary verbs

Verb derivation

Nominalization

Compounding

Adverbs

Manner

Time

Direction/location

Evidential/epistemic

Adjectives

Adpositions

Adpositional phrase

Particles

Synatx

Basic sentences

Main clause

Argument dropping
Topicalization

Interrogative

Imperative

Hortative

Reflexive

Reciprocal

Comparative

Causative

Applicative

Advanced sentences

Serial verbs

Relative clause

Adverbial clause

Conditional clause

Complement clauses