|Native speakers||5.1 million (about as much as Finnish) (fT 11E0dd)|
|Writing system||Talmic script|
|Official language in||Roshteria|
Roshterian /rɒʃˈtɛriən/ (native name: giatiroxṯer /giət̪ɪɾɔʂˈʈɛɾ/ 'The Roshterian throat') is a Quame language inspired by P-Celtic (particularly Welsh). It is intended to be a polysynthetic language with a pseudo-European aesthetic. Roshterian is the native language of 5.1 million people, most of which live in the Roshterian Autonomous Region in Dodellia. Among Bitaletans, it is famous for its grammar: it is a head-initial, polysynthetic language with a complex agglutinating verb morphology that uses polypersonal agreement, evidentials, applicative constructions and noun incorporation.
- 1 History
- 2 Todo
- 3 Numbers
- 4 Phonology
- 5 Orthography
- 6 Sound changes
- 7 Morphology
- 7.1 Verbs
- 7.1.1 Object incorporation
- 7.1.2 Verb template
- 7.1.3 Copula
- 7.2 Nouns
- 7.3 Adjectives
- 7.4 Prepositions
- 7.5 Pronouns
- 7.6 Derivational morphology
- 7.1 Verbs
- 8 Syntax
- 9 Sample texts
- See also: Old Roshterian
The ancestors of modern-day Roshterians are hypothesized to have been an autochthonous people who gradually adopted a Talmic superstrate language. Until relatively recent times little was known of the language to outsiders, except in Clofabian legends about a race of mirrored humans who speak backwards.
The first written example of a complete Roshterian sentence is found in a Windermere travel journal dating to ca. fT 830dd (in Windermere script):
- չıƍϙıէ›ƍʎϙ˫է˫ɟ ϙ⸗ƪժ⸗ғ⸗ӿ⸗є ƍ⸗չ› ɟ˫ϙ:ϫ·է·є
- bietiroașterem taycadawan habo metupărăn
- I would like to speak Roshterian; alas, I cannot.
(In modern Roshterian orthography: Bys oṟbiroxṯerimytaicyn, boorimitupyryn. 'gladly-language-Roshterian-speak-1SG but-EVID.DIR-NEG-do-can-1SG')
This sentence was likely written by a non-native speaker of Roshterian, seeing by the fact that he/she omitted evidentials, which would be required in the second clause.
The significance of Roshterian for Talmic linguistics was first noted by the Skellan linguist Aloð Bolltind. He proposed that it reflected all four dorsal series of Proto-Talmic differently, unlike the Thensaric languages hitherto known in Talma:
- *k, g > Roshterian c, g; Thensarian c, g
- *kʷ, gʷ > Rosh. p, b; Thn. c, g
- *q, ʁ > Rosh. q, ḡ; Thn. ȝ, ħ
- *qʷ, ʁʷ > Rosh. x, ṟ; Thn. c, g or -ȝ, -ħ
Affix fusion rules -- just say the morphemes fast and see what happens
- Tiixi = a female name
- Ḻuba = a male name
- Ḻubasomb = a male name
- In prefixes, ni- > i- (important!)
- How do I get "holophrastic" words [words with the meaning of whole sentences]
- Applicative prefixes should be older than prepositions
- Disallow initial /s/
TODO: Combining forms, ordinals, distributives
- 1: peem, peemy-
- 2: ṯitu, ṯitu-
- 3: naṟg, naṟ-
- 4: loob, loo-
- 5: helit, lit-
- 6: ṯiam
- 7: ruad
- 8: loṟ
- 9: baṟ
- 10: ḡiṟ
- 11: huplai
- 12: plai
Roshterian uses the following consonants:
|Nasal||m /m/||n /n̪/||ṉ /ɳ/||[ŋ]||[ɴ]|
|Stop||voiceless||p /p/||t /t̪/||ṯ /ʈ/||c /k/||q /q/|
|voiced||b /b/||d /d̪/||ḏ /ɖ/||g /g/|
|Continuant||voiceless||f /f/||s /s̪/||x /ʂ/||h /h/|
|voiced||w /w/||r /r/||l /l̪/||ṟ /ɻ/||ḻ /ɭ/||ḡ /ʁ/|
j z /j z/ are used in loanwords.
- The voiceless stops /p t̪ ʈ k q/ are normally aspirated as much as Japanese voiceless stops; however, they are unaspirated after fricatives.
- /n̪ t̪ d̪ l̪/ are dental; /s̪/ is dentalized alveolar (transcribed /n t d s l/ for sake of convenience).
- [ŋ] and [ɴ] are allophones of /n̪/ before velar and uvular consonants, respectively.
- /r/ can be an alveolar flap [ɾ], an apical retroflex flap [ɽ], or trilled [r].
- /ɳ ʈ ɖ ɭ/ can be realized as apical-postalveolar (like Hindi retroflexes) or subapical-palatal (like Tamil retroflexes). The apical realization dominates in casual speech, while the subapical realization occurs in careful or formal speech. After /ʂ/, /ʈ/ is always apical.
- Colloquial Roshterian often merges /ɖ/ and /ɭ/.
- /ʂ/ is laminal post-alveolar [s̠] or sometimes [ɧ].
- /ɻ/ can be post-alveolar [ɹ̠] or truly retroflex [ɻ].
- /ʁ/ is a voiced uvular fricative [ʁ] or a trill [ʀ].
- /w/ is [v] in some dialects.
|Close||i /ɪ/||ii /iː/||u /ʊ/||uu /uː/|
|Mid||e /ɛ/||ee /eː/||y /ə/||yy /əː/||o /ɔ/||oo /oː/|
|Open||a /a/||aa /aː/|
In addition, the following diphthongs are used: 〈ai ei ia au ua oi iu〉 /aɪ ɛɪ iə ɛʊ uə ɔɪ ɪʊ/
- /ɪ, iː/ are centralized after retroflex consonants to [ɪ̈, ɨː]; for example, ṉii 'big' is pronounced [ɳɨː]
- /eː, oː/ are lowered to [ɛː, ɔː] before retroflexes and uvulars.
There is no phonemic stress or tone; all words are pronounced with word-final stress.
Roshterian allows fewer clusters than Proto-Talmic. Only two-consonant clusters are permitted, obstruent + nasal and fricative + sonorant clusters are prohibited. However, final clusters are allowed.
Here are the allowed clusters:
- Not allowed finally: /pl bl pr br tr dr ʈr ɖr kl kr/ 〈pl bl pr br tr dr ṯr ḏr cl cr〉
- Some dialects may have /ʈɻ ɖɻ/ for /ʈr ɖr/.
- Some dialects always use [Cɭ] or [Cɻ] for /Cr/.
- Not allowed initially: /mp nt ɳʈ ŋk ɴq mb nd ɳɖ ŋg ɴʁ ns ɳʂ lp lt ɭʈ lk ɭq lb ld ɭɖ lg ɭʁ rp rt ɻʈ rk rq rb rd ɻɖ rg rʁ rm rn ɻb ɻg ɻm ɻɳ sp st ʂʈ sk ʂq/ 〈mp nt ṉṯ nc nq mb nd ṉḏ ng nḡ ns ṉx lp lt ḻṯ lc ḻq lb ld ḻḏ lg ḻḡ rp rt ṟṯ rc rq rb rd ṟḏ rg rḡ rm rn ṟb ṟg ṟm ṟṉ sp st xṯ sc xq〉
Roshterian natively uses the Talmic script.
- | = period
- . = comma
- ₂ = strong comma
- ᑉ = question mark
- ᖾ = exclamation point
- - = dash
- ~ = ellipsis
- ⸗ = semicolon
- ᕑ = colon
- ⟨ ⟩ = parentheses
Roshterian uses a base-12 positional numeral system. The digits are as follows:
ɔ ı ʎ ɺ ħ ʕ ʑ ɛ ɴ κ ə ʋ = 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 X E
duodecimal point: :
1728's separator: · (optional)
2017 = 1,201dd = ı·ʎɔı
π = 3.184809493b918...dd = ɺ:ıɴħ·ɴɔк·ħкɺ·кʋı·ɴ... or ɺ:ıɴħɴɔкħкɺкʋıɴ...
The most significant change characterizing Roshterian is the coalescing and altering of consonant clusters, often creating retroflex consonants.
- kw, gw > p, b
- gl-, gr- > l, r
- *ā > ia (*nā > nia 'I'); *ō > ua; *au > oo; *ou > uu; *ū > ii
- *qʷ > /χʷ/ > /ɧ/ > x; *ʁʷ > /ζ/ > ṟ
- ʁʷelinəs ("6 parts [of 12]") > ṟelin 'half'
- gʷaθwā > bati 'neck, throat' ~ Thn. gaθvā 'throat (also language)'
- *sl-, sm-, sn- > ḻ-, f-, ṉ-
- *sɸ-, sr-, sw- > x-, ṟ-, x-
- *st, sk, skʷ, sq > ṯ-/sṯ, t-/st-, f, q-/xq
- stuφs 'fire' > ṯuu
- stas- > ṯetsil 'gathering' (~ Thn. Stasnyssōs > Tíogall Stánsa, Clofabosin stannsin 'a holiday')
- skəttai > tyyta 'body' ~ Thn. scattae
- *bastom > bast 'king' ~ Thn. bastom 'head'
- *sb, sd, sg > ṟb, ṟḏ, ṟg
- *nasg- > naṟg '3'
- *φn, tn, φl, tl/dl > /ːn, t-/ts, ːt, ʈ/ɖ/
- θnāgin > tiagin 'I believe' ~ Thn. θnāginis
- oφlutsus > ootus 'wave'
- *kt, qt > /jt, ːʈ/
- *tektə > teit /teit/ 'child'
- *neqtə > neeṯ /neːʈ/ 'cloud'
- *ks, qs > /js, ːʂ/
- *kn, gn, kʷn, gʷn, qn, ql, qr > /jn, jn, m, m, :ɳ, :ɻ, :ɻ/ (with **/uj/ > /uː/ )
- sφugnus > xuun 'root' ~ Thn. sφugnus
- leqnos > leeṉ 'river' ~ Thn. leānos?
- qrīdis > ṟiid 'knife' ~ Thn. ȝrīdis 'edge'
- Word-initially, kn, gn, kʷn, gʷn > /kl, gl, pl, bl/
- gʷnūnum > bliin 'scar' ~ Thn. gnūnum 'scar', Tíogall gnúinte 'scar'
- *φj, tj, kj, qj > pt s s-/ts ḡ
- *j-, s- > h-
- *φ- > ∅-
- Initial short vowels drop
- *skj, stj > ṯ-/xṯ, s-/ːs
- final short vowels lost; final -m, -r, -s, -t lost; final long vowels shorten (ia, ua > i, u)
- i-affection: The following changes affect V1 in sequences of the form V1 + consonant cluster + ultimate (*i/*ī/*j) unless the consonant cluster after V1 contains a retroflex consonant.
- a > e
- e > i
- Stress shifts to final
- Some combining forms and combined forms are altered due to the stress shift - conjunct forms for verbs arise when there is an antepenultimate syllable
- penultimate ia > i
- remaining s- > t-
Each verb has 3 principal parts: the progressive stem, the habitual stem and the preterite stem.
All verb stems have a combining form, also called the incorporating form, which is used in the presence of an object marker, negative prefix or an incorporandum (incorporated object). Any noun stem can be incorporated, including proper nouns.
hootiixyn 'eat fruit' < hooti 'fruit' + caasyn 'eat'
The Roshterian verb has 8-9 slots which mark a variety of grammatical information. Slots that must obligatorily be filled are in bold.
- discourse - considered clitics by some
- causative person marker
- object person marker/passive marker
- one or more auxiliaries
Discourse markers are often connecting words for clauses, or particles that display the speaker's emotional reaction to an event or state.
- bys- = 'gladly', 'great!'
- boo- = 'alas'
- yṟ/ṟy- = (softening marker)
Evidentials mark the source of the speaker's information; a lack of evidential marking signals that the verb is an imperative or a purpose clause. Some other discourse affixes (which are in complementary distribution with evidentials) also go into this slot.
- i- (before C), r- (before V) = I witnessed or otherwise directly experienced this
- pyn- = information I obtained from hearsay or am quoting
- nar- = a third-party source I consider credible
- me- = my own inference, assumption or subjective opinion
- hy- (< PTal *səni φī... 'tell me if...') = interrogative (used for both wh-questions and yes-no questions)
- eb- = if
- ṯus- = (optative)
Negation is marked with the negative affix mis- (before V), or mi-/N- (before C), which may alter the verb stem to its incorporating form.
- Negative: mis-, mi-, N-
Causative person markers
The causative prefixes are used in causative verbs to index the agent causing the action of the object-ROOT-subject complex. The causative person marker comes from forms of the verb ooni 'to do/make' (*oonin sy 'I make it that' > oony- > ony-).
- I'm feeding it to him.
|1 + 2||-||onty-|
Object person markers
|1 + 2||-||bee-|
- di- = at, in, by
- hee- = about
- hu- = benefactive
- lengy- = malefactive
Roshterian tenses: present, perfect, imperfect, future
Reduplicate the progressive indicative with Ce-. (the reduplicant can be irregular)
- ṯy- = mediopassive (< "body, self")
- ab/aa- = reciprocal
- -dunqan: 'I must/have to' (negated: 'I don't have to')
- -peren: 'I can/I'm able to'
- -ṯysin: 'I may/I have permission to' (negated: 'I must not')
- -xan: 'I will' (future tense)
- -dawan: 'I want to' (future tense)
To express "is a [NOUN]" or "is [ADJ]", the copula -(l)uan is suffixed to the bare stem of X; X plus the copula then goes to the normal stem slot for purposes of verb inflection. The noun itself doesn't go into the plural even when the subject is plural.
- In my opinion, they are mere children.
- Hyroṉḏuar, hywleituar?
- hy-roṉḏ-uar, hy-bleit-uar
- Q-man-COP.2SG, Q-woman-COP.PRES.2SG
- Are you a man or a woman?
When the copula is added on nouns without an evidential, it emphasizes the noun or simply indicates the tense of an action (either past or non-past).
- Metuumi bastaim.
- me-tuu-mi bast-aim
- INFERRED-do-3SG.M.PFV king-COP.PST.3SG.M
- It was apparently the king who did it. / The king apparently did it.
The copula is suppletive; it also has only non-past indicative and past indicative forms.
Nouns are marked with a singular-plural distinction, and may also take possessive suffixes. However, the lemma form of a noun is typically its combining form, which is the incorporated form of a noun and is also used to form possessed forms and compounds. Unlike Thensarian, Roshterian lost the Proto-Talmic grammatical gender; gendered pronouns and verb affixes no longer mark grammatical gender, but natural gender (as in Naquian). There is no definite or indefinite article.
The plural form is inherited from the Proto-Talmic reduplicated collective, and is often formed by reduplication. Example: bleit /blɛit/ 'woman', bebleit /bɛˈblɛit/ 'women'. Some irregularities may be present due to the retention of the original single consonant in the reduplicant, as opposed to the stem-initial cluster where the consonants interacted to produce new consonants and clusters.
Deixis or demonstratives (such as 'this' or 'that') are marked with a suffix added to the combining form of the noun.
- this: -ma
- that: -pa
The class of adjectives is actually a small, closed subclass of nouns, usually relating to concrete properties of objects such as shape, color, size, and texture, and relatively permanent characteristics of people. Note that most English adjectives, like "cozy", "active", "incendiary", ..., are expressed in Roshterian by other means such as an inflected verb.
Predicative adjectives work the same way as predicative nouns in that they must take the copula.
Attributive adjectives are compounded after the noun.
A more analytic construction can also be used: the 3rd person singular inanimate possessive suffix is added to the noun, and the adjective comes after.
- bryn 'red': Ibrynua hoget. 'The apple is red.'; hootibryn or hootit bryn 'red apple'
- pant 'big': Ipantua huaryn. 'My house is big.'; huarypant or huaryt pant 'big house'
Prepositions are inflected for person similarly to nouns. [Should they be cliticized? Probably]
- di- = 'in'
- bel- = 'from'
- en = for
- bar = towards
- nai = with (instrumental)
Independent pronouns are not used except for emphasis.
|1 + 2||pynd|
Independent demonstratives look like:
- this: amac
- that: apac
- bo- = associated person
- bopenicili-, bopenicili /bɔpɛnɪkɪˈlɪ/ = penicillin player
- blei- = -ess, feminine counterpart to bo- (not common in modern Roshterian)
- -ait (not productive) = forms adjectives
- [NOUN]-ṯobyn = to resemble a NOUN (the noun is incorporated)
Roshterian is a verb-initial, head-marking polysynthetic language. Verbs take both subject and object affixes, and features complex morphophonemic alternations [much of which is inherited from Old Roshterian]. Where Roshterian deviates from typical Talman typology are features such as obviation, noun incorporation and evidential marking, making Roshterian resemble Native American languages such as Blackfoot or Ojibwe.
- I love you.
"X of Y" = X-3SG Y or X-Y (e.g. weinyti boclofabim 'the Clofabian's brother' or ganut huar = 'the color of the house')
Applicative affixes make a verb's prepositional or oblique object into its direct object (cf. be- in English bemoan 'to complain about'). Applicatives are as much a stylistic or pragmatic choice as syntactic (see below) or lexical. Some verbs may use multiple applicative prefixes, when they do so is difficult to predict.
- Iheeditaicyn raḏi am ḡiaf.
- I'm talking about love and hate. (lit. I bespeak love and hate)
Sometimes not using applicatives is preferred, sometimes vice versa:
- Ixoorin di Qaaroxṯerim.
- 'I live in Roshteria.' (lit. I live in Roshteria)
- Idixoorin ḡeeliaṉ.
- 'I live in a city.' (lit. I inhabit a city)
Applicatives are not only useful for emphasizing or topicalizing the oblique argument but in fact are necessary for certain syntactic constructions (and for just sounding natural). When an applicative is used, the original direct object (when used) takes the instrumental preposition nai.
- Ṯimylt impubri pergofaaṟidi nai maaqex?
- Where is the shelf where I put the spices? [lit. that I beput with the spices]
- Apacua rymbi peteehoḏidi nai ṯas.
- /apaˈkuə rəmˈbi pɛteːhoɖɪˈdɪ nai ˈʈas/
- apac-ua rymbi ped-hee-hoḏia-di nai ṯas
- that-COP.3SG.N forest NMLZ-APPL.about-draw-1SG.PERF INS picture
- That is the forest I drew a picture of. [lit. the forest that I bedrew with a picture]
There are no relative pronouns or resumptive pronouns in Roshterian. Only the gap strategy is available, and only a subject or an object of the relative clause can be a head. This is where applicatives come in handy, as applicatives promote oblique arguments to direct objects, thus allow oblique arguments of a verb to used as relative clause heads.
The relative clause is marked by a nominalizing affix ped-.
- Meiḻicort ḡeeliaṉ pedidixoorin.
- me-eiḻi-cort-0 ḡeeliaṉ ped-i-di-xoor-in
- EVID_SUBJ-heart-embrace-3SG.N city NMLZ-EV.DIR-APP.LOC-live-PRES.1SG
- The city that I live in is cozy. (lit. The city that I inhabit embraces the heart.)
"I don't want to move on from/grow out of simple pleasures."
Tower of Babel
- Professor Kate Gunzinger proves the Snake Lemma in the film It's My Turn (1980). I'll omit the proof, which is less linguistically interesting. [Most Roshterians prefer to use Eevo terms when discussing higher mathematics anyway.]
- Haxupimyṯrut yṟonypinoofer binróþ s, beṉṯylaḡilcoma peeṯypryṉifiaqolip, ḻe?
- haxu-pi-myṯru-t yṟ-ony-pi-noo-fer binróþ s ben-ṯy-laḡ-ilcom-a pee-ṯypr-yṉif-iaqoli-ip ḻe
- way-4-build-CONST DISC_SOFTEN-CAUS.1SG-4-see-2PL.SUBJ.PERF mathematical_function s, DISC_"should be obvious"-PASS-APPL_TELIC-sow-3SG.N NOMZ-PASS-examine-show-at_first-4 TAG
- Let me just show you how to *construct* the map s, which is the fun of the lemma anyhow, okay?