|au lámiaunθ šaléiūs|
|Pronunciation||[/u ˈʟæmjəʊnθ ʃəˈʟɛɪu:s/]|
Shalaian (shə-LAY-ən, natively au lámiaunθ šaléiūs /au ˈʟæmjəʊnθ ʃəˈlɛɪu:s/) is an in-universe naturalistic conlang in the sci-fi setting Verse:Unbegotten.
Shalaian is a split-ergative, moderately synthetic, head-marking, verb-initial language where preverbal clitics ("preverbs") play an important grammatical role.
It is inspired by Arabic, English (especially Philadelphia and Boston English), Lushootseed, Lithuanian and Welsh (also taking influences from my and Praimhín's earlier conlangs, mainly Eevo and Windermere).
- 1 Todo
- 2 About
- 3 Phonology of Standard Shalaian
- 4 Dialects
- 5 Orthography
- 6 Morphology
- 6.1 Nouns
- 6.2 Pronouns
- 6.3 Correlatives
- 6.4 Adjectives
- 6.5 Adverbs
- 6.6 Prepositions
- 6.7 Prepositions
- 6.8 Verbs
- 6.9 Conjunctions
- 6.10 Preverbs
- 6.11 Statives
- 6.12 Numerals
- 7 Syntax
- 8 Vocabulary
- 9 Literature
- 10 Sample texts
Remodel phonology based on Lithuanian
Slavic-style directional verbs, Slavic style tenses (present imperfective, future imperfective, future perfective, past imperfective, past perfective)
Deutschify the grammar (V2, cases, STOV)?
Old Irishy allomorphy with prefixes?
*-t is an important suffix for the Anglo-Semitic aesthetic
Get CVCVCC words
Scú'tjes: a liturgical title? s-cu'tj-es 3.H-handle-3PL "She is handy with things" (-is for 3pl abs on verbs is a deliberate archaism)
- alienable: dog CLASSIFIER-my? dog of-me?
- inalienable: hand-my
Agentive vs patientive verb pairs: we see/hear/learn = (PREVERB) is_seen-it to-us vs (PREVERB) we-see-intentionally-it
1. Ruš ian lalvý, lauch fu'naný. / lar ším'tal my, lauch fu'naný. time REL.PFV 1-see-3SG.A, PFV flee-3SG.AN / LOC see.INF-1SG ACC-3SG.AN PFV flee-3SG.AN 2. Waráudal, rosh nāf chwi'ł mi kástłam larnd. call-1SG, when COMP.FUT need DAT help LOC-2SG. 3. Jarš (nāf) šafúngad? when COMP.FUT hither-come-2SG?
Sá'clas as chwíndjan lar krúns Hárverd = "Park the car in Harvard yard"
Shalaian might not have glottal reinforcement anymore. instead: coda voicing alternations t~d and th~dh?
tn~n, hr~r, σ~l (icelandic/eevo-esque)?
adding initial voicing mutation to Shalaian
- voiceless stops p t tj tł c cw -> b d dj dł g gw
- front fricatives f th s sj -> v dh z zj
- resonants m̓ n̓ lh rh -> m n l
clusters get both members voiced, if possible (e.g. st- > zd-) that'd allow plurals to be marked by lenition and distinguish between animate and inanimate in the singular au dtiev /u diəv/ = the beautiful one (animate sg) as tiev /əs tiəv/ = the beautiful one (inanimate sg) aur tievr /o tiəvə/ = the beautiful one (honorific sg) wa dtieva /wə dɪəvə/ = the beautiful ones (plural)
- "basic" noun patterns come from: CaCC, CiCC, CuCC, CãCC, CîCC, CûCC, CaCa(a)C, CaCi(i)C, CaCu(u)C + suffix + decl. class
In these dark times, I decided now was a good time to combine wanton utopian escapism with conlanging. The goal of Shalaian is not so much uniqueness as it is to represent what a "fancy" language is for me in aesthetics and grammar.
I've been kicking around the idea of an Arabo-RP language in my head for a while – Standard Arabic and English are two of my favorite aesthetics. So those are the two main aesthetic inspirations; the Lithuanian, Welsh, Irish and Lushootseed influences are also undeniable. The grammar is pretty typical of verb-initial languages; the ergativity is inspired by Mam.
Shalaian is used in roleplay in a fictional post-human setting.
Shalaian is the language of a large and complex civilization. It is a major source of loans for the related Idavic language Netagin.
Standard Shalaian, described in this article, is an artificial standard modeled on classical literature and religious texts. Pronunciation-wise, it insists on not pronouncing historical non-prevocalic /r/. Vernacular Shalaian with non-Standard pronunciation and grammar also exists but are beyond the scope of this article.
Shalaian and Netagin belong to a common sprachbund. They are two different branches of the Idavic family that convergently evolved to share the following features:
- A large vowel system but with no front rounded vowels
- Historical non-rhoticity
- Verb-initial syntax
Phonology of Standard Shalaian
Shalaian has a large consonant inventory and a moderately large vowel inventory. The phonology arose from a smaller system in Proto-Shalaian combined with Grimm's law, mutations, palatalization and loss of nonprevocalic /r/.
|Close||i /ɪ/||y /iː/||ū /uː/|
|Mid||ie, yr /ɪə/, ė /e:/||a, r /ə/||ur, ir, aua /əː/||u /o/||ūr, or, aur /oə/, o /oː/|
|Open-mid||air, ėr, aia /ɛə/||[ɐ]|
|Open||e, a /a/||ē/ā, er/ar /aː/|
|Diphthong||ai, ei /ɛɪ~əɪ/||au, eu /əʊ/|
- /a/ /a:/ /əɪ/ /əʊ/ are pronounced [æ~a æ:~a ɛɪ ɛʊ] (even after laryngeals /ʔ h ħ/) unless after a broad consonant, when they're pronounced [ɑ ɑ: əɪ əʊ].
- /a/ and optionally /ɪ/ usually reduces to /ə/ or sometimes even dropped in unstressed syllables. Vowel reduction does not occur in the ceremonial pronunciation.
- It is considered acceptable, even in liturgical pronunciation, to use both etymological linking R and "intrusive" R [ɹ~ɾ] between /aː ɪː ɛː oː əː ə/ and a following vowel in a prosodic unit. For example: Lídnr ał kizalléi 'Edna and her dogs' is pronounced [ˈʟednə‿ɹəɬ kʲɪzə'χəɪ].
- /uː/ is [üː] after palatalized consonants.
- /iː/ may be [iː] or [ɪj].
- /æ/ is front [a] or [æ]. However it reduced to /ə/ in certain unstressed syllables.
- /ɪ/ may be [e~ɛ~ɛ̈] after /ʟ/.
- /ɜː/ may be [ɐː], especially after /ʟ/.
- /ɛɪ əʊ/ are normally [ɛɪ ə̟ʊ]. They are realized as [aɪ aʊ] after pharyngeals.
- Shalaian does not have vowel mergers before intervocalic R such as the Mary-marry merger and the mirror-nearer merger. For example, θárad /'θaɹəd/ 'moon; month', θairad /'θɛːɹəd/ 'you (sg.) fall', and θā́rad /'θɑːɹəd/ 'your (sg.) foot' are distinct.
|(historically) non-palatalizing||a||ā, ar||ai||au||(none)||ui||u||ū||(none)||o||air||uir||ūr, or, uo||ur, aur|
|(historically) palatalizing||e||ē, er||ei||eu, iau||i||y||iu||iū||ė||io||ėr, iair, eir||ie, yr||iūr, ior, iuor||ir, iaur, eur|
Shalaian has 70 consonants, much more than Proto-Idavic. However, Shalaian consonantism is conservative in that both voicing and place of articulation in Proto-Idavic stops are kept distinct in some form. Grimm's law in Shalaic followed by post-vocalic voicing (conditioned by presence or lack of Proto-Idavic stød) and palatalization has resulted in two consonant splits, more than doubling the number of phonemic consonants. Uniquely in Idavic, Shalaian has merged older /l/ and /ʟ/ into a uvular liquid /ʁ̃~ɴ̆/ (transcribed /ʟ/ for convenience).
|Nasal||glottalized||mm /ʔm, ʔmʲ/||nn /ʔn, ʔnʲ/|
|plain||m /m, mʲ/||n /n, nʲ/||ng /ŋ, ŋʲ/||ngw /ŋʷ, ŋʷʲ~ʒʷ/|
|Stop||voiceless||p /p, pʲ/||t /t, tʲ/||tł /tɬ, tɬʲ/||č /tʂ, tɕ/||k /k, kʲ/||kw /kʷ, kʷʲ~tʃʷ/||' /ʔ/|
|voiced||b /b, bʲ/||d /d, dʲ/||dł /dɮ, dɮʲ/||dž /dʐ, dʑ/||g /g, gʲ/||gw /gʷ, gʷʲ~dʒʷ/|
|Fricative||voiceless||f /f, fʲ/||θ /θ, θʲ/||s /s, sʲ/||ł /ɬ, ɬʲ/||š /ʂ, ɕ/||ch /x, xʲ/||chw /xʷ~ʍ, xʷʲ~ʃʷ/||ll /χ/||ħ /ħ/||h /h/|
|voiced||v /v, vʲ/||δ /ð, ðʲ/||z /z, zʲ/||ž /ʐ, ʑ/|
|Resonant||r /r, rʲ/, rh /r̥, r̥ʲ/||j /j/||w /w, ɥ/||l /ʁ̃~ɴ̆/|
- All consonants, except ', j, h, ħ, ll and l, come in unpalatalized and palatalized pairs.
- The voiceless stops are aspirated except after fricatives, as in English.
- Broad /r/ may be [ɾ]. It tends to be voiceless after voiceless consonants.
- /n/ assimilates to [ŋ] before /k/ but not before /x xʷ/.
- /tʃ dʒ ʃ/ are labialized [tʃʷ dʒʷ ʃʷ], as in English.
- /kʷ xʷ/ can occur in coda, unlike /Cw/ combinations.
- RP-style glottal reinforcement is used only for /t tʲ/ vs /d dʲ/.
Stress is phonemic. Primary stress is transcribed with an acute accent.
- /a/ and /ɜː/ reduce to [ə] in unstressed syllables.
Shalian clusters are similar to Arabic but slightly more restrictive in the direction of Proto-Germanic and Latin.
Shalaian has many non-English clusters, such as /dm/ in ládmar [ˈʟadmə] 'happiness'. However, the most common clusters are ones found in English such as Cr and Cl clusters. Geminates and /rC/ clusters are not allowed within stems, which will be assumed below.
Initial two-consonant clusters must be taken from the below list, and must be voiceless-voiced, voiced-voiced or voiceless-voiceless. Otherwise there is no restriction. Three-consonant clusters are all of the form sCC-.
- mC: mn ml mr mj ml md mdł mdž mg mθ ms mš mł mx mħ mh
- nC: nm nr nj nl nw nd ndł ndž ng ngw nf nθ ns nł nš nx nxw nħ nh
- lC: lm ln lj ll lv lw ld ldž lk* lkw* lf lθ ls lš lx lxw lħ lh
- lC: lm ln ll lr lj (never initial) lw lv ld ldł ldž lk lkw lf lθ ls lł lš lx lxw
- Cm: nm lm lm dm dłm jm km* kwm* thm sm łm šm xm ħm hm
- Cn: mn ln ln vn dn dłn jn kn* kwn* fn θn sn łn šn xn xwn ħn hn
- Cl: ml ll vl dl kl* kwl* fl θl sl shl xl xwl ħl hl
- Cr: mr nr lr vr dr dłr džr kr* kwr* θr sr łr šr xr xwr ħr hr
- Cj: mj nj lj (never initial) vj dj dłj kj* fj θj sj łj xj ħj hj
- Cw: nw lw dw jw θw sw łw shw ħw
- Cl: ml nl ll vl dl jl kl* kwl* fl θl sl šl xl xwl
- XX: dv džv tf tk tkw tħ čt čk čf kt kč kf ks kš kħ kwt kwč kws kwš ft fč fk fs fš fħ θk θf θħ sv st sk skw sf sħ łv łt łk łkw łf łħ št šk škw šf šħ xf xt xs xš xwt xwč xwθ xws xwš ħt ħč ħf ħs
Shalaian has initial voicing mutation, reminiscent of Ancient Cubrite. Here are all the possible initial consonants of a mutatable Shalaian word and their mutated variants:
|Nasal||mp (= m)||nt (= n)||nč (= dž)||ntł (= dł)||nk (= ng)||nkw (= ngw)||mh||nh||s||ł||š||ngh||nghw||ħ||h||0||mm||nn||ll||rh||j|
Whether or not an initial cluster can mutate depends on whether the first consonant can mutate. When an initial cluster undergoes mutation, both members of a cluster are voiced when possible. Initial cluster voicing mutation was introduced by analogy with other cases of initial voicing mutation, even when within a word the cluster would not have undergone voicing.
- Prefixes sometimes cause syncope: C₁V-C₂ə- (second is open) > C₁VC₂-
- Example: li-ħadžái-s > laħčáis 'I shall praise him/her (honorific)'
- Grassmann's law on pretonic syllables before spirants, turning spirants th kh wh to stops t k kw
- r (orthographic) > l ~ l
- Gutturals: l > ħ
- Sibilants: s ~ sh > ł, ch > tł
- Main article: Shalaian/Dialects
Shalaian has many accents and dialects besides the standard liturgical one in the fictional universe of Shalaian.
The Shalaian script is an abugida. The writing direction is top to down and lines go from right to left.
Morphological stress shifts as in English (used for some plurals and infinitives)
Shalaian has a 3-gender system: animate (a), inanimate (i), and abstract-honorific (h). Animate and inanimate are usually straightforward. The abstract-honorific gender includes many abstract nouns, persons whom one regards highly, and certain objects, especially big objects such as planets and objects viewed as feminine such as flowers and certain articles of clothing.
Nouns have singular and plural numbers; there is no gender distinction in the plural.
TODO: plural possessive markers: suffixed to -n-' or -t-?
|Alienable||li⁰ ruš||di⁰ ruš||žy⁰ ruš||ši⁰ ruš||šiⁿ rhuš||šar rhuš||chwa⁰ ruš||chwav rhuš||niⁿ rhuš||šis rhuš|
|Inalienable||lášal 'my hand'||lášad||lášadi||lašý||lášas||lášas||lášachw||lášchwav||lášnid||lášis|
The inalienable possessive markers are suffixes and are used for body parts, family members, and parts or properties of an object.
Plurals are approximately as unpredictable as in German. Depending on the noun, the plural may be marked with a suffix, known as suffix plurals, or entirely with a stress shift, known as stress plurals.
- Suffix plural: au⁰ daħā́nf 'the chalice', wa⁰ daħā́nfa 'the chalices'
- Stress plural: au⁰ lálluδ 'the garden', wa⁰ lallúδ 'the gardens'
Suffix plurals are usually one of -e, -re, -a, -ach. Syncope occurs regularly when /ə/ is in the last syllable of the root (+ some other conditions). A stress shift to the suffix sometimes occurs. There is also a pseudo-dual -ant, used for plurals of body parts: the plural of laš 'hand' is lášant.
Basic vocabulary has the most irregular plurals. Most new animate nouns use -e for the plural, and most new inanimates use -ach: the plural of Múslim would be Múslimi, and the plural of twuit would be twuítach.
"+ V" means that the following noun undergoes voicing mutation.
Shalaian has 3 sets of personal pronouns:
- Independent pronouns
- Inalienable/absolutive pronouns (suffixes)
- Alienable/ergative pronouns (prefixes)
The affixes are mostly the same for both nouns and verbs but some differ slightly.
Nouns denoting groups of people or organizations are treated as 3rd person plural, as in British English.
The original Proto-Idavic 1st person dual has become the inclusive we (because it was commonly used for "you and I").
|1sg||2sg||3sg animate||3sg inanimate||1pl||2pl||3pl, 4||impersonal|
|Absolutive/Inalienable||-al||-ad||-ade||-í||-as||-as (not on verbs)||-achw||-achav||-ned||-es (-ach on verbs)||-va|
Demonstratives come after nouns but may come before in poetry. They are inflected as strong nouns when they substitute nouns.
- (u) X ain = this X; áinan, áinar, ain, áini = this (pronominal)
- (u) X aif = that X; áifan, áifar, aif, áifi
- (u) X ais = which X?
- jach = who?
- jan = what?
- laim = where?
- lan = here
- laf = there
- heláv = when?
- íri = now
- ħuš = then
- idjám = how many?
- łwyz = how?
- łwyzil = what kind? łwyv = like that, such
Adjectives are a separate class from both nouns and verbs. The unmarked form is the predicative. Nominalized adjectives take the same endings as attributive adjectives, but do not mutate.
Shalaian has no forms for the comparative degree. The definite article can be used before the adjective to express a comparative or superlative meaning (when the noun being compared to is not explicit). The word θull⁰ can optionally be used before the adjective to indicate the comparative explicitly: nnėθmiau 'bravely', θull⁰ nėθmiau 'more bravely'.
The word vair (< *lar vaifad lar 'when you look at') is used before the noun being compared to, and θull⁰ can be omitted in this case: Vur nnė́θam Fróšal vair Lídnar. (PRES brave Fróšal than Lídnar) = 'Fróšal is braver than Lídnar/Edna'.
The superlative degree is indicated with the suffix -arθ: nnė́θmiarθ 'the bravest'; nnė́θmiarθau 'the most bravely'.
There is a generic locative preposition lar and a dative me. Most other prepositions in English are expressed with relational nouns.
lar + articles au, as, ur, wa: lárri, las, lárrar, lárra
lar + specific article n- in the singular: larn
Inflected forms of lar: lárnal, larnd, lárndi, larný, larns, larns, lárnchwav, lárnav, lárnachw, lárnid, lárnis
mi + articles u, as, ur, wa: mie, mes, maar, mie
mi + specific article n- in the singular: min
Inflected forms of mi: mil, mid, mídi, my, mis, mis, míchwav, miev, miechw, mínid, mys
When they govern an indefinite noun they either mutate or not, depending on some function/nuance (direction vs location?)
Proto-Idavic relational nouns became prepositions. They must get absolutive possessive affixes that agree with the following noun.
- iš = with (instrumental)
- tudž = inside (lit. belly)
- čerθ = like (lit. spirit)
- tłwiθ = because of
- jerl = before, in front of (lit. face)
- sor = as
In the present tense, verbs inflect for bipersonal agreement (with the absolutive argument and the ergative argument). In other tenses, agreement is marked on the auxiliary instead of the verb.
Verbs have three principal parts: the singular imperative, the past participle and the infinitive.
The singular imperative has an accusative syntax: it does not take a marker for the subject. It is used as the citation form of a verb. In imperatives, person marking bahaves in an accusative way, so transitive verbs take an absolutive suffix for a direct object:
- khair 'go (sg)!'
- shun-0 'eat!' or 'eat it!'
- ħajái-s 'praise her (hon)!'
The plural imperative is identical in form to the plural indicative, except the subject is marked following accusative syntax:
- chikháir 'go, you folks!'
- chishún 'eat it, you folks!'
- chaħcháis <- ċi-ħajái-s 'praise her (honorific), you folks!'
Similarly, skhair, sshun, and sħajái are singular honorific imperatives.
There are several nonfinite forms:
- the infinitive
- the mi-infinitive
- the past participle (regularly in -éen)
- the gerundive or the mi-participle
Voice and transitivity
Transitivity and voice are intimately linked in Shalian. They're also linked to some semantic features of the verb.
- Verbs that have a semantic agent and a semantic patient, such as hit, eat, kill are usually transitive.
- On the other hand, many verbs of experience such as love, know, think, ... are intransitive in Shalian, unlike in English.
Verb to verb derivation is voice, aspect, and transitivity-based, but there's multiple affixes for each function.
- The active voice is unmarked.
- The causative affixes or- or -éer turns intransitive verbs into transitives and transitive verbs into ditransitives.
- orkháimer 'to cause to drink; to water plants' < kháimer 'to drink'
- The applicative tal- promotes an oblique object of a transitive verb into a direct object, allowing it to be indexed with an absolutive affix.
- The antipassive kash- makes a transitive verb intransitive, and promotes the ergative argument to the absolutive argument.
- Main article: Shalaian/Verb classes
The conjugation classes are partly phonologically conditioned like gzarot in Hebrew and other Semitic languages:
- If the verb stem begins with one of ħ l, then a prefix i before the pharyngral becomes a.
- If the verb begins with CaC-, it's common but not necessary for the a to syncope when a prefix is added: say, CaCV- > li-CCV-. In this case the prefixes take slightly different allomorphs. The stress shifts to the prefix if the a that syncopes is stressed.
- If the verb ends in r then suffixes are added orthographically as usual. Unstressed -er "syncopes" to -r- when a suffix beginning with a vowel is added. [Verbs that end in -a thus would sound the same (from *-ā, *-ag or *-u) have merged in the finite forms, hence this -a now survives as an emphatic imperative.]
- If the verb ends in i then suffixes are added directly to the i or the i changes to a semivowel y.
Intransitive verbs use the intransitive verb inflection.
Many verbs of knowing, experiencing and opinion are intransitive.
It is possible to use 1st and 2nd person markers reflexively or reciprocally (cf. German).
Ditransitives are verbs with three arguments (the giver, the recipient and the theme) and include verbs like 'give' and causatives of transitives. The arguments are indexed on the verb as follows:
If the recipient is inanimate singular, the nonzero allomorph -ab is used.
- ał = and
- wof = or (inclusive)
- cal = xor
- raesj = but
Preverbs are clitic complexes that encode basic subordinators, question/evidentiality, negatives, and tense information. Individual components may fuse together in unpredictable ways (as in Irish). Preverbs are not verb affixes since the constructions
"PREVERB VERB1 and VERB2"
"PREVERB CLAUSE1 and CLAUSE2"
The preverb (when not negative) can be omitted in subjunctive and imperative clauses and in poetry.
TODO: turn preverbs into conjugated auxiliaries
"Modal" markers include some basic subordinators, evidentiality and mirativity.
Possible values for this slot:
- am = yes/no question
- sher = if (real)
- rul = if (irreal)
- vi = relativizer (used when head is absolutive)
- cha = relativizer (used when head is not absolutive)
- ith = complementizer; often "because"
- direct: directly witnessed or generally known fact
- hearsay (German sollen can be used this way)
This slot may be filled by one of several truth value words.
Negatives take different forms:
- thur negates nominal sentences
- yand is the negative form of whid
- mar negates verbal sentences
- bai' negates imperatives
- sōn means "can't"
3 possible values:
- imperfect (present or past imperfective)
- perfect (past perfective); completed action
- future/subjunctive - future or certain subjunctive clauses (similar to Modern Hebrew future)
The preverbs that are conjugated and require non-finite verb forms are marked: (i) if the lexical verb is required to be in the infinitive and (p) if the lexical verb is required to be in the past participle.
Perfect preverbs and future/subjunctive preverbs are conjugated ergatively for subject and object. Perfect preverbs require the past participle form for the lexical verb; future preverbs require the infinitive.
|mirative||thwal||thwal mar||thwal'om'||thwakh||thwaij||thwakh lōm'||thwal łar't||thwal fai'||thwal łarm'|
|hearsay||shan||shan mar||shanom'||shanakh||shanj||shan lōm'||shan łar't||shan bai'||shan łarm'|
|inferential||tiv||tiv mar||tiv thom'||tílakh||tivaj||tiv lōm'||tiv łar't||tiv fai'||tiv łarm'|
|question||am||maand||am thom'||okh||morra||okh thom'||ner't||ner'bai'||nerm'|
|relativizer (direct)||vi||dov||vi thom'||vikh||dover||vikh thom'||ver't||do'ft||verm'|
|relativizer (indirect)||cha||ro'ch||cha thom'||chakh||do'char||chakh thom'||char't||do'cht||charm'|
|complementizer||ith||dor||ith thom'||ian||dorn||ian thom'||naaf||dor't||naaf thom'|
|if (real)||sher||rikh||sher thom'||shern||reen||shern thom'||wher't||reer't||wher't thom'|
|if (irreal or less vivid)||rul||rikh||rul thom'||rulan||reen||rulan thom'||rur't||reer't||rul łar't thom'|
Like Mayan languages, Shalaian has a part of speech called statives, that are not inflected like verbs. (Somewhat like English words like aflame which can't be attributive)
Shalaian uses a mixed vigesimal system: 1. laath 2. wees(and) 3. syul 4. á'min 5. bathéem' 6. albón 7. whaisí'th 8. kṓlas 9. yái'takh 10. sórth 11. soláath 12. sowées 13. sosyúl 14. solá'min 15. sobathéem' 16. soralbón 17. sowhaisí'th 18. sokṓlas 19. soyái'takh 20. adrúl
Numerals come before nouns and are used with singular nouns.
weesand is wees when attributive.
The ordinals are formed by affixing ner-. 'First' is irregular: chakṓl.
Distributives are formed with reduplication: latháath, wasées, sasyúl, aman'mín, ...
- Main article: Shalaian/Syntax
Normative Shalaian tends to be purist, in that most words are derived from inherited roots and morphology. There are some Netagin loans in domains of trade, and Nabbrzé loans especially in music and art. Spoken Shalaian spoken by Unbegotten learners may use English loans.
Shalian has many derivational affixes. As usual in verb-initial languages, verbs tend to derive nouns rather the other way around. (TODO: need more deverbal noun affixes)
Get derivational affixes from rhymes in famous piyyutim?
- -ūs = origin, language names; noun-forming affix
- -in = noun and adjective suffix?
- -id (after C), -wid (after V), -lid = (h) abstract noun from "adjective", -ness, -hood; noun-forming suffix
- -al = (a) agentive
- -alid = deverbal noun suffix; -manship, X-ing
- -ad, -t: noun-forming suffix
- -chwai = verb from noun (not very productive)
- ā́nchwai 'to cherish' < āns 'dear'
- -ýn = -able (but ergative), to be VERB-ed
- chairýn 'able to walk'
- tanchairýn 'walkable' (Note that we had to make chair into a transitive verb using an applicative.)
- -ír = causative, change of state from verb of state
- -jan = verb denoting change of state
- ner- = verb denoting change of state
- ter- = re- (back)
- wes- = re- (again); intensifier, breakage into small pieces
- tan- = applicative
- fis- = another applicative
- ri- forms intransitive verbs from transitive ones. This is not productive, as it has shifted to an impersonal verb affix. (Some intransitive verbs like rechwáen 'to sleep' also have this prefix but the original meaning of the root has been lost.)
- ya- 'negative'
- -čil '-less'
- -džan/-čan = (i) instrument suffix from verb
- wairdžan 'violin'
- -fa (i) 'resultative noun from verb'
- -vatł, -chwa/cha, -da, -eha, -ái (all h) 'action noun', '-ness', '-tion'
- tóħsiha 'virtue, good' < toħáas 'good'
- avrýniha 'courage' < avréen 'courageous'
- chwanýmvatł 'dedication' < chwaním 'to dedicate'
- valánchwa 'vitality' < valán 'lively'
- θalcháirvatł 'resignation' < thalcháer 'to be resigned'
- -ca = patientive suffix
- -il = forms instrument nouns
- -ni = agentive suffix
Shalaian poems use stress-based meters common in English, such as iambic pentameter, alexandrine, iambic tetrameter, and anapaestic tetrameter. In iambic meters the last stressed syllable can be replaced with a trochee.
More constrained are quantitative-qualitative meters inspired by Netagin poetry (which are similar to Hebrew piyyutim), with prescribed syllable weights for unstressed syllables. One example is the following version of the lục bát (note: h = heavy unstressed, ℓ = light unstressed; subscripts denote rhymes):
Common units in quantitative-qualitative meters include hS, ℓS
Gibberish in Yigdal meter:
Stimsái't whidá'ch staħtáas mi kṓvidakh
Stilchéem kwajṓli mial lar rí'fħadakh
Whijósma' stálran shwó'ch kwafáa'th sravdákh
Swha'ál lanín faslá'k al érkwandakh
Gibberish in Shaħar Avakeshkha meter:
Savnú'k stiwhárk tashnéel lanzháidi kwasnal'féen
Chamlúd aħinmórawh inchṓl' lar sowhnuféen
Cháanfer tanórran vái wha'krúh taħái' orái'k
Hṓnam stichúla'akh vikh yafs mi nee'ch sarái'k
Rhymes work much like in English.
In poetry, a in a syllable that is stressed according to the meter is not reduced, and is pronounced as /æ/.
Alphabetical acrostics are sometimes written, as in Hebrew poetry. Since Shalaian has 23 consonant letters, alphabetical acrostics may be arranged in rhyming units of 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 4, and 3 lines long, or cyclic permutations of this sequence (these are step sizes of the mavila anti-diatonic scale in 23edo).
A handful of Shalaian-language fiction and scientific works have been written by those who learned the language. Fiction often takes place in hypothetical Shalaian-speaking cultures or in hard sci-fi or high fantasy settings.
Łechwérin Aθḗnai, mānd mil vull sahírs as kwásbrił vich rhaudži lárnid tłáchwiškėl;
[ɬʲəʃʷɑɾʲɪn əˈθʲæːnəɪ, mɑ̃ːnd mʲẽˁ voχ səˈhəːs əs kʷɑzbɾʲẽˁ vʲɪx ˈr̥əʊd͡ʑɪ ɴ̆ɑːnʲɪt tɬɑʃʷɪɕkʲeːɤ̃ˁ]
honorific-PL-POSS Athens, NEG.exist.PRES DAT-1SG knowledge kind DEF [TEL-move].VN REL-PST do on-2PL accuse-PTCP-PL-1SG
Gentlemen of Athens, I do not know what kind of effect my accusers had on you;
Ὅτι μὲν ὑμεῖς, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, πεπόνθατε ὑπὸ τῶν ἐμῶν κατηγόρων, οὐκ οἶδα·
Var tanłwḗneha čeθníd lámi, ákmienal nėd swil θéłti yδogar vullal lar člochal mi tłarčė́ns.
COP persuasion such REL.PST-2PL speak, that.PST-1SG even 1SG.EMPH almost forget knowledge-1SG DAT REFL-1SG because_of-them.
It is such persuasiveness with which they spoke, that even I almost forgot what I knew about myself because of them.
ἐγὼ δ᾽ οὖν καὶ αὐτὸς ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν ὀλίγου ἐμαυτοῦ ἐπελαθόμην, οὕτω πιθανῶς ἔλεγον.
Bardachú lar tamdė́č, mānd rhechw ħédvar lar lamínėns.
and_yet LOC summary, exist.PRES.NEG no.DET truth LOC words-3PL.AN
And yet there is effectively nothing true in what they said.
καίτοι ἀληθές γε ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν οὐδὲν εἰρήκασιν.
Some math proofs
"Warming Up to You"
Ó'thki lar vṓthal naaf chórralad só'cham ríbi,
even LOC die.INF-1SG that.FUT die.INF-2SG fall.INF-3SG.I time
Even with the knowledge that you will eventually die,
I will still feel your warmth up close,
The same warmth that nurtures curiosity,
The leaves of knowledge -
A garden that you have planted in this plot of land
and will keep forever.
The Round Table
Laathcw, lowch dach alvón łur lar tállartj. Lowkh inłáefach u Łechwér Vrawíad: "Edyám swéned?"
Málasj cóvlach wa fadí thowl lyur, lowkh safaení łur laath: "Syul drúl ał syul! Alvón tóvle, sobathímm fortán, drúl syulac, sobathímm ámmenac, laath bathímmac."
Lowch enłaefí u Łechwér Vrawíad: "Ħo'sj edyám ver't chwed, chwert tjowchva taev thowl men cwalyú?"
Lowch narłaefí u łur: "Maand lowdín, Łechwér? Chwid ħerch tłurtjta maráen chen yerlas, ał mosj ħerch tłurtjta mala esj u taev mala."
Nargolamí u Σechwér Vrawíad mia σur me thaaħ: "Vor lárre σur aen σechwéred aσ roln'va'ξ me ħédvar."
Original (Classical Wdm.)
Ngiiθ dur se taχ χaaθ mogor. Tăbiits φin Pĭda Brăwid: "Măra łĭnam?"
Mi-ăngnuung căχθaaθ năθa emrĭtsal sen doon: Șrüχ te-stiiw: taχ mognas, θaφ te-müts θraaφ, liw stăliiw, θaφ te-müts mălsaaχ, taχ mălüüts, doon tălaχ."
Tăbits φin Pĭda Brăwid: "Ǎna mee ra, srü hĭdeen croθ năθa?"
Eφθooc φin χaaθ, "Op cănga, φin Pĭda: tsor pădiχ φnărtaang, te ămsaχ păχwădiχ năθa ya φin croθ φi!"
Esngim φin Pĭda Brăwid șa φin χaaθ șa-ngiil, "Ăruy șa-χaaθ ses tsărüng te sen θăpal φănaw φănaw."
Once, six children were in a round table. Master Brăwied asked them a question: "How many people are you?"
While five children were still counting, one child called out: "Sixty-three! Specifically: 6 individuals, 15 teams of two, 20 teams of 3, 15 teams of 4, 6 teams of 5, and one team of 6."
Then Master Brăwied asked: "Well then, how many people will be there if another person joins the group?"
The child replied: "Isn't that obvious, Master? We'll have all of the old teams, as well as another set of teams with the new person!"
The Master praised the child, saying, "This child has wisdom and understanding indeed."
"Dirge Without Music"
Mar thalcháeral lar risítfonath avrí ve ánchwae lárri nójav ásjcowħ.
NEG_VERB.PRES resign_oneself-1SG LOC COMP.SUBJ PASS-away-lock-3PL heart-PL PART-love OBL-DEF.SG.I ground hard.
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.