Wistanian

From Linguifex
Jump to: navigation, search


Wistanian
Aningali.png
[ən̻iːn̻ɡəl̻i]
Spoken in: Wistania
Conworld: Vaal
Total Speakers: ~ 50,000,000
Genealogical classification: Taliv
   - Taliv-Nati Pidgin
      - Wistanian
Writing System: Taliv Alphabet
Bwolotil Alphabet
Nati Abugida
Created by:
Paul A. Daly Began: 10 August 2016
Status: Mostly Fuctional
Further Resources
Wistanian Lexicon (WIP) r/wistanian on Reddit

This page is currently outdated. Updates to come... eventually.

Update update (27/8/2019): A brand new grammar sketch is currently in the works. Soon after that gets written, I plan for this page to be officially updated. I'm keeping it as is for now, however, because I am still using it as a reference. It's not completely obsolete, just a couple things have changed (e.g., re-labels, more details, plus there are conjunctions now). I hope to update this here very very soon. Thanks for your patience.

Update update update (20/3/2020): Updates to this page have begun, but they are not finished. Do not trust everything you read here.

Headers that are currently correct: Intro, Phonology, Consonants, Vowels, Syllable Structure, Prosody, Romanization . . .

Wistanian (IPA: /wɪˈsteɪniən/), natively known as aningali (IPA:[ən̻iːn̻ɡəl̻i]) and often nicknamed Wisto, is an a priori artistic constructed language . Its development began in August 2016 for use in a WIP novel series by prominent characters who are monolingual or bilingual in the language. It is currently on "Version 9.1," having received several edits, updates, and an occasional total rehaul during its development.

In-universe, Wistanian is spoken by groups of fictional peoples on a large tropical island on a planet called Vaal (IPA: [veːl̻]). It is a descendant of the Taliv language after having merged with the Nati language during the Wistanian War. These two language communities worked together against the Bwolotil people who were seeking complete possession of the land. This war eventually ended with the signing of a peace treaty between four people groups, the Taliv, Nati, Bwolotil, and the Katapu who remained mostly separated from much of the fighting. About half a decade later, a fifth people group, the Uzin, joined the Wistanian union. The creole that arose from the Taliv-Nati alliance grew in popularity and loaned a large number of terms from the other languages. During the time of the novels, Wistanian has become the lingua franca of the island. It is considered the language of government, economy, and education, and it is mandatorily taught in most schools. There are approximately 50 million speakers, comprising 95% of the island's population. Of that number, 60% are native in the language and 20% speak it monolingually.

Dialects of Wistanian are broadly split into three categories: the Standard Dialect, spoken in the central mountains, major cities, and among the Taliv and Nati people groups; The Western Dialect, spoken by a majority of Bwolotil and many Uzin speakers; and The Northern Dialect, spoken by the Katapu and some Uzin. Each dialect is mutually intelligible, although some variations have diverged enough to be confusing to the standard listener. These dialects vary in pronunciation, lexicon, and sometimes syntax. Aulwin Wistanian is a mostly unintelligible variety spoken on a small island off Wistania's northwest shore.

Typologically, Wistanian is a verb-initial and heavily isolating language with around 1.2 morphemes per phonological word. Its phonology is fairly small including an entirely voiced fricative set and no round vowels. Verbs conjugate for perfective, imperfective, and stative aspects with an additional irrealis form for each. Count nouns are declined for plural number only if its number is higher than five. Wistanian has a large collection of grammatical particles, honorifics, and conjunctions (which are sensitive to switch-reference), but no distinctive lexical category for adpositions, adjectives, or adverbs. The language is primarily written using the Talivian Alphabet (which has horizontal RtL and vertical UtD variants). Some alternate scripts do exist, namely the Diwa Alphabet and Nati Abugida.

Phonology

Derived from the Taliv language, trimmed down by Nati influence, Wistanian has 16 consonants and 5 vowel phonemes. All vowels are almost completely unrounded in the standard dialect, and there's a heavy trend toward voiced fricatives and plosives. Allophony is rather sparse in standard speech, however, it becomes more common in certain dialects. Syllable structure is CCVC, although onsets are restricted to single consonants or fricative-semivowel clusters and codas do not include /w/, /j/, or /ɦ/. There are three varieties of stress that are defined by vowel quality and volume. Despite clear trends, stress is irregular and lexical.

Consonants

The consonants are as follows (allophones are in [brackets]):

Labial Alveolar1 Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n [ŋ]2
Stop voiced b d ɡ
unvoiced p t k
Fricative v z ʒ [ɣ]3 ɦ
Liquid w ~ βʷ4 ɾ ~ r5 j
Lateral l
  1. Alveolars (except /ɾ ~ r/) are pronounced laminally.
  2. n > ŋ / _[velar]
  3. ɦ > ɣ / #_, [stress]_
  4. /w/ is spoken in emphasized or slow speech, while /βʷ/ is spoken in quick speech. Whenever immediately following a consonant, this is always pronounced as /w/. In the Western Dialect, it is always pronounced as /w/.
  5. /r/ is spoken in emphasized or slow speech, while /ɾ/ is spoken in quick speech. In some words, the trilled is preferred even in quick speech; for example, ggarauni (large) is almost always pronounced [kərɑni].

Vowels

The following table features the five distinct monophthongs of Wistanian, /i e a ɑ ɯ/, in each form of phonological stress. With primary stress, they are long and tense; with secondary stress, they are short and tense; with tertiary stress, they are short and lax (/e/ and /ɑ/ never receive tertiary stress). Wistanian's one diphthong /a͡i/ has no lax form, therefore only taking on primary or secondary stress. (Secondary stress is only observed in polysyllabic perfective verbs).

PRIMARY SECONDARY TERTIARY (LAX)
Front Central Back Front Central Back Front Central Back
High ɯː High i ɯ High ɪ ʊ
Mid ɑː Mid e ɑ Mid
Low Low a Low ə
  • All vowels become breathy after /ɦ/.
  • /ɯ/ and /ɑ/ shift to [u] and [ɒ] after /w~βʷ/.

Syllable Structure

Wistanian has a (C1/FA)V(C2) syllable structure. (C1) can be any phoneme that is a consonant, (FA) can be any fricative (/v/, /z/, /ʒ/, or [ɣ]) immediately followed by an approximate (/w/ or /j/), V is any vowel, and (C2) is any consonant that is not an approximate (/w/ or /j/) or /ɦ/.

(C/FA) refers to the optional syllable onset which can either be any consonant or a fricative/approximate cluster (/vj/, /vw/, /zj/, /zw/, /ʒj/, /ʒw/, [ɣj], [ɣw]). V refers to the required syllable nucleus which must be any vowel. (N) is an optional coda, which can be any consonant except /j/, /w ~ βʷ/, or /ɦ/. For example, legal syllables are /vjan/, /pe/, /ai̯l/, and /ɑ/, but syllables like /bjaw/, /zpe/, /ild/ and /r/ are not legal.

Prosody

Wistanian speakers are usually soft and clear, as politeness and simplicity are important values in many of their cultures. In most Talivian villages, speaking loudly is considered rude and is, therefore, looked down upon. In the Southwest, the volume is typically louder. Speed also varies as the Northeast prefers slow and careful speech while the Northwest prefers fast-paced speech.

Orthography

Romanization

Wistanian employs its own script, but it is romanized for Earthlings with a system that reflects the script and its spellings. The romanization rules are as follows:

  • /m/, /n/, /b/, /d/, /ɡ/, /v/, /z/, and /l/ are represented with the corresponding IPA symbol.
  • /p/, /t/, and /k/ are represented by ⟨bb⟩, ⟨dd⟩, and ⟨gg⟩, respectively.
  • /ʒ/, /ɦ/, /ɾ~r/, /w~βʷ/ and /j/ are represented by ⟨j⟩, ⟨h⟩, ⟨r⟩, ⟨w⟩, and ⟨y⟩, respectively.
  • /ɯ/ and [u] are represented by ⟨u⟩.
  • /a/ and [ə] are represented by ⟨a⟩.
  • /i/ and [ɪ] are represented by ⟨i⟩.
  • /ai̯/ is represented by ⟨ai⟩.
  • /e/ is represented by ⟨aa⟩.
  • /ɑ/ and [ɒ] is represented by ⟨au⟩.

Script

ACURATE INFORMATION ENDS HERE.

Script

Wistanian has an alphabet which represents the different sounds in Wistanian. The alphabet was inspired by Latin, IPA, and Greek, but is often described as Armenian-looking. The font, based on Cambria, was created using Autodesk Sketchbook for the iPad and converted into a font using Calligraphr and TypeLight.

The script, often referred to as araman taliv (lit. "Talivian dishes") began its evolution during the Diwa oppression when the Taliv people were secretly plotting escape by setting their dishes outside their homes in certain orders to convey messages. After their escape and resettlement on the Wistanian island, the dishes gave form to the written language.

Another interesting feature of the script is "compound glyphs." They are /k/, /t/, /p/, /e/, and /ɑ/, and they are made by doubling or combining two different glyphs together. This is why the romanization of Wistanian uses ⟨gg⟩ for /k/, ⟨au⟩ for /ɑ/, as well as the other digraphs. The letter for ⟨i⟩ is also normally connected to the consonant before it.

Like the lexicon and grammar, the Wistanian script has been redesigned multiple times - three, to be exact. The original script was an alphabet, but it did not capture the "spirit" of Wistanian, so it was scrapped for an abugida. The abugida, which was beautiful, was also difficult to learn and write, prompting yet another redesign. The original design is now considered as the old Diwa alphabet, while the abugida is an alternative script used by the Nati.

Dialectal Variation

Wistanian has three main dialects: Standard (Central), Western, and Northern.

The Standard dialect is explained as above and is required to be spoken by all government officials, messengers, and professional educators. This dialect is influenced heavily by the Taliv and Nati languages, and as a result is spoken predominately and naturally by those two people groups in addition to the Uzin in the northwest. However, some variation is still present, primarily in regards to word-final plosive dropping (e.g. alaudd (tall, high) [əˈlɑt] > [əˈlɑ]), a habit present in most children and domestic laborers. Uzin speakers have a similar shift, {p t k} > [ʔ] / _#, including a > æ and j > ʎ / V_V. Regardless, this is only considered a "variation" of the Standard Dialect that government officials and messengers ought to train against.

The Western Dialect, spoken predominately by the Bwolotil, has several distinguishing factors, specifically the complete rounding of /ɯ ɑ/ to /u ɒ/ and the rounding of /i e/ to /y ø/ after /w/. Schwas are commonly dropped in between consonants, and /n/ is dropped before /ɡ k/. This dialect also has several lexical differences, such as different kinship terms, specialized vocabulary, unique figures of speech, and the lack of honorifics. This dialect also features a formal register, spoken among Bwolotil strangers, where VSO word order is replaced with SOV word order.

The Northern Dialect, spoken by many Katapu, is primarily distinguished through extensive devoicing in both fricatives and plosives so that words such as vigaz /viɡaz/ are pronounced [fikas]. Standard /p t k/ are ejectivized as /p' t' k'/. This dialect also tends to put nasals and voiced plosives as interchangeable so that ani could be pronounced as [ani] or [adi]. Vowels also undergo a number of shifts, such as ɯ, ɑ > ʊ, o. Like the Western Dialect, the Northern dialect features different kinship terms, specialized vocabulary, unique figures of speech, and a formal register. In contrast, the Katapu has a large collection of honorifics which are based on age, sex, and occupation.

One sound change that varies among the dialects is the qualities of the /a/ and /ɑ/ vowels. In the standard accent, they are supposed to be distinctly [a] and [ɑ], however some speakers broaden the distinction by realizing /a/ as [æ]. Speakers of the Northern Dialect shift /ɑ/ to [o], and speakers of the Western Dialect recognize /ɑ/ as its rounded variant [ɒ]. In the Northeast and scattered regions of the central mountains, /a/ and /ɑ/ tend to merge into [a], making some minimal pairs such as bani (to make) and bauni (game) homonyms.

Syntax

Wistanian follows a fairly rigid syntax due to its recent creolization and standardization at its in-universe conception. In almost all cases, Wistanian is verb-initial, followed by the nominative, accusative, instrumental, then purposive noun phrases.

Lexical Categories

Wistanian has six lexical categories, the noun, verb, particle, coordinator, honorific, and interjection.

Nouns Any word that can act as a subject or object the verb and is able to be either the head or attributive in a compound.
Verbs Any word that takes on verbal morphology and describes a state or action.
Particles Any word that has a grammatical role and cannot take on any additional morphemes.
Coordinator Any word that connects two or more words of a similar lexical category or two or more clauses.
Honorifics A polite title used with many proper nouns.
Interjection Any word that can stand alone and expresses a feeling or platitude.

Word Order

Wistanian is predominately head-initial and verb-initial. This is manifested in that particles are always expressed first in a particle phrase (PartP), head verbs are expressed first in a verb phrase (VP), and head nouns are expressed first in a noun phrase (NP).

viga dari aa garauda bi.
vig-a    dari aa  garauda+bi.
eat-IPV  boy  ACC food+good
"The boy is eating good food."

This sentence is made up of the following phrases, the heads in bold:

  • VP: viga... garauda
  • NP: dari; garauda bi
  • PartP: aa garauda

Most of time, declarative and interrogative sentences will be expressed as verb-subject-object (VSO). However, imperative sentences use verb-object-subject (VOS). In the formal register of the Western Dialect, the word order changes dramatically into subject-object-verb (SOV), due to the SOV word order of the Bwolotil language spoken in those areas.

auv bimaj daridd, auzunwaj aa ujadi va jin, lu.
auv  bima-a  -j   daridd, auzunu-a  -j   aa  ujadi va  jin,   lu.
TEMP fall-DUR-IRR rain,   arrive-DUR-IRR ACC house COP green, 2S.NOM. 
"When the rain falls, come into the house that is green."

Questions

Questions will typically follow the same syntactic pattern as declarative sentences, except with rising intonation. All questions should end with the question particle a (Q). This is especially important in writing since the Talivian Alphabet does not have an equivalent to the question mark. However, some dialects and informal registers do not include it in speech. In speech, the question particle is typically stressed.

Polar

Typically, Yes/No questions will consist of a statement followed by zau/baun (Yes/No).

magin va raul, zau a?
magin va  raul, zau a?
table COP red,  yes Q?
"Is the table red?” (Lit. "The table is red, yes?")

Non-Polar

Non-polar or content questions are formed using a "dangling particle" and rising intonation, inviting the listener to respond by completing the thought.

lu va a?
lu     va  a?
2S.NOM COP Q?
“Who are you?” (Lit. "You are...?")
yigai auzi aa a?
yiga -i   auzi    aa  a?
speak-PRF 3Sa.NOM ACC Q.
"What did he say?" (Lit. "He said...?")
ddaj yaun auv a?
dda-a  -j   yaun   auv  a?
go -DUR-IRR 1P.NOM when Q?
"When will we go?" (Lit. "We will go when/during...?)
luj va yi ddal a?
luj  va  yi      ddal a?
boat COP 1s.POSS LOC  Q?
"Where is my boat?" (Lit. "My boat is located in...?)
magin va raul, diri a?
magin va  raul, diri a?
table COP red,  why Q?
“Why is the table red?” (Lit. "The table is red because...?")

Imperatives

In imperatives, word order changes to VOS. In polite requests, a speaker uses the irrealis mood conjugation on the main verb and includes a subject noun (usually an honorific). In rude demands, the speaker does not use the irrealis mood conjugation nor includes a subject noun.

vigaj aa garauda baul.
viga-a   -j   aa  garauda baul.
eat -DUR -IRR ACC food    HON.
"Please, eat the food, sir."
viga aa garauda.
viga-a   -∅ aa  garauda 
eat -DUR    ACC food 
"Eat the food (as a rude demand)."

Location

Wistanian does not have a consistent way to express the location of an object or action; it instead uses a variety of methods and means to declare where something is taking place, including relativizers, modifiers, verbs, and compound nouns.

The most basic of the locative strategies is the locative relativizer itself, ddal. By using this relativizer to connect two ideas, a Wistanian speaker is saying that A is located in/on B.

garauda ddal magin.
garauda ddal magin.
food    LOC  table.
"The food is on the table."
ujadi ggarauni ddal maliyan.
ujadi ggarauni ddal maliya  -n.
house large    LOC  mountain-PL.
"The large house is in the mountains."

To express nearness to an object (A is located near B), B is given the modifier wi (glosses as ADE for adessive), which follows its head. To express distance from an object (A is located far from B), B is given the modifier igza (glossed as DSTV for distantive), which also follows its head.

luj ddal garauvi wi.
luj  ddal garauvi wi.
boat LOC  water   ADE.
"The boat is near the water."
luj ddal garauvi igza.
luj  ddal garauvi igza.
boat LOC  water   DSTV.
"The boat is far away from the water."

To express that something is located above or below another object (A is located above/below B), B compounds with auzdda (head) to express above, and compounds with zanju (foot) to express below.

luj ddal garauvizanju.
luj ddal garauvi-zanju.
boat LOC water  -foot.
"The boat is underwater."
luj ddal garauvjauzdda.
luj  ddal garauvi-auzdda.
boat LOC  water  -head..
"The boat is above the water."

These compounds can also be combined with wi or igza to emphasize how close or how far A is below/above B.

luj ddal garauvizanju igza.
luj  ddal garauvi-zanju igza.
boat LOC  water  -foot  DSTV.
"The boat is far under the water" (implies that it's sunk to the bottom.)

Another method, which does not use the locative ddal, is the use of stative verbs, mainly vizaniya (come.STA meaning "to be within") and zwiliya (leave.STA, meaning "to be outside").

mala yaun gaun vizaniya aa ujadi.
mala -a   yaun   gaun vizana-iya aa  ujadi.
fight-DUR 1P.NOM ACT  come  -STA ACC house.
"We fight inside the house." 
* "fight we who have come into the house"
yaun vizaniya aa ujadi.
yaun   vizana-iya aa  ujadi.
1P.NOM come  -STA ACC house.
"We are in the house."
* "We have come into the house."

Many verbs do not need a directional adposition or modifier, since direction is already encoded in many verbs when they are transitive. For example, dda means "to go to", and buda means "to walk to".

dda yau aa luj.
dda  -a   yau    aa  luj.
go.to-DUR 1S.NOM ACC boat
"I am going to the boat."
nada yau aa luj wi.
nada-a      yau    aa  luj  wi.
walk.to-DUR 1S.NOM ACC boat ADE.
"I am walking near the boat."
nada yau aa luj igza.
nada   -a   yau    aa  luj  igza.
walk.to-DUR 1S.NOM ACC boat DSTV.
"I am walking away from the boat."

Modification and Description

Wistanian does not have a separate lexical category for determiners, adjectives, or adverbs. Rather these roles are replaced entirely by stative verbs, subordinate nouns, and other processes such as productive reduplication.

Since stative verbs describe a state, identity, or condition of a verb, many of them can be used instransitively as 'to be X. For example, bimiya (fall-STA) means 'to be fallen'; haayiya (live-STA) means 'to be alive'; iyiniya (finish-STA) means 'to be done.' This takes care of many phrases that English would use a predicate adjective for.

dajiya yau.
daji-iya yau.
hide-STA 1S.NOM.
"I am hidden"
zahuniya yau.
zahuna-iya yau
hunger-STA 1S.nom
"I am hungry."

In the cases when the stative verb is not the main VP within a sentence, it is attached to its head with the active relativizer particle gaun.

ihilya lima gaun dajiya.
ihili-a   lima gaun daji-iya
laugh-DUR girl ACT  hide-STA.
"The hidden girl is laughing."
/"laughing girl who hides."
viga dari gaun zahuniya aa garauda.
viga-a   dari gaun zahuna-iya aa  garauda.
eat -DUR boy  ACT  hunger-STA ACC food.
"The hungry boy is eating food"
/"eating boy who hungers (ACC) food."

Wistanian nouns compound often and productively. Compounds are always head initial, followed by the subordinate noun. For example:

ariyau garauvi
basket water
"water basket"

ariz  mauddan
brush hair
"hairbrush"

(SIDENOTE: Some of the most common compounds are represented orthographically as one word, however this is of little consequence in spoken Wistanian.)

Colors, possessives, numbers, and determiners act as nouns, and therefore can be featured after a noun to be its subordinate.

jiyag bayaari		jiyag yi
leaf  brown		leaf  mine
"brown leaf		"my leaf"

jiyag din	        jiyag id
leaf  three		leaf  this
"three leaves"		"this leaf"

Because colors, possessives, numbers, and determiners are nouns, they can effectively act as agents and patients within a sentence, fulfilling any and every role as a normal noun can.

duliya yau aa bayaari.
dula  -iya yau    aa  bayaari.
put.on-STA 1S.NOM ACC brown.
"I am wearing the brown thing."
umaadai yi.
umaad-ai  yi
sink -PRF mine
"Mine sank."
alalya din aa ujadi.
alali -a   din   aa  ujadi
run.to-DUR three ACC house.
"The three are running to the house."
dajiya id.
daji-iya id.
hide-STA this.
"This is hidden."

A final option is to use a relativizer particle. This method is favorable is formal contexts. In most cases, the possessive na is used, but colors, numbers, and possessives can also use the copulative particle va. This is slightly different than using a subordinate noun, since subordinate nouns help identify the head, whereas na and va phrases add new information to the head.

magin na lizai.
magin na   lizai.
table POSS great.
"The table is great."
/"The table has greatness."
magin va bayaari.
magin va  bayaari.
table COP brown.
"The table is brown"
magin na bayaari.
magin na bayaari.
table POSS brown.
"The table is brown."
/"The table has brown."
jwai yau aa garauda ddal magin na bayaari.
ju -ai  yau    aa  garauda ddal magin na bayaari.
set-PRF 1S.NOM ACC food    LOC  table POSS brown.
"I put the food on the table, which is brown."

In some instances, nouns refer to a quality such as "loveliness", "peacefulness", "quietness", or "loudness".

yigai dari urabaa.
yiga -ai  dari urabaa
speak-PRF boy  loudness
"The loud boy spoke."
/"The loudness boy spoke."
yigai urabba.
yiga -ai  urabaa.
speak-PRF loudness.
"The loud one spoke."
/"The loudness spoke."
yigai dari aa urabaa.
yiga -ai  dari aa  urabaa.
speak-PRF boy  ACC loudness.
"The boy spoke something loud."
/"The boy spoke loudness."

There are also no adverbs, such as the word "loudly" in "the boy spoke loudly." Since this is a description of how or with what the verb was accomplished, the Wistanian speaker will use the instrumental particle il.

yigai dari il urabaa.
yiga -ai  dari il   urabaa.
speak-PRF boy  INST loudness.
"The boy spoke loudly."
/"The boy spoke with loudness."

Reduplication is another form of intensifying a verb or indicating a repeated action. To intensify a verb, simply reduplicate the entire verb (favored in formal contexts) or just the final syllable (favored in informal contexts).

hadiya hadiya yau.
hadu-iya hadu-iya yau.
know-STA know-STA 1S.NOM.
"I know very well." (Formal)
hadiyaya yau.
hadu-iya~ya  yau
know-STA~AUG 1S.NOM
"I know very well." (Informal)

To indicate a repeated action, reduplicate the verb including the coordinating particles ya. The reduplicated verbs are often marked the same.

ya yiga ya yiga auzi.
ya yiga-a   ya yiga-a   auzi.
CO talk-DUR CO talk-DUR 3Sa.NOM.
"He keeps talking."
/"He is talking and is talking."
ya yigai ya yigai auzi.
ya yiga-ai  ya yiga-ai  auzi.
CO talk-PRF CO talk-PRF 3Sa.NOM 
"He kept talking."
/"He talked and talked."

Morphology

Wistanian has a low morpheme-to-root ratio, most words being inflectionless and rather interacting with nearby words and word order to express grammatical (and sometimes lexical) distinctions.

Nouns

Wistanian nouns come in three classes: proper, improper, and pronouns. Proper nouns refer to names of people or places ("Wistania", "Alija"), while improper nouns refer to generic terms (e.g., "country", "man"), and pronouns refer to substitute words for other nouns and noun phrases. Proper nouns are never inflected, however, improper nouns can be inflected for the plural number, be compounded, or undergo derivational morphology to become a verb or modifier. Pronouns can take on more inflections than improper nouns.

Number

Wistanian has three grammatical numbers: singular, paucal, and plural. Proper nouns do not inflect for number at all, improper nouns only distinguish between paucal and plural, while pronouns only distinguish singular and plural. This unique distinction arose as a result of Middle Taliv, which had a singular/paucal/plural distinction, then merged the paucal and singular before it transitioned to New Taliv. The pronouns, however, maintained the singular/paucal/plural distinction, then later lost the paucal, resulting in a singular/plural distinction in pronouns.

All count nouns can be declined into the plural number with the suffix -(a)n. For improper nouns, they are not conjugated as plural if a) there is only one or a few of a thing, or b) it is modified with a number phrase.

Pronouns

currently being rehauled

Compounding

auvinauj, the name a nocturnal and bioluminescent bird native to Wistania, is a product of productive noun compounding. The head root for "bird" (auvi) is followed by the subordinate root for "night" (nauj).

Both improper nouns and pronouns can undergo compounding. Improper nouns undergo subordinative compounding, while pronouns undergo coordinating compounding. Proper nouns are never compounded.

Subordinative compounds consist of two improper nouns, one is the subject noun, and the other is the modifying noun. Consider the compound “toothbrush.” “Brush” is what the noun is actually referring to, and “tooth” specifies what type of brush it is. Wistanian compounds are head-initial so that the main noun comes first as if one were to say “brushtooth.”

vindi  -gin
partner-road
"Road partner" (One who travels with another)

Coordinating compounds are formed of two pronouns and can expand the semantic reach of a pronoun.

yaulu
1S.NOM-2S.NOM
"Me and you / You and I"

In this instance, the pronouns have dropped the "and" conjunctions and joined together. This would be similar to saying "Meyou are eating dinner together." rather than "Me and you are eating dinner together." This joining cannot be random, however. The terms must be ordered as such: 1st > 2nd > 3rd An. > 3rd Inan. > 3rd Sp.

GOOD                 BAD

luhauzi              auzilu
lu    -(h)auzi       auzi   -lu
2S.NOM-3Sa.NOM       3Sa.NOM-2S.NOM
"You and he."        "He and you."

Verbs

needs expansion

Verbs, which tend to be expressed at the beginning of a sentence, are defined as any state or action applied to or applied by the subject. Wistanian verbs conjugate between the stative aspect, durative aspect, durative/perfect aspect, and irrealis mood. There are also a number of verbal particles (featured at the beginning of a VP) that denote conditional, telic, gnomic, permissive, obligative, and potential moods. There are a number of suffixes that can derive nouns from verbs. Tense is not marked but rather implied through context.

All verbs possess either an ⟨-a⟩, ⟨-i⟩, or ⟨-u⟩ stem. Nouns or loan words that are added to the Wistanian lexicon are typically given the ⟨-a⟩ stem. Therefore ⟨-i⟩ and ⟨-u⟩ stems are usually attributed to verbs from Taliv unless a non-Talivian verb already ended with ⟨-i⟩ or ⟨-u⟩ (or a similar sound). These stems influence the conjugation paradigms of a verb, mainly by shifting to ⟨y⟩ if the stem is ⟨-i⟩ or ⟨w⟩ if the stem is ⟨-u⟩. Unconjugated, the verb acts as a gerund.

All Wistanian verbs are ambitransitive, meaning that they can be either intransitive or transitive. This is accomplished by assuming a directional semantic role upon a verb. For example, buda means "walk" as an intransitive durative verb and means "walk to" as a transitive durative verb. aadi can mean "sit" as an intransitive stative verb or "sit on" as a transitive stative verb. This can also be achieved by allowing phrases such as "I sleep a nap," and "It rained a storm."

Aspect

Aspect is chiefly lexical in Wistanian, conjugating verbs as either stative, which indicated a state of the subject noun, or durative, which indicates the action of a subject. For example, the verb hadu means "know" in the stative and "learn" in the durative. The verb dula means "wear" in the stative and "put on" in the durative. The verb vaiza means "need" in the stative and "run out of" in the durative.

The durative verb can also take on an additional suffix, the perfect ⟨-i⟩, which reacts to the durative ⟨-a⟩, becoming ⟨-ai⟩.

The conjugation paradigm of Wistanian is mostly regular due to pidginization, although some irregularities exist. Typically, the ⟨-a⟩ stem with be replaced with durative ⟨-a⟩, perfect ⟨-ai⟩, and stative ⟨-iya⟩. The ⟨-i⟩ and ⟨-u⟩ stems will shift in ⟨y⟩ and ⟨w⟩ respective before taking on the aspect markers. However, monosyllabic verbs that begin with a non-fricative consonant undergo epenthesis (the addition of a sound). When with the ⟨-a⟩ stem, it will be replaced with durative ⟨-aha⟩, perfect ⟨-ai⟩, and stative ⟨-ahiya⟩. When with the ⟨-i⟩ stem, it is replaced with durative ⟨-aya⟩, perfect ⟨-ayai⟩, and stative ⟨-iya⟩. When with the ⟨-u⟩ stem, it is replaced with durative ⟨-awa⟩, perfect ⟨-awai⟩, and stative ⟨-awiya⟩. Verbs ending in ⟨-iya⟩ also take on an irregular conjugation in which ⟨-iya⟩ is replaced with durative ⟨-a⟩, perfect ⟨-ai⟩, stative ⟨-iya⟩ rather that just the ⟨-a⟩ stem.

The only single vowel verb is u (to drink) and is conjugated as durative wa, perfect wai, and stative wiya.

Stative Durative Perfect
dula duliya
(to be wearing)
dula
(to be putting on)
dulai
(to have put on)
aadi aadiya
(to be sitting)
aadya
(to be sitting down)
aadyai
(to have sat down)
hadu hadiya
(to be knowing)
hadwa
(to be learning)
hadwai
(to have learned)
Stative

Stative verbs (STA) describe a situation or action that is unchanging over a long period of time. Stative verbs do not describe temporary actions, but rather the result of a temporary action or a series of temporary actions that identify the subject. They are marked on a verb by dropping the stem and adding ⟨-iya⟩.

 yigiya yau anigalilaun.
 yiga -iya yau    ani     -galilaun
 speak-STA 1S.NOM language-peace.
 "I speak Wistanian." / "I am a speaker of Wistanian"

The verb in the above sentence informs the listener (or reader) that the subject, the speaker, speaks Wistanian, and does so homogenously and for a long period of time. It is a state that identifies the subject; i.e., it can easily be translated into "I am a speaker of Wistanian." A more dynamic conjugation would likely infer that the speaker is only speaking temporarily.

This can also refer to something called the resultative, which applies to verbs that do not inherently express a stative act. For example, bima describes the motion from a high place to a low place. This involves movement and change, which the stative conjugation does not mess with. Instead, bima in the stative means "to be fallen (i.e., lying on the ground after a fall)". Lying on the ground is a stative action, which is also a result of a previous non-stative action. Another example for this is the verb dula, "to put on, clothe", which, in the stative, translates as "to wear" (or in a more roundabout way: "to have put on").

Durative

The durative aspect (DUR) is a dynamic aspect which indicates that an action is in progress from one state to another.

 yiga yau anigalilaun.
 yiga -a   yau    ani     -galilaun.
 speak-DUR 1S.NOM language-peace.
 "I am speaking Wistanian."

This sentence informs the listener that the speaker is in the process of speaking Wistanian. Unlike in the stative example, which simply indicated that the speaker knows and has the ability to speak Wistanian, the durative is indicating that the speaker is actually speaking it at the present moment. This aspect strongly implies the verb is present and imperfect, grammatically, although context could give more precise details.

Durative verbs specifically describe the process of going from one state to the other, usually opposite, state. For example, yiga in the durative describe the process from the beginning of a statement to the end of a statement. The word ja, which means "want" in the stative but "falling in love" in the durative, describes the process from a state of apathy to a state of obsession. This is especially notable with hadu. In the stative, it means "to know", but in the durative, it describes the process from being ignorant to being informed: "learning."

Perfect

The Perfect Aspect (PRF) is applied to a dynamic verb that views the action as a completed whole, strongly implying the past tense in the realis and future tense in the irrealis. Although the perfect is formed by adding ⟨-i⟩ to the durative ⟨-a⟩, becoming ⟨-ai⟩, it is glossed only as PRF rather than DUR-PRF for the sake of saving space.

 yigai yau anigalilaun.
 yiga -ai  yau    ani     -galilaun.
 speak-PRF 1S.NOM language-peace.
 "I spoke (in) Wistanian."

As perfect, the verb yiga suggests a specific event that is a completed whole. It is important to understand the difference between the perfect and stative aspects since many stative verbs can be roughly translated as "has been X". Stative verbs are states, while perfect verbs are actions. Stative verbs are also usually still applicable in the moment of utterance while perfect verbs are usually not.

Mood and Additional Aspects

Mood describes the speaker's feelings or motivations toward a verb. Only one mood, the irrealis, is conjugated onto the verb stem, while others are expressed through particles that begin a verb phrase.

Additional aspects refer to aspects that are denoted with particles rather than conjugations.

Irrealis

Irrealis verbs describe an action that has not occurred. This mood is applied to verbs that refer to a future state or action, interrogative and polite imperative sentences, and conditional, obligative, and potential moods. Irrealis verbs are conjugated with the suffix ⟨-j⟩, which follows after the aspect marking. It is not applied to negated verbs.

Whenever the irrealis is used on a verb without an aspect marker, it is assumed to be indicative of a future action (in most cases). In the following example, the verb "walk" has not literally happened yet, which is why it is in the irrealis. However, the speaker is sure that the action will occur at some time in the future, which is why it is in the unmarked indicative.

 nadaij yau miram.
 nada   -ai -j   yau    miram.
 walk.to-PRF-IRR 1S.NOM store.
 "I will walk to the store."
Gnomic and Habitual

The gnomic and habitual are aspects that denote that the verb refers to a general fact or recurring action related to the subject. Both of these aspects use the particle gaun, which is synonymous with the active relative particle. When the aspect particle is applied to a stative verb, it is gnomic. When applied to a durative, the verb it is habitual.

 gaun duliya daz aa nibaz.
 gaun dula-iya daz aa  nibaz.
 GNO  wear-STA man ACC shirt.
 "The man wears shirts."
 gaun dula daz aa nibaz.
 gaun dula  -a   daz aa  nibaz.
 HAB  put.on-DUR man ACC shirt.
 "The man usually puts on shirts."

When applied to a perfect verb, the sentence is translated that the subject has done the action before.

 gaun dulai daz aa nibaz. 
 gaun dula  -ai  daz aa  nibaz.
 GNO  put.on-PRF man ACC shirt.
 "The man has put on a shirt before."
Conditional

The conditional mood (COND) is used to form "if" clauses, such as "if she sings" and "if we go", etc. This is homonymous with the question particle, and they are often considered the same word. The verb head of the conditional particle is always conjugated for the irrealis mood.

 a murwij ya, junaij lu ddal dim dau.
 a    muru-i   -j   yau,    juna-i  -j   lu     ddal dim  dau.
 COND die -PRF -IRR 1S.NOM, bury-PRF-IRR 2S.NOM LOC  hill 1S.ACC. 
 "If I die, you will bury me on the hill."
Permissive

The permissive mood (PRM) denotes the permission or ability to do an action, corresponding with English "can" and "may". To denote prohibition or incapability, the speaker will attach the negation prefix to the verb. The permissive mood uses the particle yaj, and the irrealis conjugation is not applied to the head verb.

 yaj laumwa garauda va yi.
 yaj laumu-a   garauda va  yi.
 PRM take -DUR food    COP 1S.POSS
 "You can take my food."
 yaj baulaumwa garauda va yi.
 yaj bau-laumu-a   garauda va  yi.
 POT NEG-take -DUR food    COP 1S.POSS
 "You cannot take my food."
Obligative

The obligative mood (OBL) denotes an action that should happen, whether by obligation or logical progression. The verb head of an obligative particle is always conjugated for the irrealis mood. The obligative uses the particle daaya.

 auv zij, daaya bimaj daridd. diri va luvi va au.
 auv  zij,         daaya bima-a  -j   daridd. diri va  luvi      va  au.
 TEMP near.future, OBL   fall-DUR-IRR rain.   CAU  COP cloud(PL) COP gray.
 "Soon, the rain should fall because the clouds are gray."
Potential

The potential mood (POT) denotes an action that could occur but doesn't, such as "I could go" or even "I could have gone". The verb head of a potential particle is always conjugated for the irrealis mood. The potential mood uses the particle zaggu.

 zaggu umaadaij yi luj, a hiyaj yaadd vaddal.
 zaggu umaada-i  -j   yi      luj,   a    hi   -iya-j   yaadd ddal.
 HYP   sink  -PRF-IRR 1S.POSS boat,  COND exist-STA-IRR hole  LOC.
 "My boat could sink if there is a hole in it."

The potential can also be translated as "would" or "would like to" in contexts without a conditional VP.

zaggu jigani-a  -j   yau    aa  liv    il    zauv.
POT   order -DUR-IRR 1S.NOM ACC 2S.ACC INSTR soup.
"I would like to order the soup from you."
(Lit. "I could order you with soup.")
Atelic

The atelic aspect (ATEL) refers to a verb that does not have an intended endpoint, whether because the action failed or was directionless. The atelic is denoted with the particle in and can only be applied to durative or perfect verbs.

 in budai yau miram, auv nu va din.
 in   buda   -ai  yau    miram, auv  nu     va  din.
 ATEL walk.to-PRF 1S.NOM store, TEMP minute COP three.
 "I walked toward the store for three minutes."

Without the atelic particle, that sentence would translate as, "I walked to the store in three minutes."

Gerunds

under construction

Derivational Suffixes

Root + ⟨-zaun⟩ = Agentive (one who does X)

viga > vigazaun
eat  > eater

Root + ⟨-huz⟩ or ⟨-hani⟩ = Place of X

viga > vigahuz
eat  > dining room

Root - stem + ⟨-aun⟩ = Act/Idea of X

viga > vigaun
eat  > the act of eating

Particles

Particles in Wistanian are words which have a grammatical meaning rather than a semantic meaning. They also do not inflect. Particles always come before their head.

Object Particles

In Wistanian grammar, any noun that does not act as a subject is considered an object and are not exclusive to the patient of the verb. As an object, the noun comes after the subject and inherits an object particle (unless it is an accusative pronoun.)

The object particles are:

Accusative ACC aa Marks the patient of the sentence.
Instrumental INS il Marks the means by which an action is done.
Benefactive BEN ggaun Marks the reason for which something is done volitionally.
Causative CAU diri Marks the reason for which something is done involitionally.

It is possible to have a sentence that uses several objects, although none of them are required in a sentence. When multiple objects are present in a sentence, they are usually ordered in a sentence as ACC > INSTR > BEN/CAU.

ila yau aa ujadi il divu ggaun jyaman va yi.
ila  -a   yau    aa  ujadi il  divu ggaun jyam -an va  yi.
build-DUR 1S.NOM ACC house INS wood BEN   child-PL COP 1S.POSS.
"I am building a house with wood for my children."
Accusative

The accusative particle marks the patient of a transitive verb.

 maniyai ami aa umbu va zi.
 mayiya-i   ami    aa  umbu va  zi.
 break -PRF friend ACC bone COP 3S.POSS
 "The friend broke their bone."

When the patient is a pronoun, the accusative particle is normally dropped, since some pronouns have their own accusative forms. The accusative can also double as a reflexive.

 vigai dari vai.
 viga-i   dari vai.
 eat -PRF boy  3Si.ACC.
 "The boy ate it."
 yiga yau dau.
 yiga    -a   yau    dau.
 speak.to-DUR 1S.NOM 1S.ACC.
 "I speak to myself."

The accusative form of the third person animate and spiritual pronouns are identical to their nominative counterparts. The accusative particle is added if the patient is different than the agent, but is omitted if used as a reflexive.

 dduwi auzi auzi
 ddu-(w)i auzi    auzi.
 hit-PRF  3Sa.NOM 3Sa.ACC
 "He hit himself."
 dduwi auzi aa auzi.
 ddu-(w)i auzi    aa auzi.
 hit-PRF  3Sa.NOM ACC 3Sa.ACC.
 "He hit him."

After instrumental, benefactive, or causative particles, pronouns are still conjugated as accusatives.

 gaun zariya dari vai.
 gaun zariya dari il vai.
 gaun zariya dari ggaun vai.
 gaun zariya dari diri vai.
 The boy plays it.
 The boy plays with it.
 The boy plays for it.
 The boy plays because of it.
Instrumental

The instrumental particle (INSTR) marks the instrument by which something has been done. For example, shooting with a bow, eating with a fork, and singing with a sore throat. In Wistanian, instrumental nouns are marked with the particle il.

gariya yau il guddi.
gari-iya yau    il    guddi.
work-STA 1S.NOM INSTR hammer.
"I work with a hammer."

The instrumental particle is also used to mark the theme of the verbs dazji (to give), viru (to send), and azavi (to carry), that is the item that is being given, sent, or carried. The goal is marked as accusative (i.e., what or who the theme is being given, sent, or carried to). Wistanian does not employ a dative marker.

dazjyi yau liv il jauni.
dazji-i  yau    liv    il    jauni.
give-PRF 1S.NOM 2S.ACC INSTR flower.
"I gave you a flower." (Lit. "I give you with a flower.")
azavyi yau aa miram il naulam id.
azavi-i   yau    aa  miram il    maulam id.
carry-DUR 1S.NOM ACC store INSTR melon  PROX.
"I am carrying this melon to the store." (Lit. "I carry (to) the store with this melon.")

The instrumental particle is used for emphatic reflexives by complimenting the accusative form of the subject pronoun.

rainaij yau aa duvij il dau.
raina-i  -j   yau    aa  duvij il    dau.
dig  -DUR-IRR 1S.NOM ACC hole  INSTR 1S.ACC
"I will dig the hole myself."
Benefactive and Causative

The benefactive and causative object particles perform similar functions, yet carry different connotations. Benefactives rely primarily on the reason for which something was done volitionally (i.e., on purpose), while causatives marked the reason something is done involitionally (i.e., not on purpose). These two particles are not exchangeable and they cannot both be present to compliment the same verb.

 murwi auzi ggaun liv.
 muru-i   auzi   ggaun liv.
 die -PRF 3S.NOM BEN   2S.ACC.
 "He died for you." / "He died for your benefit."
 murwi auzi diri liv.
 muru-i   auzi   diri liv.
 die -PRF 3S.NOM CAU  2S.ACC.
 "He died because of you." / "It was your fault he died."

In the above sentences, the benefactive particle tells us that the subject "he" willingly died or sacrificed his life for the object "you". The causative particle suggests that the subject "he" was killed, rather by accident or by premeditated murder, because of the existence or actions of the object "you".

The particle diri is the same word in the clause-initial construction diri va, which translates as "because" or "the reason is".

Modal Particles

See Mood and Additional Aspects for now.

Relativizer Particles

There are four relativizer particles that are normally expressed initially in a relative clause and after the noun that relative clause modifies. These can also be used as copula.

Copulative COP va Indicated that the head is equal to something.
Possessive POSS na Indicates that the head possesses something.
Active ACT gaun Indicates that the head does something.
Locative LOC ddal Indicates where the head is located.

As relativizers, they can be translated as such: COP = which is, POSS = which has, ACT = which does, and LOC = which is located.

As copula, COP equates a subject noun with another noun, possessive pronoun, color, or number; POSS equates a subject noun with an adjective that's not a possessive pronoun, color, or number; ACT doubles as a gnomic aspect particle; and LOC indicates the location of the subject. Since these are particles, the word order for these particular types of sentences appears to change to SVO and the accusative particle is omitted (this does not apply to objects of a gnomic verb).

wizddaaniya va ggarimalun.
wizddaaniya va  ggarimalun.
Wistania    COP large.island
"Wistania is a large island."
"Wistania, which is a large island,..."
wizddaaniya na lazai.
wisddaaniya na   lazai.
Wistania    POSS great.
"Wistania is great." (Lit. "Wistania has great.")
"Wistania, which is great,..."
wizddaniya gaun liya.
wizddaniya gaun liya.
Wistania   ACT  fly.
"Wistania fares well" (Lit. "Wistania flies.")
"Wistania, which fares well,..."
wizddaniya ddal vimanbbaggu
wizddaniya ddal viman-zanju.
Wistania   LOC  sky  -foot.
"Wistania is under the sky."
"Wistania, which is located under the sky,..."

Technically, these are incomplete sentences, indicating only a noun and a relative clause without a compliment. However, they are considered perfectly viable and grammatical in Wistanian.

Coordinating Particles

Wistanian coordinating particles come in four types: normal coordination, weak coordination, contrastive coordination, and alternative coordination.

Normal coordination (CO) is similar to the English "and". However, each item in the list is proceeded by the word ya.

dajyi ya dari ya lari.
daji-i   ya dari ya lari.
hide-PRF CO boy  CO girl.
"The boy and the girl hid."

Weak coordination (WCO) refers to a co-actor in the sentence while keeping the focus on a specific item of the list, which is usually featured at the beginning of the list and without a particle. It is denoted with the word vil (from the word viluba: "to touch").

dajyi dari vil lari.
daji-i   dari vil lari.
hide-PRF boy  WCO girl.
"The boy hid with the girl."

Contrastive coordination (CCO) is equivalent to the English "but" and is expressed through the particle bbal.

gaun liyiya auvi, bbal gaun bauliyiya gaunun.
gaun liya-iya auvi-n,  bbal gaun bau-liya-iya gaunu-n.
GNO  fly -STA bird-PL, CCO  GNO  NEG-fly -STA fish -PL
"Birds fly, but fish do not fly."

Alternative coordination (ALTCO) denotes a choice or alternative among a group of items in a list, equivalent to the English "or", and denoted with the word i. Like the normal coordinating particle ya, this particle is featured before each item in a list.

ja lu aa i garauvi i diyan a.
ja  -a   lu     aa  i     garauvi i     diyan a.
want-DUR 2S.NOM ACC ALTCO water   ALTCO juice Q.
"Do you want water or juice?"

This alternative coordinating particle is also used to answer a multiple choice question. Parentheses indicate an optional expression.

(ja yau) i diyan.
(ja  -a   yau)    i     diyan.
(want-DUR 1S.NOM) ALTCO juice.
"(I want) the juice."

Honorifics

Wistanian has an honorific system with several unique features. Honorifics are used for almost everyone: familial relationships and close friendships, authorities and superiors, and people who are younger than you. They are often said after a proper noun and can take nominal morphology and replace 2nd person pronouns.

The formal honorifics that one uses depends on the age and respective rank of the second person:

Inferior Peer Superior
Adult iz - baada
Child yi / yin yi / yin auzi / auzin

Familial honorifics are used among close family members. These honorifics will change depending on culture and sometimes family. Children, in particular, have unique honorifics given by their parents, like a nickname. For example, a boy named Maudu could be given the honorific ravu (fast), and only his parents, aunts/uncles by blood, and grandparents can call him "Maudu Ravu". While his sister Zamara could be Zamara Viyaz (kind) to her parents.

The most common Familial Honorifics are included under Kinship Terms below.

Semantics

The Wistanian Lexicon currently stands at 600 words as of October 2018.

A typical Wistanian family from the Taliv group

Kinship

Wistanian kinship is a modified version of the Hawaiian system common in most Malayo-Polynesian languages. In this system, siblings and first cousins share terms with only a gender and age distinction. Mothers are usually given a term of endearment by their children (usually mu), but a child's aunts will also be called "mother" and the father and uncles will share terms as well. Most of Wistanian culture is ambilineal and matrifocal, so that children live and associate closest to their mother and her side of the family. For this reason, a child's mother's brother will often be just as much of a father figure as the child's biological father, who may or may not be involved in the family. Some parts of Wistania has abandoned the concept of marriage, and rather focus on cohabitation and parenthood. The terms for "husband" and "wife" are semantically light and can refer to a close friendship or a sexual partner. Literally, they mean "my man" and "my woman".

English Kinship Term Honorific
male older brother or cousin daran bai
male younger brother or cousin yida
female older sister or cousin madya
female younger sister or cousin yima
uncle/aunt by marriage imaun baada
mother/aunt by blood maumu iv
father/uncle by blood vauhi anda
grandmother aumi ivi
grandfather audi andi
husband yi daz -
wife yi laz
child, offspring, son/daughter jyam Variable
grandchild aujyam

The Bwolotil people are more nuclear, consisting of only a mother, father, and one or two children. They have their own kinship terms from their language. Some Katapu people share the typical family structure and kinship terms. However, most family structures in that people group are extended so that families live amongst the mother's extended family, and fathers are usually present in the home. Most of their kinship terms also come from the Katapu language, but some Wistanian terms are borrowed as well.

Colors

needs polishing

Colors are particularly significant to the Wistanian culture. As much of their economy revolves around fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and their great responsibility to protect the colorful ajmastones, it is imperative to be able to accurately describe color on a near-daily basis. As a result, Wistanian has a massive vocabulary list dedicated to colors, including unique color terms for "red-orange" and "dark yellow" and three distinct terms for "red".

Colors in Wistanian are considered nouns, never as adjectives. Therefore, to express the color of an object, one would say, "S va C".

jiya yau jazari va raul.
ja  -iya yau    jazari va  raul.
like-STA 1S.NOM bean   COP red.
"I like red beans." (Lit. "I like beans that are red.")

Likewise, to say "These beans are red", the same structure would be used.

jazari id va raul.
jazari id   va  raul.
beans  PROX COP red.
"These beans are red."

Or alternatively, and more commonly, one could express the color as the subject and use the locative copula, creating a form that means, literally "C is on S":

raul ddal jazari id.
raul ddal jazari id.
red  LOC  beans  PROX.
"These beans are red." (Lit. "Red is on these beans")

As for the color terms themselves, Wistanian has nearly thirty-two color terms, although some people groups may use more or less than those.

auzna iraa zuvil
jaaru
bayaari zuwi aunya gazida ayud aana
au
garaji
raul
nidda
hagg
aurin auwu luz
aubra
luamiz jan
bazu
ddi zaz
iyad
ivau liwa
balan uma minan ainau maura

Numbers

needs expansion

Classically, the Taliv only counted up to five, including a single word that meant "more than five" (this term is now obsolete, however, it has fossilized as the plural marker -(a)n) They also had names for sets of five: five was a hand (5), five hands were an arm (25), five arms were a body (125), five bodies were a family (625), five families were a village (3,125), three villages were a city (15,625), and five cities were a nation (78,125). So, for example, the number 20,708 would be explained as "one city, one village, three families, three arms, one hand, and three." Counting that high, however, was not very common in Talivian culture, since resources were normally plentiful and the economy was a basic bartering system of trading goods. The highest a regular person would need to count would be "two hands and four" when reporting to their friends how many fish they caught that day.

When the Taliv allied with the Nati during the Wistanian war, the Nati's much more efficient base-10 number system was preferred, especially when counting troops and food rations. Their counting system was that numbers like 20,708 would be described as "two zero seven zero eight."

These two methods combined by using the Talivian 1-5, the Nati 6-9, and loaning the words for ten ("one zero"), twenty ("two zero"), and so forth. The Talivian concepts of hands, arms, and like metaphor also persisted. Now, the typical Wistanian will say a number such as 44 as "four-zero with four", however the "four" in "four-zero" will be a Nati word, while the last four is from the Taliv. One through 99 are as thus:

0 uj 0 20 guyaa 2*, 0* 40 bbunaa 4*, 0* 60 jaayaa 6, 0* 80 miyaunaa 8, 0*
1 li 1 21 guyaa vil li 2*, 0* with 1 41 bbunaa vil li 4*, 0* with 1 61 jaayaa vil li 6, 0* with 1 81 miyaunaa vil li 8, 0* with 1
2 vai 2 22 guyaa vil vai 2*, 0* with 2 42 bbunaa vil vai 4*, 0* with 2 62 jaayaa vil vai 6, 0* with 2 82 miyaunaa vil vai 8, 0* with 2
3 din 3 23 guyaa vil din 2*, 0* with 3 43 bbunaa vil din 4*, 0* with 3 63 jaayaa vil din 6, 0* with 3 83 miyaunaa vil din 8, 0* with 3
4 jiz 4 24 guyaa vil jiz 2*, 0* with 4 44 bbunaa vil jiz 4*, 0* with 4 64 jaayaa vil jiz 6, 0* with 4 84 miyaunaa vil jiz 8, 0* with 4
5 ma 5 25 guyaa vil ma 2*, 0* with 5 45 bbunaa vil ma 4*, 0* with 5 65 jaayaa vil ma 6, 0* with 5 85 miyaunaa vil ma 8, 0* with 5
6 jaa 6 26 guyaa vil jaa 2*, 0* with 6 46 bbunaa vil jaa 4*, 0* with 6 66 jaayaa vil jaa 6, 0* with 6 86 miyaunaa vil jaa 8, 0* with 6
7 hau 7 27 guyaa vil hau 2*, 0* with 7 47 bbunaa vil hau 4*, 0* with 7 67 jaayaa vil hau 6, 0* with 7 87 miyaunaa vil hau 8, 0* with 7
8 miyaun 8 28 guyaa vil miyaun 2*, 0* with 8 48 bbunaa vil miyaun 4*, 0* with 8 68 jaayaa vil miyaun 6, 0* with 8 88 miyaunaa vil miyaun 8, 0* with 8
9 nuvaa 9 29 guyaa vil nuvaa 2*, 0* with 9 49 bbunaa vil nuvaa 4*, 0* with 9 69 jaayaa vil nuvaa 6, 0* with 9 89 miyaunaa vil nuvaa 8, 0* with 9
10 niyaa 1*, 0* 30 amaa 3*, 0* 50 yauzaa 5*, 0* 70 hauyaa 7, 0* 90 nuvaayaa 9, 0*
11 niyaa vil li 1*, 0* with 1 31 amaa vil li 3*, 0* with 1 51 yauzaa vil li 5*, 0* with 1 71 hauyaa vil li 7, 0* with 1 91 nuvaaya vil li 9, 0* with 1
12 niyaa vil vai 1*, 0* with 2 32 amaa vil vai 3*, 0* with 2 52 yauzaa vil vai 5*, 0* with 2 72 hauyaa vil vai 7, 0* with 2 92 nuvaayaa vil vai 9, 0* with 2
13 niyaa vil din 1*, 0* with 3 33 amaa vil din 3*, 0* with 3 53 yauzaa vil din 5*, 0* with 3 73 hauyaa vil din 7, 0* with 3 93 nuvaayaa vil din 9, 0* with 3
14 niyaa vil jiz 1*, 0* with 4 34 amaa vil jiz 3*, 0* with 4 53 yauzaa vil jiz 5*, 0* with 4 74 hauyaa vil jiz 7, 0* with 4 94 nuvaayaa vil jiz 9, 0* with 4
15 niyaa vil ma 1*, 0* with 5 35 amaa vil ma 3*, 0* with 5 55 yauzaa vil ma 5*, 0* with 5 75 hauyaa vil ma 7, 0* with 5 95 nuvaayaa vil ma 9, 0* with 5
16 niyaa vil jaa 1*, 0* with 6 36 amaa vil jaa 3*, 0* with 6 56 yauzaa vil jaa 5*, 0* with 6 76 hauyaa vil jaa 7, 0* with 6 96 nuvaayaa vil jaa 9, 0* with 6
17 niyaa vil hau 1*, 0* with 7 37 amaa vil hau 3*, 0* with 7 57 yauzaa vil hau 5*, 0* with 7 77 hauyaa vil hau 7, 0* with 7 97 nuvaayaa vil hau 9, 0* with 7
18 niyaa vil miyaun 1*, 0* with 8 38 amaa vil miyaun 3*, 0* with 8 58 yauzaa vil miyaun 5*, 0* with 8 78 hauyaa vil miyaun 7, 0* with 8 98 nuvaayaa vil miyaun 9, 0* with 8
19 niyaa vil nuvaa 1*, 0* with 9 39 amaa vil nuvaa 3*, 0* with 9 59 yauzaa vil nuvaa 5*, 0* with 9 79 hauyaa vil nuvaa 7, 0* with 9 99 nuvaayaa vil nuvaa 9, 0* with 9

Seat of Emotion

In Taliv, Nati, and Katapu culture, the seat of emotion is in the liver, meaning that it is believed emotion comes from the liver (as opposed to the English belief that emotion is from the heart). For this reason, a man with "a cold liver" is said to be nervous and a woman with "a light liver" is said to be in love. In Bwolotil culture, the seat of emotion is in the bowels instead, so that a man with "full bowels" is said to be stressed. The Uzin, however, use the brain as the seat for emotion and thought, saying things such as "the brain is on fire" when someone becomes excited. These phrases travel around the Wistanian and borrowed by most people.

Contrarily, there is a separate seat for the soul of a person, commonly claimed to be near the liver although the exact place is secret. This "seat of the soul" is known as gauya. Katapu people are so dedicated to this ideology that if a person is stabbed in the belly, they must be left to die or put to death, believing that their soul has been injured or killed and they no longer "human".

Direction and Time

Direction and Time are closely interrelated in the Wistanian language. They correspond with the terms mija (rising) and hina (setting), which describe the rising and setting of the sun. Wistanian has two cardinal directions, the rising east and setting west. Time is likewise measured by the rising past and the setting future. This leads to phrases such as "think east" and "go towards the setting" as opposed to English "think back" and "go west". Wistanian has an intrinsic and relative frame of reference, in that when giving directions, they will use the destination's location as described in relation to another object ("towards the lake", in front of my house") as well as using terms for "front", "back", "left" and "right". There is a limited absolute frame of reference with terms for "east" and "west", but no terms for "north" or "south."

Vulgarity and Taboos

Every culture possesses a strong taboo against slurs, which is partly due to the rocky history of racism during the post-war era of the country. Some slurs include baubau, a diminutive of the word Bwolotil, often used to describe things that are dark and ugly. Holding the u sound can also get a young Wistanian in trouble for its history as a chant against the Uzin. Terms referring to religion are also taboo when used out of context, especially in the Katapu tribes; for example, calling something ggauduvahi ("great" or "grand") is considered offensive since that term should only be applied to a place of worship. Terms referring to sex or bodily functions are only taboo in the Katapu and, to a smaller extent, the Bwolotil and Uzin cultures while the Taliv and Nati are rather comfortable with those topics.

It is considered vulgar over the entire nation to use the name of a family member in vain, especially if that family member is deceased.

Metaphors

under construction

Example Texts

coming soon...ish

Other Resources

Wistanian/Lexicon