Pprwak

The people of Pprwak live on the island of Ttiruku, one of the islands of the West Seas (Pp. Hppwaqup Tu). The meaning of the words Pprwak and Ttiruku are unknown they could be older words, or they might be made-up names to avoid aggressions between different counties due to previous internal conflicts. They are a very proud people, and they have little patience with other peoples and cultures. Most of the population live in small tribes, ranging from ten to a hundred persons (the language is surprisingly well standardised considering this), grouped in larger counties, but there are several towns as well. There have been wars between these counties, but attacks from other kingdoms have led to a fragile, yet standing, peace. Still, there are several small tribe fights.

The heart of the Pprwak is the martial arts. There are many different kinds of martial arts, ranging from throwing based ones to kickers. They rarely use weapons; they consider it to be the way of the weak. However, as the threat from other kingdoms has become stronger, many have started to practice traditional weapons made of Shwpipshẃq (lit. stick tree). The climate of Ttiruku could be compared to the tropical climates of Earth.

This grammar will use X-Sampa for any transcriptions, as it is readable by any computer.

Phonology

The Pprwak phonology is rather simple.

Phonemes

Consonants

Labial Dental Palatal Alveolo-Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Stop /b p p_h/ /t t_h/ /c/ /k k_h/ /?/
Nasal /m/ /n/
Trill /R\/
Fricative /T s/ /s\/
Affricate /ts)/
Approximant /w/ /j/

Except for the following transcriptions, all phonemes are spelled as their X-Sampa sign:

Note that /w j/ are pronounced forcefully and therefore /wu ji/ contrasts with /?u ?i/.

Vowels

Front Back
Close /i i~/ /u u~/
Open-mid /E/
Open /a a~/

Most dialects use [e] instead of [E]

All monophthongs except for /E/, including nasalised ones, have phonemic length, marked by doubling the vowel (a > aa, > a etc). There is also a phonemic high tone, marked with an accent above the vowel (a > ).

At certain points of this document, the term basic vowel quality will appear. This term refers to the what cardinal vowel the vowel has. /a/ and all it's phonemic variants, /a: a~ a:~ a_H: a_H~ a_H:~/, share the same basic vowel quality.

These are the standard vowel transcriptions.

Diphthongs

-a -i-
w- /wa/ /wi/
-m /im/

im is a diphthong due to the phonotactics of the language.

Phonotactics

All syllables must begin with a consonant and contain one vowel or one diphthong. The only exception is the noun marker e, which lacks an initial consonant (it could be spelled as qe, but it might prove confusing as the e is commonly merged with the previous word). There might be a final consonant. This leaves us with the syllable constraint CV(C).

All consonants are allowed in syllable-initial position. /?/ is however not allowed word-initially. Allowed consonants in final position are /p s k/.

In medial position (between syllables), any final consonant can be followed by any initial consonant. However, two identical consonants will merge.
For example, pas + sap = pasap; pak + kas = pakas.
This applies to m in the diphthong /im/ as well, tim + mak = timak.

Morphology

Nominal morphology

Nouns inflect for five cases, using suffixes attached to the root of the noun. Pprwak does not differ between singular and plural.

Nominative Instrumental Accusative Dative Benefactive
Suffix -p -b -ni -shwa

If the root ends in a consonant, an i is inserted between the root and the nominative ending, and the instrumental ending /ba~/ is pronounced [pa~] (as /b/, the only voiced consonant, does not exist syllable-finally). Note that if the root ends in -p, the /b/ gets removed.

If the root ends in a vowel with /a/ basic vowel quality, the benefactive ending is -rwa.

Conjunctions agree in case with the nouns they connect, however adjectives don't.

Usage of cases

The nominative is used as the agent of transitive verbs, and the experiencer of intransitive.

The instrumental is used for the instrument or the means of an action.

The accusative is used as the patient of an action.

The dative is used to show the intended recipient of an action.

The benefactive is used to indicate a beneficiary of the action.

Pronouns

There are no real pronouns, only words acting like them. There is a formal prefix, teya-, as well as gender suffixes: -ti (female) and -ta (male) - they are however not required. Differing between "this-she" and "this-he" is common when discussing two nouns in the same area, provided that it is known what noun is "she" and what is "he". The pronouns use regular case endings.

I you this that who
ha tp sh s su

(teyahati "I who am female"-formal, teyahata "I who am male"-formal etc.)

Adjectives

There is no separate class of adverbs in Pprwak. Adjectives can be placed both before and after the noun they describe, as long as they are before the noun marker e or directly before the noun. Adverbs must be placed before the verb they describe.

Verbal morphology

Verbs inflect for three tenses, three aspects and one epistemic mood. The root of a verb is equivalent to the telic past conjugation.

Tense conjugation

The tenses are formed by changing the last vowel in the word (called the "stem vowel").

Past Present Future
-a -i -u -e - -ĩ -ũ
-aa -uu -e -a -ũu
- -ĩ -ũ -e - - -
-wa -wi -i -w -wĩ
-e - -i
-im -ii

Irregularites in tense conjugations

There are a few irregularities, that apply to all verbs filling the conditions.

Aspects and mood

The three aspects of Pprwak verbs are telic, atelic and imperfective. The telic is used to show that an action is complete and successful, the atelic is used to show that an action is complete but unsuccessful and the imperfective is used to show that an action is uncomplete but underway.

The aspects are formed in a very regular way. The telic is the root, the atelic changes the first vowel in the root to high tone (or, if the root has high tone, change into low tone), and the imperfective duplicates the initial consonant and the vowel of the first syllable of the word.

The only mood besides indicative is the subjunctive. It is used to show that something could have happen (past), could happen now (present) or could happen (future). The subjunctive mood is formed by adding -ppwak to the conjugated verb.

Example, verb tattuk (to hit)

Tense Telic Atelic Imperf Subj
Past tattuk tttuk tatattuk tattukppwak
Present tattek tttek tatattek tattekppwak
Future tattũk tttũk tatattũk tattũkppwak

Example, verb kish (to love)

Tense Telic Atelic Imperf Subj
Past kish ksh kikish kishppwak
Present kire kre kikire kireppwak
Future kish ksh kikish kishppwak

Syntax

Word order

Pprwak uses Subject-Object-Verb, where the subject and verb are strictly bound to first and last word in the sentence respectively (exceptions are speech particles, conjugations etc). Due to the cases, the rest of the words may be arranged freely.

Copula

The copula in predicative phrases is ne "to be". The nouns/adjectives are usually put in the nominative, though some dialects prefer nom-acc or even acc-acc.

Comparisions

To make a comparison, the verb "compare" (ttaasap) is used. The adjective/adverb does not change, and the noun being compared with is put into the dative. Certain dialects use the accusative instead of the dative.

Locatives

Locative phrases are formed by adding postpositions after nouns. Postpositions are added to the nominative case, and the postposition replaces the topic marker e.

Ppr Eng Sp/Ti
bqa from space
shiqa in space
niqa to space
bquu from time
shiquu in time
niquu to time

Possesives

Possesives are made by putting the modifing noun without any case ending (e.g. plain accusative) before the main noun.

The North Wind and the Sun

Shekkim hup e huup hppap e mumuuttep, sup e suni e ttattaasep, swanũk nen?
Thaa, nrwa e muubb e cwacwatzep, ceye shep niqa ttwittwise.
Shep e battep, shep e n ttp np e muub e kkape, thaa shep e swanuk nen kke.
Thaa shekkim hup e cccwu hṹqe, np e muub e cccwu cwacwatzep nwiquk.
Ttp shekkim hup e ttuukii nwiquk, huu hppani e bwittep ttp hppap e nepni e sheshemttep.
Thaa, hppap e ttwise thaa swanũk hahappe.
Np e muub e ttwimap kkaappĩ, me tukkup niqa ttwase shishiqse kw!
Ttp shekkim hup e battep, hppap e swanũk nen pik.
Pepe babattap e tatattekipni e ttaattaasep swanũk nen.

The North Wind and the Sun are disputing which one is stronger, when a traveller comes, wrapped in a cloak. So they say that whoever makes the man take off his cloak is the stronger. Then the North Wind blows as hard as he can, but the man wraps himself up just as hard in his cloak. So the North Wind has to give up and calls upon the Sun to see what he can do. Then the Sun comes up and shines strongly, so the man takes off his cloak and bathes in a river. So the North Wind has to concede that the Sun is stronger. Gentle persuasion is stronger than brute force.