| Óhylvídós |
|Period||c. -900 YP|
|Spoken in||to be determined|
|Total speakers||to be determined|
|Writing system||to be determined|
|Basic word order||SOV|
(The lexicon is also available.)
Óhylvídós is a language in the Western language family spoken around -900 YP in the foothills of the mountains dividing the northern end of the Peilaš continent to the east of the great western steppe.
The people who spoke Óhylvídós (who mostly called themselves "Óhylamja") were primarily nomadic sheep herders, though some of the more lowland peoples in fertile areas settled down into small hamlets and developed large pastoral farms. It is from the latter that we get our primary written records.
The etymology of the name "óhylvídós" is not completely clear, although the last element can be identified as the ablative form of the noun vít meaning "wind". The element "óhyl" must have entered Óhylvídós after it split from it's sister languages as it has no cognates there. Most likely, it was borrowed from some now extinct substrate language. Its independent meaning is now lost to time.
Sound changes and analogical levelling in Óhylvídós have eroded much of the complex morphology of its ancestor, Çetázó, and the language has been forced to compensate by innovating new grammatical structures out of Çetázó's stock of postpositions.
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Morphology
- 2.1 Nouns
- 2.2 Adjectives
- 2.3 Pronouns
- 2.4 Verbs
- 2.5 Derivation
- 3 Syntax
- 4 Sample Text
Óhylvídós has 21 consonant phonemes, tabulated below.
|Plosives||p b||t d||c ɟ||k g|
|Fricatives||ɸ β||s||ç||x γ||h|
For convenience, the phonemes /ɸ β c ɟ ç ñ x γ/ will be written <f v tj dj sj nj kh gh> respectively. These particular combinations of sounds do not appear as consonant clusters so there will be no ambiguity with the digraphs.
Óhylvídós has 6 short and 6 corresponding long vowels. The short vowels are given below:
The vowel /ɨ/ will be written <y> in this document. All the other vowels use their IPA symbols.
For each of the six short vowels there is a corresponding long vowel, transcribed with an acute accent: á é í ó ú ý.
/s/ and /ç/ become voiced alongside other voiced consonants.
Óhylvídós has a pitch accent which rises on the first syllable of a word unconditionally.
Sound changes from Çetázó
# geminate consonants are lost C[+long] > C # vowel lengthening before voiced consonants V[-long] > V[+long] / _C[+voice] # merger of dental and alveolar consonants ts > s / #_ dz > z / #_ θ > f / #_ ð > v / #_ ts > t dz > d θ > s ð > z # loss of ŋ ŋ > Ø / V_V ŋ > n # loss of velars word-finally C[+velar] > Ø / V_# # strengthening of initial u u > wu / #_ # rise of short front unrounded vowels i > ɨ e > i æ > e æː > aː # syncope and palatalisation V[-long] > Ø / (tdsz)_j tj > c dj > ɟ sj > ç zj > ç # reduction of final vowels V[-long] > Ø / C_# V[+long] > V[-long] / C_# # simplification of laterals tɬ > gl / #_ tɬ > sl dl > ld / _# ɬ > la / C_# l > ul / C_# ɬ > l # loss of front rounded vowels y > i ø > i # delabialisation C[+labiovelar] > C[+velar]u / _# C[+labiovelar] > C[+velar] / _u kʷ > p gʷ > w xʷ > f γʷ > w # voiced fricatives devoice finally v > f / _# z > s / _# γ > x / _# # changes to w on word boundaries w > Ø / u_# w > u / _# w > β / #_ # labiodentals shift to bilabial f > ɸ v > β # syncope; second vowel elides unless it is long and first vowel is short # j with alveolar causes palatalisation tj > c dj > ɟ sj > ç zj > ç jt > c jd > ɟ js > ç jz > ç # elision of voiced stop before l C[+voice,+plosive] > Ø / _l # softening of z and x z > h / V_ z > s x > h / #_ # unvoiced plosives fricativise word initially p > ɸ / #_ t > s / #_ k > x / #_ # voiced plosives unvoice word initially b > p / #_ d > t / #_ g > k / #_ a > e / _n n > Ø / _# # voiced plosives unvoice word finally b > p / _# d > t / _# g > k / _#
Number and case
There are three numbers: singular, dual and plural; and four cases: direct, instrumental, allative and ablative.
The direct case is the simplest case and is used for the core arguments of verbs and with most postpositions. The instrumental is used to indicate an instrument by which the subject achieves an action. It can also sometimes be used for participants which take part in an action involuntarily. The allative is used to indicate some sort of motion towards the noun, but it can also indicate the location of something more generally. The ablative can be used to show movement away from some noun and can also associate one noun with another in a genitive manner.
The direct singular is the basic form, and the other three cases are simply formed by adding one of -m, -tj, or -s respectively. The latter two lengthen previous short vowels. The dual ending is -l(u); the vowel only appears when other endings are added. The plural ending -gu causes lengthening of the preceding vowel if it is short. Suffixes for number precede suffixes for case.
There are three different noun declensions: the O-stems, the I-stems, and the U-stems. The stem of a noun means that if the noun ends in a consonant you have to add a vowel of the same kind as the stem to the end of the noun before adding any suffixes.
For example, khlam "berry" is an O-stem noun;
Singular Dual Plural Direct khlam khlamol khlamógu Instrumental khlamom khlamolum khlamógum Allative khlamótj khlamolútj khlamógútj Ablative khlamós khlamolús khlamógús
Many nouns have an "extended stem"; a stem which contains more than just an additional vowel. The extended stem will always be given in brackets after the lexical entry and will include the final vowel. The stem needn't end in O, I, or U, but it will almost always end in a vowel. With such nouns, you should use the stem whenever you need to add suffixes to it.
Here is an example: sjil (sjilno-) "horn";
Singular Dual Plural Direct sjil sjilnol sjilnógu Instrumental sjilnom sjilnolum sjilnógum Allative sjilnótj sjilnolútj sjilnógútj Ablative sjilnós sjilnolús sjilnógús
Some nouns, like fádsu "road", don't need a stem because they already end in a vowel;
Singular Dual Plural Direct fádsu fádsul fádsúgu Instrumental fádsum fádsulum fádsúgum Allative fádsútj fádsulútj fádsúgútj Ablative fádsús fádsulús fádsúgús
There are eight noun classes in Óhylvídós. They are defined by a combination of consistence, edibility, sapience, and tangibility. The class markers, while not appearing on the nouns themselves, appear on adjectives and various pronouns.
No. Final Non-final Description 1 -u -wa- Humans and other beings capable of speech 2 -t -da- Solid objects (e.g., meat, fruit, stones) 3 -ghu -ghuna- Solid, stick-like objects (e.g., sticks, spears, legs) 4 -l -lky- Granular masses (e.g., grains, sand) 5 -tj -dji- Mushy edible objects (e.g., mashed foods) 6 -khyu -khywu- Mushy inedible objects (e.g., mud) 7 -j -ji- Tangible fluids (e.g. water, wind, flames) 8 -sj -sjy- Intangible things (e.g., air, celestial objects, spirits)
Obviously, the non-final forms should be used whenever more endings are to be added after the noun class, otherwise use the final forms.
Classes 2, 3, and 5 always cause lengthening of the previous vowel if it is short. When the class 8 ending is followed by the ablative ending it merges with the -s and causes it to palatalise to -sj: sjígásj sjufís "from the yellow water".
Class 8 is considered a catch-all class; whenever a noun class suffix is needed, but which one to use is unclear, pick class 8.
Adjectives in Óhylvídós agree with their head nouns in noun class and case, but not for number. First, the appropriate class marker is suffixed to the adjective stem and then one of the three case suffixes (or none at all for direct) is added. Here's some examples:
sjígát khlam sjíga-t khlam yellow-NC2 berry "a yellow berry"
sjígakhyu ful sjíga-khyu ful yellow-NC6 wool "a yellow wool"
sjinjéghunam jétjim sjinje-ghuna-m jétj-m thin-NC3-INST arrow-INST "by means of a thin arrow"
The class of adjectives includes numerals and some other determiners. Óhylvídós has a base-8 numeral system. The numerals are:
Dec. Oct. Cardinal Ordinal 1 1 sáwa sáwáhu 2 2 sjy sjíhu 3 3 naltu naltúhu 4 4 méda médáhu 5 5 vúha vúháhu 6 6 médjy médjíhu 7 7 nelsji nelsjíhu 8 10 njáwa njáwáhu 64 100 móla móláhu 512 1000 ghanjmóla ghanjmóláhu
These numerals are inflected like ordinary adjectives. Multiples of 8, 64 and 512 are expressed by combining the ordinal of the multiple with the cardinal of the power of 8, e.g. sjíhunjáwa '16'. Numerals are added with -da-: sjíhunjáwádamédjy '16+6=22'.
Other quantifiers, such as ghíba 'some' and láda 'many' work the same. Examples of noun phrases with numerals and quantifiers:
nelsjít súdógu nelsji-t súd-gu seven-NC2 house-PL "seven houses"
nelsjíhúdás súdós nelsji-hu-da-s sút-s seven-th-NC3-ABL house-ABL "from the seventh house"
ládádam visúwékúgum láda-da-m visúwék-gu-m many-NC3-INST horse-PL-INST "by means of many horses"
Óhylvídós has personal pronouns for the first and second person. For the third person, phoric pronouns (see below) are used. Unlike true nouns, their form allowed the personal pronouns to retain distinct ergative and absolutive cases.
In the transition from Çetázó to Óhylvídós, the pronoun table collapsed and some parts of it had to be rebuilt using analogical forms. As a consequence, the table is like a regular noun inflection, save for a few vowel alternations:
1sg. 1du. 1pl. 2sg. 2du. 2pl. Absolutive na nal nágu sa sal ságu Ergative ne nel nágu se sel ságu Instrumental nóm nalum nágum sóm salum ságum Allative nótj nalútj nágútj sótj salútj ságútj Ablative nós nalús nágús sós salús ságús
There are two phoric pronouns. The anaphoric pronoun ja- refers to a noun already mentioned in discourse; the cataphoric pronoun fy- refers to a noun that will be mentioned in the following discourse. Both pronoun stems require the suffixation of the appropriate noun class marker; the resulting form is then declined like a noun for number and case.
nágu jamja haféhane na-gu jamja haféhane 1-PL man mock-1PL "We mock the man." sát khulúgu jau haféhak sát khul-gu ja-u haféha-k even wolf-PL ANA-NC1 mock-3SG "Even the wolves mocks him."
Óhylvídós has a series of possesive pronouns that are prefixed to a noun in order to show that it is possessed by someone. If it isn't clear from the context, a third-person possessor can be explicitly specified by the postposition am "of" which governs the ablative case.
Singular Dual Plural 1st na- y- í- 2nd sji- li- yki- 3rd i- li- tji-
When a possessive prefix is added to a noun the initial consonant of the noun may change; unvoiced plosives become voiced and unvoiced fricatives become unvoiced plosives. If the noun starts with a vowel then a -j- is inserted between the stem and the prefix.
vilijís am inódjau vilij-s am i-nódau mountain-ABL of 3SG-peak "The mountain's peak"
Óhylvídós has a four-way deixis in demonstratives. The forms are:
tji- near me ta- near you sji- distant, visible fa- distant, invisible
When used attributively, these stems require the suffixation of the appropriate noun class marker and agree with the noun in case like normal adjectives. They can be used substantively, in which case, they also inflect for number like a noun would.
There is also the interrogative pronoun vij- "what" which operates like a demonstrative, but turns the clause into a question. Its use causes interrogative mood (see the verb section).
The Óhylvídós verb is inflected for mood, tense, and participant agreement.
Óhylvídós has five moods; indicative, subjunctive, optative, interrogative, and negative. Affixes for mood are added before any other type of verbal inflection.
Affix Example Translation Indicative - maji- "shines" Subjunctive sul- sulmaji- "might shine" Optative -jy majijy- "may [stg.] shine" Interrogative -we majiwe- "does [stg.] shine" Negative -be majíbe- "does not shine"
As you can see, the negative suffix causes lengthening of the previous vowel.
The indicative is the normal form and is used for direct actions. The subjunctive is used for hypothetical actions or those whose veracity is uncertain. The optative mood indicates an outcome that is desired by the speaker or which they predict to occur. It can also be used as an imperative. The interrogative transforms the clause into a yes/no question. The negative negates the clause.
If a clause is subjunctive or optative but also requires negation then the negative mood will override the other two and their meaning must be expressed adverbially or through other means.
Agreement on verbs marks for the absolutive participant only:
Person Singular Plural 1. - -ne 2. -sj -se 3. -k -k
An example, using fola- "to swell":
Person Singular Plural 1. fola folane 2. folasj folase 3. folák folák
Use the plural inflections for dual nouns. The third-person forms cause vowel lengthening in the preceding syllable.
Óhylvídós has two tenses: past and non-past, with the expected meanings. The non-past tense is unmarked. The past tense has the form sj- before a vowel or j, and su- before a consonant. If that consonant is an alveolar, the prefix su- will cause it to become palatal.
This is a list of derivational suffixes. In this list, the symbol V represents a vowel which repeats the stem vowel. Those marked with a LL cause the previous vowel to become long.
- Abstract noun (gerund) for verb action or state i-stem LL
- Agent noun from verb o-stem LL
- Instrument noun from verb u-stem LL
- Result of verb action o-stem
- Location of event or object i-stem LL
- Feminine i-stem LL
- Offspring of base noun LL
- Derives abstract noun from concrete noun (like English -ness). u-stem LL
- Derives a noun which has a relation of some sort to the base noun. o-stem
- Non-stative from noun
- This suffixes increases the valence of the verb by one, creating transitives and causatives. LL
- Movement towards focus point (usually, speaker)
- Movement away from focus point
- Derives adverbs from nominals and verbs. LL
The syntax of Óhylvídós is strongly head-final: in the noun phrase, modifiers precede the head noun, adpositions follow the NP, and verbs are placed at the end of the clause; the only exception is postpositional phrases which normally follow and not preceed the core arguments of the verb. Basic word order in Óhylvídós is SOV.
The Noun Phrase
The noun phrase consists of a noun preceded by zero or more modifiers (adjectives, genitives, nouns in apposition, relative clauses). Example:
lenlau ylm lik lenlau ylm lik priest without tribe "the tribe without priest"
Postpositions, which express specific local and other relations, are the heads of their phrases and thus follow the NP.
sjikaj ják mole sjika-j ják mole long-NC7 river along "along the long river"
While the noun is the head of the noun phrase, the verb is the head of the clause, and as the noun stands at the end of its noun phrase, the verb stands at the end of the clause.
Óhylvídós is an ergative-absolutive language. The distinction between these two is important for the personal pronouns, but the true nouns use the direct case for both. I will use the terms "ergative" and "absolutive" (and their abbreviated forms ERG and ABS) below for clarity, but you should remember that it is primarily a syntactic label and that the actual morphological forms are identical.
An intransitive clause (i.e., one with an intransitive verb) has the subject in absolutive case or at least an agreement marker on the verb; besides that, it may contain adverbs and adverbial phrases (noun phrases in cases other than ergative or absolutive, or postpositional phrases). The subject (if expressed by a NP or independent pronoun) usually comes first, and the verb comes last.
mált tjídas sughijík mált tji-da-s su-ghiji-k bear(ABS) here-NC2-ABL PAST-run-3SG "The bear ran away from me."
hábdútj vyt flau hábdu-tj vyt flau forest-ALL in walk(1SG) "I walk in the forest."
A transitive clause has two core arguments: the subject in the ergative case, and the object in the absolutive case. The subject precedes the object.
mált tjynkh hábdútj vyt sulufék mált tjynkh hábdútj vyt sul-lufe-k bear(ERG) honey(ABS) forest-LOC in SBJV-find-3SG "The bear may find honey in the forest."
Indirect objects are usually expressed using a postpositional phrase headed by la "to":
sufúsj khlák ijaji la sjinák sufúsj khlák i-aji la sj-ina-k hunter(ERG) skin(ABS) 3SG-wife to PAST-give-3SG "The hunter gave his wife the skin."
The third basic type of clause does not contain a verb; instead, it has a nominal predicate: the predicate is a noun or adjective in the absolutive case. The subject is also in the absolutive case and precedes the predicate.
na sjipune na sji-fune I(ABS) 2SG-father(ABS) "I am your father."
Predicate adjectives act like substantives and so must agree in number:
tjít visúwékúgu végúdágu tji-t visúwék-gu végu-da-gu this-NC2 horse-PL(ABS) fast-NC2-PL "These horses are fast."
Another possibility is to change the predicate noun into a verb by adding the suffix -ja. This is used when a membership in a class of objects is expressed:
tjit khlife visúwékuják tji-t khlife visúwék-ja-k this-NC2 animal(ABS) horse-be-3SG "This animal is a horse."
Of course, that is not all. Clauses can be embedded and otherwise combined, as in any human language.
Clauses may be used as arguments of verbs. A complement clause consists of a clause followed by an anaphoric pronoun that carries the class 8 (intangible) class marker.
se suvejíhák jasj olpáha se su-vejíha-k ja-sj olpáha you(ERG) PAST-kill-3SG ANA-NC8 anger(1SG) "That you killed him angers me."
A relative clause modifies a noun. The clause precedes the modified noun, which is cross-referenced in the clause by a cataphoric pronoun.
jau nágu fyl sutjufúk ghilsj lumák ja-u nágu fy-l su-tjufu-k ghilsj luma-k ANA-NC1 1PL CAT-NC5(ABS) PAST-gather-3SG wheat(ABS) grind-3SG "She is grinding the wheat that we gathered."
Clauses can, of course, not only be subordinated, but also coordinated. The coordinating conjunction (sa "and", sau "or") is placed between the two clauses.
mált suhulpák sa suvejíhák mált su-hulpa-k sa su-vejíha-k bear(ABS) PAST-hunt-3SG and PAST-kill-3SG "He hunted the bear and killed it."
Similarly, noun phrases can be coordinated:
sút sa sjédúhákh susjinjsák sút sa sjédúhákh su-sjinjsa-k house(ABS) and temple(ABS) PAST-build-3SG "He built the house and the temple."
If two nouns are coordinated but their noun classes conflict, the resulting noun class is considered to be NC8 for the purposes of grammatical agreement.
The sentence structure can be transformed to emphasise or deemphasise clause constituents.
In a transitive clause, the subject can be deemphasised by using the explicit ergative postposition kha:
vádjwi sjif sjégúk vádjwi sjif su-jegu-k girl(ERG) deer(ABS) PAST-eat-3SG "The girl ate the deer."
sjif vádjwi kha sjégúk sjif vádjwi kha su-jegu-k deer(ABS) girl ERG PAST-eat-3SG "The deer was eaten by a girl."
(In some places, this postposition is so widespread that it has almost become a true case form. Although, due to the change in word order and the loss of ergative marking on the verbs, the pattern of such sentences is more accusative than ergative.)
Dropping core constituents is explicitly not allowed except in the case of the personal pronouns, where the verbal agreement usually removes the possibility of confusion.
The patient can be incorporated into the verb and thus the verb detransitivized, with the agent in the absolutive case. The incorporated object is indefinite.
vádjwi sjégusjifúk vádjwi su-jegu-sjif-k girl(ABS) PAST-eat-deer-3SG "The girl ate a deer." (lit. "deer-ate")
If the direct object of a ditransitive verb is incorporated (indirect objects cannot be incorporated), the indirect object becomes the new direct object:
se pisáhu lamja la sjinák se písahu lamja la sj-ina-k 1PL.ERG knife(ABS) man DAT PAST-give-3SG "We gave the man the knife."
se lamja sjinapisáhúk se lamja sj-ina-pisáhu-k 1PL.ERG man(ABS) PAST-give-knife-3SG "We gave the man a knife."
The patient of a verb cannot be omitted, but the word ságu "one" can be used as a dummy object.
A clause element can be topicalised by moving it to the front of the clause.
nágu ígéltógu tjisjýtj likótj vyt jesjýbe nágu í-kélt-gu tji-sjy-tj lik-tj vyt jesjýbe 1PL(ERG) 1PL-mother-PL(ABS) DEM-NC9-ALL tribe-ALL in marry-NEG "We do not marry our mothers in this tribe."
tjisjýtj likótj vyt nágu ígéltógu jesjýbe tji-sjy-tj lik-tj vyt nágu í-kélt-gu jesjýbe DEM-NC9-ALL tribe-ALL in 1PL(ERG) 1PL-mother-PL(ABS) marry-NEG "In this tribe, we do not marry our mothers."
Vij saf visúwék ghíbát moúgu susjildák. Ajimja sáwáhút mou am ipul supisák, pil sjíhút mou sughlaták, lamja naltúhút mou suvejíhák. Tjihaj sáf, médáhút mou sufégúk.
Visúwék fysj mou la susjátjík: "Jamjágu moúgu fasák jasj vujáha."
Sáwát mou fysj visúwék la susjátjík: "Sa ghyjajy. Fýt végút sulghijík visúwék fafták sa jégúk sjilda jasj vujáha. Jamjágu jaúgu sjibégút fasák jasj pinábék. Tjit vitjne jaúgu pinák. Fe sol sa jamjágús am tjighilp fuják."
Sjisj ghyjaw kút, visúwék ságáltígútj khamem sughijík.
A horse on a hill saw some sheep. A woman was cutting away the wool of the first sheep, a child was milking the second sheep, a man was slaughtering a third sheep. On their fire, a fourth sheep was being cooked.
The horse said this to a sheep: "It pains me to see humans using sheep like this."
One sheep said this to the horse: "I want you to listen to me. It pains me to see the horse who runs swiftly being shot and eaten. Humans do not know how to use your swiftness. But next year they will know. Then you too will be the slave of the humans!"
Having heard this, the horse fled into the plain.
Vij saf visúwék ghíbát moúgu susjildák. vij saf visúwék ghíba-t mou-gu su-sjilda-k hill on horse some-NC2 sheep-PL PAST-see-3PL A horse on a hill saw some sheep.
Ajimja sáwáhút mou am ipul supisák, ajimja sáwáhu-t mou am i-ful su-pisa-k woman first-NC2 sheep of 3SG-wool PAST-cut-3SG A woman was cutting away the wool of the first sheep,
pil sjíhút mou sughlaták, pil sjíhu-t mou su-ghlata-k child second-NC2 sheep PAST-milk-3SG a child was milking the second sheep,
lamja naltúhút mou suvejíhák. lamja naltúhu-t mou su-vejíha-k man third-NC2 sheep PAST-kill-3SG a man was slaughtering the third sheep.
Tjihaj sáf, médáhút mou sufégúk. tji-haj sáf médáhu-t mou su-fégu-k 3PL-fire on fourth-NC2 sheep PAST-cook-3SG On their fire, the fourth sheep was being cooked.
Visúwék fysj mou la susjátjík: visúwék fysj mou la su-sátji-k horse CATA-NC8 sheep to PAST-say-3SG The horse said this to a sheep:
"Jamjágu moúgu fasák jasj vujáha." jamja-gu mou-gu fasa-k ja-sj vujáha human-PL sheep-PL use-3SG ANA-NC8 hurt(1SG) "It pains me to see humans using sheep like this."
Sáwát mou fysj visúwék la susjátjík: sáwa-t mou fysi visúwék la su-sátji-k one-NC2 sheep CATA-NC8 horse to PAST-say-3SG One sheep said this to the horse:
"Sa ghyjajy." sa ghyja-jy 2SG hear-OPT(1SG) "I want you to listen to me."
"Fýt végút sulghijík visúwék fafták sa jégúk sjilda jasj vujáha." fy-t végu-t sul-ghiji-k visúwék fafta-k sa jégu-k sjilda jasj vujáha CATA-NC2 quick-NC2 SBJV-run-3SG horse shoot-3SG and eat-3SG see(1SG) ANA-NC8 hurt(1SG) "It pains me to see the horse who runs swiftly being shot and eaten."
"Jamjágu jaúgu sjibégút fasák jasj pinábék." jamja-gu ja-u-gu sji-vegu-t fasa-k ja-sj pina-be-k human-PL ANA-NC1-PL 2SG-quick-ness use-3PL ANA-NC8 know-NEG-3SG "Humans do not know how to use your swiftness."
"Tjit vitjne jaúgu pinák." tjit vitjne ja-u-gu pina-k but next.year ANA-NC1-PL know-3SG "But next year they will know."
"Fe sol sa jamjágús am tjighilp fuják." fe sol sa jamja-gu-s am tji-ghilp fuja-k then also 2SG human-PL-ABL of 3PL-slave become-3SG "Then you too will be slave of the humans."
Sjisj ghyjaw kút, visúwék ságáltígútj khamem sughijík. sji-sj ghyja-w kút visúwék ságált-gu-tj khame-m su-ghiji-k that-NC8 hear-GERUND after horse field-PL-ALL fear-INST PAST-run-3SG Having heard that, the horse fled into the plain.