| To Be Continued...|
Zju is still working on this article. The contents are incomplete and likely to undergo changes.
Closely related varieties are spoken on the islands to the north and on Tuysàfa south-central peninsula.
| Ɫɑccekkɔmɔ lùk |
|Spoken in|| Domemmon peninsula |
|Basic word order||VSO|
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Synchronic sound changes
- 3 Pronouns
- 4 Nouns
- 5 Verbs
- 5.1 Negation
- 5.2 Core arguments
- 5.3 Imperfective verbs
- 5.4 Perfective verbs
- 5.5 Participles
- 5.6 Passive mood
- 5.7 Imperative mood
- 5.8 Copula
- 6 Syntax
- 7 Numerals
- 8 Derivational morphology
- 9 Lexicon
|voiceless stop||/p/||/t/||/t̅ʃ/ ‹c›||/k/|
|voiced stop||/b/||/d/||/d̅ʒ/ ‹cg›||/g/|
|liquid||/r/ /ɾ/ /l/||/j/||/ɫ/|
All consonants can be geminated. Geminated ɾ is r. Geminated cg is ccg. There are no other consonant clusters, except for the type of stop + liquid in the most recent layer of loanwords. Some speakers substitute cg with c and most do the same with ccg and cc respectively.
|close - mid||/e/||/o/ /ɤ/|
|open - mid||/ɛ/||/ɐ/ ‹ạ›||/ɔ/|
Stress is fixed on first syllable. Two vowels never appear in hiatus. All vowels except for ɛ, ɔ and ɑ have long counterparts. Long vowels - and only long vowels - carry one of three tones: rising ó, even ō and falling ò.
Synchronic sound changes
Some sound changes occur when adding affixes.
When a prefix is added, it changes the initial cosnonant and there are several patterns of change. Which one is it depends on the prefix, and this is shown with a letter when the prefix is presented. If there is no letter, then the gradation pattern is the second one, which is default. The gradation patterns are mostly named after the gradation of t.
For some consonants more than one gradation pattern is possible, which is marked with superscript in the table - the choice depends on the individual word and is written in the dictionary entry with the corresponding number.
The choice between the two variants of S gradation depends on other factors.
|word initial||(def)||T||T n||N||L||S|
|p||p||pp||pp||mm||vv||vv / v|
|t||t||tt||tt||nn||ll||ss / s|
|c||c||cc||cc||nn¹ / jj²||ll||ʃʃ / ʃ|
|k||k||kk||kk||ŋŋ||ɫɫ||xx / x|
|b||m||bb||mm||mm||vv||vv / v|
|cg||n||ccg||nn||nn||ll||ʒʒ / ʒ|
|g||ŋ||kk||kk||ŋŋ||ɫɫ||ɫɫ / ɫ|
|m||m||pp||pp||mm||vv||vv / v|
|n¹||n||tt||tt||nn||ll||ss / s|
|n²||n||cc||cc||nn||ll||ʃʃ / ʃ|
|f||f||pp||pp||mm||vv||ff / f|
|s||s||tt||tt||nn||ll||ss / s|
|ʃ||ʃ||cc||cc||nn||ll||ʃʃ / ʃ|
|x||x||kk||kk||ŋŋ||ɫɫ||xx / x|
|v||v||bb||mm||mm||vv||vv / v|
|ʒ||ʒ||ccg||nn||nn||ll||ʒʒ / ʒ|
|l||l||tt||tt||nn||ll||ss / s|
|j¹²||n¹ / j²||jj||nn¹ / jj²||nn¹ / jj²||ll||ʒʒ / ʒ|
|j³||j||cc||cc||jj||ll||ʃʃ / ʃ|
|ɫ¹||ŋ||ɫɫ||ŋŋ||ŋŋ||ɫɫ||ɫɫ / ɫ|
|ɫ²||ɫ||kk||kk||ŋŋ||ɫɫ||xx / x|
Some suffixes which begin with a consonant upon adding to a consonant final word undergo consonant gradation just like stem initial consonants. In this case, the morpheme before the newly added suffix determines the type of the gradation and if it ends in a consonant, drops it. This type of change is mostly found in verbal morphology.
Some other suffixes just lose their initial consonant to the word's final consonant, which geminates.
Rising and falling tones vary between each other - which one of them is used depends solely on the last morpheme. Morphemes are two types - rising tone morphemes and falling tone morphemes. The latter are majority so the former are explicitly marked with +. All changing tones have to be either rising or falling.
Even tones are neutral and do not take part in tone harmony.
In both nominal and verbal morphology some word final ŋ's drop whenever another suffix is added. There's no rule which ŋ's are fleet and which are not, so they have to be learned for every specific case.
Sequences of more than two nasals in a row a prohibited by the following denasalisation rule:
X V N V X → X V D V X
- N is a nasal.
- D is the corresponding voiced plosive.
- V is a vowel.
- X is either a nasal, a denasalised nasal or a voiced plosive, but at least one of the two has to be a nasal or a denasalised nasal.
The rule operates for as long as possible, so the sequence NNNNNND would become NDDDDDD. The rules applies for single and geminated consonants alike.
|P||ɫɑ||N or O||ɫɑŋ|
|P||ɫɑŋɑ||N or O||ɫɑŋɑŋ|
|P||dɑŋɑ||N or O||dɑŋɑŋ|
|P||lèvɔŋạŋɑ||N or O||lévɔŋạgɑŋ|
|P||ɫạ̀t||N or O||ɫɑn|
|P||ɫɑŋɑt||N or O||ɫɑŋɑn|
|P||lɛŋɑ||N or O||lɛŋɑŋ|
|P||moŋɑ||N or O||mogɑŋ|
|P||leŋạ̀t||N or O||leŋɑn|
The demonstrative pronouns are formed by replacing le- with:
le- - this one here
vile- - that one there, visible to the speaker
kạ̀nne- - that one yonder, out of the sight of the speaker
There are two classes in the verbal morphology and three classes in the nominal.
|Nominal morphology||Verbal morphology|
|human H||human H|
| animate A
|non human N|
The class is a semantic rather than lexical division - words occasionally can change their class.
-Pets are usually H class.
-Human can be referred to pejoratively in A class.
-Most plants are A class.
-Trees are A class and their fruits and lumber are I class, with all three using a single word.
-Some natural forces, especially those which move, can be used in A class to emphasize their nature.
-Gasses - air, smoke, steam - are infact usually used in A class.
Nevertheless, the usual class of a word is given in its word entry.
The class distinction is maintained only in singular, in plural and indefinite all three classes are merged.
There are three numbers - singular, plural and indefinite. Indefinite number is used to:
-Specify an indefinite and inexact number of objects - in this usage it contrasts with the plural, which, if used, denotes that the number of objects is known or somehow can be inferred. In this case it's best translated by the word 'some'.
-Extending the above usage, it could even stand for the number one, if the speaker isn't sure if there is one or more isntances of the object in question (paucal indefinite).
-It's used after some quantifiers, but not usually after numbers, where plural is used (and singular after the numeral one).
-When used after number it denotes an approximate quantity: 8 ID.bird 'around eight birds'
Not all nouns however can be used in indefinite number. Those which don't have the indefinite are always used in plural in the cases indefinite would be used. Nouns that can be used in indefinite are:
-Most of the nouns in I class.
-None of the nouns in H class.
-Most fish, trees and birds.
-Cattle, herd and pack animals.
-Bees, wasps, ants and some other insects.
-And in general, all animals that live in large groups.
-The usage can be extended to crowds expressing pejorative connotations.
Mass nouns are almost never used in plural. Instead, they are used in:
-Singular when talking in general.
-Singular to denote lesser quantities and indefinite to denote greater quantities.
-In singular after the numeral one to denote one instance/grain/drop/cup/pair/whatever of the noun.
The cases are:
- H class nouns singular: nominative(direct), oblique(+accusative), connegative, allative, locative, ablative, vocative
- H class nouns plural: nominative(direct), oblique(+accusative), connegative, allative, locative, ablative, vocative
- N class nouns singular: nominative, accusative(direct), oblique, connegative, allative, locative, ablative, vocative
- N class nouns plural&indefinite: direct (nominative+accusative), oblique, connegative, allative, locative, ablative, vocative
The basic, underived caseform of nouns is sometimes called direct case. The only differences between noun classes in plural is that H class nouns use O for accusative, whereas N class nouns use D instead.
Its main uses are:
- serving as accusative for H class nouns singular and plural.
- to denote the indirect object (dative case)
- to denote inalienable possession
- it governs most adpositions
- it's used for all direct objects of perfective verbs
It's used to form negative clauses. It replaces the direct (nominative and accusative) case, but the oblique doesn't get replaced.
Most cases are formed by adding a prefix to the direct case, the least marked form.
|Direct||-||nɑ- ²||ɫɑ- T ²|
|Oblique|| bɔ- Tn (H nouns)
ɫɑ- Tn (A nouns)
tɛ- Tn (I nouns)
|nɑ- Tn||ɫɑ- Tn|
|Connegative||mu- ³||munɑ- ⁴||moŋɑ- T|
|Locative||bu- ³||bunɑ-||boŋɑ- T|
|∅|| ɛ ɫɑ- T |
ɛnɛ ɫɑ- T
nɛŋɑ- T (rare)
¹ Only for some A and I nouns.
² Nominative case of A and I nouns merges with direct in indefinite and plural.
Various vocative prefixes have variations in meaning and usage. ɛ and ɛnɛ can also be as stand alone particles, without a noun.
|Vocative ¹|| ɛmɔsi
|∅|| ɛ ɫɑppɔsi |
¹ Allowed if the noun is being animated.
A and I class nouns form the nominative from accusative, which is their basic, non derived form. The two most widespread patterns are:
- For nouns ending in a vowel, -ni is added.
- For nouns ending in a consonant, -jje- is infixed before the last consonant.
However, there are many subrules as to how to form the nominative for both stems.
- Word final -ɤ -i -u are raised to -ạ -e -o before -ni.
- Sometimes the suffix -jje is used instead.
- Words ending in a long even vowel generally use the suffix -cgi, often changing the last stem consonant.
- Some of the nouns end in a fleet ŋ. Therefore they drop it and add -ni.
- There are many infixes which are used, -jje- being the most common one. Nouns ending in a fricative usually use -ʒi- and those ending in ɫ usually use -lli-.
- A number of nouns ending in -f however use the infix -lli- as well.
- Some other infixes are for example -ʒʒi- and -ri-.
- Sometimes the non standard infixes change the quality of the preceding vowel.
In general, all words in nominative change any rising vowels to falling.
All irregular nominative forms are given in the lexicon. Regular nominatives are considered:
- Those formed using -ni after a vowel, changing its quality or not, but not those formed from nouns that have fleet ŋ.
- Those formed using the infix -jje-.
- Those formed using the infix -lli- formed from nouns ending in -ɫ.
- Those formed using the infix -ʒi- formed from nouns ending in fricatives other than -f.
- Any changes to vowels caused by infixes are considered irregular.
Verbs have four principal forms:
- imperfective participle
- 3rd person non-human class singular present tense imperfective
- perfective participle
- 3rd person non-human class singular present tense perfective
They usually have the same root and there is a good number of rules of thumb to form them, but none is completely predictable from any other.
Verbs conjugate for person, number, class, tense, aspect, mood and optionally for negation. Imperfective verbs also have polypersonal agreement.
Negative clauses are formed in this way:
- Direct case (nom & acc) is replaced by connegative
- Oblique case is never replaced
- If there is no direct object in connegative (for whatever reason), the verb takes a negative ending, or a negative variant of its usual ending
- Personal pronouns do not have connegative case and never switch case. Indefinite pronouns are replaced with corresponding negative pronouns, e.g. somewhere → nowhere.
|Intransitive||SUBJ(class, person, number)||SUBJ(class, number).TENSE||∅||NEG|
|Definite object||SUBJ(class, person, number).OBJ(class, person, number)||SUBJ(class, number).TENSE||∅||NEG|
|Indefinite object||SUBJ(class, person, number)||SUBJ(class, number).TENSE||OBJ(class, person, number)||NEG|
Definiteness is marked only on the verb when it is imperfective. The only affix, which is not obligatory, is the negation suffix.
All verbs have a thematic vowel. It is mostly invariable, but there are some changes before a few endings. Some irregular verbs exhibit thematic vowel changes across all of their paradigm. If it is long in the second principal form, length also varies. Any vowel can be thematic.
Some verbs lose their thematic vowel altogether in perfective aspect - this loss is quite widespread and somewhat irregular. In another subset of verbs the last stem consonant is lost or changed as well.
|1 ex||li-, le-||le- T n|
|1 in||gɑle- T n|
|2||gɑ- S||gɑ- T|
|3 H||bɔ-||ɫɑ- T||nɑ-|
le- is used when the initial root consonant changes, li- is used otherwise.
The same set of endings is used for indefinite object imperfective verbs.
Definite object preverb
|Subj / Obj||1 sg||1 pl exc||1 pl inc||2 sg||2 pl||3 H||3 N||3 pl||3 id||same subj and obj|
|1 sg||-||lile- T n||linne- T n||liŋɑ- S||linne- T n||li- T||li- N||leŋɑ- T||li- N||lenɛ- L|
|1 pl exc||-||-||-||lekkɑ- S||lekkạ̀- T n||lemmɔ-||lettɛ-||leŋŋɑ- T||lettɑ-||lennɛ- L|
|1 pl inc||-||-||-||gɑlekkɑ- S||gɑlekkạ̀- T n||gɑlemmɔ-||gɑlettɛ-||gɑleŋŋɑ- T||gɑlettɑ-||gɑlennɛ- L|
|2 sg||gɑssi-||gɑsse- T n||gɑffù- T n||-||-||gɑvvɔ-||gɑssɛ-||gɑɫɫɑ- T||gɑssɑ-||gɑʒʒɛ- L|
|2 pl||gɑtti-||gɑtte- T n||gɑppù- T n||-||-||gɑbbɔ-||gɑttɛ-||gɑɫɫɑ- T||gɑttɑ-||gɑjjɛ- L|
|3 H||bɔ- L||bɔle- T n||bɔnne- T n||bɔŋɑ- S||bɔnne- T n||bɔ- T||bɔ- N||bɔŋɑ- T||bɔ- N||bɔnɛ- L|
|3 N||je- L||jele- T n||jenne- T n||jeŋɑ- S||jenne- T n||je- T||je- N||jeŋɑ- T||je- N||jenɛ- L|
|3 pl||ɫɑtti-||ɫɑtte- T n||ɫɑppù- T n||ɫɑkkɑ- S||ɫɑkkạ̀- T n||ɫɑbbɔ-||ɫɑttɛ-||ɫɑɫɫɑ- T||ɫɑttɑ-||ɫɑjjɛ- L|
|3 id||nɑ- L||nɑle- T n||nɑnne- T n||nɑŋɑ- S||nɑnne- T n||nɑ- T||nɑ- N||nɑŋɑ- T||nɑ- N||nɑnɛ- L|
|generic||mo- L||mole- T n||monne- T n||moŋɑ- S||monne- T n||mo- T||mo- N||moŋɑ- T||mo- N||monɛ- L|
gɑssi-, gɑtti- and ɫɑtti- become gɑsse-, gɑtte-, ɫɑtte- when the first root consonant changes.
|Present tense||Past tense||Future tense|
|H class ¹||-ŋ||-veŋ||-meŋ|
|N class ²||-ɫ S, -f S||-f S, -vif S||-m N, -mif S|
| Plural &
|-∅ T +||-vi T +||-mi T +|
¹ All instances of ŋ are fleet.
² Whether the ending is -ɫ or -f depends on the individual verb. ɫ verbs take -f ending in past tense, f verbs take -vif. All verbs take -mif in future tense, however ɫ verbs shorten it to -m if there are no other endings.
Long thematic vowels are shortened and sometimes raised in H class and plural present tense. ɤ u i become ạ o e in H class present.
There are some more changes in past tense. Some verbs that have a nasal before their thematic vowel raise the vowel before the nasal from ɤ u i to ạ o e. Verbs that have v ɫ l before their thematic vowel geminate those consonants to vv ɫɫ ll.
Consonant gradation applies whenever the last morpheme ends in a consonant other than fleet ŋ.
|1 exc||-li||-leŋ +|
|3 H||-bɔ||-ɫɑ +||-nɑ|
The negative suffix is -m after vowels and fleet ŋ and -mù after consonants. In the later case m never surfaces as it is subject to consonant gradation.
Thematic vowel ablaut patterns
Major patterns are:
- ɑ in both present participles and ò elsewhere.
- i in present tense and ɔ in past and future. (marked as ɔ)
- i in present tense, ɔ in past and u in future. (marked as ɔ u)
- ɤ in present tense plural and u elsewhere. (marked as ɤ)
- ɤ in present imperfective participle, ɤ̀ in present tense plural and ù elsewhere.
Morpheme structure: STEM - SUBJ(person, class, number).TENSE.NEG
Some verbs are defective in that they do not distinguish between aspect and conjugate only as perfective verbs.
If the verb stem ends in a vowel(i.e. the 4th principal form does not end in -itạ̀k or -etạ̀k), the endings drop their initial vowel, which causes some syncretism.
Imperfective verbs form the passive mood by changing the postverb to N class for H class subjects and to H class otherwise.
Perfective verbs form the passive by adding another suffix immediately after the stem.
The copula inflects for tense and subject's person, number and class. To form negative clauses with the copula, a suppletive form is used and only the predicate changes its case to connegative.
Word order is VSO. The verb starts the sentence in most cases. The focused word or noun phrase, if present, comes before the verb. The verb can also be preceeded by the particle bòɫ, which adds mediopassive meaning - doing something for oneself or to oneself.
¹ Mòsɛŋ is the default word used for counting. For humans mòvɔ is used and for animals - mòxɤ. All these forms further decline in case.
Ɫɑccekkɔmɔ lùk uses prefixes as well as suffixes to derive new words from existing ones. Suffixes usually have two allomorphs - one used after consonant and one used after vowels. Derivational prefixes trigger consonant gradation just like inflectional ones.