| Cednìtıt |
[ ɕɛtnjʌ̀tʰəʔ ]
|Period||c. 0 YP|
|Spoken in||Potantrommo Bay, in southeastern Tuysáfa|
|Classification|| T1 languages|
|Basic word order||OV/SOV|
|Morphology||agglutinating/polysynthetic with some fusion|
Cednìtıt (ca-dnittobcì lit. the-dust-language) is a T1 language spoken in southeastern Tuysáfa. The exact location is located slightly west of the main focus area of Cursed Relay 2, against the southern coastline of a bay area called Potantrommo (potantrommo [pʰotʰantʰommo] lit. it-flows-into-this-place). It is a descendant of Proto-T1 and was created for the reconstruction relay. Though Cednìtıt is actually the endonym of speakers of what they call ca-dnittobcì, due to similarities between the two words it will be referred to as Cednìtıt throughout this article. Cednìtıt is related to West Yalan, East Yalan, Omari, Teyetáti, Hkətl’ohnim, Tumetıęk and Icethā.
The lexicon can be found here.
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Morphology
- 2.1 Nouns
- 2.2 Verbs
- 2.3 Derivational Morphology
- 3 Syntax
- 4 Sample Text
Consonants in parentheses are considered allophonic.
|plosive||p pʰ||(t̪ t̪ʰ)||t tʰ||ʈ ʈʰ||k kʰ||(ʔ)|
- /p t̪ t ʈ k/ are written b d d dr g
- /pʰ t̪ʰ tʰ ʈʰ kʰ/ are written p t t tr k
- word final glottal stops are written as aspirated plosives
- l r are usually pronounced [ʋ], depending on the source word.
- /ɸ s̪ ɕ ʂ x/ are written f th c sr x
- /ʋ/ is written w
The Cednìtıt vowel inventory is as follows.
Additionally, there are two low tone diphthongs /jʌ̀ ʋʌ̀/.
A basic syllable consists of an onset, nucleus, and coda. Of these, only the vowel is obligatory.
Valid onsets may consist of the following combinations:
- any single consonant
- any fricative followed by any nasal
- /θ/ followed by any fricative
- any coronal plosive followed by a fricative at the same POA: /t̪θ t̪ʰθ tɕ tʰɕ ʈʂ tʰʂ/ <dth tth dc tc dsr tsr>. These function basically as a series of coronal affricates.
- any aspirated plosive followed by a nasal at a different POA.
- all of the above followed by the glide /ʋ/ <w>
- <l> is pronounced [ʋ] in onsets
Valid nuclei consist only of single vowels or the low tone diphthongs /jʌ̀ ʋʌ̀/. Compounding or affixing that results in two vowels adjacent to each other is resolved by:
- epenthetic [ʋ~w] is inserted after /a o u/ and spelled <w>
- epenthetic [a] is inserted after /ə, jʌ̀, ʋʌ̀/ and spelled <a>
- epenthetic [w] is inserted after /i e/ and spelled <w>
Valid codas may consist of the following combinations:
- any single consonant
- any coronal plosive followed by fricative at same POA
- <l>, which is pronounced [l]
- the glide /ʋ/ followed by a nasal
- nasal followed by plosive at same POA
- fricative followed by /t/
- /r/ followed by a plosive
Cednìtıt practices coronal harmony, where all coronal consonants in a "word" (including root and bound affixes, but not including clitics) conform to the point of articulation the first coronal consonant in the word. It should be noted that [t̪] and [n̪] are not phonemic and thus trigger alveolar harmony. The three coronal series are as follows:
- Dental: t̪ t̪ʰ n̪ s̪~θ <d t n th>
- Alveolar: t tʰ n ɕ <d t n c>
- Retroflex: ʈ ʈʰ ɳ ʂ <dr tr nr sr>
Because spelling is based on principles of phonemes, the word <owdrubthık> /oʋʈupθək/ is pronounced [oʋʈupʂəʔ].
- Final plosives become glottal stop [ʔ]
- /l/ is [ʋ] in all positions except word finally.
- /r/ is [ʋ] as a coda or in a coda cluster.
- Some dialects lower high vowels in positions adjacent to velar consonants.
- Initial plosives are often dropped when found in onset clusters with nasals. The nasal takes the POA of the plosive.
- unstressed vowels may be diphthongized or centralized; /i u e o ə a/ > [jɪ wʊ jə wə ɔ aj/aw] > [ɪ ʊ ə ə ɔ æ ɒ]
- word final /i e ə/ are devoiced adjacent to voiceless consonants, and eventually dropped completely.
- /ɸ/ > [f] adjacent to dental consonants
- Neutral Vowel Allophony
- [ɨ] following front vowels and /ɕ/; [ʌ] following /ʋ/
- Coda morphs:
- /ə/ > [ʋ] > [w] / [a,o,u]_
- /ə/ > [a] / [ə, jʌ̀, ʋʌ̀]_
- /ə/ > Ø / [i, e]_
- [n t tʰ] > [ɾ] / V_ə
- [ŋ k kʰ] > [ŋʷ kʷ kʰʷ] / V_ə
- [ə] elsewhere.
- Sequences of two consecutive plosives across morpheme boundaries results in deletion of plosive on bound morpheme and geminate consonant on the stem. (wit + pnim [stem] > wippnim)
- Sequences of two consecutive fricatives across morpheme boundaries results in deletion of fricative on bound morpheme and geminate consonant on the stem. (ox [stem] + thu > oxxu)
- Sequences of obstruent + nasal across morpheme boundaries results in deletion of obstruent and geminate nasal. (it + ne > inne)
Cednìtıt inflects for animacy/definiteness, and case. These affixes generally follow a simple template of <root>-DEF.A/I-CASE
Animacy and Definiteness
The following chart lists The definite article =ca has largely become an indicator of animacy. It has, in effect, fused with original animate/inanimate affixes to the point that the animacy of the noun is only specified when a specific instance of the noun is being introduced.
Animacy/Definiteness is only specified for third person arguments.
- -ncu often becomes -nco by analogy.
Cednìtıt inflects rather simply for case, generally employing only three main affixes.
|Nominative||(unmarked)||used to mark subjects of clauses.|
|Accusative||-(a)n (nasal assimilates to POA of final obstruent -ip > -im. The allomorph -an is used after nasals)||used to mark direct objects of transitive clauses|
|Oblique||-ı (after consonants and [i])/-w (after vowels)||used to mark secondary objects of ditransitive clauses. Also used in some genitive constructions.|
Because pronominal prefixes are present as verbal affixes, pronouns are often dropped in the first and second persons, but can be useful in distinguishing between third person arguments because of their similarity.
Possessives in Cednìtıt are indicated by modifying prefixes on the noun, indicating the possessors. Only animate nouns can act as possessors; inanimate nouns form compounds using the genitive construction.
- Note: Nouns beginning with mu-, nu-, or ŋu lose u- when a prefix is attached. ie. nusrip ear → ensrip my ear
Compounding is a simple method of combining multiple nominals to form a more complex meaning. The most common construction takes the form of <HEAD>-OBL/GEN-<MODIFIER>, forming a general genitive compound. The genitive marker is often elided when the second part of the compound begins with a vowel, resulting in a simple concatenation of the two nouns.
- dteŋ hair + paxı lion → dteŋıpaxı mane
- ar star + cowo summit, peak → arıcowo North Star (?)
Cednìtıt verbal morphology is significantly more complex than nominal morphology. Verbal complexes are formed using the following template:
Cednìtıt employs several sets of pronominal prefixes. The first is used for simple subjects, indicating the person, number, and animacy of subjects of intransitive clauses. Tense marking, which is differentiated between nonpast and past tenses, is incorporated into the pronoun prefixes.
- Additionally, the definite article ca can also be used as a particle which marks appositives and relative clauses when it is prefixed before nominalized predicate.
- cadnittobcìw onen edadthakıxt.
ca=dnit-dobcì-w o-ne-n eda-dthak-ıxt
DEF=dust-language-OBL speak-NOMINALIZER-ACC 1s>3si-have.ability-NEG
I don't have the ability to speak Cednìtıt.
- cadnittobcìw onen edadthakıxt.
In transitive and ditransitive clauses, the roles of the subject and primary object must be specified.
Cednìtıt employs various modal infixes/particles to provide nuances on the meaning of the verb.
|Potential||-tthon-||denotes ability or potential for action to occur in the future. Often functions as a future tense marker, though it can also be combined with past tense pronoun prefixes.|
|denotes desire for a nominal, or desire for oneself or someone/thing else to perform an action|
|Subjunctive||-(o)sr-||denotes possible future outcome, implies possibility, but not absolute certainty. Certainty is of a lesser and more neutral degree than that which is implied by the Potential modal marker, which is skewed towards the fulfillment of the specified situation.|
Preverbs indicate various relationships between nominal arguments and specify manners in which actions are performed. Many verb stems associate heavily with specific preverbs to form lexicalized idiomatic compounds.
|-o-||ACC||towards, near, antibenefactive|
|-ath(ga)-||ACC||away, apart, into pieces, benefactive|
|-gim-||ACC*||out of, through|
|-em-, -en-||across, along exterior surface, around, beside (without interaction)|
|-wot-||OBL||wavering, no clear direction (also refers to habitual states so overcooked that they are taken to be inalienable truths at the moment of utterance)|
|-(i)wk-||OBL||inside, within, with (instrumental)|
[*] With transitivizing suffix -(i)nt, if necessary.
Verbal Stems and Aspect Markers (Circumstantials)
Unlike previous affixes, which are generally true prefixes (or infixes for preverbs), circumstantials are fusional in nature and may cause minor stem changes depending on the interaction between the final sounds and circumstantial affixes. In some cases, circumstantial affixes can be used to form lexical verbal compounds. For the most part, Cednìtit uses circumstantials as aspectual markers, indicating level of completion and level of volition.
The indicative form is used to describe general events in sequence. It consists of a pronominal marker and the bare form of the stem, though it can never be combined with prefixes marking past tense.
- wucu pull → mupunsrip edawucu I pull on his/her ear
Cednìtit differentiates five aspects: prospective, inceptive, imperfective, progressive, and perfective. These can all be used to describe events in the present and past tenses.
Prospective is in anticipatory state which announces an intention for some action to occur.
- For consonantal stems, -e is suffixed:
tenir make → edatenire I intend to make (something)
- For non-consonantal stems, the final vowel is fronted. < i e u > become -i, and all other vowels become -e.
xene breathe → ùxeni you intend to breathe
xwù kill → thexwe he intended to kill me
Inceptive refers to the point in time in which events have just begun.
- Consonantal stems: -i is suffixed:
ıdcap lie down → ùwıdcapi they started to lie down
- Coronal stems <th t d n c tr dr nr sr>: final coronal consonant is dropped, -dci is suffixed:
dcıt stare at → udcıdci we started to stare at you
- Non-consonantal: final vowel is dropped, -ic is suffixed:
wınti shine upon → tthowıntic (the sun) begins to shine down upon us
Imperfective refers to events in progress at the time of reference but not yet completed.
- Consonantal: -ı is suffixed. If final consonant is preceded by a sonorant, it undergoes lenition: plosive > fricative; nasal/sonorant+plosive > nasal/sonorant(geminate):
cıt run → ocıcı they are running
aŋk apologize → ìaŋŋı I'm sorry (to you)
- Non-consonantal: final vowel is dropped, -ı is suffixed, triggering lenition of the final consonant:
noranti wash, clean → wontan donorannı we are washing the dog
Progressive describes events advancing towards a specific goal, or advancing towards the state describe by a stative verb.
- Consonantal: -a is suffixed. If final consonant is preceded by a sonorant, it undergoes lenition:
rìwul be drunk → erìwulla I am getting (becoming) drunk
triŋ rule over → otriŋŋa he will (soon) be ruling over us
- Non-consonantal: final vowel is dropped, -a is suffixed, triggering lenition of the final consonant:
cuctcu be dry → ırnca ocuctca the flowers are drying out
Perfective marks actions which have been completed or have ended.
- Consonantal: -thu is suffixed, assimilating as a fricative at the same POA of the final consonant.
exp be tanned → expfu I am completely tanned
neck climb (a mountain) → truneckxu I finished climbing (the mountain)
- Coronal: -thu is suffixed, again, with th assimilating as a fricative at the same POA of the final consonant.
xowt pillage → ùdaxowtcu they completely pillaged it
- Non-consonantal: -thu is suffixed:
xwù kill → thıxwùthul she was murdered (passive)
Though lexical verb stems usually have a specific valence with assigned roles for subject and object(s), these can be modified through the use of voice markers, which are affixed to the verb complex. Valence affixes also exist; however, many distinctions are lexical in nature.
|-(a)l-||stative passive voice marker. Original subject and primary object exchange roles.|
|-(a)wk-||dynamic passive voice marker.|
|-k(a)-||causative for intransitive stems. Also marker for dynamic verbs.|
|-ca-||causative for transitive stems.|
|-n(i)t-||transitivizer for intransitive verbs. Also used as a comparative suffix (see below).|
(to be expanded)
Verb > Noun
- Xne - general verbal nominalizer, the way one Xs (marginal) - -n assimilates to POA of final plosive, if applicable, and causes it to become a geminate nasal
- thın walk > thınne walking, or thınne gait
- Xcu, Xtcu, Xdcu - abstract nominalization of X - final syllable removed if it does not end with a coronal plosive or nasal
- tenir create, make > tencu idea, something that has been created
- oxtı honor (someone) > oxtcu honor
- Xmı, Xemı - occupation or person associated with non-stative verb X- m assimilates to POA of final plosives or nasals and causes final plosives to become nasals. The form Xemı replaces final vowels of roots that end in < i e ı>.
- xwù kill > xwùmı killer, murderer
- guth dig, farm > guthmı farmer
- fak hit, fight > faŋŋı fighter, warrior
Noun > Noun
- X(o)rt - related to X
- triŋìme king > triŋìmort be kingly, be royal, be regal
Basic word order is SOV. Pronouns are usually only present for emphasis or for introducing an actor in a sentence. Third person pronouns are also often used to differentiate between singular, plural, animate and inanimate third person nouns.
Noun phrases head consist of a nominal head, inflected for case, which are preceded by modifiers in the form of verbal compounds.
In noun phrases with only a single argument and a stative verb, it is common to attach the uninflected noun directly to the front of the stem, precluding the need for pronominal prefixes on the verb. In this case, definiteness is not marked as a suffix on the noun and is no longer distinguished; instead, emphasis is placed on the entire compound, which gains the relativizer ca= (also c'=) and a nominalizing suffix (usually -ne). Relative clauses will be covered in more detail later.
Verbal modifiers are not limited to stative verbs.
Though first and second pronouns are generally not necessary, they may be included for emphasis, especially when the noun phrase is to be used as an embedded phrase within a longer sentence.
For the most part, numbers and ordinal clauses pattern similarly to stative verbs and adjectival phrases.
Cednìtit has a base-10 counting system.
Numbers from 21-99 are formed by compounding the units digit with the corresponding tens digit. An epethentic <a> is inserted before the tens digit if preceded by a consonant.
Values greater than 100 are formed in a similar manner, with the multiplier for the 100s digit preceding enetr hundred.
To specify a specific quantity of a noun, the number root is inflected as a typical verb root, taking the appropriate person agreement prefix. The noun whose quantity is being specified only denotes singular or plural when a definite article is being employed. In any other case, the noun remains uninflected except for case. Note special suppletive vocabulary for definite and ordinal forms for 1 and 5.
|ot one, un begin||paxı owot||paxıco owun1||ca paxunne1|
|nıt two||paxı onıt||paxıncu onıt||ca paxınınne|
|tha three||paxı otha||paxıncu otha||ca paxıthane|
|gep four||paxı ogep||paxıncu ogep||ca paxıgemme|
|we five, fak hit, strike, slap||paxı owe||paxıncu ofak2||ca paxıfaŋŋe2|
|dok six||paxı odok||paxıncu odok||ca paxıdoŋŋe|
|ù seven||paxı owù||paxıncu owù||ca paxùne|
|fe eight||paxı ofe||paxıncu ofe||ca paxıfene|
|ola nine||paxı owola||paxıncu owola||ca paxıwola|
|anatr ten||paxı owanatr||paxıncu owanatr||ca paxıwanannre|
|nanıt twenty||paxı onanıt||paxıncu onanıt||ca paxınanıt|
|otananıt twenty-one||paxı owotananıt||paxıncu owunananıt1||ca paxunananıt1|
|wenanù seventy-five||paxı owenanù||paxıncu owenanù (no suppletion)||ca paxıwenanù (no suppletion)|
1Uses the root un begin
2Uses the root fak hit, strike, slap
Intransitive Verbs: the simplest construction consists of an intransitive or stative verb and a single nominal argument.
Transitive Verbs take an additional argument, and have polypersonal agreement as per the pronominal prefixes described earlier. Third person nominal arguments take appropriate case suffixes
Ditransitive Verbs function similarly to transitive verbs, the only difference being that an additional nominal argument is added, taking the role of indirect object (recipient) or instrumental (by means of). Verbal morphology does not receive any affixes to agree with the oblique argument; oblique case pronouns are used instead.
Relative clauses can be thought of as glorified versions of noun phrases. Cednìtit has three relative particles, which precedes the modifier clause. The full relative clause precedes the noun which is being modified.
- ca is a general use particle, and is found before clauses modifying abstract nominals:
- ca dìomuìxınal dacuŋŋe the heresy you forced us to perform
- cin is found before clauses modifying animate nouns:
- cin oxosr xa bcìm the man who can pick me up
- sru is used before clauses modifying inanimate concrete nouns:
- sru owotak ne the cloud that is floating
Cednitıt circumfixes n(u)t- -n(i)t around a bare stative verb stem to form a comparative verb. It should be noted that the two individual parts of this affix fit within the general verbal template, with n(u)t- patterning with as a preverb in the -1 slot and -n(i)t in the +3 valence slot. This essentially forms a transitive verb with the two subjects being compared taking the role of subject and object, where the subject exhibits the quality in question in a greater quantity or intensity.
Simple comparisons between two noun phrases are not necessarily limited to stative verbs. When other intransitive verbs and transitive verbs are used in comparative constructions, the meaning "more often" or "more" is implied.
The original object of a transitive verb is moved to the oblique case, while the original subject of the verb becomes the object of comparison. The noun taking the nominative case is the one that performs the activity in question more often than the original subject.
Stative Verbs & Adjectivals
The status of adjectivals in Cednìtit is debatable. In many situations, adjectivals function simply as stative verbs, following verbal morphology and using the same derivational affixes. However, there are also situations in which the same roots function independent of the verb template and directly modify nouns or other verbs. Most notably, these situations include but are not limited to comparative constructions and noun modifiers.
Simple yes-no questions have two forms, depending on whether the expected answer is affirmative or negative. The affirmative form uses the interrogative verb ca after a nominalized verb complex. ca is almost exclusively found in the forms oca or poca (past), which simply prefixes the third person singular inanimate prefix to the verb, which denotes the nominalized verb as subject.
The negative equivalent to ca is owk, a transitive verb with a literal meaning to be without. Usage of owk is similar to that of ca, but requires polypersonal agreement. The nominal subject is the same as the subject of the nominalized verb, while the action itself takes the accusative (3si). Because the expected answer is negative, the question is often associated with conveying a sarcastic or exasperated tone.
For both ca and owk, answers do not necessarily need to repeat the nominalized verb; instead, the interrogative verb can be repeated to answer yes or no. Therefore, in the previous examples, poca (it occurred), and otowk he is without it [the act of eating] are also valid responses.
Questions which expect a more specific response use a series of interrogative particles to denote the type of content expected as a reponse. The most basic of these is the "what" series: tca, tcin, and tsru pattern with the relative clause particles ca (clauses and abstractions), cin (animates), and sru (inanimates). Following the placement of the interrogative verbs in the previous section, the "what" series directly follow the noun phrase or nominalized verb that is being modified. In all three cases, these particles are treated as verbs which take a dummy third person subject that can be either animate or inanimate, singular or plural, depending on the situation.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of all interrogative verbs which function similarly to the ones shown above.
|tca (generic, clausal)
|who, what, which|
|tin||which one (ordinal) [in]|
|tekwıt||what day [kwıt]|
|teca||why, whither (expects a goal as response) [eca]|
|dcıcu||how many, how much (coll) [dıcu]|
- ca fmùwuncumbanen
- ca fmùwu-ncu-muba-ne-n
- REL large_animal-DEF.A.PL-be.all-VN-ACC
- ca o-drubth-ık
- REL 3sa.NPST-strong-INTENS
- ca mupundcù
- ca mupu-nudcù
- REL 3sa.POS-chest
- ca trì
- ca trì
- REL waist
- ca ocınne
- ca o-cın-ne-Ø
- REL 3sa-run-VN-Ø
- 2s.NPST>1s-IMP hear
Source of the sample text: Roy S. Hagman, Nama Hottentot grammar, Bloomington/Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1977.