Habíci [hə'bit͡ɕɪ] (pãtuɹix Habíci 'Habíci language', also known as Bíji Bíji) is a language spoken in southeastern Zeluzhia.
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Morphology
- 2.1 Nominal morphology
- 2.2 Pronominal morphology
- 2.3 Verbal morphology
- 2.3.1 Vowel height ablaut
- 2.3.2 Verbal conjugation and stem formation
- 2.3.3 Inflection groups
- 2.3.4 Copula
- 3 Syntax
- 3.1 Clausal word order
- 3.2 Nominal phrase
- 3.3 Verbal phrase
- 3.4 Postpositional phrase
- 3.5 Morphosyntactic alignment
- 3.6 Subordinate clauses
- 3.7 Possession
- 3.8 Possessive clauses
- 3.9 Existential clauses
- 3.10 Participles
- 3.11 The gerund
- 3.12 The infinitive
- 3.13 Modal verbs
- 4 Lexicon
Habíci exhibits lexical stress, which strongly influences the language's rhythm and sound. In particular, some vowel distinctions are merged in lexically unstressed syllables. Lexical stress never falls on the last syllable in polysyllabic words.
Rhythm is trochaic: syllables are grouped in feet, with the first syllable of a foot being stressed. Feet which do not contain the lexical stress, only exhibit a slight secondary stress. Single syllables at word boundaries are unstressed and unpaired. If lexical stress is marked with S, secondary stress with H and no stress with L, the following are possible word stress patterns:
Unstressed syllables (L) are articulated subtly more shortly and less loudly.
|b||d||j / d͡ʑ/|
|f /ɸ/||s||x /ʃ/||h|
/ʃ/ is realised as [ɕ] when:
- Next to one of /i ĩ/
- The consonant before or after it is one of /t͡ɕ d͡ʑ/ or [ɕ]
Otherwise, /ʃ/ is realsed as [ʂ].
Single onset voiceless stops and affricates are realised with slight aspiration.
Vowels in stressed syllables
|í /i/||ú /u/|
|e /e/||á /ə/||o /o/|
|ẽ /ẽ/ [ẽɪ̯̃]||õ /õ/ [õʊ̯̃]|
|ã /ã/ [ɐ̃]|
Vowels in unstressed syllables
|i /i/ [ɪ]||u /u/ [ʊ]|
|į /ĩ/ [ɪ̃]||ų /ũ/ [ʊ̃]|
Unstressed high vowels are lowered to mid vowels if the next syllable contains a stressed low or mid vowel. Unstressed mid vowels are lowered to low vowels if the next syllable contains a stressed low vowel.
Syllable shape is (C(C))V(C), with CV syllables being predominant.
- Onsetless syllables are allowed only word-initially.
- Consonant clusters may only contain two consonants, with Cɹ and ɹC being by far the most common. Word-initially, only Cɹ clusters are allowed.
- Consonant clusters and /m n b d h r/ do not occur word-finally.
- Nasal consonants do not occur in syllable coda.
In Habíci only nouns, pronouns and verbs inflect.
Nouns inflect for definiteness and case (nominative and oblique), with animate nouns further inflecting for number. Noun morphology is almost entirely prefixal, with inflection type depending on animacy and the root initial sound. Lexical animacy mostly follows innate animacy, but there are some exceptions.
|animate, consonantal (AC)|
|NOM||kõ-||ɹi- / ɹí-|
|OBL||hi- / hí-||âja-|
|animate, vocalic (AV)|
|NOM||kųj- / kub-||ɹaj-|
- Nouns denoting humans take kub-, other nouns take kųj-.
|inanimate, consonantal (IC)|
|inanimate, vocalic (IV)|
Prefixes marked with stressed vowels attract lexical stress. Nouns are given in their indefinite nominative form in the lexicon.
Stress is marked with reduplication of the syllable preceding the last consonant:
ɹifúha 'macaw' → ɹifúfuha 'macaws'
If the word ends in a consonant, the last onset and coda reduplicate instead:
ɹikõdax 'animal' → ɹikõdadax 'animals'
If the root consists of a single syllable, it reduplicates instead:
ɹíkɹa 'boy' → ɹíkɹakɹa 'boys'
Definiteness in names
Names, especially personal names, typically do not inflect for anything. Some particular names inflect for case, in which case they take the definite case markers. Owing to word order, ambiguity is usually minimal even without case marking.
Pronouns referring to nouns inflect only for case and generally take the definite oblique prefix to mark oblique case. The exceptions are as follows:
- cɹábi 'you (sg.)' → hícɹabi
- nɹáda 'what' → jɹáda
- ɹâ 'this' → jɹâ
- ɹõbas 'that' → jɹõbas
- ɹõs 'he, she, it' → jɹõs or hiɹõs
- pãɹada 'something' → âjąɹada
- ɹajúbas 'someone' → ajúbas
Habíci verbs are by far the most morphologically complex part of the language, and inflect for person, number, reflexion and reciprocity, tense, voice, mood, negation and interrogation.
There are five different inflection groups a verb can inflect in. Some verbs exhibit vowel height ablaut of their stressed vowel, and, orthogonal to that, some verbs have two stems.
In lexical entries verbs are given in their third person present realis agentive voice form, along with their conjugation class.
Vowel height ablaut
Some verbs distinguish between two vowel height grades in their stressed syllable - low and high - and will alternate between them within a paradigm:
kúpakų 'I buy' ~ kópacą 'you (sg.) buy'
Affixes that trigger low and high vowel grade are marked with O and U respectively. Only oral vowels undergo height ablaut. Verbs that exhibit height ablaut are presented in O grade in their lexical entry, and those that do not in an unalternating U grade. So kópatą 'he/she/it buys; they buy' undergoes height ablaut, while tanajídą 'he/she/it taps; they tap' does not.
Verbal conjugation and stem formation
Each verb has two stems, which may coincide in form, and falls in one of six conjugations. Stem formation is completely determined by the verb's conjugation class. Conjugation classes are named after the endings of verbal lexical entries.
Canonically, stem I is the stem of non imperative finite forms and stem II is the stem of imperative forms.
Both stems are formed by dropping final -dą.
Both stems are formed by dropping final -tą.
Stem I is formed by dropping final -tą.
Stem II is formed by dropping final -itą.
Stem I is formed by dropping final -tą.
Stem II is formed by dropping final -atą.
Stem I is formed by dropping final -tą.
Stem II is formed by dropping final -tą and then adding -f.
Stem I is formed by dropping final -tą.
Stem II is formed by dropping final -tą and then adding -x for imperative forms and -s for non imperative forms. The sole exception is sujâtą 'to paint, to dye', which adds -x for all forms.
Verbs in inflection groups other than group 1 are in U ablaut grade.
Group 1: most finite forms
Inflection group 1. uses stem I. The verbal complex of group 1. is the following:
(SUBORD) - root (- ASP) - PERS.NUM / REFL / RECIP (- REFL / RECIP) - T.V (/ T.V.IRR) (- NEG) (- Q)
Height ablaut is determined in the following way:
- If a T.V affix selects for an ablaut grade, that ablaut grade surfaces.
- Otherwise, if a PERS.NUM affix is present, its selected ablaut grade surfaces.
- Otherwise, the ablaut grade is U.
SUBORD is a marker for subordinate clauses (and sometimes main clauses) and may be one of the following (segments in brackets serve to break up vowel hiatuses and consonant clusters):
- ką(h)- when
- kat(a)- during
- xu(h)- because
- xuhu(h)- in order to
- xiɹ- if
- xur(a)- while
- ųnų(h)- then
- ųk(a)- else
- cus(a)- until
- xuj(a)- therefore
- ɹų(h)- that / which
ASP is a marker that is falling out of use and is found only in the speech of elderly speakers. It may be filled with -bu- to mark progressivie aspect.
PERS.NUM is the person and number slot. Number distinction is not made in 3rd person. Second allomorph is used in -dą verbs, first allomorph is used in all other verbs.
|1||U -ku / -hu||U -ka / -ha|
|2||O -ca / U -ja||O -ra|
|3||O -ta / U -da|
REFL / RECIP is a slot that marks either reflexivity (-mi-) or reciprocity (-mį-). 3rd person suffix is dropped if either of the affixes is present.
T.V is the tense and voice slot. Tenses are past, present and future; voices are agentive, patientive, locative and circumstantial. Voice semantics and usage is explained in the syntax section.
|PST||ⁿ-mų||-ɹbitą||U -ribą||O -dajɹą|
|PRS||ⁿ-||-ɹ||U -ri||O -daj|
|FUT||ⁿ-jak||-ɹbį||U -ribak||O -dajɹį|
ⁿ marks nasalisation of the preceding vowel.
IRR is a slot that may contain the irrealis aspect marker. While in principle it is possible to describe it as some separate morpheme with various allomorphs, in this analysis it is presented as being fused to T.V morphemes:
|PST||ⁿ-mųci||-ɹbitącit||U -ribąɹi||O -dajɹąna|
|PRS||ⁿ-muɹci||-ɹcit||U -riɹi||O -dajɹana|
|FUT||ⁿ-jaci||-ɹbįcit||U -ribakɹi||O -dajɹįna|
NEG is a slot that optionally contains the negative marker. It is -apak after consonants and -bak after vowels.
Q is a slot that optionally contains the interrogation marker. It is -af after consonants and -kaf after vowels.
Group 2: imperatives
Inflection group 2. uses stem II. The verbal complex of group 2. is the following:
root - IMP.NEG.NUM
IMP is the imperative marker, which is -ɹį for positive forms and -ɹaj for prohibitive commands. It may optionally reduplicate to indicate plural referrents: -ɹįɹį, -ɹaɹaj.
Group 3: participles
Inflection group 3. uses stem I. The verbal complex of group 3. is the following:
NMLZ - root - T.V
Inflection group 3. forms participles in some tense and voice. T.V is the same affix slot as in inflection group 1. NMLZ is a nominal inanimate prefix for case and definiteness. Usage of participles is discussed in the syntax section.
Group 4: the gerund
Inflection group 4. uses stem II. The verbal complex of group 4. is the following:
NMLZ - root
NMLZ is a nominal inanimate prefix for case and definiteness. Usage of the gerund is discussed in the syntax section.
Group 5: the infinitive
Inflection group 5. uses stem II. The verbal complex of group 5. is just the bare root which doesn't inflect for anything. Usage of the infinitive is discussed in the syntax section.
There is no proper copula. Instead, almost any non verb word can be verbalised to mark it as predicate. Such newly formed verbs are defective in that they have only finite forms:
Verbalised words also don't exhibit vowel height ablaut or stem alternation.
Clausal word order
The word order within a clause is VSOX. First and second person pronouns are usually dropped, with person being marked on the verb. The third person pronoun, however, is rarely dropped (unless it's in a subordinate clause, when it's always dropped due to being known by context).
The word order within a nominal phrase is:
noun (adjectives) (numeral) (determiner)
A noun phrase cannot be headless. So when a noun referrent is unknown, unspecified or unimportant, the word order instead is:
determiner (adjectives) (numeral)
A determiner is a pronoun (other than personal pronoun) which refers to an object or a person (e.g. pãɹada 'some (object)', ɹâ 'this').
A nominal phrase can also be filled by a single personal pronoun or name.
A verbal phrase consists of a finite verb and optional adjectives, which act as adverbs on the verb.
A postpositional consists of a nominal phrase followed by a postposition.
Habíci exhibits symmetric morphosyntactic alignment, in which verb's arguments' roles are determined by the verb's voice. Details of each of the four voices' semantics follow. A verb's voice is determined by the clause's focus. No matter the voice, the nominative argument is always the first argument following the verb (traditionally expressed as VSO word order).
This voice can be equated with active voice of nominatitive-accusative languages. The nominative agent of an agentive voice verb is the doer of the action:
This voice can be equated with the passive voice of nominative-accusative languages. The nominative agent of a patientive voice verb is the recipient of the action:
The nominative agent of a locative voice verb marks the location of the action:
The nominative agent of a circumstantial voice verb can be almost any other argument of the verb, though in practice it is almost always either the instrument of the action (when inanimate), or its benefactee (when animate):
Subordinate clauses immediately follow the nominal phrase they modify. Usually, subordinate clauses are marked with a designated prefix on the subordinate verb:
However, more complex subordinate clause formation strategies also exist:
Possession is marked by means of the postposition fa. Postpositional phrases of possession follow the nominal phrase they modify:
Possessive clauses are formed with the possessee being verbalised in locative voice and with the possessor being in nominative case:
Existential clauses are formed just in the same way as possessive clauses, with the possessor being pã 'there':
Participles are used when the speaker wishes to use verbs to elaborate on a nominative phrase without having to use any subordinate clauses:
Gerunds are mostly used when talking about actions:
The infinitive is a somewhat rarely used form of the verb. Some elderly speakers use it in lieu of the gerund:
Otherwise, the infinitive is used in subordinate clause formation (as described above), or when forming commands for members of the family or close friends:
Modal verbs usually take an argument in irrealis aspect, which is really a subordinate clause (though elderly speakers may substitute it with an infinitive). Strictly speaking, there are just two modal verbs in Habíci:
- 1 fú
- 2 kúka
- 3 ɹõda
- 4 xíbij
- 5 kúni
- 6 ɹúhuf
- 7 xíri
- 8 úką
- 9 kúhį
- 10 núba
- 100 nabába
- Ordinals are formed by means of the postposition ɹâk 'in'.