| Kopoıves |
|Period||-400 ÷ 0 YP|
|Spoken in||Western Tuysáfa|
|Total speakers||c. 500.000|
|Basic word order||VSO or SVO|
|Morphology||mainly analytic, agglutinative|
|Alignment||ergative (nouns), accusative (verbs)|
|Created by||Pole, the|
Kopoıves (thinkers' language) is one of the descendants of Proto-Leic.
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Morphology
- 2.1 Pronouns
- 2.2 Nouns
- 2.3 Verbs
- 2.4 Numerals
- /ɸ ʋ ɾ/ are written ‹f v r›.
- Sequences of /nj ŋj/, /dj ɡj/, /tj tsj kj/ and /sj hj/ are in most (not all) registers merged to [ɲ], [dʑ], [tɕ] and [ɕ], respectively.
|front||back ur.||back r.|
- /ai ɛ ei i/ are written ‹ai e ei i›.
- /ɑɨ ɑ ɤɨ ɨ/ are written ‹aı a oı ı›.
- /ɒu ɔ ou u/ are written ‹au o ou u›.
- In several varieties /ɤɨ/ is realized as [ɯ̯ɤ] or [ɯ̯ʌ].
The syllable structure is C(X)V(C), where X is a medial consonant, i.e. one of /m n ŋ ʋ ɾ j/.
- In all registers, /ʋ j/ are devoiced after voiceless onsets. /pj/ is pronounced [pɕ].
- Syllable-final /j/ is realized as [ç~ʝ] after front vowels and [x~ɣ] after back vowels.
- Some varieties even delete the off-glide preceding final /j/, so /fɒuj/ /teij/ become [fɒɣ] [teʝ].
- /ʋ ɾ j/ in onsets are replaced with /b d ɡ/ before a medial consonant.
- /m n ŋ/ in onsets are realized as [mb nd ŋɡ] (word-initially [əmb ənd əŋɡ]) and written ‹mb nd ng› before a medial consonant, e.g. /nɾai/ [əndɾai] ndrai.
- Exceptionally, /nj ŋj/ remain unchanged.
The syllable with a diphthong is stressed, if present. Otherwise, the word stress falls on the final syllable.
There are two main traits distinguishing Kopoıves dialects.
In some dialects there is an additional vowel /ɑː/ «aa» corresponding to some instances of /ɤɨ/ in other dialects, found for example in words like tsraa [t͡sɾɑː] sun (standard tsroı). In those dialects, the two vowels contrast (cf. goım nose, not found as **gaam).
/ɑː/ often merges with /ɑ/ in fast speech. Also, /ɑː/ merges with /ɑɨ/ before word-final glides, e.g. tsaav bald and tsaıv mouse often both become [t͡sɑʋ].
Some dialects permit /s/ as a medial consonant and perform a syncope of pre-tonic vowels preceding /s/, e.g. nasai leg → ndsai [əndˈs̬ai], kosei sheep → ksei [ksei].
This also applies to morphological prefixes, e.g. sag smile → bsag [bs̬ɑɡ] you are smiling (cf. standard vusag).
Cases where this would result in a consonant cluster /t-s/ (contrasted with the single affricate /ts/) might be marked with a facultative assibilation and lengthening to [t͡ss] «tss», e.g. tssaij it rises [tsaʝ ~ t͡ssaʝ] (standard tesaij) versus tsaij 100 [t͡saʝ].
Several pronouns have separate honorific variants. There is also a distinction of animacy in the third person.
|1 sg||1 pl||2||3 sg||3 co||3 pl|
|Prefix||di-, d-||gri-||vu-, b-||ŋo-, ng-||ba-, p-||gı-, k-||te-, t-||go-, g-||na-, nd-|
(The ergative forms are rarely used, as they are superseded by the subject prefixes.)
Other interrogative words include:
- gau which
- jein where
- toı when
- ko how
Other indefinite words include:
- gaus some
- jeinis somewhere
- toıs somewhen
- koup somehow
Distal and demonstrative pronouns
Other demonstrative words include:
- gi this — gi-doı that — doı other
- bai here — koun there — tjein somewhere else
- faij now — dadoı then, once
- tako in that way
Universal and negative pronouns
Other universal and negative words include:
- de all, every — maı no
- deim everywhere — maırem nowhere
- ki always — maıg never
- tseiv in every way — maırev in no way
There are two main noun classes: animate and inanimate nouns. They determine the type of genitive prefixes and pronouns they take. It is generally based on the meaning — there are however some exceptions.
There are also two subgroups:
- animate human nouns — animate nouns that are never declined in plural (collective is used instead);
- pluralia tantum nouns — nouns that are plural by default; they take singular prefixes in Erg., Loc., Dat. and plural prefix in Gen.; they are referenced by plural pronouns.
There are four paradigms of noun stems:
- type I
- nouns beginning with a voiceless obstruent (one of p t ts k f s h) or a voiceless cluster
- type II
- nouns beginning with a voiced obstruent (one of b d g) or a voiced cluster
- type III
- nouns beginning with a single sonorant (one of m n ŋ v r j)
Nouns are declined using prefixes.
|Ergative||ŋu- ¹||juko-||gna- ¹|
|Genitive|| pa- fa
|Locative||bı- ¹||pıko-||pna- ¹|
|Dative||da- ¹||dako-||dna- ¹|
- ¹) p t k f ts h are lenited to b d g v r j (b d g b d g in clusters)
|Genitive|| pa- fa
- single b d g are fortited to p t k in singular and plural forms after a prefix
|Genitive|| p- fa
| d- |
- gak- gad- are used instead of k- d- when disambiguation is needed
Verbs in Kopoıves are relatively little inflected.
Verbs can be divided into two classes according to their morphosyntactical behaviour.
Intransitive verbs have their main argument in absolutive. The verb agrees with the subject. Another argument can be added in genitive:
- (Dai) dihotsai.
- (1sg) 1sg-enter
- I enter.
- (Dai) dihotsai tepego.
- (1sg) 1sg-enter gen.i-house
- I enter the house.
Transitive verbs have their patientive argument in absolutive and their agentive argument in ergative. The patientive argument cannot be omitted. The verb agrees with the agent:
- (Ngrai) dvait bego.
- (1sg.erg) 1sg-own house
- I own the house.
- (Ngrai) dvait te.
- (1sg.erg) 1sg-own 3in
- I own it.
Quite often a lexically transitive verb will by default have an intransitive meaning (e.g. dnai swim, gaig urinate, pouk run). In those cases, te it is often used as a dummy patient pronoun:
- Didnai beit.
- 1sg-swim sea
- I'm swimming in the sea.
- Didnai te.
- 1sg-swim 3in
- I'm swimming.
A transitive verb can be put into a mediopassive form, which behaves as intransitive:
- Dibjau te.
- 1sg-stop 3in
- I'm stopping (something)
- I'm stopping, I'm coming to a halt
Verbs exhibit accusative alignment. They are inflected for the person of the subject or the agent.
The person prefixes are:
|2nd honorific||ŋa-||ŋ- ~ ng-|
|3rd sg a familiar||ba-||p-|
|3rd sg a honorific||gı-||k-|
|3rd sg inanimate||te-||t-|
|3rd plural||na-||n- ~ nd-|
- Prefixes without vowels are used before m n ŋ v r j.
- ŋ-, n- are used before j;
- ng-, nd- are used elsewhere.
The mediopassive is created by adding:
- -m after a vowel;
- -om after a velar/glottal consonant;
- -im after other consonants.
Last consonants p t k m n ŋ are changed to b d g v r j before the ending is added.
The mediopassive causes the verb to become intransitive, with the subject interpreted as patient or agent-patient:
- Ditoın gvu.
- I see you.
- I am seen. ~ I see myself.
The causative is created periphratically, by inflecting the causative operator vaıp along with the subjunctive form of the main verb:
- Didaiŋ. → Bvaıp didaiŋ.
- I live. → You make me live.
- Tesaim. → Dvaıp tesoım.
- It occurs. → I make it occur.
Tense and mood
Tense isn't explicitly marked on verbs. It can, however, be expressed by one of several analytic particles:
- paıt — past tense;
- gŋou — future tense;
- gnaıv — potential modality;
- naısij — necessitative modality;
- vı — imperative mood.
Many verbs have separate subjunctive forms, formed in an irregular manner, commonly through shortening the root with reduction of a diphthong to a monophthong (e.g. gŋoıg swim → gŋa) or through ablaut (e.g. ngvein eat → ngvoın). These forms are listed in the dictionary.
For other verbs, the form doesn't change in subjunctive positions and use the same form as for indicative (e.g. jaiŋ exist).
There are several uses of the subjunctive form, mainly attributive and subordinate constructions.
The verb in the subjunctive mode can be used as an attributive form — either preposed as a bare stem, or postposed and taking personal inflection:
- pigo ndvei
- be.green.subj fruit
- a green fruit
- ndvei tepigo
- fruit 3in-be.green.subj
- a green fruit
However, the postposed construction is less clear whenever a verb without a separate subjunctive form is used:
- hrai ndvei
- be.red fruit
- a red fruit
- ndvei tehrai
- fruit 3in-be.red
- a red fruit ~ the fruit is red
Preposed attributives of transitive verbs keep their agentive meaning:
- kneg daım
- kill.subj animal
- a killing animal, a predator
However, when postposed, they either gain patientive meaning (along with appropriate personal inflection for the agent), or they require a patient in absolutive:
- daım dikneg
- animal 1sg-kill.subj
- an animal killed by me
- daım bakneg
- animal 3an-kill.subj
- a killed animal, an animal killed (by someone/something else)
- daım bakneg te
- animal 3an-kill.subj 3in
- an animal killing (something)
Sentences with many attributive forms (especially for verbs with no subjunctive variants) can become ambiguous. To ensure clarity, subject attributives tend to be preposed and object attributives tend to be postposed:
- Tsjı jupekau bahımou kıgoıj bakrog.
- be.tall.subj erg-man 3an-hit dog 3an-be.angry.subj
- The tall man hits the angry dog.
- Krog kıgoıj badesaiv papekau batsjı.
- be.angry.subj dog 3an-bite an.gen-man 3an-be.tall.subj
- The angry dog bites the tall man.
The subjunctive forms are used along with the ma that, which particle to form subordinate clauses:
- Grihreik datjau.
- 1pl-go all-that
- We are going to there.
- Paıt griraıg grai koun.
- past 1pl-fight 1pl.abs there
- We fought there.
- Grihreik datjau ma paıt griroıg grai koun.
- 1pl-go all-that rel past 1pl-fight.subj 1pl.abs there
- We are going to where we fought.
For verbs which have a subjunctive form distinct from indicative, the former can be used to create a generic hortative:
- Grikmoın. Let's be happy. (a suggestion)
- compare Vı grikmaun. Let's be happy. (an order)
- Vudesi. You should speak. (an encouragement)
- compare Naısij vudesaig. You have to speak. (a necessity)
- Baknoı. May theysg succeed. (a wish)
- compare Gnaıv baknau. Theysg might succeed. (a possibility)
- ni a half
- dibe a third
- ndrai a quarter
- tidoım a fifth
- titouj a sixth
- titoıb a seventh
- tjetoı an eighth
- tjedoım a ninth
- digaip a tenth