Lécāi

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Phonology

Consonants Labials Alveolars Palatals Velars

*b *d - *g

*p *t - *c

*ph *th - *ch

*v *z *(ź)2 -

*f *s *(ś)2 *x

*u *r *y -

- *l *(ʎ)3 -

- *hl *(hʎ)3 -

*m *n *ń -

*(hm)1 *(hn)1 *(hń)1 -


1 Is only phonemic in the dialects of Elésa in other dialects they showed up as their voiced variants

2 Is only phonemic in the dialects of Elésa and Cahʎéí and did not occur in the dialect of Rūisa even as allophones

3 Is only phonemic in the dialects of Rūisa and Cahʎéí however it was an allophone of *l before a front vowel in Elésa.

  • w does not contrast with *u (wu is not a distinct sequence from ū)


Front Rounded Back

*i *ü *u

*e *(ö)4 *o

*a - -

4 Is only phonemic in the dialects of Cahʎéí

Vowels could be long or short, long vowels were indicated with a macron.


Pitch Accent Lécāi had an unpredictable pitch accent indicated by an acute accent on top of vowels. If it fell on a long vowel it went unmarked however in the dialects of Rūisa and Cahʎéí in words with multiple long vowels a caron is used to indicate where stress falls. Phonetically the stressed syllable was a higher pitch than the rest of the word while the syllable directly after it was a lower pitch. Long vowels instead were pronounced with a rising and falling tone.


Clusters

Initial Clusters

Any stop and z + u/r/l

zlāta “combat”

s + any voiceless or aspirated stop

spōta “greed”


Medial Clusters are drawn from the same set plus a few additional ones

Cluster harmonious nasal + any voiced stop

lémbas “light bread”

l + any stop and z

délzin “shaman”


Final clusters do not occur and final consonants are limited to *n, *l, *s, *x and in the dialect of Cahʎéí *r.

Palatisation Before front vowels stops generally palatised. (note that *t and *d only palatised intervocalically). Palatisation was generally cancelled after a nasal except in the case of *g. Aspirated consonants palatised as their tenuis counterparts.

p > f

b > v

t > s

d > z

k > s

g > y


Lécāi also had two kinds of ablaut working on its vowels.

No Ablaut - Palatal Ablaut - Raising Ablaut

  • i - *ī - i
  • e - ie - oe/ü
  • a - ie - o/e
  • ü - oi - oe
  • u - iu - oe
  • o - iu - oe
  • ö - ü - o
  • ie - ī - iu
  • iu - iu - iu
  • ai - ai - au
  • au - au - au
  • oe - oe - ō
  • oi - oi - ō

Nouns

Locatives

Locatives go on their respective nouns usually the object of the sentence.

ue/uel "in"

hli/hʎi “on”

siu//śo “Surrounding”

bue/bre “as”


Case Only Elésa has the instrumental case

Masculine

Nominative: unmarked (spácan)

Accusative: raising ablaut + change ending to l (spásel)

Dative: change ending to -oxi (spácu)

Genitive: palatal ablaut + no ending (spásie)

Instrumental: change ending to -eca (spáseca)

Ablative: palatal ablaut + change the ending to n (spásien)

Lative: change the ending to -s (spácas)


Feminine

Nominative: unmarked (mándie)

Accusative: marked by raising ablaut (mándiu)

Dative: made by changing the final consonant to l (mándiel)

Genitive: marked by changing the ending to -x (mándiex)

Instrumental: marked by changing the ending to -ama (mándama)

Ablative: marked by changing the ending to -a (mánda)

Lative: Marked by palatal ablaut and changing the ending to s (mándīs)

-li marked feminine gender on adjectives.


Case Usage

Nominative

Used for the subject of sentences, i will not provide examples of it being used this way.


Accusative

Used for the direct object of sentences. Note pronouns have distinct accusative forms which can be marked with other cases to indicate. Since these pronouns are also used for indirect objects they are known as oblique pronouns.


a déras amélīs

1-SG praise 1-SG-OBL-LAT

“I gave her praise”


Dative

Marked the indirect object or beneficiary of a sentence. It is also used to mark the subject of the sentence when the subject has low agency or is performing the action at the request of another. It also functions as a marker of politeness. Finally similar to latin Lécāi also possesses and possessive dative and the dative of purpose.


desī pascá mándiel mánōl

shaman give novice.shaman book-DAT-PLU

“The shaman gives the novice shaman books”


mándie mezíroe desī

novice.shaman hear-AOR shaman-ACC

“The novice shaman heard the shaman”


mándiel mezíroe desī

novice.shaman-DAT hear-AOR shaman-ACC

“The novice shaman listens to the shaman”


nayīus cáílal

air.spirit-LAT-PLU wing.DAT

“Air spirits have wings (wings to the air spirits)”


télas lecōumo suáyāl

1-PL MID-kiss-VERB-AOR love-DAT

“We kiss for love”


Genitive

Marks the noun as modifying another noun in the sentence usually meaning they possess it. Alternatively it can mark composition, participation or description.


desī dángoe molēx buīn

shaman eat-AOR honey.cakes-GEN meal-ACC

“The shaman ate a meal of honey cakes”


āzǐe níúxax

young.man-PLU manliness-GEN

“men of manliness”


Instrumental

Marks the noun as the means by which an action was carried out. It also had a locative meaning and in addition to that a meaning of origin.

āzíé súreca náni gōel

man knife-INST cut edible.mushrooms-ACC

“The man cuts mushrooms with a knife”


āzǐ feca xāyés xiebocá

young.man-GEN feet-INST feather-LAT PAS-fell

“As for the man’s feet a feather fell at it”


āzǐe elésama

young.man-PLU elésa-INST

“Men of Elésa”


Ablative

Used to indicate movement away from something or alternatively an object losing goods. Alternatively it can be used when an action doesn’t affect the subject. Also like when the dative is used for subjects it implies politeness or reverance when used with objects.


āzǐn télas déres

young.man-ABL 1-PL praise-AOR

“As for the man, we don’t praise him”


a suáyāma lōes

1-SG love-VERB girl-ACC

“I love the girl”


zálou suáyāma miźá

1-SG-GEN love-VERB mother-ABL

“I love my mother”


Lative

Used when a noun is the target of motion or praise/scorn. Alternatively when used it can mean you despise the noun. It is also sometimes used instead of a dative when the noun receives goods.


a élin līus

1-SG move-REM girl-LAT

“I moved away from the girl (a long time ago)”


Plural

Made by lengthening the last vowel in the word. If there's already a long vowel at the end of the word, lengthen the one before it, if there is only one vowel and it is already long the word is identical in the singular and the plural. Note this allows the elésa dialect to violate its rule of no more than one long vowel per word.

su “knife” > sū “knives”

bitān “torch” > bītǎn “torches”

gōu “edible mushroom” > gōu “edible mushrooms”

Verbs

The language has an inceptive marker (la-) which indicates the beginning of an action and reactive (re-) marker which indicates a reaction. Elésa also had an abilitative marker (ńe-) which indicated ability to do something.

Voice

Active *_

Passive *xie-

Cooperative *hliu-

Middle *le-

The cooperative was only used in the dialects of Rūisa and Cahʎéí


Active

The standard voice used most of the time.


Passive

Used to promote the object of a sentence to an active role.


Middle Voice

Used to indicate a subject is acting upon himself


It is used when the agent of a sentence is unmentioned (note commands use the active voice)


lesólā ǐlxā

MID-plant flower-PLU

“They plant the flowers”


sólā ǐlxā

plant flower-PLU

“Plant the flowers”


Lécāi has a few mood markers.

Indicative

Subjunctive - *se-

Optative - *me-

Interrogative - *ra-


Tense Future *-s

Present *_

Past Aorist *centering ablaut

Recent Past *palatal ablaut

Remote Past *-in

Syntax

The language is generally head initial but adjectives come before nouns.


Pronouns

All Lécāi dialects had a rather robust set of pronouns which declined like nouns to a degree. Oblique pronouns were used for the accusative case and declined for the dative case, Genitive pronouns were used for the genitive case and Standard pronouns were used for all other cases being declined when used in cases other than the nominative.

Standard

a(l) “first person singular”

télas “first person plural”

me/ʎu/te “second person singular”

vála “second person plural”

sará “third person masculine”

méli/méʎi/méʎi “third person feminine”

xóyu “third person neuter”

vézi “third person plural”

Oblique

xu(l) “first person singular”

uéla “first person plural”

amé “second person singular”

avé “second person plural”

asará “third person masculine (Elésa only)”

améli “third person feminine (Elésa only)”

le/ʎe/ʎe “third person singular/neuter”

sou “third person plural”


Genitive

zálou “first person masculine”

sélou “first person feminine”

úndelas/écou/écou “first person plural”

úrelas/zōu/zōu “second person singular”

úmbala/nōsou/nōsou “second person plural”

únzara/sélou/sélou “third person masculine”

úmeli/nícau/ńícau “third person feminine”

únxoyu/xēla/śēla “third person neuter”

úmbezi/xólīe/gōu “third person plural”


Numerals

se “single”


eté/etén/etén “zero”

nōus “one”

lémes/práúta/práúta “two”

nuída “three”

dūsa “four” (e)

míźo/míziu/míźo “five”

minyíén/mingíén/minźán “six” (e)

xietán//śatán “seven” (e)

mūl/mū/mūr “eight”

nínga//ńínga “nine” (e)

suü/suün/suün “ten”

āndóé “eleven”

mísai/mínzai/mínzai “twelve”


Derivation

-ma is a basic verbaliser

lauzī "song" > lauzīma "sing"


-(l)a is a basic adjectiviser

xélas “cuteness” > xélaza “cute”


-u is a basic adverbaliser

láti “brightness” > látu “brightly”


-ta functions as a diminutive

-ene functions as an augmentative


Nominalisers


-nes “person who has”

maróú “virginity” > maróúnes “virgin”

oyēs “crops” > oyēhnes “farmer”

lósa “land” > lósanes “lord/lady”


-na “female who does”

brien “play/playfulness” > bríénna “a girl’s name”

ári “to charm” > árina “a woman's name”

mīe “to dance” > mīena “dancer”


-sa “female who is”

bris “happiness” > bríssa “a woman’s name”

cai “falcon” > caisa “a woman’s name”

xélas “cuteness” > xélassa “a woman’s name/a cute girl”


-so “male who does”

níúxa “manliness” > níúxaso “a man’s name”

mīe “to dance” > mīeso “dancer”


la- “in wonder of”

osól “disaster/calamity” > la-osól “a woman’s name”

calí “fire” > lacalí “a boy’s name”

lēl “waves” > lalēl “a girl’s name”


-la “protection from”

osól “disaster/calamity” > osólla “a man’s name/protection from disaster”


-ni “product of”

mīrin “squid” > mīrinni “ink”

mára “breasts” > márani “breast milk/milk in general”

izīus “the people of a nation” > izīuhni “assembly”

vīra “river” > vīrani “young girl”

mālies “sea” > māliehni “young boy”


-ra “result off”

beréca “to draw” > berécara “drawing”

xelé “sketch” > xeléra “painting”

alíva “life” > alívara “living things”

méle “to write” > mélera “letter”


-anava “process, state or result”

lóro “writing” > lóranava “knowledge”


-(n)ene “multiplier, augmentative”

zlāta “combat” > zlātanene “war”

lauzīn “song” > lauzīnnene “music”


-xos “place where”

brien “playfulness” > bríénxos “play room”

lauzīn “song” > lauzīnxos “private garden”

xa “bee” > xaxos “public garden”

rēca “flow” > rēcaxos “fountain”


nera- “of the gods”

rēca “flow” > nerarēca “divine flow”

Lexicon