|THIS IS HERE BECAUSE I WANT TO USE THIS AS THE TEMPLATE FOR THE PAGE ON ANTAGG, WHICH WILL BE VERY SIMILAR TO NDAK TA FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. THIS PAGE WILL GRADUALLY BE ALTERED TO NO LONGER BE ABOUT NDAK TA. UNTIL THIS ANNOYING CAPSLOCK WRITING HAS GONE AWAY, NONE OF THE BELOW SHOULD BE CONSIDERED CANONICAL OR CORRECT.|
| Royig U Antagzdε |
|Period||c. -1700 YP|
|Spoken in||Bwimbai Valley|
|Writing system||native, inspired by and heavily influenced by Ndak Ta script, from which many symbols are taken with altered uses.|
|Classification|| Macro-Edastean |
|Basic word order||SOV|
Royig U Antagzdε is the language of the ancient Antagg based in the Bwimbai valley around -1700 YP. The Antagg state formed between approximately -2000 and -1850 in reaction to the emergence of the Ndak Empire on its borders; it continued to thrive for some centuries after the Ndak peak, but eventually fell apart when denuded of both trading partners and threatening hereditary enemies. The Antagg continued to live in the Bwimbai valley into Classical times; during the Dark Ages, one group of Antagg, the Mohudza, created a powerful semi-nomadic empire in the upper and middle Aiwa valley.
- 1 Genealogy
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Grammar
- 3.1 Grammar Introduction
- 3.2 Noun Phrases
- 3.3 Personal Pronouns
- 3.4 Verbs
- 3.5 Adjectives
- 4 Sample text
Royig belongs to the Talo-Edastean subbranch of the Macro-Edastean family. It is most closely related to Ndak Ta, spoken in the middle and lower Aiwa, and Tlaliolz, spoken in the forest of Lu Tal. Another, more remote relative of Royig is Proto-Xoronic, the ancestor of the Habeo languages and Damak.
- Proto-Macro-Edastean (c. -3500 YP)
The most neutral overall word order in Royig is SOV; VSO is used in certain clause-types, and to emphasise the verb. Ndak Ta leans in general towards head-final constructions.
Verbs inflect for several tense-aspect combinations (nonpast, past imperfective, past perfective, pluperfect), voice (active, passive, middle), and a large number of moods. Nouns inflect for case and for number. The three cases are subjective, objective and genitive, and the three numbers are singular, distributive and collective. Personal pronouns can also mark the comitative and benefactive cases.
The noun case pattern of Royig is mostly nominative-accusative, but many verbs are ergative-absolutive instead. Generally, ergative verbs are those relating to attitude, opinion, changes of state, or perception; however, there are numerous exceptions on both sides.
In addition to this lexical split, there are also several moods in which all verbs act as though ergative-absolutive.
Basic NP Syntax
Noun phrases are fairly rigid in their internal ordering, being D-A-N-R-P (determiner, adjective, noun, relative clause, prepositional phrase). However, both D-N-A and N-D-A are possible when there are neither relative clauses nor prepositional phrases - both imply that the adjective is less essential to the noun, and the latter has a stronger implication that the determiner is significant, which is to say that it truly picks out from a number of possible nouns. Moreover, articles can never follow the noun.
From a grammatical standpoint, the category of 'determiners' includes articles, demonstratives, and quantifiers. Every common noun must have exactly one of these. They inflect to mark their head noun's case and number, and unlike all other noun modifiers, they come before their nouns. Possessives are semantically determiners, but they can't carry determiner inflections, so an appropriate article is brought in for them. Usage note: there are two indefinite articles. The discourse-oblique indefinite article is used to mention nouns that will not figure largely in the following subject matter, while the discourse-referential article is used to introduce nouns that will. Note that two of the demonstratives have two different forms. The first listed form is used before a noun, and the second is used after it.
|nā||some, more than one|
|is||a large number of|
|me||no, none of|
|өr||each one of|
A note on case usage: the subjective and objective cases are equivalent to nominative and accusative for most verbs, but for ergative verbs, mark ergative and absolutive respectively.
"Log hilāg are pretty."
- log hilāg
- DEF-SUBJ.COL flower
- the (bunch of) flowers
"Lo ask isn't here."
- lo ask
- DEF-SUBJ.SG woman
- the woman
The distinction between the demonstratives is glossed with 1, 2, or 3 - 1 being "near me" (first person-like), 2 being "near you" (second person-like), and 3 being "far from either of us" (third person-like).
"I like yi hilā."
- yi hilā
- DEM1-SUBJ.SG flower
- this flower
"Se ask likes me."
- se ask
- DEM3-OBJ.SG woman
- that woman
"I don't like sek εrutk"
- sek εrutk
- DEM3-SUBJ.DIS man-SUBJ.DIS
- those men
"εwεk εrutk are created equal."
- εwεk εrutk
- all-SUBJ.DIS man-SUBJ.DIS
- all men
"εwεk mad`өk are created equal."
- εwεk mad`өk
- all-SUBJ.DIS person-SUBJ.DIS
- all people
"I gave myste mad`өste my number."
- myste mad`өste
- a.few-DAT.COL person-DAT.COL
- a few people
"I gave myzde mad`өzde my number."
- myste mad`өste
- a.few-DAT.COL person-DAT.COL
- a group of a few people
"I gave gânti asa namês ailau"
- gânti asa
- DEM2-DAT.PL woman
- those women (by you)
- namês ailau
- some-OBJ.PL flower
- some flowers
Now let's look at the two indefinite articles. Remember, the discourse-referential article ndo is used to introduce nouns that will be mentioned again later, while the discourse-oblique au identifies nouns that will probably be referred to only that once.
"I was satisfied the bill was correct only after asking âu rud from the company about it."
- âu rud
- INDEF(OBL).OBJ-SG man
- a man
"I met ndong rud last night who was very nice. He..."
- ndong rud
- INDEF(REF).OBJ-SG man
- a man
|1st Person i-|
|2nd Person do-|
|3rd Person a-|
|2nd Person Formal laingko-|
Pronoun Usage Notes
Possessives: there are no explicitly possessive pronouns, but the effect can be achieved by compounding the preposition âk, equivalent to English "of" as regards possession, to the pronoun. Thus âki would be 1s possessive, and âgdog 2d possessive.
Reflexives: there are also no reflexive pronouns, as reflexivity is handled with verb morphology, but in idiomatic speech a speaker often superfluously uses the objective form of the pronoun in addition to the subject form, the equivalent of saying "I wash.RFLX me" even though "I wash.RFLX" is grammatically sufficient by itself.
The dual number is not used to refer to just anything that happens to be two in number. It is used only for things one would normally expect to find in pairs: hands, eyes, shoes, couples, twins, etc., and single objects that consist of two like parts working together or in opposition, such as tongs, scissors, or bicycle wheels. If you used the first person dual, you could only be referring to yourself and your spouse as a couple (or possibly yourself and your twin sibling); to refer to yourself and any other person or group of people that might or might not include your spouse (or twin), use the plural. The same goes for determiner inflections.
The formal 2nd person is often used when speaking to one's elders and anyone higher than one on the social pecking order, which might be hard for non-natives to judge. It indicates a level of respect about equivalent to the use of "sir" in English, but it is never rude to use the "familiar" pronoun instead, not even with one's rulers. It would be better to use the familiar even to someone you respect than to risk awkwardness using the formal pronoun where it's not certain to be taken well, as it often implies a form of warm respect that might not be be well-received in all contexts. Paradoxically, the formal pronoun is always used in speech to any audience large enough that their anonymity to you would be normal.
"I sent â to dom."
- I 1-SUBJ.SG
- â 3-OBJ.SG
- dom 2-DAT
- I sent it to you.
"Dok sent as to im."
- dok 2-SUBJ.PL
- as 3-OBJ.PL
- im 1-DAT
- You(pl) sent them to us.
This last example shows both the dual number and how to form "possessive pronoun" constructions for the first time.
"Lug ton âki hurt."
- lug ton âki
- DEF-SUBJ.DL hand POSS-1s
- My hands hurt.
Tense, Number, and Voice Suffixes
Number is agreed with only for third person. 1st and 2nd persons both use the 'singular' forms. Dual number is agreed with only in the nonpast tense, and in the past perfective tense with ergative verbs in intransitive sentences. As all suffixes, these follow the Epenthetic Schwa Rule given under the noun section.
- *There is a -bedi dual past perfective that is still used with ergative verbs, generally only in intransitive sentences.
Voice suffixes are -l- for passive and antipassive, and -kin- for middle/reflexive. These follow the stem and come before the tense/number suffix. In both cases, if they cause an illegal final cluster, the epenthetic schwa rule is invoked.
In these examples we leave English and its word order behind and start using VSO as Ndak Ta sentences are supposed to be.
- Tsin i â.
- like.NONPAST.SG 1.SUBJ.SG 3-OBJ.SG
- I like him.
- Tsinandi ag î.
- like-NONPAST.DL 3-SUBJ.DL 1-OBJ.SG
- They(dual) like me.
- Tsinan ik as.
- like.NONPAST.PL 1.SUBJ.PL 3-OBJ.PL
- We like them.
- Tsinan i as.
- like-PAST.SG 1.SUBJ.SG 3-OBJ.PL
- I liked them.
In the following two examples, note that 'grass' and 'meat' are mass (non-count) nouns and thus take plural number, unlike English where they would be singular.
- Narnosti i lus empi.
- cut-PAST(IMPERF).SG 1.SUBJ.SG DEF.OBJ.PL grass
- I was cutting the grass.
- Tuda a lus sa.
- eat-PLUP.SG 3.SUBJ.SG DEF.OBJ.PL meat
- He had eaten meat.
There are thirteen morphological moods in Ndak Ta, quite a large number. Some of them have multiple meanings which only context can make clear. I never got around to describing their usage in depth. They are prefixed to the verb stem.
|Ø-||indicative ('He does it')|
|e-||imperative ('Do it')|
|m-||negative ('He does not do it')|
|is-||hortative ('Let us do it')|
|uk-||optative, volitive ('He would like to do it')|
|we-||futurative ('He will do it')|
|bwa-||probabilitative, permissive ('He may do it')|
|ngwi-||superprobabilitative, admonitive ('He probably does it', 'He should do it')|
|tso-||hyperprobabilitive, obligative ('He must have done it', 'He must do it')|
|ol-||reputative ('He is supposed to do it')|
|ru-||habitive ('He is accustomed to doing it')|
|idr-||approximative, futilitive ('He seems to do it', 'He tries to do it' - without the speaker's expectation of success)|
|pâu-||conditional ('He would do it' - condition clause must follow)|
The same examples as before, nearly, but in various non-indicative moods.
- Matsin i â.
- NEG-like.NONPAST.SG 1.SUBJ.SG 3-OBJ.SG
- I don't like him.
- Wetsinandi ag î.
- FUT-like-NONPAST.DL 3-SUBJ.DL 1-OBJ.SG
- They(dual) will like me.
- Ukatsin ik as.
- OPT-like.NONPAST.PL 1.SUBJ.PL 3-OBJ.PL
- We would like to like them.
- Ngwitsinan i as.
- SUPERPROB-like-PAST.SG 1.SUBJ.SG 3-OBJ.PL
- I probably liked them.
- Idranarnosti i lus empi.
- FUTIL-cut-PAST(IMPERF).SG 1.SUBJ.SG DEF.OBJ.PL grass
- I was trying to cut the grass.
- Oltuda a lus sa.
- REP-eat-PLUP.SG 3.SUBJ.SG DEF.OBJ.PL meat
- He was supposed to have eaten meat.
Participle forms are used only for deriving adjectives from verbs. Active participles are used for head nouns agentive of the action expressed by the participle, and passive participles for head nouns patientive of the action expressed by the participle. The rule is simple: if the situation described the the noun + participle construction would be subject + verb in a sentence, it uses the active participle, and if it would be verb + object in a sentence, the passive participle. The passive participle lines up nicely with English past-participial adjectives. Example: in "the frightened child", the child has received fright and thus the verb for 'frighten' would be formed as a passive participle. The active participle is somewhat equivalent, but less so, to the English present participial adjectives; it also fills the role of English agentive -er. Ndak Ta would say "the killing man" anywhere English would say "the killer" or "the man who kills". There's also a middle participle, -kintsa, not often used.
See adjectives section below for examples of participle use.
The copula is a verb that inflects like any other, but it has no stem. It is a zero morpheme. This results in a word that consists entirely of inflection (a mood prefix or a tense/number suffix or both or neither); for instance, /s/, /bɛ̃/, /wɛ̃/+/ndi/, /m/+/owa/, and // are all forms the copula may take. Predicate nouns take the objective case. The fun part is that predicate adjectives, as one might expect, are placed in the object position in the VSO word order. This means that in some instances, since adjectives used attributively also follow their head nouns and especially where the copula consists of nothing at all, there may be ambiguity over whether the adjective is being attributed or predicated. If necessary it's possble to rearrange word order so that a predicate adjective preceeds the copula (see note about OVS order in the Introduction section), but speakers don't generally bother unless the distinction is important. One should note that the copula used to be /ɴ/, syllabic when standing alone, and that therefore the mood prefixes ending in vowels all end in nasal vowels when used in a copula; while after the mood prefixes tso and ru a copula stem still exists, realized as /ŋ/. Refer to the Phonology section for more on the former /ɴ/.
Examples of Predicate Nominals
- Ø I ndos rud.
- COP.PRES.SG 1.SUBJ.SG INDEF(REF)-OBJ.SG man
- I am a man.
- Olna lu imai âka Balau
- REP-COP-PAST.SG DEF.SUBJ.SG name POSS-3 Balau
- His name was supposed to be Balau.
See adjectives section below for examples of predicate adjective constructions.
Adjective morphology is simple.
Adjectives agree with their head nouns for number; the agreement suffix is always identical to the objective case suffixes for determiners, listed previously.
Adjectives follow head nouns, and take the suffix -in for positive comparatives and superlatives and -ur for negative comparatives and superlatives. These affixes follow the word stem and preceed the agreement suffix. These forms exist alone for comparatives, and with the adverb newe meaning "most" for superlatives. The prefix m- negates the adjective.
- Tsin lu asa ilmong î.
- like.NONPAST.SG DEF.SUBJ.SG woman beautiful.SG 1.OBJ.SG
- The beautiful woman likes me.
- Inan a lus daing pais.
- see-PAST.SG 3.SUBJ.SG DEF-OBJ.PL mountain big-PL
- He saw the big mountains.
- Inan a lus daing paiins newe.
- see-PAST.SG 3.SUBJ.SG DEF-OBJ.PL mountain big-COMP-PL most
- He saw the biggest mountains.
A "Ø" indicates a copula that has no inflection and is thus not morphologically expressed. Note the epenthetic schwa rule in action in the second and third examples.
- Ø lu asa ilmong.
- COP.PRES.SG DEF.SUBJ.SG woman beautiful.SG
- The woman is beautiful.
- An lug asa ilmos.
- COP.PRES.PL DEF.SUBJ.PL woman beautiful.PL
- The women are beautiful.
- Idras lug asa ilminsa.
- FUTIL-COP-PAST(IMPERF).PL DEF-SUBJ.PL woman beautiful-COMP-PL
- The women were trying to be more beautiful.
For brevity I'll give only noun phrases with participial adjectives; these noun phrases fit into sentences the same way as any others. I'm assuming they're all subjects. Note how modal prefixes can still be used, with interesting effects.
- lu aunti lail
- DEF-SUBJ.SG river flow.PTCPL.SG
- the flowing river
- ndong dempi unmâ
- INDEF(REF)-SUBJ.SG child play.PTCPL-SG
- a playing child
- lu rud ngangong
- DEF-SUBJ.SG man laugh.PTCPL-SG
- the laughing man
- lu netrai amraulâ âgdog
- DEF-SUBJ.SG wife NEG-love.PTCPL-SG
- your unloving wife
- luk sa wetulsa
- DEF-SUBJ.PL meat FUT-eat.PTCPL(PASS)-PL
- the meat that will be eaten (the will-be-eaten meat)
- lu rud ngwidesmog
- DEF-SUBJ.SG man ADM-hunt.PTCPL.SG
- the man that should hunt (the should-be-hunting man)