Conlanging: Protolanguage AB (currently unnamed) Post Four: Subordinate clauses 1

Becka Sutton
Here's where it gets messy.

Subordinate clauses (also called dependent clauses) work very differently in this language than in English. Today I am dealing with adjectival and noun clauses today. There are also adverbal clauses which will probably work in a similar manner but I need to muse on that some more.

Noun and Adjectival Clauses

These are subordinate clauses where the clause acts as a noun (eg the “she stole the moon” in “I know she stole the moon”) or in a manner similar to an adjective “who stole the moon”  in “The girl who stole the moon wore a red dress”. In this language they are treated roughly the same.

Remember the that nice subject-object verb structure I had? It's different in subordinate clauses. The verb goes first and is prefixed with du (the order of prefixes should it come up is subordinate marker-negative marker-atelic marker - all three at once would be unusual but not impossible.

The girl who stole the moon and danced with the sun wore a red dress would be ordered as:
Stole moon and danced sun with girl red dress wore.

The girl who wore a red dress stole the moon and danced with the sun would be:
Wore red dress girl moon stole and sun with danced.

The sun danced with the girl who stole the moon would be:
Sun with stole moon girl danced (and moon would be in dative as it's a secondary object to girl in this case).

There is one wrinkle I haven't worked out yet. I have no idea how to handle complex compounded sentences like “I know that the girl who stole the moon wore a red dress”. I think some sort of linking conjunction other than may be in order or it might simply not be possible – not every language allows such nestings.

Word roots not already given in earlier posts:

girl heti
dress risu
steal grati
dance meri
go dati
wear rima
ra - and
bo particle marking the end of a subclause

The girl stole the moon
Heti tāmeqi gratima

The sun danced with the girl who stole the moon
Kwiru dugratima tāmewa hetiqidwi bo merima

The girl who stole the moon and danced with the sun wore a red dress.
Dugratima tāmeqi ra dumerima kwiruqidwi heti bo afārife risuqi rimama

The girl who wore a red dress stole the moon and danced with the sun
Durimama afārife risuqi heti bo tāmeqi gratima ra kwiruqidwi merima.

Kāra is not the girl who stole the moon
Kāra dugratima tāmewa hetiqi bo naẋo
Conlanging: Protolanguage AB (currently unnamed) Post Three: Verbal Grammar in basic clauses, adverbs

Becka's Worldbuilding Channel
  last edited: Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:48:06 -0500  
Here come the verbs :-D


The language has a simple three tense system:

Past - suffix - ma
Present - unmarked
Future - suffix -ri


Now, here's where it gets fun. There is no distiction between perfective and imperfective (the language doesn't distinguish between I eat and I am eating). It does have telic and atelic aspects. That is it distinguishes between successful and unsuccessful actions on the verb.

Telic - unmarked
Atelic - prefix Ku-

Negation: just like with nouns verbs can be negated by adding the prefix na-
Whether the verb or the noun is negated depends on shades of meaning. (When I make some examples this will hopefully be clearer)


There is a single realis mood:
indicative - unmarked
(the dictionary form is present tense telic indicative)

There are four irrealis moods:
imperative - suffix -be (used to give orders)
subjunctive - suffix -qwo (used to make suggestion more polite than the imperitive and also for things you should do/have done)
opative - suffix -ġu the difference between the opative and subjunctive is subtle but where the subjunctive deals with should the opative deals with wish.
interrogative - suffix -po always at the very end of the verb. Can stack with other moods

Yes, these are indeed some moody verbs.

Verbs do not inflect for person or number

There's one more thing to do with verbs but it has to do with dependant clauses and will be dealt with when I deal with them.

For sake of simplicity adverbs are genitive case nouns like adjectives and you know what they modify because they sit before it in the sentence.

Sample sentences:

I went to the moon with Kāra = Pā Kārawadwi Tāmeqibu datima
Kāra went to the moon with me = Kāra Pāwadwi Tāmeqibu datima

I wanted to go to the moon with Kāra = Pā Kārawadwi Tāmeqibu datimagu
Kāra wanted to go moon with me = Kāra Pāwadwi Tāmeqibu datimagu

I tried to go to the moon with Kāra = Pā Kārawadwi Tāmeqibu kudatima
Kāra tried to go moon with me = Kāra Pāwadwi Tāmeqibu kudatima

Depending on context "I didn't go to the moon with Kāra" could be,,
Pā Kārawadwi Tāmeqibu nadatima (indicates you didn't go anywhere together and neither of you went to the moon)
Pā Kārawadwi natāmeqibu datima (suggests you may have gone elsewhere together)
Pā nakārawadwi Tāmeqibu datima (suggests you went to moon but Kara was not with you)
Napā Kārawadwi Tāmeqibu datima (Suggests Kara went to the moon but you were not with her)

You should go to the moon with Kāra = Shi Kārawadwi Tāmeqibu datiqwo

That's enough for today. Tomorrow it will be the whole subordinate clause mess.
Conlanging: Protolanguage AB (currently unnamed) Post Two: Nominal Grammar, Prepositions, Personal Pronouns and Adjectives

Becka's Worldbuilding Channel
  last edited: Sat, 02 Dec 2017 16:40:06 -0500  
Okay so today we're dealing with Nominal Grammar (grammar relating to nouns) including pronouns and adjectives.

Alignment: Nominative/Accusative
Noun Classes/Gender: None
Articles: None

Nominative: uninflected
Accusative: suffix -qi
Dative: suffix -wa
Genitive: suffix -fe (adjectives are genitive nouns)

singular: uninflected
plural: suffix -ru
negation: a noun can be negated (as not noun) by adding the prefix na-

So let's take a random root Tāme (ā is the a in father rather the a in trap) and let's say it means "moon".

Nominative: moon is Tāme and moons is Tāmeru
Accusative: Tāmeqi Tāmeqiru
Dative: Tāmewa Tāmewaru
Genitive: Tāmefe Tāmeferu

And if you wanted to say "That's no moon!" and everyone knew what that was you would just say "Natāme!" (a without the macron is the a in trap) as the language is prodrop.

Sometimes the negating prefix Na- makes another noun rather than just meaning not x.
As an example here is another root.

Kwiru = Sun. It also = Day
Nakwiru however doesn't simply mean an overcast day. Nakwiru means darkness and also night. It can also refer to a solar eclipse.

And here's a couple more astronomical words as a bonus.
Itanu = star and Eshri = Sky

Preposition suffixes:
Things that English would handle with prepositions are handled with suffixes that are positioned after the case suffix. I only have a few defined so far but here they are.

In -ġro (ġ is a voiced uvular stop - like a normal velar g but further back) so in the moon would be Tāmeġro (or more usually Tāmeqiġro or Tāmewaġro as "in the moon" wouldn't usually be nominative)
at -ha
with -dwi
to -bu

Personal Pronouns
As I mentioned this conlang (which needs a name) doesn't inflect for noun class/gender. This is true for pronouns as well - it does however have two third person pronouns. One for people and one for everything else. As I mentioned above the language is prodrop so pronouns are only used only when context doesn't make it clear who is being referred to.

I = Pā We = Pāru
You = Shi You (pl) = Shiru
He/She = Fre They = Freru
It = Mo It(pl)=Moru
So if I wanted to say:
I went to the moon with Kara
it would be:
Pā Kārawadwi Tāmeqibu (Verb)
While "Kara went to the moon with me" would be:
Kāra Pāwadwi Tāmeqibu (Verb)
(I'll come back to these in a later when I actually cover verbs)

Possessives and adjectives

As I mentioned the Genitive Case is used for both possession and adjectives. It is always positioned immediately before the noun it modifies but there is a wrinkle. If it's a possessive then chi is added right at the end of the word after even the plural marker. If it's an adjective this isn't added.

More importantly some dialects leave a brief pause before the chi effectively making it a particle while others elide it with the genitive making it clitic suffix.

So Kāra Pāfechi Tāmeqi ẋo means "Kāra is my moon" in clitic dialects while Kāra Pāfe chi Tāmeqi ẋo means the same in particle dialects (it's just a matter of stress and a pause and dialect speakers understand each other - but it will it matter later when sound changes effect the starts and ends of words).

ẋo btw is the present tense copula verb. Basically the English "is".

And let's end with a few more adjectives. Colours!
Black: Tagufe (bonus: Tagu as a root means fertile earth/soil)
White/Clear: Borāfe (bonus: Borā as a root means fresh water. Naborā means saltwater. Naborāfe means bitter)
Red: Afārife (Bonus: Afāri as a noun root means blood and is also the root of the verb "to live")
Green: Matife (Bonus: Mati is the root of the noun leaf and also the verb "to grow")
Yellow: Kwirufe (yes their word for Yellow basically means 'sunny')

Tomorrow I shall probably deal with either verbs or noun phrases and subclauses - this section is a bit messy and I need to decide how to best approach it.
Conlanging: Protolanguage AB (currently unnamed) Post One: Sounds and Phonotactics

Becka's Worldbuilding Channel
  last edited: Sat, 02 Dec 2017 16:39:48 -0500  
This is a repost of a currently unnamed #conlang that I was working on earlier this year and which I am picking back up for #lexember. I have previously posted much of what I will be posting on here was posted on mastodon but I feel here will make a better home.

So we start with the sounds. I am posting these as an image because it's easier than trying to lay them out in a post. The orhography may change at some point but for now this is what I have.



Word Order: Subject-Object-Verb

Syllable Structure (C)(A)V where A = r or w
In CAV syllables C can't be r or w

Stress: Final syllable is lightly stressed

Allophony - unstressed vowels between consonants are realised as a schwa except in the first syllable of a word


Thinking about sounds does the language have dipthongs or just the six pure vowels above? I think the latter for now. Dipthongs can arrive with sound changes as this is a protolanguage.

I think I'm going to make this language mostly agglutanative though I am going to inflect some things using sound changes on the root rather than affixes

Tomorrow: Nominal Grammar