| Ģaxemo |
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
- 1 Classification and Dialects
- 2 Phonology and Alphabet
- 3 Grammar
- 4 Lexicon
- 5 Sample Text
Classification and Dialects
Ģaxemo (pronounced /ɣəˈχɛmɪ/, coll. Ģam) is a language isolate spoken in an autonomous zone in the Caucuses. It borrows from Germanic, Romance, and Semitic languages.
Phonology and Alphabet
|Bilabial||Alveolar / Dental||Postalveolar||Velar||Uvular|
|Plosive||p b||t̪ d̪||(tʃ dʒ)||k g||q|
|Fricative||ϕ β||s z||ʃ (ʒ)||x ɣ||χ|
|Lateral fric.||ɬ [ɮ]|
|Lateral aff.||tɬ [dɮ]|
Phonemes in parenthesis were brought into the language through loanwords but are now integral. Phonemes in brackets are today rarely distinguished.
All occurrences of /ɪ/ here may be realized as /ɛ/ or /i/, and all occurrences of /ə/ here may be realized as /u/, /o/, /a/, /ɑ/, /ɒ/, or /ɔ/. Most all diphthongs in Ģaxemo are realized according to the chart, and are usually never fully pronounced (ex.: "ao", "au", "ae", "ai"; /aə/, /aə/, /aɪ/, /aɪ/).
There are 2 tones: normal (/a/) and rising-falling (/a᷈/). The latter cannot occurs on /æː/ or /ə/. All vowels can also be creaky voiced (/a̰/).
Nasalization often occurs before nasals, especially /n/ and /ŋ/, though it is often realized as a more low version of the vowel, or as simply /ɑ/ or /ɒ/ (ex.: "oņkeko" - /ɒkɘˈko/).
Many phonemes vary depending on their context in a given word:
- Coda /k/, /g/, /t̪/, and /d̪/ have no audible release.
- Coda /q/ becomes a glottal stop with no audible release (/ʔ˺/).
- Word-final long vowels have an implied /q/ following (ex.: /kaːʔ˺/).
- /ʀ/ is rarely pronounced as a trill (except when it is word-initial or directly precedes /a/), but is rather approximated, as /ɑ/ or /ɯ/, or when following a rounded vowel, as /w/ or a uvular approximant. Syllables with /ʀ/ often become diphthongs (ex. /imqoʀˈaʃə/ often becomes /imˈqɔaʃə/).
- Coda /l/ becomes /w/.
- Unstressed /a/ as becomes /ə/, unstressed /i/ becomes /ə/ or /ɪ/, unstressed /ɛ/ becomes /ɘ/ or /ʊ/, unstressed /u/ becomes /ɨ/, and unstressed /o/ becomes /ɤ/ or /ɪ/. These rules rarely apply to unstressed diphthongs.
- Some clusters like "tx", "tr", or "ns" are often reduced to the second consonant, or in the case of a nasal, the preceding vowel is also nasalized, or more often, pronounced more as /ɑ/, /ɒ/, or /ɔ/.
Allowable syllable structures: CV, VC, CVC. A geminated consonant is considered as two consonants.
|Letter||Žž||Ģģ||Hh||Yy||Rr||Ee||Ęę or Aa aa|
The rominazation tries to be as close as possible to the actual writing system while removing all the ambiguities (discussed later). All other characters are exactly their corresponding IPA value. Rising-falling tone is written "â", glottal stops (see phonotactics) and high tone is written "aa'", "a'". Ejectives are written "t`", or sometimes "t'".
There are several terms that will be used to describe language patterns at least partly exclusive to Ģaxemo. Root words are generally CVC. The first consonant determines the root's (and all of its derivations') grammatical gender. Usually, if the first consonant is a stop, the root is masculine, if it is a fricative, the root is feminine, and if it is anything else, the root is neuter (in this case /ɬ/ and /ɮ/ are actually categorized as stops). If the first phoneme in a root is a vowel, the root is usually neuter, but many times it is irregular. The middle vowel of a root is called the IRV ("Inner Root Vowel") and always has a corresponding "natural vowel" (abbreviated "NV" or "N") that is frequently used in conjugation and word derivation.
Lenition is also unique. When lenition is mentioned, it is actually referring to this chart. When the lenitive form of a root consonant is mentioned, it is represented by "LC" or "L".
Forition is also unique. When fortition is mentioned, it is really referring to this chart. Note /ʀ/ does not change when undergoing fortition. Consonants that are the fortive form of a root consonant are represented by "FC" or "F".
Colloquially, conditional mood is used for simple past tense and potential mood is used for simple future tense.
The auxiliaries always appear at the end of a clause.
|Masc||Singular||Plural||Dual||Trial||Singulative||Collective (form.) - only in Masc.|
|Singular||Singular Acc / Dat (form.)||Plural (coll.)|
|3nd Fem (coll.)||ézray||ey||ézre|
|If the IRV is "a"||-(i)s||-siu||-ssi|
|If the IRV is "e"||-(o)z||-zot||-sso|
|If the IRV is "i"||-(i)n||-nəi||-ssi|
|If the IRV is "o"||-(a)m||-mot||-ssa|
|If the IRV is "u"||-(e)r||-re||-sse|
|Nom||- a||- e||- o|
|Dat||- e||- a|
|Gen||- o||- i||- e|
|Loc||- u||- o||- i|
|Abl||- i||- o||- e|
|Instr (coll.)||- ə|
Genitive phrases are produced thus:
"book of life"
This form applies even to possessives and many adjectives. There are only a few "true adjectives" that are not just nouns in genitive case:
The definite article varies depending on the gender and case of the word it is modifying. The article always follows the noun it is modifying.
There are two ways in which words are derived: using commonly used stems and templates, known as "Ikasaasi Fató" (lit. "verb derivation" because many words derived this way stem from a verb), and coining new words, known as "Ikasaasi Rosó" (lit. "noun derivation" as most commonly used nouns are derived this way.
The most common Ikasaasi Fató stems and examples:
|Base Verb / Noun||fer|
|"to find / excavate"|
|"covered in dirt"|
A base root (usually CVC and a verb) can have its inner vowel changed, most often with the "â" tone diacritic, or with a basic Ablaut (this form is the most irregular). The "tool" is derived with gemination of the last root consonant and the suffix "-ana". The larger concept contains the root within is the template "N-root-aa'", with the natural vowel of the inner vowel of the root taking initial stress. The "larger object" adds an "a-" prefix and an "-i" suffix as well as changes the root's inner vowel to "a" and the first root consonant undergoes fortition. In the adjective, the fortition remains, but with the prefix "i-" taking stress and the suffix "-aas".
In Ikasaasi Rosó, words are simply coined, and it happened that distinct "generations" of word derivation occurred. At different times in the language's history, words were simply derived in different ways, leaving a mess of words derived in different ways from different periods of time across history. The 4th generation extends to present day.
- 1st generation words: mainly compound words (ex. "taçasu", an assimilation of "taççə ane sub")
- 2nd generation words: combining borrowed words from different languages (ex. "mäsato", a combination of English "machine" and European "auto")
- 3nd generation words: borrowed words plus the suffix "-ó" (there is no stress diacritic if another appears earlier in the word), which is actually pronounced /õ~ɔ̃~ɑ̃~ɒ̃/ (ex. "kopuró", borrowed from English "computer")
- 4th generation words: borrowed words (ex. "porimu", borrowed from English "primer")
Some words were coined in between these distinct generations, namely "réligifatto" (meaning "religion"), which both contains a combination of the borrowed words "religion" and "faith / fate" (a characteristic of 2nd gen. words) and the suffix "-o" (a characteristic of 3nd gen. words).
All Ikasaasi Rosó words may undergo the following phonological changes:
- In older words, stress is generally penultimate, however in newer words stress is generally initial.
- #1 can be overridden by vowels with suprasegmentals, including diphthongs.
- #1 and #2 may be overridden if the compound words contains only one derivable root, and the root takes stress.
- A coda closed syllable containing /u/ is shortened to an open syllable and /u/ becomes /ɨ/.
- Strings of consonants (and sometimes vowels) that have similar places of articulation often assimilate, especially when unstressed.
- Vowel length and consonant gemination usually disappears, as can diphthongs, assimilating to the second vowel.
- Syllable-initial vowels generally disappear, especially when unstressed.
- As many consonant clusters are formed as possible around the stressed syllable. In older words, these clusters assimilate.
- Some endings that cause phonological difficulties (ex.: urępa-aas --> urępaaas) will assimilate ( --> urępaas).
- The older the word, the more extreme the phonological changes.
- Words that are old enough will be spelled to some degree phonetically and have done away with most conservative spelling.
sub - "in front of"
séçaar - "behind"
faktu meu - "inside of"
faktu ser - "outside of"
faktu e - "on top of"
faktu el e (sometimes written "faktu ewe") - "under"
faktu na - "next to"
faktu el na - "far from"
Basic sentence structure: Verb - Subj - Auxiliaries - Obj ("Auxiliaries" refers to things such as time expressions, etc.) Ex.:
Note: the copula is "ros". It never changes form and always appears first in a clause.
Negation is written with a "||" (sometimes "|") at the end of a clause, and is pronounced /||/ or /|| ||/. However, if the clause has a copula ("ros"), it is merely changed to "ross" and pronounced with a geminated "s".
Several adverbs, when used, must occur at the very beginning and the very end of the clause:
rak...rak - "merely, even"
Interrogative is marked with the last vowel of a clause having a high tone, however formally, this is marked by making the IRV of the last word of the clause have rising-falling tone, and if the vowel already has tone (see word derivation), the tone is placed on the following vowel, and if there is no other vowel, /â/ is added to the end of the word. However, this formal practice is becoming archaic.
Emphasis can also be placed on any word by making the word's last stop ejective. This can be used in place of instances when English would use volume and tone (ex.: "I didn't say she stole my money" versus "I didn't say she stole my money", etc.) Sometimes, if emphasis must be placed on a certain word but that word has no stops, ejective "p`" is added to the end of the word.
Standard numbers are always Masc:
0 - nol
1 - çu
2 - wáizi
3 - róyok
4 - dámka
5 - rax
6 - sës
7 - meu
8 - tłę
9 - tła
10 - o
100 - óhdew
Outside of legal and mathematical use, traditional numbers are used. They are also Masc and are in Senary:
0 - fer
1 - dej
2 - tek
3 - mo
4 - lel
5 - ákda
To add a base, "-kaan" is used and increased with number suffixes and hyphens (stress is always in intial):
10 - dejkaan
12 - tekdejkaan
100 - dejkaantek
The writing system is similar to the rominization used throughout, however with a few differences:
- Diacritical marks are only written for the noun suffix "-ó" (discussed earlier) or for certain words (especially large ones) that are not following a basic word template or are penultimate in stress. However, especially with old words, there are many exceptions.
- The phonemes /x/ and /χ/ are both written with the "Xx" letter (there is no "Hh" letter).
- There are no letters "Šš" or "Žž". "Ss" and "Zz" are used instead but with a diaeresis on the vowel between them (ex.: "sëp", /ʃɛp/). The same is applied to "Jj", even though it is not used for any other sound except /dʒ/. This system can often make it ambiguous as to which consonants around the marked vowel are pronounced postalveolar (ex.: "sïs" could logically be pronounced /siʃ/, /ʃis/, or /ʃiʃ/).
- /ɬ/ and /ɮ/ are both represented by "Łł", and /tɬ/ and /dɮ/ are both represented by "Tł tł" (in formal writing, "Dł dł" is sometimes used for /dɮ/).
- "Ņņ" is always written "Ņg ņg", except before a velar or uvular consonant.
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Ruwaler Sápesis Qemale Úrępao Bo Taççu Çue
/ʀɨˈwaləʀ ˈsapəsɪs qɘˈmalɘ ˈuʀɘpao bo ˈtatʃːɨ tʃɨɛ/
Naxawmə - "Hello (form.)"
Nax - "Hello (coll.)"
Ka-əna' - "Who are you? / What's your name?"
Ros əna' - "How are you?"
Ros addatu - "Things are well (lit. Everything is on the ground / in order)"
Saweņg - "Okay / Come on (interjection)"