Arrasian is a East Semitic language spoken as a lingua franca in communities within the city of Arrasi and its environs in the middle east. Approximately 400,000 people speak Arrasian as their L1 and over 40 million more as a lingua franca. It is of considerable interest to linguists and ethnographers, because of its complex history and unique place in the world. It is natively known as اَرَّسو 'Arrasū' /ʔar:asu:/ or لِشان اَرَّسي /liʃɑ:n ʔar:asi:/.
Arrasian appears to have begun as a dialect of Akkadian in Babylonia, which fell under the influence of Aramaic and old Persian during the classical period in the Achaemenid Empire. Later on it acquired slight influence of Greek during the Seleucid occupation of Babylonia. Later on it has continued to recieve heavy influence from Arabic since the Rashidun Caliphate took over up to the modern era.
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Classification and DialectsEdit
Arrasian is an East Semitic language. It is a modern descendant of Akkadian. It diverges from Akkadian in its primitive form from 1st century BC called old Arrasian. It was the form of Arrasian spoken before the founding of the city of Arrasi. It is heavilly influenced by Arramaic and old Persian. It evolved to middle Arrasian, a form spoken during the early founding of the city of Arrasi, here influence mostly came from the neighboring middle Iranian Languages. During the middle ages, there rose the first classical era of Arrasian,it was characterized by numerous neologisms. The grammarians in those ages were obsessed with purifying the language each time looking up to Akkadian for reference. This lead to a state of diglosia in which the literary "purified " form differed from the spoken "vulgar" form. After the Arab conquest of Arrasi, the Arrasi quickly adopted the Arabic literary forms and continued to flourish in the Caliphate. This became the second phase of the classical era. The gap between the vernacular and literary forms were slowly closing in.This eventually lead to late Arrasian form which eventually developed into modern times.
The form used here and in modern publications is called Modern standard Arrasian. It is a compromise of classical literary form and modern vernacular forms slightly mimicking the classical Arabic grammar . It has emerged to be the dominant form of the language.
Arrasian has numerous dialects in colloquial form which are mutually intelligible. The colloquial form differs slightly from the standard form in pronounciation e.g. prescence of more emphatic consonants i.e. /sˤ/ and /ðˤ/ and realization of /ɑ:/ as /ɔ/ and in grammar where it is more analytic; it lacks grammatical case and rigid SVO construction, but that depends on the dialect. Urban dialects are closer to standard language than those rural varieties.
|Plosive||p b||t d tˤ||k g||q ɢ||ʔ|
|Fricative||f v||s z||ʃ ʒ||x||h|
|Flap or tap|
|High||i i:||u u:|
Arrasian syllable structure can be summarized in the following manner, Those which parentheses enclose are optional components:
- (C1) (S1) V (S2) (C2 (C3))
Arrasian syllable structure consists of an optional syllable onset, consisting of one or two consonants; an obligatory syllable nucleus, consisting of a vowel optionally preceded by and/or followed by a semivowel; and an optional syllable coda, consisting of one or two consonants. The following restrictions apply:
- First consonant (C1): Can be any consonant, including a liquid (/l, r/). (Onset is composed only of one consonant; consonant clusters are only found in loanwords, sometimes an epenthetic /e/ is inserted between consonants.)
- Semivowel (S1)
- Vowel (V)
- Semivowel (S2)
- First consonant (C2): Can be any consonant.
- Second consonant (C3): Can also be any consonant.
The stress in Arrasian is almost completely predictable. In its syllable typology, there are three syllable weights: light (V, CV); heavy (CVC, CV̄), and superheavy (CV̄C). If the last syllable is superheavy, it is stressed, otherwise the rightmost heavy syllable is stressed. If a word contains only light syllables, the first syllable is stressed. Where (C) is any consonant, (V) is any short vowel and (V̄) is any long vowel.
|Sound||/k/||/g/||/l/||/m/||/n/||/w/ /u:/||/h/||/j/ /i:/||/a/||/e/||/i/||/u/|
It is worth noting that in common practice, the short vowel diacritics are not usually shown hence the pronunciation of a word is inferred from context.
The ة "tā rakistum" (bound ta) is a special letter which is used to denote feminine nouns, it is usually read at /-t/ or /-at/ depending on the context.
Most roots of the Arrasian language consist of three consonants (called the radicals), but some roots are composed of four consonants (so-called quadriradicals). Between and around these radicals various infixes, suffixes and prefixes, having word generating or grammatical functions, are inserted. The resulting consonant-vowel pattern differentiates the original meaning of the root. Also, the middle radical can be geminated, which is represented by a doubled consonant in transcription (and sometimes in the cuneiform writing itself).
The consonants /ʔ/, /w/, /j/ and /n/ are termed "weak radicals" and roots containing these radicals give rise to irregular forms
Nouns in Arrasian decline for case, number, and gender. They have two genders (masculine and feminine), three cases (nominative, accusative and genitive) and two functional numbers (plural and singular) plus a vestigial dual number used in natural pairs like legs (پریدان), hands (كَفّان), eyes (عینان), couples (زوگان) and twins(ماشان).
Fortunately, almost all Arrasian nouns have sound plural i.e. they form regular plurals (the only exceptions are a few Arabic borrowed words mostly for technical terms). Typically, in singular masculine nouns end in any letter but feminine nouns end in ة /-(a)t/ e.g شر /ʃar/ (king),شرة /ʃarat/ (queen).
Adjectives too decline for number gender and case with regard to the noun they modify. They agree in number and case of the noun the modify. In plural however, they decline for two cases only; the nominative and oblique cases.
In speech and formal writing, the tanwin is used to show mimation. This distinguishes indefinite forms from definite forms. In that case, nouns and their adjectives end in -um(nom.), -im(genitive) and -am(accusative). The abscence of mimation is one of the signs to show a noun is definite, however it might also be indicator for other grammatical functions like state( will be discussed later).
The following table shows the declension of nouns and adjectives.
|Noun (masc.)||Noun (fem.)||Noun ( with dual num.)||Adjective (masc.)||Adjective (fem.)|
|Nom. Sing.||شَرٌ /ʃarum/ king||شَرةٌ /ʃaratum/ queen||عَينٌ /ʔe:num/ eye||طابٌ /tˤɑ:bum/ well/good||طابةٌ /tˤɑ:batum/ well/good|
|Acc. Sing.||شَرً /ʃaram/||شَرةً /ʃaratam/||عَينً /ʔe:nam/||طابً /tˤɑ:bam/||طابةً /tˤɑ:batam/|
|Gen. Sing.||شَرٍ /ʃarim/||شَرةٍ /ʃaratim/||عَينٍ /ʔe:nim/||طابٍ /tˤɑ:bim/||طابةٍ /tˤɑ:batim/|
|Nom. Dual||عَينان /ʔe:nɑ:n/|
|Obl. Dual||عَينين /ʔe:ni:n/|
|Nom. Plu.||شَرو /ʃaru;/||شَراتٌ /ʃarɑ:tum/||عَينو /ʔe:nu:/||طابوتٌ /tˤɑ:bu:tum/||طاباتٌ /tˤɑ:bɑ:tum/|
|Obl. Plu.||شَري /ʃari:/||شَراتٍ /ʃarɑ:tim/||عَيني /ʔe:ni:/||طابوتٍ /tˤɑ:bu:tim/||طاباتٍ /tˤɑ:bɑ:tim/|
Certain nouns,mostly those referring to geography, can also form a locative ending in -um in the singular and the resulting forms serve as adverbials. The um-locative replaces several constructions with the preposition ina (in/on/with).
Below shows how cases are used in Arrasian;
The nominative case (رَب شِكنُ 'rab šiknu' ) is used for:
- Subjects of a verbal sentence e.g. صَيّادُ إطّورً إبورو ṣayyādu iṣṣūram ibūrū ' The hunter caught a bird '.
- Subjects and predicates of an non-verbal sentence e.g أنّوشو رابِصُ شَرّاقُ annū rābiṣu šū šarrāqu 'This official is the thief'.
- Some adverbial phrases (although not necessarily representing the nominative case) e.g أحمامُ إحَبَّبو akhmāmu ikhabbabū 'They love each other'
- The citation form of words is in the nominative case.
The accusative case (شِكنُ صابِتُ šiknu ṣābitu) is used for:
- Direct objects of a verbal sentence e.g حَبّاتٌ تاجِرَ إدكُش شِنيسَ khabbātum tājira idkuš šinīsa ' A bandit stubbed the businessman twice'
- Most adverbs e.g شِزبَ إشوم ومِشَ šizba išūm ūmiša '''He sold milk everyday'
- Objects of locative prepositions to indicate motione.g. إيرُب أنَ شارَّ īrub ana šārra 'He went into the city' .
- Internal object/cognate accusative structure.
- The accusative of specification/purpose/circumstantial e.g. گَڤرُ لَبرُ أُشّقِل وَشابَ أنَ بَيتي أٙل شعرَ gavru labru uššqilu wašāba bētī el šēra 'The old man paid to lodge in my house for the night'.
The genitive case (شِكنُ دُرگُ šiknu durgu) is used for:
- Objects of prepositions e.g. إيلَّك حُلُّق مَلَ قانونِ īllak hulluq mala qānūni 'He will be banished according to the law'.
- All, but not necessarily the first member of a genitive construction (will be discused later).
- The object of a locative preposition to indicate stationary location شي إنَ كِريةِ šī ina kirīti 'She is in the garden'.
Nominal states Edit
Nouns in Arrasian, have two main states and one vestigial state. The basic form or state of a noun is دِبّعٌ إشَرٌ 'status rectus/ governed state'. It is characterized by complete case endings and mimation when indefinite and only case endings when definite in nominative case. The other main state is دِبّعٌ بَنوٌ 'the construct state'. It is mostly used in indicating relationship of a noun to another, mostly in genitive constructions. It is usually the shortest form of the noun which means loss of unstressed short vowels and mimation. The is also loss of case endings except in genitive case. The last vestigal state is دِبّعٌ پَشرٌ 'status absolutus/ the absolute state', though no longer productive, it is mostly in fixed adverbial expressions, and in expressions relating to measurements such as length and weight. It is characterized by loss of case endings. Below are some examples on how cases are used;
- پُسَرُ حِنتً إزبُل pisaru khintam izbul ( boy-NOM.DEF bag-ACC,INDEF carry-PAST-3S) 'The boy carried a bag'
- سِفرِشاَ إيمَّر sifri-šā īmmar (book-GEN.CON-her read-PRE-3S) 'He reads her book'
- مَگَرعرٙشِ أنَ سِحً إيكَّش maggar ēreši ana sikham īkkaš ( truck-CON farmer-GEN.DEF to estate-ACC.INDEF go-PRE-3S) 'The farmer's truck goes to an estate'
- كَسف دامِ لا أحشُح ( money-CON blood-.GEN.DEF NEG.PART want-PAST-1S) 'I didn't want the bloody money'
- أنّوحُراصُ شُ حَمِش قَراريط annū khurāṣu šu khamiš qarārīṭ ( PROX.DEM.PRON-3MS gold-NOM.DEF PRON.3MS five-ABS carat-ABS) 'This gold weighs five carats'
Another alternative of showing genitive relation other than the genitive construction is use of relative pronouns ش šُu (masc.)/ شَ ša (fem.). For example:
- أشّةُ شَ شَكنُ aššatu ša šaknu = أشّة شَكنِ aššat šakni 'the wife of the governor'
- مُلَمِّدٌ شُ مَدرَسةُ mulammidum 'šu madrasatu' = مُلَمِّد مَدرَسةِ mulammid madrasati 'a teacher of the school'
- عدوةٌ شَ وِلاياتٌ ēdūtum ša wilāyātum = 'عدوة وِلاياتٍ ēdūt wilāyātim ''a union of states'
Personal pronouns Edit
These can either be independent or clitic. Both are used mostly in place of noun, in emphasis and clarification.
The table below shows the independent forms of personal pronouns in Arrasian.
|1st||أنا anā||نين nīn||آتِ āti||ناتِ nāti||آشٍ āšim||ناشٍ nāšim|
|2nd||masculine||أتَّ atta||أتُن attun||كاتَ kāta||كونتِ kūnti||كاشٍ kāšim||كُنوشٍ kunūšim|
|feminine||أتِّ atti||أتِن attin||كاتِ kāti||كانتِ kānti||كاشٍ kāšim||كُناشٍ kunāšim|
|3rd||masculine||شو šū||شُن šun||شاتُ šātu||شونتِ šūnti||شاشٍ šāšim||شُنوشٍ šunūšim|
|feminine||شي šī||شِن šin||شاتِ šāti||شانتِ šānti||شاشٍ šāšim||شُناشٍ šunāšim|
The clitic pronouns are usually suffixed to the noun or verb. This mostly applies when the noun/pronoun in question is in accusative, genitive or dative case.
|1st||ي -ī/ya (after vowels)||نِ -ni||نِ -ni||ناتِ -nāti||م -am نِم -nim (vowel ending)||ناتٍ -nātim|
|2nd||M||کَ -ka||کُن -kun||کَ -ka||كونتِ -kūnti||كُم -kum||كُنوشٍ -kunūšim|
|F||کِ -ki||کِن -kin||کِ -ki||كانتِ -kānti||كِم -kim||كُناشٍ -kunāšim|
|3rd||M||شو -šū||شُن -šun||شو -šū||شونتِ -šūnti||شُم -šum||شُنوم -šunūm|
|F||شا -šā||شِن -šin||شا -šā||شانتِ -šānti||شِم -šim||شُناشٍ -šunāšim|
Enclitic forms of personal pronouns (فَغرُ قَشرُ 'fağru qašru') are affixed to various parts of speech, with varying meanings:
- To the construct state of nouns, where they have the meaning of possessive demonstratives, e.g. مَرِشو ببِنتي إحاب mari-šū binti-ī ihāb 'His son loves my daughter '
- To verbs, where they have the meaning of direct object pronouns, e.g. إلُ إكرَبناتِ Ilu ikrab-nāti 'God blessed us'
- To intransitive verbs where they have a meaning of indirect object, e.g. فَاطِمَة حَرِستشا إيمَّكُمَ Fatima khiristi-šā īmmar'-kum Fatima read you her report'
- To prepositions, where they have the meaning of objects of the prepositions e.g طوبُ أنَشُنوم شُ إحَپَّشُشو tūbu ana-šunūm šu ikhappašu-šū ' Goodness is for those who seek it'
The clitic pronouns are attached to nouns and verbs to give extra information or clarify information. For example;
- يَمُ إشتانُ آمُرشو yamu ištānu āmur-šū 'I saw the nothern sea'
- أبي حَلقَةَ أُوڤُّدشا abī khalaqta ūvvud-šā 'My father lost the ring'
Demostrative pronouns Edit
The demontrative pronouns have only to deixis; Proximal (near) and Distal (far) deixes. The table below shows them.
|Proximal "this"||Distal "that"|
|singular||masculine||أنُّ annu||أُلّو ullū|
|feminine||أنِّةُ annitu||أُلّيةُ ullītu|
|plural||masculine||أنّوتُ annūtu||أُلّوتُ ullūtu|
|feminine||أنّاتُ annātu||أُلّاتُ ullātu|
They decline for case number and gender, depending on the noun the modify or represent. For example
- شو أُلّاتِ إيحُز šū ullāti īkhuz 'He took them'
- أنُ شَمُّ annu šammu 'That is poisonous'
Relative pronouns Edit
The relative pronoun marks a relative clause; it has the same referent in the main clause of a sentence that the relative modifies. The decline for number, gender and case with reference to that of the noun. The following table shows the relative pronouns in Arrasian.
|singular||Masc.||شُ šu||شَ ša||شِ ši|
|Fem.||شة šat||شاتِ šāti'|
|plural||Masc.||شوت šūt'||شوتِ šūti|
They are used ;
- At the beginning of relative clauses e.g. مَردٌ شُ إشرُقُ إينَّس mardum šu išruqu īnnas 'A man who has stolen shall be punished'