| Elea |
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
- 1 Classification and Dialects
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Writing System
- 4 Grammar
- 5 Lexicon
- 6 Example text
Classification and Dialects
Elea is a language spoken in the Elean empire. The main city is called Elea too and is located at the river delta of the river Eressa.
|Flap or tap||ɾ|
vowels are long and short. Long vowels written with a macron.
Syllables are (C)V(C) only certain consonants can end a word - s,n,r,l,j,w,ch,th,dh,m)
Hard consonants such as b, d, c, g become soft in the presence of i or e. For example, ci -> [chi]. For this reason an apostrophe is used to break up allophonic changes. An apostrophe can also separate vowels to stop a diphthong.
A s/z + y/u/j becomes sh,zh
sl,sr sometimes become shl, shr
Some speakers may merge a and á
Stress falls on the penultimate syllable, unless there are more than two feet in which case it falls on the antepenultimate. Long vowels pull stress onto them often. Vowels before geminates often also attract stress. In compound words or words with affixation, sometimes stress remains on the root instead of changing.
Elisions - vowels that are next to each other in sequential words elide and mix with each other. If the two vowels are of the exact same quality or similar (i/y, a/á, o/u) then they may be completely removed and the first is replaced with an apostrophe. E.g., E oppade ēa -> E oppad’ ēa
*As it says in phonotactics a c+e/i sound becomes a ch sound so it can be written c' to break up that.
There are three classes of nouns - I animate, II inanimate, III nonphysical. They all decline differently. I nouns normally end in e,a,i,y,s. II nouns end in o,u,á,s. III nouns end in consonants (especially r) however there are of course exceptions which must be learned. And derivations of words often follow their original case even with the wrong ending.
There are three cases: nominative, accusative and genitive.
|Case||Animate (I)||Inanimate (II)||Nonphysical (III)|
Note that the genitive endings for I and II often cause an umlaut change in the root noun. e.g., āre (man) -> ērs (of a man). The e/a options for ACC I are for the gender of the noun. Only class I nouns have masculine/feminine gender and it is slowly being dropped out of use, with the masculine forms now being preferred. The e/o option for III ACC is to agree with whether the root vowel is front or back, this is a vestige from earlier vowel harmony systems which have since been lost. Again, this is falling out of use.
Plurals in Elea were very irregular, coming from reduplicated forms in the proto-language. There are 6 main patterns:
- Stressed vowel only undergoes umlaut - sece -> sice
- Both vowels undergo umlaut sene -> sini
- Stressed vowel only undergoes umlaut (backwards) sono -> sáno
- Metathesis of reduplicated syllable (only for monosyllables) sen -> sisen -> sisn -> sines
- Words beginning with vowels, combine the reduplicated vowels and lengthen ese -> īse
Which one of these patterns a noun follows depends on its root in the Proto-language which is difficult to memorise so to a learner it may seem that all plurals are irregular. This is not the case. However, since even native speakers struggle with these plural forms, simpler endings have been innovated to facilitate making plurals. These are usually used for less common words only as it is easy to memorise the plural forms of common words.
The genitive still causes umlaut here.
Also, only plurals formed in this way take these endings. (old) plurals formed by the previously mentioned patterns take the singular case endings, not these ones. E.g. of men = ērs not ērsi. Furthermore, there are some group plurals that behave as singular nouns such as ereas (mankind)
These are the articles in Elea. Note that for the genitive definite the article is attached to the end of the noun. The e/o forms apply to the class I and class II respectively. Class III may take either depending on what sounds better in context.
In the 1st person plural, the two forms apply to an inclusive pronoun and an exclusive pronoun. In the third person the forms apply to the classes. Genitive pronouns, while used as possessive adjectives do not agree like adjectives so must stick very closely after their noun. My dog = phais ins.
Relative and Switch Reference Pronouns
Use forms c’i (this), arai (that), aidhe (yon) - from ca (here), ara (there) aradhe (over there)
c’i, c’io, c’ir - refer to subject of previous phrase
arai, araio, ara’ir - refer to object of previous phrase
aidhe, aiodhe, aredhe - refer to indirect object of previous phrase
ca/ara - refer to a place subj/obj of previous phrase
cys/arys - refer to a time subj/obj of prev phrase
WORD ORDER - relative clause after noun it relates to
The man who caught the fish = e āre, c’i n’ en pesen samete
The fish, that the man caught = e pese, c’i e āre ne samete
I hate the man who caught the fish = jem ēn en āren, arai n’ en pesen samete, penan
I ate the fish that the man caught = jem nēn en pesen, arai e āre ne samete, athe
The man, to whom I gave the fish = e āre, i c’ī jem nēn en pesen duneare (directional case acts as a dative with ‘i’)
The man, whose fish I ate = e āre, jem nēn en pesen c’īs athe (genitive must stick with noun)
The field, where I ate the fish = o iguredho, ca jem nēn en pesen athe
That is the field, where I ate the fish = araio ē on iguredhon, ara jem nēn en pesen ath’, enne
NOTE that a class III form often represents a simple what/that as in an action:
jem ēn, c’ir s’ ēos es, cele = I see what you are doing
Must agree with class and gender and case, not plurality.
we = good (I.M) wa (I.F) wo (II) wer (III)
wen, wan, won, weron DON’T undergo umlaut in GEN (weīs, weys, wers)
-ADJs ending in C (usually also III nouns): ichan (happy/happiness), ichana, ichano, ichan
NOTE: the copula for adjectives is not enne (to be) but the (to have) as enne is for nouns/places only. However, enne and the can be left out.
jem ichan the.
NOTE: adjectives on their own can assume a noun: e ichan = the happy (man)
Adjectives always follow the noun.
Comparatives and Superlatives
Comparatives add -je (or -he if after C) and decline as usual. Superlatives add particle ‘me’ (agrees with subj) as a type of article before:
I am happier than you: jem ēn ci esse ichanhe the/ jem ichanh’ ēn ci esse the/ jem ēn ci esse ichanhenne (-enne suffix can be added to adj to make into verbs)
I am the happiest: jem ē me ichanhe the
I am the happiest of all: jem ēn me ichanhe sameīs the (note use of gen.)