The Ezosha language is spoken by semi-nomadic people who live along the Ezosha River – which flows through a gigantic Siberia-like land – and along its tributary, the C’irio. It is not known to be related to any other language and its speakers have been living in this area for many centuries. Ezosha is a predominantly verb subject object language.
There are 30 consonants, 4 of them are ejectives.
|Plosive||p(p) b(b)||t(t) d(d)||k(k)||ʔ(')|
|Affricate||ts(cc) dz(čc)||tʃ(c) dʒ(č)|
|Fricative||f(f) v(v)||s(s) z(z)||ʃ(š) ʒ(ž)||ʂ(šh) ʐ(žh)||ɦ(h)1|
- Often realised as voiceless [h]
- Often becomes an alveolar tap [ɾ] when it is not the first letter of a word
|e||ɛ / ə|
|o||ɔ / o|
- At the end of a word 'a' always pronounced as [a:]
- At the end of a word 'e' always becomes a schwa, [ə]
- At the end of a word 'o' always pronounced as [o:]
The syllable structure of Ezosha is (C)V(N) where C is any consonant, V any vowel (must always be present) and N one of the 3 nasal consonants.
Articles are placed before the noun. The indefinite article is only used for the singular form.
- hē is the definite article for inanimate nouns: hē žim (the house)
- oa is the definite article for animate nouns: oa ccani (the cat)
- ne is the indefinite article for both type nouns: ne žim (a house) and ne ccani (a cat)
- k’ē is the negative article: k’ē žim (no house) and k’ē ccani (no cat)
Nouns can be divided into two classes: animate or inanimate. Animate includes all living things as people, animals and plants, but also certain sacred natural phenomena/forces and objects. Concrete, no living things fall into the inanimate category. There is no grammatical gender, but the suffix –(‘)io is sometimes used to make clear that a word is feminine: ccani’io (female cat).
Although there is not much declension in Ezosha language, nouns are declined for number as with English. There are three numbers: singular, dual (for indicating two objects) and plural. The following endings are used:
- hē žim (the house)
- hē žimzi'i (the two houses)
- hē žimze (the houses)
- oa ccani (the cat)
- oa ccanizā'a (the two cats)
- oa ccaniza (the cats)
While many synthetic languages use inflection to mark words for case, in Ezosha ‘case-particles’ are used. These particles are short postpositions, which mean they come after the noun they modify. For both animate and inanimate nouns the same particle is used.
Nominative and accusative
The subject of a sentence is always in the nominative case, the direct-object in the accusative case.
|Nominative||(none)||hē žim||'the house' (as subject)|
|Accusative||i||hē žim i||'the house' (as direct object)|
- kalymy wei im hē žimze i (I have found the houses)
The nominative is also used for the object of prepositions (in English accusative is used; ‘to me’ instead of ‘to I’).
|Genitive||ān||hē žim ān||'of the house' (possession)|
|Dative||do||hē žim do||'for/to the house' (as indirect object)|
|Instrumental||čen||hē žim čen||'with the house' (with what? How?)|
|Essive||yve||hē žim yve||'as the house' (state of being)|
|Comparative||lea||hē žim lea||'similar to the house' (likeness)|
|Causative||kim||hē žim kim||'because of the house' (reason)|
|Comitative||ci||hē žim ci||'with the house' (companionship)|
|Abessive||oše||hē žim oše||'without the house' (absence)|
|'About'||hoa||hē žim hoa||'about the house'|
Many nouns can be created by deriving them from verbs, adjectives and other nouns
The infinite form of verbs can be nominalized:
- hē meraha (the making)
Meraha means ‘to make’, the suffix –ha indicating the infinitive.
Nouns can also be derived from verb roots. In combination with an obligatory vowel change (gradation), suffixes are added to the root (which always ends in a vowel) to create a noun that falls into a certain category. The vowel change depends on the last vowel of the root. When we use meraha, the root is mera. The last ‘a’ will always turn into ‘ō’. The suffixes are underlined:
- hē merōmi (‘the creation’ – touchable, a material thing)
- hē merōke (‘the creation’ – untouchable, an idea, something in mind)
- hē merōčy (‘the maker/creator’ – as an inanimate object)
- oa merōsi’a (‘the maker/creator’ – as a living being)
The root endings will turn into the following vowels:
- a > ō
- ā > oi
- e > y
- ē > i
- i > ē
- y > ei
- o > ā
- ō > ai
When the ending is a diphthong it will turn into:
- ao > e
- ai > ea
- ei > ia
- oi > aia
When used attributively, the adjective come before the noun with a particle inserted between them. Which particle is depending on animacy:
- hē ōre de žim ('the red house' [the red ‘de’ house])
- oa ōre ei ccani ('the red cat' [the red ‘ei’ cat])
- hē hy’oia ōre de žim ('the beautiful red house' [the beautiful red ‘de’ house])
- oa hy’oia ōre ei ccani ('the beautiful red cat' [the beautiful red ‘ei’ cat])
Used as predicate, with a copula:
- sai hē žim ōre (‘the house is red’ [is the house red])
- sai oa ccani ōre (‘the cat is red’ [is the cat red])
For some adjectives (especially those that have something to do with emotion) the particle ‘o’ is often used:
- sai oa ccani o pē’iny (‘the cat is happy’ [is the cat ‘o’ happy])
As in English, adverbs can be used to modify words other than nouns.
When an adverb tells something about a verb, it has the suffix –je.
- šhano mai t’ēdyje im ('i am working slowly' [work PROG slow‘je’ I])
When it tells something about adjectives, it gets instead of a suffix the prefix jā-
- hē jāhy’oia ōre de žim ('the beautifully red house' [the ‘jā’beautiful red ‘de’ house])
There are personal pronouns for three numbers: singular, dual and plural. First person dual and plural have separate pronouns depending on clusivity. For example, wāna means ‘we’ including the one to whom is spoken (we + you), while fāna excludes the addressee (we, but not you). There is no gender, ky means both ‘he/she’, but distinction is made in animacy for the third person pronouns; co, ca’āna and cāna are inanimate.
|Person||Nominative form||Accusative form|
|1st person singular||im||nao|
|2nd person singular||vy||vin|
|3rd person singular||ky / co||kin / cin|
|1st person dual incl.||wa’āna||we’ēne|
|1st person dual excl.||fa’āna||fe’ēne|
|2nd person dual||vyzā’a||vinzā’a|
|3rd person dual||ha’āna / ca’āna||he’ēne / ce’ēne|
|1st person plural incl.||wāna||wēne|
|1st person plural excl.||fāna||fēne|
|2nd person plural||vyza||vinza|
|3rd person plural||hāna / cāna||hēne / cēne|
The special pronoun se is used when it is not referring to anything specific or to something non-existent, irrelevant, not known…:
- wēra mai se (it is raining)
To express possession, the genitive particle ‘ān’ is placed after the nominative forms of personal pronouns:
- im ān (my)