Conlang
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Geyson
Type Agglutinative
Alignment Ergative-Accusative
Head direction Head-Final
Tonal Yes
Declensions Yes
Conjugations Yes
Genders 12
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect
Meta-information
Progress 0%
Statistics
Nouns 0%
Verbs 0%
Adjectives 0%
Syntax 0%
Words of 1500
Creator [[User:|]]


Classification and Dialects[]

Geyson is broadly an agglutinative language with grammatical markings for both nouns and verbs. Geyson is also an active-stative language meaning the subject of an intransitive verb may be marked like either the agent of a transitive verb (the active case) or the patient of an intransitive verb (the stative case). The case of the intransitive subject depends on the volition of the subject where the active case indicates a higher level of volition and the stative case indicates a lower level of volition.

Here, the first sentence implies that the dog is being forced to eat - being fed - while the second implies the dog is eating of its own volition - a more accurate translation of the sense of eating.

meyng (dog root) → kemeyng soimon (stative.dog eats) vs. xtameyng soimon (active.dog eats)

Phonology[]

Consonants[]

Bilabial Coronal Affricate Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ ɴ
Plosive Tenuis p, b t, d t͡s, d͡z k, g q, ɢ ʔ
Ejective p' t' t͡s' k' q'
Fricative s, z ꭓ, ʁ h~ɦ
Lateral fric. l~ɾ

Vowels[]

Geyson has three basic vowel qualities: ⟨e⟩ (mid-front), ⟨o⟩ (mid-back) and ⟨a⟩ (low-back). The vowel ⟨e⟩ varies between [e] and [i~ɨ] depending on its environment. Each vowel may occur either short or long, and oral or nasalized, giving a total of 12 combinations. Vowels can also be pronounced with high or low pitch, i.e. Geyson has two tones. Length, pitch and nasalization are phonemic.

Front Central Back
High i~ɨ
Mid
Low ɑ

Phonotactics[]

Writing System[]

Bilabial Coronal Affricate Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n ng
Plosive Tenuis p, b t, d ts, dz k, g q, ġ (')
Ejective ph th tsh kh qh
Fricative s, z x, r h
Lateral fric. l
Front Central Back
High e
Mid e o
Low a

Tones[]

The two tones of Geyson are high and low. Orthographically, high tone of a short vowel is indicated by an ⟨i⟩ following the affected vowel - ⟨ai⟩, while low tone is left unmarked - ⟨a⟩. The high tone of a long vowel is indicated by a ⟨y⟩ following the affected vowel - ⟨ay⟩, again the low tone is left unmarked - ⟨a⟩. This reflects the tonal polarity of Geyson in which syllables have a low tone by default.

Long vowels normally have level tones ⟨ay, aa⟩, however, in grammatical contractions and in loan-words such as ⟨keiendo⟩ ('wine' from {regional language} ⟨kinjddu⟩), long vowels may have falling ⟨aia⟩ or rising ⟨aai⟩ tones.

The sonorants /n/ and /m/ also carry tone when they are syllabic. Here, the high tone is marked with a ⟨y⟩ - ⟨ny, my⟩ -while the low tone is left unmarked ⟨n, m⟩.

Even though low tone is the default, these syllables are not underspecified for tone: they have a distinct phonetic tone, and their pitch is not merely a function of their environment. As in many languages, the pitches at the beginnings of Geyson vowels are lower after voiced consonants than after tenuis and aspirated consonants. However, the type of consonant has little effect on the pitch in the middle of the vowel, so that vowels have characteristic rising pitches after voiced consonants. After ejective consonants, only high tones are lowered, so that the distinction between high and low tone is reduced.  The pitch of a vowel is also affected by the tone of the previous syllable. In most cases, this has as great of an effect on the tone of the other syllable as its own tone.

Grammar[]

There are eight categories of words in Geyson. These are verb, adjective, determiner, noun, pronoun, adverb, interjection and number.

Nouns[]

Nouns can take affixes of possession, reflexive relation, honorifics, class/gender and case.

Compounds can be formed in three ways:

  • nominal root+nominal root:
    • ge-naan "summit" (head-hill)
  • verbal root+nominal root:
    • khain-onhn-te "inferno" (to burn-bone)
  • attributive root/particle+nominal root:
    • nein-tsee "dwarf" (small-man)

Gender[]

There are 12 genders within which all nouns fall in Geyson. These genders do not represent physical gender (as in male and female) but rather represent the type, function, size, animacy etc. of a noun. These classifications may also be considered noun class.

These genders each carry unique grammatical marking and are usually classified with the following titles:

  1. Person - kinship terms, job titles, some body parts
  2. Animal/Tree - most animals, large plants
  3. Moving Object - water, celestial bodies, tools
  4. Stationary Object Large - land features, immovable objects
  5. Stationary Objects Small - low animacy small objects
  6. Foodstuffs - prepared food, small plants
  7. Neuter 1 - miscellaneous items, loan words
  8. Neuter 2 - miscellaneous items, loan words
  9. Big Concepts - concepts
  10. Place Specific - names of locations
  11. Place General - types of places
  12. Place Internal - emotions, thoughts

Case[]

Each grammatical gender is marked with a prefix which changes according to case. There are 6 cases in Geyson (Ergative, Absolutive, Locative, Benefactive, and Instrumentive). Originally classes and cases had separate prefixes marked class.case.root. Although these prefixes are retained as separate characters in writing, they are pronounced as the outlined contractions in all circumstances, which are reflected in the romanization. The original case prefixes can be seen in parenthesis on the top row of the chart below.

Class stat (∅-) act (ta-) loc (ke-) ben (so-) ins (ga-)
1- Person m-/m- ta-/mt- ke-/mk- so-/ms- nga-/ng-
2- Animal/Tree ke-/q- xta-/xt- xke-/xk- kso-/x- ra-/r-
3- Moving Object mo-/∅- da-/ta- ge-/g-

4- Stat. Large de-/d- da-/d-


5- Stat. Small n-/n- na-/nt-


6- Foodstuffs a-/∅- tha-/t- khe-/k- tso-/s- ġa-/g-
7- Neuter ko-/ko’n- xta-/nt- kxe-/ngk- kso-/ns- ga-/nga-
8- Neuter




9- Big concepts sa-
ske-/sk-

10- Place Specific pe-/p- pet-/pet- pek-/pek- pes-/pes- be-/b-
11- Place General pa-/p- pat-/pat- pak-/pak- pas-/pas- ba-/b-
12- Place Internal




Posession[]

Possessive prefixes mark for the possessed case (although it functions differently from other cases) and change according to class and possessor. Possessed case can mark a noun without reference to any possessor using the indefinite form, or to a specific possessor using the other forms, this is equivalent to using possessive pronouns (e.g. my, your, his, her etc.). The possessor is indicated by proximity to the noun in the possessed case, with the usual structure being possessed followed by possessor (similar to the genitive construction ____ of ____). To determine the function of the possessed noun in the sentence, the possessor is marked with its case.

  • haitso "poem (root)" → s.haitso ta.deyso kate "the man writes a poem; lit. the man’s poem is written"

The indefinite possessor functions as a sort of ‘dummy’ possessor and is attached as a suffix. The appropriate class/case prefix must also added to indicate the function of the noun.

  • ta.khoyb.ol koi dnainde "one’s hands touch me"

Some nouns, such as words for body parts and kinship terms, must always be possessed. They cannot be used without a possessive prefix, or otherwise must be used with an absolute suffix to express an indefinite possessor. In a conversation, after the possessor is established through the first construction or context, the indefinite possessor construction is also frequently utilized. The possessive prefixes are as follows and precede all class marking.

Singular Plural
1p k- / x- k- / x-...-(o)g
2p az- / a- az- / a-...-(o)g
3p q- / s- q- / s-...-(o)g

The prefix listed first is used before a root starting with a vowel, the prefix listed second is used before a root starting with a consonant.

  • k.ok "my room"
  • x.taa "my name"

The absolute suffix is usually el but can also have the form al, or ol: khoyb-ol "hand (of some unspecified person)” Because the absolute suffix is neither singular nor plural, it takes the singular possessor form of the plural noun. This however in simply a formality because -s assimilates with the -Vl characteristic to the absolute suffix

Number[]

Nouns in Geyson can be either singular or plural (mass nouns are grammatically singular).

The plural suffixes for a noun change based on whether or not the noun is possessed:

  • ‘-s’ is the plural suffix for possessed nouns, linked with possessive prefixes:
    • a-retsaa-s "your teeth"
    • k-eynha-s "my fingernails"
  • ‘-ta’ is the plural suffix for non-possessed nouns:
    • de.xoo.ta "hills"
    • ke.mot.ta "birds"
  • ‘-ka’ is the plural suffix for objects that come in pairs, or when it is necessary to indicate the plural of both the noun and the possessor:
    • sa-dzekeenhn-ka "my (two) ears"
    • sa-taa-ka "their names"

Several nouns take on irregular plural forms the most common of which are:

Honorifics[]

When talking about someone of superior status, the speaker must use special nouns. Generally, someone is superior in status if he or she is an older relative, a stranger of roughly equal or greater age, an employer, a teacher, a customer, or the like. Someone is equal or inferior in status if he or she is a younger stranger, a student, an employee or the like.

One way to accomplish this is by using ‘honorific’ nouns in place of regular ones.

aphoy (food inf.) → adeindo (food f.)

The honorific suffix -nei is affixed to many kinship terms to make them honorific.

moyra (grandmother inf.) → moynei (grandmother f.)

One may use the informal terms to refer to members of one’s own family while using the honorific terms to refer to members of other families affectionately.

Names[]

Geyson names have two parts, the family name and the given name. The family name is usually one syllable, inherited from the mother's family and the given name may range from one to three syllables (in native names) although two syllables is the most common. When writing and saying the full name, the family name comes first followed by the given name.

Given names are often derived from natural features from nominative roots and attributive roots:

Xoo-Dein "Hill Wing"

Dein-Ayl "Spring Clear"

Names, kinship terms, position terms, and affection terms may be used to directly address a person. In these cases, a kind of suffix is placed after the name. Although it is not attached in romanizations it is inseparable from the name, meaning it can not be used alone. These words are similar to Mr./Mrs. and have various levels of formality.

mai (polite) is used by adults to refer to adults of a similar age/status

hayn (polite) is used by adults to refer to adults of a higher age/status

no (polite) is used by adults to refer to adults of a lower age/status

ko (polite) is used by adults to refer to younger people (usually boys)

tsan (polite) is used by adults to refer to younger people (usually girls), may be used by adults to refer to other adults affectionately (usually men to women)

boi (polite) is used as a generally polite term to refer to anyone of an ambiguous age/status

sayn (very polite) is used as a general term to refer to anyone of a higher age/status, it is common in the workplace to refer to superiors and in classrooms to refer to professors and teachers

ga (less polite) is used to refer to anyone of a similar age/status in a less polite manner, usually used in annoyance, if used towards a higher age/status it is very impolite

thoo (impolite) is used to refer to anyone of a similar age/status is an impolite manner

Pronouns[]

Pronouns work very similarly to nouns and names in Geyson. Although they do not decline with noun classes, they use the case marking prefixes alone to convey their case.

The most common pronouns are first person pronouns which are:

  • koi - I (inf.)
  • goynei - I (f.)
  • ama - I (inf. usually used by young people)
  • amaa - I (inf. variation on previous)
  • tsoym - I (f. used by royalty)
  • resayta - we (any formality)

Second person pronouns are used more rarely than first person although it is still common.

  • aizo - you (inf.)
  • ainei - you (f.)
  • goomo - you! (declarative inf.)

Third person pronouns are very uncommon in Geyson as names or the second person are almost always used when referring to other. There are, however several options which are usually used when referring to a loved one/spouse.

  • kana - dear (inf. used in private)
  • kanei - dear (f. used in public)

Note: phogan may be used to refer to a group excluding oneself although it more closely translates to 'everyone else' whether it would be translated as second or third person in English

Verbs[]

There are two types of verb roots: consonant roots and vowel roots. Consonant roots end in a nasal, stop or fricative and vowels roots end in vowels. soim is a consonant root meaning “eat” and dai is a vowel root meaning “have”.

Consonant Roots[]

Consonant roots have 6 open forms as well as the closed -de, -da, and -do forms which are each used for different grammatical functions and constructions.


 
General Form soim
1 CR-a soiman*
2 CR-e soimen
3 CR-o soimon
4 CR-aa soimaan
6 CR-ee soimeen
5 CR-oo soimoon
7 CR-de soimbe**
8 CR-da soimba
9 CR-do soimbo

* vowel ending are pronounced nasally after nasal consonants

** ‘de’ and ‘da’ endings assimilate to the place of articulation of nasal consonant stems and the plosive blocks the transfer of tone

Notes on stem form uses:

Base 1 - negative form / with -n becomes negative present tense

Base 2 - infinitive form / can be combined with other verbs and used with the honorific endings (both positive and negative)

Base 3 - dictionary form / used in dictionaries and the regular present tense

Base 4 - imperative and conditional form / used plain it is an offensive command and with -ga is used as an if verb (e.g. soimaynga - If he’d just eat it)

Base 5 - volitional form / used plain means “let’s ___” (e.g. soimoon! - let’s eat!), the honorific form can also take on the -oo ending to become volitional

Base 6 - interrogative form / used to form questions, the honorific form can also take on the -ee ending to become interrogative, becomes negative with -n

“De” Form - progressive form / used for ongoing actions

“Da” Form - preterite form / used for completed actions

“Do” Form - habitual form / used for habitual actions


 
Indeterminate Progressive Preterite Habitual
Regular root-o root-de root-da root-do
Neg n-root-a n-root-des n-root-das n-root-dos
Hon root-e-se root-se-de root-se-da root-se-do
Hon Neg n-root-e-se n-root-se-de n-root-se-da n-root-se-do

 
Interrogative Conditional/Imperative Combining Form
Regular root-ee root-a-ga root-e
Negative n-root-ee n-root-a-ga n/a
Hon root-e-se-ee root-a-se-ga n/a
Neg Hon n-root-e-se-ee n-root-a-se-ga n/a

Vowel Roots[]

Vowel roots have three forms which are used for grammatical functions. These are the same as the closed forms for the consonant roots and take the suffixes -de, -da and -do.


 
Indeterminate Progressive Preterite Habitual
Regular root-de root-nde root-nda root-ndo
Past ta-root-de ta-root-nde ta-root-nda ta-root-ndo
Neg n-root-da n-root-des n-root-das n-root-dos
Neg Past nta-root-da nta-root-des nta-root-das nta-root-dos
Hon root-de-se root-se-de root-se-da root-se-do
Hon Past ta-root-de-se ta-root-se-de ta-root-se-de ta-root-se-do
Hon Neg n-root-de-se n-root-se-de n-root-se-da n-root-se-do
Hon Neg Past nta-root-de-se nta-root-se-de nta-root-se-da nta-root-se-do

 
Interrogative Conditional/Imperative Combining Form
Regular root-dee root-da-ga root-de
Negative n-root-dee n-root-da-ga n/a
Hon root-de-se-ee root-da-se-ga n/a
Neg Hon n-root-de-se-ee n-root-da-se-ga n/a

Honorifics[]

All verbs and adjectives can be converted into an honorific form using the suffix -se. Specifics regarding this can be seen in the section on verb conjugation. A few verbs, however, similar to nouns, have a suppletive form which should be used in place of the regular verb to convey honorifics. These verbs are conjugated as normal verbs although they never take on the honorific suffix.

soim (eat inf.) → doinse (eat f.)

Copula[]

  • de - present
  • do - present intensive
  • dote - past
  • doqe - present negative
  • dothaq - past negative

Adjectives[]

Adjectives can function as both verbs and determiners for nouns. When functioning as the verb of a phrase, they are conjugated according to the rules for regular verbs and are equivalent to copula-adjective verb phrases.

zato (wide) → kok koi nzata (my room isn't wide)

When there is both an adjective and a verb in a phrase and the adjective describes a noun, the adjective takes the suffix -n/-e'n and is placed directly before the noun it describes.

eygo (rich) → koi eygo'n aphoy soimbe (I am eating rich food)

Adverbs[]

Adverbs in Geyson can take on several forms, the first of which relate to time. These constructions indicate when the action takes place in time and the action’s relationship to the flow of time.

Absolute Time Markers[]

To indicate the time at which an action takes place, time words may be placed before the conjugated verb. When using these markers the tense of the verb must agree with the implied tense of the adverb.

soimo (I eat) → anboi soimo (I eat monday)

teinbenda (I slept) → zoboi teinbenda (I slept yesterday)

Aspectual Time Markers[]

These markers indicate how an action happens with respect to the flow of time. There are four grammatical aspects in Geyson (indeterminate, progressive, preterit, and habitual) each of which may be modified by aspectual adverbs. Because the adverbs do not replace the grammatical aspect they may have different effects when applied to different conjugations.

soimbo (I eat regularly/habitually) → pheyko soimbo (I eat occasionally)

soimbe (I am eating) → pheyko soimbe (I am almost done eating)

Note: In both of these examples pheyko acts to lower the intensity of the marked aspect (most closely translate as ‘almost’).

Syntax[]

Lexicon[]

bey - black

hoy - white

m’qai - red

zong - green

zonghoi - yellow

qeizong - blue

qeimqai - purple

m’qaihoi - pink

beyhoi - grey

qei - sky

meyng - dog (2)

soim - eat (inf.)

keiendo - wine (6)

genaan - summit

khai'non'nte - inferno

neintsee - dwarf

haitso - poem

deyso - man

kat - write

khoyb - hand

dnaid - touch

ok - room

taa - name

retsaa - tooth

eynha - fingernail

xoo - hill

mot - bird

dzekeen'n - ear

zato - wide

teinbe - sleep

zoboi - yesterday

pheyko - almost

eygo - rich

doinse - eat (f.)

haitso - poem

phoy - food (inf.)

deindo - food (f.)

moyra - grandmother (inf.)

moy'nei - grandmother (f.)

dai - have

neindo - small

ge'ne - parent

gaibaden - husband

gairaden - wife

gong - king

gek - to be an age

goyzo - to wake up

oyra - mother

oyba - father

ong - dream (n.)

opto - noise

qoiṅ - bag

knoima - son

heisong - daughter

Example text[]

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1[]

Mnaitota skedzeiho skeboydo skesoṅho gakeine ksoykde.

  • 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.
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