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General Information[]

Luñothir is a language spoken by the Ondir people of the Riosníthe Archipelago, a descendant of Proto-Ondese. While there are many local varieties, the standard Luñothir dialect represented in this document is the most widely spoken dialect, originally spoken by the Kiñoquilnir tribe, which came to dominate the region three centuries ago.

Luñothir (literally, “that of the tongue”) is a poly-synthetic, loosely head-first language; notably, modifiers come before their subject. Suffixes dominate its word construction, however there are a number of prefixes of more recent origin. Verbs decline for three tenses and two moods. Nouns decline for six cases, in singular and plural number, with four genders (neutral, male, female, abstract). Word order is loose, but defaults to SOV.

Phonology[]

Consonants[]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Stop p b t d k g
Fricative f v θ s ʒ (x)
Approx. l j w
Trill r

Vowels[]

Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

All vowels have phonemically distinguished long versions.

Romanization[]

Phoneme Grapheme
ɲ ñ
ŋ ng
θ th
ʒ j
(x) k*
j y
aa á
ee é
ii í
oo ó
uu ú

* (x) is an allophone for /k/ that only occurs in word-final position.

Phonotactics[]

Word initial syllables are always a simple open (C)V(V)(C) structure. Word-final syllables are more complex with a (C)(C)V(V)(S) structure. Stops and nasals are disallowed in word-final positions (stops become fricatives, nasals vocalize). Interior syllables can have consonant clusters and geminates in both onset and coda positions, but not along with long vowels or diphthongs, in which case consonant clusters can only exist in the onset position. Stops can only cluster with sonarants, and only in the second position. Nasals cannot follow liquids (/ml/ or /nr/ are disallowed).

Grammar[]

Verbs[]

Verbs in Luñothir are relatively simple. Descended from a more complex verbal system, many verbs in Luñothir that are understood as independent words are in fact descended from aspectual and modal versions of the same root. Verbs conjugate to reflect three tenses: present, past, and future; and express two moods: perfective (or simple) and imperfective. Verbs, aslo, will contract with postpositions, forming new verbs. Verbs conjugate to agree with subject grammatical persons: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. 1st person simple present tense verbs are unmarked and do not decline.

Postpositional Prefixes[]

Prefix Meaning Example
ube- ; ub’ about ub’osir (to run about)
si- at siosir (to run at)
ja- ; j’ by j’osir (to run by)
fe- ; f’ for f’osir (to run for)
ne- ; n’ from n’osir (to run from)
do- ; d’ in d’osir (to run in)
the- ; th’ of thenir (to smell of)
mo- ; m’ to m’osir (to run to)
ra- ; r’ through r’osir (to run through)
ba- ; b’ under b’osir (to run under)
so- ; s’ up s’osir (to run up)
ruca- ; ruk’ with ruk’osir (to run with)

This is a recent innovation, and does not include all postpositions, only the most commonly used and simplest ones.

Aspects[]

Luñothir only has two aspects: Perfective (meaning a whole act) and Imperfective (meaning an ongoing act, equivalent to the English -ing suffix). The Perfective aspect is unmarked; however, the Imperfective aspect is marked by reduplication descended from Proto-Ondese. This results in some peculiar verb forms, some almost unrecognizable from the perfective for, while others may be identical.

Increasingly, native speakers of Luñothir have gotten around this complication by using the copular verb (to be) before a verb’s infinitive form (-r suffix).

Traditional Imperf. Vulgate Imperf. Meaning
ososis eau osir (I) am running
ossive eamve osir (I) was running
osle eamé osir (I) will be running

Valency[]

Proto-Ondese had a grammatical valency operation by adding the -toa suffix to create valency, and the -atwa suffix to make a verb invalent. And while the relationship to these verbs is still evident in many of their Luñothir descendants, they are understood as separate words with their own nuanced meanings. Many invalent forms were reanalyzed as either adjectives or nouns.

Example:

Basic Valent Invalent Meanings
Proto-Ondese heodhuso heodhusotoa heodhusoatwa “evaporate”; “make evaporate”; “be evaporated”
Luñothir jeothusa jeothuste jeothusosar “evaporate”; “boil”; and “steam”

Regular Verb Conjugation Patterns[]

Luñothir verbs conjugate to match the personage and plurality of their subject in present tense. Only some irregular verbs do so in the past and future tenses.

The simplest way to view conjugation patterns is by examining the way root-final vowels affect them. The following are the 5 most common verb conjugation patterns.

-ar Verbs Present Past Future
1st Person - * -ave -e
2nd Person -ak
3rd Person -as
Plural -a

* Stops become unvoiced fricatives, nasals vocalize and form diphthongs

-ir Verbs Present Past Future
1st Person -e -ive -ia
2nd Person -ik
3rd Person -is
Plural -oi
-ur Verbs Present Past Future
1st Person -o -uve -ua
2nd Person -uk
3rd Person -us
Plural -eu
-er Verbs Present Past Future
1st Person -a -eve
2nd Person -ek
3rd Person -es
Plural -ei
-or Verbs Present Past Future
1st Person -a -ove -e
2nd Person -ok
3rd Person -os
Plural -ou

Irregular Verbs[]

Luñothir has several irregular verbs. Some irregularities are the result of phonemic shifts (e.g. mer “to die”), while others are from word mergers (e.g. eamar “to be”).

To Be - eamar Present Simple Present Imperf. Past Simple Past Imperf. Future Simple Future Imperf.
1st Person eau eamia amve ampave eame ambe
2nd Person antok
3rd Person antos
Plural eama amaudove amaude
To Choose - óir Present Simple Present Imperf. Past Simple Past Imperf. Future Simple Future Imperf.
1st Person owa óyo óive óyove ouje óye
2nd Person óik
3rd Person óis
Plural owe
To Die- mer Present Simple Present Imperf. Past Simple Past Imperf. Future Simple Future Imperf.
1st Person moa momoa meve momeve mole momé
2nd Person mek
3rd Person mes
Plural mokei
To Fail - eoir Present Simple Present Imperf. Past Simple Past Imperf. Future Simple Future Imperf.
1st Person eo eoive eóive ewa eowa
2nd Person eoik
3rd Person eois
Plural éya
To Go- lair Present Simple Present Imperf. Past Simple Past Imperf. Future Simple Future Imperf.
1st Person le laje leve lajeve laje lajia
2nd Person laidok
3rd Person les
Plural lawe lawidove lawide
To Have- eiñer Present Simple Present Imperf. Past Simple Past Imperf. Future Simple Future Imperf.
1st Person eiñes eyoña eintave eyoñeve eiñé eyoñé
2nd Person eiñek
3rd Person eintos
Plural eiñei
To Do - oirar Present Simple Present Imperf. Past Simple Past Imperf. Future Simple Future Imperf.
1st Person oir oiroir oirave oiroirave oirle oiroire
2nd Person oirak
3rd Person oiras
Plural ojir
To Know- akir Present Simple Present Imperf. Past Simple Past Imperf. Future Simple Future Imperf.
1st Person ak akke akive akkive akia akkia
2nd Person ak
3rd Person akis
Plural akoi
To Want- ser Present Simple Present Imperf. Past Simple Past Imperf. Future Simple Future Imperf.
1st Person se sase sauve sasaúve sasé
2nd Person sauk
3rd Person saus
Plural saú

Nouns[]

Nouns in Luñothir are heavily inflected. They decline for six cases, four genders, and plurality. While there are some irregular nouns, it is easiest to view the noun gender-case system by evaluating how the final vowel of the root word affects declension patterns.

Noun Gender/Case Declension[]

-a Stem Nominative Accusative Oblique Possessive Genitive Essential
Neuter -ar, -e -amo, -almo -afe, -alfe -awa, é -ane, -alne -athe, -alse
Masculine -au, -awa -aumo, -almo -aufe, -alfe -áwa, -é -aune, -alne -authe, -alse
Feminine -e, -é -emo, -elmo -efe, -elfe -ei, -alle -ene, -elne -ethe, -else
Abstract -ade -adimo -adife -adde -adine -adithe
-e Stem Nominative Accusative Oblique Possessive Genitive Essential
Neuter -er, -é -emo, -elmo -efe, -elfe -e, -éi -ene, -elne -ethe, -else
Masculine -eu, -é -eomo, -elmo -eofe, -elfe -é, -éi -eone, -elne -eothe, -else
Feminine -é, -éi -eimo, -elmo -eife, -elfe -éa, -elle -éne, -elne -éthe, -else
Abstract -ede -edimo -edife -edde -edine -edithe
-i Stem Nominative Accusative Oblique Possessive Genitive Essential
Neuter -ir, -ia -imo, -ilmo -ife, -ilfe -e, -ia -ine, -ilne -ithe, -ilse
Masculine -io, -ie -iomo, -ilmo -iofe, -ilfe -ia, -ie -ione, -ilne -iothe, -ilse
Feminine -ia, -ie -iamo, -ilmo -iafe, -ilfe -ia, -ille -iane, -ilne -iathe, -ilse
Abstract -ide -idimo -idife -idde -idine -idithe
-o Stem Nominative Accusative Oblique Possessive Genitive Essential
Neuter -or, -e -omo, -olmo -ofe, -olfe -e, -é -one, -olne -othe, -olse
Masculine -ou, -e -óamo, -olmo -óafe, -olfe -e, -é -óane, -olne -óathe, -olse
Feminine -e, -é -emo, -olmo -efe, -olfe -é, -olle -ene, -olne -ethe, -olse
Abstract -ode -odimo -odife -odde -odine -odithe
-u Stem Nominative Accusative Oblique Possessive Genitive Essential
Neuter -ur, -ua -umo, -ulmo -ufe, -ulfe -e, -ua -une, -ulne -uthe, -ulse
Masculine -uo, -ue -uomo, -ulmo -uofe, -ulfe -ua, -ue -uone, -ulne -uothe, -ulse
Feminine -ua, -ue -uamo, -ulmo -uafe, -ulfe -ua, -ulle -uane, -ulne -uathe, -ulse
Abstract -ude -udimo -udife -udde -udine -udithe

Many nouns in Luñothir descend from the same root with a different gender modifier attached, creating a slightly different noun. For example “kinsman/family member” (oner) compared to the words for “aunt” and “uncle” (oné and ombo respectively) and the word for “kinship” (onede).

Often, the neutral plural is used when a masculine of feminine subject might be used, because the gender of a group cannot be easily discerned. It does not help that in most nouns, the plural versions are mostly identical due to phonological shift. Some neuter nouns do not have plural versions, such as the word for “blood” (sour); additionally, all abstract nouns lack plural marking.

The Oblique Case applies to nouns in postpositional phrases and indirect objects.

A unique feature of Luñothir is its distinction between the Possessive, Genitive, and Essential Cases. Where an English phrase like “the men of the tribe” could be translated into either case depending on context, Luñothir would distinguish if the men belong to the tribe, if the men are from the tribe, or if the men compose the tribe.

Numerals are treated not as adjectives, but as nouns (you would not say “eleven dogs” but “dogs of eleven”).

Pronouns[]

Nominative Accusative Oblique Possessive Genitive Essential
1st SG oquor oquomo oquofe oque oquone oquothe
1st PL (inc) jalquor jalquomo jalquofe jalque jalquone jalquothe
1st PL (exc) ilquor ilquomo ilquofe ilque ilquone ilquothe
2nd SG jar jamo jafe jau jane jathe
2nd PL eñor eñomo eñofe eñou eñone eñothe
3rd SG m. seu embo efio ejeu embo ethio
3rd SG f. emua efia eje eña ethia
3rd SG n. sear emur efir ejor enir ethir
3rd SG a. sede emude efide eode enide ethide
3rd PL eir eimo eife éje eine eithe

Modifiers[]

Luñothir only distinguishes between adjectives and adverbs by declension. An adjective declines by gender to match its subject (with the exception of neutral nouns), whereas a matching adverb does not decline to match its verb.

-a Stem -e Stem -i stem -o stem -u stem
Neutral - -a -e -a -o
Masculine -au -eu -io -ou -uo
Feminine -e -ia -e -ua
Abstract -ade -ede -ide -ode -ude
Adverb - -a -e -a -o

Luñothir lacks a definite article, but has two indefinite articles for singular and plural nouns, declined by gender. If a noun does not have one of these articles before it, it is assumed to be definite.

SG PL
Neuter er ilse
Masculine eu ilbo
Feminine e ille
Abstract ede ilde

Vocabulary[]

Dictionary in progress

Example Text[]

Luñothir poetry:

Luñothir English
“Athoimene”

Vor! Nar ewoko tharolse aifumo jar

Siosiof séyoso, nayoso oquor va vodekulmo resa? —

Nar aifur jau authorauko meathe sitayathive?

Jamo ilquor eulsive, suorvir fiderave ar

Éseodove, er audebafe okko eamar thusoas efe

Ar séi sasas meoje kutouko reonua u

M’augauk athoimé si eoko efe fe eak resa

Vakemnuoko demaimimo attove kuttisé ja,

Royolmo rurior, ar muror kutondimo m’eñeve.

“Of the Woods”

Oak! What number of animals did you cover

Before now, when I find no acorns? —

What number ate at your wooden toes?

We mistook you, brow anointed and

Watered, for a seat waiting to be made

And these dancing feet on stony streets

Walk for woods still tall but find instead

Ungreened ground befallen by axes,

Fires burning, and all is left to ash.