Conlang
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Mete Language
(tr.) lbea mtêta
Type
Fusional
Alignment
Nominative–accusative
Head direction
First
Tonal
No
Declensions
Yes
Conjugations
Yes
Genders
No
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect


Mete (Mete: , tr. lbea mtêta) is an Meteic language and an official language of Federative Republic of Metenessia. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in , , and . Modern Standard Mete belongs to Meteic languages and is one of the five living members of the Meteic languages (which in turn is part of the larger Treco-Meteic branch).

Alphabet[]

Mete is written using a Meteic alphabet. The Modern Standard Mete alphabet consists of 17 letters. As Mete alphabet is not in Unicode, all Mete in this article will be transliterated into Latin script. Mete alphabet uses a one-sound-one-letter principle.

Alphabet a e i o u
Name a e i o u
IPA a e i o u
Alphabet p t k
Name pe te ke
IPA p t k
Alphabet f s h '
Name ef es eh 'e
IPA ɸ s x / ç ʔ
Alphabet m n r l
Name em en er el
IPA m n r / ɾ l
Alphabet š
Name
IPA ʃ

Other letters of the Mete alphabet include y ([y]), ṯ ([θ]).

Phonology[]

Consonants[]

Bilabial Dental Alveolar Post-Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m [m] n [n]
Stop p [p]; b [b] t [t]; d [d] k [k]; g [g] ' [ʔ]
Fricative f [ɸ]; v [β] (θ ð1) s [s]; z [z] š [ʃ]; ž [ʒ] h [ç] (ʝ1) h [x] (ɣ1) (h1)
Affricate c [t͡s] č [t͡ʃ]; ž [d͡ʒ]
Trill r [r] [ɾ]
Approximant û [w] l [l] î [j]

Vowels[]

Front Back
Close ê [ɪ]; i [i] (y1) u [u]
Mid e [e] (ɛ œ1) o [o]
Open a [a]
  1. These sounds only occur in (some) dialects and is not found in Modern Standard Mete.

Pronoun[]

Number Singular Plural
Case/Person First Second Third Fourth First Second Third Fourth
Nominative i hi si vi in hin sin vin
Genetive hiê siê viê is his sis vis
Dative ih hih sih vih ik hik sik vik
Accusative i' hi' si' vi' im him sim vim

The Fourth Person[]

Obviative third person is a grammatical-person marking that distinguishes a non-salient third-person referent from a more salient third-person referent in a given discourse context. In Mete the obviative third person has its own verb conjugation endings, therefore is referred to as the "fourth person".
When there is more than one non-first-second person named in a sentence or discourse context, the most important or topical is marked as third person and any other entities are marked as fourth person.
For example, both of the following sentences means "He/she said that he/she have killed Hšuke":

  1. Hlada das Hšuke' hmilmei a. He/she refers to the speaker.
  2. Hlada das Hšuke hmilmei ah. He/she refers to someone else, not the speaker. The speaker did not kill Hšuke.

The fourth person can also be used to express the indefinite pronoun, similar to English 'you', French 'on' and German 'man':

  1. Lvae'o ms hladah? (How do you say this?)
  2. Lah blat caglri'it direhra's. (You can't always get what you want.)

Verb[]

Every Mete verb belongs to one of four form classes, characterized by the infinitive ending: -(ê)t, -at, -et, or -it—sometimes called the first, second, third, and fourth conjugations, respectively.
A Mete verb has three indicative-active tenses and three aspects, all with direct English equivalents: the present tense ('I walk'), the past tense ('I walked') and the future tense ('I will walk'); the imperfect ('I walked'), the perfect ('I had walked') and the progressive ('I was walking'). There is also a non-specific tense, which can be used in colloquial speech to express all tenses.
When there are multiple verbs in a sentence, the non-finite ones are often placed at the end of the clause.

Regular Verb[]

regular (I) verb
barst ('to rule')
Number Singular Plural
Mood Aspect Person First Second Third Fourth First Second Third Fourth
Indicative Simple Non-specific (Present) barsê barste bars barsh barsla barsle bars' barsht
regular (II) verb
firat ('to flow')
Number Singular Plural
Mood Aspect Person First Second Third Fourth First Second Third Fourth
Indicative Imperfect Present firaê firate fira firah firala firale fira' firaht
regular (III) verb
tlet ('to come')
Number Singular Plural
Mood Aspect Person First Second Third Fourth First Second Third Fourth
Indicative Imperfect Present tleê tlete tle tleh tlela tlele tle' tleht
regular (IV) verb
adlit ('to ask')
Number Singular Plural
Mood Aspect Person First Second Third Fourth First Second Third Fourth
Indicative Imperfect Present adliê adlite adli adlih adlila adlile adli' adliht
  • (Emphasised) Present tense is formed by using the conjugated form of the regular (I) auxiliary verb haft and the infinitive.
  • Past tense is formed by using the conjugated form of the regular (IV) auxiliary verb bit and the infinitive.
  • Future tense is formed by using the conjugated form of the irregular auxiliary verb nat (will) and the infinitive.
  • Perfect aspect is formed by using the conjugated form of the regular (II) auxiliary verb at (to have done...) and the active participle.
  • Progressive aspect is formed by using the conjugated form of the regular (III) auxiliary verb vet (to be doing...) and the active participle.
  • Passive voice is formed by using the conjugated form of the irregular auxiliary verb hat (to be) and the passive participle.
  • Negative is formed by using the conjugated form of the regular (IV) auxiliary verb lat (to not to) and the infinitive.
  • Conditional is formed by using the conjugated form of the regular (IV) auxiliary verb dalit (to not to) and the infinitive.

There is an order that these components are put together in a clause:

Priority Level
A B
Negative Auxiliary Mood Auxiliary Tense Auxiliary Aspect Auxiliary (Modal) Verb Active Participle Passive Participle Verb Infinitive (From Modal)
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 -

The verb component with the highest priority level would be in its ordinary position, while the others would be placed by increasing order (number 1-7) usually at the end of the clause. If there is a modal verb, the infinitive following the modal verb would be placed after A part.

Irregular Verb[]

There are relatively few irregular verbs in Mete Language. The most common one is selit (to have).

seit ('to have') Number Singular Plural
Mood Aspect Person First Second Third Fourth First Second Third Fourth
Indicative Imperfect Present siê site si sih sella selle si' siht

Participle[]

Mete adjectival participles can be without tense or with tense; be active or passive; the non-tense participles are the most commonly used. The active non-tense participle stem is formed by directly taking the verb stem, while the passive non-tense participle stem is formed by adding an -r, which denotes the passive voice, to the verb stem (for (I) verbs êr can be added if it is difficult to pronounce).

  • Kabla'if; Kablai 'if; 'if kablati (A writing person)
  • Kablarpreda; Kablari preda; preda kablarta (A written letter)

Imperative[]

Imperatives are formed by adding accent onto the last syllable of verbs conjugated to indicative-active-present-imperfect third person singular, first person plural and second person plural.

  • Premá! (Stop!), commanding one person
  • Htalá! (Let's go!), commanding multiple people, including speaker
  • Kunlé! (Run!), commanding multiple people, excluding speaker

In Mete, the use of the imperative is not seen as impolite, inappropriate or offensive. Even in polite speech, orders or requests are often given as imperatives:

  • Tlé î ed! ('Come here!' or 'Could you come here for a moment?')
  • Ik zi šreris' mí! ('Make us some food!' or 'It would be great if you made us some food.')

Conditional[]

The conditional is used to express actions that are dependent on some condition.

Noun[]

A Mete noun has one of four specific grammatical declensions. Nouns are declined for case and grammatical number (singular, plural).

(I) tor (day) singular plural
nominative tor tori
genetive torê toris
dative tor(ê)h tor(ê)k
accusative tor(ê)' tor(ê)m
locative tor(ê)s tor(ê)d
instrumental tor'o tormo
(III) rhena (river) singular plural
nominative rhena rhenan
genetive rhenaê rhenais
dative rhenah rhenak
accusative rhena' rhenam
locative rhenas rhenad
instrumental rhena'o rhenamo
(III-a) ho (sun) singular plural
nominative ho hoen
genitive ho hoeis
dative hoeh hoek
accusative hoe' hoem
locative hoes hoed
instrumental hoe'o hoemo
(III-b) pente (stone, rock) singular plural
nominative pente penten
genetive penteê penteis
dative penteh pentek
accusative pente' pentem
locative pentes pented
instrumental pente'o pentemo
(IV) hûavê (wind) singular plural
nominative hûavê hûavin
genetive hûav hûaviis
dative hûavih hûavik
accusative hûavi' hûavim
locative hûavis hûavid
instrumental hûavi'o hûavimo

Mete has all four declensions of late Proto-Meteic. Most Mete nouns are of one of these declensions. The ending of a noun can be used to recognize noun declensions. For instance, nouns ending in -a are always second declension; -ê are always fourth declension. Nouns ending in -e are nearly always third declension. A noun ending in consonant is likely to be first declension: tor ("day"), cir ("mountain"), and bah ("snow") are first declension, while hais ("tree"), arbil ("apple") and mar ("lake") are third declension.
Mete inflects nouns and pronouns into six grammatical cases. The cases are the nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, locative and instrumental. The case of a particular noun depends on the grammatical function of the noun in the sentence. However, only nominative and genetive are needed for S-V-O syntax; the other four cases are mainly used for freer word order or to avoid ambiguity.

Gerund[]

Gerunds in Mete follow verb patterns and can be modified by adverbs, like in English. Gerunds can also be followed by objects. In Mete, gerunds are exactly the same words as infinitives.

Verbal Noun[]

Verbal nouns are also derived from verbs, but they only function like nouns and cannot be followed by objects. In Mete, verbal nouns are formed by removing the -t from infinitives, but -it changes to -ê. The declension of verbal nouns is same as the conjugation of verbs.

Adjective and Adverb[]

Mete adjectives can be placed in three positions: form compound noun with the the noun they are modifying (I), precede the noun they are modifying (II), or go after the noun they are modifying (III).
For I, place the noun directly after the adjective stem: ilhais (tall tree). For II, add -i to the adjective stem: ili hais (tall tree); III is formed by adding -êt- to the adjective stem. The ending after -êt has to agree with the declension, number and case of the noun; usually it is same as the ending of the noun, but there are two exceptions: ending for first declension singular nominative is -êti, and ending for second declension singular nominative is -ite: hais ilte (tall tree). The use of III is usually seen as more formal, as in lbeca mtêta ("Mete language").
Adverbs can only be used in I or II, and are formed the same way as adjetives.

Comparative and Superlative[]

kat' (good / well) dukat' (better) sukat' (best)
tar (northern) dutar (more northern) sutar (most northern)
v (many) duv (more) suv (most)
lat (fast) dulat (faster) sulat (fastest)

There are no exceptions or irregular adjectives.

Preposition[]

Prepositions in Mete can be difficult for English speakers to master.

Mete English
ên or n at
en on, on surface of
im in (abstract)
nas inside
da above, over
tie below, under
lant before
vent after
va from, since
î(ê) to, until
'o by, using (+ instrumental)

There is no real locative / time adverb in Mete: for example, we cannot say "Betor mi blah" ("Yesterday it snowed"), but the preposition "ên" has to be present before "betor", or conjugate "betor" into the locative case: "ên betor mi bah" / "Betors mi bah".

  • "Ha ed" (It is here; It is this place) and "Ha ned" (It is here; It is at this place)

Clause[]

Noun Clause[]

Noun clause can be constructed using das and var. das and var can be omitted when avoiding ambiguity is not so important. das can change to das' if the clause is object.

  • Das linda na neniga rilat var neola pcerhat. (Who will win in this match is still unknown.)
  • Tašraê das' vala 'erdtabari var. (I hope we would become free people.)
  • 'enza das mi s kavai ha var. (He finds this interesting.)
  • Hladaht das pce ha emma. (It is said that knowledge is power.)

Relative Clause[]

Relative clause can be constructed in a similar way as English, using words ra and (ê)r. ra (III) must decline to show the case and number of the noun. r can be omitted when avoiding ambiguity is not so important.

  • Ha etsi ra im su fihtis êr. (It is he who swam in the sea.)
  • Feareê s ra m'eê r. (I trust what I see.)
  • Ed ha d ras ên biê ivvat êr. (Here is where I was born.)
  • Nima ha s ra'o î md faltaê r. (Flying is how I travel there.)
  • Nima ra'o î md faltaê r sores šabletabran. (The flight, by which I travelled there, lasted for seven hours.)

Relative clause can also come before the noun, for example:

  • R ên neraê ras daran ha fperi. (The house in which I live is very old.)

Derivation[]

From To Derivation Meaning Example
Noun Adjective - - cat (glacial)
Verb Adjective - Active Participle moša (studying)
Verb Adjective -r Passive Participle mošar (studied)
Adjective Noun -n (I) person mtênessian (Metenessian person)
Adjective Noun -s (I) thing fe's (something big)
Adjective Noun -d (II) place mošad (school)
Adjective Verb -vat(II) to become ... vovat (to increase)
Verb Verb -vamet(III) to make become ... kat'vamet (to improve, transitive)
Verb Verb -vat(II) to become ... 'eûvat (to be born)
Verb Verb -met(III) to make ... kardmet (to make ... laugh)
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