Mìša; Mìšïmírï
Head direction
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect

General information[edit | edit source]

Misha is an inflecting language written in a logographic script and assorted syllabary. Its orthographic aesthetics are inspired by the oracle bone script, but its morphology is a bit more western Eurasian.

Phonology[edit | edit source]

Consonants[edit | edit source]

/pʰ b tʰ d cʰ ɟ kʰ ɡ qʰ ɢ ʔ/ < p b t d c̃ j̃ k g q ḡ x >
/m m̥ n n̥ ɲ ɲ̊ ŋ ŋ̊/ < m ṃ n ṇ ñ ṇ̃ ŋ ŋ̇ >
/f ʋ ð ɕ j x ɣ/ < f v ð s̃ j h w >
/s tsʰ dz ʃ tʃʰ dʒ ʂ ʈʂʰ ɖʐ/ < s c z š č ž ṣ c̣ ẓ >
/r r̥ l ɬ/ < r ṛ l ḷ >

Voiced plosives and nasals can be realised either as modally voiced or as creaky; the two realisations are in free variation. Every consonant except the glottal stop can be geminated. The plosive /ɟ/ becomes the glide /j/ intervocalically.

Vowels[edit | edit source]

/i i: y y: ɨ ʉ u u:/ < i î y ŷ ï ÿ u û>
/e e: ø ø: ɜ ɵ o o:/ < e ê ø ø̂ ë ö o ô >
/æ æ: ɐ a a: ɒ ɒ:/ < æ æ̂ ä a â ǫ ǫ̂ >

Misha is marginally tonal: short stressed vowels can carry either high or low pitch. They are always low before voiced plosives, and before voiced nasals can either have distinctive pitch (if the nasals are modal) or always take low pitch (if creaky). Pitch is indicated by an acute (if high) or grave (if low); long vowels are marked with a circumflex, are always stressed and are atonic (no pitch distinction). Some speakers may realise long vowels as having a climbing-falling pitch contour.

The centralised vowels {ï ÿ ë ö ä} cannot be stressed. Dialects can have different realisations for some of the centralised vowels: they can often clash when it comes to the choice between either in {ï ÿ} and {ë ö}. Dialects can either have a greater frequency of the left or right vowels in both sets, so that a dialect that has a greater frequency of <ÿ> will also have a greater frequency of <ö>. This is a result of the different mergers of some of the (formerly non-centralised) unstressed vowels.

Phonotactics[edit | edit source]

Misha has a moderately complex syllable structure: its model syllable doesn't exceed "(CC)V(CC)". Its onset cluster can be one of "AT", "AF", "FA" or "FT" where the token A stands for any element from the set {m ṃ n ṇ ñ ṇ̃ ŋ ŋ̇ r ṛ l ḷ v ð j w}, F stands for any from the set {f s s̃ š ṣ h} and T stands for any from the set {p b t d c z č ž c̣ ẓ c̃ j̃ k g q ḡ x}. Its coda cluster can be one of "AT", "FT", "G" or "TTδ", where the tokens are the same as those of onset clusters, and Tδ indicating a different member of the same set; G indicates a geminate.

All members of a cluster must have the same voicing: voicing assimilation is regressive. Consonants that don't have a corresponding phoneme of the opposite voicing allophonically gain or lose voicing anyhow. Nasals in clusters always have the same POA as the other member. There cannot be two consecutive clusters. Geminates cannot be followed by another of the same consonant.

Vowel hiatuses are resolved by inserting glides, usually one from the set {j w}.

Grammar[edit | edit source]

Nouns[edit | edit source]

Nouns in Misha can be singular or plural, can be in one of five genders (masculine, feminine, animal, plant or neuter) and one of five cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, locative and lative). There are four declension patterns, and every noun is either part of one of those or is irregular.

First Declension[edit | edit source]

First declension nouns have radical, tokenised as R, and a nominative suffix in the form of a vowel, tokenised as V. Nouns of this declension usually also have different direct and oblique stems, also known as nominative and genitive stems and thus tokenised as N and G respectively. An example noun that is fully declined, <ṣíni/ṣínët> (dog, an):

Singular Plural
Nominative ṣíni ṣínt
Accusative ṣínis ṣínto
Genitive ṣínte ṣintîja
Locative ṣínët ṣíntam
Lative ṣíntëk

The declension pattern for these nouns is:

Singular Plural
Nominative N-V G-R
Accusative N-Vs G-Ro
Genitive G-Re G-Rîja
Locative G-ëR G-Ram
Lative G-Rëk

Second Declension[edit | edit source]

Second declension nouns have both nominative and genitive stems, normally tokenised, but don't have a differentiated radical. They also possess a nominative suffix in the form of a vowel. Example noun fully declined <vîti/vîtë> (lady/woman fem.):

Singular Plural
Nominative vîti vît
Accusative vîtis vîto
Genitive vîte vitîja
Locative vîtë vîtijam
Lative vîtik

The declension pattern for these nouns is:

Singular Plural
Nominative N-V G
Accusative N-Vs G-o
Genitive G-e G-îja
Locative G-ë G-am
Lative G-Vk

Third Declension[edit | edit source]

Third declension nouns have a single generalised stem, tokenised S, as well as a differentiated radical. They also have a nominative suffix in the form of a vowel. Nouns of this declension may have an alternate plural stem that's identical to the nominative stem except for the fact that its stressed vowel has the same quality as its nominative suffix and has the same accent as the vowel of the singular stem; this stem is thus tokenised S'. Example noun fully declined <mênta/mênët> (man/lad masc.):

Singular Plural
Nominative mênta mânt
Accusative mêntus mânto
Genitive mênte mëntîja
Locative mênët mêntam
Lative mêntëk

The declension pattern for these nouns is:

Singular Plural
Nominative SR-V S'R
Accusative SR-us S'-Ro
Genitive SR-e S-Rîja
Locative S-ëR S-Ram
Lative SR-ëk

Fourth Declension[edit | edit source]

Fourth declension nouns have a single generalised stem, tokenised S, as well as a differentiated radical. They also have a general affix in the form of a vowel. Example noun fully declined <wàžän/wàžnä> (breeze nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative wàžän wàžän
Accusative wàžnäs wàžno
Genitive wàžne wažnîja
Locative wàžnä wàžnäm
Lative wàžnäk

The declension pattern for these nouns is:

Singular Plural
Nominative S-VR S-VR
Accusative SR-äs S-Ro
Genitive SR-e S-Rîja
Locative SR-V S-RVm
Lative SR-Vk

Adjectives[edit | edit source]

Adjectives in Misha come in two forms: independent (where they are declined like regular nouns and stand alongside what they modify) and dependent (where they are unmodified but instead take the copula "âli", as a suffix, that conjugates like a normal verb). Adjectives usually follow their modifieds.

Pronouns[edit | edit source]

Pronouns in Misha are very straightforward: they decline like regular 2nd declension nouns. The pronouns are:

  1. àsa -- 1st person
  2. äkkàla -- 2nd person
  3. àc̣c̣a -- 3rd person

Verbs[edit | edit source]

Misha verbs are moderately agglutinating; they inflect for two tenses (present and past), three moods (indicative, subjunctive and imperative), two voices (active and passive), two aspects (momentane and progressive), as well as for positive and negative polarity. The imperative occurs only in the present, without regard for aspect, in both passive and active forms; the subjunctive and indicative have a full contrast of all forms. Verbs can also take on three interrogative suffixes (one plain and two for question words) that can further be modified into negative questions, as well as both a positive and a negative causative. They do not inflect for person and number: this is instead handled by case marking and pronouns.

The suffix sets are:

Positive Negative
Infinitive -li
Active Pres.
Indc. -ndi -lë
Sbj. -ndi-ni -lë-ni
Indc. -rc̣i-ti -kli-ti
Sbj. -rdi-ni -kli-ni
Indc. -ndä-s̃ä -lä-s̃ä
Sbj. -ndä-c̃c̃ä -lä-kkä
Indc. -rc̣ä-kṣä -klä-kṣä
Sbj. -rc̣ä-ssä -klä-ssä
Imperative -ṛä -ḷä
Passive -ṣṣä -aḷḷala
Indc. -ndi-ja-ni -lë-nda-ni
Sbj. -ndi-ša-ni -lë-ža-ni
Indc. -rc̣-a-ti -kl-a-ti
Sbj. -rc̣-ën-ti -kl-ën-ti
Indc. -rc̣ä-jä-s̃ä -klä-jä-s̃ä
Sbj. -rc̣ä-s̃s̃ä-s̃ä -klä-s̃s̃ä-s̃ä
Indc. -rc̣ä-jä-kṣä -klä-jä-kṣä
Sbj. -rc̣ä-kṣä-kṣä -klä-kṣä-kṣä
Causative -wasa -wañña
Interr. Independ. -ppï -ppï-lï
Depend. 1st -pæksï -pæksï-lï
2nd -pæppï -pæppï-lï

Verbs can get pseudo-adverbs infixed, augmenting their morphosemantic domain. Not all adverbs can be applied to every verb: many of the adverb choices are arbitrary. They always come after the primary suffixes and causative inflection, but before interrogatives.
Example adverbs:

--/-j̃ä-/-- - repeated once, iterative, "again"
-ṣën-/-j̃ën-/-wÿn- - repetitive, iterated, "again and again"

Syntax[edit | edit source]

Misha is strongly head-initial, with the canonical ordering of VOS; modifiers almost always come after their modifieds.

Verbs and Verb Phrases[edit | edit source]

Misha verb phrases (VPs) are headed by a verb, which comes first in the phrase, and its corresponding modifiers. The modifiers can be either adverbial phrases (APs) or clauses (ACs).

Verbs can be one of two types: simple and incorporated. Simple verbs are derived from roots with optional suffixes. Incorporated nouns are made up of an incorporated noun or nominal compound, followed by a suffixed verb. In such incorporations, the nominal is considered the nominative argument of the suffixed verb. A special case of incorporation is copular incorporation that can take a descriptive incorporated element aside from a nominal. Such modifier incorporations are thus used as descriptive adjectives, and nominal copular incorporations may denote existence or possibility alongside their general copular function.

Noun Phrases[edit | edit source]

As Misha is a language in which all nominal modifiers are appropriately conjugated, it lacks an adjectival component to its noun phrases (NPs). It is thus headed by a noun and may have modifiers in the form of other NPs that thus follow the head. Such phrases are doubly marked: both the head and the modifier are fully inflected, unlike in compounds.

Compound nouns in Misha are overwhelmingly head-initial. Only the last component of a compound declines, but its gender is that of its head. The first element in binary compounds swaps its vocalic nominative suffix for <> before attaching to the second; if it ends in a consonant (fourth declension) or has an unusual structure, no changes are applied. An example compound noun is <mìšïwàrkë/-wàrëk> (wind, breeze, nt.), made up of <mìšï->, the head (speech, language nt.), and <-wàrkë>, the dependent (leaf pl.).
Polypartite compounds can be made out of compounds and other nouns, including other compounds.

Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Example text[edit | edit source]

Ṣarâsïândi ṣíni
ṣarâsï-â-ndi ṣín-i
red-cop-pres.ind dog-nom.sg
"the dog is red"
Gámónëtândäs̃äsäppï? Gâračâlëni!
gám-ónët-â-ndäs̃ä-sä-ppï? gârač-â-lëni!
day-two-cop-pres.ind.cont-iter-int.i? problem-cop-pres.subj.neg!
"Is it Tuesday again? There won't be a problem!"
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