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Classification and DialectsEdit

PhonologyEdit

ConsonantsEdit

Bilabial Alveolar Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m̥ mʰ m  n̥ nʰ n ŋ̊ ŋʰ ŋ
Plosive p pʰ b t tʰ d k kʰ g
kʷ kʷʰ gʷ
q qʰ ɢ
qʷ qʷʰ ɢʷ
ʔ
ʔʷ
Fricative s h ɦ
hʷ ɦʷ
Affricate ts tsʰ dz
Approximant j (w)
Trill r
Lateral app. l

VowelsEdit

Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e ə o
Low a

PhonotacticsEdit

Phinian possesses a highly complex syllable structure, with six onset and three coda positions, around a single vowel. Phonetic analysis reveals that epenthentic vowels, usually resembling [ə] but can vary between [ə~i~u], may be inserted into consonant clusters involving prefix h- and m-. This epenthentic vowel is non-phonemic and non-contrastive; as such, it is not reflected in orthography.

It should be noted that much of the complexity in syllable structure is due to derivational morphology, and lexical items are usually restricted to the form C(C)V(C). The root may begin with any phonemic consonant; then, a glide /r l j/ is optional, plus a compulsory vowel. Open syllables are permitted, and codas are restricted to liquids or bilabial, alveolar, and velar nasals and plosives. In coda position, there is no contrast between voicedness and aspiration.

Writing SystemEdit

Letter a ia e o u i r l j w s
Sound a e ə o u i r l j (w) s
Letter m 'm m' n 'n n' ng 'ng ng' ngw 'ngw ngw'
Sound m n ŋ ŋ̊ ŋʰ ŋʷ ŋ̊ʷ ŋʷʰ
Letter p p' b t t' d k k' g kw kw' gw
Sound p b t d k g kʷʰ
Letter q q' gh qw qw' ghw * h hh *w hw hhw
Sound q ɢ qʷʰ ɢʷ ʔ h ɦ ʔʷ ɦʷ

GrammarEdit

NounsEdit

Phinian nouns are not inflected for case, gender, and number; however, there exists a system of deverbial, denominal, and de-adjectival derivation, by morphological affixes, that produces nouns.

VerbsEdit

Phinian verbs are not inflected for mood, voice, person, number, tense, or aspect.  Like nouns, there also exists a system of denominal, deverbial, de-adjectival verbs.  Furthermore, factatives, resultatives, and causatives are regularly derived morphologically.  

DerivationEdit

  • Suffix -s derives agentives nouns from transitive verbs and reflexive objects from intransitive ones.
  • Suffix derives intransitive verbs from nouns and dimunutives.
  • Infix -r- is an intensive, forming adjedtives in the comparative degree; the -r- infix must be distinguished from lexical -r-, which are part of many roots.
  • Infix -j- changes transitive verbs into intransitive verbs and vice versa, creates relative verbs, imparts reflexive value, and possesess a range of other meanings; however, it rarely appears as a analyzable affix, and -j- is usually considered lexical.
  • Prefix m- has an intransitivizing and stativizing function on verbs and marks inherent components when applied to living things, e.g. tsjek "foot" contra m-tsjek "root, foundation".
  • Prefix n- has an introvertive/extrovertive alternation value, changing introvertive verbs (which imply a change in the state in the direct or indirect object) to extrovertive verbs (which create an observable effect). 
  • Prefix s- derives causative verbs.
  • Prefix h- derives resultative verbs and stative adjectives from verbs.

SyntaxEdit

Since nouns are not marked for case, and there is no verbal and adjectival agreement, word order is key to conveyance of meaning.  Phinian has a predominantly SVO order, though the object may be fronted for emphasis.  The verb may under no circumstance precede the subject in prose. Phinian permits both head-initial and head-final constructions, particularly in simple modifiers. Subordinate clauses that modify a single term may also occur on both sides, but head-final is the usual and unmarked construction; where head-initial constructions occur, the subordinate clause or phrase is usually interpreted as postpositive.

LexiconEdit

Definition Lexeme
I (ng)la
you n(j)ej
we ng(r)a(r)
thisdji
that n(r)jij
who, whatg(r)a
not m(j)a~me(t)
all s-nung
many tar
one*et
twonjej
bigtjar
longt(j)ang
smalln-saw
womanm-nja*
man m-pja
person n(j)in
fish (n)g-la
birdpuj
dogkw'jian*
louser-sjik
tree mok
seed h-s(r)iang
leaflap(s)
root(m)-kon
barkbu*
skin kar
flesh njak
bloodh-s-*wit
bonekwjit
grease lur
eggron
horn qrakw
tailm-rju
feather n-pjuj
hair m-hat
headdu*
earn-s-kwon
eyengw(r)ing
nosem-*it
mouthgo*
tooth h-li*
tongue m-lat
claw h-nu-s
foot n-s(j)ek
knee h-s(j)ek
handtu*
belly phu
neck q(r)jang
breasts n-qe*
heartsjem
liverh-*on
drink lim
eat g(j)ek
bites-n-li*
see n-kian
hear h-ling
know t(j)it
sleep gru
dies-hjial
kill n-hial
swimgwljing*
fly p(j)uj
walkgo
come glek
lie lan
sit dzuj
standgljap
givegla
say gw(j)at
sunn(j)it
moon n-hwjat
starsiang
waterlul
rain n-laj
stonedjak
sandr-sal
earth t'a*
cloud gwjen
smoke h-mek-s
firemer
ash(es)n-miar
burn sing-s
path du*-s
mountain s-ng(r)an
redk'l(j)ak
greenruk
yellow gwang
white bjiak
black h-mek
nightljil
hotmen
cold glang
fullmon
news-*jing
goodhu*
round gwjian
dry qan
namemjing

Example textEdit

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