|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Proto-Sirnat or Proto-Cirnath is the latest common ancestor of the fictional Cirnathian language family, which includes languages such as Dotše, Cirnath and Xəzǧə. The language is known for its restrictive phonology, which heavily affects its declination and conjugation patterns.
|Plosive||p, pʷ, pʰ, b, bʷ||t, tʷ, d, dʷ||k, kʰ, kʷ, g, gʷ||ʔ|
|Fricative||f, v||θ, θʷ, ð||s||ʃ||ʝ*||x, ɣ*||h|
|Lateral app.||l, lʷ|
- – Some speakers
|ǧ||/ɣ/ ~ /ʝ/|
Proto-Sirnat has a phonology restricted by two main phenomena: vowel harmony and consonant harmony. Both affect declension and conjugation, but luckily they don't affect each other. Most descendant languages lost one or both of the harmonies, consonant harmony being dropped more readily.
Vowels a, u and o are called "bound sounds" in Sirnatian terms and can appear together in a word with each other, while ä, ö and ü are called "caged sounds" and can similarly appear together in the same word; however "caged" and "bound" sounds cannot appear together in the same word. The letters i, e and ə are called "free sounds" and can appear in the same word with either group, however, they too strongly prefer each other. They used to be a third separate group, but the harmony was broken after a migration overseas.
In consonants the letters ǧ, h, ĥ, ×', p', š, č, f, ð, þ, k', v don't coincide with the letters x, s, c, t, d, k, g, b, p, j and •, while both can coincide with w, m, n, ŋ, l, r and any labialised plosive. The first group is sometimes called the h-series, the second the null-series and the last the n-series.
Technically x, x', c and č could be analysed as ks, kš, ts and tš, like in some of Proto-Sirnat's descendant languages, but they are treated as phonemes by the language, so a single symbol is preferred.
This means that words such as *k'ülnapö couldn't possibly exist in Proto-Sirnat, instead words like kulnapo, k'ulnap'o, külnäpö and k'ülnäp'ö are all possible words.
Proto-Sirnat favours initial consonant clusters that start with a consonant from either h- or null-series and end in a n-series consonant. An example of this would be šnip'a, juice. Word medially, only clusters of two consonant occur. Consonants in the h-series cannot be geminate, but all others can. Similarly, h-series consonants cannot begin a medial consonant cluster.
Finally diphthongs have restrictions: most common are diphthongs that end in u, ü or i, although they are naturally restricted by vowel harmony. Three other diphthongs – ae, ue and oe – occur. All in all, the available diphthongs are au, ou, əu, iu, eu, äy, öy, ey, əy, ae, ue and oe. Notably the diphthong iy doesn't occur. Long vowels are marked with circumflex, so that mixing it with the aspiration mark is minimal.
Proto-Sirnat verbs are usually divided into two groups, usually called Null-verbs and H-verbs. Null-verbs have consonants of the null-series as opposed to h-verbs, which have h-series consonants. For instance köptîk, to buy, is a null-verb while þailîk', to dance, is an h-verb.
Verbs are conjugated in accordance with time, aspect and mood, but not number or person. Later language descendants, such as Dotše, acquired such forms by suffixing personal pronouns or by analogy to nouns, if they did at all. Hence, while in Dotše the personal pronouns can often be omitted, in Proto-Sirnat it is not allowed. Grammatical voice is implied by the choice of pronoun alone.
First infitives of all verbs are of the form "stem + îk" or "stem + îk'". It is the dictionary form of the verb and used where conjugational suffixes would be redundant. It is also used to indicate that the act is your goal, and that you strive to fulfill it. When used like that, the verb is usually in the beginning of the sentence.
- •om wanðan þailîk' – /ʔom 'wɑn.ðɑn 'θɑi.li:kʰ/ – I want to dance.
- Þailîk’ •om •aubta •og þân. – /'θɑi.li:kʰ 'ʔom 'ʔɑub.tɑ 'ʔog 'θɑ:n/ – To dance I do my all.
The Proto-Sirnatian language has singular, plural and paucal, although the latter is extremely rare and only used in certain religious contexts, unless one wishes to be jocular. Paucal is unusually specific in the amount of object it applies to, the amount being either three, seven or twenty one. In all other numbers, plural is used.
The specific nature of paucal comes from the complex religion the people followed, which reveres gods in triplets and has a holy cyclical calendar divided into sevens for the most part. The "vigesingular" comes from multiplying these two together and it is quite rare. The ending -w was actually transferred from the old plurale tantum suffix which implied holiness and perfectness, namely -wemle. The emle part has turned into an adjective of its own, meaning outstanding or omnipotent.
Generally speaking the singular has a null ending, the paucal a -w and the plural has -l. The paucal can also be reduced to labialisation after certain stops and it will turn into a -v or -b after u depending on the harmony.
- šnip'a – juice
- šnip'aw – three, seven or twenty one juices
- šnip'al – juices
Proto-Sirnatian nouns are divided into three different genders, often called masculine, feminine and neuter.