Proto-Taspen is the language of the south east lands in Bidunia. This is the most ancient classical language of the people who first migrated into the area.
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Classification and DialectsEdit
This language diverged into several dialects that became their own languages.
|Flap or tap||r|
- Consonant clusters formed by two oral stops most always assimilate. The first stop assimilates to the POA of the second stop, creating a geminate. E.g. etath "dark" > etakkhe "night"
In general syllables are constructed as (C)V(C)(C), where the coda consonants are not consecutive obstruents. There are exceptions to all that of course, but that's the general plan.
These are an early agricultural/hunter-gatherer people, and as such did not have writing. Although, writing would develop later as a logographic system. (right? or did trade with other civilizations bring writing?)
Pronouns have all the same cases as nouns, but with one important difference. Singular non-interrogative pronouns in the ABS case are always marked and end with an "-o". E.g. so, tho, mo, rjommo, ithawo, maihso. The interrogative pronouns do not typically decline, so need not end in "-o", and the plurals of the listed pronouns just add a "-p".
There are nine cases in PT that have no particular order. They are all suffixes that are added onto the root word.
The ABS case is unmarked on the noun, and it is used for the subjects of intransitive verbs. Adjectives, however, take an "o" suffix to agree with an ABS noun. Pronouns also end in "-o".
K'aphakhir k'at ihe pharamithoum
PAST.PFV-eat person.ABS on day.summer-MED-GEN
A person ate yesterday.
The ergative case is marked with "-e", and it is used for the subjects of transitive verbs.
Ermephaja k'athonope ŋesu
PRES-GNO-drink child-PL-ERG water-ACC
Children drink water.
The accusative case is marked with "-u" and is used for the objects of transitive verbs.
Ermephaja k'athonope ŋesu
PRES-GNO-drink child-PL-ERG water-ACC
Children drink water.
The dative case is marked with "-o" and is used for the indirect object or the beneficiary. It traditionally comes after the ACC.
Thet'ep'an jeŋure nurau sopo
PRES-IPFV-give sun-ERG light-ACC 1.PL-DAT
The sun gives us light.
The genitive case is marked with "-um" and is used for alienable possession. It also is used in 3-way prepositions to indicate the temporal usage. It always follows the noun it describes.
AL possession is the default. Nonpossessables, such as the sun, fall into this category, as well as nouns that CAN be physically or metaphorically separated, such as trees' leaves
The ablative case is marked with "-a". It is used to mean "motion away from". It is also the required case for a few prepositions, and it's used in many more 2-way and 3-way Ps to distinguish dynamic motion from static (LOC).
Aŋsamani so pi umiso ŋesa moramahs
PAST-INCEP-go 1.SG-ABS to edge-DAT water-INAL.ABL day.winter-DIST
I started to go to the edge of the water on the day before yesterday.
Adjectives come after the noun they modify, and they agree with them only in case. This is for attributive As though. Predicate As are uninflected with no case, and this is how they are told apart. Also, predicate As typically come before the verb (free am I). Numbers, attributive or not, do not take any agreement. They also follow the noun.
The comparative form of an adjective adds the suffix '-us'
The superlative form of an adjective adds the suffix '-(e)rn'
The extremitive form of an adjective adds the suffix '-jot''
The moderative form of an adjective adds the suffix '-ha'
The permanentive form of an adjective adds the suffix '-akhi'
The temporal form of an adjective adds the suffix '-own'
Most prepositions (Ps) are pretty straight forward. Different Ps require the following noun to decline in a specific case, sometimes seemingly arbitrary, and sometimes to change its meaning. There are seven different types of Ps: absolutive, ergative, dative, genitive, ablative, two-way, and three-way Ps. The two-way Ps make the distinction between stative and dynamic senses, stative requiring the LOC case, and dynamic the ABL case. Three-way Ps make the same distinction, but they can also be used to describe time in some form. This temporal usage requires the GEN case.
Verbs are separated into various classes, and they are distinguished by their suffixes. Verb classes 1, 2, 3, and 4 are respectively "-ir(-)", "-an(-)", "-is(-)", and "-aj(-)". On every verb are two obligatory markers, tense and aspect. Mood suffixes are optional.
At an earlier stage in the language's history, verbs became followed by an auxiliary or particle thing that had different meanings. They eventually wore away and are left as these suffixes on the verb. These different classes of verbs don't quite hold up anymore, but the general distinctions were made like so. Class 1 verbs (-ir) typically were personal verbs that have an intrinsic tie to the speaker like to be ir, to eat khir, and to love siri. Class 2 verbs (-an) were verbs of motion or flowing like to go mani, to see k'ane, and to catch toran. Class 3 verbs (-is) were typically used for statives and most adjectives were derived from verbs that took this ending. Class 4 verbs (-aj) were basically everything else. Many adjectives were derived from class 4 verbs too. Like everything, there are many exceptions like to take rokhis, to be named ano, or to flow ohir.
All tense markers are prefixes that attach to the beginning of the verb, before the aspect marker.
The past tense is used as a general past tense for the PFV and DUR aspects, but adds a -continuous meaning for the INCEP, IPFV, and GNO aspects. This means that the action does not continue into the present. The prefixes "k'a-" and "aŋ-" are used respectively with verb types 1/3 and 2/4.
Recent Past Edit
The recent past tense is used to describe verbs that are relatively recent. This varies wildly between verbs. This may be in the past few hours with the verb "eat", but in the past few weeks when you "climbed" a tree. In addition, it also acts as a continuous marker for PFV, IPFV, and GNO aspects, meaning continued into the present. There is only one prefix, "p'i-".
The present tense is marked with the prefixes "the-", for verb types 1 and 2, and "er-", for types 3 and 4.
Immediate Future Edit
The immediate future is used just as relatively as the recent past. It varies from verb to verb, and can be anywhere from later that day to in a month or two. It can also simply mean about to happen. There is one suffix, "no-".
The future is marked with the prefixes "ju-" for verb types 1 and 4, and "um-" for types 2 and 3.
The aspect markers are attached between the tense marker and the verb itself. They are really just a consonant because the vowel following the consonant marker assimilates to the same one used in the tense marker.
The perfective aspect is used for verbs that have been completed by the time of the corresponding tense. It is used when talking about the event as a whole, rather than a time within the event like the IPFV. The perfective marker is "-ph(V)-"
The inceptive aspect is marked with "-s(V)-". It is used for verbs that are just starting at the tense indicated.
The imperfective indicates verbs that have already begun, but haven't finished. It is used when looking at a part of the whole, rather than the whole itself like the PFV. It is marked with "-t'(V)-".
The gnomic aspect is a fun one. It was and is used to mark truths about the world and indisputable facts in the present tense, but it is believed that the speakers of PT had already begun to use this aspect for facts of all kinds, including feelings, truths, and beliefs. It conveys a stronger message. Over time, the (recent) past and (immediate) future tenses became synonymous as habituals. This became a permanent fixture for all four non-present tenses and became the sole means of marking the habitual in the language. It is marked with "-m(V)-".
The durative aspect signals that a verb is lasting for a little period of time. It has already begun and will keep going for a while, but will eventually stop. This applies to the wind blowing to playing an instrument. It uses "-w(V)-".
Tense and Aspect Chart for Late PT Edit
|PFV||in the past and completed
I just ate
|about to be completed
I'm about to have eaten
|will be completed
I will have eaten
|INCEP||began in the past but not continued in present
I started eating
|began in the past and still going
I started eating
I'm starting to eat
|about to begin
I'm about to start eating
|will begin in the future
I will start eating
|IPFV||was happening in the past but not anymore
I was eating
|was happening and still is
I was eating
|occuring right now
|about to be happening
I'm about to be eating
|will be happening
I will be eating
|GNO/HAB||happened habitually in the past but no longer
I used to eat
|happened habitually in the past and still does
I used to eat
|generic truth or true now
|about to become habitual
I will soon eat
|will become habitual
I will eat
|DUR||occured for a while in the past
I ate for a bit
|recently occured for a while
I just ate for a little while
|occuring for a while right now
I'm eating for a bit
|about to be occuring for a while
I'm about to be eating for a while
|will be occuring for a while
I will eat for a while
Rules for DUR:
The DUR can only apply to (anim/inan) activities, or other atelic verbs that have agents or animate subjects like some statives and semelfactives.
The negative mood is used just like Japanese. To specify that an action is not done, this mood is used. There are two morphemes that signify the mood. For 1 and 3 type verbs, the suffix "-mo" is used. For verb types 2 and 4, the suffix "-nu" is used.
|Imirmo so misik||P'iphik'anenu the su|
|PRES-GNO-be-NEG 1.SG.ABS bad||REC-PFV-see-NEG 2.SG.ERG 1.SG.ACC|
|I am not bad||You didn't just see me|
The interrogative mood is used to ask yes or no questions. The suffix "-kho" is added to verb types 1 and 2, and the suffix "-par" is added to types 3 and 4.
|Thet'enomthirkho mop ŋa kenujopu mopum|
|PRES-IPFV-play-INTERR 3.PL.ABS with friend-PL-ACC 3.PL-GEN|
|Do they play with their friends?|
The conditional mood is used to express doubt, hypothetical situations, or irrealis statements. The suffixes "-sup" and "-he" are used respectively for verb types 1/4 and 2/3.
|Ert'ejek'ajsup so amso jumuohirsup jeŋur||Erphejamekishe haji so, net k'aphak'amirmo so|
|Er-t'e-jek'aj-sup so amso ju-mu-ohir-sup jeŋur||Er-phe-jamekis-he haji so, net k'a-pha-k'amir-mo so|
|PRES-IPFV-move-COND 1.SG.ABS when FUT-GNO-shine-COND sun.ABS||PRES-PFV-can-COND draw.INF 1.SG.ABS but PAST-PFV-learn-NEG 1.SG.ABS|
|I would move if/when the sun would/will shine||I would be able to draw, but I didn't learn|
The desiderative is used to express genuine wants and desires onto the verb. This is added to verbs to indicate that it is a desire for the speaker to perform the verb. When wishing to use "want" as a standalone verb, i.e. I want food, then the verb nawis. Confusingly, you may also use nawis as an auxilliary to indicate that the desire/want for the verb is hopeless, fruitless, impossible, or disingenuous, without a possibility of its reality. The suffix is "-naws", and it is used with all verb types.
P'it'ithajnaws se k'atopu
P'i-t'i-thaj-naws se k'at-op-u
REC-IPFV-lead-DES 1.SG.ERG person-PL-ACC
I want to lead the people.
Ert'enawis ir so k'athon t'up
Er-t'e-nawis ir so k'at-hon t'up
PRES-IPFV-want be.INF 1.SG.ABS person.DIM.ABS again
I want to be a child again.
Ermenawis se rwek'imosu
Er-me-nawis se rwek'imos-u
PRES-GNO-want 1.SG.ERG food-ACC
I want food.
The deontic is used for quite a few different things. It is used as an imperative, but it is also used as an optative to express your desires and wishes. It doesn't use any tense or aspect prefixing. The suffix "-m" is used on all verb types, however, the "n" in "-an" stem verbs gets deleted when it occurs next to "m". "-is", "-aj", and "-ir" stem verbs don't change. E.g. *P'anm! > P'am! = Give!
Voice/Valency changes Edit
There is no marking on verbs for the active voice. Transitive verbs and intransitive ones stay intransitive.
Thet'epintan so t'orii
PRES-IPFV-live 1.sg.ABS house-LOC
I live in a house
P'iphip'annu se phuŋau tho
REC-PFV-ask-NEG 1.sg.ERG question-ACC 2.sg.DAT
I didn't just ask you a question
The passive construction is marked by the suffix "wi" on the verb. Like many passives, it takes the ACC and makes it the ABS. The original ERG argument can be left off or placed back in as an ABL. Intransitive verbs cannot be passivised. This construction is most useful for relative clauses, for only the ABS may be relativised.
Aŋphak'ane se pik'u
PAST-PFV-see 1.SG.ERG tree-ACC
I saw a tree
Aŋphak'anewi pik' sa
PAST-PFV-see-PASS tree-ABS 1.SG.ABL
A tree was seen by me
This construction is used exclusively for the relative clause formation. It does not make any sense to use this construction outside of them because they are semantically equivalent. It also has SVO order. When going from ACT to ANTIP with a transitive verb, the suffix "mar" is added to the verb, the ERG becomes ABS, and the ACC becomes INSTR. For intransitive verbs, just add the suffix and flip the order. When this clause is used, the beginning clause usually needs to be passivised in order for the ABS to be the subject of both clauses. Auxiliary stuff (like ABL, DAT, INSTR) are usually placed before the Rel clause, but may go after too.
E.g. 2 arguments:
Ert'ephaja k'ate ŋesu
PRES-IPFV-drink person-ERG water-ACC
A person drinks water
K'at ert'ephajamar ŋesaj
person.ABS PRES-IPFV-drink-ANTIP water-INSTR
A person who drinks water
K'awasiriwi sa k'at aŋt'aphajamar ŋesaj
PAST-DUR-love-PASS 1.SG-ABL person-ABS PAST-IPFV-drink-ANTIP water-INSTR
For a while was loved by me a person who drank water
For a while, I loved a person who drank water
The middle voice in PT is used for four things: reflexives, mediopassive statements when the subject and patient are the same (the window broke), emotions (ich fühle mich gut), and impersonal verbs (it rains). The suffix is "-oŋ" and it attaches to the verb. NOTE: Reciprocals are denoted with pronouns, reflexives with MID.
P'iphijot'anoŋ so ihe pharamrumum
REC-PFV-wash-MID 1.SG-ABS on day.summer-PROX-GEN
I washed myself today.
K'amakowisioŋ kham thum
PAST-GNO-break-MID plant.ABS 2.SG-GEN
Your plant broke.
Ert'emart'ajaoŋ so rokhin
PRES-IPFV-find-MID 1.SG-ABS happy
I find myself happy.
I feel happy.
It rained a while yesterday.
The causative is the only valency increasing construction in Proto-Taspin. It is the suffix "k'" attached to the verb. With an intransitive verb, the ABS becomes the ACC and the causer becomes the ERG. With a transitive verb, the ACC stays the ACC, but the ERG gets demoted to DAT and the causer becomes the ERG. With a ditransitive verb,*************** If the addition of this suffix violates (C)V(C)(C) phonotactics, then an epenthetical "i" is added either before or after.
E.g. 1 argument
you are running
Ert'et'isik' sope thu
PRES-IPFV-run-CAUS 1.PL-ERG 2.SG-ACC
I made you run
E.g. 2 arguments
Thesek'ane se nurarumu
PRES-INCEP-see 1.SG-ERG light-PROX-ACC
I'm starting to see the light
Thesek'anek' se nurarumu tho
PRES-INCEP-see-CAUS 1.SG-ERG light-PROX-ACC 2.SG-DAT
I'm making you start to see the light
E.g. 3 arguments
One phrase that you often hear children say to their parents is "you're making me give everything to ****(brother/sibling/sister/whatever)******************************
Auxiliary Verbs/Other ConstructionsEdit
There are many auxiliary verbs in PT, and they before the subject like normal, but the main verb is then placed after the subject. Only one verb can be at the front of the sentence, so it is taken by the Aux. This allows the pronoun to merge onto the Aux for Taspen's person conjugation.
The Gnomic aspect is used to mark the habitual in the non-present tenses. See below for an example.
The habitual is marked by reduplicating the first obligatorily max CVC syllable, typically always with the past durative. Very rarely is it anything else (right?).
K'awarewrewir sope turaj wakhotrumu sajkhuru
PAST-DUR-HAB.REDUP-climb.up 1.PL-ERG hand-INSTR wall-PROX-ACC dangerous-ACC
Used to climb we by hand.EMPHASIS this wall dangerous.
We used to climb this dangerous wall by hand!
K'amarewir sope turaj wakhotrumu sajkhuru
PAST-GNO-climb.up 1.PL-ERG hand-INSTR wall-PROX-ACC dangerous-ACC
Used to climb we by hand.EMPHASIS this wall dangerous.
We used to climb this dangerous wall by hand!
The existential verb there is/are is a simple construction in PT. The verb is kis, which is the same verb as to have, but used intransitively.
Ermekis tur ihe ituri
PRES-GNO-have hand.foot.ABS on ground-LOC
There is a hand on the ground.
Word Order Edit
Word order is pretty relaxed because of the case system, but there is a general convention that is followed. The verb usually always comes first, except in antipassive clauses and fronting of a nonverb for emphasis. The ERG always precedes the ACC (usually immediately). PPs generally come after the ACC, but may go wherever they fit best. Usually the ERG and ACC are adjacent, so any other cases that may be present usually follow these, including the DAT. To avoid confusion with the ABS, the DAT always comes after the ACC.
Noun Phrase Edit
PT is a strongly head initial language, so it's no surprise that nouns always come first in their phrases. This means that adjectives, genitives, and relative clauses all follow the noun.
The stress of PT is a mostly fixed antepenultimate system with the stress on the 3rd to last syllable. The exception is when there is an ejective in the ultimate or penultimate position. These are heavy syllables and the stress appears on the rightmost syllable. So TL;DR, the rightmost ejective preceded syllable or the antepenultimate syllable will get the stress, whichever is closest to the end.
E.g. Nurak'áne = wake up = ejective triggered stress
Jósaphon = cool/cold = regular antepenultimate stress
Having heavy syllables be determined by the onset has been a mystery for some time. It is thought that the language used to have special codas, now disappeared, that triggered the weight. Something like pharyngeals or glottalized consonants. Another theory is that there were long vowels or diphthongs that shortened and monophthongized, leaving behind their heavy quality. There is no consensus. (but the daughter language stress regularized as one would expect. Right Bryce? Is it a good system?? hMM????????)
Stress is now being redone to make it more regular, naturalistic, and easier to evolve.
Stress in PT is weight-sensitive by three degrees: light monomoraic (V), heavy bimoraic (VC), and superheavy trimoraic (VCC). Iambic feet are formed left to right, and the right most iamb receives the primary stress. Light and heavy syllables cannot form feet by themselves, and so cannot receive primary stress if they are leftover outside of a foot. Superheavy syllables, however, can ONLY form its own foot and as such always has either secondary or primary stress, depending on its position.
(CVCC) - íwth "way"
(CVC.CVC) iw.thóp "ways"
(CV.CV).(VCC) - t'o.rì.ánkh "community.ABS"
(CV.CV).(VC.CV) - t'o.rì.an.khé "community-ERG"
(CV.CV).(VCC).CV - t'o.rì.ánkh.mo "without community"
(CVC.CVC) - pin.tán "live"
(CVC.CVC).CVC - pin.tán.mos "life"
(CVC.CV).(CV.CVC) - pin.tà.ni.més "one who lives"
(CVC.CV).(CV.CV).CVC - pin.tà.ni.mé.sop "ones who live"
(CVC.CV).(CV.CV).(CV.CVC) - pin.tà.ni.mè.so.phón "little ones who live"
(CVC.CV).(CV.CV).(CVC.CVC).CVC - pin.tà.ni.mè.so.phón.rum "these little ones who live"
(CVC.CV).(CV.CV).(CVC.CVC).(CVCC) - pin.tà.ni.mè.so.phòn.máhs "those little ones who live"
Complementizer Clauses Edit
Complementizer clauses are easy because they just use the CONJ "kho" meaning "that".
E.g. I said that I was hungry.
I dreamt that I flew in the sky.
Relative Clauses Edit
Relative clause are a bit more complicated than C clauses. The only thing that can be relativized is the absolutive case and PPs. This ABS must be lined up between the two clauses
Prepositional Phrases Edit
PPs are easy to relativize. The object of the P is replaced with a pronoun with the correct case, and is placed between the two sentences.
E.g. The day I met you was a good day.
Was day good on it met I you.
PAST-GNO-be day.summer-ABS good-ABS on 3.SG-GEN PAST-INCEP-know 1.SG-ERG 2.SG-ACC
Amir pharam k'oro ihe mum aŋsajaman se thu
To relativize the ergative argument, the clause must use the antipassive voice to turn ERG into ABS.
To relative the accusative argument, use the passive voice to turn ACC into ABS.
Other Cases Edit
To relativize other cases, the most common strategy is using a separate sentence.***
E.g. I cut the bread with a knife. It was sharp.
***Although, in the later years that this proto lang was likely spoken, the C kho became used to relativize other cases. This carried into the daughter languages as well (right Bryce?? RIGHT?????).
there are 4 words for if.
Certain conditional; amso; If/when I get off work, I will be happy. I will be happy if/when I get off work
-This conditional has the meaning that the antecedent WILL occur (or expected to anyway) in the future.
-It is also used for deductions, if that's the river, we're almost home, to contrast with hypotheticals.
-The antecedent is in the indicative mood, but the consequent is in the COND.
Hypothetical conditional; suhpi; If it starts to rain, I will go inside. I will go inside if it starts to rain.
-This construction expresses uncertainty as to whether the antecedent will occur or not.
-The consequent will happen if the antecedent happens, but is not too strong.
-Both the antecedent and consequent are in the COND.
Universal conditional; het; If I drop a ball, it will fall. A ball will fall if I drop it.
-In this condition, the antecedent is uncertain and may or may not occur, and so is marked with the COND.
-The consequent, however, is a fact and always occurs, and such is most always marked with GNO aspect. If another aspect is needed, then it is put into the COND mood.
-This meaning can be expanded to less factual situations, adding a meaning like certainly/for sure.
Whether conditional; kur; If/whether he came home, I don't know. I don't know if/whether he came home.
-This form is different from the others, more like a complementizer. It comes after intransitives.
-The antecedent is in the conditional, and the consequent is indicative for this meaning. In transitive verbs, it conveys a more 'whether or not' tone.
The Body Edit
The body is organized a little differently to the way English divides it. Legs are different from arms, but hands/feet and toes/fingers are the same.
Extended Swadesh List 207 words Edit
|37||man (adult male)||Ars|
|38||man (human being)||K'at|
|58||bark (of a tree)|
|123||to lie (as in a bed)||Senajoŋ|
|126||to turn (intransitive)|
|191||sharp (as a knife)|
|192||dull (as a knife)|