Sallia uses an alphabet of 17 letters: A [ɑ, a] B [b] K [k] D [d] E [e, ɛ] H [h] I [i, ɪ] L [l] M [m] N [n] O [ɔ, o] P [p] R [r] S [s] T [t] U [u, ʊ].
Overall, the letters sound the way you would expect them to be, regardless of their placement. When it is not stressed, the letter "i" tends to form diphthongs [aɪ], [eɪ], [oɪ] and [uɪ], as well as [ɪa], [ɪe], [ɪo] and [ɪu] when it comes in contact with another vowel. Other vowels are pronounced separately from each other.
The Sallia syllable structure is described by the (C)V(C)(C)(C) pattern. Out of all consonants, only L, M, N, R, S and T can be syllable-final and only L, M, N or R can precede them.
The stress usually falls on the last syllable of the root or a stressed suffix. For example
duahéodúni (duahe + o + du + ni) on the top of the tower
tía (ti + a) arrives
múniel (mun + i + el) about people
tíasi (ti + a + s) if he comes
It can happen that stress is essential for recognizing the word correctly, e.g.
penasú -- "tree"
pénasi -- "if it's hard"
Sallia is an agglutinating language. It is rich in cases and compound words.
Rules for adding suffixes and endings
When a suffix or and ending is added to a Sallia root that ends with a vowel, special rules may apply. The reason for it is that such roots used to end with the letter -l- that is dropped in modern speech but makes reappearance in certain situations.
Namely, when the root ends with a vowel, and the suffix/ending starts with the same vowel, the second vowel is dropped and replaced by -l.
ti + a --> tia (no change)
pa + a --> pal (final -a is dropped and replaced by -l)
Sallia is a SVO language, but the word order is quite flexible. The adjectives tend to follow the nouns, but may precede them as well. The adverbs tend to follow the verb.
General questions are marked by intonation and do not require any specific particle or word order change.
Sallia verbs and adjectives always have the final -a (sometimes substituted by -l, see below):
Nenamun dena - The boy plays.
Penasu deattia - The tree grows.
Nenakei densdana - The children laugh.
The verbs do not change according to tense, but can be put in three different aspects: prospective, imperfective and perfective. The perfective aspect is marked by -as, which is added before the -a ending. Similarly, the prospective aspect is marked by -at followed by -a. Thus,
Miadasobo tia - The train comes/The train arrives
Miadasobo tiasa - The train has arrived
Miadasobo tiata - The train is going to arrive
Verbs can be put inot passive voice by adding the suffix -er. E.g.
Me sia miadasobou - I see the train
Ka ia miadasoboel sierasa meu - This is the train I've seen.
A case prefix can be added to the verb in passive voice when the subject is not the direct object in the active voice. For example:
Ka ia hell ni-helra meu - This is the house in which I live.
Me tetu siatliata reolanell me el-salstonerasa kado-- I'll show you the book I've heard so much about.
To negate a verb, the particle es is placed before it. After a vowel es is commonly replaced by 's:
Me es miata -- I am not going [Me's miata]
Me teu es kia siati -- I can't see you. [Me teu's kia siati]
There are four moods in Sallia, indicative, subjunctive, conditional and imperative. While the indicative mood has all three aspects, the other moods has only one aspect each.
The subjunctive describes an action (imaginary or in the past) that could have occurred but did not. It is indicated by adding the suffix -si- before the -a ending. It is often followed by a noun or supine in the Causal case:
Me mísia te tiathiasi metu -- I would have come if you called me.
The conditional mood describes an action that may or may not occur in the future, depending on the circumstances. It is indicated by the suffix -ti-. A noun or supine in the Causal case that follows it expresses condition:
Me mítia te tiathiasi metu -- I'll come if you call me.
The imperative mood coincides by ending with the prospective aspect, but a verb in the imperative takes no subject. Thus,
Te miata -- You'll go
Miata! -- Go!
Es miata! - Don't go!
Sallia nouns can be put in many different cases by adding different endings to the root word.
Nominative (subject)/Absolutive (object of passive verbs) - (zero ending)
Accusative (direct object)/Ergative (agent of passive verbs) -u
Genitive/Posessive/Partitive ("of") -o
Patient (indirect agent or experiencer; used with compound verbs) -tu
Indirect (indirect object; used with compound verbs and copula) -el
Benefactive ("for", indicates indirect recepient, purpose or goal) -ti, -t
Causal/Conditional ("because of", "as a consequence of", "if") -si, -s
The following four cases deal with location but can also be used to indicate time.
Allative ("to") -nit
Locative ("in") -ni, -n
Ablative ("from") -nis
Perlative ("through") -nist
The frest of the cases cases can be viewed as special cases of compound words; they are stressed at the penultimate syllable. These case endings can also be used as separate words, assuming the role of prepositions followed by the noun in Acusative (-u).
Instrumental/Instructive ("with"/"using", "by") -ulali (from -u + lal + i) = lali + -u
Semblative ("like", "as") -usanai (from -u + sana + i) = sanai + -u
Comitative ("together with") -ulanai (from -u + lana + i) or -uali (from -u + al + i) = lanai + -u, ali + -u
Abessive ("apart from"): -ulatai (from u + lata + i); ("without"): -uslanai (from -u + (e)s + lana + i) or -uarai (from -u + ara + i) = latai + -u, eslanai + -u, arai + -u
To form the plural, the suffix -i- is added after the root and before the case markers:
kolhon - a bird
kolhoni - birds
kolhonel - about the bird
kolhoniel - about the birds
and so on.
To further specify location, nouns can be augmented with the following suffixes:
inside -oni- (from o + ni "inside")
top -odu- (from o + du "up", "high")
front -oso- (from o + so "front")
bottom -odur- (from o + dur "down", "low")
back -osor- (from o + sor "back")
neighborhood, place near -obor- (from o + bor "short", "near")
away -obo- (from o + bo "long", "far")
around -otun- (from o + tun "shell", "surface")
outside -onir- (from o + nir "outside")
These suffixes are placed before the case marker, and are stressed.
The following suffixes transform other words into location or time indicators. They are also stressed.
place of -ona- (from na "place")
time of -oto- (from to "time")
Compound Verbs and The Indirect Case
Many verbs in Sallia are composed of two or sometimes more simple verbs, and etimologically come from combining several actions into one notion.
Control of such verbs happens in the following way:
- The object of the main (last) verb stays in accusative.
- The object of the dependent verb (supine) assumes the indirect case.
- The subject of the dependent verb is put into the patient case.
Me tetu salthiata tul kea menel ka -- I will tell you one thing about this man.
Here the word salthia ("tell about something") has two verb roots, sa -- to know, and hi -- to say, so it can be loosely interpreted as "say to know". Correspondingly, the three objects to the compound verb are classified as the subject/object of the dependent verb ("to know") and the subject of the main verb ("to say"), and the whole phrase could literally mean "I will say one thing for you to know this man".
Adverbs usually have no ending or end with -i when derived from a different part of speech. Adding -i to the supine produces an adverbial participle.
Typically adverbs are placed at the end of the sentence.
Adjectives in Sallia are verbs in disguise. They do not agree with the nouns they modify, and they can take all verb forms. Adjectives always have the -a ending.
To make a superlative form of an adjective, one adds the prefix do- (lit. "more") to it. Prefixing an adjective with dor- has the opposite effect, e.g.
losia -- beautiful
dolosia -- more beautiful
dorlosia -- less beautiful
Do and dor can be also used as stand-alone words, meaning "more" and "less".
To compare with something, use lansiai ("comparing with..."), e.g.
dolosia meulansiai losia do lansiai meu (or meulansiai) -- more handsome than me
The Locative case can also be used with superlatives: losia do panni – the most beutiful (lit: "more beautiful in all")
The Semblative case with superlatives is used in comparisons:
losia tunosenusanai losia sanai tunosenu -- as beautiful as the sun
The copula ia (root i-) is followed by an object in Indirect case (-el). In this construction the indirect case is used with a simple verb:
Ka ia hell meo -- This is my house.
Since Sallia adjectives are morphologically very close to verbs, no copula is required before an adjective.
Teo he losia - Your house is beautiful.
A verb, with its -a ending, can be treated as a supine. In this capacity, it can have a subject, objects and adverbs modifying it, and, at the same time, it can accept case markers and be treated as if it was a noun (nomen actionis). An adjective can be treated in the same way.
Supines are very frequently used in Sallia; they serve as bases for all kinds of syntactic constructions.
Here are some examples:
Sia ia kunsiael - Seeing is believing
Me ria tetu miati meulanai - I want you to go with me.
Me kia tiati te metu siatliasi misel - I can come if you show me the way (note two supines here: tiati "to come" = ti + a + ti, and siatliasi "if show" = siatli + a + si)
The most common use of supine is with a modal verb, putting the supine in the Benefactive case:
Me ria malti -- I am hungry (lit: I want to eat)
Me es kia miati pat dobo -- I can't go any further
The other widespread use is with -ni (or -otoni (= o + to + ni "in the time of")) added to it:
Mut tiasa koupunani dan -- She came, breathing heavily
Mut halsa tul mun es siani -- She took it when he was not looking
The Sallia dictionary is rich with compound words. Sometimes even the most basic words' origins can be traced to a compound, e.g.
seama - to drink (sea - ma, "eat liquidly")
senoto - day (seno - to, "time of light")
duahe - tower (dua - he, "tall house")
Sallia compound words are formed by taking a well-formed phrase and fusing it together into one word. In a compound, the main word always has to be last, so when one takes a compound word apart, he would find objects placed before verbs (sea - ma), and adjectives before nouns (dua- he).
When compound words are formed, the Locative, Causal and Benefactive cases lose the final -i and are contracted to n, t and s. Similarly, the adverbs and adverbial participles ending with -i lose it when they become a part of a compound word.
Some of the compound words can be pretty complex, but in their formation they still follow the same pattern:
miadasobo - train (mia - daso - go, "length of moving cars")
senotunodaopin - east (senotuno - dao - pin, "side of rising sun")
Some of the roots that are most frequently seen as forming compound words are:
ke (person): dalke "leader", maubalke "cook", saltliake "teacher", lelrake "darling"
to (time): senoto "day", tiato "future", moattiaoto "birthday"
lon (surface): dealon "sky", taolon "writing desk", maolon "table", raolon "bed"
lan (collection, gathering): ruolan "book", dinalaobollan "cleaning brush", dorolan "dust", paolan "experience"
hon (animal): kolhon "bird", derabouharahon "sheep", konakanuleahon "bear", ormitahon "wolf"
li ("let"): saltlia "teaches", tiratlia "frees", sieratlia "shows"
pa ("make", "cause"): lanatpal "adds", tiatpal "attracts", "attractive", lorpiatpal "cruel"
hi ("say", "tell"): sanhia "agrees", sorthia "answers", louhia "approves", buthia "argues"
and so on.
Sallia personal pronouns can be summarized as follows:
In the IIIrd person, mun is translated as "he", and mut as "she"; however, it is very common to use the gender-neutral ke. Te is used with things ("it").
These pronouns can be put in any case; so meo means "my", mell means "for me", meulanai means "with me" and so forth.
Putting words ka "this", kar "that" , ho "what", pan "everything", pat "something" and es "nothing" in any of the noun cases yields all sorts of demonstrative pronouns:
kani -- here
kanis -- from here
kal -- this
ka -- such
kaltoni -- now
karatoni -- then
hosi -- why?
hotu' -- to whom?
hoti -- what for?
panni -- everywhere
esni -- nowhere
and so on.
Cardinal numbers are grammatically adjectives in Sallia:
nenamut kua -- one girl
kolhoni bea -- two birds
To express ordinal numbers, Sallia puts the same roots into Genitive. They can be put before or after the noun:
he kuo -- first house
saso nollon -- third floor
and so on.
The North Wind and the Sun
The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger, when a traveler came along wrapped in a warm cloak.
They agreed that the one who first succeeded in making the traveler take his cloak off should be considered stronger than the other.
Then the North Wind blew as hard as he could, but the more he blew the more closely did the traveler fold his cloak around him;
and at last the North Wind gave up the attempt. Then the Sun shined out warmly, and immediately the traveler took off his cloak.
And so the North Wind was obliged to confess that the Sun was the stronger of the two.
Deapinoko e Senotun buthiasa hoake doroau, misomun miani al derahul ranotunni.
Kei sanhia danisiati ke kuotoni pal misomun hurati derahul iau doroakell lansiai beakeiu.
Deapinoko koumia karo ke kiausanai oi ke koumiani doro misomun huatpuna doro derahul ranotunnit;
e Deapinoko diratoni danistira paltluau. Karatoni Senotun dersena e misomun hura derahul boatoni.
E Deapinoko bia salshiati Senotun doroau lansiai beakeiu.
The Babel Text
1. Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.
Kei panakoro kaltoni alsa hiomisu kua e hiolatiu sana.
2. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
Heatmiani senotunodaopinnis kei salttia korolonel kororeni Shinaro e heattia karnit.
3. And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
E kei tonathia, ke kuo ketu beo: Mei palta pinapolpeniu e deata tuiu ro. E kei sanalal pinapolpeniu koropenel e koromiraseu penulanasell.
4. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.
Kaltoni kei hia: Mei lotatpalta heolanu e duaheu al dul dualonni. E mei palta kinu meio, mei es latata renit panakoro.
5. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built.
E Panudalke durattia siati heolanu e duaheu lotatpaerasa menomeriu.
6. And the Lord said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
E Panudalke hiasa: Siata kei iau keolanell kua, e kei alu hiomisu kua, e ka ia diel tuio kiera palti keiu. E es palthiera keiu es kiata kei palti.
7. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.
Me durattiata karnit e hitata hiomisu keio, ke kuo es salta ke beo hiau.
8. So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
Ka Panudalke lata keiu renit panakoro, e kei mirasa lotatpalti heolanu.
9. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
Ka tu hiakinera Babilonel, Panudalke hitasi karni hiomisu panakoro. E karnis Panudalke lata keiu renit panakoro.