Vandalic constitutes the surviving Romance speech of the North Africa based Vandal Kingdom. It is a Western Romance language, influenced strongly by Punic and other Afro-Asiatic languages spoken in the region.
Fata i lingua Vandala a parulu uziali durinti diθa Renu Vandalu in al Africa sittintxiunali. Isti 'θi linguam Hispirrumanica, fartiminti suya nfluintxa Punica, i autras linguas Afru-Asiatitxas in a rijuni.
/'fa.ta i 'liŋ.gwa Van.'da.la a pa.'ʁu.lu. u.zi.'ja.li du.'ʁin.ti di.ða 'ʁe:.nu van.'da.lu in al Af.'ʁi.ka si.tun.ʧu.'na.li. 'is.ti ði 'liŋ.gwam ʔis.pi.ʁu.'ma.ni.ka faʁ.ti.'min.ti su.ja nflu.'in.ʧa 'pu.ni.ka, i 'au.tʁas 'liŋ.gwas af.ʁu.as.i.'at.i.ʧas. i a ʁi.'ʤu.ni./
|Nominative - accusative|
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Historical phonology
- 3 Phonotactics
- 4 Morphology
- 4.1 Nouns
- 4.1.1 Declensions
- 4.1.2 Gender and number
- 4.1.3 The genitive construction (construct, possessed or governed state)
- 4.1.4 The indefinite state
- 4.1.5 Diminutives and colloquial variants
- 4.2 Adjectives
- 4.3 Personal pronouns
- 4.4 Verbs
- 4.4.1 Historic development
- 4.4.2 Imperatives and non-finite forms
- 4.4.3 Regular verbs: first conjugation: amaz ("to love")
- 4.4.4 Irregular 1st conjugation verb: maθukaz (to eat)
- 4.4.5 Regular verbs: second conjugation, type A: ligiz, "to bind"
- 4.4.6 Regular verbs: second conjugation, type B: sabiz, "to know"
- 4.4.7 Irregular 2d. conjugation verb: duxiz ("to lead, to teach")
- 4.4.8 Irregular 2d. conjugation verb: faxiz ("to make")
- 4.4.9 Irregular 2d. conjugation verb: fuθiz
- 4.4.10 Irregular 2d. conjugation verb: mutiz ("to die")
- 4.4.11 Irregular verb: issiz (to be)
- 4.4.12 Irregular verb: istaz (to stand, to remain)
- 4.4.13 Irregular verb: aviz (to have)
- 4.4.14 Irregular verb: aθaz ("to go")
- 4.4.15 Irregular verb: vuliz ("to want, to want to, to be going to")
- 4.4.16 Irregular verb: pudiz ("to be able")
- 4.1 Nouns
- 5 Syntax
- 5.1 Prepositions: combining forms and clitics
- 5.2 The noun phrase
- 5.3 The verb phrase
- 5.4 Uses of the emphatic pronouns
- 5.5 Indefinite and specifying adjectives and pronouns
- 5.6 The declarative sentence
- 5.7 Interrogative sentences
- 5.8 Conjunctions
- 5.9 Subordinate clauses
- 6 Vocabulary
- 7 Example text
- 8 Notes
|Stops||p b||t d||k ɡ||ʔ|
|Affricates||θ ð||t͡ʃ d͡ʒ|
|Fricatives||f v||s z||ʃ ʒ||x ɣ||ʁ|
|Close||i i:||u u:|
Vandalic native words distinguish between four primary vowels: /a e i u/. Vowel length is not phonemic; vowels are long in open syllables and short in checked, with the exception of /e/. The language is syllable-timed rather than stress-timed. One diphthong exists, /au/. Note that the vowel /e/ is always pronounced long, as if it were a diphthong; it represents proto-Vandalic /ai/.
'O' does not exist in native words; when borrowed, it is usually realized as /u/.
The sound /w/ has an uncertain status as a phoneme in Vandalic. It typically appears in the combination /gw/: guira /gwi.ʁa/ "war"; aguantu /a.gwan.tu/ "stamina, vitality".
|A a||[a], [a:]||B b||[b]|
|C c||[k]||D d||[d]|
|E e||[e:]||F f||[f]|
|G g||[g]||H h||[ʔ]|
|Ө θ||[θ], [ð]||I i||[i], [i:]|
|J j||[ʤ]||K k||[k]|
|L l||[l]||M m||[m]|
|N n||[n], [ŋ]||(O o)||see text|
|P p||[p]||Q q||[k]|
|R r||[ʁ]||S s||[s], [z]|
|T t||[t]||U u||[u], [u:]|
|V v||[v]||(W w)||see text|
|X x||[ʃ]||Y y||[j]|
|Z z||[z]||(8 8)||see text|
The spelling of Vandalic is strongly phonemic and regular. Vandalic uses the Latin alphabet plus Ө, θita:
A B C D E F G H Ө I J K L M N (O) P Q R S T U V (W) X Y Z (8)
The phonetic values of these characters do not strongly vary. A number of digraphs are used in the spelling as well.
- Always /a/ or /a:/, depending on the syllable. The phonetic value of a hovers somewhere between /a/ and /æ/.
- Always /b/
- Realized as /k/, or /t͡ʃ/ before i or e. Vandalic redundantly uses three characters for /k/ sounds. Before a, K is always written for /k/. Before u, v, or i, Q is written for /k/. Before consonants and word-finally, C is written for /k/.
- Always /d/
- Always /e:/. This sound cannot appear in an unstressed syllable and always represents a long vowel even in a checked syllable.
- Always /f/. In early texts, this sound is written with the character 8, which is no longer in current use. When 8 is used for /f/ the character F has the value /v/: archaic 8afa, current fava "bean".
- Always /g/
- Always /ʔ/.
- As /θ/ or /ð/. These sounds are in complementary distribution. /θ/ appears word-initially or word-finally. /ð/ appears between two vowels. When the character is part of a consonant cluster, it will be voiceless if the stops in the cluster are voiceless, and voiced if they are not.
- As /i/ or /i:/.
- Always /d͡ʒ/. Uncommon.
- Always /k/. Written before a; see note on C, above. Note also that the written distinction between the usage of k,q, and c gives rise to regular spelling variation in some adjectives with different forms for masculine and feminine gender: biluqu, biluka, "narrow", but biluc a θumini "the narrows of the river".
- Always /l/.
- Always /m/.
- Always /n/.
- Not used in native words. When it appears, as U.
- The letter o was formerly written, and is still written by a few elderly people, in words considered taboo or ill-omened: tabotu (current tabutu) "coffin"; motiz (current mutiz), "to die". This usage is obsolete, and never affected the pronunciation. Model alphabets and fonts made for Vandalic often include 8, but never include O. Before the late eighteenth century, the character O was also found in many personal names, especially for families originating outside the Vandalic speaking area. During that period these were universally respelled with U, no matter how old or prestigious they were. Note also that in Vandalic speaking areas the number zero is always written Ø, with a slash. The figure of an otherwise unornamented circle is associated with matxasma ( < Gk. μάτιασμα) or enara ( < Punic OYNHRO), the evil eye.
- Always /p/.
- As /k/. Written before u, v, and i. See note on C, above.
- The R-sound of Vandalic is uvular /ʁ/ as in French or Danish. The trill /r/ exists for some speakers but is considered nonstandard.
- As /s/, or /z/ between two vowels. /s/ between two vowels is written ss.
- As /t/.
- As a vowel, /u/ or /u:/. Sometimes realized as /w/ when occurring between a consonant and another vowel.
- As /v/
- Not used in native words. As /v/.
- Always /ʃ/.
- Always /j/. Exclusively a consonant.
- As /z/, except in verb infinitives, where it is realized as /ʒ/, or /z/ if the consonant preceding the infinitive ending is x, zz, or j.
- Always /aʊ/
- Always /x/
- Always /ɣ/
- Always /s/
- Always /ʧ/
- Always /ʒ/
It was noted early on in the late Roman Empire that the Latin of North Africa was strongly innovating. Augustine of Hippo observed that his Latin speaking contemporaries in Africa paid no heed to the shortness or length of Latin vowels. Graffiti from the period contain broad departures from classical orthographical norms; in several inscriptions the form oze appears for Latin hodie.
As with most other Romance languages, Vandalic is open to influences and reborrowings from Latin itself (such words are called qultranus), which will nevertheless be conformed to Vandalic's own phonology and derivational processes: lungituθ "longitude".
The closest relatives of Vandalic, historically speaking, are the Shax dialects to the westward in Mauretania. Like Vandalic, Shax appears to have substantially reordered the inherited vowel system of Vulgar Latin. On the other hand, the cultural connections of the Vandalic speakers have generally been with Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia. Western Vandalic dialects have a number of innovating (loss of the -m marker of the indefinite state) and conservative features (e.g., some Western Vandalic speakers still draw a distinction between assi /a.si/ "enough" and âssi /ɑ.si/ "bone".)
The Vandalic vowel system resembles the Sicilian vowel system, with one significant difference. Common Western Romance reduced the ten vowels of classical Latin /ă – ā, ĕ – ē, ĭ – ī, ŏ – ō, ŭ – ū/ to seven /a ɛ e i ɔ o u/. Sicilian merges /e - i/ to /i/, preserving /ɛ/ as e, and merges /o - u/ to /u/, preserving /ɔ/ as o. Proto-Vandalic took this a step further; the seven vowels of Western Romance were at one point reduced to three in Proto-Vandalic:
- Western Romance /a, ɔ/ > Proto-Vandalic */a/ HABET "he has" > avi; OSSE "bone" > assi
- Western Romance /ɛ, e, i/ > Proto-Vandalic */i/ VERUM > viru; CENA > xina; VIRTUTEM > virtuθ
- Western Romance /o, u/ > Proto-Vandalic */u/ HODIE > uzi; MURUM > muzzu
These changes happened to all vowels. Unstressed vowels were reduced to /a, u, i/ earlier, so that most unstressed O will appear as u. Proto-Vandalic had two diphthongs, */ai/ and */au/. Current Vandalic e represents proto-Vandalic */ai/; but /au/ is preserved:
- mema "seawater" < *maima (Punic MIIM)
- exa "wife" < *aiʃa; (Punic AIShH)
- ame "I loved < *amai < AMAVI
- AMAVIT > *AMAUT > amau "he, she, it loved".
While the inherited vowels of Vulgar Latin have been substantially reduced in the number of contrasts they display in Vandalic, the same cannot be said of the consonants. The Vandalic inventory of consonant phonemes has been substantially expanded. The results of the Vulgar Latin consonants are somewhat less regular than the vowel reduction due to a number of factors, including analogy, levelling, and borrowing from other Romance languages.
One aspect of the interplay between vowels and consonants should be noted at the outset. Proto-Vandalic, like most of the other Western Romance languages, at one time added an epenthetic weak vowel before certain groups, especially those derived from Latin words in ST-, SP-, SK-; SPATHA > Spanish espada, French épée, etc., but Vandalic spaθa. Vandalic at one time had these vowels as well. With some exceptions among shorter words (istaz, "stand) these are consistently lost. Less consistently but frequently, unstressed vowels at the head of a word are also lost: CABALLUM > *txivalu > xvalu. This also affects Latin prefixing words in IN-, IM-, AD-, AL- regularly, and words in DE-, EX-, AD- less consistently. This results in a new consonant cluster in Vandalic, which are occasionally simplified, and which can alter the effect of regular phonological changes.
- P, standing alone at the syllable, or as part of most consonant clusters, is preserved. PISCEM "fish" > pixi; PRIMERE "press" > primiz.
- Initial PL-, CL-, FL- but not BL- regularly become Vandalic θ-: PLUVIUM "rain" > θuviu; CLAMARE "call" > θamaz; FLOREM "flower" > θuri: but compare BLANCUM > biyanqu "white"; BLEMMYE > blimi "Caucasian, White European". In proto-Vandalic the /l/ quality of all of these sounds was lost, and they became palatized to */pj-, kj, fj-/, and /bj-/. Medially this is less regular, and the outcome can be altered by prior nasals: AMPLIUM "plentiful, wide" > amfiyu. This change can also be averted by analogy. PLICARE "fold" > fikaz rather than **θikaz under the analogical influence of IMPLICARE "enfold" mfikaz /m̥fi.kaʒ/.
- Between two vowels, P becomes b: LUPUM "wolf" > lubu.
- T has a strong tendency to palatize variously to x, or z in front of an unstressed historic E or I: NATIONEM "nation" > nazun; *PETTIA "fragment" > pitxa. This process is also spread by analogy, when consonant clusters would ordinarily prevent it: CANTIONEM > kanxun; -xun is the usual reflex for the suffix -TIONEM. When the /t/ occurs as a part of a consonant cluster, it is retaibed as /t/, even if the consonant cluster is simplified: DENS, DENTEM > dinti; NOCTEM "night" > nutti.
- Between two vowels, T may become θ; TOTUM "whole" > tuθu. Dissimilation and analogy can partially resist this change: ROTELLA "knee" > rudiθa; here the /t/ gets stuck at the intermediate state of /d/ to avoid **ruθiθa. Final -t tends to get dropped outside of monosyllables. In other positions, T is retained.
- K (C) palatizes, almost always to x, before historic E or I: CAELUM "sky" > xilu; CENA > xina. This is also the usual outcome of -ST- in the middle of words when followed by E or I: BESTIA > bixia.
- Between two vowels, /k/ usually becomes g. CACARE "defecate" > kagaz. This new /g/ is potentially subject to further palatalization if followed by i; COQUINA > *CUCINA > qughina. In the groups -ACU-, -AGU-, -OCU-, -OGU-, -UGU- it is very frequently lost: FOCUM "fire, fireplace" > fau; LACUNA "gap" > launa.
- Elsewhere, K/C is preserved as /k/.
- Note also the treatment of initial CL-, noted under P above.
- QU: The /kʷ/ of words such as QUOD is always simplified to /k/: ka.
- B tends to remain unchanged from the original Vulgar Latin: BONUM > banu, BELLUM > biθa; LABORARE > laburaz. Betwen two vowels, it tends to become v: BIBERE "drink" > biviz. It may disappear between two vowels, similar to G below: FABULA "story" > *favula > faula; PARABOLUM "word" > *paravulu > parulu.
- D has a strong tendency to palatize to /z/ when it precedes historic I: HODIE "today" > uzi DIEM "day" > ziya (with gender regularization and vowel dissimilation). In front of historic E this process is far less regular.
- Between vowels, it usually becomes θ, the same as /t/: CALIDUM "warm" > kaliθu.
- G shares much of its fate with C, above. Initially, before historic I or E it often appears as /ɣ/: GELUM "cold" > ghilu. Non-initially, before an unstressed historic /i/ or /j/ it is likely to become zz: HOMAGIUM "homage" ? umazzi. As with C, it is liable to be dropped when it appears by itself between a and u: FAGUM "beech tree" > faua (with gender clarification).
- In some words, most notably from MAGNUS and MAGIS, original /g/ became */j/: so MAGNUm "big" > */majnu/ > menu and MAGIS "more" > */majs/ > mes.
- H is dropped, everywhere. HONOREM "honor" > anuri. The written character h represents /ʔ/, which sometimes arises due to vowels in hiatus, but more frequently appears in non-Romance or recent borrowings: bahalu /ba.ʔa.lu/ "husband, lord, mister"; hutel /ʔu.te:l/ "hotel".
- L is preserved initially and word-finally, but LL almost universally becomes θ, as does the group -LI- when the vowel is unstressed. SOL "sun" > sul; ANIMAL > animal, LEPOREM "rabbit" > lipuri; HUMILITATEM > umildaθ; but FOLIUM> "leaf" > faθu, BELLUM "pretty" > biθu.
- M is preserved initially and usually preserved medially. Word-finally, it is lost except in monosyllables. In monosyllables, it often changes to n where it is syntactically significant, and an echo vowel follows it: SUM "I am" > sunu; CUM "with" > qunu.
- N is preserved initially and usually preserved medially, but has a tendency to be dropped medially when it appears before another consonant in a syllable coda. NUCEM "nut" > nuxi; REMANERE "remain" > rimaniz; but MANDUCARE "chew, eat" > maθukaz.
- R is preserved as a uvular consonant /ʁ/, which is liable to further changes and can become zz or z, especially between vowels. The -ARE. -ERE, -IRE of the Latin infinitive endings generally become /ʒ/, but on verbs this is written as -az or -iz rather than with zz. The shift from /ʁ/ to /ʒ/ is usual before u, and also affects the group -RS-; MURUM "wall" > muzzu, DORSUM "back" > dazzu. This change is never fully reliable. The /ʁ/ sound, however, is very infrequent word finally. In nouns of the three vowel declensions, the final vowel is regularly dropped when the noun appears as the possessed item in a genitive construction ("the wall of, the back of"). The change is therefore motivated by the possibility of regular loss of the final vowel. Final -r occurs in non-Romance vocabulary. In Latin derived lexical items it usually arises from the loss of a final vowel.
The sound may be lost before nasal sounds: DORMIRE > dumiz. The sound persists as /ʁ/ elsehwere: HARENA "sand" > arina; GARRIRE "talk" > * EXGARRARE > "betray" sgaraz; REGEM "king" > rey.
- F is usually preserved in all positions. It is very rare word-finally in Vulgar Latin, so that does not become an issue. FORNACE "furnace" > furnax; *NENUFAR "water lily" > ninufazz. Note also the treatment of FL-, discussed above.
- S is lost word-finally unless it has morphemic significance, as in the accusative plural. Medially it may become z, or be realized as /z/ in speech; the digraph ss is written to avoid that. SAGITTA "arrow" > seta; *ESSERE "to be" > issiz.
- Z, rare in Classical Latin, is retained as z.
- J (/j/, consonantal I in Classical Latin) initially typically becomes zz initially: IUSTITIA > zzustiθ. It typically blends with consonants surrounding it in non-initial position; ADJUVARE > ajuvaz "help". On occasion, words with initial vowels acquire a /j/ sound, possibly through mis-division: AQUA > yaua "water". Note also EQUUS > yivu "stallion", and EQUA > yiga "mare".
- V, /w/ in Classical Latin, becomes /v/ in the Vulgar Latin and is usually preserved. VOTUM > vuθu. ADVENIRE "arrive" > aveniz. The /w/ quality of the QU is consistently lost: QUARE > kazzi. In some areas /w/ persisted longer than others. Since /w/ cannot appear word-initially in current Vandalic, these words acquired a vagrant /gw/ reproducing the environment where /w/ occurred most often: VINUM > guinu "wine". In some contexts the /w/ was later dropped: VIVERE > *guiviz > giviz "to live".
Consonant and glide
- GI-, DI- before another vowel become j or zz: RADIUS > raju "spoke"; DIABOLUM > zzaulu "devil".
- CI- TI- before another vowel become x or tx. ACTIONEM "action" > atxun,
- Initial CL- FL-, PL- all become θ PLURES FLORES "more flowers" > θuris θuris
- LI- before another vowel becomes θ. PAPILIO "butterfly" > papiθ (with gender regularization)
- -TRE-, -TRI- often becomes tx: PATREM, MATREM "father, mother" > patxu, matxa (with gender regularization)
- -CT-, -PT- > tt; OCTO "eight" > attu; SEPTEM > sitti (combining form; also xibθi < Punic ShBOTh)
- -GN- > */ɲ/ > either ny or /jn/: compare REPUGNARE "repel" > ripunyaz; but occasionally MAGNA "large" > *mayna > mena.
- -KS-, -X-, -PS- > ss: LAXARE "loosen" > lassaz
- -LL- > θ; *ALLARE "walk" > aθaz
- -NS- usually becomes z: MENSA "table" > miza
- -RS- > zz; DORSUM "back" > dazzu
The treatment of Punic words is less predictable than the treatment of inherited Vulgar Latin words. The Punic script was a typical Semitic abjad; as such the vowels were not regularly written and varied according to tense, gender, and other grammatical functions. Just as with Romance words, etymological doublets exist; thus AYShH, borrowed twice with different vocalizations, underlies both exa "wife" and ixiθ "woman". The characters Alep (A), Yod (I), and Waw (U) were often used in Punic as matres lectionis to write a, i, u; they usually appear in these roles, but not predictably so. Ayin (O) usually becomes a, but is also liable to appear as h. Punic AY, OY will usually appear as e.
Generally, final Taw (Th) becomes θ; so can final He (H) if the word is feminine. In some feminine nouns, especially people words, final H' becomes -a. Het (Ch) becomes ch. Tet (T) becomes t, despite the fact that Tet is the original of θ and Taw the original of T. Shin (Sh) may become x or s, but Samek (S) becomes s regularly. Tzade (Tz) may become either tx or ts. Pe (P) usually appears as p but may become f, especially between vowels; likewise Bet (B) may become b or v. Both Kap (K) and Qop (Q) become /k/; this will be spelled according to the following vowel or consonant. Word final Resh (R) may become r or zz.
Punic nouns that end in Th and sometimes H become fourth declension nouns, and are the original models of the Vandalic fourth declension.
- BITh, BAITh > beθ "house"
- YRTh > eraθ "fee, bill"
- ChMTh > chamiθ "castle, fort"
- MTh, MUTh > maviθ "death"
- ThUPTh > tufiθ "inferno, Hell"
- PSGH > pisgaθ "top"
- ZUNH > zuniθ "prostitute"
Words ending in consonants will either be taken in as fourth or fifth declension nouns, or they acquire a stem vowel and join the first, second, or third declension. The briefer the word is, the likelier it is to acquire a stem vowel:
- OIR "city" > eru
- ShPT > sufiti "judge, ad-hoc leader"
- DR > daru "ancestors, lineage"
- BKR > biqizzu "firstborn son"
- BOL > bahalu "husband"
- AYShH > exa "wife"
- MRGL > margal "weasel, mongoose".
- ChMR > chamir "tar, pitch"
Short words can be accepted as is:
- RASh > rax "head, start"
- ShM > xim "name".
- AYSh > ix "human being"
Adjectives may join any of the declensions, but generally only the ones that acquire theme vowels will become I-II adjectives, and only Punic roots ending in Y will become III adjectives:
- RKY > raqiyu, raqiya "thin"
- UChD > uchid, uchid "unique"
- ChUY > chui, chui "lively"
- GDLH > gdul, gduliθ "large"
- QDSh > qudix, qudixa "sacred"
Verbs are usually assimilated into the first conjugation:
- YLD > iludaz "give birth"
- BRK > birakaz "bless"
- HLK > halakaz "be lost"
- ABB > avivaz "to sprout, to ripen"
Exceptions may occur if the Punic root ended in -Y. These will become conjugation IIb verbs:
- KSY > qissiz "to clothe."
The stressed syllable in Vandalic is very regular:
- If a word contains a syllable with e or au; that syllable is the stressed one. Otherwise:
- If a word ends in a vowel, the stressed syllable is the next to last; and
- If a word ends in a consonant, the final syllable is stressed.
These rules do not affect the placement of the accented syllables in consonant declension nouns, which add a syllable in the plural -is. They do vary the accented syllables of conjugated verbs.
Lexical words, as opposed to particles, prepositions, and grammatical particles, must contain at least two syllables in Vandalic.
The maximal size of a syllable is (C)CCCVCC: nstruminti /n̩stru.ˈmin.ti/ "instrument". The first consonant in such a cluster must be a nasal. Vandalic tolerates a wide variety of consonant clusters in the syllable onset: tfaraθ /'tfa:.raθ/ "splendor", θsauru /θsaʊ.ʁu/ "treasury", gdul /gdu:l/ "big", sfira /'sfi:.ʁa/ "ball".
Initial nasals are common in Vandalic: mpuni /m͡pu:.ni/ "untouched", nfanti /n̩.fa.nti/ "infant". If a stop follows, the nazal will be co-articulated with the stop:ndrazzu /n͡dʁa.ʒu:/ "self-reliance"; mbaxaθu /m͡ba.ʃa.ðu/ "message, messenger". Otherwise, they are lightly pronounced and syllabic. They are often silent unless the word preceeding them ends in a vowel itself.
Required separation of θ
The consonant θ is not allowed to appear twice in the same syllable, or twice in a row in the same word. This rule manifests itself mostly in verb conjugations and derivational processes: qunfuθiz "to confuse, befuddle" has the past participle qunfutuθu rather than **qunfuθuθu. It may appear twice if a different consonant intervenes: θuliθ "worm".
Other affricates tend to separate themselves as well, but no such separation is mandatory, and the phenomenon gives rise to no subirregular features like the separation of θ does.
Sandhi effects in Vandalic mostly affect vowels at word boundaries. Identical vowels tend to coalesce and one is dropped. Vowels in hiatus will be separated either by the insertion of h /ʔ/ or y /j/.
The grammatical cases of Latin have generally been lost, as they have been in all the other Western Romance languages. On the other hand, it inflects nouns for number, possessed state, and indefinite state. Adjectives agree in gender and number with their nouns.
Vandalic nouns are either masculine or feminine. As in other Western romance languages, the masculine gender contains the Latin neuters as well as the masculine nouns. Most words borrowed into Vandalic become masculine.
Vandalic nouns have five declensions, each of which will be obvious from the citation form. They are:
The vowel declensions
- The first declension, with nouns ending in -a. These tend to be uniformly feminine. This continues the Latin first declension directly. Most fifth declension nouns also end up here.
- The second declension, with nouns ending in -u. These tend to be uniformly masculine. This continues the Latin second and fourth declensions.
- The third declension, with nouns ending in -i or -e. These may be of either gender. Nouns in -e exhibit a number of irregularities. Some Latin third declension nouns, the Latin i-stems, and many that have the same number of syllables in the nominative and oblique cases, end up in this declension. First and second declension Latin nouns in -IUS, -ÆUM, -IA, -EUS and the like also have a chance of being pressed into this declension.
The consonant declensions
- The fourth declension, with nouns ending in -θ. These are all obligate feminines. Originally most fourth declension nouns are non-Romance. The class was swelled by many Latin derived feminine abstract nouns in -TATEM, which generally become -taθ; and -TUTEM, -TUDINEM, both of which become -tuθ.
- The fifth declension, with nouns ending in a consonant other than -θ. These may be of either gender. This continues the Latin third declension nouns that dropped their final vowels.
Gender and number
The gender of most Vandalic nouns is apparent from their citation form.
Masculine nouns take the definite article a, or al if the noun begins with a vowel: a xvalu /a ʃva.lu/ "the horse"; al ilu /al i.lu/ "the god". If this article follows a vowel, it takes the form ha /ʔa/.
Feminine nouns take the definite article ya: ya xvala /ja ʃva.la/ "the mare"; ya ilaθ /ja i.laθ/ "the goddess". Before initial a- it elides to y.
All of the three vowel declensions take a plural in -s. In the two consonant declensions, the plural is almost always -is. The definite article in the plural is alternatively a or u: a xvalus "the horses", u xvalas "the mares", u taliθis "the girls" a agafis "the wings". Nouns in -e have plurals in -as: a pile "the cap" > a pilas.
Names of cities, countries, trees, and vehicles are feminine. Names of mountains and rivers are usually masculine unless obviously feminine in form.
The genitive construction (construct, possessed or governed state)
The genitive inflection of Vandalic is essentially a possessed, rather than a possessive state. The marked form is the possessed noun rather than the possessor. Where Latin says equus patri, "the father's horse", Vandalic marks the horse rather than the father: xval a patxu (horse-POSSESSED the father), "the horse of the father". The possessor always takes a definite article in the construction, even if it is a personal name: xval a Piθru "Peter's horse". The possessed form typically does not take an article, but generally only takes an article if required by other syntax. The possessed state is usually a shortened or simplified form of the word.
This construction works like a noun case, but adjectives modifying the noun do not change form to match it. It translates many adjectives formed from nouns, and as such Vandalic is fairly poor in derived adjectives: ulam ya viθa "eternal life", literally "an eternity of life"; tfarat ya ntinxun "glorious purpose", literally "glory of purpose."
Rules for the formation of the possessed state form are as follows:
- In the first declension, drop the -a:
- exa "wife" > ex: ex a bahalu /eːʃ a ba.ʔa.lu/ "the husband's wife".
- In the second declension, drop the -u:
- xvalu > xval: xval a Piθru /ʃval a pi.θʁu/ "Peter's horse".
- Note also that nouns in -iya and -iyu drop the final -ya, -yu. These tend to be learned or academic words:
- θiyuriya > θiyuri ya ivuluxun /θi.ju.'ʁi ja i.vu.lu.'ʃun/ "the theory of evolution"
- miθiyu > miθi ha zifris /mi.'ði ʔa 'zi.fʁis/ "the average of the numbers"
- In the third declensionm, drop -i. For the few nouns in -e, turn that to -a:
- dinti > dint; dint ya xvala /dint ja ʃva.la/ "the mare's tooth".
- pile > pila; pila ya duzint /pi.la ja du.zint/ "the professor's (f) cap"; pila ha duzint /pi.la ʔa du.zint/ "the professor's (m) cap"
- The loss of a syllable in the governed state of a noun in the vowel declensions does not result in a shift of the stressed syllable.
- In the fourth declension, change -θ to -t:
- beθ "house" > bet; bet ya exa /be:t ja e:ʃa/ "the wife's house"
- In the fifth declension, no change:
- sul "sun" > sul: sul a planiθi /sul a pla.ni.θi/ "the planet's sun".
In complex noun phrases, the construct state is marked on the last noun or adjective of the phrase: kaθi ya θus biluka > kaθi ya θus biluc a eru "the narrowest street of the city". It is not a 'case', and nouns and adjectives dp not need to 'agree' in constructness.
Note also that the construction can be used with infinitives as a verbal noun. The infinitive takes a definite article when used in this construction as well: xval a yagaz /ʃval a ja.gaʒ/ "a horse for hunting".
Indefiniteness and governed forms
Since the use of an article is required for the possessing form, indefiniteness must be noted differently if the possessing form is indefinite. This can be done in two ways.
The article can be changed to la, which marks the possessing noun as indefinite:
- chamit a rey - "the king's castle"
- chamit la rey - "a king's castle"
The possessing noun can, if a vowel stem, be cast into the indefinite state itself:
- sul a planiθim - "some planet's sun"
The two methods may be combined:
- chamit l'adunum - "the castle of some lord or another"
Emphatic and superlative nouns
The possessed plural form is also used as a sort of etymological figure to create emphatic or superlative nouns:
- reyis a rey "supreme king, king of kings"
- kanxunis ya kanxun "the greatest song, the song of songs"
Compare this to the use of the present participle as an emphatic etymological figure.
The indefinite state
The indefinite construction affects the first, second, and third declensions of nouns. Vandalic allows three levels of definiteness. The first is definite, a noun appears with the definite articles a, u (m. sing, all plurals) or ya (f. sing). The definite article conveys less syntactical information than in some other Romance language.
The first level of indefiniteness is defined by the absence of the definite article. Since the definite article is required by syntax in some constructions, it is not always available.
The second level of indefiniteness is the inflected indefinite. In all of the vowel stems, the first, second, and third declensions, it is inflected the same way: by adding -m to the vowel stem. It can appear with the definite article and keep indefinite meanings, and will appear with the article when required by syntax. The meaning of the suffix is somewhat stronger than an English definite, and is often best translated as "some kind of" or "a ____ of some sort or another".
- (ya) ziyam - "some day"
- (a) xvalum - "some kind of horse"
- (ya) nuttim - "one of these nights"
Plural potentiality is indicated by the suffix itself, and nouns so modified generally do not take plurals. One exception is pirsunu, "person", which distinguishes a singular pirsunum "someone or another" and pirsunumis "some people".
In narratives it is close to obligatory whenever a new character is introduced:
- Si drinti natt a yemi vaghantim.... "If on a winter night a traveller...."
Diminutives and colloquial variants
A variety of suffixes can be added to nouns to create diminutives and other colloquial variants. Some of the suffixes include:
- -iθa, -iθu
- This is the diminutive suffix.
- -atxa, atxu
- This is a pejorative suffix.
- -una, -unu
- This suffix suggests that whatever the word describes is unusually large.
The suffixes change their form to match the gender of the original noun. Some of the words modified by the suffixes have been lexicalized: auxiθu, "bird", represents AVICELLUM from AVIS. Likewise patxunu "patron, benefactor" comes from patxu "father" + -unu.
Adjectives agree with the nouns they modify in gender and number, but not in "case"; adjectives do not take the inflections for the indefinite or the possessed states of the noun.
A group of nouns of different genders modified by a single adjective defaults to the masculine: al ix i ya ixiθ raqiyus "the thin man and woman".
Adjectives must agree with the nouns they modify in gender and number. As a result, many adjectives are declined in multiple declensions. These are the patterns they exhibit:
- I - II adjectives. These adjectives use first declension forms for the feminine, and second declension for the masculine: siqu, sika "dry". Past participles decline under this category: ligiθa, ligiθu "tied"
- III - III adjectives. These adjectives appear invariant, because the same third declension form gets used for both genders: livi, livi "light". Present participles decline under this category: maθukanti "eating".
- V - V adjectives. These adjectives have fifth declension forms in both masculine and feminine: reyal, reyal "royal"; uchid, uchid "unique".
- V - IV adjectives. These adjectives have fifth declension forms in the masculine, and fourth declension forms in the feminine: gdul, gduliθ "big, strong".
- V - I adjectives. These adjectives have fifth declension forms in the masculine, and first declension forms in the feminine: qudix, qudixa "holy".
Most adjectives compared by the comparative particle θus, and add the definite article (y)a θus to form the superlative: kaliθu "warm", θus kaliθu "warmer", a θus kaliθu "warmest".
Some common adjectives preserve analytic forms from Latin:
- banu "good"; miθur "better", atimu "best"
- malu "bad"; piθur "worst", pissimu "worst"
- menu "big"; mijur "bigger", massimu "biggest"
- parvu "small"; pijur "smaller"; but a θus parvu "smallest"
Just about any adjective can be turned into an adverb by adding the suffix -minti to the feminine singular form. The handful of fourth declension adjectives ending in -θ add an a to the end: tuθa > tuθaminti "totally"; livi > liviminti "lightly"; gduliθ > gduliθaminti "hugely".
|1p. sing.||iu||miu, mia||mi||me|
|1p. pl.||nu||nastru, nastra||nu||nuvi|
|2p. sing.||tu*||tu, tua||ti||tivi|
|2p. pl.||vaiz*||vastru, vastra||vaiz||vaiz|
|3p. sing.||θi (m), θa (f),||su, sa||θu (m), θa (f)||θui (m/f)|
|3p. pl.||iθi||su, sa||θus||θuru|
3p. sing. pl.
* Note that the usage of tu and vaiz in old fashioned or prescriptive Vandalic is governed by social status as well as number, and vaiz is the traditional form of address to strangers. Tu has gained ground at its expense, however. In very old fashioned Vandalic, vaiz also takes a third person plural verb; this is no longer generally observed.
All of these forms tend to lose their leading i when they follow a vowel.
Regular verbs in Vandalic fall into two conjugations. The first conjugation continues the Latin first conjugation in -ARE. The second conjugation continues the Latin second and third conjugations in -ERE, -IRE The second conjugation contains a subtype that differs only in the first person singular and third person plural: sabiz "know" has sabiyu rather than **sabu, and sabiyun rather than sabin.
The phonological changes that took place between Vulgar Latin and Proto-Vandalic tended to flatten some of the distinctions in verb inflections. As such Vandalic does not preserve some of the distinctions that generally remain in other Romance languages. The perfect tense, which in the first conjugation regularly was formed with an -AV- suffix, merges with the imperfect tense formed with an -AB- suffix.
Personal endings have been strongly regularized. Irregularities, when they occur, tend to be confined to the present tense forms, as are most of the differences between the two surviving conjugations. Subirregular lexical variations may involve the formation of the preterit or the future stems. A generalized paradigm of personal endings would look something like:
|Indicative||Present||-u (I, IIa), -iyu (IIb)||-as (I), -is (II)||-a (I), -i (II)||-amu (I), -imu (II)||-aθi (I), -iθi (II)||-an (I), -un (IIa), -iyun (IIb)|
|Future||-are (I), -ire (II)||-aras, -iras||-ara, -ira||-aramu, -iramu||-araθi, -iraθi||-aran, -iran|
|Subjunctive||Present||-im (1) -am (IIa) -iyam (IIb)||-is (1) -as (IIa) -iyas (IIb)||-i (i) -a (IIa) -iya (IIb)||-imu (I) -amu (IIa) -iyamu (IIb)||-iθi (I) -aθi (IIa) -iyaθi (IIb)||-in (I) -an (IIa) -iyan (IIb)|
Given the falling together of formerly distinctive vowels that defines the Vandalic sound system, the four conjugations of Latin were reduced to only two forms in Vandalic, with the first conjugation claiming verbs in -ARE and the second containing both types of verb in -ERE and the verbs in -IRE. The IIb verbs continue to distinguish verbs whose first person present was -EO and -IO as opposed to those that simply ended in -O.
The preterit endings, as noted, result from the merger of the Latin imperfect and perfect tenses. The first and third person singulars directly continue the Vulgar perfect inflections in *-AI and *-AUT. The predicted outcome of the second person singular perfect Classical ending -ISTI is identical to the second person plural -ISTIS. so here the imperfect form in -s prevailed. The plurals uncomplicatedly continue the Latin perfect endings.
The future is in origin the familiar Vulgar Latin compound future tense of infinitive+HABEO. The -z of the Vandalic infinitive, which developed later, changes back to the familiar -r- here.
In the subjunctive, I and IIa verbs exchange their present tense endings; a subjunctive first conjugation verb looks very much like an indicative IIa verb. The IIb verbs insert a theme vowel and glide consistently.
The preterit subjunctive carries forth the Latin perfect subjunctive and is usually built upon the perfect stem. It continues the Vulgar truncation of the vowels in the perfect stem: AMAVERIM > *amairim > amerim.
Unlike many other Western Romance language, Vandalic does not preserve the Latin pluperfect subjunctive with its characteristic -SSE- infix. This would conflict with a frequently encountered derivational suffix for inceptive verbs (viridissiz "to turn green"). Nor did Vandalic develop a conditional mood from subjunctive versions of the HABEO future tense marker, and continues to use the subjunctive for this purpose, as Latin did and Sardinian still does.
Imperatives and non-finite forms
In addition to the personal conjugated forms, Vandalic verbs have an imperative, usually formed by dropping the -z from the infinitive: ama "love!" There is a plural imperative that adds -θu to the stem; this has a strong archaic air, and has jussive or desiderative overtones, and appears currently if at all only in legal or religious texts: amaθu "may ye love". This, however, is the only imperative of issiz "to be: isθu "may you be".
There is a present participle, in -anti for the first conjugation, and -inti in the second. This is a third declension adjective.
There is a past participle, often but not invariably in -aθu / -aθa in the first conjugation. In the second conjugation, -iθu is common, but forms in -uθu occur. In dental stems sometimes the vowel is elided and the ending is -tu. For the small number of verbs with stems ending in Vθ-, the participle is formed with -adu: muθaz 'to get wet, to moisten, to water' > muθadu, muθada "wet, moistened". All of these participles are first and second declension adjectives.
Regular verbs: first conjugation: amaz ("to love")
- Infinitive: amaz
- Present participle: amanti
- Past participle: amaθu, amaθa
Irregular 1st conjugation verb: maθukaz (to eat)
Most verbs in -Vkaz are conjugated the same way.
- Infinitive: maθukaz
- Present participle: maθukanti
- Past participle: maθukaθu, maθukaθa
Regular verbs: second conjugation, type A: ligiz, "to bind"
- Infinitive: ligiz
- Present participle: liginti
- Past participle: ligiθu, ligiθa
Regular verbs: second conjugation, type B: sabiz, "to know"
- Infinitive: sabiz
- Present participle: sabinti
- Past participle: sabuθu, sabuθa
Irregular 2d. conjugation verb: duxiz ("to lead, to teach")
Most verbs in -xiz follow this pattern.
- Infinitive: duxiz
- Present participle: duxinti
- Past participle: duxiθu, duxiθa
Irregular 2d. conjugation verb: faxiz ("to make")
The verb difaxiz, "to unmake, mar, deface, bestow a curse on" is also conjugated this way. Most of the many compounds of this verb have -fixiz, and as such are regular IIb verbs.
- Infinitive: faxiz
- Present participle: faxinti
- Past participle: fatu, fata
Irregular 2d. conjugation verb: fuθiz
Several other verbs follow this pattern, including batiz "beat, strike" and qungriz "resemble", as well as the compounds of fuθiz itself, such as (si) difuθiz "exhaust" and qunfuθiz "befuddle, botch, confuse, mess up".
- Infinitive: fuθiz
- Present participle: fuθuinti
- Past participle: futuθu, futuθa
Irregular 2d. conjugation verb: mutiz ("to die")
Like aθaz, this is a suppletive verb. It represents two roots: Latin MORI "die", which became *MORIRE in Vulgar Latin; and the Punic roots mut / muθ and maviθ (MUTh), "to die" and "death".
- Infinitive: mutiz
- Present participle: muzzinti
- Past participle: muttu, mutta
Irregular verb: issiz (to be)
This verb has different forms based on whether it is used as a lexical verb or as an auxiliary.
|Indicative||Present||sunu, su||is||isti, i||sumu||isti||sun|
Irregular verb: istaz (to stand, to remain)
This verb sees some use as a copula, but not to the extent of Spanish estar.
Infinitive: istaz Present participle: stanti Past participle: staθu
Irregular verb: aviz (to have)
This verb has different forms when used as an auxiliary and when used as a lexical verb
|Indicative||Present||aviyu, he||avis, hes||avi, ha||avimu||aviθi||avin|
- Infinitive: aviz
- Present participle: avinti
- Past participle: aviθu, aviθa
Irregular verb: aθaz ("to go")
This contains suppletive forms from several original verbs, including VADARE, IRE and *ALLARE.
- Infinitive: aθaz
- Present participle: aθanti
- Past participle: vadiθu, vadiθa
Irregular verb: vuliz ("to want, to want to, to be going to")
The verbs mesvuliz, "prefer", and nivuliz "to not want", are also conjugated according to this pattern.
- Infinitive: vuliz
- Present participle: vulinti
- Past participle: vultu, vulta
Irregular verb: pudiz ("to be able")
- Infinitive: pudiz
- Present participle: pudinti
Prepositions: combining forms and clitics
A number of common prepositions have combining forms and clitics. Some also have altered forms when combined with the definite articles.
- a < AD "at, to, towards"
- ami, ati "to me, to you"; aθa, aya, alu ("at the" + articles, masculine, feminine, plural.")
- anti < ANTE "before"
- antiθa, antiya, antilu ("before the" + articles, masculine, feminine, plural.")
- atti < ? "until"
- attiθa, attiya, attilu ("until the" + articles, masculine, feminine, plural."); attiθa riturnu "goodbye".
- di < DE "of, from"
- dimi, diti "from me, from you"; diθa, diya, dilu ("from the" + articles, masculine, feminine, plural.")
- in "in, on"
- immi, inti, innilu, innila "in me, in you, in him, in her"
- la "with a, belonging to a"
- La is only used following possessed forms and cannot be used with definite possessors. It is a clitic preposition in origin.
- pur: < PER, PRO* "for"
- purθa, purya, purlu ("for the" + articles, masculine, feminine, plural.")
- qunu < CUM "with"
- miqun, tiqun, navisqun, vaisqun "with me, with you, with us, with you (pl.)"; quna, qunya, quna ("with the" + articles, masculine, feminine, plural).
- sin < SINE "without"
- simmi, sinti "without me, without you"
Other prepositions include:
- dibaxu < *DE BASSO "beneath, underneath"
- dipusti < *DE POST DE "after, following"
- indri < INTER "between, among"
- quntra CONTRA "against"
- su < SUB "under, beneath"
- suθa < SUPER ILLA "over, upon"
Note also these idioms:
- a kapu di, "ahead of"
- a qulum (a/ya/u), "at a dead end, done with" the noun following.
- fazi a, "towards, facing"
- kaθru a "across from"
- prisqu a "close to, almost as far as"
- pur a, "in order to"
- purθi, "for that reason, therefore, so"
- qulu di, "facing away from, behind, opposite"
- quntra di, "against, opposing"
- quran di or qurandi, "in front of"
- siqun di, "according to"
- supina di, "on penalty of"
- tras di or tras a, "behind, after"
- usc a or uska, "as far as"
These will take the clitics and combining forms of the simple prepositions they end with.
The noun phrase
Adjectives may follow or precede the nouns they modify. These positions are syntactically meaningful. The adjective second position is the default. Adjectives so placed are descriptive and specific. Adjectives preceding nouns are rhetorical or emphatic: banu guinum biyanqu "a good white wine".
Note also that Vandalic allows noun phrases in the possessed construction to substitute for derived adjectives: Pisaθu sunu di tfarat ya ntinxun: "I am burdened with glorious purpose"; rather than the derived adjective "glorious", Vandalic translates that as "glory" (tfaraθ, f.) "of purpose".
A similar construction places the abstract noun in the possessor spot: rudintis ya menituθ inuziali, "rodents of unusual size".
The verb phrase
In addition to the conjugated tenses, Vandalic verbs have a number of compound tenses.
Participles: compound tenses, passive, and emphatic constructions
A passive construction uses the past participle and issiz:
- duqu "I teach" > duxiθu su "I am taught". The full range of passive tenses and subjunctive forms is formed with the appropriate tenses of issiz.
A present progressive tense is likewise formed with the present participle:
- duxinti su "I am teaching"
- duxinti fue "I was teaching"
- duxinti sire "I will be teaching"
This construction is used much less frequently than in English.
Various past imperfect tenses is formed using aviz plus participles:
- duxe "I taught" > he duxiθu "I have taught";
- avue duxiθu "I had taught"
- avire duxiθu "I will have taught"
In constructions using aviz and a past participle, note that the participle agrees in gender with the direct object, if there is one:
- a duzint ha duxiθa ya fiθa /a du.ˈzint ʔa du.ˈʃi.ða ja ˈfi.ða/ - "the professor (m) has taught (f) the daughter (f)"
In earlier Vandalic, intransitive verbs were conjugated in the compound past tenses with issiz rather than aviz: viniz "to come"; **sunu vinuθu "I am come". This usage is archaic in current Vandalic and occurs only in a number of proverbs and fossil idioms.
Emphatic or superlative verbs
The present participle is also used idiomatically to create emphatic tenses in an etymological figure or polyptote. This is especially frequent with the future tense:
- muzzinti mutire - "I shall surely die"; literally "dying, I will die";
- aθant' iras - "You shall go"; literally "going, you will go."
The clitic queue
Word order in Vandalic is never more fixed than among the clitic pronouns and adverbial particles of the verb. In indicative and subjunctive sentences, all clitics immediately precede the verb. In imperative sentences, direct and indirect object pronoun clitics follow the verb. The usual order is:
- Uskam mi θu nu dunau
- ADVERBIAL PARTICLE - INDIRECT OBJECT - DIRECT OBJECT - NEGATIVE PARTICLE - HEAD VERB
- "He/she did not ever give it to me."
But, in imperative sentences, the object clitics follow the verb: Duna mi θu: "give it to me". "Adverbial particles" are words that modify verbs that are not derived from adjectives using the adverb suffix -minti. Adverbs in -minti are more freely relocatable and can appear after the verb, in the adverb position, or before the queue of clitic pronouns and particles. In fact, derived adverbs can appear between negative particles and the head verb when the intended meaning is to negate the adverb rather than the main verb:
- ...andraminti aθaz aduvi nuθu prim' aθau. "to boldly go where no one has gone before."
- ...andraminti nu aθaz... "to boldly not go."
- ...nu andraminti aθaz... "to go, but not boldly".
Reflexive verbs exist in Vandalic, but are not quite as prominent as they are in French or Portuguese. Here, they are less lexical fixtures and more in the nature of idioms, expressing that the self is the object as well as the subject of a verb. Reflexive verbs transform direct objects into prepositional phrases, usually with a. Most reflexive verbs also have forms expressing non-reflexive meanings:
- Yuhanu fidi Mariya. "John trusts Mary."
- Yuhanu si fidi a Mariya. "John relies on Mary."
As a direct object particle, the accusative reflexive pronoun's syntactical position is always determined by the clitic queue, meaning that the only thing that can stand between it and the head verb is a negative particle:
- Yuhanu si nu fidi a Mariya. "John doesn't rely on Mary."
- Qi Yuhanu si ni fida a Mariya. "John shouldn't rely on Mary."
Uses of the subjunctive mood
The uses of the Vandalic subjunctive can be divided into two classes: those introduced by the particle qi and those without. The particle qi substitutes for the relative marker qu in subjunctive clauses, but can appear independently without being part of a subordinate clause.
The subjunctive is called for in expressions of uncertainty or potentiality (irrealis). It also appears in polite requests (the ethic subjunctive). It is also grammatically obligatory in certain contexts regardless of actual mood or aspect.
Subjunctive verb phrases are negated with ni as opposed to indicative nu.
The subjunctive is routinely used with expressions of desire, preference, or doubt:
- Mesvulu qi ni guvirna in tal staθu. "I'd prefer for him/her not to drive in such a condition."
- Vuθes qi faxirimu statiminti "You wanted us to do it right away."
- Vulu qi sim uzzu in u jibal. "I wish I were a bear in the wilderness."
But, as noted, qi clauses can appear as main clauses. Expressions of wishes and the like call for it:
- Qi giva mili anus! "May he/she live a thousand years!"
- Qi muzzan al aristus! "Death to the aristocrats!"
- Qi avas prupitx a rey. "May you enjoy the King's favor."
as do some expressions of surprise, shock, or pleasure:
- Qi biθu si parul a mutu. "How beautiful is the word of the silent."
and in polite requests:
- Qi mi ajuvis pir favuri? "Can you help me, please?"
Other expressions that call for the subjunctive
It is grammatically required in clauses introduced by words that suggest potentiality or uncertainty, such as si, "if":
- Bamminti qiru si ami diga "ti amu". "I'd like it very much if he/she told me "I love you."
- Si saberim qi fussis vininti, turtam qugherim. "If I had known you were coming, I'd have baked a cake."
Some conventional expressions of wishes and desires omit qi:
- Giva ha rey! "Long live the king!"
Because Vandalic never developed a specific conditional form, unlike some other Romance languages, it requires past subjunctives where others use conditionals. This preserves the Latin usage:
- Biverim si ya fussi yaua. "I would drink if there were water." (Cf. Fr. Je boirais si il y avait de l'eau, but L. Biberim si aqua ibi fuerit.)
- Latiterim si pudrim. "I would run away if I could."
In declarative sentences, negation is fairly simple. The particle nu is placed before an indicative verb to negate it. If the verb is in the subjunctive, that particle is ni instead. The clitic queue generally requires nu and ni to be placed immediately before the word being negated.
Negative imperative sentences require recasting or auxiliaries. This is achieved either by recasting the command as a polite request and using the subjunctive:
- Qi ni fumis, pir favuri: "No smoking, please"
or the use of nivuliz, "do not want" as an auxiliary:
- Nivuli zuniθaz: "Thou shalt not commit adultery".
For extra politeness, combine both:
- Qi nivis zuniθaz, pir favuri. "Please don't commit adultery."
Uses of the emphatic pronouns
The emphatic pronouns have two chief uses:
- They are used as the complements of prepositions that do not have cliticized forms: a me "to me", anti tivi "ahead of you".
- They are used disjunctively, relating the following sentence to the person identified by the pronoun in some way; the most basic translation is "as far as ____ is concerned."
- Me, pudu qu ixa si vidi bastanti bini duvi 'sta. "As far as I'm concerned, that thing looks well enough where it is."
- The topic named by the emphatic pronoun in this construction does not need to appear in the following sentence:
- Өui, qi aθi ya partiya diquntra aya tufiθ. "As far as he/she is concerned, the opposition party can go to hell."
Indefinite and specifying adjectives and pronouns
- auqunu, auquna "someone"
- niunu, niuna "nobody"
- autru, autra "another, someone else"
- qiqunc "anybody, everybody"
- tal "that kind of, one of them"
Note also the indefinite state treated under "Nouns", above.
The declarative sentence
Vandalic word order is relatively free apart from fixed position clitics. The syntactic fixed star is that subject nouns precede direct object nouns. SVO and SOV are both possible, although SOV is a mark of formal style and SVO is rising in frequency. VSO can occur when the verb is more important than either subject or object, and is the rule in questions.
Vandalic is a pro-drop language. Subject pronouns are always optional. When they appear it is always emphatic. The chief use of nominative personal pronouns is to be modified as adjectives:
- Iu pauru i pitxusu... "Poor pitiful me". Iu paura i pitxusa... (f.)
In copular sentences, equating one thing with another or describing one noun in terms of another, the order of the elements is free:
- Nuθu pixim isti baθina
- Baθina 'sti nuθu pixim'
are equally valid translations of "A whale is no kind of fish." Where a noun and adjective are involved, the noun usually appears first:
- Baθinas sun gduliθis
"Whales are large", but the opposite is by no means impossible when the adjective is featured:
- Gdulis sun fatus a Karulu Menu.
"Great were the deeds of Charlemagne."
Questions get asked in Vandalic by the use of question words, which will be pronouns or adjectives. Qi is the most basic of these, "who" or "what". It is not declined for gender or number, and can be used with third person verbs of either number:
- Qi lassau a kanis? "Who (sing.) let the dogs out?"
- Qi lassirun a kanis? "Who (pl.) let the dogs out?"
Other question words include:
- kandu "when"
- qumu "how"
- aduvi "where"
- kantu "how many, how much"
- kazzi "why"
- purqi "why, what for?"
Most of these can be used relatively or as conjunctions, except for qi itself; in indicative verb phrases, the relative counterpart of qi is qu. When used relatively, aduvi is usually shortened, depending on the environment, to duvi, vi, or even sinply v'.
Tag questions and syntax
The other way a phrase can be tagged as a question is by placing the particle au (< AUT) at the head. This requires a syntactical transform: a subject noun cannot immediately follow au. A verb can, and an object can if the sentence verb contains a dropped subject pronoun. This encourages, but does not require, VSO order.
- Au rubau y' ubadiθ ya quruna? "Did the slave steal the crown?"
- Au ya quruna rubau? "Did she/he steal the crown?"
are equally possible. But:
- **Au y' ubadiθ rubau ya quruna?'
- **Au ya quruna 'sti rubaθa?
do not work; instead, the correct forms for the last sentence must be:
- Au 'sti ya quruna rubaθa? or
- Au 'sti rubaθa ya quruna? "Is the crown stolen?"
Some frequent Vandalic conjunctions follow. Note that some, such as va and si, primarily govern clauses rather than items on a list.
- affini, "so that, in order to"
- danic "while, until"
- drinti "during, while"
- dripinti "then, next"
- dunqi "therefore, so"
- i, "and"
- ma "but"
- paruc "but, however, nevertheless"
- pasti "after, next"
- qindi "since, because"
- qusi "like, as"
- si "if, whether". Usually introduces a clause in the subjunctive mood.
- sidi "but"
- va, "and, next, then". Joins clauses and sentences, not single words. Always appears first position in a sentence.
- vi, "or" (exclusive)
Note also these constructions:
- i karni i fitiqi "both meat and vegetables"
- au karni au fitiqi "either meat or vegetables" (or both)
- au karni vi fitiqi "either meat or vegetables" (choose one)
The large majority of relative clauses in Vandalic in the indicative mood will include the particle qu, "who, or what", indifferently. In the subjunctive mood, the marker qi takes its place. It can serve as a pronoun:
- Iθa ya siθa, in qu size. "That is the chair in (which) I sat."
- Qi sgari, paghi, supina di maviθ. "She/He who betrays, pays -- and pays with their life."
Sometimes, qu might be better translated as "someone" or "anyone". Note also that the main clause to which the qu clause is subordinate does not have to contain a verb:
- A qu sgara nuθa pitaθ "No mercy for anyone who betrays."
Neither qu nor qi inflect for number, gender, or case. In some contexts its case or antecedent can be somewhat obscure; in these cases it generally refers to the main clause as a statement. In these constructions they can mean little more than "and" or "so":
- Fui ya sictaθ tal mala, qu prighirun u paulu aθ' iθulum xicru. "The drought was so bad that the people prayed to a false idol."
- Tumbe in buqum neru tal prufundu, qu nu puve sfughiz. "I feel into a black hole so deep that I could not escape."
It can also be translated as "when" in some similar constructions:
- Fue uchid in u prufundu, qu rinquntre tivrun a gdul. "I was alone in the deep, when I encountered a huge shark."
In English, the relative marker can often be omitted. ("That's the chair I sat in.") In Vandalic it is never omitted.
About 70% of the Vandalic lexicon can still be traced directly back to the original Vulgar Latin. The marked reduction in contrasting vowel phonemes in the language's history, by contrast, has motivated some relexification.
Often, the homophones created by the mergers are simply tolerated: θuris θuris "more flowers". On occasion, they result in lexical mergers. The verbs DUCERE "lead" and DOCERE "teach" have enough in common that the concepts blur in the Vandalic. Similarly, USUALE "usual" has merged with *HODIALE "daily" to yield uziali "ordinary, everyday, normal, customary."
The deepest and most nativized level of non-Latin words in Vandalic is the Punic lexicon. Punic often supplies items lost due to semantic drift; when fiθu, fiθa stopped meaning "son, daughter" and became "boy, girl", the Punic words banu, binaθ (Punic BN, BNTh) stepped in to carry the load.
Greek (tigani, "pan" < τηγάνι; pulimiyu "police officer" < πολέμιος) and Arabic (asadu, "lion"; madrasa, "school") also made significant contributions to the lexicon. Unlike in Spanish or Portuguese, Arabic words are borrowed into Vandalic without the prefixed definite article al-.
|27||big||menu, mena / gdul, gduliθ|
|37||man (adult male)||ix|
|38||man (human being)||umu|
|Vandalic||Vandalus (people) or Vandala (language)|
|English||Inglisus (people) or Inglisa (language)|
|Hello!||Saluθu / Bana ziya|
|Good evening!||Bana sira|
|Good night!||Bana nutti|
|Please/if you please||Pir favuri|
|You are welcome||Nuθu 'sti|
|I am sorry||Pirdunu prighu|
|What is your name?||Qi 'sti a xim tu? / Qumu t' apiθas? (formal)|
|My name is...||Xim a mi 'sti.... / M'apiθu.... (formal)|
|I do not understand.||Nu kapizzu|
|Yes, I understand.||Si, kapizzu|
|Can you help me, please?||Qi mi ajuvis pir favuri?|
|Where are the toilets?||Duvi 'sti u vispas?|
|Do you speak English?||Au parulis y' Inglisa?|
|I do not speak Vandalic.||Vandala nu parulu.|
|I do not know.||Nu sabiyu|
|Left / right||Sistru / Distru|
|I am thirsty.||Istu siqu (m) Istu sika (f)|
|I am hungry.||Mi famiyu|
|How's it going?||Qumu vaθi?|
|I am fine.||Vaθi bamminti.|
|(How) may I help you?||Au pudrim ti ajuvaz?|
|She always closes the window
before she dines.
|(θa) simpri sfirma ya fnistra|
anti qu xina.
|I need a doctor.||Spiunu sunu (m)|
Spiuna sunu (f)
|Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.||Muxanas viridis sin quluri quliraminti dumiyun.|
|My hovercraft is full of eels.||Ya hidruvulanti mia 'sti θina diy' anguiθas.|
|My duck does not want to eat you.||Y' annia mia nivuθ ti maθukaz.|
|I am the king of the chickens.||Sunu rey a gaθinas.|
|My husband's bed is full of black sand. Why?||Litx a bahalu miu 'sti θinu di arina nera. Purqi?|
|I shall ask these peasants who
are coming towards us, if the
road by which they have come is bad.
|Qi θidam a razzalis qu viniyun|
fazi a nuvi, si a kaminu duvi
passirun isti malu.
|Go and tell your master that
we have been charged by God
with a sacred quest.
|Aθa tu i digi al tu mestru|
qu pisaθus sunu pir Ilu
aθa buxqiθa qudixa.
- Zero: nuθu, zifri, ziru
- 1-10: unu, du, txi, katuz, xinqi, sixi, xibθi, attu, navi, dizi.
- 11-20:: unθi, duθi, txisi, katuxi, xinxi, sisθi, sitθi, atxi, natxi, vinti
- 20 - 100: vinti, txinti, kazzanti, xinkanti, sistanti, sittanti, attanti, navanti, xintu
- 1000: mili
- 10,000: miri
- 100,000: dixmiri
- 1,000,000: miθun
Syntax: 32 - txinti du; 99 - navanti navi; 254 - du xintu xinkanti katuz; 2015 - du mili xinxi Unu is a II-I adjective; the rest are indeclinable.
These are all II-I adjectives:
- 1-10: primizzu, sigundu, txiθu, kattu, xintu, sistu, xibθimu, attivu, nanimu, diximu.
- 11-20:: unθimu, duθimu, txisimu, katuximu, xinximu, sisθimu, sitθimu, atximu, natximu, vintimu
Higher than these, you either add -mu/-ma to the ending, or use the corresponding form: 2001st - du mili primizzu; 2015th - du mili xinximu.
- Unu viθ, du viθ, txi viθ &c. - "once, twice, thrice" and so forth.
- Unu θitx (also uchid), du θitx, txi θitx &c. - "single, double, triple" and so forth.
Note also the expressions uchid viθ "only once" and uchid θitx "unique". Unu is "one", but uchid always means "only one". Simfitx also occurs, but means "uncomplicated".
Zzaniru, Fiveru, Matxi, Aprili, Meyi, Zzuni, Tmuzi, Austi, Sittimri, Attuvri, Navimri, Saθurni.
Zzaniru, Fiveru and Tmuzi are invariantly masculine. Aprili and Meyi are invariably feminine. The rest of the months can be either masculine or feminine, and are usually masculine.
Calendar dates are given using ordinal numbers. Katt a Tmuzi - "Fourth of July". Vint' i attim y' Attuvri - "Twenty-eighth of October."
- minuθu - "minute"
- ura - "hour"
- ziya - "day"
- simana - "week"
- mizi (m), kamar a sul (f) - "month"
- anu - "year"
Mizi is traditionally used for a lunar month, from one new moon to another. Note numizi "new moon" and idumizi "full moon". The purely solar months are kamar a sul, the "rooms of the sun", and kamara is used as the ordinary word for a calendar month.
Luniya, Matxiya, Mirquriya, Zzuviya, Jumuha, Xabaθ, Duminka
Expressions of time
The ordinal numbers are used as feminine nouns for calendar dates, except for the first, which is always kalenna; xint a Navimri "the fifth of November", but kalenn ya Meyi "the first of May".
Clock time is a cardinal number in possessed state al urluzzu "of the clock": xibθ al urluzzu, "seven o'clock". Katuz al urluzzu i xinxi: "Four fifteen'. Duθ al urluzzu i kazzanti du "Twelve forty-two". These can be matini, "A.M." before "noon", mizziya, or visprini, "P.M.", until "midnight", miθanutti.
Ariθi, Tauru, Zzimiθus, Kancri, Asadu, Biθuli, Maznimis, Squrpiya, Sazziter, Kapriqurnu, Fiθ ya Mema, Pixis
Pirqi Ilu a mundu tantu amau, q'si a Banu su dunau, al unighiniθu, affini si qiqunc criθinti innilu ni halaqira nuskam, me avira ulam ya viθa.
/piʁ.ki i.lu a mun.du tan.tu a.mau, ksi a ba.nu su du.nau al u.ni.ɣi.ni.θu, a.fi.ni.si ki.kuŋk kʁi.ðin.ti i.ni.lu ni ʔa.la.ki.ʁa nus.kam, me: a.vi.ʁa u.lam ja vi.ða/
The Lord's Prayer
Patxu nastru, qi 's in a xilu,
si santifikaθu tu xim;
viniya tu renu,
si fata vuluntaθ tua
suθa tira aqusi in a xilu.
A nuvi duna ha pani nastru uziali
i a nuvi pirduna amartiyas nastras
aqusi pirdunamu 'θus amartinti quntra di nuvi.
I nivuli a nu duxiz in ya tintaxun
sidi livera nu z'a malu.
Qindi Tus istu a Renu, i ya Pudistaθ, i ya Tfaraθ in ulam, amin.
/'pa.tʃu nas.tʁu, ki sin a 'ʃi.lu
si san.ti.fi.'ka.ðu tu ʃim
vi.'ni.ya tu 'ʁe:nu
si fa.ta vu.'lun.taθ 'tu.a
'su.θa 'ti.ʁa a.'ku.si in a 'ʃi.lu
a. 'nu.vi 'du.na ʔa 'pa.ni 'nas.tʁu u.zi.'al.i
i a 'nu.vi piʁ.'du.na ʔam.ar.'ti.jas 'nas.tʁas
a.'ku.si piʁ.du.'na.mu θus am.ar.'tin'ti 'kun.tʁa di 'nu.vi
i ni.'vu.'i ja nu 'du.ʃiz i ja tin.ta.'ʃun
'si.di li.'ve.ʁa nuz a 'ma.lu
'kin.di tus 'is.tu a 'ʁe:.na i a pu.dis.'taθ i ja tfa.'ʁaθ in u.'lam a.'min/
Adunu pasturi miu;
Mi faxi a zzaqiz in kampus viridis;
:mi duxi prisqu a yauas di ripuzu.
Rifaxi nifex mia;
:mi duxi pir kamin a zzustiθ, qusi a tu xim.
Sidi si aθerim inna vaθ ya maviθ, nu timare;
:qind' is tu miqunu; mi qunsulun i bastuni i baqulu tus.
Pusis misa fazi a mi quran di nimiqus mius;
:sparzzis a rax miu qun' uliya; a puqalu miu trabuqa.
I bontaθ i pitaθ mi seqiran pir ziyas tuθas ya viθa mia,
:i stiθire in ya bet al Adunu in ulam.
Babel Text (Gen. 11:1-9)
Avui tuθa tir ya lingua uchid i parulu issu. I vinau, qu latiterun diθ' urinti, invinirun latxum in ya tir a Xinar, i ya beθ si stiθirun. I si dixirun, ix al autru, 'viniθu qi faxiyamu latunas, qi qughamu 'θus pir a fau." I si dixirun, 'viniθu, qi qunstruamu turim, a qi sa pisgaθ a xilu atinga, qi nu faxiyamu xim, nivi simu spirsiθus suθa tira. I avuirun latunas pir a piθras, i chamir pir a qimintu.
Me vinau Adunu, pur a viziz al eru i ya turi qu si qunstruirun ul ixis. I dixi Adunu, 'iqu uchid u paulu, i uchid a tuθus a lingua. Qu issu biraxan, qu parulan lingua uchid, i qi nunka nuθu a θuru si dinigaθu qi muxanerin a faxiz. Dixindamu pur a qi sas linguas qunfutamu, pirqi ni si kapizzerin a su parulu.' Qu Adunu spirsau θus suθa ya tira, I si jistirun a qunstruiz al eru. Iqu ya razun, qu xim su isti 'Babil', qindi ya qunfutuθas fuirun tuθas u linguas diya tira, i di ya Adunu θus spirsau al autris rijunis.
International Declaration of Human Rights
Ixis tuθus ghiniθus sun livris i igalis in ya denitaθ va zzuris xivilis, qu nduθus sun diya razun i qunuxintxa; i 'sti bizunu pur θuru, qu si qumpurtaz aθa fratxunidaθ ix al autru.
- /ˈi.ʃis ˈtu.ðus ɣi.ˈni.ðus sʊn ˈliʋ.ʁis i i.ˈga.lis in ja ˈde:.ni.taθ va ˈʒu.ʁis ʃi.'ʋi.lis, ku n͜du.θus sun 'di.ja ʁa.'zun i ku.nu.ʃin.t͡ʃa i 'sti bi.'zu.nu puʁ θu.ʁu, ku si ku.ˈm͡puʁ.taʒ a.θa fʁa.'t͡ʃu.ni.ˌdaθ iʃ al 'aʊ.tʁu./
The North Wind and the Sun
Vint a Sittintxiunali i a Sul disputun di kali a du qi sun a mes farti, qunu, dripinti, pasau vaghantim in amfi a birnuzu. Si qunsfirun, qi iθi qi si a primizzu qi qugi a vaghanti a difixunaz a birnuzu su, sira a mes farti.
Birixtau Vint a Sittintxiunali a xufaz qunu mena furia: sidi θi sulaminti xufanti qugi q'a vaghanti a su birnuzu mes pruxanu tiniz; kandu jistau Vint a Sittintxiunali a xufaz.
A Sul briθau qunu tuθa sa tfaraθ, i statiminti birnuz a vaghanti fui difixunaθu. Si tal qunuxun qi fui Sul a mes farti.
Prayer of St. Francis
O Sinyuri, qi faxis mi nstrumint ya paxi tua.
V'isti udiyu, qi purtim amuri,
v'isti ufinsa, pirdunu,
v'isti partinza, uchidaθ,
v'isti dubiyu, fidi,
v'isti iruri, virtaθ,
v'isti dispirtaθ, ispirantxa,
v'isti tinivri, luxi
v'isti txistaθ, gaudi.
Xil a Mestru, qi dunis ami:
ni sim qunsulaθu, sivi qi qunsulim,
ni sim kapistu, sivi qi kapizzam,
ni sim amaθu, sivi qi amim.
Qindi pir dunanti, rixivimu;
pir pirdunanti, pirdunaθus sumu;
pir maviθ ghiniθu sumu in ulam ya viθa.
Gisela's speech to Rollo
Ni mportanti kadunqi dixi a patxu miu, neam bixia issa spuzire. Sunu prinxipiss a sangu, ni zunit a vinditaz. Mesvulu qi sim vivaminti qumbrulaθa, qu'a duraz a causa 'ssa di manum su mpuniz suθa mi. Өui, isti paganum suxu. Purθi, nifex avi nuθu. Isti piθur diθa bixias di kampu. Mesvulu a dunaz ya biθuli iya virtuθ mias al kanim θus vili k'al pitx issa ha karni kaliθu. Өui, mi ripunya. Өui, mi qugi prisqu a vumitaz.
The Tarot game (taruqu), a trick taking game resembling bridge or hearts, is widely played in Vandalic speaking areas. The cards themselves are usually French or Italian, but the original figures from Marseilles (taruc ya Massiθ) are used. They have traditional names in Vandalic:
- U FAӨU
- A MUNTIMBANQU
- YA PAPISSA
- YA MPIRATRIӨ
- U IMPRADURI
- A PAPA
- AL AMANTI
- A KARU
- AL IRMITU
- RAT YA 8URTUNA
- A ZZAULU
- TUR AL ILU
- U STIӨAS
- YA LUNA
- A SUL
- YA SU8ITXA
- A MUNDU
- "Afrae aures de correptione vocalium vel productione non iudicant". De doctrina christiana, Lib.IV, C.10
- A note on transcriptions:
- Vulgar Latin words are indicated in SMALL CAPITALS
- Punic words are indicated in BOLD CAPITALS with occasional small letters, according to the following transliteration scheme from the Phoenician alphabet:
- A - 'alep
- B - bet
- G - giml
- D - dalet
- H - he
- U or V - waw
- Z - zayin
- Ch - het
- T - tet
- I or Y - yod
- K - kap
- L - lamed
- M - mem
- N - nun
- S - samek
- O - `ayin
- P - pe
- Tz - tzade
- Q - qop
- R - resh
- Sh - shin
- Th - taw
Note also that unattested but reconstructed forms are marked with *: *ALLARE. Impossible or ungrammatical forms are marked with **.