Conlang
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Wadungo
Wadungo
Type
Agglutinative
Alignment
Ergative-absolutive
Head direction
Initial
Tonal
No
Declensions
Yes
Conjugations
Yes
Genders
No
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect



General information[]

So, okays. It's an African (Atlantic-Congo in part.) styled conlang. XD

We didn't draw any inspiration from Bantu whatsoever, only the phonology.

Phonology[]

Consonants[]

Bilabial Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ <ny> ŋ <ŋ>
Plosive p b t d c ɟ <c j> k g ʔ <'>
Fricative ɸ β <f v> s z ʃ ʒ <š ž> x ɣ <x ɣ> h
Affricate ts dz tʃ dʒ <tš dž> kx
Approximant j <y> w
Trill r
Lateral app. l
Implosive ɓ <ɓ> ɗ <ɗ> ʄ <jj> ɠ <ɠ>
Prenasalized pl. mb nt nd ɲɟ <nj> ŋg <ng>
Prenasalized aff. ndz ndʒ <ndž>

All non-labial plosives, nasals, affricates and prenasalized consonants can be labialized.

Vowels[]

Front Central Back
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open a

Phonotactics[]

The syllable structure is predictably (C)V.

/d/ becomes /ɾ/ before front vowels if not word-initial.

Grammar[]

Pronouns[]

The pronouns are fairly simple, existing only in ergative case and not distinguishing by number (only in stems). Also, pronoun stems are slightly different when the consonant of the following (class) syllable is voiced (second form in table). Table of pronouns:

Singular
1st person intɛ-/indɛ-
2nd person wanta-/wata-
3rd person mbɔ-

Nouns[]

Noun classes[]

Singular Plural Ergative marker
Human masculine -ɗa -nde -di
Human feminine -ja -ca -dɛ
Communication -ngo -mbɛ -di
Dangerous animals -ndzɛ -ɠo -di
Domesticated animals -'a -wa -dɛ
Birds -dže -bo -dɛ
Tribal terms -ɗo -ndɛ -dɛ
Family terms -ndɛ -mbo -di
Fish -di -nga -dɛ
War -bɛ -do -di
Crime -- -mbe -dɛ
Terrain -ga -di -dɛ
Abstractions, other -mu -kxa -dɛ

Ergative case is expressed by attaching the ergative marker to the noun and sometimes changing the plain suffix, e.g. wadungo > wadungadi.

Unlike in most ergative-absolutive languages, ergative case is used to emphasize the noun.

Before the ergative particle, /o/ changes to /a/.

Absolutive case is unmarked.

Consonant changes[]

In plurals, most stem consonants become lenited and do it differently if any occur before front vowels (i, e or ɛ).

Table of changes:

Base Lenited Before front vowels
m
n y
ny y
ŋ n
p b
b mb
t nt
d nd
c j
j nj
k g c
g ng nj
'
f v
v
s z š
z ž
š ž
ž
x ɣ š
ɣ ng ž
h
ts dz
dz ndz ndž
ndž
kx ɣ ž
y
w y
r ž
l
ɓ b
ɗ d j
jj j
ɠ g j
mb
nt
nd
nj
ng
ndz
ndž

(Hierarchy: Voiceless > (Implosive >) Voiced > Prenasalized)

Verbs[]

The verb conjugation in Wadungo is rather rudimentary for a Mot language. This is partly explained by the Wadu's probable arrival from the center of the western continent, where the languages are mostly isolating except for the northernmost parts. Tense, aspect and subject person and class are indicated by prefixes, while object person and class are indicated by suffixes. Number of agent is indicated either by corresponding pronoun or by class marker after a pronominal infix.

Tense[]

Present[]
Imperfective Perfective Gnomic Habitual
1p ndi- tindɛ- dimɛ- inti-
2p wadi- wama- ninɛ- yani-
3p --/a- ndɔ- nɛ- mɛ-
Future[]
Imperfective Perfective Gnomic Habitual
1p ni- nti- ndže- ya-
2p ta- ja- tše- ɔ-
3p yi-/ya- ti- dže- i-
Past[]
Imperfective Perfective Gnomic Habitual
1p inda- iži- intu- iya-
2p wa- waba- wadu- wangi-
3p da- mbɛ- tu- ngi-
Pluperfect/distant past[]
Imperfective Perfective Gnomic Habitual
1p edži- ndži- ndɛ- dɔ-
2p wadži- waži- wada- ndza-
3p di- ži- ba- za-

Pronominal objects[]

Pronominal subjects distinguish by person and whether the object is direct or indirect. Like the prefixes, they are essentially shortened forms of pronouns with additional information affixes strapped to them.

Direct Indirect
1p -ntɛ -nti
2p -watɛ -wadi
3p -mbɔ -mbi

Voice[]

Wadungo verbs have two voices: active and passive. Active voice is unmarked, while to make a verb passive, a prefix ni- is attached to whole verb.

Participle[]

There is only one variety of participles, the past participle. To form it, the last preceding syllable's vowel is duplicated.

Mood[]

The mood isn't marked in verbs. Instead, the mood markers are particles.

Adjectives[]

Adjectives agree with the noun class and also decline according to the quality? of adjective.

The noun classes are largely the same, while the qualities are exclusive to adjectives.

Base Superlative/comparative Excessive Defective
Positive -- ya- va- nga-
Negative tši- dza- -- --

Note that there aren't negative excessive and defective forms.

Adverb[]

Adverbs are largely the same as adjectives. They aren't distinguished in writing and are modify verbs instead of nouns.

Syntax[]

The word order is OVS and the head direction is head-initial in most clauses.

Since Wadungo nouns don't have any cases other than absolutive and ergative, particles play a very important role in constructing sentences.

Noun phrase[]

A noun phrase in Wadungo consists of a noun itself and a modifier, which can be either an adjectival phrase or a noun with a genitive particle.

Adjectives do agree with nouns, though they don't decline according to case, e.g. iɓawadɛ tšitumbawa - a crazy dog (erg.).

Adjective[]

Adjectives and adjective phrases mostly consist of a declined adjective only. However, sometimes adverbs or genitive phrases are part of an adjective phrase.

Adverb[]

Adverbial phrases aren't dissimilar to adjective phrases, like adverbs are mostly the same as adjectives. They can consist either of a single adverb, two adverbs which are divided with a hyphen in writing or an adverb and a genitive phrase.

Verb phrases[]

The verb phrases consist of a verb and an optional adverb and/or an adjectival or a genitive phrase, which is regarded as an indirect object.

Simple clauses[]

Simple (intransitive) clauses feature inverted word order (SV). They include a subject in absolutive case and a conjugated verb.

Transitive clauses[]

Transitive clauses feature default word order and at least an agent noun phrase, a verb phrase and a patient noun phrase.

Relative and complex clauses[]

Such clauses are simply comprised of two parts without any conjunction. What kind of clause is this is usually understood from context.

Copular clauses[]

Copular clauses (X is Y) take OSV word order: first comes the predicate, then comes the noun and in the end is the "copula" particle ra.

Vocabulary[]

Example text[]

Wadungo is probably the most complete conlang for this challenge to date.

Darakwa, ndabi mbambadɛbɛkwa bɛ mbarango yanimbaraango Wadungo ra.

Gloss: time-DEM, maybe challenge-WAR-DEM GEN build-COMM SUP-PASS-build-PART-COMM Wadu-COMM COP

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