The inflectional verbal morphology of Old Inggirian divides itself, albeit not neatly, into three sets of forms: bound forms, nominal forms and finite forms. Finite forms are those forms that carry personal marking, and nominal forms are those which may head the body of a relative clause. The finite forms, apart from being the only ones to carry personal marking, may only appear at the end of a sentence or clause. The nominal forms, although frequently employed, especially in later texts, as medial verb forms to the (progressively rarer) finite forms ending a sentence, all have nominal or adnominal functions to some degree. The remaining forms all essentially act as adverbs, and thus are called bound forms.
The Finite Forms
The finite forms essentially occupy a 2x2 matrix:
No f. reference
The precise meaning of these categories, although convenient for analysis, requires explanation.
The aorist is the unmarked form. Its semantic value is simply the assertion of some state or action. Pragmatically, this most often translates to a future or present interpretation, but the aorist can be used where the use of the "past" -ne is rendered superfluous by context. It has no aspectual interpretation.
The subjunctive, similar to the aorist, has no fixed temporal reference, but simply indicates full or partial non-assertion. Its use is therefore very wide. It occurs in complement phrases, especially to verbs of quotation or fearing. It can indicate that the speaker is unsure, for instance because he has inferred the information being communicated. Finally, it can indicate a state of potentiality.
The past (which is quite misleadingly named) is an asserted form that carries fixed reference to some point of time. When context does not specify a time period, the default interpretation is a past time reference. However, it is grammatical also to use this form in any other time context. In these situations, its use over the aorist is usually conditioned by the presence of a subclause that refers to a different time.
The conditional is the non-asserted counterpart to the past, and derives its name from the unusual counterfactual construction of Old Inggirian, in which the protasis is a finite verb in the conditional and the apodosis a nominalization in the infinitive. On its own it may fulfill similar functions as the subjunctive, but with a past time reference (such as a sort of potential-in-the-past).
The Personal Desinences
Old Inggirian has a very pedestrian set of finite personal endings, distinguishing three persons and two numbers.
posts: 202 ,
Conversational Speaker, [ˈaɪwə] message
Okay so let's finally talk about Proto-Taol.
The linguists at Chásur reconstruct Proto-Taol something like this:
p t kʲ k
ˀp ˀt ˀkʲ ˀk
pʰ tʰ kʲʰ kʰ
f? s ʃ h
n l r ʁ
i e a ɑ o u
ī ē ā ɑ̄ ō ū
î? ê â ɑ̂? ô û?
The existence of *f is uncertain; it is largely reconstructed to explain Maotic words which have /h/ (instead of Ø), however, it has been noted that most such instances precede /a/, e.g. *fālu > hálu "female human".
kʲ ʃ will be spelled *c *š.
The second vowel series is the long counterpart of the first. The third vowel series, marked with a circumflex, is infrequent; its properties are uncertain, but it was preserved into the earliest stages of all Taol languages (including Eastern Taol, which lost length) long enough to be invariably marked in the standard orthographies. In Maotic both the second and third series collapsed into the first; in Dálx the second and third series are both pronounced as long; additionally, the circumflex marks vowels compensatorily lengthened by the loss of a consonant (e.g. *lek-ši > lês. In Eastern Taol the third series is pronounced long (usually analyzed as doubling of the vowel, e.g. âcasi /a.a.tʃa.si/, etc.) The origin of the third series in Proto-* shows several apparent contractions in *VyV, among scattered other sources.
The Taol empire that held Maotel as its seat led Maotic to become the literary language of much of Talócár at an early date, and as a result of the language's standardization, it showed relatively little change for a long period.
Maotic is spoken throughout the majority of Talócár, and is to some degree a lingua franca for Elmincár in general.
A rough sketch of changes from Proto-Taol to the earliest literary period looks like so:
short *ɑ merges with /o/, long *ɑ̄ breaks to /ao/
long *ū breaks to /ue/
preglottalized consonants become voiced and lose preglottalization
loss of final *i
loss of *š universally
loss of *h universally? debuccalization of *f > h
shift of /n/ to /m/ when initial or preceding nearby /n/+a very strange change to be sure, but the distribution bears it out
loss of gemination
*kʲ > [ts] allophonically before front vowels /e i/; gʲ > /dz/ universally
Later final /e/, /a/ were lost (compare literary fíre with modern fír "tree"), and more importantly the entire length contrast.
There may be some more rules later.
to be done later, probably in this post (watch this space)
I think it is again time to look for something else to put on the front page! Current strong contender is Comrade Twabs' entry into the Heterodoxy Series of conlanging advice, which gets my vote. However, since his work has graced the front page for several months already, alternatives are of course very solicited.
<Cevf> I WILL NEVER EVER EVER WANT TO EAT ANY OF THE SHIT FOOD FROM YOUR SHIT-ASS COUNTRY NOR DO I WANT TO KNOW HOW TO SAY 'HELLO' 'GOODBYE' 'THANK YOU' 'EXCUSE ME' FOR EIGHTY GODDAMN PAGES, JUST TELL ME HOW TO CONJUGATE WORDS YOU USELESS SACK OF PIG SHIT
<guitarplayer> cev vs. phrasebook