Prototribal is fundamentally VO in structure. It does not require a subject. When a subject is included, the convention is to place it after other substantives. This is not a universal rule, but means that in relevant cases Prototribal is essentially VOS.
Two basic types of sentence are allowed in Prototribal, Nominal and Verbal.
Nominal sentences are the simplest in normal communication. They consist of a substantive and some non-verb word as an argument. Nominal sentences are essentially equations. A substantive coupled with an adjective indicates that the adjective applies to the substantive. A pair of substantives indicate that they are the same.
Verbal sentences normally require a verb and at least one argument. A single verb can be used as a sentence applying to a general state of affairs, such as ‘raining’, but this is uncommon.
Most sentences are verbal, and follow a general formula:
[(Verb modifiers)(Verb)(Nominal)(Nominal modifiers)]
This structure is essentially fractal. A nominal's modifiers are positioned after it, and the modifiers' modifiers placed after them. Nouns and verbs alike are inflected to indicate their syntactic relationships, adding redundancy to the system and communicating more abstract concepts without the use of many supplemental indicative terms.
Predicates with multiple arguments use cases to distinguish the purposes of those arguments.
- Circumstance/manner/result: Circumstance, manner, and result are typically indicated with the Genitive case
- Time: The Accusative case is used to indicate an extent or period of time, while the Allative case indicates a specific point in time.
- Place: The Allative case indicates the goal of an action, while the Ablative indicates a starting point. The Genitive case is used for a specific current location or transitional location.
- Manner: The Accusative case is generally used with adjectives, and the Ablative case covers most others.
- Means: Means is generally indicated using the Ablative case, with the Genitive replacing it in ambiguous instances.
- Mood: Modality is largely covered explicitly through inflection. However, the Interrogative mood is generally indicated by the Subjunctive case and a rising tone of voice.