Relformaide Dictionary:Grammar/Morphology

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Morphology
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Relformaide consists of several hundred base morphemes, all of which are either free (capable of standing alone) or bound (only found in derivations and inflections).[1] Depending on their function and position in a word, they can either serve as roots (capable of standing alone semantically) or affixes (capable of inflecting a root).

Roots

Source languages

Roots comprise the vast majority of Relformaide's base morphemes; all of them end with a consonant (save for s) and vary in length. Many are borrowed from earlier and more modern varieties of English, as well as the Romance languages (French , Spanish , Portuguese , Italian , Romanian , &c.) and their ancestor, Latin . Other sources include:

Lengths

Note Note:
The 3+-letter morphemes shown in this section are chosen at random via Semantic MediaWiki. A different list will therefore be displayed on most page visits unless cached.

Five standalone uniliteral roots, all part of the Core (Júrèke) group, are the shortest in Relformaide:

  • l- (DEF — the art def)
  • m- (1 — 1st person; I/me/my; we/us/our prn)
  • t- (2.FAM — 2nd person, familiar; you[r] prn)
  • b- (be v)
  • v- (go)

There are several two-letter morphemes, including:

  • -ad- (LOC/DAT — at/to)
  • -av- (PERF — perfect verb)
  • -et- (DIM — diminutive suff)
  • -ieb- (ERG — ergative marker)
  • -id- (state/quality of being)
  • -if- (characterised by suff)
  • -oz- (GEN — genitive/possession marker)
  • un- (INDF — a[n]/some art indef)

Most basic roots contain 3-5 letters, with some bearing six or seven:

  • 3: pog — try, attempt, endeavour; vev — alive, living thing, organism, live, be alive; chuf — punish, penalise, punishment; sid — yes, yep, yeah, yea, aye, indeed; íam — already; zol — with, owning, own, possess, owner, possessor, proprietor, proprietive case marker; sud — south; nây — dog; ótr — other, different, another, unlike, different from, apart from, differ; ven — come, arrive, coming, arrival
  • 4: gout — snack on, snack upon; flũr — flower, blossom, bloom; hĩrt — herd, flock; mubr — breast, bosom, teat, udder; exan — quintillion; kaut — four, 4; broch — brush; fleg — care, care for, look after, take care, take care of, deal with, nurse, attend, attend to, brood; divr — migrate, migration; loun — moon
  • 5: zîgot — zygote; wiber — hyrax; kuaīz — chopstick; gímel — pin; moarz — kill, slaughter, killing, murder; levũr — yeast; smair — smear, spread, besmear, sully; ausin — also, too, as well, including, in addition, likewise, inclusive case marker; takil — box office, ticket office; chirom — stigma, stigmata
  • 6: sargich — beige; sholuk — hazel, hazelnut, filbert, greenish-brown; lusend — bright, brilliant, luminous, shining, lucent, radiant, shine; krépak — crackle; gaskam — punctuate; pastũr — pasture, field, meadow, dell; kaisen — archive, archiving; zuiver — refine, filter, purify, cleanse, refinement, filtration, purification, cleansing; susong — sue, suit, lawsuit; sairev — mission, missionary
  • 7: praudez — province; mánánam — pineapple; safariv — go on a safari, safari; hîdróbr — water plants; diósiez — diocese, Holy See; sukurij — anaconda; dasabut — justify, vindicate, warrant, justification, vindication; balikut — taffy; foushel — straw, stalk; dragaun — dragon

Beyond this limit, relatively few are longer:

  • 8: praugrez — progress; histerik — hysterical, hysteric; wausonog — barnacle; teisaubr — new edition, cover, cover song, cover version, remake; kaungrez — congress; dîrekind — directive; hestevog — carriage; élúskrib — spell, spell out, spelling, orthography, orthographic; alkohaul — alcohol, ethanol; foitajal — rollercoaster
  • 9: Flerovíom — flerovium; sekritair — secretary; flúdróvin — riverbed; Wikipiedý — Wikipedia; orangutan — orangutan; pilipagit — caterpillar; megnezaum — mediocre, middling; taungsten — tungsten, wolfram; gesuimiel — sewage, wastewater; áligạitor — alligator, gator

The longest standalone Core roots are:

Root Table Length Meaning
auraundismaunt Roots/auraundismaunt 14 arrondissement
estroadinair Roots/estroadinair 12 extraordinary
kaumpromiez Roots/kaumpromiez 11 compromise
lábrotaurit Roots/lábrotaurit 11 laboratory
lab
helikauptẽr Roots/helikauptẽr 11 helicopter
chopper
kauntravẽrz Roots/kauntravẽrz 11 controversial
disputed
melíagriez Roots/melíagriez 10 turkey
saulfoguor Roots/saulfoguor 10 sulphur spring
sulfur spring
astregánul Roots/astregánul 10 astrology
pampelmouz Roots/pampelmouz 10 grapefruit
tamboadrol Roots/tamboadrol 10 whirlpool
dîmenshaun Roots/dîmenshaun 10 dimension
sîglopiedý Roots/sîglopiedý 10 encyclopedia
foaraskoap Roots/foaraskoap 10 stethoscope
hapokaisil Roots/hapokaisil 10 community spirit

Affixes

Affixes in Relformaide are either inflectional/derivational markers, or normal roots modifying the meaning of a preceding stem. As in the Romance languages and English, they are either prefixes (at the start of words) or suffixes (at the end). Many in the latter group represent various word classes as Termisons (or Fimättimes), so called because of their purpose and position.

Nouns, pronouns, and articles

Relformaide reserves three vowels to mark gender at the end of all words except imperatives, standalone adpositions, conjunctions, and interjections:

  • -o (MASC — male)
  • -a (FEM — female)
  • -e (N — neuter/unspecified/pan-gender; only in nouns, pronouns, and articles)

Adjectives

All adjectives and adjectival phrases (ADJ) end in -i, and are derivational. Comparatives are formed by suffixing -ausm after the root, and superlatives with -ausom; the same applies for adverbs. (The corresponding inverse suffixoids are -eusm and -eusom.)

Adverbs

Adverbs and adverbial phrases (ADV) end in -u, and are also derivational. -u is equivalent to English -ly, French -ment, and Spanish -mente in most given cases.

Verbs

Conjugation of Relformaide verbs is straightforward, and involves the -ar termison for infinitives; -at for indicative forms; -ait for the imperative; -ant for the continuative and progressive moods (present participle); -aid for past participles; and so forth. An -av between the root and select verbal suffixes gives variants in the perfect aspect.

Of Relformaide's five tenses, only the present is unmarked. The rest are handled by five prefixes, henceforth known as augments: nupé-/nuper- (recent past), pé-/per- (simple past), plé-/pler- (discontinuous past), fé-/fer- (future), and péfé-/péfer- (future in the past). The extra r in each one serves as an interfix before vowel-initial roots.

Nal- signifies negation, and occupies a word's leftmost possible slot.

Interjections

Interjections either assume their unmarked root forms, or end with -(a)t.

Adpositions and conjunctions

Adpositions and conjunctions always assume their root forms, and take no termisons.

Plurals

As in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, plural forms are denoted with an -s at the end of nouns, pronouns, and articles, as well as any adjectives preceding nouns. This is the final possible slot in Relformaide's word formation system; as a rule, adverbs do not take plural endings.

  • -os (MASC-PL — male plural)
  • -as (FEM-PL — female plural)
  • -es (N-PL — neuter plural)
  • -is (ADJ-PL — plural adjective)

In complex compound forms, -*s (as applies to nouns) becomes -uez/-ouz before the focus root, as in the possessive verb möutozar (to be ours) and the case-inflected tuameduezómistu (for the girls' sake).

Possessive adjectives inflect for gender with prefixoids tuom- and tuam-: tüortozi (of yours; male singular), tüallumöutozi (of theirs; female plural agreeing with plural noun).

When dealing with plural pronouns at the end of complex verb conjugations, -es, -os, or -as is employed: Álïsmmatas (We give up; female speakers), Benaigavirújoṛtatos (You've done really well; to male listeners), Noutävvoalaijlumatés (They're about to fly now; referring to unspecified subjects or a crowd/group/team).

Affix charts

Non-termison
Stem Meaning Type
Prefixes
nal-/naŕ- predicate/complement negation marker Free
nupé-/nuper- recent past tense; just, recently Bound
pé-/per- simple past tense; was, were, did Bound
plé-/pler- discontinuous past tense (used to); former(ly), ex- Bound
fé-/fer- future tense; "-to-be" Bound
péfé-/péfer- future-in-the-past tense (would) Bound
nem- not among, non-, un- Free
rel- re-, repeated, again, anew Free
ver- back(wards) Free
vuiz- before (in sequence) Free
suiv- after (in sequence) Free
saub- sub- Bound
supẽr- super- Free
hîpẽr- hyper- Free
Affixoids
-ad- to (of indirect objects); at (of places) Free
-aup- to(wards) (a location or thing) Free
-aurd- for (a place or thing, in designation) Free
-int- in (a place or thing) Free
-tranz- through (a place or object) Free
-tug- out of, outside (a place or thing) Free
-tüvv- out of (a place or thing, in departure) Free
-weg- off the surface of (an object of origin) Free
-aseb- with, accompanied by (someone/something) Free
-auvek- with, accompanied by (as part of a group) Free
-emek- with (an instrument/tool/device) Free
-proxim- near, next to, close by (a location or thing); nearly/almost # Free
-prev- before; pre- Free
-áprev- after; post- Free
-aiv- each/every (prefix); per object (suffix) Free
Suffixes
-ard 1,000,000x (one million [of], in numbers); augmentative suffix (for other words) Bound
-raz times #, #-fold; multiple of x (with numbers) Free
-tam about/approximately/roughly # (only with numbers) Free
-tem #st/nd/rd/th (only in ordinal numbers) Bound
-tim x/# (in fractions); a small piece/portion/segment (of inanimate subjects) Free
-tuim #-plet (when referring to twins) Free
-esil (originating) from a place, person, or thing Free
-íak on (the surface of) Free
-ósot up to the point of (a place), until Free
-äffim ending up at (a place) Free
-ómist for/(dedicated) to (in media); for the benefit/sake of Free
-opon against, opposing, anti- Free
-anfil prone/susceptible/liable to (something) Free
-oajem brief(ly), in a flash; momentane aspect Free
-ámel frequent(ly), often, occasional(ly) (of an action or state) Free
-oguil sometimes, part-time Free
-esel maybe, probably, perhaps Free
-úpot almost, nearly (also in numbers) Free
-ábil able to; can Free
-euz full of... Bound
-ond without, -less Free
-seul -only, exclusively, exclusive to Free
-oid like, resembling; -oid/-ine (of animals) Free
-ausik similar to, acting/behaving like Free
-kuam more than/much as/less than (an object) (after plain adjectives, and comparatives formed with -ausm/-eusm) Free
-úvel step-(relative); ersatz/mock (before other roots) Free
-úbel bad, poor, shoddy, inferior Free
-úvam excellent Free
-truz set or group of... Free
-mult collection of... Free
-budin team of... (only with animate subjects) Free
-tánul the study/field of... Free
-ail of or pertaining to a place, person, or thing Bound
-íen someone who is (from a place), comes from/lives in/resides in (a place), does (an action), plays (a game/sport), specialises in Bound
-íer something that does... (with action verbs) Bound
-íom -ium (in chemistry) Free
-ead medium-sized (chiefly in clothing/footwear terms) Bound
-et small (in size), miniature, brief (in time) Bound
-eb baby/newborn (of animals), seedling/sapling/sprout (of plants) Free
-ed young in age Free
-eld old in age, senior, elder Free
-ausm comparative (cf. English -er) Free
-ausom superlative (cf. English -est) Free
-eusm less... Free
-eusom least... Free
-ẽrgim because (of), thanks to Free
-inz causative verb marker (to cause/make...) Free
-iz the act of turning/transforming into/converting to... Bound
-id the quality or state of being... Free
-if the nature of (being)/characterised by... (adjectives and adverbs) Bound
-aig the use/action of... Free
-uit/-oip intensifier Bound
-ieb ergative marker (chiefly used for passive statements in OVS, as well as in appositive phrases) Bound
-eun topic marker (cf. English "speaking of/as for SBJ") Bound
-erij appositive marker (only in certain sentence orders; see below) Bound
-iruj emphasis marker Bound
-oz possessive marker (mostly in nouns and pronouns; cf. English 's) Bound
-zol proprietive marker (in complements associated with a referent; see below) Free
-tuig (#) of Free
-zeg quotative/indirect speech marker Free
-zem visual evidence marker Free
-zeng sensory evidence marker Free
-zev auditory evidence marker Free
-ódiv "I wonder if..."; cf. Finnish han/hän Free
-uez/-ouz complex plural Bound
-av perfect verb[2] Free
-aij prospective marker[3] Bound
-aisom accomplished/achieved; completive aspect Free
-aubil starting to; inchoative aspect Free
-aubel no more, no longer; cessative aspect Free
-ain the result of an action or state Bound
Termison
Suffix Class Function
-e Noun Neuter
-o Masculine
-a Feminine
-i Adjective/Adjectival phrase
-u Adverb/Adverbial phrase
-s Plural
-ar Verb Infinitive
-at Indicative
-aik Conditional/Subjunctive[4]
-ait Imperative
-ant Progressive
-asant Continuative
-aid Past participle
-Ø/(a)t Interjections
Adpositions
Conjunctions

Morphological processes

Morphological processes in Relformaide
[After Epo (2014), p. 13https://inter.payap.ac.th/wp-content/uploads/linguistics_students/Yrrah_Epo_Thesis.pdf]
Process Examples
Prefixation nalintar (to be not inside) (nal- [not] + int + -ar)
nemvoardi (unofficial) (nem- [not among] + voard [true/real/authentic] + -i)
rëmmitaid (resent) (rel- [re-] + mit + -aid)
saubtime (subsection) (saub- [sub-] + tim + -e)
verjautaine (answer) (ver- [reverse] + jaut [ask] + -ain [RSLT] + -e)
péríantes (ancestors) (pé- [PST] + ríant [parent] + -e + -s)
féhódieze (upcoming event) (fe- [FUT] + hódiez + -e)
péfévanzat (...that SBJ would win) (pé- [PST] + fé- [FUT] + vanz + -at)
Suffixation neuvière (reference work) (neuv [show the way (to)/advise] + -íer [something that...] + -e)
seuddeziène (liar) (seud [lie] + dez [say] + -íen [someone who...] + -e)
nekède (kitten) (nek [cat] + -ed [youngster] + -e)
kimódra (princess) (kim [monarch] + -ódr [child] + -a)
ékuinoze (horse's) (ékuin + -oz [GEN] + -e)
Nazaulproximtúgu (outside Nassau's vicinity) (Nazaul + -proxim [nearby] + -tug [outside] + -u)
véyar (to see) (vey- + -ar)
imájinat (SBJ imagines) (imájin- + -at)
veselant (SBJ is probably going) (v- + -esel + -ant)
nougeŕámelaik (SBJ ought to swim often) (nougel- + -ámel + -aik)
fraulaija (bride) (fraul [spouse] + -aij [PRSP] + -a)
Iteration touɖdèye-touɖdèye (the year 2020) ((touv [2] + dey [10] + -e)2)
Reduplication vuivuivuipey! (hip-hip-hooray!) (vui3pey [yippee!])
glauglaung (sound made by a gong) (glau2ng)
Compounding nâyobène (doghouse) (nây [dog] + oben [house] + -e)
dínerlúdar (to gamble) (díner [money] + lud [play] + -ar)
ästrettánule (astronomy) (astrel [star] + tánul [study] + -e)
sulittoaké (audition) (sulit [test] + toak [perform] + -e)
Fusion vorite (eye) (vey [see] + rit [body organ] + -e)
touzièle (universe) (tout [whole/entire] + zíel [sky] + -e)
astregánule (astrology) (astrel [star] + tegin [sign] = astregin [star sign] + tánul [study] + -e)
doamube (bed) (doarm [sleep] + meubl [furniture] + -e)
moarzar (to kill) (moart [die] + inz [CAUS] + -ar)
ríablo (uncle) (ríant [parent] + sibl [sibling] + -o)
Zero modification All standalone adpositions/conjunctions, and most interjections; der and den are Relformaide's only invariable roots

Inflectional categories

Inflectional categories in Relformaide
[Modelled after Conklin (1949), p. 10 (quoted in Epo (2014), p. 14https://inter.payap.ac.th/wp-content/uploads/linguistics_students/Yrrah_Epo_Thesis.pdf)]
Category Types Productive in
# Label
Case 80+ See Case handbook and § Word formation: oben paradigm Nouns
Pronouns
Adjectives
Adverbs
Verbs
Number 3 Singular (-Ø)
Plural (-s)
Nouns
Pronouns
Adjectives
Verbs
Case plural (-uez/-ouz) Nouns
Pronouns
Adjectives
Adverbs
Verbs
Gender 3 Masculine (-o)
Feminine (-a)
Neuter (-e)
Nouns
Pronouns
Adjectives
Verbs
Tense 6 Present (-Ø)
Recent Past (nupé-/nuper-)
Simple Past (pé-/per-)
Discontinuous Past (plé-/pler-)
Future (fé-/fer-)
Future in the Past (péfé-/péfer-)
Nouns
Pronouns
Adjectives
Adverbs
Verbs
Aspect 4 Progressive (-ant)
Continuative (-asant)
Perfect (-av)
Prospective (-aij)
Nouns
Pronouns
Adjectives
Verbs
Mood 3 Indicative (-at)
Conditional/Subjunctive (-aik)
Imperative (-ait)
Nouns
Adjectives
Verbs
Comparative 4 Comparative (-ausm)
Superlative (-ausom)
Negative Comparative (-eusm)
Negative Superlative (-eusom)
Adjectives
Adverbs
Evidential 4 Quotative (-zeg)
Visual (-zem)
Sensory (-zeng)
Auditory (-zev)
Nouns
Pronouns
Adjectives
Adverbs
Verbs

Slots

In Relformaide, a single standalone root is the least a word can be formed with; this applies to adpositions, conjunctions, and many interjections. Most words contain one or more roots followed by a termison; negated forms, and verbs in any tense but the present, carry prefixes.

Relformaide morphology involves a 22-slot system, as laid out in the table below. Although technically possible, no common words are formed with all slots. The typical formation pattern is (1/3+)4+(5+)(7+)8+(9+)(11+)13+(15+)19(+22) for most words; 8+13+19(+22) for pronouns; and 8 for adpositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

Word formation is subject to the processes summarised in the stem change chart and elaborated in the table of intra-letter changes.

Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17a 17b 18 19 20 21 22
Category NEG CPLX.GND NEG.EXCL TENSE DESID SUB RE/VER ROOT TM1
(PT.PTCP)
AFFCT ART CPLX.PL CASE RCV1 TM2
(PR.PTCP)
RCV2 PERF PF.PTCP VRPN TM3 RCV3 TM4 PL
Morphemes nal- ~ naŕ- tuom-
tuam-
nem- Ø
nupé- ~ nuper-
pé- ~ per-
plé- ~ pler-
(pé)fé- ~ (pé)fer-
soul-
voul-
boul-
saub- rel-
ver-
Root -aid Various -(i)l
-un
-uez
-ouz
Case Repeat levels 2–12 -ant
-asant
Repeat levels 2–14 -av -ant
-asant
Ø -u Ø
Ø -e Ø -s
-o
-a
-i
Prn. / Dem. -ar Ø -o
-a
-at
-ant -e
-o
-a
-asant
-aik Repeat level 16
-ait Ø

Split ergativity

A feature of Relformaide is its split ergativity, whereby pronouns and determiners utilise a nominative–accusative system, but passive-voice sentences using only nouns follow an ergative–absolutive pattern.[5] Below is a comparison involving the inanimate noun livré (book); the animate feminine noun lapina (rabbit doe); and the third-person masculine pronoun lumo.

Case Word
livré lapina lumo
Ergative livriebe lapinieba lumo,
lumiebo
Nominative livré lapina lumo
Absolutive
Accusative lumio

Gender alignment

In nearly all cases, the grammatical gender of a Relformaide word matches its natural gender. Terms for water transportation, inanimate in the real world but nonetheless feminised per English tradition, are the notable exception.

Type Gender Termison(s)
Gramm. Nat.
Animate masculine creatures in kingdom Animalia M M -o
Animate feminine creatures in kingdom Animalia F F -a
Animate creatures in Animalia, whose gender is unknown/undetermined/irrelevant N C -e
Groups of animate masculine members from Animalia M M -o(s)
Groups of animate feminine members from Animalia F F -a(s)
Groups consisting of both masculine and feminine creatures from Animalia N C -e(s)
Animate beings in kingdom Plantae N C -e(s)
Inanimate material objects (except water transportation) N N -e(s)
-ọ(s)
-ạ(s)[6]
Water transportation F N -a(s)
Given names of masculine beings M M -o
Given names of feminine beings F F -a
Names of languages, fields, specialties, movements, events, and seasons N N -e
Names of places (continents; bodies of water — oceans, seas, bays, straits, gulfs; countries; subdivisions — states, provinces, districts, parishes, prefectures, counties, communes; cities and towns; villages and hamlets) N N -o
-a
-e[7]

Compounds

As in various agglutinative languages and the already established Esperanto (also a constructed language itself), new words in Relformaide can be formed out of existing base roots and affixes (as will be seen in the next segment of the grammar, § Word formation). As shown earlier on, certain combinations with difficult consonant clusters utilise an epenthetic -oṛ- interfix depending on the first vowel of the next morpheme: lech + ten = lechoṛten (with milk); plaj + tug = plájoṛtug (outside the beach); lof + kuam = lofoṛkuam (...-er than the hill).

Notes

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named morpheme
  2. Equivalent to English SBJ has PT-VB.
  3. Equivalent to English ... (is) going to/(is) about to VB; followed by a compound root, or gender/verbal termison.
  4. Equivalent to English ...that SBJ VB, or could/would/should.
  5. This pattern also occurs in Pitjantjatjara, a dialect of the Aboriginal Western Desert language of Australia.
  6. Several neuter nouns in Relformaide inherit the last -o/-a of their original etymons; the resulting termison is underdotted.
  7. Taking a cue from Ido (an Esperanto spinoff), some Relformaide place names inherit the last -o/-a/-e of their original etymons; otherwise, -e follows the root in question.
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