Relformaide Dictionary:Grammar/Rules

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Rules
Graphemics →
  1. Relformaide uses a Latin-based alphabet of 25 letters for its native roots and words, leaving out C and Q (except in imported surnames and terms) and adding a digraph, CH.
  2. The language is spoken as it is written, with monophthongs, diphthongs, and diacritics to assist in the pronunciation, spelling, and marking of words.
  3. It consists of hundreds of free and bound morphemes, which can either serve as roots or affixes, and are used to form words of various lengths and constructs.
    1. Free morphemes are also called Base roots (or Ziegeltimes), the vast majority of which serve as Core Base roots (Júrekziegeltimes). Core Base roots represent concepts found in most natural languages, human cultures, and various fields.
    2. Many bound morphemes also serve as Termisons (Fimättimes)—suffixes which are placed at the end of most words.[1]
  4. The language's morphology is extremely flexible, and its agglutinative nature also allows users to build long words à la Hungarian, Finnish, Turkish, the Bantu languages, and others of their ilk. In rare cases, extremely long one-word sentences can rival those occasionally found in the indigenous languages of North America, such as Greenlandic.
  5. Words are head-final—in which the emphasis is placed on the last root in any given combination—while standard sentences are head-initial.
  6. The language is non-configurational , allowing it to easily emulate the standards of English, as well as various Romance and Germanic languages. Constituent order is therefore flexible (with a few caveats); Subject–verb–object (SVO) is the declarative default. Statements in the passive voice assume Object–verb–subject (OVS), where the subject (plus any associated modifiers) utilises the ergative intrafix -ieb- if a noun, or remains unchanged if a pronoun; polar questions and optative remarks are formed with Verb–subject–object (VSO).
  7. All words are categorised into nine classes: articles, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, adpositions, conjunctions, and interjections. The first six enable termisons, as does the last one in some cases.
    1. Nouns and pronouns assume gender, depending on whether they are animate (living) or inanimate. Animate subjects and objects end with -o (for masculine/male forms), -a (for feminine/female forms), and -e (for cases where the form's gender is unknown/undetermined, as well as for groups and demonstrative text). Inanimate subjects and objects almost always assume the neuter form;[2] -e is also applied. If articles precede them, then they also assume the noun's gender.
    2. Adjectives and adjectival phrases end with -i; adverbs and adverbial phrases with -u.
    3. Adpositions and conjunctions assume their original root forms.
    4. Interjections can also assume their root forms, or end with -(a)t.
    5. As in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, -s is the plural termison. This applies to all articles, nouns, and pronouns, along with instances where adjectives agree with the subsequent plural forms. The remaining parts of speech are never pluralised.
    6. All verbs have -ar as their infinitive ending—the base of a conjugation system that involves -at (for indicative forms), -ant (for the progressive/continuative aspect), -aid (for past participles), and so forth.
    7. Tense is marked with nupé- (recent past), pé- (simple past), plé- (discontinuous past), fé- (future), and péfé- (future in the past) before roots; the present carries no indication.
  8. Numbers, interrogatives, correlatives, determiners, and affects constitute special classes that span across the parts of speech; determiners behave the same way as nouns do.
  9. The nal- and nem- prefixes express negation, and always precedes tense markers; nal- is also the leftmost possible morpheme of any given word.
  10. Several dozen standalone roots—primarily adpositions—also serve as case mesoclitics before the stems they modify.
    1. To indicate possession by a referent, either the genitive -oz- (for inalienable possession) or the possessive -orz- (for alienable possession) is placed between the root and the termison. If a complement is directly related to a possessee, then one of two proprietive markers—-zol- or -ten-—is employed in certain cases. In complex scenarios, the invariable der or den precedes the possessee information.
  11. A special variant intrafix, -uez-/-ouz-, is placed between the stem and either a case suffix, verb termison, or -i in complex plural forms.
  12. With the exception of the word class (-o/-a/-e for nouns; -i for adjectives; -u for adverbs) and tense (nupé-/pé-/plé-/fé-/péfé-) markers, all native morphemes must end in a consonant. Roots cannot end with s, which is reserved as the plural termison.
  13. Base morphemes cannot contain double letters of any sort, but double consonants are permitted in compound forms.
  14. Imported terms (including surnames) are mostly exempt from the previous two rules.
  15. Anytime a vowel termison precedes another vowel, then an ń (cf. the movable nu in Ancient Greek) is placed as a mandatory buffer:
    1. at the start of the next word (if native to Relformaide), or
    2. directly after the termison (before native proper names and imported terms).
  16. As in French, quotations in text are enclosed by wilémètes («»); all other punctuation is used as in English et al.

Notes

  1. Obsolete in English since the 15th century, the word termison (or fimättime in Relformaide) has been adopted for use in this language's documentation. Derived from the French terminaision, or "termination", it is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary's Second Edition (1989), as well as the University of Michigan's Middle English Dictionary.
  2. Unless they are anthropomorphised, in which case the -o/-a endings apply. -a is also used for words pertaining to water transportation.
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