Attested independent pronouns include only ci ‘you’ and the possessive kuunin ‘our’. This lexical dearth can easily be attributed to lack of corpus data, however, due to the inflectional morphology of this particular language, it may be a pro-drop language, as is Korean, whereby the independent pronoun, once first stated, is left unstated again unless needed for emphasis or clarity.
1.1 Pronominal Suffixes
Although there are not independent versions listed in the corpus, inflections indicating a particular person have also occurred: –minne ‘my/mine’, for example. These suffixes are appended to the end of the noun. While it is currently unknown what other suffixes exist, they can be postulated to exist, at least in the other singular persons.
As these two fragments are examples of short poetic excerpts, many nouns found in this closed corpus have alternate, poetic meanings (such as in pflahallya ‘circling waves, confusion’); it is currently unknown whether or not these meanings are actually secondary (or are used in daily spoken conversation), however their poetic meanings, along with their more concrete, primary meanings, are listed in the Lexicon.
Although this language shows a general ability to inflect nouns (i.e. for pronominals), plurality is not indicated morphologically, but rather from context. There are several instantiations of what appear to be plural meaning, but this meaning goes uninflected in the surface form, for example in luuk’zhi ‘dunes’, where -zhi appears to be, indeed, part of the root, as such a su ix does not occur elsewhere. Unmarked plurality is common in the neighboring Sino-Tibetan language family, and such may be an inherited arial feature.
2.2 Case, Number, and Gender
Because of this language’s certain similarities with Indo-European languages, it is not out of the question to discuss case, number, and gender on nouns; as discussed in 3.1, plurality (number) is not in ected on nouns (and perhaps on pronouns either), but case and gender can be discussed in more detail.
This language does not show a particularly robust system of declensional morphology, however it appears that a particular construction can shed light on at least one type of genitive construction:
1) zinitzin vlel’kjecq
The suffix –kjecq may carry an ‘of’ meaning, which would indicate that in this language a poetic term for a constellation is ‘a garden of stars’. It is also worth pointing out that the glottal stop is often used to separate between morphologically productive syllables, which some have argued lend more credence to the idea that luuk’zhi ‘dunes’ does in fact have a suffix; however, this idea can be easily dismissed, because it occurs only twice in the entire known corpus while other suffixes clearly lack this glottal stop before them.
As far as grammatically marked gender is concerned, it appears as though this language does not mark it; it is possible that with more examples of nouns agreeing with verbs and adjectives it can be shown that this language has a richer system of agreement than originally thought, but as of now it is currently unknowable (see 6.2).
2.3 Derivational Morphology
Another example of a possible case marker appearing (perhaps simply as a derivational suffix), is the locative –wey ‘in, among’, as in xhiqwey ‘among the sands’. It is conceivable that this is a productive suffix, such that there is a word, say kauwwey ‘among the valleys’ that could be found some day.
There is also the comitative suffix –chy ‘with’, which occurs rather frequently. It can go on both concrete nouns and verbal nouns, as seen below:
2) lischy ‘with learning’
purschy ‘with saddle ask’
werenschy ‘with leaving’
An interesting suffix seen in a few places in the corpus is –mijn, which, although it looks similar to the possessive su ix –minne, is perhaps entirely unrelated; this nominalizing su ix, rather, indicates a general state of an adjective or noun, as in:
3) kringmijn ‘country’ i.e. ‘king + -ness’ tzmhmijn ‘devotion’ i.e. ‘devote + -tion’
Words and morphemes can also be combined to create new compound words, whose meanings may be more complex than the sum of the two (or more) individual elements:
4) tarasp ‘different dimensions’ tarhas ‘theoretical dimensions’
In the above case, the root tar- indicates a space or dimension, however it can compound with the second root –asp ‘different’ or -has ‘in theory, possible’ to create new ideas from those compounded roots.
A diminutive suffix –ly (i.e. kring ‘king’ turning into kringly ‘prince’) is also attested.
Verbs are another category which display a remarkable amount of inflectional capabilities, but it is so varied that it is difficult to say if an ending means one thing in every instance, or whether an underlying ending is reified in the surface form in various ways depending on some unknown morphophonological mechanism. This section will attempt to describe certain elements of these ideas.
3.1 Inflectional Morphology
Verbs appear to mark for person by suffixing, and this is evident in the fragments’ translations; there are perhaps different conjugations of verbs, because identical persons are often inflcted with different suffixes:
5) saich ‘I quoth’
khliieriljyi ‘I love uttering’
zaichikh ‘I tell’
khlandu ‘I seek’
As can be seen above, elements of high vowels (i.e. i and u above) along with the ch phoneme, may all indicate some meaning of the first person (in the present). This is opposed to:
6) zula ‘you understand’ astaba ‘he/she/it was’
whereby a low vowel (in this case a, the only low vowel in the language) marks the second and third persons in the present. It may also be the case that this is not a present tense at all; a more reasonable explanation for the variability of suffixal morphology (as it relates to meaning) is that verbs inflect for aspect rather than tense.
Additionally, as can be seen in (7) below, the plural persons do not appear to be inflected at all for their meaning, which is rather strange cross-linguistically:
7) zihn ‘(they?) laugh’
3.2 Suffixal Options
Other shades of meaning can be included in a speaker or writer’s verbal morphology, such as the progressive/imitative suffix –quiqui, as in zlahnyaquiqui ‘willowing, oating, turning’. Other progressive suffixes (assuming that this language does indeed have a progressive aspect), include –ete, as in zxhunete ‘veering’; –uun, as in yarhuun ‘riding’; and –ian, as in narquellian ‘speaking’.
Other Parts of Speech
This section will deal with the less well-understood parts of speech found in this language (adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, etc.).
Adjectives are often found not isolated, but as a single element in a bi- or trielemental compound (see 3.3). As such, there can be found numerous words which show adjectival incorporation, such as pflahallya ‘circling waves’; and words which are made of a compound of two adjectives, such as yiininduuzxiyihh ‘multiple simultaneous’.
Adverbs appear to be unmarked, such as duuk ‘verily’, tink ‘here and now’, etc.
Isolated prepositions (i.e. those not able to be suffixed to a noun) include lijn ‘when’ and zin ‘up to, toward(s)’, among others. Why these prepositions cannot be incorporated to the noun stem is unknown, and perhaps is best explained by unknowable diachronic alterations in past iterations of the development of the current declensional morphology.
The only numeral understood to exist so far in the corpus is ichi (a Japanese loanword, perhaps?). If more numerals were given, it would be easier to decipher plural morphology (see 3.1).
Syntactic Word Order
The general word-order typology appears to be SVO, meaning that the subject comes before the verb, which in turn comes before the object of the verb. The predicate is able to drop the object if none exists. These general word order rules are no better seen than in the following sentence:
5.1 NP Order
8) zula p irk tink zinzinnin
‘understanding, here, now, only confuses the treeline’
Adjectives generally precede the nouns they modify, and adverbs tend to come after the verbs or other adverbs they modify. As such, this language can tentatively be said to be head-final.