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Egramith has 30 phonemes, 20 of which are consonants.
labial dental alveolar velar stops fricatives nasals liquids
Egramith has ten vowels divided into palatalized and non-palatalized complements.
non-palatalized palatalized front back front back high low
Words are stressed on the last vowel before the last consonant, but an acute accent indicates an irregular stress placement.
In addition to a palatalized/non-palatalized distinction, Egramith vowels are also divided into two classes.
The front vowels are i, e, yi, and ye. The back vowels are a, o, u, ya, yo, and yu. Occasionally a and ya are treated as separate a-vowels.
Affixes generally come in two forms, one with front vowels and one with back. The nearest vowel in the root word determines the class of affix used.
Most affixes with an r cause any previous r in the word to dissimilate to an l, unless the r is word-initial.
Nouns in Egramith may take a suffix for number and for case. A maximally-inflected noun is of the structure:
Nouns may take a definite article, er before r, el before other consonants, l' before vowels.
l'Anássur yan el Tóral
the winter and the summer
Any given noun is either singular or plural by default, being able to take an ending for the opposite number.
To make a plural noun singular, drop any final vowels, drop any stress marks, and add -a. If the new stressed vowel is after an n, palatalize it. The singular ending does not change for vowel harmony.
eğenni "eyes" > eğenna "eye"
fénar "names" > fenyara "name"
béron "storms" > berona "storm"
To make a singular noun plural, drop any final vowels, dissimilate a previous r to l, and add -ir/-ar.
cora "yard" > colar "yards"
ban "bone" > banar "bones"
soğa "wolf" > soğar "wolves"
eler "language" > elelir "languages"
Nouns decline for eight marked cases, being unmarked for the nominative and accusative. Here we examine nouns of both vowel classes, paying particular attention to nouns ending in n, which behave somewhat differently.
front vowels bres "tooth" meli "clay" grénin "gift" genitive bresen melin greninyen instrumental breses meles greninyes metative bleser meler gleninyer ablative blesíğer melíğer gleninyíğer dative bresin melin gréninyin locative blesser meliser gléninser comitative bresien melien gréninien benefactive bresil melil gréninyil
back vowels súyar "bear"
róvan "comb" genitive suyaran moran rovanan instrumental suyaros moros rovanos metative suyalor molor rovanor ablative suyaláğer moláğer rovanáğer dative súyaran moran róvanan locative súyalcor molacor róvancor comitative súyarion morion róvanion benefactive súyaral moral róvanal
The genitive case is used to mean "of X" or "X's", much as in Latin.
néredh allanan "a song of joy"
The instrumental indicates something used as a tool or means, "with X", "using X", "by way of X".
Áver el láver meres ellen. "Open the door with your hand."
Metative nouns are the goal of the action, "for X" as in "I'm looking for my brother."
The ablative case shows movement away from an origin, "from X", "off of X", "out of X".
The dative shows movement towards a destintation, "to X", "towards X", "onto X".
The locative indicates that the action takes place at the noun, "at X", "near X", "among X".
The comitative case means "with X", "alongside X", showing proximity or association.
"Nyérudh went there with Emelya."
The benefactive case shows the one the action is performed for, "for X's benefit".
Egramith personal pronouns distinguish number and inclusive/exclusive we, as well as ten cases.
1st sg. 2nd sg. 3rd sg. 1st excl. 1st incl. 2nd pl. 3rd pl. nom. am el at non er ben os acc. man ilen tan non eren ban uzon gen. maran ellen taran nuron erin baran ozuron inst. amos eles athos nos eres bes osos met. amor eler athor nor eliera ber osor abl. amáğer elir adar nogor liger bir osáğer dat. min élyin tin noen erin bin ózyen loc. accor elser ador nuora elcera beser oser com. amion elien adion nóyon érien bien osion ben. amal elil adal nonal eril bel osal
Exclusive we (non) means us, but not you. Inclusive we (er) means us and you, or me and you.
can "what" i "who" ez "where" en "when" e "this" ol "that" sg. pl. sg. pl. gen. canaran egren - - eren iren olan
edhes - es ires olos olaros met. canor ezera - - er ira olora
abl. canagar eyer edhiyer eniyer eyer iliyer olağar olaran dat. canan
ezin enyin eni irin olan
loc. cannor iser ez en e ir ol olar com. canyon in - - edhen iren olion
- - er ira olora olara
Adjectives change for comparison only, and are not divided into any special categories.
ávar "far" dhéon "new" melyen "green" scoler "soon" tara "red" lora "purple" comparative ávaran "farther" dhéonan "newer" melyenan "greener" scoleran "sooner" taran "redder" loran "purpler" superlative l'avaredor
Note that the adjectival endings change neither for vowel harmony, nor for r-dissimilation.
There is a special adjective, doy, that means "what" or "which" and is used for making questions. The questions:
El ren tan ezin perte? "Who did you give it to?"
El ren tan doy pelyenan perte? "Which person did you give it to?"
...are basically equivalent.
1 en eni enner 2 biru biri birdar 3 ver veri verder 4 seru seri serudar 5 tedhor tedhori tedhorar 6 ceza cezi cezadar 7 yivil yíveli yiviller 8 ibera ibri iberder 9 nyen nyeni nyenner 10 mérin merri mérinner
Cardinal numbers (one, two) are for saying how many there are, ordinals (first, second) are for saying where something is in a list, and iteratives (once, twice) say how many times something happens.
Egramith verbs are imperative by default, taking a suffix to become infinitive, a prefix for negation, and a suffix for person. A maximally-inflected verb is of the structure:
Ben i nenássurir, muğol!
ben i ne-nássur-ir muğol
you who NEG-die-3PL fight
You who are not dying, fight!
eğer "ask" vor "bury" ren "give" muğol "fight" édhan "agree" roza "walk" 1st sg. eğere vora rene muğola édhana roza pl. eğeremir voromir renemir muğolomir edhanomir rozomir 2nd eğeren voron renen muğolon édhanon rozon 3rd sg. eğer vor ren muğol édhan roza pl. eğerir voror renir muğolor édhanar rozor
Note that the 3rd plural forms change for a-class vowels, and that 1st plural forms cancel irregular stress markers.
The basic imperative verbs become infinitive by dropping any final vowels and adding -er/-or. A previous r changes to l, irregular stress is dropped, and a final g changes to y.
sora "Sit down!" > solor "to sit down"
tese "Stand!" > teser "to stand"
Verbs are negated by adding the prefix ne-, n- before vowels.
Am medhe lun. "I want water."
Am nemedhe lun. "I don't want water."
Verbs do not inflect for tense, but they do have some auxiliary words available to change tense. Perte is an adverb meaning something like "so it happened", putting the sentence in the past tense. Sor is an auxiliary verb like English will, putting the sentence in the future tense. A sentence with sor generally reflects a desired or intentional situation, so you wouldn't use it with "The tree will fall over on the house." (unless of course you knew someone was pushing it down).
As in many languages, the most irregular verb is "to be", sen.
sen "be" infinitive ser 1st sg. sen pl. semir 2nd sg. say pl. senyir 3rd sg. sen pl. sedhir
l'embar yan l'ester yivil "the tree and the seven stars"
agora aganan yan cennyin "a land of milk and honey"
em and, for natural/inseparable groups or pairs
médhelir em vanar "bucks and does"
ağan édhe curol "hot or cold"
© 2005 Joseph Fatula, all rights reserved.