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Egramith

Introduction
Phonology
Morphology

Introduction

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Phonology

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.

Vowel Harmony

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.

R-Dissimilation

Most affixes with an r cause any previous r in the word to dissimilate to an l, unless the r is word-initial.

Morphology

Nouns
Pronouns - personal pronouns, other pronouns
Adjectives
Numbers
Verbs

Nouns

Nouns in Egramith may take a suffix for number and for case.  A maximally-inflected noun is of the structure:

ROOT-NUMBER-CASE

solaláğer
sola-ar-áğer
moon-PL-ABL
from moons

Articles

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

Number

Any given noun is either singular or plural by default, being able to take an ending for the opposite number.

Singular

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"

Plural

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"

Case

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"

mora "mountain"

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

Case Usage

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".

Pronouns

Personal Pronouns

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.

Other Pronouns

  can "what" i "who" ez "where" en "when" e "this" ol "that"
sg. pl. sg. pl.
gen. canaran egren - - eren iren olan

olaran

inst. canos

eyes

edhes - es ires olos olaros
met. canor ezera - - er ira olora

olara

abl. canagar eyer edhiyer eniyer eyer iliyer olağar olaran
dat. canan

ezin

ezin enyin eni irin olan

olara

loc. cannor iser ez en e ir ol olar
com. canyon in - - edhen iren olion

olarion

ben. canal

il

- - er ira olora olara

Adjectives

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
"the farthest"

el dheonedor
"the newest"

el melyenedor
"the greenest"
el scoleredor
"the soonest"

el tarador
"the reddest"

el lorador
"the purplest"

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?"

...and...

El ren tan doy pelyenan perte?  "Which person did you give it to?"

...are basically equivalent.

Numbers

  cardinal ordinal

iterative

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.

Verbs

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:

NEGATION-ROOT-PERSON/INFINITIVE

Ben i nenássurir, muğol!
ben i ne-nássur-ir muğol
you who NEG-die-3PL fight
You who are not dying, fight!

Person

  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.

Infinitive

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"

Negative

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."

Tense Auxiliaries

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).

Irregular Sen

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

Conjunctions

yan and

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"

édhe or

ağan édhe curol "hot or cold"


© 2005 Joseph Fatula, all rights reserved.