ReConLangMo 3: Morphosyntactic Typology
Published on 05/11/2020, 882 words, 4 minutes to read
In the last post of this series, we covered the sounds and word patterns of L'ewa. This time we are covering morphosyntactic typology, or how words and sentences are formed out of root words, details about sentences, word order and those kinds of patterns. I'll split each of these into their own headings so it's a bit easier to grok. This is a response to this prompt.
L'ewa is normally a Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) language like English. However, the word order of a sentence can be changed if it is important to specify some part of the sentence in particular.
I haven't completely finalized the particles for this, but I'd like to use
denote the subject,
ke to denote the verb and
ku to denote the object. For
example if the input sentence is something like:
/mi/ /mad.sa/ /lo/ /spa.lo/ mi madsa lo spalo I eat an apple
You could emphasize the eating with:
/kɛ/ /mad.sa/ /ka/ /mi/ /lo/ /spa.lo/ [ke] madsa ka mi lo spalo V eat S I an apple
ke is in square brackets here because it is technically not required, but
it can make more sense to be explicit in some cases)
or the apple with:
/ku/ /lo/ /spalo/ /kɛ/ /mad.sa/ /mi ku lo spalo ke madsa mi O an apple V eat I
L'ewa doesn't really have adjectives or adverbs in the normal indo-european
sense, but it does have a way to analytically combine meanings together. For
qa'te is the word for
is fast/quick/rapid in rate, then saying
you are quickly eating (or wolfing food down) would be something like:
/qaʔ.tɛ/ /mad.sa/ qa'te madsa is fast [kind of] eat
These are assumed to be metaphorical by default. It's not always clear what someone would mean by a fast kind of language (would they be referencing Speedtalk?)
L'ewa doesn't always require a subject or object if it can be figured out from context. You can just say "rain" instead of "it's raining". By default, the first word in a sentence without an article is the verb. The ka/ke/ku series needs to be used if the word order deviates from Subject-Verb-Object (it functions a lot like the selma'o FA from Lojban).
L'ewa is a analytic language. Every single word has only one form and particles are used to modify the meaning or significance of words. There are only two word classes: content and particles.
L'ewa is a nominative-accusative language. Other particles may be introduced in the future to help denote the relations that exist in other alignments, but I don't need them yet.
As said before, L'ewa only has two word classes, content (or verbs) and particles to modify the significance or relations between content. There is also a hard limit of two arguments per verb, which should help avoid the problems that Lojban has with its inconsistent usage of the x3, x4 and x5 places.
As the content words are all technically verbs, there is no real need for a copula. The ka/ke/ku series can also help to break out of other things that modify "noun-phrases" (when those things exist). There are also no nouns, adjectives or adverbs, because analytically combining words completely replaces the need for them.
Nouns and verbs do not inflect for numbers. If numbers are needed they can be provided, otherwise the default is to assume "one or more".
I am still working on the finer details of the conscript for L'ewa, but here is a sneak preview of the letter forms I am playing with (this image below might not render properly in light mode):
This script is very decorative, and is primarily intended to be used in spellcraft and other artistic uses. It will probably show up in my art from time to time, and will definitely show up in any experimental video production that I work on in the future. I will go into more detail about this in the future, but here is my prototype. Please do let me know what you think about it.
As a side note, the words
qa'te are now official L'ewa
words, I guess. The entire vocabulary of the language can now be listed below:
||is a language|
||is fast/quick/rapid in rate|
||is a plant/is vegetation|
||is an apple|
|lo||/lo/||a, an, indefinite article|
|le||/lɛ/||the, definite article|
|mi||/mi/||the current speaker|
Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.
Tags: conlang, lewa