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Author Topic: The Styrásh Language  (Read 6490 times)
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Mina
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« on: 01 October 2011, 21:11:47 »

After Artimidor's confirmation a few days ago that Styrash grammar is based on Latin grammar, I felt inspired to write an entry for the language.  Besides stuff inferred from Latin grammar, I'm also trying to incorporate information created by Anwulf, Falethas, Rayne, and others on the forum, though I've not quite finished doing that.  

I have tried to write the entry in a way that allows for some variations between individual users of Styrash, as well as the possibility of creating new dialects like Nybelmar Styrash and Old Ylffer without being too constrained by what's written in this entry.  

There are some sections that aren't done yet, and others that could probably use some fleshing out.  Some help would be good.   :)

Introduction
While short-lived races such as Humans and Orcs speak many different languages, depending on geographical location and tribe, virtually all Elves speak Styrásh.  For this reason, it is often referred to simply as “Elvish”.  Even so, Styrásh is not a uniform language, but rather a diverse collection of dialects, each tribe having its own.  Mutual intelligibility between the dialects varies greatly.  Tribes that live close to each other, such as the Quaelhoirhim and the Tethinrhim, usually have little difficulty understanding each other's dialects, but tribes that live further apart, on different continents for example, might require some effort to understand each other's dialects.  

The full details of the dialects and precisely how they differ from each other is beyond the scope of this entry.  Instead, this entry shall attempt to provide an overview of Styrásh, focusing more on general attributes than on the differences between the dialects.  Do note, however, that the features documented here might not necessarily be as true of dialects spoken outside South Sarvonia as they are of South Sarvonian dialects, as foreign realms are much less accessible to Compendium researchers, and thus it is more difficult to obtain and verify information from them.  

Pronunciation
Styrásh pronunciation varies somewhat between individual dialects, but in general the language distinguishes 21 consonant sounds and 8 vowel sounds.  Due to some of these sounds being rare or nonexistent in Tharian, speakers of Tharian often find Styrásh difficult to pronounce.  Some of these sounds have alternative spellings, usually a result of sounds that were once distinct but have since merged.  Some dialects might still maintain some of these older distinctions.  Below is a list of the sounds, as well as rough descriptions of how they are usually pronounced.  Alternative spellings are also included where any are known to exist.  

Consonants

Sound        Pronunciation
b  Same as Tharian, eg. "book"  
ch  Pronounced as in “chair”, never a “k” sound as in “charisma” or a “sh” sound as in “chemise”  
d  Same as Tharian, eg. "dog"  
f (ph)  Same as Tharian, eg. "fire"  
g  A "hard g" as in "get", never a "soft g" as in "gentle"  
h  Usually pronounced as in "hat"  
When occuring at the end of a syllable, pronounced in a harsher and more guttural manner, like the "ch" in some pronunciations of "loch"  
j  Pronounced similar to the "s" in "pleasure", never like a Tharian "j"  
jh  Pronounced similar to Tharian "y" in words like "yell"  
k (c, kh)  Same as Tharian, eg. "keep"  
l  Same as Tharian, eg. "leap"  
m  Same as Tharian, eg. "make"
n  Same as Tharian, eg. "new"
p  Same as Tharian, eg. "pot"
r (rh)  A "rolled r" sound not commonly found in Tharian
s  Same as Tharian, eg "sail"
sh  Same as Tharian, eg. "shut"
t  Same as Tharian, eg. "talk"
th  Same as Tharian, eg. "thin"
v  Same as Tharian, eg. "vain"
w  Same as Tharian, eg. "wait"
z  Same as Tharian, eg. "zero"

In addition, one might also find x and qu in Styrásh writings, but they represent sequences involving the above consonants, rather than distinct sounds.  

The letter x represents the consonant cluster ks, much as it does when it occurs at the end of Tharian words, such as “six”.  Unlike Tharian, however, it retains this pronunciation even in the beginning or middle of a word, so, for example, xeúa would be pronounced “kseua”, without any silent letters.  

The sequence qu is used to represent the consonant cluster kw.  This is similar to how it is used in Tharian, in words such as “queen”.  

Vowels
Sound
   
Pronunciation
a     An "ah" sound, as in "dark"
ae     Approximately the "a" sound in "bad".
e     Approximately the "e" sound in "bed"
è     A sound that does not occur in Tharian.  Pronounced similar to e, but with lips rounded like when pronouncing u or o
i     Approximately the "ee" sound in "keep"
o     Approximately the "o" sound in "or"
u     Approximately the "oo" sound in "book"
y     A sound that does not occur in Tharian.  Pronounced similar to i, but with lips rounded like when pronouncing u or o

In some dialects, ae is treated not as a distinct sound, but a variant of e.  

In ancient times, Styrásh also had long vowels, which were marked with a circumflex accent.  However, very few remain, found mostly in old words, such as the name of the ancient Elven empire of Fá'áv'cál'âr.  Occasionally, one also finds doubled vowels in Styrásh, such as in soór “vivid, active”.  These are not long vowels, but two separate instances of the same sound.  Thus, soór is pronounced so-or, with two syllables that each have an o vowel, rather than a single syllable with a long o.  

However, such doubled vowels may not be produced as a result of the conjugation of declension of a word.  In situations where they would normally produce doubled vowels, one of the vowels is deleted instead.  Thus, for example, one might expect the plural dative form of krói "war" to be kroiiám, but it is instead kroiám, as an i has been deleted.  

Stress
In Styrásh, stressed syllables are marked with an acute accent over the vowel.  However, as stress is usually predictable, individual writers do not always mark it, unless a word has irregular stress, or if the intended audience is unfamiliar with the language.  

Most of the time, stress falls on the final syllable of a word.  The main exception is when the vowels of the final two syllables are adjacent to each other, in which case the penultimate syllable is stressed instead.  In compound words, which occur frequently in Styrásh, the first syllable of the word is stressed as well.  

Grammar
Styrásh in general has the same types of words as Tharian, such as Nouns and Verbs.  However, they can behave quite differently from their Tharian equivalents.  This section will discuss the various types of Styrásh words, and how they are put together to form sentences.  

Note that, like Tharian, Styrásh has some words with irregular forms.  Dialectal differences further complicate things, as what is irregular in one dialect might be regular in another, and vice versa.  Thus, the grammatical rules described here are merely generalisations, and might not apply in every instance.  

Verbs
Styrásh verbs are more complex than their Tharian counterparts.  They can be found in either the Indicative, Imperative, Participle, or Infinitive form.  The verbs are cited in dictionaries in their infinitive forms; in order to find the uninflected bare forms of the verbs, onto which endings are added during conjugation, remove the -án ending from the dictionary forms.  

Indicative
The indicative form is used for making statements.  Verbs in the indicative form are marked for either the Past, Present, or Future tense.  In addition, they agree with their subjects in person and number, though not in gender.  Below is a table listing the present tense endings, which are shown attached to the verb suarhán, “to write” (uninflected form: suarh-).  

Singular     Plural
1st Personsuarhá
"I write"
    suarháns
"We write"
2nd Personsuarhás
"You write"
    suarhantís
"You write"
3rd Personsuarhát
"He/she writes"
    suarhanté
"They write"

The past and future tense conjugations are more complicated, and are explained in a separate entry.  

Imperative
When in their imperative forms, verbs agree with their subjects in number.  The singular imperative ending is -aiá, and the plural imperative ending is -aiáh.  

The imperative form is primarily used for making requests or giving commands.  When used this way, the subject is usually omitted from the sentence; it is clear that the subject is the person or persons being addressed.  

Veivaiá sá dosthím
Read the book”

When a subject is included, the sentence is typically expressing hope or desire.  

Artaiá sáh Aviaría uím
"May the Aviaría bless us"

Participle
Verbs in their participle forms may be either in the present tense, with the ending , or in the past tense, with the ending -anhé.  However, the present tense ending is often omitted, especially when the verb is being used as part of a compound word.  The past tense ending is sometimes also be omitted in compound words, particularly if not omitting it would result in a very long word.  Ultimately though, whether the ending is omitted usually depends on how euphonious the resulting word is.  

Unlike the indicative and imperative, verbs in their participle forms cannot be used as the main verb of a sentence.  They are generally used like adjectives, to modify nouns, or to form clauses that do the same.  

Án aleí veván
“A singing bird, a bird that is singing

contanhé aferó
“The captured thief, the thief who was captured

Sá styrás veiví án dosthím
“The elf who is reading a book

Sá styrás veivanhé án dosthím
“The elf who was reading a book

As seen from the second example above, the past tense form, when used alone, usually also implies that the modified noun has the action described by the participle verb performed on it, rather than being the one performing the action, like in the other examples.  However, this implication is not present when it is being used to head a clause, as seen in the final example above.  

Inifinitive
As mentioned above, Styrásh verbs are typically cited in their infinitive forms.  The infinitive ending is usually -án.  

However, that is not the only use of the infinitive form.  Like participles, verbs in their infinitive forms cannot be used as the main verb of a sentence, and instead are used for clauses within complex sentences.  These infinitive clauses are used like nouns; a complex sentence with an infinitive clause can have it replaced by a normal noun and remain grammatically correct, although of course the meaning of the sentence would likely become different.  However, these clauses are not declined like true nouns are, and also are not accompanied by articles.  

Stygeysí iú ným aleán
"I heard him sing"

Stygeysí iú só telór
"I heard the song"

Styrát artajén mallán ác sá avelyathé
To learn at the academy is respectable”

Styrát artajén
"He is respectable"

Nouns
Styrásh nouns are inherently gendered; every noun is either masculine or feminine.  Proper declension of a noun requires knowledge of its gender.  Fortunately, it is usually possible to tell the gender of a noun by looking at the ending of its bare, uninflected form.  Below is a list of the endings typically associated with each gender:

Masculine: -aém, -aér, -aín, -ál, -ála, -ásh, -én, -ér, -és, -éth, -éy, -íc, -íl, -ím, -ín, -ír, -óc, -óg, -ól, -ón, -ór, ós
Feminine: -á, -ách, -aí, -áj, -án, -aó, -ár, -ás, -áz, -áth, -éf, -él, -erá, -eró, -eú, -euá, -ía, -iár, -ly, -só, -thán, -uá, -ýr

In addition to gender, each Styrásh noun also has either singular or plural number, and one of five cases: Nominative, Accusative, Genitive, Dative, and Ablative.  Each combination of number, gender, and case has a different ending, which is attached to the end of the noun.  The following is a table of these endings, shown attached to the masculine noun galnós “stone, rock” and the feminine noun dós “book”.  
   
Masculine
Feminine

Nominative
Accusative
Genitive
Dative
Ablative
 
Singular
galnós
galnosím
galnosís
galnosí
galnosó
  Plural
galnosín
galnosían
galnosiás
galnosiám
galnosá
 
Singular
dós
dosthím
dosís
dosí
dosthé
  Plural
dosía
dosthían
dosías
dosíam
dosthá

When in the nominative case, singular nouns, both masculine and feminine, remain in their uninflected forms.  

More detailed information regarding the functions of each case, including examples, is given below.  

Nominative Case
The nominative case marks a noun as the subject of a sentence, which is usually be the performer of the action described by the sentence.  

Veivát sá styrás sá dosthím
The elf reads the book”

Also, in sentences where linking verbs such as styrán “to be” and nárán “to become” are used to describe the subject, both nouns take the nominative case.  

Styrát sá styrás én raín
“The elf is a warrior

Nárát sá styrás én raín
“The elf becomes a warrior

Accusative Case
The accusative case is usually used to mark a noun as being the one on whom the action described in the sentence is being performed.  In the following example, the accusative case ending on dós "book" indicates that it is the one that is being read.  

Veivát sá styrás sá dosthím
“The elf reads the book

Genitive Case
The genitive case is used when expressing possession, to mark the possessor.  It is thus comparable to the Tharian preposition “of”.  

Sá dós sá styrasís
“The book of the elf

In some Styrásh dialects, possessors do not take the genitive case.  Instead, a preposition is used to express possession, much like the way Tharian does it.  

Dative Case
The dative case is primarily used to mark the recipient of an action where something is transferred from one party to another.  For instance, in the example below, the dative case marks the elf as being the recipient of the action of giving the book.  This is similar to some usages of the Tharian preposition “to”.  

Reollát ná sá dosthím sá styrasí
“She gives the book to the elf

However, unlike “to”, it is typically not used to mark the target or destination towards which an action is directed.  Instead, this is usually done with the ablative case, although it does vary somewhat between dialects.  

As an extension of the above usage, the dative case is often also used to mark the person or purpose for which an action is performed.  When used this way, the preposition í “for” is usually added before the dative noun as well.

Seoranté naí énh fearnían í sóh rhaemíam
“They build houses for the people

The dative case can also be used together with styrán “to be” to make statements of possession, essentially performing the function of Tharian “have”.  

Styrát án eayá só kyrosí
The nobleman has a castle
(literally, “A castle is to the nobleman”)

Ablative Case
The ablative case is one of the more complex cases in Styrásh.  It can perform a great variety of functions, though it is not used for all these purposes in every dialect.  Due to the ablative case's range of possible uses, prepositions are commonly used for disambiguation, as will be seen in the examples below.  In fact, there are some dialects where prepositions have supplanted the ablative case altogether.  In general, one could think of the ablative case as being a sort of "prepositional case"; often, where Tharian would modify a noun with a preposition, the Styrásh equivalent is marked with the ablative case.  

Some of the main uses of the ablative case have to do with marking locations.  These include locations at which an action is performed, locations away from which an action is directed, and locations towards which an action is directed.  These are typically accompanied by a variety of prepositions that more precisely specify the nature of the relation.  

Stasíat én áey áh só fearnó
“A person stands in front of the house

Arát nó és só fearnó
“He goes into the house

Jraelát nó énh galnosían jhé só fearnó
“He throws stones out of the house

The ablative case can also be used, in a similar way, to mark the time at or during which an action takes place.  Note that the prepositions Styrásh uses when referring to time are not necessarily equivalent to those Tharian would use for the same purpose.  In the following example, the Tharian version uses the preposition "for", but rather than using the equivalent preposition, í, Styrásh instead uses á "through".  

Jraelát nó énh galnosían á énh sýs dainá
“He throws stones for two days

Another use is to indicate accompaniment, marking someone or something together with which an action is carried out.  This roughly corresponds to some uses of the Tharian preposition "with"; however, when the ablative case is used for this purpose, it is more often seen without an accompanying preposition.  

Rethat én dél'áey én isyroró
“A mage comes with a friend

There are two uses of the ablative case where it is usually accompanied by the preposition é, the Styrásh equivalent of “with”.  The first is to mark the means or instrument by which an action is carried out.  

Arneát nó só dél'aeyím é én galnosó
“He hits the mage with a stone

The second, somewhat related use is to indicate the manner in which an action is carried out, essentially using it like an adverb, though the resulting phrase is not a true adverb.  

Arneát nó só dél'aeyím é amnó
“He hits the mage forcefully
(literally, “He hits the mage with force”)

The ablative case is also used in passive sentences to mark the performer of an action.  When used this way, it is accompanied by the preposition ér “by”.  

Styrát nó caehanhé ér só dél'aeýo
“He is cursed by the mage

Finally, one unusual use of the ablative case is to mark someone or something that the speaker is addressing.  The usual lack of an article on such nouns reduces the likelihood of it being confused with the other possible uses of the ablative case.  It is sometimes treated as a separate case, and given the name Vocative Case.  

Styrát só dél'áey tán, isyroró
“The mage is angry, friend

Articles
Like Tharian, the Styrásh language makes use of definite and indefinite articles, which are roughly analogous to Tharian “the” and “a” respectively.  However, unlike Tharian, the Styrásh articles agree with the nouns they modify in number and gender, so Styrásh in fact has eight such articles.  Articles are placed before the nouns they modify, but after prepositions.  

Below is a list of the definite and indefinite articles in Styrásh, shown with the nominative forms of the masculine noun galnós “stone, rock” and the feminine noun dós “book”.  The same articles are used with nouns in the other cases as well.  

Definite
Indefinite
 
Masculine

Feminine

Singular  Plural
galnós
"The rock"
 sóh galnosín
"The rocks"
dós
"The book"
 sáh dosía
"The books"
Singular  Plural
én galnós
"A rock"
 énh galnosín
"Rocks"
án dós
"A book"
 énh dosía
"Books"

Adjectives
Adjectives are used to modify nouns, providing additional information about them.  Unlike verbs and nouns, Styrásh adjectives are not inflected.  They are usually found adjacent to the nouns they are modifying, or with a linking verb like styrán “to be” or nárán “to become”.  

únn feárn
“The big house”

Styrát únn só feárn
“The house is big

There are a number of endings that, when added to an adjective, produces a noun that names the quality or condition associated with the adjective.  The most common of these appears to be -erá, though it varies somewhat between dialects.  Nouns produced by -erá have the feminine gender.  Also, if the adjective ends with the vowels i or e, the vowel is deleted before -erá is added.  

Árn
"Able, capable"
 Arnerá
"Ability, capability"
Raugií
"Pure"
 Raugierá
"Purity"

It is also possible to convert many nouns into adjectives by adding the ending -cín to their uninflected forms, which adds a meaning of “full of” or “in possession of”.  

Cáey
"Mountain"
 Caeycín
"Mountainous, full of mountains"
Aváth
"Beauty"
 Avathcín
"Beautiful"

Another way to convert nouns into adjectives is to add the ending -én to their uninflected forms.  This adds the meaning of "being like" or "having the quality of".  It is commonly used to create adjectives that describe material properties, like the Tharian adjectives "metallic" or "wooden", though other uses are possible as well.  

Ilaról
"Silver"
 Ilarolén
"Silvery, silver-like, made of silver"
Galnós
"Stone"
 Galnosén
"Stony, stone-like, made of stone"

The ending may sometimes also appear as -thén.  There is no fixed pattern regarding when to use each form, though it seems more common to find -thén when the original noun ends in a vowel, and -én when it ends in a consonant.  

Prepositions
Prepositions are commonly used in Styrásh.  Together with the noun cases, they serve the purpose of specifying the relations of the nouns in a sentence to the verb, and to each other.  However, not all prepositions are used in every dialect, and the exact uses of each preposition varies between dialects as well.  Prepositions, as the name implies, are placed before the nouns they modify.  If the noun has other modifiers, in addition to the preposition, then the preposition comes first, before the other modifiers.  

Due to the close relationship between prepositions and noun cases, the details regarding when prepositions are to be used are provided alongside the explanations of the noun cases.  

Pronouns
Styrásh personal pronouns usually take different forms depending on their case, number, and person.  In the third person, there are often separate masculine and feminine forms as well.  These are shown in the table below.  

First Person  Second Person  Third Person
 
Nominative
Accusative
Genitive
Dative
Ablative
Singular  Plural

 iuí
iúm
 uím
iuá
 ías
úi
 íam
úè
 úa
Singular  Plural
qué
 queí
quém
 quén
quís
 kýas
quí
 kýam

 qué
Singular  Plural
nó (m.), ná (f.)
 noí (m.), naí (f.)
ným (m.), néth (f.)
 nýan (m.), naíth (f.)
nés
 niás
neí
 ném
nó (m.), náth (f.)
 náth

In addition, Styrásh also has a reflexive pronoun, chón, which is sometimes translated as "self".  It is used like Tharian reflexive pronouns, such as "myself" or "themselves", to indicate that the action described in the sentence is performed by the subject on itself.  However, unlike the Tharian pronouns, chón usually does not take different forms.  

Vaiá iú chón
"I see myself"

Melát só thyrón'herín chón
"The jellyfish deceives itself"

When used with plural subjects, chón can also be indicating that the subjects are performing the action on each other, rather than on themselves.  Usually, context allows the listener to tell which of the two meanings is intended.  When that is insufficient, the sentence might be paraphrased in a number of ways for greater clarity.  For example, one could modify chón with the preposition senés "between" to specify that the subjects perform the action on each other.  

Vaiá iuí chón
"We see ourselves" or "We see each other"

Vaiá iuí senés chón
"We see each other"

Adverbs
Adverbs are a type of words that are used to modify verbs, adjectives, or even other adverbs.  Like adjectives, Styrásh adverbs are not inflected, and are usually found adjacent to the words they are modifying.  

Uás shatanté sáh vevanía
"The birds fly together"

Erán veivát ná sá dosthím
“She repeatedly reads the book”

Some words can be used both as an adverb and as another type of word, without any change in form.  For example, the word ó can be used as an adverb, meaning "eternally", or as an adjective, meaning "eternal".  The following compound words illustrate these two uses of ó.  

Ó'krói
"Eternal war"

Ó'bejón
"Evergreen"
(literally, "eternally blossoming")

However, true adverbs are less common in Styrásh than in Tharian.  Where Tharian makes use of adverbs that have been converted from adjectives by the addition of a "-ly" ending, Styrásh sometimes prefers to use nouns instead of actual adverbs.  These nouns are in the ablative case, and usually accompanied by the preposition é “with”.  

Klýuát ná é ancianathé
"She walks silently"
(literally, "She walks with silence")

Conjunctions
Conjunctions are used to join together parts of a sentence, or even entire sentences.  They usually precede each segment that is being added.  

Só daí ám ýph ám aelién pacór
"The red, (and) blue, and white bear"

Vaianté naí án tán masyrthím mésh én gákk thyrón'heriním
"They see an irate fish or a cute jellyfish"

Féhlyát nó sá masyrthím náh arneát ná ným
"He feeds the fish but it hits him"

A segment headed by a conjunction can sometimes also be moved to the front, often in order to emphasise it.  

Tré rèthát nó, styrát sá córach
"When he returns, it is midnight"

Compound Words
Styrásh makes frequent use of compound words to name things and concepts.  This often involves combining a word with another word that modifies it.  The modifying word is usually attached to the front of the word it modifies.  An example is the word marén'cál "swamp, wetland", which is formed by combining the modifying adjective marén "watery, wet" with the noun cál "land".  

It is a common practice, when writing Styrásh compound words, to separate their components with apostrophes, though this practice is not entirely consistent or universal.  The apostrophes exist solely in writing, and have no effect on pronunciation.  

In speech, compound words are distinguished from words with modifiers by their different stress patterns.  A compound word is treated as a single word for the purpose of assigning stress, and in addition to normal stress, also receives stress on the first syllable .  In contrast, modifiers such as adjectives are treated as separate words when assigning stress.  This can be seen in the following examples.  

Asén evathón
“Sweet ice, ice that is sweet”

Ásen'evathón
“Asen'evathon bush”
(literally, “sweet-ice”)

Thus, when speaking, proper stressing of words helps to avoid confusion.  This is not a problem in writing, of course.  

Sentence Structure
A proper sentence in Styrásh requires a verb and a subject.  However, as a verb will often already agree with its subject in person and number, the subject is sometimes omitted.  This is especially true in casual speech, as well as in poetry, where metrical requirements take precedence.  This sometimes happens with articles and prepositions as well, as long as the meaning is already clear from the context.  

The verb usually comes first in a Styrásh sentence, followed by the nouns.  The order of the nouns is less important, as their roles are already specified by noun cases and prepositions.  

Vaiát só feníl sá vevanthím
Vaiát sá vevanthím só feníl
“The cat sees the bird”

As seen in the above example, changing the order of the nouns does not change the meaning of the sentence, as their roles are already indicated by noun cases.  

Negation and Emphasis
To form a negative sentence, one simply modifies the verb with the negative adverb néh.  

Néh vaiát só feníl sá vevanthím
"The cat does not see the bird"

One can sometimes also find néh being used to modify adjectives or, less commonly, nouns.  

Artajén
"Honourable"
 néh artajén
"Dishonourable, not honourable"
Ylfiaruá
"Perfection"
 néh ylfiaruá
"Imperfection"

The positive counterpart of néh is áih.  It is used like néh, except with the opposite meaning, providing emphasis rather than negation.  

Áih vaiát só feníl sá vevanthím
"The cat does see the bird"

Both néh and áih can also be used alone, where they mean "no" and "yes" respectively.  

Questions
Unlike Tharian, Styrásh questions do not involve a change in word order.  Yes-no questions are formed purely by using a different pattern of intonation; the words themselves are unchanged and no words are added.  In writing, such questions are distinguished from statements using punctuation.  

Vaiát nó uím
"He sees us"

Vaiát nó uím?
"Does he see us?"

More specific questions usually make use of the word , often translated as "what" or "which".  Unlike those, however, it seems to function as an article most of the time.  It modifies nouns, appearing in the same position, relative to the noun, as articles do, and replaces the article that would normally be in the position.  

Aferát só aferó sóh aehían
"The thief steals the things"

Aferát só aferó aehían?
"What (which things) does the thief steal?"

The meanings expressed by other Tharian interrogative words, such as "when" or "why", are also, more or less, conveyed in Styrásh with the help of .  The actual meanings depend on the nouns it is modifying, and are frequently more precise than the equivalent Tharian questions need to be.  Below are some examples demonstrating these uses.  

Efersíti áey sá masyrthím?
"Who (which person) burnt the fish?"

Aleát nó ranthá?
"Why (for what reason) is he singing?"

Eophyranté naí ácdainá?
"When (on which days) do they hunt?"

Sometimes, one might also find used without an accompanying noun for it to modify, as if it were an interrogative pronoun, although such usage seems to be relatively uncommon.  While is not usually marked for case when used this way, it is still possible, to some extent, to infer its case from the cases of the other nouns in the question.  

Efersíti sá masyrthím?
"Who/what burnt the fish?"

Passive Voice
The passive voice emphasises what is being affected by the action.  It is usually indicated by putting the verb into its past participle form, and adding the verb styrán “to be”.  Styrán functions as the main verb of the passive sentence, and is conjugated accordingly.  

Styrát sá veván vaianhé
“The bird is seen

As seen from the above example, the performer of the action is omitted entirely, and instead the affected party becomes the subject of the sentence.  However, it is also possible for the performer of the action to be included in the sentence.  When doing so, it is marked with the ablative case and the preposition ér “by”.

Styrát sá veván vaianhé ér só feníló
“The bird is seen by the cat

Causative sentences
Causative sentences, as the name suggests, express the meaning of causing something to happen.  Styrásh seems to possess a few methods of producing such sentences.  

To expess the idea of causing something to take on the property described by an adjective, one could add the ending -lán to the adjective.  This turns the adjective into a verb that expresses such a meaning.  

Raugií
"Pure"
 Raugiilán
"Purify"

Raugiilanté naí sá marthím
"They purify the water"

There are two additional rules to take note of when using -lán.  First, if the last two sounds of the adjective it is added to is a vowel followed by n, the n becomes a l.  However, if the last two sounds of the adjective are both consonant sounds, they remain unchanged, and instead the ending becomes -elán.  

Aelién
"White"
 Aeliellán
"Whiten"
Árn
"Able, capable"
 Arnelán
"Enable"

The ending -enán can be used in a similar way.  However, unlike -lán, it can be applied to nouns as well, and seems to be used this way more often than it is used with adjectives.  It sometimes becomes just -án, especially when the word it is added to already ends in -en.  

Telór
"Song"
 Telorenán
"Turn into a song"

Telorenanté naí sáh lytherathían
"They turn the poems into songs"

Styrásh can also form causative sentences in a periphrasic way.  This is done by using a verb, such as phoilán "to make" or tehlán "to cause" or some other verb that more specifically describes the method of causation.  The resulting state is often indicated with the infinitive forms of styrán "to be" or nárán "to become", although they are sometimes omitted.  

Phoilát nó sá veiviyathím styrán modén
"He makes the reading room dirty"

Suanát nó só pacorím nárán ýph
"He paints the bear blue"

This method can also be used to express the causing of events, rather than just states.  

Tehlanté naí ným suarhán án dosthím
"They cause him to write a book"

Phoilanté naí sá dalathím aleán é gakkuathé
"They make the dragon sing cutely"

Relative Clauses
Relative clauses are used to modify nouns, providing additional detail about them.  For example, in the phrase "the bird that the cat sees", the bolded segment is a relative clause modifying the noun "bird".  In Styrásh, relative clauses are often added using the word , which has the possessive form tuís.

Sá veván vaiát só feníl
“The bird that the cat sees

Só dél'áey tuís feníl vaiát sá vevanthím
“The mage whose cat sees the bird

Another method that is sometimes employed is to use the participle form of verbs, as seen in the section on participles.  

Sá veván vaianhé ér só feníló
“The bird that was seen by the cat

Só dél'áey styrí vaiát nés só feníl sá vevanthím
“The mage whose cat sees the bird
(approximately, "the mage who is being such that his cat sees the bird")

Impersonal Subjects
Statements with impersonal subjects, such as "it is raining" or "it is midnight", cannot be directly translated into Styrásh, as Styrásh does not use impersonal subjects.  Instead, the equivalent Styrásh sentences will treat the event or state being discussed as the subject of the sentence.  

Styrát án alýr
"It is raining"
(literally "Rain is being")

Styrát án córach
"It is midnight"
(literally "Midnight is being")
« Last Edit: 01 November 2011, 05:25:29 by Mina » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 02 October 2011, 14:10:16 »

A couple of things I'm currently thinking about:

Latin verbs have a subjunctive form, used for hopes, desires, possibility, necessity, and similar things.  Some examples from Wikipedia:

"Let us carry [...]"
"I should carry [...]"
"I may have carried [...]"
"Long live the king!"

Styrash doesn't really have a way to indicate these meanings yet, I think.  Should it get a subjunctive form as well?  Or perhaps the imperative can be expanded to cover these uses? 

Also, pronouns.  Currently, Styrash has a full set of nominative (subject) pronouns.  There is one genitive pronoun, iuá "my".  Rayne and Falethas has also been creating some object pronouns, which seem to be intended for accusative usage.  That's at least 3 sets of pronouns.  Should there be more, for dative and ablative objects, or can the object pronouns perhaps be used for those too? 

There's also one interrogative pronoun currently, "what".  Should others be created?  I'm thinking it might be possible to use it as a generic interrogative pronoun, putting it together with other nouns to create the intended meaning, eg. mè áey "what person = who".  But I'm not quite sure how suitable that is for Styrash. 
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« Reply #2 on: 02 October 2011, 15:31:15 »

A commendable effort, Mina, which definitely deserves an aura +1, even though it's not all completed yet.

Question:
Is this entry meant to replace the entry we currently have titled "Styrásh Principles"? If so, pretty much all information that's in there should eventually find its way into the new entry. At the moment it's a mix of old and new, but there are also things missing. Or certain larger parts could be made into a separate entry if it makes sense, like we have an own entry on Tenses by Anwulf. So we also need to think on how to organize things properly to make it presentable on the site.

Concerning your questions:
I'm not a linguist myself and even though Styrásh is based on Latin that doesn't mean that it has to be Latin in every grammatical aspect. Of course such things shouldn't be too weird, completely different than the base system, but other than that I'm happy with any way it works. So if ideas are brought up how certain things could be done to solve a problem or fill a gap, I'm fine with it.

Like with this subjunctive form - feel free to derive it from an imperative for example if you like, Mina, it's no problem as long as we have a solution.

Pronouns: Well, I'd say there should be pronouns to represent "I", "you", "we" etc. in all six cases, and one word for "my", "your" "his" etc. Don't know exactly what you mean with "object pronouns", maybe you can explain that?

As for interrogative pronouns: Could be done that way, yep. No objections from here!
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« Reply #3 on: 02 October 2011, 17:21:59 »

Well, replacing the principles page is one possibility.  Besides adding new information, the idea was also to reorganise and explain how to use the information already on the page.  On the other hand, I found it quite helpful to have the conjugation and declension tables and such on one relatively small page for reference.  Perhaps, when this is done, the principles page could be updated and turned into a sort of quick reference page? 

You mention that some of the information on the principles page is old.  Is there any that I shouldn't include? 

As for object pronouns, here's one from the poem in Rayne's Paelrhem entry:

Xeuát uím sá sae’llán
"The song connects us"

Basically, they seem to be accusative versions of the pronouns.  I was wondering if they could be used as if they were dative or ablative too, so that we won't have to invent dative and ablative pronouns.  That would basically be like English "me, us, him, her, them". 
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« Reply #4 on: 02 October 2011, 22:33:50 »

Object pronouns replace a noun that is the object of the verb rather than the subject.

I killed him

I - Subject pronoun
him - Direct object pronoun

But if "I spoke to him", "to him" is an indirect object - a dative - and so could require a whole new set of Styrash words. What Mina is asking is whether we can just use the word meaning "him" - the direct object pronoun - to mean "to him, from him, for him, with him" - the inderect object pronouns.

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« Reply #5 on: 02 October 2011, 22:42:38 »

Yeah, pretty much, though I was trying to avoid sounding too technical because that tends to scare people away.   :P
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« Reply #6 on: 03 October 2011, 05:22:58 »

Remind me never to look in this thread again ... I'm frightened by Athviaro's post.
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« Reply #7 on: 03 October 2011, 06:37:45 »

I thought explaining it was more helpful than just saying direct/indirect object...

I though direct and indirect were more comprehensible than dative/ablative/accusative. Clearly I was wrong. :(

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« Reply #8 on: 03 October 2011, 14:41:24 »

I guess it might be a matter of personal preference.  I thought they were scary and tried to avoid mentioning them in the entry.  Didn't completely succeed though.   undecided

Anyway, I was thinking about how to use for questions, and I'm wondering, do we have a word for "thing" or something similar?  I'm looking for something to attach case endings to, in order to distinguish between questions like these two:

"What do you see?"
"What sees you?"

Maybe the case on "you" would be enough to distinguish them, without having to put any case markings on "what"?  Would it work for more complex questions? 
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« Reply #9 on: 04 October 2011, 02:38:03 »

Hmmm... Didn't really say that "information on the principles page is old" as far as I can see. I only meant that you're working on a new page, Mina, which also uses parts of the old (=current) page on the site. If you completely rewrite the entry and I should eventually replace that page, make sure that no information from the current page on site is lost - e.g. if parts should remain there, just write: put the declinations, conjugations here etc. So it's important that we don't lose any information and that the final entry makes it perfectly clear where we should put what.

Pronouns: Well, there should be a declination of pronouns as well, just like regular substantives, covering all cases, I'd say. Like in Latin, see here. Or German.

We don't have a word for "thing" yet, so I propose one: "aéh". Often used words should be pretty short, so that's my suggestion.

Concerning the questions: Yes, the declinations definitely have the advantage that you can clearly see what is subject and what is an object. That should also work with more complex questions.

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« Reply #10 on: 15 October 2011, 00:01:07 »

I have made some minor changes.  In particular, there is now a table of the personal pronouns.  The uncoloured ones are either from the entries on the site or forum posts by Rayne and Falethas.  The ones in yellow were made up by me.  Did I miss any existing pronouns?  Do the ones I created seem alright?  

Also, the principles page mention present and past participle, but the examples given (ánci'thyrón "sea that is being silent", cál'artanhé "land that is blessed") suggest that the distinction is between active and passive participles instead.  Which is correct? 
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« Reply #11 on: 22 October 2011, 05:22:12 »

Added Adverbs and Questions sections, expanded Adjectives section, and made some other minor changes. 

Do we have a way to express negation, like English "not" or "un-"?
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« Reply #12 on: 22 October 2011, 15:45:29 »

Well, there's apparently a word for "no" which is "néh", so that could as well mean "not" or in general to represent negation.

Similar to the word "ísh" which stands for "false" (and has a strange plural BTW if used in conjunction with abstract ideas, which are considered to be "not elven"), like "ésh-del" = "false non-elven magic".

So néh could be used in general that way, like "néh-árn" meaning "un-able" or "néh-avathcin" meaning "not beautiful" e.g.
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« Reply #13 on: 22 October 2011, 16:02:47 »

Alright, I guess that works.  So ésh is a form of ísh used with plural words?  Does this mean that non-elven magics in general are referred to as ésh-del, but when talking about a specific non-elven magical system, such as Ximaxian magic, it would be called an ísh-del

What about the participles question in my earlier post? 
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« Reply #14 on: 22 October 2011, 16:30:30 »

Ish/ésh - yep, I'd say so.

Yellow pronouns: Also look fine with me. :)

Concerning the present/past participle: No, that has nothing to do with active and passive, it's just the distinction between present and past. The present participle just tells us that this is currently happening. Maybe the examples weren't chosen that well. Present participle is "the walking boy" (meaning that he's walking at the moment), past participle is "the walked journey" (it's already over). The sea example should better be written like this "the unmoving sea" (present participle) and "the unmoved sea" (past participle).

And another aura +1 for your work, Mina!
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