A GRAMMAR OF NEW ITHKUIL

A CONSTRUCTED LANGUAGE

 

 

Introduction

4  Case Morphology

8  Adjuncts

12  The Writing System

1  Phonology

5  Verb Morphology

9  Referentials

13  Numbers

2  Morpho-Phonology

6  More Verb Morphology

10  Special Constructions

14  The Lexicon

3  Basic Morphology

7  Affixes

11  Syntax

Appendices

 

 

 

6.0   ADDITIONAL VERBAL MORPHOLOGY  

 

In addition to the five verbal categories shown in formative Slot VIII, as detailed in Chapter 5, there are two additional morphological categories that apply to verbal formatives — Illocution and Validation.  These categories are shown by the vocalic VK affix in Slot IX.  Note that in Chapter 4 above, we’ve already seen that Slot IX is used for the VC case affix for nouns.  The VK affix for verbs uses the same vowel-forms as affixes as the VC case affix — the distinction as to whether an affix in Slot IX is VC or VK is determined by the syllabic stress of the word.  If the word has ultimate stress (i.e., stress on the final syllable), the Slot IX value is VK ; otherwise, it is a VC case marker.  Sec. 6.1 below explains the categories of Illocution and Validation, while Sec. 6.1.3 below provides the Slot IX VK affix values denoting these categories.

 

 

6.1   Illocution and Validation

 

6.1.1  Illocution:  Illocution refers to the type of “speech act” being made by a speaker, i.e., the purpose of the statement in terms of how the addressee is to interpret either its truth-value, or its requirements/demands upon the speaker in terms of a physical and/or psychological response.  There are nine illocutions.  Additionally, the first Illocution, ASSERTIVE, has eight sub-types relating to the evidentiary basis for the assertion (analyzed in Sec. 6.1.2 below under Validation).

 

ILLOCUTION

Explanation

ASR

ASSERTIVE

the statement is an assertion/proposition about the world which constitutes a truth claim

DIR

DIRECTIVE

the statement is either an imperative command to another party to do/be something, or a “commissive” statement committing the speaker to a specific state or course of action (i.e., a vow, promise, guarantee, etc.)

DEC

DECLARATIVE

a “performative” statement which. by its utterance/publication, creates a change of state (at least psychologically) for the addressees (i.e., a declaration, announcement, edict, etc.)

IRG

INTERROGATIVE

a statement whose purpose is to inquire or seek information from the addressee (i.e., equivalent to an English WH-question)  -- see Sec. 10.6 for further explanation on the use of IRG Illocution

VER

VERIFICATIVE

a statement whose purpose is to seek/obtain corroboration, confirmation, or verification (i.e., equivalent to a Yes/No question)

ADM

ADMONITIVE

a statement whose purpose is to provide advisory/admonitive information to the addressee (i.e., a warning)

POT

POTENTIATIVE

a statement of wishing, hoping, or other unreal(ized) provenance

HOR

HORTATIVE

a counterfactual statement indicating a desired but impossible state of affairs that cannot be realized (equivalent to English hortative constructions such as If only..., Were that..., If only it were so that...

CNJ

CONJECTURAL

Equivalent to an English-language “if”-clause, indicating that the statement is offered as a conjectured hypothetical, ostensibly to be followed by a “then...” implicational clause.  Translatable as “If (it were the case that)...”

 

 

 

6.1.2  Validation:  Validation refers to the evidential basis for a statement in assertive illocution.  Like various Native American and other natural languages, New Ithkuil requires a speaker to grammatically indicate the evidential source for an any assertion. Note that Validation applies only to formatives with assertive illocution; it does not apply to the other eight illocutions, as they are not making a truth claim about the world.  There are nine Validations:  observational, recollective, purportive, reportive, unspecified, imaginary, conventional, intuitive, and inferential, explained below:

 

VALIDATION

Explanation

OBS

OBSERVATIONAL

present sensory knowledge or present sensory experience: “I perceive... / I know...”

REC

RECOLLECTIVE

past sensory knowledge or past sensory experience – “I remember... / I know (from memory)...”

PUP

PURPORTIVE

knowledge from a definitive/(quasi-)verifiable 3rd party source:  “I’ve read... /  (an expert) has said...”

RPR

REPORTIVE

knowledge from a 3rd party:  “I heard (from someone)... / someone has said...”

USP

UNSPECIFIED

   [Validation deliberately unspecified]

IMA

IMAGINARY

unreal statement, not intended as true, based on whim, imagination, dream, altered mental state, etc.

CVN

CONVENTIONAL

cultural/conventional (i.e., collectively agreed-upon) knowledge:  “They say... / It is said...”

ITU

INTUITIVE

intuition, hunch, subjective feeling, past experiences, etc. – “I feel... / I have a hunch... / something tells me...”

INF

INFERENTIAL

inference from evidence (or absence of alternatives), induction, extrapolation, etc.  “I infer... / I reason...”

 

 

6.1.3   Slot IX VK Affix Values Denoting Illocution and Validation

Illocution

Validation

Meaning of Validation

VK

 

 

 

ASR 

ASSERTIVE Illocution

OBS

OBSERVATIONAL

present sensory knowledge or present sensory experience: “I perceive... / I know...”

  (á)

REC

RECOLLECTIVE

past sensory knowledge or past sensory experience – “I remember... / I know (from memory)...”

â

PUP

PURPORTIVE

knowledge from a definitive/(quasi-)verifiable 3rd party source:  “I’ve read... /  (an expert) has said...”

é

RPR

REPORTIVE

knowledge from a 3rd party:  “I heard (from someone)... / someone has said...”

í

USP

UNSPECIFIED

[Validation deliberately unspecified]

ęi

IMA

IMAGINARY

unreal statement, not intended as true, based on whim, imagination, dream, altered mental state, etc.

ô

CVN

CONVENTIONAL

cultural/conventional (i.e., collectively agreed-upon) knowledge:  “They say... / It is said...”

ó

ITU

INTUITIVE

intuition, hunch, subjective feeling, past experiences, etc. – “I feel... / I have a hunch... / something tells me...”

ű

INF

INFERENTIAL

inference from evidence (or absence of alternatives), induction, extrapolation, etc.  “I infer... / I reason...”

ú

DIR

DIRECTIVE Illocution

the statement is either an imperative command to another party to do/be something, or a “commissive” statement committing the speaker to a specific state or course of action (i.e., a vow, promise, guarantee, etc.)

ái

DEC

DECLARATIVE Illocution

a “performative” statement which. by its utterance/publication, creates a change of state (at least psychologically) for the addressees (i.e., a declaration, announcement, edict, etc.)

áu

IRG

INTERROGATIVE Illocution

a statement whose purpose is to inquire or seek information from the addressee (i.e., equivalent to an English WH-question)  -- see Sec. 10.6 for further explanation on the use of IRG Illocution

éi

VER

VERIFICATIVE Illocution

a statement whose purpose is to seek/obtain corroboration, confirmation, or verification (i.e., equivalent to a Yes/No question)

éu

ADM

ADMONITIVE Illocution

a statement whose purpose is to provide advisory/admonitive information to the addressee (i.e., a warning)

óu

POT

POTENTIATIVE Illocution

a statement of wishing, hoping, or other unreal(ized) provenance

ói

HOR

HORTATIVE Illocution

a counterfactual statement indicating a desired but impossible state of affairs that cannot be realized (equivalent to English hortative constructions such as If only..., Were that..., If only it were so that...

íu

CNJ

CONJECTURAL Illocution

Equivalent to an English-language “if”-clause, indicating that the statement is offered as a conjectured hypothetical, ostensibly to be followed by a “then...” implicational clause.  Translatable as “If (it were the case that)...”

úi

 

 

Examples of Illocution and Validation In Use:

 

Wäšwelciçxöehâ   walhaci  walhecue.

[default CA]-cpt-‘be.alive’-cos1/3-xcl1/4-sur-REC     [default CA]-‘parent’s.sibling’-gid1/1-aff     [default CA]-‘parent’s.sibling’-gid1/3-cmp

‘My aunt lived longer than my uncle although neither of them lived to old age .’

 

 

Yiţxirňiexnalté   wialmya.

prx-stem2/cpt-‘evolve’-epc1/4-pze3/2-rti1/1-PUP         [default CA]-n-‘flowering.plant’-thm

‘Flowering plants had not yet developed / were yet to develop during the Cambrian geological period (but they have developed since).’

 

 

Yamţrí  chwadi’a.

prx-prc-‘rain’-[default CA]-RPR    ‘outdoors’-prx-loc    

‘I’m told it’s raining outside.’

 

 

Wimžiawęi  ebštilu.

[default CA]-stem2/cpt-‘sexual.relations’-pmp-USP     stem2-‘priest’-obj-[default CA]-ind        

‘The priest finally lost his virginity.’

 

 

Wekškô  wakçmi’a.

[default CA]-stem2/prc-‘monster’-IMA     [default CA]-prc-‘outdoor.balcony’-loc

‘There’s a monster on the balcony.’

 

 

Iuprulövḑuadnó  walxu  ëivḑilamki’a  lei.

stem3/cpt/neg1/4-‘descend’-dyn-asc1/6-ogc3/9-CVN     [default CA]-prc-‘Sol’-ind      CS-ROOT:asc1/4-fgn2/1-loc   1m-gen

‘They say down south the sun won’t set on my home town.’

 

 

Amskadwű  kšivöla’i  wiorkwa.                                                                  

‘necessity’-prx/n-ITU     ‘clown’-n- ctr1/6-act     n-‘filial.love-thm                                

‘I think even clowns need love.’                                             

 

 

Yuçkú  elari.

prx-stem3/prc-‘suffer.from.illness’-INF    stem2/prc-‘child’-g-aff

‘The kids must be ill.’

 

 

Weru’i,  gulái  onţläli’ö  kši’ve!

‘child’-g-voc   ambulate’-dyn-DIR     ‘automobile’-cte-abl   ‘clown’-n-cor

‘Children, walk away from the clown car!’

 

 

Wimbruswiöháu!

[default CA]- stem2/cpt-‘compete.to.win’-accessor:ind-slf:ben-DEC

‘Here’s the winner! / We have a winner!’

 

 

Arveléi  iträlu’ö  kši’ţe?

‘amount.of.elapsed.time’-csv-IRG     cpt-‘process.of.approaching’-cte-irl     clown’-mds-cor

‘How long has it been since the clowns’ arrival?’ 

 

 

Yuçkéu  elari?

prx-stem3/prc-‘suffer.from.illness’-VER    stem2/prc-‘child’-g-aff

‘Are the kids ill?’

 

 

Wušštilkřóu!

[default CA]-stem3/prc-‘SARS-CoV-2.virus’-adi1/4-ADM   

‘Beware of getting Covid-19!’

 

 

Wuišštilkřói  elare!

[default CA]- stem3/prc/neg1/4-‘SARS-CoV-2.virus’-adi1/4- POT    stem2/prc-‘child’-g-abs

‘I hope the children don’t get Covid-19!’

 

 

Wušštilkříu  wopňuivẓe!

[default CA]- stem3/prc/neg1/4-‘SARS-CoV-2.virus’-adi1/4- HOR    prx-stem0/prc-‘feel.malevolence/cruelty/sadism’-psa2/9 -abs

‘If only that bastard would get Covid-19!’

 

 

Ätrulúi  žu  Hakšivé-Warswi’o  ä  eutruloewű.

cpt-‘translative.motion’-dyn-[default CA]-CNJ    2m/det-ind    concatenated:‘clown’-obj-n-cor-parent:[default CA]-prc-‘planet’-all    prs

stem2/cpt/neg1/4-‘approach’-dyn-[default CA]-itc-ITU

‘If you go to the Clown Planet, there’ll be no coming back.’

 

 

 

6.2   Case-Frames

 

Virtually all languages allow for sentences to be hierarchically embedded within other sentences, a process termed subordination. In Western languages, the embedded sentence becomes either a subordinate clause or a relative clause, explicitly introduced by a conjunctions such as ‘that,’ ‘which,’ ‘who,’ ‘where,’‘although,’‘if,’‘while,’‘whereas,’ or a preposition followed by a conjunction, such as ‘through which,’‘by whom,’etc. In English, such clauses can also occur as an infinitive or gerundial verb construction. Both relative and subordinate clauses are illustrated in the following sentences:

 

The dog that ate my hat belongs to them.

I want him to stop shouting.

The committee voted to fire the superintendant.

We demand (that) you give us equal pay.

Although he’s a college graduate, he acts like a child.

This is the slot through which the letter is passed.

In case you’re unaware, I’ll be leaving next month.

The boy walking toward us is my nephew.

 

The New Ithkuil equivalent to relative or subordinate clauses is known as a case-frame, or simply, frame. Conceptually, the sentence to be embedded is simply treated as a noun participant to the main verb of a sentence and is therefore marked for case like any other noun. For example, take the following two sentences:

 

She and I were working together.

The two nations were at war.

 

Suppose we want to use the second sentence to provide a temporal context for the first sentence. In English we could do this by subordinating the second sentence to the first using the conjunction ‘while,’ as in She and I were working together while the two nations were at war. Alternately, we could create a relative clause by inserting a connecting prepositional phrase, as in She and I were working together during the time (that) the two nations were at war.

 

In New Ithkuil, temporal context for a sentence may be provided by a noun in any of the temporal cases such as the concursive (see Sec. 4.9.1). A word such as ‘summer’ or ‘famine’ would be placed in the concursive case to create a sentence corresponding to:

 

She and I were working together during the summer.

She and I were working together at the time of the famine.

 

Just as the single words ‘summer’ and ‘famine’ are placed in the concursive case, so an entire sentence such as The two nations were at war can be placed in the concursive case to provide the temporal context for the main sentence. In other words, New Ithkuil treats the entire subordinate sentence as a noun phrase to be declined into any required case. That is the purpose of a frame, to place sentences into noun cases. By doing so, New Ithkuil accomplishes the same task for which Western languages use relative and subordinate conjunctions.

 

 

6.2.1   Relation and the Placement of Frames

 

To construct a case-frame, the second-order sentence (i.e., the sentence to be subordinated) is placed in the main sentence at the point where a noun declined for the required case would appear. The actual case of the second-order sentence is indicated in the verbal formative the same way as for nominal formatives, i.e., via the Vc affix in Slot IX. Additionally, the syllabic stress of the formative will change to show framed Relation, explained in the next paragraph.

 

Relation is a binary category having two values unframed and framed referring to whether the formative is or is not in a Case-Frame.  The main verbal formative of a sentence is in unframed Relation (i.e., not in a case-frame), marked by ultimate (final) stress, which also indicates that the formative’s Slot IX affix is the VK affix showing Illocution, Expectation, and Validation.  Once a verbal formative is subordinated within a case-frame, it takes framed relation, shown by antepenultimate (third-from-last) syllabic stress, in which case the  formative’s Slot IX affix is the VC affix showing the case of the Case-Frame.  Finally, if the formative has penultimate (second-from-last) syllabic stress then the formative is a noun in unframed Relation and the Slot IX affix is the VC affix showing Case.

 

Penultimate Stress = unframed Relation + VC

Ultimate Stress = unframed Relation + VK

Antepenultimate Stress = framed  Relation + VC

 

If the formative does not have sufficient syllables to take antepenultimate stress, add syllables by filling Slots II and/or Slots VIII and IX with their default values.  Note that a monosyllabic formative (other than a concatenated formative — see Chapter 8) is considered morphologically to have ultimate stress (i.e., it is an unframed verbal formative).

 

If the case-frame is inserted at the beginning or into the middle of the main sentence, the final word of the case-frame will usually carry a special suffix, -n (see the TPF affix in the Affixes document), which signifies the end of the frame if this will help to avoid confusion as to which words in the sentence belong inside the frame (i.e., with the secondary sentence), and which belong to the main sentence. A case-frame requires that its verb appear as the first element  of the case frame.

 

In general, the perspective of the verb in the secondary sentence operates independently from that of the main verb, however, it is also common for the perspective of the verb in the secondary sentence to be placed in the abstract, which has the effect of deferring all Perspective information about the verb to the main verb, similarly to the way English subordinate clauses using gerunds and infinitives defer all tense information to the main verb of the sentence.

 

 

6.2.2   Example of Case-Frames in Use

 

Étkwö’e  wairţtuzwu  welhwëubzanëi  itrulalžói  ka’i  wurmieli’o  wuttíhia  kšiluržu.

stem2/prc/FRAMED-‘attend.scheduled.event’-PCR    [default CA]-g-‘study’-accessor:ind2-ind    [default CA]-stem2/prc-‘play.musical.instrument’-fea2/5-TPF1/1-stm     stem2/cpt-‘approach’-obg1/1-pot   pa/ben-act   [default CA]-stem3/prc-‘house’-1m/neu-prp-all     [default CA]-stem3/prc/FRAMED -‘introduce’-rcp-APL    ‘clown’-obj-[default CA]-hrc1/9-ind

‘After the students attend the concert, they must come to my house to meet the Chief Clown.’

 

 

 

6.3   Relative Clause Formation

 

Generally, New Ithkuil uses the relative case and the descriptive case to form relative clauses.  Usage is shown via the examples below.  (NOTE:  In the examples below, default morphological values such as sta/bsc Function/Specification, prc version, asr/obs Illocution/Validation, or default CA are not listed in the intralinear analyses.)

 

1a.   Weňayá  kšilo  äpçólöwa  lu  eňtyarkena.

        ‘compose.in.writing’-RTR     ‘clown’-STA/OBJ-ERG     FRAMED:CPT-‘read’-DYN/CSV-PCS-THM     1m-IND     ‘written.page’-MSC/COA-TPF/3-THM

        A clown wrote the book I just finished reading.

        [More literally:  A clown wrote what I just finished reading -- a book.]

 

The above sentence could also be structured using a RELATIVE case-frame, however it would require a Reduplicative specialized personal-reference root (see Sec. 4.6.4) with a switch-reference affix:

 

1b.   Weňayá  kšilo  eňtyarkena  äpçólö’yu  lu  thaxač.

        ‘compose.in.writing’-RTR     ‘clown’-STA/OBJ-ERG    ‘written.page’-MSC/COA-TPF/3-THM    FRAMED:CPT-‘read’-DYN/CSV-PCS-RLT     1m-IND     Rdp-SWR/1-THM

        A clown wrote the book I just finished reading.

 

The following two sentences utilize a RELATIVE case-frame:

       

2a.   Ẓalá  li  kšilenëi  li’hu  welu.

        ‘see’    1m/NEU-AFF    ‘clown’-STA/OBJ-TPF/3-STM     FRAMED:‘talk’-RCP-FAC-RLT     ‘child’-IND

        ‘I see a clown (who is) talking with a child.’

 

2b.   Erčädókh  elavöte  žžjádu’u  kšivëi.

        ‘state.of.being.corrupted’-STA/CTE-PRX-SBT/7   ‘child’-N-DCD/6-ABS   FRAMED:‘feel.fascination’-STA/BSC-PRX-RLT   ‘clown’-STA/OBJ-N-STM

        ‘Children who like clowns have obviously been corrupted.’

 

The following sentence utilizes a noun in the DESCRIPTIVE case, which operates like RELATIVE case for adjectival clauses:

 

3.     Erčuláfs  elaţwe  ainšai’dä  kšivöto  hlarrnëi-yúřku’u.

        ‘corrupt’-DYN/BSC-ATI/1   ‘child’-MDS/N-ABS   NEG/4-FNC-‘be.well-behaved’-PRX-DSP   ‘clown’-STA/OBJ-N-DCD/6-ERG   concat.stem:‘ocelot’-STM-FRAMED:parent.stem:‘own’-PRX-RLT

        ‘Ocelot-owning clowns tend to corrupt children who are naughty.’

 

The following sentence utilizes a carrier adjunct marked for RELATIVE case:

 

4.     Yuřká  warrnenëi  kšila  hlu’u  Bubu.

        ‘own’-PRX   ‘ocelot’-TPF/3-STM   ‘clown’-STA/OBJ-THM   CARRIER-RLT   ‘Bubu’

        The clown owns an ocelot named Boo-boo.’

 

Determining the semantic role of the “head” of a relative clause depends on the structure of the sentence.  In sentences such as 5a below (as well as Sentence 1a above) where the head of the clause is contained within the subordinated case-frame, the semantic role of the head of the relative clause is shown by the case of the case-frame (i.e., the case shown on the framed verb beginning the relative clause).

 

5a.   Umňälöřdá  ẓúlikti  lo  kšilëi  welene.

        ‘scream’-STA/CTE-SQC/6    FRAMED: ‘see’-DYN-TPP/4-AFF   1m-ERG   ‘clown’-STM  ‘child’-TPF/3-ABS        

        ‘The child whom I made look at a clown is now screaming.’  [more literally:  ‘Now screaming is whom I made look at a clown -- the child.’]

 

However, in sentence 5b below, the head of the relative clause is not contained within the case-frame, therefore its semantic role within the case-frame remains implied only, since the case-frame must be marked for RELATIVE case.

 

5b.   Umňälá  lo  welene  li’hu  kšivu.

        ‘scream’-STA/CTE     1m-ERG     ‘child’-TPF/3-ABS      FRAMED:‘talk’-RCP-FAC-RLT       ‘clown’-N-IND      

        ‘I made the child who talks with clowns scream.’

 

If necessary for disambiguation, the semantic role of the head in such a sentence can be marked using an Reduplicative Referential as shown in Sentence 5c below (as well as Sentence 1b above).

 

5c.   Umňälá  lo  welene  li’hu  thu  kšivu.

        ‘scream’-STA/CTE     1m-ERG     ‘child’-TPF/3-ABS      FRAMED:‘talk’-RCP-FAC-RLT     Rdp-IND   ‘clown’-N-IND      

        ‘I made the child who talks with clowns scream.’

 

Note that in cases such as Sentences 1b and 5c above where the Reduplicative Referential appears without an accompanying SWR switch-reference affix while inside a case-frame functioning as a relative clause, the Reduplicative adjunct refers to the head of the relative clause.

 

Unrestricted relative clauses are shown either by attaching a coordinative clause or by inserting the clause using parenthetical register (see Sec. 8.3).

 

 

 

Introduction

4  Case Morphology

8  Adjuncts

12  The Writing System

1  Phonology

5  Verb Morphology

9  Referentials

13  Numbers

2  Morpho-Phonology

6  More Verb Morphology

10  Special Constructions

14  The Lexicon

3  Basic Morphology

7  Affixes

11  Syntax

Appendices