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The original motivations for Hara were some of the sound changes Vulgar Latin went through to become Occitan and the combined grammars of Chinese and various Creoles. As always, the result isn't quite what I expected. For example, some of the derivational processes were inspired by Georgian of all things...
Phonology and Phonotactics
The sound inventory of Hara is fairly simple (second column in X-SAMPA):p b f v m w p b f v m w t d n l t d n l k g h k g h s z x j r y s z S Z r j
The consonants are all pronounced in the continental fashion (unaspirated stops, truly dental t, d, n and l). The vowel system is a bit more complex. The first group is in Hara orthography, the second in X-SAMPA:ú u a i í u: U a I i: ó o e é o: O E e: ao ae aw aj eo oe Ew Oj
Though the so-called long and short varieties of the vowels do differ by quality, the quantity does matter. Pronounce the long vowels long.
Word construction constraints:
- basically CV*, but a syllable may end in s, n, m, l, f, x and r.
- any initial consonant may take y or w, mostly with stops
- a root stem may end in p, t, k but this will show up in many curious ways; see phonotactics below
- z only between vowels
- final long or closed syllable accented, else accent penult: kaRIM, Oge, aDYÓ, BIya, éDAM, etc.
Phonotactics and Stem Forms.
The biggest change that occurs is in stems that end in -k, -t and -p. No word is allowed to end in a voiceless stop that way, so these all resolve to vowel sounds, or s, in various situations:
- -k + Cv- > y
- -t + Cv- > s
- -p + Cv- > w
The situation for -t will always be quite simple, but the y and w of the other two present themselves in different guises depending on the preceding stem vowel (where '#' means "end of the word"):
- a, i, í, ae + -k# > -ae. So, tak- > tae
- e, é + -k# > -é.
- o, ó, u, ú, oe, eo, ao + -k# > -oe.
- a, u, ú, ao + -p# > -ao.
- o, ó + -p# > -ú.
- e, é, i, í, ae, eu, oe + -p# > -eo
The Short Stem. The stem form that results from these changes is known as the short stem, which acts as the default non-modified form of the verb, as well as the verbal noun. The short stem changes occur word finally, too. For example, lat- to hear, occurs as las in short stem form, in such statements as né las I hear or las rí sao hearing is knowledge.
Word stems that are phonetically legal in their base form do not have a separate short stem.
The -tú Stem. The short stem form is also the base from which the so-called -tú form is created. Sometimes the ending is actually -sú or even -yao, but these are all added to the short-stem. The -tú form produces the object adjective, or passive participle, of a verb form: lat- + -tú > lastú, heard. If the stem ends in -m, that will turn into an -n before the suffix: kem- + tú > kentú
The -sú version is used when the stem already contains a dental stop, t or d. So, tak- + -tú > taesú.
The -yao version occurs when the short stem form ends in -ó or -ú. So, gop- > gú > gúyao.
The -í Stem. This form is has several uses. Formation of it is a bit odd, since Hara allows both consonant and vowel final root stems. There are a number of irregular -í stem forms, but the default rules cover most cases:
- If the stem ends in a consonant, add -í. So, lat- + í > latí.
- After some vowels, add -dí
- often, -eo + -í > -owí
- often, -ae + -í > -ae
- -ú/-ó + -í > -wí
- -u/-o + -í > -oe
- -e/-i/-é/-í + -í > -í
- -a + -í > -ae (rare)
Exceptions. Here's the list of stems with anomalous stem forms.
Stem Short stem -í stem -tú stem sae sae - -
Elision of il/in and is. The negative particle il/in and the 3.sg.m. pronoun is will lose the initial i- when following a vowel. The remaining consonant, however, becomes syllablic to compensate. For example, *né il sao I don't know will be written né'l sao and pronounced thus (where l represents syllablic 'l'): ne:l saw. Another example: *ae is sao does he know is written ae's sao and is pronounces rather like ajss saw, where the syllabic s may sound more like a geminate.
Dissimilation of il. The negative particle il becomes in before words starting with l and r. The elision of the initial vowel remains the same, so né'n lal sapí I didn't know.
While there has already been some talk of verbs and nouns, in reality the difference between word types in Hara is quite minimal, and many words readily shift type - if they can really be said to have any type at all. Many words will be given conventionally as infinitives, and these are indeed most often found used as verbs. But don't let that mislead you.
In general, syntactic relationships are indicated by various particles rather than case markings. Word order handles some of that, too. Topic-comment construction is frequent, sometimes with anaphora. The verb is modified by helping pre-verbs, though the verb form itself is subject to several changes in form depending on context. There is a modest classifier system. Derivation is generally handled by compounding, but there is a small set of infixes for certain basic derivations as well.
Nouns and Pronouns
The form of nouns is invariant. The plural can be indicated with the particle ni before the noun, but this is rarely used.
When counted or made definite, nouns must be indexed with a classifier particle, which will be suffixed to the counting or deictic word, generally sounded unaccented even if long.
- e, we after vowels: the generic classifier
- seo: for things related to scholars and scholarship
- hó: generic human classifier
- jae: respectful human classifier
- xar: domesticated food animal
- nejí: domesticated non-food animal (pets and work animals)
- pes: birds (and bats)
- koya: all other animals, spiders and wasps
- éx: insects
- sam: bodies of water
- gí: non-food producing trees and woody shrubs
- edé: fruit or nut bearing plants
- kipi: non-starchy vegetables
- wel: starchy vegetables, legumes, grain; breads
- xin: buildings
- -: wood-working tools
- -: metal-working tools
- -: all other tools
kí-hó seyú three-CLASSIFIER man three men
Notice that the classifier is written with a hyphen suffixed to the number in this case. With a demonstrative, such as ón that/those, the same thing happens:
ón-hó seyú that-CLASSIFIER man/men that man/men
Finally, the classifier is used on its own after transitive verbs to indicate a definite direct object, like the English word "the:"
né tae seyú I see man I see a man
compared with this...
né tae hó seyú I see CLASSIFIER man I see the man
See the syntax section for further examples, and for details on classifier omission.
Pronouns. The standard set:
Singlular Plural 1. né naol 2. ende sanel he is yeris she pa pal s/he beze erbel it ke ni ke
The epicene pronoun, beze, is used whenever the gender is unknown or specifically irrelevant. Otherwise the he, she, it distinction is often much as in English. There are, however, a number of features of the natural world, mostly landscape, which take a particular gender. These will be noted as necessary.
Grammatically, the pronouns are treated the same as nouns. As a consequence other words regularly grammaticalize into pronouns, leaving a hefty set of polite, intimate, rude and respectful pronouns to choose from. Most of these are 1.sg. and mixed 2.sg and 3.sg.. There is often a lot of fuzziness about the latter bunch, and most of these can be used as either second or third person. Only context will tell which meaning is preferred.
Verbs and Adjectives
Though there is a lot of flexibility in the actual type of any given root, once it starts acting as a verb it is subject to various stem modifications.
The -í form of the main verb is used whenever the verb is modified by what was originally another verb. This includes tense and aspect markers and some adverbs of quantity. It is also used to form the imperative.
Pro-verbs. Hara tense is indicated by using a set of particles in front of the main verb. These were all originally verbs themselves once, so these are all followed by the -í form of the main verb. Here are the tense markers:
- lús - historical past (before speakers life)
- lal - the distant past (seems long ago to speaker, within speaker's life)
- ú - the past; often yú after short vowels, a, or when emphatic
- wae - the immediate past ("just")
- vo - the future
- kó - "about to"
- sae - progressive
Notice that there is no indication of the present tense. This is the default, and the short stem is used for that. Some examples:né sao I know
né ú sapí I knew
né sae takí I am seeing
The progressive marker, sae, may be used with other tenses particles. It will not change form: né ú sae takí I was seeing. That is, these particles do not themselves have separate -í forms. Only the main verb will be so marked.
Modals. The various modal verbs also cause the main verb to take the -í while they, as a rule, do not when modifying another verb. When used alone, they will take the -í form.
- gop- must, have to
- sim want
So compare pa sim vakí she wants to go with pa yú sim vakí she wanted to go. Or, this small dialog (note the forms):Is ú gú vakí sír ilí. He had to go (to) home.
Is vade'l ú simí. He really didn't want (to).
(Is) ú gopí de. Well, he had to.
In the first sentence, since the modified verb is present, the modal occurs in the short stem form, gú, even though it itself follows a tense pre-verb. In the second sentence, the modified verb is omitted, so the -í form which the past marker requires moves back to the modal, leaving simí. In the final sentence, once again, the modal is left without an explicit verb, so we're left with gopí followed by the assertive particle de.
Perfect. The perfect is indicated with the particle bae (short form of bak- arrive) which follows the main verb in the -í form. So, pa takí bae's she has seen him; né vo vakí bae I will have gone.
Stating State. Words of state, adjectives, locations, etc. require the pro-verb sae (notice the same word indicates the progressive). Thus, *karim akén is not the correct way to say (the) book is blue, rather say karim sae akén.
Similarly, the object or passive adjective form of verbs, the -tú for also requires sae, as in for example, karim sae taesú the book is seen.
Comparative and superlative are both indicated by adverbs preceding the adjective they go with, nem more and dya most. The comparator is introduced with ara: so, is sae nem lax ara né he is more strong than I; or is ú sae dya lax he was strongest. The negative comparisons, fao less and dya fao least work the same: né sae dya fao lax I am least strong.
Sae is also used to indicate location, both as the locative preposition (see below) but also to make simple statements, such as pa yú sae ilí she was at home.
Identity. The copula verb is rí. It is used only to express identity, such as is rí vonye he is (a/my) friend. The copula is also used in a particular emphatic construction, explained at [ADD LINK].
There are two basic classes of particles: those that go with noun phrases, and those that go with entire clauses. Many precede the phrase they go with, but some follow.
Noun Phrase Particles. These are the particles that link nouns with other nouns or which indicate the syntactic role of a noun phrase.
- N1 ge N2: possession, N1's N2. For example, seyú ge ilí (the) man's house, is ge ilí his house.
- me N: indirect object, me's to him, me né ge mahem to my mother
- NP ví: this marks out a nouns phrase as the topic of a clause about to follow. ón-seo karim ví, ae's sapí bae ye? This book, has he seen (it)? See the syntax section for more detail.
- re NP: this is a special case of the topic marker. It marks a focused, object topic, so it's slightly emphatic: er is né yú takí him I saw.
Clause Particles. These modify or alter the grammar of entire phrases. Some are a little tricky, leaving the full explanation for the syntax section. Here is the list, though:
- dam - relative particle; this turns an entire phrase into the modifier of a noun phrase; follows phrase
- ae - question marker; leads question clause
- e (ye after vowels) - slightly less formal question marker; this one follows the phrase. Unlike ae, may occur in sentences with other question words, is ara sól e? where is he from?
- de - assertive particle, follows clause
- ae Sentence de - a question which expects a positive answer
- ae'l Sentence de - a question which expects a negative answer
- deo assentive particle, "indeed."
There are three parts to a prepositional phrase in Hara, though sometimes the last one may drop. The noun or adverb is preceded by a directional word, either sae (location at), sír (motion to) and ara (motion from). Sometimes this is sufficient. To specify the actual location more precisely the noun or adverb will be followed by a location word, listed below.
- fan in
- haon above
- fill this out
So, for example:ara ilí fan from inside the house
sae né haon (at) above me
is arú sae ilí he sleeps at home
Notice in the last sentence that the location word is omitted, since context makes the meaning clear.
There are three vocabulary producing processes in Hara. The most common approach is by compounding. Phonetic reduction occurs in some cases, so that mae person is reduced to me when used used in compounds, arúme sleeper. The second derivation process is by infixes. There is a fairly small set of these, though they are common. Finally, some words are borrowed into Hara from Vaior, though with changes in phonology. For example, Vaior carme book becomes karim in Hara.
Infixes. All infixes occur after the first vowel of the stem.
- -dó- augmentative, kadórim tome
- -kí- diminutive, kakírim booklet
- -si(m/n)- causative, only in single-transitives
- -r- causative
Finally, three are a few derivations which combine a prefix or suffix with an infix:
- ya(s)- -ti- a tool, gende > yagetinde a key
- on/om- -li- creates the oposite meaning; for example, sap- > onsalip-, vonye > omvolinye.
- -le- -(r)in "non-," negates
Note the distinction between the negating and the opposite affixes:fente to be fresh
omfelinte to be stale
felenterin to be unfresh
Common Compounding Clements. In the list below, S stands for the short form of a verb stem.
- S-me - nomina agentis, "-er." From mae, person
The Vaior Element. The phonological systems of these two languages don't exactly match, so Vaior words undergo various changes when imported into Hara.
- Verb roots are borrowed as verbal nouns, so Vaior mathpe is the starting point for borrowing.
- -fC-, -chC-, -thC- are treated like final -p, -k, -t. So, mathp- concern, worry becomes maspe. cofte trust, belief is in Hara caote.
- The very common Vaior noun form, -CCe, is transformed to -CiC when the second consonant is a Hara legal final consonant. Thus, karim from carme and faris arm from *farse (not actually borrowed, this is an example).
The basic word order of Hara is SVO, with modifiers preceding modified. Here are some formulas:
- S V O - né tae pa I see her.
- Adv V - is kaodu sim vakí He much wants to go.
- S V O me N - is ú vowí ím-e me né he said this to me.
- er O S V - er pa né tae I see her.
The subject pronoun is very often omitted when it can be inferred. If someone asks a question, a simple, il sao is usually sufficient when you don't know the answer.
Vocabularyadí : for (benefactive, purposive) adíbe - why (precedes verb chain) adyó - therefore (precedes verb chain) ajan : south ara : from (preposition); than (comparisons); by (passive agent) arú : to sleep (arwí) akén : (to be) blue babe : dad bahem : father bak- : arrive (follows verb in -í form to indicate perfect) bé : what biya : who das : north de : (sentence final, assertive, assentive, mild emphatic) des : below e : (generic classifier; 'we' after vowels) édam- : to know (a person) edé : (fruit and nut bearing plant classifier) égí : that/those (near you) ende : you (standard level) erbel : they (m.+f.) éx : (insect classifier) fae : s/he (sub) fan : in, inside fao : less far : do, make fax : east fente : fresh gende : to lock gí : (no-food producing tree and woody shrub classifier) gop- : (gú, gopí) must, have to haon : above hí : also (identifies additional member of a set; ofte reduces to unaccented 'í' after a consonant) hiyu : more hó : (generic human classifier) il : no, not (becomes 'l after vowel) ilí : home, house ím : this/these (near me, us) in : (dissimilation form of il before l, r) is : he (general; becomes 's after vowel, though not always) jae : (respectful human classifier) jó : fire lat- : to hear lax : strong lús : (historical past) kala : karim : book kaodu : much, a lot, very ke : it kem : to hit, strike kí : three kipi : (classifier for non-starchy vegetables) koya : (general animal, spider, wasp classifier) kyar : healthy, in good spirits/health (Ae kyar... how are you?) mahem : mother mak- : to give mame : mom mar : there me : (indirect object preposition) mae : person; human naol : we né : I (standard level) nejí : (classifier, domesticated, non-food animals) ni : (plural prefix) oe : one oge : also, furthermore, additionally óke : outside, out ón : that/those (near 3rd party) pa : she (standard level) pal : they (f.) pes : (bird and bat classifier) pyar : woman rí : to be (copula; identity) sae : to be (location, state; progressive proverb; no separate -í form) sól : where seo : (scholar/-ship classifier) sam : (body of water classifier) sanel : you.pl. sap- : know (facts, knowledge) seyú : man sidil : to be slow sim : to want sír : toward, to soe : thing, matter, affair tak- : see tís : to be fast toe : west vade : true/real; to be true/real vak- : to go veo-/vowí : say veos : fish ví : (topic particle) vo : (future preverb) vonye : friend wa : (verbal) "with; and", accompanying we : (generic classifier; 'e' after consonants) wel : (classifier for starchy vegetables, legumes, grain; breads) xar : (classifier for domesticated food animal) xíme : wind xin : (building classifier) yam : mountain yal : sun yeris : they (m.) yól : here NOTES on vocabulary. * hí vs. oge. * Use 'hí' when the subject is being added to a list. * Use 'oge' when additional information is being stated.