From MicroWiki, the micronational encyclopædia
Jump to: navigation, search


Please note that the information in this section represents an unfinished version of the language and will see considerable change as Theodian continues to evolve. Many portions of this still need a lot of work to be both functional and canonical, so please understand that the information in this section is neither authoritative nor final, and overall represents merely a personal working copy of the language. Thank you.

Preview of grammar


Testing Grounds
  The green car would have hit the poor child
  kyyHity piKary tiKriny peTjalty tePory
  kïHidë piCarë tiCrinë peChaldë tePorë
  Just the other day, I went to the store, only to see that they had no fruits.  So I left and checked out the local farmer's market instead.  They had some, so I bought twenty.  They were very tasty, if I do say so myself.  
  Recently, Go I toStore, but there Find 'ai no Have They Fruit ja.  So Leave I, then Look instead atMarketFarmer Local.  Have They Fruit, so Buy I twenty.  ithink They Very Tasty.  


  * Recursion is handled by a special circumpositional set of particles that agrees with its head noun in case.  
  * Verbs inflect for mood.  
  * Infinitive verbs are placed in nested recursions off their head.  Participles are made this way as well (as they are infinitive verbs); simply nest a verb under a noun or adjective.  
  * Verbal voice is communicated with auxiliary verbs.  
  * Verbal aspect is communicated by special adverbs.  
  * Nouns inflect for case.  
  * Adjectives agree with nouns in case.  
  * Adjectives can theoretically appear anywhere in the sentence, but when placed immediately before a noun, they imply restrictiveness.  Like adjectives, an adverb's location also implies restrictiveness.  
  * Adverbs can describe verbs or adjectives, and do not have to agree with either in anything; they do, however, inflect for whether they occur before or after their head; this is so that there is some freedom of location.  
  * Epistemology, quantification, number, determination & deixis, etc; are all handled by particles that can be placed before pretty much anything.  They are optional, and facilitate quick augmentations of exactness in speech.  
  * Suffixes that tweak the meanings of words can be added infinitely to each lexeme.  
  * There is no predicative copula, but instead a dummy adverb that fills in in the absence of another when doing statements that would otherwise require such a copula.  There is still a copula for equating things, though.  
  * Verbs may have multiple moods, and nouns may have multiple cases.  Adjectives describing multiply cased nouns must agree with all cases.  


       Morphology: 	Agglutinative
  Morphosyntactic: 	Pseudofluid-S
   Head Direction: 	Pragmatic (default: head-initial)
       Word Order: 	Pragmatic (default: VSO & Time–Manner–Place)
        Isochrony: 	Syllable pitch-accent
    Lexical Tones: 	No
      Declensions: ?	Yes ...........	via inflections
   Definitiveness: 	Optional ......	via determiners
           Gender: 1	No ............	-
           Number: 3	Optional ...... via particles
           Aspect: ?	Optional ......	via adverbs
     Conjugations: 0	No ............	-
             Mood: 12	Yes ...........	via inflections
            Tense: ?	Optional ......	via particles
            Voice: ?	Yes ...........	via multiple ways
     Epistemology: 	Yes ...........	via particles
    Evidentiality: 	Yes ...........	via nominal case
            Focus: 	Yes ........... via ALL CAPS (in writing), and extra stress (in speech)
         Miration: 	Yes ........... 
          Sarcasm: 	Yes ........... via particle
      Orientation: 	Item-Centric


Pragmatic Maxims
  * Your responses may be indirect, but they do have to have derived from the original convo.  
  * You may juggle multiple topics at the same time.  
  * All statements you make must be factual and considerate of all information.  
  * Times, due dates, etc. are not absolutes, but fairly relative.  Time is seen as being on a 
    bell-curve of sorts, with the ideal arrival time being exactly the starting time.  So, you 
    don't want to be too early or too late; but being a little of either is totally normal.  
  * Moderate interruption is normal outside of formal contexts.  


  Verb:	  PoS - Mood | Mood 2 | Lexeme | Suffix 	OPEN	* ready for beta-testing
  Noun:	  PoS - Case | Case 2 | Lexeme | Suffix 	OPEN	* ready for beta-testing
  Adj: 	  PoS - Case | Case 2 | Lexeme | Suffix 	OPEN	* ready for beta-testing
  Adv: 	  PoS - Head |        | Lexeme | Suffix 	OPEN	* ready for beta-testing
  Part:	  Lexeme					CLOSED	* ready for beta-testing


Part of Speech

  p	  noun (the 'default' PoS; if the prefix would be 'py-', it can be omitted.)
  t	  adj
  k	  verb
  '	  (depends on the place of the first stressed consonant)

  f	  (not used)
  s	  (not used)
  c	  (not used)
  h	  (not used)

  m	  (not used)
  n	  adv2
  q	  adv1
  x	  (not usable)

  w	  (not used)
  l	  (not used)
  j	  (not used)
  r	  (not used)



  Indicative/Declarative 	y	(unmarked)
  Interrogative			-	(particle)
  Generic 			-	(handled by determiner)
  Subjunctive/Conditional 	yy	were to happen / would happen

  Command			oi	do X!  
  Precative			u	please; request to happen
  Suggestive			o	[suggest to happen] (like, for neutrally suggesting algun)
  Optative/Desiderative		aa	hope/desire to happen
  Imperative/Suprahortative	ai	[must] (highly obligated)
  Obligatory/Jussive		i	[ought] (obligated)
  Adhortative/Exhortative	e	[should] (slightly obligated)
  Permissive 			a	allowed (may)


Voice (Acts as Ferb of IP)

  Active			(default & unmarked; semantic verb is verb)
  Applicative			(convert "Place"-Case / Preposition into verb)

  Adjutative			help to do (auxverb is 'help')
  Causative			cause to do (auxverb is 'cause')

  Reciprocal			do to each other (PERSON ERG-ACC-'each' VERB)
  Reflexive			do to one's self (S is both erg and acc)


(case is still unfinished)

      Ergative: i
      Accusative: e
      Dative: a
      Locative: u
      Instructive: o
      Temporal: aa
      Absolutive: y (you can drop the case prefix altogether if the word is on its own)
    Ablative: (merged with Absolutive)
    Essive: (merged with Temporal)
    Instrumental: (merged with Instructive)
    Vocative: (morphologically merged with Absolutive; should be preceded by a whistle)
    Abessive: (just provide a negative particle before something in the Sociative case)
    Genitive: (to put a noun into genitive, use the subordinating circumpositions "ai...ja" around a word in the absolutive case)
    Sociative: (just add another adjunct to the phrase in the same case as what you want to sociate)

  In progress
    Benefactive: (maybe merge with causal)
    Ornatative: (has to nest under another noun)

  * Case in Theodian is highly regular, and should, to English speakers, feel a lot like using prepositions


Unincorporated ideas, etc.

Current roadblocks: 
* What cases do we want?  
* How do we handle cases that aren't direct adjuncts of the ferb?  
  * Probably via prepositions.  
    * If so, we will need to be able to choose between restrictive and non-restrictive, like adjectives.  
      * Is it possible to tweak how adjectives work to accomodate these cases?  
        * No, since these cases don't have degrees like adjectives.  
      * Could we do a hybrid preposition/postposition sort of thing?  
        * Maybe, but it could get hard to follow
          * Perhaps a system that always uses both; the adpositional phrase would be opened by preposition, and closed by postposition
            * Which should carry the meaning of case?  Should it differ on whether it's restrictive?  
  * Handle it like normal case, but implement a particle that changes the argument's liege (head) to something else.  
    * This seems to be the most flexible option, and prevents having to make multiple locative cases.  Can probably merge others, like the instrumentive and ornamentive.  
* Beta-test nouns with person
  * If person as it is doesn't quite work, consider replacing the person-based system of now with a proximance-based system (topic, focus, other), and simply using specific words to refer to people (or have specific normal lexemes for communicating person as before)
* What moods do we want?  
* What voices do we want?  
* What aspects do we want?  
* How do we handle participles?  
* Do we need definitiveness?  

While I was at the museum, I saw Chad standing by the window
((chad), (((me) (at museum)) (see) [hirm]), ((hirm) ((stand) (at window)))).  



  1	  u	  u	  first-person		I
   2	   i	   i	  second-person		You
    3	    a	    a	  third-person		It		(default)
  12	  ui	  wi	  			We (incl 2nd)
  1 3	  u a	  w a	  			We (incl 3rd)
   23	   ia	   ja	  			Y'all
  123	  uia	  uja	  			We (incl all)

  * Focus (obviation) is implied by word-order, and can be non-nominal
  * Topic is a special particle, and can be non-nominal.  All repeated incidences 
    of the topic generally use a special topic lexeme without the particle
  * Pronouns are essentially lexeme-less nouns (fyty paPersox -> fypa).  



  if PoS = Adj OR Adv OR Prtcpl: 
    +90%	Very		i
    +60%	Indeed		e
    +30%	Slightly	a
      0%	Neutral		y, yy
    -30%	Slightly  (opp)	aa
    -60%	Indeed    (opp)	o
    -90%	Very      (opp)	u
  * One can think of the 'opp' notion as adding "un-" before the concept, so "[no] tuBana" would mean "no veryungood", or "not very bad".  
  * One can append '-r' to this syllable to indicate a 'stressed' evaluation.  
    +X6%	Extremely	ir
    +60%!	Precisely	er
    +16%	Very slightly	ar
      0%	Precisely neutr	yr, yyr
    -16%	Very slig (opp)	aar
    -60%!	Precisely (opp)	or
    -X6%	Extremely (opp)	ur
  Here's an example of what "ty[New] 'Auto" could mean with this: 
    A very new car				A car that is extremely "new"
    A new car					A car that is precisely "new"
    A slightly new car				A car that is only very, very slightly new
    A car that is neither old nor new		A car that is precisely between old and new
    A slightly old car				A car that is only very, very slightly old
    An old car					A car that is precisely "old"
    A very old car				A car that is extremely "old"

  if PoS = Det : 
      ?%	Undefined	y	(unmarked)
   ~100%	All		i
    ~X0%	Most		e
    ~80%	Many		a
    ~60%	Half		yy
    ~40%	Some		aa
    ~20%	Few		o
     ~0%	None		u
    * These can also be 'stressed' by appending '-r', but it doesn't change their percent, so much as stress the percent's exactness.  So, 'pu' would mean "basically noone", while 'pur' would mean 'noone'.  



  Definite: 	t
  Indefinite: 	l
  Null:		-	(default, used in gnomic statements, like "dogs chase cats", as well as with names, like "Maiya")



  N/A: 		y
  Here: 	u
  There: 	yy
  Yonder: 	i	(somewhere else)



  <p> + Person



  <k> + Degree


Type (for numbers)

  noun	i	the number THREE	(prefix usually ommitted entirely in math)
  adj	a	THREE dogs
  vez	u	se hit it THRICE
  card	aa	THIRD dog



  Theodian idiomatically uses an item-centric orientation, 
  as opposed to a geocentric orientation (as in Guugu Yimithirr) 
  or an egocentric orientation (as in English).  
  English has both the othe systems available for use, 
  although its item-centric orientation is usually reserved for ships: 
  port, starboard, bow, stern, top, bottom, center.  
  Theodian's is easily capable of handling mixtures of these as well: bow-port-top, for example.  
  Essentially, every item is understood to have an inherent orientation.  
  For example, on a computer monitor, facing it: right is port, left is starboard, 
  and the screen is bow; on the opposite side of the monitor: 
  right is starboard, left is port, and the backing is stern.  
  For the human body, the "left" arm of a person is always port, 
  no matter which way you're facing them.  
  English tries to adapt its egocentric orientation to be item-centric relative to living things, 
  but it gets very confusing doing so with the terms "left" and "right".  

  Here are the possible locations in Theodian's 3D system: 

  X-LOC	 Starboard  NULL  Port
  Y-LOC	       Top  NULL  Bottom
  Z-LOC	       Bow  NULL  Stern
  O-LOC	           Inside


  Okay, so that looks really complicated!  But it's not; it's just all the positions possible 
  in 3D space using a ternary notation system.  In day-to-day speech, 
  how often do you (in English) even discuss the vertices (corners) of an object?  
  How many of those times does it matter which corner you're talking about?  
  In day-to-day usage, one will only use a very small subset of these for communication; 
  however there is support for all of them, just in case.  
  You'll notice the actual words follow the ternary notation.  
  This should make it easier to remember.  
  These words can be converted into other word classes by adding their Prefix to the beginning of the word.  For example (noun): pynyXyYyZy.  


Particles ~ Epistemology

  7m This is unquestionably true!  		(emphatic)
  7u I believe this to be completely true 	(unmarked)
  6  I believe this is probably true
  5  I'm inclined to believe this is true
  4  I'm not really sure whether or not this is true
  3  I'm inclined to believe this is not true
  2  I believe this is probably not true
  1  I believe this to be completely untrue

  The epistemology may seem very complex to process, 
  particularly since it can be placed modifying any head.  
  However, it actually simplifies something we already do in English, 
  and is often used in even irrealis statements.  
  For example, compare: 
    English: "I really think you should take a bath"
    Theodian "DET-you E6 bathe-SHOULD" or "DET-me E6 believe that DET-you bathe-SHOULD"
  So it actually offers new flexibility and facilitates personal evaluations.  :) 


Particles ~ And/Or/Logic

  PoS - LogicType | FuzzyNumber || $LIST || PoS - LogicType | End
  FuzzyNumbers: Two, Three, Four, Paucal, Plural
  Numbers Two, Three, and Four do NOT need a second particle.  
  Numbers Paucal and Plural DO need a second particle.  Paucal MAY be used in place of Two, Three, and Four.  
  The first particle goes BEFORE the list.  
  The second particle goes AFTER the list.  
  Items within the list are separated only by commas.  
  There are several types of Logical operators in Theodian: 
    Those commonly used in lists: 
      XPOR		Exclusive Or (Either this or that, not both)
      IPOR		Inclusive Or (This and/or that)
      PAND		             (Both this and that)

    And those more particular to conditional statements: 
      XTOR	(if only one unknown, return true)
      ITOR	(if at least one unknown, return true
      TAND	(if all unknown, return true))
  Here are the subcomponents: 
  This probably looks ridiculously complicated.  
  Not so!  
  In fact, all you really need to know is Paucal, Or, And/Or, And.  
  The others exist in some capacity in English, and have uses in Logic.  
  For day-to-day usage, all you really need are these four items!  :) 


Particles ~ Polarity

  Positive emphatic	he	indeedly
  Positive			indeed (default)
  Unknown		hy	null
  Negative		ho	not
  No word for yes, no, etc; just repeat verb with answer's polarity
  No word for please; just repeat verb with precative inflection


Particles ~ Miscellaneous

  Question particle: 



  Theodian numbers are really easy!  
  The language uses a little-endian base-twelve positional system.  
  Each digit is made up of two components: digit value, and numerical case.  

  Digit values: 
    t n s l	1 2 3 4
    k q c j	5 6 7 8
    p m f w	9 X E 0

  Numerical case: 
    a	  1
    e	 10
    i	100
    +	(sep)

  So, for example, '123' is 'TiNeSa'.  '586' is 'KiJeQa'.  
  Zeros are commonly omitted, so that '120' is 'TiNe'; with zeros, it would be 'TiNeWa'.  
  After three digits, the language uses place separators.  
  The separators use a digit value equal to = ( NumberOfDigits / 3 ) , 
  and are followed by 'u' to the left of the radix point and 'iu' to the right.  
  Basically, this means that Theodian speaks comma/period dividers in numbers.  
  So, for example, '123.456,789' is "TiNeSa Tu LiKeQa W+ CiJePa".  
  (Note that I used digit separators like Europeans in the Arabic numerals)

  Theodian numbers use a consistant height metaphor, 
  so that 2 is 'higher' than 1, and 0 is 'lower' than 1.  
  The numberline is commonly imagined as vertical as well.  



    L-H-S, reduplicated

   100    !!   ko
    75    !    j-
    50    !!   '-
    25    !    w-
     0    !!   bo
   100    !!   -- 
    67    !    -l
    33    !    -x
     0    !!   -r
     0    !!!   aa
    30    !     ai
    60    !!    e
    90    !     y
   120    !!!   o
   150    !     oi
   180    !!    i
   210    !     yi
   240    !!!   u
   270    !     au
   300    !!    a
   330    !     ou