|Latin (Sabian alphabet)|
Official language in
| Sabia and Verona|
The Sabian language (sabin or sabintái; lit. "Sabian voice") is a constructed language developed and spoken in the Kingdom of Sabia and Verona. The language is a priori, meaning that it was constructed without taking elements from another existing language. The use of the language is regulated by the Tairobók ("Language Commission"), created in 2017, a decentralized government agency dependent on the Arts Division. Before this, the Sabian Academy served as the the main authority in the Sabian language. The use of the Sabian language is protected by the Constitution of Sabia and Verona, which names it as the sole official language of the Kingdom.
The Sabian language began to be developed in late 2012, for its use in the Sabian Region. Its early forms, chiefly Dozenal Sabian and and Old Sabian, served as inspiration and base for the development of the Lycene language, which was considered a dialect of Sabian up until 2014; today they are both considered part of the Valtiric languages family. The language has gone through several transformations leading up to its current form, Modern Sabian. The last considerable language reform was implemented by the Tairobók in May 2017.
|Grammar at a glance|
Sabian heavily presents inflection. Nouns are inflected for number and case; there are three numbers (singular, plural, and collective) and ten cases: absolutive, accusative, ergative, genitive, comitative/instrumental, inesive, elative/ablative, perlative, intrative and allative. A vocative case, which is not usually considered part of the language's declension system, is also present. Adjectives have agreement with nouns in number, but not in case; there are four noun declensions and three adjective classes. Modern Sabian has completely lost its gender system and is now a fully genderless language; Middle Sabian had two genders, diurnal and nocturnal (a feature assimilated from Modern Lycene).
Verbs are conjugated into two moods: indicative and jussive. In a similar way to Esperanto, the jussive mood in Sabian covers the uses of the subjunctive and the imperative in most Indo-European languages. The Sabian language's use of jussive in this manner is, however, more encompassing than that of Esperanto. There are three verb classes: class I (ambitransitive verbs, -[r/n]ám ending), class II (transitive verbs, -[r/n]ím ending) and class III (intransitive verbs, -[r/n]ót ending). Most verbs belong in class I. Modal verbs fall under class I. Much like nouns, verbs are highly regular and only a couple of them are irregular. Elót ("to be", class III), ešám ("to go", I) and kešám ("to come", I) and tairám ("to talk/speak", I) are, at the moment, the only irregular verbs in Sabian. Verbs only have two numbers, singular and plural; collective nouns trigger the plural agreement.
Syntaxically, Sabian is a tripartite language, and as such, it treats the agent of a transitive verb, the patient of a transitive verb, and the single argument of an intransitive verb each in different ways. Agents of transitive verbs take the ergative case, objects of transitive verbs take the accusative case, and subjects of intransitive verbs take the absolutive case. Word order is dominantly subject–verb–object (SVO), though subject–object–verb (SOV) may also be used.
Definite and indefinite articles exist in the form of suffixes; the endings -án (for nouns ending in consonants) and -ná (for nouns ending in vowels) serve as definite articles, while the endings -úr and -rú serve as indefinite articles. Partitive, negative and zero articles also occur. Definite articles are widely used; indefinite articles are seldom used. All articles are suffixed at the end of the word, even if it is declined; therefore, the use of the consonant-ending form or vowel-ending form of all articles is determined not only by the noun itself, but by any possible declensions it may present. Thus: sorganá ([ABS] "the mountain") uses the vowel-ending form, while sorgannán ([GEN] "of the mountain") uses the consonant-ending form.
Sabian nouns are declined into different patterns for ten grammatical cases; adjectives are not. There are five declension classes, each presenting vastly different declinative systems. The five classes group nouns with the same syllable ending: there are three classes for nouns that end with a vowel (nouns that end with -o and -a fall into the I valo-doga class, nouns that end in -i and -u fall into the II heši-oru class, and nouns that end with -oi and -ai fall into the III tairói-vai class), and two classes for nouns that end with a consonant (those that end with <g>, <v>, <d>, <t>, and <k> fall into the IV nirág-ħad class, while all the rest fall into the V kas class).
Irregularity is seldom observed in noun declension, and the division of declension classes is strictly observed.
The Sabian verb system is largely inspired in that of Indo-European languages, especially Spanish. Sabian verbs are organized into three classes: class I, for ambitransitive verbs, class II, for transitive verbs, and class III, for intransitive verbs. Most verbs fall into class I, including all modal verbs. Verbs only have two numbers, singular and plural; collective nouns trigger the plural agreement. Verb regularity is highly present in the language, with a few notable exceptions. Sabian verbs undergo inflection according to tense (past, present and future), number (singular and plural), person (first, second and third) and mood (indicative and jussive).
The conjugation system in Sabian allows it to be a null-subject language, as in most sentences the subject is encoded in the verb conjugation, rendering pronoun use optional.
Sabian has five vowels /i/, /u/, /e/, /o/ and /a/. Each occurs in both stressed and unstressed syllables. Additionally, it has four diphthongs, all falling: /ai̯/, /oi̯/, /ui̯/, /ei̯/.
-(r)ág (IV dec.)
- kurám (to lead) → kurág (leader)
- bašo (faith, creed) → bašorág (priest, monk)
- tairám (to speak) → tairág (speaker [of an Assembly])
The suffixes -(r)ói (III dec.) or -(a)ñ (IV dec.) can be added to verb roots and adjectives to form simple abstract nouns. Additionally, the singular third-person past indicative form of certain verbs (especially those of the -ám ambitransitive paradigm) can become an abstract noun.
- haran (straight, correct, plain) → haranói (integrity, dignity)
- drusám (to eat) → drusañ (food, meal)
- kurám (to lead, to govern) → kuragi (n. government; v. "he governed")
For less abstract nouns, especially objects "derived" from other objects, simulfixes are typically employed. This is mostly used for monosyllabic nouns, and is limited to vowels only.
- si (flame, fire) → sai (light)
- tai (voice) → toa (law, rule)
The suffixes -(r)a and -(r)ia are usually added to nouns, adjectives and verb stems to form place names and location nouns. Locative derivation is highly irregular.
- siñ (heat, warmth, dryness) → sinna [ñ to nn alteration] (house, home, hearth)
- bašo (faith) → bašora (church, temple)
- Sabian vocabulary - working list.