Sabian language

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Sabian
tairói sabin
Pronunciation [tai̯ˈɾoi̯ ˈsaβinː]
Native to Sabia
Early forms
Dozenal Sabian
  • Old Sabia
    • Middle Old Sabian
      • Middle Sabian
        • Early Modern Sabian
          • Sabian
Latin (Sabian alphabet)
Official status
Official language in
Sabia and Verona Sabia and Verona
Regulated by Tairobók

The Sabian language (tairói sabin) 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. 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. 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

Grammar at a glance
Morphological typology Agglutinative
Morphosyntactic alignment Tripartite
Head direction Initial
Constituent order SVO

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. 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 - serve as indefinite articles. Partitive, negative and zero articles also occur. Articles are, however, seldom used.

Declension

Main article: Sabian declension

Sabian nouns and adjectives are declined into different patterns for ten grammatical cases.

Verbs

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).

Phonology

Consonants

Labial Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive voiceless t k
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative voiceless s ʃ x h
voiced v ʒ
Approximant l j
Flap ɾ
Trill r

Vowels

Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

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/.

Derivational affixes

Nouns

Agentive

-(r)ág (IV dec.)

  • kurám (to lead) → kurág (leader)
  • bašo (faith, creed) → bašorág (priest, monk)
  • tairám (to speak) → tairág (speaker [of an Assembly])

Nominalization

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 -an paradigm) can become an abstract noun.

  • haran (straight, correct, plain) → haranói (integrity, dignity)
  • drusám (to eat) → drusañ (food, meal)
  • kurám (to lead) → kuragi (n. government; v. "they 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)

Locative

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)

Verbs

Resources