Alpic

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Alpic
Elbetusa
Spoken in: Switzerland (Swestazoha)
Conworld: League of Lost Languages
Total speakers: ~30,000
Genealogical classification: Danubian
SW Danubian
Alpine
Alpic
Basic word order: SVO
Morphological type: Synthetic/Fusional
Morphosyntactic alignment: Fluid-S Active-Stative
Created by:
Taylor Selseth 2010 C.E.

Alpic /ˈælpik/, natively Elbetusa /ˈɛlbeˌtusa/, spoken in southeastern Switzerland, with most speakers living along the Inn River and near Davos. It is the sole surviving language of the Danubian language family which was once spoken throughout the Danube River basin. The Danubian languages are probably part of the of the Europic macrofamily, which consists of Indo-European and Hesperic besides Danubian. Europic itself maybe a part of an even larger language phylum called Mitian, Eurasiatic, or Core Nostratic, which also includes Uralic, Rhaeto-Etruscan, Chukchi-Kamchatkan, Eskimo-Aleut, Altaic, and Kartvelian.

Phonology

The syllable structure of Alpic is (C)(F|l|m|r|w|j)V(C), where F is any fricative. CF, Cl, Cm, and Cr can only occur at the beginning of a word. Stress is moderately light and is always on the penultimate syllable of a word. Prosody is syllable-timed and Trochaic in rhythm. Intonation patterns are typical for a Western European language, with a rising intonation in questions.

Consonants

IPA

Labial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar
Stops, fortis p t ʧ k
Stops, lenis b d ʤ g
Fricatives, unvoiced f s ʃ x
Fricatives, voiced v z ʒ
Nasals m n ɲ
Laterals l ʎ
Trills r
Semivowels w j

Orthographical

Labial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar
Plosives, fortis p t tj k
Plosives, Lenis b d dj g
Fricatives, unvoiced f s sj h/ch
Fricatives, voiced v z zj
Nasals m n nj
Laterals l lj
Trills r
Semivowels w j

Syllable-initial lenis plosives are mildly implosive /r/ is realized as the flap /ɾ/ in between vowels. /n/ assimilates to the point of articulation of the following consonant. /x/ is realized as /h/ in the syllable onset and [ɣ] between vowels, it is represented as H in the orthography in the onset and as CH in the coda. /s/ and /z/ are [ʃ] and [ʒ] when before a plosive. /k/ and /ɡ/ are [c] and [ɟ] when followed by /j/ or /i/. lenis plosives voice adjacent fricatives. final lenis plosives and voiced fricatives become their fortis and unvoiced counterparts at the end of a word, much like Final Fortition in High German.

Vowels

Alpic has a simple Spanish-style /a e i o u/ vowel system, with the vowels realized as [ɐ ɜ ɪ ɔ ʊ] in closed syllables and are pronounced shorter than in open syllables to maintain syllable-timed prosody.

Morphology and Morphosyntax

Alpic is a synthetic and fusional language with rich morphology in nouns, adjectives and verbs.

Morpheme structure

Roots

Most lexical roots in Alpic fit into the pattern (C)(C)V(C)(V). The phonemes /r/ and /l/ do not occur more than once in a root.

Affixes

Alpic is a wholly suffixing language, it has no prefixes. Most affixes are -CV, -CCV -V, or -VC, several disyllabic affixes do occur, however.

Word Formation

An Alpic word consists of one or more roots that form a stem upon which first derivational affixes and then inflectional affixes are attached. Verbs and adverbs have at least one inflectional affix, the personal inflections, but bare noun roots are common.

Compounding

Conpounding is highly productive in Alpic, with two-root and even three-root compounds not being uncommon, and even compounds of 4 or more occur. The majority of compounds are head-final, with the other lexical elements in the compound modifying the meaning of the head. Some others are double headed and have an emergent meaning. headless "bahuvrihi" compounds also occur, mainly as adjectives. Alpic is particularly rich in verb-verb compounds.

Derivation

Alpic has a very rich set of derivational affixes. Zero-derivation is very common as well.

Nouns and Adjectives

Nouns inflect for Possession, Case, and Number. Adjectives and the Definite and Indefinite Articles agree with their host nouns in Case and Number. The order of suffixes are:

1. Nominal Stem
2. Possessive Suffix
3. Case-Number Suffix

Nouns fall into 3 classes, Animate, Inanimate, and Collective.

Collective Class: ethic and political units, organizations, settlements, sports teams, etc
Animate Class: people, animals, deities, natural forces
Inanimate Class: everything else

Possessive suffixes

Possessive Suffixes function like the Possessive Adjectives in other European languages, marking who possesses the marked noun

1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Animate 3rd Inanimate Impersonal
Singular -mi- -di- -ye- -si- -pa-
Plural -vi- -wa- -tje- -sja-

Atami
ata-mi
"My father"

Case and Number

Case and Number marking is fusional. There are two numbers: singular and plural. There are 5 cases: Direct, Genitive, Dative, Instrumental, and Topical. The Direct Case is the unmarked case for the Agent or Patient of the sentence. The Genitive marks that the noun possesses or has a relation of some kind to another noun. The Dative marks the Direct Object of the sentence. The Instrumental marks by which means a verb is done as well as the demoted agent of a passive voice sentence. The Topical case is a kind of Vocative case used to mark a topicalized noun and/or adjective that is separated from the sentence; it is unusual among case endings in that it retains the old Noun Class system of Proto-Danubian.

V-Stem Direct Genitive Dative Instrumental
Singular -s -n -t
Plural -t -sa -r -ta
C-Stem Direct Genitive Dative Instrumental
Singular -es -i -o
Plural -da -sa -na -ta
Topical Forms Animate Inanimate Collective
Singular -gwe -f -lja
Plural -got -vut -let

Articles

Alpic has 3 articles, the Definite Article, the Indefinite Article, and the Partitive Article. All agree with their nouns in, case and number. The Definite Article also agrees with it's noun in Noun Class. All are regularly declined, though the Partitive has no plural form. The article precedes the noun.

Definite

The Definite Article indicates that its noun is a particular thing identifiable to the listener. It may be the same thing that the speaker has already mentioned, or it may be something uniquely specified. A noun marked with a possessive suffix always has the Definite Article.

Direct Genitive Dative Instrumental
Singular Animate da das dan dat
Plural Animate dat dasa dar data
Singular Inanimate do dos don dot
Plural Inanimate dot dosa dor dota
Collective dje djes djin djet

Indefinite

The Indefinite Article indicates that its noun is not yet a particular thing identifiable to the listener. It may be something that the speaker is mentioning for the first time, or its precise identity may be irrelevant or hypothetical, or the speaker may be making a general statement about a particular thing.

Direct Genitive Dative Instrumental
Singular zo zos zon zot
Plural zot zosa zor zota

Partitive

The Partitive article indicates a non-specific quantity of a mass noun. It is not unlike the English determiner "some", but acts grammatically like an article since it agrees with it's noun in case.

Direct Genitive Dative Instrumental
Singular ni nis nin nit

Demonstratives

Alpic has a 2-way Proximal-Distal demonstrative system, like English's "This-These" and "That-Those". It also has locative demonstratives like English's "Here-There"

Proximal

Direct Genitive Dative Instrumental
Singular Animate sa sas san sat
Plural Animate sat sasa sar sata
Singular Inanimate so sos son sot
Plural Inanimate sot sosa sor sota

Distal

Direct Genitive Dative Instrumental
Singular Animate dwe dwes dwen dwet
Plural Animate dwet dwesa dwer dweta
Singular Inanimate dwa dwas dwan dwat
Plural Inanimate dwat dwasa dwar dwata

Locative

Direct Genitive Dative Instrumental
Proximal swa swas swan swat
Distal ga gas gan gat

Adjectives

Adjectives have comparative and superlative inflections that precede the case-number inflection.

Comparative: -ra-
Superlative: -dja-

Pronouns

Alpic pronouns are thus:

Agent Patient Genitive Dative Instrumental
1SG mu mi mwe mim mit
2SG du di dwe dim dit
3SG Animate e em es im et
3SG Inanimate sa sa sis sim sit
1PL vu vi ve vir vit
2PL dju dje wa wor wat
3PL ge gem ges ger get
Relative zje zjem zjis zjin zjit
Interrogative ko kom kis kin kit
Impersonal pa pam pas pan pat

The relative pronoun precedes all relative clauses, it cannot be dropped as it can in English. The impersonal pronoun is similar to English "one", German "Man", and French "on".

Verbs

The Alpic verb is highly synthetic. The verb is inflected for Voice, Mood, Tense, Inferentiality, Polarity, volition or activeness of the intransitive subject, person, and number. There is both partial and full reduplication. The morphological structure of the verb is:

1. Verb Stem
2. Perfective affix 3. Voice-Mood-Tense
4. Inferentiality-Polarity
5. Adverbal affixes
6. Question Marking
7. Incorporated Direct Object
8. Person-Number-Volition

Person-Number-Volition Inflection

Alpic has two sets of personal endings in intransitive sentences, one for an agent-like subject and a patient-like subject. Fluid Verbs can take either forms depending of the volition the intransitive subject has over the process described by the verb. Accusative Verbs only have agentive intransitive subjects. Ergative Verbs only have patientive intransitive subjects.

Consonantal Conjugation

1st SG 2nd SG 3rd SG 1st PL 2nd PL 3rd PL Impersonal
Agentive -am -at -as -me -te -se -ap
Patientive -a -ak -ach -ke -da -ap

A Conjugation

1st SG 2nd SG 3rd SG 1st PL 2nd PL 3rd PL Impersonal
Agentive -am -at -as -me -te -se -ap
Patientive -a -ak -e -ach -ke -da -ap

E Conjugation

1st SG 2nd SG 3rd SG 1st PL 2nd PL 3rd PL Impersonal
Agentive -em -et -es -me -te -se -ep
Patientive -a -ek -e -ach -ke -da -ep

I Conjugation

1st SG 2nd SG 3rd SG 1st PL 2nd PL 3rd PL Impersonal
Agentive -im -it -is -mi -ti -si -ip
Patientive -e -ik -i -ach -ke -da -ip

O Conjugation

1st SG 2nd SG 3rd SG 1st PL 2nd PL 3rd PL Impersonal
Agentive -om -ot -os -mo -to -so -op
Patientive -a -ok -o -ach -ko -da -op

U Conjugation

1st SG 2nd SG 3rd SG 1st PL 2nd PL 3rd PL Impersonal
Agentive -um -ut -us -mo -to -so -up
Patientive -o -uk -u -ach -ko -da -up

Direct Object Incorporation

Patientive pronouns and indefinite inanimate direct objects are incorporated into the finite verb prior to the person-number volition infection.

Aspect

Alpic has a Perfect marker -zju-.

Voice, Mood, and Tense

Tense, mood, and voice marking is highly fusional, all 3 categories are indicated on a single morpheme.

Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Optative Imperative
Active Non-Past -va -fe -na -ba
Active Past -lu -lo -vo -no
Mediopassive Non-Past -ri -we -ve -ne -be
Mediopassive Past -li -dlu -vru -nu

Tense Usage

The Non-Past Tense is used for actions occurring at the utterance, at a future time, things done habitually, or "generic" statements of truth ("birds have feathers").

Ibim da merkado. "I'm going to the store."
Ibim da merkado, sadja. "I'm going to the store, today."
Ibim da merkado ha savadot. I go to the store on Saturdays."

The Past Tense is used for actions occurring before the time of utterance.

Iludem da merkado, jodja. "I went to the store, yesterday."

Mood Usage

Incomplete

Voice Usage

Incomplete

Polarity and Inferentiality

Incomplete

Auxiliary Verbs

Incomplete

Adverbs and Adverbal Suffixes

Adverbs are formed from Adjective roots with verbal person-number-volition inflections in agreement with the verb.

Question Marking

In Yes-No questions the verb is marked with the affix -po. In all other questions the verb is marked with with affix -ko.

Prepositions and Other Particles

Incomplete

Reduplication

Alpic has 2 types of reduplication, partial and full. Partial republication is in the form of a |Ca-| prefix, where C is the first consonant of the root. When the word begins with a vowel the prefix is |ah-|. Full reduplication involves the complete repetition of the root.

Nouns and Adjectives Reduplication

Nouns and Adjectives do not have full reduplication. Partial reduplication has an augmentative function; so that ma-merkado means "supermarket", ra-riksa means "emperor", and ta-duppo "very stupid". note that if the root starts with an unvoiced consonant the consonant becomes voiced: tuppota-duppo.

Verb Reduplication

In verbs, partial reduplication indicates the intensive aspect while full reduplication indicates the continuative aspect. The voicing rules in nouns and adjectives also apply in verbal reduplication. bodje- "walk", ba-bodje- "run", bodje-bodje-, "keep on walking"

Syntax

Basic syntax is Agent-Verb in active intransitive sentences, Verb-Patient in stative intransitive sentences, and Subject-Verb-Object in transitive sentences. Genitives and Adjectives precede their heads.

Incomplete

Vocabulary

pesa = strong
poke = chest
pogja = to drink
poge = feather
pagu = to ripen
pere = skin
breha = meadow
brokwe = ash tree
petli = to fly
brako = to strike, hit
broge = to sew
brusa = flea
pate = foot
bluwa = to sneeze
pemma = foam
pare = to like
palga = pig
brogo = to request
branna = first
pura = hair
pora = fire