Berag

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Berag
Spoken in: Ari Berag
Time Period:  ???
Total speakers: 2 million
Genealogical classification: Sarmic

Beragic
  Berag

Basic word order: VOS
Morphological type: isolating-agglutinating
Morphosyntactic alignment: Split-Ergative
Created by:
User:Gremlins 2007-

Contents

Phonology

Berag distinguishes the following phonemes:

Labial: /p m ɸ β/ <p m f v>
Dental: /θ/ <th>
Alveolar: /t d n s z ts r l/ <t d n s z tz r l>
Palatal: /ɕ j/ <sh y>
Velar: /k g ŋ x/ <k g ŋ h>

/i e ɛ a ɨ ɔ o/
<i ei e a u o ou>

/ae ao/
<ae ao>

With most dialects having the following basic allophony:

-Berag stops are always lax, with aspiration playing just as big a part in distinguishing the two series of stops as voicing. Word-initially and -finally, /p t k/ are realised [b̪ʰ d̪ʰ g̪ʰ], whilst /d g/ are realised as [d̪ g̪]. Word internally, /d g/ are realised as fully voiced, but /p t k/ remain lax aspirated stops. When adjacent to a voiceless fricative the voiceless series loses its aspiration. The affricate /ts/ is always realised as [d̪z̪]. When adjacent to a voiced consonant, all stops are realised as fully voiced.

-The dental fricative /θ/ is generally realised as interdental.

-/s z/ are generally realised as apical [s̠ z̠].

-Intervocalically, /d g/ may weaken to [ð ɣ].

-The low vowel /a/ is generally realised somewhere inbetween cardinal [a] and [ɑ].

-In closed syllables, there is a tendency for /ɛ ɔ/ to be realised closer to [æ ɒ]. /i 1/ may also lower to [ɪ ɘ] in the same situation.

-The general realisation of /o/ is somewhat raised, closer to [ʊ]. When word-final it raises to [u].

-Word finally, /ɛ ɔ/ raise to [e o].

Phonotactics

Berag syllables follow a basic structure of (C){r y)V(C), with the following restictions:

-Clusters of labial consonants + /j/ do not occur.

-Clusters of stop + nasal do not occur. If they would due to morphology, they undergo metathesis to nasal + stop. Clusters of */sn/ become /nz/.

-In the coda positions, only /m n t d k gr T s x/ may occur.

Morphology

Berag marks verbs for tense and valancy. There are no case or number markings on nouns. Berag predominantly uses prefixes.

The citation form of a verb is the active present, e.g. kara speak, ban see, look at, taes bite.

The past is formed by suffixing -he to the stem. This has the allomorph -e after a consonant, with the caveat that coda /m n/ become /ŋ/: karahe, baŋe taese

The future is formed by suffixing -nen to the stem, -den if the stem ends in a nasal: karanen, banden, taenzen.

The habitual is formed by suffixing -as if the stem ends in a consonant, and -r if it does not: karar, banas, taesas.


The antipassive is formed by a prefix, shou-.

Verbs are negated with the particles di, placed before the verb and mei', placed after the direct object.

Pronouns

Berag pronouns are marked for nominative and oblique cases:

---NOM---OBL 1PS-na---nem 2PS-ath---ande 3PS(A)-o---omo 4PS(A)-tra---trem 1PP-sen---sen 2PP-adi---adem 3PP(A)-ao---aom 4PP(A)-trana---tranam

Where (A) stands for animate. The inanimate 3rd and 4th person pronouns are not marked for case.

---ABS 3PS(I)-ta 4PS(I)-ri 3PP(I)-tao 4PP(I)-ren


  • Other than this, there will be a fair bit of derivational morphology, I just haven't worked it out yet

Syntax

Berag divides words into two major groups: Lexical Words and Grammatical Words. Berag grammarians call these "bases" and "particles". Bases are further subdivided into verbs and nouns. Particles are divided into Nominal, Verbal, and Phrasal particles.

θ-roles in Berag

Berag is a split-ergative/dative language. Common nouns and inanimate pronouns display Ergative-Absolutive alignment, where the absolutive covers the subject of an intransitive verb and the patient of a transitive one, whilst the ergative covers the agent of a transtive verb. The Ergative argument is marked with the preposition e.

Animate pronouns are Nominative-Accusative, where the subject of an intransitive verb and the agent of a transitive verb are marked as Nominative, and the patient of an intransitive verb is accusative.

All participants in a Berag sentence have Dative alignment, e.g. the theme of a ditransitive verb is marked as the dative, with the preposition krei

Tense Usage

The Present, Past, and Future tenses are more properly the Hodiernal, pre-Hodiernal, and post-Hodiernal tenses. That is, they refer to events that happened today, before today, and after today, respectively (today defined as the time between two sunrises), regardless of whether the action takes place before, during, or after an utterance. The "habitual" tense refers to a trans-hodiernal timeframe, i.e. over yesterday and today, or today and tommorow, or all three.

The definite article

The definite article in Berag is a, ad if the following word begins in a vowel. There are many contractions with it:

e + a -> ya si + a -> sha


Basic Word Order

The basic word order in a Berag clause is Verb-Absolutive.argument-(Oblique.argument)(Ergative.argument):

alad a pous open.PRES DEF door The door opens

alad a pous ya dun open.PRES DEF door ERG.DEF man the man opens the door

Topic Fronting

In theory, any argument can be fronted, however in practice the most commonly fronted arguments are oblique:

alade a pous se ki indraihe ki regahe tra o ya dun open.PAST DEF door at SUB hear.PAST SUB scream.PAST 4PP 3PP ERG.DEF man The man opened the door when he heard him(OBV) scream

se ki indraihe ki regahe tra o, alade a pous ya dun at SUB hear.PAST SUB shout.PAST 3PS 1PS, open-PAST DEF door 1PS I opened the doorWhen I heard them scream

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