Inng is a cypherlang based on English. The cypher itself has drawn inspiration from languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese. All words in Inng have been created by cyphering English words. This cypher only takes the first three (sometimes four) letters of the English word into consideration however, so the relationship between the two languages' words is not always very transparent. There are also some lexical differences. For example plural you is always lăk, a reflex of "ya'll", in Inng; and some of the preposition have slightly different uses. Since the cypher creates so many homophones in Inng, new compounds have been created to resolve ambiguity. For example speech is suì-gak (speech-talk) and spell is suì-maeng (spell-magic). The grammar is based on English, but altered to some degree.
|Writing system:||None. Romanization for conlanging purposes.|
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Transcription
- 3 Cyphering
- 4 Grammar
- 4.1 Derivational morphology
- 4.2 Inflectional morphology and parts of speech
- 4.3 Syntax
Inng has only 16 phonemic consonants, and four vowels. But allophones there are a lot more of because of Inng's extensive allophony.
Phoneme and allophone inventories
Both phonemes and allophones are represented in the following tables. Generally the phonemes are represented with a letter that is also used for one of its allophones. The only exception is /r/ which is not realized as [r] but as rhotactization or other changes of the previous vowel.
All of the phonemes except for /r/ have as an allophone the same sound as what the phoneme is transcribed with. So for example /p/ has the allophone [p]. /r/ however is never realized as [r].
|Syllabic nasal|| [m̩]
|Syllabic affricate|| [t͡ɬ̩ʰ]
|Syllabic approximant|| [l̩]
The "syllabic affricates" are affricates with a syllabic release. From now on, all the affricates will be transcribed without the tiebar, as there is no ambiguity: Any plosive followed by any fricative in the same morpheme make an affricate in Inng.
Phones marked with [ʷ] are simultaneously labialized and velarized. So to be more precise, these phones are actually labio-velarized.
Throughout this article, the syllabic consonants may transcribed with a vertical line (◌̩ or ◌̍) even in phonemic transcription, and the corresponding non-syllabic consonants with inverted breve below (◌̯). This is for clarifying if they are in nucleus, or onset or coda. The lack of onset or coda may be transcribed with ∅.
Just as with the consonant table above, all of the vowels have the same sound as an allophone as what the phoneme is transcribed with.
|Close||/i/ [iː]||[ʉː]||/u/ [uː]|
|Close-mid||[e] [eː]||[o] [oː] [o˞ː]|
|Mid||/ə/ [əː] [ɚː]|
|Open-mid||[ɛ] [ɛː]||[ɝː]||[ɔ] [ɔː]|
|Open||/a/ [aː]||[ä] [äː]||[ɑ] [ɑː]||[ɒ] [ɒː]|
Inng has a pitch accent system, where open syllables may have high or low pitch (which may be realized as [˥] respectively [˩]), or be unaccented. Closed syllables are all unaccented.
The syllable structure for Inng is (O)N(N)(C), where O can be any consonant except for /ŋ, r/, N can be any vowel or /ŋ, l/, and C can be /m, n, ŋ, p, t, k, ts, l, r/. The only restrictions are that if the nucleus is /ŋŋ/, then neither the oneset nor coda can be a nasal, and that there can not be more than two /l/ in succession, regardless of what part of the syllable they are. All words are monosyllabic, except of course for compound words, which are frequent.
Since /ŋ, l/ can be both consonants and vowels, it is important to distinguish between nucleuses and onsets/codas. Phonemes in nucleus may have non-syllabic realizations, so there are words that on the phonemic level are different with regard to syllable structure, but which are realized the same way. However, pitch may distinguish these words, as the tones are dependent on the surrounding consonants.
It is also important to distinguish between words that have a single nucleus (N) and words that have a double nucleus (NN). Single and double nucleuses may both be realized as a long vowel, but with pitch distinguishing them from each other.
Vowels and syllabic nasals are long when in an open syllable. /ə, əə, a, aa/ become [o, oː, ɑ, ɑː] when followed by a velar (effectively one of [ŋ, k, w]). [w] also adds rounding to /a, aa/, see the table below. The allophonic changes caused by a preceding palatal phone however take precedence over coda consonants. For example /iəŋ/ (eight) is realized [jeŋ] and not *[joŋ] because the preceding [j] changes the /ə/ to [e].
|/i/ [i]||/u/ [u]||/ə/ [ə]||/a/ [ä]||/l/ [l̩]||/ŋ/ [ŋ̍]|
|/ii/ [iː]||/ui/ [ɥi]||/əi/ [ej]||/ai/ [aj]||/li/ [l̠ʲi]||/ŋi/ [n̠ʲi]|
|/iu/ [ju]||/uu/ [uː]||/əu/ [ow]||/au/ [ɒw]||/lu/ [lʷu]||/ŋu/ [nʷu]|
|/iə/ [je]||/uə/ [wo]||/əə/ [əː]||/aə/ [ɛ]||/lə/ [lə]||/ŋə/ [nə]|
|/ia/ [ja]||/ua/ [wɒ]||/əa/ [ɔ]||/aa/ [äː]||/la/ [lä]||/ŋa/ [nä]|
|/il/ [il]||/ul/ [ul]||/əl/ [əl]||/al/ [äl]||/ll/ [l̩ː]||/ŋl/ [n̩l]|
|/iŋ/ [iŋ]||/uŋ/ [uŋ]||/əŋ/ [oŋ]||/aŋ/ [ɑŋ]||/lŋ/ [l̩m]||/ŋŋ/ [ŋ̍ː]|
When the nucleus consists of two consonants, one will be syllabic and the other non-syllabic. Which one is which depends on the surrounding consonants. This table shows their realization in words with neither onset or coda. Also note that all word-final vowels and syllabic consonants are long.
Rimes with /r/
/r/ is never realized as [r]. Instead it causes different changes in the previous vowel. The table below lists all possible combinations.
|/ir/ [ʉː]||/ur/ [o˞ː]||/ər/ [ɚː]||/ar/ [ɐ˞ː]||/lr/ [ɭ̍ː]||/ŋr/ [ɳ̍ː]|
|/iir/ [ʉː]||/uir/ [ɥʉː]||/əir/ [ʉː]||/air/ [ɚː]||/lir/ [lʉː]||/ŋir/ [nʉː]|
|/iur/ [jo˞ː]||/uur/ [o˞ː]||/əur/ [o˞ː]||/aur/ [ɚː]||/lur/ [lo˞ː]||/ŋur/ [no˞ː]|
|/iər/ [jɚː]||/uər/ [wɚː]||/əər/ [ɚː]||/aər/ [ɝː]||/lər/ [lɚː]||/ŋər/ [nɚː]|
|/iar/ [jɐ˞ː]||/uar/ [wɐ˞ː]||/əar/ [ɝː]||/aar/ [ɐ˞ː]||/lar/ [lɐ˞ː]||/ŋar/ [nɐ˞ː]|
|/ilr/ [iɭ]||/ulr/ [uɭ]||/əlr/ [əɭ]||/alr/ [äɭ]||/llr/ [ɭ̍ː]||/ŋlr/ [n̩ɭ]|
|/iŋr/ [iɳ]||/uŋr/ [uɳ]||/əŋr/ [əɳ]||/aŋr/ [äɳ]||/lŋr/ [l̩ɳ]||/ŋŋr/ [ɳ̍ː]|
/(ir), iir, əir/, /(ur), uur, əur/, /(ər), əər, air, aur/, /əar, aər/, /(ar), aar/, /(lr), llr/, respectively /(ŋr), ŋŋr/ are in complementary distribution. The sequences in parenthesis may have contrasting tone if the syllable is onsetless or begins with an unvoiced consonant. They are always realized the same as the rest of the rimes in their group when the syllable begins with a voiced consonant.
Voiceless plosives and the affricate /ts/ are aspirated when in onset, but not in coda. /l/ is realized as [ɫ] after a [w] in the same syllable.
The above table shows the realizations of consonants followed by [i, j, u, w, ɥ]. [j] is the realization of /i/ before another vowel, [w] is the realization of /u/ before a vowel other than /i/, and [ɥ] is the realization of /u/ before [i]. So for example the words /fing, fia˥, ful, fue˩, fui/ (fetch, feast, fort, foil (V.), foe) are pronunced [fʲiŋ˥˩, fjaː˥˩˥, ful˥˩, ɸoː˥˩˩, ɸɥiː˥˩˩].
There are some patterns to the realization of the consonants. Labials and velars become palatalized before [i] but form a cluster with [j], while alveolars become alveolo-palatal before [i, j], deleting the [j]. Labials and velars are not affected by [u, w, ɥ], with the exception of /f/ which become a bilabial when clustering with [w, ɥ]. Alveolars become labialized before [u, w], deleting the [w]. When followed by [ɥ] they become rounded alveolopalatals, deleting the [ɥ]. /h/ simply changes its point of articulation before all of these phones.
The following table lists all possible syllables containing one or two syllabic consonants, and syllabic consonant followed by vowel. Combinations not allowed by the phonotactics are marked with a -.
|Nucleus /l/||-/∅/||-/m/||-/n/||-/ŋ/||-/p/||-/t/||-/k/||-/ts/||-/l/||-/r/||-/i/||-/u/||-V (/a, ə/)|
|Nucleus /ll/||-/∅/||-/m/||-/n/||-/ŋ/||-/p/||-/t/||-/k/||-/ts/||-/l/||-/r/||-/i/||-/u/||-V (/a, ə/)|
|Nucleus /lŋ/||-/∅/||-/m/||-/n/||-/ŋ/||-/p/||-/t/||-/k/||-/ts/||-/l/||-/r/||-/i/||-/u/||-V (/a, ə/)|
|Nucleus /ŋ/||-/∅/||-/m/||-/n/||-/ŋ/||-/p/||-/t/||-/k/||-/ts/||-/l/||-/r/||-/i/||-/u/||-V (/a, ə/)|
|Nucleus /ŋl/||-/∅/||-/m/||-/n/||-/ŋ/||-/p/||-/t/||-/k/||-/ts/||-/l/||-/r/||-/i/||-/u/||-V (/a, ə/)|
|/Nucleus /ŋŋ/||-/∅/||-/m/||-/n/||-/ŋ/||-/p/||-/t/||-/k/||-/ts/||-/l/||-/r/||-/i/||-/u/||-V (/a, ə/)|
- ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Rimes consisting of a nucleus syllabic consonant followed by no coda, and a nucleus syllabic consonant followed by an identical coda consonant, are both realized as a long syllabic consonant. But tones may distinguish these from each other.
- ^ ^ Rimes consisting of /l̩∅/ are realized the same as rimes consisting of /l̩l̩∅/, but they may be distinguished by tone.
- ^ ^ Rimes consisting of /l̩r/ are realized the same as rimes consisting of /l̩l̩r/, but they may be distinguished by tone.
- ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ This column shows how a nucleus consisting of consonant and a vowel is realized in different environments. This column only displays (O)NN without specifying a coda. The vowels are therefore marked with [(ː)], because they are long in open syllables, and short in closed syllables. /a, ə/ are realized as [ɑ(ː), o(ː)] when followed by a velar coda, and as [ä(ː), ə(ː)] in all other environments.
- ^ ^ ^ ^ /∅l̩∅, ∅l̩l̯, l̯l̩∅, ∅l̩l̩∅/ are all realized as [l̩ː], but may be distinguished by tone.
- ^ ^ ^ /∅l̩r, l̯l̩r, ∅l̩l̩r/ are all realized as [ɭ̍ː], but they may be distinguished by tone.
- ^ ^ The body /∅ŋ̍l̩/ is in some cases realized the same as the body /n̯l̩/, but they may be distinguished by tone.
- ^ ^ The body /∅l̩ŋ̍/ is in some environments realized the same as body /l̯ŋ̍/, but they may be distinguished by tone.
- ^ ^ The rimes /ŋ̍∅/ and /ŋ̍ŋ̍∅/ are both realized as [ŋ̍ː], but they may be distinguished by tone.
- ^ ^ The rimes /ŋ̍l̯/ and /ŋ̍l̩∅/ are in some environments realized the same, but they may be distinguished by tone.
- ^ ^ Rimes consisting of /ŋ̍r/ are realized the same as rimes consisting of /ŋ̍ŋ̍r/, but they may be distinguished by tone.
- ^ ^ ^ /∅ŋ̍∅, nŋ̍∅, ∅ŋ̍ŋ̍∅/ are all realized as [ŋ̍ː], but they may be distinguished by tone.
- ^ ^ ^ /∅ŋ̍r/, /nŋ̍r/ and /∅ŋ̍ŋ̍r/ are all realized as [ɳ̍ː], but they may be distinguished by tone.
- ^ ^ ^ /mŋ̍n/ and /mŋ̍ŋ/ are in complementary distribution, both being realized [mn̩ː˩]. /mŋ̍/ however may be distinguished by tone, being either [mn̩ː˩] or [mn̩ː˩˥].
The patterns found here are that /r/ makes the previous syllabic consonant retroflex, and a preceding /t/ or /d/ makes /l/ a lateral fricative. Otherwise /l/ does not change much. /ŋ/ on the other hand is more complicated. Generally it becomes [n] after a labial, and [m] after other consonants. When it precedes a consonant it generally becomes homorganic. When it has consonants on both sides, that call for different nasals, usually the onset consonant decides the realization of /ŋ/. But if the onset consonant is velar, or the coda is /ŋ̑/, then it will usually be homorganic with the coda consonant. /l̩l̩/ and /ŋ̍ŋ̍/ are realized the same as /l̩/ respectively /ŋ̍/, only with length added when their counterparts would otherwise be short. When it comes to /l̩ŋ̍/ and /ŋ̍l̩/, the nasal changes the same ways as the single /ŋ̍/ does next to the onset or coda consonant. In both of these phonemic nucleuses, usually the nasal stays syllabic while the lateral will be non-syllabic.
In nucleuses consisting of a vowel followed by /l/, the /l/ is realized as [l] in all environments. When a vowel is followed by /ŋ̍/, the nucleus consonant is realized as [m] before /n, p/, as [n] before /t, ts, l/, and as [ŋ] before /m, ŋ, k, ∅/. /Vŋ̍ŋ̑/ is therefore realized as [Vŋː].
Inng has pitch accent, but the word tone is used throughout this article for allophonic pitch level or contour. The phonemic pitch accents are high, low, and lack of accent. All three options may be found in open syllables, while closed syllables are unaccented. Closed syllable in this case means a syllable with a phonemic coda. A syllable that has for example the nucleus /al/ and no coda is considered an open syllable when the /l/ is a part of the nucleus, even though it would be realized as a non-syllabic consonant. Syllables containing no voiced phones (having [ɬ̩(ː)(ʰ)] in the nucleus) are considered to be accentless.
A nucleus consisting of a single phoneme may have one of the tones [˥, ˥˩, ˩˥, ˩], and a nucleus consisting of two phonemes may have one of the tones [˥˩˥, ˥˩˩, ˩˩˥, ˩]. Otherwise they have completely separate sets of tones, except for that both may have [˩]. For this reason tone distinguishes nucleuses consisting of a single phoneme, from nucleuses consisting of two phonemes, even when they are both realized as long. However, because both may have [˩], nucleus consonants are in complementary distribution with coda consonants when preceded by a true vowel and when the syllable has low pitch.
The following table shows tone realizations. The rows show different types of syllables, where N stands for nucleus, U for unvoiced consonant, and V for voiced consonant. Syllables marked with ˥ or ˩ in the phonemic representation are syllables with high or low pitch accent. Unmarked syllables are accentless. The columns stand for the syllable's position in a sentence. The _ stands for the position of the given syllable, and the symbols on both sides of it represent the tone height of the surrounding syllables:
- ∅ to the left means that the given syllable is utterance initial.
- ∅ to the right means that the syllable is utterance final.
- H to the left means that the syllable is preceded by a syllable ending with a voiceless consonant or a vowel ending with high pitch ([˥, ˥˩˥, ˩˥, ˩˩˥]).
- H to the right means the the syllable is followed by a syllable beginning with an unvoiced consonant or a vowel beginning with high pitch ([˥, ˥˩˥, ˥˩, ˥˩˩]).
- L to the left means the syllable is preceded by a syllable ending with a voiced consonant or a vowel ending with low pitch ([˥˩, ˥˩˩, ˩]).
- L to the right means that the syllable is followed by a syllable beginning with a voiced consonant or a vowel beginning with low pitch ([˩˥, ˩˩˥, ˩]).
|Syllable type||∅ _ ∅||∅ _ H||∅ _ L||H _ ∅||H _ H||H _ L||L _ ∅||L _ H||L _ L|
|Syllable type||∅ _ ∅||∅ _ H||∅ _ L||H _ ∅||H _ H||H _ L||L _ ∅||L _ H||L _ L|
|Syllable type||∅ _ ∅||∅ _ H||∅ _ L||H _ ∅||H _ H||H _ L||L _ ∅||L _ H||L _ L|
^ Syllables of the type /VNN˩/ are in complementary distribution with /VN˩/ syllables.
The Inng people themselves were illiterate, so there is no native Inng orthography. There is however a romanization, which is partly based on phonemic representation, partly on phonetic representation, and part of it is based on other spelling conventions.
^ ^ /ŋ/ in nucleus may be spelled several ways depending on how it is realized. /n, ŋ/ in onset or coda are most often <n, ng>, but they may also be spelled differently depending on realization. See Nasals below.
Pitch accent and diacritics
- High pitch is marked with an acute accent (◌́).
- Low pitch is marked with a grave accent (◌̀).
- Accentless syllables with a nucleus consisting of two identical phonemes, or vowel + syllabic consonant, are marked with dot below (◌̣).
- Accentless syllables with a nucleus consisting of syllabic consonant + vowel, and lacking an onset consonant, are marked with breve (◌̆).
- Other accentless syllables (including all syllables with a single nucleus) are unmarked.
Some examples: /tu/ [tʷʰuː˥] <too> (go), /tuu/ [tʷʰuː˥˩˩] <tọo> (goo), /tuu˥/ [tʷʰuː˥˩˥] <toó> (goose), /tuu˩/ [tʷʰuː˥˩˩] <toò> (good). This is an example of a four-way contrast of words with single nucleus, double unaccented nucleus, double nucleus with high pitch, and double nucleus with low pitch. Even though tọo and toò are both pronunced the same in isolation like this, the tone of tọo varies depending on the environment, while toò always has [˥˩˩].
To illustrate the use of breve, take the following minimal pair: /l̯iŋ̑/ [l̠ʲiŋ˩] <ling> (let), /l̩iŋ̑/ [l̠ʲiŋ˩] <lĭng> (yet). Though they are realized the same utterance initially, lĭng may change it's tone to [˥˩˩] in some environments, while ling always has [˩]. The breve marks that the beginning on the tone may vary. A dot below marks that it is the end of the tone that may vary. In this case, a dot below would have meant that the nucleus is /iŋ/ instead of /li/.
For the placement of the diacritic, see Nucleuses and Rimes with /r/ below.
The syllabic nasal /ŋ/ is written with <m> when it is realized as [m, m̩], and <ng> when realized as [ŋ, ŋ̍] but not followed by a velar coda consonant. In all other cases it is written <n>. Onset and coda nasals are also written accordingly to their realization. Most of the time they are realized the same as their phonemic representation indicates, but in some cases when the nucleus also contains a nasal, it may be different. See the table at Syllabic consonants.
The nucleuses have a lot of variation in their transcription, depending on these phonemes' environment. The single nucleuses /i, u, ə, a/ are transcribed with <i, u, e, a>, while their long counterparts are transcribed <ee, oo, eh, ah>. Single vowels are transcribed as long in open syllables, because phonetically they are long in that position. Tone marks help distinguishing these from phonemically double nucleuses; if the <ee, oo, eh, ah> lack a diacritic, then it is phonemically a single nucleus. The syllabic consonants on the other hand are transcribed as short in open syllables, regardless of if they are phonemically a single or double nucleus. In closed syllables, /ll, ŋŋ/ are transcribed with doubled letters.
<m, n, ng>
<mi, ni, mee, nee>
<mu, nu, moo, noo>
<me, ne, meh, neh>
<ma, na, mah, nah>
<mm, nn, m, n, ng>
In this table, spellings that are only found word-initially (in syllables without onset) are marked with blue, and spellings only found finally (in open syllables) are marked with green.
The spelling of the nasal varies according to its realization. See Nasals above, and the table at Syllabic consonants.
The underlining marks which letter is accented with acute or grave accent. So for example the syllable /sii/ with low pitch would be transcribed <seè>. Breve and dot below are placed the same as acute and grave, except for in the digraphs <ee, oo, eo, ae> where they are placed on the first vowel letter, and in <yui> where they are placed on the <u>. (In <ui> without <y>, all diacritics are placed on the <i>.)
Rimes with /r/
<nrl, mrl, ngrl>
Like in the previous table, spellings that are only found word-initially (in syllables without onset) are marked with blue.
Since there are in some cases tonal differences between /Nr/ and /NNr/, these syllables must be marked with diacritics. The rimes in the above table that have a letter underlined will have a grave accent (ˋ) on that letter if the syllable begins with an unvoiced consonant. If the syllable is onsetless, breve (˘) is used instead. In the case of <ue, rl, rn>, the breve goes on the <u> or <r>. These syllables are unmarked if they begin with a voiced consonant, because in that case they are in complementary distribution with /ONr/ syllables.
The nasal is spelled according to it's realization. <m> is used if the syllable begins with an alveolar or velar consonant. The syllable /nŋlr/ [ŋ̍ːɭ] is spelled <nngrl>. In all other contexts, <n> is used.
Pitch accent in complementary distribution
Syllables of the type /ONN˩/ are in complementary distribution with syllables of the type /ONC/ when the last phoneme is /l/, or in some cases a nasal. For example [muŋ˩] (mountain) could be analyzed as either /muŋ̍˩/ or /muŋ̑/. Cases like this are spelled as if the last phoneme is a coda consonant and not a nucleus, because this avoids the use of diacritics. So the forementioned word is spelled <mung>, not *<mùng>.
Only the three (sometimes four) first letters are taken into account when cyphering from English to Inng. The rest of the letters are discarded. English Y is constantly counted as a vowel. Interpunctuation, such as dashes and apostrophes are discarded. Diacritics are also ingnored. Other special characters are turned into what they most resemble or sound like. For example Œ becomes OE, Ʒ becomes Z, and Þ become TH.
When it comes to compound words, the two words are cyphered separately and a dash is placed between them. So for example gooseberry becomes toó-peel, and high school becomes hohng-eom. It does not matter if the compound is written together or apart, with or without dash in English; they all become dashed in Inng.
Different parts of the word are cyphered with differently. There are four cypher tables. To simplify it: One that converts initial consonants, one that converts vowels, one that converts final consonants, and one that converts consonants in clusters. The words are converted into their phonemic form, and then they are spelled according to Inng's romanization.
English to Inng cyphering
The first three letter of the English word is taken, and the rest are discarded. If the English word was three or fewer letters long, then the Inng word will be unaccented. If the English word was at least four letters long, and the third letter is a vowel, then the word will have high tone accent if the fourth letter was one of c, f, h, k, p, q, s, t, x, and low tone accent if the fourth letter was one of a, b, d, e, g, i, j, l, m, n, o, r, u, v, w, y, z. If the word contains no voiced phones, then it will also be unaccented (see Allotones).
If the Inng word breaks the phonotactics, e.g. having too many lateral or nasal phonemes in succession, /ə/ is inserted after the first two phonemes. If this would result in a word containing five phonemes, then the last phoneme is deleted.
|1st letter's cyphering table||2nd letter's cyphering table||3rd letter's cyphering table|
The above table shows which of the letters in the word to be cyphered is cyphered according to which substitution table. The table depends on the letter's position in the sequence, and what type of sequence it is. The asterisk marks those types of words that can be accented. Acute or grave accent will be used if the word was longer than three letters. If the word was exactly three letters long, dot below may be used. See Pitch accent and diacritics.
If for example the word eye is to be cyphered, this word would be of the type VVV, because Y always counts as a vowel. The first E would be substituted according to table Initial, and the other two letters would substituted according to table Vowel. This results in /tsli/. When put through the Inng transliteration we get <zlee>.
This table is generally used for the first letter in the sequence, if it is a consonant. The letter in parenthesis is included in CV and CCV sequences, and in CVC sequences unless the final letter is substituted with two phonemes.
This table is generally used for vowels.
This table converts consonants into vowels. It is generally used for resolving consonant clusters.
This table is used for the final letter, if it is a consonant. The letter in parenthesis is skipped in VCC and VVC types, but included in all other sequence types. This letter overrides the parenthesized letter that table Initial otherwise would add.
Nouns can be zero-derived from verbs and adjectives. When derived from an adjective, it is the name of the property described by the adjective. For example dip can mean "red" or "redness". When derived from a verb, it may have several meanings. It can be the result or name of the activity, a person who performs the activity, or a place where the activity is performed. For example dool can mean "rob", "robbery", or "robber".
With verb nominalization there is an optional way of specifying that the word in question is a noun, and what type of noun it is. This is by compounding it with gèh for the result or name of the activity, pil for the person performing the activity, or pláh for the place where the activity is done. See the table Derivational use of compounding below.
When it comes to adjectives, instead of zero-deriving, one can use the adjective followed by a noun describing the type of property. For example, instead of "redness" one may say "red color", or "wide shape" instead of "width", "dirty goo" or "dirty dust" instead of "dirt", and so on. Some words, like "rightness" (from "right"), may even be followed by pẹe, the infinitive copula. It is up to the speaker to choose a fitting noun, because there are no standardized nouns that go together with specific adjectives. Note however that a few adjectives do have a suppletive noun form, like lun (long) - lin (length).
Since there are so many homonyms in Inng, compounds have been created to help avoid ambiguity. Some homonyms are seldom used, being replaced by compound words instead, and some are used more often. It depends on how ambiguous the word is. When it comes to homonyms with a medium amount of ambiguity, it often happens that the compound form is used the first time the word comes up in a discussion, and then the monomorphemic form is used thereafter throughout the conversation. Some homonyms do not have any compound version. These are often words of different parts of speech (such as feot meaning "five" or "vassal"), but there are also some that belong to so separate fields that confusion hardly ever rises (such as mung meaning "mother" or "mountain").
These compounds consist of the homonym, and another word with a similar meaning. For example ful can mean "forest" or "fort", so when the meaning "forest" is intended, the word gleè-ful (tree-forest) is used instead. And for the meaning "fort", the word ful-húng (fort-house) can be used. These compounds are usually appositional, in which case the homonymic morpheme is in the initial position. Appositional compounds contain two words that both describe the same thing. The second morpheme has usually a broader meaning, as in bat-kleè (wash-clean) meaning "wash", but this is not always the case, cf. suì-gak (speech-talk) meaning "speech". There are some endocentric compounds as well, cf. the aforementioned gleè-ful. In endocentric compounds the homonym is the last morpheme, while the first one describes something that is a part of the whole thing.
One type of word derivation in Inng is compounding where the last morpheme functions more like a suffix. Though this is an unbound morpheme, which is a word of its own when standing alone. For some types of words the "suffix" is obligatory. Below is a list of such morphemes used in compounds, with the ones that are obligatory marked with an *.
|-gèh||Derives the name of an activity from a verb, or its result.|| dool (rob) → dool-gèh (robbery).|
hong (hit (V.)) → hong-gèh (hit (N.))
|-lan*||Derives names of languages.||Inng (name of a god) → Inng-lan (Inng language).|
|-pil||Derives a word for a person from a verb.||dool (rob) → dool-pil (robber).|
|-piú*||Derives names of ethnic groups.||Inng (name of a god) → Inng-piú (Inng people).|
|-pláh||Derives a word for a place from a verb.||inng (enter) → inng-pláh (entrance).|
Compounds can also be formed simply as a way of creating completely new words. In these compounds, the head comes last. ***Examples needed of all four types of compounds.
Inng has a prefix m̆n- that is used for forming antonyms of adjectives and adverbs. It can also be used on verbs for describing undoing actions.
Inflectional morphology and parts of speech
Inng has no affixation besides the genitive clitic. But there are many words used in an auxiliary way.
Nouns in Inng have no gender or any kind of noun classes. Inng does not mark case on nouns either.
Number is seldom marked in Inng. But a noun can be pluralized by preceding it with the word nngz (number). Even when unmarked, all nouns have an implicit number which demonstratives and the copula agrees with. This implicit number is singular for single things, and plural for groups of two or more. Nouns referring to a collection of things, such as people, herd, bunch, set, act as singular. These words can however be pluralized when referring to several groups.
Only accentless roots of the form (O)N(N) are marked with the genitive clitic. The clitic takes the form of the suffix -t when attaching to roots of the form (O)N and NN. When attached to roots of the form ONN, it is expressed as high pitch.
Pronouns are a closed class in Inng.
Inng has case marking for pronouns, but conflates the cases for some of the pronouns: Second person person singular nominative and accusative, third person singular feminine accusative and genitive, third person singular inanimate nominative and accusative, all cases for second person plural, all cases for third person plural, and indefinite nominative and accusative.
|1st person singular|| eh
|2nd person singular|| jụng
|3rd person singular masculine|| hee
|3rd person singular feminine|| sei
|3rd person singular inanimate|| ong
|1st person plural|| bee
|2nd person plural|| lăk
|3rd person plural|| gèi
The accusative pronouns also serve as reflexive pronouns. For example "I wash myself" is in Inng eh bat mee.
The masculine third person pronoun generally refers only to male sentient beings, and the feminine pronoun only to female sentient beings. The inanimate pronoun is used for both things and animals. Children however may refer to pets with a masculine or feminine pronoun, but many Inng-Piùs consider this to be childishly sentimental.
The third person plural pronouns can be used for single referents when the gender of the person is unknown. ***Example needed
The indefinite pronoun does not distinguish number. It refers to a person in general.
|1st person|| géh
|2nd person|| geó
These demonstratives can also be used as determiners modifying a noun. Although nouns are not usually marked for number, and never when modified by one of these words functioning as a determiner, they have number agreement. The agreement is semantic rather than syntactic, in that plural agreement is used when the referent comprices of two or more things, although the noun itself is not marked as plural.
The inanimate interrogative pronouns conflate nominative and accusative case, and none of the interrogatives distinguish number. The animate interrogative pronouns refer to sentient beings. Beó refers to things and abstract concepts. Béh refers to one alternative out of a set of possibilities.
|Who did this?||What did this?||Which one did this?|
In the first example, the speaker knows that the perpetrator of something that has happened is a sentient being. In the second example, the speaker does not know if the situation was caused by a person, an animal or a non-living thing, and does not have any suspects either. In the third example, the speaker knows that something was done by one out of a set of suspects. These suspects are either all sentient beings, all animals, or all non-living things.
The inanimate pronouns cannot be used with genitive case. Béh can be used as a determiner; so instead of using either inanimate pronoun genitively, béh is used to modify a noun, and this noun becomes a genitive.
All of the interrogative pronouns can also be used as relative pronouns.
The relative pronouns are bou, bòu, bóu, and beó. Bou, bòu and bóu, which are the same as the animate interrogative pronouns, refer to people. Beó, which is the same as the inanimate interrogative pronoun, refers to things and animals. Though children may refer to animals with the animates.
***Four examples needed.
When an intransitive verb lacks a subject, the word gèi is used as a subject, when the existence or location of something is described. In other contexts ong is used.
***Two examples for gèi needed.
Many verbs in Inng are zero-derived from nouns or adjectives. Verbs beside the copula do not have tense. But there is a progressive, perfective, and imperfective aspect; a conditional, cohortative, imperative, and prohibitive mood; an active and a passive voice; and an infinitive form. All of these are either expressed with auxiliaries, or zero-marked. There are also a few modal verbs.
There are two marked aspects, perfective and progressive. The perfective aspect is marked with the auxiliary verb haht, and progressive with the copula. The imperfective aspect is unmarked, as all verbs not marked as perfective are imperfective.
The cohortative mood is formed with the auxiliary ling. It urges or suggests the addressee to do something together with the speaker. It can be negated by following ling with nung. Second person imperatives (no distinction is made between singular and plural) are formed by simply dropping any subject. A prohibitive is formed with the auxiliary verb goon. The prohibitive also drops the subject.
There are two conditionals; which are formed by the auxiliaries bok and bung. Bok describes the consequence of an act that will or may happen in the future. Bung describes the consequence of a possible or hypethetical act in the past.
Active voice is zero-marked. Passive voice makes use of the copula.
The copula is the only verb that distinguishes past and non-past tense. It takes on different forms depending on the subject's semantic number, and the nonpast singular is divided into two forms depending on person. The infinitive form is pẹe.
|1st person||2nd person||3rd person|
|Past tense||Singular|| bat
|Nonpast tense||Singular|| az
Perfective and imperfective aspect
The perfective aspect describes a completed past event. This event is a single action, such as "a drop of water fell down", not a series of actions such "water is dripping". The perfective aspect is marked with the auxiliary verb haht which precedes the main verb. Verbs not marked with haht are by definition imperfective.
|I sing./I sang.||I sang.|
Both of the above example sentences may mean "I sang", but the difference between them is that the first one (which is imperfective) implies "I sang until I was interrupted", "I sang until I forgot the lyrics", "I sang a part of a song", "I sang several songs throughout the evening", or something similar, depending on context. The second sentence implies that just one song was sung, and that it was completed.
Since the perfective refers to single actions, in addition to the meanings described above, it also works as a momentane aspect on some verbs. For example suà means "sparkle (for some while)", while haht suà means "spark (once)".
The progressive aspect describes actions in the past, present or future, and these actions are in the middle of unfolding relative to some other point in time. The progressive aspect is formed by preceding the main verb with the copula.
|I was singing.||I am singing.|
In present tense, the progressive aspect describes something that is going on now. In the past tense the action was going on at a specific point in time, or at the same time as some other event. The other event or point in time may be specified in the same or another sentence. It may also be something that has already been specified by someone else than the speaker.
***Dialogue example neeeded.
In addition to the other meanings described above, the progressive aspect may also be similar to a frequentative aspect when used with some verbs. For example suà means "sparkle (for some while)", while et suà means "sparkles (continuously)".
Active voice is unmarked, so everything that is not marked as passive is active. Passive voice is morphologically formed the same way as progressive aspect; by preceding the main verb with the copula. The patient however becomes the subject and therefore appears at the beginning of the sentence. The agent is either dropped out, or is preceded by pịl and added to the end of the sentence.
|The tree was felled.||He is annoyed by loud people.|
The passive voice is used for emphasizing the patient, because it is more important than the agent, or as a way to drop the agent, because it is unknown or unimportant. It is also useful when the agent needs many modifiers, because putting it at the end of the sentence makes the sentence more clear.
When it comes to ditransitive sentences, either what would be the direct or indirect object in active voice, can be made the subject.
|The vassal gave tribute to the king.||The king was given tribute by the vassal.||Tribute was given to the king by the vassal.|
Since the passive voice is identical to progressive aspect when the agent is dropped, it may be ambiguous which meaning is meant. Usually context resolves the ambiguity however.
Combinations of verbal categories
The verbal categories that can appear together are passive voice with perfective aspect, progressive aspect, cohortative mood, imperative mood, prohibitive mood, and both conditionals; the past conditional with perfective aspect; and both conditionals with progressive aspect. The triple combinations perfective - past conditional - passive and progressive - either conditional - passive are also possible. The order of auxiliaries is COND MOOD/ASP PASS main verb, where COND stands for conditional, MOOD/ASP for others moods and aspects, and PASS for passive voice. The unmarked active voice and imperfective aspect combine with all categories. Examples of all combinations follow below.
When the progressive aspect is combined with passive voice, the progressive aspect is expressed with the copula in the appropriate tense-person-number form. This is followed by pẹe, the infinitive form of the copula, which marks passive voice, and then the main verb.
|The trees were being cut down.||The game is being played.|
Similarly when perfective, cohortative, prohibitive and conditional mood is combined with passive voice, the passive voice is expressed by pẹe being placed between the other auxiliary and the main verb. The conditional passive is expressed the same way as the conditional progressive. Read more about it further down.
|The meat was devoured by the crocodile.||Let's get caught!||Don't get robbed!|
|If you don't cover that jar, the rice will get eaten by the mice.||If the food was left outdoors, it will have been eaten by now.|
The passive imperative is simply formed by adding pẹe at the beginning of the sentence followed by the main verb.
|Get noticed by the judges!|
The perfective aspect can be combined with the past conditional, but not with the future conditional since the perfective describes past events. When these two categories are combined the conditional bung is followed by the perfective haht.
|If the dam had bursted we would have drown.|
The progressive aspect can be combined with either conditional, in which case the conditional is followed by pẹe. This is formally the same as a conditional passive, but ambiguity does not arise very often. Ambiguity is resolved if the sentence is passive and has an explicit agent, or if the verb is progressive and has an explicit object. If this is a past event, and the verb is intransitive, then it likely also requires perfective aspect, which would make it clear that this cannot be progressive aspect. In other cases, context often resolves ambiguity.
|If she was sad she would be crying.||If you become sick you will be sneezing.|
When the verb has perfective aspect, condititional mood, and passive voice, it is preceded by bung haht pẹe.
|If the thief had been caught he would have been executed.|
Finally, when a verb has progressive aspect, conditional mood, and passive voice, it is preceded by bok pẹe pẹe.
|He would have been being hit.||If everything goes well, she will be being introduced to the king.|