Proto-Razaric is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Razaric languages. It is estimated to have been spoken around 4000 BC.
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Morphology
- 3 Syntax
- 4 Vocabulary
The maximal syllable structure is CVC. Affricates may not occur in codas, but all consonants may occur in onsets.
The accent falls on the first syllable of the word.
Proto-Razaric is an agglutinating language with both prefixes and suffixes.
A Proto-Razaric root has the shape CVC or CVCVC; in the latter case, both vowels are the same.
Word formation works mostly by prefixes and head-initial compounds.
Nouns are derived from verbs by these prefixes:
- *ra- agent: *drel 'to hunt', *radrel 'hunter'.
- *tli- instrument: *tlam 'to hammer', tlitlam 'hammer'.
- *ke- action: *kedrel 'a hunt'.
- *za- object/product: *zadrel 'venison'.
Compounds are head-initial, e.g. radrelmuruk 'dear hunter'.
Nouns in Proto-Razaric are either masculine or feminine. The gender is not overtly marked on the noun, but a feminizing prefix *ma- exists: *radrel 'hunter', *maradrel 'huntress'.
There is no case system; grammatical relations are expressed by word order (V-S-DO-IO), verb agreement (in person, number and if 3rd person, gender) with subject if intransitive, with object if monotransitive, with indirect object if ditransitive; and prepositions and relational nouns. A possessive relationship is simply expressed by placing the possessor after the possessum: *Mimir Razar 'the People of Razar, the Dwarves'.
There is a sort of two-dimensional number system. The plural is expressed by the suffix *-tla: *mir 'person', pl. *mirtla. The collective is marked by reduplication of the initial CV: *mimir 'people'. Collectives are grammatically singular, and can themselves be pluralized: *mimirtla 'peoples'.
There is a definite article preceding the noun: uninflecting *ta.
Adjectives are inflected in three categories: gender, number and degree of comparison. Gender is expressed by a prefix: *3o- masculine, *ma- feminine. Number is expressed by a suffix: *-tla plural, singular is unmarked. Collective plays no role with adjectives. The degrees of comparison are positive (unmarked), comparative (prefix *ni-), superlative (prefix *nini-) and equative ('as X as'; prefix *rha-).
- *ta radrel 3odir 'the brave hunter'
- *ta radreltla 3odirtla 'the brave hunters'
- *ta maradrel madir 'the brave huntress'
- *ta radrel 3oninidir 'the bravest hunter'
The Razaric languages are, as expected from VSO languages, prepositional. While modern Razaric languages have true prepositions, their antecedents in Proto-Razaric are actually nouns and verbs that express relationships and are thus called relational nouns and relational verbs.
The main relational verbs are:
- *dim 'to accompany; with (comitative)'
- *drak 'to use; by, with (instrumental)'
- *min 'to stay at; at'
- *leng 'to reach; to'
- *pal 'to leave; from'
The main relational nouns are:
- *3ar 'inside'
- *dram 'outside'
- *kor 'top'
- *leb 'bottom'
- *pin 'left'
- *mal 'right'
- *kim 'front'
- *dlang 'back'
Examples of usage:
*3otapim ta muruk leng 3ar ta sisir.
3SG:M-PFV-flee the deer reach inside the COLL-tree
'The deer fled into the forest.'
*3otatram ta radrel ta muruk drak ta pinis.
3SG:M-PFV-kill the hunter the deer use the spear
'The hunter killed the deer with the spear.'
The Proto-Razaric numeral system was base 20, with the numerals '11' to '19' derived from '1' to '9' by means of a prefix which appears to be etymologically connected with '10'. A word for '100' can also be reconstructed.
Compound numerals are formed like this:
*maj nat ka pidlom '3*20+14' = '74'
The cardinal numbers precede the nouns. Ordinal numbers are formed with the prefix *mek-, e. g. *mektsang '2nd', and behave like regular adjectives.
The following pronouns can be reconstructed for Proto-Razaric.
[*] *wa is of course dual 'Thou and I', not singular; however, it is used with 1st person singular verb forms.
There are basically two kinds of verb forms: finite verbs and verbal nouns. Verbal nouns are easy: they consist of the bare stem of the verb without any affixes. So it is the finite verbs where things get interesting.
Proto-Razaric is an ergative-dechticaetiative language. That means that the absolutive argument is:
- In an intransitive clause, the subject.
- In a monotransitive clause, the object.
- In a ditransitive clause, the indirect object.
The structure of the Proto-Razaric finite verb is thus:
"Person" and "Plural" indicate the person and number of the absolutive argument. The plural suffix is *-lha, the singular is unmarked. The person prefixes are:
*Mapim ta limin leng dram ta tamar.
3F-flee the cat leave inside the house
'The cat (fem.) flees out of the house.'
*3odrellha ta radrel ta muruktla.
3M-hunt-PL the hunter the deer-PL
'The hunter hunts the deer (masc. pl.).'
*3omil ta majan ta radrel ta pinis.
3M-give the girl the hunter the spear
'The girl gives the spear to the hunter (masc.).'
If the absolutive argument is pronominal, the pronoun can be dropped:
*Kidrel ta radrel.
1-hunt the hunter
'The hunter hunts me.'
There are two moods: realis (unmarked) and irrealis (prefix *rhi-).
*Marhipim ta limin leng dram ta tamar.
3F-IRR-flee the cat leave inside the house
'The cat would flee out of the house.'
The tense/aspect forms are present (unmarked), imperfective past (prefix *do-), perfective past (prefix *ta-).
The antipassive suffix is *-rhi. If present, it detransitivizes the verb, and the agent becomes the new absolutive argument.
'We hunted deer.'
'We went hunting.'
Finally, if the ergative argument (subject of a mono- or ditransitive sentence) is a pronoun, this is encliticized to the verb.
'We hunted deer.'
All the Razaric languages are head-initial, and there are no signs that this was different in any part of the reconstructible history, so a head-initial word order is to be reconstructed for Proto-Razaric as well.
The Noun Phrase
In the noun phrase, the definite article, if present, comes first. Numerals also predece the noun, but all other modifiers follow.
'a long spear'
*ta pinis 3obal
the spear M-long
'the long spear'
*tsang pinistla 3obaltla
two spear-PL M-long-PL
'two long spears'
Genitives just follow the noun:
*pinis ta radrel
spear the hunter
'the hunter's spear'
Such a NP is definite without an article.
Demonstratives are placed at the end of the NP, and a definite article appears:
*ta pinis 3obal taw
the spear M-long this
'this long spear'
*ta tsang pinistla 3obaltla tatla
the two spear-PL M-long-PL this-PL
'these two long spears'
There are two types of clauses: finite and infinite. Finite clauses begin with a finite verb; infinite clauses begin with a verbal noun.
Some examples of finite clauses are given in the Verbs section. The word order in the clause probably was fixed: the verb goes first, followed by the subject, the indirect object and the direct object in this order. Some rearrangements may have been possible if verb agreement or animacy (transitive subjects are rarely inanimate) allowed for "reconstructing" the "correct" order. Adverbs and prepositional phrases were usually placed at the end of the clause. If the absolutive argument (intranstive: subject; transitive: object; ditransitive: indirect object) is pronominal, it can be omitted.
Infinite clauses have the same word order as finite clauses, except that the absolutive argument can never be omitted as it is not marked on the verb. The main clause of a sentence is always finite, and it is the only finite clause in the sentence. All subclauses are infinite.
A relative clause is placed at the end of the noun phrase it modifies. The relative clause is infinite, and the temporal relation between the noun phrase and the relative clause is marked with a relational:
*ta radrel pal tram 3o ta muruk
the hunter from kill he the deer
'the hunter who killed the dear'
*ta radrel min tram 3o ta muruk
the hunter at kill he the deer
'the hunter who is killing the deer'
*ta radrel leng tram 3o ta muruk
the hunter to kill he the deer
'the hunter who shall kill the deer'
A complement clause is used in a similar way as a relative clause. The verb never agrees with a complement clause, which, as it is preceded by a relational, behaves like a prepositional phrase.
*3obal ta radrel pal tram 3o ta muruk
3M-say the hunter from kill he the deer
'The hunter says that he killed the deer.'
*madabal ta radrel ta majan pal tram 3o ta muruk
3F-tell the hunter the girl from kill he the deer
'The hunter tells the girl that he killed the deer.'
- adj. adjective.
- adv. adverb.
- conj. conjunction.
- f. feminine noun.
- m. masculine noun.
- vd. ditransitive verb.
- vi. intransitive verb.
- vt. transitive verb.
- *3ar f. inside.
- *bal vi. to speak, to say.
- *dabal vt. to tell.
- *dim vt. to accompany.
- *dir adj. brave.
- *dlang f. back.
- *drak vt. to use.
- *dram f. outside.
- *drel vt. to hunt.
- *kedrel f. a hunt.
- *kim f. front.
- *kor f. top.
- *leb f. bottom.
- *leng to reach.
- *limin f. cat.
- *majan f. girl.
- *mal f. right.
- *mimir m. people.
- *min vt. to stay at.
- *mir m. person.
- *muruk m. deer.
- *pal vt. to leave.
- *pim vi. to flee.
- *pin f. left.
- *pinis m. spear.
- *radrel m. hunter.
- *sir m. tree.
- *sisir m. forest.
- tamar m. house.
- *tlam vi. to hammer.
- *tlatlam m. hammer.
- *tram vt. to kill.
- *zadrel f. venison.