|Basic word order:||OVS|
|Created:||Sun, 29 Nov 2015 18:34:14 GMT|
Sajem Tan or Common Honey is a non-naturalistic artistic colllang started in November 2015 by members of the CONLANG mailing list.  It currently does not have a conworld associated with it, but the team has created a sort of quasi-culture around the language. As of 30 May 2016 the phoneme inventory, orthography, morphology, and syntax are fully functional or nearly so. The lexicon is growing rapidly and various writing and translation projects have been undertaken.
As the language and its documentation grow, we will separate these sections into subpages.
- 1 Culture
- 2 Roles
- 3 Phonology and romanization
- 4 Grammar
- 5 Morphology
- 6 Lexicon
- 7 Script
- 8 Etymology
- 9 Corpus
- 10 Tools
As stated above, Sajem Tan has no conworld associated with it. The tribe does, however, have a quasi-culture built around it with several myths and mythical animals/plants.
The Sajem Tan community is based on the following creation myth, posted by Shanoxilt Cizypij on 30 November 2015:
So very long ago, during gray and overcast days past, Thunder rumbled. From the shaken sky tumbled Thunder's noises and with them Rain. By the fallen Rain, Flower was nourished and River was filled. Upon its web, between Flower and Stone, Spider gathered Rain. When Rain ceased and Thunder silenced, Bee gathered Flower's pollen. Bee then flew away to its hive to make our Common Honey. Upon the hive came Bear who so loved our Common Honey that it shared with all who would sample. Witnessing all this, from atop Stone, Bird declared, "May this recur until all our tribe partakes of Common Honey."
snymmeht keh slnuhm znolkah sno slet kemfeh dulc Divolm. kem zhasikzheh metfeh dulc Divolmvmeh dolnah keh zloahkahm Telzlnoln. znim Telzlnolnvah gulslimumsun Jidolk keh jelkzhutumsun Shelsheln. zlovmeh zathelndin navnyc, Jidolk keh Thefam sholmak, Telzlnoln znolcfeh Zatheln. vaslnulmfeh Telzlnoln keh simemzhutfehsun Divolm zult, Jidolkvmeh zhetam znolcfeh Kizhult. zhuhzhuhmfeh Kizhult zlovmeh kizhultdin seln dehahvmeh Sajem Tan fmyvuhkfehjahk. kizhultdin dathnycfeh Thefnolm. dehahvmeh Sajem Tan zhejulnmunfeh Thefnolm tyk zo vesneneht zlo shasholcfeh fnit xyt duahkahm. "kasynsho sin duah Sajem Tan shasholcum xyt dehahvmeh molm taznoln" tanzlulcfeh xyt duah duldoltfeh Thefam navnyc Vithit.
The above Myth only describes the first nine tribemembers, however several more have joined since the original team was established. An effort has been made to write a myth discussing tribemember origins.
Wind / Thethat
One day, as Common Honey was becoming bigger and more complex, the tribe decided they needed someone to keep track of it all. Because of this, they called upon Bird. Bird contemplated this for a while but thought of nothing. He decided that maybe going for a short fly would do some good. As he was flying, Beneath his wings, Bird noticed Wind, an ancient force who had watched our Common Honey’s creation. Upon Wind's flowing trail, Thunder's echoes, the words of the past, were heard. Feeling that Wind was up to the task, Bird invited him to the tribe. Wind set to work immediately, keeping a record of how Common Honey was created. Our Common Honey finally had a history!
(No translation has begun yet)
Several fictitious plants and animals have been devised for usage in Sajem Tan mythology, which you can find in their own articles. The tetanah -- kitten-sized telepathic flying snails with laser eyes (?) that fix the universe by singing in Sajem Tan, and the colmekah -- bonsai trees that recieve information from inanimate tribemembers such as Star and Wind who can easily interface with them and telepathically send that data to any creature willing to accept it. They are said to have created the roots of plants so that they can more easily talk through them to other colmekah. Then there's the Pit of Bad Ideas, a place where awful ideas, including different creatures, go to die.
The characters in this myth are also the titles or roles of members of the community:
|Bear||pedagogy||Jon Michael Swift||Retired|
|Bird or the swift feathered one||supervision||Shanoxilt Cizypij||Active|
|Ants||other members of the community||Scott Hamilton, Mia DeSanzo, Noelle Morris et alia||Inactive (?)|
|Fog||translation, genderizer||Fog! <3||Active|
Each of the roles has certain taboos as well as responsibilities for the development of the language. For instance, Bee cannot refer to the swift feathered one by name, Thunder must never rhyme, and River must always mark tense. Animate roles (Bird, Bear, Bee and Spider) must speak in the third person, and vegetal roles (Flower and Tree) in the second.
Phonology and romanization
This is the most current version, built off of the original phonology and romanization, but with some minor change.
This is the old phonology and its romanization. It was created by Thunder at the beginning of the project.
The proper alphabetical order is: d, g, x, j, f, v, th, s, z, sh, zh, sl, zl, m, n, a, el, e, ol, i, y, uh, ul, c, t, k, ah, eh, o, u
The only allowed coda consonants are voiceless plosives and nasals. Any consonant by itself is allowed in onset; the only atttested clusters are fricative + homorganic nasal, e.g. /vm-/, /zn-/.
- Root words consist of zero or more C(C)V syllables followed by a C(C)VC syllable, containing a restricted subset of vowels: ol, e, el, i, a, ul, uh, y
- Suffixes and particles are to consist of one (C(C))V(C) syllable using the other vowels not used in content roots: o, ah, eh, u
- The final consonant of a syllable can only be a nasal or unvoiced plosive (t, k, c, m, n).
- If a syllable begins with a consonant cluster, the first consonant must be a fricative and the second a nasal at more or less the same point of articulation. E.g. fm-, vm-, sn-, zn-, shn-, thn-, etc.
To the right is a flowchart explaining the syllable structure in case you're still confused.
- OVS word order
- oblique case verb arguments can go before the object (normally) or after the subject (for emphasis/topicalization) (?subject to change)
- genitive nouns before head nouns
- relative clauses before their head nouns (?subject to change)
- auxiliary verbs after main verbs
- adverbs before main verbs
- adjectives before nouns
- postpositions (for whatever we aren't marking with case, including some weird stuff that other languages mark with verbs); postpositional phrases precede what they modify
- several grammatical particles that introduce neologisms and their initial definitions, or words being used in new senses
Sajem Tan's OVS word order requires some explication. Typical, high-agency transitive verbs put the object first, then the verb, then the subject; neither subject nor object gets case marking because they're marked by position. E.g.,
Zlnathnyn xafolmdah Thefnolm. chimaera attack-PFV bear Bear attacked the chimaera.
Intransitive verbs put an agent or force-like subject after the verb, but an experiencer or patient-like subject before the verb. E.g.,
Thekfeh Thefam. write-DUR stone Stone is writing.
Slin kasynfeh set. fight happen-DUR begin=PST A fight broke out.
Experiencer verbs which would have a direct object in English generally put the experiencer before the verb, and the thing experienced before that, in the focus case:
Jidolkzheh kizhult nelmfeh. flower-FOC bee see-DUR The bee saw a flower.
The copula "zan-" may be an exception to the usual word order rules; the tribe is discussing this.
When making a relative clause, additional information is placed in square brackets before the noun being modified. Take the example sentence "thnamolk kygykfeh zeh." (He eats pizza). When modifying this to say "He eats the pizza that I made", one must provide "that I made" in brackets before "pizza." This would be written "[fmyvuhkfeh seh] thnamolk kygykfeh zeh." (He eats pizza [I made]). Square brackets are each pronounced /ǃ/
Adverb clauses are made simply by combining a dependent clause and an independent clause and reading them left to right. For example "sesuhtfeh zhu" (you sing) and "mahn telzlnolnfeh thehvmeh tulnah" (when I cry) can be combined into "sesuhtfeh zhu mahn telzlnolnfeh thehvmeh tulnah." (You sing when I cry).
(Stone will write this part)
- Self-segmenting morphology
- Dependent marking
- Case endings for oblique roles
- Lots of applicatives
- No noun classes
- Minimal declension/conjugation classes
- Minimal irregularity
- Modifier before head in compounds
Marked on the verb (agglutinating suffixes)
- valency changing operations (voice, applicatives) (optional)
Aspect markers for verbs are obligatory. If you want to explicitly mark tense, then you have to use a mood auxiliary.
|Mid past/indeterminate past||y||a|
That is, the nonpast dictionary form of an auxiliary verb would have "i" or "ol" while inflected past forms would keep the same consonants but change the vowel as above.
Agent, force, patient and experiencer marked by word order (agent and force after the verb, patient and experiencer before the verb)
|-gu||instrumental I -- tools that fit in the hand|
|-vah||instrumental II -- tools too big to hold in the hand, and intangible tools like software|
For examples on how these are used, refer to the lesson on the Sajem Tan wikiversity page https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Sajem_Tan/Morphological_cases
|-jahk||in order to (valency suffix)|
|-zhut||cause to be|
|-meht||having a surfeit or plenitude of something|
|-mon||a group of|
|-noc||the end state of a product or action|
|-tu||to be more than|
|-tutu||to be the most|
Various derivational suffixes can be found in the lexicon.
Decimal point (both): nolk
Senary numbers are used in formal or poetic registers, for items naturally occurring in groups of six, and for units of time smaller than an hour.
- 360₁₀ / 1400₆ = vulcthnolt shenznek / zhelt slolcfolt
- π ≈ 3.142₁₀ / 3.0503₆ = vulc nolk dec sluht fam / vyk nolk tyt zlelc tyt vyk
Sajem Tan has two words to denote a shape: "duhfnet" for 2D shapes, and "golduhn" for 3D shapes. To say how many sides a shape has, you add the word for that number in front of the word.
There is an exception, however. If the final syllable of the number has the same vowel sound in it as the first syllable in the dimension marker, that syllable takes the onset of the final syllable of the number and the coda of the dimension marker.
|1st person||2nd person||3rd person|
Plural pronouns are regularly formed by suffixing -ah. These specialized plural pronouns are all archaic:
|1st person||2nd person||3rd person|
|inanimate||thehs [archaic]||vuzh [archaic]||zozl [archaic]|
|vegetal||thuzl [archaic]||vos [archaic]||zehzh [archaic]|
|animate||sehth [archaic]||zhuv [archaic]||zloz [archaic]|
Animacy in Sajem Tan does not depend on any notion of personhood. Instead, animate pronouns are used for those beings in the kingdom Animalia, vegetal for all other living beings, and inanimate for everything else. The neutral series may be used in cases of mixed, unknown, or undisclosed animacy.
The third person pronouns, particularly du, also function as demonstratives.
|voln||understood through the reversal of a previously deep belief|
|thef||deduced from sensory evidence|
|tholk||direct sensory evidence|
|snat||learned by secondary/tertiary sources|
|shan||hearsay via a living person|
|sluln||based on faith/beliefs/subjective experiences|
|kic||carefully discerned through protracted study|
Evidentiality is marked with adverbs. Evidential adverbs may be compounded normally, e.g. "femek" (mind) + "tholk" (known from direct sensory evidence) = "femektholk" (discovered by telepathy)
Evidentials express the way the *speaker* knows about the content of the sentence; knowing-verbs (or knowing-adpositions, such as we have in Sajem Tan) express what the *experiencer* of the sentence knows about its *focus*.
The primary colors in Sajem Tan are orange, green, and purple, the same as English's secondary colors:
Creating the secondary colors (red, yellow, and blue) is done using a portmanteau system. Take the first syllable of one word and combine it with the second syllable of the other word. It doesn't matter which order you put them in, they will always yield the same color.
|yellow||snizhyn or gatin|
|blue||gafuln or nyzhyn|
|red||nytin or snifuln|
But in the standard color wheel, there are steps in between these colors, such as blue-purple or red-orange. To say these, you'd simply duplicate the first syllable depending on what color it is closer to. For a more orange red, you'd add an extra "sni"; for a purpler blue, you'd add an extra "ny"
Here's a chart that sums up everything in case you don't care about the logistics of the colors.
Stone created a script for Sajem Tan. The original Listserv post is here.
The gallery is formatted as such: Stone's original orthography guide, (not in alphabetical order), Wind's orthography guide (in Sajem Tan alphabetical order), then a whole bunch of things written in Sajem Tan.
Words that are related somehow are included in the etymology section.
See also: Zhetammeht Delgemnocah
Kizhul mafe Vith.
ke solm Zhimahnso mafe Kizhul.
tahzluv znolsfe Kizhul.
sajem tah thofe thefahm.
cehsh sulslem thom "nectar" znolcfeh kizhult.
sulsem znolcsho Kizhult.
tanzlulcah znolcda thehs jikinvah. [Thefam]
tanjelk zanfeh tanzlulcgamyk. [Thefam]
jaxin slet zaneht molt thehs. [Thefam]
zanfeh slnuhm keh snymmeht znolkah, dolnda sluh slet divolm. [Thefnolm]
Thefam manfeh Vithit.
Vuah keh voah keh zhuah xanolnfeh Vithit.
Vu xanolnfeh Vithit.
manum solm thneduht
cehk nymem thom “clumsy” kizhultzheh tetanahvmeh cehk znenan thom “tale”.
“theln thefshan zhuhzhuhmda thneduht. sulslemvithitah cehk nanymfeh thom ‘dispatch, especially for military purposes’ cehk jit thom ‘must; vital; necessary’ sehah.”
cehk xaslemfeh thom “glide; transition smoothly” Thefamgamyk.
zlovmeh cehk zatenym thom “troop; group; platoon” znolcfeh Xulkatsnym.
Jelk Shelshelnkizhultdin zatenymvmeh slah vithit thom “overseer” zanum Xulkatsnym. kolthicvmeh muhcah fmyvuhkeht zloah. muhshimeht zloah.
Shelsheln manfeh Vithit.
Thefnolmzhehvmeh zlulc shasholceht Vithitthot. [solm Zhimanso]
shasholcehtsun Thefnolmvmeh zlulcah Vithitthot. [Thefam]
Gajinso zanfeh Vithit.
Zhu xanolnfeh Vithit.
Thneduht jo vaslnulm telzlnoln.
Fam jo dec keh dec.
Zhetam jo jidolk. [solm Zhimanso]
tanum snymah jo thefamah znolcda dec culjimah. [Thefam]
nanymdasun vulc kizhultdinah slysycah znolcsho zlislymmizizhat [Thefam]
tetantezet! tetantezet! znolkah zhilikzhutfeh tetantezet! [Thefam]
zathelnzlulcah fmyvuhkda zlislymmizizlat! [Thefam]
theln xamatineht Thefam thehtatkahm zhuhzhuhmduhdem sno. [Thefam]
Sesuhtfeh fmolk zhu jo telzlnolnfeh dic thehvmeh tulnah. [Shelsheln]
Sesuhtfeh dic zhu, jo telzlnolnfeh dic thehvmeh tulnah. [Shelsheln]
do gulslimumsun molt mizizlat jo shehn delgemmon fmyvuhk du. [Thefam]
delgem danecda do keh femekdasun molt [Thefam]
xyt nyzlanah kygyksho znolkah. [Thefam]
Jelkelm thycam sin Vithit. [solm Zhimanso]
Zlolzhitvmeh zlo gevmulkfeh molt thefnolm. [solm Zhimanso]
Molm keh Culjimah xanolnfeh zlo (Vithit).
Sajem Tan zanfeh xyt duah Vithitvmeh tanzlulcah. Du zhejulnmuneht sin dehah.
Xyt doah manfeh zlo.
Muhshimum sin. [solm Zhimanso]
slnuhm kolthickahm gigimgamyk zanfeh dasnan. [Thefam]
Xulkatzhutum sin. [solm Zhimanso]
Theh znimsho dic. [Shelsheln]
Thefam solmtufeh Vithit.
celzan tolthimfeh culjim.
culjim tolthimfehsun celzan. [Thefam]
"femekvazoltzheh geseltah danecum molt do." taneht Vynitzheh Vmelfelc.
xulkatzhizlikah zanumsun soljesolmkahm jidolkgyznyt
Tezeto vu xanolnfeh Vithit. [solm Zhimanso]
Vu manmunfeh dic vuvmeh molm znenanzheh theh! [Shelsheln]
Shelshen manfah Thethat!
thehvmeh femekah soljesolmnocdah molt theh.
kyfikoko! duvmeh znim zhuhzhim vaslnulmfeh sin du xok jaxinah kygykfeh dehah! [Thefam]
cekh xulm thom "many/much" tanzluc tholk znolcdah Kizhult.
xulm kecycah fmyvuhkum gamyk gevmulk duhdemah kafmym. [Thefam]
tahn juhcenjidolk om sesuhtfeh sin vo! [Thefam]
Thefnolmthot tanzlulc snamdah Kizhult.
Kizhultzheh tanzlulc Thefnolm snamdahsun.
slolmgu gamyk ninuhmsho tat.
Thefnolmkahm tanfeh Kizhult.
Sajem Tanzheh tanfeh Kizhult.
Kizhultveh Thefnolm duhttuum.
Thefnolmo, xanolnfeh Kizhult.
tethnymdah cehk sat [sit] thom "to begin, start" zlo.
Vithit xafolmfeh theh.
Vithitvmeh zhan xafolmfeh theh.
Zhanah fmyvuhkeht theh.
Dafmuhmgu Divolm xafolmsho Shesheln.
Vithitthot dacokah snamdah Zhuhzhim. [Thethat]
Muhshimfeh Thethat. Cehk jam thom "new" tanzlulc znolcfeh Kizhult.
solm Zhimanso xafolmdah Thethat.
Thefnolmvmeh zhangu xafolmdah Thethat.
Thefnolmvmeh zhangu solm Zhimanso xafolmdah Thethat.
Zathelnveh Kizhult cimuht duhtum.
kixikolmvah jeltfeh Zhuhzhim. [Kizhult]
kygykumsun golm kixikolmah. [Thefam]
zluhznyk tuhn zanfeh Thefnolm.
jekelm thekfeh zluhznyk tuhn Thethat.
Thnoln tuhn zanum xyt femekso mahn thethnymumsun du. [Kizhult]
Tanum dehah jikinvah. [Thefam]
Duhdenxehtzhut zaneht Shesheln. [Kizhult]
zlikthnolt dec kecycnanymnoc thekfeh dic theh.
melsulmvmeh vmelfelcvmeh tanzlulcah thekfeh sat zlo dasnanvah. [Thefam]
solm thneduht xafolmfeh kolk zhu decekgu?
solm thneduht xafolmfeh moltmun sin zhu decekgu. [Thefam]
Xykuhkgu keh zhangu zlnathnyn xafolmdah Thethat.
Dyznekvah xok zhangu zlnathnyn xafolmdah Thethat.
Xafolmfeh sin xok vaslnulmfeh sin!
Vaslnulmdah zlnathnyn mahn xafolmdah Thethat.
Xaxatum sin xyt dehah mahn sesuhtum tetan.
Sesuhtfeh tetan, tyk xaxatfeh xyt dehah. [Kizhult]
duhden xafolmfeh dac zeh duht divolmdyznekgu. [Thefam]
Zelvet selnuk kishnulmsho Xytmolmahvmehdin mahn do seln kishnulmfeh deh. dehah xanolnfeh jinxehtmeht.
Zlnathnyn xafolmdah Thefnolm.
Slin kasynfeh set.
Jidolkzheh kizhult nelmfeh.
Zatheln shyn Thefam zanfeh.
Duvmeh slah fmolthytzheh thom "domain, specialization" slet tanslinfeh dulc Zatheln keh Telzlnoln.
Zatheln feln Thefam zanum.
cehk mehn thom "some/any" tult gafmulkfeh melt do.
telzlnolnfeh sat Thneduhtvmeh tulnah.
A Github repository of tools can be found at https://github.com/mr-martian/Sajem_Tan
Root/Particle Generator for instantly creating new words http://mr-martian.github.io/Sajem_Tan/findroot.html
An index of Github tools: http://mr-martian.github.io/Sajem_Tan/index.html
Phonotactics Checker: http://mr-martian.github.io/Sajem_Tan/check.html
Random text/sentence generator: http://mr-martian.github.io/Sajem_Tan/randsen.html
Interactive Lexicon: http://mr-martian.github.io/Sajem_Tan/lexicon.html
The Wikiversity Courses on Sajem Tan are available to practice basic skills! https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Sajem_Tan
Automatic Glosser: http://mr-martian.github.io/Sajem_Tan/gloss.html
Sajem Tan full color wheel: http://i.imgur.com/gT1GrKZ.png
Sajem Tan syllable structure flowchart: http://i.imgur.com/7kFG9sQ.png