| Tolosian |
|Total speakers:||300 000|
|Basic word order:||VSO|
Tolosian is meant to be a personal conlang for my conworld, Tolos. It's based on a few rules : 144 roots, and only them ; simple grammar rules ; simplification of speech to make the pronunciation easier.
Roots and word formation
There are 144 roots, classed in twelve columns of words (the koti). This repartition is a key example of the importance of the sacred number 12 and its multiples or divisors.
- lo (water), ai (sky), ta (tree), te (cliff), to (earth), fe (grass), cho (wind), ko (stone), la (flower), li (light), om (sun), nu (moon)
- ia (eagle), zi (lizard), se (snake), ka (guanaco), vi (dragonfly), bou (fish), mi (cat), of (wolf), chi (sparrow), qua (frog), hi (mouse), zo (rabbit)
- ad (more), ni (less), en (between), ji (to), in (into), lu (next to), equ (outside of), eb (from), un (away from), di (this), ye (who/which), iv (almost)
- onn (turtle), ar (crow), wi (seagull), ks (cicada), mu (ant), be (sheep), he (goat), re (puma), bo (bear), kr (tuco-tuco), ze (bee), ki (hedgehog)
- ja (fire), pa (house), so (beach), che (snow), tu (hole), lou (pearl), si (sand), do (shell), gou (fruit), fo (cloud), vy (corn), is (salt)
- go (around), ab (on), zu (under), fi (few), mo (many), oun (extremely), yd (and/with), ak (itself), dou (for), ek (because), mm (my), op (the most)
- ti (hand), chu (nose), ba (mouth), de (skin), io (eye), du (teeth), ob (body), iou (ear), fu (hair), ra (arm), za (leg), ap (foot)
- ru (old), jo (big), va (moving), rou (soft), ud (hard), pi (small), id (new), it (useful), chou (good), que (bad), wa (fast), och (slow)
- at (sign), ea (art), ma (love), su (humor), am (beginning), ya (end), im (middle), yo (action), da (time), el (knowledge), no (material), oum (place)
- or (human), fa (woman), ge (man), ol (job), quo (choice), xa (word), tou (part), na (gift), oa (grace), je (defect), yi (yes), ne (no)
- ev (to be), ga (to have), sa (to want), od (to can), ed (to take), on (to give), ke (to must), oup (to carry), cha (to become), er (to forget), ag (to receive), jou (to hold)
- sou (to learn), ot (to search), et (to stay), we (to win), fou (to lose), pe (to seem), ouk (to break), ib (to bring), pou (to throw), em (to dream), ay (to open), bi (to close)
All others words are based on these, by association of ideas.
- Example : omnu (the day) is made from om and nu, and means literally "from the sun to the moon".
When the pronunciation becomes difficult between two consonants, the first one drops and the second one is doubled. Moreover, it hold a sign ᵛ (called an atru) on the first doubled letter.
- Example : talafežzu (root) comes from talafet (plant) and zu (under), where the t drops and the z is doubled.
Some words come from the same type of transformation but don't take the atru ; they are generally more recent or more used words, since the atru marks the transition between old and new tolosian.
- Example : loutto (year) = loud (circle) + to (earth), meaning the circle which is taken by the Earth around the sun.
- All consonants are pronounced, even doubled ones : mma (my) will be pronounced m-ma.
- /S/ is transliterated ch.
- The sound /Z/ is actually found only in /dZ/ which is transliterated as j.
- /k_w/ is transliterated qu.
- The letter x is pronounced /gz/ in the North (and is considered more 'pure'), /ks/ in the South.
- Similarly, the letter y is pronounced /sj/ in the North and /C/ in the South.
- The letter i is pronounced /i/ with consonants, and /j/ with vowels.
- The letter e is pronounced /e/ before a vowel, /E/ before a consonant.
- /u/ is transliterated as ou
- The cases are indicated with vowels, they are pronounced separately from the rest of word. For example, lai (from the flower) will be pronounced /lai/ and not /laj/.
Tolosian words are stressed on their last syllable and on the case ending.
See: Tolosian Script
The script order is the order of the 144 roots. So words beginning by lo are before words beginning by ai, and lohe (milk) will be found before loio (tear) since he is part of the 4th column while io is part of the 7th.
See: Tolosian Grammar
There’s only five types of word in tolosian : noun, verb, adjective, adverb and preposition. Those terms are not used in their general sense, so they're explained under.
- Nouns often end by –t, which indicates a concrete noun, or by –d, which indicates an abstract noun.
- Verbs are always ended by –r (except for the fourteen verb roots).
- Adjectives follow the word they qualify, and are placed before it. They are almost always ended by –k. Example : laka otaa (a beautiful tree). In italic, the case ending.
- An adverb is a word who can modify the verb by adding a characteristic of time, place, mood, etc. The adverbs are always placed at the end of the sentence. An example would be imda, which means ‘today’.
- A preposition is a small word who links the others words together and add indications of time and place. Prepositions are always used with a complement, whereas adverbs are used alone. Examples are ab, which means ‘over something’ ; yan, which mean ‘after’.
Adverbs and prepositions end often by the suffix –n, which indicates their grammatical function.
- 0 : ko
- 1 : om
- 2 : nu
- 3 : cho
- 4 : te
- 5 : ti
- 6 : bou
- 7 : la
- 8 : zo
- 9 : ta
Complex numbers are formed simply by adding these numbers to each other. Examples :
- 12 : omnu
- 341 : choteom
- 500 : tikoko
1000 is an exception and can be pronounced omkokoko (formal way) or mo (meaning many ; more usual way). Hence 12 000 will be written : omnumo, but 12001 is more likely to be written omnukokoom than omnumoom since the first term is more easily pronounced.
- The general word order is VSO. Since Tolosian use cases, this order is not strict and can be modified in poetry or for emphasis.
- This variability explains the fact that the language is generally head-last, meaning that adjectives go before the noun they qualify.
- Tolosian use more prepositions than postpositions.
- Tolosian is an accusative language, and doesn't really have a difference between transitive and intransitive verbs.