- 1 Phonology
- 2 Morphology
- 3 Syntax
- 4 Sample Passages
Vedani incorporates eight vowels; in the Vedani alphabet, each has its own glyph.
Each vowel is always pronounced, rather than combined, and position of other sounds does not effect a vowel's pronunciation.
Vedani incorporates 21 consonants, each with its own glyph in the alphabet. Here they are placed in the IPA chart with appropriate symbols for transcription. Bold indicates a voiced consonant.
|stop||p b||t d||k g|
|fricative||f v||θ||s z||ʃ ʒ|
(The affricate transcription glyphs ϗ and x are not standard IPA; they are used only for the expediency of using one glyph instead of two. They were chosen for resemblance to their tones' respective Vedani glyphs.)
Examples: p as in "pay," b as in "buy," t as in "take," d as in "dog," k as in "cat," g as in "grow," f as in "free," v as in "voice," θ as in "thaw," s as in "see," z as in "zoo," ʃ as in "show," ʒ as in "vision," ϗ as in "tsunami," x as in "change," l as in "lay," j as in "yes," (ʁ is a soft guttural, similar to that in German and Hebrew), h as in "hello," m as in "man," and "n" as in "nose."
Strong consonants are often placed consequitively, sometimes in series of three or more. Depending on the consonants, pronunciation is either fluid across the tones or separated by a very brief catch in the pharynx, transcribed as a '. The ' also occurs between vowels in certain inflection cases.
In verbs, the syllable immediately following the stem is always stressed. The 'ɛl suffix is always stressed. Typically in nouns, the penultimate syllable is stressed.
Vedani is an agglutinating tongue with an extensive set of prefixes and suffixes which can be used to modify various words, often regardless of their function.
Vedani utilizes "primitive" and "compound" roots. Primitive roots are often irreducable in simplicity and designate elemental concepts or basic-essence ideas. Compound roots are much more numerous than primitive roots and are complex and specialized.
The Vedani alphabet is based off of the primitive root system; there is one letter for each root, plus the vowels.
- v :: light
- ʃ :: sky
- f :: water
- ʒ :: fire/life
- ʁ :: earth/ground
- t :: dark/darkness
- θ :: time
- s :: truth/one/single
- ϗ :: unknown/enigma/query
- x :: false/not/no/negation
- k :: death
- d :: man/human
- p :: object/animal
- g :: plant/foliage
- j :: action/movement
- z :: heart/emotion
- h :: spirit/breath
- r :: ownership/proximity/this
- b :: separation/that/other
- l :: much/large/great quantity
- n :: plural/multiple
- m :: relation/of
A few examples:
zɛ_r :: sense, physical feeling. A primitive root can be filled in for the _ to create a root for a specific sense, such as zɛvr: sight, zɛʁr: touch, zɛhr: hearing, zɛʃr: smell, etc.
jɛoʁ :: go, move. Can be modified with primitives to form "come," "return," "go elsewhere," etc.
ʁɛd :: of the body
_ɛʁo :: a place. Often with a primitive-root modifier to form "here," "there," "home," etc.
vɛz :: knowledge or thought.
Also called "half-roots" or "implied roots." Certain vowels can carry one or more implications:
- "a" and "i" carry a positive connotation.
- "o" and "u" carry a negative connotation.
- "ɛ" carries a neutral connotation, neither positive or negative.
- "i" often inflects for feminine, sometimes in combination with "a."
- "u" often inflexts for masculine, sometimes in combination with "ɛ."
- "o" carries strong ties to the "p" primitive root and signifies an inanimate, neutral object.
- "ɪ" implies reference or an alternate naming
Often (but not always), nouns will end in a, ɛ, or ɛo. Nouns ending in a are typically seen as "elemental" or "essential," and most of the primitive roots can be made nouns by adding 'a' (va, ʃa, etc.). Nouns ending in ɛ are more numerous; verb stems can be made nouns by adding the ɛ suffix (zɛvrɛ: sight, jɛoʁɛ: way or path, etc.).
Nouns are made plural by adding the 'n' suffix. E.g., jɛʁɛd, "foot"; jɛʁɛdn, "feet."
Possessives are formed with the appropriate suffix:
- -ra :: my
- -ru :: your (masculine)
- -ri :: your (feminine)
- -run :: your (plural, masculine)
- -rin :: your (plural, feminine)
- -ran :: our
- -bru :: his
- -bri :: her
- -brun :: their (masculine)
- -brin :: their (feminine)
- -bron :: their (indefinite)
- -o :: its
- -on :: their (inanimate)
Possessive suffixes are preceded by a pharynx catch '.
Example: dɛʁo, "home," dɛʁo'ra, "my home"
Nouns in the genitive case (and the dedative case, for you Quenyan folk) are indicated with the "ma'-" prefix. E.g., ma'da, "of me," ma'tɛθ, "of the night." While in other languages the genitive carries a connotation of possession, that is not typically the case here; rather, the prefix indicates relation or ties to something. Usually, the most direct English translation is the "of" preposition, but in some instances, "about," "related to," "regarding," etc. might be more appropriate.
Nouns receiving action (but not usually being acted upon) are indicated with the "j'-" prefix. The most typical English translation is the "to" or "for" prepositions. E.g., O'parja j'di, "I give it to you."
However, the "v'-" prefix is also used at times to mean "for the purpose of." Compared to English, the difference between "j'-" and "v'-" is subtle, but "v'-" implies a more profound motive, whereas "j'-" would often be more casual. ʁ'ja v'di, "I did it for you!"
Nouns can be modified with a number of prefixes, which are always followed by a pharynx catch '.
- Ra'- :: this ::: Ra'jɛoʁɛ, "this path"
- Ba'- :: that ::: Ba'θala, "that year"
- Lo'- :: great/large ::: Ra'lo'ʁolo, "this large mountain"
- Xlo'- :: lesser/small/diminutive ::: Xlo'dɛʁo'ra, "my small home"
- La'- :: greatest/largest ::: Ra'la'jɛoʁɛ, "this greatest of paths"
- Xla'- :: least/smallest ::: Xla'apajɛ'ra, "my smallest horse"
- X'- :: not ::: X'dɛbu, "not him"
- Sɛ'- :: one/single ::: Sɛ'vɛθ, "one day"
- Nɛ'- :: two ::: Nɛ'tɛθvalan, "two moons"
- Nɛn' - :: several ::: Nɛn'dɛun, "several men"
- ʒi'- :: good ::: Nɛn'ʒi'dɛun, "several good men"
- To'- :: bad ::: Sɛ'to'apajɛ, "a bad horse"
(Among others; the above is just a sample)
The 'ɛl Suffix
Loosely translated, the 'ɛl acts as a definite article; va'ɛl, "the light." However, its use is much more restricted than in English. It denotes very heavy importance or significance to the noun it modifies. For instance, jɛoʁɛ j'dɛʁo (the path home) is not the same as jɛoʁɛ'ɛl ma'ʒada (the Path of Life). A man who wakes up in the morning might see va ma'sha (the light of the sky), but a man who awakes to see angels descending from the clouds sees va'ɛl ma'sha'ɛl (the Light of Heaven).
Vedani infinitives are denoted with the "aj" dipthong, which is pronounced somewhat like "psychic." In conjugation, the "aj" suffix is removed. Both prefixes and suffixes can be applied to a verb to indicate tense, objects, hypotheticals, subjects, voice, negation, and affirmation. All prefixes and the tertiary tense suffix are separated with a catch. The conjugation pattern is this:
HYPOTH./INTERROG. + AFFIRMATION/NEGATION + OBJECT + P. TENSE + STEM + VOICE + S. TENSE + SUBJ + T. TENSE
Hypothetical/Interrogative: either a ϗ'- or ϗi'- prefix. The ϗ'- prefix indicates an "if" statement. The "then" portion of the statement will utilize the affirmation or negation prefix. ϗi'- indicates a question.
Affirmation/negation: the s'- and x'- prefixes denote positive or negative assurance, respectively.
Object: indicates the object of transitive verbs. Possible objective prefixes are:
- da'-, "me"
- du'-, "you" (masculine)
- di'-, "you" (feminine)
- dan'-, "us"
- dun'-, "you" (plural masculine)
- din'-, "you" (plural feminine)
- bu'-, "him"
- bi'-, "her"
- bun'-, "them" (masculine)
- bin'-, "them" (feminine)
- bon'-, "them" (indefinite)
- o'-, "it"
- on'-, "it" (plural)
Primary tense: Indicates past tense (ʁ'- prefix), future tense (ʃ'- prefix), or present tense (no prefix)
Voice: Indicates whether the verb is passive (-ra suffix) or active (no suffix)
Secondary tense: Indicates if the verb is progressive (-aj suffix) or not (no suffix)
Subject: Indicates the subject of the verb. Possible subject suffixes are:
- -a, "me"
- -u, "you" (masculine)
- -i, "you" (feminine)
- -an, "us"
- -un, "you" (plural masculine)
- -in, "you" (plural feminine)
- -ɛbu, "him"
- -iba, "her"
- -ɛbun, "them" (masculine)
- -iban, "them" (feminine)
- -abon, "them" (indefinite)
- -o, "it"
- -on, "it" (plural)
- -ʊ, creates an imperative. This form can be used with the present or future tense.
Tertiary tense: Indicates whether the verb is perfect (-'ʁ suffix) or not (no suffix).
Jɛoʁaj (to go) --> jɛoʁa (I go) --> ʁ'jɛoʁa (I went) --> ϗ'x'jɛoʁa (if I don't go) --> s'ʁ'jɛoʁa (I did go)
Parjaj (to give) --> parjɛbu (he gives) --> ʁ'parjarɛbu'ʁ (he was given) --> ϗ'x'o'ʁ'parjarɛbu (if he hadn't been given it) --> ϗi'o'ʁ'parjabon y'debu? (did they give it to him?)
(Note that past tense hypotheticals don't require a perfect tense modifier as they do in English.)
Specializes adjectives that can't be simplified into prefix modifiers appear in close proximity to the noun they modify--typically (though not exclusively) immediately afterward.
Participle adjectives are formed by replacing the infinitive "aj" ending with the "aɛ" suffix (ʒadaj "to live" --> ʒadaɛ "alive").
Also, adjectives can often be treated as verbs in the case of predicate-adjective constructs (when a passive-voice verb is insufficient). In such instances, the adjective is paired with a pronoun (or even absorbs the pronoun as an objective prefix) and utilizes the appropriate modifiers. Di'ʒadaɛ! "You're alive!"
The typical adverb suffix is "ɛi." Most often, an adverb immediately follows its parent, though in some constructs it introduces a clause. This is especially common in similes or comparisons, which often use the adverb nɛi (like, as, similarly, equally). Sɛi (surely) nɛi vaθvolo vjo, hasaja sa! "As surely as the sun shines, I am telling the truth!"
Vedani syntax behaves somewhat (strangely) like an oral form of sign language, based on conceptual rendering rather than exposition. Ideas are described rather than stated, which grants significant syntactical leeway.
Subjects and verbs appear together in sentences only when absolutely necessary; otherwise, a conjugated verb, or noun + adjective clause, suffices. The verb "to be" is barely ever used. As much description as possible is achieved through inflection and connotation, and word order is mostly what the speaker feels gets the point across best.
Excerpt from 'Soldier's Song':
Vɛzʊ ϗ'x'jɛnrɛʁa, da ʃ'nem'di laθɛna. X'laθɛna dan x'ʃ'nem. X'ʒadjɛbun da'kjaj sɛi nɛi vaθvolo vjo; nɛi teθvala jɛnrɛʁo eθ lapɛna θɛltɛva, nɛi ʃ'yɛnrɛʁa j'di. ϗ'x'zɛm ʁɛda, s'zɛm haʃia, da laθɛna riɛ.
Know if I don't return, I will be with you forever. Never will we be apart. They can't kill me, as surely as the sun shines. As the moon returns with every month, so shall I return to you. If not in body, then in spirit, I am forever yours.
Excerpt from John 1:
ɛθ ʒaθio'ɛl Haso'ɛl. Na Haso'ɛl nɛm Sɛ'ɛl, na Sɛ'ɛl. Dɛbu nɛm Sɛ'ɛl ɛθ ʒaθio'ɛl. Jɛm dɛbu lapɛna ʁ'ʒapjaro. X'jɛm dɛbu, x'lapena ʒapjae ʁ'ʒapjaro. ʁ'zɛm dɛbu ʒada, na ba'ʒada va'ɛl ma'dɛon.
In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.