Ghudaz

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The Ghudaz language is a naturalistic artlang by Enrique Gamez. In the conworld of Dombellus, it is spoken by mountain and glacier dwarves in northern Azalia, primarily in the Lucent Mountains. The name "Ghudaz" is actually from Dwarven ghud daz, meaning "northern plains" (referring to tundra regions near the edge of the Lucent range). Ghudaz speakers call their language Akhvnas, "our tongue".

Phonology

Ghudaz is a very permissive language in terms of consonant clusters, with few restrictions; vowel sequences are not permitted. It has a smaller consonant inventory and a larger vowel inventory compared to other members of its family, including unusual vowels such as /y/ and nasal vowels /ã/, /õ/.

Ghudaz's phonemes are listed below. (Parentheses indicate the typical romanization.)

  Labial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar
Nasal m (m) n (n)
Plosive p/pʰ (p) b (b) t/tʰ (t) d (d) k/kʰ (k) g (g)
Trill r (r)
Fricative f (f) v/ʋ (v) s (s) z (z) ʃ (ʃ) x (kh) ɣ (gh)
Approximant v/ʋ (v) l (l) j (j)
  Front Back
Close i (i) y (y) u (u)
Mid e/ø (e) o (o) õ (õ)
Open a (a) ã (ã)

Syntax

Word order is mainly SOV in Ghudaz. Modifiers immediately precede what they modify, so adjectives and relative clauses precede nouns, and adverbs or prepositional phrases precede verbs. Nouns in the ergative case, when used alongside nominative nouns, come at the beginning of the sentence (though after any auxiliary). There is no copula, even for statements of existence that require tense or aspect to be defined; tense, aspect and mood are indicated either by an auxiliary at the beginning of the sentence (which also indicates polarity and gender of the subject) or by adverbs, never on the verb itself.

Ghudaz features many causative constructions that make use of its nominative, accusative and ergative cases in a single sentence, where the ergative indicates the one carrying out the action, the nominative the one causing the action to be carried out, and the accusative denotes the object as normal.

Noun Forms

Nouns in Ghudaz inflect for case (nominative, accusative, or ergative) and number (singular or plural). Ghudaz nouns belong to one of six declensions that determine the form of the accusative case, and although the plural can usually be determined from the form of the singular form alone, the pattern is quite complex, and plural forms must generally be memorized in practice. Loanwords, more common in Ghudaz than its relative Dwarven, follow the same patterns as native vocabulary.

Plural forms are typically created by ablaut and other alterations to the stem, including some changes to consonants. Nouns beginning with /dv/- or a vowel also have initial /sk/-, /sf/-, /k/- or /f/- prefixes in the plural depending on their gender.

Accusative forms involve suffixes to the end of the noun stem or changes to its final vowel. The most common pattern (typical of 1st declension nouns) is simply to add -/e/ to the end of the word. For historical reasons, this is spelled -j in the native script, though not in romanized text.

The ergative is very regular, formed simply by adding -/t/ to the end of a noun ending in a vowel or -/ot/ to the end of one ending in a consonant.

Ghudaz also features some clitics that attach to nouns or pronouns, for instance -/(e)n/ "and".

Adjectives

Unlike nouns, adjectives in Ghudaz do not carry case or number, inflecting only to agree with the noun in gender. In addition to masculine and feminine forms, Ghudaz adjectives have nonstandard genderless forms, which are used only to refer to specific humanoids or other intelligent beings lacking a gender (for instance, most denizens of the Fey Realm). Only certain proper nouns can have this genderless form inherently. Because of their limited uses, they are rare in communities not in contact with such beings.

Verb Forms

Verbs in Ghudaz agree with both the subject and object for person, inclusivity/exclusivity, and (in the 3rd person) gender. They do not indicate number, with the 1st person exclusive covering both 1st person singular and 1st person inclusive plural, and a single form for all 2nd person subjects or objects (as with English you). Some dialects, however, use the nonstandard genderless forms borrowed from the Dhekhazh language as 3rd person plurals, much as all dialects use a genderless 3rd person pronoun for the plural.

More strictly, verbs agree with nouns in the nominative and accusative cases. In many causative constructions, the "subject" could be considered to be the noun in the ergative, not the noun in the nominative; nevertheless, the verb agrees with the nominative in such constructions as well.

Because tense auxiliaries agree with the gender of the subject, the verb also agrees in gender with any tense auxiliary in sentences with a 3rd person subject.

Tense Auxiliaries

Ghudaz sentences that are not in the affirmative present tense begin with a tense auxiliary that indicates tense (present, future, past or distant past) and polarity (affirmative, negative or indefinite), and which often agrees with the gender of the subject in any person (masculine, feminine, or genderless). Gender agreement happens only in tenses other than the present; the present tense negative (suj) and indefinite (sujma) auxiliaries are gender-neutral.

The indefinite polarity is used for asking yes/no questions as well as to convey uncertainty. It is typically formed by combining the negative and affirmative auxiliaries, i.e. oge (negative past masculine) + og (affirmative past masculine) = ogjog (indefinite past masculine).

Writing System

The Ghudaz language is usually written with the Oghrizhan script, which is an abjad. An explanation of the writing system can be found in File:Ghudaz Writing System.pdf.

Lexicon

The current Ghudaz lexicon can be found in File:Ghudaz Lexicon.pdf (created with PolyGlot).

Swadesh list for Ghudaz