THIS SECTION IS CURRENTLY BEING UPDATED TO REFLECT A NEW GRAMMAR.
The Kala conlang...
- word formation
- 1 Questions
- 2 Comparison
- 3 Indirect Objects
- 4 Semantic Fields and Pragmatics
- 5 Numbers
- 6 Writing system
- 7 Examples
- 8 Lexicon
There are two types of questions: Polar, those which may be answered "yes" or "no," and those which require explanations as answers.
Any statement can become a polar question by adding the interrogative particle ka at the end of the sentence.
Questions that give a list of possible answers are formed like polar questions, with the conjunction ue (“or”) introducing each alternative (which must appear in the form of a noun phrase).
- ta ke nkapa ue maya inuue ka
- 2s O beer or.EXCL water drink-VOL Q
- Do you want to drink beer or water?
- uala ta ke sinka mataye ue empa ma koma ka
- truly 2s O lion kill-PST or.EXCL flee CONJ hide Q
- Did you really kill the lion, or did you run away and hide?
Open content questions are most easily formed with the correlatives, such as ko (“person”), mo (“place”), to (“manner”), etc. These correlatives always appear clause-initially:
The other type contains a question word and is followed by ka:
|object||ke mita ina ka||O dog eat Q||What does the dog eat?|
|person||ko ina ka||person eat Q||Who eats?|
|possession||koyo mita ina ka||person-GEN dog eat Q||Whose dog eats?|
|manner||to mita ina ka||manner dog eat Q||How does the dog eat?|
|place||mo mita ina ka||place dog eat Q||Where does the dog eat?|
|reason||nye mita ina ka||reason dog eat Q||Why does the dog eat?|
|time||ama mita ina ka||time dog eat Q||When does the dog eat?|
|amount||uku mita ina ka||amount dog eat Q||How much/many does the dog eat?|
|which||ula mita ina ka||INDEF dog eat Q||Which dog eats?|
In Kala the concepts of comparative and superlative degree of an adjective (verb) are merged into a single form, the elative. How this form is understood or translated depends upon context and definiteness. In the absence of comparison, the elative conveys the notion of “greatest”, “supreme.”
When comparing the amount of involvement of several participants in a transitive verb, an appositional construction is used with competing subjects, and complement clauses are used with competing objects:
- tsaneya ke ona pa’e naku hayo itsaha
- Jane O mother other.than sister 3s.GEN love-AUG
- Jane loves her mother more than her sister does.
- imukuhi ke asua uahe tleno telaniha
- PROX-blade-DIM O leather instead.of timber cut-nice-AUG
- This knife cuts leather better than it cuts wood.
Kala verb phrases have only a single object slot. As a result, the recipient of a ditransitive clause needs to be introduced with the help of an adverbial preposition. The same strategy is also used to introduce other participants in oblique roles.
- ka’e – to; toward [Dative]
- ma’a – with; using [Instrumental] / with; together [Comitative]
- mue – without; lacking [Abessive]
- nya – for (the benefit of) [Benefactive] / by [Passive]
- -hue – at; in; on [Locative]
Dative participants can be marked with ka’e (“toward; to”), nya (“for; by”), or be syntactically indicated.
Instrumental participants can be marked with ma’a (“with; using”), nya (“for; by”), or be syntactically indicated.
Comitative participants are marked with the preposition ma’a (“with; together”), and anticomitative (or abessive) participants are marked with the preposition mue (“without”).
Locative participants can be marked with a variety of adverbial prepositions, most typically -hue (“at; in; on”). See also: 5.1) Locative verbs.
Semantic Fields and Pragmatics
Kala, like all languages relies on the relationship of meanings instead of meanings in isolation. Additionally, morphemes tend to have a range of meanings that exist on a spectrum. A morpheme often can only be defined by its relationship to other morphemes within an utterance, or to other words of a similar semantic field.
One example would be in discussing temperature. Of course there is a system of degrees, but that is a quantitative statement, a qualitative statement would be more relative and open to interpretation.
English divides temperature into "hot, warm, cool, cold", while Kala has just sitsa, tlolo, and manka. However, these can be expanded to be more specific;
- manka – cold
- tlolo – cool; warm (mild)
- sitsa – hot; heat
Using the augmentative -ha and the diminutive -hi adds even more nuance to expressing temperature. mankaha (or mankampa, mankahu) being the coldest, and sitsaha (or sitsampa, sitsahu) the hottest means that tloloha is closer to sitsahi and tlolohi is closer to mankahi. This means that tlolotso (mild-middle) is likely how someone would describe their ideal temperature.
- ya iyoma kihua tlolotso!
- VOC PROX-day fine.weather mild-middle
- Oh, how today’s weather is so mild!
Of course, some meanings do exist in a binary state;
- asa - alive / kupa - dead
Meanings may also be divided into non-linear semantic space — e.g. color, social classes, directions, parts of the body, time, geographical features.
Kala uses a base 10 number system. The basic numbers are as follows:
|ha'o||3||three||sa'o||9||nine||kye'o||105||(one) hundred thousand|
|ya'o||5||five||nye'o||100||(one) hundred||hue'o||109||(one) billion|
Forming Larger Numbers
- uena'o - eleven / 11
- taue'o - twenty / 20
- nyeka'o - one hundred seven / 107
- hanyetauetsa'o (long form) / hatatsa'o (short form) - three hundred twenty six / 326
- tsatletauema'o - six thousand and twenty four / 6024
Long form numbers are used in formal situations, including financial transactions, especially involving large sums. Short form numbers are used in everyday speech and when calculating basic math.
Other Number Forms
|54||fifty four|| kiyama'o
a fifty fourth
|nyetsa'o||106||one hundred (and) six|| kinyetsa'o
|katle'o||7000||seven thousand|| kikatle'o
Kala math is fairly basic and relies on particles and verbs to express functions. Notable is the use of the copular a to express the result of an equation.
Addition uses ma (and; also). There is no specific order to the numbers in the phrase/equation. Subtraction uses ma (and; also) and a negative form of the smaller integer. There is no specific order to the numbers in the phrase/equation.
Multiplication uses ma (and; also) and a multiple form of one of the integers. There is no specific order to the numbers in the phrase/equation. Division uses ma (and; also) and a multiple-negative form of one of the integers. There is no specific order to the numbers in the phrase/equation.
Kala conscripts are many and varied. Rather than multiple pages explaining each of them, this page serves as a working list with a consistent example across each script. The most commonly used script is the Hangul adaptation for Kala.
Han Moya is an adaptation of Hangul for writing Kala. It is written horizontally, in lines running from left to right. It can also be written vertically in columns.
- k nk n t nt l m p mp s ns a ts nts ts` k` tl p` h
- /k~g ᵑk~ⁿg n t~d ⁿt~ⁿd l~ɾ m p~b ᵐp~ᵐb s~ʃ ⁿs~ⁿʃ - ts~t͡ʃ ⁿts~ⁿt͡ʃ tsʰ~t͡ʃʰ kʰ t͡ɬ~tl pʰ h~ɦ/
The adaptations of doubled consonants are used word initially to indicate prenasalization. Medial occurrences of nasalized syllables are written across syllables.
- 까바 - nkapa - alcohol; liquor / 단가 - tanka - eagle; hawk; falcon
- 감바 - kampa - Cheers! / 쁘라 - mpula - lamp; lantern; light
- ㅏ ᅶ ㅐ ㅑ ᅸ ㅓ ㅕ ㅗ ㅛ ㅜ ㅟ ㅠ ㅡ ㅣ
- a ao ai ya yao e ye o ao yo ua uai ue u i
- /a~a: aʊ̯ aɪ̯ ja~ʲa: jaʊ̯~ʲaʊ̯ e~ɛ je~ʲɛ o~o: jo~ʲo: wa~ʷa: waɪ̯~ʷaɪ̯ we~ʷe: u~u: i~ɪ/
- ㅘ This is pronounced /wa/ in Korean because of the order of the vowels; however, because obsolete jamo are difficult to type and look junky as images, in Kala, this is used for /aʊ̯/ when typing. It is rarely seen due to the diphthong itself being uncommon.
- 어하 거 거하 가먀터 하요 마아 타감 뱌사하먀여
- eha ke keha kamyatle hayo ma’a tlakam pyasahamyaye
- [eːɦa kɛ keːɦa kamʲaːt͡ɬe haːjo maːʔa t͡ɬaːkam pʲaʃahamʲaːjɛ]
- P.3s O body stun-REL 3s.POSS with man-PL be.popular-AUG-CAUS-PST
- Her bewitching body made her very popular with men.
- seko saye puani nahayo yalaye ma ke tsa’eto omoye
- scorpion along bank river-GEN walk-PST and TOP across-way think-PST
- A scorpion was walking along the bank of a river, wondering how to get to the other side.
- haye seko ke tsola anyaye
- sudden scorpion TOP fox see-PST
- Suddenly, he saw a fox.
- seko nya tsa’e naha amo ua’e muta tsolayo kanyoye
- scorpion for across river carry on back fox-GEN ask-PST
- He asked the fox to take him on his back across the river.
- tsola kye ak na’eta amo yatli ta’ena kute nuesitli
- fox IND.SP COP.NEG 1SG-P.2SG carry if.X.then.Y 2SG-P.1SG sting drown-FUT
- The fox said, “No. If I do that, you’ll sting me, and I’ll drown.”
- seko kye na’eta kute yatli nam nuesitli
- scorpion IND.SP 1SG-P.2SG sting if.X.then.Y 1PL drown-FUT
- The scorpion assured him, “If I do that, we’ll both drown.”
- tsola pue omo nkataye
- fox after think agree-PST
- The fox thought about it and finally agreed.
- ya seko ua’e muta tsolayo uayaye ma tsola yokomuye
- VOC scorpion on back fox-GEN climb and fox swim-begin-PST
- So the scorpion climbed up on his back, and the fox began to swim.
- me tsa’etsohue nahayo seko ke tsola kuteye
- however across-half-LOC river-GEN scorpion TOP fox sting-PST
- But halfway across the river, the scorpion stung him.
- tsola ike sunu ke sila hayo yeno ka’e seko muka kye nye ta’ena kuteye ka ima ta nuesitli
- fox while poison TOP vein 3SG.POSS fill toward scorpion face IND.SP reason 2SG-P.1SG sting-PST Q now 2SG drown-FUT
- As poison filled his veins, the fox turned to the scorpion and said, “Why did you do that? Now you’ll drown, too.”
- seko kye na’i ke to nayo tlinapayek
- scorpion IND.SP 1SG.REFL TOP way 1SG.POSS stop-able-PST.NEG
- “I couldn’t help it,” said the scorpion. “It’s my nature.”
A small sampling of Kala lexemes.
- pa - although; even though; even if
- pa'a - be well-ordered; regular; organized
- pina - be clever; intelligent; wise
- punka - fruit; fruit tree
- mpana - wide; broad; extensive; vast; width
- tanko - group; organization; team
- tepe - conceal; cover; shield; shelter
- tiku - extract; withdraw; pick-up
- tona - tuna
- ntela - interact; interplay; interrelated
- kanyo - question; ask; raise a question
- kemu - experience; undergo
- kinyo - intervene; get involved
- kona - dress; skirt
- kunye - moon; lunar; satellite
- kuya - green; foliage; verdant
- nkanu - short [in height and from end edge]
- makua - iron; press; smooth out
- menka - cotton
- mosukua - Moscow
- mutla - be absolute; unconditional
- napo - turnip
- ne - indirect object particle
- nota - lie; be in horizontal position; horizon
- nyalo - call; number; telephone
- sahe - across; opposite; other side
- sipanya - Spain
- sokyo - helium
- suama - sew; seam; mend; stitch
- hasu - conjecture; guess; supposition; assumption
- hilo - plaza; public square
- hueta - testicle
- tsame - accumulate; collect; gather; cluster
- tsemu - jam; marmalade
- tsitli - farm; ranch
- tsuto - be curly-haired
- tlato - recite rhythmically; chant; intone
- tlehe - esteemed; honest; candid; sincere
- tlokua - everybody; everyone
- ato - that way [over there]
- atsa - disc; rotate; wheel
- esue - fail; lose
- ila - sail; fly; navigate
- otso - wolf; lupine
- ulo - crop rotation
- uatli - inferior; of lower quality
- uetsi - dispirited downcast [idiom]; in low spirits
- yatso - ferment; brew; make honey; liquor
- yopi - mail; post [office]