- Main article: Lánc
In this page we are going to discuss the most important syntactical rules of the Lantian language.
- Lakot vanéjot saj-wažúmyojon sintaksáryo núrmanjyo láncun móru tenamálžesen
- 1 Word order
- 2 Noun syntax
- 3 Attributes' Syntax
- 4 Verbal Syntax
- 5 Clause syntax
The main word order is SOV, thus the parts of a sentences are placed so: Subject - Object - Verb. Usually the verb is placed at the end of the sentence, after all objects.
- The woman sees the man: Ó mila ono mono sálje (SOV)
In a sentence with a direct and an indirect object, the indirect object (dative) tends to precede the direct one (accusative):
- The woman gives the man a book : Ó mila ona mona tálewo kále.
Word order is not compulsorily fixed. As the roles of nouns and of their attributes are shown by case endings, words can be placed in every position:
- Ó mila ono mono sálje (SOV)
- Ó mila sálje ono mono (SVO)
- Ono mono ó mila sálje (OSV)
- Ono mono sálje ó mila (OVS)
- Sálje ó mila ono mono (VSO)
- Sálje ono mono ó mila (VOS)
Every sentence is translated as The woman sees the man.
The SOV order is the natural main one. It is possible to find also SVO and OSV orders. OSV order can be used to emphasize the role of the object:
- The sentence "Ono mono ó mila sálje" (OSV) could be translated as It's the man, (whom) the woman sees.
The other three orders are very seldom used.
The Lantian language makes use of cases, to show the syntactic roles of nouns, adjectives and pronouns. Modern European languages usually have no cases (with the relevant exception of German and the Slavic languages), but once they had them and lost them during their history. Some remains are still present also in English, in pronouns:
- I see you - I is subject/nominative form
- You see me - me is object/accusative form
In Lantian this use is extended to all nouns and their adjectives. Cases are shown by endings, which are added to the base form of nouns/adjectives. This process is named declension, and the verb is to decline.
The nominative is the case of subject. It shows the main role of the sentence, the one that carries out the action of the verb. Usually nominative form have no endings, or the so-called zero ending in the singular, so it matches the base form (we can say that nominative singular is the base form of every noun and adjective).
- The child buys a book: Ó píku tálewo fýne.
- The child is playing: Ó píku kláse.
- The child is nice: Ó píku delwa ér.
The subject of the sentence (ó píku) is in the same case, nominative, with a transitive verb (fýne), with an intransitive verb (kláse), and with a noun phrase.
In a noun phrase the object is nominative too, because the verb ervuč doesn't require an accusative object form:
- That man is the teacher of Lantian: Šik mon ó popítačan láncu ér.
The genitive is the case of possession. It shows the (proper or apparent) ownership role. It is usually expressed with the preposition of:
- Did you see the father of the child?: Ono nátwo onu píkú sáljevec?
- The speech of the child is very clever: Ó malžotjám onu píkú vnosum bwón ér.
The genitive is required by some prepositions (or constructions):
- ab: it has the meaning of argument, of what we talk about, translated mainly with about
- What are you talking about?: Áb maw malžej?
- I was thinking of you.: Áb tow valmevu.
- óz: it has the meaning of absence, deprivation, translated mainly with without
- I can't go home without my car: Mázujás óz kijunun awtow rokor ét omšu
- béf: it has the meaning of cause, motive, translated mainly with because of
- He didn't go because of his mother: Béf sijunu hédu ét rójev.
- žočot, a crystalized nominal form, translates instead of, at the place of. When it is linked to a personal pronoun, this changes in a definite possessive pronouns declined according to žočot.
- He bought a mobile phone instead of a new radio: Mobilo žočot lóju radjów fýnev
- If I had been in your shoes, I wouldn't do it: Jék townoton žočot tekeravu, hejo ét toljavu.
- žlév, it has the meaning of following, translated mainly with after.
- You will meet him after the lesson: zao žlév onu lékcijew tetrefesec.
- zróšm, it has the meaning of opposition, translated mainly with against.
- Japan fought with the Axis' powers against the Allies: Nippongo ša onjen Omšačanečejeyn Axew zróšm onju Osočelačyw nakračev.
The dative is the case of indirect object. It shows the third main role of the sentence, usually introduced by verbs of giving, as kalkor, to give, kálekuč, to donate, and similar.
- The father gave the child a new ball: Ó nát ona píkuja lójo vondawo kálev.
- I'd like to have given you as a gift this CD: Toja lako CD-wo kálekivu.
As indirect object, the dative case can be required by other verbs without any preposition:
- Esor, to have; its construction is dative-based. The owned thing is the subject, nominative case, of the sentence, and the possessor is in dative case, a construction called dative of possession (even if possession is usually expressed by genitive). The verb agrees with the subject, the owned thing.
- Mark has a new car: Lój awto Marka és.
- Elén has a new boyfriend: Lój kelanu Eléna és.
- Málor, to like has a dative-based construction. The liked thing/person is the subject, nominative case, of the sentence, and the thing/persons, who likes, goes in dative case, a construction called dative of pleasure.
- She doesn't like me: Hija ét málu
- I don't like cats: Ony felij kija ét málek.
- Caduč, to ask has a dative-based construction. The thing, which is asked for, is the direct object, accusative case, of the sentence, and the person who is asked, goes in dative case, a construction called dative of request.
- I asked you for the newspaper: toja ono fadžlójačano cáževu.
- Plákor, to be in debt has a dative-based construction. The thing, for which someone is in debt, is the direct object, accusative case, of the sentence, and the person with whom someone is in debt, goes in dative case, a construction called dative of debt.
- He was in debt with him for that loan: Zaja lako nakáltjámo plajev
Other verbs simply requires only the indirect object: wakor, to help
- I'd like to help you, but I cannot: Toja wači, ýbo ét omšu.
The dative is required by some preposition:
- dér: it has a meaning of benefit, in favour, translated mainly with for:
- I bought a new game for my son: Lójo kláso dér kijuna vokeša fýnevu.
The accusative is the case of object. It shows the second main role of the sentence, the one that is affected by the action of the verb.
- The man sees the child: Ó mon ono píkuwo sálje.
Only transitive verbs require an accusative form. Intransitive verbs have no object. (Remember that many intransitive verbs can be transitive too)
The accusative can have other functions:
- Expressions of time are usually said in accusative:
- The last week I went to London: Omenavon počfadžo Londonás rójevu
- I was born on the 3rd January: Ono klikovo janváru lájuvus
- Greetings are usually expressed in accusative (as the verb volvuč, to wish, is implied)
- Good morning: Déno nóšfadžo
- Good evening: Déno joštéro
The accusative is required by some prepositions:
- ód: it has a meaning of separation, translated mainly with from, but also with other prepositions, depending of the word which requires it:
- I healed from a desease: Ód hwažečewo belotoluvu
- I will get rid of that problem: Ód šiko problémo tenálutolusu
This preposition usually comes in pair with dó + ADL. in the sequence from.. to.., usually for expression of time, but not for expression of places.
- I'd like to work from sunday to wednesday: ód lósufádwo dó epurlowfadžás twači
- but: I travelled from Rome to Paris: Rómajád Parisás pátesevu
- pjér: it has a meaning of preceding, translated mainly with before:
- I have to go home before evening: Pjér joštero mázujás rokor njubu.
The instrumental is the case of instrument, means. It mainly shows the means, with which the action of the verb is carried out.
- I write with the pen: Onen póljasmajen polju.
- You don't think with (your) head: Onen ločen ét valmec.
The instrumental by itself can express the role of acting object with a passive verb.
- The cat was biten by the dog: Ó féli onen bodžen šmítevis.
- This house has been bought by my father: Lak mázu kijunen načen fýnevis.
This two main meanings can be competitive in the presence of a passive verb, but with inanimate objects the sense can avoid misunderstanding:
- This work has been written with a pen: Lak twák poljasmajen poljevis (the instrumental is not translated as by a pen, because a pen can't write by itself, but only someone wrote with it)
The instrumental case can be required by some verbs as object, and by some adjectives:
- Twákor, to work, expresses the job with the instrumental case:
- She works as teacher: Popítačanen twače
- Gérvuč, to be guilty, expresses the guilt with the instrumental case:
- They are guilty of theft: Prénžotjámen gérvuk
- Žwýn, full, is usually followed by the instrumental:
- My day is full of work: Kijunon fád žwýn twačen ér.
The instrumental is required by some prepositions:
- ša: it has a meaning of company, translated mainly with with, (never a meaning of means, expressed only by the simple instrumental).
- I go to the beach with my boyfriend: Nwínás ša kijunenon kelanujen roču.
- They are talking with their parents: Ša zijunetynon lájačanetyn malžek
Place cases: Locative, Adlative, Delative
The last three cases are usually collectively named place cases (or where-cases), because they show a location, and a still standing in that place or a movement to or from that place.
The locative is the case of still position in a place. It is usually translated with in or at. It translates also an unreal or imaginary position.
- I live in Berlin: Berlinot skjaču
- We're at home: Mázujot ern.
- I've got an idea in (my) head: Idéa kija ločot és.
The adlative is the case of movement to a place. It is usually translated with to, or into. It translates also an unreal or imaginary movement.
- I go to Berlin: Berlinás roču
- We come home: Mázujás ačen
The delative is the case which shows the origin of the movement from a place. It is usually translated with from. It translates also an unreal or imaginary movement.
- I come from Berlin: Berlinád aču
- We come out of home: Mázujád izačen
Some prepositions require the place cases. Usually these prepositions, which indicate a place, require all three cases to define the position, relative to their meaning. For example, blúz, near, with the delative case, indicates that the subject moves from the neighbourhood of something.
These prepositions are:
- áf, on, over
- blúz, near
- dán, beyond
- dóp, under
- izvýn, outside
- mízt, between, among
- ukryg, around
- výn, inside
- dó, until, requires only the adlative case, as it implies a figurative movement.
- I'm going to work until sunday: Dó lósufadžás tetwačesu.
Lantian language has an only type of articles, the definite ones. Indefiniteness is not expressed.
- I bought a newspaper: fadžlójačano fýnevu.
The definite article, expressed by its full form ó, or merged with the adjective (-on/n/jon suffix), has a more widespread use than its English countepart.
Every definite word is accompained by the article, even if it would be implicitly definite (in this case in English the article is often dropped):
- Did you see the new car of Mr. Petru?: lójon awtowo onu lástu Petrú sáljevec?
- I love nature: ono jefážawo kelu.
When there are two or more adjectives, the articles is added to the first one.
- the new French car: lójon fransár awto
The article can't be linked to personal and geographic names:
- I like Italy: Itálja kija mále.
- I'm searching for Petr: Petro tyrcu.
Some geographic names are exceptions, because they actually are common nouns, as:
- NMA: Núčelačyjon Mjáwej Amerikaw (the United States) - EN: Ewropáron Núčeltjám (the European Union) - NK: Núčeláton Krišpót (the United Kingdom) - RB: Ruskáron Bwandotjám (the Russian Federation)
Also the words lást (mister) and lástnejn (miss/mrs), and noble titles take the article if definite because they are considered as common nouns.
- Do you know Mr. Petru?: ono lásto Petruwo znodžec?
- For article usage with possessive adjectives see below
The main difference between Lantian possessive adjectives and their English counterparts is that, when definite, they take the article. In this way a nouns with a possessive adjective can be indefinite too (contrary to English)
- This is my best friend: Lak kijunon pu-dén vjéša ér.
- I see a friend of her: Hijuno vjéšawo sáljevu.
The article is added every time a noun is definite. The same rule for geographic and personal noun (with their exceptions) is applied.
Kinship nouns are particular because in the singular they never require the article:
- I talked with your mother: ša townen hedžen malževu
- Our grandfather gave us a present: vojun pranát vojay káleko kálev
Except for nók, one (dat.: noča, it has no plural forms), considered as an adjective, all numbers are treated like adverbs and they don't decline. As adverbs they don't take any definite declension, and the article is placed before them.
- I saw one student in that classroom: nókwo čwesačano šikot čwesméremot sáljevu.
- They thanked seven people: poč čésya džanevek
- I met the three students, which came from Italy: onjo klik píkujoy bejznoževu, okátjavy Itáliajád.
Warning: nók is not an article, you should remind not to use it in such way.
- nókwo čwesačano šikot čwesméremot sáljevu - it points to the fact that the student was one and alone. - čwesačano šikot čwesméremot sáljevu - it points nothing, there was a student inside the room
The dual number is used only with the simple džis, two, not with composed numbers like džistóč džis, twenty-two. džis is not very used, because it can be replaced by the dual form of nouns; it is used to point the amount without nouns.
- How many were there? - (They were) two!: mósej kájot ervuk? - Džis (ervuke)!
- My (two) cats are white: kijuneton félit bílo ereke.
- There are eighty-two people in the room: váttóč džis čésy onot méremot ájerek.
The numbers miljón, million, and miljárd, billion, are exceptions. They are treated as nouns, and do decline according to their role in the sentence. Their objects (things or people) are linked with them in the genitive case. Even if this nouns appears in singular or dual forms (depending on the number which comes with them), the verbs agrees with the plural meaning of the entire ammount of objects.
- Earth is one hundred fifty millions kilometres from the Sun: ó Pán tóček majttóč miljárdyo kilométryw ód ono Lóswo vašwate.
- Two millions people live in Rome: (džis) miljónet čésyw Rómajot praskjaček.
The infinitival form of verbs has the same meaning of its English counterpart, but it has a more common use than English.
As English it is used after auxiliary verbs, like omšor, to can, njubor, to must, šáljor, to want, when the subjects of both verbs are the same:
- I wanted to go home: mázujás rokor šáljevu
- She cannot come: atčuč ét omše
- We will have to help him: zaja wakor tenjubesen
The second verb is thought as a part of the same sentences, a part of the object of the verb, and it is placed before the auxiliary verb.
Infinitive can also be a noun inside the sentence:
- To be, or not to be: that is the question: ervuč ýbo ét ervuč: šik ó cád ér
- Cooking is beautiful: šmanor méra ér
- Nice to meet you (lit. it's a pleasure to meet you): tó bejznódor málajč ér
As it commonly represents the meaning of the process of the verb, this usage of the infinitival form is interchangeable with the construction with -sén:
- Cooking is beautiful: šmanor méra ér/ó šmansén méra ér
The indicative is the main mood. It expresses reality, certainty, and it is also used for tales, and certain opinions for the future.
- I shall go to the beach: nwínás terójesu.
in opposition with:
- I think I'll go to the beach: valmu žá nwínás terójasu. (it expresses doubt about the future event)
- I'd like to go to the beach: nwínás terójisu (it expresses a desire about the future)
Indicative is also used in subordinate clauses, when there is no expressed doubt, particularly in direct subordinate clauses (ža-clauses):
- I told you I won't come: toja lolevu, ža ét tekátjesu.
- I explained him, that we didn't take his clock - zaja logeduvu, ža zawnon húremato ét genševen.
Indicative is also used in some direct subordinate clauses, in dependance on some adjectives or verbs:
- I'm not able to sing: omšačnav ét eru, ža pému (lit. I'm not able that I sing)
- I managed to buy a new car: espohevu, ža lójo awtowo fýnevu (lit. I managed that I have bought a new car)
Indicative has 5 tenses: present, past, future, plusquamperfect and future in the past:
- Present, past and future are equivalent to their English counterparts and they express the same temporal meanings.
- Plusquamperfect expresses an action, prior to another past action:
- He had already eaten, before I came home: ply osetev, pjérža mázujás átjavu.
- Future in the past expresses an action, subsequent another past action (without expressing conditions):
- He said, he would have read the book: lolev ža ono tálewo oteraluse.
- She would have gone to work, but her car didn't work: twačás oterójese, ýbo hijunon awto ét otwačanev.
The subjunctive mood expresses a general meaning of doubt, uncertainty or a future uncertain possibility. It is very used in subordinate clauses, with verbs indicating the same meanings, like valmor (to think), džébor (to doubt), netor (to believe), vylčuč (to seem), etc:
- I think he's working: valmu ža twača.
- They believe he bought a new book: néček ža lójo tálewo fýnav.
- She doubts you will come: džébe ža tekátjasec.
- It seems to me that he loves her: kija vylče ža hijo kela
The subjunctive is used also in conditional sentences (if-clauses or jék-clauses), to express various meaning:
- in the present it expresses doubt, uncertain under condition:
- If I go, I perhaps could give her a rose: jék roča, hija rózewo kála.
- or an impossible condition:
- If I were the president, I would help all poor people: jék ó prezidént era, bányajon fedenya wáča.
- in the future it expresses an uncertain probability, or an uncertain condition in the future:
- If I went, I perhaps would give her a rose: jék terójasu, hija rózewo tekálasu.
- in the past it expresses doubt about a past action, a uncertain possibility about another result of an action:
- If I had gone, I perhaps would have given her a rose: jék rójavu, hija rózewo kálavu.
The subjunctive is also mandatory in subordinate clauses, introduced by dérža (in order that, to), džú ža (so that), étérvan (although), pjérža (before [that]):
- I did it, to see you: hejo toljuv, dérža tó sálja.
- He had given them the book, in order that they read it: mijay ono tálewo okálev, dérža hejo ralavuk.
- I called you, so that you go with him: toja páwámev, džú ža ša zajen ročac.
- Although he comes, he won't bring it.: étérvan átja, hejo ét temajvuse.
- Will you be ready, before we come home?: sgoton tekersec, pjérža mázujás tekátjan?
The optative mood expresses a general meaning of wish, will, desire. It is used both in main and subordinate clauses.
In main clauses its most usual translation is the form would like to:
- I'd like to drink water: ákwo žiči
- You wouldn't like to work tomorrow: tefadžo ét tetwáčic
- He willingly would have gone with him: ša zajen rójiv
It is also used to make polite order, in form of question.
- Would you go home?: mázujás ročic?
It is used in subordinate clauses after verbs of will and desire like šáljor (to want), kwónuč (to wish, to desire) and of similar meaning like ravídor (to demand, to pretend)
- I want you to think: šálju ža valmic.
- They wish that you see everything: kwónuk ža báno sáljic.
- We demand you to explain yourself: ravíden ža sijo logedic.
Also the verb caduč (to ask) may be followed by the optative, if it expresses a desire.
- She asks you to come: (toja) cadže ža átjic.
Progressive and incohative forms
Lantian verbs do not have progressive/continuous forms. Instead of an -ing form as English, the present tense is used, often with adverbs of time.
- I'm eating: setu
- Now we're going to work: čuk twačás ročen
Expecially in past tenses continous forms are not distinguished from normal tenses. This can be understood by the meaning of the entire sentence.
- I worked all the day: bánon fádwo twačevu
- I was working all the day: bánon fádwo twačevu
- While she was sleeping, the telephone rang: dum ždenev, ó telefon ermonuv
Present perfect continous forms are expressed in Lantian using the present forms:
- I've been studying Lantian for 5 months: ono lánco ód majt lučeroy čwesu (lit. I study Lantian from 5 months)
Completed extended actions are built differently:
- I've studied Lantian for 4 years: ono lánco pali yšyt čwesevu
Incohative constructions are built in a particular way:
- We are about to go: kanejot ern ža ročen (lit. We are on the moment that we go)
Constructions with the incohative verbs or similar are made with the present tense forms instead of the infinitive ones:
- He began to explain me everything - čalžev ža kija báno logeduv
- We'll keep on looking for someone - telogrusen ža máčéso tetyrcesen
- I stop reading and I come - čefátu ža ralu ši aču
- Why don't you finish to discuss? - taméske ét bárzuc ža namalžec?
Lánc verbs almost do not transmit any expression of aspect, i.e., they do not express an exact definitess of the action, expecially in indirect speech, as in English:
- He decided to go
- He has decided to go
To solve this problem Lánc uses a syntax construction, named in Latin consecutio temporum, or sequence of tenses. Differently from English, it is the tense of the verb in the secondary sentence that changes:
- Pyšev ža rójiv: He decided to go (He made his decision and already went away)
- Pyšev ža roče: He has decided to go (He made his decision and goes away in this moment)
- Pyšev ža terójise: He has decided to go (He made his decision but still has to go away)
Contemporary actions are expressed with the same tense in the two clauses. Other type of sentences are expressed with other tenses:
|Main Action||Previous secondary action in past time||Previous secondary action in present time||Contemporary secondary action||Subsequent secondary action in present time||Subsequent secondary action in future time|
|Past||Plusquamperfect||-||Past||Present||Future in the past|
The relative clauses are built in two ways:
- With the relative pronoun ksé:
- The child (that) you saw: ó píku, ksewo sáljevec.
- Do you see the man, who I gave a pen?: ono mono sáljec, kšá poljasmawo kálevu?
This costruction is quite similar to the English one, except for the fact that the relative pronoun can't be dropped.
- With participles (this is the most common way):
If the subject of the main clause and the one of the relative clause are the same, the participle simply replaces the pronoun, according to tense.
- The child who plays: ó píku klásáv (ó píku ksé kláse, more inusual)
- The man who gave me a book: ó mon, okáláv kija tálewo.
The participle has to agree with the noun in number and case, even if it remains the subject of the sentences.
- This is the house of the man, who gave me the book: héj mázu onu monu ér, okálavu kija ono tálewo
If the subject of the two clauses is different, participles are used anyway, with a particular construction:
- The woman, who I gave a pen: ó mila, kí okáláv hija poljasmawo.
The construction is:
- [Main clause], SUBJECT + PARTICIPLE (in agree with subject) + PRONOUN (in agree with the relator of the main clause, but with the case required by the participle)
Usually passive participles are used to revert a relative clause with different subject:
- The child, whom I see: ó píku, kí sáljáv zao ‣ The child, which is seen by me: ó píku, sálját kijen.
Participles are conjugated in tense, according to the tense of the sentence:
- The man that will see you: ó mon tesáljáv tó
- The man that sees you: ó mon sáljáv tó
- The man that saw you: ó mon osáljáv tó
Interrogative subordinate clauses
Interrogative subordinate clauses make an extensive use of subjunctive, expecially when they express doubt.
Subjunctive is mandatory when the main clause's verb is mecaduč (to wonder), ét znódor (do not know) and ét mýzdor (do not understand):
- I wonder why he didn't come: mecadžu taméske ét átjav
- They don't know, what I am doing: ét znodžek mó tolja
- I didn't understand what he said: ét mýzdevu mó lolav.
With other verbs its use depends on the meaning of doubt.
- He asked me, what I was doing: kija cážuv mó toljuvu (The subject knows its action)
- I asked him, what he was doing: zaja cážuvu mó toljav (The subject didn't know the other's action)
When interrogative clauses are introduced by ly (if, whether), subjunctive is mandatory too.
- He didn't know, whether she went home: ét znožev ly mázujád rójav
- They ask (me) if I will call him: (kija) cadžuk ly zaja tepáwámasu