Nytal is a constructed fantasy language, born to be isolated and not related to any linguistic family in the world.
- 1 Phonology and Pronounce
- 2 Morphology
- 2.1 Substantives
- 2.2 Adjectives
- 2.3 Pronouns
- 2.4 Adverbs
- 2.5 Numbers
- 2.6 Preposition
- 2.7 Verbs
- 2.8 Derivational morphology
- 3 Syntax
- 4 Lexycon
Phonology and Pronounce
- a = like a in father
- b = as in English
- c = always like ch in church
- d = as in English
- e = like e in men (close-mid front unrounded vowel)
- f = as in English
- g = always like g in get
- h = like ch of Scottish loch
- i = always like ee in meet
- j = always like y in you
- k = as in English
- l = always like l in lane
- lj = as in Spanish ll or Italian gl
- m = as in English
- n = as in English
- nj = as in Spanish ñ
- o = like o in rock (open-mid back rounded vowel)
- p = as in English
- q = a labialized voiceless velar plosive [kʷ], similar to sound of Italian letters qu.
- r = rolled Italian/Spanish-like r
- s = as in English, but can only be unvoiced
- š = like sh in shop
- t = as in English
- u = like u in put
- v = as in English
- x = as in English
- y = this is the most difficult vowel to pronounce, because it appears rarely in romance or germanic languages. Instead, it is present in English, it is the schwa. A romance or germanic speaker can pronounce it by saying the ee of meet (or i in "ilusiòn" for Spanish, "illusion" for French and German) but lowering the tongue in the middle of the oral cavity and obtaining a sound middle-way between close e and ee.
- z = as in English, but it can be only unvoiced
- ' = this grapheme represents a phoneme which is unknown to the most European languages: the glottal stop. It is present in the Danish language which uses it very often for distinguishing words but does not give it an alphabetic sign. Semitic languages use it more and more largerly, in fact it is considered as a single consonant. It is not easy to pronounce it, in English we can find some examples in the stop we make when we pronounce Bat'man. The real glottal stop is a fast movement open/closed of the vocal cords, but for the speakers who do not know how to pronounce it we advise to pronounce it as a little stop during pronunciation.
Phonology in IPA
This is the consonant system in the IPA consonant table:
- 1: Allophone of [m] before labiodental consonants
- 2: Allophone of [n] before velar consonant
This is the vowel system in IPA vowel table:
Nytal owns both short and long vowels, but they are not distinctive in words. Fyr (fire) is usually pronounced /fə:r/, but it does not change its meaning if pronounced /fər/.
Anyway long vowels tends to move the stress above themselves.
Nytal is an isolating language. It means that its particles (substantives, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, etc...) never flect according to their quality or function.
Nytal substantives never flect for genre, number or cases.
They only can be accompanied by the pluralizing particle le which is placed before them
- city: syr
- cities: le syr
There are no articles at all, neither definite articles nor indefinite ones.
Nytal adjectives never flect according to their substantive. They are placed always after their substantive.
- the big city: syr haron
- the big cities: le syr haron
Nytal has two degrees of comparison: the comparative and the superlative:
- Comparative. Adjectives build their comparative by placing the particle ty before the adjective. The second term is expressed by particle ud.
They do not usually use less-comparative.
- Superlative. Adjectives build their superlative by placing the particle irje before the adjective. The second term can be expressed with the preposition yd (of) or okled (between, among)
- she is the most beautiful woman of the entire city: si ad’jo mec irje skon yd syr vsi
Nytal has only three forms for personal pronouns:
They never flect for genre, number or cases. They can only be accompanied by their pluralizing particle la, which is placed after them.
- I love: ni a'ljek
- we love: ni la a'ljek
- I love you: ni a'ljek ok
- you love me: ok a'ljek ni
The role played by the pronoun is decided by the position in the sentence word order, not as in English where there are different form like I / me.
If a personal pronoun is placed after a substantive, it plays the role of a possessive adjective:
- my husband: sik ni
- their cities: le syr si la
It exists also a proper reflexive possessive pronoun, su, which is used when the subject and the owner are the same, for all persons.
- I love my wife: ni a'ljek mec su
In third person, if it is used the proper third person pronouns, it means that the owner is not the subject itself:
- si a'ljek mec su: He loves his own wife
- si a'ljek mec si: He loves his wife (of another man).
Demonstrative pronouns and adjectives
They can be used both as pronouns and adjectives.
When they are used as pronouns they can take the pluralizing particle la after themselves, when they are used as adjectives they follow all adjectives' rules.
There is only one indeclinable relative pronoun ki.
- The cows you see belong to my husband (the cows, which you see, are of my husband): le desti, ki ok a'ljub, ad'jo yd sik ni
These are the interrogative pronouns; they are all indeclinable.
Nytal adverbs, which are derived from an adjective, are distinguished by the particle klo which is placed just before the adjective. They can be found many isolated adjectives, used as adverbs anyway.
- finally: klo blek
Nytal number system is a 10 base one:
Numbers over 10 are constructed:
- numbers x 10: add -'din.
- numbers x 100: add -'odhi
- numbers x 1000: add -'medih
composed numbers are formed with a (and). Examples:
- 25: do'din a so (twenty and five)
- 456: ti'odhi a so'din a kha (four hundert and fifty and six)
Each number has to be intended as an adjective but it can be placed before its substantive.
The ordinal numbers are formed by placing the particle tjux after all simple numbers:
- first: is tjux
- fifteenth: dineh a so tjux
and they follow all adjectives' rules.
- the fifth city: syr so tjux
Nytal verbs do not decline as Indo-European verbs do according to number and tenses.
They only take some particles which indicate the temporal position of the action.
- -[d] is added only before a vowel or a semivowel.
As in English, Nytal verbs always require the presence of a subjects, substantives and personal or demonstrative pronouns.
To negate a verb you have to place the particle ta just before the verb.
- I love you: ni a'ljek ok
- I do not love you: ni ta a'ljek ok
From the verb we can obtain an adjective with a passive meaning which corresponds to our past participle, by placing -'lo after the verb
- to see: ljub
- seen: ljub'lo
This is a special form because Nytal verbs do not have a passive form.
Each verb has to be intended as transitive and intransitive if possible: With an object it must be translated it with the transitive form, without any object it must be considered as an intransitive verb.
In English it is the same in the sentences: The boy broke the window (transitive) / The window broke (intransitive)
- the man broke the window: sik be'krijg eknje
- the window broke: eknje be'krijg
Nytal verbs have an infinitival form, that is what can be found in dictionaries. This form, however, can act as substantive, as an adjective, etc.
Within a sentence we won't find an infinitival form, because it can be something other! Thus, with modal verbs as mbit (to can), blinj (to must, to have to), and others, Nytal uses another construction, typical of languages which do not have an infinitival form for their verbs, like Bulgarian or Romanian languages:
Instead of constructions as I want to see, the sentence is built in this way: I want that I see. It would be as if in English we said: I want me to see.
Thus in Nytal the sentence is:
- Ni ad'ehohi li ni a'ljub, I [PRES]want that I [PRES]see
The second verb agrees with the modal verb according to this rule:
- The verb gets the present adfix if the action is contemporaneous to the first one.
- The verb gets the past adfix if the action is prior the first one.
- The verb gets the future adfix if the action is subsequent to the first one.
- Ok la bed'ehohi li ok la ad'jole, You[PLUR] [PAST]want that you[PLUR] [PRES]eat, you wanted to eat.
Since all words in Nytal language could, in theory, play the rule of substantive, adjective, (pronoun) and verb, the derivational morphology was almost nonexistent. Some traces of a derivational morphology existed, a very few processes of derivations:
- the couple "prefix me- + word + suffix -(j)er", added to a verb, create a new word with the leading meaning of "one who makes the action", equivalent to the English suffix -er. The new word could be used as adjective or as verb too.
- skit, to write → meskitjer, writer
- xenoj, to take care → mexenojer, caretaker
- finans, debt, to be in debt → mefinanser, debtor
This prefix and this suffix were maybe born as independent particles, because of the isolating nature of the language, and only after the continuos usage they were felt as an added prefix and suffix.
Nytal is a strictly SVO language, i.e. its components in the independent sentences are placed Subject - Verb - Object.
This word order is respected in every kind of sentences, dependent and independent; only by this the words can play their exact role in the sentences, because no word has cases or changes according to its function as in Indo-European languages does:
- ni a'ljek si: I love her but if the pronouns' position changes, the sense of the sentences changes: si a'ljek ni: She loves me.
There are only a few cases where the word order can change:
- In the relative sentence we can find an OSV order, because the relative pronoun is the object, accusative:
- the man which you see: sik ki ok a'ljub
- In direct questions we can find an OSV order, because the interrogative pronoun is the object, accusative:
- Which city did you visit?: kjel syr ok be'ljeuben?
Positions of all words inside the sentences
All the words inside the Nytal sentences are disposed in order to accord to strict word order rules and it also deals with particles, like pronouns, possessive pronouns, adjectives, ecc.. In this table there is an easy explanation of all rules:
|Nu||vis ni||babu||fols||ni||a'sakar||klo blek||mesityeker||aln||ni la||fre kuku vsi|
|Now||with me||father||good||my||buys||finally||car||new||our||for family-all|
The tablets with colors refer to the most important parts of the sentence: Subject-Verb-Object, the minimal constituents of a sentence (even if an intransitive verb does not own any object). The other parts are optional, but they have to follow these space rules.
Usage of words
Nytal words can have more than an unique function:
A substantive can be easily used as an adjective or a verb:
- love: ljek → to love → relative to the love
- I love my wife, it's a great love: ni a'ljek mec su, tjel ad'jo ljek haron
- to see: ljub → seeing, vision
- beautiful: skon → beauty → to get beautiful → to make beautiful
- I am beautiful: ni ad'jo skon
- I got beautiful: ni be'skon
- She will make her own house beautiful: si fi'skon toj su
- man, husband: sik → human, masculine, male
- to stop, to finish: blek → end, termination → final
So many words have different functions, which can be recognized because of their accompaining particles.