From FrathWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
This page presents the language as a grammar organized by subject. See Poswa/scratchpad for chronological updates.

Poswa is a daughter language of Play known for a somewhat simpler grammar and a more extreme development of the phonology. Where Play was seen as a language fit for children, outsiders muse that Poswa is the inborn language spoken by babies all across the world.

Grammar overview

Poswa is simpler than the famously complex Play, but also more irregular. It could be a matter of endless debate which of the two languages is actually more difficult to learn and use. The two languages were never spoken at the same time, as classical Poswa only emerged 4,500 years after the time of classical Play, and Poswa speakers were generally uninterested in the distant past.

In the speech register known as High Poswa, there are no parts of speech; everything can be analyzed as a verb; therefore, everything can also be analyzed as a noun.

Poswa has lost the ability to make compounds, instead using an extensive list of derivational suffixes. Inherited compounds from Play have become opaque, and indeed, many of the derivational affixes were once independent morphemes from the original Play compounds. Many of these derivational affixes have wide semantic scope, however, and it could be said that many words formed with them are effectively separate roots. This would give Poswa a large inventory of atomic root words.

The citation form for Poswa roots is often trisyllabic, in contrast to Play, where most roots were CVCV or shorter but compounds were frequent. With inflections, however, the effective root shape in Poswa is most commonly CVCVC- or CVCCVC-, thus behaving mostly still as a bisyllabic language.


Poswa retains the A and B stems inherited from Play, and has added C and D stems as well. The C and D stems tend to correspond mostly to verbs in other languages, cannot stand alone, and often end in consonants that cannot occur at the ends of words in Poswa. (By contrast, the B-stems cannot stand alone either, but are always pronounceable according to standard Poswa rules.)


Poswa represents the most extreme phonological development of all the Play daughter languages, labial consonants predominating over all others combined, and also distinguishing labialization in both the onset and the coda.


Properly there is no part-of-speech distinction between nouns and verbs, so this section deals with roots as they express actions, regardless of which of the four stems they use.


Arguably Poswa could be said to have distinct verb conjugations, even as nearly all of the verbs are in the unmarked standard conjugation.