Words in Parseltongue are mostly broadly definable as nouns, verbs, and postpositions. Most adjectives and adverbs are derived from verbs, though a few come from pronouns.
'Measure words' can also be used as pronouns, with or without numbers attached.
The base form is the genitive
Verbs divided into four classes. Verbs have no tense, only one of two aspects. Verbs have complicated forms for independent clauses and simple forms for dependent clauses. There are two additional moods: imperative and illocutionary.
As with nouns, Parseltongue verbs do not mark number. Tense is assumed or conveyed via adverbs.
|Passive Volitional||þa'-, ¡æ'-, ¡-|
|Active Non-volitional||lü'-, l-, consonant decl.|
Aspect is either imperfective or perfective. The English perfective is focused on the end of an action, while the imperfective is aimed at the middle. The Parseltongue imperfective may be conative, inceptive, progressive, egressive, resultative or gnomic. The Parseltongue perfective may be ingressive, constantive over the entire duration or most of it, perfect, or gnomic.
In translation, context is most important, but a guiding principle may be "perfective is for the past, imperfect for the non-past".
There are four mood in Parseltongue, two Realis and two Irrealis. The indicative or independent mood is used for factual statements and positive beliefs. The iIllocutionary mood is for magical or pronouncement/promissory clauses (see also Wikipedia:Illocutionary act), actively making true what it says. The subjunctive or dependent mood is for subordinate clauses, especially after modal verbs. The imperative mood is for commands but is also broadly for all deontic moods.
The subjunctive is very plain, conjugating only for aspect, but not person or evidentiality. The imperative conjugates for aspect and person only. The illocutionary is always perfective, conjugates for person, and is said to constitute its own evidentiality.
- indicates the normal root of the verb. -- indicates the root with reduplicated final syllable. Underlining indicates lenition
Non-Volitional Active / Consonant Conjugation
To be at
Parseltongue is "verb-centric" language. Adjectives are often expressed via stative verbs in relative clauses. There are a few, common, dedicated adjectives which must match the noun they modify in case and class. These need not be anywhere near the noun they modify. All known examples of this type seem to have evolved from stative verbs that have sense passed out of usage.
Adjectives can be substantive, making a verbal noun. They must still, however, take a noun-class prefix.
There is no dedicated morphology to turn a verb into an adverb. Instead, the relative clause is used in the ablative case. When this matches something in the sentence, there is some ambiguity.
There are many dedicated adverbs in Parseltongue, all of which relate to "person". Since "person" is such broad concept in Parseltongue, this can also mean directional, temporal, respectful or referential.
- not. Never 'no'. This adverb negates the verb and cannot be used to answer a question or negate a noun. Universal negation must be done in the verb.
There are a few prepositions, which seems to have derived from words. There is one circumposition.
The first kind of Parseltongue particles one should be familiar with are ones which (temporarily) "recenter" the conversation.
- This particle, at the end of an utterance, places the 2nd person at the new center of discourse. e.g. If the speaker wants to refer to themselves after this particle, he or she will have to use the word 'gass/you, because the conversation partner has become the new Ego. There is no politeness protocol, i.e. the person does not have to agree to become the new center, they are.
- This particle, at the end of an utterance, places the most recent 3rd person referent at the center of the conversation. This particle is typically a "question", in the sense that the conversation partner needs to "OK" this deitic shift by saying tsss back. The exception to this exchange-rule is in long story-telling, where this particle often comes right after the main character has been introduced and everything afterwords is told from his or her perspective.
- This particle ends the deitic shift, i.e. returns the speaker to being "I" and the listener to being "you". In polite, two-sided conversation, the interlocutor will respond with a qccc of his or her own to indicate they agree that the shift is over.
AND/OR/BUT/NOT/NEITHER/BOTH - there are separate conjunctions for joining nouns, adjective/adverbs/verbs, and clauses.