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Lamallu Fifth Person
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When verbs fight back.
This public article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 24 Jun 2020, 00:59.

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Upon approaching Lamallu, you will notice two things: the first, grammatical cases. The second, strict SVO word order. But why? With close attention to case endings, a sentence could theoretically be arranged however you want and still make grammatical sense. However, there is a certain factor present in the angelic language which means the word order may become suddenly, vitally important to distinguish one end of a sentence from another.

The sneaky bastard here is Lamallu Fifth Person.

First, a brief overview of a basic sentence:

Īrrur mī ōprésust ēlu.
They saw the teacher.

In this sentence, īrrur (they) is in agentive case, and ēlu (teacher) is in patientive case, while the verb takes its third person plural veridical form.

If we wanted to switch this sentence into passive voice, however, and translate it as closer to "The teacher was seen", several things change. First, the verb switches into fifth person. Then, the subject of the sentence, "they", takes on patientive case, too, so we have a sentence that looks like this:

Īrrar mī ōprésavish ēlu.

A rough literal translation of this would be "Seeing were them teacher." You may notice agentive case has disappeared entirely from this sentence. Where did it go? Ha, the verb stole it. Angels consider abstract concepts to be sentient, and therefore when a verb takes on 5th person, it becomes the 5th person and is therefore the one taking action in the sentence, making it the agent. Using passive voice with the 5th person does not promote the subject as the agent of their own actions, but rather indicates that the action taken was involuntary and had a mind of its own.

Reflexives
This agent-less 5th person construction is also how the language handles reflexives. Consider the following example sentences:

Īrrur mī ōprésust ēlu.They saw the teacher.
Ēlu mī ōprésust īrrur.They were seeing the teacher. (past progressive, intentional action)
Īrrar mī ōprésavish ēlu.The teacher was seen by them. (passive, involuntary action)
Mī ōprésavish-ījur ēlu.They saw the teacher themselves.

  • In the first example, the plain past tense sentence is written with SVO word order.
  • In the second example, the word order is reversed to OVS to show ongoing, intentional action.
  • In the third example, the agent-less 5th person is used to show a passive, involuntary action.
  • In the fourth example, the agent-less 5th person is used with a suffix of the subject pronoun declined into genitive case to show possession over the verb acting on its own. The suffix indicates that the verb's action is bound and reflected upon the possessor.


*Note: when a 5th-person pronoun is used as the subject of a sentence, it's still the agent and the verb's conjugation into 5th person does not have the same effect. Unless, of course, that pronoun is put into patientive as well.
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