Lesson #2 - Grammar Intro
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Intro to Zebesian grammar, discussing compound words, punctuation, and word order
This public article was written by cemeteryghoul, and last updated on 29 Sep 2020, 21:18.
[comments] chozzlessonslesson 2
2. Chozo LoreLet's first look at punctuation.
Standard Zebesian punctuation uses ', written in Latin script as ', and -, written as -, very liberally. ' is typically used to attach affixes, adjectives, and other grammatical groups, and - is typically used to create compound words, which are very common in Zebesian. Compound words are frequent but never extend past two root words, so any longer than that words start being connected by ' to show larger constructions.
Compound words are combined into one word without punctuation if they begin and end with the same short vowel. If this is the case, they combine to form one long vowel.
There is no traditional space in Zebesian, but instead a centre dot is used. The centre dot is not used immediately following any other kind of punctuation.
Other forms of punctuation are the full stop, ., which is essentially a period, the half stop, ,, which is essentially a comma, the curious stop, ?, which is essentially a question mark, and the powerful stop, !, which is essentially an exclamation point. There are also quotation marks, " ", which are exclusively used to mark quoted speech.
And now a look at beginning Zebesian grammar.
The most basic sentence structure is, aside from questions, verb subject object. This can only be broken in poetry and requires the use of antiquated case particles. (A notable exception is imperative verbs, which have no subject and require the accusative particle lli'.)
There is no pronoun dropping because nouns and pronouns do not have intrinsic cases and standard verbs do not conjugate by person. So, even though one could say ṣā ureši to express "I am happy" because ṣā, being irregular, does conjugate by person, it's in bad grammatical form and will sound incredibly awkward. ṣā γá ureši is appropriate form. If one wants to say "I wish to be happy", you can only say аazo'ṣā γá ureši, because leaving out the subject γá in this case would leave us without any indication of who wants to be happy.
Word order in questions is more complex. In a basic sentence, it goes subject-verb'k'question word object. Note the - and ', these are necessary punctuation here. So, if one wanted to ask "are you happy?" it would go ṭí-ṣа'k'ṇй ureši?, and note that ṇй, meaning "yes", is also used as a question word for yes or no questions if you expect an affirmative, and ští, meaning "no", is used if you expect a negative.
The proper response to a yes or no question is to either repeat it as a sentence or reply with subject'ṇй for yes and subject'ští for no. Therefore, to say yes to ṭí-ṣа'k'ṇй ureši?, the proper reply is γá'ṇй..
Finally, a note about articles. They are used infrequently and for emphasis, and there's only one, i'. It always comes at the beginning of a noun phrase, and it works interestingly. When attached to the subject of a sentence, i' means "a", because "the" is assumed for subjects. In any part of a predicate, i' means "the", because "a" is assumed for predicates. Articles can be attached to pronouns also for emphasis. i' can also be used in participles to make it act like a noun, ex. i'tor'xrejā, i'tor'xrejā, the one who creates.