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Niđalosa Vahero - Nithalosian Syntax
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Overview of Nithalosian Syntax
This public article was written by hashi, and last updated on 29 Aug 2017, 03:07.

[comments] Menu
1. Noun phrases
2. Verb phrases
3. SOV arguments
4. SVO arguments
5. Relative clauses
6. OSV situations
7. Cheatsheet

Nithalosian syntax is fairly rigid in placement of its arguments and follows either SOV (most common), SVO (stative sentences only), and rarely OSV (some relative clauses).

[top]Noun phrases

The noun phrase in Nithalosian is made up of a few parts. Not all parts have to be used at once, however they generally follow this pattern:

[possessor] [adjective] [noun] [numeration] [particle]

So, using the above pattern, if we assign a word to each part, you can see the following noun phrase is constructed:

ana okođ inu na ta go
with my two big dogs
an-a
1SGUnknown code-GENGenitive (case)
possessive

possessor
oko-đ
big-ATTAttributive
part of a noun or determiner phrase

adjective
inu
dog
noun
=na=ta
=NUMNumeral=two
numeration
go
COMComitative (case)
'together with'

particle


[top]Verb phrases

Verb phrases are made of several parts also. It's basic structure can be characterised as so:

[object] [adverb] [verb] [auxiliary]

Putting this together into an example that uses all pieces of the verb phrase:

Tudiu šuioka taprišaya par
I wish that I could quickly eat cake
tudi-u
cake-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient

object
šuio-ka
quick-ADVAdverbial
e.g. English '-ly'

adverb
tapri-ša-ya
eat.PRSPresent Tense (tense)-POTPotential (mood)
likely events, ability
-CONJConjunction
links two arguments or clauses together

verb
par
wish
auxiliary


Note that the [object] section of the verb phrase, can easily be another noun phrase.

[top]SOV arguments

Most standard sentences in Nithalos with a verb other than the copula use the SOV word order. Certain arguments in a sentence have specific places in the sentence that they can be placed. Some have multiple. The below shows the basic pattern of these (note that NP is Noun Phrase (as above) and VP is Verb Phrase (as above)).

[conjunction] [time] [subject (NP)] [manner/comitatives] [location/direction] [dative] [object - adverb - verb (VP)] [particle]

A sentence below demonstrates a grammatically correct (although not contextually sound) sentence using all the parts as defined above.

Evi veda an krađvi go samen štei pravđi eg utaru ma utariva se!
But I already sang the song to dad under the tree yesterday with mum!
evi
but
conjunction
veda
yesterday
time
an
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity

subject
krađvi go
mother COMComitative (case)
'together with'

manner
samen štei
tree SUBESubessive (case)
'under'

location
pravđi eg
father DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary

dative
utar-u ma utari-va
song-STATStative (case)
attribute assignment
already sing-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech

verb phrase
se
EMPEmphatic
stressed or emphasised

particle


[top]SVO arguments

The stative sentences are those that have more than one noun or adjective, and no verb other than 'be'. For example "I am a man", or "The dog is big". In Nithalos these follow a different syntactical pattern. This is loosely described as being SVO, even though there is technically no verb. Instead, the subject of the sentence takes on the Stative (STATStative (case)
attribute assignment
) case (see other articles for more information).

Stative sentences follow a different syntactical order to the traditional SOV sentences. As below:

[subject] [adverb] [anything else] [object] [conjugative suffixes]

One of the major differences here is the placement of the adverb (after the subject, rather than directly before the verb), and the suffixes moving to the end of the sentences. The suffixes are only placed here when the object is a noun. This is because adjectives are able to take most suffixes that verbs can already. For more information, see other articles re adjective conjugation/declension.

Two example sentences are below, the former showing a noun-noun sentence, and one showing a noun-adjective sentence.

Tenkiu seta yoponi.
The weather is now not cloudy.
tenki-u
weather-STATStative (case)
attribute assignment

subject
seta
now
adverb

ø
everything else
yopo-ni
cloudy-NEGNegative (polarity)
not

object

ø
suffix


Sou ansoka šoya'l yopo on.
That is definitely not a cloud in the sky.
so-u
that-STATStative (case)
attribute assignment

subject
anso-ka
definite-ADVAdverbial
e.g. English '-ly'

adverb
šoya'l
sky=LOCLocative (case)
'in, on, at' etc

everything else
yopo
cloud
object
on
NEGNegative (polarity)
not

suffix


This is described as SVO rather than SOV due to the fact that in older incarnations of Nithalos, the stative subject did not exist, and instead a type of particle-verb hybrid 'yu' existed in place of the verb. This meant that the word order was SVO.

[top]Relative clauses

So, a relative clause in Nithalos is when you'd want to say something like 'the thing/person that/who/which does something'. In English, there is the basic pattern 'SUBJECT that VERB'. Nithalosian syntax is a little different: 'VERB-na SUBJECT.

The entire phrase that modifies the noun must come before it, with the verb taking the relative suffix -na. The two below sentences shows the basic difference between an indicative sentence, and a relative sentence.

Poske akašeu tapri.
The man eats the carrot.
poske
man
subject
akaše-u
carrot-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient

object
tapri
eat.PRSPresent Tense (tense)
verb


Akašeu taprina poske.
The man who eats the carrot.
akaše-u
carrot-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient

object
tapri-na
eat.PRSPresent Tense (tense)-RELRelative
verb
poske
man
subject


These relative clauses then become nested inside the parent clause (unlike English where it is attached to the end often). An example here:

Evu seta akašeu taprina poske po ami.
I think that he is now the man who eats carrots.
ev-u
3SGUnknown code-STATStative (case)
attribute assignment
seta
now
akaše-u
carrot-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
tapri-na
eat.PRSPresent Tense (tense)-RELRelative
poske
man
po
QUOQuotative
marks a direct or indirect quote
ami
think.PRSPresent Tense (tense)


[top]OSV situations

In situations where the parent clause is spliced by a rather long relative clause (and the relative clause is the object of a sentence), the syntax of the parent clause changes to OSV to make it easier to decipher.

There are no concrete rules about when this should be done, but it is something you learn to use discretion with. One pretty black and white situation is where the relative sentence has a subject; this is to avoid having the two subjects adjacent one another. The two example sentences below are both grammatically correct, however the latter sentence (with the inverted OSV order) is considered to be much more natural.

Mo an veda mayađ ota'l rorivana tudiu vromi?
Do you like the cake I baked yesterday in my own kitchen?
mo
2SGUnknown code
an
1SGUnknown code
veda
yesterday
mayađ
own.ATTAttributive
part of a noun or determiner phrase
ota='l
house=LOCLocative (case)
'in, on, at' etc
rori-va-na
cook-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-RELRelative
tudi-u
cake-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
vromi
like.PRSPresent Tense (tense)


An veda mayađ ota'l rorivana tudiu mo vromi?
Do you like the cake I baked yesterday in my own kitchen?
an
1SGUnknown code
veda
yesterday
mayađ
own.ATTAttributive
part of a noun or determiner phrase
ota='l
house=LOCLocative (case)
'in, on, at' etc
rori-va-na
cook-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-RELRelative
tudi-u
cake-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
mo
2SGUnknown code
vromi
like.PRSPresent Tense (tense)


[top]Cheatsheet

Below is a cheatsheet for Nithalosian syntax (although written in  Nithalos).

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