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Chapter III: Basic Grammar
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Here I go over the parts of speech, how to spot them, how to build complete sentences, and use define the grammatical mood correctly.
This private article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 9 May 2018, 15:52.

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Menu 1. Gloss 2. Overview of the Parts of Speech 3. Basic Structure 4. The Verb Block

Aamyeriets is highly analytic. The various parts of grammar come from various languages. English, being my native language, holds a great deal of influence over the grammar, most obviously seen in the system of verbal aspect and conjugation. Number is declared similarly to Chinese, using determiners or context. There are no lexical classes to worry about. Aamyeriets is designed to be verb-driven, and so I've given much more time to designing the system of grammatical mood and conjugation.


[edit] [top]Overview of the Parts of Speech

Aamyeriets has eight structural parts of speech with abbr:
  • Containers (cnt.),
  • Prepositions (prep.),
  • Auxiliaries (aux.),
  • Conjunctions (cnj.),
  • Relators (rel.),
  • Interjections (int.),
  • Determiners (det.), and
  • Particles (prt.).
,

Containers
Containers are words that have literal meaning. In English, we call them nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Sometimes people call them ‘working’ words. I like to think of them as words that contain meaning.

Prepositions
These perform a number of tasks, such as marking the grammatical case of a noun, phrase, or even clause. They can introduce phrases, and sometimes clauses.

Auxiliaries
These are essentially what marks a container as a verb. They are each a single syllable that contain the information concerning the time and aspect of the verb. One might be able to think of them as a kind of auxiliary verb.

Conjunctions
These are words that join nouns, phrases, and clauses together to form more complicated and precise sentences.

Relators
Relators are a type of pronoun used to introduce a relative clause and populate it with actors previously mentioned in the main clause, or even another relative clause.

Interjections
These are what you say when you need to say something, but have no clue what it is.

Determiners
Determiners are words to declare the type of the object. A speaker can use them to declare several pronoun actors if the antecedents might be unclear. They also state the number of the object, whether it be simple or more complicated and specific. Numbers are usually considered determiners.

Particles
Particles are words that barely count as words by themselves. They are modifiers of modifiers. They are primarily used to declare the mood of a clause


[edit] [top]Basic Structure

Aamyeriets has highly analytic morphology. Switching around the position of a single word might simply make it grammatically incorrect, but it could even completely change the meaning of it, similar to how slightly changing the tone of a chinese word can completely change the meaning of it. Be careful.

The most basic thing to note is that Aamyeriets generally uses a very basic SVO word order. The subject comes first, followed by the verb, then the direct object, then several things can happen after that. How the second half of the sentence can be constructed relies on whether you are speaking the standard dialect or the familiar dialect.

The highest level is called Technical Aamyeriets. It has the most features, and is two features away from being Ithkuil. It morphologically defines all the moods recognizable, it also employs several more block types than Standard Aamyeriets. Technical Aamyeriets is usually used in academic and scientific papers.
The mid level is called Standard Aamyeriets. It is at the same complexity level as Standard English.

The lowest level is called Familiar Aamyeriets. It is essentially spoken shorthand Aamyeriets. Certain moods are formed by changing block order, similar to English, but it also conflates several of the more tricky distinctions.

The standard dialect is the original constructed language. It has no exceptions and functions almost like a machine. The familiar is a vulgar dialect which emerged about 20 years after the original was introduced. The National Institute of Linguistics immediately began recording these changes and declared it suitable for informal settings. They recommended that schools still teach Standard Aamyeriets, though. In this chapter, I will describe the standard dialect, and in a later chapter I'll talk about how different vulgar dialects changed.

When using containers, we have a simple derivation system: all modifiers contain only monophthongs and all nouns and verbs contain one softened monophthong.

For example:

myëzduunoun: a group of christians, that is, a church body.verb: to worship God (the church body does).
muhzduuadjective: behaving or resembling a group of christians.adverb: worshipfully


What makes a word either a verb or noun is word order, as you will see in the next section.

Some definitions:

Blocks
A block is a section of a sentence that contains a working part of a sentence.

Block Class
There are only two classes of blocks: noun and verb. Pretty simple.

Block Types
A block type states what role a noun block performs in the sentence, and it is analogous to a grammatical case. It’s easier to say than block case. I must also make a distinction between active and modifier block types: An active block is one that can exist as a dedicated block in a sentence whereas a modifier block can be placed in the modifier section of a another block.

A block can take two forms: declared and implied. An implied block begins with a container or determiner and its type is defined by where it falls in the sentence. A declared block begins with a preposition that declares the block type.

I should probably include the current six active block types (abbr.):
  • subject (sub.)
  • ergative (erg.)
  • direct object (dir.)
  • indirect object (ind.)
  • instrument (ins.)
  • locative (loc.)

And the two exclusively modifier block types:
  • possessive (pos.)
  • Qualitative (qual.)


The difference between an active block and a modifier block is that an active block has a place in the defined word order and when used as such it may be implied. All the active block types can be modifiers as well except for erg. and dir.

A block, with few exceptions, can almost always be formed like this:

prep. det. mod.(s) pos. qual. cnt.


The only part of this basic block formula that isn’t optional is the terminating noun or verb. Let’s break it down into simpler terms. The block type can be declared using a preposition, but in most basic sentences, this is unnecessary. The number is determined using a determiner, but that’s also unnecessary most of the time. Simple plurality is formed using the word for “many.” Next you can string as many modifiers as you want into a block, but my style guide recommends that you limit to three. Next, you can place modifier blocks inside the active block immediately preceding the terminating container.

Though it isn’t ungrammatical to nest dependent blocks, I recommend that this be done sparingly, as they end up like onion or garden path sentences. Also, for a cleaner style, you should generally refrain from using the same structure for dependent and independent blocks. Dependent blocks should be much shorter, like this:

prep. det. cnt.


They get their mod data from context usually. In many cases, the det. can also be omitted.

Sentence Forms

A sentence itself can have several forms:

  • Analytic
  • Fragmented
  • Strong


Analytic
The Analytic form of a sentence is the most common in simple sentences. It requires that each block is in the implied form. I already stated the basic SVO, but a more general basic word order looks like this:

sub. vrb. dir. ind. ins. loc. and so on

You don’t need to use each block type. If your sentence only has a subject and a verb, the first block will be the subject, and the second block will be the verb. Always. If you want to include a block type without a prior one, you have to use an expletive pronoun. This becomes tedious in complex sentences, and so excessive use of this structure, especially in technical writing, is generally discouraged.

Fragmented
The fragmented form is probably the most common for most speakers when they want to build more complicated sentences without the parade of expletive pronouns. Essentially, you can have both implied and declared blocks in a sentence, but the implied block’s position supersedes the role of a declared block. A consequence of this is that you would never begin a sentence in fragmented form with a declared subject block, because then the first implied block after it supersedes the previous declaration. This follows traditional predicate logic.

The Passive Voice
A special case of the fragmented form is the Passive Voice. It can be formed two ways: beginning the sentence with the verb block, or beginning it with the declared subject block. In the first case, the subject block can be added in a declared block. In the second case, the subject can go unmarked after the verb, because it’s the first implied block.

Strong
The strong form of a sentence gets its name from computer language typology. We say a language is “strongly typed” if all variables require a type declaration and initialization, as for objects, return statements, capitalization, and inclusion of line delimiters, like semicolons. Java is a strongly typed programming language, whereas Python is a weakly typed programming language. Human language is usually fluid. I like to think of strong typing in English as how much we allow ourselves to use pronouns. In some writing styles, people don’t use pronouns at all to preserve the utmost specificity:

“Sally gave Tom a cup of tea, but Tom said Tom didn’t drink tea, so Sally decided to give Fred the tea that she had given Tom. Fred Thanked Sally for giving Fred the tea.”

Yuck.

“Sally gave Tom a cup of tea, but he said he didn’t drink tea, so she decided to give Fred the tea that she had given Tom. He Thanked Sally for giving him the tea.”

That’s only an example. In Aamyeriets it doesn’t sound equally unnatural to speak in the strong form, just more formal or academic.

The strong form is when every single block in the sentence is declared. In this case you can begin a sentence with a declared subject block because there won’t be any other implied block to take its place. Beginning a sentence with a declared subject, however, is like declaring the formality of the context. Strong form is used for two purposes: scientific texts, which are typically written exclusively in the strong form, and emphatic stylization, essentially spoken italics in informal speech and writing.

We can even subdivide strong forms into two camps: emphatic and regular. When you use strong, block order is entirely free. The blocks are all marked explicitly with prepositions. A great deal of emphasis can be added to the meaning by doing this. A sentence of emphatic strength uses the analytic sentence form, but redundantly adds the prepositions to form a strong sentence which is the ultimate form of emphasis. It makes a sentence stand out from all the others. A regular strong sentence simply has free block order.


[edit] [top]The Verb Block


The verb block is so important that it deserves a section apart from everything else. While it’s sometimes the smallest part of the sentence, it often contains the most information: the action, the completeness of the action, the modality and conditionality of the action, and whether the sentence is interrogative. It also has a completely different set of function words in it. Before I even talk about the words used to mark every feature, I feel the need to define everything I’m talking about, which is going to take a while, but bear with me.

Rhapsody on English Verbs and Review of Verb Mechanics
Note: I wish not to insult the intelligence of anyone reading this. I know full well that this site is full of many experienced hobby linguists who know all about this, but for me, whenever I start talking about verbs, I need a quick review on hook of the familiar, that is, English verbs.

English is oftentimes hailed as one of the most difficult languages to learn. I was reading under a YouTube video on the topic and many Europeans were talking about how easy English was for them. It’s understandable why it’s easy for some people. English, contrary to popular belief, does have a much simpler grammar compared to German and Russian, but it has some odd, amazing features which those languages don’t have. For instance, few European languages have four grammatical aspects, that is, a system of verb tenses that tell information about the completeness of an action. We have four forms of every main verb (third person singular, present participle, past participle, and infinitive) and they have to be rote memorized for irregular verbs, such as swim, swam, swum. We have to employ the dictionary rule.

We contrast that with Russian or German which have two and three grammatical aspects respectively. But the mildly interesting part of English compared to other European languages, is that to denote full conjugation, we need to use multiple words in the form of auxiliary verbs.


Present Third Person Singular aspects of cook
SimpleHe cooks.
PerfectHe has cooked.
ProgressiveHe is cooking.
Perfect ProgressiveHe has been cooking.


If you were Russian, you’d easily understand the simple and perfect tense. They would call it the perfect and imperfect form, but the fact that the the perfect, progressive, and perfect progressive are formed using multiple words might be confusing.

Standard English is missing the habitual aspect, though. But It’s found in some dialects of English, such as AAVE (African American Vernacular English), sometimes called BEV (Black English Vernacular).

HabitualHe be cooking.


It often gets mistaken as being “broken English” or just incorrect, but in the dialect, it’s completely regular and all the speakers know exactly why it’s different than “He cooks.” Some people are even bidialectal, that is, they can speak both in Standard English and BEV.

Why do I talk about this? Well, as I have outlined, I believe that English has one of the most complicated, but also amazing and beautiful, verb conjugation systems (blessedly sans gender). Each verb can be conjugated into 72 tenses, and many verbs are regular. I also want Aamyeriets to have a rich system of verb conjugation as well. The other part of English verbs is something more implicit: mood.

In English, the mood is usually not defined explicitly, even though we can identify the mood based on its function. If a sentence begins with a verb it typically indicates the jussive or imperative mood, and introduces a command clause. If a sentence begins with the some form of be it usually indicates the main verb is in the interrogative mood. If it begins with an interrogative pronoun, it most certainly indicates the interrogative mood. In some constructions, the subjunctive mood is implicitly present, although using the verb “be” or “were” instead of “is” or “was” sometimes indicates subjunctive mood. The subjunctive mood indicates the speaker’s personal perspective or (possibly incorrect) thoughts on the action as well as cases where the action might not have actually happened, but in some way the action is related to the situation. Another mood easy to spot is the conditional mood, which of course indicates a theoretic proposition that is true depending on a condition from a previous clause. There are times however, where the subjunctive and conditional are difficult to tell apart, which is lame. There are several other moods, but you almost never hear about them.

The Conjugated Verb of Aamyeriets
When discussing languages and how they work, we oftentimes talk about conjugated verbs, and what they are conjugated for. Every language handles this differently. Most European languages conjugate at least for tense, person, number, and aspect, which is what gives us the 72 forms of every English verb.
When thinking about the most necessary information that the listener won’t get elsewhere in the dialog, I decided that both person and number are sort of unnecessary. I know redundancy is good sometimes, but this time I don’t think it would be necessary. Aamyeriets verbs are conjugated for time, aspect, and mood. I should probably give a discussion of the different aspects and moods in Aamyeriets.

Grammatical Aspects
There are five grammatical aspects in Aamyeriets: simple, perfect, progressive, perfect progressive, and habitual.

Simple
One might think of the simple aspect as being devoid of aspectual information. A verb conjugated in the simple aspect only indicates that the action took place, but doesn’t say whether it’s still happening or was completed.

Perfect
The perfect aspect states that the action was completed, is completed, or will be completed. It’s been ‘perfected.’

Progressive
The progressive aspect includes information of the currentness of an action.

Perfect Progressive
The perfect progressive is simply a combination of the perfect and progressive aspects. It typically denotes that the actor is not currently doing it, but still does it.

Habitual
This one isn’t in Standard English, but is in AAVE. It states that the actor regularly does the action, regardless of any other information or context.

Grammatical Moods
When I began researching moods to use in Aamyeriets, I was struck by the sheer scope of all the moods grammarians and linguists have identified. In english grammar, one will most likely here only about the indicative, imperative, interrogative, and subjunctive moods. Some people confuse the conditional mood with the subjunctive mood, when they aren’t really the same. If we were to look at all the various possible moods of verbs, we would probably get a list of over twenty different moods. I don’t think that many would be necessary or helpful for the speakers.

Recall the introduction to this section: the distinction between the Technical, Standard, and Familiar dialects. No other place is this more observable than in the usage of moods. It would take several sections to fully describe a
  • ll of these, so I will focus on the Standard dialect, as it is what was formalized first, and is taught in school.

    Standard Aamyeriets has one realis mood and ten irrealis moods. The realis mood is, of course, the indicative, or normal as I will henceforth call it (Technical has two, though). My choices for irrealis moods might not be so obvious. They are
    • Subjunctive,
    • Conditional,
    • Interrogative,
    • Imperatives:
    • Directive,
    • Rhetorical,
    • Hortative;
    • Deontic,
    • Epistemic,
    • Dynamic, and
    • Inferential.


    The first seven are recognizable in English, but the lines are blurry between the subjunctive, conditional, and epistemic; and also the imperative and deontic. In even the Standard Aamyeriets dialect, there is a distinct correct usage for each one. Many teachers of grammar and the well informed are querulous about the masses’ laziness in how they treat the subjunctive mood. The problem I see with the subjunctive mood in English is that it has too many rules surrounding it and too few ways to correctly denote its usage. In many constructions there isn’t a distinct form for it. English as a language is slowly evolving away from even acknowledging that there is somehow a difference between the subjunctive and other moods denoting theoretical thoughts and counterfactuality. I believe this is because English never really had a clearcut form of the subjunctive. It’s morphological rules of usage are convoluted and they overlap with other constructions. It is my observation that if a language has from the start explicit definition of a mood, speakers naturally use it more consistently and more correctly, which is why I am including three separate moods that are frequently merged into one.

    Subjunctive
    Almost every language has some form of the subjunctive mood, and at times I wonder if its existence in English is a result of Grammarians seeing all the other languages with it and decided that there must be some kind of subjunctive hidden within it. You can really find it only when applying the definition and reverse engineering it. It’s not like Esperanto which uses the -us ending to denote it. English, of course, has ways to represent false or opinionated information, but it does so almost entirely through context, and people readily acknowledge the difference between the three esses: satire, sarcasm and sincerity.

    Aamyeriets, however, makes a clear distinction between subjunctive and other constructions, and it has a more consistent purpose throughout which sets it apart from the other counterfactuality moods. The subjunctive is used exclusively to denote a thought that is known to be false or counterfactual by the speaker, but the rest of the sentence is stated as if it were true. I should probably note that in works of satire and sarcasm, the subjunctive doesn’t need to be denoted morphologically as that takes away from the humor to be constantly reminded in every sentence that what the writer or speaker is saying is not what the writer believes. It should be denoted with a lexical or contextual marker at the beginning of the sarcasm or satire, such as a phrase of the meaning “To be sarcastic,” or “This is me being funny:”.

    Conditional
    The conditional mood makes a lot of intuitive sense. The conditional requires at least two phrases: “If this, then that,” where this refers to a condition, and that refers to a consequence, just as in English. This follows regular boolean logic, and the particles which define the mood oftentimes combine with the logical conjunctions (different than the relative conjunctions) to make more complicated truth statements.

    Interrogative
    The interrogative mood is used for asking questions. It indicates that information is missing and the aim of the clause is for someone other than the speaker to fill it.

    Imperatives
    The imperative mood must be further broken down into three moods of different types of commands. You probably didn’t even notice that these exist in English, but they do, and if you’ve ever tried to make anyone do anything (including to agree with your opinion) you’ve used them. The erg. block type is used to mark the actor (erg.) as separate from the Director (sub.) In this special case, the subject can be a dependent block as a modifier of the actor in an erg. block. Please note that if the speaker is the director, it can be omitted, and be an “understood” director.

    Directive
    The directive mood is a simple command. In usage, the subject directs the actor to perform the verb. This is the simple imperative.

    Rhetorical
    The rhetorical mood is for asking questions for which the speaker or writer already has the answer. It isn’t considered interrogative, because the speaker isn’t trying to gain information, and if the reader or listener gives the wrong answer, they will be corrected. The purpose of the question is not to gain information, but to spur the listener or reader to fill in the blanks themself, making the usage instead to be imperative, as a command or exhortation to realize the answer. This mood is also used when the speaker is questioning the knowledge of the reader or listener, as in tests.

    Hortative
    The Hortative mood is used when the speaker is suggesting or encouraging everyone present to do something together. In Technical Aamyeriets, it is instead called the cohortative mood because other hortative moods are defined, but Standard Aamyeriets only has one hortative mood, so it makes sense to simply shorten it to a single word. Because it is a command of the speaker to those around him, the subject must be marked with the erg. preposition.

    Deontic
    The general deontic mood expresses external permission, and as such, the erg. block type should be used as it is expressing a difference between the entity giving the permission and the actor allowed to do the action.

    Epistemic
    The epistemic mood is used to denote a verbs sense of possibility, but non actual nature. We think of it as a theoretical scenario.

    Dynamic
    The dynamic mood is more close to the indicative mood, but it differs in that it doesn’t state what the actor does, but rather what the actor is able to do, with the permission to do it coming from within themself, and not externally as in the deontic mood.

    Inferential
    The inferential mood is used when the subject is essentially filling in the blanks, or inferring the complete situation, akin to saying “He probably did it this way,” or “this is how it probably happened.” This mood can be controversial in a way because speakers can use it to actively deceive the listener as it concerns the veracity of the statement, but when used correctly, it can be very helpful in avoiding misunderstandings, and making it easier to call out liars who might try to cover up their crime using semantics.


    Building the Verb Block
    If you do the math, Aamyeriets has 3 times, 5 aspects, and 11 moods, which all go into the conjugation, meaning that each verb has 3*5*11=165 verb forms for each main verb, but it isn’t so bad since time and aspect are declared separately from mood. The mood, while a part of the verb conjugation, is not placed within the verb block itself, but rather at the beginning of a clause as a particle, which has the dual function of declaring a new clause and helping the listener know initially what kind of message the speaker is sending.
    The verb block itself is pretty straightforward:

    prt. [actor block] aux. (mods.) cnt.

    Note: If the main clause comes first (which it almost always does), the speaker does not need to include the normal mood particle.
    There really isn’t anything else worth remarking about the verb block. It seems sort of ironic that after five pages of general definitions, all that’s needed to put the stuff together is a third of a page. Life is funny like that.











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