On the Danshali noun class system
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This public article was written by quidditchhp, and last updated on 6 Dec 2018, 09:04.
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The Danshahi are a tribal people who live on the island nation of Danshapu. They follow shamanism, which means they worship the elements as divine forces that guide their life, and nature around them.
This devotion has shaped their society and their language. Their society is divided into 16 clans, each worshiping a specific element. Similarly, their language is divided into 18 noun classes, one for each element (Masculine and Feminine noun class don't have an associated clan). All nouns from a particular noun class end in a specific syllable.
In this article i will explain what goes into each noun class, their characteristics and how they interact.
Danshali verbs agree with the noun class of both Subject and object of a sentence. This is allows certain parts of a sentence to be dropped when their meaning is obvious and/or they have been mentioned previously. The exception to this is the copula, which doesn't agree with its arguments, and cant have them be dropped.
This is done through an added syllable at the end of every verb (even after conjugations). This syllable is build around the vowel <o>. To the left is the consonant corresponding to the Subject's noun class. To the right is the Object's.
Example: The man eats the fish --> Mathoda etwogo methow.
"Man" belongs to the Masculine class, with the ending "tho", fish belongs to the Water class, with the ending "wo". As such the final sylable of the verb "to eat" (meja) is replaced with "thow" (th from the masculine subject and w from the water object)
In addition to this, Danshali adjectives also agree with the noun they precede, adding the consonant of noun class specific syllable to their ending. If the subject is a non-classed word (example: the pronoun "this"), the adjective will default to the Normal noun class. Similarly, when the 3rd Person Plural pronoun refers to a group of mixed classed nouns, the default pronoun will be the Normal noun class one ("sora").
Note: When using a pronoun the verb and adjective conjugations use the noun class of the person or object the pronoun refers to. When unspecified it defaults to Masculine (tho) for people or Normal (ra) for everything else. These are also the classes used for plurals of mixed groups (For example, a group of girls could be refered to as Sova (3P.FEM) and the conjugations would be in accordance with the feminine class, but a mixed group would default to Masculine).
Danshali noun classes and interactions
Noun ending: yi (yi)
Dark is one of the most mysterious noun classes in Danshali. It is associated with the dark, evil or taboo concepts of their culture. As such it includes words related to death, darkness and crime.
Examples: nugoyi (nugoyi->night); uruyi (uruyi->death)
Noun ending: tu (tu)
The metal noun class encompasses any metallic objects. This includes objects made of any metal, such as gold or copper, not just iron. It also includes nouns related to working with metal, such as smithing.
Examples: wovletu (wovletu->gold, money); wurutu (wurutu->sword)
Noun ending: ku (ku)
The Rock noun class includes any nouns related to rock and stone, as well as any objects made from them and concepts related with hardness. In addition it also includes any words related with writing, as the rock clan was the one who invented the Danshali writing system, by carving it into rock, in the shape of the mountains where they live.
Examples: kanoku (kanoku->world); muqaku (muqaku->mountain)
Noun ending: fi (fi)
The Wind noun class is used for words related with wind and air, as well as other related concepts like flight. It is also the noun class used for birds and other flying creatures.
Examples: bashfi (bashfi->bird); ronfi (ronfi->cloud)
Noun ending: pu (pu)
The Earth noun class includes words for earth, dirt or land and well as other relater concepts. It is also the noun class of all locations, provinces, towns, cities or villages
Examples: kanpu (kanpu->city); xitopu (xitopu->island)
Noun ending: ra (ra)
The strangest Danshali noun class, this is the noun class used for any word that just doesn't quite fit the description for any other noun class. This includes a variety of household items and construction materials.
Examples: wodra (wodra->circle); ozera (ozera->seat)
Noun ending: me (me)
Fire is one of the most important noun classes. The Fire clan is the one who currently leads the Danshahi people. This noun class includes words related to fire and heat. It is also the noun class of food and other warm concepts.
Examples: meme (meme->food); melame (melame->fire, love)
Noun ending: ge (ge)
This is the noun class that represents strength, discipline and body strength. Nouns of this noun class include body parts and concepts related to physical strength.
Examples: shonge (shonge->strength); po'uge (po'uge->leg)
Noun ending: she (she)
The Light noun class encompasses several different concepts. Not only does it include words related to light but also lightning and electricity. In addition it also includes the concept of astral power, and the words related to it, like planets, stars, and others related to the study of the cosmos.
Examples: cazashe (cazashe->morning); qumshe (qumshe->moon, month)
Noun ending: su (su)
Nature is the noun class attuned with the forests and plants, and the natural power of nature. Nouns of this noun class are associated with nature, like plants, herbs, fruits and vegetables. All that is green and alive is welcome.
Examples: cinsu (cinsu->apple); desu (desu->leaf)
Noun ending: qa (qa)
This is the noun class of all animals, big or small, with the exception of flying animals (Wind noun class) and aquatic animals (Water noun class).
Examples: heqa (heqa->dog); jioqa (jioqa->horse)
Noun ending: lho (lho)
The Creativity noun class is the noun class of all arts and creative crafts, the noun class of games, fun and recreational activities. The noun class of all things subjective, creative and artistic.
Examples: belho (belho->game); juznulho (juznulho->art)
Noun ending: wo (wo)
Water is the noun class of liquids and fluids, and all that is related to them. It is the noun class of aquatic animals and everything else that exists in the sea.
Examples: rutowo (rutowo->blood); etwo (etwo->fish)
Noun ending: hi (hi)
This is the noun class of spirituality and religion. The noun class of inner spiritual power, of unity and devotion. This is the noun class of shamanism itself and the beliefs surrounding it. Also the noun class of abstract concepts, and feelings.
Examples: rushohi (rushohi->dignity); jitborhi (jitborhi->religion)
Noun ending: tho (tho)
This is the noun class used for the names of human males.
Examples: hontho (hontho->brother); matho (matho->man)
Noun ending: li (li)
This noun class houses the opposite concepts to the Spirit noun class. Nouns with this noun class are associated with rationality, intelligence and science. It is the noun class of objectivity, scientific thinking, methodology and engineering.
Examples: nemoli (nemoli->language); vetoli (vetoli->thought)
Noun ending: zo (zo)
The Healing noun class includes any nouns related to medicine. This encompasses the good and the bad side of medicine, health and disease, names of cures and names of plagues, and other scientific medical jargon.
Examples: baçzo (baçzo->disease); nenjuzo (nenjuzo->healing)
Noun ending: va (va)
This is the noun class used for the names of human females.
Examples: honva (honva->sister); mava (mava->woman)