Grammar Facts About The Láadan Affixes

This is a work in progress and is not intended to be exhaustive. [For example, I still haven’t added the degree markers and am not quite ready to do that yet, because of potential problems. And there are a lot of prefixes that aren’t included yet, like “e-“/science-of.”]

 

Verb/adjective affixes

♦  The plural prefix “me-” will always be the first morpheme in the word [which will correspond to an English verb or an English adjective].

♦  The “-wo-” affix goes between “me-” and the verb/adjective.

♦  The verb affixes:

“du-” [to try to verb]
“ná-” [continue to verb, keep verbing]
“ne-” [to verb again]
“no-” [to finish verbing]
“nó-” [to stop verbing]

go at the beginning of the verb/adjective but after “me-“.

♦  The agent suffix “-á” goes on the end of the word; it may be followed by a case-marker suffix.

♦  The masculine affix “-id” goes at the end of the word, but before the case-marker suffix.

Noun phrase affixes

♦  Possessive case markers always come before the case marker which marks the larger noun phrase that the possessed noun phrase is part of.

♦  Possessive markers can’t go on proper names of people or other living things. A pronoun is added after the name to carry the case marker.

♦  The masculine affix “-id” goes at the end of the word, but before the case-marker suffix.

Pronoun affixes

♦  Pronouns can take the “-zh” suffix [five or fewer] and the “-n” suffix (more than five).

♦  Interrogative pronouns (analogous to English who, what, where, when, why, how, which) take the “-báa” affix — which is a question marker, followed by the case-marker suffix.

♦  Indefinite pronouns [analogous to English “someone, somebody, somewhere,” etc.] start as “be-,” followed by the indefinite morpheme “-ye-,” and can take the “-zh” and “-n” suffixes.

♦  The reflexive pronouns [analogous to English “myself, yourself,” etc.] start with the appropriate pronoun form, which is followed by the reflexive morpheme “-yóo-,” and then — if one is needed — by a case-marker suffix].

 Sentence-combining affixes

♦  The complementizer [the marker indicating that a sentence is embedded in a larger sentence] for statements is “-hé”; the complementizer for questions is “-hée.” The embedding markers are the only affixes that can be added to a word after a case-marker suffix.

♦  The relative-clause embedding marker is “-háa.” [Except after the Place case-marker, or when the final syllable of the word is “ha,” when it becomes “-sháa.”]

Items that don’t take affixes

[Note: The statements below are true except when the item mentioned is the last word in an embedded sentence. In that case, the sentence-combining affixes may be added.]

♦  Numerals, and quantifiers [menedebe, many; nedebe, few/several; woho, all] never take affixes. They are stand-alone forms that follow their noun phrase.

♦  Postpositions [like “obée” (during), and “o” (around)] never take affixes. They are stand-alone forms that follow their noun phrase.

♦  The evidence morphemes never take affixes.

Miscellaneous

♦  The Speech Act affixes go at the end of the Speech Act morphemes. Nothing else can go there. [These affixes may also be added to “lishid” (to sign, as in ASL) and to “dama” (to touch).]

♦  The pejorative — “lh” — can go anywhere in a Láadan word as long as putting it there doesn’t violate a sound system rule.

♦  The focus marker “-hóo” goes at the end of the word to indicate “this particular one” or to indicate emphatic stress.

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