The Old Volonian language, or Starowoloński as it is natively called, is the archaic spoken language of the Valruzian Federation. The language was commonly spoken in all regions, and was at one point the language of the government. It is still spoken in some small rural communities in Kampania and Tormaszek.
Old Volonian is an inflecting trigger language. This differentiates it from nominative and ergative languages, and its structure is unique. The basis of the language revolves around the trigger word, which is not to be confused with the subject, or more specifically, the agent. The trigger is basically the focus of the sentence in one sense or another. However, the case or role of the trigger is not marked on the noun itself; instead, it is marked on the verb. So, the trigger word is marked with the trigger case, and its role (such as patient, agent, locative, etc) is marked on the verb, in addition to other markings on the verb that indicate tense, aspect, person, and number.
A few examples of trigger usage:
He.TRG TRG=AGT.walked.3Psing.PST with his grandmother.OBL. What does this mean? In this sentence, the focus of the sentence is "he." Since "he" would normally be the agent of this sentence, a volitional (voluntary) agentive prefix is applied to the verb to explain the role of the trigger (he). Volitional simply means that the action was done voluntarily by the agent. Non-volitional means the action was done involuntarily by the agent (eg, he accidentally slipped on the ice). He.AGT TRG=ACCOMP.walked.3Psing.PST with his grandmother.TRG. What does this mean? Grandmother is the trigger in this instance. "With his grandmother" is an accompaniment phrase, so the accompaniment trigger mark would be applied to the verb. Trigger marks don't always have to be an actual case; indeed, since the oblique case has so many different functions, it has been broken up into a multitude of different roles (locative, accompaniment, means, etc.). Also, the preposition "with" is not needed in the second sentence, since the trigger mark on the verb (accompaniment) can explain the oblique's particular use by its very definition (the trigger mark's definition). However, it is needed in the second one, because the verb cannot explain this oblique's particular use; in this instance, the preposition explains the oblique's specific use (accompaniment).
Old Volonian has five vowels, each with a long and short version. When it is followed by a consonant in that syllable, it is considered short. When not followed by a consonant in the same syllable, it is long. For ambiguous cases such as niti (to bite), the consonant always goes with the second syllable. So each 'i' should long in that example. To make a vowel that is followed by a consonant in the same syllable long, add 'h' to the vowel such as in lahmniti (to be slow). The vowels of the language follow:
Long a: between the German long a and the 'a' in father Short a: like the German short a Long e: as in fate Short e: as in pet Long i: as in fee Short i: as in bit Long o: as in boat Short o: as in of Long u: like the German long ü Short u: like the German short ü There are also remnants of a trait from the mother languages of Old Volonian that is present in certain circumstances called vowel harmony. Vowel harmony simply refers to a syllabic pattern involving vowels. It works like this when it is present: 'a', 'e', and 'i' pair with 'i' in the next syllable (that is, if the preceding syllable's vowel is 'a', 'e', or 'i', then the next syllable's vowel will be 'i'.). 'O' and 'u' pair with 'u'.
There are 21 different consonantal sounds in Old Volonian. The consonants follow:
b: as in bat c: as in bits d: as in dog f: as in fight g: always hard, as in go h: silent; always used as a "modifier" k: always hard, as in cat l: at the beginning of the syllable, it is clear, like loony; at the end of the syllable, it is dark, like milk m: as in mouse n: as in nice nh: as in sing p: as in parrot r: like the Spanish alveolar flap (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alveolar_flap) rh: like the Spanish alveolar trill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alveolar_trill) s: as in son sh: as in shirt t: as in tight v: as in valve x: as in backs y: as in yonder z: as in zoo zh: as in mirage
Stress in Old Volonian is simple - stress is always on the penultimate, or second-to-last syllable. In two-syllable words, the stress is on the last syllable.
Syllable structure is also easy. Syllables follow this pattern: (C)V(C), where C is a consonant and V is a vowel. The parentheses indicate that the inclusion of that sound is optional and not required.
The morphosyntax refers to the rules that govern linguistic units whose properties are defined by both the language's morphological and syntactic criteria.
Nouns are the parts of the speech that specify persons, places, things, etc. Nouns are declined by gender, number, and case. There is no need to add a prefix to nouns in the singular, agentive because the root noun form itself represents that.
In Old Volonian, there are three genders: alive, object, and concept. Alive refers to living beings such as people, animals, plants, etc. Object refers to inanimate objects such as a book or table. Concept refers to an abstract thought or idea, such as love, hate, or the mind.
In Old Volonian, there are three numbers: singular, plural, and dual. Singular refers to one thing: a bike. Plural refers to more than two things, such as fifty bikes (or simply bikes). Dual refers specifically to two, such as two bikes (though this would only be one word with a dual prefix in the language itself).
The trigger case is probably the most important case in the language. It classifies the sentence's trigger, or focus. A trigger can be anything: volitional agent, non-volitional agent, patient, locative, inessive, and so on. It more often than not is the first word of the sentence.
The agentive case indicates the noun that specifies the person through whom or the means by which an action is effected. For example in the sentence: The man bought a car, man would be the agent because it is through the man's action of buying that car was bought. The agent is not always the focus or topic of the sentence, especially if it is not the trigger.
The patientive case indicates the noun that is acted on or undergoes an action. For example in: The man bought a car, car would be the patient because it is the noun that is being acted upon by the man's buying. If the patient happens to be the trigger (that is, it is in the trigger case and the trigger mark on the verb is a patientive trigger), then the sentence is translated in the passive voice.
The genitive case has several uses, but its most common is to indicate possession. There is also something known as the partitive genitive. Since numbers are nouns in Old Volonian, they must be expressed differently if someone wishes to use a number to modify another noun. Quite simply, they put the number in its respective case, and the noun it's modifying in the genitive. Literally, it would be translated one of a car (one car). This doesn't specify how many cars there are in total, though. The partitive genitive is thus ONLY used when there is an indefinite number of 'object x'. This may seem a bit confusing at first, but it's actually a simple concept. "Two of cars," for example, doesn't actually say how many cars the two of is being taken from. When this IS specified (two out of 10 cars, for example), then the genitive is not used for the noun being modified by the number. Also, there is the genitive of measure, which acts the same. To say "a ten-foot river," you would put both "foot" and "river" in the genitive. Quite literally, it would say "a river of ten of feet," if that clarifies any confusion. These other uses of the genitive are usually only applied when using numbers.
The oblique case can refer to a multitude of indirect phrases or objects, or anything not covered in the other cases. More often than not, it takes on the role as the "prepositional case." There is one special use of the oblique that must be noted. It is called the partitive oblique and is used when there is a definite source total of something. So, in the phrase, "two out of ten cars," you would put "ten" in the oblique and insert the preposition for "from" (vohk) between the noun "two" and "ten." "Two out of ten" would look like this in Old Volonian: yan vohk zhivohx (two.agent from ten.oblqiue). Non-native speakers usually do have a problem distinguishing the partitive oblique and partitive genitive. Note, however, that in "two out of ten cars," cars would still be in the genitive (the sentence reads: two from ten of cars, literally). So, the partitive oblique really only applies to other numbers.
A = Alive, O = Object, C = Concept, Sin = Singular, Pl = Plural, Du = Dual
Personal Pronouns Declension
1st 2nd 3rd Singular Plural Dual Singular Plural Dual Singular Plural Dual
Alive nhe nha nho nhen nhan nhon nhev nhav nhov Object cu ca cik Concept nic nica nican
Reflexive pronouns usually refer back to the agent of the verb. For example: He washes himself. Himself refers back to the he, who is doing the washing. A reflexive pronoun is marked -c#, with the pound sign representing a variable vowel that harmonically corresponds to the precdeding syllable's vowel.
Intensive pronouns re-emphasive the word they're modifying. They are translated the same as reflexive pronouns, but do not need to refer back to the agent of the sentence. An example would be: He himself washed the clothes. There are three intensive pronouns in Old Volonian that can be translated as needed. They are: koso, kasem, and kamin. Koso refers to first-person. Kasem refers to second person. Kamin refers to third person. Depending on the noun's number, these pronouns will be translated differently. They immediately follow the noun they modify.
Table of CorrelativesEdit
Table of Correlatives
Interrogative Demonstrative (this) Demonstrative (that) Indefinite Negative Universal Suffix Ge- Re- Ce- O- Yo- Ka-
Adjective -l#n gelin (which) relin (this) celin (that) olun (some) nex (no) kalin (every) Person -sh# geshi (who) reshi (this) ceshi (that) oshu (someone) yoshu (no one) kashi (everyone) Thing -zh# gezhi (what) rezhi (this) cezhi (that) ozhu (something) yozhu (no thing) kazhi (every thing) Place -#x geix (where) reix (here) ceix (there) oux (somewhere) youx (nowhere) kaix (everywhere) Time -g#m gegim (when) regim (then) cegim (then) ogum (sometime) yogum (never) kagim (always) Way -k# geki (how) reki (thus) ceki (thus) oku (somehow) yoku (no way) kaki (every way) Quantity -l#rh gelirh (how much) relirh (this much) celirh (that much) olurh (some, a bit) yolurh (none) kalirh (all) Reason -#s geis (why) reis (for this reason, i.e., because) ceis (therefore) ous (for some reason) yous (for no reason) kais (for every/all reasons)
There are three tenses in Old Volonian, that refer to time an action occurred.
The present refers to something happening now.
The past refers to something happening before the time of utterance.
The future refers to something happening sometime after the time of utterance.
In addition to verbal tense, verbs may also take an aspect. In Old Volonian, there are three aspects that may be utilized.
The inceptive refers to the initiation of an activity. For example: he begins to eat. The infix -zha- is used for the inceptive.
The inchoative refers to the entering of a state. For example: the apples ripen. The apples are entering of a state of ripeness in this example. The infix -sha- is used to refer to the inchoative aspect.
The cessative aspect refers to the ceasing, or stopping, of an action. For example: he stopped eating. This doesn't refer to a permanent stopping, but it also does not refer to a temporary ceasing. The infix -ko- refers to the cessative aspect.
There are two basic moods in Old Volonian.
The indicative mood is the "default" mood. It simply refers to a statement. He reads a book. Reads would be in the indicative mood in this example. There is no marking of the indicative in Old Volonian as it is automatically present.
The imperative mood refers to a command. To form the imperative, one simply needs to drop the infinitive marking of a verb. The imperative will always be in the second-person, but it is up to the listener to determine whether it is singular, plural, or dual.
State verbs and existence sentencesEdit
State verbs simply describe the usage of "adjectives" in Old Volonian. One does not say: I am tired. Literally in Old Volonian, it would say: I tires with the verb to be tired conjugated in the first person present tense.
Existence sentences are used to describe the verb "to be" in English and other languages. To say: I have a car, you'd literally say My car exists. The verb tempi is the existence verb in these statements.
Gerunds and participlesEdit
CONJUGATION, sei (to go) Non-finite Infinitive sei Gerund seun Participle seen Present
Singular Example Plural Example Dual Example
1st -#g seig -#g# seigi -#g#z seigiz 2nd -#n sein -#n# seini -#n#z seiniz 3rd -#zh seizh -#zh# seizhi -#z seiz Past
Singular Example Plural Example Dual Example
1st -s# sesi -s#nh sesinh -s#z sesiz 2nd -m# semi -m#k semik -m#z semiz 3rd -y# seyi -y#k seyik -y#m seyim Future
Singular Example Plural Example Dual Example
1st -b# sebi -b#v sebiv -b#t sebit 2nd -p# sepi -p#v sepiv -p#t sepit 3rd -d# sedi -d#v sediv -d#t sedit Imperative se!