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LotM - Feb 16: Jutean
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Happy February! Jutean is the newest LotM, and the first to be related to a previous LotM winner.
This public article was written by Admin Sheep, and last updated on 30 Apr 2016, 05:24.

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1. Jute
2. Phonology and Orthography
3. Morphology
4. Philology
5. More on Jute
6. A Note on LotM


Many congratulations to  Jutean and its creator @Jute, winners of the February 2016 LotM. A quick tidbit of LotM trivia: Jutean is the first winner to be related to a previous one,  Ngutanese.

[top]Phonology and Orthography

Described by its creator as having a compact phonology, Jutean does a lot with minimal phonemes. There are just eleven phonemic consonants: /m n t d k f s h l ʋ j/. Most interesting is the lack of bilabial stops, and only having bilabial /m/ and labiodental /f ʋ/ as labial phonemes. /s/ has a few allophones; [z] appears in the syllable onset before a long vowel, and a few dialects realize /s/ as [ʃ]. /n/ appears as [ŋ] if /k/ follows.

Vowels offer some more variety, consisting of /i(:) e(:) ɐ(:) ɑ(:) u(:)/. /ɐ:/ and /ɑ:/ have dialectal realizations as [a:] and [ɒ:], respectively. There are also a plethora of diphthongs, which for simplicity's sake, I will just list:

/ɑi ɑe ie ui ue iu eu ei ea uɐ iɐ iɑ iɑ: eɐ ɐu ɐi ɐe ɑu eeɑ/

Jutean uses the Latin alphabet with letters more or less matching their IPA equivalents. There are some exceptions to this, being <v> as /ʋ/, <a> as /ɐ/, and <o> as /ɑ/. Long vowel are denoted by doubling the vowel.


Jutean features split ergativity and some fun Austronesian alignment and trigger system (something of which I am not too familiar), along with a lack of a distinct adjective class.

Verbs are split into three classes: unergative, transitive, and ergative. Transitive and ergative works operate similarly. They conjugate for mood (indicative, imperative, subjunctive, conditional, or hortative) and a combination of voice and object (I think that's how to best describe it). These voice categories are agent trigger transitive, patient trigger transitive, causative, reflexive, reciprocal, locative trigger, and instrumental trigger. Ergative verbs have two additional categories, agent trigger intransitive and patient trigger intransitive. Unergative verbs just have the options to be intransitive, locative trigger, or instrumental trigger, along with the mood options.

@Jute describes the three verb classes as such:
[Unergative] refers to verbs which, like their name implies, take no object, are therefore always intransitive, and in addition usually imply at least a vague sense of agency. These are usually verbs of motion, like to ('go'), ato ('come') or static, like nisaido ('feel energized'), though there are some other ones, like mihinido ('sleep') or moo ('meditate'). Unaccusative verbs (agent-lacking ones) are also usually in this category, such as no ('live, exist'). The [ergative] variety refers to more complicated ones. These can both stand in objectless (intransitive) sentences as well as sentences with objects (transitive ones), and depending on which is used convey either a passive or active meaning, similar to for example the English verb to break in The door broke and I broke the door. An example in Jutean would be hemo ('to eat'), where Hemo fal would translate to 'They are all eaten', but Hemo fal kiove would mean 'They all eat something'. [Transitive] covers the verbs who always need an object, such as to learn about. These are rare and often homonyms or additional meanings of ergative verbs, so they aren't always seen as a distinct category. A lot of secondary meanings of daho (base intransitive meaning: 'to have space'), such as 'to accommodate', 'to make room', 'to send into space', to name a few, are transitive.

Nouns decline to three cases due to the split ergativity. Direct is the default; they can also appear as indirect and oblique. Most interesting is how adjectives are handled, or better phrases, not handled. Instead of existing as their own class, adjectives are just nouns that have the abstract quality of the adjective - there is no "hard", but there is "hardness". Using a possessive construct, nouns can have these other nouns attributed to them to create adjectival phrasing, even though such phrases are really nouns modifying other ones. (fun fact, Jutean marks inalienable possession with <a>, as does  Edievian)


As mentioned before, Jutean is related to another LotM winner,  Ngutanese. They are distant cousins, akin to Portuguese and Polish being related, but nonetheless both are members of the Juto-Ngutanic family. Also part of the Jutean side of the language family is  Unknown [AKK].

[top]More on Jute

Crave more? Check out its articles, grammar tables, translations, grammatical examples, or LexiBuild sets.

[top]A Note on LotM

Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Jute that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Hate my guts and want to tell me? Feel free to shoot us (either argyle or phi2dao) a PM with your thoughts, suggestions, and hate mail. Also feel free to drop by the LotM clan if you have other feedback, want to join in the voting process, or nominate a language!

EDIT: The language's creator @Jute had corrections to the original article regarding the triggers of transitive and ergative verbs. These corrections were made on 9 Feb, 2016. Previous versions of the article are inaccurate.
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Edit history
on 30/04/16 05:240severythis is not a help article
on 10/02/16 20:26+261argyleCorrections per language's creator
on 01/02/16 21:58+4argyleURL update
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