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Elipa grammar
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overview of Elipa syntax and grammar
This public article was written by hashi, and last updated on 14 Jan 2016, 00:23.

[comments] Menu
1. Syntax
2. Relative clauses
3. Adpositions
4. Valency

This article gives you an overview of the grammar of Elipa. It won't discuss the specific conjugations though as this is already covered in other articles (I'll give links though :))

[top]Syntax

Elipa's syntax has changed from its ancestors to be mostly VSO. Since Elipa marks case on most arguments, there is a somewhat free order for some things, however there is a general word order that is followed:

[time] [reflexives] [verb] [adverbs] [subject] [direct objects] [everything else]


[top]Relative clauses

Relative clauses in Elipa work like adjectives in that they come directly before the noun they describe. When they are used like this, they become intransitive verbs and therefore no longer need to take a second argument (such as a reflexive). Where a reflexive is needed, this is incorporated into the verb in the form of a prefix.

Ne nözim = I sleep
Öegem nözim sohas = I see [the place that]/[where] I sleep
Öegem pinözim sohas = I see where I put him to sleep

Where the relative clause is a transitive sentence, the relative clause now comes after the head noun, and the verb of the relative clause has to take a reflexive pronoun to match the noun head (regardless of the object).

Fali kya fohs = The woman eats the fish
Öegem fali kyas = I see the woman that eats
Öegem pifali kyas = I see the woman that eats it
Öegem kyas pi fali fohs = I see the woman that eats the fish

[top]Adpositions

Elipa employs the use of adpositions placed before the noun in order to give it more derivational/functional meaning. There are two types of adpositions in Elipa: stative/locative (we'll just call these stative for now), and motive.

Stative
Stative adpositions can often come in two forms (such as 'at/in' being either nara or just na). Since a lot of Elipa verbs are transitive, if there is a lack of a direct object, a stative noun could also fill the role of the direct object. When this occurs, the adposition tends to merge with the noun and take the accusative case. When that happens, the shorter version of the adposition is used if it exists.

For example, 'at home' could be either nara vusa or navusas.

Motive
Motive adpositions rarely come in two forms, and cannot take the role of a direct object like the stative ones can. As such, these are always place before the noun:

For example 'to the beach' is always ezi syke

Euphonic changes
When an adposition become attached to the noun, a few euphonic changes may occur.

The first is the shortening of internal vowels. For example, when adding dah (with, using; INSTRInstrumental (case)
'with' 'using'
) to rehs /rɛ:s/, the internal vowel <eh> /ɛ:/ is shortened. The resulting word is dahres. Note also that the adposition doesn't shorten if a long vowel is present.

When joining an adpoition that ends in -h to a noun that starts with a vowel, the -h is dropped. For example, when adding dah (with, using; INSTRInstrumental (case)
'with' 'using'
) to elipe the -h is dropped. The resulting word is daelipe[s]. This also occurs in normal compound words.

[top]Valency

There are a few different types of statements you can make in Elipa, and they all have slightly different things that need to be done in order to achieve this.

Transitive sentence
This is the most simple one, in this case, the syntax is pretty straight forward with verb first, then the subject, then the object. If the subject is not a third person, this is generally skipped as the personal ending of the verb covers this.

The owl hears the woman
Gihi kah kyas

gihi
hear.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
kah
owl.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
kya-s
woman.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient


If the direct object would be a pronoun, you can also use a reflexive instead. This puts a little more emphasis on the object of the sentence, but using the accusative pronoun is also not wrong.

The owl hears her
Pi gihi kah

Pi
3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
gihi
hear.PRSPresent Tense (tense).3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
kah
owl.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument


Saying gihi kah pest is also perfectly acceptable.

Intransitive sentence
Since all dynamic Elipa verbs are transitive, in order to achieve an intransitive-esque result, you must use a reflexive pronoun (in front of the verb) to indicate who does what to what. If it is intransitive you can use the same person as the subject and reflexive.

I read/I'm reading [a book or smth]
Pi lõrem

Pi
3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
lõre-m
read.PRSPresent Tense (tense)-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I


'Intransitives' with motive adpositions
Motive adpositions do not affect the morphology or syntax of the sentence in anyway. In the next example, the word for 'go' literally means to 'drive'.

I'm going to the beach [someone else is taking me]
Ne kejé ezi syke

Ne
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
kejé
drive.PRSPresent Tense (tense).SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
ezi
to
syke
beach


'Intransitives' with stative/locative adpositions
Stative/locative adpositions in Elipa will in these kind of sentences also take the accusative suffix.

I'm reading on the beach
Lõrem nasykes

Lõre-m
read.PRSPresent Tense (tense).SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
na-syke-s
LOCLocative (case)
'in, on, at' etc
-beach-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient


The following example doesn't need an accusative because the reflexive pronoun serves this purpose. In the example below, the word for 'die' actually means 'to kill', so in these you must specify who is killing what.

I'm dying on the beach [because of some third thing]
Ne mula nara syke

Ne
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
mula
kill.PRSPresent Tense (tense).SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
nara
LOCLocative (case)
'in, on, at' etc
syke
beach.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity


Locative/stative statements
In a sentence where a locative/stative argument is the direct object (and no other direct object exists), there are two ways you can approach this. You can either use a reflexive pronoun still, or you can use the method of joining the adposition to the noun with the accusative case. There is a difference in overall implied meaning though.

The most common way is this (note that 'hei' means 'to exists'):

I am at home
Heim navusas

Hei-m
exist.PRSPresent Tense (tense)-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
na-vusa-s
LOCLocative (case)
'in, on, at' etc
-home-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient


However, if you drop the accusative and add a reflexive pronoun, you could add extra information to the sentence. In this case, it would imply some sort of reason you were at home:

He's at home [because of you]
Pi heik nara vusa

Pi
3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
hei-k
exist.PRSPresent Tense (tense)-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
nara
LOCLocative (case)
'in, on, at' etc
vusa
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