Kavrinian language

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Kavrinian language
Kavrinh/Kavrinhu
EthnicityKavs, Tiiv people
Language family
Konaaczinhaa
  • Kavrinian language
CWS code

The Kavrinian language is a Konaaczinhaa language from kavs spoken in Lhavres; however, unlike most other languages of Kavs, the Kavrinian language is also spoken by a large number of humans, and the human ethnic group in Lhavres that speak Kavrinian as the native language is called the Tiiv people.

The standard form of Kavrinian is called Modern Standard Kavrinian. Unless otherwise specified, the forms of Modern Standard Kavrinian are introduced in this page.

Classification

Kavrinian is a Central Forest language of the Forest branch of the Konaaczinhaa language family. The Konaaczinhaa language family encompasses languages originating around the region of Konaacza, the second-largest and oldest continuously inhabited city in Lhavres. Of the Konaaczinhaa language family, all but three languages of the family are extinct today due to the spread of the most widely spoken language of the family, Kavrinian, which is the official language of Lhavres.

Status

Kavrinian is the official language of Lhavres, a country located in the north area of Boroso in Sahar. The Kavrinian language is the most widely spoken language in Lhavres and serves as a lingua franca among the nation's many peoples. Kavrinian originated as a language spoken by the sentient avian species Kavrinhäk (specifically those of the Kav tribe), which led to many unusual phonologica features of the Kavrinian language, like the total lack of rounded vowels in its vowel inventory; however, as the Kavrinhë religion started to gain popularity among human populations in the region, and also due to the formation of modern Lhavres, humans in the region began using the language as well, and nowadays Kavrinian has become the most widely spoken language in Lhavres. Besides Lhavres, Kavrinian is also spoken by Lhavres dispora around Sahar.

History

Phonology

Being a kav language, Kavrinian has no labial consonants except for /v/. Among kav speakers, /v/ is a chirp rather than a labial consonant; while /v/ is an usual voiced labio-dental fricative for human speakers.

Phonemes

Labials Alveolar Post-Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal ɲ ŋ
Plosive t c k ʔ
Fricative v s z ʃ ç ʝ x ɣ h ɦ
Affricates t͡s t͡ʃ
Sonorants r l ʟ ʀ
Front Near-front/Central Back
Close/Near-close i ɪ ɯ
Close-mid e ɤ
Mid/Open-mid ə ʌ
Open/Near-open æ ɑ

All vowels in Kavrinian may be long or short; also, there are no roundedness distinction in Kavrinian due to Kavs' inability to round their mouth; however, /ʌ ɤ ɯ/ and their corresponding long vowels might be rounded to /ɔ o u/ respectively by some human speakers.

Phonotactics

Syllable structure

The maximal syllable is (C)(G)V(/j/)(C), with G being /v/ or /j/ and C being any consonant.

the mid central vowel /ə/ might be elided in fast or casual speech, producing seemingly consonant clusters.

Stress

Kavrinian has a fixed stress sytem, the primary stress of a word falls on the second-to-last syllable; however, Kavrinian is mainly syllable-timed, the distinction between stressed and unstressed syllables is not obvious.

Grammar

Kavrinian is a moderately synthetic language with mostly dependent-marking elements like nominal cases and adjective agreements, but head-marking elements like possessive affixes on nouns and person agreements on verbs are also present. One can click here to download a reference grammar of Kavrinian.

Morphology

Nouns and Adjectives

Kavrinian nouns inflect according to cases, numbers, gender and definiteness. There are four nominal cases in Kavrinian: Nominative, Genitive, Dative and Accusative; There are three numbers in Kavrinian: singular, paucal and plural; there are two genders in Kavrinian: animate and inanimate.

The gender of nouns in Kavrinian is determined by semantics, nouns indicating humans and animals are animate; nouns indicating groups of people or dead people can be either animate or inanimate; all other nouns are inanimate. In Kavrinian, the nominative and accusative forms are only distinguished in animate nouns; also the definite suffixes are slightly different for animate nouns and inanimate nouns.

adjectives agree with the nouns they modify in Kavrinian in cases, numbers and gender.

Verbs

Kavrinian verbs conjugate according to the tense-aspect-mood and the person of the subject. Most verbs are regular, there are few verbs with some irregularities.

Derivations

Derivation is an important process in Kavrinian to create new words, most new words in Kavrinian are created by applying derivational affixes on existing words or by compounding of existing words.

Syntax

Word Order

  • Basic Word Order: Object-Verb-Subject(OVS) in main clauses, Subject-Object-Verb(SOV) in subordinating clauses.
  • Adpositions are postpositions
  • Adjectives may precede or follow the noun they modify; demonstratives, numerals, possessors precede the noun they modify.

Negation

Negation in Kavrinian is formed by adding the negative particle nhaa before a finite verb.

  • nyövna nhaa ki Ǧalaar
    nyöv-n-a nhaa ki Ǧalaar
    market-DAT-DEF NEG go.HAB.3.SG.AN Ǧalaar.NOM
    'Ǧalaar doesn't go to the market'

Most negations are formed with this pattern in Kavrinian. The major exception to this rule is the copular verbs ne/ha. The negative form of ne and ha are nha and nho respectively, and nha and nho conjugate like regular verbs.

In addition to negative particles, Kavrinian also may use indefinite pronouns alongside with negations. For example:

  • zëcsonrusër nhaa eelhi neenrinh
    zëcsonrus-r nhaa eelh-i neenrinh
    durian.NOM/ACC-PL NEG like-3.SG.AN.HAB anyone
    'Nobody likes durians'

As there are no distinctions between the normal indefinite pronouns and negative indefinite pronouns, the meaning of sentences with indefinite pronouns are different without the negative particle. For example:

  • zëcsonrusër eelhi neenrinh
    zëcsonrus-r eelh-i neenrinh
    durian.NOM/ACC-PL like-3.SG.AN.HAB anyone
    'Everyone likes durians'

Question

In Kavrinian, yes/no questions are formed by adding the question particle at the end of a sentence, accompanied with a rise in intonation. To give a positive answer to a yes/no question, one uses the word nii; to give a negative answer to a yes/no question, one uses the word nhaa; to negate a question with the word nhaa, one uses the word nač. For exmaple:

  • noniisus eelhil yë?
    noniis-u-s eelh-il yë
    boy-ACC-DEF.AN like-2.SG.HAB Q
    'do you like the boy?'
  • nii noniisus eelhig
    nii noniis-u-s eelh-ig
    yes boy-ACC-DEF.AN like-1.SG.HAB
    'yes, I like the boy'
  • cogis eelhi Ǧalaar yë?
    cogi-s eelh-i Ǧalaar yë
    movie-DEF.INAN like-3.SG.HAB Ǧalaar Q
    'does Ǧalaar like the movie?'
  • nhaa, cogis nhaa eelhi
    nhaa, cogi-s nhaa eelh-i
    no movie-DEF.INAN NEG like-3.SG.HAB
    'no, he does not like the movie'
  • anh nhaa eelhil yë?
    anh nhaa eelh-il yë
    eat.INF NEG like-2.SG.HAB Q
    'don't you like eating?'
  • nač anh eelhig
    nač anh eelh-ig
    yes eat.INF like-1.SG.HAB
    'yes, I like eating'

Possession

Possession is rather complex in Kavrinian, in Kavrinian, alienable possessions are formed by using the genitive case on the possessor; inalienable possessions are formed by using the possessive prefixes on the possessee.

Embedded Clause

Subordinate clauses, including relative clauses and other types of embedded clauses, have a fixed SOV word order.

Relative clause can be placed before or after the numerals or the demonstratives. The modified nouns are often definite. Some examples are given below:

  • Kavrinhu väskuni soniissi
    Kavrinhu väs-kun-i soniis-si
    Kavrinian.NOM/ACC speak-APPL-3.SG.AN.HAB that.AN-PL girl.NOM-DEF.AN
    'the girl who speaks Kavrinian'
  • čaata äč tïïlǧona
    čaat-a äč tïïlǧon-a
    system.NOM/ACC-DEF.INAN control.3.SG.INAN.HAB computer-DEF.INAN
    'the computer that controls the system'

Other types of embedded clauses often have a similar structure to relative clauses. The word ǧos "the matter" is often used as a complementizer(C) similar to 'that' in English, and the word us "the word" is often used as a complementizer for quotations(QUOT). For example:

  • noniissi soniisus hetunayay ǧos sanyooy
    noniis-si soniis-u-s hetuna-ya-y ǧos san-yoo-y
    boy.NOM-DEF.AN girl-ACC-DEF kiss-PST.IPFV C see-PST.PFV-3.SG.AN
    'he/she saw that the boy was kissing the girl'
  • "kin ra koq aašëk ašig" us väsyooy Ǧalaar
    kin ra koq aaš-k aš-ig us väs-yoo-y Ǧalaar
    yesterday from/than today fast-ADV run-1.SG.AN.HAB QUOT say-PST.PFV-3.SG.AN Ǧalaar
    Ǧalaar said, "I run faster today than I did yesterday"

Vocabulary

Most words and affixes in Modern Standard Kavrinian are inherited from Old Kavrinian, and there is a preference to create new words by deriving from existing words in Kavrinian, and there's an estimation that most words in Kavrinian are derived from a set of less than 2,000 roots and around 250 derivational affixes.

Loanwords exist, but they are not very prevalent in Modern Standard Kavrinian, it is estimated that less than 10% of all roots in Kavrinian are borrowed.

Writing and literature

Kavrinian is mainly written in the Kavrinian abugida, the Kavrinian abugida is an abugida derived from the Yaa abjad belonging to the Theweric script family.