Grammar:Introduction

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◀ Contents Grammar of Tovasala:
Introduction
Rules ▶

(1) Tovasala Relformaidi, the subject of this site's Tovasala Dictionary, is a constructed language originally inspired by the Romance branch of the Indo-European family, with synthethic/fusional influences throughout. Its informal name, "Relformaide", is the language's own word for "reformed"[1]—which represents its initial efforts to reform the Romance languages and amend several defects in their grammar, particularly those related to gender.

Tovasala is written in the standard Latin script employed by English and various other European, American, Austronesian, and indigenous Pan-American and Australian languages. Its alphabet contains all standard letters except C and Q—which are only found in imported terms—and adds a CH digraph in place of the C.

Thanks to its flexibility, Tovasala can emulate not only its major source languages (English plus the Romance and Germanic language families), but also various others from different regions. It is a split-ergative language whose standard word order is Subject–verb–object (SVO). There are no standalone grammatical cases save for the nominative and accusative in pronouns, and the ergative/unmarked absolutive and appositive in standard nouns and proper names.

Tovasala consists of over 2,500 base morphemes, all of which are either free (capable of standing alone as either roots or affixoids) or bound (only found in derivations and inflections).[2] Roots in Tovasala end in consonants (except for s), and are designed and chosen to be free of as much orthographical and semantic conflict as possible. Many are borrowed from various Romance languages, as well as their ancestor Latin; some more are sourced from other Indo-European branches and language families elsewhere.

Among those roots are several dozen adpositions, nearly all of which can also serve as either standalone prepositions, or postpositional mesoclitics attached to the end of a stem. In addition, there are 156 possessive suffixoids complementing the genitive/possessive case markers. Emphasis is focused on the final major root in any given combination, especially in the case of postpositions. Depending on the circumstances, a Tovasala sentence can consist of several small-to-medium words, or a very long one-word phrase.

In-universe, Tovasala serves as the national language of an eponymous North Atlantic realm whose name is based on tovassa (товасса), the Itelmen word for "ten".[3] (It was so named in honour of its ten administrative regions by its first leader, an Itelmen speaker named Anya Sevastopol, in 1957.) There are two major dialects, one of which uses tenses suffixes in its conjugation system, and the other which places tense augments in front of verb forms. The first one, sanctioned by the national language agency Novolsonte, is the focus of this grammar.

Notes

  1. ^ The past participle noun form, and not the past tense form (which translates to relformmurat).
  2. ^ A morpheme (or voabesime in Tovasala) is the smallest semantic unit of language; the study of morphemes is called morphology (voabestanule).
  3. ^ Itelmen is a Kamchatkan language spoken in Siberian Russia.
◀ Contents Grammar of Tovasala:
Introduction
Rules ▶

(1)