ŋaren crîþa 9 vlefto: Ŋarâþ Crîþ v9

Overview

For most of this text, we will be working with units that are the sentence or lower. A sentence consists of one or more independent clause phrases (ICPs), separated by ⟨;⟩, with a ⟨.⟩, ⟨?⟩, or ⟨!⟩ at the end. An independent clause phrase can be a general independent clause phrase (gICP) or a special independent clause phrase (sICP).

A special independent clause phrase is one of an interjection, a vocative, a probism, or a datum.

An interjection is a word in the “interjection” part of speech and is not inflected. There are a few interjections, such as ⟨cirtel⟩ by the way, incidentally and ⟨olasta⟩ in addition, furthermore, moreover that can never appear on their own; they must be followed by another ICP in the same sentence. Others, such as ⟨cleli⟩ of course, obviously, can stand on their own, but when they occur before another ICP, they can naturally be interpreted as modifying it. To put it another way, such interjections on their own imply an ellipsed statement: “of course, that is the case”. Such interjections constitute dependent special independent clause phrases (dsICPs) and ambidependent special independent clause phrases (asICPs). Of course, it can be argued that all sICPs are dsICPs or asICPs, as interjections such as ⟨menco⟩ oh!, I see!, look!, indeed! are related to what follows them. In any case, the presence of dsICPs and asICPs imply a structural level between the ICP and the sentence.

A vocative consists of a noun phrase in the dative case and is used to address the referent.

A probism (named after the Appendix Probi) consists of one or both of a direct quotative noun phrase in the ablative case and another in the accusative case, such that ⟨«Y» noþa «X» ne⟩ is an instruction to use the construction X rather than Y. If both of the quotatives are present, then the ablative one comes first.

General independent clause phrases, on the other hand, are structurally more complex. We first look at the case of a single independent clause with no dependent clauses.

Independent clauses

An independent clause might or might not have a verb. We first look at the case where a verb is present.

If there is a verb, then it comes at the end of the clause (except before any tail particles). That is, arguments and adjuncts to the verb occur before it. Because Ŋarâþ Crîþ has cases, the relative order of noun phrases in a clause is usually insignificant, but the topic usually precedes the focus, and contrastive foci are often moved immediately after the topic (if any) or immediately before the verb.

Likewise, most modifiers precede their heads. The following do not, however:

Some types of modifiers agree with their heads and therefore can be moved away from them, as long as their relative order is preserved.

[TODO: order of modifiers]

Verbless clauses

Some independent clauses do not have a finite verb at the end. Nonetheless, they are treated as the head of a gICP and therefore can be a part of a so-clause.

Nominative–nominative and nominative–accusative verbless clauses are often used as a pseudo-clefting construction to place a noun phrase as the focus (see Information structure):

(1)
nemirin #saþo mênčeþ.
nem-irin
apple-acc.sg
#saþ-o
name-nom.sg
mênč-eþ.
eat-3sg.past.pfv
#saþo ate the apple.
(2)
nemirin mînčac nava #saþo.
nem-irin
apple-acc.sg
mînč-ac
eat-rel.nom,nom.hum
nav-a
person-nom.sg
#saþ-o.
name-nom.sg
It was #saþo who ate the apple.

Verbless independent clauses can also occur when the primary verb of a clause modified by a converbal clause or a so-clause is the same as that of the subordinate clause and is ellipsed.

Dependent clauses

These clauses are introduced in Nouns and Verbs:

In all such clauses, the verb comes at the end of the clause (followed by a so-particle for so-clauses).

Head and tail particles

Ŋarâþ Crîþ has both head and tail particles, which occur at the extremes of an ICP. Absolute head particles (aheadps) appear at the beginning of an ICP:

Conjunct head particles (cheadps) appear at the beginning of an ICP, but if a so-clause is present, then it may occur at the start of the independent clause proper, immediately after the so-particle:

In informal speech, the placement of cheadps is more relaxed: they might, for instance, occur after a nominalized verb phrase or after an oblique noun phrase.

Tail particles (tailps) are used less often than head particles and often serve a pragmatic role. Omitting them can be seen as stoic. Prosodically, the final phoneme of a tail particle is often lengthened.

Scope ordering

Several constructs in Ŋarâþ Crîþ can produce a new scope. These include the universal and existential quantifiers ⟨šino⟩ and ⟨nema⟩, numerals, coordinate phrases, and certain auxiliary verbs.

Scopes created by noun phrases follow linear order. In other words, the outermost quantifier corresponds to the outermost level of quantification:

(3)
šine nemar racro.
šin-e
all-nom.pl
nem-ar
any-acc.pl
racr-o.
know-3pl
All of them know someone out of them. = For all x, there exists y such that x knows y.
(4)
nemar šine racro.
nem-ar
any-acc.pl
šin-e
all-nom.pl
racr-o.
know-3pl
There is someone out of them whom all of them know. = There exists y such that for all x, x knows y.
(5)
šine #saþon #môran’te racro.
šin-e
all-nom.pl
#saþ-on
name-acc.sg
#môr-an=’te
name-acc.sg=or
racr-o.
know-3pl
All of them know either #saþo or #môra. = For all x, x knows #saþo or #môra.
(6)
#saþon #môran’te šine racro.
#saþ-on
name-acc.sg
#môr-an=’te
name-acc.sg=or
šin-e
all-nom.pl
racr-o.
know-3pl
Either all of them know #saþo, or all of them know #môra. = There exists y in {#saþo, #môra} such that for all x, x knows y.

TODO: figure out scope ordering involving auxiliary verbs or subordinate clauses

(7)
šinai lensat rjota.
šin-ai
all-dat.pl
lens-at
help-inf
rjot-a.
cannot-1sg
There is no one I can help. = For all x, I can’t help x.
(8)
#saþo šinai lensat rjote.
#saþ-o
name-nom.sg
šin-ai
all-dat.pl
lens-at
help-inf
rjot-e.
cannot-3sg
(a) There are some people #saþo can’t help.
(b) There is no one #saþo can help.

Questions

All questions contain either the cheadp ⟨ša⟩ or, in the case of a tag question, the tailp ⟨šan⟩. If the last clause of a sentence is interrogative, then it is terminated by a ⟨?⟩. In colloquial speech, ⟨ša⟩ may be omitted, but this is never done in song lyrics.

Polar questions ask whether a statement is true and are created using the cheadp ⟨ša⟩ on the statement that is questioned. They can be answered using ⟨vil⟩ (the statement is true) or ⟨ces⟩ (the statement is false).

(9)
ša lê tfoþos gðenuveþ?
ša
int
this.cel
tfoþ-os
village-loc.sg
gðen-u-ve-þ?
give_birth-3gc-2sg-past
Were you born in this village?

Tag questions, which are created using the tailp ⟨šan⟩ instead of ⟨ša⟩, are leading toward an affirmative answer. There is no separate way to create a leading question toward a negative answer.

Wh-questions, in addition to ⟨ša⟩, contain one or interrogative pro-forms, each of which can be an interrogative pronoun, a noun phrase modified by the interrogative determiner ⟨mê⟩ which, or the pro-verb ⟨nepit⟩. The questioned element stays in its original position.

The following elements can be questioned:

If an interrogative pronoun is modified, then the domain of answers is similarly restricted.

Answers to wh-questions are given in the same order as the interrogative pro-forms appear, with the same morphological forms.

Choice questions list the options that the answer is expected to be selected from. In Ŋarâþ Crîþ, they are a special case of wh-question, in which the interrogative pronoun ⟨meel⟩ which one?, with the choices, joined by the coordinator ⟨=’ce⟩, being a genitive adjunct to that pronoun, is the element being questioned. In this case, ⟨meel⟩ can appear wherever an interrogative pronoun could, and the answers take the same form as ⟨meel⟩. ⟨meel⟩ is singular if exactly one answer is expected, but plural if there is no such expectation.

Data

A datum is one of the following:

A datum that is a list or a key-value list is called a compound datum.

Arbitrary strings can be contained inside a datum by casting them into nouns using a direct quotative particle. Alternatively, the particle ⟨neþþo⟩ before a list or key-value list applies the quotative to each element of a list or to each value of a key–value list. In this case, the outer quotation marks may be omitted.

A datum by itself can be used as a sICP to convey the information contained therein. It can also be cast into a noun using a zero genitive construct, involving the noun ⟨manveo⟩ datum immediately followed by the datum. This noun can be replaced with a more specific term that describes the referent of the datum.