SENNAN GRAMMAR


1. VERBS

Verbs are generally the first parts of sentences, as Sennan usually follows verb-subject-object word order. So I'm starting with them!

The bare, uninflected form of a verb is not actually used in Sennan, but still exists. They are said to be used in the speech of the gods, and their only use to mortals is for philsophical contemplation. For example, one doesn't tell someone else to "go" or "leave", they will say "be gone", or "you must leave". Context (inflection) brings abstracts into the world.

1.1. TIME-RELATIONAL

From: no "be", and sa "me/I"

Uninflected "be" no-
Present perfect "I am" nosa
Infinitive "to be" no'os
Present continuous "being" no'onode
Past perfect "was" u no
Future perfect "will be" o no

1.2. SPEAKER-RELATIONAL

From: oaco "to reside/live in", avo "they", -du subject identifier, cnuco "house", -se object identifier

Affirmative "They will live in the house" o oacoavodu a'cnucose
Conditional "If they live in the house" oacomeavodu a'cnucose
Causative "They live in the house due to it" oacomobavodu a'cnucose
Presumptive "They likely live in the house" oacomaavodu a'cnucose
Potential "They might live in the house" oacominavodu

1.3. CONDITIONALS

Conditionals describe events that are true under specified circumstnaces.

And "I work and I am tired." tegosadu cu boandosadu.
Because "I am tired because of it." boandomobsadu.
And then "I work and then I am tired." tegosadu cu noat boanosadu.
If/then "If I work, then I am tired." motegosadu, moboanosadu.
Neither/nor "I neither work, nor am tired." neboanosadu, nenosadu.
Either/or "I either work or am tired." bategosadu baboanosadu.

1.3.1. Counterfactuals

Counterfactuals are marked in English by use of a false past tense to describe a hypothetical scenario, and are closely related to conditionals. Counterfactuals in Sennan do not make use of past tense (ie. "If it were to X...") or any verbs at all, but rather absolutive noun cases (ie. "If there is X...")

For example: the English conditional statement "if we work, the we will be tired" becomes the counterfactual statement: "if we had worked, then we would be tired". In Sennan, this would be phrased: "if there is work, then there is tiredness". The structure is similar to the English idiom "where there's a will, there's a way".

1.3. PAST TENSE

"I was" and "I have been" are the same - there is only a single form of past tense in Sennan.

From: ios "see", aun "we", es "she"

"We saw her" u ioaun esdu [past] see we her[obj.]

To specify when/how in the past the action was, other context needs to be provided. In Sennan, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous forms of verbs, as well as most forms of passive voice don't exist while leaving the subject intact. For instance: "we had been seeing her" would need to be phrased in simple past tense as "we saw her", or provide more information such as "we saw her many times".

"I see her often" ioaun esdu coreba I see her[obj.] repeating[dative plural]

(How this is phrased depends on context; if the action being described is still in progress, its continual nature can be explained by contextualizing that progress. Hence dative additions like "occasionally" or "once per year".)

1.4. PARTICIPLES

In English, participles are verbs used as adjectives: for example, a galloping horse, or a standing stone. Though identical to their usual verb forms, placement within the sentence identifies them as modifiers of nouns.

Sennan has separate verb forms that are used for this purpose.

"The man was tired": u noan bonde
"The tired man": um bondandu
"The man tired": i'andu u bondo

"The woman is working": noes tegode
"The working woman": un tegesdu
"The woman works": i'esdu tego

1.5. CONCRETE vs. ABSTRACT

There are also two infinitive verb forms. -on indicates an active, physical verb, like "to kick", while -os indicates a passive or abstract verb, like "to wonder".

This can also be used to manipulate the meanings of words. For example, "to grasp an idea" would be i'voiundu otsucos, while "to grasp a sword" would be i'orotsatdu otsucon. Other subtleties can be achieved with this, namely insult and sarcasm. "To help" would normally be benemon, but to reference poor or ineffectual assistance, one might instead say benemos. The latter has a distinctly "sounds better on paper" subtext.


2. NOUNS

ex: AVO [singular they]


Possessive: ------ avoiu/avoio -- "their [arm]"/"their [drink]"
Partitive: ------- avogio ------- "[part] of them"
Origin: ---------- avogan ------- "they of [location]"
Dative: ---------- avogo -------- "to them"

2.1. SINGULAR AND PLURAL

ex: SUM ["day"]

Singulative: ----- sum ----------- "[one]day"
Plural: ---------- sumi ---------- "days"
Collective: ------ sumiun -------- "days [together in a group]"
Dual: ------------ sumieto ------- "two days"
Trial: ----------- sumuambe ------ "three days"

The Three Gods: Oa`Naiorambe

2.2. ARTICLES

Demonstrative (speaker): --------- iomi`- ---- "this"
Demonstrative (listener): -------- iomu`- ---- "that"
Definite: ------------------------ a`- ------- "the"
Indefinite: ---------------------- i`- ------- "a"/"an"
Unknown: ------------------------- ne`- ------ "some-" (as in "somebody", "someplace"; can also imply otherness/something removed from its original context: a "someperson" can reference both a stranger or an unidentified corpse)


3. PRONOUNS

3.1. GRAMMATICAL PERSON

1st PERSON

I/my: ------------------------------- sa/sa-

2nd PERSON

you/ your: -------------------------- to/to(r)-
You/Your: --------------------------- teru/ter(u)-

3rd PERSON

By gender:
He/his: ----------------------------- an/an-
She/her: ---------------------------- es/es-
They/their (sing., ambiguous): ------ av/av(o)-
They/their (sing., intersex): ------- ne/nen-
It/its (sing., inanimate): ---------- tide/ti-

By class/job:
Magic worker/clergy: ---------------- be/be(c)-
Artisan: ---------------------------- eue/eue(n)-
Warrior: ---------------------------- som/so-

By race:
Faithful: --------------------------- ver/ve(r)-
Spirits: ---------------------------- let/let(o)-

By group:
We/our: ----------------------------- aun/aun-
They/their: ------------------------- ran/ran-

4th PERSON/OBVIATIVE

Append -te(n)- to any third-person pronouns

ex: "They went and spoke to them."
---- er rante u no cu u seno randu
---- [to them[obj, 4th] went and spoke they[sub, 3rd]]

ZERO PERSON

Add va, ``it is`` at the end of the clause

REFLEXIVE

-self: ----------------------------- -des
-Self: ----------------------------- -(e)nden


4. ADJECTIVES/ADVERBS

Adverbs and adjectives are treated as a single grammatical category and all end in -de.

Tall ------------ satde (`fastly`)

"The plant is tall": satde solandu va (informal: `fastly [the]car [it is]`) - noti satde a`solandu (formal: `it is fastly the car`)

"The red car": imode solandu (informal: `redly [the]car`) - noti imode a`solandu (formal: `it is redly the car`])

"The red car goes fast": olo satde imode solandu (informal: `goes fastly redly the car` ) - oloti imode satde a`solandu (formal: `it goes fastly redly the car`)

If it is established that a specific car is being referenced, `solandu` can be left out entirely in informal speech. Words modifying verbs directly follow the action, and words modifying nouns come before.

4.1. ADJECTIVE MODIFICATIONS

We modify adjectives to elaborate on the strength and nature of the adjective. For instance, "fast", "faster", and "fastest". In English, we make use of other words to modify adjectives ad adverbs as well, such as "very" or "less".

Humorous ------------------ dnande

Un-: ---------------------- nudnande ('unfunny')
-less: -------------------- iudnande ('humorless')
-ful: --------------------- iildnande ('humorful'/'very funny')
Possibility: -------------- ocidnande ('humorable')
-philic/-phobic: ---------- miednande/otodnande
Weak/Strong: -------------- eendnande/dndnande ('sorta funny'/'very funny')

To make an adjective strong in Sennan, simply repeat the first syllable one extra time at the beginning of the word. Of course, in slang, the first syllable can get repeated as many times as the speaker wants in order to emphasize the strength of the adjective. ("Dndndndndndnande!", for example. It's impossible to take this sort of thing too seriously, though.)


5. WORD ORDER

In informal situaions, the word order is malleable, with meaning built around the sentence`s subject, indicated by the suffix -du. In formal speech, word order, verb forms, and noun cases are adhered to more strictly.

Example: "I agree with you"

Informal:
"Agree I you" - sieno sa todu - V-O-S
"You I agree" - todu sa sieno - S-O-V
"You agree I" - todu sieno sa - S-V-O
"Agree[I] you" - sienosa to - VO-S

The "with" is implied here, as there are only two people the speaker is referencing. The person who is the subject of the agreement, and the person doing the agreeing.

Formal:
"Agree I with you" - sienosa iil todu - V-O-S
"With you I agree" - iil todu sienosa - S-O-V

Nominative avodu "they"
Accusative avodan "them"