La Luniwen Syntax
The simple sentence
|The wolf is located in the sheepfold.|
Like Mandarin or English, La Luniwen has a Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) structure. There is no inflections. No gender/number/case marking, no verb conjugation. To indicate the tense, one must use a time adverb, that will be put between the aspect preverb and the verb root.
The verb must be preceded by an aspect preverb. Here зай (zay) indicates the progressive aspect. As there is no time adverb, the sentence is considered present continuous.
There are 6 lexical aspects (Aktionsarten) preverbs in La Luniwen :
|лаљ (lalh) ||[laɮ]||once||semelfactive||The process happens once, shortly|
|жӹ (zhå) ||[ʐə]||again||iterative||The process is repeated|
|зай (zay) ||[zaj]||in||durative||The process is happening, in length|
|лыў (lü̈w) ||[lɯw]||in case of||hypothetical||The process is theorical|
|мил (mǐl) ||[mil]||world||gnomic||The verb doesn't describe a single
process but a general truth
|гон (gon) ||[gɔn]||end||perfective||The process is over|
Note that the verb ўөййы (wʌ̌yyu) is to be located. There is actually no copula in La Luniwen. For example, the sentence "The wolf is a sheep" would be :
Лаъ вюл ъювед (Lah vǒl hǒvěd).
Literally, "The wolf sheep". As in Russian, this structure can be used for attribute adjectives.
Compare : лаь желзө вюл (lah zhělzʌ̌ vǒl) = the black wolf ;
With : лаь вюл желзө (lah vǒl zhělzʌ̌) = the wolf is black.
Topicalization and indirect second complement
|To the dog you will give a bone.|
In La Luniwen, the only way to add an indirect second complement is by using the topicalization, thus both grammatical features are treated as one. If the topic is the subject, the topicalization is not necessary. Else, you'll have to put the topic before the subject, starting with the preposition ўөй (wʌ̌y).
If the topic is the object, the sentence will logically ends by the verb. Here, as the sentence has both a topic and an object at the usual position, the topic is an indirect second complement. In this example, the topic is the dog who will receive the bone from you.
(NB : The future is indicated by adding the time adverb ъӛў (hʌ̊w) "after" between the aspect preverb and the verb)
Close-ended questions (a.k.a yes-no questions)
|Do the dog and [the] cat did ate well ?|
As in Mandarin, the close-ended questions are just affirmations with ма (ma) added at the end.
As in Russian, you can answer with да (da) or њэд (nhed). If the question includes more than one topic, you can use split-topicalization to answer them individually.
Ўөй гѫў да, ўөй гољ њэд.
Wʌ̌y gǫw da, wʌ̌y golh nhed.
The dog yes, the cat no.
Open-ended questions (a.k.a WH- questions)
|Who could die from it ?|
The position of the interrogative adverb is theorically free, and often placed right after the questioned part of the sentence. But its default place is right after the subject. However, йи (yǐ) "what" and жэй (zhey) "who" will replace the subject if it's the asked thing.
Here, the "adverb" ɛам (zam) is actually the reflexive marker which indicate the subject of the sentence is actually the patient, not the agent as the rest of the syntax seems to indicate. This structure is kinda between a reflexive and a passive.
Notes on the genitive
|I am taking care of my mother's canary.|
Like in Mandarin, the genitive in La Luniwen is built by putting the owned after the owner (like in English), linked with the conjunction дэ (de). If the owner is itself owned, it chains all down to the last non-owner.
Лаь ўюл дэ мямя дэ жинњꙗў
The patient of the sentence is the bolded part. As you can see, the definite article comes before the owner's owner even though it refers to the owned. As with the previous example лаь гѫў ъэь гољ (lah gǫw heh golh gon) "the dog and cat", the definite article can refer to a whole composite group. If you don't want it to apply to something, just put it before the article : гољ ъэь лаь гѫў (golh heh lah gǫw) "a cat and the dog".