The Ámérizkunxa Syntax

The simple sentence

Intransitive sentence (VᵢSₐ) : Transitive sentence (SₑVₜOₐ) :
The boy speaks. My mum is looking [at] the stars.

Like Basque, Ámérizkunxa has an impure ergative-absolutive morphosyntactic alignment. Impure, in that its sentence structure is accusative ; it results in the absolutive subject of an intransitive verb being put after said verb like an object.

The ergative case is marked [-(e)z] after its number, while the absolutive is unmarked. There is no other case in Ámérizkunxa, unless we count genitive as such. A genitive is formed by hyphenating the possessor after the possessee. Here, ama-niz is « my mum ».

In the strong form, transitive verbs agree with both the agent and the patient.
See more about the Ámérizkunxa Conjugation.

The completive subordinate

In Ámérizkunxa, only intransitive sentences can be completed with a completive subordinate clause.

The squirrel waits [for] the trees [to] fruit.

The completive subordinate is simply put after the absolutive argument of the sentence. It stands as a direct object, but the subject isn't ergative. Here, with an intransitive verb (kald « to speak »), the absolutive argument is the subject. Contrary to English, the subordinate verb is conjugated too. When dealing with third person arguments, the subordinate is always obviative, even if it's animate. If the sentence were to be the other way round, both verbs would be conjugated to the "4ᵗʰ person" (sagorin because bazkak is inanimate, kald because it would be part of the subordinate).

The bird expects [that] a lizard will come out of the ground in the morning.

As stated above, the relative subordinate is put after the absolutive argument, not at the end of the sentence. Here, the subordinate has a transitive verb, so the main clause absolutive subject xorri «  bird » is followed by the subordinate ergative agent marru « lizard ». It doesn't affect the main clause structure.

However, this sentence has an adverbial clause (here, a temporal adverb). It is thus put after the subordinate, as the adverbial clause must be at the end of the whole sentence. It stacks this way.

The conjunctive (and relative) subordinate

The firefighters wetted the house, so that the fire struggles to spread.

When a subordinate come with a conjunction, locution, or introduce a clause that is relative to the patient of a transitive sentence, the subordinate clause is put after a comma, and must start with a link word. Here, xok « for, because, so that » makes up a causal link between the main clause and the subordinate, that are otherwise independant clauses and could be part of split sentences (and xok « so that » could be replaced with o « and »).

Also notice that there is a temporal correspondence. While the verb of the main clause has an anterior grammatical aspect onto a present tense form (making it past), the relative clause has a present tense, making it thus happen after, as the consequence of the main clause.

Close-ended questions

In English, there are two ways to form an open-ended question : either with the auxiliary "do" at the beginning of an affirmative sentence, or with a question tag at the end. In Ámérizkunxa, only that second way is possible. There are three question tags :

  • Atta means « yes », « right ? »
  • Ses means « no », « wrong ? »
  • Dirim means something like « Do you promise it will be the case soon ? ».

Atta and ses work the same was as in English, in that you assume something and the question tag is the least probable answer to you. The adressee will then agree or deny. Dirim is a special case : The adressor remind a fact to the adressee, and expect them to promise to change it.
Example : Ƶúz al zauęgisé al ǫrųzúrrená ger anno, dirim ?
« Thou didn't put rain above our head yet, will you please do so ? »

Open-ended questions

Open-ended questions begin with an interrogative adverb.

For how long did the dog get away from us?

In transitive sentences, the ergative agent is put after the patient.

Where will y’all begin to search, once the dragons will have burnt down the villages?

In intransitive sentences, the structure doesn't change. Similarly, if the question has a subordinate clause, its structure won't be affected either. In this second example, remove ƶelekǫ « where », and you have a grammatically correct affirmative sentence, which is not the case with the first example.