The Epigean Syntax
The syntax of Epigean is highly simplified by the fact that it only allows simple sentences. No subordinates, no dependant clauses, and compound sentences are, syntaxically, two independant sentences linked with a conjunction.
However, the four-part verbal structure makes even the simplest sentence quite longer. An ethnosemantic explanation would be that providing Dryads live way longer, they have a preference for completeness over efficiency.
| ̇ ̆ ̇ .|
|My shovel isn't a carrot.|
As you may see, the only green part in the translation is the negation. That's the sole semantic element that may be translated directly (and partially, because the negation part is only -du, not adu).
A more literal translation, taking the epigean structure in account, would be :
I'm observing that [the] shovel of me is not (and will never be) a carrot.
Let's analyse this within details :
- The modal a indicates that the speaker directly observed the described action/state. The suffix -du added to it negates the whole sentence.
- The semantic at- is the adjectival root corresponding to the stative verb to be. Its ending -æ indicates that the subject (cĕndre « shovel ») belongs to the 4ᵗʰ class and is singular.
- The temporal dꜳṅ- is the permanent, that corresponds to immuable truths. Its ending -o marks a 3ʳᵈ person singular subject.
- The subject cĭndre la eṁa is a genitive phrase :
- cĭndre is the intransitive form of cĕndre, because the attribute of a stative verb isn't considered as an accusative.
- la means « of ».
- eṁa « me » is built on the same base as the third verbal particle, with eṁ- replacing the temporal root and -a being the mark of the 1ˢᵗ person singular.
- acɯĝ is the intransitive case of acuĝ. It belongs to the 5ᵗʰ class.
- deru doesn't really appear in the literal translation either because it doesn't carry any semantic information. It's a structural particle indicating that the sentence is either passive or reflexive, or, here, that the verb is stative.
Open and close-ended questions
In Epigean, both open-ended and close-ended (a.k.a. yes-no) questions are built the same way. The modal is always oro, and the structure is (almost) the same as an affirmative sentence :
- For an open-ended question, the subject is ergative, but there is no object given. Instead of interrogative words, it is more of a "complete me" sentence structure.
| ̇ · ?|
|Where are the oaks ?
(more literally : How are the oaks located ?)
- For a close-ended question, there is no change, it's a simple sentence starting with oro.
We may answer it by ka « yes » or shudad « no » (often shortened to ꞌdad ).