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Talarian pronoun system

From:Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
Date:Saturday, September 6, 2003, 1:15
Discussion a while back about cataphoric pronouns
got me to thinking that the feature could easily
be integrated into Talarian, whose pronoun system
is already complex.

Verbs come in two conjugations: Active and
Stative. Likewise, personal pronouns are of two
types, one for Active verbs and another for
Stative verbs. Within the active pronouns, there
is a further division into anaphoric (known
antecedent) and cataphoric (unknown antecedent).
This is the scheme:

Active anaphoric

1s akâ    1d wi   1p mes
2s tu     2d pa   2p yu

Active cataphoric

1s anam   1d osman  1p anmat
2s anat   2d paman  2p anyat
3s antar            3p antar
4s seçam


1s has    1d wi    1p çam
2s can    2d pa    2p vaç
3s ritas           3p sartas

The anaphoric pronouns are fully declinable,
mind, while none of the others are. Note that the
4th person of the cataphoric pronouns means
something like "one" and is a completely
indefinite and unknown entity. To throw a wrench
in the system, the stative forms are typically
used as patients of intransitive verbs.

The stative pronouns were borrowed in toto from
Anian, whose pronominal system is quite complex
indeed. The idea of cataphoric pronouns was also
due to foreign influence, but the pronouns
themselves are native, consisting of an
indefinite prefix (an-) plus a reduced pronoun

The second dual forms are of unknown provenance.


I've finally done some research into all this
agent/patient and ergativity stuff that's so
popular these days. :) If I understand it right,
Talarian is an Active language. Subjects and
objects of transitive verbs are marked in typical
accusative fashion: the animate subject is in the
nominative/agent case; the animate or inanimate
object is in the accusative/patient case.
Inanimates, obviously, can't be agents, so if an
inanimate noun is the logical agent, you'd need
to alter the sentence so that the verb is
passive, where the logical agent is in the
instrumental case and the logical patient is
accusative. The animate subject of an
intransitive verb may be either agent or patient
depending on whether the verb is considered to
denote an event or a state.

One curious thing is that the makority of
Talarian nouns are inanimate, regardless of the
logic or inherent quality of the object. All the
family nouns are inanimate, for example, so when
father takes the strap to a recalcitrant son
(perfectly straightforward in English!), the
subject is accusative, the agent is instrumental
and the verb is middle. The poor object is left
in the locative or genitive case:

a-ffawatar  hanar-co patana-so     talamani-he
3s.past.mid ACC      INSTR         LOC
was struck  the son  by the father at the belt


Also of note: I finally got a scanner that works,
so have scanned in the various alphabets used by
Talarian scholars. The typical one that is in
common use anymore is


The more rarely used syllabary is at



Samlan, isa-susansilo-war-mercumo crastandus, en! mercumes-don-crâgamando, en!
mercumes-dom-resmanstaro haccruçen-fon-Mursilbâm!

And now, the corpse lies limp, lo! even the body of strength, lo! even the body
of Mursilbâm that slew the monster!
  [Erronian fragment]


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Roger Mills <romilly@...>