These following charts specify which phonemes are in Sayala [sajalɑ~sajɑla], and how their romanisation
There are 16 consonants and 5 vowels.
|Nasal||m (m)||n (n)||ɲ (ny)||⠀|
|Stop||p∼b (p)||t∼d (t)||k∼g(k)||ʔ (◌)|
|Fricative||s∼z (s)||ʃ∼ʒ (x)||h∼ɦ (h)|
|Approximant||tɬ/tl (tl)||j (y)||⠀|
|L. Approximant||ɹ (r) l (l)||⠀||⠀||⠀|
|Close||i∼ɪ (i)||ɯ∼u (u)|
|Close-Mid||e∼ɛ (e)||o~ɔ (o)|
There is a limited set of syllables, of the type CV (consonant-vowel). The phonotactics does
allow the onsets of adjacent syllables to be identical, nor both to be labialized or palatalized.
/l/ do not occur as the first
syllable of a headword (except in loanwords and toponyms).
It is typically made up of open syllables of the type CV (consonant-vowel) with most lexemes
exclusively of this type. The exception to this rule are the endings
-m (indicating general
-ka (indicating negative mood). These endings all
are word final. In detail a syllable can be analyzed thusly:
C([b])V([a, o, i])([n])
(n) indicates nasalization, and
b indicates labialization.
Onsets such as: nyb, nyp, nym, nyn, mm, mn, nn, nm, tb, tp, tm, tn, kb, kp, km, kn, sb, zb, zp, zn, zm, xb, xp, xn, xm, cb, cp, cm, cn, tlp, tlb, tlm, tln, jp, jb, jm, jn, rb, rp, rm, rn
Duplicated vowels at the end: ee and uu
Stress generally falls on the penultimate syllable, which means that stress is de
facto initial in
most lemma given that stems are most often
Monosyllabic words are not stressed.
Sayala is a mostly agglutinative language that makes extensive use of compounding, incorporation and derivation. That is, it can add many different prefixes and suffixes to a root until very long words are formed, and a single word can sometimes constitute an entire sentence. The words of Sayala can be divided into two basic functional classes: verbs and nouns as content words, and particles and others as functional. Adjectives exist, but they generally behave like verbs and there are very few adjectives that are not derived from either verbal pronominal roots. The few adverbs that exist fall into the class of particles or are derived from verbs. The most important element of Sayala lexemes to keep in mind is that they may function as a verb, noun, adjective, or an adverb based on where they fall in the phrase, and any various endings that may be affixed.
When pluralizing words that end in a
syllable, you use the ending
|Number||-Ø||-m / -lo||-xa⠀ ⠀|
|Size||-li (Dim.) / -mai (Aug.)|
|Nominative (form verbs into nouns)||-ko / -tlo|
Pronouns are often omitted when the person is obvious from context. There are four persons in Sayala. The 4th being inanimate, or indefinite. The 3rd person plural is irregular, all other pronouns decline regularly. Pronouns do not inflect for gender.
|1st Person Singular||na||hena||nai||nayo||⠀|
|2nd Person Singular||ta||heta||tai||tayo||⠀|
|3rd Person Singular||ha||heha||hai||hayo||⠀|
|4th Person Singular||sa||asma||sai||sayo||⠀|
|1st Person Plural||nam||henam||nami||namyo||nanku|
|2nd Person Plural||tam||hetam||tami||tamyo||tanku|
|3rd Person Plural||kam||hekam||kami||kamyo||kanku|
|4th Person Plural||nam||henam||nami||namyo||sanku|
Verbs rely on analytic serial constructions, and can therefore get by with very little verbal morphology. Each verb has at most two possible forms: the active and the stative. Passivity is marked on the subject thus verbs are unmarked and must be analyzed based on surrounding morphology. Active verbs solely denote actions and occurrences and never states. Stative verbs are the words that modify nouns in an attributive and often adjectival way. They often express a state like a quality or result. Verbs can be marked with several suffixes to add or change meaning. The modals and tense affixes can be added in different order to a verb to create a new meaning; their placement is not always fixed. The negative and adverbial endings are always final, while other affixes can be varied, but in general they should be ordered:
|Size||-li (Dim.) / -mai (Aug.)|
|Mood||-ta (Abil.) / -me (Prop.)|
|Aspect||-ko (Prg.) / -pu (Prf.) / -no (Inch.) / -la (Freq.)|
|Tense||-tle (Pst.) / -tli (Fut.)|
Two sentences may be joined together to form a longer compound sentence. Both sentences must be able to stand alone as properly formed sentences. When combined, they simply come one after the other, joined by a conjunction.
|pa||although, despite, even|
|ku||and, also, too|
|henke||neither X or Y|
|yima||both X and Y|
|yo||if X then Y, therefore|
|ro||between X and Y|
Particles in Sayala exist to build up concepts inside the sentences, or to enrich nouns. They cover many semantic purposes.
|a||Topic / Copula|
Numerals in Sayala follow their normal forms in ordinal, and then, by adding the prefix
ki- (from kiyate meaning order), one gets the
- The prefix ti- (from tiyata meaning bundle) handles the semantic meaning of a multiple type number.
- The prefix i- (from iyata meaning division) handles the semantic meaning of a fraction type number.
|100||nyaho||kinyaho||tinyaho||inyaho / pasen|
Sayala does not have prepositions (or postpositions) as a distinct part of speech. Instead,
verbs can be used as adpositionals, in which case they precede the noun they modify. There is one
-he which is affixed to nouns (and
occasionally verbs) to indicate the sense of “at; in; on”. Here are some common verbs used as
- -he = in, at, on (general locative)
- nahe = within, inside
- nyahe = out, outside
- mahe = before, in front of
- puhe = behind, after
- uahe = above, over, on
- tahe = below, under, beneath
- yahe = near, close
- uayohe = away (from)
- mayohe = between, among
The suffix -ru (from kuru “go; walk; travel”) forms an allative (or motive) preposition, expressing movement in the indicated direction, stopping at the position indicated by the locative:
- naheru touu – into bed
- uaheru ke uana tayo – onto your head
The locative/allative pair works like English on/onto, in/into, but in Sayala this distinction is made for all locatives, you must distinguish between them.
Sayala has a simplistic view on demonstrating objects in space, relative to the speaker. It is neatly put into two words.
- ni = this
- na = that
The use of the demonstrative requires the noun to be affixed with the locative, as seen above.