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Syntax

Phrase

Modifiers follow their head noun. A noun phrase is composed of a noun followed by more nouns functioning adjectivally.

Cavos Lovsažpa
cav-oslovsaž-pa
lord-PLovsaran-LOC
(the) Baron of Lovsaran

A verb phrase is composed of a verb followed by nouns functioning adverbially.

imbesar lažena
imbes-arlaže-na
want-sfire-ATR
(he/she/e) desires ardently

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Main Clause

Declarative Sentence

The declarative sentence is topic-initial and verb-final. That is, the noun phrase which represents the topic being discussed is the first phrase in the clause, and the verb phrase is the last.

Karšilos imbesar lažena cavos Lovsažpa mivar.
Karšil-osimbes-arlaže-na.cav-osLovsaž-pamiv-ar
Karšilan-Pwant-Sfire-ATRlord-PLovsaran-LOCsee-S
Karšilan desires ardently to see the Baron of Lovsaran.

Polar Question

The polar question uses the same syntax as the declarative sentence but is followed by the interrogative particle e.

Karšilos imbesar cavos Lovsažpa mivar e?
Karšil-osimbes-arcav-osLovsaž-pamiv-are
Karšilan-Pwant-Slord-PLovsaran-LOCsee-SQ
Does Karšilan want to see the Baron of Lovsaran?

Non-polar Question

Also known in English as a wh-question, it asks for information with 'who', 'what', 'when', etc.. When the answer would become the topic of extended discourse, the wh-phrase takes topic position. If the question is clarificatory about another established topic, it occurs in-situ (i.e. does not change from the declarative word order).

Tohevos Karšilos imbesar mivar?
Toh-ev-osKaršil-osimbes-armiv-ar
Q-person-PKaršilan-Pwant-Ssee-S
Whom does Karšilan want to see?

Imperative

The imperative promotes the VP to initial position and the rest of the declarative syntax proceeds as normal.
KARŠILAN:Čef numo cavos Lovsažpa.
Čef-Ønum-ocav-osLovsaž-pa
find-IMP1SG-DATlord-PLovsaran-LOC
KARŠILAN:Find me the Baron of Lovsaran.

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Subordinate Clause

A subordinate clause is similar to a main clause except it must begin with (1) subordinating conjunction (2) a relative pronoun (3) a time expression (4) the extended gerund marker ňeos, ňe- "deed".

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