Croto

Last updated 9/15/2019

Introduction

Croto is the language of the Crotan people. The Crotan are a fierce alien species in a fictional universe I’ve built for a story. The Crotan are froglike (think Dungeons & Dragon’s Bullywugs or Kuo-tua),

The phonological inventory draws inspiration from Khosian languages.

As the Crotans are an alien species, there are some unpronounceable phonological configurations. The idea being that the Crotans have a different physiology and can comfortably create sounds that humans cannot. That being said, I haven’t given the physiological difference a deep dive.

This is a work in progress and things may change drastically as I go. I’ll keep a changelog going to record updates and what’s new.

Phonology

Consonants

Consonant inventory: /m p b t g q ɢ ʔ ɸ f s χ h ʙ ʜ l ʟ ʘ ǃ/

Vowels

Vowel inventory: /a ã e ẽ i ĩ o õ u ũ/

Diphthongs: None.

Syllabary

Syllable structure: (C)(C)(C)V(V[+nasal])(C)(C)
Stress: No fixed stress
Initial consonants: b d f g h l lm m mb p q s ps t ! ɢ ɸ ʙ ʜ χ
Mid-syllable consonants: b bd d f g h l m mb p s t ! ʜ χ ʟ ʔ ʘ
Final syllable consonants: b d f m mb p q s t ɢ ! ʘ ʟ

Phonological constraints

Guide to phonological rules: e → i / _g means ‘e’ turns into ‘i’ before a ‘g’.
C = consonant, V = vowel, S = stop, N = nasal consonant, F = fricative, K =
velar, G = glottal, M = alveolar, L = lateral, R = resonant/sonorant, P =
labial/bilabial E = front vowel, B = back vowel, # = word boundary, Ø =
null/nothing

Consonant constraint rules

ʔ,ʘ → ɢ / #_
ʔ,ʘ turns into ɢ at the beginning of a word

ʘ! → ʘt
ʘ! turns into ʘt

ʙ → ʘ / rime (nucleus/coda)
ʙ becomes ʘ at the middle or end of a word

F → S / _ʘ,!
fricative becomes a stop before ʘ or !

PP → PM
2 bilabials, second bilabial becomes aleovelar

GP → GM
glottal followed by bilabial becomes aleovelar

Vowel grouping rules

V_V→V_V[+nasal]
second vowel becomes nasalized (three+ vowels not allowed)

V[+nasal]V[+nasal]→ EV[+nasal]
two nasal vowels, first nasal vowel becomes front nasal vowel

Consonant grouping rules

CCCC+ → CCM
More than three consonants becomes three consonants and the third consonant is alveolar.

PP → PM
2 bilabials, second bilabial becomes alveolar

GP → GM
glottal followed by bilabial becomes alveolar

Morphology

Sentence structure

VERB-SUBJECT-OBJECT-OBLIQUE

Pronouns

Nominative

Singular (non warrior, warrior, non-Croto)Plural (non-warrior, warrior, non-Croto)
1stlã, ʙe, ẽtudlã, maʘe, tuẽt
2ndgõχ, ʙeɢ, mbaẽʙũgõχ, ʙũʘeɢ, mabũt
3rdgi, ʙta, tsẽʙũgi, ʙũʘta, matsẽ

Accusative

Use nominative pronouns.

Genitive

Singular (non-warrior, warrior, non-Croto)Plural (non-warrior, warrior, non-Croto)
1stlãs, ʙeq, ẽtutlaẽ, bequ, alẽt
2ndgõχus, ʙeɢa, ẽtlagẽχus, ʙeqa, aẽlet
3rdgõχa, ʙet, ẽtlmgẽχas, ʙetsa, ẽtlam

Genitive pronouns are frequently omitted because nouns have a possessive case.

Dative

To come.

Instrumental

To come.

Verbs

Verbs are marked for mood, aspect and tense but also evidentiality (with a suffix).

There are two classes of verbs. They are conjugated differently depending on their class. Classes are based on the verb root. Taking inspiration from Semitic verb roots, Croto verb roots are based on sets of consonant clusters.

Where C is a consonant cluster, Class I verbs are: C-C.

Where V is a vowel, Class II verbs are: CC, VC, or C.

Indicative

The indicative tense is used to describe something that is happening in reality. In Croto, the indicative is used to describe the present, past perfect, past imperfect (for habits) and future.

Regular verb conjugation rules for the indicative tense.
TenseClass I ConjugationClass II Conjugation
PresentC1ãC2aãVC1VC2, ãVC1a, ãC1a
Past perfectC1ẽC2aẽVC1aC2, ẽVC1a, ẽC1a
Past imperfectC1õC2iõVC1iC2, õVC1i, õC1i
FutureC1ulC2iulVC1iC2, ulVC1i, ulC1i

Subjunctive

The subjunctive is used to describe possibilities actions that have not yet occurred. In Croto, the present subjunctive is used in subordinate clauses that use the present future indicative , or jussive (as we might use the infinitive in English). The past subjunctive is used in subordinate clauses that use past or imperative tents.

Regular verb conjugation rules for the subjunctive tense.
TenseClass I ConjugationClass II Conjugation
PresentC1ofC2ofVC1oVC2, fVC1o, ofC1o
PastC1igC2agVC1VC2, gVC1a, igC1a

Optative

To come.

Jussive

To come.

Particles

Ultimate particle

The ultimate particle is a required part of a sentence. It is used to indicate three things:

  1. Speech acts.
  2. Evidentiality.
  3. Emphasis.

Derivational Morphology

To come.

Syntax

To come.

Semantic fields and pragmatics

To come.

Writing System

To come, maybe.

Lexicon

I have about 115 words in the Croto lexicon. I’ll be adding these in a separate page so as not to overload this one.

Examples

  1. I catch the fish.
    hãdaha lã oõʟmb eʔo.
    catch I fish.
  2. I talk a lot, so I’ve learned to just tune myself out.
    aãnaha ẽt ʙuẽst, ɢeũha ẽt haõfiõχo ẽt ɸi eʔu.
    talk I a lot, learned I ignore myself so.
  3. Holly, you and I are soup snakes.
    Halĩ, mbãha tuẽt paõmb tatsp eʔuũ
    Holly, are we soup snakes.

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