Mundari language, also called Mundic, was the language spoken by the ancient Mundari up until the early First Era. It is traditionally believed to have been distantly related to the original language of the elves (pre-Aldmeri), but ancestral to Giantish. The archaeologist and historian Melik of Sentinel claims that if Mundari is related to the language of the prehistoric elves, it must be an independent branch of Merish with no close ties to any elven language, living or dead.
The phonetic notation of speech sounds (bracketed letters) in this article follows the real-world IPA format. The bolded letters that are not bracketed represent how Mundari words are transcribed using a modified Latin orthography.
Mundari has five vowel qualities and ten length contrasts.
|Close||i [i]||u [u ~ ʊ]||ī [iː]||ū [uː]|
|Mid||e [ɛ]||o [o ~ ɔ]||ē [ɛː ~ e]||ō [oː]|
|Open||a [a ~ ə]||ā [aː]|
Mundari has 30 consonant phonemes.
| Palatal or|
|Nasal||m [m]||n [n]|
|Plosive||Voiceless||p [p]||t [t]||c [c]||k [k]||q [q]||’ [ʔ]|
|Voiced||b [b]||d [d]||j [ɟ]||g [ɡ]|
|Affricate||Voiceless||ś [ts̺]||ç [tʃ]|
|Fricative||Voiceless||f [f]||ṯ [θ]||s [s̺]||š [ʃ]||ḥ [x ~ ħ]||h [h]|
|Voiced||v [v]||ḏ [ð]||z [z]||y [ʝ]||ḥ [ɣ]|
|Rhotic||Trill||r-, -rr-, -r [r]|
Notes on allophones Edit
- [f] is in some cases an allophone of [v]; [v] can also be an allophone of [b]. The phoneme for f is usually a voiceless labialized velar approximant [ʍ] at the beginning of words and after the velar plosive consonants [k] and [g].
- [g] and [k] are allophones in most cases; [g] is also an allophone of [ʝ]. These may amalgmate into one phoneme, [c].
- [ʝ] may occasionally shift to [ʃ].
- [x] may also shift to a voiced velar fricative, [ɣ].
- [l] is an allophone of [r], [t], [d], and [n].
Mundari was an ergative–absolutive language with a polysynthetic morphological typology and an SOV syntax. Case markers in Mundari language usually come at the end of a subject and an object, as do singular and plural articles. Though there is a lack of gender distinction in personal and interrogative pronouns, distinction of animacy and inanimacy is made between pronouns and nouns respectively.
Note: Pronouns are often dropped when context makes them unnecessary.
Consider this phrase:
- (S)he-ERG Ivarstead-ALL go-PAST
- "(S)he went to Ivarstead."
The preffix Hur- is the personal pronoun describing the transitive subject of the phrase, so the ergative suffix -ik is added. Avārsutīg is the Mundari name for Ivarstead, and the suffix -ya is added for the allative (locative) case. Finally, guo- literally means "to go" and the suffix -d is added to demonstrate the past tense. Therefore, guod would be the equivalent of the English "went".
Basic word-list Edit
Below is a list of about 210+ basic words in both English and Mundari. This list may grow to become more exhaustive of other common words, but will be for now limited to 210 core vocabulary.
|branch (of a tree; arm)||’atar|
|correct; true||yōḏig; ’iḥva|
|person; human being|
|to cut; hack|
|to die; be dead|
|to know, be knowledgeable|
|to lie down|
|to live, be alive|
|to open, uncover|
|to pound, beat|
|to sniff, smell|
|to stab, pierce|
|to tie up, fasten|
- The Mundari lexicon and phonology are based primarily on the lexicons and phonologies of the real-world Basque languages of northern Spain and southern France.
- Mundari grammar is based on that of real-world Australian Aboriginal languages, as well as Basque. Basque tends to be of SOV syntax, as do most Australian languages. Mundari carries a strictly established SOV syntax, and like Basque and Australian languages, tends to be polysynthetic.
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