Neradsof Morphology (& Regarding Empties)


Neradsof morphology is a tricky subject to breech, particularly because the definition of a ‘word’ is fairly fuzzy within the language. Linguistically speaking, morphology is the study of the form of words. The first question must be, therefore, what’s a word? If we say a word is some collection of ordered sounds that mean something, than is the ‘ed’ at the end of the wore ‘bored’ a word? As language users we are unlikely to think so, but from a linguistic point of view, it does carry grammatical meaning, and is so qualifies as a morphome. This isn’t particularly important, or all that interesting to you I imagine, but it is the baseline against which the understanding of the Neradsof ‘word’ is built.

A Neradsof word is an order collection of sounds that means something, be it lexical meaning like ‘bore’ or grammatical meaning like the past tense suffix ‘ed’. They don’t call it a word of course, they call it a ‘kahla’, which is some unit that carries meaning. These kahlaeh are strung together to form a ‘kahlajor’, what we will translate as a construct. That is to say, for instance, if I were to say ‘two teachers’, in English that would be two words, but translated to Neradsof, we would get:

te-tcunif- eh .

te-tcunif-eh.

which, strictly speaking, is 3 words, ‘te’, ‘tcunif’, and ‘eh’. However, they are together 1 construct.

Now you might be thinking this is all rather odd. ‘Two' and ‘teacher’ being 2 words makes sense, but the plural suffix as well? And why should two words with independent meanings be tied together into a construct?

The Rule of Constructs

This all comes from a rather curious quirk of the Neradsof language, the rule that dictates that only four types of words may stand alone: Nouns, Verbs, Conjunctions, and Markers (specifically relative and question markers, but let’s not get into that). Every other category of word must be attached, most commonly to a noun or a verb, otherwise the sentence generated would be considered ungrammatical. This is called the Rule of Constructs, and it is such a important rule that it is the cornerstone upon much of Neradsof grammar is built. An example then:

English: Diann is intelligent.
Neradsof Skeleton: intelligent-Diann is.

The adjective ‘intelligent’ is attached to the noun, in this case Diann, and shown to be joined by a hyphen in the Neradsof Skeleton, but in written Neradsof this would be a morpheme boundary mark, which is basically an apostrophe. Being an adjective, ‘intelligent’ as a word cannot appear on its own, it must be attached to something.

At the core of the Neradsof understanding of a ‘word’ in a sentence, therefore, boils down to:

  1. Is it a function word?

  2. If not, does it belong to a noun or a verb construct?

If it is function word, and either a conjunction or a marker, it is left alone, since it can be alone. However, if it is not either, it must either be the noun or the verb, or be attached to the noun or verb construct. The adjective ‘intelligent’, being an adjective and used to describe Diann, is therefore attached to the noun ‘Diann’ in its adjective unit.

Noun and verb constructs are highly structured, in fact they almost always follow a definite pattern:

NOUN CONSTRUCTS: preposition unit–adjective unit–determiner unit–adjective unit–noun unit–affix unit–function unit

VERB CONSTRUCT: adverb unit–preposition unit–verb unit–affix unit–function unit

You’ll notice that these are units, not words. That is because each unit may contain several words. For instance, ‘her silver, glowing eyes’ would be ‘her-silver-glowing-eyes’. It looks exactly the same to you perhaps, but we must remember that each of those hyphens are only morpheme boundary marks, not spaces. The entire construct, in this case a noun construct, is 1 construct, with ‘silver-glowing’ being one of the adjective units.

There’re little complexities to the way in which units are constructed as well of course, but that seems rather too complex for this post, and it’s already fairly long, since we have one more thing to cover —

neulj-eh (Empties)

Neradsof Empties (empN above, empV below)

Neradsof Empties (empN above, empV below)

There are times in which adjectives and adverbs need to stand alone, for either literary or flow of speech purposes, or in conjoining descriptors, or on the rare occasion that the adjective just doesn’t need a noun. The Neradsof have a unique pair of words that have no English counterpart, existing solely to satisfy the rule of constructs. These are neulj-eh, or ‘Empties’, because they do not carry meaning, they stand in for the non-existent noun or verb. As you might expect, there are 2 empties, one that functions as a noun, and one as a verb, and they are as follows:

The important thing to remember about neulj-eh is that they are words, they are not suffixes, and therefore, will function with the full capacity of a word even though their function is solely grammatical.

And that, folks, is your crash course in Neradsof morphology :)