Neradsof Syntax 3 — Interrogatives

Previously, in Neradsof Syntax:

Basic sentence structure varies based on verb type as follows:

  1. SUB - VI

  2. SUB - VT - DO

  3. SC - SUB - VL

  4. SUB - Vc - OC - DO

  5. SUB - IO - Vg - DO

If a construct is moved out of its position, it must be marked.
You may also want to note the addendum on functional roles and verb types, and relative markers.


TL;DR: You can almost never go wrong asking a question in Neradsof by simply adding the relevant question markers to the end of a statement.

Disclaimer on use of ‘technical’ terms

Neradsof Syntax Part 3:
Yes/No- and Choice- Questions

Interrogative Basics

Interrogatives are the sentences that ask questions. Broadly speaking, there are 3 categories of genuine questions one could ask:

  1. yes/no- questions;

  2. questions that give you a choice; and

  3. who, what, where, when, why, how (Wh-) questions.

Generally in English, we tend to add auxiliary verbs (or the set of wh- adverbs) to statement sentences to help us build questions:

Statement: You like cookies.
Question: Do you like cookies?

Statement: You would like a chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie.
Question: Would you like a chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie?

Statement: You like cookies with milk.
Question: Why do you like cookies with milk?

… I think I want a cookie

This is not too dissimilar to how interrogatives are built in Neradsof, except that instead of auxiliary verbs at the beginning of the sentence, a question construct is placed at the end:

English Statement: The corelt seniors bullied Diann.
English Question: Did the corelt seniors bully Diann?

Neradsof Statement Skeleton: the-corelt-senior-PL bully-PST Diann.
Neradsof Question Skeleton: the-corelt-senior-PL bully-PST Diann QverbQYN?

Here we are specifically asking if bullying happened — it’s an important distinction.

In this example, ‘QverbQYN’ (translates to “kis-tas”) is the question construct.

Question Markers in the Question Construct

A question construct is 2 parts: the morpheme in question, and the question marker itself.

The morpheme brought to question may already be a part of the corresponding statement, therefore would only require the question marker to be attached as a suffix to complete the question construct. Otherwise, a question specific relative marker prefix will need to be used. I shall elaborate on this as we dissect how each category of questions is constructed.

Exhaustive List of Neradsof Question Markers

Exhaustive List of Neradsof Question Markers

As for question marker suffixes, there are only 8, listed in the table here.

Since question constructs are a kind of marker, they are allowed to stand alone. The morphemes in the question construct will tell us 2 things:

  1. What in the statement is being questioned

  2. What kind of response is expected:

    • yes or no;

    • to choose one of the choices; or

    • a who, what, where, when, why, or how

Note that the question construct always occurs at the end of the structure, and is sufficient to fill a functional role (this is a detail more relevant for Wh- questions, where some functional roles may be left empty by nature of the question).


Yes/No-Questions

Yes/No questions are relatively simple to construct. As the name suggests, yes/no questions ask for a yes or no response. It is constructed by simply adding the question construct QYN (Neradsof translation: “tas”) to the end of a statement. As in:

English Translation: Did Jacob love Katy?
Neradsof Skeleton: Jacob love-PST Katy QverbQYN?

Here is the only bit of complexity with yes/no questions. If you were to ask someone, ‘Did Jacob love Katy?’, there are 3 assumptions you could make as to what is being asked. First, you could be asking if Jacob in fact loved Katy, or if he was just mildly attracted to her. Second, you could be asking if it was Jacob who loved Katy, rather than, say, Kenneth. Third, you could be asking if it was Katy that Jacob loved, or… oh let’s face it, Jacob couldn’t possible love anyone other than Katy Ross.

In English, we would use emphasis to indicate which of the 3 we meant, ‘Did Jacob love Katy’, or ‘Did Jacob love Katy’, and so on. The Neradsof are not much for using tonal emphasis for anything — a byproduct of the cursed existence of the Magick-born. Instead, they use an additional morpheme to target the part of the sentence that they are asking about. This is the prefix portion of the question construct, the ‘Qverb’ in the example above. Using the Qverb prefix would indicate to the listener that the asker is asking about the verb, calling to question the act of Jacob loving Katy.

So follows that if we were to ask if it were Jacob rather than anyone else, the question construct would then be modified:

Neradsof Skeleton: Jacob love-PST Katy QSubQYN?

‘QSub’ (Neradsof translation: “keis”) indicates that the functional subject of the sentence is the subject of the question.

Now what if we were to ask about who is was Jacob loved, the object of Jacob’s love:

Neradsof Skeleton: Jacob love-PST Katy-QYN?

Notice this time, the question marker QYN is preceded not by a relative marker, but by ‘Katy’. Since the direct object of the sentence already occurs at the end of the sentence, the QDo (which would target the direct object) prefix is not needed, and the question marker is attached directly to the targeted morpheme. This rule follows when targeting any construct at that naturally occurs at the end of a sentence.

The question specific relative marker prefixes used are listed in the relative markers appendix.


A working understanding of passivisations and relative marking is critical to constructing choice-questions, as constructing choice-questions may require you to move constructs out of their functional role positions.

Choice-Questions

Choice questions are arguably the simplest sorts of interrogatives to construct as the question marker for choice questions, QCh (Neradsof translation: es) does not require much additional prefix marking. This is because with choice questions, the list of choices given must occur at the end of the sentence, with the choice question marker attached to the last item in the list. Even if the choices fill a functional role that does not naturally occur at the end of the structure, such as a verb, or a subject, or an indirect object, or a subject compliment, it must be moved to the end if it is to be made into a question (relative marking rules apply).

English Translation: Did the Curzons have one or two daughters?
Neradsof Skeleton: the-Curzon-PL bore-PST one-daughter or two-daughter-PL-QCh?

In this example, the list of choices were direct objects, which naturally occurs at the end of the structure in transitive verb structures. Therefore, no additional movement or marking was necessary. Now this does not mean there is no functional marking with all choice-questions. Should the list of choices be of subjects in a sentence, for instance:

English Statement: Fanny/Diann was the youngest.
English Translation:
Was Fanny or Diann the youngest?

Neradsof Statement: the-youngest Fanny/Diann be(PST).
Neradsof Skeleton: the-youngest-SC be(PST) Fanny-SUB or Diann-QCh?

To understand how this structure is built, we will need to follow the internal logic behind the construction of choice-questions:

  1. The targeted morphemes are moved to the end of the structure

    • in this example, the subject ‘Fanny/Diann’ is moved to the end of the structure

  2. Functional roles are marked

    • in this example, the subject compliment ‘the youngest’ needs to be marked as the subject compliment since it now appears to be in the subject position

    • the true subject of the sentence ‘Fanny/Diann’ also needs to be marked, and would therefore become ‘Fanny-SUB or Diann-SUB’

  3. Question marker is added to the last item in the list

    • in this example QCh replaces the SUB marker attached to Diann to become ‘Diann-QCh’.


And that’s all there is to it. If you thought that was long, wait till we do Wh- questions next…