Thoya conlang: demonstrative- and quantifier-type compounds
Demonstratives are words like 'this' and 'that'. English has only two, where 'this' denotes something near or associated with the speaker and 'that' denotes something not so. Most other languages that I've seen (Spanish, Latin, Japanese) separate 'that' into one that denotes something near or associated with the listener, and one that denotes something distant from both of you. So basically a 1st, 2nd and 3rd person.
Thoya has four person-distinctions for this. A 1st person, a 2nd person, a 3rd person, and a "1st and 2nd" person, which denotes something near or associated with both the speaker and the listener.
There's also a time axis. In English, 'this' also implies "the present or the near future", and becomes 'that' if referring to something in the past. For example:
- "I didn't mean to say that." 'That' is referring to something associated with the 1st grammatical person, but because it's in the past, it gets 'that' instead of 'this'.
- "Don't take this personally, but..." Referring to something about to be said, it gets 'this'.
Note also the existence of *place* versions of the demonstratives: *here* and *there*. There are also time versions: *now* and *then*.
Thoya uses a prefix-suffix structure for these words: there are prefixes for each of the demonstrative persons, and suffixes for thing, person, place, time, and case. There are also quantifier prefixes, which allow building words like "everywhere", "nowhere", "often" and "sometimes".
- qe - 1st person present
- qo - 2nd person present
- qi - 1st & 2nd person present
- qa - 3rd person present
- ti - all
- xi - most
- ta - many
- na - some
- xu - few
- nu - none
For demonstrative persons, replace q with f to form the past version.
- n - thing
- r - person
- j - place
- s - time
- c - case (used instead of non-literal uses of place and time)
- qen - this (1st person)
- fen - that (1st person past)
- qon - that (2nd person)
- fon - that (2nd person past)
- qin - this (1st and 2nd person)
- fin - that (1st and 2nd person past)
- qan - that (3rd person)
- fan - that (3rd person past)
- tin - all
- xin - most
- tan - many
- nan - some
- xun - few
- nun - no
- qer - this person (1st person)
- fer - that person (1st person past)
- qor - that person (2nd person)
- for - that person (2nd person past)
- qir - this person (1st and 2nd person)
- fir - that person (1st and 2nd person past)
- qar - that person (3rd person)
- far - that person (3rd person past)
- tir - everyone
- xir - most people
- tar - many people
- nar - some people
- xur - few people
- nur - no one
- qej - here (1st person)
- fej - there (1st person past)
- qoj - there (2nd person)
- foj - there (2nd person past)
- qij - here (1st and 2nd person)
- fij - there (1st and 2nd person past)
- qaj - there (3rd person)
- faj - there (3rd person past)
- tij - everywhere
- xij - most places
- taj - many places
- naj - some places
- xuj - few places
- nuj - nowhere
- qes - this time (1st person)
- fes - that time (1st person past)
- qos - that time (2nd person)
- fos - that time (2nd person past)
- qis - this time (1st and 2nd person)
- fis - that time (1st and 2nd person past)
- qas - that time (3rd person)
- fas - that time (3rd person past)
- tis - always
- xis - usually
- tas - often
- nas - sometimes
- xus - rarely
- nus - never
- qec - this case (1st person)
- fec - that case (1st person past)
- qoc - that case (2nd person)
- foc - that case (2nd person past)
- qic - this case (1st and 2nd person)
- fic - that case (1st and 2nd person past)
- qac - that case (3rd person)
- fac - that case (3rd person past)
- tic - always
- xic - usually
- tac - often
- nac - sometimes
- xuc - rarely
- nuc - never
Here are some use examples for the demonstrative persons:
- You and a friend finish a game and you want to say, "That was fun". Use fin because it's something associated with both the 1st and 2nd person, but in the past.
- Your friend is reading a book and you want to ask, "what's that book?". Use qon.
- You see a building across the street from you and your friend and want to ask, "what's that building?". Use qan.
- You find out everyone else in the room believes something stupid and want to say, "This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard". Use qon, even though for some reason it uses 'this' in English, because it's associated with the people you're talking to.
- You're mad about something that's happening to you and want to say, "This is bullshit". Use qen. If it's happening to both you and the person you're ranting to, use qin. If you're ranting to the person doing the bullshit, use qon.
- You and a friend are trying to solve a problem and you want to say, "This isn't working". Use qin.
- Someone misquotes you and you want to say, "That's not what I said". Use fon because 'that' is referring to what the person you're addressing just said. Or, if you feel you're actually addressing the person the misquoter was speaking to (you'd proceed to use 3rd-person pronouns to refer to the misquoter), then fan is correct.
- Someone explains that they don't trust your friend because of something they did before and you want to say "That was a long time ago. They've changed". Use fon.
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