Tatari Faran Grammar

Sentences (1)

Types of Utterances

Tatari Faran utterances may be classified into several categories, each of which is composed of different elements.

The order in which these elements occur in an utterance depends on the mood of the utterance.


A Tatari Faran utterance has one of several possible moods, which indicates its intention. The ordering of elements in a clause depends on its mood.

In the following sections, we shall describe the different types of statements possible in Tatari Faran and how they appear in various moods.

Statements of Equivalence

The simplest sentences in Tatari Faran are statements of equivalence. A statement of equivalence states that two noun referents are equal. These statements consist of two noun phrases (NP's): a subject, and a predicate.

Indicative mood

In the indicative mood, the subject NP appears first, and is marked with the conveyant case; while the predicate is an absolutive NP. For example:

san sa bata' misanaran.
The man is the chief of the village.

The subject here is san sa, which is san, “person”, followed by the masculine conveyant marker sa. The predicate here is bata' misanaran, which is bata', “chief”, followed by the genitive misanaran, “of the village”. There is no case marker because this NP is in the absolutive case.

Sometimes, the finalizer ai (meaning “yes” or “indeed”) is added to the end of the sentence. Finalizers are clause-final words in Tatari Faran used for emphasizing the indicative mood and giving a sense of finality to an indicative statement. The finalizer ai is used for emphasis in a statement of equivalence. For example:

san sa bata' misanaran ai.
The man is indeed the chief of the village.

This use of ai is also common in formal speech.

Interrogative mood

In the interrogative mood, the ordering of the subject and predicate may sometimes be switched, depending on emphasis. Interrogative particles will be present to indicate that it is a question. For example:

bata' ta san sa?
Is the man the chief?

san sa bata' ta?
Is the man a chief?

The difference in nuance between these two will be discussed later when we consider questions in more detail.

Subjunctive mood

In the subjunctive mood, the predicate appears first, followed by a subjunctive marker, and then the subject.

bata' era san sa ...
If the man were a chief ...

Adjectival statements

The next simplest Tatari Faran sentence is the adjectival statement. An adjectival statement describes the quality or qualities of a particular noun referent. These statements consist of a subject NP in the conveyant case, followed by one or more adjectival predicates.

An adjectival predicate consists of an adjective followed by a matching finalizer. Every verb and every adjective in Tatari Faran has a corresponding finalizer, which appears at the end of the clause or sentence in the indicative mood and is usually synonymous with the verb or adjective.

Indicative mood

Here is an example of an adjectival statement in the indicative mood:

bata' sa busan miin.
The chief is fat.

The subject NP bata' sa consists of bata', “chief”, and the masculine conveyant marker sa. The adjectival predicate busan miin consists of busan, “fat”, and the finalizer miin, which roughly means “satiated” or “filled”. The finalizer strengthens the adjective busan and gives finality to the statement. Note that the English translation usually omits the finalizer, because it has no equivalent in English and is usually synonymous with what has already been stated.

Another example:

firasa sei iranas muin.
The flower is fragrant.

Here, the subject is firasa sei, which consists of firasa, “flower”, and the feminine conveyant marker sei. The predicate is iranas muin, consisting of iranas, “fragrant”, and the finalizer muin, which roughly means “refreshing”. Again, the finalizer is left untranslated.

Interrogative mood

In the interrogative mood, the ordering of the subject and the adjectival predicate(s) may be reversed. For example:

firasa sei iranas ta?
The flower: is it fragrant?

iranas ta firasa sei?
Is the flower really fragrant?

The difference between these two are only in nuance. Note that the finalizer is omitted from the adjectival predicate in the interrogative mood, being replaced by the interrogative particle ta.

Subjunctive mood

In the subjunctive mood, the subject appears last. For example:

iranas era firasa sei ...
If the flower were fragrant ...

As with the interrogative mood, the finalizer in the adjectival predicate is omitted, and replaced with the subjunctive marker era.

Statements of Being

Tatari Faran has no copula: it has no equivalent of the English verb to be. Statements of being are expressed using the verbs tsuni ... ira, “to find”, and kibas ... ham, “to breathe” or “to live”. The former is used for inanimate objects, whereas the latter is used for living things.

Indicative mood

In the indicative mood, the subject appears first, followed by the verb. For example:

buara sa tsuni ira.
Volcanoes exist.
Lit., volcanoes are found.

san muras so kibas ham.
Lava artists exist.
Lit., lava artists live.

The verb tsuni ... ira is also used to make statements of location, as shown in the following example:

san tan'as so tsuni misanan ipai ira.
There are 100 people in the village.
Lit., 100 people are found in the village.

The phrase misanan ipai is a postpositional phrase meaning “in the village”. Postpositional phrases are described in the Postpositions section.

Interrogative mood

In the interrogative mood, the verb always appear last in the clause, and the finalizer is omitted. Interrogative particles are present to indicate that it is a question. For example:

san muras so kibas ta?
Do lava artists exist?

Subjunctive mood

In the subjunctive mood, the verb always appear first in the clause, followed by the subject. The finalizer is omitted. For example:

kibas era san muras ...
If lava artists exist, ...

These constructions are similar to adjectival statements, except that full-fledged verbs are used instead. The subject NP for these particular statements happen to be in the conveyant case; but with verbs, other core cases may also be used in the subject NP. We shall see this in the next section.

Verbal Sentences

A verbal sentence describes an action with one or more participants. It consists of a subject, which is one of the participants, a verb describing the action, and any other participants, called the arguments of the verb. The roles of the participants are indicated using different noun cases.

Word Order

The order in which the various parts of a sentence appear depends on the mood of the sentence:

Indicative: subject - verb - arguments - finalizer
Interrogative: subject - arguments - verb - (interrogative marker)
Subjunctive: verb - subjunctive marker - subject - arguments
Imperative: verb - subject - arguments - (finalizer)

Noun Cases

Unlike typical European languages such as English, Tatari Faran does not require the subject NP to be in a particular noun case. Any NP can be made the subject NP simply by placing it in the appropriate position according to the word order of the chosen mood of the sentence. A postpositional phrase may also be made subject in this way. The argument NP's likewise can also be in any case.

The next section shall explain how the case system works, and how the cases function in a sentence.

Last updated 23 May 2013.

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