The object of this section is to give readers their only reference to date for Taneraic syntax. Ten chapters, designed to answer questions of grammar, cover all the parts of speech, and two appendices provide a key to special translation problems and the order of Taneraic affixation. (The schema employed for “Structure” has been inspired by The Structure of Bahasa Indonesia (1977), by J. P. Sarumpaet, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. In addition, the index following this Preface is designed to give readers fast access to grammatical information. This index, based upon Oxford University Press’ comprehensive index in H. Ferrar’s French Reference Grammar (1967) — for which idea I am also greatly indebted — is composed not only of grammatical terms, but also key Taneraic and English words and concepts.) While Esperanto has famously boasted of having just “Sixteen Rules of Grammar” (Dek Ses Reguloj, first published in the Unua Libro (1887), I prefer for Taneraic a more “expansive” approach to syntax, with an emphasis upon usage. Nevertheless, as was the case for the Dek Ses Reguloj, the ten chapters presented here should be accepted as the foundation upon which the language is based, with changes, if any, occurring in an evolutionary sense. (Taneraic, it should be noted, the name for the language since its inception in 1968, has undergone many changes in its private history, including grammatical and alphabetical — Taneraic swapped over from a quasi-Cyrillic alphabet to Roman in 1977 — so it is to be expected that further changes will come.)*
The following chapters are currently classified as a “work in progress”, and so it should be borne in mind that “Structure” is not yet considered a finished product. It is my aim, however, to add to the various Structure sections as regularly as possible, so that this part of the Taneraic website, along with all the other parts, will be completed by 2018, when the authoritative Taneraic–English dictionary, or Nainougacyou, is scheduled for publication in bound form. The grammar described in these pages is based upon the two and a half thousand pages of the extant diary I kept in Taneraic, between 1973 and 1978 (known as the Early Biarujia Diary, or EBD). As such, extensive use of paradigms has been used here in order to illustrate questions of grammar — in a descriptive way, not in the prescriptive way found among many constructed languages of today, which often possess a “formula” for language building before any “literature” of its own. Many examples are taken from the EBD itself, while some others owe their origin to translations from modern authors, and are acknowledged as such. (The same system of paradigms has been used in the Nainougacyou.) It should be noted that spelling and pronunciation are not given in this part; for readers may find discussion of them in “Abaq Tanerai” (“Principles of Taneraic”).
I hope readers will find “Structure” of interest, and that they agree it goes some way toward the process of “exteriorisation” I began some years ago, turning Taneraic from a private language, or langue close, to an open poetic experiment, as Charles Bernstein once described it. I owe a special debt to my dear friend Charles for this site. It was Charles’s idea to create a site for those interested in constructed languages in general, or my langue close, Taneraic, in particular. The design, set-up and maintenance for this site are his work entirely, for which I am most grateful, and which I trust readers will find a pleasure to use. Because this section is as yet untried, there will no doubt come to light certain problems and shortcomings, for which I beg readers’ indulgence. Naturally, any errors, shortcomings and failures are entirely my own, which I will endeavor to rectify in planned updates.
* “Proto-Taneraic” is the name given to the language found in the EBD, while “Taneraic” is reserved for the language as it is found today. Compare the two sentences below (top line, Proto-Taneraic), illustrating the differences between the two forms:
Ýanerenas haumther yo habuv yole zarenas yole sa tukserienne bøfzølav. (1973)
Yenda haunta habuva yole zaranda yole ayoi tusqerat boussouda. (2003)
I said during discussions that I thought his move was audacious.