Abaq tanerai / Principles of Taneraic







1968: Taneraic came into being;

1978: The development of Taneraic was halted; the language between 1968 and 1978 is referred to as Proto-Taneraic, or pustanerai;1988: The development of Taneraic resumed;

1998: Taneraic is introduced to the world via the Web, in the 30th year of its inception;

2011: Taneraic celebrates 43 years.


The alphabet (Roman) consists of 25 letters (23 single letters and two digraphs):

a b c cy d e g h i j l m n o p q r s sy t u v x y z

As Taneraic should be regarded as “phonetic” (in the non-scientific sense), each word is pronounced as it is written.Taneraic possesses a number of characteristic grammatical features, of which the following is a small sample: (a) inflexion (declension); (b) no plural form in substantives; (c) no gender; (d) no agreement; and (e) no conjugation. Taneraic also possesses a number of features which have arisen since 1978: (f) suppression of articles; (g) suppression of tenses; (h) new rules for verbs, including endings to distinguish transitive from intransitive verbs; (i) new rules for verbs in negative and imperative moods; (j) new rules for pronouns; (k) new rules for obsolete auxiliary verbs; and (l) backformation of certain so-called radicals to reveal an affix.

Like English, word order is usually expressed by subject first, predicate and object last. In the accusative, the indirect object usually precedes the subject. Adjectives usually appear before the noun, but must follow if the noun is inflected. Compound adjectives prefixed by dayole must follow the noun; compound adverbs prefixed by mayole must follow the verb. Demonstrative adjectives follow the same rule for adjectives.

General rules of grammar: (1) Every word is to be read as it is written, taking the rules for liaison into consideration. There are no silent letters. (2) The tonic accent is monotone. (3) Compound words are formed as in the principal radical or idea standing first, followed by the unattached qualifying or relative radical. Grammatical (case) terminations affect only the last part of the compound. Compounds are always only composed of two elements in apposition (not counting unbound prefixes). (4) Derivatives are formed with the use of affixes. (5) If there is one negative in the clause, a second is not admissible.

MORPHOLOGY  1 The Sounds of Taneraic

(a) Vowels

a like a in father: ansib, hasyan, ma

e open (in closed syllables), like e in pet: bes, cer, enda; orclosed (in open syllables), like é in the French pronunciation of café: esqon, jabe, jescyub

i as vowel, like i in machine: gi, bisya, ziyib; oras semivowel (always after a consonant and before a vowel), like y in yet: elexia, nienga, hiania; oras mute (the schwa is an optional vowel pronunciation in radicals of three or more syllables, which may be inflected, between consonants l or r), like a in sofa or e in modern: esqirar, asyila, sanegira

o like o in standard British pronunciation of hot: piyo, haroga, obequ

u as vowel, like oo in food: jescyub, busai, pu; oras semivowel (same rule as for i), like w in water: nisua, vuitein, pua; or as mute (same rule as for i, between consonants other than l or r), like a in sofa or e in modern: macyuqi, seduja, habuva

(b) Diphthongs

ai like French ai in travail: aiban, painos, tanerai

au like German au in frau: aut, qauran, vau

ei like French ei in seing: eijib, leinga, cei

eu like French eu in jeune: euden, aireub, reyeu

oi like oy in boy: esqoitir, haqoi, zoi

ou like ow in show: oubou, heibrouya, syou


Note: The following pairs are never seen together: aa, ae, ao, ea, ee, eo, oa, oe, oo and uu. Should such pairs meet in affixation, the first a is dropped or a semivocalic glide (y) is used.

(c) Consonants 

b like b in bat or dab: baya, asban, ansib

c like ts in fits: cecer, baca, tuca

cy like a “lean” tch in patch: cyaxa, moudicyan, syacya

d like d in dog: dib, idou, beidu

g like g in get (never like g in gem or sing): gehan, leinga, gigou

h like h in hat (aspirate even in final position): hami, yahiqou, cah

j like French j in jeune: jebida, mijes, pelija

l like l in long (but not like “dark” l in soul): la, pula, malila

m like m in moon: mou, mamega, hami

n initial or medial followed by a vowel, like n in night: nisua, baneb, tane; medial (followed by another consonant) or final, like nasalised Japanese n in hon or Spanish n in ven: ansib, banga, den

p like p in pat: peu, mepa, niape

q half-way between a glottal stop, like Cockney ck in knock-out, and Arabic q in Quran: qab, semoqa, vayiq

r like trilled Italian r in caro: respa, sara, mirta

s like s in sit (never like s in busy): srin, iboson, ibis

sy like a “lean” sh in shoot: syen, hasyan, rousyin

t like French t in ton or sept: ta, trepa, saut

v like v in vat: viqu, peva, yevin

x like Greek Chi, Arabic Khâ or Scottish ch in loch: xeb, cyaxa, soxa

y like y in yet (always used in an initial position before vowels, or between vowels; therefore, it cannot be confused with digraphs cy and sy): yabnu, buscyeye, heibrouya

z like z in zest: ziyib, jaza, ganza 

Note: The names of the letters of the alphabet are »a«, »be«, »ce«, »cye«, »de«, »e«, »ge«, »he«, [leisoubi] »i«, »je«, »le«, »me«, »ne«, »o«, »pe«, »qe«, »re«, »se«, »sye«, »te«, »u«, »ve«, »xe«, asleisoubi »yi«, »ze«.

«Nu ge anraxidi qasyan e „tanerai”?» (“How do you spell ”Taneraic’?”) «„Te”, „a”, „ne”, „e”, „re”, „a”, „i”.» /teyaneyereya[leisoubi]yi/

(d) Consonantal modifications

The following difficult consonant clusters, arising as a result of affixation, are simplified by phonetic change: 

b + g becomes gg: aibeb + ga > aibeggab + p bb: aireb + pesoge > airebbesoget

b + z becomes zz: sendeb + zon > sendezzon

q + g becomes qq: vicyeq + gun > vicyeqqun

s + c becomes cy: as + celin > acyelin

s + j becomes sy: as + jun > asyun

s + scy becomes scy: pus + scyoubri > puscyoubri

s + sq becomes sq: as + sqou > asqou

s + sy becomes scy: hus + sya > huscya

s + z becomes c: as + zepir > acepir

t + c becomes c: saut + ceicya > sauceicya

t + cy becomes cy: mait + cyou > maicyou

t + d becomes tt: uzeut + da > uzeutta

t + g becomes tq: uzeut + ga > uzeutqa

t + j becomes cy: saut + jebida > saucyebida

t + s becomes c: saut + sangaya > saucangaya

t + scy becomes scy: saut + scyoubri > sauscyoubri

t + sq becomes sq: saut + sqibaya > sausqibaya

t + sy becomes cy: inmout + sya > inmoucya

t + z becomes j: braut + zon > braujon 

The two suffixes beginning with y, –yar and –yaris may or may not undergo modification:(1) radical of one syllable ending in a vowel (with or without prefix) — no change

ma + yar > mayar, goma (= go– prefix + radical ma) + yar > gomayar 

(2) radical ending in vowels e, i, o or u — no change

zugie + yar > zugieyar, reso + yar > resoyar 

(3) radical ending in ia or ua — no change

resia + yar > resiayar, pua + yar > puayar 

(4) radical of more than one syllable ending in consonant + aa + y becomes i

abda + yar > abdiar, yusqa + yar > yusqiar 

(5) radical ending in i diphthong — i + y becomes li

rai + yar > raliar, qoi + yar > qoliar 

(6) radical ending in u diphthong — u + y becomes vi

mou + yar > moviar, nirou + yar > niroviar 


(7) radical ending in a consonant — y becomes i


syen + yar > syeniar, renbeq + yar > renbeqiar 


Note: It is very important to sound both consonants where they are doubled: annai = an/nai; yabbou = yab/bou; uzeutta = uzeut/ta; lessou = les/sou; mannali = man/nali; vicyeqqun = vicyeq/qun, etc.


(e) Vocalic modifications Difficult vocal or vocalo-consonant clusters arising as a result of inflexion (including the adjectival ending) or affixation are also modified: 


(1) radical ending in a consonant — no change

uzeut + a > uzeuta, deyeh + u > deyehu 


(2) radical of one syllable ending in a vowel (with or without a prefix) — a semivocalic glide (y) is placed between the radical and the inflexion


ma + a > maya, goma + u > gomayu 


(3) radical of more than one syllable ending in a vowel  (1) a + a > á


abda + a > abdá, zaba + a > zabá 


(2) e + a > ya


tane + a > taneya, zugie + a > zugieya 


(3) i + a > ia (if preceded by consonant); ya (if preceded by y); la (if diphthong)


remi + a > remia, salayi + a > salayiya, qoi + a > qola 


(4) o + a > ya


piyo + a > piyoya, niamo + a > niamoya 


(5) u + a > ua (if preceded by consonant); ya (if preceded by y); va (if diphthong)


beidu + a > beidua, rayu + a > rayuya, peu + a > peva 


(6) a + i > i


abda + i > abdi, zaba + i > zabi 


(7) e + i > ei


tane + i > tanei, zugie + i > zugiei 


(8) i + i > í


remi + i > remí, salayi + i > salayí 


(9) o + i > oi


piyo + i > piyoi, niamo + i > niamoi 


(10) u + i > ui (if preceded by consonant); yi (if preceded by y); vi (if diphthong)


beidu + i > beidui, rayu + i > rayuyi, peu + i > pevi 


(11) a + o > o


abda + o > abdo, zaba + o > zabo 


(12) e + o > yo


tane + o > taneyo, zugie + o > zugieyo 


(13) i + o > io (if preceded by consonant); yo (if preceded by y); lo (if diphthong)


remi + o > remio, salayi + o > salayiyo, rai + o > ralo 


(14) o + o > ó


piyo + o > piyó, niamo + o > niamó 


(15) u + o > uo (if preceded by consonant); yo (if preceded by y); vo (if diphthong)


beidu + o > beiduo, rayu + o > rayuyo, peu + o > pevo 


(16) a + u > u


abda + u > abdu, zaba + u > zabu 


(17) e + u > eu


tane + u > taneu, zugie + u > zugieu 


(18) i + u > iu (if preceded by consonant); yu (if preceded by y); lu (if diphthong)


remi + u > remiu, salayi + u > salayiyu, rai + o > ralu 


(19) o + u > ou


piyo + u > piyou, niamo + u > niamou 


(20) u + u > ú


beidu + u > beidú, rayu + u > rayú 


Note: It can be seen from the table above that inflexion of polysyllabic radicals may be summarised thus: 

(a) a is a weak vowel, replaced in every case by á, i, o or u 

(b) when the inflexion is the same as the ending, an accented form of the vowel is used: á, í, ó and ú 

(c) a diphthongal inflexion is used where possible: ei, eu, oi and ou 

(d) a semivocalic glide is used where diphthongs are not permissible: eya, oya and eyo 

(e) i and u become semivocalic: ia, io, iu, ua, ui and uo 

(f) diphthongs ending in i and u change to l and v respectively


(f) Semivocalic glide  The semivocalic glide (y) is used to link unassimilable

(a) inflexions to monosyllabic radicals: e.g., ma + i > mayi

(b) bound pronouns to monosyllabic radical verbs beginning with the same vowel: e.g., va + aidi > vayaidi

(c) bound pronoun yo to verbs beginning with e or o: e.g., yo + esocyada > yoyesocyada

(d) desinences to nouns ending in e or o: e.g., piyo + esti > piyoyesti

The semivocalic glide is also used to avoid confusion where two affixes may overlap: e.g., va + as + sqoudi > vayasqoudi (cp., va + sqoudi > vasqoudi) — the semivocalic glide thus retains the integrity of the as– prefix.

2 Assimilation

Prefixes ending in –a and suffixes beginning in a– are assimilated when the radical is more than one syllable in length (as we have seen, radicals of a single syllable resist assimilation, with the interposition of a y glide; the suffix –at is an exception to this rule, as can be seen in ma + at > mat). Assimilation also occurs when an affix shares the same joining letter as the radical: aga + aiban > agaibanat; hebula + asta > hebulasta*; ema + idolia > emidoliat; garu + uvas > garuvas; qiri + is > qiris.

* The desinence –asta is only assimilated with radicals ending with –a; otherwise, it takes a y glide: ete + asta > eteyasta. 

3 Palatalisation


Prefixes ending in a or the same letter as the initial letter of the radical, and suffixes beginning in a or the same letter as the final letter of the radical of only one syllable resist assimilation, and so palatalisation occurs (a y glide is inserted if necessary): tra + yen > trayen (not *trien); aga + ab > agayabat (not *agabat); li + i > liyi (not or lii). 

4 Mutation

Prefixes ending in a diphthongal i or u and radicals ending in a diphthongal i or u change to the consonantal values l and v: ai + aiban > alaibanat; au + ibi > avibit; nai + yeva > nalievat. However, monosyllabic radicals and their derivatives beginning with y resist further palatalisation and mutation: nai + yen > naiyenat (not *nalienat); pou + yeb > pouyebat (not *poviebat); nai + yeu > naiyevat (not *nalievat). 

5 Liaison

The consonantal modifications mentioned above are an assimilation of sounds. The question of liaison arises when these sounds are encountered in vocabular apposition: e.g., yomas celindi ayoi qayenqa. In affixation, s + c is not a permissible combination; it becomes cy. As mas is an unbound causative prefix, is it to be expected that in spoken Taneraic, at least, that yomas celindi should be pronounced yomacyelindi? Wherever unassimilable consonantal clusters occur in syntactic units, liaison may occur as a matter of choice in speech, but must not be written as such in standard language. Liaison does not occur in purely vocabular apposition (e.g., piyot syarasa is pronounced piyot/syarasa, not *piyocyarasa; oma urqevo is pronounced oma/urqevo, not *omurqevo; etc.). Further examples:  compound: qab piotuqin [qab/piotuqin or qab/biotuqin]; causative: mas jalindi [mas/jalindi or ma/syalindi]; & habituative: vas ziquda [vas/ziquda or va/ciquda].

6 Stress Patterns

In English, tonic stress is often used to distinguish meaning, particularly nouns from verbs, as in pérmit (n) and permít (v). In Taneraic, morphemes convey grammatical meaning, whilst suprasegmental phonemes convey inflexion. There is virtually no tonic stress in Taneraic words — all syllables are pronounced with approximately equal force and are given equal length. However, a mute i or u (a remnant of Proto-Taneraic pronunciation, treated now as an option) is pronounced with half the length of a single vowel; diphthongs are pronounced with double the length of a single vowel; and accented vowels are pronounced with the greatest stress. Final a should be given even stress, but may be pronounced with half the length of a single vowel.  There is, as well, a certain amount of stress used for the sake of emphasis, and sentence intonation exists just as it does in English (ni sentences are usually spoken with a rising pitch, for instance). 

7 Syllabification

A conversant knowledge of syllabification is necessary for correct liaison and pronunciation: e.g., an e followed by a final consonant or certain consonant clusters is open; a closed e is always at the end of a syllable. It should be noted that sounds involved in palatalisation and vowel-glides (diphthongs) are treated as separate syllables in poetry alone. 


Below is a short text in Taneraic, showing, at a glance, how words are divided into syllables, followed by a detailed breakdown of what constitutes a syllable in a Taneraic radical:

/ Va/he/mo/qa/da / e / sa/bri / zi/yib / yo/le / o/ma/sye/zat/ta / dar/pe/vi / pe/sqo/via/ri / a/vi / au / se/du/scya/qo. /

(I dreamed of a large snake that slid over my body recumbent on the beach.)

(1) a syllable may begin with any vowel, consonant or y (but not semivocalic u): as /yib/, above

(2) consonants b, h, n, q, r, s and t close syllables: yib, dar, zat

(3) if the consonant is b or t, it may be followed by an r and then a vowel: bri

(4) if the consonant is s, it may be followed by cy, l, m, n, p, q, r, t, v or x and then a vowel: scya, sqo

NB: A consonant or prescribed consonant cluster may be followed by a semivowel u or a palatalised i (while ii may be found in derivatives, the forms ii and uu are not found in any radicals): vid. munuen, inf.


Other examples of syllable patterns in radicals: bou/ainab/dehau/yarscyou/bribou/yeu/qo/vabu/scye/yee/sla/cyeqhau/yahei/brou —  jaun/nules/soumu/nuentou/sueusaut/nuau/an/nu.Another way to look at Taneraic morphology is to think of it as a complex syllabary. The above describes a “syllabary” only marginally more complex than the Japanese. For this reason, foreign words cannot be naturalised into Taneraic without a great loss of recognition. (This is also true of Japanese — who would guess that kurafuto is English kraft?; in Taneraic, a naturalised form of kraft would be *qirasta.) Foreign words, therefore, are not assimilated at all, but are italicised and linked with an e ligative (or living affixes): e.g., qaize e Francia, French (language); omavejerati Poa, transpadane. 

8 Capitalisation

Initial capitals are used in Taneraic to begin a sentence. The lower case is used in all other cases — the days of the week, months, nationalities, names of languages, etc., are not capitalised in Taneraic, unless an unassimilable borrowed word has been used. Capitals are customarily used for the first word of a title. 

9 Italics

Italics must be used for all unassimilable borrowed words, which are treated in every case as proper nouns. Titles of books, films and works of art are usually written in plain, if in Taneraic, and enclosed in guillemets (»Qahan asyuca sabana« but »Infected Queer«). Titles of short stories, essays, poems and songs are similarly written with quotation marks („An Environment of Language“). 


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