A. Walker Scott

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Gravgaln

     Gravgaln is the language of government, education and wider communication for the Gravgurdan Stronghold. It is one of the major native languages on their home planet, Gramurgh. Gravgurdan doesn't have a strong preference for word order, but there is a slight tendency to the fronting of the verb. Gravgurdan nominal morphology marks for an extensive set of cases, so the ordering of subject, object or other nouns is mostly free. Gravgurdan verbal morphology is extremely complex, on a level with the sorts of things encountered in some Earth languages of the Oceanic family. 


     Nominal Morphology

     Nouns in Gravgaln mark for a large number of cases, several of which would be more accurately labeled as theta roles in Human grammars. Several others would be labeled as peripheral cases, and are rather rare in Human languages, though few are without precedence. This means that the ordering of subjects, objects and other constituents is much freer than in a language like English. Plural marking follows the case marking.


     Verbal Morphology

     Gravgaln verbs are very complex, with heavy use of both prefixation and suffixation. some of these affixes carry familiar verbal information such as tense, aspect and mood or subject agreement. These are familiar from any number of Earth languages. But less familiar affixes carry the kinds of information communicated by the various classes of adverbs in most Human languages. A verbal root is often host to as many as a half dozen affixes, making for some very long verb-words. It can be quite intimidating until one becomes accustomed to Gravgurdan communication patterns.


     Sample Text

     Bboeneugh. Êrthsklev nivkh bbohhostoch' dlólzblûng vrra lî yéshblîngîn huegh. 


     This is the first line of the tower of Babel text from the Human Bible. In this text you can see how a borrowed term, Earth, is incorporated seamlessly into Gravgaln grammar, taking nominal morphology just as any native word would. The suffix -sklev/-skleuv is attached in the correct form to maintain vowel harmony with the root. This suffix identifies Êrth as the patient, or non-active receiver of the action, of the verb. 

     The next noun in this example is  dlólz, meaning language. It bears one of the stranger noun case markers of Gravgaln,  -blîng/-blûng, which marks the ornative case, indication that the language somehow decorates or adorns the Earth.