Zurvár Language and Culture - Grammar Part 4


Zurvár has a comparatively large collection of pronouns. These can be summed up as follows.

Class First Second Third
Casual Ládò
Male Plà Plá Láplá
Female Láçá
Mixed Látá
Indeterminate Hom Hom Láhom
Inanimate - Gom Lágom

Explanations of each class follow...

Casual Class

Casual pronouns were originally used only between close friends and social equals. Increasingly they're being used in all situations, particularly by the young. Casual pronouns ignore all issues of gender, they can be used or applied to anyone, although in some formal settings use of casual class would be considered inappropriate, and would mark the speaker out as uncultured, impolite, or stupid. is the personal pronoun, the equivilant of "I" or "me". is the equivilant of "you". Ládò is third person, the equivilant of "him" or "her".

It should be noted that while the second person casual pronoun is pronounced , in constructions where a suffix is added it is often shortened to do. For instance the word "your" is donà not dònà.

Male Class

Plà is the male personal pronoun. It is virtually identical to the English "I", but can only be used by males. For a female to use Plà would be nonsensical. Plá is the equivilant of "you", used only to refer to males. Referring to a female as Plá could be insulting. Láplá is a direct analog for English "he".

Female Class

is the female personal pronoun. It is virtually identical to the English "I", but can only be used by females. For a male to use would be nonsensical. is the equivilant of "you", used only to refer to females. Referring to a male as could be insulting. Láçá is a direct analog for English "she".

Mixed Class

Mixed pronouns are used for groups containing both male and female members. As such they are by definition plural. is the equivilant of "we" for a mixed group. is "you" for a mixed group. Látá is "them" for a mixed group.

Indeterminate Class

The indeterminate pronouns are used when the speaker is unsure of gender. Naturaly Hom in the form of the indeterminate personal pronoun is rare. It can however be used by computers, hermaphrodites, and species without or with more than two genders. Using the indeterminate class when gender is obvious is insulting in the extreme and forms part of the well known Zurvár insult Homfá dok ná! (Roughly: You are a monumental jerk of unclear gender which would be completely obvious to you if you weren't so iredeemably stupid).

Inanimate Class

The inanimate class is used for inanimate objects. There is no inanimate personal pronoun, as far as Zurvár are concerned when something can speak, it is no longer inanimate. If such a pronoun were required (for instance in a poem or when speaking figuratively) Hom or would be acceptable. Lágom, the third person form is more or less the equivelant of "it". Gom the second person form is mostly of use when yelling at machines. Peraskla ná! Gom bastikal makimá!! (Work you infernal mechanism!!) Using inanimate class to refer to an animate object is generally regarded as insulting.

Pluralising Pronouns

All pronouns (except for the mixed class where plurality is implied) are plurified by the addition of the prefix m' (a worn down form of the standard plural numeric mon). Thus means "you" when refering to one person and m'dò is "you" for a group. The plural/nonplural distinction in second person form can be very useful to single out an individual within a group.

Exclusive Plural Pronouns

By default, plural first person pronouns (m'sà, m'plà, m'cà, , m'hom, or in English "we") in Zurvár include the person being addressed. If this is not desired (ie: "us but not you"), then the prefix sùm- replaces the plurifying m'. This prefix can be applied to the mixed first person pronoun () as well, even though it normaly remains unplurified.

Taking all variations into acount Zurvár therefore has 34 individual pronouns, which are sumarised in the table below. Lest the student despair however, it should be noted that the casual class should suffice in almost all situations - and even when it is not appropriate all but the most arrogant Zurvár will usually forgive such a mistake by an ignorant meneq.

Zurvar English
You (one person)
ládò Them (one person)
m'sà We/Us
m'dò "Yous" (more than one person)
m'ládò "Thems" (more than one person)
sùmsà We/Us but not you
plà I/Me (male)
plá You (male)
láplá He/Him
m'plà We/Us (all male)
m'plá "Yous" (more than one person - all male)
m'láplá "Thems" (more than one person - all male)
sùmplà We/Us (all male) but not you
I/Me (female)
You (female)
lácá She/Her
m'cà We/Us (all female)
m'cá "Yous" (more than one person - all female)
m'lácá "Thems" (more than one person - all female)
sùmcà We/Us (all female) but not you
We/Us (male and female)
"Yous" (more than one person - male and female)
látá "Thems" (more than one person - male and female)
sùmtà We/Us (male and female) but not you
hom I/Me (gender indeterminate)
You (gender indeterminate)
láhom Them (one person - gender indeterminate)
m'hom We/Us (all gender indeterminate)
"Yous" (more than one person - gender indeterminate)
m'láhom "Thems" (more than one person - gender indeterminate)
sùmhom We/Us (all gender indeterminate) but not you
gom You (one thing)
lágom It
m'gom "Yous" (more than one thing)
m'lágom "its" (more than one thing)