lemÌc. Lemizh grammar and dictionary

Summing up

After all is said and done, more is said than done.


Limits of grammar

Not every written or oral expression is a grammatical sentence. Some counterexamples are individual letters and numbers, pictograms, mathematical and chemical formulae; vocalisations such as ‘shh’ or ‘pfff’, laughter, yawns, and meaningful silence. Whenever an ending (at least an inner case) is added to such an expression, it becomes a grammatical verb – denoting an action – and can be used in a sentence. If necessary, quotes can be used to distinguish mention from use.

  hh = shhhhà. = to make a ‘shh’ sound, to go ‘shh’
l = L‹l›à. = to make (write, pronounce) an L
5 = 55à. = to make five individuals; ‹5›à. = to make (write) the number 5
🗙 = ‘abort, cancel’ symbol (from Koi χάζομαι)🗙à. = to abort, to cancel; 🗙›à. = to make a “🗙”

You call this a simple grammar?

Well, here is a complete reference grammar. Everything else was just an explanation of how Lemizh concepts map to English grammar.

You can download the grammar as a PDF here (4 pages).

Phonology and writing

Morphology (word grammar)

Derivational morphology (compound words)

Syntax (sentence grammar)

Strictly speaking, sentence grammar does not consist of seven separate rules, but of one complex rule, which can be easiest phrased in seven parts. (I tried some other arrangements with six parts, but the one above seems to be the clearest.) None of the seven parts makes sense on its own, and leaving out any of them would make it impossible to utter a single meaningful sentence. Axiomatic systems in mathematics have very similar properties.

And the lexicon?

The table of relative pronouns is doubtlessly part of the grammar; demonstrative pronouns, negators, verbs of comparison, temporal and spatial verbs, là. and mà., less so – they don’t behave in any special way compared with other words.

But hasn’t the grammar simply been replaced with vocabulary? There is no plural, no comparative, no moods, but there are the verbs mlà. ‘several’, tàcd. ‘more’, and modal verbs instead. But then, languages that do employ these grammatical categories don’t seem to be able to do without ‘several’, ‘more’, or modals, so Lemizh doesn’t replace grammar but only gets rid of duplicates. Retaining the words and getting rid of the grammatical categories has the advantage of greater flexibility. mlà. can be used with various inner and outer cases, compounded, and inverted, all without introducing a single additional rule.

Open questions and other things I am less than happy with, excluding this heading

Missing parts of the language

Further issues

But out here in the country you can walk all day and all the next day with an unanswered question in your head: you need never speak until you have made up your mind.

(C. S. Lewis. The Pilgrim’s Regress)