For the benefit of more newish and/or forgetful members I will drone on
AFMCL. This is part #2 of a series of n parts.

Taruven morphology

Taruven is a very heavily affixing, and mostly suffixing, language.
Going by Michael Fortesque (1994) definition of polysynthesis it has the
traits a) noun/adjective incorporation, c) the verb is a minimal clause,
d) pronominal markers on verbs and nouns, f) numerous morphological
‘slots’ and h) non-configurational syntax.

There is very little fusion, so words with all the bells and whistles
can get quite long. Few of the bells and whistles are obligatory though,
so words can also be surprisingly short. For instance, verb tense is not

It's the open word classes that are most plagued with affixes, and there
are three of these: nouns, verbs, and statives, which combines the
function of adjectives and many adverbs.


Nouns have the subtypes common nouns, pronouns, demonstratives and
names. Affix-wise, all but the pronouns can take the entire kit and
caboodle. Statives can also act as nouns if there is no other noun in a
noun phrase.

Nouns have three prefix-slots and six suffix-slots. The most unusual
slots are suffix slots 1 (diminutive/augmentative) and 2 (a closed class
of adjectives). The most unusual fact about the slots is that number, if
marked, comes after the mark for case, if marked. Number comes last.


Verbs come in two varieties: vanilla, known as "verbs", and monster
raving loony, known as "complemented verbs". Most weird things in
Taruven syntax can be blamed on some specialized and bleached member of
the latter category. Morphologically, the main difference between
ordinary and complemented verbs is that the subject takes a different
case for complemented verbs, and that one of the arguments is a clause,
not a phrase. Much that is accomplished with subordination in other
languages are instead handled with complemented verbs in Taruven.

A verb has two prefix slots and eight suffix slots, and can incorporate
its direct object between suffix slots 1 and 2. Tense, aspect, mood each
have their own slots, as do valency and evidentiality. The most unusual
slots are slots 4 and 6, which do the job of adverbs such as
"surprisingly" (slot 4) and "probably" (slot 6). The final suffix slot
is tense.


There are no real subtypes of statives, and which affixes a stative can
take depends on its role, depending on whether it acts as a modifier,
noun or verb. Regardless of function, slot 1 describes how long it takes
to enter the state, and slot 2 shows degree.

Closed word classes

The frontwords, by lack of a better term, take no affixes and can only
be at the front of a clause. You start a question with a frontword.
Hortative and one imperative is handled by frontwords. My favorite is
probably {uleìneta}/{lenēth}: "it is said". Maybe I'd be happier with
the class itself if it had a latinate name, suggestions? Are there
ANADEWs? These were no doubt inspired by some journalist techniques I've
seen recordings of: They start off saying "Question", and then ask their

The S-words, which is an even worse term than frontwords, are the
"jatmey" of Taruven, most of the leftovers. They are clause-level, and
need not be at the front. Among them: interjections, swear words,
"always", "never", the end-of-relative-clause marker. Thinking about it,
I really ought to clean this up. Finding a suitable Taruven word for
"leftovers" comes first I think.

The words for "and" is the only thing in the dictionary given the word
class "conjunction". The clause-level one could probably be sorted with
the S-words, but then what to do with the intra-phrase one? Pff!


Fortescue, Michael (1994), “Polysynthetic Morphology”, in: Asher, R. E.
et al. (chief editor) (1994), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics,
Oxford: Pergamon Press, pp. 2601-2602.