There are three broad periods of Taran language history: Early Taran (NS 1-421), Middle Taran (NS 421-704), and Modern Taran (NS 704-1063). The Taran language's developments can also be analyzed across broad historical periods: the Nomadic Period (NS 1-233), Early Sovereignty (NS 233-421), Fractured Sovereignty (NS 421-476), Early Middle Sovereignty (NS 476-704), Late Middle Sovereignty (NS 704-869), and Modern Sovereignty (NS 869-1063).
The Taran language was greatly influenced by the Faraham invasion in NS 421 during the start of the Fractured Sovereignty Period, leading to a high number of lexical borrowings from Shenwarii languages, as well as the alteration of some aspects of the phonetic-phonological system. This spurred the change from Early to Middle Taran.
The start of the Late Middle Sovereignty, when the Western Peaks rose to a vast empire, spurred the development of the language into Modern Taran. Contact with a variety of languages from the 700s to present day, include Khantou and Shenvaan, have led to further changes and the emergence of new regional dialects.
Phonetics and phonology Edit
Partial Disappearance of /h/ Edit
The phoneme /h/ is becoming realized in increasingly fewer instances. In some dialects, it is only present word-initially or as the second consonant in a consonant cluster.
NS 1-550 h present and realized in any VhV situation
NS 500-750 VhV à V: where V1 and V2 are the same vowel
NS 700-1063 elsewhere VhV à VxhV where V1 and V2 are different
Nominal endings Edit
Nouns in Early Taran always contained a final vowel or a case ending if they were the subject or object of the sentence. The final vowel depended upon the previous vowel according to Taran vowel harmony rules. During the first hundred years of Middle Taran, during the Fracture Sovereignty Period, vowel harmony was reduced and lost. Many nouns' final vowel became reduced to schwa, and by 600 NS, some had lost the final vowel completely. New nouns which entered the language, such as Faraham loan words or verbal backformations, lacked a vowel ending.
NS 1-500 -V (i/u/a)
NS 480-600 -a reduction to many endings
NS 600-1063 nouns often lack final vowel and others have reduced; verbal nominalizations lack vowel ending
Verb conjugation and the grammaticalization of the additive valence marker Edit
The verb conjugation system changed for all tenses. The chart below depicts the changes that occurred within the present tense, but near-parallel charts can be made for the past and future tenses. The difference is that the distinct transitive markers for the past and future tenses, -Vgh and -Vxh respectively, were lost completely around 400-450 NS.
|Date Range||Intransitive Marker||Transitive Marker||Valence Marker||Notes|
|NS 1-300||-Vt (i/u/a)||-Vx (i/u/a)||V stands for a vowel which is in harmony with the previous vowel. If the previous vowel was front, the vowel in the suffix would be /i/; if the previous vowel was /a/, the suffix would match that; if the previous vowel was back, the suffix would be /u/.|
|NS 300-400||-Vt (i/u/a)||-ax||The transitive marker simplified to a constant -ax suffix. Scholars postulate multiple reasons why this vowel harmony was deleted but not the intransitive marker.|
|NS 400-480||-Vt (i/u/a)||-Vt||-ax||The transitive marker was momentarily lost as -ax became reinterpreted as an additive valence marker. That said, many transitive verbs were marked with this added valence marker plus the other suffix, resulting in -axat. Thus, -ax was placed sometimes on both transitive and intransitive verbs.|
|NS 480-500||-Vt (i/u)||-at||-ax||Vowel harmony in the language was starting to shift to merely a front/back distinction between -i and -u. This, combined with the transitive verbs now always ending in -a, led to the intransitive being marked only as -it or -ut. In this manner, distinction could be readily heard. Transitive verbs began to be marked increasingly as -at over -atax.|
|NS 500-600||-iti||-at||-ax||The vowel harmony of intransitive suffixes was lost completely. As with the suffix -hVm, the resulting vowel chosen was /i/ to be used in all instances. The transitive verbs were now always characterized as -at, and the valence marker almost always just used for changing typically intransitive verbs to transitive verbs.|
|NS 600-704||-ati||-ta||-ax||The first vowel in -iti became reduced to -ati because of predictability. The transitive marker received metathesis, in part due to its interchangeability between -atax and -at. It became, consistently, -ta.|
|NS 700-800||-ti||-ta||-ax||The reduced /a/ in -ati was deleted altogether, resulting in a -ti/-ta distinction that is characteristic of Modern Taran.|
|NS 800-869||-ti/-di||-ta/-da||-ax||Assimilation takes hold, resulting in a variation between -ti/-di and -ta/-da. Assimilation is more resistant to the valence marker -ax.|
|NS 869-1063||-ti/-di||-ta/-da||-ax/-axh||Taran linguists and orthographers become aware of the t/d distinction and revise spelling to include it in NS 869. Verbs are said to be of two "forms" or "conjugations" - the first form and second form. Some verbs remain conservatively spelled while others have the updated spelling. What falls completely out of notice is that the valence marker -ax also begins to assimilate voicing with the following consonant.|
Grammaticalization of -sa- Edit
The infix -sa- originally came from the verb saem, meaning "to cause". The frequency of same in verbal constructions allowed it to be predictable, consequently reducing it until it became reinterpreted as its own separate phoneme. In some verbs like sahaaq, it has been reinterpreted to be part of the root itself. Over time, the pattern can be generalized as saem -> sem -> səm -> sə.
NS 1-200 saem verbal construction
NS 200-420 sem
NS 400-500 sam
NS 500-1063 sa
Nominal verbalization Edit
General rule Edit
Nouns are very frequently converted to verbs in Taran. The paradigm for nominal verbalizations, however, has changed, co-occurring with noun ending changes and suffixal verb conjugation changes. The changes for nominal verbalization can be described below:
NS 1-421 - full noun (with V ending) + h for transition into verb (-VtV)
NS 421-704 - full noun with merged vowel to the verb, so verbal deletion
NS 704-800 - verb form of nominalized verb always short and never have vowel
NS 800-1063 - backformations may occur without nominal end
In order to demonstrate the changes that occur with nominal verbalization, suffixal endings, valency, pronoun movement, and word order changes, two sentences have been translated by Taran as it would have been spoken for every fifty years. The two sentences are, in order, "I eat food," and "Xhadouk killed Faraset."
NS 1 Hla foqohox faahov. Xhadouka saemhukugh Farasetav.
NS 50 Hla foqohox faahov. Xhadouka saemhukugh Farasetav.
NS 100 Hla foqohox faahov. Xhadouka saemhukugh Farasetav.
NS 150 Hla foqohox faahov. Xhadouka saemhukugh Farasetav.
NS 200 Hla foqohox faahov. Xhadouka semhukugh Farasetav.
NS 250 Hla foqohox faahov. Xhadouka semhukugh Farasetav.
NS 300 Hla foqohax faahov. Xhadouka semhukagh Farasetav.
NS 350 Hlafoqohax faahov. Xhadouka semhukagh Farasetav.
NS 400 Hlafoqohot faahov. Xhadouka samhukaxagh Farasetav.
NS 450 Hlafoqot faahov. Xhadouka samhukaxat Farasetav.
NS 500 Hlafoqat faahov. Xhadouk sahukaxat Farasetav.
NS 550 Hlafoqat faahov. Xhadouk sahakaxat Farasetav.
NS 600 Hlafoqata fah. Xhadouk sahakaxta Faraset.
NS 650 Hlafoqata fah. Xhadouk sahakaxta Faraset.
NS 700 Hlafoqata fah. Sakaxta Xhadouk Faraset.
NS 750 Hlafoqta fah. Sahaaqta Xhadouk Faraset.
NS 800 Hlafoqta fah. Sahaaqta Xhadouk Faraset.
NS 850 Hlafoqta fah. Sahaaqta Xhadouk Faraset.
NS 900 Hlafoqta fah. Sahaaqta Xhadouk Faraset.
NS 950 Hlafoqta fah. Sahaaqta Xhadouk Faraset.
NS 1000 Hlafoqta fah. Sahaaqta Xhadouk Faraset.
NS 1050 Hlafoqta fah. Sahaaqta Xhadouk Faraset.
Word order change Edit
The Taran language changed from a SVO basic word order to a verb initial VSO word order.
It is to note that in Early Taran, the presence of the case system on subjects and objects allowed for more flexibility. Therefore, verb initial sentences were present, but the majority of declartive sentences were nevertheless SVO. The presence of subject pronouns preceding verbs resulted in pronomial cliticization to the following verb; object pronouns were then brought forward and placed as a second, outer clitic at the front of the verb. At this point, the case system was lost because of predictive word ordering, and sentences shifted to verb initial patterns. The VSO word order is said to be a trait of Modern Taran.
NS 1-350 SVO with nouns containing case suffixes, where -av is the subject marker and -ov object marker. Full nouns or pronouns are present in the sentence, but not both
NS 350-500 Subject pronoun becomes cliticized to verb; nominal subject and pronoun co-occur
NS 500-550 Loss of case on subject
NS 550-600 Object moved into the verb at the front
NS 600-700 Object case lost and SVO order weakens.
NS 700-1063 Verb moves to VSO order.
Example translations Edit
Example translations are taken from NS 200, NS 500, and NS 1050, respectively.
"I eat food."
- Early Taran: Hla foqohox faahov.
- Middle Taran: Hlafoqat faahov.
- Modern Taran: Hlafoqta fah.
"Xhadouk killed Faraset."
- Early Taran: Xhadouka semhukugh Farasetav.
- Middle Taran: Xhadouk sahukaxat Farasetav.
- Modern Taran: Sahaaqta Xhadouk Faraset.