A Reference Grammar for Goesk

© 2001 by James Grossmann

To access the chapters,click on the blue headings. Once you're in a chapter, check the bottom for places to click to preceding or following chapters, or to return to this outline.

OUTLINE

INTRODUCTIONS (GENERAL, REAL, & IMAGINARY)
HOW EXAMPLES ARE NUMBERED

Chapter 1: ALPHABET, SOUNDS, AND WORDS

1.1...ALPHABET
1.2...THE CONSONANTS AND GLIDE
1.3...VOWELS AND DIPHTHONGS
1.4...PHONOTACTICS
1.5...WORD STRESS

Chapter 2: NOUNS

2.1...INFLECTING NOUNS
2.2...NUMBERS
2.3...GENDER
2.4...CASES
2.5...LACK OF INDEFINITE ARTICLES
2.6...PROPER NAMES

Chapter 3: NUMERAL TERMS

3.1...FORMING NUMERAL TERMS
3.2...ORDINAL NUMERAL TERMS
3.3...RATIO TERMS
3.4...NUMERAL TERMS AS NOUNS
3.5...NUMERAL PHRASES ARE PECULIAR

Chapter 4: PRONOUNS

4.1...FIRST AND SECOND PERSON PRONOUNS
4.2...GENERIC THIRD PERSON PRONOUNS
4.3...DEMONSTRATIVE & INTERROGATIVE PRONOUNS
4.4...INDEFINITE PRONOUNS
4.5...NUMERAL PRONOUNS
4.6...GENERAL ORDINAL PRONOUNS
4.7...PRONOUN PHRASES

Chapter 5: DETERMINERS

5.1...DETERMINERS IN GENERAL
5.2...PROXIMATE, REMOTE, AND INTERROGATIVE DETERMINERS
5.3...REFLEXIVE PRONOUN PHRASES
5.4...INDEFINITE DETERMINERS
5.5...NUMERAL & GENERAL ORDINAL DETERMINERS
5.7...DETERMINER STRINGS
5.8...DETERMINERS AND PRONOUNS

Chapter 6: ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS

6.1...ADJECTIVES
6.2...ADVERBS
6.3...COMPARISON

Chapter 7: INFLECTING VERBS

7.1...VERB SUFFIXES
7.2...INFINITIVES TO GERUNDS
7.3...OOPS, NO PARTICIPLES

Chapter 8: PREPOSITIONS

8.1...PREPOSITIONS IN GENERAL
8.2...PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES
8.3...PREPOSITIONAL MODIFIERS (P-MODS)

Chapter 9: BASIC CLAUSE PATTERNS AND TYPES OF VERBS

9.1...ABBREVIATIONS FOR BASIC CLAUSE PATTERNS
9.2...nom. V
9.3...nom. V acc. & acc. V nom.
9.4...VERBS WITH REFLEXIVE OBJECTS
9.5...DATIVE PATTERNS
9.6...DATIVE VERBS
9.7...LINKING VERB PATTERNS
9.8...THE VERB "LAGEN"
9.9...EXISTENTIAL & IMPERSONAL CLAUSES
9.10...OBJECT COMPLEMENTS

Chapter 10: AUXILIARIES AND INFINITIVES

10.1...AUXILIARY VERBS IN GENERAL
10.2...PERFECT ASPECT
10.3...PASSIVE VOICE
10.4...MODAL AUXILIARIES
10.5...MORE ABOUT INFINITIVES

Chapter 11: QUESTIONS, PREPOSED ADVERBIALS, AND IMPERATIVES

11.1...CLAUSE PATTERN VARIATIONS
11.2...YES-NO QUESTIONS
11.3...WH-QUESTIONS
11.4...PREPOSED ADVERBIALS
11.5...IMPERATIVES

CHAPTER 12: COORDINATION

CHAPTER 13: SUBORDINATE CLAUSES

13.1...SUBORDINATE CLAUSES
13.2...ADVERBIAL CLAUSES
13.3...ADV-SUBORDINATORS
13.4...ADV-PM SUBORDINATORS
13.5...COMPARATIVE CLAUSES
13.6...COMPLEMENT CLAUSES
13.7...RELATIVE CLAUSES
13.8...NOMINALIZATIONS
13.9...POSTPOSING EMBEDDED CLAUSES
13.10...DIRECT QUOTES

Chapter 14: MORE ABOUT SUBJUNCTIVES

14.1...USES OF THE SUBJUNCTIVE IN GENERAL
14.2...E-SUBJUNCTIVE
14.3...AI-SUBJUNCTIVE

Chapter 15: SHORTER SENTENCES

15.1...OMITTING SOME SUBJECTS
15.2...GERUND CLAUSES
15.3...SHORTENING PREDICATES
15.4...ELIPTICAL SENTENCES AND ONE-WORD UTTERANCES

APPENDICES

A.1...SAMPLE TEXTS
A.2...GLOSSARY
A.3...DERIVATIONAL AFFIXES


THE GENERAL INTRODUCTION: Many speakable artificial languages have been devised. Some represent naive proposals for worldwide lingua francas. Others represent naive attempts to improve human thought. Still others are fictional tongues for the fictional beings in popular fantasy and science fiction. More sober reasons for speakable artificial languages include secret writing. But this imaginary language, Goesk, was created solely to bring another curiosity into the world. Writing this kept the author out of trouble for a while.

THE REAL INTRODUCTION: I wanted Goesk to seem Germanic, but lacked the expertise needed for a scholarly project like a proposal for simplifying German or a hypothetical descendent of Gothic. I don't even know any languages other than English. So, I settled for something not-so-scholarly: a grammatical Frankenstein monster, sewn together from Germanic language trivia and other constructions. Some of the grammar is not Germanic; for instance, Goesk has a future tense suffix and lacks participles. Also, the absence of irregular forms marks this language as artificial. Still, Goesk looks Germanic on paper, mainly because of the words.

The vocabulary was gathered and corrupted indiscriminately from German, Dutch, and English. Some Scots and Newfoundland English words were thrown in. A few words were jokes: "to eat" is "skarfen"; "to forget" is "speesen"; "to recite" is "blablazen." One noun came from a name; Carnege became became Goesk "karnegu" (millionaire). At least two words had no origins; I just made up "froz" (hung-over) and "fruz" (confused). Words without traceable origins are easy to find in natural languages, and don't mark Goesk as artificial.

When it came to compound words, I tried to coin fresh ones for Goesk instead of relying on the source languages. For instance, "bat" (the flying mammal) is "die Fledermaus" (flutter-mouse) in German but "fingyrfluegyl" (finger-wing) in Goesk. "Aluminum" is "das Aluminium" in German but "fedyrsilvyr" (feather-silver) in Goesk. Some source-language compounds were too good to avoid. For instance, German "das Wochenende" and English "weekend" became Goesk "viekend."

THE IMAGINARY INTRODUCTION: Ron Pickman is a dishwasher in the college district of a major city. In his spare time, he hangs out at coffee shops, and tells people weird stories about creatures from other dimensions.

Most of the students, teachers, and ne'er-do-wells who listen to Ron are amazed that he believes in vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural beings who walk among us in human form. Ron says he learned about these beings from a mysterious young man with a book whose pages were written, not in letters, but in vivid dreams.

Ron not only talks about his creatures, he writes about them, both in English and in an unknown language called Goesk. To this day, no one in the coffee-house crowd knows why Ron is so strange. Rumors abound. Ron was an acid casualty. Ron was a veteran with a head injury. Ron was brainwashed by a cult. The explanations change each week. One student believes Ron. One student says she met one of the beings that Ron has told us about. She won't give her name, and doesn't come to the coffee house anymore.

Ron still writes. He has even written a grammar of Goesk. Is this strange tongue a product of Pickman's subconscious mind? Are his creatures only figments of a brain-damaged imagination? Or has another reality cast its shadow across his soul, and left its mark upon our world through one man's trembling pen?

HOW EXAMPLES ARE NUMBERED:

A) Each example-number comprises the number of the section in which it occurs, followed by a hyphen, followed by another number that designates the specific example in order. So, for instance, the first example in section 2.2 would be numbered 2.2-1.

B) The single digit "0" after the hyphen indicates that the example is the only one in the section. For instance, example 13.6-0 would be the only example in section 13.6.

C) Sometimes, one word or short phrase may constitute an example. In cases where numbering each such example would clutter the presentation rather than clarify it, a group of similar examples may be designated by one example-number followed by a ">." For instance, a group of examples of numeral words is numbered as shown here.

3.1-1> seseux-foif dreezeux-noin axteux-sieven teuzeux-ven
sixty-five thirty-nine eighty-seven twenty-one

D) Closely similar examples can be given the same number after the hyphen, and differentiated with lower-case letters after that number. e.g.

9.6-1a Dus paklinu blablazeus uns dixtueciza.
The boy recited to us a poem.

9.6-1b Dus paklinu blablazeus dixtueciza.
The boy recited a poem.