Interactivity Level and Social Standing (Gender)

 

Túfóžan has grammatical gender in 2nd and 3rd person pronouns and 2nd person verb prefixes (it has lost the distinction in nouns), which marks a differentiation in what Túfóžans term “interactivity level.”

  • High (HI): capable of replying
  • Middle (MI): capable of reacting
  • Low (LI): incapable of either

1st person is always assumed HI. There are two forms: inclusive (inc) and exclusive (exc) of the addressee. 2nd person may be either HI or MI, and 3rd person allows for all three levels of interactivity.

There is also differentiation in the 2nd and 3rd HI as to social status with respect to the speaker:

  • Superior (SU)
  • Peer (PR)
  • Inferior (IN)

Plurals of mixed levels are afforded the state of the highest-level member in both interactivity and social status.

Interactivity level is generally at the speaker’s discretion. A foreigner who does not speak the language may be referred to (albeit ungraciously) as MI, while an animal that has bonded with a Túfóžan and can therefore communicate after a fashion, is often promoted to HI, at least by that person. MI is also frequently used for preverbal children.

You will notice that there is a 1st person singular inclusive. This is almost never used, except in formal contexts in which the ancestral goddess addresses and identifies herself with her people, or in which a Head does the same with her/his house. It is generally considered to be archaic and stilted, like the royal “we” in English.