Updated: 15 February 2008
•What is this?!
The following is an introduction to Dingwa, a constructed language or conlang.
Also called "model languages," conlangs are created primarily for fun. Nevertheless,
as linguistic experiments, some have attempted to solve serious problems of
communication, logic, philosophy, efficiency, redundancy, etc.
Dingwa is a simplified form of Indo-European
(IE), the ancestral
language of English and the other IE languages of Europe, West Asia and India (100+ languages).
The name Dingwa (IE *dnghu, *dnghwa) is cognate with the English word tongue, Latin lingua “language” and also means “tongue” or “language.” The simplifications Dingwa exhibits consist of the following:
in the phonemic inventory, (a) conflating the voiced aspirates
(*bh, *dh, *gh, *ghw)
with their unaspirated forms, as occurred historically
IE language families (Slavic, Germanic, etc.), (b) reducing the number of vowels to five (the
"standard average European" vowels), and (c) introducing several consonant
phonemes used in
modern European languages
to spell loanwords
under Dingwa Alphabet for
of the original IE ablaut series of vowel gradations
(still present in English sing, sang, sung; song; foot, feet; etc. ), leaving in most cases a
single form of the word root.
of multiple conjugations and declensions into a single paradigm for each.
accent (from the mobile system of IE to a system similar
to the stress accent of Latin) to make it wholly predictable according
to syllable structure.
(5) logical extension
of original word derivations to create new lexical items, with some borrowing
of internationally recognized lexemes (hotel-a, taksij-a, komik-a).
(6) deployment of
part-of-speech endings on words so that grammatical relationships are maximally explicit and transparent.
of a regular phonemic alphabet that is “generically European” in pronunciation to maximize the symbol-sound correspondence.
• The DINGWA ALPHABET
The Dingwa alphabet has 22 phonemes or sounds -- 17 consonants and 5 vowels:
a, b, d, e, f, g, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, sj, t, u, v, z, zj.
Note that two of the letters (sj and zj) are digraphs: two characters representing a single sound.
a as in “father.” EX: albei [AHL-bay] “white”
b as in “baby.” EX: bolja [BOH-lyah] “flower”
d as in “dog.” EX: doma [DOH-mah] “house”
e as in “edge.” EX: ejo [EH-yoh] “I go”
f as in “fox.” EX: filosofja [fee-loh-SOH-fyah] “philosophy.” NOTE: This
letter represents the first of three non-native Dingwa sounds, and appears
g as in “get” EX: gima [GEE-mah] “winter”
i as in “machine.” EX: interesentei [een-teh-reh-SEHN-tay] “interesting”
j as in “yet,” German ja. EX: junei [YOO-nay] “young”
k as in “kick.” EX: kolna [KOHL-nah] “mountain”
l as in “leap.” EX: lubo [LOO-boh] “I like, love”
m as in “mother.” EX: matra [MAH-trah] “mother”
n as in “night.” EX: nokta [NOHK-tah] “night”
o as in “post.” EX: okta [OHK-tah] “eight”
p as in “people.” EX: putla [POO-tlah] “child”
r as in “red.” EX: rudrei [ROO-dray] “red”
s as in “six.” EX: seksa [SEHK-sah] “six”
sj as in “sheriff.” EX: sjofera [SHOH-feh-rah] “chauffeur.” NOTE: This digraph
represents a single sound, the 2nd of three non-native Dingwa sounds, and
appears in loanwords.
t as in “tree.” EX: trija [TREE-yah] “three”
u as in “soon.” EX: ukwo [OO-kwoh] “I say, I speak”
w as in “wise.” EX: werga [WEHR-gah] “work, job”
z as in “zoo.” EX: mezgit [MEHZ-geet] “dips.” This sound appears adjacent to
other voiced sounds like b, d, g (and hence is in complimentary distribution
with s). It also appears in a few loanwords.
zj as in “vision.” EX: zjanra [ZHAHN-rah] “genre.” NOTE: This digraph represents
a single sound, the 3rd of three non-native Dingwa sounds, and appears in
• SYLLABLE DIVISION
A Dingwa syllable consists minimally of a vowel, and usually also of one or
more consonants. Words with consonant clusters generally split the consonants
the syllables. Note, however, that consonant + r, l, w, j do not separate.
trija “three” = tri + ja [TREE-yah]
luda “person” = lu + da [LOO-dah]
seksa “six” = sek + sa [SEHK-sah]
mezgit “dips” = mez + git [MEHZ-geet]
ardwosta “straightness” ar + dwo + sta [ahr-DWOH-stah]
ukwe “speak” u + kwe [OO-kweh]
However, consonants followed by the sonorant consonants (r, l, m, n, j, w) form part of the following syllable:
pu-tla: child [POO-tlah]
ma-tra: mother [MAH-trah]
sim-fo-nja: symphony [seem-FOH-nyah]
The stress in Dingwa words is regular and completely predictable. It always occurs either on the third syllable from the end (the default stressed syllable), or the next to last syllable if it contains either a double vowel or a consonant cluster. Two-syllable words are thus always stressed on the first syllable. In the examples below, the stressed syllables are capitalized:
DO-ma: house [DOH-mah]
KOL-na: mountain [KOHL-nah]
PU-tla: child [POO-tlah]
a-ME-ri-ka: America [ah-MEH-ree-kah]
A-ru-ka: plowman [AH-roo-kah]
MU-si-ka: music (no consonant cluster) [MOO-see-kah]
sim-FO-nja: symphony (consonant cluster nj moves stress forward) [seem-FOH-nyah]
da-NEN-tei: giving (consonant cluster nt moves stress forward) [dah-NEHN-tay]
gur-MOS-ta: heat (consonant cluster st moves stress forward) [goor-MOHS-tah]
al-BAA-git: s/he whitens (double vowel aa moves stress forward) [ahl-BAH-geet]
• DINGWA WORD STRUCTURE:
Root, affix(es), stem, word
All words in Dingwa are composed of at least two parts, a stem and a part-of-speech
ending, neither of which can stand alone. Only together do they form a complete
word. Because of this ending, every Dingwa word can be clearly and unambiguously
identified as a noun, verb, etc.
Many Dingwa words are composed of a root, to which one or more affixes are
added, forming a stem. To this stem the part-of-speech ending is then added
to form a word.
In some cases, stem and root are identical.
root [+ affix(es) = stem] + ending = word
ner- “man” + -a (noun ending)
= nera “a man”
dan- “give” + -aaw- “past tense” + -it (verb ending) = danaawit “s/he
bres- “quick” + -ost- “abstract” + -a (noun ending) = bresosta “quickness”
werg- “work” + -ont- “participle” + -ei (adjective ending) = wergontei “working”
ku- “what” + -st- “place” + -u (adverb ending) = kustu “where?”
All singular nouns in Dingwa are formed from a root and the noun suffix or
ending --a. There are no exceptions to this rule.
[Etymology Note (EN): IE *-os/a/om; Latin -us/a/um; Greek -os/e/on; Germanic -az/o/am, etc. The vowel -a was chosen both in light of IE forms and because it will almost always appear in unstressed syllables, and will more easily resist raising or lowering if it is already a low back vowel.]
|bresosta: quickness, speed
|| nera : man
|| nokta : night
|| putla : child
| guna : woman
|| udra : water
| lida : game, play
|| werga : work
| luda : person
|| nera : man
All verbs in all tenses form the third person singular from a verb root and
the third person singular ending --it.
[EN: IE *-et(i), Sanskrit –ati, Latin –it (3 rd conjugation), Greek –ei]. There are no “irregular verbs” in Dingwa.
|esit: is, exists
With the previous grammatical rules we can form simple Dingwa sentences consisting
of a verb, or a noun and a verb.
Ukwit. S/he talks/speaks.
Guna edit. (The) woman eats. (A) woman is eating.
Putla swopit. The child sleeps.
Nera ukwit. The man speaks.
Nokta gumit. Night comes.
Udra esit. Water exists. There is water.
Luda wergit. A person works.
Nera sedit. The man sits.
• THE VERB ES-
The verb es- means both “exist” and “be”:
Nera esit. There is a man. A man exists. It’s a man.
Doma esit. There is a house. A house exists. It’s a house.
Dina esit. It’s day. (A) day exists.
• CONTRACTION of ES-
Often in speech this verb stem is contracted to ’s-:
Nera ’sit. It’s a man. [NE-rah seet]
Doma ’sit. There’s a house. [DOH-mah seet]
Dina ’sit. It’s day. [DEE-nah seet]
Kja ’sis? Who are you? [KYAH sees]
Golei ’so. I’m cold. [GOH-lay soh]
All adjectives end in the adjective ending --ei. There are no exceptions to
[EN: -i and iy-os/a are common adjectival endings in IE]
bresei: quick, fast, rapid
golei: cool, cold
skunei: beautiful, handsome
Noun stems may form related adjectives by adding the adjective ending --ei.
nera: man --> nerei: male,
guna: woman --> gunei: female, feminine, womanly
dingwa: language --> dingwei: linguistic, language-
doma: house --> domei: domestic, house-
dina: day --> dinei: day-, daily
dinei memsa: daily food
noktei werga: night work
dingwei gigna: linguistic knowledge, language knowledge
putlei dingwa: child language
nerei putla: male child; boy
Ewei dwora kludenei esit. This door is closed.
Tuwei doma kuwei worna esit? What color is your house?
• FORMING ABSTRACT
NOUNS from ADJECTIVES
Adjectives form abstract nouns with the abstract suffix --ost- and the noun
[EN: IE has a reconstructed noun suffix *-st-]
albei --> albosta: whiteness
bresei --> bresosta: speed, quickness
gelnei --> gelnosta: greenness
golei --> golosta: coolness, cold (n)
gurmei --> gurmosta: heat
junei --> junosta: youth, youngness
newei --> newosta: newness, novelty
rudrei --> rudrosta: redness
senekei --> senekosta: oldness, age
skunei --> skunosta: beauty, handsomeness
surdei --> surdosta: blackness
Singular pronouns, like nouns, also end in the suffix --a.
ona: he, she, it
kuja, kja: who?
kuwa, kwa: what??
• 1ST PERSON SINGULAR
SUFFIX for VERBS
Verbs add the suffix/ending --o to show first person singular. The verb root
es- means “be” or “exist.”
[EN: *es is the reconstructed IE form of the verb "be."]
(Mena) eso. I am. I exist.
(Mena) luda eso. I am a person.
• DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS
Ewa mewei matra esit. This is my mother.
Towa mewei patra esit. That is my father.
Ewei guna mewei matra esit. This woman is my mother.
Towei nera patra esit. That man is (my) father.
• NOUN PLURALS
Nouns form plurals with the plural suffix or ending --i.
dina “day”; dinai “days”
doma “house”; domai “houses”
• FORMING NOUNS from
Dingwa verbs may be changed to nouns by removing the verb ending and adding
the noun ending --a to the stem.
||bera: carrying, portage
||dana: giving, gift
||guma: coming, advent
|ukwit: says, speaks
||ukwa: speech, talk
|sedaagit: seats s.o.
• 3RD PERSON PLURAL
Verbs form the third person plural with the suffix --en.
beren: they carry
danen: they give
eden: they eat
esen: they are, exist
gumen: they come
pojen: they drink
proken: they ask
swopen: they sleep
ukwen: they say
wergen: they work
widen: they see
Plural verbs logically occur with plural subject nouns:
Nerai pojen. The men drink.
Putlai gumen. The children come.
Gunai widen. The women see.
Ludai wergen. People work.
• PRONOUN PLURALS
Pronouns, like nouns, also form their plural with the suffix --i.
• DIRECT OBJECTS
The accusative or direct object is formed with the suffix --m.
Nerai udram pojen. Men drink water.
Onai putlam widen. They see the child.
Ludai memsam eden. (The) people eat food.
Udram dano. I give water.
Putlam berit. S/he carries the child.
Nokta swopam danit. Night gives sleep.
Putla gunaim prokit. The child asks the women.
• WORD ORDER
Note the word order of a simple sentence, which generally places the subject
first and the verb last. Thus, if there is an object, it appears before the
verb, not after it as in English.
Onai putlam widen. They see the child.
Ludai memsam eden. (The) people eat food.
• 2ND PERSON SINGULAR
The second person singular is formed with the suffix --is.
Menam widis. You see me.
Memsam edis. You eat food.
• EXPRESSING the
To negate a verb, place the adverb ne “no, not” just before the verb.
Udram ne pojen. They don’t drink water.
Putla memsam ne widit. The child doesn’t see the food.
Ludai ne gumen. The people don’t come.
Nera putlam ne berit. The man doesn’t carry the child.
The same affix may be attached to adjectives, to form negatives similar to
English negative adjectives.
• SHOWING POSSESSION
with the GENITIVE
To show possession, the suffix --s is attached to a noun, either singular or
Menas guna putlam ne widit. My wife doesn’t see the child.
Tuwas patra senekei esit. Your father is old.
Wesais gunei putla ne swopit. Your girl/daughter isn’t sleeping.
Tuwei patras senosta kuwa esit? What is your father’s age? How old is your
Putlas nomena Rudra esit. The child’s name is Rudra.
• POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS
menas: my nais: our
tuwas: your (sing) wais: your (plural)
onas: his, her, its onais: their
kjas: whose kjais: whose (plural)
• PAST TENSE OF VERBS
The past tense of all verbs is formed by attaching the verb tense suffix --aaw-
to the verb stem. The personal endings then follow the tense suffix.
Udram pojaawo. I drank the water. Literally, “water-object drink-past-I.”
Ne swopaawis. You didn’t sleep.
Dina gumaawit. Day came.
Memsam beraawen. They carried the food.
Ludai ne wergaawen. The people didn’t work.
• 2ND PERSON PLURAL
The second person plural is formed by adding the suffix --ete.
Memsam edaawete. You ate the food.
(Wai) ludai esete. You are people.
• 1ST PERSON PLURAL
The first person plural is formed by adding the suffix --omes.
Memsam edaawomes. We ate the food.
Nai ludai esomes. We are people.
• VERB SUFFIXES summarized,
using the verb es-.
eso: I am esomes: we are
esis: you are esete: you are (plural)
esit: s/he is esen: they are
• PRONOUNS used for
Because the verb always shows the person, pronouns are used mostly for emphasis.
Domam demaawo. I built the house.
Mena domam demaawo. I (myself) built the house.
• YES-NO QUESTIONS
There are two kinds of questions. The first is the yes-no question, which is
indicated in speech by a rising intonation, as in English.
Ne swopaawis. You didn’t sleep.
Ne swopaawis? You didn’t sleep? Didn’t you sleep?
• SHORT FORMS OF
The personal pronouns have short forms which occur frequently in conversation:
Ona luda esit -- > O luda 'sit. S/he is a person.
Tuwa guna esis -- > Tu guna 'sis. You are a woman.
Mena putla eso -- > Me putla 'so. I am a child.
The second type of question is called the “wh-question” in English, because
so many of the question words in this type of question begin with wh: who,
what, when, where, why, which, whose, etc. In Dingwa, many question words
begin with ku-:
Kuja esis? [Kja 'sis?] Who are you?
Kuja memsam edaawit? Who ate the food?
Kujam widaawis? Whom did you see?
Tu kujas udram pojaawis? Whose water did you drink?
Tu onas udram pojaawis. You drank his water.
Kuwam edaawit? What did she eat?
O kuwam berit? What is he carrying?
Kuwa esit? What is it?
Kuwei ora esit? What time is it?
Kuwa ora esit? What is the hour?
NOTE: Especially in spoken Dingwa, kuja is often shortened to kja. Likewise, kuwa is
often shortened to kwa.
Kjas udram pojaawis? Whose water did you drink?
Kwam edaawis? What did you eat?
• WORD ORDER of QUESTIONS
Note the word order. The question word appears where the answer to the question
appears in a statement.
Kuwam widis? What do you see?
Egeram wido. I see a lake.
Putla kuwam pojaawit? What did the child drink?
Putla udram pojaawit. The child drank water.
• NEGATIVE of ES-
Ne “no, not” and nesit (ne esit) “isn’t” can serve as a question tag following
questions, similar to French n’est-ce pas and German nicht wahr, both meaning
“isn’t it, not true?” etc. Note that, unlike the English tag question, the
Dingwa tag is invariable, having only one form.
O gumit, ne? He’s coming, isn’t it (true)? He’s coming, right?
Ewei udram pojaawis, nesit? You drank that water, didn’t you?
• DOUBLE NEGATIVES
While the double negative is considered substandard or poor grammar in English,
it is alive and well in English dialect, and in many other languages, where
it is perfectly grammatical, as it is in Dingwa. It functions merely an emphatic
Putla newam ne ukwaawit. The child didn’t say anything. The child said
Lit., “The child didn’t say nothing.”
Noinei luda estu nesit. There is no person here. There’s nobody here.
Lit., “No person isn’t here.”
• MAKING VERBS with
Many related verbs can be regularly formed from adjectives with the causative
verb suffix --aag-. The verb endings are then added as usual.
albei “white” -- > albaagit: “makes white”; whitens
golei “cool, cold” -- > golaagit: “makes cold”; cools, chills
gurmei “hot” -- > gurmaagit: “makes hot”; heats
rudrei “red” -- > rudraagit: “makes red”; reddens
senekei “old” -- > senekaagit: “makes old”; ages
skunei: “beautiful” -- > skunaagit: “makes beautiful”; beautifies
surdei “black” -- > surdaagit: “makes black”; blackens
patei “open” -- > pataagit: “makes open”; opens
Dwora patei esit. The door is open.
Ona dworam pataagit. S/he opened the door.
Snigwa albei banit. Snow appears white.
Snigwa kolnaim albaagit. Snow whitens the mountains.
Udra golei esit. The water is cold.
Pruswa udram golaagit. Ice cools the water.
•FUTURE TENSE with --IS-.
Verbs form the future tense with the suffix --is.
Udram pojiso. I will drink the water.
Ne swopisis. You won’t sleep.
Dina gumisit. Day will come.
Memsam berisen. They will carry the food.
Ludai ne wergisen. The people will not work.
Adverbs end in the suffix --u.
Kustu edaawis? Where did you eat?
Newu gumaawit. S/he just arrived. (literally, S/he newly came.)
Bresu wergaawis. You worked quickly.
• PRESENT ACTIVE
The present active participle, corresponding to the English verb+-ing (walking,
running, etc.) is formed with the participle suffix --ont- and the adjective
Wergontei nera junei nesit. The working man isn’t young.
Gumontei neraim widaawo. I watched the coming/arriving men.
Occasionally the participle is adverbial than adjectival, and shows how the
action of the verb is performed. In such cases it may take the adverb suffix
Drajentu gumaawit. S/he came running.
• DIRECT OBJECTS
with PRESENT PARTICIPLES
As in English, the participle can take a direct object.
Putlaim widontei sedaawit. Watching the children, s/he sat. (S/he sat watching
• EXPRESSING “WITH”
USING KOM: THE COMITATIVE suffix
The case suffix --kom attached to nouns expresses accompaniment and can be translated
Putlaikom lidaawit. S/he played with the children.
Senekei neraikom wergaawo. I worked with the old men.
• PAST ACTIVE PARTICIPLE
The past active participle is formed with the suffix --us- and the adjective
ending --ei. Genreally it can express the equivalent of English “having verb+ed”
or “after verb+ing.”
edusei: having eaten
Memsam edusei swopaawit. “Having eaten (the) food, s/he slept.”
Skunei noktam widusei, putlaikom lidaawit. “Having seen the beautiful night,
s/he played with the children.”
• PAST PASSIVE PARTICIPLE
The past passive participle is formed from verbs with the suffix --en- and the
adjective ending --ei.
kludit: s/he closes kludenei: closed
skunaagit: s/he beautifies skunaagenei: beautified
widit: s/he sees widenei: seen
Particularly in speech, short forms of this participle exist. Verb roots which
end in a single consonant often elide the e of the suffix --en-:
kludit: s/he closes kludnei: closed
skunaagit: s/he beautifies skunaagnei: beautified
widit: s/he sees widnei: seen
But note ansit: favor, esteem;
ansenei: favored, esteemed
bergit: protect, defend; bergenei: protected, defended
• The SYSTEM of PRONOUNS,
ADJECTIVES and ADVERBS
Many Dingwa pronouns, adjectives and adverbs form a regular integrated system.
Kulkei memsam edis? What
kind of food are you eating?
Doma jewam demaawis skunei esit. The house that you built is beautiful.
Skola jestu unkaagis apostanentei esit. The school where you teach is distant.
Kustu bowis gigno. I know where you live.
Aja ukwaawit. Someone spoke.
Nedu tostu ne wikaawo. I never lived there.
• PRESENT PASSIVE
PARTICIPLE with --OMN-.
The present passive participle is formed with the suffix --omn- and the adjective
widomnei: being seen
neprokomnei: not being asked
• REFLEXIVE with
The noun swa “self” is used to express the reflexive. Note that as a reflexive
it can never be the subject of a sentence.
Swam widaawo. I saw myself.
<<Interesentei>> swage edaawo. Interesting, I said to myself.
If swa appears as the subject, it is therefore not reflexive in meaning:
Swa nedu ne genit i nedu ne mortit. The self is never born and never dies.
• ADJECTIVES of TENDENCY with --iklei
The suffix -iklei makes adjectives from verb roots to show tendency or
ukwit “speaks”; ukwiklei “tending to talk, loquacious”
gwonit “fights”; gwoniklei “tending to fight, pugnacious, feisty”
• ADJECTIVES of ABILITY
The suffix --otw and the adjective ending -ei make adjectives from verb roots
showing capacity or susceptibility. In some cases it is similar to the English
ukwotwei: sayable, speakable
• ABLATIVE suffix
The ablative suffix --den attached to a noun indicates movement away from the
Poljaden gumaawit. S/he came from the city.
It is also used in comparisons, as follows:
Oden menegu junotrei eso. I am much younger than he.
• COMPARATIVE and
SUPERLATIVE FORMS of ADJECTIVES
The comparative form of the adjective may be expressed with the suffix --otr-
and -ei. The superlative suffix is --ist and -ei. The basis of comparison
is expressed with the ablative suffix --den on the noun.
skunistei: most beautiful
snigwaden albotrei: whiter than snow
Ewei egera towaden dubotrei esit. This lake is deeper than that one.
• MAKING INSTRUMENT NOUNS from VERBS with --etr- and -a.
The suffix --etra attached to verb stems expresses the means or instrument
by which one does the action of a verb.
anaagit “makes breathe”; anaagetra “respirator”
arit “plows”; aretra “plow”
bergit “protects”; bergetra “shield, guard, protector”
budaagit “wakes”; budaagetra “alarm clock”
gurmaagit “warms, heats”; gurmaagetra “heater”
krijit “strains, sifts”; krijetra “sieve”
swopaagit “puts to sleep”; swopaagetra “soporific, sedative, tranquilizer”
• ACTOR/AGENT with
The suffix --uka attached to verb stems allows the formation of an agent noun,
one who performs the action of the verb. Thus:
ukwit: s/he speaks ukwuka:
berit: s/he carries beruka: porter
• IMPERATIVE with
The imperative ending for verbs is --e, which expresses a command.
Dingwam ukwe! Speak Dingwa!
Dworam ne kludaage. Don’t close the door.
• WORD SETS as ADJECTIVE,
NOUN and ADVERB.
In Dingwa, several sets of related words function as adjectives, nouns or adverbs
in similar sentences, depending on their endings and functions.
amb- “both” can be an adjective, noun and adverb.
O ambu gumit i ejit. He both comes and goes. Ambei prijai skutlam gignen. Both
friends know the story. Ambai gignen. Both know. [Note that ambai is plural]
meneg-: “many, much, a lot.” With plural nouns, menegei can usually be translated
“many.” With singular nouns, it is better rendered as “much.” As an adverb,
it means “considerably, much.” Finally, as a noun it means “a great deal, a
Menegei ludai gumaawen. Many people came.
Aisatwora menegei gurmostam prokit. Metalworking requires much heat.
Oden menegu junotrei eso. I am much younger than he is.
Ludai menegam smeraawen. People have forgotten much/a lot.
minw-: “few, little, less.”
Minwei ludai gisu gumaawen. Few people came yesterday.
Minwu gurmei edinu esit. It’s less hot today.
Skutlam klujusei, o minwam smoraawit. Hearing the story, he remembered little.
solw-: with singular nouns, solwei means “whole, entire.” With plural nouns,
it is translated as “all, every.” As an adverb, it means “entirely, wholly.”
Solwa mirei esit. Everything is good. O solwu patnei esit. It is entirely open.
Solwei skolukai skolam umnen. All students attend school. Mirei unkaaguka solwei
skolukam unkaagit. A good teacher teaches the whole student.
noin-: “no, none.”
Noinei luda estu (ne) esit. No one is here.
Noinam (ne) wido. I don’t see anything. I see nothing.
• ORDINALIZING with -im-
The suffix --im- is the ordinalizing suffix, making ordinals from cardinal
trija: three tri(ji)mei: third
ketura: four keturimei: fourth
kenta: hundred kentimei: hundredth
NOTE: The noun kentima “hundredth” is used to express percentages. Oinei
kentima is “one percent”; that is, “one hundredth.”
• DIMINUTIVE suffix
The suffix -its-, attached to adjective, noun and verb stems, allows the formation
of a diminutive. Thus:
dankit: bites dankitsit: nips
kolna: mountain kolnitsa: hill, rise, hillock
gurmei: hot gurmitsei: lukewarm
The Dingwa number can be a noun as well as an adjective.
penkwa: five (noun) penkwei: five (adjective)
nerais penkwa: five of the men
penkwei nerai: five men
Penkwam gambo. I hold/have five.
Its adjective form modifies a noun:
Penkwei owjai petaawen. Five birds flew.
Another alternative is to use the partitive:
Dwa nerais preken. Two of the men are asking.
• DATIVE SUFFIX --ge
The suffix --ge expresses the indirect object and functions otherwise like the
O mege udram danaawit. S/he gave me water.
Skutlam naige ukwe! Tell us a story!
• LOCATIVE suffix
The locative suffix --su on nouns indicates location as well as “time within
konasu: in the beginning, at first, for a start
trijei dinaisu: in three days
Trijei dinaisu anugumiso. I will return in three days.
• INSTRUMENTAL suffix
The instrumental suffix --bi on nouns indicates “by means of” the noun, or “using”
Ognabi swam gurmaagaawit. S/he warmed himself with fire.
• ALLATIVE suffix
The allative suffix --do on nouns indicates motion toward the noun.
poljado: toward the city
kerdado: to the heart
Poljas kerdado ejwaames. We went to the center (“heart”) of the city.
• WORD FORMATION:
Optional deletion of final vowel (FV) when FV meets initial vowel (IV)
FV ? 0/__#IV
aljo + ukwit ? aljukwit: translate
gima + andesa ? gimandesa: winter flower
Compound Connector: +o
penkwa + dina = penkwodina “Friday”
• TIME EXPRESSIONS
Gisu gumuvo: I came yesterday
Gisa buvit penkvodina: Yesterday was Thursday.
is: out of
u dolga + gen: along
u medja + gen: amid, among, between
u stata + gen: in stead of, in place of
u: by, at, near
upra: above, over
• ROOT VALENCES [under
regei: royal, kingly
regaagit: enthrone, crown
X-it: derived verb
X-ei: derived adjective pertaining to noun
gigna: science, knowing
X-a: abstract action noun
X-uka: human agent/actor
gloraagit: makes green
X-aag-it: derived verb
X-osta: derived abstract noun
Konasu deiwa nebesam degmenamkwe
kuraawit tworewneikwe degmena waneikwe esaawit uperkwe dubas derksnasu regwesa.
Deiwaskwe dusa uper udnais derksnasu agmenaawit. Deiwakwe ukwaawit <<louka
esaawit. [Genesis 1:1-3]
• INDEX [under development]:
past active participle
past passive participle
present active participle
present passive participle
root: see also word and stem
stem: see also word and root
word: see also stem and root