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Chlouvānem is a highly inflected language with a synthetic morphology. Five parts of speech are traditionally distinguished: nouns, verbs, pronouns, numerals, and particles. Throughout the page there will be references to the topics treated in the pages on Chlouvānem syntax, positional and motion verbs, and exterior and interior verbs.


Nouns (halenī)

See Lahob languages § Morphology for diachronical tables and comparisons with sister languages.

The Chlouvānem noun (haloe, pl. halenī) is highly inflected - it declines for:

  • Three numbers:
Singular (emibausire smoḍūm)
Dual (danyausire smoḍūm)
Plural (tailyausire smoḍūm)
  • Twelve cases:

Direct (daradhūkire dirūnnevya)
Vocative (halausire dirūnnevya)

Accusative (dṛṣokire dirūnnevya)
Ergative (darinūkire dirūnnevya)
Genitive (cārūkire dirūnnevya)

Translative (najamarcūkire dirūnnevya)

Exessive (nenijamarcūkire dirūnnevya)
Essive (jalausire dirūnnevya)
Dative (męlyausire dirūnnevya)
Ablative (tųlunūkire dirūnnevya)
Locative (yuñcūkire dirūnnevya)
Instrumental (drausire dirūnnevya)

There are a few nouns which lack number; a few are singularia tantum and lack a plural (e.g. hærūm lips), other ones are plural only - most notably these include all ethnicities (e.g. chlǣvānem, which is also an irregular plural). The singular is made by using the genitive form attributed to lila (person), e.g. chlǣvānumi lila (a Chlouvānem).

Chlouvānem does not have grammatical gender, and there are only a few natural gender terms. There are thirteen different noun declensions, but most of them only have few small differences. Chlouvānem declensions are predictable from the ending of the direct case noun, and they're categorized depending on their endings as s-, m-, or h-nouns[1].

S-nouns - Sasą lā halenī

There are some traits which are common to all nominal declensions: the vocative is only distinct in the singular; in the dual there is also no distinction between translative and dative, essive and locative, and between exessive, ablative, and instrumental.

1-s (-as, -ās, -o1)
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct prātas
prātāt prāte
Vocative prātau
Accusative prātu prātāṣa prataih
Ergative prātei prātāya prātān
Genitive prāti prāteva prātumi
Translative prātan prātaus prātyoh
Exessive prātat prātābhan prātāmān
Essive prātą prātigin prātēm
Dative prātom prātaus prātasām
Ablative prātų prātābhan prātenīs
Locative prāte prātigin prātilīm
Instrumental prātap prātābhan prātenīka

2-s (-us, -ūs)
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct kældus
kældūt kældaus
Vocative kældu
Accusative kældavu kældūṣa kældavih
Ergative kældave kældūya kældūn
Genitive kældavi kældagva kældǣmi
Translative kældun kældugus kælduyoh
Exessive kældut kældobhan kældomān
Essive kældą kældugin kældavēm
Dative kældavom kældugus kældusām
Ablative kældų kældobhan kældunīs
Locative kældave kældugin kældulīm
Instrumental kældup kældobhan kældunīka

3-s (-is, -īs)
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct ḍhogis
ḍhogīt ḍhogais
Vocative ḍhogi
Accusative ḍhogayu ḍhogīṣa ḍhogaih
Ergative ḍhogaye ḍhogīya ḍhogīn
Genitive ḍhogayi ḍhogajña ḍhogyumi
Translative ḍhogin ḍhogigus ḍhogyoh
Exessive ḍhogit ḍhogebhan ḍhogemān
Essive ḍhogę ḍhogigin ḍhogayēm
Dative ḍhogayom ḍhogigus ḍhogisām
Ablative ḍhogyų ḍhogebhan ḍhogenīs
Locative ḍhogaye ḍhogigin ḍhogilīm
Instrumental ḍhogip ḍhogebhan ḍhoginīka

Table notes:

  1. Mostly toponyms of Toyubeshian origin (e.g. Paramito).

Also note that modern borrowings ending in [s] typically add a further case ending, e.g. Skyrdagor valtasz (nunatak) becomes Chlouvānem valtasas (same meaning), declining as valtasau, valtasu, valtasei...

M- and N-nouns - Mamą naną no lā halenī

1-m (-am, -ām, (-an, -ān, -en, -ēn))
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct yujam
yujivā yujāk
Accusative yujamu yujmes yujmaih
Ergative yujmæ yujmyan yujamūn
Genitive yujami yujmeva yujaṃrān
Translative yujaman yujmį yujmēt
Exessive yujamat yujabhan yujamān
Essive yujmą yujmenne yujmēm
Dative yujamom yujmį yujaṃsām
Ablative yujamų yujabhan yujmenīs
Locative yujaṃrye yujmenne yujmilīm
Instrumental yujamap yujabhan yujaṃrīka

2-m (-um, -ūm, (-un, -ūn))
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct tūlum
tūlvivā tūlūk
Vocative tūlve
Accusative tūlumu tūlves tūluyih
Ergative tūluga tūlvyan tūlumūn
Genitive tūlumi tūlveva tūluṃrān
Translative tūluman tūlvį tūlūt
Exessive tūlumat tūlubhan tūlumān
Essive tūlų tūlunne tūlugēm
Dative tūlumom tūlvį tūluṃsām
Ablative tūlumų tūlubhan tūlvenīs
Locative tūluṃrye tūlunne tūlulīm
Instrumental tūlumap tūlubhan tūluṃrīka

3-m (-im, -īm, (-in, -īn))
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct jāyim
jāyīvā jāyīk
Vocative jāyī
Accusative jāyimu jājñes1 jāyīh
Ergative jājña1 jāyiyan jāyimūn
Genitive jāyimi jājñeva1 jāyiṃran
Translative jāyiman jāyį jāyīt
Exessive jāyimat jāyibhan jāyimān
Essive jāyį jāyinne jājñēm1
Dative jāyimom jāyį jāyiṃsam
Ablative jāyimų jāyibhan jājñenīs1
Locative jāyiṃrye jāyinne jāyilīm
Instrumental jāyimap jāyibhan jāyiṃrīka

1-m (n-paradigm)
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct lilvan
"sash, belt"
lilvivā lilvan
Accusative lilvanu lilunes2 lilunaih2
Ergative lilunæ2 lilunian2 lilvanūn
Genitive lilvani liluneva2 lilvaṃrān
Translative lilvanan lilunį2 lilunēt2
Exessive lilvanat lilvabhan lilvanān
Essive liluną2 lilunenne2 lilunēm2
Dative lilvanom lilunį2 lilvaṃsām
Ablative lilvanų lilvabhan lilunenīs2
Locative lilvaṃrye lilunenne2 lilunilīm2
Instrumental lilvanap lilvabhan lilvaṃrīka

The n-paradigms follow the exact same rules as the corresponding m- ones, with the exception of having the direct plural identical to the singular. All other inflections (including the dual) are the same as the other nouns. Thus e.g. samin may be either child or children, and it is usually the verb that marks the number - compare samin mālchē "the kid runs" and samin mālchāhai "the kids run". They are de facto undistinguishable out of context in forms where singular and plural have the same verb form, e.g. in the perfect - samin amālcha can mean either "the kid has run" or "the kids have run" depending on context.

The noun yaltan (the currency of the Chlouvānem Inquisition) has, outside of legal texts, an irregularity in the exessive singular, being yaltat instead of yaltanat (the latter, regular form is used in very formal styles). This shortening arose in one of its most common uses, the exessive case used to state an amount paid, as in e.g. māmei yalta(na)t ulgutaṃte "I bought it for twelve yaltan."

Table notes:

  1. Such forms with -jñ- are underlyingly -y-y- (e.g. jāy-y-esjājñes).
  2. This stem is the result of regular saṃdhi, i.e. *lilvn- → lilun-.

H-nouns - Hahą lā halenī

1-h (-a, -ā, (-ah, -āh))
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct māra
mārāt mārai
Vocative māre
Accusative māru mārāṣa māraih
Ergative mārei mārāra mārān
Genitive māri1 māreva mārumi
Translative māran mārarį mārēt
Exessive mārat mārabhan māremān
Essive māręs māranne mārēm
Dative mārom mārarį māresām
Ablative mārų mārabhan mārenīs
Locative māre māranne mārelīm
Instrumental mārap mārabhan mārenīka

2-h (-ē, -eh, -ǣh2)
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct javileh
javilyāt javilyai
Vocative javilei
Accusative javilyu javilēṣa javileih
Ergative javilei javilyāra javilyān
Genitive javili javileva3 javilyumi
Translative javilen javilerį javilēt
Exessive javilet javilebhan javilemān
Essive javilęs javilenne javilēm
Dative javilyom javilerį javilesām
Ablative javilių javilebhan javilenīs
Locative javilye javilenne javilelīm
Instrumental javilep javilebhan javilenīka

3-h (-uh, -ūh, -u4)
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct ñaɂuh
"fruit skin"
ñaɂūt ñaɂūvi
Vocative ñaɂū
Accusative ñaɂunu ñaɂūṣa ñaɂuyih
Ergative ñaɂuyei ñaɂura ñaɂun
Genitive ñaɂuyi ñaɂuva ñaɂūmi
Translative ñaɂun ñaɂurį ñaɂūt
Exessive ñaɂut ñaɂubhan ñaɂumān
Essive ñaɂųs ñaɂunne ñaɂugem
Dative ñaɂuvom ñaɂurį ñaɂusām
Ablative ñaɂųu ñaɂubhan ñaɂunīs
Locative ñaɂuve ñaɂunne ñaɂulīm
Instrumental ñaɂup ñaɂubhan ñaɂunīka

4-m (-ih, -īh, -i5)
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct ghārṭih
ghārṭīt ghārṭeyi
Vocative ghārṭī
Accusative ghārṭyu ghārṭīṣa ghārṭeyih
Ergative ghārṭyei ghārṭira ghārṭin
Genitive ghārṭīyi ghārṭiva ghārṭyumi
Translative ghārṭin ghārṭirį ghārṭīt
Exessive ghārṭit ghārṭibhan ghārṭimān
Essive ghārṭįs ghārṭinne ghārṭiyem
Dative ghārṭyom ghārṭirį ghārṭisām
Ablative ghārṭyų ghārṭibhan ghārṭinīs
Locative ghārṭye ghārṭinne ghārṭilīm
Instrumental ghārṭip ghārṭibhan ghārṭinīka

1-h (h-paradigm)
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct raiṇah
"(piece of) cloth"
raiṇāt raiṇai
Vocative raiṇe
Accusative raiṇu raiṇāṣa raiṇaih
Ergative raiṇei raiṇāra raiṇān
Genitive raiṇi1 raiṇeva raiṇumi
Translative raiṇan raiṇarį raiṇēt
Exessive raiṇat raiṇabhan raiṇamān
Essive raiṇęs raiṇanne raiṇēm
Dative raiṇom raiṇarį raiṇasām
Ablative raiṇų raiṇabhan raiṇanīs
Locative raiṇe raiṇanne raiṇalīm
Instrumental raiṇap raiṇabhan raiṇanīka

The h-paradigm used by nouns in -ah and -āh is substantially identical to the regular 1-h one, except for the exessive, dative, ablative, locative, and instrumental plural which have -a- instead of -e- as a linking vowel and, for some nouns, the genitive singular (see table note 1).

Table notes:

  1. -ya, and -yā nouns form the genitive singular in -ei (e.g. lalyā "night" → lalei). Nouns in -yah, and -yāh, however, have the regular ending (e.g. yamyah "fog" → yamyi).
  2. All -ǣh nouns are of Lällshag origin, and are mostly toponyms (like Laikunanǣh), with some exceptions like the two lunar days kælyaunænǣh and yeicapænǣh. Note that such nouns have their genitive singular in -ǣyi and not in .
  3. In older texts -eiva (e.g. javileiva), today only used in literature for an archaïzing effect or to mark a character speaking with a Northern Plain pronunciation (where this form survives in the spoken language).
  4. Mostly regional Western words of Dabuke origin.
  5. Non-productive with borrowings, but common in native words.

Special declensions

Ablaut declension
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct lila
lilāt lelyē
Accusative lilu lilāṣa lelyu
Ergative lilei lilāra lelyei
Genitive leli lileva laili
Translative lilan lilarį lelyan
Exessive lilat lilabhan lelyat
Essive liląs lilanne lailąs
Dative lilom lilarį lelyom
Ablative lilų lilabhan lelyų
Locative lile lilanne laile
Instrumental lilap lilabhan lelyap

-oe declension
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct haloe
halenāt halenī
Accusative halenu halenāṣa halenaih
Ergative halenei halenāya halenān
Genitive halenyes halemva haloemi
Translative halenan halenaus halenyoh
Exessive halenat haloebhan haloemān
Essive halen haloegin haloem
Dative halenom halenaus haloesām
Ablative halenų haloebhan haloenīs
Locative halenye haloegin halenilīm
Instrumental halenap haloebhan haloenīka

-ai declension
Case Singular Dual Plural
Direct lunai
lunaiva lunāye
Accusative lunāyu lunāyes lunāyaih
Ergative lunǣ lunāyēn lunāyūn
Genitive lunāyi lunaiva lunāyān
Translative lunain lunāyį lunāyēt
Exessive lunait lunaibhan lunaimān
Essive lunąis lunainne lunaigem
Dative lunāyom lunāyį lunaisām
Ablative lunāyų lunaibhan lunǣnīs
Locative lunāye lunainne lunailīm
Instrumental lunaip lunaibhan lunainīka

The ablaut declension is in the singular (except for the vocative and essive) and dual the same as the 1-h one, including the -ei rule for the genitive singular (e.g. rinya "ceiling", renei), except for the fact that the genitive singular has a middle-grade vowel. The plural has mostly the same endings as the singular but with middle-grade vowels in most forms (genitive, essive, and locative have a higher-grade one). -y- is inserted between the stem and the ending, but not for nouns ending in -ya (rinyarenyē).
The vowel that undergoes ablaut is usually the penultimate (e.g. plušamila "Office of the Inquisition", plural plušamelyē), but in some cases it's the first (e.g. kimeda (a type of panther), plural kemedyē).

Irregular plurals

A few Chlouvānem nouns have irregular plurals:

  • The word chlǣvānem itself is plural-only and irregular; direct and vocative are in -em, but all other cases decline as a standard plural 1h noun (e.g. accusative chlǣvānānu, ergative chlǣvānān, genitive chlǣvānumi);
  • maila “water” does not have a dual form outside of colloquial use (where mailāt is used with the meaning of “two glasses of water”) and has the irregular plural mailtvąa. It declines as a singular 1h noun, with two exceptions, namely accusative in -ąu instead of expected *-ahu and genitive in -ąi instead of expected *-ahi. This plural form is actually common, used when talking about bodies of water in an area, water layers, glasses of water, and a few minor idiomatic uses (e.g. taili mailtvahe hilælulke, lit. “to arrive by crossing many waters”, meaning “to have had much experience”).
    The -tvąa semantic plural is also used for the word damītah when used for "petals" (damītvąa; the meaning of "nails" has the regular plural damītai), and lairē (lairtvąa, which does not mean "skies" but "galaxy").
  • resan "pig" and liken "arm" both have irregular plurals with vowel change: ryasan and læcin respectively.
  • ås "ford, crossing of a small river" has the stem av- in all pre-vocalic forms (e.g. plural ave).
  • švas "animal (including humans)" pluralizes as švai, as if it were a h-noun; all cases except for direct and vocative are however regular.
  • There are some pluralia tantum: pārāk “hair”, kāraṇḍhai “guts”, also agṇyaucai “sons and daughters”, aryai "square", katanai "clutter", vailašaus "cutlery", šūlyakāše "dishes", and all ethnonyms.
    • Some pluralia tantum are the plural forms of nouns with other (usually related) meanings - when they are used as semantic plurals, they're counted with cardinal numerals (and are singular); when they are used as pluralia tantum, with collective numerals (and are plural). Examples are hamvyenī "nursery" (hamvyoe "cradle"), įsmirte "playground" (įsmirtas "swing"), nacai "clothes" (naca "cloth"), garaṇai "clock, watch" (garaṇa "hour"), lairtvąa "galaxy" (lairē "sky").
      • This is often used in poetry, with words like mešanāt "eyes" - dual of mešanah "view". In many set phrases, læcin "arms" is used with the meaning of "work, effort".
    • Many toponyms in the Inquisition and a few ones abroad are only ever used in the plural. Island groups are an obvious example, but this also includes descriptive names of dioceses such as Vīdhyašaṇṭrē ("regions of the Vīdhyai"), Samvālšaṇṭrē (lit. "the Western Regions"), and many cities even with originally non-Chlouvānem names such as Kašikanye (episcopal seat of Saṃhayolah), Rīkalīnai (episcopal seat of Dārṭijātia), or Kareñjoklai (episcopal seat of Yūgarthāma).
  • A few nouns are singularia tantum: hærṣūs “lips”, maula “breasts”, kanai “spices”, paɂeh “dust”, nāmvāvi “dust (made by crushing something)”, narmis “ash”, ñailūh “ice”; lāsīm "cereals" (individual terms for cereals may have duals and plurals meaning "two/more varieties of ..."), mæchlišam "leafy greens", mæcichā "spinach", and bågras "legumes" with all types of legumes (dīlla "peas", mahīra "lentils", miltai "soybeans"...)
  • Dvandva compounds are usually all dual and pluralizable - like yāṇḍamaišñukivā “genitals”, or also many dyadic kinship terms (e.g. maihāmeināt “daughter and mother”) - but some of them are inherently “singular” and therefore are dual only, like lillamurḍhyāyunyāt (how some philosophical Yunyalīlti currents refer to the yunya “nature” and the lillamurḍhyā “natural harmony” as two aspects of the same thing).
  • Toponyms (except inherently dual or plural ones), personal names, and miscellaneous things that are semantically only singular (like many Yunyalīlti concepts, e.g. yunya or lillamurḍhyā) are found exclusively in the singular.

Irregular vocatives

Five very common words have common, irregular, vocative forms:

  • ñæltah "(male's) sister" — ñæli or ñæl
  • glūkam "(female's) brother" — galū
  • meinā "mother" — or
  • bunā "father" — or
  • udhyāras "Comrade" — udhyā (rarely udhyār)

Use of the plural

Chlouvānem sometimes uses the singular in contexts where English uses the plural:

  • Nouns are always singular after numerals (except, optionally, dani (two), which they can also be dual after), sora (some), læti (any), gu (no), guviṣam (no other), taili (many, much), nanū (more), kaili (most), and ṣubha (few, little).
    • After yaiva, the difference in the noun's number expresses a distinction much like the one between English "every" and "all": yaiva kita "every house", yaiva kitai "all houses".
  • Similarly, demonstratives already encode number on their own, and the noun is therefore singular, e.g. nenē kita "this house", eṣāne kita "these two houses", ānane kita "these (pl.) houses".
  • When referring to existence or availability of something, that something is always singular, e.g. dvārma læjlęs virā "there are chairs in the room". It may be plural if topicalized, but the overall meaning of the sentence changes - e.g. læjlai mæn dvārma virā "the chairs are in the room".
  • When referring to a single person, dhāna (hand), mešīn (eye), and minnūlya (ear), and often also junai (foot) (more rarely for pājya (leg) and liken (arm)) are typically singular and not dual - e.g. nanau mešīp mešute "I see it with my eyes" (lit. "with my eye"). In fact, they might be translated as "a person's hands/eyes/ears", given that dual forms are often used to mean e.g. "both hands of two people" and the plural ones for e.g. "many people's hands".
  • junyoe (indoor slippers), rapūda ((thick) shoes), mæska (boots), and all types of shoes are also used in the singular to refer to a pair of them. The main exception is varṇaigīk (straw rope sandals), which is a plurale tantum.

Verbs (daradhaus)

The Chlouvānem verb (daradhūs, pl. daradhaus) is the most inflected part of speech; its most basic forms are fusional, but many more specific formations are more agglutinative due to their origin from old Proto-Lahob particles or participles.

The first and most important division we can find in Chlouvānem verbs is the distinction - a category called, with noticeable metaphorical use, chlærim (light) by native grammarians - between exterior (kauyāva) and interior (nañyāva) verbs. This may at first seem a voice system, but it must be distinguished from the true voices in Chlouvānem conjugation. The difference between them is mostly lexical: native grammarians distinguish exterior verbs as describing "activities or states that involve interactions with outside the self", and interior verbs as affecting principally the self. Exterior verbs are those we could most easily compare to active verbs in English, while interior verbs are a somewhat "catch-all" category including many distinct meanings, most notably middle-voice, reflexive and reciprocal ones, but also all adjectival verbs as well as peculiar and somewhat independent meanings for some verbs. Many verbs can be conjugated both as exterior and as interior and they often have differences in meaning - e.g. gṇyauke means “to give birth” when exterior and “to be born” when interior - commonly, the interior has the intransitive meaning and the exterior the transitive one - cf. lęlširu "I shake" vs. lęlšute "I shake (something)".

→ See Chlouvānem exterior and interior verbs for a more thorough explanation of these forms.

Potentially every Chlouvānem verb form, no matter if exterior or interior, has a causative (drildyāva) conjugation which is considered an inflection and not a derivation, even if the meanings may vary: mišake is an extreme example as each form has a different meaning (with particularly interior forms having many meanings) - non-causative exterior mešu "I am seen", interior meširu "I know; I see myself"; and causative exterior maišildu "I am shown", interior maišīldru "I learn; I show myself (trans.)".

Chlouvānem verbs also conjugate for seven voices (tadgeroe, pl. tadgerenī), each one putting one of seven different core elements as the direct-case argument, usually for means of topicalization or definiteness; they reflect the Austronesian-type morphosyntactical alignment of the language. The seven voices are, for exterior verbs:

  • patient-trigger (dṛṣokire tadgeroe) (unmarked);
  • agent-trigger (darīnūkire tadgeroe) (transitive and ditransitive verbs only);
  • benefactive-trigger (hulābādmęlīnūkire tadgeroe);
  • antibenefactive-trigger (tatalunsusūkire tadgeroe);
  • locative-trigger (yuñcūkire tadgeroe);
  • dative-trigger (męliausire tadgeroe) (mostly ditransitive verbs);
  • instrumental-trigger (drausire tadgeroe) (morphologically possible for all verbs, but not always meaningful).

Interior verbs only have six voices, as they do not have an agentive voice; the patientive, unmarked voice, is here called common voice (tailcārē tadgeroe)[2].

Chlouvānem (realis) verbs encode six different types of evidentiality (tarlāsmrāṇa), actually a combination of evidentiality and epistemic modality: experiential (šukilenūkire tarlāsmrāṇa, unmarked[3]), first inferential (lahīla paratṛlūkire tarlāsmrāṇa, trustworthy), second inferential (hælinaika paratṛlūkire tarlāsmrāṇa, doubted), assumptive (demitṛlūkire tarlāsmrāṇa), first reportative (lahīla tatikilenūkire tarlāsmrāṇa, trustworthy) and second reportative (hælinaika tatikilenūkire tarlāsmrāṇa, doubted).

Chlouvānem verbs also conjugate for five different tense-aspect combinations (simply tenses (avyāṣa - pl. avyāṣai)): present (kaminænikire avyāṣa), past (dāṃdenire avyāṣa[4]), perfect (mīraṃnajausire avyāṣa), (general) future (lallāmiti avyāṣa), and future intentional (osmešē lallāmiti avyāṣa); other distinctions may be built periphrastically (most notably imperfect, pluperfect and future perfect). Tenses are the “basic unit” verbs conjugate in: all tenses conjugate for nine persons (1st-2nd-3rd in singular, dual and plural; note though that 3rd singular and 3rd plural are identical in the perfect). Note that some moods do only distinguish between imperfective and perfective aspect.

The last inflectional category of Chlouvānem verbs is the mood (darišam, pl. darišye). Chlouvānem grammarians traditionally distinguish only three moods, which are those that cannot be combined:

  • indicative (chlåñjausire darišam) - the realis mood;
  • optative (purmanūkire darišam) - used to express wishes or hopes, as well as orders or commands;
  • subjunctive (milkausire darišam) - used to express general advices (jussive use), purpose (supine use), unreal things that may happen or might have happened, and also syntactically conditioned by some particles.

There are a few more forms that can't be strictly considered moods because they can appear in all of the five actual moods, and are thus called junya, pl. junyai (literally "shade, hue, dye") by Chlouvānem grammarians: they are actually regular derivational patterns, that are considered inflectional due to them being possible for all verbs. There are five junyai:

  • desiderative (daudyūkire junya) - used to express a desire or will (e.g. I want to X);
  • necessitative (rileyūkire junya) - used to express need or obligation (e.g. I have to X);
  • potential (novire junya) - used to express the ability to do something (e.g. I can [= am able to] X, also "I may [= it is possible that I] X")
  • permissive (drippūkire junya) - used to express the permission to do something (e.g. I can [= I’m allowed to] X)
  • intensive (caṃliven junya) - typically denotes emphasis on a stronger effort for/in an action, or on its contrastive nature, or on its completeness and exhaustiveness.

Finally, there are a further two forms which are called "secondary moods" (šudarišam, pl. -šye). They are two consequential moods, the first one expressing cause (e.g. “because X”), and the other opposition (e.g. “although X”).
Chlouvānem furthermore also have a non-finite form (emibąukire daradhūs) (the -ke form, called infinitive hereafter).

The high degree of synthesis of the Chlouvānem verb is often mentioned through examples such as įstayamāmālvisuɂutsa, meaning "even if, apparently, (s)he regularly wanted to tie up something...", a form of the verb įsmāmalveke "to regularly tie up something", itself derived from the verb įsmālke "to tie up", ultimately from the single root māl- "to unite".

Verb classes

When talking about the regularity in the conjugation of Chlouvānem verbs, most Chlouvānem linguists consider the vast majority of verbs as regular. In fact, the same suffixes are used in conjugating almost all verbs and highly irregular verbs are often only small exceptions (jalle "to be" and lulke "to go on foot (monodirectional)" are the most notable ones, having many suppletive stems). However, despite this regularity, Chlouvānem verbs are divided into lots of small classes, each one having only a few members, that have different stem vowels in various forms - typically, the 3SG forms of the present, past, and perfect are used as principal parts (with the infinitive often - but not always! - having the same vowel as the present).

A Chlouvānem verb's conjugation is determined by two factors: whether it is thematic and whether - and if it does, how - its root vowel changes among the different stems.
The thematic and athematic distinction is the easiest: thematic verbs add an -a- (-e- in the 3SG visual past and in all present indicative causative exterior terminations) between its root and every consonantic termination; athematic verbs don't. All verbs with vowel-ending roots are athematic.

Root vowel changes are, however, more complex, and up to twelve verb classes may be distinguished depending on how the various stems are formed. The first two classes comprise about 90% of all (primary) verbs:

  1. The verbs of the first class do not change its vowel in any form. About 45% of verbs belong to this class, including all those whose root vowel is any of ā, ą, e, ē, ę, ǣ, oe, ai, ąi, au, ąu, as well as most verbs with root vowel a, æ, å, o, ei, or ęi. An example is męlike (athematic) "to give": pres. męlyē, past męlik, perfect emęlya.
  2. Also called the basic ablauting class, these verbs have the most basic ablaut alteration: in their present exterior forms and in the singular present interior ones, i ī become e (širṣṭake "to dip, soak": šerṣṭē — širṣṭek — iširṣṭa), u ū usually become o (dhūlte "to write": dholtē, dhūltik, udhūlta), but i in a few verbs (kulke "to say": kilē — kulik — ukula), and ṛ ṝ become ar (dṛke "to do": darē — dṛk — (irr.) dadrā)
  3. Also called strong ablauting class, it is a subgroup of the ablauting class where instead of becoming middle-grade, the vowels ablaut to the maximum grade (ai, au, ār) respectively. This class is somewhat rare: the three most common verbs in it are mulke (mun-) "to be able to": maunē — munik — umuna, dīdake "to know a person": daidē — dīdek — idīda, and kirake "to love": kairē — kirek — ikira.
  4. Also called inverse ablauting class, these verbs have either va or ya in the present (and infinitive; note that the initial semivowel may be "hidden" in a consonant!) that gets reduced to u or i respectively in the past. An easy example is valde "to open": valdē — uldik — vulda; one with a hidden consonant is calyake "to harvest plums": calyē — kilyek — ikilda. In verbs with r-va, the v disappears, but the conjugation is otherwise regular, e.g. ranyake "to untie, loosen, dismantle": ranyē — runyek — urunya.
  5. Verbs of this class (and the following ones) typically have a vowel change in the past form and not in the present one. This class has å in the infinitive, present, and perfect, and e in the past, for example påndake "to punch": påndē — pendek — apånda). Verbs whose roots begin in y- lose it in the past, e.g. yåjyake "to float in the air; to go with a zeppelin, hot air balloon, or helicopter (monodirectional)": yåjyē — ejyek — ayåjya.
  6. These verbs have ei in the present, a in the past, and a+ i in the perfect; e.g. heimake "to blow, to play (wind instruments)" heimē — hamek — ahima.
  7. Verbs with e in the present, ya in the past, and i+ i in the perfect (and infinitive!); e.g. miṃsake "to risk" meṃsē — myaṃsek — imiṃsa.
  8. Verbs with æ in the present, o in the past, and e+ i in the perfect; e.g. næljake "to turn, to screw": næljē — noljek — enilja.
  9. Verbs with o in the present, ei in the past, and a+ ā in the perfect; e.g. volkake "to stab, to sting (esp. insects), to hit with something pointy": volkē — veilkek — avālka.
  10. Verbs with æ in the present, ya in the past, and e+ ī in the perfect; e.g. kællake "to sew": kællē — kyallek — ekīlla.
  11. Verbs with æ in the present, yau in the past, and u+ u in the perfect; e.g. nætte "to hold": nættē — nyauttek — unutta.
  12. Also called -ah verbs, these verbs actually never modify their root vowel, but have different present endings. hæṃdike "to dream", jānake "to feel", and lilke "to live" are the most common verbs of this class.

Moods apart from the indicative mainly just follow root structure, with different allomorphs depending on whether the root ends in a consonant or in a vowel.

Vocalic stems

Vocalic stems are those whose stems end in a vowel; most of them are class 1 (without any vowel change), but some are class 2 (ablauting), more rarely of other classes. They are anyway somewhat rare in Chlouvānem, but a few common verbs have vocalic stems. These stems often do not behave as in normal vowel saṃdhi when vocalic terminations are added:

  • The diphthongs ai, ei, au, and their breathy-voiced versions mute the second element in a semivowel; in ai and au the vowel is naturally lengthened to ā - e.g. gṇyauke "to give birth", pres. exterior gṇyāvu, gṇyāvi, gṇyāvē...; past exterior gṇyāvau, gṇyāvei, gṇyauk...
  • The short vowels i, u, ṛ and long change into their corresponding semivowels if it forms an accepted cluster - e.g. vike "to rest" (ablauting stem ve- in the present), past exterior vyau, vyei, vik...
  • æ and ǣ become ev and oe becomes en - e.g. gæke "to stretch", pres. exterior gevu, gevi, gevē...; past exterior gevau, gevei, gæk...

Other vowels add different epenthetic consonants depending on their quality:

  • a, e (and long versions), and å always add n, e.g. lyēke "to clap", pres. exterior lyēnu, lyēni, lyēnē...; past exterior lyēnau, lyēnei, lyēk.
  • All other oral vowels add y (note that o contracts with e or ē to oe), e.g. khlūke "to search, look for" (abl. stem khlo-), pres. exterior khloyu, khloyi, khloe...; past exterior khlūyau, khlūyei, khlūk...
  • Breathy-voiced vowels dissimilate to vowel + h: e.g. švęke "to point at": pres. ext. švehu, švehi, švehē[5]...; past ext. švehau, švehei, švęk...

In four basic verbs, -yā- in the infinitive and most stems becomes -im- in the present and in the subjunctive. These are:

  • -tyāke (all verbs meaning "to stay", such as tatyāke) — -timē, -tyāk, -(ɂ)atyā
  • vjyāke (to grate, grind) — vjimē, vjyāk, avjyā
  • myāke (to carefully look, examine) — mimē, myāk, amyā
  • sklyāke (to store, spare) — sklimē, sklyāk, asklyā

The causative and perfect stems

Causative stems are easy to form: they are formed by attaching the stem extension -ild- (see below) to the infinitive stem; however, ablauting verbs always have the highest grade vowel, while inverse ablaut verbs have the "lowered" vowel in front of the normal stem (e.g. miš-maiš-ild-).

The perfect stem (used for the perfect and for the intentional future) formed by prefixing the root vowel (shortened, oral, and with the basic root ablaut) to the stem - but note that verb classes 5 to 10 have their own vowel patterns that diverge from this general one. Examples:

  • nāmvake “to crush, press” = nāmv- → anāmv-
  • khluke “to search, look for” = khlu- → ukhlu-
  • hilkake “to dye, colour” = hilk- → ihilk-
  • męlike “to give” = męly → emęly-

æ, o, å, and all use a (except for ṛ- initial verbs, which have ṝ-); diphthongs usually only take their first component:

  • dældake “to speak” = dæld- → adæld-
  • kolkake “to be acid” = kolk- → akolk-
  • tṛlake “to know, understand” = tṛl- → atṛl-
  • ṛṣme "to plan to, to have the intention of" = ṛṣm- → ṝṣm-
  • yaudake “to catch” = yaud- → ayaud-
  • laitake “to row” = lait- → alait-
  • leike "to stick, press into something" = lei- → elei-

Causative stems with ablaut have a full reduplication, using the first consonant plus the basic vowel grade, like miš- → maiš- → mimaiš-. The causative interior forms have -ildr- with a short vowel, unlike for the past and present.
i- and u- initial stems have yai- and vau- respectively (e.g. ta-ut-ta-vaut-).

The infinitive

The infinitive (emibąukire daradhūs) or ke-form is a non-finite form used in certain construction (like with certain verbs (e.g. daudike (to want)) or particles). It is also the citation form, and it is simple to recognize and form:

  • The infinitive is always based on the root, thus with either a basic-grade vowel for ablauting verbs or an unreduced sequence for inverse-ablauting ones.
  • Thematic verbs add -ake;
  • All other verbs just add -ke. There are a few cases where this is not always how it surfaces:
    • verbs ending in -y- turn it into the vowel -i- (e.g. męly-kemęlike (to give));
    • verbs whose roots end in any single or postnasal unvoiced dental, retroflex, or palatal stop or affricate, assimilate the -k- of the suffix (e.g. kit-kekitte (to put, place));
    • verbs whose roots end in any single or postnasal voiced, non-velar stop, assimilate the voicing of the suffix -k- (e.g. dįb-kedįbge (to kick));
      • note that, due to regular saṃdhi, *-jg- resulting by this further changes to -jñ- (e.g. taj-ketajñe (to rub));
    • verbs whose roots end in single -g or -gh assimilate the -k-, with the regular saṃdhi change from double voiced stop to nasal + voiced stop (e.g. dig-kedilge (to pour));
      • This also happens with the cluster -nd, where the assimilation -nd-k makes it -lg (e.g. mind-kemilge (to hear));
    • verbs whose roots end in any other consonant cluster only add -e (e.g. pudbh-kepudbhe (to sleep)).

Knowing the root form of the verb is necessary as two different roots may have the same infinitive, e.g. mulke for both mul- "to drink" (molu, mulau, umulim) and mun- "to be able to" (maunu, munau, umunim).

The infinitive can also be used as a noun, declining as -eh ones and getting a final -h in the direct case. Compared to derived -anah nouns, which denote a process, the nominalized infinitive is often more gnomic or perfective in meaning (dhūlti baucanah makes sense, meaning "learning to write", while dholtani baucanah is grammatically correct but meaningless), but it can also be synonymous in some expressions (e.g. nenyai naviṣyi dholtanęs væse or nenyai naviṣyi dhūltęs væse, both meaning "while writing this book" — if a distinction should be rendered in English, the first one would be translated "during the writing process of this book").

Hues (junyai)

Chlouvānem verbs are typically defined by the three (four) stems detailed above in the verb class section: present, past, perfect, and infinitive stem.

The five "hues" (better known by their native term of junyai, sg. junya) are regularly formed verb forms with different meanings: desiderative, necessitative, potential, permissive, and intensive. They are not considered moods because each of them may be found in all three Chlouvānem moods, even though they lack an infinitive form. All of them are built starting from the infinitive stem.

General consonant reduplication rules

The following rules are used in reduplicating the initial consonant while forming junya stems, as well as in the derivation of frequentative verbs. Variations on these rules are explained when referring to a particular junya.

Reduplication adds the first consonant of the verb (except prefixes) and its first vowel (always oral short).There are however some special rules followed in reduplicating:

  • Aspirated stops are always reduplicated as unaspirated;
  • g- is always reduplicated as h-, except for a few irregular verbs;
  • h- is reduplicated as k-;
  • k- as š-;

  • ƾ- as ƾ-, but in the root it becomes ɂ.
  • l- in the initial clusters lk-, lkh-, lg-, or lgh- reduplicates as n-.
    • Some roots beginning with l have ħ as their reduplication, most notably lun-ħuloṃs- (to go on foot, walk (monodirectional)). This is because these roots began with the Pre-Chlouvānem cluster *ħl, which was then simplified to just l; originally, the reduplication was also regular (e.g. *ħlun → *ħuħloṃs-).
  • Initial clusters which begin with s-, ṣ-, š-, or v- use the first consonant which is not one of them (but šv- reduplicates as š-);
  • Verbs with ablautable vowels almost always have middle-grade ablaut (there are a few exceptions, such as khlu-); reduplicates as a;
  • Inverse-ablaut verbs have the consonant of the unreduced root but the reduced vowel;
  • Roots beginning with vowels are regular, reduplicating the otherwise allophonic initial ɂ.
  • Prefixes are added before the reduplicated root.

The desiderative junya

The desiderative junya is formed by reduplicating of the root and suffixing -s. The vowel used in the reduplication is the base grade (always oral short), while the one in the original root position shifts to the middle grade (if possible). Inverse-ablauting roots have the reduced vowel in the root position and the original consonant (y- or v-) at the beginning, with saṃdhi applied as needed.

Final added -s has some special saṃdhi rules, too (in addition to the usual ones):

  • -d-s and -dh-s both become -ts;
  • After voiced stops, -s becomes -r and aspirated stops lose aspiration. -j-s and -jh-s both become -jl;
  • -š-s, -c-s-', and -ch-s- become -kṣ;
  • -y-s becomes ;
  • -l-s becomes -ly when prevocalic and -lš when preconsonantal, but -rl-s always becomes -rely-.

The resulting stem, athematic, is used as the present and past stem. The perfect stem vocalic augment is short if the vowel in the root is long (or o, å, or a diphthong), otherwise it is long (cf. nanāmvsute "I want to crush", ananāmvsaṃte "I have wanted to crush" vs. šukhlusute "I want to search", ūšukhlusaṃte "I have wanted to search").

Desiderative examples:

  • peithake “to go (multid.)”, root peith-pe-peith-spepeits- (pf. stem epepeits-)
  • lgutake “to buy”, root lgut-nu-lgot-snulgots- (pf. stem unulgots-)
  • khluke “to search, look for”, root khlu-šu-khlu-sšukhlus- (pf. stem ūšukhlus-)

Four verbs have irregular stems:

  • jalle "to be" → jijāl-
  • lilke "to live" → lēlikṣ-
  • męlike "to give" → mimęñ-
  • milke "to take" → mūṃchl-

The necessitative junya

The necessitative junya is formed and conjugates much like the desiderative; it uses a stem formed by reduplication, and adding -sū-, with the same saṃdhi changes found in the desiderative. There are a few differences in the reduplication:

  • They have higher-grade or lenghthened vowel in the reduplication and not the stem;
  • Verbs with non-ablauting vowels always have ī;
  • Inverse-ablauting verbs have va or ya as reduplication, followed by the root with the reduced vowel (va-u- and ya-i- regularly become vo- and e-)

The resulting stem is a regular vocalic stem.

The perfect stem always has a short vowel; quality is still based on the root vowel.

Necessitative examples:

  • peithake “to go (multid.)” → pīpeitsū- (pf. stem. epīpeitsū-)
  • khlunāke “to search, look for” → šokhlusū- (pf. stem. ušokhlusū-)
  • nilyake “to think” → nenilšū- (pf. stem. inenilšū-)
  • valde “to open” → voltsū- (pf. stem. uvoltsū-)

The potential junya

The potential junya also conjugates in all tenses and aspects and has a stem formed with initial reduplication. It is formed by adding -(e)nā- to the root and behaves as a fourth conjugation verb, adding an epenthetic -n before vocalic endings. Note that -r-nā- becomes -rṇā- due to saṃdhi. Formation of the perfect stem follows the same rules as in the desiderative.

Potential examples:

  • peithake “to go (multid.)” → pepeithnā- (pf. stem. epepeithnā-)
  • khlunāke “to search, look for” → šukhlunā- (pf. stem. ūšukhlunā-)
  • nilyake “to think” → ninelyenā- (pf. stem. īninelyenā-)

A special case of saṃdhi occurs in roots which end in a single -g or -k: this consonant becomes -gh and the -n in the suffix becomes retroflex, e.g. mūmikke "to dance", root mūmik- > mumūmighṇā- ; dilge “to pour", root dig- > dideghṇā-.

The potential is used both for the sense of "may" (to be possible that) and "can" (to be able to): two sentences such as "I may (it is possible that I) do it" and "I can (I'm able to) do it" would be both translated as dadrenānute. To avoid ambiguity, the "may" sense may be rephrased with the verb širgake plus subjunctive - e.g. dratite šergē - while the "can" sense may be rephrased with novake plus subjunctive - e.g. dratite novē - or (less commonly) with the infinitive - e.g. dṛke novute.

The permissive junya

The permissive junya also conjugates in all tenses and aspects and is formed with a reduplication with -ī- as the only possible vowel - except for verbs with a reduplicated non-nasal labial consonant, which have ū - and -ūd- after the root. The perfect stem always has a short vowel, and is formed as in the necessitative.

Permissive examples:

  • mišake “to see”, → mīmišūd- (pf. stem. imīmišūd-)
  • peithake “to go (multid.)”, → pūpeithūd- (pf. stem. epūpeithūd-)
  • nilyake “to think” → nīnilyūd- (pf. stem. inīnilyūd-)

The intensive junya

The intensive junya is formed by reduplication with diachronical lengthening and the base vowel in the root, plus suffixed -ī-:

  • khluke "to search, look for" → *šūkhluī- → šūkhlī- (pf. ušūkhlī-)
  • męlike "to give" → myamęlī- (pf. emyamęlī-)
  • nilyake "to think" → nīnilī-
  • valde "to open" → vauldī- (morph. vā-uld-ī-; pf. stem avauldī-)
  • nāmvake "to crush" → nānamvī-
  • milke "to take" → mīmilkī-
  • daudike "to want" → dādaudī-

jalle "to be" has a partial irregularity, deleting the root vowel entirely – jā-j∅l-ī-jājlī-.
Intensives conjugate as vocalic stems, but always insert an epenthetic -n- consonant regardless of the following vowel, instead of undergoing regular saṃdhi.

The intensive, while theoretically formed from all verbs, may have different meanings depending on the verb, and some verbs are practically never used with it. Particularly, intensive forms of verbs of motion are often semantically identical to frequentatives.
Quite often, the intensive is not easily translatable into English, as it may range from simple emphatic forms (dṝdīnaute "I really did it"; cīchlisire "it's fucking amazing"[6]; soh pṛšcāmvi dam? / pṛšcāṃjājlīnē! "do you like it? / of course I like it!"), to emphasis on the contrastive nature of an action (pūni, pūpūnīnu ni "you work, but I work-INT." (i.e. "I work much more than you"); læchlyūyiri ni dā! / lǣlæchlīru! "come on, have some fun! / I am [already/indeed] having fun!"), or on the completeness and exhaustiveness of an action (spṛšāvih ušūkhlīṃte "I've been looking for my keys in every single place"). Some verbs may be translated in different ways compared to the non-intensive form, e.g. læmyu jālejildekte "(s)he won the race" vs. læmyu jālejījildīkte "(s)he dominated the race".

Stem extensions and terminations

Stem extensions are bound morphemes that may be placed after the stem, and mark five different categories. Up to one for each category may be present:

  1. The first stem extension is the evidential category (actually combining evidentiality and epistemic modality):
    • Experientials (direct evidentiality) is the default and considered to be marked by the thematic vowel, therefore by -∅- for athematic verbs and by -a- for thematic ones.
    • The "first inferential" marks an inferred situation likely to be true, marked by a -u(ɂ)- thematic extension;
    • The "second inferential" marks an inferred situation whose truthness is unlikely or doubted, marked by -eb(i)-;
    • The assumptive marks an assumption, marked by -ukin(a)-;
    • The reportative (or "first reportative") marks a reported situation likely to be true, marked by -emi-;
    • The dubitative reportative (or "second reportative") marks a reported situation whose truthness is unlikely or doubted, marked by -enab(u)-.
  2. The second stem extension is the causative marker -ild- (non-causatives are not marked)
  3. The third stem extension is the interior verb marker -ir- (exterior verbs are not marked)
  4. The fourth stem extension is -(a)mo-, which marks the optative mood.
  5. The fifth stem extention, which is entirely optional (i.e. there is no unmarked category), marks consequentiality: -(n)ār- for a cause ("given that...") or -uts- for an opposition.

Stem extensions may be stacked and may also combine in unpredictable ways. The combinations listed here are those that do NOT follow regular saṃdhi (all other ones are regular).

  • -ild-ir- → -ildṛ-
  • -ild-ir-(n)ār- → -ildṝl-
  • -ild-ir-uts- → -ildṝts-
  • -ir-(n)ār- → -irāl-
  • -ir-uts- → -irts-

Finally, note that some stem extensions may trigger a change in the personal termination (e.g. the third person plural present indicative interior -irāhe, not *-ir-āhai), while there are a few special personal terminations that already have the meaning of a stem extension (e.g. third person perfect indicative exterior which also has the reportative meaning, therefore *-adm-a is impossible).

Note, furthermore, that -ir- (when not preceded by the causative marker) becomes -ęr- in the present of class 11 -ah verbs.

Personal terminations

The following table includes an overview of the sets of personal terminations in Chlouvānem. Note that, in the indicative mood, whenever a personal termination encoding evidentiality is not included, that means that the form together with the stem extension has to be used, not that that particular form is not possible.

and Optative
Opt. Imperfective
-u -i -sme -dya -de -mim -šin -āhai
Opt. Perfective
-am -es -a -ra -ri -a -ima -iša -a
Past -au -ei -(e)k -ram -res -dat -ābhe -āṣe -aika
Simple future -iṣy- plus perfect terminations
Intentional future -ālt- (-āl- in interior and causative forms) plus perfect terminations
Subjunctive Imperfective -ati -īs -īndu -īndi -īnam -īnes
Perfective -ēta -ēti -ēt -ētham -ēthai -ēt -eine -eiše -ēt

Additional notes:

  • The present indicative exterior terminations of -ah verbs are: -ah -aši -ah ; -ąsme -ardia -arde ; -ąim -ąšin -ah, with no distinct evidential forms.
  • The imperfective optative singular has the irregular saṃdhi forms -mau, -mai, -mo.
  • The -ir- root extension causes the 3SG indicative present to become -e and the 3PL indicative present -āhai to become -āhe.
  • The third person interior imperfective subjunctive is -irya instead of *-ir-ī.

Voice markers

Chlouvānem has seven voices, marked by affixes added, in unprefixed verbs, at the end of the verb. As the patient-trigger voice (common voice in interior verbs) is unmarked, the six voice markers are:

  • -te for agent-trigger voice (in exterior verbs only) — but note that -ē-te (in most 3sg verbs) becomes -egde (as derives from historical *-eg);
  • -kæ for benefactive-trigger voice;
  • -tū (-tur non-finally) for antibenefactive-trigger voice;
  • -rā for locative-trigger voice;
  • -mǣ for instrumental-trigger voice;
  • -(m)bi for dative-trigger voice.

Examples of voice marking are męlyē (he/she/it is given) — męlyegde (he/she/it gives) (and męlyu (I am given) → męlyute "I give") — męlyēkæ (something is given for him/her/it) — męlyētū (something is given against him/her/it) — męlyērā (something is given in him/her/it) — męlyēmǣ (something is given with him/her/it) — męlyēmbi (something is given to him/her/it).

In prefixed verbs, voice marking is a bit different as the voice marker is inserted between the prefix and the stem, thus forms like yāyųlē (he/she/it is eaten too much) → yāteyųlē (he/she/it eats too much). Saṃdhi is applied if needed, e.g. "something is eaten for him/her/it directly from a tree" is taktæyųlē (morphemically tad-kæ-yųlē, verb tadyųlake).

The triggered arguments are always marked with the direct case; the other roles are marked with the respective cases and/or locutions:

  • Patient: accusative case
  • Agent: ergative case
  • Benefacted: nali (governs the direct case)
  • Antibenefacted: ras (governs the direct case)
  • Place: locative case
  • Dative argument: dative case
  • Instrument: instrumental case

Patients of intransitive and interior verbs usually require the essive case instead of the accusative. An example is the structure "there is/are ... in ...", usually cast in locative-trigger voice:

keika lalāruṇęs virā.
There is a lalāruṇa in the garden.

Impersonal verbs

Impersonal verbs, in Chlouvānem, are those verbs that are defective and only conjugated in third person exterior (with the partial exception of giṃšake) and only used in patient-trigger voice. There are six such -basic- verbs:

  • gårḍake (to be meant to)
  • hælte (to be moved, touched)
  • maṣvake (to feel compassion, pity)
  • ñæṃħake (to repent, to feel remorse, to be sorry for)
  • prābake (to be disgusted)
  • giṃšake (to get/be bored) — usually termed “half-impersonal” because it has a full interior conjugation, but with a different meaning (to be boring).

These verbs all have their cause in the exessive case (or a subjunctive verb) and the affected being in the dative; gårḍake usually only has a subjunctive. Examples:

lum tamyāt maivat hæltek “what (s)he said (literally: his/her word) moved me.”
nīdrēta lum ñæṃħē “I’m sorry for how I behaved.”
sę nanau pryūsimęlyati gårḍek “you were meant to give it back to me” (literally: it was meant that you give it back to me[7]) .

Derived forms usually behave as impersonal too, like taprābake (to hate) — e.g. taprāblelyom taprābiṣya "haters gonna hate".

Irregular verbs

Chlouvānem has only a very small number of truly irregular verbs, as most verbs conform in some way to one of the various stem classes. Even among irregular verbs, many of them are only irregular in the formation of one of their three basic stems; only seven verbs (lulke, milke, mṛcce, mišake, lilke, jalle, and tilah) have at least one entirely suppletive stem. There are two true defective verbs: ṛṣme (to plan, to be going to) and the honorific tilah (not a self-standing verb).

Excluding the highly irregular jalle and tilah, treated in the next sections, the other verbs with suppletive stems are:

  • lulke (to go on foot, to walk (monodirectional)) — lun-, dāmek, elīsa
    • The singular present indicative forms are irregular lå, lin, liven - the other ones are regular, non-ablauting (lunasme, lunadya...).
    • Also has the irregular optative stem lau- (instead of expected *lammo-), conjugated as a regular verb (lāvu, lāvi, lāvē...).
  • milke (to take, seize, catch, capture, get) — milūk-, milkek, ilaka
    • The singular present indicative forms use the stem milk-: milku, milki, milkē - the other ones are regular (milūkṣme, milūgdya...).
    • The optative stem is irregular målu-, conjugated as a regular verb (målū, målvi, målvē...).
    • Also has the irregular stem mūṃchl- for the desiderative junya.
  • mṛcce (to run (monodirectional)) — marcē, pañcek, amṛca
    • Suppletive in the past stem only (pañc-). The present stem is ablauting.
  • mišake (to see) — mešē, āsmik, imiša
    • Suppletive in the past stem only (āsmy-). The present stem is ablauting.
  • lilke (to live) — lilah, lilek, lælī
    • Suppletive in the perfect only. -ah verb in the present, non-ablauting.
    • Also has the irregular stem lēlikṣ- for the desiderative junya.
Miscellaneous irregularities

ṛṣme (to plan, to be going to) is an unmarked agentive verb, which is only conjugated as agentive, and is a regular class 3 verb (ārṣmē, ṛṣmek, ṝṣma) It usually only takes verbs or verbal phrases as arguments, e.g. keitu dhāsmike ārṣmē "(s)he is going/plans to save the whale". It is often a synonym of the future intentional, though it conveys lesser certainty and may also be used for imperfective actions or states.
Note that the defectiveness does not apply to its derived forms - e.g. švṛṣme (to believe): švārṣmu "I am believed", šutayārṣmu "I believe" - and ṛṣme itself has regular causative forms (with the meaning of "make X intend to do").

The pair tamišake⁓tildake (to look at) is not counted as one of the thirteen irregular verbs, but tildake is an unmarked agentive verb, while tamišake is used in all other voices. Note that however tamišake also has a regular agentive voice, synonymous with tildake: teldutatemešu (I look at); also note that tamišake has the same past tense suppletion as mišake, i.e. tamešē - tāsmik - temiša. The verb najake "to happen" (explained below among the compounds of gyake) is also sometimes considered irregular, as a verb with an unmarked dative-trigger voice.
Prefixed motion verbs are also not marked for voice in the patient- and agent-trigger ones (with only cases on nouns distinguishing them), but that is considered a particular but regular behaviour of a semantically defined subset of verbs.

ñoerake (to crawl (multidirectional)) has the stem ñoerg- in the indicative present singular (ñoergu, ñoergi, ñoergē), but is regular everywhere else (ñoerasme, ñoeradia...).

vṝlke (to plant), in the past, may use for the 3SG visual evidential both vṝlik (regular) and vṝk (quite formal); in the perfect, both the regular stem avṝl- and the irregular, literary rūrl- are found.

Two verbs with -ur in the root have irregular vowels:

  • purake "to powder, to break with the hands": parē — (pārau) pāṭ — upura
  • sturake "to fall": starē — (stārau) stāṭ — ustura

Three verbs have (a+) -ut in the infinitive and perfect, -at in the past, and att in the present:

  • lutake "to obtain, gain, take advantage": lattē — (latau) lak — aluta
  • ssutake "to attract, to bait, to seduce": ssattē — (ssatau) ssak — assuta
  • sprutake "to join, link": sprattē — (spratau) sprak — aspruta

Two verbs have '(a+) -agv but -avu- in the past:

  • lagvake "to assume": lagvē — lavuk — alagva
  • ṣṭagvake "to carve": ṣṭagvē — ṣṭavuk — aṣṭagva

Other various irregular verbs:

  • leilge (leig-ke) "to concern, to be on the topic of": leigē — (lågau) lål — eleiga
  • ręiške "to tickle": ręišē — (rąšau) rąs — eręiša
  • lårpake "to swing": lårpē — lerpek — alurpa

Three vowel-ending roots have an irregular behaviour:

  • rileike "to need" has the expected ei → ey change in the present, but adds -n- in the past instead: rileyu, rileyi, rileyē... but rileinau, rileinei, rileik...
  • lįke "to swim (monodirectional) and mųke "to jump (monodirectional)" behave before vowels as if their stems were (ablauting) *lis- and *mus-: pres. exterior lesu, lesi, lesē...; past exterior lisau, lisei, lįk.

The verb "to be" (jalle)

The verb "to be" is suppletive as it uses various different stems (from Proto-Lahob *jaʕʕ, *wi(w)ʕ, *ri, *nī, and *gəna) and irregularly — for example, the non-singular present forms are morphologically perfect.

Note that the indicative present, unless evidentially marked, is rarely used, as the copula is usually dropped in many cases; when used with the meaning of "to have" (e.g. lili mæn tulūɂa yambras jali "I have six pears" (lit.: I TOPIC six pears are)) it is considered better not to drop it, but it is often done nevertheless in common speech. It is also kept when used with the meaning "there is...".

Both future tenses are rarely used in colloquial and semi-formal speech, as the present tense of ndǣke (to become) is usually used as a replacement.

Indicative mood
Person Present Past Perfect General future Future intent.
Sing 1st ū nīvau rem jalṣyam nayu
2nd vei nīvei res jalṣyes nayi
3rd vi nīk ri jalṣya nayē
Dual 1st jella nīram rira jalṣyara nīsme
2nd jelli nīres reri jalṣyari nīdya
3rd jali nīdat ri jalṣya nīde
Pl. 1st jalim nyābhe rima jalṣīma nīmim
2nd jalis nyāṣe riša jalṣīsa nīšin
3rd jali nīkā ri jalṣya nyāhai

All evidential terminations (except for, obviously, the experiential) are attached to a ∅- stem.

Other moods and junyai

The present tense or imperfective aspect of all other primary moods included as examples in this table:

Person Subjunctive Optative Desiderative Necessitative Potential Permissive
Sing. 1st gati jamu jijālyu jājalšū jelau jījalūdu
2nd gīs jami jijāli jājalšūyi jelai jījalūdi
3rd jame jijālye jājalšūyē jelai jījalūdē
Dual 1st gīndu jamosme jijālkṣe jājalšūsme jelaisme jījalūtsme
2nd gīndi jamodya jijālšadya jājalšūdya jelādya jījalūndya
3rd jamode jijālšade jājalšūde jelāde jījalūnde
Pl. 1st gīnam jamomim jijālmim jājalšūmim jelmim jījalūdmim
2nd gīnes jamošin jijālkṣin jājalšūšin jelāšin jījalūdašin
3rd jamāhai jijālyāhai jājalšūyāhai jelāhai jījalūdāhai
In compound verbs

There are some compound verbs which are formed by a "meaning stem" + jalle; they conjugate just like jalle does:

  • pṛšcāñjalle "to like"[8] → present pṛšcāmū, pṛšcāmvei, pṛšcāmvi... past pṛšcānnīvau, pṛšcānnīvei, pṛšcānnīk... perfect pṛšcāṃrem... future pṛšcāñjalṣyam ; the same in other moods, e.g. necessitative present pṛšcāñjaluṣyu, pṛšcāñjaluṣyi...
    Note that in colloquial speech the form of jalle is omitted in the present indicative, e.g. pṛšcām is "to be pleasing" for all persons.
  • najalle "to happen" morphologically conjugates like jalle but has some peculiarities:
    • Like jalle, there is no agent-, dative-, and instrumental-trigger voice, but the patient-trigger voice has a dative meaning - e.g. nañū "it happens to me".
    • The basic, semantically patientive forms, are the interior ones (with a contracted stem nañ-j-ir), and they only exist for the third persons - e.g. najire "it happens", najirde "they (dual) happen", najirāhe "they happen", and so on.
    • It uses analytic constructions for most moods, e.g. najallenovake "can happen" > najallenovē "it can happen"; najalledaudike "to be wanted to happen" > najalledaudiute "I want it to happen" — forms such as the synthetic najelai or najæliašute are found only in archaic (mostly pre-Classical) texts or with other uses - as e.g. najelai being the most common word for "maybe".

Analytic constructions and auxiliary verbs

Chlouvānem uses many analytic constructions - including auxiliary and compound verbs - in order to convey some shades of meaning. Most of these use either a participle or the infinitive as the form of the lexical verb:

  • perfective subjunctive in the needed voice + (with) + jalle in the past or future tense: compound construction used for pluperfect and future perfect. It is not wrong to use it with a present tense, but the meaning does not change from the bare perfect.
    Note that, for the pluperfect, the bare perfect is often used instead, both in literature as in common speech.
    • yųlētate lā nīvau "I had eaten"
    • yųlētate lā jalṣyam "I will have eaten"
  • imperfective subjunctive in the needed voice + (with) + jalle in the needed tense: compound construction used for the progressive aspect in the three tenses (present, past, future). In the present, the form of jalle is omitted for the third person, or for all persons if a pronoun is present.
    • yųlatite lā ū "I am eating"
    • yųlatite lā nīvau "I was eating"
    • yųlatite lā jalṣyam "I will be eating"
  • infinitive + ñǣɂake (to be used to): compound construction used for a habitual action in present, past, or future tense. It is not used with motion verbs in the present, as the multidirectional verb already unambiguously has this meaning.
    • yaive prājamne yahikeñǣɂute "I am used to read every evening"
    • yaive prājamne yahikeñǣɂaṃte "I used to read every evening"
    • yaive prājamne yahikeñǣɂiṣyaṃte "I will be used to read every evening"
  • infinitive + nartaflulke (to reach): to come to X, to end up X-ing, to result in X-ing
    • yųlakenartatefliven "(s)he ended up eating"
    • lañšijildenartaflunirāhe "they ended up marrying each other"
  • infinitive (or more formally perfective subjunctive) + kitte (to put): to keep X-ed:
    • valdekitē / uvaldēt kitē "it is kept opened"
  • infinitive + either įstiāke (to hang from) or maitiāke (to be in front of): prospective aspect, to be about to X
    • yųlakayįstetimu "I am about to eat"
    • yahikemaitimē "it is about to be read"
  • subjunctive + interior forms of męlike (to give): to do X in advance — it can also be interpreted as a (plu)perfect if with perfect subjunctive:
    • yųlatite męliru "I eat in advance"
    • yųlētate męlirau "I ate in advance" → "I had already eaten"
  • infinitive + paṣmišake (to look further away): to let X
    • sū yahikepaṣṭemešu "I let you read"
  • infinitive + mālchake (to run (multidirectional)): to keep X-ing (less formal alternative to mai- prefixed verbs)
    • nanau yahikemālchute "I keep reading that" (synonym of nanau maiteyašu)
  • infinitive + nūkkhe (to mount (unidirectional)): to be still X-ing:
    • tatyākenūkhute "I'm still standing"
  • imperfective subjunctive + daudike (to want): to want to X (alternative to the desiderative junia commonly used especially in the Northeast). If the triggered argument is the same and the trigger is agent-trigger on both, it can be omitted in the subjunctive verb:
    • kulati(te) daudyute "I want to talk" (= šukiliute)
  • imperfective subjunctive + širgake (to be possible): may X (non-ambiguous alternative to the potential)
    • dratite šergē "I may do (it)" (= dadrenānute)
  • imperfective subjunctive (less commonly infinitive) + novake (to be able to): can X (non-ambiguous alternative to the potential)
    • dratite novē / dṛkenovute "I can do (it)" (= dadrenānute)
  • infinitive + prigirake (to move backwards): to redo X, to do X again
    • dhultepritegeru "I rewrite, I write again"


Adjectival verbs may be turned into adverbs (khladaradhausire haloe, pl. khladaradhausirāhe halenī) by simply adding -ęe (rarely -e) to the stem. Thus:

  • tarlausake (scientific) → tarlausęe (scientifically, according to science)
  • namęlyausake (stakanovist) → namęlyausęe (continuously; without any break)
  • prātūkke (windy) → prātūkęe (windy; like the wind)

There are also some irregular adverbs, made from other speech parts:

  • chlærūm (light) → chlære (easily) (but note its synonym chlærausęe from the related verb chlærausake (easy))
  • dilake (same) → diledile (exactly the same way; emphatic version of dilęe[9] but more common.)
  • ṣati (way, mode) suffixed to a possessive adjective forms lilyāṣati (from my point of view; my way; in my opinion), sāmyāṣati (from your point of view; your way; in your opinion), demyāṣati, tamyāṣati, and so on.

Denominal adverbs are formed in a different way. In Archaic and Classical Chlouvānem, a noun in the instrumental plural (usually with the suffix -e/anīka) was usually meant as an adverb. However, starting from Classical Chlouvānem, -naise, originally simply the locative singular of naisah "shape", came to be commonly used as a grammaticalized adverbial forming suffix, and it is the preferred way of forming adverbs from nouns today. Archaic and early Classical Chlouvānem only used the instrumental plural, with -naise only found sporadically when actually referring to something "in the shape of X"; later texts show the latter form becoming increasingly common, to the point of almost entirely replacing the instrumental plural as an adverbial marker, which only survives in religious texts today.

Underived adverbs

Some adverbs are not derived from any other part of speech. They include:

  • All adverbial correlatives;
  • lære (yesterday), amyære (today), and menire (tomorrow)
  • mådviṣe (before), kaminæne (now), and ħærviṣe (after)
  • The various "adverbial particles" such as tælū, (both "again"), nāṭ, lǣh (both "already"), gudēya (anymore/no more), vivāmi (too much), mūji (almost), maibu (enough).
  • Some adverbs formed by onomatopoeia or sound symbolism (and usually reduplicated) like rarāre (roaring) or tanetane (barefoot).

Undeclinable adjective-like words

A few common words may be used attributively just like adjectives, but they do not decline. Most of them end in either -a or -i:

  • cami - great, large (figurative), important
  • lalla - high, higher, next
  • hulābdān - good (and chlǣcæm (better))
  • taili - many, much
  • nanū - more
  • kaili - most
  • pṛšcām - pleasing
  • ṣūbha - few, little
  • yamei - "honorific" adjective

All numerals also belong to this category.

When used predicatively, they need a form of jalle following them; yamei is only ever used attributively.

Note that cami, taili, and kaili, in some (but not all) Archaic Chlouvānem texts, have a singular-only declension based on the irregular one of ami (see the declensions of correlatives and possessives in the next section). Most probably this was an analogic feature of a few pre-Classical standardization Chlouvānem dialects of 2000 years ago.
Particles such as maibu (enough) or vivāmi (too much/many) are semantically the same as these adjective-like words, but they are considered particles because they follow the noun they refer to (e.g. cūlli vivāmi virā "there are too many cars").

Comparatives and superlatives

Comparatives and superlatives are done in the same way in Chlouvānem. Comparatives are made by using either nanū (more) or ovet (less) in front of the adjective; the compared term is in ablative case; the superlative is formed by using yaivų (than all) as the compared term. Adverbs use the same method (e.g. chlære (easily) → nanū chlæreyaivų nanū chlære), but "than all" in superlatives is usually omitted, therefore they use nanū also with a superlative meaning.

This is used by both adjectival and non adjectival verbs, e.g. sąu nanū yæyute "I read more than you".

Forms expressing a continuous enhancement are made by deriving new verbs with the naš- prefix, e.g. yaiva pārṇame našñæñuchlire - (s)he becomes more beautiful each day.

Equatives are made by using e (like) (requiring essive case) instead of the ablative; optionally enūḍa (this much) may be added: sąs e (enūḍa) yæyute "I read just as much as you". For "not as ... as", use gu taili (not as much) instead of enūḍa.

Irregular forms

There are six irregular adjectival verbs which are only used with synthetic comparatives, all synchronically suppletive:

Positive Comparative Superlative
ñikake (small) isike (smaller; fewer, less) iñekṣike (smallest; fewest, least)
ṣubha indecl. (few, little)
sūrṣake (large) svaprake (larger) sprauṣake (largest)
garpake (bad) grāšcake (worse) grauṣpake (worst)
hulābdān indecl. (good) chlǣcæm indecl. (better) chlǣcækṣike (best)
taili indecl. (many, much) nanū indecl. (more) kaili indecl. (most)


Chlouvānem has a series of pronouns which are irregular when compared to other nouns, yet they follow a mostly similar pattern among themselves. As with nouns and adjectives, in Chlouvānem there is mostly no difference between possessive and demonstrative pronouns and adjectives. Note that pronouns here are defined as a morphological category, as there are many pronominal locutions or nouns acting as pronouns in the Chlouvānem honorific system, as well as nouns standing for pronouns, both in formal and extremely informal speech.

Standard Chlouvānem as spoken today uses the following morphological pronouns (not including those that follow nominal inflection):

  • 1st person lili (sg.), lenak (dual), and mųmā (pl.).
  • 2nd person informal sāmi (sg.) and sanak (dual).
  • 2nd person formal superior nami (sg.; also used for 2nd plural, both informal and formal generic) and nanak (dual).

  • 2nd person formal equal tami (sg.) and tanak (dual).
  • 2nd person formal inferior ravi (sg.) and raṇak (dual).
  • Reflexive demi (mandatory for 3rd person, commonly used also for 1st and 2nd).

The pronouns doubling as adjectives are:

  • Three demonstratives, all declining for case, but typically considered different words in different numbers: proximal nenē (sg.), eṣāne (du.), ānane (pl.); medial nunū, eṣanū, ānanu; distal nanā, eṣanā, ānnā. The distal forms are typically used as inanimate and neutral 3rd person pronouns.
  • The possessives, which are also the genitive forms of pronouns: lilyā, ilayā, muṣyā, sāmyā, isayā, namyā, innayā, tamyā, ittayā, ravyā, irayā, demyā, (yanyā).

Among younger speakers in some areas the Jade Coast, most notably in Līlasuṃghāṇa, Taitepamba, and Kūmanabūruh, demonstratives and possessives, when used attributively, are not inflected at all, e.g. lili nanā phēcamu mišau "I saw that cat" instead of standard lili nanau phēcamu mišau.

In addition, yani is an emphatic pronoun not properly part of common speech (demi is used instead) but sometimes found in high style. Archaic Chlouvānem had a demonstrative series consisting of proximal ami, medial uteni, and distal āteni, which declined in use throughout Classical times, when they were replaced by the newer nenē — nunū — nanā forms.

ami is still used regionally around the mid-course of the Nīmbaṇḍhāra (an area in the Central Plain: roughly the whole of the diocese of Raharjaiṭa, most of Jolenītra, Daikatorāma, Vādhātorama, and Namapleta, and parts of Mūrajātana, Perelkaša, Ryogiñjaiṭa and far northern Sendakārva) where it has been repurposed as a definiteness marker for non-triggered arguments - Standard Chlouvānem usually topicalizes the argument or uses nanā, or, colloquially, leaves it unmarked and only understandable by context; cf. "the tiger is seen by the wolf":

(Standard): ēmīla nanye bāḍhmānæ mešē, or bāḍhmān mæn ēmīla mēšē, or ēmīla bāḍhmānæ mēšē.
(Mid-Nīmbaṇḍhāri): ēmīla amye bāḍhmānæ mešē.

As mentioned before, Chlouvānem does not distinguish singular formal superior and plural "you", having the single pronoun nami for both. Unlike the similar situation in English, Chlouvānem still differentiates them by marking number on the verb, so for example "you (sg) work" is nami pūni, and "you (pl) work" is nami pūnašin. Originally, nami was only the 2nd person singular feminine pronoun (as shown by its cognates in other Lahob languages); in Archaic Chlouvānem the original plural pronoun nagin is attested, but we lack attestations of any form except the direct and the genitive (nagyā).

Personal pronouns

Direct Accusative Ergative Genitive Translative Exessive Essive Dative Ablative Locative Instrumental
Singular 1st person lili lilyā lan lat lįs lum ląu lēn laip
2nd person Informal sāmi sāmyā sān sāt sįs som sąu sēn saip
Form. sup. nami namyā nan nat nįs num nąu nēn naip
Form. equal tami tamyā tan tat tįs tum tąu tēn taip
Form. inf. ravi ravyā ran rat rįs rum rąu rēn raip
Reflexive pronoun demi diyū demyā jen jet jįs jum jąu jēn jaip
Dual 1st person lenak ilo ilahę ilayā ilān ilāt ilęs ilām iląu ilæn ilaip
2nd person Informal sanak iso isahę isayā isān isāt isęs isām isąu isæn isaip
Form. sup. nanak inno innahę innayā innān innāt innęs innām innąu innæn innaip
Form. equal tanak itto ittahę ittayā ittān ittāt ittęs ittām ittąu ittæn ittaip
Form. inf. raṇak iro irahę irayā irān irāt iręs irām irąu iræn iraip
Plural 1st person mųmā mųu muhę muṣyā mųn mųt muhįs mųum muhąu muhēn muhaip
2nd person Informal nami namyā nan nat nįs num nąu nēn naip
Emphatic pronoun (archaic) yani yanyā yan yat yįs yum yąu yēn yaip

yavyāta (though often replaced by nami) and yakaliyātam are used as formal second person plural pronouns; they are however nouns and decline as such (as singular 1-h and 1-m declension respectively, but they take plural verbs and adjectives). Various other nouns may be used as second- or third-person pronouns depending on the situation; see the following section on honorifics for a list of them and their usage.

Use of possessives

Possessive adjectives are always used if they refer to an explicit topic, and in most cases (except those listed below) if the topic is only marked by the voice, e.g.:

  • lilyā glūkam mæn māminęltende liven - my brother is in his 1412-th year (= is fifteen years old).
  • ūnikire nanyā cūlla viṣam ūnime vi - your red car is on the other road.

The voice-marked topic usually does not have a possessive if it belongs to a first- or second-person agent which is explicitely marked. Particularly, the words meinā (mother) and bunā (father) are almost always possessive-less. e.g.:

  • ñæltah laitenælire purṣīnaviṣyu lę emęlyosi - It is my sister I gave that wonderful poetry book to. — note how it is simply ñæltah and not lilyā ñæltah because of the presence of the ergative pronoun .

If the sentence is focussed on a verb-marked (i.e. with a dropped pronoun) agent, it is more common to use the possessive. In many colloquial varieties of Chlouvānem, there is a developing distinction between using the reflexive and the 1st- or 2nd- person forms, where the reflexive is more commonly (but still not exclusively!) used for alienable possession and the other for inalienable possession. Thus, "my sister" is more commonly lilyā ñæltah, while "my book" is more commonly demyā naviṣya, at least in a sentence with a first person focus. The above example would become lilyåh ñæltom laitenælire purṣīnaviṣyu emęlyaṃte; one could also stress the fact it's their own book and thus say lilyåh ñæltom laitenælire demyau purṣīnaviṣyu emęlyaṃte.
Still, even in this case, "mother" and "father" would still lack a possessive, as referring to someone else's mother or father would anyway need the honorific words nāḍima and tāmvāram respectively, instead of meinā and bunā.

In the third person, especially plural, demyā may be used without an explicit subject, i.e. demyau kitu āntedarāhai "they are building their own home".


Chlouvānem has a fairly regular system of correlatives, distinguishing ten types (proximal, medial, distal, interrogative, negative, assertive existential, elective existential, universal, positive alternative, and negative alternative) in eleven categories (attributive, thing, person, time, place, destination, origin, way, reason, quality, quantity).

Category ↓ / Type → Proximal Medial Distal Interrogative Negative Ass. exist. Elect. exist. Universal Positive altern. Negative altern.
Attributive nenē
(eṣāne, ānane)
this (one)
(eṣanū, ānanu)
that (one) (near you)
(eṣanā, ānnā)
that (one) (over there)
what?, which (one) ?
another, other
no other
Thing gvami
something else
nothing else
Person evita
this one
that one (near you)
that one (over there)
no one
someone else
no one else
Time emiya
then (remote)
sometime, somewhen
anytime, whenever
always, everytime
sometime else
never else
Place ejulā
over there
nowhere else
Destination ejulyom
thither (remote)
nowhither else
Source ejulųu
thence (remote)
nowhence else
Manner elīce
thus, hereby
thereby; that other way
no way
no other way
Reason emena
therefore; for that other reason
for no reason
whyever, for any reason
for every reason
for another reason
for no other reason
Quality esmā
this kind
that kind
that other kind
which kind?
no kind
some kind
any kind
every kind
another kind
no other kind
Quantity enūḍa
this much
that much
that much (remote)
how much?
some of it
any much
all of it
another quantity
no other quantity

Note that in common speach ālīce and ūlīce as well as ātmena and utmena are basically interchangeable. The quality correlatives may take an essive argument, e.g. kadięs læsmā "any kind of chair".
Thing and person correlatives decline for case and, in the case of evita, utvita, and ātvita, also for number (1h declension: evita, acc. sg. evitu, dir. pl. evitai, dat. pl. evitesām…). Quality and quantity correlatives also decline for case.

Not to be confused with their literal English translations are yaivemibe (or yaiva emibe) "each, every" (literally "everyone") - which is most often attributive only in Chlouvānem - and especially sora emibe, literally "someone", which has a completely different meaning: sora emibe denotes "some single subjects, considered as single entities, hence inherently plural and taking plural verbs: sora emibe draikate "some single subjects did it" ≠ soraita dṛkte "someone did it".

Negatives, elective existentials, universals, and positive alternatives for thing and person correlatives may also take dual number:

gvamīt~guvitāt "neither";
lætyamīt~lævitāt "either";
yaivāt~yaivitāt "both";
viṣāmāt~viṣvitāt "the other one".

Further correlatives not included in the above table:

yambā? (whose?)
smāmi (such a...) (archaic, literary)

Declensions of correlatives and possessives

Case ā-paradigm ē-paradigm ū-paradigm t-paradigm
All possessives, nanā, eṣanā, ānnā,
yambā?, ami, correlatives in -i[10]
nenē, eṣāne, ānane nunū, eṣanū, ānanu, yanū? yasmāt? and yanūḍat?
lilyā nenē nunū yasmāt
Accusative lilyau nenyu nunūyu yasmau
Ergative lilye nenye nunūye yasmātei
Genitive lilyai neniai nunūyai yasmai
Translative lilyān nenēn nunūn yasmān
Exessive lilyāt nenēt nunūt yasmātat
Essive lilyąa nenęe nunųu yasmātą
Dative lilyåh nenǣh nunǣh yasmātom
Ablative lilyąu nenēhu nunūvu yasmąu
Locative lilǣ neniǣ nunūvǣ yasmātǣ
Instrumental lileni nenēni nunauni yasmaini


Honorific pronouns

Second person

The rules for second person pronouns are mostly fairly easy. There are usually two contexts: formal and informal.

Formal pronouns are three and (in contemporary Chlouvānem) invariable for gender, but they vary for relative rank instead: nami is used towards a superior, tami towards one of the same rank, and ravi towards a lower ranked person (until around 6350, nani was strictly feminine and ravi strictly masculine, and the rules for all three varied also according to the relative genders). nanak, tanak, and raṇak are their respective dual forms.

Plural second person pronouns are usually two: yakaliyātam is used towards the representative of a specifically defined group - an institution or a company -, while yavyāta (but also, in not extremely formal styles, nami) is used for less defined groups.

There are, however, more formal second-person pronouns with a limited use. All of these (here listed in Latin alphabetical order), unless noted, are morphologically nouns, but they are used with second person verbs anyway:

  • aveṣyotariri nami (locution with the pronoun nami) is sometimes used towards the highest ranked non-religious superiors, if they are several ranks ahead: examples include commanders of a military brigade or presidents of a company. However, nami is in most cases respectful enough; it is however invariably used in the set phrase lālyu nanyau aveṣyotariri yaccechlašute nami "I humbly ask for your forgiveness".
  • gopūrṭham is often used towards public/religious and military officials.
  • gopūrṭhami brausa (or yobrausa) are used for the highest ranked Inquisitors, bishops, head monks, and the Baptist.
  • lalla yobrausa is used exclusively for the Great Inquisitor.

  • ṣari, nowadays mostly old-fashioned, was used by guests towards homeowners and also by soldiers towards their superiors. It also meant, aside from being a pronoun, "landowner" or "head of a non-religious state"; in contemporary Chlouvānem it mostly only survives as a vocative expression towards homeowners when used by guests[11].
  • ūttuka is today only used in parts of the Northeast (aside by fictional characters in historical settings), but until about 6300 was a common pronoun word used by servants towards their superiors, particularly landowners (it thus partially overlapped with ṣari).
  • yobrausa — see gopūrṭhami brausa above.

It is also important to note that it's increasingly common to simply use the vocative formula - given name plus lāma - instead of any pronoun in formal context: when speaking to a superior named Lārtāvi Vaihātiai Lælithiam, in order to say a sentence like "have you already done (it)?", nami nanau dadrāste nāṭ dām? and Lælithiam lāma nanau dadrāste nāṭ dām? are both just as correct. The pronoun forms are more commonly used in other cases, particularly in the genitive.
Note that lāma itself does NOT decline: only the noun does – e.g. Lælithiamom lāma lę emęlia "it has been given by me to you/Mr. Lælithiam".

In informal contexts, the only basic morphological second-person pronoun is sāmi, which has the dual form sanak and uses nami as the plural form (with plural agreement on verbs). However, there may be even more informal contexts where other nouns may be used: the prototypical example is among siblings, where blikā (dual blikāt, plural blikai), an endearing term for girls (think of Japanese -chan or -tan) is used as a pronoun for and among sisters — e.g. blikā meyom umuṣeste tane[12]? meaning "did you ask mum or not?"; as for all nouns standing for pronouns, this is not a vocative expression as it declines for case - e.g. blikom emęliaṃte nāṭ! "I've already given it to you!"; other such pro-nouns used among siblings are lorkhās (for and among brothers; literally "guy", can be rude outside this context), nājhali (non-binary equivalent to "girl" and "boy" — somewhat rarer as even in general use it's a more neutral term than either blikā or lorkhās), and even samin (literally "kid"). Informal names are also sometimes used instead of pronouns among siblings, and they're more often than not used that way among close friends and kaleyai[13].

Third person

In Chlouvānem, the third person pronouns – which are the demonstrative sets, most commonly the distal nanā - eṣanā - ānnā – are not used for people; the name of the person referred to with the appropriate honorific title is used instead.

Repetition of names is usually not considered strange in Chlouvānem, but there are a few ways to avoid excessive repetition. The most natural one is obviously to state the person once at the beginning as the topic and then have all following verbs agree with it through the trigger system.

All titles listed in the following section may be freely used with and without names. Furthermore, it is common in not excessively formal speech to use nāḍima (honorific word for "mother") for all female older relatives - of previous generations, not older siblings - of the interlocutor and similarly tamvāram (honorific for "father") for male older relatives.

Especially in contemporary Chlouvānem, the rank-neutral udhyāras (cf. "Comrade") is increasingly commonly used as a generic third person pronoun, though only after stating the name before.

Reference table

The following table is meant as a non-exhaustive reference for the most common ways used to refer to third person human referents in different situations, excluding titles:

If... Speaker is higher than Listener Speaker is equal to Listener Speaker is lower than Listener
3SG is higher than... both Speaker and Listener yamei (name) lāma
yamei (name) suntam/sintam
(yamei) (name) suntam/sintam(/lāma) yamei (name) suntam/sintam
but lower than or equal to Speaker
yamei lātiṃṣin
(name) lāma
/ /
but lower than or equal to Listener
/ / yamei (name) lāma
3SG is equal to... Listener udhyāras
yamei (name) tanta
(name) lāma
/ /
both Speaker and Listener / udhyāras
(name) lāma
Speaker / / yamei (name) lāma
3SG is lower than... Listener udhyāras
(name) tanta
/ /
both Speaker and Listener / udhyāras
(name) tanta
Speaker / / (name) lāma

Honorific titles

→ See also: Chlouvānem names § Using names

Chlouvānem uses many honorific titles, which are always used in non-familiar speech. The "honorific" adjective yamei is often added to many of them - especially lāma - and is mandatory in other ones.

  • lāma - used after the noun, it is the most common honorific title; almost every time someone is being addressed, lāma is used - the only exceptions being when it is already known another honorific should be used, or in familiar situations. It usually follows the given name alone (e.g. Namihūlša lāma); if the matronymic is added (sometimes done in order to disambiguate), then lāma comes between matronymic and noun (e.g. Līṭhaljāyimāvi lāma Namihūlša). All three names matronymic, surname, and given name together with lāma (e.g. Līṭhaljāyimāvi Kaleñchokah Namihūlša lāma) are only used in very formal addressing from a list of nouns; should matronymic+noun be not enough to distinguish two people, simply surname+noun is used.
  • tanta - used for people in a lower position, e.g. used towards one's employees or (usually from seventh class onwards) by teachers and professors towards their students. Also used by militars towards lower-ranked soldiers.
  • suntam (regionally also sintam) - used for people in a higher position in certain situations, most commonly towards older and more experienced colleagues (but not teachers or professors, nor work bosses if they're roughly the same age as the speaker).
  • lallāmaha - an extremely formal honorific, used for public authorities and all Inquisitors. Most often used together with yamei. Inquisitors may also be referred to as lallāmaha + matronymic + yamei + given name + murkadhāna (lāma)
  • jūlin - less formal than lāma, used for people who work in one's home but are not part of the family.
  • telen - less formal than lāma, used by men for unmarried women whom they know somewhat well. Currently less frequently used than it was up to about 10 years ago.
  • jāmilšīreh - used in military contexts towards higher-ranked people, or by common people towards military commanders in service.
  • udhyā(ras) - neutral but respectful title of address, often used when generally speaking and without knowing who the listener is. Sometimes used, when in a plural sense, in the form yamei dāvudhyāre. In its neutralness relative to rank, it can be compared with the Soviet-era use of товарищ. It is also how high-ranked Inquisitors and most monks address the general public.
    Note that udhyāras is the direct form, udhyā the irregular vocative.
  • pūrivāla - an impersonal term of address used in written language, towards unfamiliar people never met personally. Often used as yamei [name] pūrivāla.
  • cuca is not strictly an honorific, as it pertains to more colloquial forms of speech, but it works the same way. It has a diminutive and endearing meaning, not unlike Japanese -chan. In formal speech, it is often used towards and when speaking about children.

Occupations commonly used as titles

  • camitorai — head of a company (usually as [matronymic] yamei [name] camitorai lāma)
  • kauchlærīn (voc.: kauchlærī) — professor (in universities, seminaries, institutions, and work schools)
  • tatnāmęlīn (voc.: tatnāmęlī) — teacher (in first and basic schools)

Official titles

Where not noted, the formula is [matronymic] yamei [name] [title] lāma.

  • brausamailenya — Baptist — rendered as aveṣyotārire lallāmaha [matronymic] yamei [surname + given name] brausamailenia lāma.
  • camimurkadhāna — Great Inquisitor — rendered as nanū aveṣyotārire lallāmaha [matronymic] yamei [surname + given name] camimurkadhāna lāma.
  • camitorai — president (of diocesan parliaments or executives or of foreign countries). Rendered as aveṣyotārire [matronymic (if Chlouvānem)] yamei [name] camitorai lāma.
  • plušamelīs (voc.: plušamelī) — Prefect (head of an Office (plušamila) of the Inquisition). Rendered as aveṣyotārire [matronymic] yamei [name] plušamelī(s) lāma.
  • gatvā — leader/head/president/mayor — preceded by the genitive of the respective administration (ṣramāṇa "province", lalka "circuit", hālgāra "district", marta "city"…).
  • hurdagīn — Head Monk (head of a monastery) — rendered as kaili brausire yamei [name] hurdagīn lāma (+ monastery name-GEN)[14]
  • juṃša — Bishop (head of a diocese) — rendered as aveṣyotārire [matronymic] yamei [(surname +) name] juṃša lāma (+ diocese name-GEN).
  • lallaflušamelīs (voc.: lallaflušamelī) — High Prefect (head of the Table of Offices (flušamaili eṇāh, the executive branch of the Inquisition). Usually rendered as taili aveṣyotārire [matronymic] yamei [name] lallaflušamelī(s) lāma.
  • lallamurkadhāna — High Inquisitor (one of the 612 members of the Inquisitorial Conclave (murkadhānumi lanedāmeh, the legislative branch of the Inquisition). Usually rendered as aveṣyotārire [matronymic] yamei [name] lallamurkadhāna lāma.
  • ñæltryam — monk.
  • ṭommīn (voc.: ṭommī) — Eparch (head of an Eparchy).

Note that the full titles are used generally at the first mention only. For example, Martayināvi yamei murkadhāna Læhimausa lāma becomes afterwards either yamei murkadhāna or yamei Læhimausa lāma. With the Great Inquisitor, this does not usually get shorter than nanū aveṣyotārire yamei lallāmaha ([Her] Respectable Most Excellent Highness) or nanū aveṣyotārire lallāmaha camimurkadhāna ([Her] Most Excellent Highness, the Great Inquisitor).

Honorific particles

There are a few honorific particles - mostly of Ancient Kūṣṛmāthi origin - that are used to make names or nouns honorific:

  • īvai makes a verb humble, and is put after a verb, too.
  • nami denotes respect towards the trigger of the verb. It was common in the past alongside the honorific verb tilah, but today it rarely used.
  • yo- is a prefix for things pertaining to a honourable person, often used together with a verb with nami.
  • dau- is a prefix that makes nouns honorific.

Numerals (māltsāk)

Chlouvānem is one of the few human Calemerian languages - together with all other Lahob languages and a few ones of the southern hemisphere, as well as others like Qualdomelic or vernaculars of the Inquisition which have had considerable Chlouvānem influence - with a pure duodecimal number system.

Numbers (sg māltsām, pl. māltsāk) have six different forms: cardinal, ordinal, collective, distributive, adverbial/multiplicative, and fractionary. 1-4 have separate adverbial multiplicative forms, while all other ones have an invariable form used both as adverbial and 'adjectival' multiplicatives. Cardinals from 1 to Ɛ and their compounds decline for case (see below); collectives, multiplicatives, and fractionaries always decline, while ordinals are only declined if used without an accompanying noun. Distributives do not decline.

Digit12 Base 10 Cardinal Ordinal Collective Distributive Adv./Multiplicative Fractionary
0 0 ajrā (ajrāyende) (ajrehaicē) (māgajrā)
1 1 emibe
lahīla emibhaicē māgemibe (adv.)
2 2 dani hælinaika danyatām danihaicē māgdani (adv.)
3 3 pāmvi pāmvende pāmvyatām pāmvihaicē māmpāmvi (adv.)
4 4 nęlte nęltende nęltitām nęltehaicē māgnęlte (adv.)
5 5 šulka šulkende šulkatām šulkhaicē šulkarvīm šulkendvāṭ
6 6 tulūɂa tulūɂende tulūɂatām tulūɂihaicē tulūrvīm tulūɂendvāṭ
7 7 chīka chīcænde chīcætām chīcihaicē chīkarvīm chīcændvāṭ
8 8 tītya tītyende tītyatām tītihaicē tītyarvīm tītyendvāṭ
9 9 moja mojende mojatām mojihaicē mojarvīm mojendvāṭ
10 tålda tåldende tåldatām tåldihaicē tåldarvīm tåldendvāṭ
Ɛ 11 vælden vældinde vælditām vældihaicē vældirvīm vældindvāṭ
10 12 māmei māminde māmintām māmeihaicē māmairvīm māmindvāṭ
11 13 emibumaye emibumayinde emibumaintām emibumaihaicē emibumairvīm emibumayindvāṭ
12 14 danimaye danimayinde danimaintām danimaihaicē danimairvim danimayindvāṭ
13 15 pamihælī pamihælīnde pamihælītām pamihælīhaicē pamihælīrvīm pamihælīndvāṭ
14 16 māminęlte māminęltende māminęltitām māminęltehaicē māminęltarvīm māmiynęltendvāṭ
15 17 māmišulka māmišulkende māmišulkatām māmišulkhaicē māmišulkarvīm māmišulkendvāṭ
16 18 māmivælka māmivælkende māmivælkatām māmivælkihaicē māmivælkarvīm māmivælkendvāṭ
17 19 māmichīka māmichīcænde māmichīcætām māmichīcihaicē māmichīkarvīm māmichīcændvāṭ
18 20 māmitītya māmitītyende māmitītyatām māmitītihaicē māmitītyarvīm māmitītyendvāṭ
19 21 māmimoja māmimojende māmimojatām māmimojihaicē māmimojarvīm māmimojendvāṭ
1ᘔ 22 māmitålda māmitåldende māmitåldatām māmitåldihaicē māmitåldarvīm māmitåldendvāṭ
23 māmivælden māmivældinde māmivælditām māmivældihaicē māmivældirvīm māmivældindvāṭ
20 24 hælmāmei hælmāminde hælmāmintām hælmāmeihaicē hælmāmairvīm hælmāmindvāṭ

As for the two forms for one, emi is used in disjunctive counting (e.g. count-ins or countdowns) while emibe is used elsewhere. Compounds always have the full form, i.e. forms such as *hælmāmyemi do not exist.
Some compound words, especially technical and scientific ones, use Lällshag morphemes for the quantities from 1 to ᘔ (though from 5 onwards they're rarer): mån- 1, yūn- 2, lyāš- 3, alan- 4, tamb- 5, jiruṇ- or ciruṇ- 6, tulyæn- 7, neim- 8, šid- 9, abar- ᘔ.

Numbers from 2012 above are simply made by compounding teens and units with the appropriate saṃdhi changes, like 2112 (2510) hælmāmyemibe, and then hælmāmidani, hælmāmipāmvi, and so on. Note that other compounds with 6 use -tulūɂa and not -vælka as in 1612.
The other dozens are:

30 (3610) pāmvimāmei
40 (4810) nęltemāmei
50 (6010) šulkmāmei
60 (7210) vælknihæla
70 (8410) māmyāvælka (regionally chīcæmāmei, particularly in the East)
80 (9610) tītimāmei
90 (10810) mojemāmei
ᘔ0 (12010) tåldimāmei
Ɛ0 (13210) māmimīram
and 100 (14410) nihæla.

The apparent irregularities in the words for 6012, 7012, and Ɛ012 are explained by etymology: vælka is the reflex of PLB *wewənko, which meant “half”, thus vælknihæla is “half hundred” and māmyāvælka is “twelve on half”; māmimīram is literally “twelve [less] from ahead”. 1312 originally meant "one finger/three (pāmvi, the word for three, also meant "finger" in PLB (*pāmwəj) - whence also the Chlouvānem word for "finger", pamuvis (< PLB *pamwəjis)) in the second [dozen]", where the -hælī part is a worn form of hælinaika.

Numbers from 10012 to ƐƐƐ12 are still compounds, e.g. nihælaimibe, nihæladani, and so on. Note that 16012 is most commonly nihæltulūɂa, but the more literary form nihælvælka may still be heard.
The other dozenal hundreds are:

200 (28810) daninihæla
300 (43210) pāmvinihæla
400 (57610) nęltenihæla
500 (72010) šulknihæla
600 (86410) tulūnihæla
700 (100810) chīcænihæla
800 (115210) tītinihæla
900 (129610) mojanihæla
ᘔ00 (144010) tåldanihæla
Ɛ00 (158410) vældenihæla.

1.000 (172810) is tildhā and numbers above are separate words, without saṃdhi, e.g. 1.001 tildhā emibe, 6.2ᘔ9 (1078510) tulūɂa tildhā daninihælatåldimāmimoja.
Note that 2.00012 may be either one of tildhāt, dani tildhā, or (only emphatically) dani tildhāt.

The other divisions - numbers over ƐƐ.ƐƐƐ12 are based on groups of two digits: the two most commonly used ones in common speech are 1.00.000 (248.83210) - a raicē - and (35.831.80810) - a lallaraicē.

The next two groups have their separate words, but are quantities rarely used in common speech: (129) (5.159.780.35210) is a taiskaucis and (1211) (743.008.370.68810) a lallataiskaucis. The words khorādi (127, i.e. synonym of lallaraicē), yaṣmūn (1211, i.e. lallataiskaucis), iriakas (1213), mairān or lalleriakas (1215), nirāvah (1217), and sṝva or lallanirāvah (1219) were introduced in Classical-era texts, but are almost never used today. However, they form the base for the scientific measurement system's prefixes.

Their non-cardinal forms are all regular, with -ende (-inde after -m or for Ɛ12) for ordinals, -tām for collectives, -haicē for distributives, -rvīm for adverbials/multiplicatives (prefixed māg- for the separate adverbial forms), and -endvāṭ/-indvāṭ for the fractionaries. Compounds of 1-2 retain all irregular suppletive forms, e.g. hælmāmilahīla 2112st (2510th); hælmāmihælinaika 2212nd (2610th).

Finally, there are few other cardinals commonly used in speech: vālhælia 1½, vālpāmvya 2½, vālnęlca 3½, vālšulca 4½, and vāltulūya 5½. The forms vālchīca, vāltītiya, and vālmojya are used in telling the time only and obsolete otherwise, while other similar forms are sparingly attested in older mathematical texts, but periphrastical constructions such as tulūɂa hælinaivāṭ no (or, sometimes, - vælka no) are more commonly heard and used nowadays.

Use of fractionary numbers

Fractionary numbers (except vāl- ones) are used to express non-integers just like any other quantity. Simple ones such as 0,6 (½) are the basic fractionary number - in this case hælinaivāṭ (note that, outside mathematics, danyāmita is the preferred term for "half", both in metaphorical (lilyā viṣam danyāmita "my other half") and non-metaphorical uses (alāvi danyāmita "half of the bottle")); other examples are 0,3 (¼) nęltendvāṭ and 0,4 (⅓) pāmvendvāṭ.
With more complex fractions, the smallest part (negative power of twelve) is stated - the three commonly found are 1/12 (māmindvāṭ), 1/144 (nihælendvāṭ), and 1/1728 (tildhaindvāṭ). For example, 0,82 is tītimāmidani nihælendvāṭ and 0,7ᘔ6 is chīcænihælamāmimīraṃtulūɂa tildhaindvāṭ; sometimes, "0, then" (mīram) may be added: ajrā mīram tītimāmidani nihælendvāṭ.

With a non-fractionary portion that is not zero, instead of mīram, smurā (full, integer) is used - e.g. 2,307 is usually said as dani smurā pāmvinihælchīka tildhaindvāṭ.

Declensions of cardinal numbers

Some cardinal numbers are declined for case, but this is usually only done in formal Chlouvānem. In informal Chlouvānem, either only emibe is declined, or are all numerals up to vælden, plus nihæla. Compounds of these are usually not declined. The words tildhā, (lalla)raicē, and (lalla)taiskaucis are always declined, but they are fully nouns.

Case emibe i-paradigm a-paradigm en-paradigm
dani, pāmvi, nęlte[15] 5 to 10[16] vælden only
emibe dani šulka vælden
Accusative emiyu danyu šulku vældu
Ergative emeis danyes šulkes vældes
Genitive emibī dani[17] šulki[18] vældi
Translative emiban danin šulkan vældanna
Exessive emibat danit šulkat vældanta
Essive emibą danyą šulkąa vældąs
Dative emibå danyå šulkå vældå
Ablative emiyų danyų šulkų vældų
Locative emiye danye šulke vælde
Instrumental emīp danip šulkip vældampa

Use of numerals

Cardinal numerals may be used in two ways, depending on whether emphasis is given to the number or to the thing counted.

  • In the most common use, the counted thing is emphasized: the numeral is put before the noun and the noun is always singular (except for "two", see below) plus the appropriate case: e.g. emibe yujam (one lotus flower); dani māra (two mango fruits); pāmvi haloe (three names), vælden ñaiṭa (eleven stars), and so on.
  • If emphasis is given to the number, then the counted thing comes first, and, if it should be in direct, ergative, or accusative case, it is in genitive singular instead; the semantic direct, ergative, or accusative case is taken by the numeral itself if it is one, two, three, or compounds. Examples: yujami emibe (one lotus flower), māri dani (two mango fruits), halenyes pāmvi (three names), ñaiṭi vælden (eleven stars). In other cases, the noun follows the semantic case (but is always singular anyway), e.g. marti pāmvi (three cities) but marte pāmvye (in the three cities).
    This form is increasingly less common in everyday use.
  • "Two" may be used with either singular or dual number: dani māra or māri dani are both as correct as dani mārāt and māreva dani - note that the dual number alone, without the numeral, has the same meaning. Outside of literary texts, it is however more common to specify "two" with the numeral.

Ordinal numerals are regular attributive adjective-like words that precede nouns - e.g. hælinaika kita "second house". They do not decline if are used together with a noun, but they can also be used alone (e.g. hælinaika "the second one"), in which case they decline for case and number, as if they were -eh nouns (-a for 1st and 2nd), e.g. mojendesām ukulate "it has been told to those in ninth position".

Collective numerals (which decline as regular -ām nouns) are most commonly found with the meaning of "a group consisting of X ...", therefore implying greater cohesiveness than using the cardinal number implies. A common example of the subtle meaning change is between the sentences chīka lalāruṇa togāhaite (with a cardinal) and chīcætām lalāruṇa togāhaite (with a collective): both mean "seven lalāruṇai hit", but in the latter sentence the action is implied to be a coordinate act of all seven animals, while in the former they either hit randomly or the coordination of the action is not specified (or not specification-worthy). This is also the most common meaning with pluralia tantum, as commonly heard with ethnonyms (which are all plural only in Chlouvānem), e.g. šulkatām chlǣvānem "[a group of] five Chlouvānem people".
They can also be found, context-dependent, used with the meaning of "all X of..." - in a sentence such as e.g. tītyatām lejīn dilu liju lilejlaikate "all eight singers wanted to sing the same song" - or with the meaning of "X sets of" with singularia tantum - e.g. pāmvyatām hærṣūs "three pairs of lips" (but note that colloquial Chlouvānem increasingly often uses the cardinals here, e.g. pāmvi hærṣūs).
The collective numerals for 0 and 1 (ajrāṇṭām and emibutām respectively) are not included in the table above because they do not exist in practical use; however, they are sporadically found in poetry and literature, referring to people and with the meaning of "a group where only one/no one is ...", e.g. ajrāṇṭām tadhusmausīn "a group where no one is honest". Similarly, collectives for vāl- numbers (e.g. vālpāmvyantām "a group consisting of 2½ ...") exist, but are virtually unused. danyatām, like dani, may be use together with either a singular or a dual noun.

In some cases, the choice between a collective and a cardinal is stylistic. While for example concepts such as "we are..." or "I have ... children" do normally use the collective (e.g. tulūɂatām ñæltah jalim "we are six sisters/a group of six reciprocal brothers and sisters"; lili mæn nęltitām samin "I have four children"), even if using a cardinal isn't wrong, in a sentence such as "there are X people" both versions are found, with the collective-using sentence (e.g. dvārma vælditāmą lilęs virā "in the room there are eleven people") being perceived as more formal than the more colloquially heard cardinal-using version (i.e. dvārma vældąs lilęs virā).

Distributive numerals are indeclinable adjective-like words, and have the meaning of "X each": pāmvihaicē titē męlyāhai "three pens each are given"; lili lilyā ñæltah no tulūɂihaicē kolecañi alau ulgutarate "my sister and I have bought six bottles of kvas each" — note in both sentences the use of singular number in titē (pencil) and alūs (acc. alau) "bottle", just like after cardinal and collective numerals.

Adverbial numerals are adverbs with the meaning of "X times" and multiplicative numbers are adjective-like words (that can also be used alone) with the meaning of "X times as large"; numbers from 1 to 4 have both forms, while all other ones (except 0) have only the multiplicative one, which is used for both meanings. Examples: pāmvirvīm yąloe "triple meal/a meal three times as large"; āsena māgdani "twice a month"; āsena tītyarvīm "eight times a month".
Zero only has an adverbial form (māgajrā), which is however only used in reading multiplications and powers, e.g. 3 * 0 māgajrā pāmvi, 90 māgajrā demǣ moja.

Fractionary numerals are always used in the noun.GEN numeral construction, and they are invariable in direct, vocative, accusative, and ergative case but decline with -vaḍa in all of the others (in fact, etymologically they derive from worn down forms of ordinal + vaḍa, meaning Xth part, e.g. hælinaika vaḍa (the second part) → hælinaivāṭ). Unlike ordinals, the noun is always in the genitive case. Examples: marti hælinaivāṭ "half of the city" ; alāvi nęltendvāṭ "one fourth of the bottle" ; babhrāmi tulūɂendvaḍe "in one sixth of the country".

Basic maths

  • 1 + 2 = 3
emibe nanū dani pāmvyå lunade (1.DIR. more. 2.DIR. 3-DAT. go.MONODIR-IND.PRES-3DU.EXTERIOR-AGENTIVE) — rule: ADIR nanū BDIR (nanū ...) CDAT lunade (two addends) / lunāhai (3+ addends)
  • 3 - 2 = 1
pāmvi isan dani emibå lunade (3.DIR. minus. 2.DIR. 1-DAT go.MONODIR-IND.PRES-3DU.EXTERIOR-AGENTIVE) — rule: ADIR isan BDIR (isan ...) CDAT lunade (two addends) / lunāhai (3+ addends)
  • 3 * 2 = 6
  • 6 : 2 = 3
hælinaivadęs tulūɂa pāmvyå liven (2.FRACTION-ESS. 6.DIR 3-DAT. go.MONODIR-IND.PRES-3SG.EXTERIOR-AGENTIVE) — rule: FRACTIONARY-BESS ADIR CDAT liven
  • 62 = 30 (3610)
māgdani demǣ tulūɂa pāmvimāmei liven (2.ADV.MULTIP. REFL.GEN-LOC. 6.DIR. 3012. go.MONODIR-IND.PRES-3SG.EXTERIOR-AGENTIVE) — rule: MULTIPLICATIVE.(ADV)-B demǣ ADIR CDAT liven

Reified numerals

Reified numerals, or numerals used as nouns, have a special form, which is actually the numeral with the common noun-forming suffix -as added (with regular saṃdhi). These numerals are used most notably for:

  • In order to refer to the digits themselves (danyas "the digit 2");
  • Things named with numbers (tulūɂās "[tram/bus/etc] number 6");
  • (in the plural) Year dozens (vælknihælē "the 6012s = the 386012s);
  • (in the plural) Age ranges by the dozen (hælmāmeyē "2012ies" = the age range from the start of one's 2012th year to the end of one's 2Ɛth);
  • School marks - note that there's no uniform system in the Inquisition (nęltayas "a grade 4" (passing grade in the most widespread system for non-higher education in the Inquisition, ranging from 1 (emibayas), worst, to 7 (chīkās), best));
  • A group of X people - a reification of collective numerals (pāmvyas "a trio").

Note that there are some terms which use numerals as roots but aren't considered reified numbers (also because of their rather inconsistent meanings); the most common examples include danyāmita (half) and māmyāmita (dozen).

Units of Measurement

Chlouvānem units of measurement (lęlgīs, pl. lęlgais) are divided in popular units (leilausirena lęlgais) and scientific units (tarlausirena lęlgais). Scientific units, while understood, are rarely found outside of scientific contexts if corresponding popular units exist, while popular units are found in daily usage. Popular units follow however a measurement standard introduced in 3E 566 (79810) and updated several times in the following two centuries, in order to give a single understood measure for all units whose names and definitions varied across the many countries of the Chlouvānem cultural space.
It is also to be noted that Calemerian scientific units have internationally unified definitions for their base units but are substantially different between the Western and the Eastern world as Western countries use them with a decimal system, while the Eastern countries (the Inquisition, most of the former Kaiṣamā, and Greater Skyrdagor) use them with a duodecimal system.


Units in italics are popular divisions used in speech and not usually written. The nīnas has its own abbreviation but it is nowadays rarely used, and most often written as 2 vā even if spoken as nīnas.

Short Name Meaning/name origin Equivalent to Metric system (approx.)
lūj lūjla (ABL) Point, tip 1/12 liv ~1.20255 mm
liv livuka Short (dialectal) ⅙ de ~1.44305 cm
de dera Finger (in A.Kūṣṛmāṭhi) ⅓ vā ~8.65833 cm
vāriṇa Span ¼ pā 25.975 cm
nīnas Knee ½ pā 51.95 cm
pājya Leg (base unit) 103.9 cm
bru brujñya Fathom 2+½ pā 2.5975 m
vyaṣojrī nęltendvāṭ Quarter of vyaṣojrā ¼ vya — 90 (10810) bru 280.53 m
vyaṣojrī pāmvendvāṭ Third of vyaṣojrā ⅓ vya — 100 (14410) bru 374.04 m
vyaṣojrī hælinaivāṭ Half vyaṣojrā ½ vya — 160 (21610) bru 561.06 m
vya vyaṣojrā Plough 300 (43210) bru 1122.12 m — 1.11212 km
gar garaṇa Hour 6+⅓ vya 7106.76 m — 7.10676 km


The våṇṭa may or may not be written as a separate measure. A measure of 1 jāṇa and 700 doṃryai may be written as 1 jā.700 (do) (most commonly) or as 1 jā.1.100 (do).

Short Name Meaning/name origin Equivalent to Metric system (approx.)
sǣca Small, Piece (in A.Namaikehi) 1 nī * 1 nī 51.95 cm2
dar daryā unknown; name first used in the Near East 60 (7210) 3,740.4 cm2
re relya Carpet 3 dar ~1.12212 m2
dvā dvāmārya ultimately from dvārma (room) 4 re ~4.48848 m2
våṇṭa probably from a Tamukāyi word meaning "fence(d)" 600 (86410) dvā — ½ jā ~3,878.0467 m2
jāṇa Field 1,000 (1,72810) do — 2 vå ~7,756.0934 m2
e ekram Expanse (in A.Namaikehi) 100 (14410) ~1.1168 km2

Weight (and mass)

Short Name Meaning/name origin Equivalent to Metric system (approx.)
vaj vaji dimin. from vaḍa (part) 1/100 (1/14410) ~51.79398 mg
dūdha Seed ⅙ lit ~7.45833 g
lit litveh Cut (in A.Namaikehi) ¼ aut 44.75 g
aut auṭikā probably an augmentative from PLB *wutərus[19] (base unit) 179 g
tulūɂendā ultimately from tulūɂendes (sixth) 6 aut 1,074 g
pau paurā Rock (dialectal) 70 (8410) aut 12.53 kg
māp māmipaurā māmei (twelve) + paurā 10 (1210) pau 150.36 kg
lap lallapaurā lalla (high, further) + paurā 10 (1210) māp 1,804.32 kg


Short Name Meaning/name origin Equivalent to Metric system (approx.)
sjē sejyēh dimin. from segen (spoon) ½ seg ~5.78704 mL
seg segen Spoon ⅓ cel ~11.57407 mL
cel celya Small glass ⅙ lun ~34.72222 mL
lun luneyāvi from lunai (tea) ⅓ val ~0.20833 L
val valdhēna Flagon (base unit) 0.625 L
al alūs Bottle 2+ ⅓ val ~1.45833 L
dåṣṭis Bucket 8 al ~11.66666 L
raš rašah Barrel 16 (1810) ~210 L

There are also two further units for dry measures only:

  • the purṣa ("pot", pur), equivalent to 1+½ val (~0.9375 L);
  • the ręnah ("jar, urn", ), equivalent to 6 pur (~5.625 L).

The egimbladuldāvi (egd) is a unit used for measuring engine displacement: 1 egd equals ⅙ val, that is ~0.10416667 L (~104.16667 cc).


Temperature measuring in the Chlouvānem world uses the Jahārāṭha scale (shortened ºj; named after scientist Ṣastirāvi Jahārāṭha Nukthalin), which is fixed with a zero degree at water freezing temperature at sea level. 100 ºj is the rough boiling temperature of water, but, being a duodecimal scale, it is 10012 (14410), thus 1 ºj equals 25/36 of a degree Celsius, or 1 ºC = 1.44 ºj.
The median body temperature of a Calemerian human (which is slightly lower than for terrestrial humans) is of 41 ºj (4910), thus ~34.0278 ºC.


See also: Chlouvānem Calendar and time § the Chlouvānem calendar

English Chlouvānem Equivalent to rough Earthly approximation
Year heirah 418 Calemerian days 609.6 Earth days
Day pārṇam 2812 (3210) hours ~35 hours
Hour garaṇa 3 hælmāmyai
6012 (7210) railai
~65 min ~37 sec
group of "minutes" hælmāmya 2012 (2410) railai ~21 min ~52 sec
"Minute" raila (base unit) ~54.6805 sec
"Second" namišoe 1/4012 (1/4810) raila ~1.8986 sec
1/12 of a "second" (namišeni) māmendvāṭ 1/1012 (1/1210) namišoe ~0.1582 sec
1/144 of a "second" (namišeni) nihælendvāṭ 1/10012 (1/14410) namišoe ~0.0131 sec
1/1728 of a "second" (namišeni) tildhaindvāṭ 1/100012 (1/172810) namišoe ~1.0987 ms

Other units

Chlouvānem Symbol rough Earthly approximation
frequency lūnaji lnj ~0.526704 Hz
voltage chulgān chg 1 V

Particles (remīn)

Traditional Chlouvānem grammar only recognizes a single part of speech called "particles" (remīn, literally "helper(s)") which includes conjunctions, postpositions, and interjections. However, these three are recognized as subsets of particles - here translated as "conjunctive particles" (natemālāhai remīn), "accompanying particles", i.e. postpositions (ūtimāhai remīn), and "exclamatory particles" (pigdilanah nali remīn), as is also a further fourth subgroup called "adverbial particles" (khladaradhausirāhe remīn).

Conjunctive particles

Conjunctive particles typically may not stand alone and do not modify (i.e. require a particular case) nouns they're attached to - with the exception of væse. They are:

  • golat — on the other hand, whereas (less common than maip)
  • lai — inclusive or
  • las — and (incomplete listings, i.e. "X and Y and Z and so on"; see no below for the use.)
  • mailiven — so, thus, therefore (a grammaticalized use of go_forward.UNIDIR.PRES.IND.3SG.PATIENT.EXTERIOR.).
  • maip — on the other hand, whereas (more common than both golat and vādvyeṣi)
  • mbu — exclusive or
  • menni — because, for, as
If there is a following main clause, then it's the last word in the subordinate of reason (this use is usually synonymous to the consequential secondary verbal mood of cause, e.g. aganą lā įstyāk menni yųlakepañcekte "as (s)he was hungry, (s)he started eating" = aganą lā įstyānairek yųlakepañcekte); if it's just a lone sentence (an answer), then it is usually at the second place in the sentence, after the verbal trigger (e.g. tami menni yuyųlsegde "because (s)he wants to eat").
  • najelai — maybe. Originally the archaic potential form of najalle (to happen). Requires a verb in the subjunctive mood.
  • nanū — also, too (only between sentences; see tora below). Actually a different use of the adverb meaning "more" (comparative of taili "many, much").
  • ni — but
  • no — and (between nouns and denoting a complete listing; use las for incomplete listings). It follows the noun it refers to, and in listings with more than two nouns it follows every noun except the first. It (and lasь) can also translate "and" between verbs, but sama is preferred between sentences, especially with different subjects (e.g. yąlute molute no "I eat and drink", either mēlitu yąlute kolecañu molute no or mēlitu yąlute sama kolecañu molute "I eat curry and drink kvas", but most often mēlitu yąlute sama lilyā ñæltah kolecañu molegde "I eat curry and my sister drinks kvas". Note that mēlitu yąlute lilyā ñæltah kolecañu molegde no is still correct, but mostly found in literary or very formal language).
  • sama — and (between sentences). Shortened to sam before vowel-initial words.
  • — because, for, as
Unlike menni (which it is an exact synonym of), is always in second place, cf. aganą lā tī įstiāk yųlakepañcekte (in this case, note that no other word can intervene between the "accompanying particle" and the noun it is attached to).
  • tora — also, too; used both as a conjunctive particle (even if nanū is more common) and as an adverbial one, in the latter case always before the verb (and any non-subject pronoun). (e.g. tora nanau uyųlaṃte "I've eaten that too").
  • vādvyeṣi — on the other hand, whereas (more formal than both golat and maip)
  • væse — while, in the meantime. Requires a subjunctive mood verb or a noun in essive (or, depending on the meaning, exessive or translative) case.

Accompanying particles (i.e. postpositions)

Postpositions, known as "accompanying particles" (ūtimāhai remīn) in native Chlouvānem grammars, usually cannot stand alone (unlike "adverbial" particles) and require a particular noun case.

  • dam — interrogative particle, put after the verb (e.g. daltah væl dam? "is it a fish?").
  • e — like. Requires essive case with nouns (in formal speech; while bare essive most properly has the meaning "as X" instead of "like X", colloquially it is used both ways) and subjunctive mood with realis verbs (other moods are used for their meaning).
  • ga — adpositive particle, used to join nouns in noun phrases (usually titles; the only exceptions being honorifics), such as Līlasuṃghāṇa ga marta (Līlasuṃghāṇa city, or "city of Līlasuṃghāṇa") or Tāllahāria ga maita (Tāllahāria river).
  • gu(n) — ša — circumposition only used around verbs used to negate them, e.g. gu yuyųlsegde ša "(s)he doesn't want to eat"). Note that the ša element is omitted if the verb is attributive.
  • (arch. lapi) — with (comitative); requires essive case (e.g. lilyąa ñæltęs lā "with my sister"). Similarly,
  • mei and go — the Chlouvānem words for "yes" and "no" respectively; their use is however different from English, as they are used according to the polarity of the question: mei answers "yes" to affirmative questions and "no" to negative questions; go answers "no" to affirmative questions and "yes" to negative questions.
  • mūji — almost, more or less
  • mæntopic marker. Used for a topic which otherwise has no role in the sentence (often used inside larger conversations, e.g. lili mæn yultire jṛṣṇe (mine/as for me (echoing a previous sentence), [it is] in the bright yellow backpack; OR: as for me, [I keep it] in...)).
  • nali — benefactive marker (used with a noun in direct case in a non-benefactive-trigger voice); in order to (with a subjunctive verb; note that the bare subjunctive already carries that meaning, but using nali gives a nuance of hope).
  • nānim — almost. Requires a noun in essive case or a verb in the semantically correct mood.
  • pa — on, of, concerning, on the subject of. Requires a noun in the direct case or a subjunctive verb.
  • ras — antibenefactive marker (used with a noun in direct case in a non-antibenefactive-trigger voice); to avoid X (with a subjunctive verb).
  • sām — until. Requires a noun in translative case (or dative case for places, meaning "as far as")[20] or a verb in the subjunctive.
  • tatta — despite; even though. Requires a noun in the essive case or a subjunctive verb.

Adverbial particles

Adverbial particles (khladaradhausirāhe remīn) are distinguished from "accompanying particles" because they, like adverbs, can also stand alone.

  • — again (quite archaic)
    • dīdān — again and again (< dǣ dǣ no, attested in Archaic Chlouvānem)
  • enibu — still
  • govyāṣa — not yet
  • gudēya — anymore, no more
  • lenta — together (with). When used as a particle, it requires a noun in genitive case - e.g. lili buneyi lenta "I, together with my older sister".
  • lǣh — already
  • maibu — enough. Requires a noun in genitive case or a verb in the indicative mood.
  • nāṭ — already
  • samelīsa — again
  • vādį — without; requires essive case (e.g. lilyąa ñæltęs vādį "without my sister").
  • vivāmi — too much. Requires a noun in genitive case or a verb in the indicative mood.

"Paired" particles

Chlouvānem does not have "paired" particles as English does, because they are translated in different ways:

  • "both... and..." is translated by the adverb peimęe (the same), either in the form "X Y no peimęe" or in "X ..., Y peimęe":
jādāh lañekaica no peimęe nanau draikate – both Jādāh and Lañekaica did that.
nāniu uyųlaṃte : māru peimęe – I have eaten both the bread and the mango.
  • "neither... nor..." requires the sentence to be built in a different way, namely "not X, and also not Y", where "also not" is translated in two different ways: 1) by the particle gūta (more formal); or 2) with the adverb peimęe - therefore building a sentence that is exactly like the "both X and Y" but negative.
jādāh nanau gu dṛkte ša : lañekaica gūta – neither Jādah nor Lañekaica did that. Literal translation: Jādāh didn't do it, and Lañekaica also [didn't].
nāniu gu uyųlaṃte ša : māru peimęe – I have eaten neither the bread nor the mango. Literally: I haven't eaten the bread, and the same for the mango.
  • "either... or..." is easily translated by the exclusive or (mbu). It is commonly only used after the second term, but it can be put after every term for emphasis:
jādāh (mbu) lañekaica mbu nanau dṛkte – either Jādah or Lañekaica did it. (note the singular verb)

Emphatic particles

A few particles are used (usually sentence-finally) in order to convey particular feelings of the speaker about the statement:

  • å expresses either surprise (at the beginning of a sentence) or that the fact is considered annoying (at the end), e.g. å viṣęe dadrāte "wow, (s)he's done it again!" / viṣęe dadrā å "oh no, (s)he's done it again!"
  • gives the sentence, especially a command or a proposition, an informal tone - cf. German "mal" or Italian "un po'", e.g. najire nanau mešute dā "I'll just see what happens"; peithos dā "just calm down and take a walk around here."
  • e is a basic declarative particle when used word-finally, and is often used as an introduction (much like "you know, ...") or as a generic filler.
  • eri means "even". It marks a positive emphasis and used with positive sentences (e.g. hūnakumi dældān eri dældire "(s)he even speaks Hūnakumi[21]")
  • gāri means "not even", being the opposite of eri, marking a negative emphasis in negative sentences (e.g. hulābdān chlǣvānumi dældān gāri gu dældire ša "(s)he doesn't even speak correct Chlouvānem")
  • , a generic filler (cf. "I mean"), often combined with e. e.g. nā (e) nenēt nāṭ tarliru! "I mean, I already know this!"
  • nane is a tag question, e.g. camiyūs vali dam nane? "you're from Cami, aren't you?"
  • naihā is a tag question much like nane, but is used when the speaker is in doubt and/or expects a contradictory answer, e.g. lære draute dam naihā? "did I do it yesterday, or...?"
  • pos is a filler with a meaning similar to tau, but it is more properly translated as emphasizing that the speaker considers the statement as a general truth or a widely accepted thing, e.g. ālīce jeldegde pos "yeah, everybody knows (s)he acts that way/does that kind of things."
  • sāṭ expresses the speaker's doubt about the honesty of the expressed action, e.g. tamye tamyu draukæ sāṭ "(s)he did it for me, but I don't believe that's what (s)he really wanted" or "as if (s)he really did it for me!"
  • tau emphasizes that the fact expressed is considered obvious, and is fairly colloquial, e.g. lārvājuṣe ēk tau "huh, I was at the temple, nothing else"; kitui vasau tau "I drove home [what else could I do?]"
  • tva puts strong emphasis on a declarative sentence; it is fairly colloquial and not polite, and thus avoided in formal speech, e.g. nenēyu daudyute tati ukulaṃte tva! "damn, I said I want that, shut up!"

Derivational morphology (vāmbeithausire maivāndarāmita)

Chlouvānem has an extensive system of derivational morphology, with many possibilities of deriving words from verbal roots and even from other nouns.


-a (unstressed) or (stressed) is a common derivative to make basic words from verbal roots. It does not have any fixed meaning, though it's always pretty close to the root. Nouns with the unstressed suffix and an ablautable vowel usually belong to the ablauting declension. in a root is always strengthened to middle-grade.

  • dṛ (to do, to make) → dara (activity)
  • lil (to live) → lila (person; living thing)
  • tṛl (to know) → tarlā (science)

-as is another common derivative, without fixed meaning, but usually denoting objects or things done by acting. It is used to derive positions from positional verbs.

  • tug (to beat) → tugas (beat)
  • jlitiā (jlitim-) (be to the right of) → jlitimas (right)
  • āntiā (āntim-) (be above, be on) → āntimas (part above)

-ūm is another derivative without fixed meaning, overlapping with -as.
With a few roots whose vowel is -o-, -un is used instead.

  • lgut (to buy) → lgutūm (something bought)
  • peith (to go, walk (multidirectional)) → peithūm (walk)
  • yālv (to be sweet (taste)) → yālvūm (sweet taste)
  • storg (offices, factories: to be open, to work) → storgun (working hours)

-laukas is a singulative suffix, denoting either a single thing of a collective noun, or a single constituent of a broader act. Unlike the previous ones, it is most commonly applied to other nouns.

  • lun (to go, walk (monodirectional)) → luṃlaukas (step)
  • lil (to live) (or liloe (life)) → lillaukas (moment, instant)
  • daša (rain) → dašilaukas (raindrop)

-anah, with middle-grade ablaut if possible, denotes an act or process, or something closely related to that.

  • dig (to pour) → deganah ((act of) pouring)
  • miš (to see) → mešanah (sight)
  • lgut (to buy) → lgotanah (shopping)

-yāva with lengthening denotes a quality.

  • māl (to keep together) → mālyāva (union)
  • hælvē (fruit) → šaulvyāva (fertility) (morphemically //hyaulvyava//)
  • blut (to clean) → blūtyāva (cleanliness)
  • Lengthening is absent if the word is derived from an -aus- adjectival verb (e.g. chlærausake ((to be) easy) → chlærausyāva (easiness)) and in a few exceptions (e.g. lalla (high) → lalliyāva (highness, superiority)). taugyāva (life) has au because it's derived from taugikā (heart) and not the bare root tug (to beat).
  • Inverse-ablaut roots have the reduced vowel as a prefix, much like in causative verbs (e.g. vald (to (be) open) → uvaldyāva (opening, state of being open)).

-išam has the same meaning as -yāva, but it's rarer.

  • yųlniltas (edible) → yųlniltešam (edibility)
  •  yālv (to be sweet (taste)) → yālvišam (sweetness)
  • ñailūh (ice) → ñailūvišam (coldness)
  • nevy (to model, to give a form) → nevīšam (plastic) (This word underwent a meaning shift from "modellability" to a common material with that quality, replacing the derived form nevīšandhūs previously used. "Modellability" is nyavyāva in contemporary Chlouvānem.)

-āmita (-yāmita when used with nouns with thematic e or i), often with high-grade ablaut, is another suffix forming quality nouns, but it is often more abstract, being translatable with suffixes like English -ism.

  • lalteh (friend (female)) → laltyāmita (friendship)
  •  ēmīla (tiger) → ēmīlāmita (nobility (quality); most important people in society[22])
  • ñæltah (sister (male's)) → ñæltāmita (brotherhood)

-tsām (-utsām after ñ, š, and voiced stops except d(h)), with middle-grade ablaut, has various generic and sometimes unpredictable meanings, though typically instrumental.

  •  māl (to keep together) → māltsām (number)
  •  lij (to sing) → lejutsām (choir)
  •  dhāḍ (to speak) → dhāḍutsām (voice)
  • kul (to say) → kultsām (word) (irregular lack of middle-grade ablaut)

-rṣūs (-ṛṣūs after a consonant) denotes a tool, namely something used in doing an action.

  • yaud (to catch) → yaudṛṣūs (trap)
  • miš (to see) → meširṣūs (eye (literary, rare))[23]
  • hær (to kiss) → hærṣūs (lips (pair of))

-gis denotes something used for doing an action, not always synonymous with -rṣūs. -t-gis becomes -ñjis.

  •  mešīn (eye) → mešīlgis (glasses (pair of))
  •  tug (to beat) → tulgis (drumstick)
  •  lgut (to buy) → lguñjis (money, currency)

-oe (with middle-grade ablaut) often denotes a result, but has lots of various meanings.

  •  hal (to call) → haloe (name, noun)
  •  peith (to go, walk (multidirectional)) → peithoe (development; the way something is carried out)
  • yųl (to eat) → yąloe (meal)

-īn plus middle grade-ablaut denotes a doer (roughly equivalent to English -er); usually it is a person, but not always.

  • bhi (to take care of; to care for) → bhayīn (someone who takes care; guardian)
  • tug (to beat) → togīn (heart)
  •  lgut (to buy) → lgotīn (buyer)

-āvi denotes something derived from X. It is also used in forming matronymics.

  •  lameṣa (coconut palm) → laṃṣāvi (coconut)
  •  mešanah (sight) → mešanąvi (knowledge)
  • yųl (to eat) → yųlāvi (strength (literary, rare))

-āmis, with lengthening, means "made of X".

  • tāmira (rock, stone) → tāmirāmis (stone tool)
  •  tarlā (knowledge, science) → tārlāmis (wisdom)
  •  lil (to live) → līlāmis (a blissful place)
  • Words ending in a final long vowel (plus either h, s, or m) do not lengthen any vowel in a previous syllable (e.g. ñaryāh (mountain) → ñaryāmis (mountainous area)).

-ikā has various meanings, often somewhat abstract, intensive, or related to highly valued things/roles.

  •  daša (rain) → dāšikā (monsoon) (irregular lengthening)
  •  hær (to kiss) → hærikā (love (literary, rare))
  • lalāruṇa (giant domestic lizard) → lalārauṇikā (knight mounting a lalāruṇa)

-dhūs means "having X".

  • dara (activity) → daradhūs (verb)
  • šaṇṭrās (field, soil) → šaṇṭrādhūs (countryside)
  • hælvē (fruit) → hælvidhūs (fruiting tree; literary: pregnant woman)

-bān and -ūrah are two roughly equivalent suffixes used for locations. The first one is generally used after vowels, the second after consonants, but it's no strict rule.

  • hælvē (fruit) → hælvēbān (orchard)
  • lil (to live) → lilūrah (world)
  • peith (to go, to walk (multidirectional)) → peithūrah (passage)

-(l)āṇa forms a true collective noun:

  • lalteh (friend (female)) → laltelāṇa (group of friends)
  • jīma (character, symbol, letter) → jīmalāṇa (writing system)
  • maiva (word) → maivalāṇa (lexicon)

-(l)ænah denotes a tree or a plant having a certain fruit[24].

  •  haisah (pineapple) → haisænah (pineapple tree)
  •  maɂika (uncooked rice) → maɂikænah (rice plant)
  • šikālas (prickly pear) → šikālænah (prickly pear cactus)

-yūs is used with toponyms and is one of the most common ways to form demonyms. As many of the nouns these words are derived from are proper nouns and of non-Chlouvānem origin, there are often irregular formations, e.g. using only a part of the original word.

  • Līlasuṃghāṇalīlasuṃghāṇyūs
  • Camicamiyūs
  • Ajāƾilbādhiajāƾilbādhyūs

-(g)arim is often found with the meaning of "that has to be X"; usually, a synonymous word may be formed by -s derivation from a necessitative stem, but some -(g)arim words have their own specialized meaning:

  • vvlur- (to believe) → vvlurgarim (miracle)
  • miš- (to see) → mišarim (attraction) (also memikṣūs)
  • tṛl- (to know, understand) → tṛlgarim (rule) (not synonymous with tartṛlsūs, meaning "needed knowledge, prerequisite")

-ьai (often with lengthening) forms nouns with the meaning of "pertaining to", generally applied to nouns denoting inanimate (but usually concrete) concepts. Such nouns are found in literature with an anaphorical use.
It is commonly found in Chlouvānem surnames. In chemistry, it denotes binary compounds, usually with a dvandva stem.

  • vīhatam (farm) → vīhātiai (farmer; farm's)
  • svāṣṭa (armor) → svāṣṭyai (armored knight)
  • bilumbida (sodium) + talyelīm (chlorine) → bilumbītalyelīyai (sodium chloride)

-ceh, -cænah, and -cañīh (all often with palatalization of the last consonant) are three different (but with roughly the same meaning) diminutive-forming suffixes; some of them have developed distinct meanings. They can also be compounded, as in -cæñ-cañīh:

  • samin (child) → samiñcænah (little child)
  • ēmīla (tiger) → ēmīlcañīh (cat)
  • pǣka (taste) → pǣcicænah (hors d'œuvre, entrée)

Similarly, -rarā (a likely Laiputaši borrowing) is used as an augmentative, but is only found in informal styles.

  • dårṣa (cool, nice) → dårṣararā (fantastic)
  • jāmṝṣa (dam) → jāmṝṣararā (a huge dam)
  • alūs (bottle) → alūrarā (a big bottle)


Denominal verbs, in Chlouvānem, are not formed with derivational suffixes; a "light verb" is attached to the semantic root instead; the semantic root remains invariable but the light verb is conjugated (as a prefixed one). The light verb used are especially dṛke (to do, make), but also jilde (to do an action), jānake (to feel (physical)), and gyake (to be). Some examples:

  • āmaya (collection) → āmayadṛke (to collect)
  • språma (glue) → språñjilde (to glue)
  • jålkha (cold (sensation)) → jålkhajānake (to be/feel cold)
  • ñailūh (ice) → tæñailūgyake (to freeze) (note the tæ- dynamic prefix).

The other basic derived formation is the frequentative verb, formed with reduplication (with a long vowel) and -ve(y)- (-vi(y)- in the past tense[25]). -ṛ reduplicates as , but becomes a in the root.
Due to the common use of this form in modern Chlouvānem, some grammarians consider it as an inflectional category instead of a derivation. Note though that for motion verbs only multidirectional ones have a frequentative form (with iterative meaning); the multidirectionals already act as frequentative forms of the monodirectionals.

  • dṛ- (to do) → dṝdave- (to repetitively do)
  • na-jaly- (to happen) → najājlive- (to keep happening; to regularly happen, to occur)[26] (jaly- reduplicates as jā-jli-, with the i from the root y).
  • -jaly- (to be) + various prefixes → bījājlive- (to cease to be); galajājlive- (to remain in one place; to visit; to keep being)
  • tvorg- (to fear) → totvargve- (to fear over and over again) (tvo- reduplicates as to- instead of tva-).
  • låvy- (to slip) → laulavive- (to slip around here and there) (-å- reduplicates as -au- and becomes a in the root).

Note that nairīveke conjugates as a frequentative verb, but is not frequentative and does not have frequentative forms.
Frequentative perfect stems have the ablauted vowel in the reduplication and a long one in the root (cf. miš-, bare frequentative mīmišve-, perfect frequentative memīšve-); both vowels are long for non-ablauted stems (cf. nāmv-, nānamve-, nānāmve-).
Inverse ablauting roots have similar rules: the bare frequentative uses the reduplication of the nonreduced root and the reduced vowel in the root itself (vald- → va-uld-ve- → voldve-); the frequentative perfect is like the normal frequentative of other verbs, with the long vowel in the reduplication only (vald-vāvaldve-).

In many cases, frequentatives are used with an iterative meaning; the latter, if needed for disambiguation, may be specified by the particle dīdān.

Adjectival verbs

Adjectival verbs, however, do have some ways to be derived from other parts of speech.

-ūk-ke is the most common adjectival verb-forming suffix, denoting something strictly related to an object or a verb. Note that they are all thematic verbs, even if their infinitive is contracted (Archaic Chl. -ūkake → Classical and Modern -ūkke). Often they are interchangeable with the genitive form of the noun they derived from:

  • avyāṣa (time) → avyāṣūkke ([to be] temporal)
  • chlærūm (light) → chlærūkke (of the light)
  • daša (rain) → dašūkke (rainy, concerning rain)

-uy-a-ke is a rarer variant of -ūk-ke, most commonly found for qualities related to people, but not exclusively (see third example):

  • jāyim (girl) → jāyimuyake (girly, girlish)
  • saṃhāram (boy) → saṃhāruyake (boyish)
  • irūtākalam (atom) → irūtāruyake (atomic) (the -r is etymological from Ancient Kūṣṛmāṭhi)

-aus-a-ke (rarely -us-a-ke) forms adjectival verbs related to a quality that is applied to some object, but more abstractly related than those formed with -ūkke; sometimes they are only figurative:

  • chlærūm (light) → chlærausake (easy)
  • pāṇi (side) → pāṇyausake (peripheral, less important)
  • namęlь (to make an effort, to apply oneself, to work harder) → namęliausake (Stakhanovite)
  • Nouns ending in typically only add -sь- (-si-ke):
    • laikā (innocence) → laikāsike (innocent)

-nilt-a-ke translates English -able, and the circumfix uṣ- -niltake translates to "un- -able" or, sometimes, "difficult to X". The rare ñǣ- -niltake translates as "easy to X".
The uṣ- prefix has the allomorphs ū- (before voiced stops), uš- (before c and ch), and u- (before l+consonant); uṣ- plus any sibilant becomes ukṣ-.

  • tṛl (to know, understand) → tṛlniltake (understandable) → uṣṭṛlniltake (uncomprehensible; difficult to understand) / ñǣtṛlniltake (easy to understand)
  • yųl (to eat) → yųlniltake (edible) → uṣyųlniltake (unedible)
  • lgut (to buy) → lgutniltake (buyable) → ulgutniltake (not buyable)

-ṣeni-ke (morph. seny-ke, all root verbs) translates "having X as a quality", usually added to nouns, or "X-like" in some cases; it may be synonymous with the -dhūs derivative. u- and i- stems (thus -uh, -ih, -us...) lengthen that vowel before the suffix.

  • rahēlah (health) → rahēlṣenike (healthy)
  • nakṣuma (music) → nakṣuṃṣenike (having a musical talent)
  • meimairuh (emerald) → meimairūṣenike (emeraldine, emerald-like)

Compound verbs

Chlouvānem uses compound verbs as its main method of deriving verbs from nouns. Such "verbs" are actually a nominal root which does not decline followed by a conjugating verb. The verb used influences the meaning that the compound will have:

  • dṛke (to do) is probably the most commonly used, and may have a meaning of using something (denoted by the nominal root) to treat something else (cf. bikṣurdṛke "to deodorize" < bikṣurga "deodorant"), of moving or acting like the nominal root (yināṃdṛke "to protect" < yinām "protection"), or of simply having or creating something (āmayadṛke "to collect" < āmaya "collection").
  • kitte (to put) is used for a meaning of addition of the nominal root or its characteristics to something (cf. nanūkkitte "to add salt" < nanūkah "salt).
  • męlike (to give) is sometimes used with the same meaning as kitte (cf. junyāmęlike "to plant flowers" < junyā "flower").
  • jilde (to act) is used for subjects "emitting" or "giving off" something (cf. lāhajilde "to judge" < lāham "judgement"), also for subjects possessing (dhokajilde "to mean" < dhokam "meaning") or undergoing something (lañšijilde "to marry" < lañši (arch.) braid, wedding), and also for weather phenomena[27] (dašajilde "to rain" < daša "rain").
  • gyake (to be) is used, like in one meaning of dṛke, for moving or acting like the nominal root. Typically, it is more for states than actions (the prototypical and most common example is pṛšcāṃgyake "to be pleasing" < pṛšcām "something pleasing"[28]).
  • jānake (to feel) has a meaning partially overlapping with gyake (and dṛke), particularly marking the "feeling" of a (usually uncontrollable) condition (jålkhajānake "to be cold" < jålkha "cold").
  • milke (to take) has a varied range of meaning: getting or gathering something (vīrādhmilke "to adopt" < vīrādhen "orphan"; mailьlut(a)milke "to take advantage" < mailьluta "advantage"), also the opposite, taking something away (cf. rantamilke "to peel (fruits)" < rantas "peel"), and also overlapping partially with kitte and męlike in marking the addition of something or, more, properly, the act of bringing something (prātamilke "to get windy; (figur.) to accelerate" < prātas "wind" - cf. prātajilde "to be windy").
  • bismilke (to take away) and bīdṛke (to destroy) are used, more commonly than milke, for the meaning of removing or taking something away: (ssūbismilke "to calm down" < ssūgis "something that worries"; lilembīdṛke "(euphem.) to kill" < liloe "life").

Sometimes, the most meaningful element of a compound verb is not otherwise found as a standalone word in Chlouvānem, as in pṛšcāṃjalle (to like), or hārlājmęlike (to prefer).


Prefixes are a major part of Chlouvānem derivational morphology. Most of them are the same as for positional and motion verbs — for their formation and use, see the related section. Most prefixes are used with verbs, and are found with nouns only in derived forms; some of them, however, can be used also or exclusively with nouns and adjectives. Prefixes derive usually from Proto-Lahob, but a few chiefly nominal ones are from Ancient Kūṣṛmāthi words.
Here follows a complete list of all prefixes used in Chlouvānem and their meaning. When two prefixes are divided by a wave dash, the first is lative and the second is ablative; NOM marks meanings of nouns derived with that prefix.

Positional and motional prefixes

  • ta- 〜 tų- - generic direction

  • ān- 〜 yana- - on, above
  • šu- 〜 šer- - under, below
  • khl- 〜 kel- - between
  • gin- 〜 ją- - among
  • nī- 〜 ani- - within/from within inside
  • ū(b)- 〜 yom- - close to
  • bis- 〜 bara- - far, away
  • tad- (tata- before l) 〜 tasi- - attached to; against
  • įs- 〜 hos- - hanging
  • na(ñ)- 〜 neni- - inside
  • kau- 〜 kuvi- - outside
  • viṣ- 〜 vyeṣa- - opposite; somewhere else
  • kami- 〜 kįla- - around
  • pri- 〜 paro- - behind
  • mai- 〜 mīram- - in front of
  • vai- 〜 vǣ- - in a corner; bordering; at the limit
  • sāṭ- 〜 ṣlū- - next to; along; on the side of
  • lā(d)- 〜 lo(d)- - in the center of
  • vyā- 〜 veši- - left
  • māha- 〜 mege- - right
  • pid- - facing (positional only)
  • nal- - towards the center; inwards; convergent movement
  • vād- - away from the center; outwards; divergent movement

Motional prefixes

  • be- 〜 ter- - along the surface
  • gala- 〜 hali- - through, across
  • naš- - completely, until the end; NOM: omni-, pan-, entirely
  • vod- - avoiding
  • paṣ- - ahead, beyond; also NOM: further, again, re-
  • sam- - movement to the following place/person/object in a set; NOM: after, post-

Verbal-only prefixes

  • tæ(m)- - inceptive/inchoative
  • raš- - to do something a bit more than needed (ral- or rar- before voiced consonants)
  • yā- - too much
  • iva- - completely, also intensive
  • nare- - applicative (nar- before another prefix, cf. the common form narta- for "to reach"-verbs)
  • min- - transitivizer of intransitive verbs

Other prefixes

  • o- - before, pre-, proto-, preceding (os- before vowels)
  • tail- - multi-, pluri-
  • emib(u)- or tūt(u)- - one, mono-, uni-, homo-
  • lani- - same, fellow
  • vre- - bad
  • demi- - self-

Specific terms

Derivational terms considered "specific" are those mostly found in certain jargons. Some of these are applied directly to a Lällshag root instead of a Chlouvānem one:

Used in politics and/or the arts:

  • -nædani has two main meanings: -ism (as in a doctrine) in a political sense, and -esque in the arts, cf. yaivcārṇædani "communism" (< yaiva "all", cār- "to have"), or lanæmyainædani "in the style of writer Naryejūramāvi Lanæmyai Mæmihomah".
    • -nædǣnah is the term for a person that follows such a doctrine or style, cf. yaivcārṇædǣnah "communist"; lanæmyainædǣnah "someone whose writing is Lanæmyaiësque".
    • Note that lija and lejīn (lit. "song" and "singer") were formerly alternatives to these. They notably remain in nāɂahilūṃlija "politico-religious doctrine inspired by Great Inquisitor Kælahīmāvi Nāɂahilūma Martayinām; Yunyalīlti religious extremism" and nāɂahilūṃlejīn, as well as in arāmilija "pacifism".

Used for medical terminology:

  • -gulas usually translates "-philia" or "-mania", particularly in medical contexts, e.g. ryukagulas "masochism" from ryuka "pain".
    • -gulašålyē is the related term for someone who has that (thus "-philiac" or "-maniac"), e.g. ryukagulašålyē "masochist".
  • -ræṣka is a generic term used in medicine for names of illnesses or conditions affecting health, e.g. nalekiræṣka "obesity" from Lällshag naleki "fat"; vrayegårlæṣka "dysphagia" (note dissimilation of -rr-) from vre- (bad) and egåram (stomach).
    • -ræṣkanis is the term for someone affected by a -ræṣka, e.g. nalekiræṣkanis "obese", vrayegårlæṣkanis "dysphagic".
  • -ītsun is a rarer alternative to -ræṣka, e.g. vrayobulītsun "asplenia" (vre- (bad) + obula (spleen)), or lagukītsun "paralysis" (the latter with the root of Lällshag gahoke (still)).
    • -ītsunis is the corresponding term for affected organisms, e.g. vrayobulītsunis "aspleniac", lagukītsunis "paralyzed".
  • -yūtan is used for inflammatory diseases, cf. "-itis", like ṇīṭyūtan (dermatitis) or āḍhyāsnūliyūtan (meningitis).


  • tarlā (knowledge) is used as the head element of compounds, with a meaning like -logy in English. Sometimes the meaning is only abstracted (see second example) or has changed with time (see third example):
    • bhælā (land) → bhælātarlā (geography)
    • smoḍ- (to count, to enumerate) → smoṇḍarlā (mathematics)
    • ladragyalah (inn) → ladragyaltarlā (economics)

See also


  1. ^ These are the remnants of a former gender system present in Proto-Lahob, still evident in other Lahob languages; unlike others in the family, Chlouvānem did not become genderless because of losing gender marking on nouns, but because it lost concordance anywhere else.
  2. ^ For simplicity's sake, voices' names are most often rendered as patientive, agentive, benefactive antibenefactive, locative, dative, instrumental, and common.
  3. ^ This same marker (-∅- or -a-), is also used for historically attested facts and scientific truths.
  4. ^ Sometimes ēktami avyāṣa.
  5. ^ Written švęe in some older texts.
  6. ^ Intensive of chlisake (chlaisire, chlisirek, ichlisirā), Eastern Jade Coastal (Līlti, Līlasuṃghāṇi, Kūmanabūruyi, Līṭhalyināmi) slang for "amazing".
  7. ^ Note that in such a phrase the perfective subjunctive would have a different meaning, namely “to have already given it back to me”.
  8. ^ More properly "to be pleasing", e.g. lunai lum pṛšcāmvi "tea is pleasing to me" → "I like tea".
  9. ^ dilęe also has the other meaning of "the same", as in lili dilęe dadrāṃte "I have done the same". diledile does not have this other meaning.
  10. ^ e.g. læti, sorami
  11. ^ It also survives as a morpheme in some words, most notably ṣarivāṇa "state, country".
  12. ^ tane is a colloquial contraction of dām (interrogative particle) and nane (emphatic tag question particle).
  13. ^ A kaleya is a "spiritual friend" in Chlouvānem culture — this word can be translated with "best friend", but it also evokes particular religious meanings.
  14. ^ Many head monks have their own unique titles based on their monastery. For example the head monk of the Vādhaṃšvāti Lake Monastery is not referred as […] hurdagīn lāma vādhaṃšvāti ga gūltayi but as […] laliājuniāmiti jāṇi camilālta lāma, literally "Great Guardian of the Field of the Night Bloom".
  15. ^ nęlte has the stem nęlc- wherever the others have -ny-, -vy-, i.e. accusatives danyu, pāmvyu, nęlcu.
  16. ^ chīka has the stem chīcæ- before consonants.
  17. ^ pāmvi is unchanged; nęlte has the form nęlci.
  18. ^ tītya has tītei.
  19. ^ cf. ūtarṇ- "heavy" and ūṭrus "load"
  20. ^ Compare ājvan sām "until dawn" and līlasuṃghāṇa kahērimaila ga keikom sām "as far as Līlasuṃghāṇa Kahērimaila Station".
  21. ^ Language of an ethnic minority (but titular ethnicity) in the diocese of Hūnakañjātia.
  22. ^ Chlouvānem society lacked a true noble class; this term applies to the most influential people in society. Tigers are considered among the noblest animals.
  23. ^ Middle-grade ablaut is specific to this root.
  24. ^ As for all living things, being Calémere a different planet, the given translation is the one of the closest equivalent on Earth.
  25. ^ Ex.: dṝdaveyute "I repetitively do" vs. dṝdaviyaute "I repetitively did"
  26. ^ The verb "to happen" does not exist as an iterative.
  27. ^ Rain, specifically, is more commonly used as the subject of the verb buñjñake, meaning "to run" for water (in Chl. rain runs just like a river does).
  28. ^ The word pṛšcām alone is almost never used in contemporary Chlouvānem.